Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This week we have Shakespeare in our lesson plan. Yes, Shakespeare in 2nd grade. We actually started in the 1st grade and Nature Girl loves it. Now it isn't the complete works or anything like that. It is a book edited by E. Nesbitt Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children. There are over a dozen stories including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet. We bought some paper dolls and book full of beautiful cutout costumes for each story. We don't read a story every week maybe every month. Nature Girl asked me yesterday when we were going to be doing Shakespeare again. And she was pleased that we would be reading a story this week! I remember Shakespeare when I was a senior in high school. It was part of my Brit Lit class. I remember the teacher well. It was one of those classes that I barely passed. It is a shame that I barely passed. A whole semester dedicated to some of the greatest literature ever written. I believe, now, that part of the problem was I had never been exposed to any of that before. Not only did I have to "learn a new language" but the stories were complicated. I believe our children have such a great potential to learn from the best literature out there. Shakespeare happens to be on the top of that list. Maybe by the time Nature Girl (or any of the others) have to actually study Shakespeare they may not get it as well as I would hope but at least they will know how the names are pronounced and the general gist of the stories. Hopefully it will give them just a little advantage. If nothing else, I know they have been exposed to the best of the best. It has to count for something . . . .

Monday, September 29, 2008

Birth Story - Boop

It is Boop's third birthday today so what an appropriate day to tell his story!! In the previous two births I had never actually gone into labor. My water had always broke and I would have to get Pitocin to get labor started. Because I thought this would be my last baby I really, really wanted to "go into labor" and I really wanted to try labor without any drugs. Even with the first baby I was never scared of labor and delivery. As we got closer and closer to the delivery date I was beginning to be concerned about how big the baby would be. This time I knew if I went into labor I would have more than enough time to get someone over to watch the girls so my sister, mom and MIL were just on call. I had a doc appt on a Weds before ballet class. It was a day or two before my due date. I actually saw a doctor and explained to her how I envisioned everything going. She did a little thing and explained to me that I could possibly go into labor that night. Hubby had been working a 12 hour shift that day and my mom and sister were coming over for dinner. We were suppose to have spaghetti. By the time I got home in the early evening I was feeling kind of funny so we just decided to order pizza. By the time dinner was over I was sure I was in labor!! I wish I could describe how it felt but I honestly don't remember. What I do remember is that it was the season premier of Lost and hubby and I had been waiting all summer to see it. Oddly enough the cable went out while I was getting ready for the hospital. So, while my mom and sister were still at the house hubby took me up to the new women's center at the hospital and they happened to have Lost on!! They only had a TV in the reception area not triage so hubby stayed in the lobby to watch the show while they got me all check in and checked out ;) He and the nurse would come back at commercials and tell me what was happening!! When the show was over hubby came back to the triage room. Because I was trying to labor naturally they just let me stay there and I would walk around and around the women's center. I remember having to just stop sometimes and bend down because the pain was so bad but then I would get up and keep walking. It was getting late and hubby was very tired. Because I was not using my bed hubby got in it and fell asleep. The nurse had to pull the curtain so other expectant mothers wouldn't see him sleeping in my bed!! I just kept walking and walking and walking. Finally by about 1-2AM I had not progressed very far and I was soooooo tired. I decided to go ahead and get an epidural. That relaxed me enough to get things moving in the right direction. But, as I have since learned they seem to always give me too much. (I think that is what happened with Little Mama.) I have sooo much in me that I can not effectively push. Well, the same thing was happening with Boop. I was pushing but it wasn't doing any good. Finally I asked for them to take the epidural away so I could get feeling back. As soon as the medicine wore off I was able to feel and able to effectively push. I didn't mind the pain because it was productive!! Out came baby boy like 7:40 AM . . .

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Toothfairy Part II

"Mommy, mommy I can't find it." "Honey, you can't find what?" "My tooth, my tooth!!" Little Mama smiles at me missing tooth number two. "Well, where is it?" "I don't know, I was wiggling it at breakfast and now it is gone." "Have you looked in your bed, on the couch, under the table??" "Yes. I think I swallowed it." "You DID??"

Little Mama lost her second tooth yesterday morning and near as we can tell she swallowed it. Only time will tell but we will not look confirmation :)

Letter to Toothfairy:

Dear Toothfairy -

I swallowed my tooth this morning. Please leave me money anyway. Thank you! Love, Little Mama

We have a very flexible toothfairy . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthday Preparations

Tomorrow is Boop's 3rd birthday party. I am not really sure he understands completely what the deal is. If you ask him how old he is he isn't sure. He holds up a bunch of fingers and counts "1, 5, 2, 4." I will keep working on it with him today. I am sure someone will ask him tomorrow and I want him to be prepared ;) We have tried not to get caught up with the big birthday party thing. I will admit it can be hard. For the girls first couple of parties we did them at home with a few unique props. For Nature Girl's puppy party a couple of years ago we made a dog house out of a refrigerator box and my sister painted dog faces on each kid. We made paper collars with each kid's name on it and they ate out of dog bowls (which we then donated to the shelter). The year after that we had a "pool" party and shot water balloons. For Little Mama her first party was a butterfly party and we gave everyone wings and they just ran around the backyard, swung on the swing etc. Her next party was a princess tea and everyone dressed up and we served tea and sandwiches. They girls wore gloves and pretty earrings and colored a cardboard castle. It was starting to get harder and harder because the parties that the girls were invited to were at Skate World and Build - A - Bear etc. So last year we only did a family party for each girl and then celebrated their birthdays together down at Disney :) Which everyone loved. So tomorrow Boop's party will be a family party with a dinosaur theme. Both Grandmas will be there, his aunt and uncle and two cousins, my sister and her boyfriend and one other family and their two kids. The other family is the family we camp with and their boy is basically Boop's only friend at this point :) My sister and her boyfriend are picking Boob up and taking him to lunch then taking him to get his present (a dinosaur at Build - A - Bear). This will be the first time he goes anywhere by himself! He said I could follow them. So we shall see. For his party the kids will play and the adults will watch the football game. We will have ham and hors d'oeuvres and of course a birthday cake. At this age, I am sure no matter what we do he will be thrilled with all the attention and the presents . . . .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Birth Story - Little Mama

By the time I was pregnant with Little Mama I was only working part-time and after her birth I was going to be a full time stay at home mom. I had thought that because it had taken so long for me to get pregnant the first time that it would take awhile to get pregnant the second time. I was wrong. On the Saturday before Father's Day in 2002 when Natural Girl was 14 mos old we found out we were pregnant again. I took the test at 10:30 at night (having peed on 2 previous sticks that week) and it showed the plus sign. We called everyone that night! This pregnancy was really no different than the first one. Same symptom's more or less but a healthy baby. When we had gone for the 20 week ultrasound hubby knew it was going to be a girl. He was destine to be surrounded by women his entire life!! A lot of moms commented on the difficulty of having two children in diapers but I figured that would be the easy part! Little Mama was such a good baby and I had learned a thing or two! A due date when you have another child is a little bit more of a big deal. What happens if you go into labor in the middle of the night? What happens if hubby is at work? What happens if you can't get a hold of anyone? Well, my sister graciously spent about 10 days with us awaiting the blessed moment. I think she was still in high school. On the morning of February 18th I woke up to go to the bathroom and my water broke. Way different from the first time. Once again I won't go into the details but it was a mess. I was so glad I was at home!! I called the doc's office and in I went to the hospital. As before, my labor needed a jump start so I was induced. By 6:00 PM I was ready to deliver Little Mama. My mom, sister, and MIL were at the hospital. I could hear Nature Girl banging on L and D doors yelling "Mommy, are you in there?" It was a basketball game night and we had it on the radio during delivery. (I said sports were important to us and the midwife actually had had tickets to the game :) After about 2 hours of really, really hard pushing and me saying words that I don't think I have spoken since then the little angel would not come out. At one point the midwife had me hanging from a bar trying to push. I was so tired and scared and frustrated. I didn't understand what was wrong. Why was this baby not coming out. The midwife, nurse and hubby would say push again and I just couldn't. The midwife stepped out of the room to call the doctor. I will never be sure if it was for forceps or an emergency C-section but when she came back I pushed one more time and out came my beautiful baby girl. She looked so much like her daddy that people in the mall used to stop us and say to him "No denying that one." She was not as fair skinned and had a little darker hair. I started to nurse her immediately and she never stopped until she was 10 mos old. She napped and ate when she was suppose to. Hardly ever cried. Sometime you would forget she was even around. Two things though - she wouldn't let anyone else ever hold her and she absolutely refused the bottle until she was 10 mos. She was the perfect second child. Probably why I wanted baby number three . . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hug a Cop Today

My brother-in-law after 25 years of service to our local police department might be losing his job this morning. A horrible incident happened in our area and someone needs to take the blame. Yes, I am bias. I have known my BIL for 15+ years and know that he is a cop's cop. We would joke that he would give his own mother a speeding ticket. All that to say he is by the book, he knows the rules, he has given his life to his job of protecting his community and he loved his work. I won't go into the politics of why these thing happen - they just do. My hubby and I have talked this over a thousand times in the last couple of months waiting to see what will happen to him. I can't write a letter to the editor because our last names are the same. Because my hubby is in law enforcement I could be considered nonobjective. But this is the deal, these men and women every day put their lives on the line for me and you and our families. They keep us safe. The risk everyday not going home to their own families because some armed idiot steals money from the local convenience store for his drug habit. There is so much that goes on every day in our community that we are not aware of that law enforcement deals with. Just so we can be safe - so we can go to dinner after dark or the grocery store. Because of what they do for a living should they be given a pass if mistakes are made or bad judgment used - heck no. Yes, they get intense training and yes there are only certain individuals that are cut out for the job and yes many of them go through life without incident. But, as my hubby has said numerous times, "We make split second life and death decisions everyday to protect ourselves and the community." That should count for something. I don't know exactly what happened in my BIL circumstances and I probably never will totally understand but I do know that he has willingly spent 25 years protecting and serving me and my community. If you see a cop today give him a smile . . . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birth Story - Nature Girl

Nature Girl was my first child. We had been told about 18 mos earlier that we could not have children. I had even gone to a specialist out of town. He told me that if I wanted to have children we would have to harvest my sister's eggs (who at the time was 13.) Honestly the thought repulsed me. We wanted children but we were in agreement that we would not do anything "drastic." If it happened it happened and if it didn't it didn't. It was Mother's Day weekend and I remember sitting in church thinking "I will never have anyone call me mom." We were shocked but by the grace of God willing to move on. A couple months later hubby and I were looking at a boat to buy and a day or two later I found out I was pregnant! (Of course there is more to the whole thing than that but it would take weeks to write it all out.) What a blessing to say the least!!! Needless to say we did not buy the boat. We were shocked but so very thankful. I am not a good pregnant person. I have tons of aches and strange pains from the beginning and it usually doesn't stop. But the baby is always healthy. I gain tons of weight and everyone always says I look healthier when I am pregnant. I was due on May 7th. On April 4th I had a strange feeling that my water broke. Natural Girl had been wedged way down and ready to go for some weeks by then. My SIL said to go for a walk. We did go for a walk, after having Taco Bell for dinner, and I still didn't feel right. In an abundance of caution we decided to go to triage. We thought for certain we would be home later that night. Well, after they checked me out and indeed determined that my water had broke 10 hours, an epidural and Staydol later we had baby girl number 1. She weighed 5lbs 15oz and was so tiny. But once again by the grace of God she was healthy. She was 4 weeks early but her lungs were developed. Because she was early she had trouble nursing and cried and slept a lot. I had hemorrhaged after delivery so was kind of weak. When we left the hospital three days later we still were having trouble nursing. (She was 5 lbs 2 oz - the size of a sack of sugar!) It was so hard. I had tubes on me to encourage her to nurse and had to do all sorts of strange things. We hadn't been home three days when she had to go back to the hospital because she was severely jaundice. I was a wreck!! It being my first baby I was clueless. Here I was in the hospital with a baby in an incubator looking thing with lights blaring on her 24/7. Naked with little patches over her eyes so the light wouldn't harm her eyes. She needed to eat but wouldn't/couldn't. Two days later we were released again and I continued with my struggle to nurse. She slept during the day and was up all night. I was certain I never, ever wanted to do that again!! Finally after seriously doing all that the lactation ladies could think of, I gave up nursing. I thought, in a way, I had failed. My mom gave me some encouraging words and I started of feel better and we started to get into a groove about 8 mos into the whole thing. It was nothing like I had ever expected. I didn't have a clue and when Nature Girl came early it just took us all by surprise of which I don't think we ever fully recovered. I asked a friend at work, "Was I horrible for not wanting more children??" I learned so much that first year. Once I got confidence and realized IT isn't easy and not EVERY mother knows everything it didn't take long for me to get baby fever. 22 months after Nature Girl was born Little Mama was born . . . .

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small Large Family

I love large families!! I mean LARGE families 6, 9, 10 kids! I love the dynamics of them. How they live, how they survive, the logistics of it all. I know a number of large families. My aunt had 14 kids in like 16 years. It has been my experience that they are usually pretty close. The older ones know how to take care of the younger ones (what great learning experiences for life.) Everyone has responsibilities that have to get done in order for life to work. Generally speaking the children are respectiful and willing to help others. I admire the parents - the moms and dads who are willing to take on such an awesome challenge. They live Psalm 127:3-5 ". . . Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them . . . " I have a friend who has 4 boys and she calls her family a small large family. I like that. As we get closer to the birth day of our fourth child I am excited to be a larger family and to see all that God has instore for us . . .

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

American Girl Craft Day

There are not too many toys I approve of these days. For a lot of reasons. The way they are made, what they look like, what they do, what their purpose is. But, one of the dolls that the girls have fallen in love with is the American Girl dolls. At first I was hesitant about the whole thing - they are expensive!! But after getting the first one for Nature Girl a couple of years ago and the second for Little Mama last year, it has been well worth the price. They are wonderful dolls with wonderful character traits. They are modestly dressed and their stories are historically based. As a homeschooling mom I can't ask for a better "toy" for my girls. There are about a dozen dolls spanning the last 200 years or so. They range from Kaya the Native American to Julie who lived during the 70s. They each come with historical fiction books. (What a great and painless way to learn history.) Nature Girl has Emily who is from England and she lived during WWII. Little Mama has Samantha who lived during the turn of the century about 1904. So, all that to say, today there are free American Girl crafts at a local craft store and we are so there!! I usually don't like doing these kinds of things. I am not a big crowd kind of person and I will need to keep Boop entertained while helping the girls with their crafts but I just knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I didn't tell the girls until yesterday that we were going. They jumped up and down and giggled and laughed. They wanted to know what kind of crafts but I have no idea. So, we need to get going, get breakfast and get out the door to be one of the first ones there . . . .

Friday, September 19, 2008

Missing Our Girlies

We are blessed to have family in town. Last night Little Mama got to stay with Grandma and Nature Girl got to stay with Sissy. I am sure they had a big time. They count down days and make lists of all the things that they want to do together. Little Mama's list consisted of mostly places to eat. I am pretty sure if she had stayed with Grandma for a whole week they couldn't have eaten at all of the places she had listed!! I do know she got two milkshakes yesterday which could explain why she was so giddy when I spoke to her at bedtime :) Nature Girl's list consisted of shopping. I believe she and Sissy got to at least one store and Sissy bought her a Build-A-Bear. I am glad that they have those times to spend with family. But, Boop and I were lonely!! It was so quiet here last night. Only one bath to give, one set of teeth to brush, one pair of P.J.s to put on. I let Boop stay up later because I didn't mind him hanging out. We read a book together and took our time getting tucked in to bed. Then it was sooooo quiet. No trips to the bathroom, no last minute questions or requests. As much as I hate to admit it, I was lonely. It was too quiet, too calm, too relaxed. Don't miss understand, when they ask again I won't say "no." But, I do miss them terribly when they are away . . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Musings of a Toddler, Part III

Boop: Mommy, (pointing at my big pregnant belly) whose mommy is his??

And so it goes . . . .

The Novelty of Daddy

Did you know that most daddies spend 17 minutes a week with each of their kids? I read that little statistic somewhere this week. I have to admit it shocked me!! Yesterday was daddy's only day off in 7 days. This is the week he works 74 hours. I know our daddy isn't the only one who has crazy hours so I really am not complaining about it. I know better. But what this is about is the one day off that daddy does have. He is a novelty to the kids on that day. He can't go to the bathroom without someone following him (sometimes it is even me :) He has a laundry list of important things that need to be done and of course that conflicts with his personal list of what he would like to do. And where do the kids fit in with all that? It is a big deal when they wake up and daddy is home (he usually has gone to work by the time they get up.) Yesterday morning he wanted to get started cleaning the garage before it got hot. It was 7:30 in the morning and the kids wanted to go outside with him. His first reaction was no they can't come out. I asked "Well, if they obey and stay out of the way and help when asked can they just hang outside with you?" "Sure. OK" As we all know, it takes twice/three times as long to do something when you have 3 pair of little hands wanting to help. So out they all went until school time. Then because I had a doc appointment daddy got to make lunch and put Boop down for a nap. All of it is the same thing we do every day BUT daddy was doing it today. We spent the rest of the afternoon with ballet and tumbling and of course the kids wanted daddy to go with but he had other things that had to get done. When we got home we ate with daddy and he helped with baths. I can't imagine how hard it must be sometimes to have to divide your time with things you want to do and things that need to be done all during the few hours a week you are home. Yes, this is a crazy week but the flip side of that is the following week daddy doesn't work quite so much. I think we are one of the blessed families. If I sat down and added up every minute my hubby spends with our children, I have no doubt it is more then 17 minutes in a week . . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Play time

A friend of mine posted the other day about how her 4 children play together and it got me thinking about how mine kids interact. It is important to me that they get along, respect and love one another. So I decided to kind of pay attention yesterday. How do they pair up?? Do they all play together?? Do they play by themselves? What do they do with each other?? I did notice, that Little Mama and Boop play together a lot but they also fight a lot. They play blocks and do puzzles or play with the Little People. When Nature Girl and Boop play together it is more of a taking care of thing. She wants to dress him or read to him or help him in some way. When Nature Girl and Little Mama play together it usually has to be the game that Nature Girl wants. Little Mama is learning to say "no." She doesn't always have to play what her sister wants. She has ideas too. (I am happy about that ;) When they all three play together it is some kind of pretend game. Lately it has been mommy, baby and sibling. You hear fake crying and one of them is crawling around goo-gooing like a baby. (Yesterday while I was making lunch I looked up and saw Nature Girl reading to them - picture above :) They each have the desire to play by themselves at times. Boop will play with blocks or his Matchbox cars. I find the fact that he will play by himself amazing because he has always had playmates. Little Mama will play with her dolls or a puzzle by herself but she has to be right next to you. Not in a room by herself. She needs to be with someone. Nature Girl will read when she needs down time or sometimes organize something or create something. Being able to entertain themselves has been important to me so I am glad they each have a desire for down time. When the weather is cooler they will all be expected to spend a ton of time outdoors and that is when the get along the best. They can spend hours outside and I don't even know they are around. They catch bugs and roll in the grass and swing and jump and run. So much room to do their thing. My sister mentioned once how the fourth one will fit in. He/she will be the furthest apart, a whole 3 years. But I am not worried. I have a good idea he/she will find his/her place in our ever growing family . . . .

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cooking and Baking

I don't really like to cook. I do it because the rest of the family likes to eat :) I am not very imaginative and like to stick to recipes that have less then 5 ingredients. Hubby is the chef. He has vision and imagination and a flare for the culinary. So our deal is usually on days he works I do the cooking - meatloaf, baked chicken, spaghetti and on nights he is off we have grouper (that he caught) with asiago cheese, grilled hamburgers with homemade fries, chili etc. So it would only follow that I probably wouldn't like to bake either. A friend of mine that I had met a couple of years ago baked. She baked with wheat she milled herself. She made all kinds of breads, cookies and pancakes. I loved everything she made. It was delicious AND it was good for you. The cookies were my favorite. Everything was made with natural organic ingredients. I was more than happy to accept what ever she was willing to share with us or make for us because I was never going to go through all that trouble for homemade bread, rolls, cookies and pancakes. Then one day she told me she was moving!! Yes, I was going to miss her terribly. We had become very good friends BUT I was also going to miss her baking ;) What was I going to do with out the cookies. I craved them. Every other Thursday she made us pancakes. What was I going to do?? I, in the past, had always kind of made fun in a really nice way of all the people who had milled their own wheat and had made their own bread etc. It was not for me. (How many times have I said that in the last couple of years.) Guess what?? I talked with hubby and we decided to buy a mill and join a co-op to buy wheat berries and real sugar and honey and all the other things needed to make bread, rolls, pancakes, cookies and so much more!! I have to admit now I LOVE IT. I don't make bread or rolls as often as I should. But I make cookies a lot and we have whole wheat pancakes at least every other week. The beauty of it all is the kids actually like the stuff. When I get out the mill and make pancakes they get so excited. Whenever we have company over and dessert is my cookies, they always proudly say "My mommy made these." Reason enough for me to keep baking . . . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts for Today

Did you know that anger it is not necessarily a sin?? It is what we do with our anger that gets us into trouble. Ephesians 4:26 "Be angry and do not sin . . . " We are commanded not to let our anger continue into the future, into other relationships " . . . do not let the sun go down on your wrath . . . " and that anger gives the devil a wide open door to your life v. 27 " . . . nor give place to the devil." Yesterday in Sunday School we watched a video based on a book It Came From Within (can't remember the authors name but I am sure I will be reading it soon ;) and he had some pretty profound things to say about anger. It is a debt we feel is owed to us and chances are we can never collect from the person who has betrayed us, hurt us, belittled us, abused us etc., etc. We walk around with this accounting book full of debt (anger) looking for it to be paid up. So, we try to collect through others. (Have you ever gotten really really upset with someone and they are looking at you like "What did I do?" :) It can create destruction in our other relationships in our lives. All to collect on a debt that can never be paid, an account that can never be closed. But there is hope, there is a way. We can forgive! Yes, that's right forgive for those decade old hurts. The hurts brought from the past that are effecting our present and future. Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." UGH!! What a tough pill to swallow. You mean no one to pay me back, no one to tell me "I'm sorry", no one making amends. What about my debt book! The one I have been carrying for so long. The one that deserves to be closed. God says that it is more important to forgive then fairness or getting paid back. It doesn't seem fair and it sure doesn't seem easy. But, I have a perfect example of how it is suppose to work. God's Son Jesus showed us perfect forgiveness. Food for thought for today. At least for me anyway . . .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Date with Sissy and Kevin

My sister (sissy) and her new boyfriend Kevin are coming to pick up ALL of the kids today to take them to lunch! I can't remember the last time that hubby and I were in the house all by ourselves. I would have to guess that it hasn't been since Nature Girl was born and that has been 7 1/2 years!! The kids are so excited. But I have to be honest so are we!! Last night we discussed possible ideas of what we might do. Should we go some where, should we stay home and clean or lounge around?? The list went on and on. So many possibilities. It is almost overwhelming! Sissy and her boyfriend should be here any minute and we still have no idea of what we might do. Well, whatever we end up doing will be all right with me . . . .

Musing of a Toddler, Part II

Sissy (the kids very young aunt) HAD a boyfriend named Jay.

Boop: Sissy isn't Jay's friend anymore because he broke our trampoline.

Another daily post to follow later . . . . :)

40 and pregnant

I wasn't going to post about being pregnant and 40, at least not right now anyway. I still have 8 weeks to go and it is a long 8 weeks. BUT it has become so apparent why God makes women the most fertile when they are in their early 20s. Your young, you have energy, your body is relatively new!! Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change being pregnant right now for anything but it has been much more difficult this time around. Now I will concede that the following things play into the fact that I am exhausted: 3 other kids and all of their activities, homeschooling, hubby is working a lot more, more active in the community etc. I started late to begin with. Nature Girl was born when I was 33. I wanted to have Little Mama in enough time that if we had a third it would be before I was 40. The Boop came along when I was 37. I really wanted to have number 4 before I turned 40. I wasn't going to be 40 and birthing babies - ha, ha!!! But that wasn't in God's plan so now I am 40 and pregnant. (I love irony) My back aches night and day, my legs ache and cramp terribly at night. I was up last night from 1-4. Don't know if it is because I am pregnant or 40. I don't need practice for motherhood (being up in the middle of the night) I know all about that. I just need sleep. I have little energy and the most mundane chores take all my effort. Yesterday I had two invitation for lunch with friends and I declined. I just knew I couldn't do it, couldn't make it work, didn't have the energy to get us all presentable to eat in public. Please don't misunderstand me!!! I would not change a thing. All of this is teaching me what is important in life and to depend on God. Now we only do the necessary things in life, take things slow and easy, try not to rush and pack to much stuff into a day. I can think of at least three women right now that I admire that have been pregnant in their 40s. And they had a houseful of kids to boot. And their families are wonderful to behold. I love being pregnant. I love looking down and seeing my big belly moving all around because junior is awake. It makes the inability to eat, breathe, walk, sleep all worth it. There isn't a greater gift that God can give a woman and a family. Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate." But there have been moments when I have wished I would have started just a little bit younger . . .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nature Study, Part II

Nature Girl - This is all the things that I saw.

Little Mama - Dragonfly

Boop - A rock I think

Big Mama - View from the van . . .

Sweet, Sensitive and Sassy


Last night during our nightly story reading time the usual disagreement broke out as to who gets to sit next to mommy. When daddy is home during story time it usually works out because someone is usually happy to sit with him. But when it is just mommy there are only so many sides to go around and unfortunately there isn't any lap anymore. So, it is a big rush to see who gets next to mommy first. Well, the same two usually win so I try to remember who did what the night before and I try to be fair. Last night it was Boop who didn't get a side. He was visibly upset and he pouts real good. Little Mama looked over at him and said "Boop you can sit next to mommy tonight. I will sit next to her tomorrow." She truly is sweet!


Yesterday was hard to escape that it was 9/11. The kids and I have been talking about it lately because the World Trade Center had been mentioned in a book we had read recently. When trying to explain what happened, I didn't go into great detail. There will be plenty of time for that but I did feel it was necessary to relate the gravity of the event. I just did not include all of the gory details. Nature Girl, who is usually my "water off a duck's back" girl was very interested in the whole thing. Who, what, where, when and most importantly why. I did my best to answer her very honest and compelling questions. You could see she was thinking, pondering, reasoning, caring. It was so incredible to me to have a conversation with the caring heart of a seven year old about something that has changed our nation.


Last night I was helping Boop out of the tub.

Boop: I don't need help.

Mommy: I guess you are big boy. You are not my baby anymore. What would mommy do with out a baby??

Boop: Probably nothin'

Mommy: Yeah, your probably right :)

He is sassy . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Potty Training

In the beginning of motherhood one of the harder things you think you have to do is potty train your child. When my first child was at "potty training age" I remember being kind of stressed about the whole thing. Another way mothers were "judged" for lack of a better word. When my first child was about 18 months old mother's old and new start giving advice on what they did or what they were doing regarding potty training. I was determined to get Nature Girl trained and out of diapers before Little Mama came along in a couple months. I didn't want to have to be changing diapers for two everyday. So we bought the thick underwear, regular underwear and read some articles. I think we even had a video! Anyway, whatever I tried just did not work. The minute I paid attention to something else she would have an accident. She just wasn't ready. With a newborn in the house and 22 mos old I gave up. Exactly what all the books, articles, moms said not to do. It was just too stressful. What was the big deal of changing two kids diapers. It was easier then cleaning pee off the floor :) So we waited a couple of months and when SHE was ready it was so much easy. By the time Little Mama was about 2, I started to stress a little bit again. I was pregnant again and I remembered how hard it was the first time around. I didn't want to make the same mistakes. Wow, what a difference it was training Little Mama. She basically did it all on her own. One day she woke up and said "I want underwear" and honest to goodness that was it. She put them on, I don't think she ever had an accident and she even insisted on wearing underwear to bed at night. Then came Boop. A boy. Once again the "experts" said wait until he is older. Boys take longer etc. etc. etc. I had learned a thing or two since beginning this whole potty training experience, it had nothing to do with me. My only role was to pay attention to the development, temperament and personality of my child. Boop was a little over 2 and it was right before Christmas. He wanted big boy pants. Really??? Right before the holidays?? So we went shopping for tighty whities for a two year old. I have to admit they are the cutest things I have ever seen :) It is many months later and he is not completely trained. For some strange reason he thinks I am the only one who can take him to the bathroom so obviously we have a hurdle there. But, we don't have to travel with a diaper bag anymore. He doesn't really have accidents unless he (or I) just forget to take him to the bathroom. Some would say he has me trained but the reality of it is it is cheaper then diapers. Between the 5 of us someone always has to go potty so he just goes along. My fall back is, no one will be 18 and in diapers . . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Haircut

I used to cut their haircut. But not anymore . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday dear Katie, Happy Birthday to You! One of my greatest friends is turning 40 today. (Welcome to the club Katie!) We have been friends since high school over 20 years ago! We live at least 1200 miles apart but our friendship has blossomed over the distance. We mostly communicate by email, blog posts and now Facebook. I think in the last 20 years we have gotten together about a handful of times. Once she has even come down here (remember that). I think it is your turn to visit Katie - hee, hee. Speaking of remembering do you remember the night we did a Chinese fire drill on Webster Street. I think some one's purse fell out of the car and we had to go back. Then there was Senior Prom (I think ;) I remember visiting your dad's lake house. Or how about Mr. Sands' accounting class. I hardly ever use a calculator with out thinking of us in that class!! I think I even remember in that class writing names of children on a piece of paper - anything was better than listening to him and if I remember correctly my grade reflected it. LOL. Anyway, my how things have changed. Katie is a wonderful mother of 4 beautiful children. She is an inspiration in my life and helps me stay on course. God gives us friends sometimes for a season and sometimes for the long haul. I am thankful that God has given her to me for the long haul! I love her honesty and encouragement! I pray we continue our friendship for the next 20 years!!

Happy 40th Birthday Katie!!

Musings of a Toddler

The things my 3 year old baby boy has said over the past couple months:

He calls his sisters "his girlies." "Girlies, come here." "Goodnight girlies." When he wakes up from his nap and his sisters are gone "Where are my girlies?"

One night in the tub he asked "Did the Titanic hit an iceberg and sink?" In school that day Nature Girl had been reading out loud the story of the Titanic!

Most recently "God made me do it."

What I have to look forward to . . . . . :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Social Butterflies

My kids are different. At least it seems that way to me. I have heard stories from all kinds of parents whose kids don't want to go to tumbling or ballet or soccer or school etc. for whatever reason. Sometimes it is a permanent thing. Sometimes it is just a temporary thing. Sometimes the folks know why and sometimes they don't have a clue as to what the problem might be. Every family deals with it differently. Some parents make their kids go to the extra curricular activity and some don't. I have never had that problem. In all honesty my kids can't wait to get out of the house or to have a babysitter or whatever! It doesn't matter where they are going or who they are going with. When we go to parks, a place to eat that has a play area, the museum, my kids take off and I don't see them again until there is food or it is time to go. They count the days until ballet or tumbling or a night with grandma. If I go to a doctor's appointment and I get home early they seem disappointed. If and when hubby and I go on a date they would happily make the reservation at the restaurant for us. The one and only time my hubby and I went away for the weekend the kids practically packed our bags. There have been times in each of their lives where there was a little drama but nothing that I ever worried about or that didn't correct itself in a very short time. I like it. I am not good at all that drama. But, I would be lying if at times I wasn't just a little bit curious. Why are my kids so willing to go, go, go? Maybe I am a bad mom, maybe they are just social kids, maybe they like the break, maybe they like different things, maybe they enjoy their activities. We definitely don't sit home day after day looking for things to do so it can't be boredom. We are always on the go somewhere with someone. I just don't know. I have had people tell me "It just means they are secure, confident, happy." For today, that is what I chose to believe . . .

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Fish

A week or so ago my kids were sent an invitation to my bff's daughter's birthday party. They were so excited. We have know the birthday girl since she was born. My bff was the one who about a year before Nature Girl was to start kindergarten started to give me the full court press about homeschooling. I always told her "It isn't for me." Ha, ha!! Sorry, I digress. Anyway, we have been doing some heart training about putting others before ourselves. Each one of us struggles with this on some level, kids especially. Nature Girl at this point in her life probably struggles with this the most out of my three kids. When I hear her playing with the other kids it usually has to be her way or she says she won't play. She loves to count her money and then is always wanting to buy something new for herself right away. There are always tons of "whys" when we talk about saving and tithing with her money. When making decisions as to what to watch or play, she doesn't really ever consider what anybody else might want. Oh, it isn't really, really all that bad and it isn't probably anything worse then most kids her age but compared to her brother and sister she is most motivated by self. She has a lot of wonderful qualities. She is creative, independent and has tons of energy. She is curious about life, nature and other people. But, if I didn't give you the gist of how she thinks most days the following tale wouldn't mean as much! So, back to the birthday party. The minute we got the invitation Nature Girl starts to think about what we are going to get her for a gift. This always makes me nervous because usually it is like a puppy dog or a pony. She is very generous with my money :) Then I have to be the bad guy and say "no", "no", and "no." And then try to explain why and what might be a more appropriate gift. Anyway, she comes up with this great idea. She says "I want to buy her a fish. One of those fighting fish." Really?? "YOU want to buy her the fish?" "Yes, I have $13.00 and I can buy her a fish for her birthday." I was so warm inside!!! Actually as I sit here words can not describe how I really felt. My little girl who spends a lot of time talking about what she wants is considering spending her hard earned tooth fairy money on her friend. And she thought of it all by herself!!! I don't want to say I felt proud because I know what comes after pride (Prov. 16:18) But, I was proud. She actually followed through and bought that fish with her money. I know I don't have the power to change the heart. But I know some One who does and sometimes it is so encouraging to see that some of what we talk about as godly parents starts to sink in . . . .

Friday, September 5, 2008


We are big sports fans in this house. We have been known to watch football, basketball, baseball and horse racing just to name a few. My husband is from a major college town and I am from a NFL town so we grew up with football. I will admit, when I was a child I didn't care for it all that much. I remember watching Packer games with the family but not really caring who won or lost. When I moved to a college town and I was older all that changed. I got into the spirit of college sports. As a college student and young married couple we lived for Saturday. The ranking in the polls was a major topic of conversation. What would happen in college town on a football weekend was something to experience and experience it we did. Tailgating, massive amounts of people everywhere, actually going to a BIG game. Those are memories I will carry with me forever. I remember the fall before Nature Girl was born and I had a whole journal entry about the FSU v. Miami game. Part of the entry did ponder the idea of how important football would be after having a child ;) Well, football has definitely dropped in the poll of importance. Now we have birthday parties and other family and home obligations. Last year we even went camping the weekend of the UF/FSU game but we did bring a long a small TV with rabbit ears and watched it by the campfire. I think in 7 years we have only been to one college game. We have gone to more basketball games and baseball games because they seem to be a little more family friendly (and cheaper too.) Last Saturday was the first Saturday of college football. We had College Game Day on while doing necessary chores just so we could keep track of who was winning and losing. Tomorrow is FSU's first game of the season and it is on pay-per-view. Normally we don't pay to watch a game but this year we are kind of curious. I am sure for the parts of the day we are home we will be watching College Game Day. Somethings are are just a given . . . .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Great Books

We read a lot in our little school house. Our school day consists of reading at least 4 different living books. Living books in a nutshell are full of "beautiful expression", tales that are "well told", full of "worthy thoughts" and "inspiring ideas and pictures of life." The ideas of living books are "sparks of truth passed from a great thinker to another mind." We have learned about birds based on the Burgess Bird Book. We are learning history based on Our Island Story and A Child's History of the World. We are learning natural science based on the Burgess Animal Book. We have learned some geography from Paddle to the Sea. We are learning about salvation not just from the bible (which is great literature) but by reading Pilgrim's Progress as well. Charlotte Mason believed that we learn more by reading great literature than by memorizing facts from textbooks that can sometimes be very dry. Great literature can inspire great character in our children as well. This is just a very broad overview of her teaching philosophies that we use in our home. Her teaching philosophies are written in a six volume set and I am only on Volume One!! Because I LOVE to read, one of the best parts about the CM style of homeschooling is her passion for reading great literature. Not twaddle as she calls it. She believed that little minds are capable of so much. Most of the books we read were written at the turn of the century. The language can be difficult at times. But as the school days progress, I notice a rhythm in reading and an understanding of the language starting to dawn on not just the kids but me as well. We get it. We understand it. We are learning to appreciate it. I was prompted to write this post today because we just finished reading one great book The Lion's Paw and are reading another great book called Understood Betsy. The Lion's Paw is an adventure story that taught us about Florida geography, shells and boats. All of the kids loved it even the 3 year old. Understood Betsy is a book originally published in 1917 and it is a "warm and charming portrayal of life in the early 1900s" centered around a nine year old girl. Nature Girl and I both love this one so much we are thinking about naming baby number four Elizabeth Ann (if it is a girl :) who is the main character. I pray that for all the time we spend reading during the day that at least one of my children will develop a passion for reading great works of literature . . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Doc Appointment

In the beginning of my pregnancies I never make it to my next scheduled appointment. Some new ache would pop up or some other funky thing would start happening that I didn't recall happening with the pregnancy before. So I would make a phone call to the doc and of course they wouldn't tell me anything on the phone so in I would go for an appointment. For the first and second pregnancies that really wasn't a problem. I was working full time with my first and part-time with the second so I always had childcare. But with the third pregnancy and now with this one it isn't as easy. I have to weigh the need of going to the doc with the possibility of bringing all the kids with me. Sometimes childcare at the last minute just isn't available.

This month I have made it to my 29/30 week appointment. I can't believe I am that far along. It truly seems like yesterday that I had to tell hubby we were pregnant again! What an afternoon that was. We were not trying to get pregnant (although I wanted to be.) Actually trying carefully not to get pregnant (won't go into details :) Anyway, my sister brought me the pregnancy test in the afternoon. Hubby was resting along with the kids. When the little plus sign showed up I asked my sister if she wanted to stay while I told hubby and she decided to leave it all up to me :) Chicken!!!! Anyway, after I told him and the initial shock wore off I had to tell him that the due date was 5 days before his annual hunting trip. He very lovingly informed me he was still going on his trip. I know my husband so well and I had already made up my mind that I would encourage him go anyway. He works sooooo hard and has been sooooo easy going about all of the crazy ideas that I come up with. I don't think when we got married 11 years ago that he ever would have thought we would have 4 kids and I would be a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. But yet he has always listened and agreed and backed me up. It is the least I can do for the man who solely supports his family in soooo many ways.

O.K. enough of singing his praises!! Today is the appointment. For some weird reason I always look forward to it. I don't know why. The actual time I see the midwife lasts about 7 minutes and there isn't anything new she can tell me. She usually comments on my weight gain which surprises me. I have gained about 30 pounds so far which is normal for me. I start off underweight and I am not a very big person. I have always lost it. It makes it hard for me to walk etc because I am not use to carrying all the excess weight around but I am still healthy. My urine is fine, blood pressure fine, etc. It really is anti climatic. I do get to hear the heartbeat and that always makes me teary eyed. I like the reassurance that I am progressing as I should. I guess the real reason I like going is that for about 7 minutes it is all about me . . . .

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


We had lunch at the house today with someone I use to work with a long time ago - before I had kids. (Do you notice there is a before and after kids when referring to life.) Lunch back when I had a job (that had a set hour in the day to eat said lunch) might have consisted of a meal with a coworker that contained a stream of uninterrupted conversation that could sometimes be up to 45 minutes long. I don't really even remember what the topics were anymore. I am sure mostly small talk etc. My how times have changed. Lunch today was different. First, I actually sat down at the table for lunch with my friend and children and we all ate together. Second, there was not any "uninterrupted conversation." I begged my kids to be good "How many times does mommy have friends over for lunch?" There was the card incident and the fluttering like a butterfly incident just to name a couple. So much for uninterrupted conversation! And the conversation that did take place was also different. Nowadays, there doesn't seem time to make small talk. When you have kids and you have an opportunity to talk with another adult it has been my experience that the talk is always of some weighty nature - learning styles, politics, family. As much as I enjoy having lunch with my co-workers from the past, I have never had a desire to go back to having a "lunch hour." I love my "lunch 30 seconds" . . .

Monday, September 1, 2008


I love music. All kinds of music. In school we listen to classical, folk songs and hymns. This semester it is All Glory Laud and Honor, The Drinking Gourd and the greatest hits from Saint-Saens. We learn a little bit about the history and words and then just listen whenever we can - while doing school work or in the car. If the kids like the composer they will often ask to listen to it during play time. The folk songs are kind of silly so they like the words to them. But it doesn't stop there. I suppose if I was a true appreciator of music it would but I am not. I just like music - jazz, blues, country, rock, oldies, gospel. So we can be seen dancing to Van Morrison at night after dinner. Or when running errands Sara Evans or Rascal Flatts can be heard blaring from the CD player. Sometimes when the kids aren't with me I listen to classic rock real loud. Hubby and I love music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s - we love Frankie Valli - "oh what a night, late December back in 63". Hubby and I do share the fact that we don't care much for the most recent music but I would suppose that is an age thing. Music is so powerful. It has the power to change a mood. It puts smiles on our faces. Gives us reasons to dance . . .