Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Great Pumpkin

We finally got around to carving our pumpkin last night. We got a huge pumpkin this year. My job is to cut out the pattern, tape it on to the pumpkin and trace around it. Daddy does the rest. This year the girls came running in "Daddy got pumpkin all over." "When he pulled off the top pumpkin went flying!" A few minutes later daddy came in and his shirt and face were covered with pumpkin innards and seeds. It was kinda funny :) Anyway, this year he decided to use a Dremel tool to cut out the shapes he needed. Now hubby can be kind of a Tim the Toolman Taylor so I am usually a little skeptical and more than a little concerned. But, on further inspection his plan seemed to work out just right! He was able to cut out the pumpkin face in record time and kids were amazed! Enjoy the pictures . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frustrated, Impatient and Depressed?

When I went to the midwife on Tues she informed me that baby C was an OP baby. I tried to understand as best I could what she was saying. Some of it made sense and some of it was just way over my head. The part I did grasp though, was that the little bugger is facing up instead of down - "sunnyside up" as I have heard it referred to. So, yesterday I decided to look it up on the internet. This is the information that I found - this can stall labor, make delivery difficult and very painful and possibly end up in a C-section. The last thing you want is your water to break because then it makes it virtually impossible for the baby to turn but it happens a lot with OP babies. Ugh!! You almost have to take drugs because the pain is unbearable but if you do it relaxes the muscles that help the baby to turn. (Sometimes I curse the internet.) I have been here before when the baby was breech. I am again going to try my best not to worry. God and I were chatting yesterday and I once again praised Him and thanked Him for the miracle he performed for my breech baby. Now I am asking him for a miracle with my "sunnyside up" baby . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I would like to think tradition is a big thing in our house. At certain times of the year we make a special effort to do things that have become fun for our family. Last weekend we went to the Halloween Howl at the Jr. Museum. I think it had been our third year in a row. The kids love and look forward to it. Then of course there is the pumpkin patch on the corner near our house. It has been where we have gone for the past 5 years. Yes, the pumpkins are outrageously priced but the whole experience is well worth it. Then we have a fall festival/Halloween party at our house that is in its 4th or 5th year as well. We invite a couple of family friends and have chili and hang out and then go trick or treating. It has always been a great time of food, fun and fellowship. Last night was the "highlight" of our fall tradition - "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Now this one can sometimes fall through the cracks unless someone makes sure they look out for it. It is only played on network television once and if you miss it, oh well. This is something daddy and I grew up watching. It was made in 1966!! And to me, those are the very best kind of traditions, the ones we as parents did as kids :) Thankfully Grandma called during dinner to let us know it was on. We had already had a fire in the fireplace. We just had to finish dinner and take showers/baths and get ready to snuggle on the couch. Everyone was ready by 8. Teeth brushed, PJs on, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals on our massive couch that fits all 5 of us. For the next half hour the kids were glued to the TV just waiting to see if the Great Pumpkin would arrive. Little Mama had lots of questions about Snoopy and the Red Barron. Other than that every one was silent for 30 minutes. Including Mommy and Daddy . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Friends

My sister hung out with us this weekend :) If she said it once she said it repeatedly "The girls are best friends." Of course from my perspective I see it just a little different. I hear a few more of the petty squabbles and the tattling etc. But as I laid in bed this morning (been awake since 5:45) I really started to think about it. They are best friends! A friend of mine who I had been talking to about homeschooling when we were in our decision making process told me this story. She had a boy and a girl just a couple years apart. They were very close. When the son started school and the daughter stayed home their sibling relationship suffered. They would argue and bicker when they were together and they were just not as close as when they had been home together all the time. When the summer came it took them an adjustment period but by the end of the summer they were best friends again. So, when they decided to homeschool her oldest son and daughter became and still are the very best of friends. I believe the son now is 18 and the daughter is 16.

So why do I bring this up today? Well, yesterday I am in my favorite room of the house - the school room (surrounded by books, and worksheets and a globe and flashcards :) and I look out the front window where the girls happen to be playing. Nature Girl has Little Mama on the top of our little grassy hill in the front yard and Little Mama is on Nature Girl's bike. Now, Nature Girl's bike does not have training wheels. Here is Nature Girl teaching Little Mama how to ride without training wheels. I just sat and watched. First try Little Mama makes it about 1/4 of the way down the hill. Second try about half way. Then all of a sudden Little Mama is riding Nature Girl's bike! Eventually she falls over. The best part was - Nature Girl runs down the hill and picks Little Mama up and is hugging and jumping with her and smiling and laughing and celebrating the big accomplishment!! It brings tears to my eyes right now just replaying it in my mind. They both come running in to tell me. I hug on Little Mama for such a wonderful accomplishment and wink and smile and mouth the words "Thank you" to Nature Girl for being such a wonderful big sister. Yes, we are blessed to have good friends and I am thankful to God for them but we are doubly blessed to have our best friend as our sister . . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two and a Half Weeks

and counting. . . . if you took a look around our house you would never know that in about 2 1/2 weeks we will have a new addition to our family. So far we have a couple cute neutral outfits, two packs of diapers, 4 pacifiers, 5 bottles and I think that is about it. No carseat or bassinet yet. No overnight bag packed or clothes washed with that special detergent. Not even real sure where the little bugger is going to sleep. Have I mentioned we have not settled on names? I am not sure what we are waiting for. It is soooo different from the first time around. Yesterday I saw an acquaintance I hadn't seen in awhile and he said "I guess it gets easier the more kids you have." And in a way it does. When you are pregnant for the first time you have nothing better to do, really, except obsess over the fact that you are pregnant. The more kids you have and the more busy you are the less time you have to obsess. Don't get me wrong, I want to obsess but there is always something that needs to be taken care - now. The whole day is filled with things like that. The next thing you know days pass, weeks pass and months pass and you are two and a half weeks away from your due date and most everything still needs to be done. Part of it is you don't worry as much. You learn over the years what you REALLY need and when you REALLY need it. Experience has told me I do need a carseat (should be coming any day now), a couple of sets of newborn clothes (we won't be going anywhere for awhile but I also won't be washing so the basics are fine), diapers (easy enough to get each time I go to the grocery store), a pacifier (speaks for itself) and really that is about it. At least for the first couple of weeks. The rest can be taken care of sometime after the fact - if it is even needed at all. I suppose there will be something major I will forget but it will get taken care - I have faith :) And a lot of good help . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I have always been a big board game fan. As an adult I haven't played games much but just the idea of the family and friends huddled around a game board on a Friday night or around the campfire is kind of neat to me. I remember playing Monopoly and Mancala with my cousins. I remember playing Gin Rummy the one or two times we went camping with my dad. On one or two holidays we played Monopoly with mom, Chas and Sissy. My brother and I used to play Checkers and War. Hubby and I have played poker twice with friends. So, about a year or two ago I established malt and game night at our house. The kids were pretty young so the games were Candyland, Shoots and Ladders and Bingo (family favorite). But as life went on and the family grew and the schedule got a little busier it kind of went by the way side (to soon be reestablished :) Now that Nature Girl and Little Mama are a little older I have been able to teach them War and Mancala and they play those games on their own. Sometimes I have included game playing in school. Well, yesterday was a horrible rainy and cold day. I had just gotten home from having my hair done and Daddy and Boop were napping. The girls were bored and wanted to play Monopoly which is one of my favorite games. They had never played before and I was afraid the concepts of buying, selling, rent and bankruptcy might be a little hard for a 7 and 5 year old to grasp. Heck, they are difficult concepts for me to grasp!! Well, I got out the Micky Mouse Monopoly game that we got a couple Christmas ago and unwrapped all the pieces and parts. I tried to give a brief overview but it is one of those games you just have to learn as you go. I think we played for over an hour. And believe me they got the concepts. They went from timid players asking me what to do to basically listening to my advice and then doing what they wanted! To me, one of the great things about playing games with them is watching each girl develop her own strategy. As each girl thinks their own thoughts and concentrate on their own ideas and approaches to the game, each girl develops their own totally different strategy. Once I got the hang of not getting involved it has been AMAZING to me to watch their brains function. Their thought processes are so very different but equally successful in what they are trying to accomplish. No one girl wins all the time. I love watching their faces as they think and ponder and strategize (not sure if that is a word). Anyway, we finally had to put the game away because we had plans for the night. But, as Nature Girl was putting her head on her pillow last night, her last request was "Can we play Monopoly tomorrow?" . . .

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kindness, Thoughtfulness and Manners

It drives me crazy when one of the kids asks another one of the kids if they can play with a specific toy of theirs and the other kids says "no." It drives me crazy because instead of just taking kid number one's toy and playing with it kid number two has shown kindness, thoughtfulness and manners by going through the trouble of asking. To me, that is reason enough to say "yes." Of course, I am the mom and I see the big picture and I am the one trying to teach kindness, thoughtfulness and manners ;) So, this is last night's conversation between Boop and Little Mama:

Boop to Little Mama: "Ya, Ya (that is what he calls her) can I read your book in bed?"

Me thinking: "Lord, please let her say yes. He asked so politely."

Little Mama: "Yes, Boop you can take it to bed."

Boop: "Thank you."

Little Mama: "Your welcome."

Boop: "Your welcome." And he crawls into bed with Little Mama's book.

What a great way to end a very long day . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Today we were supposed to go to the Marine Lab. We were supposed to have gone two weeks ago but because I made a little planning error they didn't have room for our group. So we picked this afternoon as an alternative. Nature Girl was so excited. She loves sea life. At the Marine Lab they have starfish and fiddler crabs and an octopus and nurse sharks and all kinds of things that I do not know the name for :) They even have touch tanks! As of last night I had to cancel our trip because a couple of the families had conflicting schedules and there just wasn't enough left of us to cover the cost. When I told Nature Girl she tried so hard not to cry (she is like me.) But by the time she went to bed she was in tears that could not be stopped. I felt horrible. I had already explored all of our options before I had told her the bad news. But she is a problem solver and kept coming back to me with great ideas but ones that I had already thought of and had had no success. We spent the first 20 minutes or so discussing those ideas and how they hadn't panned out. Then after awhile I started to explain that disappointment is part of life. We all have disappointments from one thing or another. I explained that it is OK to be sad, upset and maybe angry and confused. But after a little while it is important to try to cheer up - to think about something positive about the whole deal. Like I told her, "No we are not able to go today but when daddy is home when the baby is born he can take you down there and you will have a great time." Daddy knows a lot about marine life. We have a choice in how we deal with our disappointment. We can wallow in it or we can make the best of it. It doesn't negate how we feel or doesn't minimize our disappointment but we can't let it become the focus. I also told the kids we have a really busy weekend coming up. We have our author study this morning at the library, tomorrow we are going to the pumpkin patch and later on shopping and dinner with Sissy. On Saturday is the football game and then the annual Halloween party at the Junior Museum and Sunday is church and Dog-a-ween. So, we can feel bad, sad, and mad but we shouldn't let it ruin our weekend. After Nature Girl went to bed she came out a couple times for tearful hugs but by the last time I saw her she had a smile on her face. Red eyes but a smile . . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No Nap Nightmare

Around the age of three I think both of my girls started to give up their naps. I am sure we would miss one occasionally and they would take a quick nap in the car if we were going somewhere. When we were home, if they didn't nap they would play quietly in their room for an hour or so. Well, yesterday Boop decided for reasons unknown not to take a nap. I think, after further discussion with him, it was because he knew I was going to the doc during his nap time. Anyway, he is not one that can miss his nap! We have on occasion missed it because of things we had to do and of course usually regretted it right about 5PM. Yesterday was no exception. For those of you who know my boy he is sweet as molasses and pretty obedient. He is not generally sassy although he is developing his own thoughts and feelings at this age. But all and all a delight to have around. When he doesn't get his nap he is the exact opposite of all of those things. He cries, yells, is very physical and almost impossible to settle down. By 5:30 yesterday I was seriously thinking of putting him to bed for the night. He knew he was tired. I don't think he wanted to behave so poorly he just didn't know what else to do. He spent a lot of time in his room until we finally ate around 7. I don't remember the girls ever behaving that way. I am sure, as with everything in parenthood, I have forgotten any truly horrible behavior. But I got to tell you, his behavior last night will be etched in my memory for a good long while. By hook or by crook, he will get his nap today. . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eventful Nights Sleep

One of the hardest things for me to come to grips with when I was a new mom was the lack of sleep. My first pediatrician told me don't expect a full nights sleep until your child is like 8. I was dumbfounded! Just the mere thought of that gave me heart palpitations. Of course it has been 7 years and 4 pregnancies later and ain't that the truth. Last night I fell asleep right away (unusual at this stage of pregnancy). But about 3 o'clock I woke up and just couldn't go back to sleep. Well, about 10 minutes later the dog starts barking. We had not put her in her cage so I am sure she was barking at a possum or raccoon. So hubby gets up and puts her in her cage. About a half hour later Little Mama comes in. She has had a nightmare. Oh how I want to just tell her "It will be OK, just go back to bed." But something inside me says "NO, get up and tuck her in and reassure her that everything is OK and that mommy and daddy are here. She is safe." Since Nature Girl was born we have had a rule that nobody gets in bed with us. Not for any reason. Somebody once gave me that advice. They can come in our room with sleeping bags etc. just not in the bed. Honestly I liked the rule. I am a light sleeper and hubby's alarm goes off in the middle of the night. It is a rule that just works for us. So, over the years I have been a little more creative. When someone wakes up and needs me I comfort them and then I will sleep on the couch. They like it. It is an acceptable compromise. Once in awhile I will hear them come out and check to make sure I am still there. And I am on the couch with my blankie and pillow. When they are sick, I have been known to sleep in the hall outside there door so the minute they need me I am there. There have been times when one of them wakes up real early and the chance of them going to back to sleep is slim so they will climb in bed with us and snuggle for an hour or so until it is time to get up. So, last night Little Mama said "Will you sleep on the couch." "Sure." I said. I hugged and kissed her, tucked her in, grabbed my blankie and headed for the couch. And that is where I woke up at 7:00AM this morning. Actually, pretty rested. I have learned to deal with the middle of the night awakenings. They are all part of being a mom. I now am thankful for the nights that I get a full nights sleep . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Little Homeschool Schedule

This is a typical day - not that we have many typical days but it is a goal. Something to keep us somewhat on track . . . as I have learned in years past we need a little direction. Otherwise the day can be gone and we wonder where it went :) We try to keep lessons short to build the habit of attention. Theoretically we keep each lesson 10-20 minutes. If it doesn't get done we either finish it later or just continue on with it the next day. Even if they ask to continue a particular story we stop at the allotted time. This way they will ponder and anticipate what has been read until the next time we pick up the book up. Now mind you, these are all teaching theories that I like. They are goals and our whole schooling adventure is a work in progress.

8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Get dressed and chores
9:00 Prayer and Bible everyday
9:20 Math everyday
9:40 World History 2 days a week (An Island Story or Children's History of the World)
9:55 Natural History 4 days a week (currently Burgess Animal Book)
10:10 Copywork everyday from one of our reading books
10:25 Snack and Poetry everyday (currently Walter de la Mare)
10:45 American History; Biography; Church History; Natural History/Science everyday (This
Country of Ours; The Little Duke; Joan of Arc; Trial and Triumph; Handbook of Nature
11:00 Literature I once a month (Shakespeare)
11:15 Lang. Arts/Phonics/Reading
11:30 Literature II everyday (Pilgrim's Progress or Parables of Nature)
11:45 Creative Expression/Spanish
12:00 American Geography 2 days a week (currently Tree in Trail)
12:15 Literature III everyday (currently Understood Betsy)

* We do map work and timeline and calendar along with the stories. We have artist, composer, hymns and folk study through out the week.

At night before bed we read a book from the free reading list. We are finishing up "Five Children and It." I will let the kids pick the next one from the list which includes Mary Poppins, Heidi, Farmer boy and about a dozen more.

Little Mama doesn't participate in all of it. And she has time when I just work with her like reading and math. The girls are told it is up to them when we get done. We stress taking our time and doing things the right way but they also know it is up to them how quickly they get done. If the work diligently we get done earlier then they get to play. If they dawdle and it takes us longer then their play time is cut short. No matter what, though, school is done by lunch time . . . :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Unexpected Plans

Yesterday, oddly enough, we had no where to go and nothing to do. We woke up late, watched Sound of Music, did a few chores and just planned to hang out the whole day. No goals, no plans, no anything. A very alien concept for us. Well, by 11:30 that all changed. In the blink of an eye we were expecting visitors for lunch and then had to be at my brother and sister-in-laws early in the evening for my nephew's birthday party. He turned 15 this week which I still can't believe. I remember the day he was born but that is another story ;)

Our guests for lunch were some of my mom's best friends in the whole wide world. My mother had been very blessed with a handful of really, really wonderful friends. Four of them she has known for 20 years (plus or minus a year or two) They, including my mother, get together once every 9 months or so to get away for the weekend. This time they decided to come here. I met these ladies when I was in my late teens/early twenties. So I was thrilled when they made it a part of their trip to come visit us yesterday for lunch. I enjoy these ladies very much and have had the pleasure to watch their children grow from school age children into adults. So now I think it is kind of cool for them to see me and my children and my family grow. We had a really nice lunch. They spent at least an hour letting my kids entertain them with stuffed animals, ballet routines and VBS songs. Of course, my kids take every opportunity they can to display their talents! We might get to see them again before they leave. But if not, I am glad we were able to take sometime yesterday to visit with some very special friends . . .

Friday, October 17, 2008

Game Night

Life is good. Simple but good. Last night we had a last minute get together for the football game. Our neighbors came over and brought chicken strips, macaroni salad and a great sausage dip and chips. We had gotten some wings, fruit and dessert from the grocery store. Sissy brought a really good guacamole dip and chips. We all hung out watching the game and eating great food. The kids, of course, had a blast. Our neighbors are big time football fans and their kids are grown so once in awhile I had to remind the kids not to stand in front of the television ;) But, the girls got out their cheerleading costumes and Boop got out his FSU football and threw it around until he started throwing bullets! Then we had to go back to rolling it ;) The kids were allowed to stay up a little later so Sissy gave them their showers and then while Ms. Linda watched the game she dried and brushed and styled the girls hair. The girls were in heaven. Mr. John and daddy just kept watching the game with all the commotion going on. It takes skill (and patience) to watch sports on TV when you have little ones around. By half time everyone was ready to leave. Mr. John and Ms. Linda knew daddy had to work in the morning, Sissy had a paper to write, and my babies had to go to bed. The kitchen had been cleaned by everyone and the night was at an end. I was able to relax on the couch and watch the rest of the game in peace and quiet. One of the better parts, FSU finally won on a Thursday night. . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Date Night

Last night was date night. It will probably be our last date night for quite some time. We wanted to do dinner and a movie but honestly I knew I would never make it. So, we ended up with dinner and Costco. But Costco with out the kids can be an adventure. Well, sort of. All I know is when Sissy comes to babysit we don't go home until we know the kids are bathed and in bed and asleep :) We have been known to drive around the block a time or two just to make sure. LOL. Date night is important. It is a time where we can talk without little ears around. We talk about a lot of things. Honestly nothing really very important. Sometimes sports, sometimes the kids, sometimes about what things we have coming up. Hubby usually tells a pretty good work story. But that is the extent of the conversation. I think it needs to be a relaxing time. Nothing really needs to be accomplished or decided. It is just nice to be able to sit through a dinner that somebody else cooked and get a break from baths and bedtimes. Thanks Sissy and Kevin for giving us a break . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tithing and Ice Cream and History

I don't usually tithe. Not because I don't want to but because I don't usually have any money in my wallet (or anywhere for that matter). When I sell cards or make money some other way I tithe but that doesn't happen very often. In Malachi 3:10 God actually says we should test Him in this "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," (emphasis added) Says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven, And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it." Well, this past Sunday I had money in my wallet and I felt led to give it as an offering. Even my dollar that I knew I would need yesterday to get out of the parking garage at TMH after my doc appt. I had to admit, I was very excited to see how God would provide my buck for parking. I knew He would because I trust Him. So, yesterday after lunch I was cleaning up the kitchen and I was going through some papers and wouldn't you know there was one dollar there. I smiled, said "Thank you God" and put it in my purse. Granted it wasn't a windfall but it was what I need at that very moment. I have noticed God works that way a lot in my life . . .

Bonus post :) Yesterday hubby worked late so as a treat I took the kids for ice cream. Nature Girl - vanilla yogurt with cookie dough in a cup; Little Mama - rainbow ice cream in a cone which turns her whole face blue (wish I would have had a camera) and Boop - psychedelic sorbet in a cup (can't have milk). Anyway, they loved it. That is something they usually do with a grandma or Sissy. We decided to bring some to daddy who was working security at a local bridge engineering firm. After daddy finished his ice cream - vanilla yogurt with hot fudge - he decided to give us an impromptu history lesson. The buildings that the firm owned were all old historic city homes. One had been a governor's mansion in the late 1800s and was for lease. It was beautiful. Nature Girl wanted to know if we could live there. To be honest, I wanted to live there too. The home had a wrap around porch and big portrait windows, all hardwood floors . . . . According to the Internet, the other home was built by a free negro back in the 1800s for a judge. The firm had landscaped the backyard and the kids ran around the "shrub maze." We stayed until dusk. All the while the kids asked about the houses and the pictures inside of the bridges the firm had designed. Some day when the kids are a little older we will take a field trip to the firm so they can learn more about the bridges designed there . . . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Squirrel

It was quiet time around the house yesterday. Boop was napping and the girls were playing outside. I was talking with my mom and finishing up some Christmas card orders. All was peaceful. I just had some picking up to do and dinner to make and we would be ready for tumbling. All at once Little Mama comes running in "Sadie has a squirrel, Sadie has a squirrel." Sadie is the next door neighbor's cat that the girls have adopted because there is no way in heck daddy is ever going to let them get one. Anyway, I tell her to chase Sadie out of the yard until the squirrel can get away. About 5 minutes later Nature Girl comes running in "Sadie is attacking the squirrel and it's a baby." So out I run to the front yard to assess the situation. No time to assess. The cat is attacking the baby squirrel. I have to do something. The girls are yelling and everyone is freaking out. Including me. What happened next could have been on America's Funniest Home Video. Not because of what was going on but just watching me trying to get the cat off the squirrel. At 35 weeks pregnant I am not the most nimble or flexible. I am pretty sure I injured a muscle during the rescue. But I digress . . . here is the neighbor's cat viciously attacking this poor defenseless baby squirrel and I was its only hope. I had Nature Girl get me a broom and I tried to chase the cat away. Nothing doing. It was like a scene from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. This cat was not going to give up. I finally was able to get in between the cat and the squirrel. But the cat just kept stalking it. The girls and I had a perimeter set up around the tree and the squirrel but the squirrel was so terrified it couldn't move and climb back up the tree. I finally called hubby (an expert in theses matters.) He said get the hose. So Little Mama had the hose to spray the cat and Nature Girl had the broom and there we stood for close to an hour protecting that little squirrel. Finally daddy came home and scooped up the squirrel and took it to St. Francis the refuge for wild animals. They said the squirrel would make it and they didn't see any permanent damage. We were all so thankful. Daddy then went and had a nice chat with the neighbor . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Politics and Religion

Disclaimer: One of the reasons I started a blog was so I could write down my feelings. I am a religious and political conservative. So, if you read this post please do not be offended. It is just how I feel at the moment ;)

I am a Ron Paul fan. Ask my kids. I am not an intellect. I don't spend hours reading the newspaper, watching FOX news or listening to NPR or any other such outlet for what is going on in the world. I catch headlines here and there and I try to stay current on some topics of interest to me and my family. I don't watch the debates, although I have tried. I get too upset, too emotionally involved and sometimes just plain disgusted. I don't believe in big government. I don't want someone legislating my family or my life. God has given me free will and I like the fact that I can use it. I am not an Obama fan and I am not a McCain fan. McCain has "my core values" but there is a part of my heart that says he knows who his core voting group is so he courts them. I am not happy with the way things are in this country on so many different levels. So, therefore I am in a dilemma. There are those in my circle who say "You have to vote for McCain. If you vote for a third party you are throwing your vote away and Obama will surely win." There are others who say "You need to vote for who truly represents who you are and what you believe in." Then there are some who are not going to vote at all. I definitely don't agree with that. My response so far has been "McCain, least of two evils." Then of course there is the thing with McCain's running mate Sarah Palin. I like her. She is a woman who thinks like I do. We have the same moral compass on most issues but . . . I can not help but wonder how she can do it all. Something has to give. I know what it is like to be a mom and I choose not to work because I know I can not do it all. I know something has to give and I am not willing to do that giving. How can she be a mom with young children and VP?? I also am learning not to judge. If God has truly called her to be McCain's running mate then who am I to say she shouldn't. In the end, just like every other choice we make in this world, it is between us and God. That is who we will answer to in the end. All this to say, I have no idea what I am going to do in November. But, I know I am starting to pray now for God to give me clarity and direction as to what to do with MY vote. I am going to read my bible for some insight and in the end, I know that God is in control of it all anyway. I am just responsible for what I do with me . . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yesterday was an odd day. Just a little out of whack. That really is the only way I can describe it. The night before, Thursday night, Little Mama spent the night with Sissy and Nature Girl spent the night with her grandma. It was weird just being home with Boop (hubby was working late.) He and I had a nice time together. We ate Taco Bell and watched TV while eating. We took a bath and then watched the History Channel before going to bed (his request :) Very nice, very relaxing but oddly enough very lonely. It was so peaceful, so quiet. Just a little unnerving. So, the next morning Little Mama came home early because Sissy had to go to work. But, Nature Girl got to hang out the whole day with grandma. We missed her. Things just didn't seem normal or right. We were busy all day with projects and chores etc. but there was something missing. I told hubby she is kind of the glue that sticks the kids together. He called her the cruise director because she has the kids all pointed in the same direction. It was just odd. Little Mama and Boop play OK together but it is for short periods of time. They play OK alone for short periods of time. But, there were no other options for them. Nobody for Boop to wrestle with. Nobody for Little Mama to play Mancala with or War (truth be told I did play one game of War with her and 4 games of Mancala ;) Little Mama kept calling grandma to see when Nature Girl would be home. I have to admit after awhile I was wanting to know as well!! When she finally did get home a little before dinner things seemed back to normal. Yes, it was noisy and chaotic and I had to say things three times because everyone was playing with each other and ignoring me. But, I liked it. It was once again normal in our house . . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008


I loved my grandma. I have so many memories of spending time with her. We really didn't do anything special and she didn't give me lots of stuff. We just kind of hung out I guess. I remember taking the Greyhound bus to visit her and I would roller skate in the parking lot of her apartment complex. She would fix me and my grandpa poached eggs on toast and he and I would sit at a little table for two and eat them. We didn't watch TV or play video games when we visited but we would take her big books and pile them up and make stairs and all kinds of interesting things. We would walk to George Webb's in the morning for breakfast. We would sometimes eat dinner at Petrie's. She would come to visit us for a week and stay for at least a month. During the holidays she would sit at our snack bar in the little corner of the kitchen while mom was cooking and she would be cutting celery for hours - kind of a family joke I guess :) But most of all, I remember her sharing a room with me and she would tell me these great stories of when she was a school teacher. They would make me laugh. They were so funny. Every time I think about them I have to smile!

Grandmas and grandchildren have a special bond. God made grandparents to minister to their grandchildren in ways that parents just can't. My kids have the blessing of having both grandmas right here in town with us. Each grandma brings their experiences to the family therefore enriching the lives of the whole family. My mother-in-law is Irish Catholic and attends church regularly. The other day she was going to light candles and the girls wanted to go along. I said sure. It is part of who they are and I think it is important for them to know that. The girls are always asking for stories about their daddy when he was a kid. They love to hear about their uncles and aunt too. My mom loves things that are beautiful. So, when the girls stay with her they get to go Native Nurseries to look at pretty flowers and sometimes they will buy some to plant at her house. She lets them help decorate and clean and cook and bake :) When she is at our house sometimes she will take them into the "story room" and tell them stories of beautiful places. They love it! To me that is what Grandmas are made for. Not for the gifts they bring or the places they can take them but for the stories they have in their hearts that they are willing to share with their grandchildren . . . .

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I honestly don't think in my 40 years I have ever had a surprise party of any kind. Well, that all changed yesterday!! Yesterday was ballet and it was pouring down rain. If it had not been for the fact that it was "ballet days" which means the girls can dress up for dance class we probably would have skipped class. Because it was raining I was hanging out in the nursery. One of my friends left to use the rest room and then another friend came in and said "There is something in the back of my car that Kathryn thought you would like to see" (or something along those lines). Anyway, I gathered up the boys and we went out to my friend's van which was parked under the church portecochere. The back door of the van was up and there were balloons tied to it and food and gifts in the back. I have to admit I hadn't a clue what was going on! Seriously!! Then Donna said it was a baby shower for me!!! I was dumbfounded, shocked, awed, surprised, tearful and most of all speechless (which is so rare for me!!) I truly couldn't believe it. I was soooo touched and blessed and surprised! It was such a showing of thoughtfulness, caring, love and friendship. I was so surprised!! We ate a little, had refreshments, opened gifts and chatted. All in the back of my friend's van, under the portechochere at church. I received adorable neutral baby clothing, a blanket, diapers, wipes, a gift card and a baby's first Thanksgiving outfit. But most of all, it was a gift of friendship which I so cherish. As I told my friends, this is what wonderful memories are made of . . . .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boop's Doctor Appointment

Yesterday was Boop's annual check up. It is always an adventure taking all the kids to the doctor's office. You sit in the waiting room where the toys are for about 10 minutes and then they stick you in a room for about 45 minutes with a stack of Goodhouse Keepings and all the breakable and expensive gadgets. Oh, and let's not forget the stool that spins around and around and around. The floor is tiled and everyone is vying for the seat on top of the examining table. When Little Mama was a baby and Nature Girl was a little over two I still remember her sitting on the exam table looking at a magazine when the doc walked in. He was so impressed that she was just sitting there "reading." He always mentions it when we come in and I always feel I have that expectation to live up to. I have to admit, it gets harder and harder :) Nowadays when the nurse steps out of the room I give them each a tongue depressor to play with. That keeps them occupied for about 7 minutes! I remember one time when Boop was an infant and he and Little Mama were sick. So we went to the doc to get them checked out. By the time the doc got to us all three of them were crying and in pain. It turned out either Boop or Little Mama had a single ear infection and Nature Girl had a double ear infection. I went to the check out window and everyone was crying and miserable. I could physically feel the sympathy from the office staff as we left!! One time while daddy was on his annual hunting trip, Nature Girl had been sick for days. We went to the doc's office for like a third or fourth visit and found out she had some relatively unknown (to me) disease in which she had to be admitted to the hospital ASAP. (More on that in another post someday.) Thankfully yesterday was routine!! My little man is growing up. He is 3' 1 1/2" and 29 pounds. He talked nonstop with doc and she was very impressed! I told her he had two really good teachers . . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hunting and Fishing

My hubby loves to hunt and fish. He has passed some of his interests on to our children. The girls and boy alike have some curiosity about the whole thing. This past Saturday Florida Fish and Wildlife put on a Youth Hunting and Fishing Day and we decided to go as a family. Their main purpose was to teach safety techniques for hunting to all ages but they had a lot of other fun things as well. As soon as we got to the Research Center you could hear the shotgun blasts. One of the first tents was handing out ear plugs which the kids thought were really cool. Little Mama was still carrying hers around yesterday!! They had food and all kinds of demonstrations. One tent had Ducks Unlimited prints and they were giving away duck calls to the kids. Imagine a 20 minute ride home with three "ducks" in the backseat :) Thanks Ducks Unlimited! Needless to say when we got home they were confiscated and can only be used outdoors to irritate the neighbors :) They also had a helicopter which all the kids loved getting into and pretending they were flying. Boop was a little hard to get out when it was the next kids turn. They had an archery tent where you could line up and shoot a bow and arrow. My guys were a little young for that - thank goodness! Nature Girl loved the dog hunting demonstration. At one table they had a guy dressed totally in camos and he was giving hints on turkey hunting. I personally found that to be interesting. The kids came home with all kinds of Florida wildlife information, pencils, coloring books and stuff. All and all a good day to be outdoors with the family . . . .

Monday, October 6, 2008

Addicted to Books

I love books!! I can't help it. And I don't just mean novels. Last night I was at a Children's Ministry meeting at our church. We are in the middle of some changes in the way we do our Sunday night children's ministry so we were discussing all types of Bible curriculum. I believe children have a great capacity to learn great things at very early ages. I truly believe that kids are fully capable of understanding and visualizing beautiful written stories and it is a wonderful way to learn all kinds of things from science to language arts to the Bible. I don't think children necessarily have to be entertained to learn. For that matter, I am not a big fan of cartoon characters depicting Bible stories, historical events, science ideas, etc. I also believe that there little brains can memorize tons of scripture with a minimum amount of effort. Nature Girl memorized a whole poem last year to recite at a tea and it takes Little Mama two or three days to memorize a scripture verse. (Every month we review the things they have memorized so they don't forget them.) So what does this have to do with books you would like to know?? Well, last night someone presented a book that was a possibility to use for the curriculum and I was thrilled. It was character sketches based on animals using corresponding Bible stories. No funny characters of people or animals. It used the real thing. For example, Part One, Loyalty, Adjusting My Schedule to Meet the Needs of Those I Am Serving - Nature Story: Great Horned Owl - Character and Physical Features, Scripture Story, Scripture Background on Amasa, Amasa Character Sketch. It had real pictures and real stories and facts. I held on to the book for like 15 minutes. I just kept going through it and reading it and looking at it. In my opinion it was perfect! What kid doesn't like animals and what human being couldn't use some work on character traits and what a great way to teach them by relating them to real creatures God created. To me the whole book was just filled with so much potential for kids of all ages!! I was sooooo excited. It is like Christmas for me when I find a great reading, teaching tool for entertainment and education. After the meeting I was just plain giddy. I told my friend, even if we didn't use the book for our Sunday night children's ministry it was definitely a book I will be purchasing next year for our little homeschool . . .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Card Making

I am not a creative person by any stretch of the imagination. I wish I were - sometimes. I have never been interested in craft fairs or even exploring what hidden talents I may have! I just assumed that I was not creative. Back about 8-10 years ago when scrapbooking became a trend I thought it was cool. Taking pictures and getting them into an album was important to me so I thought I would give scrapbooking a try. I think I made one and a half pages, my wedding day and the first day of our honeymoon. It took me months and my pages were so elaborate. I am not a quitter but I quit! I still have the two pages somewhere. I can't bare to get rid of them. They are kinda cool and I worked so hard on them. So, along came a friend of mine who was a Stampin' Up demonstrator and she showed me all this stuff to make cards. Now that I thought I would get into. I love cards and am really pretty good about sending them. So I thought I would start to make my own. This all happened about a year before Boop was born. My first big project was Christmas cards that year. They turned out OK and I enjoyed the detail of it. Then I made Boop's birth announcement with the help of my friend. It was cool, unique and special because I had done it myself. Well, it has blossomed since then. I belong to a club and spend a lot of down time creating and making cards. I have made a name: Sincere Salutations. I have even sold some ;) I have two faithful customers. I have been told I should set up a website to display my cards and I have found a neat website that is like Ebay but sells only homemade stuff. I am proud of my work not because I have created masterpieces but because on accident I found a little creativity . . . .

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mr. John and Ms. Linda

Mr. John and Ms. Linda are our neighbors of about 10 years. They have lived in our cul-de-sac for about as long as we have. To be honest it just seems like they have always been there. Yesterday as I was outside watching the kids skate in the cul-de-sac Mr. John came over after work to say hi and to chat not just with me but with the kids. He was talking about something he might do and Little Mama piped up and said "If you do that, Ms. Linda will put you in time out!" I guess you had to be there but it made me laugh. Made Mr. John laugh too because Little Mama was right!! They have watched our family grow and have asked us all kinds of questions about the family choices we make. Especially the homeschooling thing. They have a small beach house and have wanted us to visit for quite sometime. The challenge was that they couldn't fit our whole family (plus them and their 4 dogs) at their house. So this past June we decided to get a hotel room and visit for the weekend. It worked out beautifully and the kids had a blast. Both Ms. Linda and Mr. John took the time to play with them and Mr. John took special interest in showing and teach them all about sea and beach life. The kids were so excited to learn new things. When we got back from the beach that weekend Ms. Linda had a confession. She had told me she wasn't real sure about the homeschool thing but after watching the kids that weekend and their interest and attention to all the things around them she was impressed. I love her honesty!! Mr. John has some kind of nature degree and has been on call to answer all kinds of plant, tree and insect questions. He has encouraged us to compost, to start a garden and to think about a rainwater run off garden. Ms. Linda is very creative and has made beautiful mosaics, jewelery and scarves. We have been to her art shows and is always very willing to share with the girls her current creation. One night she came over and taught me and Nature Girl how to crotchet. Who needs text books when you have a living, breathing teachers right next door . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I have a sister who is 17 years younger than me. When my first baby was born she was only 16 and really didn't want to be called "aunt." She had just gotten her driver's license so I guess I can understand that :) She decided she wanted to be called "Sissy." Given her age difference and the fact that my kids call her "Sissy" I have gotten plenty of stares when we are out in public. But little did I know back then how much she would mean to me in the next 8 years! She is the one I call when the babies are sick and I need something. She is the one I call when hubby and I want to go on a date. She is the one I call when hubby and I (twice in the last 7 years) have gone out of town. If I travel or hubby travels she is the back up. Always available if we needed something. She watches the dog and feeds the fish. She has even cleaned the house when I was pretty sick and tired this past first trimester. She is kind of like a security blanket. The family can go a week or two with out seeing her sometimes. She is very busy and has her own life but it always seems that when she is really needed she has been there for us. She picks up the cakes for the birthday parties. Lately, she has been eating dinner with us at least once a week. She takes the kids shopping and out to lunch. She is on deck when due dates come around. Not only is she our "number one go to girl" for the kids but hubby and I enjoy her company. It is nice to have someone young around. She keeps us in touch - whatever that means!! She and I "text" each other!! She got me hooked on Facebook. She and I have gone to concerts, dinners and movies together. She comes over and watches football with us. She gives me advice on clothes to wear and haircuts to have - sometimes I actually listen :) I have actually worn clothes of hers and always get compliments. I have given her advice and sometimes she has actually listens! She will be graduating soon and I know the day is coming when she will move away and start her own life. I honestly can't think about it. I know I will be lost without her. The kids will be lost without her. How do you replace a security blanket . . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breech Baby Flip

I have had 3 of my 4 pregnancy after 35. Yes, that means AMA on my medical chart. For those who are not over 34 AMA means advance maternal age ;) Pregnancy can be stressful enough, have enough aches and pains for ten people and then you put that tag on and what chance does a poor girl have :) Honestly, I never cared! The reality of it is, though, the OB office offers 10 times more tests to make sure the baby is healthy. For as many times as they have stamped AMA on my chart and for as many times as they have offered me every test in the book to determine the health of my baby I have always said "No thanks." I will love my baby no matter what and have always felt that God would give me the grace to handle anything that comes my way. That being said I have always said "yes" to any ultrasounds they wanted to give me!! And when you are old and pregnant you get a lot. They are noninvasive and YOU GET TO SEE THE BABY!! Well, on my last old lady visit to the pregnant old lady doctor they told me baby number 4 was breech. I am a planner (as much as I can be being a stay at home, homeschooling mom with number 4 on the way). That was not in my plans!! Thanks to my faith in Christ, I am not a worrier much anymore but I have to admit I was a little concerned. They told me not to worry that I had a couple of weeks for the little guy/girl to turn. I was under the impression that my only options would be to have the baby physically turned or to have a C-section. As many of you know, my hubby has a trip scheduled for 11/20 - 5 days after my due date. I can't have a lengthy recovery time. I have a family to take care of. Not to mention, I really, really wanted to try natural labor again ;) Glutton for punishment I guess. Anyway, I started talking with other women and researching on the internet. I learned a lot as always. But the biggest thing I learned is not to worry and I ultimately get to make the decisions that effect me, my body and my baby. I had a lot of options which I was willing to explore if need be. Well, to make a long story short (or longer) I went to my appt yesterday. The midwife couldn't tell which end was up - ha, ha. So, we went for another ultrasound. As the tech was gooping me up I was mumbling away. She asked me what I was saying. I told her it was my continued prayer to God to flip my baby around. I just wasn't in a position to have a breech baby. 10 seconds later she said "I see a head!! And it has hair." My prayers had been answered! I clasped my hands together right then and there and said "Thank you God. Thank you God." And thank you to all those who have been praying for me and my upside down baby . . . .