Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The girl is a pistol. An octopus. A piece of work. A handful. Those are very reserved words I use to describe EG. She is everywhere all the time. She really wears me out! But she has been having a few rough days.

Monday morning my little ray of sunshine woke up with a swollen face, hands and feet. After further observation she had hives. She obviously was having an allergic reaction to something. We are just not sure what. It could be the eggs or the scraps she eats of the dining room floor ;) Yesterday morning her eyes were swollen and she was covered in hives. (Daddy has nicknamed her Spot.) So for the second day we went to the doctor. While we were there the doctor (who happens to be female and pregnant with her second) just kept saying "She looks great. She is so vibrant." Yea, that's the word - vibrant!

Last night at the restaurant she was "vibrant." Throwing her food, cup, silverware and almost my drink and the Parmesan cheese onto the floor! "Chatting" with the sorority girls sitting at the table next to us.

Right now she is suppose to be taking a nap. She is in there "vibrantly" shaking her Pack n Play back and forth. I can hear the squeaking. She is protesting her nap very loudly. In her defense she is getting teeth numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 and I think a molar, all at the same time.

Not that she needs to be defended! She IS vibrant. A smiley, giggly, dancing, sweet almost 11 month old. . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Boop!!!

Gosh where to begin. I am sure I have posted his labor and delivery story before but I am going to do it again. Just because I love to relive that moment in my life! Daddy just knew when I got pregnant again, it was going to be a girl. He never wavered, he just knew. I still, very vividly, remember daddy's face when, at the ultrasound, they told us it was a boy. He was one proud papa! Anyway, we loved picking out a name (having been through the girls' list a time or two - ha, ha!) Boop is named after my uncle where daddy goes hunting every year.

Boop's original due date was in October. For some strange reason, I didn't want an October birth date. I think it had something to do with the birthstone, who knows, I was hormonal. As we got closer to the end of the month I was beginning to think October baby it would be. It was a Wednesday and I had gone for my weekly check up. And the midwife and I had talked about things to get labor started. And one of them was stripping the membranes. And the next thing I knew, it was done and I don't think I ever really knew what was going on. Anyway, that afternoon the girls had ballet and I had to pick up shirts from a friend that said "big sister" and "baby boy". Daddy had worked that day and my mom and sister were coming over for dinner. It was suppose to have made spaghetti but I wasn't feeling well so we ordered a pizza instead.

After dinner I still wasn't feeling well and I was beginning to wonder if I was going into labor. With the girls I had to be induced so I really didn't know what going into labor felt like. So, considering my my mom and sister were already at the house and I was having pain, we decided to go up to the hospital just to get it checked out. Daddy was tired because he had been at work since 5AM. It was the season premier of Lost (but the cable had gone out!) and it was already bath and bed time. But off to the hospital we went. And ended up staying.

I was checked-in and put in a triage room. They didn't have a TV in my triage room so daddy went out to the waiting room to watch Lost and would come visit me during commercials to tell me what was going on. I was not laboring very hard and I was not progressing very fast so I would go for walks around the halls. When I came back daddy was asleep in my triage bed!

At about 1AM I was tired and was kind of stuck in a rut. I decided I would get an epidural. (I really had wanted a natural birth - no meds.) I knew if my body relaxed I would probably progress a little quicker plus I really did just want to rest. Daddy and my mom were there and we just waited. Finally around 6:30ish the next morning I was checked again and it was finally time to push. I learned one very important lesson that day. My epidural needs to be backed off at the time of delivery. For some reason it is very hard for me to push and for the baby to progress with it and when it was backed off during the delivery it went much faster. I remember there being some concern about his heart rate. But he was happy and healthy when he was born. I can't put into words what I felt that morning. Exhausted but blessed.

He is all boy. He is so different from the girls in so many ways -good and bad ;) He drives them crazy but they love him so. He is sassy and sweet. He gets angry and frustrated but doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He loves to see how things work and being daddy's helper. He has a look that melts my heart. I have no doubt he will help daddy in protecting his "girlies."

Thank you God for my baby boy . . .

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boop's Birthday

Today and tomorrow's post will be about my baby boy. I just wanted to put in writing what a nice day we ended up having on Saturday even though my little man was under the weather. By midday he was feeling oh so much better. My mom took the girls to do girl things and Boop just hung around with his daddy and watched football and begged to open all his presents. Sissy came over early and watched the game with us.

It was overcast and rainy and cozy. Daddy hung the gorgeous new ceiling fan and we all just hung out. It really has been a long time since we have done just that. I was so thankful that Boop didn't even seem to mind that his friends were not coming over. (At least he never teased or fussed about it.) He seemed content to be the center of attention in his family.

We opened great presents, grilled hamburgers and ate cake. I think it was a birthday he will fondly remember . . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bummer Day

Today was suppose to be Boop's 4th birthday party. But, he wasn't feeling good last night. And this morning woke up throwing up. Daddy was going to take him to his very first football game too. So now we are just hanging out, trying to keep him happy. And everyone else from getting sick . . .

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Doings

Today is a crazy day. We did a little school. Grandma is coming. We have church directory pictures. It is daddy's day off but he has to sit at the courthouse to testify in one of his cases. And, tomorrow is Boop's 4th birthday party! Soooo, that means lots of catch up cleaning at the house. Thankfully the party will be small with family and two of Boop's friends (and their families). But, really nothing to stress about.

On that note though, I really have much more important things to be doing like cleaning toilets, scrubbing floors, dusting, grocery shopping, straightening, clean the porch, hang a ceiling fan, etc., etc., etc. . .

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meals on Wheels (MOW)

The last time we did MOW was about 2/3 weeks ago. I thought just because we had a route the day we volunteered that that route was available for "adoption." So when I called the lady to let her know we would be back the following week I was a little disappointed to find out that we were just filling in for someone that day. And, that the only route available was in a neighborhood that daddy was not comfortable with us delivering in. I was bummed and so were the kids. The coordinator said she would make a note on our card about what side of town was good for us and what we were comfortable doing. And if something came available she would call. I figured that was just going to have to do. In the meantime I tried to think of other service projects we could do as a family.

Well, two days ago I got a call. They needed a MOW volunteer for today!! I check with my mother-in-law and she was available so this morning off we went to deliver food. The kids wanted the same route we had last time but I told them it would be different. Once again I was a little nervous but knew God would work it out. And once again, it was perfect! This time the route was a little further from our house but still in areas I was familiar with.

One of the things the kids love to do is figure out how old everyone is. They love to know who is the oldest and who is the youngest. We make it a point to know every one's name. And the kids help look for the streets and house numbers. The kids even remember names and roads from last time! NG just told me that she and LM played "Meals on Wheels" during rest time the last time we went!

This time I had Little Mama and Nature Girl help me. At one house LM would help me bring the meal to the door. At the following house I let NG help. They both commented on how nice the people were. (Not sure what they were expecting.) Boop was disappointed that he didn't get to help but I told him next time it would be his turn first. Once again the people were very kind and very appreciative. At each house I asked if there was anything I could help with but everyone was doing fine.

We go again next Thursday. Maybe sometime in the future the perfect route will open up for us to do permanently. Until then we will just wait for the coordinator to call us and fill in when necessary . . . .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mother of the Year

The picture doesn't give the full effect by any stretch of the imagination. EG covered in black ball point pen ink. This is my story: I was at WalMart yesterday with all the kids. My mother-in-law was meeting me there to watch a few of them at the McDonald's so I could birthday present shop for Boop. I took EG with me (she can't tell secrets :) Anyway, as I was strolling up and down the toy department aisles she started to get fussy so I gave her an ink pen. It was the kind that you have to press the top to make the pen point come out. I figured I was safe. She is only 10 months. I had to call daddy about the price of something and I turned my back for a second. When I turned back around she was wielding the pen like such an old pro, such grace and style. Face covered in ink marks. I had to laugh (and tell daddy I needed to go!)

She had it on her scalp, under her ear, on both sides of her face and on her neck. She looked like a little Indian with all those markings on her face. As I walked back through the store to find the rest of my family, we got many looks and just a few comments. One man even said "Scissors are next." I told him I had no doubt . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Potty Training

I have learned to have a very laid back approach to potty training. With my first child, I was bent on having her trained by the time baby number 2 came along. That meant before the age of two. She was just not ready and after the baby was born, she ended back in diapers until she was ready (probably closer to three.) She slept in a diaper at night for a very long time.

Baby girl number two was ready to be trained at an earlier age. I want to say it was just a couple months after she turned two. She was ready and wanted to do it. And it was pretty easy. About that time I was pregnant with Boop and we had moved the girls into one room. Little Mama, once she moved into a big girl bed, wanted to wear underwear to bed! I hesitated at first. (Nature Girl was still in a diaper at night!) But Little Mama was adamant. She wanted big girl underwear. Fine I said. We will give it a try. And sure enough, from about the age of 2 1/2 Little Mama was totally potty trained. Well, if Little Mama could wear underwear to bed, Nature Girl figured it was about time she did too. NG was basically diaper free at that point as well.

Next came Boop. Because he is a boy and everyone told me they were harder to train, I wasn't even thinking about potty training until well after two. But, a couple months after his second birthday, right around Christmas time, he told me he wanted underwear! I tried and tried to dissuade him. The holidays are hectic enough without having to watch over a potty training boy. Finally, I gave in because he was so determined. To me there is nothing cuter than a baby boy pair of "tighty whities." And let me tell you, they were not easy to find. It took me many stores to finally find regular boys underwear in 2T (not the thick training type.) He had a couple of accidents and there were a few struggles but he got it, eventually. I always hold off on the night time training. I like my sleep and don't want to be bothered so they get diapers until it is very, very apparent that they aren't needed anymore.

So, that is what I am leading to. After many days and weeks of Boop pleading to wear underwear to bed, I finally gave in last night. He was sooooo excited to wear underwear. He was jumping up and down and smiling. Such a happy boy! I told him what he was to do if he woke up and had to go potty. I told the girls, if they heard him to help him. And then, honestly, I forgot all about it until this morning. And he was dry as could be!! I am sure there will be an accident or two and that is OK. Potty training just has not been a struggle for us. Thank goodness!

Now, I do understand I have one more to go. And I am in no rush for that either. It will happen when she is ready and I am sure it will work out fine. The others have. And as I have heard and said before, "It's not like they will go to high school in diapers" . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wild Adventures

It was Homeschool Day at Wild Adventures on Saturday so we decided to take advantage of it! The kids, of course, were very excited! We had not been in 3 years. Since Boop was EG's age. I was a little nervous about the whole prospect. Wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. Didn't want to lose any kids (ended up loosing daddy.) Wanted to make sure everyone had a good time (including daddy.) I could spend a good deal of time writing about the whole venture but I just don't have time today.

The following are some of the highlights:

Nature Girl loves roller coasters.

Daddy had his share of riding because he had to take turns with all three kids. Not everyone could go on the same ride and some had to ride with an adult. Presented some logistical dilemmas but nothing we couldn't work out.

EG got to ride on the Merry-Go-Round with Boop and NG while daddy took Little Mama on her ride. I plopped her down on a horse next to Boop and held on to both. EG grabbed a hold of the horse, never let go and had a BIG time.

Got to see lots of real live exotic animals while riding on the train.

The day was hot but breezy.

Ran into a family that Paul and I have known for close to 20 years and hadn't seen in a really, really long time. Our kids and theirs got along famously.

Saw a bunch of other homeschool families that we knew.

Took advantage, just a little bit, of our family friend's older teenage son.

Found out Little Mama is afraid of heights.

Decided next time we go, do the water park first then the rides. The exact opposite of the way everyone else is doing things.

I spent the whole day at the park and road one ride. The Merry-Go-Round.

The kids can't wait to go back . . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wild Adventures Today

Highlights and pictures tomorrow and Monday ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday we did school at the creek. It really is an amazing place. It seemed fuller and more colorful then the last time. The kids found a palm tree that is growing side ways. They found a blue butterfly that has an orange underside which at this moment we think is either a Pipervine Swallowtail or a Red-spotted Purple. They saw a baby lizard which is really small. As we were leaving it started to rain. Perfect timing!

After the creek we had to go to the grocery store just to pick up a few odds and ends. An idea came to me as we were pulling out of the parking lot. (Another stolen idea.) Anyway, I let the kids give me directions home. They played a trick on me and gave me directions to the church! They thought it was very funny! They would have kept me going around town but I told them we had milk in the car and I probably needed directions home.

Nature Girl just asked me "Are there people who cannot talk?" I said "Sure. They are mute." I thought in most cases the people were deaf as well. I then asked her "Why do you want to know?" And she proceeded to tell me that she wished Boop was on of them.

It has been a long, busy, rainy week . . .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dr. Voddie Baucham

Wow! So blessed to hear such a wonderful man of God speak last night. Not what I expected in so many ways! But so much better. He is a big black guy who grew up in south central L.A., was married at 20, and has his 6th kid on the way. He and his wife are first generation Christians and out of 26 marriages in the last two generations (I think), only 3 have not ended in divorce. He has made many mistakes and talked to us last night about the greatness of our God and the sufficiency of God's word. All in the context of discipling our children and living the Christian life.

I will be honest, I have read one of his books (and am reading it again) and I was hoping it was going to be a "paint by numbers" kind of talk. This great man of God was going to tell me and my husband how to disciple our children. How to ensure that our children will walk with God all the rest of their days! But that is not what he did. The first thing he said was "Take out your Bibles." What, you mean I need my Bible? I had a notebook and I had his book but not my Bible. (I wasn't the only one by the way.) But, after I thought about it a second, it totally made sense. This guy is for real. How can he instruct my husband and me how to raise up our children according to God's plan if we aren't looking at and reading God's word. Duh!! Then he told us to read with him in Deuteronomy 6:1-12. The whole book of Deuteronomy is fast becoming a favorite of mine.

He was speaking to Christians and was very convicting (for lack of a better word) how even though I might say, shaking my Bible in the air, "every Word, every where" I, even as Christian don't live that way. That I truly do not believe in the sufficiency of God's word. It has to be God's word - AND THEN SOMETHING. He was talking to homeschoolers so he was saying you can mill wheat and make your own clothes and home educate but if you neglect to "train them up" it is all for naught. I am not looking to the kingdom of God for our family purpose. I would never in 6 paragraphs even begin to scratch the surface of what all he talked about. It was so much in so short a time. And my paraphrasing will definitely not do him justice. (You will have to read his book Family Driven Faith.)

Hubby said, "If he was the pastor of a church here in town, I would go there." I think the reason why is he was straight to the point and he wasn't afraid to say the way it is, what the Bible says. I, as a Christian, make so many excuses to not do what God tells me to. Everything from the way I treat my neighbors, enemies, family, husband, children, God, etc. To the choices I make: family size, education, money decisions, time management decision etc., etc., etc. He wanted to make it clear that God has given us a blue print. His Word is sufficient. And He is a God that will overcome. We are looking for someone, anyone to tell us what to do and how to do it. (I know I am ;) But, my God has given me His word, His plan and He is big enough to take care of all the mistakes I make along the way.

If I am praying and reading and meditating on God's word, listening and following, and doing the best I know to do, God will take care of the needs I have and fix my mistakes. My God is that BIG. Dr. Baucham put me in my place. My hubby said "I heard him speaking to you a couple times." I KNOW he was. I am a "paint by numbers" kind of gal. I like somebody spelling it out for me. (I was hoping he would ;) And he did but not in the exact way I wanted. Dr. Baucham pointed me, our family in the right direction. He isn't going to tell me what to do and how to do it. But he did tell me where to go and find the answers.

He had much to say on how we have many idols before God. A good education, a good job, money, security. Not that those things are bad, but when we strive for those things in lieu of striving for Christ we are not doing what God has planned for us. He said so much about those things I could never write it all down in any way that made sense. (Have to read the book ;)

He talked about sheltering our children. Yes, we should. Until they are old enough, spiritually mature enough to make decisions for themselves. By not sheltering them, we could cause them to stumble. And I am not to do anything to cause someone else to stumble. There again, he had much to say but I could never put it all down. (I am just writing things that spoke to me.)

He finished up by talking about multigenerational faith. The kind of faith we pass on to our children, who then pass it on to their children. Getting better and wiser. More loving, serving and more faithful. He called us each to have a home that is useful to the kingdom of God. I could go on and on and on and on. It would be an understatement to say I was inspired and provoked to thought. So far from where I need to be, where we need to be as a family. But I have faith that my God is that big . . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

8 1/2

I have decided that 8 1/2 years old is a good age for a girl. Especially the oldest girl. It seems just in the last couple of months Nature Girl has become very helpful and reliable. Kind of my "go to girl." Don't get me wrong, Little Mama and Boop are very helpful. And very good a lot of the things that need to be done. But Nature Girl is at the age where she can do almost everything without supervision. She can reach the dishes in the sink. She can put toothpaste on everyone's toothbrush (and not on the sink or on the mirror or on the floor.) She can reach the dryer buttons and get clothes out of the washer. For the most part she does them satisfactorally (I am very picky.) Really, she can do just about anything I ask. Now I just have to ask . . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tidbit Tuesday

Boop really does play well by himself.

EG got her first busted lip (the first one of many I am sure). Doesn't seem to bother her though.

We started our 6th year of tumbling last night. Little Mama is in Flippers which meets twice a week for an hour. Plus, it was her turn to take a conditioning class which is one hour a week. Nature Girl is in Aerials which is twice a week for two hours. Boop is once a week for a half an hour. Little Mama and Boop have been at the gym since they were born. And it was easy with them. Not so much for EG. She is not happy about being cooped up in her stroller for that long of a time. She shows her displeasure by screaming - very loudly! She is no shrinking violet!

I have replaced my wipes box ;)

Little Mama is memorizing "A Good Play," a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. I think she is definitely a visual learner.

EG has cruised from the couch to the coffee table. Oh boy!!

Hubby and I are going to listen to Dr. Voddie Baucham tomorrow night. He is the author of "Family Driven Faith." I am so excited to hear him speak about family discipleship! I am sure I will write more about that on Thursday. . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


My kids get so excited when we go on a "playdate" or have kids over. On the weekends they are always asking me to call the neighbor kids to come over and play. The other day we were waiting on some friends and my kids just hung out at the window, waiting. Because we homeschool my kids are not around other kids all the time. So, when the opportunity arises to get together with friends they are just sooooo excited! As I watched them in the window the other day, just waiting, I felt little pang of what I guess you could call guilt. I promise I won't bore you with my thoughts and feelings regarding "socialization" for kids but I was just wondering at that moment what my kids were feeling.

I have no doubts about our choice to homeschool. But sometimes I ponder about certain aspects. So, as I continued to watch and think, I believe God kind of comforted me. The following couple thoughts just kind of came over me: First, there is no doubt most of my kids would like to be around other kids all the time but do my kids really know what is best for them? Then my second thought and most profound one was this, our association with other kids is not frequent but, it makes it oh so special! I think because my kids aren't around other kids all day long that when they do get together with friends they are more accommodating, more pleasing and just really, really glad and enjoy being with their friends. Their friends are truly special to them. I hope it will teach them to honor and cherish their friends. I don't think I have ever had to get involved over "disputes" when there are other kids here. Everyone always seems to get along really well. Also, the kids usually haven't seen each other in awhile so they are not tired of each other. I also attribute the great friendships they have to the fact that my kids have really great friends! And have had them for a long time!

I know it is hard for them sometimes. But as I said, I know homeschooling is the thing for us. And I also now think that another major bonus for us is that my children really, really appreciate the friends they have and the time they get to spend with them. After much thought, I think this is a good thing . . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

I was working part-time. It is funny what you remember. I know what I was wearing. I had dropped Nature Girl off at the babysitters. The babysitter had a big screen TV and she had the news on. I thought she was watching a movie to be honest. At that moment, no one really knew what was going on. Just that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center Towers in NYC. I left and went on to work. By the time I had gotten to work, the second plane had hit and everyone was beginning to understand the gravity of what was happening in our country.

At the time I was working in a federal office building in a capital city. I remember there was a little bit of panic in our office. Some employees even left to go home and be with their families. I remember President Bush getting the news while reading to some children. I remember him leaning over. I remember his immediate reaction.

Our country was never going to be the same. We were no longer living in a secure world. Those kinds of things only happened in other countries, half way round the world. How could this have happened to us? Hatred and suspicions skyrocketed. But a sense of patriotism awoke that day as well. Benjamin Franklin has a quote and it goes something like this: Those who give up liberty for the sake of security deserve neither. Those aren't his exact words but it has made me think. A lot of things have changed since then. Some things I agree with. Some things I don't. I will just continue to have faith in God and pray today that nothing like that ever happens again . . .

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The School for All Ages

Nature Girl is getting to the age where she can read most of her world history, natural history, poetry, geography, literature and science school books. And I realized while making the girls' daily schedule, it would be a whole lot easier for me if she did. But then I got to thinking, how ever would I learn anything!

A big part of homeschooling for me, is the fact that I learn right along with them. I have read to both girls from "Our Island Story." It is a big thick book about Britain's history. It is packed full of events and people that I have never heard of. (Our curriculum starts off with England's history because in a way it is part of our own American history.)

This semester Nature Girl has Joan of Arc on her schedule. We are reading the book by Diane Stanley. I hate to show my ignorance but up until about 2 weeks ago I knew nothing about that part of history. Sure, I had heard the name before in different contexts but never had heard the full story. And, sad to say, this isn't the first time that has happened! Another book that Little Mama and I are reading is Trial and Triumph. It is a book all about church history and the many great men and women who devoted their lives to God. One of the first stories is about a martyr named Polycarp. I had never heard of Polycarp before yet he was one of the first men ever to die for his belief and refusal to deny Christ. We add those historical figures right up with Henry V on our timeline.

I have always been a student. After I graduated with a BA in Personnel Management I went on to get a A.S. degree in Legal Assisting. I have often thought that when things settle down here I would like to go back to school and get a minor in Spanish. Or maybe get a degree in Theology from Liberty (online of course.) But, for the moment I am more than content to be a student in my own school . . .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sweet Spirit

I think it was Friday. I am trying to get the timing down but I can't think. Anyway, one of the days either last week or early this week. Little Mama woke up while Nature Girl and I were having quiet time. She came out and I explained what we were doing. I told her if she wanted to join us, that would be great. She got her bible and her notebook and proceeded to copy scripture. (It must have been Friday). Anyway, over the weekend she kept asking me if we would be getting up early for quiet time. I said "No" because I didn't think we would be getting up extra early Saturday or Sunday. Then I told her the next day we would be getting up early for quiet time would be Monday.

Monday morning Little Mama was the first one wide awake. She came out and sat right on the couch and got ready for quiet time. I made her "coffee" and found a verse for her to copy. She told me it was the best part of school. I am sure it has a little to do with the hot chocolate she gets and spending time with "just the girls" when it is quiet. But, I figure it is a great way to start what will hopefully be a lifetime habit . . .

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I don't think we have ever been to a tailgate party as a family. Actually, I don't think we have been to a tailgate party at all in the last 8 years! We love football but we like it from our comfortable home (especially with children.) Where there is plenty to eat and drink within reach and a bathroom just a few steps away. But this year we thought we would take part in the festivities here in town. My sister and her boyfriend invited us to their tailgate and we gladly accepted the invitation.

Around campus was crazy. People everywhere. Tents everywhere. Food and drink everywhere. My how campus has grown. Funny how you go to a school, stay in the town where you graduated from and never step foot back on campus. That is about how it was for me. Yesterday, though, the tailgate was on campus property so we drove on the outskirts. My how campus has changed.

Anyway, we had fun. Explaining to the kids what it was all about. We stayed for about an hour. The kids ate a lot of food and hung kind of close. Near as I could tell we were right in the midst of a lot of college students. I thought it would be neat just to be a part of the happenings. Even if it was just for a little while . . .

Monday, September 7, 2009


That is EG's new nickname. Twice yesterday alone I had to pull stuff out of her mouth! I have to stick my finger in her very toothy mouth and get out heaven knows what. I vacuum, put her on the floor and 2 minutes later I look at her and she is chewing. The kids are very observant and diligent in making sure she doesn't put anything in her mouth. Little Mama is especially good at keeping her safe. But have four people watching her isn't working and I am at a loss as to what to do. Yesterday I finally stuck her back in the playpen. Of course she was upset but I had no other choice. I follow her around the best I can but sometimes I have to turn my back. And it literally takes her seconds to find some little thing. And as I have posted before, I wouldn't win blue ribbons for house work. If she is on the floor I just have to follow her around. Now if I could train her to pick the stuff up and put it in the garbage. Or better yet, teach her to run the vacuum, problem solved . . . .

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009


And I don't mean the holiday. Although I am sure it will be here before I know it! Anyway, I am talking about the word. As I try to balance my many hats I have found a word that if I just remember to say it, it brings a smile to my face and heart. (Granted the trick is to say it when I am truly frazzled.) I am reading a book on how to be a better wife and the woman who wrote the book keys in on being joyful. And the only way to be truly be joyful, the kind in your heart not just a smile on your face, is to be thankful. Not just thankful in the easy things but in ALL things.

In a house that by 9:00 AM on any given day, by a person who feels pulled in 800 different directions (that's me and I am exaggerating ;) and has an ever increasing "To Do" list that never gets shorter just longer it can be very, very hard to do. But, in the last couple of days, when I feel the tension building I have started muttering "thankful, be thankful" and I immediately smile and I feel a lightness in my heart. This is all biblical and I know that I can't make myself be thankful all the time. Only God can do it permanently but just by uttering those words I am giving Him an in to my heart.

Anyway, the author also says make a list of things that I am thankful for and here they are:

a Savior and the Word of God
a husband who loves me for who I am (plus he goes to the grocery store and loves to cook)
a father who is great with his kids (and is willing to work doubly hard so I don't have to)
kids who really are wonderful (and healthy and happy)
lots of family that cares
great friends who are very supportive
I live in a state and county that are friendly to homeschooling
a great homeschooling community that understands the sacrifices and blessings of this awesome and daunting responsibility

I suppose if I had a ton of time I could go on and on (just like my To Do list). But, if I want to make any headway I need to get going. But, I am thankful it is a beautiful day, that I am home with my kids and we have a birthday party to go to for a very good friend. Thankful, thankful, thankful . . .

Friday, September 4, 2009

Acts of Service

A good friend of mine had a great idea to do acts of service over the summer. She called it S.O.S. I thought that was such a neat idea that I stole it to be part of our school curriculum. Ours is called Semesters of Service! (I like to steal great ideas!) In the past we had done things like bringing goody bags to the children's floor at the hospital and making dinners for sick friends or friends who had just had babies. We have made cookies for neighbors and babysat for other kids when needed. But it really has been a long time since we have done anything. So I started to ponder what we could do for the up coming semester.

This time I really wanted it to be something that was out of the box for me. I think I am pretty good about serving others but it is usually well within my personal comfort zone. And I could feel God tugging at me about it. My nephew, when he was here, volunteered for Meals on Wheels so I asked him about it. Then another homeschooling mom that I am acquainted with would always post about her family blessings when they did MOWs. I believe God was tugging at me in that direction. He wasn't being subtle ;) So finally after a couple of weeks of pondering, I made the call to Elder Care Services. I told her I was very interested in volunteering for MOWs. The first words out of her mouth were "Bless you." I knew this is what I was suppose to do! I proceeded to tell the lady that I was horrible with directions and had four pretty young children that would be accompanying me. She encouraged me to just give it a try. And today we did.

I asked my mother-in-law if she would like to go with us. I figured, because I hadn't a clue what I was doing or where I was going it would be easier in the beginning if I could just leave the kids in the car while I delivered the food. She was more than happy to go with us. So the six of us headed out about 9:45 to pick up our food and map and list of names. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't just a little bit nervous. Where would I be delivering? Would the kids behave? Would I have to do something for someone out of my comfort zone? Would I get lost? Would I be late with the meals? I prayed. I figured if this is what the Lord wants me to do it will be all worked out for me. And, oh my, was it ever worked out! I couldn't have planned it better myself. The 6 houses we were to deliver to, were all on my side of town. In neighborhoods that I had passed before or at least knew where they were!

But that was just the beginning of one of the most wonderful, fulfilling experiences in my life! I can't not express in words the absolute feeling of compassion and caring that I experienced doing this small and simple task of delivering food. Some of the ladies wanted to chat a little. Others just took their food and said "thank you." All of them were very grateful. The kids helped me hold open the coolers and get the food out. They helped me find the streets and the house numbers. They were angels. EG even took a nap.

At one house, the lady had just twisted or broken her ankle and the neighbor was there and had called an ambulance. I asked if there was anything we could do and the neighbor said no. I did call Elder Care just to let them know. At two other houses, grandsons or great grandsons were there to open the door and help.

We were coming to the second to last house on our list. And I knew this is where God wanted us to be. A little old lady about 95 years old answered the door. I gave her the food and started to chat with her. She was very talkative and very lonely. You could just tell. I asked about her family and where she grew up. She grew up in Florida but her children had moved to Texas. She lived in her house all by herself and was busy dusting because the cleaning lady didn't have time to that day. We chatted about lots of little things. I think I was there for at least 10 minutes. I told her I was hoping to get her route at least once a week. And if so, I would make her last on my list and if she didn't mind a little chaos, I would bring the kids in for a visit. She smiled and said they could leave their autographs on her dusty furniture. I was pretty sure they could do that! So I gave her a quick hug and told her I hoped we would see her soon.

When we had finished our last house, the kids kept saying how much they enjoyed it. They hadn't known what to expect but it was way better than they thought it would be. They even volunteered to help me bring the food up to the houses next time. And they want there to be a next time! My original plan was to provide an act of service to others, I truly did not plan on a blessing to my entire family. We cannot wait until next week . . .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nature Day

As I am sure I have posted on numerous occasions (and maybe not), a huge part of our school day is suppose to be getting out in nature. Charlotte Mason recommended hours outside to just observe God's creations. It sounds really, really good in theory but sometimes pretty hard to put into practice. A good share of our day is playing outside and we are very thankful to have a pretty big back yard. It has different kinds of trees, a variety of birds and bird nests, a pseudo garden, a humming bird feeder, lots of bugs and even a snake that hangs out in the wood pile. Daily the kids can see how are backyard changes.

But one of the things we really enjoy is going to the creek which is part of a land management area. We started going last year at the beginning of the school year and went every other week. Then EG came along and we never made it back. At that point, I was happy just to get regular school done. No extra trips anywhere.

So, one of the main things I wanted to do this school year was actually finish what we started last year and go to the creek during all of the "seasons." Yesterday was the day. We woke up and it was raining. But not hard and no thunder and lightening. I really wanted to go because I wanted to get started observing nature! Not to mention the kids would have been so disappointed. Anyway, daddy watched EG and we went. It was perfect! It wasn't hot, there was a breeze and there was so much nature to observe. So much more than I remembered from last year. Four different kinds of caterpillars. A half dozen or so different flowering plants. A rushing creek. Deer and raccoon tracks. Plenty of moths and butterflies and dragon flies and crickets and spiders. Different types of fungus. The kids were the ones that found everything. They are so observant. They found things that were so well hidden by nature's camouflage. They would find one thing and then a few minutes later someone would yell that the found some other really cool thing. Ms. Terri and I would randomly through out questions to point them in the right direction or just to get them thinking about what they were observing. I could go on and on! I do wonder sometimes who I am homeschooling for, the kids or me . . .

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I HATE the Dentist!!!

I was going to tell about the wonderful, fun filled day we had yesterday. I was going to write about how our Alabama friends stayed Monday night and we got to hang with them for a little bit yesterday morning. I was going to say how we ran errands in the afternoon and got some things accomplished. And how we baked cookies for daddy and brought them to his detail last night. After that we went for a walk around a lake and climbed the wonderful tree.

BUT, the dentist ruined all of that! I have given birth four times. Once without an epidural and I would rather do that any day of the week then go to the dentist. (Sure, when you give birth you get a wonderful baby and at the end of the dentist you just have to pay the bill :) At any rate, the hygienist said "You really don't like getting your teeth cleaned." I guess she saw the look of anguish on my face. My toes curled up and my fist clenched. She put this thing in my mouth that was suppose to clean the plaque off. It was a sonic thing and the sound was soooo horrible it made my head scream with pain. I had to ask her to stop and just do it by hand. I think she was annoyed by this because she proceed to pull and yank on my mouth to get to all the teeth. Right now my head and neck are killing me from the tension.

I have hated the dentist since I was a child. I had one dentist that when I cried he poked me in the chest with his finger and told me I couldn't. Another dentist gave me laughing gas (or whatever) and all I remember is thinking I was in a race car the whole time he was working on my teeth. My teeth are horrible. Soft, creviced and easily filled with cavities. I have tried so hard most of my adult life to minimize any more damage but most of the damage has been done and now it just has to be fixed. Because of this, I am pretty strict about the kids brushing their teeth. It is rare that they don't do it. Honestly though I have transferred a lot of the responsibility to them because I can't sit with them each morning and each night to make sure they are doing it right. But, I do show them what my mouth looks like and what they need to do to prevent it.

So, to add insult to injury I need some major work done (so does hubby.) Anyway, I asked if there was a discount if I had a couple procedures done at once. He said "Sure." If I wanted to do all 28 at once. Like thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. I explained that hubby needed extensive work done, I was a stay at home mom with four children and that wasn't going to happen. He seemed annoyed and then walked behind me and wouldn't even carry on the conversation face to face. As to say "If you don't take your teeth seriously then I am not going to talk with you about it." It seemed like in his mind it was all or nothing. There didn't seem to be a middle ground worth discussing with him.

In a hormonal hissy fit about my bill four years ago, I left my other dentist that I really liked. So, I really don't want to change dentists again. I know, my choice so I can't complain. But, I honestly really hate the dentist for so many more reasons . . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Coupon Craziness

I have entered the world of coupon clipping. As with all things new and time consuming, I resisted. I would go to the grocery store with my $1.10 worth of coupons and be satisfied with that. Now, because of all the hype, hubby found out. And he wants me to start clipping coupons as a serious part of my job. :) (Of course he is more than willing to help!) Last week was our first real endeavor into the land of coupons and B1G1. We went through the grocery flyer together and got on one of the many helpful websites. It really is a whole new way of thinking and buying groceries. It took us a huge amount of time. But every one I have talked with says once we get a system in place it gets easier. Things that I have learned: clip every coupon because you just never know; B1G1 with coupons only, unless it is something I need immediately; to some degree eat for the week what is on sale; kids eat food that is on sale ex: cereal for breakfast and ravioli for lunch; and try to find coupons for things we have to buy.

One thing I know we won't be doing is going from store to store to get deals. I am very thankful for the fact that daddy is willing do the shopping and I know he doesn't want to run all over. And when I go, I always have all the kids so I know I am not going to make multiple stops. So, we may not get all the benefits but we do see some savings.

This is our second week and we have saved about $100. Not bad. I find myself getting excited about the grocery store flyer in Thursday's newspaper. (Until last week didn't even know what day of the week it came on :) It is like a challenge, a game, something I can work on and make progress. Something that I do that is measurable! So, bring on the scissors and the savings . . .