Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Rewind

I don't have pictures because after packing all 5 of us there had to be something I forgot. So words are just going to have to do. It has been our tradition for the past couple of years to spend Thanksgiving with my hubby's side of the family. He has four other siblings, three of which we spend Thanksgiving with. All total there is 19 of us for dinner.

My brother and sister-in-law have this great big music room that seats all of us around a really large table (about 5 tables put together). And there is still room left for my BIL's drum set (he plays in a band.) Anyway, we all gather together early afternoon and hang out, chat and play outdoor games. It is great because they parents always play along. There is usually a kickball game and this year we learned a new game called "Clump" and it was really fun!

Dinner is always great with good food and so much of it! This year my girls got to help write out place settings cards and set the table. So that was neat for them. But I would have to say the best part was the annual Thanksgiving Day play. All of the cousins get together and script a play in about an hour. Each kid gets a part (speaking or nonspeaking depending on if the child is willing to talk in front of people :) This year there were a couple little twists. The background music was the FSU war chant and this year there was a dog that belonged to Squanto (Boop) and a cat that belonged to the Pilgrims (Nature Girl). While the Pilgrims were sitting down to their Thanksgiving feast, the dog and the cat started to fight and had to be separated! Of course, we were all laughing!

Dinner and theater for Thanksgiving. A great family tradition . . .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

We are rushing around this morning. We are leaving this afternoon to go to our Thanksgiving destination. Daddy is there!!! And we have not seen him in 7 days!

We celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's mother, three brothers and their families. Quite a large gathering! We have a good time and the kids love seeing their cousins.

I will be taking a few days off from blogging. I will probably be back Saturday, if the mood strikes me.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Picture Day

Yesterday was our annual pictures. I had such great ideas, such neat plans. I wanted them to look all wintry and cozy. But I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, couldn't find the sizes for everyone, and then ran out of time and settle for Christmas pictures. (I had to buy new Christmas outfits anyway ;) The kids looked fabulous and were so well behaved. We kind of draw a little attention to ourselves because everyone is dressed so nicely. But the icing on the cake is the fact that they were polite, kind and obedient. And I know that it didn't go unnoticed.

Anyway, I digress. Yesterday went well. As good as could be expected. The picture taking thing is getting increasingly more difficult. Not that the kids were difficult but it is virtually impossible to get everyone looking at the camera WITH a decent smile on their faces ;) And EG was a wild woman. She was all over the place, pulling on the camera pole, sitting in front of the fan. In one of the poses the kids wanted her to sit in a little chair and they all stand around her. She wanted no part of the chair. She wiggled and arched her back. The big kids only job was to look at the camera and smile so that if we got EG in a decent pose the photographer could snap a couple of pictures.

But, of course, EG antics were hard to ignore. She wasn't being ornery. She just wanted to go, go, go. If we gave her a gift box to hold, she would rip of the top, throw the box and shove the top in her mouth. She did like the little bear for a little bit. But I really didn't want stuffed animals in the picture.

Out of about 20 shots (maybe not quite that many) I got about a half dozen that were keepers. There again, none of them were perfect. But, part of that assessment is I was in such a rush to pick out pictures. Not that the studio was rushing me but it was a long time to make the kids sit and wait while I was trying to decide. Thankfully CoCo was with us and she took EG for a walk and the big kids watched the TV.

I am always pleasantly suprised when I pick them up. They always turn out better than I remember. Another holdiay "chore" accomplised. Sixty-seven more to go . . .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sleeping Alone

Not! I thought it would be fun to have each of my babies sleep with me while daddy was away. They thought it was a great idea! It is funny how each child has his/her own way to sleep. What they need, what they do, how they sleep. I would never have even considered it had we not had a king size bed. I am such a light sleeper that every turn, every cough, sniffle, shift, literally wakes me up so having that extra space in between came in handy ;)

Boop was the first. He brought 4 blankets, two pillow, three stuffed animals (one of which is as big as he is) and his lovey Lion. He crawled into my bed and I told him he must stay there, he can't run in and out of the room or run around in my room. I heard him "reading" and playing and then I heard nothing. He fell asleep mid activity. He is a good sleeper, doesn't move around much. Or snore. I tried to cover him up but he just kept coming uncovered. My alarm went off at 6, I took a shower and he never moved.

Little Mama was next. She brought three blankets, two pillows and two small stuffed animals. She stayed in Nature Girl's bed until it was time to go to sleep. She crawled into my bed and just sat there watching the TV through the doorway. I told her I would be in a little bit and she finally she fell asleep. She doesn't like, necessarily, being by herself. Next time I will go in early just to lay with her while she falls asleep. When she sleeps she always looks like she has just fallen from an eight story building, all sprawled out with her purple lovey blanket over her mouth. She wakes in the middle of the night just to see what time it is. She was bothered by the fact that daddy's clock is set really fast. I told her just to peek over me and she could see my clock that has the real time. She was up when my alarm went off. She just laid in my bed until it was time for her to get up. She slept great and I know she just loved being in the bed with me.

Nature Girl was last. She brought one blanket, two pillows, books and magazines and more stuffed animals then I can count! One of which is a big white tiger and of course her lovey puppy. She LOVES being in our bed. She just laid there and read. I never heard from her. I think she felt like she was on vacation. She is the one that really appreciates being alone at times. It was about 10:30 when I went to bed. She was still awake and wanted to talk. So we chatted for about 10 minutes. I promised her that in a couple of days when it was her turn again I would come to bed REAL early so she and I could just talk. She is my snorer. And boy she can snore! Thankfully each time it happened it was just for a couple of minutes. Either she stopped or I just went back to sleep. She is also my night owl so when my alarm went off at 6 I knew even if she did wake up she would not want to get up ;) Thankfully it was Saturday so she could sleep in. In fact, about 8:00 the next morning she poked her head out of the door and I asked if she was getting up. She said no and crawled back into my bed. She just loves being warm, comfy and cozy.

Because of the number of days daddy will be gone, each child will get to sleep with me again. They love it and honestly so do I. It is great to get a little alone time with each one. Even if it is with them sleeping . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Service Project Number Two

Well hopefully the beginning of one. We have a ton of baby stuff. Some of it new. And some of it gently used. My first reaction was to give it to the girl next door who is having a baby girl any day now. But, days went by and I never saw her outside. Heaven forbid I go and knock on the door. (I just don't like to do that because I feel like I am intruding - strange, I know.)

Anyway, I knew of a place called A Women's Pregnancy Center. I had heard about it a couple of years ago. It is a place where women can go when they find out they're pregnant and have questions and don't know where to turn. From everything I have heard, the center encourages women to keep their babies or at least not terminate them. And then provide support to these women. At one time I had considered volunteering as a counselor but as I remember they have kind of time intensive training course. Well, at least more time than I had with little kids at home. So, when deciding what to do with our baby stuff, I decided to give them a call.

The lady explained that they give each mother a brand new layette and that each month after that the new moms can come back and pick out some of the gently used stuff. So I told her what we had and she said to bring it by. Little Mama asked if we were bringing toys. I told her probably not this trip. I explained that some of these women might not even have enough money to buy diapers for their babies so we needed to concentrate on the most basic needs that a mother and a baby have. Maybe as time goes on, we can see what kind of toys they might need.

So, yesterday the kids and I brought our stuff to the center. When on the phone with her, I had asked her if there was anything in particular the center was in need of. She told me baby toiletry items such as shampoo and lotion so I told her we would be back after Thanksgiving with those items. I figure the kids can use some of their money and I will use some of mine to buy the items they need. I also asked her if there were any type of projects they needed done that we could do as a family. She said maybe lawn work or the kids could sort out the donations. She said she would check with someone about that.

When we were leaving the question was asked exactly what the place was. So we had a very brief discussion about the sanctity of life and that some women did not have a support network that sometimes can be needed when you are pregnant. I explained that some women, when they find out they are going to have a baby, might be scared or unsure. I told them that the ladies there help the women to understand what is going on in their bodies and what it means to be pregnant. They answer questions and give guidance and information and provide much needed support.

The easy part for me is dropping things off or giving money. The little bit harder part is giving of myself and my time. But, I am going to call her back after Thanksgiving and volunteer us for whatever they can find for us to do. I am also thinking, again, about when the kids get a little older, to maybe be a counselor. What greater purpose could there be, then to encourage, support and pray for a woman who is struggling about the "decision" to be a mom. I know if it is in God's plan and I make myself available, He will use me for this precious purpose . . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Am Lazy

I am not going to deny it. I am busy all day long. Not because I necessarily want to be but because I have to be. But, it is very easy for me to sit down at this computer and type my blog while there are dishes in the sink and an unmade bed along with the ever growing list of things that need to be done. I, at the moment, am OK with this. I can give you a million reasons why, a million really good reasons why. Reasons that if I were having a face to face conversation with you, you would say "It is OK. You deserve a little down time."

But, inside, I know the real reason. I am lazy. It actually works to my advantage to have four kids and homeschool. It comes in as a really handy excuse sometimes. But I know, I am lazy. I was hoping this weekend, I would be motivated to become unlazy. To really change the way I think. To take every moment and use it for a good purpose. To get it together.

But here I sit, with a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry on the living room chair and a messy school room. Laziness is hard to over come. Especially when you don't feel like not being lazy . . .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Big Hole

Things are fine. But, I have to admit, when we got home from the doctor's office yesterday and daddy had already gone, it felt weird. It didn't feel right. Like something was missing. Even the kids felt a little out of sorts. It is hard to explain.

A few minutes after we got home, I received a text from a friend asking if daddy had left yet and if so how it was going? I answered her honestly. I was kind of panicky. Weird. The kids and I spend a lot of time alone in the house so that part was not all that strange, really. So as she and I corresponded I explained it this way: He is my security blanket. He is gone a lot but always a phone call away. Always in the area. I call him when I am not sure of something I should do. I call him when someone asks me something and I don't know how to respond. I call him when I don't feel well. I call him when I am frustrated. I call him when I am at wit's end. I call and ask him to come home ;) I call him to tell him funny stories that I know I will forget by the time he gets home.

If we have car problems or any other unforeseen problem, he is the one I call. No matter what he is doing he takes care of my problem. Sometimes he doesn't personally take care of it, but he gives me direction, guidance, calms me down, helps me to see things differently. I suppose I could still call him with all of my dilemmas but what would be the point of his vacation.

Another thing I notice is that I appreciate him much more he isn't here. Why that is, I don't know. Why can't I appreciate him more when he is here, I don't know. I usually tell myself "When he gets home I will do such and such." Something to let him know how much he was missed, how much he is appreciated. Honestly, in the past, that lasted about a day. This time I am sending him a text message every day while he is gone. Funny thing is, I am not overly confident that he will see it. Texting is not his thing. And if it isn't a yes or no response, I know he will not text me back. But, as I am learning it sometimes is the small things that we do to show appreciation. Who knows.

All I do know is that we (I) miss him and hope he is having a great time . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doctor's Visit

For Boop and EG. I have two spring babies and their annual check-ups are together and now my two fall babies have their annual check-ups together.

And today went as well as to be expected. Sometimes it is harder when it is for the little guys because the big guys want to answer all the doctor's questions. I have to keep reminding them, that I am the one the doctor is talking with. Oh yea, and let's not forget the information that all of the kids volunteer! It usually is never very flattering.

Anyway, back to the appointment. Boop was first and he is almost 3 and a half feet tall and 37 pounds. The doctor had absolutely no concerns with him. And neither did I, except for maybe the fact that it seems to me he doesn't eat enough to stay alive. He is just tall and thin and she assured me that as long as he was being offered a variety of food everything was A-OK.

EG on the other hand had gained a tremendous amount of weight. As everyone says, she is solid. A polite way of saying she is a porker! Anyway she weighs 20 pounds, some odd ounces and is as healthy as a horse. She still has a rather large soft spot but the doctor said it has definitely shrunk since her last visit.

It is always so reassuring to know for a fact that I have happy and healthy babies. . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That Time of Year

Daddy is preparing for his trip to the Frozen Tundra tomorrow. I am very thankful that he doesn't ever travel. I mean he doesn't ever go anywhere unless it is with us. So, every year, the week before Thanksgiving he goes on his annual hunting trip. I think this is his 9th year.

It is funny because it is actually my side of the family that he hangs with. He sees them more than I do! Anyway, he usually leaves on a Wednesday or a Thursday and comes back on the following Tuesday.

We do OK. I don't stress about it. It never fails, though, that some one will be sick. But, as I have mentioned in previous posts, because of our bought with the flu a couple of weeks ago, I feel pretty confident that we will be healthy. How is that for optimist thinking!!

I have tried to make some plans with friends etc. to make the time pass. Not necessarily for the kids but for me ;) If I have any concern at all, it is the fact that I have no other adult contact unless I make an effort! So, I have reached out to my sister and some friends and tried to find us some diversions. But, honestly, even if I didn't make other plans we have tumbling and the library and sports and church and life. All of the usual activities that make time fly by faster than I care to acknowledge.

Cooking will fall by the way side. As you all know I am not a huge chef as it is. But, laboring over dinner for kids who don't really care, isn't going to happen. Spaghetti, red beans and rice, fast food one night, pancakes, hot dogs, some kind of easy chicken dish, chicken chili.

This year is a little different. Daddy flies in and out of the city where we will be spending Thanksgiving. So, I will be driving with the kids to meet him when he gets back. That probably makes me a whole lot more nervous then him being gone! I am pretty sure my mother-in-law will be riding with us. So that definitely makes it easier.

Daddy looks forward to this trip every year. He works so hard for us and there is so much he does for us that goes unappreciated. I would never, ever dream of asking him not to go. (That is why he got to go last year when I had a 5 day old baby :) I hope he doesn't worry about us too much. I hope he doesn't miss us too much. I hope he has a great time. I hope he is safe. And I hope the time passes quickly, for us. . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

EG's Birthday Party

It was a small affair. Just family. But, she loved beign the center of attention (of course, she never gets attention.) Anyway, it was daddy, mommy, Nature Girl, Little Mama, Boop, Sissy, Coco, Uncle C, Aunt C and K. But we had big fun!!

Watched football, ate chili, had cake and wished EG a very Happy First Birthday. She got a dog book and a game that makes animal noises, a pair of shoes, matching hat and gloves and, of course, lots of great clothes!

The best part was sitting her in front of her very own cake. Just watching her try to figure out what to do was histarical. She would put her hand over the frosting at first but never really touch it. When she did, she just wiped it on her body! Finally, I cut her a piece and put it in front of her. She grabbed it and shoved it in her mouth.

I just can not believe my baby girl is one. . .

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy First Birthday Ellie!!

Gosh, where to begin. Of course I am going to bore you all with the details of her birth. Even after having 3 previous babies, she was such a suprise in so many ways. We didn't know her sex. And I just assumed her labor and delievery would be similar to the others.

As you all may remember daddy was leaving on his hunting trip less than a week after her due date. Which I didn't think would be a problem. The other three were early. But, as her due date approached I started to get nervous. Thankfully, in the middle of the night the day before her due date, I started labor. Her birth story is truly text book as far as everything happening like the books say. I was able to do most of the laboring at home (even though I didn't know I was doing it.)

By the time I got to the hospital I was half way dialated and didn't really want drugs. It all seemed relatively easy. After an hour at the hospital my water broke and I walked to my labor room. As I was walking down the hallway, things got increasingly more painful.

Mom, Sissy and Paul along with a couple of nurses were in teh room. In between contractions I wanted to see each of the kids. Boop was the first to come in. But about 5 minutes into my visit with him, I had some one take him out. It was soooo painful and I just couldn't seem to get a grip!

I had already asked for an epidural figuring I had at least 10 hours of labor ahead of me. As the nurses were out getting what I needed, I felt this incredible urge to push and only daddy was in the room. The nurse came back just in time. Checked me adn realized I was ready to deliever a baby. I was certain it wasn't time yet. There was no midwife. I didn't have my drugs. Teh nurse started putting on scrubs and I asked her what she was doing and she said delievering my baby. With no drugs and no midwife?

The midwife got there just in time and I continued to push. It was so painful and I was so confused and freaked out. But once I got "in the zone" it all happened so quick. Even though the pain was intense, I would not change a thing. The minute she was delivered it was all just so natural, so real, so right.

I thought for 9 months I was carrying a boy. We just assumed because this pregancy was so much like Boop's. Imagine my surprise (along with everyone elses) when the midwife said "It's a girl." "It's a girl." Disbelief. "IT'S A GIRL!!!" Absolute joy in less than a second!! One of the great things about a natural delivery is you are able to get up and move around and take an active role in all the activity. Instead of waiting in the bed for the drugs to wear off. I really liked that!

EG was here. And we were so excited. It took a little while, though, to adjust having baby number four, BUT, she has so wonderfully completed our happy, healthy little family. I am so humbled and thankful how God has blessed us so many times over . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Am Thankful For . . .

A God full of love, mercy and grace . . .

A Savior . . .

A husband who takes great care of us . . .

Four healthy and happy children . . .

Lots of family and friends . . .

A country built on freedom . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brats and Bonfires

with friends. What a better way to welcome in the fall season! We had been promising the kids all weekend to have a bonfire to roast marshmallows. So, when brats went on sale this weekend at the grocery store we knew Wednesday was the day.

The weather wasn't all that cooperative. We had a hurricane in the Gulf on Tuesday so had gotten a little bit of rain. But in daddy's forward thinking, he had us cover the fire pit in hopes of keeping the wood dry. And it worked. By the time evening rolled around last night the wind had died down and a good little fire was started.

We had previous plans to go to Wild Adventure yesterday with friends. So, when that fell through (because the park wasn't even open) we decided to all have dinner together instead. Which makes brats and bonfires so much better. . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sorry, not a very glamorous post. But, so such a part of my life. EG is a pooping machine. She, first of all, is the biggest almost 1 year old I have ever had. Big thighs, big gut, double chin. Adorable. But, I guess what goes in must come out. And boy does it ever come out. At least 3 times a day. She poops in her sleep for goodness sake!!

I have to change her outfit at least once a day. And I think her pooper shooter points in the wrong direction because it is always on the side, seeping out.

When I had babies 22 months apart everyone used to say "Ugh, two babies in diapers." I honestly didn't care. I figured I had to change one, why not two. But I honestly can tell you, I dread changing my little princess.

She is mobile and thinks it is ohhh so funny to stick her hands down there. The other day I even called daddy in as reinforcement. I only have two hands for goodness sake.

Well, I am done now with the very disgusting but real life topic . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kawasaki Disease

I guess it has been about three years ago hat Nature Girl took an emergency trip to the hospital. Now we joke it is the fear of motorcycles.

She had been sick for a couple of days before daddy had left for his annual trip to WI. Just a low grade fever but very lethargic which is so, so not NG. If memory serves, I took her to the doctor the day before daddy left. Just in an abundance of caution. At that point, nobody really suspected anything unusual. Maybe a cold or flu. No other major symptoms.

I had noticed her eyes were really red. But, oddly enough, I attributed it to the hundreds of hours of TV she had been watching. It was like a solid week of doing nothing but sitting and snoozing in front of the TV. The day after daddy left, I still felt like something wasn't right and we were going into the weekend. It was late on a Friday and my usual doctor was off for the day so we went to another doctor in his practice. He felt that it was some kind of infection. I suppose he probably gave us an antibiotic (or she had already been taking one) either way, he assured us she would be starting to get better by the next day.

Saturday rolled around and there was no change. I called the on call nurse and was sent to a doc in the box. They tested for strep and mono I think. They still couldn't see that there was anything visibly wrong other than the constant low grade fever, red eyes and lethargy. Maybe we got some medicine then. I honestly don't remember. By Monday, I was a wreck. NG had been sick for over a week and nothing seemed to be helping.

I called the doctor's office again and was able to see NG's doctor right away. I had all the kids with me. Pretty sure I hadn't showered in a couple of days. Was in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Daddy had been gone for 4 days and was expected home the next day. When the doctor finished examining her, he stepped out of the office. I could just tell something was wrong. He came back in and told me I needed to go the pediatric floor at the hospital right away. I was dumbfounded to say the least. I remember Little Mama wanting to sit on my lap at that exact moment and I remember telling her "no" and the doctor giving me a sideways look. I was in shock! I was in survival mode. I was trying to keep my composure.

He went on to explain what was wrong with her, Kawasaki Disease. He explained what it was, that they didn't really know the origin of it. But that she would need to go to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Thankfully the hospital was right around the corner. I called Sissy and she met me up there and took the little kids home. Grandma came up as soon as she was through with work and sat with me while NG got her first of many needle pokes.

One of the hardest parts I am sure was for daddy. Here he was 1500 miles away from home to be told over the phone that his daughter had been rushed to the hospital with some strange disease. He tried to get an earlier flight but it couldn't be changed. He sat and waited for the next available flight back home. He came directly to the hospital in unshaven and in hunting clothes and I am sure barely any sleep.

I stayed with NG the entire time she was in the hospital. After the specialist came in and confirmed the diagnosis, treatment had to be decided on. NG has a disease that does not have a specific test that confirms the diagnosis. So, I had to trust what all the medical people were telling me. She had to have an IVIG which I think is somewhat like a blood transfusion. When they gave that to her, which was at night, they had to wake her ever couple of hours to take blood and monitor her vitals. She was stuck so many times I can't even tell you. I just remember towards the morning, she didn't seem to even care.

I stayed with her in her bed the entire time. When she was finally able, we got up and would walk around, dragging the IV along with. It was a day or two before Thanksgiving and we walked down to the craft room and colored hand turkeys. It was a blessing to have the treasure chest to go to. There were games and coloring things and stickers and little toys that she could play with. We didn't have a change of clothes or toothbrushes or anything. (Not that I even cared.)

Kawasaki Disease is a vascular disease that if not caught can cause aneurysms. They have great success in the treatment. Followed up by an asprin regiment, EKgs and ultrasounds. We were done with the aspirin about 3 months after and she only has one more EKG and ultrasound to go.

Oddly enough I don't remember being uncontrollably worried. I just knew everything was going to be OK. I had a peace, thanks to God. He was with me the entire time. I know that because otherwise I would have been a total wreck.

It has been three years and I only think of it occasionally. Like when people talk about the flu and those with health issues. I wonder and usually call the doctor to ask "Does that mean NG?" There have been times when she is sick or her eyes are red and I wonder if it came back (although I have been assured that doesn't happen.) Sometimes I wonder if any of the other kids have it, will get it. Although it is something you are born with.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching I cannot help but give thanks for the health of NG and all of my precious children. . .

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yesterday Nature Girl had her very first gymnastics competition/meet. It was fund raiser for the gym that the kids go to. There were tons of kids there and most of the girls from NG's class.

They had about 2 months to prepare a bars, beam and floor routine. There preparation time was right during out sickness stint so NG missed 2 weeks of class. I let her know that if she did not want to compete she didn't have to this time. I explained it is important to follow through with commitments but this was extenuating circumstances. I didn't want her to get up in front of a huge crowd and not be prepared. Not because of her lack of preparation but because of circumstances out of her control.

She assured me she wanted to do it and she would be fine! She talked with the coach and got a list of all of her routines so she could practice at home. Think them through in her head, I guess.
She is an incredible kid. I wanted her to be prepared but I didn't want to stress her out. She seemed very relaxed about the whole thing. Not nervous in the least.

The whole competition was a little confusing for a first timers like us (me, Sissy and Coco - daddy had to work.) It was hard to understand the rotation of everyone. There were so many girls competing. But between my sister and I, we got it figured out.

NG did good on the bars but she was so far across the room I couldn't really see her expressions etc. The beam on the other hand was right in front of us. I could see she was a little nervous and maybe not quite as sure. She will tell you beam is not her favorite. And it is hard!! She did all of these tricks (because I can't think of the right word) on a 3 inch beam 4 feet off of the ground. Amazing.

She rocked on the floor competition! I think that is probably her best event. She would probably tell you the same thing, if for no other reason then she gets to do a back handspring! She is very poised and graceful and it really shows during the floor routine. Her body bends in places that I am pretty sure it wasn't meant to. Also, she doesn't seem to be as nervous. Maybe because it is easier for her to remember the routine.

Anyway, all the kids got a trophy. They divided each class into gold, silver and bronze. I was proud of her for choosing to compete. We all told her how great she did. She now has something to work for. If she chooses to compete again . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Girls' Night Out

Awhile ago I was driving downtown. As I looked to my left, I noticed one of the older hotels getting an update. As it turned out, the hotel had new owners and they were totally remodeling it. Why is this a big deal? Well, as I watched the progress of the renovations I noticed they were building something peculiar on the top. It looked like an outside lounge kind of thing.

My sister, mom and I had gone to a place in NYC. It was a lounge type place on the tippy top of a hotel in the meat packing district. I had wanted to get a small taste of the NY nightlife and this little lounge on top of a hotel was recommended to us by the server who had waited on us at dinner. You could sit outside and look out onto the NY skyline. It was spectacular. One of the highlights of my trip.

Anyway, when I saw that they were building this lounge on top of this hotel I called my sister immediately and told her we just had to go and check it out.

The place has been open for about a month now. And honestly I figured the only hope I had of actually seeing the place was with the kids some afternoon. We would just stop in and go up top and take a look around. But Thursday my sister called me and said she and some of her friends from work were going up there after work and would I like to come. I checked with hubby and he said sure. So yesterday afternoon I went up to the tippy top of the Hotel Duval and spent about a hour or so checking out the scenery and enjoying the sunset over all of the downtown buildings.

It is a neat place and the view was spectacular. The inside was kind of small with just a few tables and chairs. But the outside ran the length of the hotel. It was done in black, burgundy and silver. The were wicker type couches and chairs lining the deck or patio or whatever you call it. It made it very comfy to just sit and chat and watch.

I don't get out much and that is OK. I was home by dinner for malt and game night. But when I do get to I love every aspect of it. People watching, relaxing, enjoying pleasant conversation and honestly just being able to sit . . .

Friday, November 6, 2009


I was chatting with a good friend of mine yesterday. As always we were taking about all kinds of "important" stuff. The subject turned to homeschooling (she is a fellow homeschooler). She is kind of on the fence about it and we have discussed all aspects of it before. She had mentioned that her pastor had talked to her MOPS group the other day. His topic was the problem of young kids in middle school walking away from the faith. He mentioned he was supportive of private school, public school and homeschooling.

But then proceeded to say, if you choose to homeschool you have to be prepared to never really enter the world. You would then have to do college from home, have a job from home etc. I think what my friend was trying to tell me was that he was conveying that homeschoolers are not engaged in the world and not prepared for the world. My friend went on to say that he felt that kids who were in public school were on the mission field. That those who did not send their kids to school were, I guess, sheltering their kids or keeping them from their purpose in life - to be disciples, salt and light, etc.

Now, I am sure I don't have the exact words right or his exact thought process down. But, it was conveyed to my friend that homeschooling was not biblical. I was very perplexed by that. I understand all the reasons that people give for not homeschooling. I had used them myself. But, here was a pastor, speaking to a group of women with young kids, leading them to believe that homeschooling really wasn't a biblical choice.

Without getting into all the whys and hows of homeschooling I just felt a need to refute that. I really want to send this guy an email with the following information, have him read it, digest it, study it, mediate on it and pray about it and then send me a reply explaining his position.

Yes, I believe homeschooling is biblical. Homeschoolers do it for many different reasons. I didn't start out thinking that way. We started out homeschooling by necessity, really. But, as I grow in my faith and walk with Christ and knowledge of God, my reasoning has changed. About homeschooling and so many other things.

Anyway the following is a list of things that I would like to email to this pastor and get a response back. Just for my own personal edification. I think homeschooling is biblical. But if it is not, I would like to know why not. I am open to change. Open to understanding. Open to growing spiritually.

Anyway here is my list of reasons why I believe homeschooling is biblical:

The best way to fulfill the command to parents to pass on godly values and to instruct our children about life from a Godly perspective. Duet 6:1-7

Matthew 5:13 calls us to be "salt and light." According to Dr. Baucham's study on this verse, "salt and light" are indicatives (indicates what we are) and are not imperatives (expressing what we should be). As we become spiritually mature, we are salt and light.

Matthew 18:6 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." There is a similar verse is Matt 5:19. By sending our spiritually immature children into the world we are causing them to stumble. I, as 41 year old mature Christian, have a hard enough time standing up for Christ and what I know to be true. How can I expect a five year old or thirteen year old or an eighteen year old?

Lastly, Jesus, the sinless Son of God, was in his early 30s when God caused Him to engage the world, start his public ministry. I believe there was a good reason for that. He was a spiritually mature adult.

I don't want to debate whether homeschooling is biblical or not. Obviously I think it is. But what I worry about is this preacher influencing families to not homeschool because he doesn't think it is biblical. That really bothers me. Maybe a family will not be willing or take the time to research it for themselves and miss some really wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth with their children and themselves.

Homeschooling parents have the unique opportunity every minute of everyday to prepare their children for the "real" world. (And strengthen their own walk ;) To prepare their children as arrows (or heat seeking missiles as Dr. Baucham calls them) for the cause of Christ. To continually shore them up for the many spiritual battles they will face. It serves no heavenly purpose to send them out before they are ready. In fact, according to Matt 18: 6 it can have quite the opposite effect.

Maybe I will email him my list, maybe I won't. But it bothered me so much I just had to write it down somewhere. What better place then my own personal podium . . .

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Love Little Mama This Much

God never made a sweeter child. Of course, I am partial she is my daughter. She is so not like me. She is sweet and thoughtful and would never dream of hurting any one's feelings. She is a helper. A people pleaser to the nth degree. Not because it is what she wants to do (although most of time it is) but because she wants to be kind. That is how she shows her love.

Of course, she is affectionate and loves to touch and be touched. Hold you and be held. Hug you and be hugged. Her love is so great, it at times can be overwhelming!

I know she wants to be a mama and probably a housewife. I have no doubt she will take wonderful care of her family. Today she told me she would homeschool. One of the reasons she said it is because she knows it is what I want to hear, but I honestly think she will be because she will want her children around her all the time. To love on and dote on and care for and raise and train.

I love her as a child and don't want her to grow up, but it will be true joy to see the woman she becomes . . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From Russia with Love

Or To Russian with Love. Whatever the James Bond movie is. Or is it James Bond? I digress, as always.

Anyway, Russia, that was our unofficial theme yesterday. (Funny how things "just happen.") We went to the library with our very overdue books (which were due back during our illness.) And, as my usual custom, I always randomly pick out a book or two that might be interesting to the kids. As I was perusing the Thanksgiving holiday books I noticed a series of books about different holidays or events from different countries. It was hard to pick just one country. Decision making can be hard for me sometimes. Especially when it comes to books. I want them ALL, NOW.

Anyway, as I was taking a book away from EG (because she was chewing on it) I noticed a big book full of Russian fairy tales. We love fairy tales and are currently reading from the Blue Book and I just purchased a book full of Celtic fairy tales (to go along with the Celtic Christmas CD I just bought.) I digress again. Anyway, the kids had just spent quite a lot of time this weekend with our friends' kids (neighbors too) that are from Russia. So, that sealed the deal. A book of Russian fairy tales and a book of Russian holidays and events.

Now this is the cool part. When we got home from the library and the grocery store I got a call from my friend/neighbor asking me if I would be willing to watch her 3 boys for the night so she and her hubby could get some things done. I was delighted. These were the 3 boys from Russia!

We first met the the boys when I was pregnant with Boop. They were in the country for a home visit. They actually had gone to another family first but switched houses when the families figured out they would be a better fit for our friends/neighbors.

It was almost three years before the adoption went through and the three boys came to live in the U.S. That was the fall/winter before I was pregnant with EG so about 2 years ago I guess. Anyway, we have the boys over whenever we can. Usually Sunday afternoons. The family has two other children from a previous marriage so sometimes all 5 of them come down to play. My kids have known the other two all of their lives.

Anyway, it is interesting to hear the boys talk. And over the course of a couple of years we have learned some Russian. It has been great to see how quickly they have adapted to our country. Their mom told me last night that all the boys have gotten majority of A's where as last year they struggled.

I just thought it was cool that my choice of books and house guests just happen to be all from the same country . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


A friend of ours went camping a week ago and the pictures she posted on Facebook were awesome. The pictures were so beautiful and it looked like she and her family had such a wonderful time. They went to a state park in north Georgia, I believe. Anyway, I was soooo motivated to go camping.

We haven't been in at least two years. We have a small pop-up that fit the five of us but both daddy and I are a little skeptical of it fitting the six of us. I know it can be done and I know we would be fine but I think it is just the thought. It also needs some work. The floor is rotten. One of the storage compartments has a broken seal. There are a few other things wrong but I don't know the exact technical terms.

Over the weekend I explained to daddy the vision I have for our family. It looks something like this: About every 6 weeks on a Friday morning we pack up to go camping - not any place to far away. We enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, bike riding, playing board games, cooking on an open fire. Just spending quality family time. Learning about nature. Taking what we learn in school and applying it to the great outdoors. Visit waterfalls and mountains, hills and valleys. All on a backdrop of leaves changing colors or new flowers popping out of the ground. An occasional camping trip to the beach.

I have only camped a handful of times in my life. But have always loved it! When we met friends who camped it renewed my interest. It is just something I want us to do as a family. The kids have loved the couple times we have gone. And daddy and I have loved the few times we have gone. I have just never been able to put my finger on why we just don't do it more.

So, as daddy and I discussed it this weekend I found out some very valuable information. First and foremost, the reason daddy hasn't been so gung ho about going recently is this: He wants something he can just pull up to the campsite and be ready to go. He doesn't want all the work you have to do once you get there. He wants a camper that is just ready. One that has storage space to keep things just for camping. One, that if need be, has room for all of us, comfortably. Daddy is an outdoor guy but he also likes basic comforts. Truth be told, I don't have a problem with that. One of my big "fears" I have is taking the kids to the potty at night. I just don't like the thought of it. So, if our new trailer has a potty so be it. Who am I to complain ;)

So, yesterday we went to an RV sales place. And boy did we have fun!! I wish I would have had a video camera or at least my regular camera. All of us were like kids in a candy store. Running from one trailer to the next. The kids would scream for joy when the went into each one! They got a kick out of comparing size and weight and price! Not that it mattered but we all agreed on a favorite. It sleeps six pretty comfortably. It had a queen bed, a fold out couch, and a bunk bed with a full size mattress on the bottom bunk. It even had a shower and a potty!! The kids didn't want to leave with out it.

But, I know daddy better than that. This is just the beginning of the process. And one that could very well end up with nothing. This is just our newest venture. A couple of months ago, it was a boat! (Although daddy did say if we got a new camper we would definitely get a canoe!) So, I am not getting my hopes up. Anything could happen. But it really was fun to go and look. The trailers were incredible. And the motor homes were awesome. One even had three flat screen TVs.

Who knows what will happen in the next couple weeks. The sales guy was very eager to deal with us. Take our pop-up as a trade-in etc. I will leave it up to daddy. I am very confident the kids will not let it go. In fact, after school today they are going to play camping. And I am honestly hoping by the beginning of next year, we will be going camping for real . . .

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Festival

As always our Fall Festival was fabulous (if I do say so myself.) It was a little more work then I was ready for on Saturday. But I knew, given past experience in entertaining, that it would all come together. And it did.

I had hoped for better pictures of the kids in their costumes but we were still getting ready when our first guests arrived. And when other kids show up, mine disappear. Usually into the backyard to play.

We had about 4/5 families here. A total of about 10 adults and 16 kids. A couple of the familes that usually come were not able to make it. But we had invited a couple of other families who had never celebrated with us before and it turned out to be such a wonderful night. Two of the families have been doing this with us for at least 5 years. One of the new familes we invited happened to know the other two families. And one family, Daddy had invited last year but were unable to make it then but were able to this year. So, it really was a great group of people who were all some how connected to each other either through hubby's work, church or both!

Kids of course don't know a stranger and immediately they all went out and played and took care of tricker treaters and ate. So patiently waiting for their turn to go trick or treating. We had a Sonny's server, a scary clown, a couple members of CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association), a couple of princesses, an Indian, Piglet, a two ninjas, two pirates, a dinosaur, and a horse riding sheriff. I think that is all. Seems so long ago ;)

After everyone left, I was so thankful that we all had felt well enough to enjoy our friends and celebrate the fall season . . .

Sunday, November 1, 2009