Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dream Big

We ran across this cabin for sale. The kids and I have been talking about all the neat stuff we would do if it were ours. NG wants a horse. LM wants a pony. Boop wants a cow (and to name it Moo Shoo) and they have decided EG will get a pig. We would fish and hunt. We would wake up in the mornings to roosters crowing and we would have chickens to have fresh eggs. It would be our vacation home. A place where daddy could hunt. A place where the kids and I could go during daddy's long week he works. A place where we could spend quality and quantity time as a family.

Honey, if, by chance, you are reading my blog, I would like this as a 13th Anniversary present . . .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grandma is Here

She and CoCo arrived safely early yesterday evening. It must have been a hoot the two of them driving up from down south! We are all glad they made it safely and in pretty good time too.

The kids are so excited to have Grandma here. She has always wanted us to set up Skype while we are doing school. Now she can actually sit with us during our school day.

Grandma's doc appointment yesterday was not as encouraging as her initial one last week. The new doc said she could possibly be in a knee brace for 6-8 weeks. And, if she bends it a lot, it could need surgery. Out for 3 months. (Please don't bend your knee, please don't bend your knee!)

Her next appointment is in 3 weeks, so, I guess, we will go from there. Anyway, in the meantime, she is folding our socks . . .

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crazy Saturday

But a good one.

Saturday started out at the annual Springtime Parade. When hubby and I were younger, even before we were married, we use to work the annual festival that followed the parade. The hotel we worked for was downtown so the hotel always participated in selling hamburgers and other things.

We talked about how when we got back from our honeymoon on a Friday, I think, our first trip out the next day as husband and wife was to the festival. I don't think we ever went to the actual parade until we had kids. But, we have gone almost every year since.

It was a beautiful day. And we got our usual spot right out front of the Budget rental car place. Right at the beginning of the parade. Less people. More goodies for the kids. The parade consisted of Krewes from all over the state. Local marching bands and floats from various organizations. They all throw candy, toys and beads. The kids had a blast gathering up all of the booty!

The parade lasted just about an hour. Perfect timing!

Next on our schedule was a first birthday party for EG's BFF. It was a picnic at a great park with fabulous food. As I said earlier, we couldn't have asked for better weather. Once again, the kids had a blast playing with their friends and celebrating the momentous occasion.

Lastly, was our church's annual Easter program. Every year our church, with music and drama, does a fabulous job telling about Jesus' last days and the Resurrection. And this year was no exception. It always is a very dramatic show and always leaves me so humbled and so aware of my unworthiness of the sacrifice made by Jesus. He willing laid down His life so that I, a sinner, can live for eternity. It is so powerful and moving when I see the story played out in front of me. I always think about what it must have been like to be there. To watch the suffering He had to endure. Even though He was not a sinner. The knowledge that He was to pay the ultimate price for MY transgressions.

I, all too often, take for granted the price that was paid for me. I am going to try to reflect more on the sacrifice He made. And pray that it will continue to effect my every day living.

Anyway, it was an awesome way to end a truly awesome day. . .

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Geography Fair

Thursday we participated in the homeschool geography fair. It was an event that the whole family was encouraged to participate in and it was not a competition. Having never participated in anything like this before, I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get our feet wet!

The kids had originally picked Spain, which I liked. I have a friend that I used to work with who is from Spain and I figured she would be a great resource. But, about a month ago, the kids decided they wanted to do Madagascar (after watching the movie ;). I will be honest, I didn't even know Madagascar was a real country. How embarrassing.

Anyway, we enjoyed finding out all about Madagascar and putting some of what we learned on display. Did you know that Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world? Did you know that 75% of the species found in Madagascar can be found no where else? Did you know that in 1985 Madagascar had an economic down turn because one of their larger exports is vanilla and that in 1985 the Coca-Cola Company started selling New Coke which used less vanilla? When the Coca-Cola company returned to selling the original Coke, Madagascar's economy rebounded. Did you know the official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French?

At the fair, the kids were each given a passport. And when then went from country to country, they got their passports stamped and they wrote down something about each country. Some participants even offered food. (Boop loved the jalapeno limeade from Mexico.) I think there were about 15 countries represented.

It was a good time had by all. I can't wait for us to participate in something like that again. It has been a very busy day so pictures will be posted tomorrow . . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Little Big Things

Just had to discipline Nature Girl for lying and disobedience. We talked about expectations and sin and how we have to ask forgiveness from those we have sinned against and from God. I spoke calmly and respectfully. She tried to give excuses and reasons. I listened and then asked her if she knew better. Which she replied she did. Her punishment was taking away her DS for a month. When I told her she needed to ask for forgiveness from Little Mama, me and God her reply was "You have taken away my DS. Isn't that punishment enough?"

I explained punishment and forgiveness are two different things. And both needed to be done. Not because I say so but because that is what God instructs in His Word. She asked forgiveness from LM and me and then she hugged me and told me she liked me. After being disciplined. Crazy. Then she went to her room to ask forgiveness from God . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Add It Up

Yesterday at breakfast I was asked at least 10 different questions. So, I thought it would be fun to see how many questions the kids ask me in just one day. Kind of a science experiment!

We had to run errands for most of the morning. I tried to keep track of the number of questions on a scrap piece of paper but ended up giving up. It was just too hard. Then we left the house about 5:30 PM for dinner and church and didn't get home until 8 o'clock so, needless to say, I didn't keep track of the questions then either.

But, when we got home the kids kind of figured out, with the tally marks I had made on the dry erase board and an approximation of the number of questions I wasn't able to keep track of, it was well over 125 questions.

No wonder by 9PM I craves peace and quiet . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I don't usually watch the news in the morning. I use to be an avid "Today" show watcher. But, not anymore. And now I know why.

Yesterday I was up before the kids and had a few extra minutes while hubby was getting ready for work. So, as I was laying in my bed, drinking my coffee (doesn't that sound wonderful?!) I turned it on.

Majority of the stories were troubling. Not inspiring or feel good pieces whatsoever. But, one in particular got my attention. I should have just turned it off but I didn't. It was a story about two middle school kids from the same school. "Middleschool Madness" was the name of the story. The piece went on to tell about a boy who had gasoline poured on him and set on fire because of a disagreement about a video game. Then, in the same piece there was a story about a girl who had been beaten into a coma because of a text message she sent. These two incidents happened within a five month period of time - AT THE SAME SCHOOL. I was horrified to say the least!

They interviewed the sheriff. He said there it is a "culture of callousness." Kids are desensitized to violence. Of course they interview a shrink and she said "the parents aren't doing their job so someone has to." Duh!! And I am assuming she was promoting some type of school educational program.

I am not going to spend anymore time on this subject. I think the reasons why these types of things happen are pretty obvious. And, I think some of the solutions are pretty darn obvious too. At least to me anyway . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We Are Home

We got home early evening yesterday. The plan as of today is either my sister or I will go down to my mom's on Sunday, take her to the doctor on Monday and then bring her back to stay with us for at least a month. (And also bring my MIL back because she so graciously agreed to stay with my mom this week until we could work everything out. I am sure she will have a jewel in her crown in heaven for her selflessness!)

Grandma had a great report from the doc yesterday. She was able to take the cast off her elbow and was told that as long as she had the brace on her knee she could put pressure on it. But she still needs help doing a lot of things we take for granted. And she should not be left alone right now.

So, we thought the best way to take care of her was to bring her to our house. Hopefully, with our help, she will be able to recover quickly. The kids are so excited to have her with us for awhile. We are taking this opportunity to learn how to be servants and how to put the needs of others before our own.

Should be an interesting lesson to learn. For all of us . . . ;)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend Update

Grandma is resting on the couch. My MIL is on the phone. EG is napping. The big kids are at Aunt T's planting flowers. I was just reading and thought I would give a little update.

I take Grandma to the doc on Monday and we will go from there. Right now she needs help just getting around. And doing simple tasks are difficult.

Once we speak to the doc and get a prognosis, we will make a decision as to whether Grandma will stay here or come home with us.

So, we won't know anything, really, until Monday. . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010


EG to the allergist. Then the kids and I (and my MIL) are on a 5-6 hour drive to Grandma's. She broke her elbow and kneecap, so hope we can help. More later. I hope . . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


EG has allergies. We just don't know what to. We have been to the doc on at least three occasions because of them and the ER once. This past month I have given her Benadryl nearly every day because of some kind of rash or skin irritation or swollen eyes. But she eats everything so it is hard to determine what the culprit is. I think she is even sensitive to the grass or pollen or something outside. So, we finally decided it was time to have her tested. They couldn't get her in until the end of May!

I called her doctor and asked if I could continue to give her Benadryl for each outbreak she had, until they could see her at the allergist. He didn't seem to have a problem with it. I wasn't exactly thrilled. He did call her in an Epi-pen and said he would try to get her appointment moved up.

Well, yesterday they called and she has an appointment tomorrow at 8:30AM. I am a little nervous I guess is the word. We had Nature Girl tested when she was a toddler and I remember what the test looked like. It is a big cardboard looking thing with all these little pins on it. And, if it is the same test, the place the whole thing on her back and then wait for reactions. The whole thing just bothers me. I guess that is why I waited so long to have it done to EG. I was hoping things would work themselves out. But, it isn't looking like it this time.

The flipside though, is that maybe we will finally get a hold on what irritates her. And then try like the dickens to keep it out of her mouth . . .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Humble Homeschooler

To say I am passionate about homeschooling would be an understatement! I love it, love it, love it. For a lot of really different reasons.

So, I decided as I was cleaning up EG's "school" the other day that I would start a blog just about homeschooling. How we started, what works for us, encouragement to those who read it, etc. I won't post every day. Just occasionally when the mood strikes me or there is something that I really want to write about that pertains strictly to homeschooling.

I don't know. We will see how it goes. Feel free to take a look . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Celebration

On Saturday we all went to an amusement park to celebrate Little Mama's birthday, again! She brought along a friend and, I think I can speak for all us of us when I say we all had a great time.

It was a beautiful sunny day, but very, very windy. So windy some of the rides were closed! But, none that we really wanted to ride on anyway. (At least none I wanted to ;)

Anyway, we started off by having lunch in the little picnic area before we went inside. And I gave Little Mama her one last present. It was her bible. It is really kind of pretty. Pink and brown with silver around the edge of the pages (which I knew she would love.) She kept hugging me and telling me thank you. She has such a wonderful, God loving heart.

Then, after we ate, we were off to the park. LM got to pick the first few rides she wanted to go on. One of which was called the Bug Out (now it is called Go Bananas.) In any event, she had asked me to ride it with her. It was really high up and it had all these sharp curves. The worst part was it jerked you are the curves and in a couple places I swore I felt like we were going to fall right off the track! Really high up! I was a wreck but I couldn't let LM down. I did inform her, after I could speak again and after I removed my heart from my throat, that I would not be going back on that ride. Ever! Which was fine with her, she preferred to ride with daddy anyway because he wasn't visibley scared!

The kids ran from one ride to the next. LM leading the way. Daddy rode one ride by himself while the kids ate cotton candy. We went on the train ride and saw all the really neat animals. The camels were new. I think the ride that LM liked the best was The Swamp Thing (my personal fav). It is a roller coaster ride that you sit in and your feet dangling over alligators. She also like The Shoe Ride, The Eagle Ride and the Scrambler.

I am pretty sure she is all celebrated out. For now . . .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Off to the amusement park today to celebrate Little Mama's 7th birthday! Suppose to be 70 and sunny.

What a great day ahead . . .

Friday, March 12, 2010

Busy Day

Daddy's days off always seem to be so busy. Not with anything really important but just trying to keep up or catch up. I don't know how other families do it. I think we are deficient in some way. But, that isn't what I am going to post about. Today is just a run down of things we have to do.

Shower, laundry, clean fish bowl, fix some tool in the garage, trip to Lowe's, can't forget to fix the socket in the garage that affects the hair dryer in my bathroom (which I now need because of my new haircut), chase EG around the house to get some object from her that she isn't suppose to have (like an ink pen), weekly coupon grocery shopping, mammogram appointment, Little Mama surprise birthday gift errand (monogrammed Bible and Bible cover), nap (for EG), dust behind TV, laundry, clean under bed, prep for tomorrow's trip to amusement park, keep EG from standing on the furniture, can't forget lunch and dinner (and snacks), clean rice krispies off dinning room floor, laundry, change a gazillion poopy diapers, laundry and of course it is wet and rainy so the kids will be inside FOR THE SECOND DAY, and try to rest so we can stay up late to watch basketball tournament.

Nothing exciting today but all very necessary . . .

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I have some radical ideas about family. I believe my ideas are inspired by God and scripture. I believe that God created a woman to be a helpmeet to her husband. I believe God created the family to function as a whole. The husband is the head and children are the primary responsibility of the parents to love, nurture, and educate.

That being said, I was a little nervous about who are new pastor was going to be and what his thoughts might be on what I feel is important. The last couple of years I believe God has impressed upon me the importance of the biblical structure for a family. God created the family and society, today, even in the church, has families so busy that there never really is any family time. There is AWANAs and Youth Group and choir and so on and so on. On Sunday nights kids are taken away from their families yet again for some type of activity. And it is accepted because it is at church. Sorry, I digress.

Anyway, I was worried that whoever the new pastor might be may not feel as strongly about the family unit as I do. I will be honest, I think there are some changes that need to be made in the church as a whole. Not because I say so, but because I believe that we have gotten away from what God intended the church to do and look like. Our first line of discipleship should be our own families. But, I can almost guarantee that the job, for the most part, has been left up to Christian schools and church programs. Don't misunderstand me, these things have a place, I guess, but they are to supplement what is being taught, learned, modeled in the home.

But last night at Wednesday night service, some of my "fears" had been addressed. The children's and youth pastor said there was going to be some changes. That the youth program at our church was going to partner with the parents to form the youth program. No more will it be solely dropping of your children and picking them up. The parents will now take an active role in the program. We will not, at least not in the near future, have children's church for kids 3rd grade and up. These children will continue to have the privilege of worshiping God on Sundays with their families.

The new senior pastor talked about how God has to be in control of where we, as a church body, go from here. That he wants our sanctuary to be so filled with the love of Christ that when the hurting and lost come in they feel that love. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be focusing on eight reasons why Jesus had to die. Our Wednesday night services are going to be focusing on the cross as well

I am so thankful for the godly man that has become our new pastor. I know he isn't sure what he is doing right now, having never been a senior pastor before, but I know with all my heart he will allow God to point the direction of our church. And I am so excited to be a part of what will be going on in the very near future . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

I have decided as part of my blogging experience that I am going review books and movies. Which will happen probably every six months - ha, ha!! Anyway, I just finished The Time Traveler's Wife. The first book I have read in a long time that was "just for fun."

As I mentioned in a previous post, it wasn't a book I would have normally bought. Mostly because it is a modern day love story and I am not a big romance reader. But, this was different. The time traveling gave it a twist that made it very intriguing. And it really wasn't sappy.

The book is about a husband and a wife. The husband is a time traveler and actually meets his future wife when she is just six years old (and he is in his early 40s). The book flips back and forth and forward through out both of their lives and intricately entwines their existences. The author takes turns telling the story from both the wife, Clare, and the husband, Henry's perspectives. And sometimes they would each tell of the same event but from their own unique view point.

The chapters would begin like: Wednesday, July 12, 1995 (Clare is 24, Henry is 32), CLARE: and then Clare tells her story. Then the next section might read Sunday, September 11, 1988 (Henry is 36, Clare is 17) HENRY: and then Henry tells his story. I thought it was really a creative way of telling their whole life story. And it really was about the only way I could keep straight where Henry was in time and what age he and Clare were.

The book essentially deals with how and why Clare spent most of her life "waiting" for Henry. And how Henry dealt with traveling through time and how it affected their undying love for one another. Not to mention married life and just life in general. How reliving your past, repeatedly, or knowing future events can really take a toll on your present life choices.

I guess the time traveling is a little far fetched, the author explains it a little bit and you kind of just have to accept it. But it works. It is kind of believable. The only other little draw back that I felt was unnecessary was the use of the "f" word and "c" word. I don't think I would necessarily note my objection to these words except I honestly felt they were not necessary in this story. They were just kind of thrown in their gratuitously, like the author felt she needed to use them to be relevant or connect with the 20 something set. Those particular words just seemed out of character for both Clare and Henry.

The story is sad and really couldn't have ended any other way. It was a little anticlimactic, though, because of all the time traveling turmoil through out the book. I would recommend it to any one who just wanted something to read to pass the time. Light reading, purely for enjoyment.

It was kind of fun for a little change of pace . . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Humble Pie

When Nature Girl was born I was way out of my league. I was clueless about having a baby and being a mother! I will be honest, at one point shortly after NG was born I was pretty sure I was OK with having one child. I even talked with a good friend of mine who only had one child and she assured me that wanting only one baby didn't make me a bad mother.

As time went on and I started to get the hang of the this mothering thing, I (we) decided to have one more baby. When Little Mama was born things were comparetively easier. I had a little more knowledge and she really was a good baby. I remember at one point the girls were sitting down to lunch, Nature Girl almost 2 1/2 and Little Mama about 7 months I guess, anyway, we almost didn't notice LM was there. She was so compliant and so quiet.

Boop came along and he was the absolute easiest baby. I just don't remember, really, having many problems with sleeping or anything. Now, he did have a food allergy which was a little problematic at first but we were able to work it out. And now, he is starting to grow out of it.

The last two babies made me feel like I knew what I was doing. I was a confident mother. Surely out of three babies I had touched on just about everything a mother could possibly have to normally deal with. I felt I learned a TON from NG and her sleep/nursing/eating problems. I learned that nothing lasts forever. The good times and the bad. When trying to convince hubby that "really, what is one more . . . " I thought I had it going on! I was it! Now, I am not saying I was perfect or that I had all the answers because that would be way to prideful. But, I did think I could handle just about anything. By myself.

Today, I am eating humble pie. And it tastes HORRIBLE. EG is putting us through our paces. She eats constantly. She poops constantly (mostly diarrhea). She sleeps never. She is stubborn and willful and constantly into everything. She climbs up on everything. Shoves everything in her mouth. Demands everything. Touches everything. Talks constantly. Screams when she doesn't get her way. And is already having terrible two tantrums. I know they are fueled by the fact that I am tired AND she has a house full of siblings that will do anything for her just to get her to be quiet.

Yesterday EG and I were having a do not touch and obedience lesson, it was killing Nature Girl to have to watch. NG was kind of pleading with EG just to leave the books alone. Then NG got up and moved the books so EG wouldn't be tempted. EG has to learn "no" because the house is filled with things that she can't touch, eat, climb up on. It would be impossible for us to keep the house childproofed constantly.

Right now she has climbed up on the dining room chair and is standing. Now, if I only had one kid at home, that might be OK. I could watch her to make sure she doesn't fall. But my attention, a lot of the day, is focused else where. There is a lot going on. All the time.

EG has humbled me. In a big way. I thought I could handle it all. By myself. God has used my fourth child to bring me to my knees. CONSTANTLY. She is so precious. And so loving. And so happy. But so humbling.

I am very tired today. And when I am tired it is hard for me to shove my emotions way down deep. I have to smile, though, at my lack of humility in this one particular area. Apparently I am not all that! And it has taken numerous nights of no sleep to help me figure it out. I am sure when sleep comes again, which everyone assures me it will, I will think I am "all that" again. But, I hope I can keep some vague memory of the last month or so, to keep me somewhat humbled. Because, I don't like eating humble pie . . .

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Grocery Store

We went to the grocery store on Saturday morning. All of us. Actually we got there early enough and there was hardly anyone there. I am working on having them help me. Nature Girl will go an aisle or so ahead and get me something I need or go back and get something I forgot.

Little Mama loves to push the cart. Although when it is busy, I usually don't let her for fear of running into someone (or something.) One time I wasn't paying attention and the kids were looking at an end cap of calendars and the next thing I knew the calendars were all over the floor. A lady passing by with three kids of her own just laughed. And offered to help clean up!

We have this great school book Science Lab in a Supermarket so that has helped in keeping the kids occupied. So far we have learned that carrot companies place very small orange lines on their packaging so the carrots look fresher. Little Mama noticed this past Saturday that a package of green beans had the same lines but in green. We have checked for red or pink lighting in the meat department. And then we discussed how the packaging of liquid clothes detergent has shrunk and the detergent has become more "concentrated." Our first experiment tested humidity on bags of chips.

Anyway, Saturday the kids noticed that our grocery store had a new manager. I asked them how they knew that. First, they pointed to the man walking around (which just happened to be the new manager.) Then they showed me his picture on the wall where they have all the managers pictures. Kind of scary that they know the grocery store employees and their positions in management . . .

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Over the Hill

Hubby and I have hit middle age. With a vengeance. Hubby came home two days ago with matching reading glasses! Most of our friends are in their early 30s and it is always amusing to me when they mention the big 4-0. And, I think, sometimes they forget we ARE the big 4-0, plus some. We try to let them know, it isn't ALL that bad :)

Anyway, the subject came up briefly at a wedding we were at last week. And both hubby and I agreed that the only noticeable difference, thus far, is that we both need glasses to read. And that it came upon us so suddenly. Or, probably more accurately, we finally REALIZED what the problem was.

Last night hubby was in the "library" and I hear him yell "Have Boop bring me my glasses." Oh, I had to laugh!

I honestly think he looks pretty darn good in his glasses . . .

Friday, March 5, 2010


Little Mama lived up to her name yesterday. She was all into wanting to change EG's diaper. At first, I kind of dismissed the idea. But, then, I figured what the heck! I could use the help. So, every time EG got her diaper changed, Little Mama took over the duty. I would stand and watch and give guidance. The really messy ones were left up to me, but she would help with the wipes etc. By the end of the day LM was chasing EG around saying "Do you need your diaper changed?" This morning LM did it without much assistance. I think I am on to something.

Since getting my great iPod docking station, we listen to music a lot. Last night was one of those nights. We finished dinner and had a little time before bath and bed time. We turned on the music and hit the shuffle button and listened and danced and sung to whatever was on. The music ranges from Celtic Women to Newsboys to Tim McGraw. A little something for everyone. The kids love to dance and daddy and I have to make sure we watch each and every one of them. Boy have they got style. Even EG (I have to get it on video) loves to dance and she has a little rhythm. The best dance she does is when she kind of squats down, her booty and belly sticking out and then bounces up and down and side to side.

To encourage EG to eat different things, I have given her a fork to use. I stick it into whatever food I am wanting her to try. Granted, she waves it around like she is conducting a symphony. But, I figure, eventually it will make it to her mouth.

Yesterday (or the day before) the kids built a fort on the side of the house. It has a wash bucket, clothesline and beds (so they tell me - I haven't been in it yet.) Some where they got the idea to make Indian paint. Mud with paint by numbers paint. Late yesterday afternoon or early evening, they came in with markings on their faces. Today they were going to add blue paint to the mud, but I had to put a stop to that. I know, I am no fun!

Yesterday my next door neighbor called me. We check in on her periodically, bring her cookies, pick up stuff at the grocery store for her, etc. she has been fighting cancer for over a year. The last time I had talked with her, I was pretty sick, well I sounded sick. Couldn't talk with her without coughing. She had just gotten over the same thing. So, back to yesterday's phone call. SHE was calling to check in on ME. She was on her way to the grocery and was calling to see if I needed anything. My heart went to my throat. Here was my neighbor who doesn't own a car and has been on chemo for about 7 mos, checking in on me. I told her what a blessing she was to my family!

Every night I get the coffee pot ready for hubby, so in the wee hours of the morning, all he has to do is hit a button and he has coffee a couple of minutes later. It is such a nice treat when the coffee is prepped the night before and all you have to do when you wake up is push a button. That is one of my jobs as wife, make coffee in the mornings. Certainly not a problem! The kind of bummer part of the days he works is, that when I get up at 6 I have to make coffee because I don't like coffee that has been sitting around for an hour or so. (Remember, I told you I was a coffee snob.) Anyway, this past week when I wasn't feeling well and not getting any sleep, I woke up late on a day that hubby had gone to work, and lo and behold, the coffee maker had been prepped and ready for me just to push the button. (That means hubby did this at 5AM :) I called him immediately and told him that was better than any bunch of roses!!

Today I went and picked up a set of 1972 World Book Encyclopedias. So totally excited about having them. I know they are out of date on a lot of subjects but, I want the kids to know that before the Internet, people actually looked things up in books. I will have them try to find various things and then we can always update the information on the web.

I actually got to sleep ALL NIGHT. I got up at 6:30 and was able to pray and do a little reading in a special book.

Anyway, those are just a few happenings around here today . . .

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

To help us stay on course for Science, I decided to purchase a text book. It is called The Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and it is filled with all kinds of information on all kinds of flying creatures. It is written by a lady who understands the Charlotte Mason concept of learning so it is really well written. The kids love it!

We have been using it for about a month now. So far we have gone on a scavenger hunt and went shopping for a purple martin house. While reading Chapter 2, it came to our attention that a purple martins' diet consist of bugs including mosquitoes. And boy do we have mosquitoes in the summer. So, for part of science class, we went looking for a purple martin house and are hopefully going to be putting up sometime before the summer.

We also just recently bought Florida bird field guides for everyone, except EG of course. The day they came in the mail everyone was so excited. They sat on the couch comparing pictures and figuring out what birds we have in our neighborhood. Nature Girl took it to bed with her that night and went through every bird in the book. They have learned about migration and different nest types. Different bird body parts and how the coloring helps to identify bird types. All this without any input from me!

We have listened to bird songs on the computer and now understand how some birds got their names. Did you know the mockingbird actually mocks other birds' calls?

They have figured out that there are actually two hawks that visit us. They are red shouldered hawks and one is male and the other is female and that the female is actually slightly bigger than the male. All of this from the pocket field guide.

Today, they read that mockingbirds (which we have in abundance) like to eat fruit. So, they made like a feeding trough and put grapes and left over plums in it and put it in the tree house to see if they could get the mockingbirds to eat it.

These are all the things I imagine in my brain my kids having the time and opportunity to do because we homeschool. Not to mention the interest they have in doing them, all by themselves . . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Love EG This Much

So, we are on night number, well I am not even sure anymore, of a 15 month old who doesn't want to sleep in the middle of the night. You would think by baby number 4 I would have this all figured out. But I don't and obviously no child is ever the same!

The night before she slept all night and truly yesterday was such a great day. I LOVE being well rested. (So does the rest of my family, LOVE me being well rested that is.) So, last night I had high hopes.

Around 1AM I hear it start, the screaming and crying for mommy. Daddy and I chat for about 10/15 as to what to do. Finally, I grab my pillow and blanket and head for EG's room. I pick her up out of the crib and lay her down in the twin bed with me. I have a plan.

After about 45 minutes of her rubbing my face and playing peek a boo with me, she finally falls asleep. Kind of lying by my side but on my arm. I figure, maybe, just maybe, I can sneak out and she can sleep in the twin, with the baby side on it. Well, I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke, it was already light outside.

I slipped out of the bed and went to take a shower, it was about 7:30AM. At about 8ish, I was going to check in on her and make sure she wasn't in a place where she might roll out of the bed. And as I headed to the hallway, out and around the corner comes EG. Apparently she woke up and with out a sound managed to get out of the bed and decided to come see what was going on.

I had to laugh! I am not really sure what I am going to do with this one. She is definitely unique. In so many different ways . . .

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lessons Learned

The Pearls. Ted Tripp. Dr. Voddie Baucham. The lady who wrote Parenting in the Pew. Charlotte Mason. The Ezzos. Lynda Faye. Karen Andreola. I could go on and on of the list of authors of books and blogs about child training and education. I have spent the vast majority of my free time in the last two plus years reading all kinds of books about home education and raising Godly children and striving to be a Godly wife.

I have been so enlightened. It is incredible of all the things I didn't know about raising children God's way and being a Godly wife. I say it with a little bit of sarcasm today. Don't misunderstand me, I LOVE the Pearls (and the rest) and God has granted them a lot of common sense wisdom that they have chosen to share to help lighten my load as a parent and an educator.

But, the Pearls aren't MY family (or any of the others). They don't know anything about MY family. They have chosen to share what has worked for them for their family, how God has guided them to handle their day to day affairs. I definitely think they are biblical and they are following how God has called them to raise their children. I also believe God has called them to share with the world about what they have had success doing. For the most part, a lot of it is pretty good common sense stuff. I know marriages that have been saved by wives who have read "Created To Be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl. It is a book I recommend to all women - married or soon to be married.

But, I am going to use the TV as an example: Michael Pearl hates the T.V. And, for the most part I agree with Michael Pearl. But, last week when all six of us were sick, the T.V. was on, a lot. I felt guilty for letting the kids watch it so much because of an article I had just read on that particular subject.

There have been other things over the course of my "education" that, at the time, I really, really wanted to try out with our family. Ideas that I have read from the above mentioned authors that I wanted to try in my home. But they just never worked out exactly right for my family. For many different reasons. I will be honest, I have felt guilt over not being able to do "x" "program" perfectly, just like the examples set out in the books. For not being able to make them work in our home. And, that if I didn't do them just so, I would fail as a mother, wife, educator. And that my children might not be all they could be spiritually or educationally.

Then, I got to thinking, these authors write books based on their experiences with their families. Sure, they can give me general advice but, I have to tweak it for my own family (OK, so maybe I am a little slow or too much of a perfectionist or an avid rule follower or hoping someone will tell me EXACTLY WHAT TO DO.)

But, the only absolutes are God's word set out in scripture in the bible. God is over my family, he has placed my husband in charge and He loves me and my husband and my children more than I ever could. Plus, He gives us grace and mercy when we try and "fail."

So, for now, I am over the Pearls and the Tripps. I have decided to the best of my ability I am going to allow hubby and God to be in control of my family. Will I continue to read books on being a better mother, educator, wife? Sure! But, keeping all the information I glean, in the context of my own family. The family that God has blessed ME with . . .

Monday, March 1, 2010

Playing Hooky

So, my day started about 12 last night. EG decided she wanted to spend the majority of her sleeping time awake and crying. The first few times she woke up, she went back to sleep within a couple of minutes. But, because our monitor is so loud and daddy had to work in the morning, I moved my bed to the couch.

By 4AM it was quite apparent that EG wanted me. NOW! But, before I got up off the couch daddy came out to join me and ask me how the night was going (although he had a pretty good idea because I was sleeping on the couch.) He asked me if I wanted him to go in late. Really?? So unusual. But, so welcomed. I have been sick and not getting much sleep. He was going to hang with us for a little while this morning so I could get some much needed rest. I left it up to him and what he felt comfortable doing. And went in to get EG and sleep in the easy chair. (Which is so uncomfortable and I don't sleep, I doze on and off.)

It started getting light outside and I had no idea what time it was. I heard a little stirring from the older kids but nobody came in to get me. EG was sound asleep on me and I just sat there waiting for her to wake up. Finally, I knew it had to be late, around 8ish so I had to wake her up and move out of the chair. I went out into the living room, no kids. I went into my bedroom, there was daddy and Little Mama and Boop watching TV. It was 8:18! Nature Girl was still sleeping.

Daddy told me that when he called in to ask if he could go in late, his boss told him to take the whole day off. Daddy made us eggs and now the kids and daddy are outside playing in the beautiful weather. We have Meals on Wheels later on and tumbling. But we are officially playing hooky from any and all other responsibilities . . .