Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Camping We Will Go

For a second time as a family. I really don't have the time to go into all the flip fantabulous details because we have to finish packing and I really want to go here a fellow homeschooling mom speak tonight. So, no time for diddle daddling.

I will give the basics. We are headed to north George, to the bottom of the Great Smokey Mountains. We are going with some family friends who we have camped with twice before. But, this is our first REAL camping trip. Hours and hours away from home!

It is suppose to be BEAUTIFUL and COOL! And the campsites look spectacular from the pictures online. There is a waterfall and apple orchards and even a train museum near by. I have no idea exactly what we will do. I know we want to hike and explore nature. And, if possible I would like the kids to pick apples. But, honestly, we are just excited to be taking a big-time family camping trip.

Well, pictures will be forth coming, of the camping trip and Boop's birthday party. Happy, happy fall everyone. Be back on Tuesday. Maybe . . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday, Boop!

Yesterday, because it was a beautiful day, we ate snack outside, all the while talking about the night before and the day of Boop's birth. I love telling the stories behind each of their births. And, they all love hearing them.

We have been so blessed by our big boy. (Although I am sure his sisters don't think so.) He is very sweet and kind. Very unassuming. He woke up this morning and, of course, I was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COOP!!" And he just kind of shrugged his shoulders, tilted his head and smiled his little smile.

He might tell you what he wants for his birthday but he hasn't been thinking about it for weeks. Everything he gets he plays with, forever. Sometimes he sleeps with his special toys.

Oh sure, he has his frustration fits, but is usually quick to recover. He can have a sassy mouth, but, will 10 seconds later, give a grin that melts my heart.

I wish my baby boy a great 5th birthday . . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Perfect Day

As I sit here with a messy house and a birthday dinner to plan for, tomorrow, and our first real big camping trip to the mountains, on Friday, I am wondering what my perfect day would be like. If I had nothing to do in the whole wide world (like before kids), what would I do.

One of two things: I would read, outside, if it were sunny, breezy with just a hint of coolness or I would go on a trail ride on horseback, if I had a horse.

I think I used to do both of those things pretty regularly. Anyway, I was just sitting here picturing those couple of things. Just daydreaming.

But, I am thrilled to be celebrating my baby boy's FIFTH birthday tomorrow and to spend a great long weekend with my family and friends in the mountains.

Those are just two examples of my perfect days now. Not half bad . . .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Silly Bands

My kids are totally into silly bands. They have 100s of them. Even EG got into the act. Little did we know that giving her silly bands would entertain her. She played with them for an hour. Now, we use them in our school day everyday. Just to keep her occupied . . .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

Where does the time go?? Last night, date night. Today the amusement park to celebrate Boop's 5th birthday. Home in time, maybe, to watch the second half of the football game. Tomorrow Sunday School, church, baptismal party and Kidz Connect.

I will be thankful for Monday . . .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday Night Dinners

Every once and awhile I would call my sister to see if she could come over for dinner. It was usually for dinner that night and she would have other things going on. Which I would totally understand. Then, one day last week, it dawned on me, we need to put dinner with Sissy on the calendar, so it would get done. Just like everything else we attempt to do.

So, I called her up and asked her what days of the week were good for her to have dinner with us. And, I told her what days would work for us. A little while later she called me back and we agreed on Sundays.

From now on, Sissy will be having dinner with us every Sunday night. Well, except this Sunday because she babysat for us Tuesday and we are going to dinner with her and her boyfriend on Friday. And she will be here the following Wednesday for Boop's birthday and the Sunday after that we will be camping in the mountains. But, every Sunday after that she will be with us . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Relaxed Homeschooler

With a schedule. The best of both worlds. Yesterday a fellow homeschooling mom asked me how my year was going so far. After I did a quick assessment, I said it was going great. And it is!

I have given myself the goal of being a relaxed homeschooler. I have probably said that before, but this year, I really think I am.

I have my schedule that keeps me on track of things we need to do. But, it doesn't get in the way of what I feel is really important. And, I feel because of the schedule, we are actually doing things that I felt we never had time for before. Or, would get pushed to the side when time ran out.

We are able to go to the creek once a month. Belong to a book club once a month. Do nature classes at the nature museum once a month. Meet once every six weeks with some families who are schooling like we are. We do Meals on Wheels every week. And still have time to bake cookies and muffins for the neighbors, occassionally. And, the house is in OK shape.

The best part of it all, is it seems we are still getting all of our school work done in a timely fashion. We do some bible reading or scripture memorization or read about some great man or woman of God everyday. We do math and reading every day. And the rest works itself out, thanks to the schedule.

Our days are not perfect by any stretch. And, we still have not had multiple "full" days of school in a row. But, I know my kids are learning. And most importantly they are given the opportunity to learn about things that are, in the big scheme of things, really important.

I am really, really liking this school year . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manic Mondays

Mondays are busy for us. First, it is always hard to get back to the "schedule" on Mondays. No body wants to do school. So, everything takes twice as long. Then, I am thinking about all the things that need to be accomplished during the week. So, I can be a little distracted. Which makes things take twice as long.

Add to that, the pressure that we have to be at ballet at 3:30 for two hours. Which means EG needs to be in for a nap at a certain time. Which means dinner needs to be done before we go. All school and cleaning and chores need to be done.

Doesn't leave much time for anything else on Mondays. . .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Silent Sunday

Graduation from sewing class. With the most wonderful teacher in the world . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mr. Fix It

It is a blessing to have a husband that can fix just about anything. But, it sometimes can have a small drawback. Nothing gets fix until he has had the appropriate amount of time to fix it, or, at least take a good long look at it. For most things, I am O.K. with that. He usually has some back up plan while whatever needs to be fixed, is being fixed.

Well, today the dryer went out. In my mind, I am picturing the next week or so, with no dryer. We won't be able to step foot in our bathroom (where all the dirty clothes are kept.) Little Mama said "Oh no! We will have to wear dirty clothes."

I know hubby can, and will, fix it. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a day off until Friday. And, hopefully tonight, he can figure out what parts he needs so they can be ordered, or whatever.

I LOVE that he can fix things. I LOVE that he cares enough to do things himself (or try at least.) I LOVE that he can do it for half the price. I think what he does is a dying art, which is a shame, in my humble opinion.

But, I would be lying, if I told you that my heart wasn't beating, just a little bit harder and faster, about the prospect of not having a dryer this week . . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Our Discovery

The first two pictures above are of a hummingbird moth. Can you tell which picture was taken by a professional? On our nature study Wednesday morning at the creek, we "discovered" it. At first the kids and I thought it was a bee hummingbird.

But, thanks to my friend and the Internet, we figured out it is really a hummingbird moth! Which makes way more sense because a bee hummingbird is found only in Cuba, I think.

The picture with the tree is our reference picture. I try to remember to take a picture of it every time we go.

One thing each kid remembers from Wednesday:

Little Mama: the hummingbird moth and she saw no birds

Me: there is a dam from what looks like a fallen down tree

Nature Girl: it was overgrown

Boop: somebody hunting (a man drove by with a hunting dog in the back of his truck)

EG: found a pine cone

Until next month . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hi Ho the Cheerio

So, I left Boop in charge of EG for a few minutes while I stepped outside to check out the damage I had inadvertently done to our new van. Hubby had called me outside to take a look. I felt so bad about what I had done that I didn't want to tell him I couldn't come out at the moment.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I left Boop in charge. The big girls were in the shower and, really, how much trouble could she get into anyway. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do.

So, somehow, she was able to get to the Cheerio box. By the time I got to her, she had emptied all but about 4 Cheerios. Oh, I suppose I could have been exasperated. But, honestly, seeing her sitting there in a MOUND of Cheerios, while shoving fist full after fist full into her mouth, I just had to laugh.

It made everyone laugh. I absolutely, positively cannot imagine what life would be like without her. Or any of my children for that matter . . .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Radical by David Platt

Expect many more quotes from this book over the next few weeks. I am reading it. Our pastor is preaching on it. Our LifeGroup is studying it.

David Platt has been called "the youngest megachurch pastor in history."

"But I found myself becoming uneasy. For one thing, my model in ministry is a guy who spent the majority of his ministry time with twelve men. A guy who, when he left this earth, had only about 120 people who were actually sticking around and doing what he told them to do. More like a minichurch, really. Jesus Christ --the youngest minichurch pastor in history."

"This, after all, is the goal of the American dream: to make much of ourselves. But here the gospel and the American dream are clearly and ultimately antithetical to each other. While the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."

"The reality is that it doesn't matter how many resources the church has. The church I lead could have all the man-made resources that one could imagine, but apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, such a church will do nothing of significance for the glory of God."

Things that make you go, hmmm . . . .

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Domestic Diva?

I turned my back for a minute while unloading the dryer. EG decided she wanted to take a nap. In the dryer. She kept rolling around trying to get comfortable saying "ni-night, ni-night." She is still in there because I can't get her out. Now she is on the dryer door singing . . .

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two Things

Thing One: The kids got a cookbook for Christmas last year. It has a lot of great recipes based on Disney movies. The kids like looking through it, just to see the pictures and look at the food. As of about a month ago, not one recipe was ever made out of that book. Honestly, I just don't even think about it when meal planning.

So, last month when the kids were looking through it, I got this bright idea for them to each pick three things they wanted to make out of it. (They also got to pick out of Paula Dean's children's cookbook that Little Mama got, but I have made a few things out of there. More my speed.)

Anyway, I wrote down thier requests and each week I try to make one or two of them. Two weeks ago was Body Shop Black Bean Salad, cookies on a stick and a Tropical Fruit Smoothie (which we make pretty regularly anyway.) Today was Don't Be a Chicken! Cups. It was one of Boop's choices and he thought it was big fun to help me make them for lunch.

When we get through the list, I will have them look through and pick another couple recipes they want to make. It is kind of fun. And, I feel like I am doing something fun.

Thing Two: We have this huge L-shaped couch. We bought it when Boop was a baby. We figured it would fit all of us, when we watch T.V. together. But, it never fails, when anyone is on the couch, the others are right next to you. As you can see, from the picture of the kids watching football from the other night. They are all on the shortest side of the couch. The majority of the couch is empty.

It seriously cracks me up . . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Daddy is fixing the lawn mower so we are not living in a jungle.

EG threw up before bed time and had a fever. She woke up at 4 and didn't go back to sleep until 6ish, I think. Was up at 7 and has not skipped a beat! (Thank goodness.)

Nature Girl would rather watch HGTV then cartoons. Takes after Grandma and Sissy in the home decorating department. (I think I would enjoy those shows if I felt I had time to watch them.)

Football at 3:30 (need to have all chores done.) College Game Day on ESPNU in 40 minutes.

Grocery store in about an hour or so.

So proud of the fact that Little Mama has these really great maternal instincts.

Boop is so excited that daddy is home today. He follows daddy around all day. And, if daddy isn't careful, he bumps into him when he turns around! Because Boop is right, right behind him.

I think we are going to make cookies for two neighbors who have had a rough week.

Excited about Pastor Don's sermon tomorrow on forgiveness. So inspired by the fact that he is willing to preach God's word with firmness and love. Also excited about the new study we will be doing as a church, Radical: Taking Your Faith Back from the American Dream. In a nutshell it is a study on how American materialism has crept into the Christian church. And how to get back to the basics of what the biblical church is really all about.

So, so glad it is Saturday and we are all home with really no place to go . . .

Friday, September 10, 2010

Full Schedule

All morning, I kept warning the kids "Today is the day we are doing our full schedule. The one I worked on so hard before school even started." The schedule that has our day broken up into 30 minute increments. I use it to keep us on track and make sure everything that needs to get done, gets done.

But, for the last three weeks, we have used it loosely, because everyday we have had all kinds of other stuff going on. From sewing lessons to dentist appointments. So, we haven't done the whole schedule.

Today we did. And this is what happened:

I got a shower, quiet time and read my bible to start the day. I schooled 2 1/2 children in all subjects. We have 2 1/2 loads of laundry done. Folded and put away. The house is straightened. I was able to sweep the kitchen floor. And, with Little Mama, almost finished her blanket (needed for Tuesday's sewing class graduation.) I have done our grocery list for the week, along with coupons. Made breakfast and lunch and two snacks. Dinner is waiting for Nature Girl and I to prepare. The kids have washed dishes, vacuumed under the table and wiped it down. Emptied garbage cans and cleaned their rooms. I read a book to Boop and some of our book club book to LM. NG finished the book club book and made a card to mail to a friend she hasn't seen in probably over a year.

I have four minutes left of free time then it is on to play with the kids for 30 minutes and then on to dinner prep. Scheduling time with my kids feels a little hokey but it assures me that the day doesn't get by me with out "engaging" my kids. Which, trust me, can happen. Well, off to teach the kids Backgammon.

Tomorrow is Saturday. I think I will give our schedule a little rest. And me a little rest as well . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Silly, Silly Girl

I decided at the last minute, last night before we were headed out the door to church to put EG's hair into pigtails, for the first time. She looked so darn adorable that I couldn't help taking her picture. And, as you can see, she loved every minute of it . . .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Tonight we are going back to church for Worship on Wednesday. We had taken the summer off because they took a break from church dinners and the children's' choir. But, tonight, it all starts up again and the kids (and I) are excited.

It is a great time for food and fellowship . . .

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples

We got some apples from Tennessee. Quite a few apples. We have been eating plain apples, apples and peanut butter, apple and cinnamon muffins (we are bring a few to our neighbor this afternoon), and tonight I am going to attempt apple brownies.

That recipe intrigues me the most. Brownies, without chocolate, interesting concept . . .

Monday, September 6, 2010


Or should I say unmet expectations. Oh, so hard to deal with. We all deal with unmet expectations, whether from a coworker, a spouse, a friend, our children or our family. As our pastor said yesterday "Expect to get hurt. When you don't, thank God."

His sermon was on forgiveness and that should be our response to unmet expectations. Not an easy response, but the right one. Ephesians 4:32 spells it out pretty clear "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." He is not asking us to do something that hasn't already been done for us.

Our pastor went on to say, using a quote by John Piper, that basically if we are unwilling to forgive, then we need to check the condition of our salvation. Wow, to me that was a powerful statement. If we are unable to forgive, is it possible that we don't have a growing, loving, relationship with Jesus Christ? As I have mentioned before, I am not a theologian so that statement has given me pause.

I am not sure I like it. But, that doesn't mean it isn't true. It kind of makes sense, though. I call on Jesus for forgiveness of my sins (He who died for my sins) so that I can have a growing, loving relationship with Him, a restored relationship with God and the promise of a life after death in Heaven. But yet, I can not forgive someone, who I feel has not met my expectations?

Anyway, I am not a theologian. But, I do struggle with unmet expectations and sometimes wonder what I am suppose to do with them. Now I know. I am to forgive them, just as God has so lovingly forgiven me. Tall order on my part, but I am going to give it a try. I haven't found a better, healthier way . . .

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football!?!?!?

Having spent much of my childhood in a professional football team town and all of my adult life in a college football team town, I can honestly say I love football season. Both college and professional. And the weather and the way the town feels. So full of anticipation.

I am one of those wives who watches football even when hubby is working or sleeping. I call him numerous times (and he calls me) when we can't watch "the game" together. There have been times when our game was a late one and hubby would have to go to bed before it was over. At 4AM when his alarm has gone off, he has been known to ask me if we won or what the score was. I have never, ever been upset by that. I have always been proud of the fact that I love most sports and that hubby and I can enjoy them together.

So, all that to say, I need to go now because the commercial is over and my team is playing their first game of the season with their first new coach they have had in 30 some years. Let's go team ! ! !

Friday, September 3, 2010

One of Those Days

But not in a bad way. Just a busy way. Woke up late because EG decided last night she didn't want to sleep alone. ;) Still was able to have a little quiet time and prayer time, though.

Got the kids going around 7:30 and did school until lunch while making phone calls and other tasks that just needed to be done. After lunch a little more school and our service project for this week. We volunteered to make green beans for a local high school football team. I don't think I have ever seen so many green beans in one place.

Anyway, those had to be to the church at 1:45 and I wanted EG back home because she definitely needed a nap. While she napped we baked blueberry muffins needed for dinner and the kids had reading time. Before EG woke up I was able to cut some coupons and work out a draft grocery list and meals plans for next week.

When EG woke up it was off to Barnes and Nobles for a gift certificate for a birthday party tomorrow. Then off to the library for our scheduled library time. Books due and time to get new ones. We are going through a book called Information, Please and it is a study on how to use the library and research materials. Today's worksheet was basic questions about our local library. Such as how many books it has and what happens if a books is late. Kind of fun. The next assignment is a scavenger hunt. That should be fun!

Then home just in time to pick up and get dinner started. So, not much time for anything else. I am waiting for the very simple, stay at home school days to start. . . .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blast From The Past

I just got a phone call from one of my old boss's. He had seen hubby a couple of days ago and realized he hadn't chatted with us in quite awhile. When I first started to work for him his kids were in middle school. And now they are grown and married.

I left the work force full time about ten years ago. I had a GREAT job and worked for some really great guys (more about that tomorrow, I think). But, I will have to admit, for as great as my job was, how wonderful my bosses were, the more than decent salary I made and how willing they were to let me stay part-time, I have never, ever, ever regretted staying home with my babies . . .

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bads Days

We have had a few. So, why not make cookies. On a stick. With M&Ms . . .