Friday, October 29, 2010

By Product of Homeschooling

I think one of them, for our family, is the ability of my kids to talk with adults. They talk with all kinds of different adults, everyday. The next door neighbors, the customers and employees at the grocery store and doctor's office, guests in our home, our Meals on Wheels clients, moms of other homeschooling friends, etc. Except for each other, the majority of their daily contact is with adults. And, it is just something they are pretty comfortable with. For the most part.

We had a get together a couple weeks ago and we were the only ones with older kids. Another family had an infant. Anyway, the kids spent most of the night talking with one of the guests. I went over, repeatedly, to rescue her from them. But, every time I went to her, she told me she was fine. And was enjoying them.

Later on that weekend, she complimented me, and them, over and over again on how great it was to talk with them. She found them very engaging and able to carry on a conversation. I found out they discussed such things as the BP oil spill and the death of The Crocodile Hunter.

My kids, constantly, ask me to visit the neighbor because they love talking with her. Finally, yesterday I told her to feel free and let me know if she wasn't up for a visit (she is a cancer survivor and will forever be on chemo.) She assured me she enjoyed talking with them and they were funny. (That scares me, whole other post.)

I am always doing my best to let them know that children are to be seen and not heard, out of respect to adults. Unless, of course, the adult engages them in conversation. I am constantly working on manners and polite conversation. Yes, I am bragging on my kids. Something I don't always do enough of. So, it is nice to hear that some of my efforts are paying off . . .

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have been abundantly blessed, in so many ways. My purpose, is to now, take those blessings and use them for His purpose and His glory . . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Love Nature Girl This Much

There is a verse in the Bible, in Proverbs that goes like this "A merry heart makes a joyful countenance."

That just about sums up Nature Girl. She is happy, happy, happy, all the time. She is constantly coming up with things that just can't possibly happen. And when I tell her no she may have a frown for about 10 seconds, not understand why I said no, but then she is on to some other fun, exciting, all consuming thing. And doesn't dwell on the no.

Even when I am disciplining her she seems to get over it very quick. (Something, I hope, is at least sinking in.) ;) She LOVES life. Everything about life. As I sit here, I am trying to think of something that she absolutely, positively hates or puts her in a pouty, bad mood. And there just isn't.

She just LOVES life. Every aspect of life. Everything she does in life. I thank God everyday, for that, in her. And, how cool is that . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You Have Four Children

We had a really, really nice visit with my aunt and her husband this past week. When you have a house full of kids you just never know what is going to happen. And it is especially nerve wracking when the people visiting are not use to kids.

But, I have to say, my kids did great! Oh, they were still kids but on their very best behavior. And, my aunt had such wonderful things to say about them, and our whole family. If she said it once, she said it at least 20 times "Your kids are so well behaved." and "You have such good kids."

On Sunday before she left she said "Not once did I hear you raise your voice." Honestly, I felt like a fraud. Because I do raise my voice at them, too much. But, I really have been working on controlling my angry voice. Plus, who wants to spend a week with a screaming mom. They were on vacation for goodness sake. I had to put my best foot forward.

But, for the record, I do get impatient with my my kids. And I am working on that.

Anyway, one other thing she said quite often, when I told her things like "We don't usually go into stores full of beads." (She makes beautiful necklaces and wanted to check out the local beading store.) Or, "I have help. I have a cleaning lady once a month." Or, "Sometimes I do think I am crazy." Her response was "Well, you have four kids."

Yes, I do have four kids and it is a really great excuse for a lot of things. But, it really isn't an excuse. It is what it is. It got to be kind of amusing because I thought, if I am not careful, I could get out of a lot of stuff with "But, I have four kids."

I know lots of families that have way more kids then we do. And they get around just fine. I guess it just depends on the family, person, kids and necessity.

Anyway, I appreciate the time we had with family. And so very glad they made the effort to visit. And really, really glad they enjoyed our family. Especially because we have four kids . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Love Little Mama This Much

As I was comforting EG, because she put her hand on the lawnmower muffler, just after her daddy told her to stay away, Nature Girl comes running in and says Boop fell of the trampoline. Backwards.

I told NG to watch over EG. As I headed out the door, to find out exactly what happened, I saw the most precious sight a mother can behold. Little Mama had a crying Boop cradled in her arms, rocking him back and forth, trying to comfort him. He, was of course, sobbing, and just sitting on her lap. Letting her hold him, comfort him.

Those two spend a lot of time fussing at each other. So, it made the sight even more profound.

I am so, so thankful for my Little Mama. She has the biggest, kindest, most sympathetic, loving, compassoinate heart . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It was nap time at my mom's. So, I put EG in her pack and play to take a nap. She cried for a little bit, unfamiliar surroundings. Then there was quiet. I quickly went to check my email and then I was going to hop in the shower. As I am closing up the computer I hear "Hi. Out of crib." And, my little Houdini is standing next to me with a big ol' grin on her face. After I got over the initial shock, I had to laugh.

We went back in the bedroom and I checked the position of the pack and play. It was near nothing. I put her back in and told her very sternly "not to get out." I shut the door and less than 10 seconds later she was out again.

After some stern scolding and placing her back in, she cried herself to sleep. About 30 minutes later I hear her call for me. I go into the guestroom and there she is, next to the guest bed, kind of crying and scared. I don't think she ever went to sleep (or stayed in the pack and play.)

That night I thought I would probably sleep with her in the guestroom. I had been sleeping on the fold out couch with Boop. But, I fell asleep on the fold out couch while the kids were watching a movie. So, I figured I would just stay there. EG had gone to sleep with no problem.

I did not hear from her through the night. At about 7:50 AM, I thought it strange that she was not up yet. I got up and opened the guest bedroom door, there she was snuggled up on top of the guest bed, wide awake. I asked her if she had slept in the crib or the bed. She smiled and told me the crib. Later on I asked her again, she smiled and said the bed.

I have no idea where she slept that night. I do know two things: 1) she cannot be left alone to sleep and 2) I was kind of glad to be home because she cannot get out of her crib. At least for the moment . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Purposeful Acts of Kindness

Going to and coming from my mom's we travel on a toll highway. We thought it would be fun to pay for the car behind us at each toll.

The first time, the attendant ask us who was behind us. I said I had no idea but to tell them to have a nice day. One time, the attendant was a little taken aback. A little slow to respond. But, then she smiled and said "O.K."

When we would get close to a toll booth, Boop would yell at me to slow down so a car could get behind us.

The kids, would then look behind, to see what the driver would do after the attendant told them the toll was paid. They had questions like "Will they drive up to us and thank us?" or "Will they then pay for the car behind them?"

We, I, have been thinking a lot about how my actions affect/effect others. I have been taking time to help the kids understand about choices and consequences. So, I thought this would be a fun way to kind of put thoughts and words into action.

As a added bonus, it kind of made the trip go a little faster . . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


We have had my aunt and uncle here, from Wisconsin, since Sunday. They have come down to visit and do some really great fishing. Yesterday hubby and uncle had a successful trip. Today they are going out again, to a different place. For different fish.

Me, the kids and my aunt have just been hanging out at the house. And, tomorrow, we leave to go to my mom's. (My aunt is her sister.) We will stay for a couple days and come back before the weekend. It has been very relaxing and enjoyable. The kids and I don't see them very often, so this has been a real treat.

More in a couple of days . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthday Boy

Before we went camping we had Boop's family birthday party. This is him talking with his best friend, who called to wish him a happy birthday. So darn cute!

What would a birthday be with out an adorable outfit from Sissy. She also got him a really cool 3-D Star Wars puzzle.

The girls got him his coveted skateboard. He loved it!

We got him a soccer ball. Daddy takes him to soccer every other Thursday. He seems to like the game. Now he has his own ball to practise.

His cousins got him a remote control Jeep car. As you can see, he enjoyed it right away!

And a birthday party is complete without a cake. A priceless picture of my two favorite boys.

How can my little guys be five already? So sweet, thoughtful and helpful. Such a blessing . . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Last night my girls were with a friend and his dad. The friend expressed an interest in being homeschooled. I am sure the child thought all the girls do is play all day, and that obviously isn't the case. Well, isn't suppose to be the case. ;)

So, the dad tried to explain that my girls don't have access to their toys all day. And that they don't hang out with a lot of friends or have a lot of friends or something along those lines. Now, I know, he was just trying to dissuade his son from wanting to be homeschooled. It just isn't possible for them right now. And, honestly, I don't think they would even consider it. And that is totally fine with me. We love the family and the kids. No biggie.

But, Nature Girl wanted to correct the dad. She didn't, thank goodness. She wanted to tell him that they do get to play during the day. And, that they have a lot of friends. Like I said, I am glad she didn't. That wasn't her place. And, I think I understand what the dad was trying to do.

But, I wanted a chance to clarify it myself. Yes, my kids do get to play, a lot. We have periods of school through out the day and periods of play through out the day. Our school day officially ends around 1:30ish. Some days it is a little longer if the kids don't get their work done during the allotted time.

They have quite a few friends. A couple of really good ones. And, if we aren't careful, we could socialize ourselves right through the entire school year. There is so much to do with other groups, all the time. It takes real self control to stay at home and "do school."

Those were all my thoughts last night. A mama bear protecting her cubs I guess. I have kind of pushed it by the wayside today. But, I did want to take a minute to clarify some things. I just kind of had to. Even if no one is reading . . .

Friday, October 15, 2010

May I Rest In Peace

It was either last night, or the night before. I can't honestly remember. Anyway, I walked into our master bathroom, where we keep the dirty laundry, and I said to hubby:

"When I die, don't bother to throw dirt on my grave. Just cover me with laundry."

Life HAS to be lived with a sense of purpose AND a sense of humor . . .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Last Day

This is actually a picture of our first day. And, it is a picture that my friend took. But, I like it because we were just beginning our camping adventure.

Of course, the kids didn't want to leave. And we had to spend most of our time packing up. But, we started the day with "The Breakfast of Champions." Yes, the kids had roasted marshmallows and s'mores for breakfast. It was a promise AND what is a camping trip with out marshmallows. Even if they are for breakfast.

EG enjoyed her very first marshmallow. What's not to love.

NG and Boop only wanted marshmallows. No graham crackers and chocolate for them. (Not something I personally understand. To each his own, I guess.)

Little Mama enjoyed the whole s'mores experience. And, I am very glad of that!

My friend also took this picture on our hike down from the waterfalls. I had to include it in my post, because if is one of my favorites. All of us tired, but happy.

If I have one regret, it is that we didn't stay longer. I know we will have other camping adventures in the future, but this trip will always hold a special place in my heart. A wonderful, wonderful time with family, friends and nature. Oh, how God has blessed us . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Last Adventure, But, Certainly Not the Least

This is the adventure we almost didn't take. And, that would have been a shame. The highest point in Georgia was a little over an hour from where we were camping. And, by the time we got home from the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, we were tired families. And, then to make the decision even harder, the trolley that would to take us to the top, closed at 5. And it was already 3:30 and we were just finishing up lunch.

If we didn't make it there by 5, we would have to drive most of the way up the mountain and then hike the last half mile or so. The families got together and decided to make a go of it!

The roads to get to this place were incredible. Winding around mountains, going up and down two lane roads. At one point, I said to hubby "If you love me you will put both hands on the wheel and SLOW DOWN." He obliged as best he could. NG got a little carsick and I couldn't blame her. The other kids enjoyed the scenery. And there was lots of fantastic scenery!

The picture below is from the parking lot of the state park of the highest mountain in Georgia. It was practically deserted. We got out of the cars and it was very cold and very windy! My friend's hubby was afraid a storm was coming because of the wind and dark clouds (he has done some hiking before). He mentioned we might not be able to "make our climb." By that time, I was so excited and really ready to go, I told him I didn't come all that way, through the crazy, scenic roads not to make it to the top. We were hiking if I had anything to say about it! I made a mental note that I had extra food, just to be on the safe side. :)

The men had baby duty. I felt for them. It was a steep incline and there was a warning that it was a strenuous hike. The kids, of course, had no problem whatsoever. And, would run up a little ways and then run back. At one point, we had to tell them to wait up!

As we were sitting, resting, a young couple (who didn't speak much English) were on their way back down. We asked them how much further, they just kind of laughed and said something like "3 minutes." I began to wonder, just a little bit, what I had gotten into.

The different types of vegetation were neat to look at. As we got closer to the top, we could see the change in trees. They were more worn and tangled looking, from the continual affect of the wind.

The next picture is at the very top of the mountain. There was an observation deck and a museum but the museum was closed. That did stop hubby from chatting up the park volunteer. He learned that the land originally belonged to the Cherokee (I think) and that the government took it away from them. The government let loggers come in and they destroyed the forest. It has taken them up to just a couple of years ago to get all the little indigenous critters back.

From on top we could see North and South Carolina and Tennessee. And on a clear day, you can see the Atlanta skyline! The views were amazing. The scenery stunning. The whole climb was exhilarating. I, personally, felt so accomplished and so overwhelmed by the glory of it all.

We couldn't believe how close we were to the clouds.

We took our time, looked around and just enjoyed nature. The trip back down the mountain, by foot, was a little easier. The drive down, at dusk, was still a little traumatic, for me. We dined at Moe's in a local town. And our plan was to roast marshmallows when we got back to the campsite.

Everyone was silent on the way home, sleeping or at least resting, I am sure. We got back to the campsite and EG refused to walk up. My friend's son was down for the night. Boop was awake but grumpy. We postponed s'mores out of shear exhaustion. But, it was a good exhaustion. From doing all that could possibly be done in a day.

I can't believe I even contemplated not going on our last adventure . . .

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I didn't have many requests for our camping trip. But, one thing I wanted to try to do was pick apples with the kids. We have gotten plenty of apples recently and have a lot of fun eating and baking with them. So, I thought it would be fun to get our own. What we got was sooooo much more than just an ordinary apple orchard.

The first thing we did was to get a seat to see a pig race. I mean, really, how can you miss a pig race? We lined up along the fence just waiting for the contest to begin. The anticipation growing. Six pigs in all raced, at least I think so. It was over in a blink of an eye, but the kids got a kick out of it.

There was a playground and zip line. And a big huge slide going down the side of a hill. There was also bungee jumping, which Nature Girl really wanted to do. But, it cost extra money, in addition to what it cost just to get in and enjoy all the other activities. She had to pass on that one and was a little disappointed.

I don't have a picture of it, but we learned a little bit about honey bees. And, got to taste a couple different types of honey. Honey gathered locally can actually be used to help fight allergies. That was kind of cool.

Finally, after doing most of the other "free" activities that the apple orchard offered, we went to pick apples. They grew all kinds of apples: red delicious, granny smith, mustus and rome just to name a few. I believe we got at least a couple from each type of tree. The kids really wanted granny smiths so we have mostly those.

I think they had fun. I had fun! They next thing on our apple orchard adventure was to milk a cow. Each kid got a chance to do it. Just one little pull. NG said it felt like an old man's finger. Still trying to figure that one out. Anyway, I don't think they honestly believe that is where milk comes from.

They had live music. So hubby and EG took a break and listened for a little while, while my friend and I took the bigger kids on the jumpy pillow. (He got the better end of that deal.) ;)

Of course, the kids thought the jumpy pillow was a hoot.

Having never been to an apple orchard before, at least not that I can remember, this one takes the cake! There was soooo much to do and see. We didn't even do it all. They had a Moonshine Museum and a place where you could buy all kinds of apple desserts and snacks. Hubby did buy a potato ribbon, which was a big long ribbon of fried potato. We all had a taste.

I think we were there until mid-afternoon. We hadn't even had lunch, but the kids didn't seem to care. We were pretty tuckered out and went back to the campsite after that. To eat and rest. But, the adventure continues. Gonna have to wait until tomorrow to get the "rest of the story" . . .

Friday, October 8, 2010


Phenomenal is what the third day was. We did so, so much really cool stuff. I decided to break the last day down into three separate posts because, otherwise, it would run on forever and I don't think I would be able to upload all of the pictures! Anyway, we started out with another great camping breakfast, cooked by us this time. I really do enjoy eating outside.

Our plan was, for in the morning, to visit a really big, massive pumpkin patch which had really, big and massive pumpkins. We had passed by it the day before when we were out looking around. The place was packed and it was only 10:30 in the morning. There were rows and rows of pumpkins bigger than I had ever seen before.

I tried to get a decent pictures of the kids. But, I don't have the patience for it. It is like corralling cats. I would get two or three in position and one would venture off. Or I might get two looking at the camera and a third would not and the fourth would be trying to climb the pumpkins. So, I gave up and just kind of snapped away.

There were even blue pumpkins. I think they were good for baking.

What is a pumpkin patch without a John Deere tractor. Obviously a photo op for Boop!

They had a covered area that sold all kind of gourds and squash. Hubby grabbed himself a basket and did a little shopping. We picked up some acorn squash (my personal favorite with bacon and brown sugar) and a spaghetti squash.

I think our greatest purchase was our 8ft corn stalks that will be gracing our front yard this fall. They had tons of them and I just had to have one, or two. They are great!

The day, was again, gorgeous. Sunny, cloudless and breezy. And, the pumpkin patch was just the first stop on our very busy but phenomenal day. Tomorrow, the out of this world apple orchard . . .