Monday, November 29, 2010

Future Football Fanatic

EG is kind of fighting her afternoon nap. She is understanding that the big kids don't take naps. Although they do rest and have quiet time. Anyway, yesterday's protest was especially loud. As I was walking by the T.V., which had the Packer game on, she screamed "I watch football!!!!!"

Anything not to have to take a nap . . .

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Baking and Cooking

I use to do some baking and cooking when I was little. I am sure I enjoyed it then. But, as I grew up I really stopped enjoying either one. Makes it kind of a bummer when you have a family to feed and you don't want to go out for dinner every night!

But, yesterday, as I was making sweet potato casserole (with potatoes from our garden) I found out what I "enjoy" about it, now. I like making stuff with stuff from our garden. Or with things that I know are really good for our family.

I love baking now, because I use majority of ingredients that are really healthy. I am giving my family something that nobody else can. I made broccoli and cheese casserole yesterday and some of the broccoli was from our garden. I liked that.

I can't explain it. Why that makes a difference. But, it just does. I guess it is a feeling of really accomplishing something that is truly good. When they eat that really healthy, good food, I envision their little bodies (and hubby's too) rejoicing. Being given the stuff it was meant to eat. (Don't get me wrong, we eat a lot that isn't good for us too. Everything in moderation!)

I think I like the challenge, too, of finding nutritious things to make with the stuff we grow. We have soooo many sweet potatoes. We are giving some away, but yesterday I made sweet potato biscuits with honey butter, just because we had all the ingredients. Some of the fam liked them. Some didn't. I don't know if I will make them again. But, I enjoyed trying.

When we had oodles of apples, it was fun trying to find different things to do with them. I made lots of applesauce that we froze, apple pies, apple brownies, apple muffins.

We are going to have tons of venison. Again, some we are giving away. But, I am looking forward to googling some really easy, good recipes. (I try not to make anything that has more than 6 ingredients.)

And, I am finding the more I am in the kitchen, the more comfortable I feel. I have always followed a recipe, exactly. I am now starting to "get" what more I can do or what I can change to make things more to our family's liking. Things that are not in the recipe!

I suppose I am bragging a little bit. But, considering I spent half (well, more than half) of my married life railing against being in the kitchen, it really is something I am kind of glad I am accepting.

I still like to keep things simple. I don't like a lot going on in the kitchen. But, at least I don't mind, so much, being in the kitchen . . .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Am Thankful For . . .

My Savior. Who is speaking to my heart on a daily basis, through the Holy Spirit, about what being a true follower of Christ really means.

My hubby. Being home. Although, he is much like a hurricane. Or a storm with a very strong wind. Things are always a little more electric when he is here. ;)

My children. Although I don't say it or show it near enough. Many moons ago I was told I couldn't have children. I can't even comprehend that.

My family. Near and far. I miss you and love you all.

My friends. God has so richly blessed me with all kinds of friends. From all walks of life. They truly make my life richer.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone . . .

Monday, November 22, 2010

Surprise, surprise

Daddy will be home by bedtime. In the nick of time, I do believe. I think the wheels are falling off our little family unit. I have managed to lock myself out of my own bedroom. EG has a really bad diaper rash. Nature Girl fell in the yard last night and bruised her foot and knee pretty darn good. And we might need another gallon of milk. I hate to go to the grocery store for just milk. Truth be told, we have been to the convenience store twice just for milk and bananas.

See you soon daddy. We miss you . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silent Sunday - Not

I guess because I don't have another adult at my disposal to talk to, I have to write. (Two more days to go.) So, the following are pictures of EG today before church. She looked cute. All the kids looked cute. But, as I was desperately trying to get her to stay still to take her picture, I just had visions of us trying to get our family pictures done in a couple of weeks. Oh, how the photographer is going to work hard for her money that day . . .

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Week Thus Far

The week has gone by pretty fast. We have stayed busy. Ballet, dinner with friends, Compassion International get together on Monday. We had a full day of school on Tuesday and it was topped off with dinner with a good friend that night. Minus kids! Wednesday was the creek, Meals on Wheels and dinner at church and the service. Boop sang. I totally forgot! No M0ther of the Year award for that one.

Thursday I was at home all day but we had our book club get together. I just love that group of women (oh yeah, and their kids!) Friday was school and Family Fun Night for the big girls. Sissy came to stay with us. So, me, Sissy and the littles went to the mall to do some Christmas shopping.

I hadn't really slept in two days, EG has been waking up. But, Sissy and I stayed up until midnight anyway! Just chatting and laughing. Of course, EG was up at the crack of dawn but I put her into bed with us and she went right back to sleep until 7:50.

This morning a friend came over to help me make Christmas gifts and then we struck gold. Another friend works at a t-shirt company in town and they were having a great sale on unopened t-shirts, sweatshirts and other various clothing items. They also had really good deals on misprint t-shirts. I got 8 really good things for $25. Some Christmas gifts included.

Then it was off to the grocery store for our weekly shopping.

Back home to rest and relax for the afternoon. The neighborhood kids came over and all the kids played outside all afternoon. Boop got to go on a playdate for a little while. So that was exciting for him!

We just finished up nachos and all the kids are taking early baths and showers so as to be able to watch a little bit of the football game. Tomorrow is church and Sissy over for dinner. Monday is yearly doctor appointments for Boop and EG. Then ballet in the afternoon.

Last I heard the great white hunter should be home sometime on Tuesday. With coolers full of venison. Last I heard he shot two and his friend shot three. I see many, many venison recipes in our future.

The time always seems to go way faster than I think it will. And the last two years everything has been fine while he was gone. I am pretty sure by Tuesday, I will be ready to be a two parent family again . . .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book I Love

Nature Girl and I just finished reading The Children of the New Forest. At first I was skeptical about it. It was written along time ago and the beginning was kind of dry. But, as the story progressed, it quickly became something she and I looked forward to reading everyday.

It was a Literature book for us, but, it just so happened to correspond to the time period we are reading about in English/American history. The book was about four young children whose house was burned down by Cromwell's Roundheads. The inhabitants of the house happened to be loyal to King Charles (Cavaliers) and the children, who escaped the fire needed to hide out in the forest and deny their heritage in order to survive.

It had so many great story lines. Four relatively young children who worked together to survive and thrive. The backdrop of an interesting time in England's history. The need for faith in God, in country and in people. There were many times over the past few months that I have mentioned to my kids how the "Armitage" kids were able to get a long and work together. They never argued. ;)

Of course, my "review" doesn't do the book justice. I look forward to reading it again with Little Mama . . .

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Love Bats

In science we just finished up a unit on bats. And, I have to tell you, it was one of the most informative science lessons I have ever had! I use to hate bats. And, now, I love them sooooo much, I am asking hubby to build a bat house in the backyard!

Interesting information I have learned about bats:

There are basically two types: Ones that live here and eat insects and ones that live in tropical climates and eat fruit.
They eat THOUSANDS of mosquitoes in one night!
They are key stone species, which means if they cease to exist, it affects other living things.
Echolocation is way cool.
They fly with their "hands."
They use their "thumbs" to clean out their ears.
They don't fly like birds so they hang upside down in trees and then let go to fly.
Mama bats can pick out their young, by smell, from a bat "nursery" that houses sometimes up to a million babies called pups.

The kids, today, did an experiment. I took 10 cotton balls and put 10 different odors on them. Everything from toothpaste to vinegar. Then the picked out a smell they wanted to find. I mixed up the cotton balls, put a blind fold on them and let them sniff away. Only one of the three kids was able to find "their" cotton ball. It was trying to represent what a hard job a mama bat has to find her pup.

I love when I learn with them . . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

This and That

Last night as I was rocking EG before bed:
Me: EG don't ever grow up.

We started reading about reptiles today.
NG: Mama, we have read about reptiles before.
Me: No, I don't think we have.
NG: Yes, we have, you know the Jews and the reptiles.
Me: That's the Jews and the Gentiles.
NG: Oh yeah . . .

I am officially one of those mothers who makes really bad excuses for their child's very unruly behavior in a public place. (As EG was running on the booth seats, coloring on a table with a pen, pulling paper napkins out of a dispenser and running around the store with only one shoe and sock on. Oh, and a really dirty face.)

But, we have made it through day 1. Only 8 more to go . . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Second Birthday EG!!

The whole labor and delivery story is posted somewhere else. I will not bore you with the details. Plus, I just got through telling it to the kids. EG didn't care but Nature Girl and Little Mama did. Just a few pictures to share from the last few days . . .

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Preparations . . .

That is what today is. Hubby, leaves tomorrow, for his annual hunting trip to the Frozen Tundra. This year he is going for about 3 extra days so will be gone for about 9 total. He is also driving this year, which he usually flies.

This is a big deal for us, and for him. He doesn't ever travel. Which I am really very thankful for. I am absolutely, positively able to take care of us for the days he is gone. It really isn't much different then when he is here. But, I know I have said before, he is my security blanket. He is a firm foundation. I just know that when I am in a jam he is there for me. In true superhero fashion. No matter what. He is my go to guy. That extra helping hand when things get overwhelming. And you just never know when that is going to happen. The one person who can really calm me down. Put things in perspective. Did I mention that where he is going doesn't have cell service??

So, it always takes me a day or two to get over the feeling of "there is something missing." I always pray for him to be safe and have a GREAT time. And I pray for me to be safe and SURVIVE the time.

In the 10 years he has been going and the almost 20 years (how can THAT be??) that we have known each other, I have learned to just gracefully except that this is what he does. No matter what. (Remember two years ago this trip was planned for 2 days after EG's due date!) He is the true hunter/gatherer. And, because of kids, time and cost, it really is the only hunting he does. Which is a far cry from when we were first married.

Well, anyway, back to preparations. Happy hunting honey, shoot us that trophy buck ! ! !

Friday, November 12, 2010

Approaching . . .

I think I am going to share a little of my heart today. Not too much. Just a little. This weekend is bittersweet. My baby girl will be 2 on Sunday. Gosh, it seems like just yesterday I was fixin' to have this baby with just hubby in the delivery room.

As I have said before, each kid's delivery has been so indicative of their personality. But, that isn't what this is about. It is about contentment and getting old and moving on and changing my role in life. And, not knowing what the future brings.

Every time I see a young mom with a passel of kids and pregnant again, I get this feeling in my belly. Kind of a wishing or a longing. To be in that place again. Fat and sassy with a blessing straight from God growing in my belly.

Hubby gets nervous because he knows me so well, he knows what is coming next. He has told me three times before he is done. And, thanks be to God, and hubby not being all that firm, we have been blessed with some awesomely amazing children. And, through those children, I have learned to love so much more. I have learned what true patience is. I have been a part of a miracle over and over and over and over again.

As I approach the birthday of my baby, my last baby turning two, I am sooooo thoughtful and thankful because I honestly don't know what we would have done without her. I think if you were to ask all the kids they would grin from ear to ear and have a sparkle in their eye and say "life would be so boring." She is just icing on a very delicious cake for us.

I am old and I am tired. And every time someone asks me if we are going to have another baby my response is "most likely not, but if it happens I would be thrilled." But, even though I am old and I truly believe we have a complete family, I sometimes feel a little twinge because that part of my life is over.

I am a slow learner and so wished I would have realized so much sooner, how quickly these days pass. Babies are babies for such a little, little time. They grow into thoughtful, beautiful young boys and girls. But, there is just something about a baby.

As I lay awake last night, praying for a friend, I also said a little prayer for me. That I would gracefully accept where I am in life. That I will embrace it and cherish it and enjoy all the stages of family life. It is time for us/me to move on. I know God has a great and glorious plan for each one of us. So am going to spend my thoughts and prayers on seeking His will for me now . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Isn't This Cool?

My hubby can drive me crazy. We are alike in a few ways and different in a lot of ways. But, one thing I will give him, is, he is very handy and he loves tools. Woodworking is his latest hobby. He made this all by himself, with a little help from the YouTube videos of the Woodwhisperer.

It think it is very pretty. And, I am very proud . . .

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MOWs Clients

Because we deliver, every week, to the same clients now, we really are beginning to develop a friendship with them. In fact, two weeks ago, when at the last minute, we were not able to do our route most of them ask where we had been.

Mr. W is a little leprechaun looking man. He is always in a good mood. But, doesn't really need anybody to talk to. He is always very pleasant, though. I think he might have been a professor. His carport and house are full of books. Plus, he has a school parking sticker on his car.

Mrs. H is in her 90s and has no one, really. She has problems with one of her eyes because of one to many surgeries. But, she is always very sweet. One time she wasn't feeling well and I asked her if she had someone she could call if she needed to. She said she didn't. I knew that MOWs would deliver to her the next day, but I worried about her all night long.

Mr. E just got out of the hospital, I think. He was absent for some time from our route and showed back up today. But, a home health care worker came to the door instead. The last time we brought his meal, he had tadpoles growing and fish, in a cooler on his porch. They weren't there today. The kids were a little disappointed not to see them.

Mrs. M has her son come to the door to get her meal. We have only met her once. Maybe twice.

Mrs. M was a great painter. Her living room is filled with them. The kids' favorite is one she did of a rose. It really is good. And she just loves to visit, especially with the kids. We talk about all kinds of things. She never had any children. And, just like many of the others, her husband passed away a number of years ago. She is in a wheelchair but seems very active. She has shared with us that her sister is moving to Florida. And she seems very happy about that.

Mr. F was shot down twice in WWII. He was in the Death March. He has told me several times he went into the camp at 160lbs and came out 90lbs. He loves to talk with us and has invited us, numerous times, to come in and visit. He has lots of WWII memorabilia that he would love to share with us and he says he loves kids. But, because of EG I have had to pass. Maybe one day we will just hang out in his front yard. He has four children as well. Of course, all but one are retired!

Mr. N is probably every one's favorite. He absolutely adores the kids. And loves to see them smile. We have talked about religion and politics and days gone by. We probably spend the most time with him. Today we changed his clocks for him and met his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. His house, which is really neat, is heated by a wood burning stove. It also has real wood paneling, which looks pretty sharp.

Mrs. W is new. We have only visited her house three times. She seems very nice as well.

The last place we deliver is Mr and Mrs K. She is a very sweet elderly lady. And most every time we are there, her husband is just sitting in a rocking chair combing his hair. They don't drink the milk that is provided so we make an effort to bring them juice. I ask her every week if there is anything I can do for them and every week she says me no. Although sometimes I feel that there is.

I don't know how long we will be doing this. We take it week by week. I do know this, though, I am glad that we have the opportunity to visit with them and they are truly becoming friends . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Homeschool Schedule

Three months into the year, it looks something like this:

7:30-8:30 Rise and shine, quiet time, breakfast and AM chores
8:30-9:00 Reading through the bible and prayer time
9:00-9:15 Habit Training (Peacemakers)
9:15-9:30 Geography (50 states); Foreign Language (Spanish) or Latin/Greek roots
9:30-10:00 Math (15 minutes with each girl)
10:00-10:30 Chore/Snack/Free time
10:30-10:45 Reading Lesson and Poetry with Little Mama (100 Easy Lessons & Walter de la Mare)
10:45-11:00 History Little Mama (Trial and Triumph, Our Island Story, Burgess Bird Book for Animals)
11:00-11:15 Literature with Nature Girl (The Children of the New Forest, Parables of Nature, Heroes, Shakespeare)
11:15-11:30 Literature with Little Mama (Family Under the Bridge, Shakespeare, Parables of Nature, Misty of Chincoteague, Blue Fairy Book)
11:30-11:45 Science (Flying Creatures of the 5th Day-bats)
11:45-12:30 Lunch and Free time
12:30-1:00 History with Nature Girl (This Country of Ours, Island Story, Marco Polo)
1:00-1:30 Preschool with Boop
1:30-2:00 Language Arts, Finish up any work, EG nap time
2:00-3:00 Reading and Rest time
3:00-3:30 PM chore and snack
3:30-4:00 Individual kid time
4:00-4:30 Finish laundry/clean up
4:30-5:00 Play with all the kids
5:00-5:30 Hubby time
5:30-6:30 Dinner prep
6:30-8:00 Various chores and free time
8:00-8:30 Bath for all, bedtime for EG
8:30-9:00 Read with big kids (one night a week, one kid gets to stay up late with me, depending on whose week it is)
9:00 Bedtime for the rest ;)

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday look like this, for the most part. Monday ballet, Wednesday MOW, dinner and service at church. We use Wednesdays to catch up on stuff or do art/composure study or timeline or mapwork or nature study or whatever needs attention. I love Tuesdays and Thursdays. We usually don't go anywhere. Fridays tend to be relaxed, especially if it is daddy's day off. Having a "set" schedule has really helped me this year get through a lot of stuff. It works for us, right now . . . .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Becoming More Purposeful

A few things we are doing to become more purposeful with our time, talents and treasures:

We are sponsoring a 12 year old boy from Ethiopia through Compassion International. The kids will get to write back and forth with him.

Hubby is going to double the size of our garden. Half of our crops will be donated to the local homeless shelter.

We are going to sacrificially collect money in our missions' jar for our friends who have taken 5 of their youngest children to China to teach English to the Chinese on campus and to share the love of Jesus.

We have committed to pray everyday for a specific country in the world and to continue to read the word of God.

These are just few of the commitments we have made as a family for the next year. And so excited to see how God uses our obedience to further His kingdom . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Silent Sunday

K, so, not Silent Sunday. I got home yesterday from our little club meeting and shopping spree with the girls and saw blond hair in the drive way. Hair cut, courtesy of daddy. It has taken me a little while to get use to it. But, I like it . . .

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Every year we need to take the kids to a tailgate. How fun! The kids had a great time and isn't that all that matters. Last year, we took them to the first-game-of-the-season tailgate. And it was soooo hot. We didn't stay long.

This year, homecoming tailgate, was perfect weather. Sunny, breezy and about 60 degrees. My sister outdid herself, again. I think she really loves being the hostess! She had a little wings hiccup but we rescued her with wings from the local grocery store. There were meatballs and pigs in a blanket and chips and cookies.

Her friends were great with the kids. Playing a beanbag toss game with them. And just being nice. Talking with them and tickling them. I wish I would have got a picture. But, I figure I am doing good just to get us there.

We ate and played and left just at the right time. Nap time and other plans. Little Mama had an invitation to a club. And it isn't very often just she gets an invitation.

One of these days we would love to take the kids to a game. But, for as much as they want for tickets, it is going to be a long time before all six of us will be able to do that. In the meantime, we will enjoy the yearly invitations to the tailgates from Sissy . . .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Last Few Days

Have flown by. And the scary thing is, we haven't really done anything out of the ordinary. Just life. I haven't even had the opportunity to formulate a blog post in my mind. One really great thing though, is fall is finally here! I had to wear a jacket! That is exciting to me!!

Anyway, I have a few blog posts in the works, but they take too much thought! And actual time to type out. Tomorrow is an actual a busy day. Grocery store in the AM, birthday party (which we thought was today), tailgate, tea party and then Sonny's and finishing our Monopoly game we started tonight. And some where in there we will watch the game.

Well, it is way past kiddos bedtimes, so I really must run. Hope everyone is enjoying the first week of November. Can some one please tell me where all the time goes?? Enjoy the weekend . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


National November Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a novel in a month. They have a kids program. And Little Mama and Nature Girl have taken the challenge. It was suggested to us by a friend of mine and I thought it would be fun.

Starting November 1st, until midnight November 30th, the girls are to write a whole novel on their own. The get to pick the genre, the title and are given suggested word counts. I think Little Mama picked like 200 words and Nature Girl picked liked 700.

They started writing Monday and haven't stopped. They both have decided they will be way over their word counts! The premise is just to write. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation or even if it makes sense at times. Just write. For 30 days.

If I understand correctly, once the book is submitted to NaNoWriMo YP, we will have a couple months to make corrections and revision etc. I think I will use their corrections and revisions as lessons in grammar etc. Anyway, then some how a book cover is made and it gets published. I honestly have no idea how the last part works. I will learn as I go.

I am just excited the kids took to it like they did. And, after reading some of Little Mama's (well reading it as she dictates it to me), I was really impressed with her thought process and creativity. Nature Girl has her writing in a notebook and carries it with her so I haven't had the opportunity to read it or hear it yet.

I have registered also. At the kids request. But, I don't have the option of a flexible word count. I have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I think that is somewhere around 1,200 words a day. I can tell you right now, that ain't gonna happen. I tried to write Monday for about a half hour. Liked where I was going, but just for fun counted the words and it was like 300. I guess there will be a season in life for that as well.

But, in the meantime, I am going to do what I can to encourage the girls to finish what they started and to see what happens . . .

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If We Can Do It

So can you. It is voting day. And we have been so blessed to live in a country where we are allowed to choose who runs our government. We went at 7 AM this morning to vote as a family, before daddy went to work. We want our kids to understand the importance and responsibility they will some day have as a citizen of this great nation.

Yes, it is important to vote, but we also know that God is in control. We just need to do our part. So, if I can have all six of us out the door at 7:01 to do our civic duty, so can you. Happy Decision Day . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

We had our annual Fall Festival/Halloween party last night. We had great fun and great food. And the kids had a blast too!

EG was ladybug. And she loved getting dressed up to get her picture taken. But, by the time all the guests got to the house, she had taken off the whole costume and ended up trick or treating in pants and a t-shirt.

Little Mama was an angel, so fitting.

Nature Girl was a ninja. I still am not sure where she got that from.

Boop originally was going to be a pirate and we bought the costume and everything. But, at the last minute, wanted to be the dinosaur he was last year. I LOVED that costume so I was totally cool with that. He promises he will be the pirate next year. I promise someone will be a pirate.

We had two other ninjas, a wood nymph, a biker, the whole cast from The Wizard of Oz, and all the inmates from cell block H.

I think we had a total of 15 kids trick or treating together. And most of them have been trick or treating together for about 5 years. I think that is the part I love the most. The friends. Well, honestly, though, the stolen candy from the kids is not bad either . . .