Sunday, July 31, 2011


Boop will be starting Kindergarten this year. Crazy. But, even more exciting than that is, I got to take him school shopping for the very first time. He offered to let EG come with. But, as I explained to him, he and I don't ever get to go anywhere together. And, that's a fact. So he was cool with it just being the two of us.

So, I asked him where he wanted to go. Of course he wanted to know where the girlies went. So I told him Target and that is were he wanted to go. I let him decided what he wanted to look at first. And he decided school supplies.

He had a real hard time deciding what he wanted. There were a couple of things that I felt he had to have, like pencils. But, other than that, I didn't care what he got, as long as he could use it. Just like the others he had to have a notebook, binder and folder. His didn't have to match but he had such a tough time choosing between sport logos and animals and cartoon pictures.

He ended up with a Star Wars prayer/quiet time journal. A folder and notebook with a yellow Lamborghini on it (my personal fav) and a binder with a tiger on it. He also got crayons, pens, colored pencils, markers, erasers, a ruler, scissors and a pencil box. He got a little bit more because he didn't really have anything. Plus, I think those are things all kids should have for their first day of "school."

Taking him clothes shopping was the easy part. He got to pick two shirts on his own. Both I liked. Both t-shirts. I picked him out a few plain t-shirts because they were on sale. Then he got two pair of shorts. One was the cotton sports kind and the other was camo cargo shorts. I thought NG was hard to fit. Boop has not grown in width in years. But, he has grown in height. Waist band and shoulder width wise he can keep wearing the clothes he has. But length wise on the shorts and the t-shirts he needs bigger sizes. The boy eats. But, he doesn't get any thicker. Just taller and just like his daddy I am told!

Of course, he doesn't care what the clothes look like. Or even if he got any new clothes. But, it had been awhile since he had any. So we made the effort. He is such a cutie!

Lastly we looked for a movie. We are currently on the search for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. No luck. But he did get a Cherry Icee. All was right with the world. He really is such a special boy. And I am glad he and I got some one on one time .. . .

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Little Mama's Day

So, yesterday morning was Little Mama's shopping day. There is a definite difference between the two girls. Little Mama is easy to please. She likes cute clothes that reflect her age. When she picks things out, whether it is a notebook or a t-shirt, she asks me if I like it or which one I like better.

I give her my honest opinion, but tell her it is up to her. Very rarely does she pick things that I just don't like. She had to have a matching folder, notebook and binder as well. Hers has horses though.

She is pretty decisive. Doesn't take a lot of time trying to pick things out. She knows what she like, picks it out and then moves on. She isn't too picky. Kind of nice shopping like that! (Kind of like me!)

She talked nonstop. About anything and everything.

And her treat was a Cherry Slushy.

I don't get much time with her alone. And she really, really craves that. So, it was a good excuse to spend a little time with my Little Mama . . .

Friday, July 29, 2011

Takin' A Break

Last week as we were rushing around on Wednesday (MOWs and our tutoring), hubby politely suggested we take a break from MOWs.

We have been doing it for well over a year. I think it might even be close to two. Anyway, we needed a break. It has been really hot for all of us and hard on EG. She is all two and is potty training which can make things a little unpleasant sitting in a car seat for over two hours. And she is still too young to come with me to the doors.

Plus, sometimes the needs and prayer requests of our clients weigh on me. In most cases we do what we can. But, you know.

So, instead of just quitting, which I am not sure I want to or should do, we just decided to take the month of August off.

Maybe when we start back, it won't be so hot . . .

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Worship On Wednesday

So, there is this guy in our church. He is a convicted felon. And during one of our church's musical presentations he was part of it and gave his testimony. His testimony, in a nutshell, was how God loves each and everyone of us. He sent His Son to die for each and everyone of us. So, that, each and every one of us could have eternal life. No matter who we are or what we have done. And, as part of his testimony, he took his rap sheet, fashioned it into a cross and hung it out there for everyone to see. It was pretty profound.

Last night, at WOW (Worship on Wednesday), he was part of my prayer group. (We huddle up in small groups during the first 10 or so minutes of our service to pray out loud.) When he prayed he said something that spoke right to me. He gave thanks to God for the privilege of receiving God's gift of eternal life through the death of His Son Jesus Christ.

Privilege. I have to say, that isn't a word that I would have used to describe my faith. Not that it isn't a privilege. I just never looked at it that way. At least not that I can remember. I am sure I have used that word to describe the ability I have to practice my faith. But not the actual gift itself. I don't know. That word just spoke volumes to me at that moment.

For me, at times, it can be real easy to take for granted the life that I have in Christ. Yes, it is a gift of grace and mercy and salvation from God, but it is a privilege and an honor to live for the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. My thoughts, deeds, words and actions should reflect that wonderful privilege.

I am thankful for God's mercy because I fall so short of living out that privilege. But, that word has set a new goal before me. . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I hate to say anything, but, for the last two nights EG has slept through the night! In fact, we have had no little people in our bedroom, at all, for the last two nights. First time in weeks and weeks and weeks. Now, this is how it all happened.

We finally got the mattress we ordered for EG to sleep on. It fits under our existing bunk beds in the girls' room. We bought her a matching sheet and the big girls slide it out at night and push it in in the morning. So that is where she is sleeping now. I guess she just likes being with some one. Little Mama has offered that if she does wake up at night, EG can sleep with her. (So typical of Little Mama! She is going to make a fantastic wife and mother!)

Boop finally got to sleep back in his own room after two years. At first, he didn't like it. He kind of fussed and wanted me to stay with him. But, after some cajoling and leaving a light or two on, he fell asleep. He also has slept through the night!

I know nothing lasts forever. And I am not counting on this being the end to midnight visitors. But, it sure has been nice to wake up all by myself in the morning (well, with hubby too).

I will confess, though, one thing, I am a little sad. Part of the excuse of letting EG sleep with me was that she wouldn't be a baby forever. She would grow up and need me less and less. And, because she is the last, I was willing to let some of the bad habits slide.

No matter how hard I try, they all just keep growing up. So, so not prepared for it . . . .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Morning with Nature Girl

This morning was all about Nature Girl. She had a PT appointment to help her stop walking on her tip toes. She has been doing it since she could walk.

The PT was so cool! I loved her. She explained to NG why she needed to do the four exercises she explained to us. NG has to do at least one of the exercises four times a day. Possibly for life. They are pretty easy (easy for me to say.) But, I explained to the PT that I don't want to battle with her about it.

So, she took the time to talk with NG and explain how important it is and she gave us some tools to make it work. She told me to make a spreadsheet that is divided into four times a day. When she does her exercises she checks it off. At the end of the week she brings me her sheet and if she has done what she is suppose to then she gets, for example, a bag of M&Ms.

The PT told her not to make it a battle for me. And that it will help her in the long run. But, honestly, isn't that with everything we do as a parent!

After a great appointment, I took NG school shopping. We headed to Target. We looked at clothes and toys, of course. Then we headed to the school supply aisle. I let the kids pick out basically what they want. Every year NG gets a matching dog binder, folder and notebook. This year she got colored pens, some regular pencils and a pretty journal for her prayer/quiet time.

She tried on some clothes, but nothing really fit because she is so tall and thin. We did manage to get her clothes for a jazz/tap class she is taking in the fall. She didn't really care about not getting an outfit. I told her we would try again some other day somewhere else. We kind of needed to get home because Grandma was on her way for a visit. She was cool with that. She can be pretty easy going!

So, as a final treat she and I got Carmel Frappicinos. I really, really enjoyed spending a little bit of time with her today. She is growing up so, so fast . . .

Monday, July 25, 2011

We Did It

We made it to my friends house and back with no major incident whatsoever. It actually was a really nice drive and we had a great time visiting with old friends.

The kids played dodge ball, swam, watched movies, and play Wii just to name a few things. We all played the new UNO game together which was lots of fun. (Note to self for Christmas.)

We ate fabulous food. My friend is an awesome cook and baker. We had homemade pizza and bread and cinnamon rolls and spaghetti and hamburgers.

She is my friend who I learned about milling wheat and baking bread from. So, we spend a little bit of time working on my skills and learning some new ones. So that was really cool!

We hung out and talked. Tried to answer all of life's questions. Talked about homeschooling and family life with four kids. She has four as well. Hers are all boys! I think she enjoyed having some girls around for a change.

There home is beautiful and is in a really pretty part of the country. Who knew North Alabama had so many rolling hills. The kids were amazed. We also found out it snows there! Over looking their pool is one of those big rolling hills and I can just imagine the view in the fall and winter is spectacular.

I don't have any pictures. Which is really disappointing. With three adults and eight kids ranging in age from 10 to 10 months, it just never seemed like the right time. Oh well. We have the pictures in our memories. And some day we will go back.

Yes, we enjoyed venturing out to see our friends. But, the whole thing was kind of liberating. We are at the stage where we can DO things, kind of hassle free and THAT was kind of cool.

It opens up all kinds of possibilities for the future. . .

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Adventure

The kids and I are off to visit a friend 5 hours away and in a different state. We have traveled to Grandma's by ourselves, but I can do that drive with my eyes closed. I know every stop, exit, town, road etc. between my house and hers.

This is the first time we are venturing away from home to the great unknown. The kids are extremely excited. They are up and at it all ready. We have a full morning and we will leave right after lunch.

My only concern will be EG. The beauty of it is, my friend has four kids of her own. So, the house is definitely childproof!! So, for the next three days it will be good friends and eight kids and a pool and nothing to do.

Sounds like a plan for some good talks, a bit of fun and maybe a little bit of relaxation. . .

Monday, July 18, 2011

Change it Up

As we get closer to the beginning of another school year, I am constantly evaluating what we have done and what I want to do. I really, in tangible terms, have no idea what the kids have learned. Although, we have notebooks full of papers and have read tons of great books. And, we are learning how to serve others.

But, if we are lacking in one area or if there is an area that I want to improve upon is, making school more fun. I don't like hearing my kids say they don't like school. I have no doubt part of it is, they are kids, they are programmed deep down to not like school! But, we homeschool. Part of the deal was it was suppose to be more fun!

But, I want to change that. I want the things that they dislike doing the most, to at least be tolerable. I know that is asking a lot, but, I think with a little perseverance, patience and a little creativity, it might be possible.

For my part, I need to ease up on a schedule. Not be so worried about getting things done and more concerned about what we are learning during the process. Boop will be "in school" this year so there isn't going to be any spare time. We are way behind in the curriculum we are using and there is no possible way we will catch up. (As I am sure I have mentioned before, the curriculum we use is pretty advanced anyway.) So, I am at the point of why try. Let's just read and learn without the pressure of doing, reading and learning in some prescribed chunk of time.

If I can make learning fun, then they will have a love of learning their whole lives. I really am going to do the best I can, have low expectations but high goals and let God fill in the gaps. And have LOTS of fun doing it . . .

Friday, July 15, 2011

All My Girls

We are transitioning EG from a crib to a big bed. She has been taking her "naps" in the twin bed. So, last night on the way home from our outings EG asks "Can I sleep in the twin bed tonight?" My response "I don't know. Let's call daddy and ask." I called, twice, no answer. It was getting close to bed time. She said "Call daddy again." I hate to bug him, but I did and he answered. He said "sure." So, she did and stayed in it all night. Of course, I had to visit her twice. But, she seemed really to like the twin bed!

Last night we went to a local old fashion ice cream parlor with Sissy. Part of the reason the kids like it is because they sell little puzzle erasers. (They really are cute.) The last time we were there, one of Little Mama's friends offered to buy her one because she didn't have any money. So, last night Little Mama bought that friend one to give her. Just because her friend was so kind to her. Little Mama is so thoughtful and caring and kind.

When we got home, Nature Girl asked me which eraser was my favorite. I told her I liked the elephant and the bus and the eggplant, the fish and a couple more. I told her they were actually little toys that I liked. I thought they were cute. A little while later she came out of her room and gave me her newest puzzle eraser. I knew she liked it so I graciously excepted it and said we could share.

It is little glimmers of the people they are growing into, that make this all worth while . . .

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh No, Not Yet

EG is trying so hard to give up her nap. It has been almost a week since she has slept in the afternoon. She needs the sleep. I need the break.

I love, love, love her but quiet time/rest time/nap time is a must for me to make it through the day.

I have moved her from her crib to the twin bed at nap time so she won't call for me the entire hour. She will lay in the bed, play with her blankets, books, stuffed animals and pillows. She doesn't get out. Which really is a surprise to me.

She doesn't sleep either. I can't make her sleep and I tell her she doesn't have to, she just has to be quiet, play quietly, rest and stay in her bed. She makes it for about an hour. I keep hoping she will fall asleep. But, she doesn't.

It has made for some cranky days and long evenings. She had a melt down with the babysitter last night. And, her potty accidents have increased.

Oh, I am just not ready for this yet . . .

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Status Quo

I don't believe in the status quo for me or my family. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean that is the way we have to do it. I believe with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the instruction in God's word, we can do and be different.

I love being, thinking, acting different. For the right reasons, of course. Not just to be different. But to honor and glorify God with my thoughts and actions. And to love others. (Although I fail miserably most days!) One thing I want my kids to understand and contemplate is, they do not have to whatever everyone else is doing. Just because everyone else is doing it.

I want them to have the skills, knowledge, wisdom and desire to do what they need to do, because that is what they need to do. God has called each one of us to special tasks. A special life. Does that make sense?

As we are called and led by the Holy Spirit, we are many times going to be doing, thinking and acting differently or just the opposite of everyone else. Be in the world but not of this world.

That goes for my faith as well. I do not want my children to blindly follow my faith and beliefs. At some point, it has to become their faith and beliefs. And, I trust with all my heart, if my children choose to question my beliefs, that God can and will answer any doubts they may have, in His own timing.

As believers, we each develop our own unique, individual, personal relationship with Jesus. And, I just don't think it necessarily leads to the status quo . . .

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Newest Adventure

This is the second week that the kids and I have been volunteering at an enrichment and academic program that is sponsored, in part, by our church.

The lady who directs it use to meet in a local park after school and during the summer. Kids flocked to her program to continue learning during non school hours. It kept them off the streets, out of trouble and gave them a little extra help to succeed in school.

Our youth pastor and a few folks from our church would volunteer. Then "they" closed the park one summer and the program had no where to go. In steps our church. They opened their doors to the after school program and the summer program.

Anyway, this summer I decided with some of our free time, we would volunteer. To do whatever they needed us to do. And I had no idea what that would be. Finally, we were able to meet with the director and she let us know that she needed help with some kids who were struggling with reading. Which was right up my alley!

So now three times a week for about an hour to an hour and a half, we meet with three boys and work on strengthening their reading skills. Boop and Little Mama actually participate with us and Nature Girl watches EG.

Our time together is spent reviewing phonics and sight words. We play "reading games" and do puzzles. They have a little bit of free play. Each boy gets a chance to read with me individually and we have a book that I read to them. And then they get to draw and color.

Today I am bringing a board game to play if they all work hard.

I will admit, it is way more challenging then I thought it would be. At their age they are feeling the pressure of having to learn to read. And it is no longer fun. I don't know how successful I will be. My personal goal is to try to help them understand that reading is great fun and a gateway to all the information and questions they will have in life.

I hope, for their sakes, they are a little better off for the time we are able to spend with them. And I am thankful we have the time to serve . . .

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July

At the church. Again this year. For the 8th year in a row. And, it was great. As always.

It poured. Like a monsoon. Right before.

Daddy went up to the church first. To scout us out a place. But ended up staying in the car. Waiting for the storm to blow over.

When it did, he called us. We went up. And sat in the car for about 15 minutes. Just to make sure the rain had passed.

Then we found our place on the hill. With our friends. It was wet. And very, very muddy. So muddy our shoes would get stuck. And come off.

But, the kids loved playing in it. And it didn't stop them from running around. And jumping on the bounce house. Or eating. With friends. It didn't stop us. From eating. And hanging out with friends.

I had to work the coke tent for a couple of hours. And I LOVED doing that. Getting to meet and greet and be friendly to all the different kinds of people who come to hang and watch the show.

The music was fabulous. The rain stayed away. And the fireworks were spectacular. One of my favorite summer holidays . . .

Monday, July 4, 2011

Family Fun Night

The other night we went to Family Night Bowling with our church. And had a blast! The kids had never been and it has been at least 15 years since hubby and I had been.

It is crazy because everything is computerized now. And they had bumpers for the kids so they wouldn't get gutter balls all the time. Boop was the incredible competitor. Nature Girl got a little frustrated because she couldn't quite get the hang of it. But, by the time we were at the end of our second game she had definitely improved.

Our Kidz Connect word for the month is perseverance. So, I kept telling the kids "way to persevere!" Little Mama kept giving it her best shot and did pretty darn good. Never got discouraged! And just had fun!

EG did great! I thought for sure she would try to chase the ball down the alley but she never did. She never even wanted to "bowl." She had a couple of friends there, too, so she played with them.

There were a bunch of families there. And everyone had a great time, near as I could tell.

Hubby got into a groove by the last couple frames of our last game. I never did get into a groove. Unless you count consistent gutter balls!

We had a blast. And will probably try to bowl again before the summer is over . . .

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011


We are painting the big girls's room. Again. Everyone, including daddy is sick of the pepto pink. We picked out a nice light, light, light teal. It matches one of the polka dots on their bodypillow pillowcases.

This morning we are going to look for bunk beds with a trundle. Little girl, hopefully moving in with big girls sometime soon. Hoping it will cure sleeping issues. Haven't had much luck with anything else.

Great food this weekend to celebrate the 4th. Brats, ribs, veggies from the garden, corn on the cob, watermelon. Yum, yum!!

Awesome movie rented for the kids last night, Nim's Island. I just love when my expectations for a movie are low and it turns out to be one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I highly recommend it.

Family bowling with other families from church tomorrow night. Should be fun. The kids have never been bowling and hubby and I haven't been bowling in over 15 years! Not sure what EG will think of it.

Fourth of July fireworks at the church Monday night. So thankful that the fireworks at the church have been successful. It is such a great place to bring the family. And the fireworks are spectacular!

Yesterday we went to a Baroque exhibit at a local museum with some friends. It was really cool. They made it very kid friendly by having a scavenger hunt. The kids, of all ages, had a great time examining the art trying to find their clues. The "guide" stayed with us the whole time telling us about the paintings and sharing tidbits of information and giving clues to the hunt. (And making sure no little figures touched the paintings!)

Yesterday the girls had their end of school year evaluations. They passed!! ;) We love our evaluator. She has known us awhile and she understands the whole process. I am excited for her because she will be homeschooling in the fall as well!

Just a few happenings this holiday weekend. . .