Thursday, September 27, 2007

the path of divorce

After being gone for two months, my Mom came back and moved all of her stuff out today. With my help. It was like driving nails into a coffin.

The hearing is in less than two weeks, then alimony will start and the divorce will be final.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a spider and school work

Okay, and here are some misc shots from the week. Fred and the kids found a humongous spider when they were clenaing up branches by the shed. YIKES!!

Here is Isabelle being a great big sister, and one of her working on embroidery:

Ethan concentrating on his short vowel worksheet of the day.

And my I love NY baby.

Trevor didn't make it into this set of pictures, because he would NOT sit or stand still!!!

sitting up "all by self"

I'm getting behind on blogging. Probably because I'm behind on everything: school papers, bills, laundry... and blogging just doesn't land at the top of the list.

I do have to post these pictures, though, of my littlest guy sitting on his own. These were taken a week (maybe two) ago. He's my first baby to sit on his own before 6-months old. He's even steadier now, after perfecting this new found skill.

Oh, and he also has a tooth (again, this is old news, as it happened a few weeks ago), and his next tooth is about to break through. I haven't been able to get a picture of that yet, because his tongue is always in the way. ;-)

Why do babies get so big so fast??!!! How does time go by so quickly.

He says "dadada" whenever we do. He will also mimic clicking noises with his tongue, and he will stick out his tongue and blow (you know, like "nah nah boo boo you can't catch me") whenever we do it. Just too cute!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Freedom Friday

You know, laughter really is the best medicine. :-D I laughed so much tonight that my face got sore! (I'm sure anyone who spends much time around Suzanne and her clan has also experienced this!) And, oh, the stories I have to tell now! (heh heh)
I feel more "normal" now, knowing that there's someone out there like me. Poor Suzanne.

And now... drum roll... here are my pictures:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Emotional Roller Coaster

Where to begin?
It was an interesting day today. We did our Sonlight Bible today, with a twist. For our Exodus lesson, I had the kids write and illustrate their own little books about the ten plagues. Let me tell you, there were some very interesting pictures in there (think: dead fish floating in a river of blood.) Hmmm... maybe not the best idea?

We did a unit approach for the rest of the lessons, just to shake things up and have some fun. Ants. All about Ants. We made finger print ants with our ink pad, we figured out how much weight we could lift if we had the strength of ants (20-50X body weight). Ethan's favorite was our ant experiment on what kinds of food they like best. Cheetos won. Who knew? Then we graphed those results. Fun, fun. We did our regular worksheets, too, and reading, but I'm glad that I took the time today to do more "neat stuff."

So all that was fine and good. No kid problems, except for Trevor pooping in the bathtub. I looked forward to the book study all day. Tonight was our last one :-( but it was fun, with yummy brownies, pumpkin cookies, banana split dessert and ice-cream. Yum, Yum.

But it's hard to switch between happy mommy, loving wife, and concerned daughter. I am just riding a roller coaster with my parents. Things seem to be going along a semi-smooth track for a bit. I'm lulled. Then I get that wake up call again that things are not okay. Why am I surprised? Why so upset? And, really, most of the time I'm okay, but tonight I did get upset. I just want to kick myself for becoming complacent again.

Just pray for our family for the next few weeks, and the long haul. Things have changed and will never be the same again. It's hard to look into an unknown future, especially while mourning the past on some level. Maybe they both really will be happier. I'll be okay with the change, but the new road needs to start having some consistency to it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Life with a 2-year old

Okay, so we were just eating lunch. Trevor was taking his sweet time eating, so he ended up being at the table by himself when I started dishes. He decided to turn around in his chair to talk to me, and got his knee stuck between the wooden bars of the chair. Go figure. I worked and worked at that, and finally got his leg free after lotioning his leg, knee, and the chair. Well, at least everything smells all nice and lavender-y now!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday- chickens

After nap time today, we went to Fred's Dad's house. The kids love visiting Nanny and Papa. Oliver got in some good cuddling time.

The bigger kids pet some chickens

and a kitty

and found a frog.

We're "nature people" and spend a lot of time outside, and these things really fascinate the kids. I almost wish we could live out in the country and have some pets that could just stay outside. Suzanne, maybe someday we'll get a pig like yours. ;-) I'm really not an animal person at all, but I love to see the kids so interested in something.

Nanny and Papa also made some yummy popcorn. Has anyone seen the powder stuff that you sprinkle on popcorn, in different flavors, like Ranch? Weird. I'd never tried it before, it it's very yummy. Ethan asked if I could put it on my WMart list.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to the MUMs coupon meeting. I'm getting anal about saving money. Maybe I can take some pointers from the pros.


Ah, Sunday. Have you ever noticed that Sunday mornings are just chaotic. I always lay out our clothes the night before, and get shoes ready, bags packed, even hair bows put on the bathroom counter. But things take time, and I always feel rushed. Fred likes to buy donuts every Sunday morning and that leaves me to get kids ready while he's at the store. I'm not griping, because that also means that I don't have to cook!

I'm the "receptor" at church now, which means that I check the kids in before they head to their classes. I'm not really sure why I'm supposed to do this. I'm not giving the parents tags to pick their child up. It would make more sense to me to have the SS teachers give the parents tags when they drop the child off and then a "discharger" releases the child to the parent with the tag after class. But what do I know? I just do as I'm told. I've stirred up enough already, so maybe I should just keep my mouth shut.

But two other quick questions about church:
1) Does every church now have Nintendo-type games set up? Is it the norm for churches to pay $300+ to have these new Wii nintendo things in the children's church? Am I just out of touch? What's the point of that?
2) Do girls still wear dresses and skirts to church? Should they? Should they be required to wear shorts underneath, or slacks, for the times in class that they are doing jumping jacks and going down steep out-of-the-ceiling slides? Hmmm... Again, I think I'm just out of touch here. I certainly don't mind Isabelle wearing shorts under her dresses, but I think she should be dressed up for church. It shows respect and signifies that this is an important, worshipful event.

Friday, September 14, 2007

MM and Suzanne

Had a fun day going to the Mothering Matters picnic. Adelia, your mom is so super sweet! I enjoyed talking to her, and I hope she can move back from Denver.

It was nice to talk to Jennifer, too, and meet her little kiddos. And I do mean "little." You've got some petite little munchkins! :-) Your little boy reminds me of my friend October's son, Diego.

As I walked around chatting with people and playing with the kids, I realized just how many people I've met through Suzanne. Girl, you have a LOT of connections. I guess that's because you are so sweet, funny, generous, and very humble. You laugh everyday at everything, including yourself. I'm trying to take a lesson from that. Anyway, I appreciate you making me feel so welcome in all of your circles.

Even in the homeschooling group, I had felt alone for a long time. I thought I was the youngest mom doing it, the most inexperienced. I lacked confidence. It didn't help that many of my well-meaning friends were very defensive about the public schools, so I couldn't really talk about any difficulties I was having with home education.

But I feel like God has answered so many of my prayers: for peace with our decision, headway with schooling, enthusiastic kids who want to learn, and wonderful friends who encourage and comfort and give advice. I love you all. I appreciate you all. Thank you, Suzanne, for expanding my circle and making me feel like such a wanted part of everything. :-)

And, of course, now here are a few of my park pictures!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

he sure is full of it

It was a good day overall today, but I had an unexpected explosion. A diaper explosion, that is. I should have known I was in for trouble when Oliver started grunting in his supersaucer seat. But I had no idea.

The kid was covered in poop. Ugh. And he had on pants and a onsie, so it just got everywhere when I tried to remove his clothes. It's not like I don't have experience changing diapers. I babysat for years before I got married. I even worked off and on in a daycare down the street. And this is my fourth baby.

Anyway, he decided to stick his hand into the poop and smear it on his face. UGH!! I decided to just strip him and carry him under the arms to the tub. Isabelle helped move bath toys out of the way and she got me a washcloth. All the while Oliver grinned and laughed at me. Man, I love that kid.

Right after that, Trevor fell asleep on the couch. He only does that when he's sick. Poor kid. I carried him to bed and he woke up about an hour later crying. He hasn't run a fever, but he's got that yucky sounding cough and wheeze. Giving him medicine is like having to hold down a greased pig.

But it was overall a good day. We got a lot of work done, and enjoyed a good part of the day outside. Tonight is TeamKID at church and then tomorrow is my wonderful book study group! :-)

Waves in the sky

We studied clouds today, and God sure helped out with a beautiful sky!! The kids were so excited about the "waves in the sky," as Ethan called the cirrus clouds. I assured them that I was taking pictures, so we would have a record of these beauties.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

donning slippers

I opened the windows this morning and, within an hour, the temperature dropped 10 degrees in the house... from 77 to 67. Wow. So we pulled out our long-sleeved shirts. Very neat. We had to interrupt our lessons to slide on the kitchen floor with our super fluffy socks.

And then we had a tea party.

By the time Fred got home, it was upper 70s outside, so we all took a walk together. After a chili dinner, we went back outside to play Top Toss and let the kids dig in the dirt and run around until bath time.

I love this kind of weather. I love summer, too, but I'm usually getting tired of the 100 degree weather around the time that school starts back up. I like to be able to go outside and sit at the picnic table while we do lessons. I love taking walks, playing frisbee, riding bikes. And I especially like it when Fred does all of that stuff with me, which only happens when it's fairly cool outside. The best time of day is when the shadows get long, the air gets cool, and crickets start to sing...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

recap of the weekend

Okay, well, Saturday was lots of fun. We were planning to go to Amy and Vu's house for the bday celebration, but the dadgum rain never let up. Lots of people in house about the size of mine, during thunderstorm wouldn't be too bad. But then think of six children stuck in a house with lots of kitties to chase around and there could be problems. So, we all met at Dad's house instead. It was good to see my sisters. I miss them if we don't see each other for a whole week.

Julie's kiddos are really growing,too. I'm quite certain that Owen weighs more than Trevor (and maybe close to Ethan's weight!) and Scarlett is putting on some pounds, too.

We talked and played with the kids. Amy and Vu really had the kids cracking up!

The guys watched football (of course!). Amy made yummy yummy lasagnas, Julie did salad and I brought homemade bread. Apple pie for dessert with 8 candles for my dad (5 + 3).

We got home around the time the kids needed to get ready for bed, and Trevor started having horrible asthma. Poor kid. He was wheezing and crying. I stayed with him in his room until 11pm, and then brought him to my bed. Fred went to WMart for formula at midnight, in case I would need to take Trevor to the ER. He did finally sleep, though. He was breathing a bit better today, after having albuterol, but I'm definitely getting him in to the doc tomorrow.

Little boys are made of...

Frogs and snails
and puppy dogs' tails.
No one warned me about the mud!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mothering Matters

Well, hubby didn't have to work today. That's the problem with La-Z-Boy. Sometimes they work 60 hours, and sometimes barely 40. They don't give you much notice either. The checks can vary by hundreds of dollars every week. We've made it this far, though, and I'm just trusting God to fill in the gaps.

Anyway, Fred let me sleep in this morning, even though I told him I'd get up with the kids. I guess he just couldn't sleep, b/c he rose at 6am, with plenty of energy. I slept until 8am (WOW) and then barely had time to get myself and and Isabelle ready, and nurse Oliver before heading to Mothering Matters.

I am SO glad that I went. What a huge blessing this is going to be to me and the kids!! Isabelle really enjoyed the homeschool room, and I loved the speaker and small group. Suzanne, thank you for inviting me!

And thank you for inviting us over for lunch and a playdate, too!! Yummy food and good fellowship, who can argue with that? We did have a couple of surprises, though! Brian walked by me three times and said "hey, woman," while he slapped my tush! (He's 4.) And Isabelle got to feed their "pet" pot-bellied pig!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I left at about 9am this morning, and didn't get home until 2pm. Fred kept Ethan and Trevor with him while I was gone.

Isabelle stayed at Suzanne's after lunch, and I headed home with Oliver. I drove up, and immediately noticed a difference. The front door was clean! There were no handprints or dirt smudges. In fact, even the wreath was off, and the window had been washed. Hmmm... what was going on?! Was this my house?! I don't have time to scrub doors, and no one else cares.

So I walked inside and... the floor was clean. No toys, no clothes, no shoes in the entrance. Things got stranger still. The KITCHEN was clean! No dishes in the sink. The table, counters, floor were all super clean! After I picked myself up off the floor I asked, shocked, "wh--wh--what happened here??" Fred answered with a grin, "I cleaned." Now, mind you, my house isn't a total pit, but it certainly isn't immaculate either. We do have four small children!

So, WOW, he watched the boys, cleaned everything, had them clean the playroom. What does this man want anyway?? My suspicions grew when he said he would go grocery shopping for me. HUH?? So he did!

I don't know what's happened to my real husband, but it's okay if this guy sticks around awhile longer!! :-) He's sure racking up a lot of points!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

School Days

Trev started preschool at Tender Care on Tuesday. I can't believe it!! Of course, at this age, they don't teach all that much, so it's more like a 3-hour playdate. But it's great fun for him, and wonderful for me to be able to spend that extra time working more intensely with the bigger kids. We got some schoolwork done in half the time it usually takes us!
Of course, I'm still teaching Trevor the alphabet and numbers, colors, etc at home. But I'm glad that he can have fun somewhere else, too. He just walked right in and started playing. He didn't even say good-bye. Little rascal! Of course, he knows Miss Johnna from church, and he knew most of the other kids already, too.

And here are some pictures of Isabelle and Ethan working on their math and Bible lessons on Tuesday.

Tonight the kids did Team KID and seemed to really enjoy that. This is the time of year that starts to get super busy for us. It will help that we aren't doing sports this season, though.
Tomorrow is pre-K, CHESS card pick-up, gotta drop off some bills, and then go to book study. Friday is Mothering Matters and lunch date. Saturday is Dad's birthday party... and so forth. I think we have every day booked for awhile... I like staying busy, but my house starts to go to pot.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

Well, first let me give you a brief rundown of what Labor Day is and why we have it. It just irks me when people don't know what the holidays are even for. ;-) For this one, you'd really think that the name would tip people off...

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
For a more details, about what it means, who founded it, etc, go here.

For Labor Day this year, we celebrated by grilling with friends. Thank you, Coons, for having us over. The kids had so much fun and they were very worn out when they got home!! (quiet clapping from Mommy while kids snooze)

There's nothing like good friends to put a smile on your face at the end of the day. :-)

The kids play on the big play set and joined in lawn games while the big people chatted, and grilled. There was a brief thunderstorm in the middle of it all, too. Luckily the 14 kids did just fine playing in the house. There were no fights or problems. Nothing was broken, that I know of. I'd call it a successful afternoon!

Of course, I brought my camera. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I can't leave home without it. So here is my slide show. I apologize that the boys did not make it in as many pictures. Boys never sit still for long, it seems!! I tried to take a bunch when they were all on the playground equipment and then when they were playing in the front, but it just wasn't meant to be. None of those shots turned out.

Me and Fred, Darrin and Tina, Wendell and Donna, and 14 kids.
(and as a weird side note, did you know that the names Wendy and Wendell both mean "wanderer"? Interesting.)