Friday, August 31, 2007

Beware? Mystery of the diapers

Okay, two things:

#1) Don't worry about the "Beware of the Dog" sign on the fence. We have no dog. I just got totally sick of solicitors. I wanted to put up a sign that says "Solicitors will be shot," but Fred didn't think that would be wise. He's probably right.

#2) I'm still wondering who left us a huge pack of club Huggies diapers and a big thing of wipes on our front porch about 2-3 weeks ago. That was SO sweet!! I'd like to thank whoever it was, so please let me know if you know!! Thanks!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Team KID

We went to the FBC Fall Kick-off on Wednesday for "free hamburgers, inflatables." It was fun, but we didn't end up registering for any activities. No money for that right now. Maybe eventually.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School, Pool, Duel

Today was a good day all the way around. Last week was such an off week, so I'm really not taking this "on" week for granted!

We are just really getting into our Sonlight books, LifePac History and Geography, and Saxon math. Lots to keep track of. I also have the kids each keep a math notebook and a spelling words notebook. We did a lot of work outside again today, at the picnic table in the backyard, in the shade. It works well, because Oliver loves to be outside, and Trevor will dig in the dirt for a long time while we work. Everyone stays happy.

We went to the CHESS swim day this afternoon, which was so nice. I didn't realize how much I had missed the pool until I was back in the water watching the kids splash around. Fred got off before 3pm today, so he came with us.

When we pulled in, there was a loooong line for school pick-up, which is at the same entrance. I was so thankful to bypass that ridiculous line and pull into a pool with my kids instead. School pick-up and drop-off are definitely 2 of my 100 reasons to homeschool.

After the pool, we rushed home, changed clothes fast, and I took Ethan and Trevor downtown to the barber shop. Ethan's hair was easy. He looks good with almost any kind of haircut, and he is very cooperative. Trevor, on the other hand, was a nightmare for the poor guy. After the third attempt to get the kid to sit in the barber chair and keep his cape on, I finally gave up and sat there with him in my lap. I've always done that before, but I guess I just thought he might sit by himself this time. I was wrong. Stranger with scissors was just too much for him.

Anyway, he scowled at the guy through the whole haircut. Trev kept moving his head, looking around the room, trying to brush hair off of his face and neck. His hair wasn't cooperating either. It kept pooching up in the back. Finally the guy, after 20 minutes of working on it, asked if he could just cut that poochy part off!! I readily agreed. "Just do whatever you want," I said. I mean, really, I figured it couldn't get much worse.

The hair cut turned out really nice, after nearly 30 minutes of work. I tipped the guy $3. I probably would have given him even more if I'd had it.

You just saw before pictures of Ethan, at his party, so here is his after picture.

And here are Trevor's before and after shots, obviously all bath pictures:



Sorry, Julie, for copying your post!!-- we must be on the same haircut schedule!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Got milk? AND cereal??

Oliver tried rice cereal for the first time last night. One tablespoon of mushy, yummy goodness. He loved it. He had his second bowl at lunchtime today, before nursing. He's been so good during school time!! More about that later!

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Big Boy!

The day we brought Ethan home from the hospital.

Ethan turned 6-years old yesterday. I can't believe SIX years have passed since I had my first precious little son. He is such a joy to me. He is my child that stops to look at everything. He loves nature and examines all of the ladybugs, worms, salamanders. He likes to dig holes to China, and play tag with Mommy. He whines about taking walks with me, but then he'll chase me around the yard for hours. He loves root beer floats (thanks to me), and he'll eat almost any fruit and vegetable. He loves search-and-find books. He likes his hair spiked. :-)

His favorite ...
animal is a crocodile
color is red
book is Dinosaur Dinners

I love you, Ethan.

(Here he's trying on Izzy's birthday hat, playing with his new Hot Wheels track, and posing with Izzybee)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Downer Post

Thought I'd better work up the energy to at least get on the 'puter for a few minutes. I realize that I've been totally out of touch with all friends by email and phone. I've been flat on my back with pneumonia. :-(
Everything just went really downhill fast on Monday.

I finally went to the clinic when my temp hit 104.7. Ugh. I felt so bad, but I bet I looked even worse. My hair was all matted, from having chills and then sweating all day. I had no make-up on, my lips were all dry. I swear a hush just came over the place when I showed my sorry self. I've never seen a doctor so fast.

Anyway, my oxygen level was down, x-rays show pneumonia in right lung, and I was dehydrated. I got some strong meds plus an antibiotic shot. Went home and got even worse, throwing up and dizzy, etc. Went back to the clinic Tuesday for another shot, breathing treatments, another urine test. Still dehydrated.

I've finally started to feel a bit better now. My fever is down considerably. No more nausea, thank goodness!! And no more dehydration, now that I can keep food and drink down. And no more dizziness either!! I think I was getting dizzy simply because I had not had one bite of food in over two days. I just felt too icky to eat. That's one way to lose those extra baby pounds.

My heart is pounding and my chest feels so tight that it's hard to breathe, but I can live with those things short-term. I'm on meds 3x a day plus breathing treatments.

I just don't do well sick. I want my house clean. I want to cook. I want to play outside with the kids and do their schoolwork with them, and mess around on the computer, tuck the kids into bed, talk on the phone, take walks...

Just please pray for a FAST full recovery!!! And thank you, Dad, for bringing me back and forth to the doctor and waiting for hours while they ran so many tests. Thanks, Kim, for being willing to come help me on Tuesday if Fred didn't get back in time. Thank you, Sherrill, for the dinner! Thank you Julie for watching my kids! And a BIG thank you to my dear hubby for trying his best to pick up the slack. He even cooked!!
I love you all.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Feel Better, Mommy"

I've come down with the flu. :-( I only get sick once a year usually, so I guess I'm getting it out of the way now.

Last night I had a high fever, chills, nausea, cough. My sweet husband helped put all the kids to bed. Then he let me sleep in this mroning, then he went to WMart (and took Trevor) to get donuts so I wouldn't havr to cook breakfast. He even brought back blueberries for me!! I never buy them b/c they are pretty pricey, but I L-O-V-E blueberries. I didn't want to tell the poor guy taht they were the most bitter blueberries I've ever had in all my life. I mixed them with other fruit, though, and then they were edible.

My kids have been so sweet, too. Isabelle knows that I always make my bed as soon as I get up. This morning, though, I felt so crummy that I crawled to the couch. She went in and made my bed for me!! So cute and sweet. She also did her morning chores, and encouraged Ethan to do his, without being asked. They even scrubbed the bathroom counters and swished the potty after breakfast. They usually don't have to do bathroom duty until the afternoon, and never on Sundays.

My Dad took the kids out to lunch, and Fred and I had leftovers. I did a crockpot pork roast and beans for dinner, so there was no "real" cooking all day. I even took a short nap on the couch when my fever spiked back up in the afternoon. The kids were all quiet and drew me get well cards, and Isabelle did this picture on Paint. :-) On Ethan's card, he had just written "Feel Better, Mommy" (with Isabelle's help.)

I don't enjoy ebing sick by any means, but I did feel so loved and pampered today!

Friday, August 17, 2007

will teddy go to heaven?

Thought it was cute that Ethan had all of his stuffed animals bow their heads for prayer tonight. :-D He assured me that they were also closing their eyes.
Cute kid.

It's a boob thing

* Today we played "Name that body part." For Trevor, it's "where's your chin? Your ankle?" and so forth. For the older kids it's more like "where's your cranium?" Anyway, I asked about ribs and the big kids put their hands on their ribs. Trevor looked at them, and then grabbed my breast and said "no, it's your nurse-y!"

* I realized today that whenever Ethan draws animals, he usually draws a baby animal nursing. Today he asked if bears were mammals. When I said that, yes, indeed they are, he promptly drew nipples on his bear. Ha! Thought that was pretty funny-- another picture to send to the grandparents!

* The last time I nursed the baby in public I covered with a light receiving blanket. Ethan asked me why I was "hiding the baby." Ha ha!

I guess I just didn't realize that breastfeeding is such a commonplace thing for my kiddos. If I walked outside with no shirt on, my kids probably wouldn't think a thing about it being inappropriate, because they know what breasts are really for. Of course, the neighbors might not feel the same way!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This morning I left the kids eating cereal at the table, while I unloaded the dishwasher. I usually sit and eat with them, while I read them Proverbs or Teach Me to be Wise. I read that early, though, and I needed to start on my morning chores.

Well, Trevor decided to stick Kix cereal up his nose. Don't even ask why. I have no answers. I really don't know what (if anything) goes through his head sometimes.

I didn't realize what happened at first. He stopped eating and started pointing to his nose. I went over to take a look. Sure, enough. Cereal up there. Now, if it had been Cheerios I probably cut have used tweezers to remove it. But, no, it had to be something that completely blocked his nasal passage. That really rankled me. (rankle-- the Webster Merriam word-for-the-day!)

Don't worry, I finally got it out. I had to hold his other nostril shut and have him blow repeatedly into a Kleenex. After 10 minutes, it came out.

Trevor has done wild and crazy things before. Usually, though, it's purely out of hyperactivity, and not unbridled curiosity. My kids have never been prone to eating dirt and rocks, like October's. They've never played with matches and let strangers into the house, like Suzanne's. They've never hung upside down from basketball goals, like Brook's kids. And, Ann-Marie, I'm sure your bunnies' curiosity has gotten them into trouble before, too!

But, no, our main accidents usually involve Trevor and his Tasmanian-type energy. He jumps, climbs, runs full-force. He never looks before he leaps. Anyway, I just didn't expect the whole food-up-your-nose bit from him. Although he did swallow part of a clothes pin once...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My friend the timer

Today my trusty timer has worked wonders.

Rather than just trying to follow our schedule, I set the timer each time for each activity. "Okay, you have five minutes to make your bed perfectly and get your sticker." Voila.

"Ten minutes to fold all of the laundry well." Incredibly, this works as a motivator for the kids and me! It seems that we can get SO much more done when we break it into baby steps.

"Fifteen minutes on addition and then a break before clocks and measuring." They did really well, and earned more stickers today then they have in the entire last week.

I give a little sticker each time a subject is completed neatly, without complaining, or for chores. When their whole sticker chart is full they get to choose a prize from my treasure box. So far only Isabelle has earned a prize throughout the summer.

Anyway, I'm happy about that!! Yesterday Ethan seemed to be dragging a bit, even with the "fun stuff." He stayed focused for about five minutes at a time, it seemed, but did much better with an end in sight today. My timer gives a one minute warning beep, which is super nice and really gets them in gear!!

the clothes horse (it's not me!)

My husband has a rather obsessive personality. If he gets into something, then he's in with both feet, let me tell you. When it comes to football, he knows everything about every team and player.

And he might as well have a Mountain Dew IV going... He's the same way about chocolate. Hmph.

It's also impossible to get the man to throw anything away. I got fed-up with his closet yesterday, and I rearranged the whole thing. You see, on Sunday he got aggravated because he could not find his khaki pants. They were in his closet the whole time, and I came across them when I was putting clothes away. That's what set me off.

The man has forty-two tee shirts and 14 sleevless shirts. I didn't bother counting pants, sweaters, dress shirts, and so forth. You get the idea. He also has two tubs of winter clothes put up, and the whole bottom rack in his closet is also long-sleeved shirts. Raise your hand if you agree with the ridiculousness of that!

How many shirts does a man need? I don't even have that many clothes. I think he's had many of those shirts from before we were married (almost 10 years.)

On the bright side, at least he doesn't drink! Or play golf! There's just something about those little golf carts and hats that I can't bear...

Monday, August 13, 2007

the weekend

To heck with shortening everyones name, it's a pain in the tushy!

Yesterday we had Ethan's birthday party at the aquatic center. Lotsa fun, very hot. The forecast is over 100 degrees for the next three days. Good swimming weather, so long as we have that sunscreen coated on.

Anyway, Fred's sister Kayla and her boyfriend actually came. Yea! We don't see them often. They brought two of Stacy's kids, which was nice. My sister Julie came, too, with Owenkins. Poor kid was terrified of the water. He did splash a little while sitting on my lap, but then he clung to Julie while he was walking back to shore. Ha.

Ethan's been having a blast with all of his new cars, trucks, dinos, books, and so forth. I think Fred has been enjoying it, too! What is it about guys and trucks? Or Nintendo. I guess I just don't understand the appeal. I'd rather read a book or ride a bike, but that's just me...

Amy and Vu came on Saturday to see Ethan and drop off his gift. I got a few cute sunglass pics of her and the kids, and Uncle Vu did a quick sketch of Mr. Ethan. Very cute.

Today we "officially" started math and reading. We had been doing just those two subjects for a good part of the summer, but today we got down to business with the real curriculum and all the manipulative stuff that goes with it. Ethan got to jump right in with his geo board and teddy counters. Isabelle had graph review, some addition stuff, and clock stuff. Seems like hers was a whole slew of review, but that's good.

I can't wait until Trevor starts his two days of pre-K at the church. Johnna is so great with kids, and I think he will especially enjoy the Music and Movement time. It's only 6 hours total a week, and a lot like a gymboree type class thing at this age, but it will still be uninterrupted time for me to work with the bigger kids.

quote for the day, as school approaches

"How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about
(arithmetic), and a small career to tell one's own children about the
universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow
to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious because it
is gigantic, not because it is minute."

~G.K. Chesterton

Friday, August 10, 2007

Let's Make A Deal!

Okay, you should see my yard. It looks especially bad because neighbors on either side of us actually mow their lawn. My dear husband hates to mow. With a passion. At one point he had gotten one of those self-propelled lawn mowers. We kept having problems with the oil/gas mix, though. It never did work right, and we had it fixed at least twice while it was under warranty at Lowe's. Finally, after much screaming and kicking, my husband gave up and junked it and got a cheap-y thing from Wal-Mart. So he's back to having to push a regular old mower.

On the other hand, I hate dishes. Really. I do them because I have to, but I don't like touching other people's leftover food. I especially hate grease. And, more than anything, I do not like my hands to be dry!! I have real issues with touching things, especially paper, if my hands feel dry. So, when I'm washing and rinsing and drying, I just have to smother my hands in lotion afterwards and not read a book or write for about an hour. I know, I'm weird.

We think we've come up with a solution. I will cook my regular big family dinners, and my husband will do after-dinner clean-up. In exchange, I will do all mowing and weed-eating. I don't mind the heat like he does, and I don't mind the extra exercise either. Fred can watch TV while he cleans up, so we're both happy!! I hope this works. :-) I'll keep ya posted!

EW--that's just GROSS!

My son! Oh, my little rascally 2-year old son. We went to WMart today to pick up some things. Fred had Mr. E and Mr. T in the toy section with him, and I kept the baby and MissI with me.

After I got groceries I met him in the toys. We were all just wandering and browsing an aisle. Seems safe and fine, right? Well, my little son spotted a drink that someone had left behind. It was on a shelf at his eye level, so I didn't see it right away. And--OH, YES--Before I could do anything, he ran over and drank from it!! EW!!! Ugh! Agh! YUCK! WHY would he just pick up a cup and assume he could drink from it?

Then, as I'm getting my checkbook out, my son opened the little box door thing at the end of the conveyor and was about to punch the emergency shut off. Oh, the rascal!

So, while we're on the subject of his antics...

He's recently had a growth spurt and now he can easily reach the light switches. I had a rude awakening this morning with my bright bedroom overhead light on!

He has also started locking doors. We knew he could unlock doors already, but he had never locked one before. He tried this new skill when I went outside this morning to set the trash out. I came back to the door and couldn't get in!! I could see the little culprit grinning on the other side of the window. He finally unlocked it after I threatened to climb through the window and spank him.

Poor Fred-- when he was carrying groceries in this evening, he also kept coming back to a locked door. My goodness! That child is lucky that he's so cute and we love him so much! He's like having hyperactive twins.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Noni's back

Noni(my Mom)is back from COlorado. She will be here until Sunday, when she gets on a plane to Washington.

And, in other news... BabyO can hold toys now!! YEA! He does get rather ticked when he drops one of those cold teethers, though.


What a wonderfully encouraging night! Sometimes I feel like I must be the only one homeschooling; the only one having struggles and preparing for another year; the only one who is thinking of expenses and scheduling and making learning FUN. Going to CHESS meetings reminds me that I'm not alone. There are LOTS of us. There are rewards for this awesome task.

Laura MacFarlan led us verse by verse through Matthew 6:30-44.
We gleaned from these verses what the "Woman of God" would do. I'm not going to remember this all correctly, and I'm sure I'll omit parts, but I'm going to write what I remember.

The woman of God confers with God about what she has done and taught. That isn't the wording that Laura used, but it's the same idea, based on the first verse!

The woman of God protects her bedtime!

The woman of God spends time alone with God.

The woman of God expects interruptions.

The woman of God loves and acts out of that love.

The woman of God looks at what she does have. Count your blessings!

The woman of God is organized.

The woman of God is thankful. She is satisfied.

The woman of God is blessed by her faithfulness.

The greater the task, the greater the reward.
It was very uplifting and encouraging to me. Sometimes we just need those reminders to rest and commune with God.

We also voted for board members, had refreshments, picked out scholastic books, and we each got gift sacks. Very cute items with meanings behind each thing:

Ocean Creature Bite-Size Crackers (like Goldfish) for our bread and fish story,

A Memo book and pen for writing down announcements and notes at MUMs meeting

Stickers to encourage our children

A candle to light when we're burning at both ends

Chocolate just because we need it!

Tea to relax, unwind, rest...

A red pen for grading those papers daily "before you check your email!"

Sticky notes for reminders

An eraser for all those times we mess up

Glue for holding it all together!

More chocolate, just because we need it!

A magnetic apple with the verse Isaiah 50:4 :
The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

Lord, I pray for myself and each of these women. Please honor our desire to teach our children. Give us strength and wisdom through You, and help us to encourage one another. Amen.

Please pray for all of us. Good night.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Terrible Twos Tuesday

Two phrases that mommies of 2-year olds hear all day:

"I do it myself!" T pours out the milk that I've just given him he attempts to pour his own (while I'm turned around cleaning up the poured out milk!)
...while he hits the ball with the wrong end of the bat he "goes potty" (yeah, right) and nearly falls in
...trying to put the binky in his little brother's mouth
...kneading the bread dough, covering himself with flour
...clearing his own plate from the table, spilling peas on the way to the sink (hey, at least he tried, right?) he put his night shirt on backwards

"Mommy, watch this!" he jumps off the couch
...hangs upside down in Daddy's arms
...races E around the cars
...spins around until he falls over
...goes underwater in the bubble bath

Oh, my the ENERGY! I know kids are often over- and misdiagnosed for ADD, but I sometimes wonder...
The child must run, never walk. Must always talk loudly, apparently because it's essential to maintain the constant attention of those around him.

I read him some of his favorite books before bed, and he recited them while jumping up and down in front of me. It's a good thing I love this kid so much, but he sure does wear me out!!! That's the kind of energy that I need!

Monday, August 6, 2007

a full day

Fred has been working 6 days a week for a couple of months now, so he decided to take off today! He let me sleep in, which was wonderful. I slept until 9:30! Holy Cow! I haven't done that since I was a teenager. Really.

We went to Old Navy and got a swimsuit on sale for I. It's super cute. I also found a little fisherman hat for baby BigO. Then we went to WMart over there, because ours in town apparently doesn't sell swim diapers anymore. We needed to find a backpack for Mr.T, too. We found a sturdy looking one that is fairly small. Best of all, it's Cars, so he adores it.

After shopping we headed to Aunt Kayla's apartment. Electric Avenue. It's a cute studio apartment. We're gonna havta keep our eyes open for some furniture for that girl. She sure is a sweetie. For those of you who don't know, Kayla and Cindy are Fred's 20-year old twin sisters.

Then on to Aunt Jules's house to visit O & S. That was fun, too!! I love taking pictures, and it's a special treat to get the little cousins together.

Anyway, we took too long doing everything, so we stopped at Braums on the way home to get food and get back in time to change for the Members' Swim at the aquatic center. They messed up our order, so they apologized and gave us a free burger and large fries. That's nice anyway. Mr. E was very excited to have a "hambugger." We don't go out to eat often.

At the pool, they did free ice-cream treats. Yummy, but messy!! Mr.T had chocolate footprints leading away from the table. :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Absolutes? Sheltered kids?

We had an interesting conversation in SS today.

Apparently there's an issue about a game played last week in science camp. My kids were not there, but they played the same "game" the first week of Wednesday night church. You use the letters of your name to come up with a new name. Some examples of the words on the sheet: buggers, fart, crusty, diaper, poop, etc. So I's new name was something like Crusty Pimple Fart Face. People were discussing the appropriateness of this. For the record, I think we should have higher standards than that.

The discussion turned to responsibility, abstinence, absolutes when it comes to things like alcohol, gambling, and so on. Without divulging the entire class discussion, I'm just going to say that it all needs to come back to the Bible. God does not contradict the Bible. If the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, then it is wrong. If the Bible says premarital sex is wrong, then it's wrong. And so forth. Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, but that will never go against what Scripture says. The Bible says we should be in this world, but not of the world. We are supposed to have higher standards, but that doesn't mean condemning or avoiding unbelievers.

I'm also a firm believer in protecting our children. We homeschool for many reasons, but protection is a biggie. I want to protect my children's bodies, minds and spirits. It's not okay to say "oh, well, they'll hear it sooner or later, so I'm not going to worry about it." No, we have an awesome responsibility. Our children truly are our greatest resource. They are a gift from God, and we are not to cause them to stumble. I don't know about you, but this shakes my soul. How can I ever do justice to this incredible task? Only with God's help and through much prayer. Our standards of truth, safety, and so forth can't wane.

I keep hearing people talk about their excitement of the coming school year. I'm excited, too, but I'm also very scared. I want to do a good job. I want to instill values in my children and teach them well. There are so many curriculums, programs, methods... It gets my head spinning at times. I'm excited, but also very aware of the committment and responsibility.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Thought and prayer before bed

I was praying with the kids earlier when I tucked them in. They are so cute and sweet. When E got in bed, Mr.T called out "Don't let those bed bugs eat you!" He just laughed and ran away, as if it was some funny joke.

E is so funny, too. When I was nursing the baby yesterday he told me that someday he wants to be a mommy, too. I asked why and he said that he would also like to nurse his babies. I see the humor in his comment, but I'm also glad that they can see how much I love to be with them. I'm thankful that they desire the same things for their own families some day.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. I was praying with the kids earlier and I was struck suddenly by just how many things I want for them. It's not enough to just thank God for their safety and health and pray for His continued protection and guidance for them. I want them to make friends easily, to avoid temptation, to be protected from evil people and ideas. I need to pray for their future spouses and in-laws. I want them to be able to have their own kids someday, and live in a safe area. I want my kids to be able to learn easily, speak clearly and have a real desire for God and His ways and His Word. Oh, Lord, there are so many things I desire for my children. Please give them such a longing for You.

Today at breakfast we read Proverbs 1. Then Iz got out her own Bible and read it, in a different version. Mr.E listened and really asked questions this time. Like "who is wisdom?" I think it kept his attention to hear about the plans of the wicked. I'm glad he looked shocked. I'm glad this is fresh for my kids. They aren't just hearing or reading a section of Scripture to say they "had a quiet time." This is big news to them and it means something. It doesn't have that familiarity that too many of us get. We so often fail to hear the words and examine them. I know I do anyway...

Must get to bed. I always fall asleep praying. I'm glad God knows what is on my heart, even if I can't always verbalize or think it before I pass out...