Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm so tired. Another weekend of fun, busy things.

I've been crafting, crafting. In fact, we've been trying to fit in at least one fun craft each day, after school work. It's a great motivator for the kids (and me.) So far we've made Little Lad into a magnet baby, that we can dress up. And we've painted houses on our windows. And made scrapbook-y pumpkins to display. And painted wooden blocks, houses, and other nifty shapes. But my back-up drive is unplugged and my camera is in the other room. I am tired. I just need tea and a good book. This will be an early night. Pictures soon.

OH, and my hubby, Nature Man and my dad went on a float trip with cub scouts today. Nature Man's first float trip!! He L-O-V-E-D it!! Wish I had pictures, but I couldn't risk the camera going along. Good thing, too, because they came home drenched.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dick and Jane

At our house, we love Dick and Jane books. Not just for the cute pictures, sweet kids that get along and help each other. But also for the clothes. Can't help but adore those lovely retro clothes. Pin It

My kids have been wanting a block puzzle for awhile now. We saw one months ago at an Amish restaurant. Loved it, but couldn't afford it.

So I made one for the kids the other day. Simple, simple. Lay block on picture. Trace block shapes. Cut out. Glue on blocks. Polyurethane for durability. Viola.

I've only done one side of the blocks so far, because I haven't found fitting pictures yet for the other sides.

I want to do photo ones next...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

While Mommy is away, the grandparents and kids will play.

On the first day of my retreat, my folks helped hubby out by taking the three older kids out of town to the aquarium. This was their second time to go, and they loved it. Just seeing the pictures my Mom took reminds me of the wonderful summers I had in California.
Someday, Lord willing, I want to take them all to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. How I love that place!

Dash watches the sting rays swim by.

The Naturalist waits for the scuba diver to appear and feed the sharks.

The three kids ride a stony-faced gator. The Nature Man, of course, goes in for a better look!

Can any child resist sand?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Color-induced smiles

I've mentioned my doors before. One day, when in desperate need of color, I decided to paint all the doors in the house. Why? Simply because I can.
This is the front bathroom door. It's a bird themed room,
so I thought branches and birds would suit it fine.
(the colors look a bit blotchy in the photo...hmmm...)
The Artist's room. She helped with the huge polka dots.
Little Lad's room door. It looks much brighter in this picture than it actually is.
Kinda seems Dr. Seuss-y.

I'm working on Horton in the playroom/big boy's room, too. This is on the side of the toy shelves. Obviously a work in progress.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sky diving

We missed church this morning to watch Fred's little sister (one of the twins) skydive here in town.

A whole group of them came from college in Russelville to jump together.

Here, Cindy learns how to fall...
Speed Limit (Cindy actually went down much faster than that!)
Ready for take-off
Down she comes...
Cindy with her instructor, after the jump.

This brought back rather fearful memories of when my own little sister went sky diving when she was 18. I think my dad nearly had a heart attack.

home school mamas unite

Could the weekend have been any busier? Probably not. Hence the multiple posts.
And tons of pictures. :-)
I need to learn how to upload videos using You Tube, too. Some of the videos of us playing Gestures are just priceless. One of the best videos is Tina's futile effort to act out "wheelchair." After Kat guessed "constipation," that round was pretty much shot. No one could see through the tears of laughter.

Put a group of homeschool moms together, without the kids, and things can get a little crazy. ;-)

Cathy and Laura were our fabulous speakers on Saturday.
Here I am, with Kat and Tina. We were the "Retreat Committee."
Lots of work, but well worth it.
During the games, Kat decides to sneak up and strangle Suzanne.
Or at least, that's what it looks like...
Our very own talented Tab did the worship music for us. Her voice is amazing!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hippie Shower Photos

I wish I could have another baby, just so I could have a shower like this one!! -- I guess I could use my non-pregnant belly, though, and still soak my feet in scented water with beads.

Mrs. Smiley did a great job putting this together! We did the hand print together.

The Explorer Maze

When I was a kid, I loved to draw mazes. Don't ask me why, but I always had this fascination with art, puzzle games (but not plain puzzles,) brain teasers, mazes. I knew that pratice would come in handy someday!

My kids LOVE mazes. Tob got them activity books when Little Lad was born. They just finished all the mazes in those books, so I decided to make them personalized ones today. Here is The Naturalist, in search of his animals. The Artist's maze isn't finished yet, so she was trying out her brother's.

Just glue picture of child on. Put stickers, drawings, or photo of whatever they need to search for. And draw the maze. I put ours in our binder, in a page protector, so they can use a dry erase marker to do it over and over.

Maybe I'll do one for my husband for Christmas... he could be searching for keys, a remote, his cap... har har har

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Football Widow

We got a great deal when we switched to digital cable. Just $9.99/mo for all the movie channels...and...ugh...the sports package. Ordinarily you couldn't pay me to take such a deal, but it was a package thing for our new phone line. Great deal. Would have been more expensive not to take it.

I doomed myself to the life of a football widow. (Or at least for the next 6 months, which is when the deal expires.) This morning my husband says, "Know what I'm doing after lunch? Guess!! I'm watching football. And after that? Yep, I'm watching football. And after that? More football!!" His head might explode soon and we're only on day 1.

Under the circumstances, I think I am definitely entitled to football jokes and quotes!!

A football coach was asked his secret of evaluating his new recruits. "Well," he said, "I take 'em out in the woods and make 'em run. The ones that run round the trees, I make into running backs. The ones that run straight into the trees, I turn into linemen."

Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings. -- George Will.

"Well, we've determined that we can't win at home and we can't win on the road. What we need is a neutral site."
- John McKay, the first coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during the inaugural season of 1976 when the Bucs endured a 0-14 record.

"Well, we didn't block real good but we made up for it by not tackling."
- John McKay, the first coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during the inaugural season of 1976 when the Bucs endured a 0-14 record.

"I'm in favor of it."
- John McKay, coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, when asked about the execution of his team.

"You guys line up alphabetically by height."
- Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach

"You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle."
- Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach

Friday, September 12, 2008

breath and tattoo

I'm back. My spirit is okay now. I've felt like I was under such oppression lately. I had lost my motivation to clean (gasp.) But over the past few days some truths hit me and hit me hard. It's one of those things that just knocks the wind out of you. And, after struggling to grasp and understand, I feel like I am released. The weight has been lifted from me and God has taken it over. It's out of my court now.

In my relief and with my energy restored, I did two loads of laundry Thursday night, cleaned my kitchen, changed all of the sheets, and just basically went on a marathon deep cleaning which resumed when I awoke yesterday. It feels great. I even scrubbed my tub after I showered. Yeeeeesssss, I am baaaaack. I may rejoice in strange ways, and I'm okay with that. My kids are excited to see me revived. Although Dash told me yesterday that my hair was messy. Cleaning will do that to you.

Last night I went to my first non-traditional baby shower (read: hippie gathering.) The mother-to-be soaked her feet in lavender water, with beads and flowers, while we read our blessings aloud to her. We each gave her a bead, to string together and remember the prayers from her friends. After the food and mingling, we took turns drawing on her belly with henna. Oh, yeah! That's my kinda fun!

Then we each got our own little "temporary tattoo." Don't worry, it washes off in 1-3 weeks.

Yes, I will have to post pictures.
I think I will have henna at my next firepit night. You have been warned. Mwa Haaa Haaa

Monday, September 8, 2008

bloggie updates

I know I've been relatively quiet lately. There are so many things in life all the time to think about, write about, deal with, enjoy.

I've been coming to grips with the fact that I'm only in control of me. I can pray and be careful, but I can't absolutely control whether or not I have physical problems. I can do my best to be patient and kind to others, but I can't control how they perceive me. I'm not perfect, what can I say? And, even if I serve healthy foods to my kids, I can't actually make them swallow it, if they choose not to. This hasn't been a battle lately, but we've dealt with it in the past.

We've had some ups and downs lately. The best thing that has happened lately is our new-found church home. I just can't describe the peace and joy I feel now, being fed God's Word in a body of believers that is so open, kind, genuine. Emotional worship may fade. Programs come and go. But the Word of God stands firm and strong always. A church built on that cannot falter. I'm so happy to be there!!!! (I also love the music! A church that sings 2-3 heartfelt songs--without repeating the chorus 50x--and then they preach God's WORD-- WOW!)

Our family has been going through some health challenges lately. Not my kids, but my sisters... and maybe me, too. They tend to deal with these struggles better than I do. I believe, for the most part, that knowledge is power. So I look everything up: every medication, symptom, treatment option. Then I get thoroughly scared before I have the sense to turn it over to God and pray about it. Maybe I should start with prayer, huh? Something along the lines of "God, let me find what will be beneficial for me to know, and information that I should use."

Oh, and another UP is that Mothering Matters has started back up. I truly do love this ministry of women mentoring each other, gathering together to pray for and encourage each other. I was pretty intimidated about being a care group leader this year, but I'm hoping that my group will treat me with grace while I tried to lead the discussions. I'm not used to this, and I've never been a public speaking kind of gal! (My husband might disagree, heh.) Our theme is butterflies to represent transformation (courtesy of Mrs. Smiley,) so let me know if you have any craft/ food/ decor ideas that could go along with that theme!

On a side note, I painted all the doors in my house. Yes, I realize this is random news. Still, it's NEWS for me. Little Lad's door is green and blue striped. The Artist's is green with huge pink polka dots, Mine is green with white flowers, the bathroom door now has black branches painted on it. Pictures coming soon. I think painting is so therapeutic!!

Dash, my literal man

Dash was just counting at the table. He got to 10 and stopped. Daddy looked at him and asked, "Can you count higher?"
So Dash stood up and counted to 10 again! :-)
Yesterday Dash was loudly singing in the playroom. The Naturalist asked him to please sing silently (a nice way to tell someone to just be quiet!)
Dash nodded and then loudly sang "Silently, silently."