Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pencils in Heaven?

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There are days when I truly sit and ponder how kid's brains work, although I'm sure it's all a great mystery since I can't even figure out my own thought patterns at times. Sigh.

Zachary came up to me and asked, "Did you know there aren't any pencils in Heaven?"

Me: There aren't?

Zachary: Nope. Heaven isn't in Pennsylvania, so there are no pencils in Heaven.

At least we know that he's picking up on our geography studies, eh?

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Rock Star of a Son

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One of my kids new favorite tv shows is "Sid the Science Kid" - and secretly the show amuses me too.

If you haven't watched the show - it's intended to pique kid's interest in early science topics. And around here that has exhibited itself by Laurianna drawing pictures of decaying fruit.

Sad, but true.

But it also has had other side effects on our family. Take for example, Sid singing into his microphone, playing 'announcer' with his stuffed animals ... which Zachary thinks is AMAZING!!

Proof positive when I found him tonight standing naked in the bathroom, peeing into the toilet, hands raised in the air and yelling - "I'm a ROCKSTAR - YEA!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Excited or Concerned?

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I entered a contest at a local bookstore to win a $100 gift certificate and got a call tonight that I was a winner.

Of another prize.

The sponsor of the contest was a local cemetery.

And I won a burial plot.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Babysitter's Guide

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Every now and then my hubby and I actually do leave the house and entrust our four children to some random individual a safe and trusted friend. This little document is generally left on the counter for the babysitter to use as a quick reference guide, should any of our children require any sort of emergency care - which, if you know our family, is highly likely and could be caused by something as innocent as a sippy cup...and if you don't know that story...oh, that is all for another day, my friend.

But I digress.

Having this guide stuck on the drive of my computer just seems rather silly, so sharing it with you all - assuming of course that you find it helpful, would just make sense. Mine is obviously filled out, but posting mine would be just too-much-information....and I'm sure that you all understand that. But download and print away - and enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Into Reading 2008

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A pile of books has mysteriously disappeared from my nightstand. Well, ok. Not so much disappeared as much as moved from my immediate sight into my handy-dandy drawer in my new nightstand.

A pile of books that has been piling for far too long.

Some of you may recall that I seem to have an aversion for any book that is non-fiction. This would include a multitude of "disciplining your child" books. Fiction I can absorb in a few hours. The non-fiction just PILES up. And I can't stop myself from buying them. It's a sad state of affairs.

My goal this fall is to actually read some...if not motivate myself to read the whole lot of them. As a reward, I might throw in a few fiction books to sweeten the deal for myself (it all sounds good while it's swirling around in my head, so work with me here). Maybe a nice pedicure...a Starbucks coffee. And if I read the whole lot of 'em - oh, the possibilities are endless. It's all about rewards, you know?

And in case you are interested, be sure to check out the fall reading chart that I made for my kids (a chart to track reading over the next few months).


In no particular order, here are the books that I will force myself would like to read this fall:

My non-fiction list:

Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage. A friend mentioned this book to me recently so I ordered it from Paperbackswap. And I've officially read 3 pages in it. Woo-hoo for me!

Skydiving for Parents by Jane Bullivant. I sat in on a mini-conference when she spoke at a homeschool convention and just loved her...and bought one of her books.

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. I hoping to read this one in the afternoons and also watch the DVD series that go along with it. Life has been too crazy, so even if my hubby can't do it along with me, perhaps I can glean some things from it.

Rivers of Grace by Mark and Patti Virkler. Another book recommended to me by a friend. Sadly, it's been sitting on my nightstand for over a year. The main premise of the book is raising your kids by the Spirit rather than the law.

Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Lehman. Well, the title certainly sounds lovely some days!

How to Be a God Chaser and a Kid Chaser by Tommy Tenny. Got the kid chasing down pat. :)

Dreaming with God by Bill Johnson. For some reason this was the one book I picked by Bill Johnson from Amazon - it just looked good!

Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel. I'm thinking the title just sounds lovely.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I've had this book "started" and it meanders around my house. Now I want to actually sit down and READ it!

The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson. I can't imagine why I might possibly want to read this one.

My fiction list:

Sunset by Karen Kingsbury. This book will finally wrap up the third series of books that all seemed to start off innocently enough and just sucked me in. This had so better be the last one (but truthfully, I'm betting there is yet another book series that will spin off).

The Shack by William Young. I've been hearing some great things about this book, so it's currently in my Amazon cart for my next shopping purchase.

by Elizabeth Gaskell. PBS recently aired a mini-series to this book that I watched in part. Before I watch any more of it, I want to read the book and then watch the series in its entirety.

A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks. I think I've read the rest of his books, so this is the last one in order to finish.

The Longing by Beverly Lewis. Again another series to finish up.

A Lady of Hidden Intent by Traci Peterson. I've really enjoyed her other books in the Ladies of Liberty series and somehow missed this one.

A Daughter's Inheritance and An Unexpected Love by Judith Miller/Traci Peterson. A newer series that looks interesting to me.


I'm sure that there will be other books to that I pick up along the way too, but this is my list as it stands right now. I'm assuming that there will be one or two great books in the above lot that I'll have to share about with you all. But for now, I'm off to the library to pick up one of the fiction books...I have to start somewhere!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Glimpse of Bliss

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When I first decided to homeschool there was a definite "picture" in my mind of how I envisioned that our days would be.

You know. Nothing short of blissful happiness and eternal learning opportunities.

And well...truthfully, while there have been glimpses of that vision, life is more appropriately labeled along the lines of "mass chaos", "impatience" and "general survival".

Until yesterday. When I rounded the corner into the kitchen and stopped short at the picture before me.

The heavenly chorus was singing my song that very moment.

My girls. Not fighting. But playing chess together. CHESS!! (which Mommy still hasn't an earthly idea how to play).

Pretending to be PILGRIMS! Dressing their parts and choosing to listen to classical music.

It was as if I'd been transported out of my house and had stumbled upon the cover of some homeschool magazine. I even took a picture for posterity's sake.

Mind you, the loveliness didn't last long. I found my flat iron and curling iron in the toilet (thanks to Kaleb) and my blow dryer was also suspiciously wet. And to boot, they were still plugged into the wall - without a GFI outlet. And my son even fished them OUT of the toilet too.

Guess who can open door knobs now?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Practicing 911

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Our children's museum recently added a pretend play 911 call center, which of course sucked in my kids faster than a vaccuum cleaner on warp speed.

McKenna had me sit down and pretend to call her (the 911 operator) with my emergency.

M: 911

Me: I have an emergency. I need help right away.

M: What's wrong?

Me: My house is on fire!

M: Is your leg broken?

Me: Ummm...no. But the house is burning fast. Don't you want my address?

M: What is your address?

Me: (give the address)

M: Where is that? Oh, nevermind, we've been there before, haven't we (said so matter-a-factly that the museum staff who could overhear the entire conversation burst into laughter).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Countertop Clutter

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*** A quick note: I do not expect this every hour of every day - life happens and there are different phases of my day. I just dislike the piling, not-finding-the-right-home, just "leave it here" concept. ***

To prove to you that my house does not always reign "clean supreme", I am posting exhibit A:

and Exhibit B:

The culprit? My countertop.

This countertop is most often always a thorn in my side. A very close second thing I tend to despise (laundry being the first). I clean it and somehow it manages to suck clutter from every hidden corner of the house in no less than 5 seconds.

It's one of those areas that just drive me absolutely crazy. I really do hate clutter. I absolutely LOVE to have my countertop clean and often get it that way and then a certain member of the male gender arrives home and brings in the mail. Or we have to raise 4 butterflies in an extra large container. Or one of my kids delivers me a fistful of pictures that I just can't throw away (yet), etc, etc, etc.

Today with Rick gone and the kids napping I managed to tame the chaos and put things away (where they actually belonged), finally found packing tape to mail the many packages/books that have been piling up (yes, Mary, your package is now officially on it's way!), and breathed a lovely sigh of relief in seeing this, Exhibit C:

Until Laurianna came up to me, bobbed her head in the direction of the counter and said, "What's wrong?"

What's wrong? What do you mean, what's wrong?

....little cheeky grin... It's CLEAN! It's never clean.

If there would have been something, anything, sitting on the counter, I mighta thumped her on the head with it. Little stinker.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A 100th Birthday

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You read that right - 100 years!

I've been sitting here trying to figure out what exactly to post/write, because even though she not my grandmother (she is Rick's), how can I let such a momentous occassion go by without blogging anything?

After all, a 100th birthday is not something that happens everyday. It is most definitely something that should be celebrated and noted. Don't you think?

Today marks 100 years for Grandma. 100 years! The entire family was able to get together several weeks ago for her birthday and have a great reunion together - seeing cousins and family we hadn't seen in years from as far away as Peru. After all, how could you miss celebrating something so special?

It was wonderful to spend time with all the extended family and get some family pictures together too. Lots of fun. Lots of food. And lots of family to celebrate!

She is loved and treasured beyond measure and has provided such an amazing example to her family, as well as those around her, of what a woman of God should be. Rick's family has been immensely blessed to have Grandma as the "core" of their family for so many years. To have her wisdom, her love and her prayers always constant.

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This Little Face...

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Kaleb's little smiling face just makes my heart soar. He has by far been the most laid-back and quiet one of the bunch (and there have been days I've almost forgotten that he's here!). There's no rush to do anything - such as talking. He does have a few words that he uses regularly: Mahm! (Mom), no, and purple. Don't ask.

Today he was sitting at the table coloring and I pulled the camera out to snap a picture of him. The moment he saw the camera, he stayed focused on his drawing, but slapped a cheeky little grin on and kept repeating "cheese!"

Tonight when getting ready for bed he sat in his crib and started yelling, "Mahm! Mahm! Mahm!" and pointing to the book basket beside his crib. I began pulling books out and holding them up, naming them and he would adamantly say "No!" and point again until I found one that he wanted and he would shake his little head 'yes'. And then start the pointing all over again.

Ten books later, he sat happily in his crib turning pages of chunky books and reading to himself.

I know that years down the road this is going to all be difficult for me to recall in such detail, but right now I am happily relishing the "babyness" of this little one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kids Fall Reading Chart

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It's about that time. Time for fall to make its appearance, and since I'm gearing up for my own little reading challenge, I thought it might be fun for our kids to go another round too.

I revamped our summer reading chart to a fall version for the kids. They loved reading their hearts out for a measly amazing little prize (a $2 Polly Pocket), and if they want to read to their siblings and practice their reading on each other, I am all for that!

I made up a little chart for the girls and Zachary to complete a challenge from me: read 75 books this fall and get a special treat - i.e. something under $5 or so at the store. Even better, they can earn extra points depending on the size of the book (Laurianna) and for helping Mommy out around the house with extra little projects - but it has to be done cheerfully and with no complaining (there's always a catch!).

In case you want to have your own little reading challenge at home, feel free to print off the chart below and have fun with your kids too!

Read this document on Scribd: Fall Reading Challenge

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have it On Hand - Works for Me Wednesday

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Being prepared has finally paid off in some form. I was so tired of running to the store to pick up something for one of the kids (or me or Rick) when we got sick. Tired of having excess Gatorade (or whatever) remaining around after the sickness left.

So I got smart. I found something that would work (and not go bad or be wasted) when we need a quick electrolyte pick-up from being dehydrated and sick. Individual packets that can go with us anywhere, or just be stored in your pantry for when they are needed. I grabbed a great tasting watermelon Propel, which the kids would consider a HUGE treat.

And - it worked wonderfully well. I did not have to haul myself out of bed at 1:30ish in the morning and be a grumpy loving wife. I only had to walk to the pantry and pull out a packet to hand to my hubby when he was ready for something.

Not that I don't love my husband or children. Not that I wouldn't drive to Walmart for them in the middle of the night.
But it's so nice NOT to have to do that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How has blogging affected me?

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Lindsey at Whitcomb Family tagged me for this meme and I thought it would be a great post since I have been so busy lately and my list of blogging things is growing...and time has been seemingly shorter. Go figure.

We are to write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected us, either positively or negatively, link back to the person who tagged us, and tag a few friends and I already broke a few of the other rules. Who would've thought it. :)

So, here are my 5 thingies (for lack of a better term):

1. Blogging has given me a way to journal and keep track of all those "little" things that I truly wouldn't remember (and sometimes might honestly want to forget). But I am planning on "publishing" my blog each year to add to our family scrapbooks, because blogging gives me an outlet of sorts - and will show my kids another side of me that they might not always see or understand. But someday, they will be able to look back into all the moments of our lives and see the varied sides of their Mommy.

2. Connections! I have been so absolutely blessed to "meet" so many of you all and develop relationships. And for a stay-at-home mom who can't always answer the phone because of the screaming, whining, or general chaos, a nice quiet computer friend just hits the spot. Someday, I hope to meet some of you all in real-live person!

3. While I am a generally creative person, this has also sucked me into another dimension. I am fascinated by the technical stuff, and I know that there are others out there that are more advanced than I am, but learning new things is just too much fun!

4. Blogging makes me feel like I have something to contribute. I know the internet is a wide, wide world, but it's nice to have my own little corner of it. While I started out doing this just to keep track of life and give our families something fun to do (because truly, what is more fun than reading your daughter's blog, right mom?), it makes me smile to share the craziness that our children add to the world. And the fact that others laugh at our occassional disasters...well, that's just an added bonus. If my life can make yours feel more sane and normal, than please pull up a chair and have a good laugh at my expense. I'm happy to help out!

5. Blogging is much cheaper than therapy. :)

Who am I tagging?

Mary @ Not Before 7

Heidi Jo - What Do You Know?

Christy @ After a Cup of Coffee

Monday, September 8, 2008


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The phone has recently become an object of great, umm....fascination in our house. That's not to say the kids haven't loved playing with it before, but Zachary and McKenna have developed a great desire to use it, take it, hide it, dial numbers, etc...

At the dinner table the other night, McKenna was whining and fussing about the food choice of the evening, so she had to go to her room for a time out. The rest of us continued on with our meal while she thought about her behavior.

About five minutes into the time out, our phone rang. Rick got up to answer it, said "hello" a few times and then hung up. About that time, McKenna opened her door and asked to come out. I went in to talk to her and after she left to go sit at the table, I noticed it.

My cell phone.

I picked it up off her floor and checked the recent calls: our home phone had just been called.

So while I'm happy to know she knows our home phone number, I should probably be on the lookout for calls to Nairobi and such too.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Stick of Butter

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I found Zachary in the fridge today.

I know that this isn't shocking, but he was climbing down from one of the shelves, holding a stick of butter in one hand and a (butter) knife in the other. I, being a good mother, asked him "WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING?" - rather politely, of course.

Apparently McKenna was outside playing and had decided to swing in Kaleb's baby swing. And gotten herself stuck.

So Zachary (in all his 3 year old wisdom) promptly came inside, got a knife and a stick of butter and answered me, "McKenna is stuck in the swing and I am going to help her get out with a stick of butter. Because then she can get unstuck if I use the butter."

Where he comes up with these things I have no idea. Probably would have worked, and if I wouldn't have caught him it would have been even MORE fun to blog about.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

For All You Homeschoolers

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I've posted a few more giveaways on my homeschool blog. You can click on the link on the right to visit there if you are interested!!

Backwards Works for Me Wednesday: Cleaning Upholstery

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Here's a question for the backwards edition of Works for Me Wednesday that I would love some help on: How do you clean your upholstery?

We have a pale yellow chair and also a couch that are upholstery and I'm not sure exactly what to use on them to best clean them. I don't want to soak the fabric - especially since the kids are generally always touching it and playing around it, and if it's still wet...well, it picks up even more dirt, thus making the cleaning process a joke.

I don't want to wreck the fabric either. Do any of you have any suggestions that might help me out? I'd love to hear your suggestions and recommendations!!

Fantastic Contraption: A fun online physics puzzle game

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I found a great link for your kids to make their own contraptions to get an item from one place to another. The screen shot that you see is one of the ones I made. There are wheels and gadgets to hook together to move the dark pink item on the left into the light pink shaded area on the right. There are so many levels and it is really fun to see how miserably you can fail at making something that you think might work too!

Here's the link to the game. There's no fee for the site, but if you want to save any of your cool contraptions, you do have to register. Otherwise, play away!

Fantastic Contraption: A fun online physics puzzle game

Wordless Wednesday: First Ferris Wheel Ride

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day and Labors

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Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer posted this today and I thought it would be a fun to remember the ummm...fun of labor/delivery.

How long were your labors?

Laurianna, 12 hours.
McKenna, 3.5 hours
Zachary, 3 hours.
Kaleb, plenty of fun prior with pre-term labor, but he was a c-section.

How did you know you were in labor?

Laurianna, feeling contractions with my hands that were 3 minutes apart (ummm...didn't know I was in labor til the midwife checked me at the office and let me know I was 7 cm and sent me to the hospital).

McKenna, shopping at the Gap (yes, I'm serious) and walking to get contractions going - 2/3 minutes apart. I already had been 8 cm before having contractions. I did buy some nice boxers on sale for my hubby that night.

Zachary, somewhat stronger contractions at 2:30 in the morning. 5 weeks prior to his due date I was 5 cm. I wasn't sure if I should go in or not (and hated to call and wake up anyone for a false alarm), but the midwife on call said she wouldn't let me go home. We drove over right away.

Kaleb, the doctor told me to show up, so I did.

Where did you deliver?

The hospital, thankyouverymuch.


Only with one. The C-section. Didn't have much of a choice. Well, I suppose I could have said "no" but I certainly wasn't passing on the meds after the C-section either. So a resounding "YES" on that one!


Just with Kaleb. I wouldn't have chosen it, but since I had placenta previa with him, it was a no-brainer really. And I was scared to death to go into labor since I knew it would put us at a much higher risk. And I wouldn't wish a C-section on anyone. Really. Mine may have been a little different (belly button down - no nice bikini cut), but I would happily push a baby out any day than deal with everything afterwards. But...safety first! :)

Who delivered?

A midwife from our doctor's office for the first three and then practically the entire hospital staff was crammed into the tiny surgical room for Kaleb's birth: two doctor's from the office, a midwife, nurses galore, and really anyone else that seemed to be on the floor that morning, or just in the general area.

Ocean Animals that Amaze

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If you haven't seen this video on ocean life with David Gallo, click and watch. It is absolutely amazing. We've already watched it 5 times and the kids keep wanting to see it.

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