Monday, June 30, 2008

Cute And Not So Cute

Cute- her dimples

Not So Cute- her Vulcan death grip. No biting here folks, just the claws of death.

Cute- the way she looks in the mirror and shakes her head to make her ponytails jounce.

Not So Cute- her scream of discontent when, in her mind, the slightest infraction has take

Cute- the way she walks around holding her babies and kissing them on the head.

Not So Cute- after she burps or passes gas, she says, "Excuse you, Mama" (just a tad embarrasing in public places, if ya know what I mean!)

Cute- when she says, "please Mama" or "help Mama" or "day-doo Mama" (such a polite child!)

Not So Cute- her propensity to color on anything that looks like a blank canvas

Cute- How she gets super excited over simple pleasures- like icee pops!

Cute- How she loves her brothers and calls for them at the top of her lungs- "BOYS"!

Cute- Her beautiful blue eyes, curly hair, heart shaped lips, pudgy belly and baby smell.

I love this age! Sometimes her little 2-year-old quirks can be pretty frustrating, but for the most part she just makes me laugh! She is growing and changing so much each day. I am hoping to capture the essence of my little girl, so that I can read back over these posts when she is older and remember the days spent with my precious gift from God.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Very Berry Shortcake

Some how this spring I never got around to making Strawberry Shortcake. I made a Strawberry Pie, lots of jam and we ate more than our fair share of the berries fresh. But, never did I make a scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake. I promised myself I would do it this week. Besides I deserve it, right! Well, when I went to my moms to pick, I only got about half a quart. Not enough for shortcake. So, I improvised and this is what I came up with.

Very Berry Shortcake

Fruit topping:

1/2 quart strawberries, hulled and crushed
3-4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries or black raspberries
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together, place in the refrigerator. Let set for at least an hour.


2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk

In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in shortening, till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, add milk all at once. Stir just until dough clings together. Drop dough in mounds on greased baking sheet. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Makes 10-12

Vanilla Pudding:

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon saolt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon butter

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Add cold milk slowly. Over medium heat cook mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter. Pour into glass serving dish. Chill before serving.

I make my shortcake a little different from the original shortcake recipes. I like mine moist and creamy. So I split the bisquit, spoon a good portion of vanilla pudding on the bottom biquit, ladel on some fruit, place the top bisquit on, ladel on more fruit, and top with a generous dallop of whipped topping!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thank you Mr. Roach

The year was 1983. This picture was taken by my 4th grade, home room, teacher Mr. Roach. He took pictures of all the kids in the class, sitting on this bench. I don't remember why. Maybe it was for Mother's Day or something of that sort.

Anyway, check out my out fit!! Very 80's! The glasses are a dead give away to the time period! They were so big! But, I was sporting a really cute red heart sticker on the lens. That made them at least a little bit cool! I personally dig the brown shoes, white socks and rolled pant legs!

My mom loves this picture. I'm not sure why. For years she had it sitting on her dresser. For me this picture brings back the memory of Mr. Roach. What I remember most about him was that he believed in me. He noticed in me a shy, self-conscious little girl who was very unsure of herself. He saw the insecurities I dealt with. I just wanted to fit in, feel pretty and be liked. He realized that and made me feel accepted. I will never forget the joy I felt when I read what he wrote in my yearbook. He circled my picture and wrote, "Miss America some day!" You can imagine how my little girl heart sang!

Well, I never made Miss America. I didn't ever try. But, from that day on a part of me (even if it was teeny-tiny) knew that even if I didn't feel accepted by the "in" crowd, I was accepted by others, for who I was, big glasses and all. And by golly some one, besides my parents, thought I was beautiful! What more could a girl want!

For more Sincerely 'Fro Me to You visit We Are That Family

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simple Organization

When my daughter began eating baby food I found that Gerber had gotten away from the glass jars with metal lids. They had began putting the food into small plastic boxes with tight fitting lids. I wasn't sure what I would use them for, but I figured they would be good for storing something so I kept some of them.

This is one thing that I am using them for now:

I have put all of my 2-year-old daughters hair accessories into the handy Gerber containers then store them in a drawer in my bathroom vanity. This helps keep them all in one spot and organized. It works for me!

For more Works For Me Wednesday visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Wordless Wednesday

Rubber boots, brother's hat and diapy, I'm ready to Go!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just A Little Cool

Today I got to be a little "cool"! Instead of driving the standard mommy mini van, I got to cruise around in the big 3/4 ton Chevy pick-up truck with a fire fighter light bar on top! Now, mind you, I don't usually get to drive this ultra "cool" vehicle.

But, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Joel has resorted to driving the cheaper, better gas mileage, mini van to work.

Today I took advantage! I had to fortify my cupboards, so I decided to get groceries. I know this kinda knocks down the coolness factor just a bit, but the hungry minions needed to be fed. My dad happened to stop by before I left and the boys pleaded their way in to staying with him. They were thrilled that they didn't have to be tortured by endless roaming of the grocery store isles.

As soon as the boys were gone, Lauren and I got our cool on. She sporting pigtails and capris. Me in my good jeans and pretty summer top. I slipped on my flip-flops and sunglasses. We were ready to hit the town!

We tooled around town picking up our groceries at this store and that store, looking seriously way cool in the process! We even got noticed by a guy driving a cool, green, Chevy truck. (okay, it was my brother-in-law and father-in-law, but still they waved!)

Maybe these gas prices aren't such a bad thing after all!!!!

*For those of you who don't personally know me, I must explain. I do not get to drive the truck. I think in the last 4 years that we have owned it I have driven it 5 or 6 times and usually no farther than over to my parents, less than a mile a way. Now if you were to ask Joel, he would tell you that it isn't because he doesn't trust my driving skills. And it isn't because he adores his truck (HMMM sure!). For him, its just because I have the van to drive, he has his truck. So, driving the truck today, I felt a little cool again. Like back in the days when I was young! ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008


Our elderly neighbors, whom the boys have adopted like another set of grandparents, found this and brought it to the boys to investigate!

It is a Cecropia Moth. It is the largest moth in North America with a wing span of 5-6 inches. It is a member of the Giant Silk Moth family (Saturniidae). The female often lays her eggs on Maple, Cherry, Plum, Apple, Elderberry, Willow, Birch or Boxelder trees, where the caterpillars eat and grow fat until fall when they make their cocoon. The moth stays in the cocoon all winter until next spring when the cycle starts all over.

We concluded that we were looking at a female, because her body was very big and round. The male Cecropia has a thinner more angular body. After we took our pictures and looked at the moth closely, we took her out and tucked her into a tree. Hopefully, she found a place to lay her eggs so will can see more Cecropia moths next year.

Isaac's nature page

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Family Celebration

Our family celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary yesterday. It was a wonderful time of reminiscing, laughter and joy. It was a special day- remembering the love our parents have shown to us and each other over the years.

Here is the quilt my sister made (she's the one on the left,front corner). The cream colored sections are filled with notes, of love, from us kids to our mom and dad. (I'm on the right)

"May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children's children." Psalm 128:5-6

The Lord has blessed my parents. They have 5 children who love them and 9 grandchildren who adore them! I pray the Lord will give them many more years together. Not only has the Lord blessed them, but he has blessed us. We have loving, tender hearted parents who are a true gift from God.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Well, I have to say things are working out more smoothly than I thought they would. Got my self all bunched up for no reason!

As of this morning, the Potato Salad is chillin' in the fridge, cookies are in the oven and I'm in the process of finishing the Orange Tapioca Salad. I'm getting it done!

Lauren was still running a fever when I put her to bed last night, so I'm waiting to see how we'll handle that situation when she wakes up. The pediatrician swabbed her throat and took a urine sample. She wanted to rule out a bacterial infection because Lauren was running 103.4 degree temps. Of course, we'll have to wait on the labs for the answer to that.

If Lauren is fever free she will go with us. If she is still sick Joel's mom said she would watch her. Yeah for MaMas (a.k.a Grandma for those of you who don't speak Laurenese)!

Thanks to those of you who prayed for this simple request. I just need to keep my eyes on the Lord and remember he is in control.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today is starting off with a bang. I have a feverish toddler who just needs to held and comforted. However, tomorrow brings my family together to celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary. I haven't seen my brother, his wife and my nephew since January and I am praying hard that Lauren's illness is short lived. We are only able to get our whole family together twice a year so this get together is really important to me.

I am making a trip to the pediatricians office this afternoon. Its an hour away, so it will take a good chunk out of my day. Then its back home to prepare, Orange Tapioca Salad, Potato Salad, Snickedoodles and Iced Tea for tomorrow.

No kidding, this seems to be my lot in life. I make plans to go somewhere or get together with someone and one of my kiddos gets sick. Not sure what the Lord is trying to teach me here, but I am looking real hard for the lesson in it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hearing Gods Voice

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Hebrews 1:1-2

Since I started blogging 6 months ago, I have met some wonderful Christian women. They have been a blessing to me. Most importantly they have shown me that taking time to do daily devotions results in amazing spiritual growth. I have always known the importance of devotions. I just tend to let myself get to busy or use my tiredness as an excuse to do them later. Well, as you moms know, later usually doesn't come!

As I was reading my devotions yesterday, the above verses really spoke to me. I want to be in tune with the Lord so that I can hear Him speaking to me. I realized the best way for me to hear Jesus' voice is to spend time with Him. I have been given the gifts of a Savior and the Bible. If I want the Lord to speak to me and guide my days I need to be studying God's word. The closer I draw to Him the more I will here his voice leading me in the way I should go. My life will be more complete if only I open my heart to hear His calling.

For More Thirstin' For the Word Thursdays visit Celly B at Busy At Home

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why We Homeschool- Reason #4

The 4th reason why we homeschool is one that causes great debates among many people so prepare yourself and don't get to riled at me!

  • We homeschool because Joel and I desire to protect our children from the world of public school.

Many of you may not agree with us and that is okay, you don't have to. This decision is based on my experiences as a public school student and as a teacher and substitute teacher. When the time came to decide what schooling our children would have, the sinfulness of the public school concerned me. What I discovered is that the language and discussions, even in a 1st grade classroom, were not something I wanted to expose my children to. I especially believe this now that I know that 2 of my children tend to be followers, like I was at that age. As a child I wanted people to like me so desperately that I would do whatever they said. I didn't have the strength or strong character to go my own way, I just followed the crowd. I don't want that for my children. So to protect them, we homeschool.

Now, I know the arguement is that I can't shelter them from society it will only make them unable to cope when they are out on their own. I absolutely agree with this statement, because I have seen it happen. Therefore, we try to find a middle ground. We shelter our children, but we don't seclude them. We use a curriculum that teaches about other countries, people and their cultures. My boys have friends that they play with now and then that attend public schools. We are involved in 4-H and homeschooling events, etc.

So see we aren't total recluses!

I believe that my children aren't ready for all that this world has to offer. I will protect their minds and keep them innocent as long as I can. I want to develop in them a strong moral base. One that they can stand firmly on when they are older. So that when they are faced with difficult decisions they will be able to choose wisely.

I am not ready to throw my lambs to the wolves of this world. They are my lambs and the world can't have them yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Prayer List

I am re-reading a book called When Mothers Pray by Cheri Fuller. In chapter 3 she talks about making a prayer list to pray over your children. I thought this was a great idea. I am hoping it will help me to be more focused and specific in my prayers for my children. Here is the list I will be praying:

Sunday- That they will desire a deep, close relationship with the Lord.

Monday- That they will have compassion for those around them.

Tuesday- For their future spouses, that they may also live for the Lord.

Wednesday- For a pure and clean heart.

Thursday- That they will serve the Lord where ever he may call them.

Friday- For a delight in God's word.

Saturday- For a positive attitude and grateful spirit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Busy Weekend

Saturday started freezing and canning season in my household. Isaac and I spent a good portion of our day making Strawberry Jam. We put 9 batches of jam in the freezer. It was a lot of work, but as Ikey said, "this tastes so g-0-0-d, that stuff at the store is gross." The rest of the strawberries that we pick or purchase will go in the freezer. We will use them this winter to make Berry Breakfast Smoothies.

We had an enjoyable Fathers Day. We celebrated with Joel's parents, sisters family and my parents. They all joined us at our house for dinner. It was a relaxing afternoon. It was especially special to be able to be able to spend the day with both my dad, father-in-law and husband. I have some incredible men in my life.

Isaac made this Happy Fathers Day creation out of Legos to show his appreciation for his Dad, Grandpas and Uncle. After we got home from church, he rushed downstairs to the playroom and had this put together within 30 minutes! I thought it was really creative and thoughtful. What a great center piece for out Fathers Day celebration!

Later in the evening as I was getting the boys ready for bed. Jacpb looked at me shocked and said, "We're going to bed without supper?" To which I replied, " No, we all ate." Joel had made popcorn, I had sliced up a bowl of fresh strawberries and we finished up the left over raw veggies from the party. He said, "Well, all I had was strawberries. I thought it was just a snack." I told him I was sorry but it was late and he needed to go to bed. He shuffled down the hallway to his bedroom. Joel told him he didn't think he was going to starve to death.

To which Jacob replied, " yes, I will."

Joel said, "Well, I'll miss you when your gone."

Jacob, in a very serious tone, said, "I want to be buried next to Grandpa Reese."


Since I didn't want him to pass away from hunger, I gave him a bowl of popcorn!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Welcome To My Garden

I first discovered the joys of gardening 11 years ago. Joel and I were moving into our first home, after living in an apartment for 4 years. I suddenly had the desire to surround my home with beautiful plants and flowers. Joel's parents were moving from their home at the same time, so I got my shovel and helped myself to all the various perennials in my mother-in-laws garden. Five years later we moved out of town into the country. I can't tell you how elated I was, me being a country girl to begin with and all. Anyway, I ended up starting all over with my garden. But, once again I got starts from my previous flower garden.

Do you sense a bit of frugality in me?!

Every plant I have in my garden has come from starts from someone elses garden or as gifts! I am a frugal gardener at heart! But mostly I am blessed with friends and family who are willing to share. Any annuals I have, I usually start from seed I have collected from previous summers. Some seed I start indoors in March. Other seed I sow directly in the ground. The picture above is lacking my annuals. They haven't bloomed yet. Actually they are not very big yet! We had a really cold spring so I had to plant later this year.

I enjoy gardening so much that I have 3 other flower gardens and a large vegetable garden. In March you can find me peering closely at the ground for signs of new green life poking through the cold soil. I get antsy and a little impatient to be working in the dirt.

When I am out working in my gardens I have such peace and tranquility. Its my quiet time. A time to enjoy the beauty around me and meditate on the One who has blessed me with it. Looking at the variation in the plants just reminds me how great God is. How amazing it is to look at just the plants in my little garden and see all the many differences between the plants. How awesome it is to think about the intricacies of each little flower and leaf. He has given me so much to marvel at and enjoy.

To see more spring gardens visit The Preachers Wife and take a wonderful tour of other bloggers gardens.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Undivided Heart

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I will fear your name." Psalm 86:11

So often in my life I go my way instead of Gods. I get busy with life. Busy raising children, busy being a wife and busy keeping up with the house. I often need the reminder that this verse gives- "Teach me your way, O Lord...". I too easily travel my own path, not the one the Lord has laid before me. I find it so easy to get caught up in everyday living and forget to focus on the One who has given me this life.

"...Give me an undivided heart" I even struggle with focusing my thoughts on the Lord. My mind tends to flit through several dozen things at once, never staying focused on any one thing for too long. So, I find I struggle with giving God my full attention even during my quiet times. I even find it hard to pray. When in pray my mind wanders through what needs to be done or the events of the day.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Again another reminder to give it all to the Lord. My life, my thoughts, my children, my husband- all to the Lord. How easily I fall into the trap of relying on myself to get through each day. Why is it so hard for me to give God full control of my life? One moment I think I have given it all to the Lord and the next moment I am in the drivers seat again veering off the path He has set before me.

So, in light of this very honest and revealing look into my life. My goal for the next month is to pray this verse throughout my days. I especially will be praying for an undivided heart, the Lord knows I need it!

"Lord teach me your ways so that I can really know you. Help me to display your truths in my life so that others may see your love through me. Give me an undivided heart so that I may focus on you and your love. Help me to put you first in my life and give you control of my days."

For more Thirstin' For the Word Thursdays visit CellyB at Busy At Home

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor

We have an elderly couple that lives around the corner from us. They are both in their upper 80's and they just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They live on a farm that up until about 3 years ago was quite productive. Since that time Mr. R has had a stroke and can no longer keep up with farming. But he certainly didn't give up on life! We always get a kick out of both of them because Mrs. R is fiesty and Mr. R is forgetful and nonchalant!

I think they have adopted Joel as their son! He is very good about fixing things for them. In the past week or two he has: 1) Climbed down a spider infested, old, windmill well to fix a water turn off(to me that is pure dedication!). 2) He got their lawn mower running (again!). 3Accomplished a few other odd jobs. Not only is he Mister Fix It, but in the winter he keeps them supplied in fire wood.

They have seen tragedy in their lifetime. Both of their children are deceased and both died at fairly young ages. When we first moved here, Mrs. R was a little stand-offish. I believe it was from her heartache. Over the years she has become attached to my children and they have become attached to her.

Last night while I was trying to conduct a 4-H meeting, Mr. R came by. He was looking for a socket. The scary part is that he isn't supposed to be driving, because his response time was impaired by the stroke. The funny part was that when I asked him if he was supposed to be driving he gave me a little smirk and said, "No!" The funniest part was that he snuck in and took the keys to the truck while Mrs. R was sleeping!!! He doesn't dare attempt to drive when she is awake because she would put the kaboshes on that immediately!

Later after the meeting, Joel went to head over to their house to get the lawn mower started for Mr. R. The boys jumped into the van to go along. Lauren saw that they were getting to go for a ride and she took off on a dead run to get into the van. I was taking laundry off the line and Joel yelled out the window, "I guess your going too, Jenn!" We have a understanding in our home, if you go over to Mr. and Mrs. R's you better be prepared to stay at least 2 hours. So, even though I had planned on picking up the house and doing some paper work, we all headed over to Mr. and Mrs. R's. The house could wait.

When we got there Joel headed out to the barn with Mr. R to locate the socket he had borrowed from us. Then he proceeded to change the spark plugs and get the old girl running! Lauren and I went in the house to look at Mrs. R's kittys. While we were in there she began showing me pictures of her children and talking about their accomplishments. It was wonderful to hear her share. She sometimes shows us the same things over again, but I don't mind because I know how much she still loves her precious children.

All this leads up to the fact that I feel we are blessed to be a part of their lives. They need us and we need them. The boys are learning what it means to help your neighbor by watching their dad. I pray that they too will be as giving of their time and heart as he is with his.

Why We Homeschool- Reason #3

Zoo field trip with Grandma and Grandpa.
A learning experience at every turn!

The third reason why we homeschool is purely selfish. I love to teach! It is one of my passions. I even went to college, earned my teaching degree and put it to short use. I taught for one year when Isaac was a baby. I enjoyed my job and loved the children I taught. But a deeper and stronger passion emerged when I had my son and that was to be at home with him. So now I have the best of both worlds! I get to keep on learning and sharing what I have learned with my children. What could be better!

So now I have my own "school" where I can be the principal and the teacher! But honestly, I would rather my husband be the principal and then I could just pour all my energy into being the best teacher I can be! I love our homeschool and I couldn't imagine it any other way!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

For Mom and Dad

My family will be celebrating my mom and dads 40th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. My sister Marisa suggested that we all write something to our parents and then she would make it into a quilt (she is so creative!). I thought I would share what I will be sending to her:
How many times do I love thee, dear?
Tell me how many thoughts there be
In the atmosphere
Of a new-fall’n year,
Whose white and sable hours appear
The latest flake of Eternity-
So many times do I love thee, dear.
How many times do I love again?
Tell me how many beads there are
In a silver chain
Of evening rain,
Unraveled from the tumbling main,
And threading the eye of a yellow star-
So many times do I love again.
Thomas Lovell Beddoes 1851
Mom and Dad thank you for all the years you have shown your children what true love is. A love that shines even through sorrow, despair, disagreement and struggles. You have displayed a
love that is strong and true through the good times and the bad. You have shown us that love stands the test of time, but only if it is strived for. As parents you have provided us with a model of what a strong marriage is.
We have learned from you what a happy marriage truly is. In your marriage you have shown us thankfulness, joy and an unending love. You have filled your lives with laughter and harmony. You have shown us that it is important to keep our faith in the Lord because without it marriages can so easily fail.
Thanks for keeping it real and showing us that love is not perfect. Sometimes it's messy. You have shown us that its okay to disagree. Its okay to not like one another momentarily. But its of the utmost importance to love at all times and to work together to strengthen that love.
Over the past 40 years you have modeled what true love is and for that I wholeheartedly thank you.
Your loving daughter

Friday, June 6, 2008

Garden Bounty

Salad anyone? I absolutely, thouroughly, completely love this time of year! I just had to share my excitement over my lettuce and radishes! I look forward to the first fresh salad of spring all winter long. That grocery store stuff has nothing on a fresh picked garden salad!
"I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land." Ezekiel 34: 26b-27

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thought Life

**As I was proofreading this today I realized that this kind of makes me sound like an overly critical person. I'm not. What I was referring to was the moments in our life when we must rub shoulders with people who irritate us. Outwardly we may treat them with outmost kindness, but inwardly we have a hundred cutting remarks floating through our heads. I am trying to remember that God loves those who irritate me! I am striving for the goal of a pure heart and mind.

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar." Psalm 139:1-2

Only God truly knows me. He knows every minute detail about me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows when I sit or stand. He knows the very thoughts that I think. God knows my inner most thoughts, those I wouldn't want to share with anyone. He sees the not so nice side of me. The thoughts that go through my head in a day are numerous, but what concerns me is the quality of those thoughts.

In Ephesians 4:32 we read "Be kind and compassionate to one another......." We know we are to be kind to one another. Its kind of a Christian no-brainer. But what about our thoughts.

I have been convicted of this time and time again. I may outwardly treat a person one way, yet at the same time think not so kind thoughts. That person may never know what I was thinking, but God does. Galations 6:10 says " Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." God commands us to do good to other people, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Everytime I lose control of my thoughts and think negatively towards someone, I am disobeying Gods command. I am not being compassionate to God's loved one. I need to remember that my thoughts are not private. God perceives them. He knows the good and the bad. I am only hurting God and myself when I let my thoughts wander into negative realms. I want to not only physic ally show Gods love, but I desire to surrender my thoughts to God so that they may bring glory to Him.

I will be guarding my thoughts more closely, so that I may show true kindness and compassion to others. How about you?

For more inspirational thoughts visit Cellyb at Busy at Home .

The Princess of Everything

Our life with Sissy is interesting to say the least. Her grandparents have dubbed her the "Princess of Everything". That title alone should give you a pretty good idea of how our days play out.

Today we went-a-visiting. We took a trip to visit my parents who were camping about 45 min. away from where we live. Grandma and Grandpa decided to do a cookout for lunch with the kids. While we were getting everything ready Sissy was sitting at the picnic table. What she was doing I don't know. I was in a happy place because she wasn't chastising someone with her yelp and scream routine.

This didn't last long because Caleb naively sat down next to her. A big no no, I guess, because she lit into him. She laid on her best scream and Caleb quickly exited. Ya know when your 2 you own even the picnic tables at a state park. My mom started singing the Frank Sinatra song "I did it my way" to Lauren. We all decided it should be her mantra. Jacob, however, piped up and said, "Ya know Grandma she wrote that!" I wholeheartedly agree! She could have!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Amphibian Study- Salamanders

We have been studying amphibians for our nature study this summer. A couple of days ago, Joel found 6 salamanders while working on an elderly neighbors old well pit. He brought the salamanders home to show the boys. We were all excited over the seldom seen creatures. I was especially happy since I knew I could turn it into a nature study!

First we looked for information about salamanders on the Internet. I found a kid friendly site that had some interesting facts about salamanders. It also listed the main types, their habitat and what they eat. The boys were able to identify the salamanders we had as Spotted Salamanders and a Blue Spotted Salamander. Next they went hunting for dinner for our guests. They had a grand time watching the salamanders down worms and crickets! Finally, we worked on our nature notebook. The boys drew pictures of the salamanders. Then they wrote down what salamanders eat, their habitat and some facts they found interesting. We are enjoying our nature study this summer. The boys are having fun with the catch and release portion! They also like drawing the pictures. It will be great to be able to look their books this winter when nature is sleeping.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Washer Woman

Today I was the stain fighting, pre-treating, scrubbing, rubbing, washer woman extraordinaire! It all started out bright and early this morning- right after breakfast. I dressed Lauren in a cute teal blue shirt with matching blue and purple plaid carpi's. She looked so fresh and pretty. I placed a pretty purple barrette in her hair as she rushed past me yelling, "Sow-si, sow-si!" (That's outside for those of you who don't speak Lauren-ese). She had heard her brothers rush outside to go romp through the sudden rain shower we were having. I raced after her, to stop her from preceding into the damp muddy outdoors, but she already had on one rubber boot. I couldn't tell her no. She was so excited. There was no way I was going to get her to change into play clothes, so being the cool mom I am, I helped her with her boots, grabbed my camera and ushered her out into the rain. All the time hoping she wouldn't destroy her adorable outfit. She had a great time, but in the process got soaked and splattered her clothes with mud. I stripped her down, re-dressed her and pre-treated her clothes. Not bad, but the day was young.
A few minutes later I was changing her again, because she had spilled coffee down the front of her shirt. Yes, I let my 2-year-old drink coffee! But before you judge- 1)she is my fourth(!) and 2)its just a splash of coffee chased by a lot of milk. Not 30 minutes later, she came up to me with a bottle of nail polish in her hand wanting her toenails painted. This wouldn't have been so bad, but she had loosened the top and had gotten polish on her shirt. AARGH! Another shirt to wage the pre-treating war on.
I don't know why it took me so long today to just give in and let her walk around like a filthy animal. She seems happiest when sporting a stain on her chest or belly. I guess I just wanted her to look clean, presentable and like someone really did care for her.
Ah well, I would love to stay and chat, but I have laundry to do!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why We Homeschool- Reason #2

I can sum up my next reason in one word- RELATIONSHIPS! I desire to have strong relationships with my children. I feel that I can do this easier by having them at home with me. When it came time to think about sending Isaac to school 7 years ago, I cringed. I couldn't do it. I didn't have peace of mind. I couldn't imagine sending him off to school for 6-7 hours, five days a week (**For those of you who chose this for your family, please don't be offended with this post. It is just what I feel God placed on my heart for my children. Every one must choose what is right for their own family. Homeschooling isn't for everyone. It is only one option of many.). I needed him nearer. I needed him home with me. This may sound a bit selfish, but I had other motives too.

It is my deepest desire to develop strong bonds with each of my children. I want them to know me and I want to know them. By homeschooling I think I have made this desire more tangible. We spend so much of our day together, that we have grown extremely close. The boys spend their days playing with each other and in the process form deep, meaningful friendships. Yes, my children are friends! That doesn't mean they don't bicker and fight, they do. But when I listen to them play what I hear is enjoyment. They enjoy one anothers company. Homeschooling encourages this. I am able to spend more time with each of my children since they are with me each day. I can talk with them, encourage them, laugh with them, teach them, play with them, and admonish them. Each moment together strengthens our relationships.
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