I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

When hubby has a week and a half off from work.

My blogging has taken a vacation. Steve has ten days off from work although it may not feel like it to him. He has been tackling some home projects like a mad man. I now have a new in the wall ironing board that is absolutely fantastic. No more taking the ironing board in and out of the laundry room.

Yesterday we (and when I say we, I mostly mean he) painted our family room. It was touch and go for awhile as my paint selection appeared questionable at first but had a great finish. It has turned out very nice and we are wondering why we didn't do it sooner. It now feels so warm and cozy in there that I'm not sure the rest of the house will see us much.

Tonight we are having friends over for games and tomorrow holds a winter time BBQ to celebrate the new year. We enjoyed some unusual to Christmas time snow. It was a lot fun for the kids as they spent their mornings, on the days we had some accumulation, building snowmen and throwing snowballs.

My blogging will pick up in the days ahead but in the meantime I hope this little post will hold you over.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday filled with family and friends. We are having a very nice time as a family and enjoying our time together today. I love that the whole world seems to have slowed down to stop and take notice. My hope is that you feel a difference today and feel the Lord drawing close to you this season. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

They say the mind is the first to go.

I posted last week about not having very many traditions and asked for some ideas. Apparantly, I was just in a momentary lapse of brain function. As the last week has left us more and more traditions have emerged. So here is my list of all things tradition in our house with two new ones.

1) Decorating something gingerbread, cookies or houses.

2) Purchasing a new Christmas book each year.

3) Taking the kids shopping for each other.

4) Delivering toys as a family for the Toys for Tots program.

5) Decorating the tree to Christmas music while eating candy canes.

6) Putting together little gifts for our neighbors.

7) New pj's for everyone to be opened Christmas Eve.

8) Christmas Eve Service followed by a pajama ride. We come home and change into our pj's. Then we load up the car with kids and hot chocolate and head out to look at Christmas lights. We read our new Christmas story before bed.

After looking at that list, I don't feel so bad about not having any traditions. It was my kids who reminded me of how many we do have. Good thing we have little people living around here to remember things for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who's that Girl?

This girl has wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love for many years. However, an unfortunate Kindergarten scissors incident prevented her from doing it sooner. I had planned photo shoots of the kids and wanted to do hers before we did the big cut. Here she is with her long mane.

Here she is post cut. If you see this girl around, it's still our Els but she is now sporting a cute short bob these days. She's cute as a button and proud that she was able to donate her hair.
Way to go kiddo!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It seems we aren't completely without tradition.

My kids asked me just over a week ago when we were going to do our annual gingerbread house. I had forgotten that we have done that the last few years. Now, many things I am. A baker I am not. You can ask Steve about my infamous M&M cookies in the early days of our marriage. It wasn't pretty. A kit has been my life saver in this area. But this year, I decided to switch things up and bought a cookie kit instead. The kids always seem a little disappointed when we finish decorating the house and it can't be eaten. So this year, I found a cookie kit with yummier icing that is meant to be eaten.

Daddy and I shared icing duties to get them started.

Some take their decorating work very seriously.

Some decide later that more icing is better. Not that I blame them.

Even Daddy got in on the decorating.

There you have it. One happy, spiffyily decorated gingerbread family. I am afraid I do have to report that, at this very moment, we have five headless gingerbread people. But my family is happy, so that's what matters.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taming the chaos that is Christmas and New Years

***New review up at Making the Grade Reviews. It's about a great wholesome book company called Salem Ridge Press.***

Doesn't is seem like Christmas comes sooner and sooner each year? It does for me and it never seems to come without the normal chaos that is present buying, card writing and time spending kind of activities.

This year though I have vowed to do things differently. With 13 days to go I have all but 3 gifts purchased, the halls have been decked and the Christmas cards are calling my name today. The goal is to get them out on Monday and then we will have almost 2 weeks to enjoy the season together. I have a few little activities up my sleeve that I hope will build some memories of a fun Christmas and not one where mom is pulling her hair out, running screaming into the night. Don't think I haven't considered it a time or two.

But seriously, the key to my success this year was early planning. I started purchasing gifts and coming up with ideas in early November. I also made use of the handy internet to take care of some purchases making my time more available for the daily chores that do not disappear just because it is Christmas. I also give full credit to the hubster for all of the decorating. I mean I had a say, no doubt to all of you that know me, but the execution was purely that of my husband. He outdid himself on the outside of the house and the inside looks so nice and inviting. We have enjoyed time on the couch looking at the Christmas lights, music on and kids in bed, just chatting. How nice is that? Or, I should ask, how often does that happen?

I have high hopes that this will carry over into the year 2009 as I purpose to be better organized. I got an idea recently from another blogger. She does all of her lesson planning for homeschooling on Satuday mornings at a local coffee shop. Less distractions and a little time away to make sure things go smoothly. Well, I guess there is a never a guarantee of that but at least there will be a plan. A plan goes a long ways in this house. I would like to do something similar to what she does, finding a way to set aside time away from everything to get organized for my week ahead.

So tell me, how are you making your season and new year less chaotic this season? Stream lining, hiring an assistant, skipping it all together?

This post was written for Parent Bloggers and the current sponsor Big Tent. Check out the links to see how they are partnering up with other companies to help make people's lives better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Steve loves this part of Christmas. Well, truth be told, he loves every part of Christmas. But there he is going through the ornaments, candy cane in mouth, handing them out to the kids to hang on the tree. I love it! I get in there a bit too but I really enjoy taking pictures of the kids and their dad enjoying the process.

Of course, there were a few ornaments that didn't quite make it to the tree. They look pretty nice in this spot, too.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sooooo busy

Goodness things have been busy. Christmas shopping, time with friends and family as well as schooling has been our mode of operation the last two weeks. The good news is that after today I should be done with my shopping and that makes me oh so happy! This year we will have more time to spend thinking of others and what we can do to make this season special. We might actually have some time for baking and making and we might even start a new tradition or two this year.

In other news I have playing around with picasa (thanks to my friend Brooke) in my picture taking and whoa! is it ever fun. Each of my five got their own photo shoot yesterday and they loved it. The bonus was one on one time with each of them. They are becoming such neat people and it was fun to take time to capture their personalities. Besides, I think these are much better than school pictures.

There were many really great shots if I do say so myself but I can't show them all to you at this time due to a certain holiday coming up, if you know what I mean. Wink, wink.

Today, hubby is heading out to men's breakfast after which we will divide the family by gender and go shopping. The girls will pick out something for the boys and the boys will pick out something for the girls and then we'll take the kids out to lunch. We are going to opposite towns as mommy and daddy have some shopping to do for each other.

I mentioned traditions earlier. We only have a few so far and would like to add some. Bub always helps his dad load our tree in the truck and get it into the house. The girls always help me with the wrapping. Christmas Eve has this family singing Chrismas carols by candlelight and then driving around in their pajamas looking at Christmas lights. We will be adding a hot cocoa feature to that tradition this year.

Any other ideas for me?

We're taking suggestions.

Put your thinking caps on and help a girl out!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Clean up in the jewelry aisle!

Today, the kids and I were Christmas shopping in the mall while their daddy was at the dentist close by. As I pushed four year old Lij's stroller by the jewelry counter he asked me to stop so he could look at the cases. I let him out as this was a reasonable request and I was curious about what he wanted to look at. He inspected the ruby section for a few seconds and then exclaimed "Look! Look!", so I leaned in to look. He stopped suddenly, held up his hand to me and said "Wait. Don't look. It's a birthday present."

And right there in the store, I left my heart in a puddle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving for just a little longer

***New review up at Making The Grade***
Go take a look!
It seems that year after year Christmas comes a bit sooner. Before Halloween even the Christmas aisles are emerging at the store. I really do love Christmas but it seems that Thanksgiving comes and instead of savoring it, we wake the next morning to the mad rush that is the holiday season. It is ushered in with a gusto that seems to leave Thanksgiving in it's wake.

I am almost done with my shopping and the lights and decorations made their way to the house from the shop. Christmas is so beautiful and I love how our house looks all dressed up for the celebration of Christ's birth. I sit at my laptop each morning and watch the sun come up through our front window to the other end of the double cul-de-sac. The tree you see above is there to greet me each day and it looks more and more gorgeous as the fall comes and the leaves begin to turn.

This morning I was mesmerized by the colors as the sun rose and lit up this tree. It left me wanting to savor Thanksgiving just a little bit longer. Maybe if we celebrated Christmas earlier in the fall. Then we could have Thanksgiving last and savor all of the blessings that we have in our salvation and the material things we enjoy while here. That would make more sense don't you think?

(For those of you who are still celebrating Christmas in December, Vision Forum is having an excellent sale. You can click on the sale picture a little ways down on my sidebar and see for yourself what quality products they have to offer. Someone on our list is getting some of the Jonathan Park Series this year. Shhh, don't tell!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me Monday

Not me Monday is a blog carnival hosted by Mckmama. She says that confession of our mommyhood shortcomings is a good thing and for today I am going to take her word for it. If you would like a good read, a great testimony of God's grace and some great photography you should head over to her blog. It's one of my favorites.

But on to the shameful aforementioned confessions. Drum roll please...

I did not convince my four year old that if he closed HIS eyes while using the bathroom that I could come in and get something and he would still be in private. Nope, not me because that wouldn't make sense.

I did not go with hubby and kids and use two carts and split the list so that we could get an extra turkey for the freezer. No way, no how, THAT would be shameless.

I did not tell my daughter that even if the president himself asked her to do something, she should still do what I asked her to do first. I did not do that because I am sure that our president would agree that putting sheets back on her bed is way more important than national security and that she would already know that.

And lastly, I most definitely did not have a screaming fit with my six year old during her panic attack when the computer was not working and then, in turn, tell her to go check and see if our combined fit throwing fixed the computer. And she most certainly did not go check. Nope not us.

Well that wraps it up for this week's Not Me Monday. Would you like to join in the fun? Hop on over to Mckmama's and see what it's all about.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Counting Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving to all! We will be counting our blessings today as a family and there are many. We do not want to take for granted all that God has given us. I hope you have a wonderful day spending time with family and feasting in celebration of all that God has done.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So sneaky

This last week I was typing away on my laptop at the kitchen table when I noticed some movement coming my way ever so slowly.
Here was the sneaky culprit. He is pretty cute though so he can sneak up on me anytime. (Can you believe he still can fit inside a pillowcase?)

Pressed but not crushed

I have been putting off posting. I'm just not feeling very posty the last couple of days. But I have found, that for me, if I can write about something it does help me to process better. So here I am.

I found out on Monday that I am now a diabetic. Right on the edge of being one, but the word is out there. It's in mine and Steve's family so it is something I watch for. I already had a meter and have for quite awhile, checking the kids and I from time to time as it can show up at anytime.

I was told the news and have been in disbelief since. I started taking my post meal sugars since the call and they have been perfect, no sign of it. I thought maybe there was a mistake. But then this morning, there it was. My morning fasting sugar that has been beautiful every other time I had checked it until I stopped checking six months ago. Well, it was high this morning. Not scary high but a clear reality check.

Cold hard reality.

At this point, we are hoping it is magageable with diet and exercise. There have so many people in my life that I know or have known that have Diabetes. I feel like I already have so much information and know what changes I need to make. But I will start diabetes education classes in December so that I can have as much information as possible.

Information is my security blanket. There is power in knowledge and it helps me to feel somewhat in control when I am feeling out of control. But the truth is I am not in control. Now there is a cold, hard reality for me. The good news, however, is that God is. He knows better than I do and He knew this was coming. There I will try to rest. I say try because I know me. But I will try.

I am not wallowing, just grieving a little. I'll be back to my old chipper self soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Public Service Announcement

To all friends and family who may come into contact with me in the next 2 months,

In an effort to retain all relationships important to me, please consider yourself put on notice. The time has come for me to transition to a new thyroid medication. This kind of a decision is not always without consequences. My moods, possibly without notice, will be prone to going up and down and sideways.

We are confident that this change will be in the best interest of all involved. We will do all that we can to make sure that this transition is as smooth and painless as possible but as with all things, when change happens, there can be growing pains. We appreciate your patience as we navigate the choppy waters that are the endocrine system.

To my Women of Faith friends. For Anita Renfroe, where it's probably just her thyroid, in my case, IT really IS my thyroid.

Much love,
Your wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, granddaughter, friend, neighbor or stranger who may happen to pass you on the street.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Wooden Head

Thank goodness he has one. This is not the first time he has had a goose egg like this. Last time he got one like this it was much worse. See that bump on the top left part of his forehead. Yep, it's not supposed to stick out like that.

It was quite traumatic. There was much ice and book reading to be had while he recovered. Poor guy. His left arm wasn't left out of the action either.

He could sit up and manage the ice after awhile and all was well. The swelling went down and there is just a nice abrasion left in it's place today. That's what tripping on the pavement while running out to see your siblings gets ya. Just another day at the office when you're a boy folks.
My boys could be the death of me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wanted: One Hand Massage

Check over at Making the Grade for another review and a book giveaway!
Doing Lil's hair over the years has been no small task. And I will admit that we have had paid to have it done from time to time as all things repetitive and small have been known to drive me batty. But, as time goes on and she gets older, her hair has become even more important so I have been making more of an effort. We have had it done about every 3 or 4 months and the style usually lasts about 5-6 weeks. Then in the off time we play around with it or she uses her favorite throw it up in 2 ponytail style. I prefer her to have it in a style that is better for her hair so I have stepped up my efforts.

Black hair has to be taken care of differently or it will break off. Hairstyles like this help to preserve the hair so that it can grow longer. We also started using coconut oil on her hair about a year ago and and the gal that has helped us with her hair noticed the difference right away. It works better than any other hair product we have tried and it's less expensive also.
I found a You Tube video recently that showed me how to put in yarn extensions and I was excited. She doesn't like the yarn quite as much as when we have had synthetic hair put in but she does like it. The upside of yarn extensions is that yarn is inexpensive and easier to work with than synthetic hair so I was able to do it. Plus it is a versatile style. She can pull the sides back, wear a headband and just let it down free. The shorter length this time is very cute on her also.

It took between 5 and 6 hours but it was completely worth it. She is a more confident girl when her hair is done. Not in a vain sort of way but more of a taken care of sort of way. And I want my girl to feel taken care of. In the picture above we were heading out to watch our favorite college team and she was sporting their colors. So cute!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Buckwheat Hull freezer bag tutorial

Are you looking for a simple creative project for a gift?
Here is a really easy one that takes me less than 15 minutes per bag. These bags are meant to be kept in the freezer for those times when someone in your family has a headache or for an injury that would normally require ice or a bag of frozen veggies. They are soft and mold to the joint or neck very nicely. I made them for about $.75 each. They are filled with buckwheat hulls which cost me $4 for a 1lb bag and I have only used about the half of a pound so far for 8 bags.
First you cut out 3 identical pieces of fabric 3 1/4" X 6 1/4". I like to choose 2 that match for the outside strips. You can choose whatever you like. I used scraps from another project.

I then sew the 3 strips together placing right sides together using a 5/8" seam allowance. Once you have the 3 strips sewn together, press the seams on the under side open.

I then take the pieced together section and lay it on the fabric that is them same as my middle strip on the front side. I turned the stripes the other way for a crazy quilt feel. Cut one large piece of fabric the exact size of the pieced side.

Place right sides together and sew closed on three sides.

Turn right side out and sew a decorative seam using a 3/8" seam allowance. I also clip the 2 corners so they corners come out a little more pointed.

I next turn in the open seam about 5/8 " and press it. Once pressed, fill the bag with approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of buckwheat hulls.

Sew the open seam closed again using a 3/8" seam allowance.

Your finished bag will now look like a little pillow and is ready to put into the freezer. I am planning to put 2 of these together with a box of tea and some pretty ribbon for a small gift. This would work nice for a bridal shower gift, a new Mom, or a Christmas gift.
Cute and inexpensive. Just my style.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Toothless Wonder

That's what her big sister is calling her now that she lost her first tooth. This momma kind of freaks about loose teeth. Lil knows this and while I was teaching the other day, she took Emma to the bathroom to help her finish the pulling out. She helped stop the bleeding and labeled a bag for her to place under her pillow. She is such a good big sister and I made sure to tell her so.

Now Emma has dubbed herself "Toothless Wonder" as well and can't wait for the loose one next to the empty space to come out. She is also now sporting the cutest little lisp.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday

I don't want anyone to be under the illusion that I do it all around here. I do get that question every once in awhile and my response to the "How do you do it all?" is that I don't do it all. I have a great family with kids that are incredible workers. There are still things that I am soley responsible for such as meal planning, scrubbing toilets, making school plans and teaching, running errands, grocery shopping, etc. But there are many jobs that can be delegated and when delegated well, can be kind of fun too.
I loathe snapping beans. I mean really loathe it, but my kids like it. This past August we had 2, 7 gallon buckets to snap and process. The kids just got out the bowls without any prompting from me. They asked if they could watch a movie while they snapped. I was happy to oblige.

There is the fruit of our labor. While they snapped, I canned and canned and canned. It's a beautiful partnership and I take every opportunity to remind them how much it is worth to us. Whenever we open a jar for dinner I like to tell them how great it is that they helped to make dinner that night. I let them know the value of what is on the table and that we know exactly what is in it.

Don't they look like they are having fun in the picture up there? See, I'm really doing them a favor providing all that fun and that works for me. Hop on over to Rocks in my Dryer for more links to other Works-For-Me Wednesday posts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Treasures

I chose my guys this week for my Tuesday Treasures. They just enjoy being together. Well most of the time. They are boys afterall. They can get to me being loud and boisterous many days but it's better than the alternative, yes?
Those are my guys, hanging out on a weekend evening watching a movie together.
Go over and visit Storing up Treasures in Heaven. She is hosting Tuesday Treasures and you can click on the list and see others treasures today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making the Grade Review Blog

I have created a new blog for my reviews. It's called Making the Grade and there you will find reviews that I will be doing for homeschooling and family products.

I just put the first one up today for a very cute nativity set that kids can play with. Go ahead and click on over there. If you are interested in the reviews you can bookmark the site.

I was chosen to be in a group of 100 people that will be reviewing items for the next 9 months for The Old Schoolhouse. I have already begun to receive curriculum and products that we are test driving as we speak. There will be some giveaways from time time as well so keep checking back.

I will be adding a button on my sidebar that will link to my review blog as well very soon.

Treasures in Heaven

We've been doing something in our house for about six months now. We have created a small treasure box. In an effort to have our kids focus on good behavior, we talk from time to time about the blessings that God gives us. How he loves to reward his children. In the same way, every so often my husband goes to the dollar store and picks up various items to replenish the box. He loves doing this and would be disappointed if I showed interest in doing it for him.

When he comes home from the store, he shows them all of the things that will be added to the box. It builds some excitement when he does this. When we notice them working extra hard in school, showing integrity or kindness, or just in general having good attitudes, they get to choose something from the box. It is filled with fun pencils, little notbooks, some small candy, mints and bubbles and new head phones for their MP3 players. (As a sidenote, I love those MP3's. The older ones can listen to stories on them or worship music as they go to sleep and it doesn't bother the younger ones who aren't old enough to have them yet or go to bed sooner.)

There is nothing that my husband likes to do more than to lavish on his kids. I think the same is true for our Father in heaven. I think it's a great example of that relationship.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sew Crafty Friday

Well, I did it. I ventured out and made 2 pairs of pajama bottoms for Lij. I had purchased this one sided fleece for another project and then decided that it was out of my realm of expertise. I didn't want the fabric to go to waste so I looked for something that I could make a little boy with my limited skills.

Aren't they cute? This really was a big deal for me. I can sew curtains and make quilts but clothing is a whole 'nother thang.

But seriously, these took me less than an hour from cutting out to finished for both pairs and the pattern was relatively easy. As a bonus, because I was making them, I was able to customize the size for this guy with his little waist. It was worth it and I may make some for my girls and bigger boy for Christmas.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Food, Family and Fun

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Christmas used to be but it always had the letdown that was so hard to get over. As I got older and then started my own household a new favorite emerged. Thanksgiving took center stage since it is the beginning of the holiday season. There are no gifts to buy and oh how I love setting a Thanksgiving table.

Decorating a table has become a tradition for me. They have been simple to elaborate but I love doing it. There is something about being thankful that inspires me. I am sure that this year will be no different. Plans are forming in my head and a list is begging to be made. I love the planning almost more than the actual day.

Now that I am married, there is the challenge of balancing time with both sides of the family. We are usually home on the actual day and then spend the next day or Saturday with my side of the family. The balancing is worth it. Making time with family a priority is always worth it.

I love that my husband enjoys it as much, if not more, than I do. It is a whole family affair. We spend the day before making pies with the kids. They each have something that ends up on the table that they had their hand in. We clean together, cook together and eat together. They are involved in all of it. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

So what are your plans? Time with family? Invite the neighbors? Find a restuarant?

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Butterball.”

As part of the Parent Blogger Blog Blast, they are asking us to share how we spend our Thanksgiving. It is sponsored by Butterball, the company that provides many a fantastic turkey during this holiday season. Click on the links. Blog about it and you could win your own mouth watering turkey as well as one random winner will receive a $150 Visa Card.

Entitlement in the garden?

We have been having some issues around here. I know, I know, you all thought we had it together. I'm sorry to pop that fragile bubble, but it's true. We have been trying to put our finger on what the problem is specifically and I think we may be on it's tail.

This morning a child asked to use something. When asked about a certain part of the item I told said child that they may not use that part because it is not finished. It was clear. To the point. Don't use that part.

Am I speaking English? Was that in my head?

Pretty sure it was clear.

Not 5 minutes later, I heard a loud crash. I went to check and was greeted with a child who used the restricted part not attached and it crashed to the floor. Oh, how our sins will find us out. I remember that verse vividly from growing up. We had read a bible story and my parents shared that verse with us and what it meant. I am so glad (not that it always kept me from transgressions, mind you).

It occurred to me that we might be dealing with a sense of entitlement here. An age old problem. Food is being complained about, activities aren't their favorite, boundaries are being tested.

What happened this morning reminded me of Adam and Eve and it got me thinking. Entitlement goes all the way back to the garden. They could have all they wanted of any tree in the garden, except for one. God gave them so many choices but they weren't enough. The serpent convinced them that they were entitled to all God had. Why was He holding back this one tree from them? They chose their own selfish wants in exchange for a relationship with their Creator.

Truly, it is at the core of who we are. What we want is what we want. I deserve a night out because I work so hard. He deserves a break because he works so hard. I deserve that chocolate because I have been eating so well this week. Do we really deserve anything?

We don't. We are not worthy. I receive the gift of my salvation. It is not due me. It is a gift. I have done nothing to earn it.

I am searching myself today to find where I have let entitlement creep in. It all flows downhill, don't ya know? When dealing with issues in my kids, I generally can look in the mirror and see a reflection of the chink in the armor.

When I feel entitled to something, the gift loses it's value. I do not want to take what I have been given for granted. How fun is it to give a gift to a child who thinks they deserve it? How much do I do that to the Father when I take something for granted or complain about what I have?

My prayer for today is this -

God, show me where I have and portray a sense of entitlement in my life that I may choose to drive it out and be content in the lavishness you show me daily.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is in control.

I take comfort in that. He is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

What a relief!

Though the election did not go the way I had hoped and I am heartbroken knowing some of the things that may happen as a result, I rest in the hope that Jesus will come again and nothing surprises my Father in heaven.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fresh air does wonders.

This morning things started off well at 6:30am, but by 9am my motivation was waning. It was time to start school and I didn't have it in me. I decided to pack everyone up for a nature walk and get our blood pumping.

We trekked out for a mile looking for leaves, identifying plants and talking about the differences between evergreen and deciduous trees.

On the last leg of our walk, Lil had the idea to press the leaves that we were finding when we got home. I thought it was a great idea. The kids dried the leaves between papertowels, rolled them with rolling pins between some wax paper and put them in Steve's and my old yearbooks. We will check on them in a few days and see how they look. I think I am ready for Creation History and Math now.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Memories for a lifetime.

Steve called on his way home and asked what I thought about making caramel apples with the kids last night. I said sure, why not? We have apples left on the tree, so he picked up a couple bags of caramels and we had all the supplies.

It's amazing how a few apples, a bag of caramels and some sticks can excite my kids.

They all hovered around watching their dad stir the melting caramel.

The apples looked so festive all dressed up, don't you think?

The kids loved it and even better yet, four of their cousins came over to visit awhile and we made some extra for them. It was timely too as we had studied seeds in our Art/Bible curriculum this week. We listened to a Johnny Appleseed book and I read to them the story of the Mustard Seed while they worked on their art this week. One more great memory tied in with learning.