Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Please excuse the ragga-muffin attire and hair of my sweet and beautiful child....we were having an inside day and I just stuck clothes on her each time she drooled through her shirts....teething, still?
I walked into Anna's room and there are Anna and Christopher playing in Anna's bed with the fan going on HIGH. I smelt something..... I asked aloud, "Who's got the stinky?" and Christopher confessed!! And Anna quickly agreed, "That's why we have the fan on."
Here's my future guitarist!!!!
I made some structured time with the kids this morning that went ok. I'm learning that a lot of our structured time, especially with Anna is more about us learning how to learn/teach together right now! So I'm trying to be really flexible but I really, really want to do a lesson each day! AND have her count to 100 and speak fluent Spanish by summer... ha hahaa.... but what would I gain by pushing my kids unreasonably with unreasonable goals....NOTHING...stressful days, fussing and crying and kids (and a Momma) who aren't learning and growing together in godliness.
So here we are......... in real life, counting beans and outlining letters with beans. The kids are filling shapes with beans in the picture.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
After Anna had a bad experience with stinkies we have had a ton of problems (even on some medication) .....I still haven't decided if she wasn't able to make stinkies or if she didn't want to do it. After asking around to seasoned parents and the pediatrician (also a seasoned parent) we decided to let it go for a while and just let her make her stinkies in the diaper....phew...it's been a LONG wait.
Before Christmas she was doing really well and then sickness, travel, and the busyness of the holidays and we were back to diapers. We then decided to restrict her from some of her "big girl" privledges and brought back the stinky chart..hehehee.
Anyway, Daddy had an idea. I wasn't for it at first but it seems to be working :) Anna usually does her business at night right before she falls asleep ( 9-10pm). We'd put her to bed and minutes or hours later she'd come walking out with a FULL diaper. So Daddy thought to have her wear her underwear to bed so then she'd HAVE to get out of bed and make her stinkies on the potty.......
It's worked pretty well. We've been doing it for a week now. We'll lay her down and minutes later she's asking to sit on the potty. She does her business and goes to bed. When we go to bed (10-11pm), we change her into a diaper for the night. I have to confess that Brian has been the one to change her into her diaper.....and he says that she doesn't even wake up. Can you imagine someone changing your pants and NOT waking up....
An extra blessing has resulted.......for the past 5 mornings, Anna has woken up with a completely dry diaper......DRY!!!! I thought her diapers were sooo wet in the morning from drinking her water cup all night but it might be from laying in bed for hours before she falls asleep and when she first wakes up.
One down only TWO more to go.....he hehee. And I've been promised that the first one is the hardest! Ohhh I've also heard boys are harder....so maybe my potty training challenges are just beginning:) Actually I've already got a plan.....try to potty train Christopher and Lydia this summer...Christopher is showing signs of being ready and Lydia wants to copy everything she sees the other two doing and it might just be training for her.....anyway, that's the plan :)
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sooo, I've been having to use my husband's computer the last two weeks. But it's been a hassel....sort of. First let me THANK him for letting me use his computer......it's his workstation for all of his MANY, many tasks!! So, thank you, Sweetie!! Anyway, it's not quite as easy as sharing the car ;) Part of it is that it IS his work space, our schedules for computing don't match up and I'm totally learning a new computer:) I know whinning.... So maybe by the weekend I'll have a decision made and we'll see what happens:)
The kids are fine:) We took them to a visitation this evening....the kids did pretty well considering they are young children and this is a "quiet place" and we had a long line to stand in. But the family also had a couple of children and so while Daddy was getting some details for the service arranged....the kids and I hung out in an extra room and were joined by other younger children.
Well, they couldn't just run around and climb on the pretty nice furniture and stuff, ao I was corrected them quietly and quickly.....anyway, after a few "corrections" I heard another parent say to his spouse, "Honey, we were dong something wrong. Did you see how the responded and obeyed? If we would have asked our kids to do that they would have looked at us and laughed..."
I feel their pain. I wonder daily how I can better discipline so that my kids obey better, treat eachother sweeter and not have ugly attitudes. So the comment tonight was a little encouraging, maybe I'm doing a little bit right. And it was great to praise the kids when we got to the car about how well they obeyed when I had to correct them:)
BTW.....I'm starting to believe that little Lydia is my least "strong-willed child." She will already come when I call her....and start to come on my first call. When she has something she knows we want she'll immediately put it behind her back. But this afternoon she hid Brian's pen behind her back when he reached for it. But she quickly gave it to him when he asked for it and put out his hand!!!! I'm going to have to praise her for quickly obeying and maybe training for "first-time obedience" won't be as difficult with her as it has been for the other two :)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
All in all, they are a pretty cooperative bunch of kids and they get along pretty well, too! Of course we are always ready for some more to come join us :)
Did you guess the theme was Mardi Gras???
Here are some firehouse pictures. Like all kids, my kids LOVE fire trucks... so they had to see some while we were there.....secretly..we like firetrucks too!!
Our first "close call" was during dessert time at the party.....Anna has always been good about not begging or taking food that might have allergens in them. Part of the reason is because she's older and that she doesn't like new food. Christopher is my walking SWEET TOOTH...he just knows that desserts are sweet and so it doesn't matter what it is, he wants to try it. I was trying to keep an eye on him whiole I got my own treats....but before I knew what he was up to, his little paw grabbed a homemade chocolate covered peanut candy and took a bite. Anyway, I just immediately set down my plate grabbed the candy out of his hand and the other piece out of his mouth just as quickly as he put it in there.
I quickly told Brian so he'd know that we needed to watch him to see is he'd have a reaction. He did get a couple of "hives" pretty quickly and then fussed a little bit about his mouth.....I saw one of our EMTs (actually he is an EMT, the mayor of our town and our Sunday school teacher this morning....ahh, small town) walking by and I asked him if they carried any EPI-pens and he was pretty sure they had at least one....but Brian jumped in the car and drove home to get our EPI-pen Jrs and some Benadryl. When he returned we gave Christopher a dose of Benadryl (just in case - to ward off any start of a small reaction). But by then he was chasing around a ball and looking at the firetrucks. I guess if you're going to have a reaction, it might as well be at the firehouse surrounded by EMTs....I at least felt a little better about that!!!
Our second "close call" wasn't as dramatic :) Christopher decided this morning (while already dressed in his church clothes) to "catch" Mr Chips. He is our Beta (fish). Anna warned me but I thought she was telling me they were trying to take a picture of him..ha haha!! Anyway, I figured Grammie would get a kick out of the fact that to catch him he had to removed the "bell". And that Mr Chip gets plenty of exercise....especially when Christopher is around.
Actually I think this game of "boy and fish" started yesterday when I found Christopher with both arms in the tiny fish bowl......I thought he was just trying to wash off his Play-Doh!!! But Mr Chip is a strong little fish!! And this morning he got a very clean bowl (I cleaned real quick... why not it's easy after the bell is removed!!!)
Friday, February 22, 2008
While sleeping he snuggles with an old receiving blanket (he pitches a HUGE fit everytime I have to wash it.) Here's a photo of Christopher sleeping...he stretches out and loves his tummy:)
Another thing (besides his blanket and tummy) he loves is his sisters. He adores both of them but Lydia is always ready to wrestle and snuggle with him!!! Here are some silly pics of Lydia trying to wrestle with Christopher as he's sitting in time-out .....h ahahaa, he knew he wasn't allowed to move and she knew she could catch him :)
We all have the same goals in mind.....raising sweet, loving, trustworthy, respectful, fun and God loving/fearing children. And a HUGE part of wanting these things for our children is US modeling it to them......
Anyway, a favorite website to encourage my discipline and mentorig of my sweet children has been Raising Godly Tomatoes....check it out when you need that encouargement in your journey with your sweet toddlers.
I actually was on yesterday getting another fill of how I should be guiding and correcting my little tomatoes. The BEST parts of this lady's philosophy are that she's a Christian Mom also in the midst of childrearing (she's got like 10 kids....so she's seasoned) and she puts just as much emphasis on discipline as she does mentoring ans spending quality teaching time!!!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
So this afternoon I asked Anna to say "John 3 :16" with me. And the little monkey did it!!! She had been listening and learning the verse.......So the whole time I was thinking I was "wasting" my time or that she was too distracted or too young, the child was soaking it in :) Praise God!!!
So I quizzed her tonight while she was finishing her "nightly routine"....hehehehe!! You know..... Deut. does say to teach your children when they are laying down and sitting, although I'm not sure they had this in mind :)
She did have a little help!!!! But pretty good since I had thought nothing was sinking in!!! She's still a little shaky with the ending....in fact while we were practicing tonight a couple of times her last word was "friendship".....so it went like this,"shall not perish but have everlasting friendship." he heheee
Oh, this is how Anna finally fell asleep this evening...my little bookworm:)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
A giveaway this week is a cute wooden pull-along train......I don't know about you...but my Christopher loves puzzles and trains. And Lydia (being a new walker) is just starting to pull stuff behind her....she's already GREAT at pushing strollers. Here's the company that is offering the giveaway but you have to check it our yourself and sign-up at simple.
Christopher wasn't excited about leaving but he didn't fuss either. He just wouldn't walk, so Brian being funny started moving him by the back of his overalls.... basically carried him by the overalls!! Christopher wasn't bothered by the new transportation at all...he just let his feet dangle and let Brian carry him the WHOLE way to the car. It was a VERY FUNNY sight....Brian cracking up laughing, Christopher just dangling there! Anyway, I looked around us to see if anyone noticed and there were sooo many people watching and just cracking up laughing......
We tried to recreate how funny we must have looked....but it was much funnier the first time in public!!! (please ignore Lydia's fussing....it was obviously time to get her in bed....she's just doing her night-night fuss.)
Monday, February 18, 2008
But then I was wanting it to be healthier and thicker....so I reached into the freezer and grabbed the unused homemade baby food from Lydia.....carrots and green peas (frozen in ice cube trays). So I grabbed a couple of cubes and mixed them right into the warming sauce with some extra garlic powder and Italian seasonings. The fam loved it and didn't know about all the "extras". And tonight I added some extra veggies (onion and green pepper). I grinded them down with my chopper and dumped them in.
The other CHEAP and EASY trick is for breaded meat. Tonight we had breaded chicken with our spaghetti (like Parmesan chicken without the cheese). Anyway, instead of using bread crumbs, we've relaly enjoyed using grinding up oatmeal, adding seasoning and some flour.....cheap, great with food allergies, extra fiber, yummmmy!!! I think ther is a way to add some veggies to the breaded chicken, but I haven't learned that one yet....
So this morning I got my crew working hard.....hard on some Banana Bread for a neighbor and friend who is sick. Of course, I could have had this done in a matter of minutes without all the extra dirty utensils...but my crew is also my ministry so why not teach them to show a little kindness and learn how to serve others, too.
There is some learning involved as well...this was the first time I let Anna push the buttons on the microwave!!
Christopher is a very serious cook....he was a very good mixer and enjoyed dumping the ingredients in.
Anna and I little more about measurements... yay for practical Math!!
Since we didn't cook with the eggs the kids got to eat some of the "extra" batter....yummm!!
I made some mini muffins with some of the batter and so the kids got to "test" their cooking.....it gave them a treat for all of their work:) And look Lydia even woke up just in time for some warm muffins.
As I was typing this post, Brian said one of the sweetest things about the kids working on the bread was Anna's excitement when he walked through the door after visitation. She excited asked, "Daddy did you give the bread to Miss Patsy?" Genuine concern that our sweet friend had gotten her bread.
BTW.....totally unrelated to playing with Daddy. Brian and I have been sick with the computer that I affectionatly call "my computer". It had been acting up for a month or so and I just would restart it and then it would work fine the next day. This weekend it went crazy, the warning signs took up my whole screen.....so we've been searching and deleting all the viruses, spyware, adware and other random junk off my computer....it's been a pain!! So protect your computer:)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
This verse has its own particular application for me right now. In so many ways I (we) compare how we walk our Christian walk based on what and who we see around us (or on TV...whatever influences us). We determine if we're "strong" or "weak" depending on the choices we make versus what we see or hear about other people. So our standard quickly changes to what others are doing and NOT on what is "fully pleasing to God".
I fall into this MUCH more than I think.....I can get so burdened by something I know is right for me and my family but continually question it because I compare it to what others are doing and what others think. But the decisions I make (should) have a BETTER standard (not that others are wrong or right). The standard has to be what is "fully pleasing to the Lord", "what bears fruit" and what aids me and my family to "grow in the knowledge of God". I need to make our family decisions based on those standards and then be firm and not inwardly questioning. When I aim for God and not for others I can be content in my decision.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Soooo, back to the situation.....I'm jumping inot the car and didn't remember to check the connection for the DVD player, so as I'm driving downt he road the kids are telling me that the "movie isn't working". I really can't fix it when I'm driving so I turned down the radio and started "chatting" with them.
The conversation started with what types of animals were in the fields that were were passing but soon they wanted me to tell them a story about David and the "giant". (If you've had a converstaion with Christopher recently you'd understand that GIANTS are one of his favorite topics...I'm not sure how he knows so much about giants but he and Anna are convinced some live under his bed. They assure me that it's ok because they are nice...phew, close call!!!I mean squirrels in the attic, spiders in every corner (according to Anna) and now giants.)
As I started telling the story to Anna it reminded me of two movies released last year called The Nativity Story and One Night with A King. Both were GREAT....anyway, both really demonstrated how the stories in Scripture would have been taught as oral stories passed from generation to generation. AMAZING....and in both movies the children would know the stories by heart but still ask to be told them over and over. I want my kids to hold on to every word of Scripture that teaches about God's greatness and that each story would be stored in their litle hearts when they need to be encouraged by His greatness!
The kids were soo excited to be driving down the road that lead to the park....Anna can recognize roads very easily and tell you where you're going based on the roads we take (Walmart, dr office,etc). I hear a chant from the back....it was "faster, faster, faster". The kids were wanting me to drive faster so we could get to the park more quickley.....so we then had a conversation about speed limits and policemen giving tickets.
On the way home I was quizzing Anna about where she lived. (I just think it's sooo important for kids to know the basic facts about where they live incase they would ever be lost or whatever. So we're working on state, town, parents' names, her own full name and phonenumber. Of course some of you with children may need to teach their address...I do have a page for teaching her address but the town is soo small just by saying her Daddy's name a LOt of people wold nkow where to find him....I love our small town.) Sorry about the tangent....
After practicing all of these facts I then quiz Anna....."what town do you live in?"
She responds, "I live with you guys. But sometimes I have to leave my home to go to South Carolina and sleep in my old bed next to the ones I love."
What a Hoot!!! When we visit Grandma and Grandaddy she does sleep in their room on the floor next to their bed :)
Friday, February 15, 2008
The kids and I were walking in front of the church this morning and heard a woodpecker...which is pretty common in our town. But this time the woodpecker was close....I looked up and there it was!!!
Here he is in action:
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Anyway, I wanted explain the new little icon on my sidebar. I've been brought on as one of the new reviewers......I haven't done any reviews yet.... I'll have to you know when I get my first post!!
It name is SIMPLE and you should visit sometime:)
BUT WHAT a DAY we had getting ready!!! In fact, Brian said about 2pm...you have to blog THIS DAY.......
*Eat breakfast and clean up kids
*Entertain kids while dusting living and dining rooms
*Tidying bathroom and washroom
*Getting plates and silverware together in kitchen
*Do "reading" lesson with Anna
*Start fixing lunch for kids
*Brian chased a bird out of the attic (might be good news b/c we thought it wa a squirrel....hopefully it was just birds)
This is when it just got NUTS......right before lunch
*Bring over table and chairs from church
*Put up new fireplace screen
*Vaccuum out the fireplace..............soot got into the air and created a haze in the living and dining rooms. we first noticed it when Christopher was leaving black footprints on the plastic table from the church......
*Redust the living and dining rooms with PLedge (didn't work..still left a film of PLedge and soot)
*Redust the furniture with Windex (we were desperate and it worked)
*Vaccuum all the cloth furniture
*Feed the kids lunch
*Christopher saw us cleaning and swiped the Windex and started spraying all over our TV stand, TV, antenna, end table......soon after we put him to bed....and the TV started turning on and off by itself.
*Hang a picture The finished fireplace
*Kids off to nap
*Set-up tables, move out highchair and booster seat
*Iron table cloths
*Wash and dry remaining dinner plates, the dessert plates and remaining glasses
*Set the tables for dinner,
*Finish washing off counters
*Touch up floor (soo glad I washed it Monday night)
*Touch up bathroom (so glad I did that Monday afternoon)
*Brian mowed the yard
*Kids wake up
*Set-up chairs so Lydia and Christopher don't steal silverware off the tables
*Fix kids dinner - eating on a blanket on the kitchen floor. We gated them in the kitchen so they wouldn't mess with everything and so their dinner would be contained in the kitchen
*Get jam, butter, salt, pepper and extra napkins on the tables
*Make gravy and homemade biscuits
Here are a couple more pics from the evening:
So this is what we're doing today:
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Back to setting up and cleaning :)
Soo I have an new idea (at least for me) about how to help with cleaning before company. I felt like most of my days this weekend were spent cleaning up all the kids' toys...that I clean up everyday, all day. So we decided to have the kids keep their toys in their ROOMS for the next couple of days! I know it's not this amazing new concept but it has really helped in keeping the rest of the house neat and cleanup is a breeze b/c the toys are pretty much right next to their place on the shelf or in the bin.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This afternoon was a hoot. Brian and Anna were cleaning up after lunch and Brian wanted to teach Anna about the origin of eggs. So he starts the conversation by asking Anna, "Where do eggs come from?" And Anna responded by saying,"Birds." And Brian asked," Where do chicken eggs come from?" And she said ,"Chickens." Then Anna had a question for Brian, "Where do watermelons come from?"
Saturday, February 9, 2008
This morning I was competely outnumbered!!! It didn't seem to matter that I was busy with keeping their house or cooking their lunch...hehehee!!! But everytime I turned around little hands were into something else..........
Well it got a little TOO quiet and that's when I decided to go find THEM........
Ok, another funny thing is that Lydia gladly helped me clean it all up because she's at the stage where she loves to take stuff out of containers and then put it all back in.....so for her it was just as much fun to clean it up. So we cleaned up and then I herded them out of my room, but to my surprise Lydia was still holding the little white shell necklace trying to put it on. How did I miss it? Especially since she had been cleaning up?
Thank goodness Daddy took all of us OUT of the house and into the BIG city for the evening. Sounds delightful I know but we dragged our NO-afternoon nap kids through Target and Super Walmart...one break was dinner at Chick-a-Way...oh I mean Chick-Fil-A to play on their indoor playground.....I'm just hoping I used enough hand sanitizer to ward off any more viruses.
Friday, February 8, 2008
The kids played all morning and into the afternoon. They fell asleep during the car ride home and I stayed in the car with them until they woke up....just so we would all get a few precious moments of rest and quiet!!! During dinner preparation we quickly made an executive decision to out them to BED early.....so we started the bedtime routine an hour earlier than normal and had a FEW more quiet moments this evening.........because we are ALL TIRED!!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Anyway, living on a "minor" highway with trucks and farm equipment has been educational for us all. A truck pulled up to rest along the highway in front of our house this afternoon and Anna lead the discussion with Christopher and Lydia ....teaching them all she knows!!!
She says, "Ohhh that truck must be carrying chickens. It's a stinky chicken truck because I smell those stinky chickens all the way in here." And then I hear Christopher pipe up , "Yeah, stinky chickens!!"
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Well the kids and I ventured to the BIG city again today to get their PPD's checked (test for TB). Of course they came back negative!!! We decided to make the day of our trip to the BIG city by going to the mall and heading to a restaurant with a playground.
I usually NEVER head to the mall with all three by myself unless I know EXACTLY what I want and I know they have it. But today I had a couple things I would have liked to pick-up and I wanted to brouse....ha hahaa. So I have the younger two in the sit-n-stand double stroller and Anna walking. At the first stop Anna was tormenting Christopher and he was buckled int he stroller so he was just hollering and trying to hit her back.....needless to say after some extra squeals I gave Anna a VERY stern warning and then plopped her little bottom in a corner where I could see her and still shop. That pretty much handled the tormenting brother but then she started to wander off ......this just scares me to death.....
At one counter a lady (who must have seen my distress) offered the kids lollipops.....I was very hesitiant beacuse I don't like the extra sugar and sticky hands but those lollipops were a hit...the kids were so quiet at the next few stops I couldn't believe it. (Guess what I'll stick in my pockets on the next adventure.) BTW I found a tons of sales on fall/winter clothes....I stocked up on some shirts for Christopher and Anna for next winter (maybe the one after that) for $3-5 each at Belks and JCPenneys!!!
Then we headed to the Sonic!! They have an outdoor playground, tables to eat and places to order at the playground. And I was shocked at how fast the food came out (good 'ole fast food)!! I think we were at the playground for an hour and a half (maybe longer). The kids had a blast and they learn to play with other kids!! And Mommy got to chat with other socialable Mommies trying to catch every beautiful day outdoors that we can!!
So the dreaded trip back to the BIG city to check the PPD test wasn't TOOO bad!! It hink Sonic is a hit with my crew...especially since they didn't break out at all:) And they liked the playground!!! And it being outside, I'm thinking it gets cleaned a LOT more often than the inside ones....less germs or viruses (yuck)!!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Well it was a BEAUTIFUL day, so we went outside. Being the lady who wants to get out....I really wanted to go to the nearest park!! But the kids needed morning naps and they haven't played with their own outside toys in months!!!
One of their favorite activities -besides bike riding- is playing with sand. Yes, it's just an old hospital bucket (I think I got it from Anna's delivery) with some sand, rocks, shells and beach toys!!! Ohh, and the blanket is the key.....all the sand they drop on the blanket goes back into the bucket.......
And I've been waiting for this for many, many, many months now. But I was able to watch them play outside while I quietly read a book for a little while. How amazing is that!!!!!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Although I'd been a little worried about Christopher's weight (he just looks too skinny) both kids are doing well. Lydia was a little smaller than I had thought but most of that is due to her not drinking soymilk yet or having an dairy protein/fat (cheese, yogurt) because of her allergies. Here are the stats for them:
Ohhh, Brian just reminded me that we got the kids tested for TB...long story, I am a treated carrier. Since this is in their family history the doctor felt that it might be a good idea to get them tested. TB testing is not the four-prong prick in the inner forearm anymore...not it's a needle put under the skin to see if the body reacts (2 days later). We only tested Christopher and Lydia (since Anna freaked out at getting her ears checked). They sent in TWO nurses to do this test....both nurses were a little uptight and double and triple checked to see if we really wanted them to be tested!!! Anyway, long story......both Lydia and Christopher sat sooo STILL and watched the needle go under their skin- they didn't make a peeep!! We were soo PROUD of them:) And we'll be checking their little arms..... and in TWO days I'll be heading back to the BIG city to get their arms checked and documented.
Finally I just decided to go with it and if it doesn't fit us then we'd try something different....she's soo young (we have plenty of time)!!! Anyway, we went through the first lesson today and it was easy to understand and she did well. This exercise is really going to have us practice the delicate mother/teacher - child/student relationship that I hear every pre-homeschooling parent worries about.
She was soo proud of her work this morning that she gladly posed for a picture:) Anna has been asking to know what words say. And last week she wrote "ZOO" on a piece of paper and then called me over to tell me that "Christopher and I have been writing zoo on this piece of paper."
She's ready...we'll see how the next few lessons go :)
For weeks now our Little Lydia has woken up early....at least for us....when it's still dark outside and we don't have a really busy day, it's hard to get up :) So our little Lydia nurses and then snuggles back to sleep with us.
The funny thing has been that this week she hasn't fallen asleep so quickly but has had to "get comfortable". One time last week she finally fell back to sleep with her head at my stomach, her diaper at my face and her feet under Brian's chin !!!! We'll enjoy this stage since we know it won't last too long:)