Saturday, May 30, 2009
So this morning we took off and visited my new little niece:) Oh, she is just adorable!! And my sister and her husband are doing soo well as new parents!! I was just soo proud of my little sis:)
But I am exhausted and will share some of the cuteness later.... after some REST:)
Have a great Lord's Day!!! May you be encouraged and pushed to be more like Christ:)
Friday, May 29, 2009
So we did it:) And had a blast!
We had 6 families and 12 kids!!!
Besides the "normal" amusements in our yard... trampoline, swingset, bikes, chalk... we decided to have a pinata and pull out the parachute and the water balloon launcher:) Then lunch, presents.... whew... we were busy! BUt we were soo glad to share Anna's birthday celebration with friends this year.... and it was soo much fun to have everyone at our house.... we appreciated everyone's effort... some driving a long way and others with little babies:)
One mom said, "Well next year we can....." LOL Next year? I'm about to fall over from all the preparations from this year:) ahahhaaa.... a simple "party" takes a lot of prep:) But we did have a GREAT time , so maybe we will....
Andrea has more pictures up on her Flickr... she took the pics for us, while I ran around !
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I searched through the list of deals to find the things I wanted to stock up on and then I used my list to generate a list of coupons to purchase!! Where did I purchase them.... THE Coupon Clippers!! They have TONS of coupons listed and a search engine that helped me find what I was looking for:)
I purchased coupons for the kiddies favorite nuggets and Brian's favorite hot dogs and then some HT deals. The coupons were mailed on Tuesday and I received them this morning in the mail on my way to the grocery store:) Super Fast!!!
Then I headed over to Food Lion to pick up their store flyer:) I just like having a HARD copy! BUt while at Wally World, I saw that their Ball Park Hot Dog prices were cheaper, so I pulled out the Food Lion flyer and got the BOGO deal even cheaper:) Here's the break down:
Then ....LOL.. (yes there is more)
My little sister went into the hospital thinking her water was "leaking" at 11ish on Tuesday night. Her water was leaking and had been since 5am on Tuesday!!! So the hospital kept her and gave her pitocin to start labor.
Aunt Jaclyn labored from when the pitocin kicked in. She also chose to get an epideral (something I'm not familiar with at all). So she was able to rest some, chat on th phone and have visitors for a good part of the day:)
Hannah Grace arrived about 5:25pm!! A LONG Day:) My mom didn't tell me her length but her weight was 6lbs 6 ozs!! I think there were a couple of scary moments during her arrival... so thanks for those who prayed for them.
Isn't she cute:)
I'm so thankful that Hannah Grace is here and that Jaclyn is doing well! So now is the time for Jaclyn to heal and their little family adjust to a "new" way of life!!
OHHHH, and we are sooo ready to see you guys!!!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Today is the day!!! The day you have been looking forward to for awhile.... the day you turn 5!!! You are just soo excited to be 5! How did you get to be so old?
I still remember having those first contractions on May 27th in the wee hours in the morning. They told me labor would start SLOW so I should plan to labor some at home before heading to the hospital... I wasn't able to sleep because of contractions, excitement, nervousness, more excitement and Daddy checking on my every minute:)
So after taking a early shower and having Daddy put in some laundry:) we called the doctor. Over the phone she said I should be in the car heading to the hospital. We grabbed the bags and headed there. Oh, can woke up Grammie on the way:)
Your delivery was less than peaceful! But it was worth every push!! You were such a cutie.... even with your cone head:) And you were such a sweet baby... except every night from 7-9pm when you'd scream your head off and wake up townhouse neighbors:)
You've been such a sweet blessing in our lives. It's been amazing to see how much you have changed over these 5 years. From newborn to independent, sweet, helpful and kind little girl! We are soo thankful to the Lord for you! And we pray often that you would grow to be a young woman who loves the Lord with her whole heart, works hard at the tasks she's been called to and attempts to serve others!
We love you, Anna!!
Happy 5th Birthday!!
Here is her montage from last year:
And Jaclyn and Hannah Grace were being induced last night. So Anna and Hannah might be sharing a B-day:) I'll let you know and hopefully share some pics when I know more:)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I LOVE picking fresh strawberries and having them in the house during strawberry season. But we've learned how to "stretch the season" by freezing!!!
My first year freezing, I washed, capped and dried each strawberry. I stored them in quart sized ziploc bags... but I barely used them!! I tried thawing them in order to cut them to put over pancakes, too mushy. I could MASH them to put into breads, but then it took forever for them to really be thawed (unless I thawed them in the fridge the night before... LOL... that takes planning).
Last year I spoke to many women who are "good freeze-ers":) Anyway, they all recommended freezing the strawberries the same way I would use them.... so I want them sliced in circles to put on top of pancakes and diced to put into muffins and breads:) So that is what we did...
And all winter we were able to have strawberries on top of our pancakes and strawberries easily added to our sweet breads:) Yummm... so that is what we'll be doing again THIS year!!
I'm just thankful for my helper!! Who likes to watch TV or a movie while he works... looks like a commercial in the pic... LOL!
Smoothies, strawberry pie. What do you use strawberries in the freezer for? Maybe you could give me a new use:)You can also get a glimpse of my new dining room wall color... We have a couple of pieces to move around before I take my final pics:)
Usually, he'll put some on his lips or cheeks.... no, not soo lucky! He squirted the ENTIRE Hannah Montana sticky gooo lip gloss onto the middle of his head. I got some of out with a wipe, but then MY fingers were sticky!!!
In the rush, Brian tried washing it out with the kids' shampoo, slicked it over and then we headed out. They fell asleep in the car so I didn't mess with it until after his nap, before evening church:)
Not knowing what to use to get it OUT with, I Goggled "how to get lip gloss out of hair"!!! Do you know there were 3,050,000,000 related sites!!!! LOL... I guess other MOMS have CHRISTOPHERs:) I actually did feel some comfort in that:)
I gathered the suggested supplies and headed into the bathroom. He was NOT looking forward to the second round of head-scrubbing:)
I decided to try the least harsh first... vegetable oil... the picture was that attempt.... gross!! Then after a rinse, I tried vinegar! I thought I could feel the stickiness come out even when I rinsed it, so then I tried just normal shampoo to get the oil and vinegar out...LOL
And voila his head was back to normal...... I DON'T think he'll be doing that again because he really did not ENJOY his head getting scrubbed so much... LOL
We did head back out to the strawberry patch this morning. I have goals of canning and freezing strawberries this season..... but these weeks have been soo crazy:) With my goals in mind though, I was planning to pick a BUNCH with 3 kids.... ha hahahaaaa
Anyway, lets just say they picked some, ate some and played in DIRT!! They were covered head to toe in sand and dirt (Chris even had some in his shirt)! Lydia had an accident in her pants and was clothing-less from the waist down! NOT one child was wearing shoes....
I don't even want to know what the other people around me thought... LOL... and NO I didn't bring my camera. So the little girl with only shirt on wandering around the strawberry patch will just be a memory without a pic;)
I picked over 15 pounds of strawberries!!! We'll see how far into perserves and freezing I get. I've got BIG goals:) But really anything put away for later would be nice:) And they say I have one more week to pick:)
Monday, May 25, 2009
The meaning of Memorial Day can be easily overlooked as a young American whose has suffered no personal loss from conflicts and wars that our country has played a role in. While I do know of the worrying over a family member serving and the pride I have in my 3 grandfathers' service, my 3 uncles' service, my father-in-law's service and my brother's service.... I am fortunate that my small family hasn't suffered loss. (while I do realize that members of my family know of many of their comrades that did give their lives in the service of our country)
But I do realize that MANY families have suffered loss... some lost loved ones LONG ago and some just recently!! And so while we remember and honor those who have given their lives for our country, let us also remember the grieving families... children who have lost their fathers or mothers, wives who have lost their husbands and parents that have lost their children!
Thank you to all of them for their sacrifice and service to our country!!! And strength and peace for those who are grieving!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
They have been and continue to be a source of support for both Brian and I! Brian calls his dad regularly with ministry or financial questions. I call his mom more... LOL... with cooking help, decor questions and personal questions. Not only do they field our crazy questions, but they've supported our parenting, ministry and marriage!
And I know they pray daily for us... I know because they tell us!! It's such a comfort to know in the midst of church ministry and the trenches of parenting that we have prayer warriors !
Here is Grandma enjoying a picnic lunch with her grandbabies.... always an adventure! She is always soo good natured and takes stuff in stride:) My favorite part of her personality is that she thinks the best of everyone and their intentions... especially grandbabies who have GUILT written across their faces!! LOL
The kids wanted to "take pictures" with Grandma's camera... all week!!!
So finally we caved in and let them show their creativity:) Anna was directing our poses and asked us to make CRAZY faces!! So we did!!
Can you see how sweet my mother-in-law is:) And how comfortable she makes others feel when she is around them:)
Grandma and Grandaddy, thank you for visiting us and celebrating Brian's Graduation and Anna's early 5th Birthday! We really enjoyed your visit and regretted that you had to leave soo soon! Thank you for all your love and support. And the gifts for all of us! I'm sure we will be in touch this week AND will see you in the mountains in a couple of weeks!!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This week's challenge from 4 Little men and Girly Twins is August 2008 (or 16th folder) and the 28th picture.
My 28th picture needed some other pics to help it out:) Here is a series of pictures that I took while visiting my brother on our way home from Our Canadian Mission trip. We aren't often up north, so we decided to make a stop to see my brother!!!
While these aren't the best pics (not great lighting, some are blurry) they are priceless as they capture my son enjoying rough-housing with his uncle... an uncle we don't get to see too often!! In remembering them, it makes me want to pick up the phone and call my brother!!!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Here is the family:)
And here is Brian and his new BFF.... LOL... actually it's was his major professor (AKA, the guy who initially approved his work to be submitted)!
LOL ... the kids snuck him in before I even knew it:) They had him sitting on Anna's dresser while I was outside trying to find the "bug catcher" to show Brian...LOL... funny that Anna wanted him so close to her!
This evening we let him go! And he didn't immediately jump away. Nope! Instead he came over to hang out with me:)
He was such a cute little frog.... I had a little "shoot" with him as my model:) LOL
I was honored when Brian's mom said that Christopher takes after me when it comes to enjoying nature. He was busy all afternoon helping me catch the frog and then he spent the rest of his time outside making some "chalk"-o-lot milk for the frog... a recipe of chalk, water and dirt!!
I love that my kids all seem to like nature and being outside! They love to talk about animals, the weather, and plants we see!! I love that they are interested in the simplest complexities of nature.... watching the humingbirds around the Momosa tree, finding worms in the garden while pulling weeds and playing with Tattletale!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
but we are soo estactic and proud now. Brian really spent every moment he could getting everything done, definitely a "season of intensity" for all of us!! So we have MUCH, MUCH rejoicing and cheering to do tomorrow:)
Last night Brian and I were remembering our other SEBTS graduations we have celebrated together... so I thought I'd share OLD pics and memories:)
Can you tell that I was very, very pregnant!!! I was!! I was almost 39 weeks pregnant!! Uncomfortably pregnant... check out those ankles... gross!! Those we the ONLY shoes that FIT my swollen feet....
SEBTS (at least when I attended) you were REQUIRED to participate in the graduation service. So when I filled out my paperwork, I included an extra statement about how pregnant I was going to be at the time and that only thing that would prevent me from participating was labor... LOL!!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
When I do buy pack of ground beef (not too often because we eat a lot of ground turkey), I purchase the HUGE value sizes!! It's cheaper per pound! And it's nice to have meat in the freezer!!
While I usually divide out the meat by approximate pounds and store them in freezer bags.... I've been doing things a little differently lately!
I'll divide out the meat and then make it unto how I want to USE it!! So last week when I purchased a HUGE, family-sized value pack, I got to work.
We had planned to have hamburgers that night, so I made 1.5 into hamburger patties for that night and then another 1.5 lbs into patties for another night!! I wrapped them in waxed paper(I should be using freezer paper) , stuck them into a large freezer bag together and stuck them in the freezer!!! When I use them, I can defrost them in the fridge or stick them frozen on the George Foremna grill.... sooo easy.... the bulk of the work for that dinner already COMPLETED!
I did pack a couple of lbs into separate bags for spaghetti or tacos one night:) Then the last 1.5 lbs I mixed and shaped into meatballs.
While I usually just stick them in a freezer bag together, I decided to freeze individually FIRST and then put them in a bag so I could take out as many as I wanted at a time:)
When Brian saw them in the freezer he immediately started talking about Meatball Sub night.... so that is probably what we'll use them for:)
While the initial dividing out, mixing, shaping and storing adds to your kitchen work one afternoon.... it's worth having the meat ready to be cooked during your next dinner scramble:)
BTW... the BIG, BIG project is almost completed "for the moment"... I don't have the decor complete but the "reveal" (LOL) will be coming soon:)
Monday, May 18, 2009
- BIG, BIG project (for us) to be revealed by mid-week... hopefully... LOL
- Clean up BIG, BIG project
- Start to get together the "homeschool room"
- T-ball game in neighboring town
- Reading time at the library, turn in old books, get new ones
- Possibly help Andrea with some babywearing pics
- Continue to prep house for company
- Go to a HS baseball game- watch one of our friends playing
- Clean sheets and make beds for company
- Grandma and Grandaddy come:)
- Church service at night
- Possibly strawberry picking and making jam with Grandma
- Work on SIMPLE post for Sat.
- Brian has graduation practice!!!
- Brian's Graduation @ SEBTS.... early morning for all of us!!!
- Small party with Grandma and Grandaddy for Brian and Anna
- BIG breakfast
- Help Grandma and Grandaddy pack and leave (if we can't convince them to STAY)
- Laundry and clean up house
So if we are a little "quiet" this week you'll know why!! And I'm hoping to have our BIG, BIG project finished with pictures... we'll see how it goes... LOL
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Challenge today from 4 Little Men and Girly Twins is September 2008 (9th folder) and 18th picture!
I was actually giggling when I saw this picture... not much has changed!!! Here is Christopher in Big Boy Pants on the phone telling Grandma that he made a "stinkY" in the potty.... let's say Grandma and Grammie are still getting sporadic calls from Chris "celebrating"....
It's NOT that he doesn't know how... maybe he doesn't know "when" OR he's just NOT motivated. I haven't figured it out yet....
After Anna's constipation issues when she was potty training, I MUCH more laid back with #2 with Christopher. Anna took a while (and many tears b/c I pushed her too hard) before she just "got it" one day. And once she initiated #2 on the potty we were finished with potty training. So, I'm giving Christopher PLENTY of opportunities to get to the potty for a success and hoping his "got it" day comes SOON... with not many messes until then.... LOL
And we'll continue to encourage him and celebrate in the small successes!
BTW... each kid is soo different. My little Lydia (was 2 in January) potty trained herself in early February. She does all of her messes in the potty. In the morning she takes herself to the bathroom and changes out of her completely DRY diaper!! The overnight dryness has been happening for a MONTH... she's totally the opposite to my full diaper in the morning Little Boy:)
Friday, May 15, 2009
We went to a local patch... I LOVE this place because how friendly the staff is with the kids:) They'll give each kids their own little pint bucket!
Here they are doing the picking...
Ah, yes, and some eating... of course!!
Once Lydia started sampling she didn't stop... LOL!! She was COVERED in strawberries... from her little hands, to her shirt, to the legs of her pants! She was COVERED! But she continued to eat:)
We picked over 11 lbs of strawberries!! LOL... that seems like a LOT, but by a couple of desserts, cereal, pancakes, maybe some in the freezer for bread... they get eaten up FAST here;) And it's CHEAP to stock up on strawberries when WE pick them... only $1 a lb!!
I had gotten out of the habit of Focus Fridays... it just seemed like I had to get my "focus" in the right places.... I'm sure a lot of people struggle with priorities versus the need for a "mental break" or creative times:)
I'm going to be a little more realistic with my Focus fridays.... get the stuff done that needs to be done:) And maybe include one or two "extra" tasks that it would be NICE to complete!!
My Tasks THIS Week are:
1. Prepare the house and menu for company next week... in celebration of Brian's PhD graduation
2. Get to JC Penney to order my curtains... cheaper to order from the store and NOT pay shipping
3. Organize the growing pile of coupons that need to be clipped and sorted.
4. Tues - library reading time with kids:)
5. Put up the remaining 5T girls clothes that are still lingering from clothes sorting:)
Join in Focus Friday at Thrify and Chic MOM.
Anna has a list of 6 "morning chores" that we encourage her to do every morning! She is rewarded with pennies in her penny jar, but Lydia LOVES to do Anna's "morning chores" as well!! Lydia dresses as soon as she wakes up, brushes her teeth with Anna and asks Anna to help her make her bed.... it's too cute!!
This morning, Lydia asked, "I help you MOmmy??" I was unloading the dishawasher at the time and intially thought, "no way... it's easier to do it myself".. LOL!! But I gave her the utensil basket and she went to town:)
Lydia did really well and saved me a couple of minutes:) Better yet was the ability to praise her for her help and joyful attitude. I am soo thankful she is soo willing to help:) She is also my vacuum-er:)
I think teaching my children how to take care of themselves, clean up after themselves and care for their clothing/home is important. While I try to incorporate teaching/training into some of our daily tasks, I also need to make opportunities to teach them more. And then praise, praise, praise them for all of their hard work:)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
One of the toughest things about homeschooling a mix of ages is keeping everyone busy and giving needed time to the studies that the school-aged kids need. This is a struggle at out house, too!!
Today, I captured one of our "homeschooling survival techniques" bring everyone outside... let the younger ones run and finish working with Anna!!! I am thankful we usually can get all our work done early and enjoy playing outside before lunch with no one working, but today Anna was distracted. Hoping to motivate her to be more focused, I gave her time to be finished and when the younger kids and I would be heading outside. She had PLENTY of time to finish the few, simple tasks I had for her to complete!
But she didn't! And when she finally finished her copywork, I let her go outside and sit next to me to work. Lydia and Chris ran off some energy with their biking, jumping and climbing:)
Anna worked very well outside... especially with my almost full attention on her:) She finished her work well and more importantly with a "happy heart"!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
When we turned the calendar to MAY, Anna was SOOO excited!! Finally her birthday!! Ummm.... sort of!! You see she's been waiting for MAY but what she is really waiting for is May 27th, so she can be 5!!!
To help her "countdown" the days until her birthday, I made a simple little Birthday Countdown!!! It's super, super, super simple and cheap!! I just used construction paper and made little loops threaded into each other.
But to make it fun and personal, I wrote little memories I had about her as a baby and little girl inside each loop!! So everyday she takes a loop off the chain and we read the little memory for her. And then she makes a comment about the chain getting shorter and runs off and plays....
Brian and I sit and remember the sweet memory written in the loop.... when she rolled, when she first walked, how she would "nurse" her baby dolls after Christopher's birth!! LOL
BTW... Happy Birthday to MY Brother, Brian!! We love you and hope we can se you sometime this summer!!! I'd tell you how old he is but then you'll know my age:)