Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just a Trim??

For months... maybe even a year... we have been talking to Lydia about getting her hair cut! She's 4 yrs old now and her hair has NEVER been even trimmed!!

Why not?? She's been totally against it!! She'd fuss and cry when we'd even mention me or a grandmother trimming the ends, and don't even mention to her the professional hair dressers that we KNOW!

When Anna was younger I finally broke down and brought her to a local hair dresser and it was AWFUL!! It wasn't a good experience for any of us... so I decided that I would WAITpatiently until the girls were "willing" to get their haircut before trying to get it done without them agreeing. Yes, it was that bad!!!!

And since Anna has had her hair cut once, almost 2 years ago!!

Anyway, it's time for the girls to get a trim (at least) and me too;) SO I've been talking it up again!

And finally a "change of heart"!

Lydia has agreed to go to get her haircut with me. She's very confident and certain that she is going to get a trim:) In fact, we've been joking that maybe she is "too little" and she's told us that she is NOT:) LOL!!

She's told me over and over, she's getting "just a trim"! And honestly that is FINE with me. Both the girls have beautiful hair so I'm not about to make her cut it all off;) Just a trim to cut off the split ends and make it easier to care for and healthier looking;)

So TODAY is the Big Haircut for Lydia Day.... I"m hoping to have a fun afternoon with just Lydia (although Anna might decide to join us last minute!!). And we'll see what happens:)

***Pictures taken by Andrea as the kids enjoyed playing ball together before dinner a couple of weeks ago!! Editting is mine... I tried!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Multi-Tasking Moments & Words of Wisdom

The afternoons are usually just for schooling Anna.... until a little brother needs a bath!!

And then Grammer time moves into the bathroom

You can find some more Wordless Wednesday at
5 Minutes for Mom,
Go Graham Go,
To Be Thode
and any other linkys I find !!!

And a new meme I'm trying out today called Words of Wisdom Wednesday from Tots and Me.

Why do you think the snow comes in the spring?
Anna's answer: Because in spring it rains alot and the wind blows in some snow clouds.

Chris's answer: When the rains gets really, really, really, really, really cold and transforms into ice.

Lydia's answer:
I don't know.

You Capture- Vibrance & 11 month preview


The theme is vibrance!! And I love this definition I found "pulsing or throbbing with energy or activity" which basically describes every minute may house... unless it's naptime or after 9 (when the kids are supposed to be sleeping!!).

*Taken by Andrea Wood, editing attempted my me*

Nate's little squishy big 'ole smile brings more vibrance to our days!! It's hard NOT to smile back!!

I just love seeing my kids smile!! It's soo heart warming to me;)

We had a great late afternoon/evening at a local park. Even getting to hang out with friends!
(here's Nate being bashful with Owen)

I'm sooo thankful we had a beautiful afternoon/evening to enjoy hanging out with our friends, having a picnic dinner and picking up some groceries;) And oh, yes, the moments of gorgeous weather between two rain storms so I could get pictures of Nate for his 11th month "birthday"!!!

Yes, 11 months!! I can't believe it's already here... well on Friday!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Southern - fied

I didn't grow up in the South!!

For biscuits we popped them out of a can. Mac-n-Cheese was made with a blue box:) And sweet iced tea could only be found at our neighbor's house whose husband was from the south:)

But I married a Southern boy! I married into a family that regularly bakes biscuits and serves sweet tea with their meals;)

After fixing a meal this week I realized I have been "southern-fied"!!

Oatmeal Fried Chicken Sandwich
Boneless chicken breast cut into "tenders" and pieces
Ground Oatmeal

Dip the chicken in soymilk. Then dip it into the dry ingredients mixed in another bowl. Place in skillet with melted butter, Crisco or vegetable oil (yes, really healthy.... or you could bake in the oven, a healthier option!)

Potato Chunk Fries
Potatos, diced
tiny bit of oil

Put the diced potatoes into bowl with oil, salt and pepper, mix it up. Put onto a lined cookie sheet (might want to spray it to be sure they don't stick). Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes!

Yummy Sweet Carrots
1 lb of carrots
1-2 Tbs light butter (ours is dairy free)
1-2 Tbs brown sugar

Put cut-up carrots and all ingredients into pan with a 1/4 cup of water. Cook on stove top until they are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Just watch that the water doesn't boil out.

And our tea was Peach tea... yummy! I used 2 sized family tea bags plus 3 peach-flavored Celestial tea and too much sugar! I think the peach flavor is already sweet, so I'd keep the sugar to about 1 cup...

but sweeten as you like, I cook for a Southern boy:)

**And if you're wondering why my ingredients are soo simple... the reason is food allergies and sensitivities!! Our kids have allergies to milk, peanuts and eggs. And my husband is also allergic to milk and have recently developed a sensitivity to garlic... yes, even minuet amounts of garlic powder in seasonings.... I tried to sneak some by.... and he reacted!

Linking up to:
Tuesdays at the Table
Tasty Tuesday

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The kids have really embraced being in the Medieval Period... Chris is loving all the swords, shields and bows & arrows:) We have regular sword battles and jousting tournaments in our living room, bedrooms and yes, even one at church last week with a new friend (it's ok he was bigger than Chris)!

While bringing lunch to the table the kids came to the table "in character". Lydia was the queen and told Chris when he approached the table that he was to sit.

Chris responded, "Ok, My Highness"

I turned the corner before I chuckled;)

Monday night I fixed dinner at a decent hour 6:20pm. It seemed like we've been having dinner later and later since the time change a couple of weeks ago. So sitting at the table eating while there was daylight still was a little weird. I made a joke about us eating dinner sooo early.

I knew it confused the kids when Anna said," I wonder if the kids are even home from school yet??"

I did like cleaning the kitchen at 7 and having the kids have more time to play outside before getting them cleaned up for bed. But by 8:30, they were already hungry again:)

Nate has been entertaining us by showing us what he understands!!

Our favorite this week was when he would steal the TV remote from the couch and walk up to the TV pointing the remote at it!

Or when he looks up , smiles and says "boo-m" when he falls on his bottom as he attempts to walk!

We have been battling ants.... argh, I hate ants!! They are in the kitchen and our main bathroom! We've battled them ourselves, we called in the professionals and we're battling them ourselves again!!

So I definitely chuckled today when I heard Lydia excitedly call out to Chris, "Hey Chris, come here, you HAVE to see this!! I killed an ant and he broke in half but he's still moving!"

yes, my sweet innocent and gentle little girl:) And I was also very proud she knows what "half" is, too!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

1000 Gifts #115 - 126

We had a fun weekend despite the cold, wet weather.

And we continue to count all the gifts:)

115. birds chirping outside the window
116. morning sunshine
117. soft baby head tucked under my chin
Pic taken by Andrea on my camera:)

118. listening to oldest read
119. the whole house sleeping in
120. raindrops on the window awnings
121. much needed rain to saturate the dry ground
122. mud puddles

123. stinky (but yummy) oatmeal cookies
124. clanging of swords (middle ones pretending to be knights)
125. all gathered for storytime
126. fellowship in the kitchen

Weekly Wrap-Up : Robin Hood, Other Things in Space & Enjoying the Days

This week should be called the week I took a "chill pill"... I really didn't take anything, but just trying to s.l.o.w.d.o.w.n. my brain and enjoy my days with the kids. We did school each day minus the morning of a funeral for a church member when we had 3 extra kids at our house for an hour... but I'm calling that socialization and service to our church:)

The beginning of the week was beautiful!! While we DID school in the morning like normal, I stopped at lunchtime giving the kids plenty of time to play before (and sometimes after) lunch before naps and Anna and I finished up. This resulted in schooling later in the afternoon than I'd like. But it all got finished and we got to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasted;)

The first part of the week we slacked doing our Awana or any real study. I'm thankful though that praying for church members and reading books always leads into spiritual conversations. It was a little funny that one schooling morning I was "sneaking" in a late morning shower and Anna practiced her own Awana verses as well as working with Chris and Lydia, they totally passed their verses:) She's such a great big sister!!

We did get back into the swing again on Thursday and we'll be ready to pass those verses confidently come Wednesday:)

Chris and Lydia did well working through the blue book (OPG - Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading). Lydia is still the "wanting to read" girl.... I thought maybe she needed a break from the blue book one day this week, so I worked with her on a BOB book. After she sounded out all the words in the book & read the book, she looked up at me and said "I'll go get the blue book!" I love it ;) It's soo much easier to teach a kid that WANTS to learn;)

BOth Lydia and Chris have been using our Letter and Number Wipe Clean boards to practice their writing. I'm not a big "perfect" handwriting person, but I do ask that the kids write neatly so it can be read:) I'm going to try more copywork with Chris in the weeks to come, too, I just think he's ready:)

Anna worked hard on Sp
elling, Writing, Copywork and Grammer. We also got some more time reading together in the afternoons. I LOVE listening to her read. It's soo nice hearing her starting to read more smoothly.

Together we've reading through some Robin Hood tales which corresponds to our history time period. We've really liked a few of the books.... one has tons of chapters so we're slowly working through it! Anna has read some to us, I've read to the crew and Brian has read with us in the evenings... I look forward to reading/listening to the rest:)

Still loving Saxon:) Chris is working through some more addition fact families. Anna is continuing to practice subtracting two-digit numbers, they are really hammering this skill... I like it!

One fun math activity I did with Lydia this week was reading a book called 12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam. I was a cute read and we had tons of practice counting pictures in the book. By the end Chris and Anna had joined in:) After we finished reading I let the kids trace pictures to make their own "how to get 11" story. They really liked the simple activity.

Chris had a finding volume using tinted water activity for Math that we all did together, too;)

I love Anna's hand on Chris' arm afraid that he's adding too much food coloring...
she truly is another Momma to her siblings;)

For Science this week we studied the other things in space, namely asteroids, comets and meteors. We had plenty of books from the library that really gave the kids great illustrations to look at and fun facts! The kids filled in their space "things" charts and colored their pictures from their space books.

To mix stuff up a little, we read about asteroids and colored our pics while outside on the trampoline;) Nate was napping and it was sooo nice out, the kids had been super cooperative and we all were ready to get and enjoy the nice weather!! So we dragged our pictures, markers, space charts and library books to the trampoline;)

To "spice up" our study of comets and meteors we did a Venn Diagram comparing them. Each fact we thought was important we put it into the diagram on our white board and then Anna copied her own during an independent work time. I've always put those two things together, but it's amazing how little they have in common!!

Another fun activity was to figure out how old everyone was going to be in 2061, the next time Halley's Comet will be seen. The last time Halley's Comet was seen I was 7 yrs and in 2061 Anna will be in her 50's!! And I will be in my 80's!!

For history this week we studied Richard the Lionhearted, John Lackland and Robin Hood. This was a really great week of reading and learning characters, no doubt it was easier for them because of being somewhat familiar with Robin Hood through the old, animated Disney version (which we DID watch)!

Besides reading our book, narration, reading extra books, we also made a comparison lapbook element from here. And the kids made replicas of Richard the Lionhearted's shield. We still need a couple of staples before they are complete, so we don't have pics:(

After reading our section on Robin Hood and coloring the picture, the kids drew their own Robin Hood pics... here is Chris in the process:) His finished picture included Robin dressed in green for camouflage which was in many of the books we read... and it's not like Chris to keep with the color schemes... but the camo was important enough to him... along with Robin's bow and arrow;)
I love how much information they soaked up and how excited they were about learning about Robin Hood, Richard and Prince John:) I know it from how much they have talked about, asked to read more and hearing them PLAY what we've read and talked about during their own playtime!!

Picture of the Week:
This is a blurry pic of Chris helping Lydia with one of her workbook pages. She was trying to do "School" when we had our company over Wed morning... we had 7 kids 8 and under... and Lydia is trying to "school"!! Good thing she has an older brother to help her;)

We're trying to stay warm through this chilly, wet weekend and looking forward to next week:)

And I'm linking up to the Weekly Wrap-up;)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

SOOC : 4 Little Ones in a Crib

SOOC Saturday

BTW... that is MY crib:) My mom was given it when she had me;) It's been used by me, my 2 younger brothers, my younger sister and Lydia;)

Built to last... with lots of teething marks;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

YES!! to mud, googles and swimsuits

This afternoon as I prepared lunch the older kids played outside, like they usually do. When they came in for lunch they had a silly request...

Can we put on our bathing suits and play in the mud outside??

Our backyard is notorious for huge mud puddles after a big rain, like the one we had Wednesday night!! And sure enough there were a few puddles dotting the backyard, in the normal spots;)

Brian and I have had an ongoing conversation about trying to say "yes!" more often to the kids when they make requests. So many times we're busy with something else or not wanting to clean up yet another mess and so we quickly respond "no, not now!" or something like that.

So today with the high in the low to mid- 60's, I told the kids "yes!" to their request and I definitely earned some "cool points" with them. Although I have to admit I didn't think they'd stay outside more than a few minutes or really get too messy.

Boy was I wrong...
They had a BLAST:)

I call this one... "the puddle that almost swallowed Lydia"

And between this post and my last one,
you know now that my tub is always full with dirty kids!

And thanks to Grandma and Grandaddy for the rainboots!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Delicious to the last Clump

Nate loves oatmeal in the AM...

And he loves, no insists on feeding himself;)
Oatmeal, dash of salt, little cinnamon-sugar:)
He eats until nothing is left.... in the bowl.
Yes, a bath usually is next on the "to do" list!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Having them Close & Enjoying It

I was talking to someone about how quickly the days pass... the days fly by and the kids grow up soo fast.

She chided me about not "wishing away" the days. And I quickly respond back it's not "wishing them away", just wishing there was a time during the day to PLAY with the kids... really enjoy the fun stages they are at.

She thinks it's because my kids are soo close in age (3 kids birthed in 2.5 years, no twins!!).... she's probably right. I definitely was guilty in my early-motherhood days of wishing the kids were older! I wasn't sleeping through the night, had 3 kids in diapers, had been pregnant and/or nursing straight for YEARS and my husband being a full-time pastor while working on a PhD in Philosophy!!

I learned my lesson about "wishing away" the days.... my first born will be 7 in a few months!! How is she already almost 7???

I have enjoyed Nate and Lydia's baby days more since I wasn't expecting another sweet newborn during their baby days. But....

I wouldn't change the kids' ages for the world!!! I love that they are soo close.

I love that they enjoy the same activities and are endlessly making up different stories to "act out".

I love that they laugh at the same parts of movies or that they have silly games/jokes that they play with each other.

I'm learning to embrace the "antics" we have daily, uh more like every moment!!
And ones like these, that make me gasp... he was totally fine, my little acrobat!

I just wish that I could leave the dishes in the sink, the laundry unfolded, the bathrooms a little grimier (LOL!!) and the computer off. Just to enjoy and capture these sweet moments of their youth that are flying by!


You can find some other picture posts at 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go, To Be Thode and any other linkys I find !!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TTT & 16 Steps and Counting...

Just sharing a few things that have been heard around our house...

Brian walks through the door after lunch. The kids go running back into their rooms, screaming, "Ahhhhh..... a barbarian is coming!!"


Lately, Lydia has started a new bedtime "routine" for us. She wants us to carry her because she is "soo tired"!!

So last night she does her evening routine then walks into the kitchen (totally across the house) to find me. When she sees me, she gives me THAT look and then says,"MOmmy, can you carry me to my room [which is RIGHT next to the bathroom] I am soo tired??"

Oh, it's cute all right! And she usually gets away with it, probably because their are stories that her Daddy used to use the SAME line!!

It seems like the pre-"walking well" days last sooo long. I remember just waiting forever for Anna and Chris to walk alone... LOL, probably b/c I was preggo with the next baby. But it's been fun to enjoy the pre-walk stage with Nate.... he tried to walk, yet he's still fine being carried, in a stroller or a Beco:)

Finally got a video update of Nate's walking!! I love that he's standing wherever he wants and just going. I did have to bribe him with as ball this time to get the video:) But lately I've caught him walking when he's "alone" in a room as well... those crawling days are numbered :(

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The In-Laws & #101 - #114

We really enjoyed our vacation last week, in fact, it was a nice break from the busy days we encountered when we returned home... so much that I'm just now blogging about how awesome my in-laws are....

they are extremely gracious, understanding and we really enjoy being with them:) And we are super thankful for them letting us come to visit, cooking for us and letting the kids take over their house!!

I know things with mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws can be tough, strained, or tense. I am thankful that while neither of us claim to be perfect (she may be, though!!), I really enjoy visiting and cooking with her and I never get the impression that having us in their home or caring for us (and giving us an afternoon out) is EVER a burden!

While she never "preaches" to me, she teaches with her attitude and actions. And this THICK skull/heart of mine is challenged through her model. It reminds me of
Titus 2: 3-5
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God.
They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.
Instead, they should teach others what is good.
These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands
and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,
to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands.
Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
I am soo thankful for her, and other in my life, that demonstrate with their lives and attitudes how to serve Christ in all things cheerfully! And my continual prayer is that my heart is sensitive enough to understand and attempt to live it, too!!

101. warm afternoon sunshine
102. snoring little baby
103. wind chimes tinging
104. mommy moments to read
105. shared discoveries of a little boy

106. comfy shoes
107. shared tasks
108. baby steps
109. love notes from a child
110. borrowed socks from Grandma

111. sidewalks for biking trips
112. kissing shadows

113. everlasting undeserved love
114. the Titus women in my life