Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nate Saying Lydia

It's soo cute to hear the younger kids as they begin to say their siblings' names.

We all laugh when we remember Anna (18+ months) calling Christopher "Dee":) Nate also has a funny name for Chris, he calls him "Tiss". It's funny because it's very hard to decipher whether Nate is saying Chris or kiss:)

But he just started to say another sibling. And I think it's the hardest of all the names:) But he says it;)

Link up what your kids are saying!! Record and remember these sweet memories;)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Making it Pretty, Nocturnal Animals & Faking Frogs

In my life this week...

Painting!!! I've been painting an old bookcase we had at the parsonage. We were hoping to get something different for the schoolroom at the new house, but decided last week to try to use what we have for now...

so since Wednesday I have been putting on a layer a day of white paint on a previously green bookcase. It's been a test of patience and perseverance. But after Sunday's coat, I think it's finished and can get placed in the schoolroom soon;)

And I really think it will be nice having it white! It's been a chore to make it pretty... but I know we need bookcases and it's was cheap to repaint it since we used paint that we already had;) Can't beat that!!

The Olympics:) We've had the TV on since the opening ceremonies... when the signals are good;) LOL!! NOt sure how much we'll watch during the days the next few weeks?

And we've been attempting to establish a chore routine around here. Our home is larger and requires a little more help from the kiddos! So we're spending our "home days" before school starts trying to teach and train on chores. I"ve definitely noticed a difference in the cleanliness of the house. But it's not been an easy road.... at lot of it has to with Momma's diligence :/

In our schooling this week...
umm, yikes. We've almost totally have taken a whole month off school... we all are ready to get back... almost:) We have still kept our afternoon reading and library visits. And the girls are occasionally on xtramath.org:)

Of course when we do take a break we never really stop learning or working together.

This has been a pseudo-Science week;)
We were able to participate in a library program with guests from a state Aquarium. We've been to the program in years passed, but this year the presenter's teaching style was just soo fun and really grabbed our attention! We really enjoyed the program and learned a lot about nocturnal animals.




We also had some animal learning adventures around the house;)

We borrowed a library book about spiders. The pictures were amazing and gave us a very close up view of spiders, their parts and how some of them eat. It's one of those books, you cringe when you read it.... LOL. We'll, I did.... Chris loved it!

Lydia enjoyed a visit with a friendly little dragonfly;)

 Later we found a frog hanging out at the cat's food bowls. As we approached the little frog he closed his eyes and acted like a rock;)

LOL!! Too funny!!

Earlier in the month I shared that we had been playing a LOT of Crazy 8's! Well we upgraded the kids to UNO this week.... we've played a LOT of Uno!! The kids love it and ask to play Uno more than they ask to eat... LOL!!

I'm inspired this week...
the simple beauty of flowers. We have found a couple of flowers on clearance these last two weeks! And it's soo nice to add some color to our yard;) Making it pretty slowly... a little at a time;)



I was also inspired by a friend who called to say she couldn't come. I was in the midst of a project that looked like it was going horribly wrong:( She encouraged me to "press on"... exactly what I needed to hear, at the right moment;)

Places we're going & People we're seeing...
Besides the library and Walmart :/ we haven't been out that much this week. But we were very glad to have Grammie and Uncle Eric visit Thursday. They came to help with some house projects... and we got some done;) But they also cut a path to the water to a fishing hole;)

What We're Reading...
Together we're reading a book called Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright. I've heard good things about this book and look forward to finishing it with the kids this week:)

Anna is still working her way through The American Girls and Boxcar Children books. Lydia is reading everything in sight... or at least trying!! I can really see an improvement in her reading this summer as she has tried to read more on her own! It's like when the "reading bug" bites, they really take off in their reading skills... more than they get from reading lessons alone. It's very exciting to see!!!

What am I Praying for...
the hearts of my children. That they would understand the love of Christ and desire Him fully... in spite of my lack of demonstrating Christ's love for them on some days:/ And that I would be mindful of that task each moment. Loved a post about love, patience and thankfulness!

Questions/Thoughts this Week...

Question is what to do with Anna's Grammar/writing this year. I used First Language Lessons 3 for her last year. She did it, liked it... but a lot of it just seemed like review or busy work for her. I'm not against diagramming sentences... she did plenty of it:) I just know I really struggled with being a decent writer in middle/high school and would love to give her a solid, but fun start;)

SO I'm on the hunt for a fun beginning writing "program" that could be used with all three older kids grades 1-4th. I think I know what I want to use. Would love some input:)

Picture to Share...

Just an afternoon on the swing:)


Linking up to Moments to Remember, Homeschool Mother's Journal and Weekly Wrap-Up.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lydia's Friendly Dragonfly

Lydia saw him... she "pet his wings".
Can you see the dragonfly she is staring at?

He landed.

Then she showed him off;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tiny Talk Tuesday: The Super Duper Coolest Thing

Ok, ok. So we still don't have their swing set or trampoline up. When the kids play outside they ride their bikes, dig holes in the woods or catch bugs/frogs;)

But I was a little convicted about their lack of outside "to dos" when Lydia said that the "super duper duper coolest thing to do is take a bath"!!

LOL!! The new house does have a big bathtub in the master bathroom;) And the kids love playing in it:) I totally have not had more than 3 kids in the bathtub at once... totally not me... and especially NOT this summer when it's either been over 100 degrees outside or muddy!!! And they need a bath EVERY TIME they go outside!!

But now I know why they like getting soo dirty outside... they love baths;)


Just one problem.... they splash water everywhere.

I have to share Nate's after tub routine...

he curls into a ball under and on top towels.

When he's done snuggling, he emerges;)

Ready to be silly again!!

Now it's your turn. What have your kids been saying:)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Neighbors from Nature

Our property is surrounded by woods (and some seasonal wetlands... LOL!! swamp). We are in a neighborhood but kind of tucked behind everyone else!

It makes for a peaceful place;) Lots of space for the kids to run! And slowly we are starting to see more little nature friends emerge from the woods.

We brought with us these two critters:)



BTW... I was told by a friend that cats could try to get back home when they are moved to a new home. I did a little Googling and came up with a plan to keep them in their little crates when we weren't playing with them for a couple of days. I knew the cats would HATE it, but if it would keep them from traveling down the highway:/

The plans changed though once we got to the property. The kids traveled with Grandma and GRanddaddy with the cats. And once they got to the new house they let them out of the crates!! And they stuck around!! The kids showered love on them, kept them happily fed and they got plenty of attention every time we went outside...

and they stuck around;)Although Collar has scared us with his "adventures" that keep him away from the hours for hours... he always returns ready for Lydia snuggles;)

At the parsonage we had huge horse flies.... gigantic man-eating (or at least man-biting) ones. But here near the swamp the most common bug besides gnats and grasshoppers are these...

dragonflies:) I hear they eat mosquitoes:)

As far as reptiles go... it's been a slow snake year.... thank goodness!!!! With all the rain we'd had TONS of frogs! In fact at night it sounds like the "plague" outside! But we were all delighted when Daddy found this guy...

Our most exciting nature neighbors, besides the owl (we have heard but not seen yet) and the hawk & egret(some have briefly sighted), we saw one evening through the window.

We had seen their prints in the sand when the foundation was laid and in the freshly moved dirt after the septic tank was put in. But we were soo very excited they returned when we could watch them in semi-whispered conversation about how beautiful they were:) And if we should call one "Bambi"!!


It was crazy, but it seemed like they were watching us, too!

It's been too long since I publicly shared my gift counting. Maybe it's a sign that's been neglected in my heart, too, or just a busy season of non-blogging.... honestly, a little of both! :( Thankfully, it's always a great time to start;)

371. nature sounds
372. power and beauty of the visiting deer (our Creator knows beauty)
373. memories of trying to quietly watch the deer through the panes
374. Nate running through aisles with a handful of blown up helium balloons... giggling:)
375. acceptance
376. bedtime stories in bed
377. summer visits with friends
378. VBS songs
379. the giving hearts of children
380. provision - more than we require, given when we need it
381. crazy 8s and Uno with the kids:) - summer boredom busters;)
382. ceiling fans
383. the faithful from the past
384. summer berries
385. toddler cuddles
386. kitty running to the kids
387. chasing frogs
388. playing in the rain

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Craft: Painting Clips

We still don't have our school room in any condition to be functional...

but the kids are ready for something more structured:) They are asking!!!

This week a group craft project worked with my idea on a chore chart I was wanting to put together;) LOL!! Win-win;)

And instead of working inside (where nothing is ready for kids and paints) we moved our project outside... even though it was very hot;)


Finishing up...
All the goods;)

Hoping to share how we're using our "new" clips soon!!

And it was good that we got some outside and craft time. An easy, simple, summer craft:)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Computer Buddies

This just made me laugh this week.

I thought the kids had had enough TV (with the move and the heat... they've definitely have had plenty of TV-time... mostly just DVDs from their collection!!)

So this was how I found them:)

Not exactly what I envisioned when I told them to cut the TV off;) But it was funny.

And you may be wondering what they so busy "working on"... PBSkids games, of course;) LOL!!

More Wordless Wednesday at  NapTime MomTog, 5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dead Battery, Cards and Rain

In my life this week....

Well after the kitchen flooding on Monday, I was hoping for a simple week;) It really wasn't that bad, but we had a few more curve balls :/

Like our car battery dying in a city 45 minutes from home as we were on our way to meet some friends to play. Of course I know nothing about cars (besides putting gas in them or oil if the light comes on... LOL!!). I called my mom to see if she could tell me what was wrong so I what to ask in order to get  help.

Thankfully, some men working for the city saw my distressed look and the minivan with kids!! They were so incredibly helpful.... first jumping my car, then telling me how to get to the nearest place to check my car battery. When they saw me behind them on the road they motioned for me to follow them and then stayed with my kids so I could run into the store (I could see the kids the whole time).

They truly were an answer to my quick desperate prayer.

We then had over an hour wait for the store to try to recharge our battery, determine it was indeed dead and then replace it with a new one! The kids attempted to keep themselves busy in the parking lot!! I was really thankful for them... they played and kept themselves occupied even though they knew they were missing playtime with their friends.

July 20121

And I think it was the only 2 hours it wasn't raining all day.... oh, so thankful, I couldn't imagine what I would done with them for that amount of time in the van (no AC, DVD, radio)!! Phew;)

In our schooling this week...
The girls did a couple of days of xtramath.org! We read library books, did our devotional readings and played cards:) Gotta love a real summer break while the school room is being put together;)


"The Champion" at least that is what he calls himself.... I guess 4 wins in a row merits a title

"The Rule Reader" & enforcer :)
"the Distraction"... he did "try", too still for him:)
I'm inspired this week by...
Seeing God's care and protection of us through our kitchen flooding and dead battery. He is good during the normal days and good during the crazy times, too!!

Places we're going & People we're seeing...
We were grateful to finally make it to indoor playground to play with our friends:) It was nice seeing friends and letting the kids play... it felt like it had been forever since we'd left the "packing/unpacking" routine! Nice!

What We're Reading...
I'm working my way through Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson. I'm in the sections of creating habits and disciplining:) Oh, it's been nice and a great motivator to getting us to work on some "housekeeping" issues we've let slide during the last few months.

The kids and I are working through some books about Lewis and Clark:) Yes, still!!! Our library had a ton to choose from so we've been reading those and hope to get back to our history studies as soon as our school room is useable for school;)

What I'm praying for...
Finding a church home. Now that we're wanting to get settled in the new home, we're ready to find a church home. For the last 8 years we've been at our sweet, small, community church. Going to church with neighbors where Brian was the pastor (for 7 of those 8 years). Praying for wisdom and the feeling of "this is it"! And the kids as they go into new classes (and maybe nursery for Nate..... soo new for us).

Questions/Thoughts this week....
Thinking/praying/reading about chore charts and positive habit forming;) I feel like we need a plan.... just something to follow when the days are long, the patience is short and a nap is needed... for everyone! And it's good to make it now as we are just getting settled into a new house/new routine/different chores!

Pictures to share...
Last week was too hot to play outside (not in water) and this week it has rained a bit every day!! After cooping them up during each rainstorm, we finally let them out;)


Nate played in the puddles with gravel:)

July 20122

Linking up to Moments to Remember, Homeschool Mother's Journal and Weekly Wrap-Up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Realities of Being a Homeowner and how God is soo Good

We've had our first full week at the house:) And what a week it was... LOL!!! We were quickly confronted with the reality of being homeowners.

Monday morning as we were making plans to take a bike ride around our new little neighborhood, the kids were getting some water before we left. From the living room, I heard Lydis fill her cup using our refrigerator's water dispenser, but then after she was done I heard a huge spray of water.

It immediately caught my attention and I jumped up to figure out what it was!! In the kitchen water was pouring out from underneath the refridgerator... pouring out!!!! Pouring out!!!

I quickly realized that it wasn't the actual refridgerator and I pulled the fridge away from the wall! The waterline going into the fridge had come loose and the line was spraying water everywhere..... EVERYWHERE.... crazy amounts of water.

So I ran to call Brian... frantically asking him how to cut off the water. Checked under the sink. Ran outside to cut the main source off (which I couldn't find). He decided to get home!!

And then I grabbed kids to start filling buckets and coolers of water!!!! One kid had hose duty and the other two older ones watched Nate and dumped buckets.... yes, buckets.

Thankfully when the kids started helping and water wasn't spraying everywhere, I thought to grab towels to keep the water from reaching the carpet. And I saw it.... a tiny little valve switch at the base of the refrigerator's waterline!! I didn't know what it did, but thought surely things can't get worse :) Thankfully, it was the switch to cut off water to that line!!!! RELIEF!!

July 2012
By the time Brian walked through the door... the water was off. Drops coming off the recessed lights. The brand new table sitting in a puddle of water. Towels were soaked all over the floor and more towels needed.

We soaked up what we could. We stuck paper towels under molding. Brian called the contractor and he called the plumber.

It wasn't until the plumber came to hook it all back up that he told us how fortunate we were!! Fortunate that I was at home and caught the "leak" when it first happened. Fortunate that we got the water cut off. Fortunate that we didn't loose our kitchen.

But it made us remember some key things:
  1. Things (house, vehicles, new furniture, stuff)is not lasting. At any moment it can be destroyed or taken.
  2.  God  is soo good... these moments when you realize what you've been spare from (and not by your own doing) leads to thankfulness and gratitude
  3.  We are soo blessed... those stressful moments didn't include any life-threatening situations. We are a healthy family of 6... we are blessed!
  4. I have to learn more about home maintenance:) At least for the hours that Brian is at work, I have the responsibility of house emergencies... I have a lot to learn:)
  5. And we're very glad for our decision to live close to Brian's job!! As water was spraying everywhere I was thankful that he had a 6-mile drive and not 30:)
  6. The house is still under warranty:) Hopefully though we don't have any damage since we were able to clean it all up right away!! Still... provides a little comfort!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

High Chair

Nate's highchair was one that fits inside any chair at the table. We have loved having a highchair that doesn't take up a lot of room in our former dining room.

Since the final "move in" was a spur of the moment thing, we lived at the new house without Nate's highchair for a few days...


and Nate did fine without it;)It makes us wonder if we even need the highchair any longer?


But now he's on a really high chair:)

More Wordless Wednesday at  NapTime MomTog, 5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go

 then, she {snapped}

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tiny Talk Tuesday: Gotta Watch Those Boys:)

Chris loves soda!!!! It's a treat when we're at church socials or when I have to make a cake;) Or when we're visiting with family.

Grandma and Grandaddy brought some soda with them during the week they helped us pack up. I have to say with all the work and the heat, it was nice to have something else to drink besides water:)

But we all got a laugh when Chris was trying to talk Grandma into another glass of root beer.

Chris : "But Grandma, I don't feel drunk!"

LOL!! Took me a minute to realize he knew he was drinking root beer. And then to remember the "drinking" conversations we have had with the kids during Little House on the Prairie episodes :)


One of Nate favorite new words is "teys" for keys. I know part of the reason is that we have a little book that talks about keys, it's one of his favorites to read at bedtime. We've even caught him sticking our van keys in the ignition:/

We'll now he is making his own keys;) And he knows exactly where they go;)

He's soo proud of himself;)


Chris and I were playing cards one hot afternoon. After a few hands I let him shuffle the deck. For some reason "shuffling" is an honored job while playing cards:)

But what was precious was Chris saying "chuckle" instead of shuffle;)

And you've got to watch him when he shuffles, he tries to give himself the "wild" cards!! Little rascal:)

Let me say, that I often get busy with too many "housekeeping" things and neglect simple things like playing a game, coloring or even get watching the kids create stuff with their toys. But from our couple of cards games, I really was reminded of the need for me spend "playtime" with them.

Funny, how I read a blog about it a few days later;)

Now it's your turn. What have your kids been saying:)