Monday, December 31, 2012

Things to Do

I have several things that I need/want to work on to get ready for the baby, so I thought I'd make a list to share with you.  Over the next week or two I would like to:

-Make several meals to put in the freezer.  I think I have all the ingredients and just need to assemble them.  Need to do this in the next two days, as we bought meat for me to work on this already and it is easier to work with before freezing it.  Jan. 3 - I still have a few I would like to make, but most of them are in the freezer.
-Make chili powder. made on 1/21/13
-Un-decorate Christmas tree.
-Put away all Christmas decorations, books, nativity pieces, etc.  Jan. 13 - Everything seems to be down, just need to finish getting it put away
-Clean master closet.
-Clean master room where baby bed will go.  1/21 - This has kind of been done, we left a table there for the mid-wife to use and will take it down after the birth, then there will be room for the bed.
-Clean off my dresser and get it set up with the baby changing station.
-Decide what lessons we are going to start back to school with.  -I think for now Kent and Katy are going to work on English, Kaomi on reading and everyone on science.  It will be nice to not have to skip science fun after the baby arrives and I won't feel like making it fit into our schedule.
-Start back to school with a light schedule to add a little routine to the kids days, but still give me the time I feel I need to finish getting ready for the new baby.
-Look through baby clothes and pick out first couple of outfits in girl and boy colors and have them ready to go.
-Make sure we have everything needed for a planned home birth together in an easily accessible place.
-Make sure we have a package or two of newborn and size 1 diapers on hand.
-Clean out my dresser drawers.
-Work on Lissie and Clark's "school boxes" to give them some "new" things to help them while we are doing school or when the baby is just born and they need something to do.
-Make a special box of fun for Clark to use just when I am nursing and unable to run after him or check up on him.
-Clean my desk.
-Decide what I want to get Lissie for her birthday, as it should be a couple weeks after the new baby is born and I probably won't be doing much shopping after he/she is born.

I'm sure I probably won't get all of these things done in the next week or two, but having a plan to look at will help me remember the things that I have thought I should be working on.  I'll try to come back and update this list as I finish tasks or think of more to add.

Linked with:

Raising Arrows

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - 2012

This year we had a nice day just calmly staying home and enjoying each other.  We had thunderstorms during the night, which continued through a little bit of the morning.  We opened stockings which Clark helped Jeff hand out to everyone and ate breakfast.  This year I made a sausage and egg bake and served it with pineapple.  After breakfast and everyone was ready we started opening gifts beginning with gifts from family who were not with us.  After we opened gifts from Uncles, Aunts, and Parents/Grandparents we took a short break.  Then the kids exchanged most of their gifts with each other.  We had a quick lunch of little sausages, cheese and crackers or buttered bread and the kids played with their gifts and waited to open the rest.  Clark went down for his nap, as he was very tired.  The kids finished exchanging gifts and we moved on to the gifts from Jeff and I to the kids and each other.  This year, we again gave each of the kids 3 gifts represented by the gifts the Wisemen brought Jesus.  We gave them Frankincense (a need), Myrrh (something to nurture their soul, creative side or help them "grow") and Gold (something they wanted or we knew they would really enjoy).  About the time we started opening these gifts if started to snow.  We finished opening gifts around 2:30 pm.  When we exchange gifts only one person at a time is usually opening a gift.  We enjoy watching and listening to each person who is the recipient.  When we had finished opening the gifts everyone enjoyed their gifts and enjoyed watching the snow.  We went outside at the end of the afternoon and played in the inch and half to 2 inches of snow before dessert.  Their were several areas where the snow had drifted deeper, too.  After a dessert of pumpkin bread and orange cranberry bread with whipped cream we watched Clark open his last two gifts and then we ate dinner around 7:00 pm.  We had taco casserole and carrots.  Everyone was very tired so we wrapped up the evening with The Christmas Story from Luke 2 and all the kids went to bed.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Lights Walk -2012

We took our annual Christmas Lights Walk around our neighborhood tonight.  There didn't seem to be as many lights this year.  The weather was nice for walking and we were able to walk around several blocks before returning home.  Clark's favorite light was the moon.  He kept laying back against Lissie in the wagon and watching the moon as we walked.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Decorating as the Month Continues

This Christmas I haven't found the time to decorate as much.  I have some beautiful houses that I really enjoy putting up and enjoy looking at them through the season and I still haven't put them up.  I think it's because we did had school 2 days each of the first 2 weeks this month and then on the other days we were busy with errands, baking and other projects.  So I have decided that I won't put up our houses this year, but as I come accross a decoration that I want out I will still put it up.  We have our Christmas tree, Little People Nativity Set, basket of Christmas books, and some Christmas candles out.  We also have 2 singing and dancing stuffed animals that the kids enjoy playing with out.  We also have several various pictures that the kids have made that go with the Christmas Story hanging on our walls.  On Saturday I was looking for something in my Christmas box and found another small nativity piece that belongs to Katy so I got that our and set it on the counter with my plant.

I also have some squashes and Indian corn still out that were decorations around Thanksgiving.  I'm hoping to cook the rest of the squashes today and have the kids take the corn off the cobs, so we can use it to pop one evening.  I have some more white taper candles I want to put out and was trying to remember where some candle holders are.  I remembered and hope to get them set up today as well.  I think most of my candle holders are still actually packed in a box from when we moved, but I'm not exactly sure which box, so I don't want to start unpacking something else and making another project that I don't need to take on right now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Carry On

When you wake up and your hormones must be going crazy and you want to cry, but you have responsiblities what do you do?

Of course, you just pretend nothing is wrong.  You get the kids going in their regular routine.  You drink a cup of coffee with chocolate in it, drink a cup of hot chocolate, make your breakfast and add chocolate, burn your toast and make more.  Then you make your bed, ask 1 kid to pick up and vacuum a room that seems to have a dirtier floor than normal, send other kids to do something else,  tackle something that has been bothering you around the house and then do your normal chores.  Then you feel better because you feel like something has actually been done.  During those things you decide that since it is so cold outside and rounding kids up to go to a friends home for a previously scheduled activity would just be too much, you ask them if they could come over instead.  Of course they can and everyone enjoys coloring Christmas pictures, watching a movie and eating cookies before lunch.  Then you have to think about making lunch.  You have bread, but no leftovers to use or peanut butter to put on the bread, because you forgot to buy it the last time you went to the store.  So you make bread pudding (a.k.a. baked french toast), and the kids are excited to have breakfast for lunch, even though lunch won't be ready until after 1:00 pm.  You decide to have storytime while lunch is in the oven and the timing ends up perfect.  After lunch is finished quiet time has arrived and you find that you've made it through most of the day.  You wanted to work on a project during quiet time, but your brain is too "fried" to work on it so you save it to work on either in the evening or another day.  You sit down and try to think about what you should make for dinner and come up with some kind of plan using the leftover rice, potato, spicy sausage, sweet potato, spaghetti sauce and fresh veggies in your fridge and hope that when you actually make it there will be enough for everyone and that everyone will like it.

33 Weeks

Last week I saw a friend who is expecting her first child anyday now.  She was so tiny, that now I understand why several people look at me oddly when they ask when our baby is due and they find out not until the end of January.  I do think it's kind of funny when I am out and someone tells me that I'm not allowed to have the baby "here".

I'm beginning to feel rather uncomfortable as baby is growing and pressing into one of my kidneys.  This has happened in every pregnancy and they always choose the same kidney.  Felicity and Clark are finding it hard to sit in my lap and snuggle as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


This is the time of year when we focus more on our Savior's birth.  He has redeemed me from the grasp of Satan and eternal death.  He came as a perfect, sinless baby to live here on earth among sinners so that he could die for us at the time God appointed.  Through shedding his perfect blood he paid the punishment for my sin, so that when I die a physical death, I may live forever in heaven as a child of God.

What better time of year is there to share the story of my Redeemer with my children.  Each year we tell them the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible and talk about how this was just the beginning of what his life was going to bring to our world.  We place our nativity near or under our Christmas tree and the story of Jesus gets told over and over as my children play.

This month I had an opportunity through (in)courage to receive a tree skirt and table top advent devotional from Dayspring's Redeemed Christmas Line of products.

I love that the tree skirt says "No Greater Love than Jesus".  In our home, it brings the focus around our Christmas tree back to Jesus a little more.  It gives the opportunity to potentially have even more discussions about my Redeemer with my children and guests in my home.


The table top advent devotional adds another dimension of thinking about Jesus throughout the day.  I have it sitting in the middle of my kitchen table and have found myself reading the days devotional and meditating on my Redeemer more each day.  One day last week, I could tell that it was going to be a more trying day for me, as I hadn't slept well and the kids weren't being perfect either.  I found the devotional for the day to be very encouraging all day long and I know it helped me show the love of Jesus to my children much more than I would have without the all day reminder in front of me that "Jesus carries our burdens".  I kept praying through the day, "help me not to be grumpy with my children." 

I am REDEEMED and my Savior, Jesus is working in my life everyday to keep me in a closer relationship to him.  I'm glad he helps me and isn't just waiting for me to join him in heaven.  I wouldn't be able to live a Christ-like life without his help.

Do you want to add decor to your home that helps bring the focus back to Christ during this Christmas season?  If you have something that adds Christ to Christmas through the decor in your home I'd enjoy reading your comment about it.

Several of the items in Dayspring's Redeemed Christmas Collection are on sale this month here.

*I received the tree skirt and table top devotional free from Dayspring in exchange for a story about being redeemed.  All opinions are mine.

**I hope to share my own pictures, but for now the pictures above came from (in)courage.

Also linked up with:

Simple Living Mama    

Monday, December 3, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - A Book a Day

Last year we read a book everyday before Christmas.  The kids enjoyed it so much that we are doing it again this year.  After we read the book for the day we will be adding it to a basket beside the Christmas Tree so that they can be read again as often as someone wants too.  Here is the list of books that we will be reading in our countdown.

Day 1:  Precious Moments:  The Gifts of Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 2:  One Wintry Night by Ruth Graham Bell (This is a longer story that we will be reading over the next several days.)
Day 3:  Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer (Felicity's Favorite last year.)
Day 4:  The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
Day 5:  The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson
Day 6:  If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Day 7:  Room for a Little One by Martn Waddell (Board Book)
Day 8:  This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
Day 9:  God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen
Day 10:  The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry (Board Book)
Day 11:  Usborne Bible Tales:  The Story of Christmas retold by Heather Amery
Day 12:  Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Day 13:  Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
Day 14:  The Christmas Story by Jane Werner (A Little Golden Book)
Day 15:  The Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 16:  Silent Night illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Day 17:  The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree (A Little Golden Book)
Day 18:  Chickadee Winter by Dawn L. Watkins
Day 19:  The Christmas Pageant by Jaqueline Rogers
Day 20:  The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Douglas Gorsline
Day 21:  The Twelve Days of Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 22:  Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
Day 23:  The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Richard Scarry
Day 24:  The Christmas Story (from Luke, KJV) pictures by James Bernardin

We have a couple other Christmas books that will just be added to the basket they are:

Farmyard Tales Christmas Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright (A Flap Book)
Favorite Holiday Traditions complied by Ellyn Sanna
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (A Little Golden Book)

Last Year When we did this I didn't have 24 Christmas books on hand so we checked several out of the library that I read and I returned when they were due.  While we try to help our children focus on the true meaning of Christmas which is God giving us His Son Jesus we do enjoy reading several other fun stories around Christmastime that go along with other traditions.

I thought about wrapping each of the books this year and letting the kids take turns opening them, but instead I'm just keeping them separate in a box in my room.

Do you have any favorite Christmas books?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

In School this Week...

This is our last full week of school, before we start enjoying low key school for December in anticipation of celebrating Jesus' birth.

Monday:  We completed all of our history and notebooking for the week.  We learned about the advancement of the steam engine and Robert Fulton.  We went to the library for storytime where we heard some stories about owls and made an owl craft.  Kent and Katy began new units in English.  Kent completed his next math lesson and Katy worked on 3 trouble problems from Math that she had before Thanksgiving.  Now she is ready to start her new math workbook.

Tuesday:  We worked on science and did a page about plants and funguses.  Kent and Katy worked on their next English lessons.  Kaomi practiced reading and doing her math.  She is learning about tens and ones.  Kent worked on his next math lesson about measuring using meters and centimeters.  He also read a chapter in The Buffalo Knife for his extended history reading.  Katy worked on cursive and learned the letter z.  Aunt Jenny came over to visit after lunch.  Katy began her new math workbook.

Wednesday:  We volunteered at church, but didn't work on any other school.

Thursday:  Kaomi learned about reading words that end with ank, ink, onk, and unk.  Kent and Katy worked on math and English.  We did science all together and talked about the wingspans of different kinds of owls.  We measured them on the floor and compared them to the ideas about how long the wingspan of an owl that the kids had written down beforehand.  Everyones' guess was close to one of the owl wingspans we measured.  Then we talked about how an insect sees differently than us because of the many lenses on their eyes.  We got to look through a dragonfly scope to get an idea how insects see.

Friday:  Kent and Katy studied dictation and worked on English.  Katy actually didn't get her math worked on yesterday, so she was working on it today.  Kent, Katy, and Kaomi also had reading.

Starting next week we plan on only working on school lessons Tuesday and Thursday.  Then we can also focus on other activities like baking, crafts, sewing etc.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

In School this Week...

This week we took a break from our regular studies to focus more on Thanksgiving.

Monday:  We went to the Library for storytime and made a cornucopia craft.  Kent and Katy worked on their reading journals that I have asked them to fill out to receive their BOOK-IT rewards.  The piano was practiced and we read about the Pilgrims and about current thanksgiving celebrations.

Tuesday:  Katy practiced the piano.  We finished science from last week.  I checked over Katy's reading journal and it was complete.  Kent worked more on his reading journal.  They worked on making a Thanksgiving scene with stickers.  We went outside and drew sidewalk chalk thanksgiving pictures for anyone walking by to see.  Kent and Katy both helped me in the kitchen as well.

Wednesday:  I'm not counting the day for school, but each of the kids helped get ready for Thanksgiving.  Clark took two naps.  Felicity helped make GF cornbread.  Katy helped make GF cornbread dressing.  Kaomi helped make GF pumpkin pie.  Kent helped make GF apple cake.

The rest of the week we aren't focusing on school.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday at Home

Today we stayed home and worked/played around the house.  We started trying to assemble our little bit of fall decor to put away.  We are missing an Indian from our little people set so we spent  a lot of time looking for it.  We haven't found it yet.  I was able to go through two overflowing laundry baskets of hand me down clothing and find what we can use currently and might use in the future.  Then I bagged up the extra into two full 13 gallon trash bags to pass on to others.  I also finished filling up a box from the master bedroom with stuff to giveaway.  All our giveaway stuff is sitting by the front door ready to put in the van.

Jeff and Kent set up the Christmas tree and put the lights on it and we even decorated it this evening.  The kids all had fun listening to Christmas music and playing with our bell ornaments from the tree.  I'm sure we'll have our tree adventures with Clark to come, but for now he was a little curious, and didn't have too much of an opportunity to spend at the tree.  Then we had dessert followed by dinner while we watched a Christmas movie.

Tomorrow I hope to tackle Lissy's closet and all the clothes that are being saved and sort them into their boxes until needed.  I'm also planning on finishing gathering up our fall decor and beginning to set up our Christmas/Winter decor.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 69:30
"I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."
                                             Psalm 69:30

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today We Were Blessed

This morning Clark took a nap.  He's not been napping in the mornings lately and with what was to come I found myself thanking God that he did sleep in the morning.

I was able to finish putting things away in the girls' room and we were able to finish up last week's science lesson.  Then the four oldest went upstairs to play and I took an unintended nap.

We were finishing up lunch when the doorbell rang.  It was a father and his two sons who go to Christian Service Brigade with Jeff and Kent.  Their family wanted to bless our family and they came to weed-eat and mow our weed infested yard, that we hadn't had a chance to take care of yet this fall.

It was an extra blessing for Kent because we were home and he got to play with his friends when their Dad didn't need them to help him.  Kent doesn't often get to interact with other boys in our home as most of the people we get together with have girls.

Quiet time was late in the afternoon for a short while.  I was checking my e-mail and found that I'd been blessed again by winning a giveaway by Gwen for a book call A is for Adam.  I also was blessed with a sweet e-mail from my husband telling me he loves me.

At the end of the afternoon our neighbor came over when we were out drawing thanksgiving pictures on our side walk.  She enjoyed getting out of the house, playing with the girls, and drawing pictures with us.

After we came back inside I started fixing the vegetables for dinner and Katy blessed me by asking if she could help me with the potatoes.  Since I was almost ready to put them in the oven, she counted carrots for our dinner(after finding them in the fridge) and cut them after I peeled them.  Then Kent came through and blessed me by seeing that Katy was having fun and he wanted to help cut carrots, too.  I asked him if he could help me with the beans instead.  He cheerfully helped me take the heads and tails off the green beans.  When we were done he helped pick up the carrot pieces and peels that had landed on the floor and he put the trash can closer to Katy so she could put the carrot scrap pieces in the trash easier.  Before Kent came to help he put Clark in his pack and play and put on a Praise Baby DVD for him to watch so he wouldn't get into trouble.

Tonight we will be able to enjoy our roast with the THREE vegetables I had planned rather than ending up with just one as often happens when I have too many distractions during the dinner hour.

Then Jeff came home with a new outfit for me to wear on Thanksgiving.

     Raising Arrows

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  We had a little lighter lesson day.  We went to the library and learned about spiders and made a spider web craft.  Kent and Katy worked on corrections from Friday and I helped them make sure they understood any concepts they seemed to be having trouble with.  Everyone helped take turns entertaining Clark.  Kent had a piano lesson.  Kent and Katy completed English and studied dictation.  Everyone enjoyed reading and looking at the books we checked out of the library.  For storytime we began reading A Pioneer Thanksgiving.

Tuesday:  We read science and history altogether and then started on other work.  Kent and Katy worked on English, Math and studied dictation.  Kaomi worked on reading a story from Mimi about Miff at the Vet and math.  Katy had her piano lesson.  We read more from A Pioneer Thanksgiving and all worked together to make the cranberry sauce recipe from the book after Felicity and Clark were down for their naps.

Wednesday:  We worked in the classrooms at church and went shopping for a few things for our shoeboxes.  Kent and Katy completed English.  We packed shoeboxes for  Operation Christmas Child.

Thursday:  We worked on history, English and math.  Kaomi worked on reading as well.  We worked on weaving a "nutting" basket with yarn and pipe cleaners.  Like you might have used if you were a pioneer child hunting for nuts in the fall.

Friday:  We worked on finishing up school, before Thanksgiving week activities.  We finished reading A Pioneer Thanksgiving.  I realized at the end of the day that we didn't complete science, but maybe we will do that on Monday.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I stocked up on school supplies when they were on sale.  I picked up odds and ends of neat things throughout the year and kept doubles of Kid's Meal toys/books.  This week we bought soap, washcloths, toothpaste, cups, candy, coloring pages, and stuffed animals or dolls, as well as other boy/girl activities.  Kent, Katy, and Kaomi went with me to help pick these things out.

Then we got ready to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  The kids helped open packages and set everything out of like kinds together around the table.  Jeff wrapped the cardboard shoeboxes with wrapping paper. We wrapped the soap in the washcloths and put them in ziplock bags.  We put together a couple small ziplock bags of girls hair stuff.  Kaomi helped assemble bags of candy and Kent sealed them up.  I set the box of extra fillers to the side and we were ready to start.

Ready to start packing shoeboxes.

Kent, Katy, Kaomi, and Felicity each chose the box they wanted to fill and set to work around the table putting items in their boxes.  I helped Felicity.  The last stop was to see Daddy who had the boy and girl activities and he gave them one activity for their box.  When everyone had all their stuff they sat down to rearrange their boxes to fit everything in the best way.  Daddy helped them as needed.  While they were working on that I filled a box "from" Clark.  When their boxes were all arranged they brought them to me to see what kind of fillers they needed to help finish off their boxes.  Then Kent, Katy, and Kaomi each filled another box.

We've been doing this for several years and it is something our children have really enjoyed doing.  They look forward to choosing items and filling a shoebox full of things for a child who may not get any other gift for Christmas.

Have you ever packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?
If you've wanted to pack a shoebox and don't have time or a drop-off point nearby, you can build a box online this year.

The Last Bouquets

My garden has been growing all season and I have enjoyed looking out my window at the pink zinnias and orange cosmos.

In anticipation of a hard frost this week I picked all the pink zinnias that were still blooming.  I'll miss seeing the flowers that we planted in the spring, but can anticipate the spring when we can plant some more.

Here are the last bouquets.

One bouquet looks a little strange because one of the windstorms we had this summer blew the plant over.  I never tried to straighten it back up so the flowers all turned and grew up toward the sun.  Then when picked they point down toward the table, unless of course you cut the stems above the curve, which I didn't do this time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  We started school and then I realized that it is the first Monday of the month and we were supposed to have the day off.  Oh well, if I need it next Monday we'll take it then, but there's holidays coming up so maybe we'll just wait.  Kaomi decided to have a mental block about reading the words she was was going to be writing today.  Then all of a sudden she remembered how to read.  Katy goofed off instead of working on her first lesson and got herself into trouble with the teacher.  Kent finished all his work before lunch.  Felicity played with her preschool box and Kaomi got to join her for a little while, before she needed to do math.  We learned about being polite in health, as well.

Tuesday:  We talked about the importance of voting and that a person who is going to vote needs to vote for the candidate that they think will do the best job leading our country. The voters need to be informed about what the candidate says they want to do and aligning what they say up with what God says.  Then I went to vote for a new president.  We talked more about trees and then about the life cycle of a monarch for science.  Kent and Katy have been doing a good job practicing the piano this week.  I need to make time to give each of them a new lesson.  Kaomi worked on math, reading and we read more about The Adventures of Grandfather Frog.  Katy didn't finish her work again.  She does this when she thinks it doesn't matter and she'd just rather not do it right now.  She will have to finish it tomorrow.

Wednesday:  We volunteered restocking the classroom supplies at church and then Kent, Katy, and Kaomi were able to redeem their first BOOK-IT coupons of the season for a personal pan pizza at pizza hut.  We brought our pizza home and after lunch Kent worked on English and math and KAty worked on English and made sure she had completed everything from Tuesday.

Thursday:  We read about William Carey for Bible and how he was a determined boy and how he grew up to be a determined man spending 41 years as a missionary in India.  Everyone worked well on their school work.  Kaomi did a great job practicing writing letter J and j.  She even got a star on her paper, which gave her a big smile.  I forgot that we were supposed to do art, but I'm not sure how well that would have gone considering Clark was into everything anytime he wasn't in bed.

Friday:  In science we learned about how animals in the woods are camoflaged and how maple trees spread their seeds.  Kaomi worked on handwriting a sentence that she could read and for math we worked on making groups of 10 with beads.  While we were working on that Felicity was attempting to string some beads, but after getting a couple on she would inevitably turn her string upside down and dump them off on the table and floor.  She got frustrated with that and decided it wasn't as fun as she thought it would be.  Kent and Katy both worked on reading their fantasy books with me today.  Clark got to spend some time in the pack and play in the living room with a couple toys from his toddler box.  He wasn't very happy about it at first, but decided playing was more fun than crying.  I also read him a board book about Jesus, so he got to have that book to look at as well.  Katy decided that she should finish her school today, so she was working on it after 4 pm.  This was before I checked with her about whether she had completed everything or not.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cleaning Kent's Room

This week Kent and I have been focusing on cleaning his room.  We completely went through everything and threw away everything that was trash or broken.  If it didn't belong in his room we put it away.  We evaluated whether he plays with certain toys and put them in the giveaway box if it wasn't something he had used in a long time.  He has a really hard time getting rid of anything, so hopefully by me working with him it has given him an idea how to evaluate whether or not he should keep it.

Now we just need to dust and vacuum and then we can put his room back together.  I'm hoping to finish the last few things this evening.  Then he will get to pick 2 of his toys/collections to keep out besides his Legos and the rest will be put up on the top shelf in his closet for now.  If he wants to get something else from the shelf he will have to put something he already has out completely away and up on the shelf first.  He can't reach the shelf easily, but is pretty compliant so I'm not expecting any complaints from him.  He is also under strict orders that if he wants to play with his cars and car sets that every Lego must be put away before he gets them out.  The same applies to the train set.

We are all hoping that with more visible room on his shelf he will be able to see what he should do better when it is time to straighten up his room and if there is more room on the shelf then maybe there will be fewer toys spread all over his room that he can't find the parts to.

He's been a good sport even when he hasn't liked me throwing away things that he thinks are useful.  I've reminded him that there will be more acorns, papers from Sunday School, etc.

He has a giant angry bird poster that we tried to hang on his wall this summer, but the tape wouldn't stick to the paint on his walls.  Today I hung it up in his large closet for him so he can see it.  It should stick to those walls.  He was excited about it being hung up so he could actually see it.

Update:  The tape didn't stick in the closet either, so I put it back up with push pins.

All Our Days     

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Two Year Old's Perspective on Voting

I told Felicity that I needed to go vote this morning.  She wanted to know if she could go with me.  Of course she can.

Then she asked if we were going to see Grammy at the "boat".

Me:  "No, we won't see Grammy.  I am going to vote for a new president for our country."

Felicity, running off into the other room: "Hey kids we're going to float."

Next, I hear her in the living room telling Katy, "Mommy's going to vote for a new princess."

Bountiful Basket #9

This past weekend I got to get up extra early, while the stars were still out to go and get our Bountiful Basket.  This week we ordered an Italian Theme pack which contained: red and yellow onions, garlic, eggplant, green peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, parsley and basil.  We also ordered 9 grain bread and the organic basket.  Our organic basket contained: Romaine hearts, cauliflower, green chard, zucchini, carrots, cilantro, spaghetti squash, garlic, grapes, apples and pears.  Since I volunteered I chose 1 package of blackberries as my thank you.  I was able to get a second package of blackberries because there were a couple moldy ones in it and someone didn't want it (we were able to provide them with a good package because several baskets had extra blackberries).

I came home and fixed breakfast for my family.  We had biscuits with butter and blackberries.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  We were able to go to the Library this week.  They had one of our local policemen there talking about bullying.  He did a good job.  Kaomi did a great job reading new words with the ck consonant blend.  Kent and Katy worked well on their school, as well.

Tuesday:  Jeff got the kids started on school while I was at my mid-wife appointment.  He had Kent fold ALL the laundry, which I saw when I returned home and I realized I hadn't told him how much should be folded (I washed 3 loads on Monday and they were all in the basket.)  They usually only have to fold 1 load.  We worked on all our together work after lunch.  Kent and Katy began working on new books for reading.  The genre they are reading is fantasy.  Kent is reading the first section of The Pilgrim's Progress and Katy is reading The Littles.  This is the last reading genre we plan to work on before Christmas.  After supper we worked on making corrections, so we wouldn't have to work on that tomorrow.

Wednesday:  We didn't do any bookwork today.  We were making sure to have everything ready for our Halloween Ministry event.  I did give some long overdue piano lessons to Kent and Katy.

Thursday:  After cleaning up trash outside from our Halloween Ministry event we began our morning with history.  We read about Marion and the tower he built to defeat a British fort and George Rodgers Clark and the march he and his men took to take over a British fort and stop Indian attacks in the middle of winter.  Then each of the kids got to build their own tower with Legos.  After building towers we moved on to individual work.

Friday:  We explored leaves for science today.  We looked at artificial and real leaves with magnifying glasses.  Kent and Katy had to look for differences in them.  We also got to look at a piece of leaf through our microscope.  Uncle Sean and Aunt Rebekah gave us a microscope a couple years ago and this was our first time to use it.  Kent was excited to be able to see the stomates in the leaf section under the microscope.  We also talked about tree trunks and the different layers in the trunk.  Then we looked at an old log that we had in our backyard and tried to count the rings.  There were about 30 rings.  I may have missed a few when counting as the cut end wasn't cut quite even and it was sometimes hard to tell if there was a ring or just a bump from being cut.  Then everyone had a diagram of a log to label the parts.  They each got to choose their diagram from three that I had found online.  Katy and Felicity choose one to color.  Kent choose an actual picture of a cross-section of a tree and Kaomi choose a digital rendering of a cross-section.  We also completed our regularly scheduled lessons as well.  Kaomi worked on reading a story from Pa and Mimi about Miff and the Chip Munk.  Katy chose not to get her school finished so she will be doing homework on Saturday.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  Katy decided she was going to have a bad day while she was doing her chores after breakfast.  Therefore, costing everyone their trip to the library, since she didn't start her school work until late morning.  Kaomi had fun reading new short-vowel words with double consonants at the end of them.  She also made a picture to show the Smiling Pool from our new story, The Adventures of Grandfather Frog.  Kent worked hard on all his individual work to get it done in the morning.  Kent, Kaomi and Felicity got to play outside after lunch until it started to rain.  We read some more in Stuart Little for storytime and read our history all together.  Katy was back on track after working on school after lunch and both she and Kent were done by 2:30-3:00.

Tuesday:  We worked hard to get as much done in the morning.  In the afternoon some friends came over to craft and play.  We made harvest placemats.  We used the same stamps we used in our fall craft last year.  This time we just stamped them on 8.5 X 11 computer paper and laminated them.  I intended to take a picture while everyone was stamping, but forgot to.

Wednesday:  We were supposed to go to church, but Clark has had a fever and the other kids all have snotty noses so we stayed home.  We worked on Thursday's history, caught up on Tuesday's health, Kent and Katy worked on English lessons and then they were to choose one or two things from their individual work from Thursday to complete.  Kaomi worked on reading a story that Mimi sent her.

Thursday:  Today is a lighter day.  Kent and Katy worked on completing their individual work.  We had an early lunch and worked on things everyone needed to do with Mommy

Friday:  We finished reading John Audubon for science and Stuart Little for storytime.  Everyone worked on their individual work as well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bountiful Baskets #'s 7 and 8

Basket #7 was an organic box, Mexican theme veggie pack, harvest pack and 9-grain bread.

Basket #8 was a conventional box (left), an organic box (right) and 9-grain bread.  I traded some of my original onions for some extra pomegranates that's why there are several of them.

We have really been enjoying having a variety of "new" foods.  Sometimes we find things that we don't like as much, but usually I can try a couple different recipes and come up with something we can do with everything, that almost everyone will eat.  It's time to try squash again.  This week we received acorn squash and butternut squash.  I also have the squashes and pumpkins from our harvest pack 2 weeks ago that have been decorating our home.  I enjoy the savings by ordering through Bountiful Baskets and I also enjoy not having to peruse the produce aisle in the grocery store.  Then I plan our meals making sure we are using the produce we have on hand.  If we have more than we can use of something I try to freeze it or give it to a friend who will use it.  This also works well if something will go bad before we can use it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  This week we are working through Unit 13.  School went was a little on the rough side.  Felicity was grumpy and Kaomi decided that she couldn't read and had a bad attitude, all day.  Kent and Katy did pretty well on their lessons.

Tuesday:  Was better than Monday.  Kaomi did better reading and we all had fun reading more about John Audubon in science.  Kent and Katy did their science notebooking page about owls.  I enjoyed seeing their drawing of an owl.

Wednesday:  We went to church to work in the classrooms and after we had lunch we finished up some of the school that we didn't finish on Monday and Tuesday.  Kent and Katy also did their English.

Thursday:  Katy's birthday!!!  We had a holiday from school so we could spend the day with Katy, doing things she enjoyed.

Friday:  We did well going through our lessons and we made sure to finish everything up, so we didn't have to catch up this weekend or next Monday.  The kids weren't real happy with me for making them do more school after quiet time, but I'm happy that we got it all finished up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Katy! - 2012

Special Place Setting
 This morning we had a special breakfast of eggs, toast and hot chocolate.  Katy's been asking to have eggs for breakfast lately, so she was quite pleased.
Happy Birthday, Katy!
We are planning a picnic and trip to the playground for lunch today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clark is 16 Months

He is taking steps.  Often up to 14 in a row.  He kind of looks like a toy wooden soldier when trying to walk.

He's getting more demanding.  He knows what he wants and isn't very happy if you don't let him have something he wants.

He loves to press buttons (phones, remotes, etc.).

He loves to push things around the house, but as he gets walking down more I can see that being a little less.

He's down to morning and evening nursings and if he asks in the middle of the day is easily distracted by other food, water or something fun to do.

He's not usually quiet, unless sleeping.

He "reads" by looking at a book and yelling sounds and an occasional word.

He loves to be outside and has found that it is fun to be in the grass.

He adores his older siblings.

His hand eye coordination is great.  He likes to put Nerf bullets into their proper places in the Nerf gun. 

He likes to play with Duplo Legos and can even make them stick together.

He loves to chew on his rag and snuggle his blanket.

He doesn't stop for long and is very "busy" exploring everything that he can think of.

His words are increasing and he can say everyone's name, though not always the clearest.

He thinks airplanes are cool, even if he just hears them.

He loves to eat people food.  There are very few things that he doesn't want to eat anymore. 

He loves to climb the stairs.  He thinks he's big stuff if he gets up pretty far without being caught.  He knows he's not supposed to go upstairs, but climbing is just too fun.

He smiles, a lot.

When he goes to the nursery at church everyone is happy to see him.  He loves to be around people.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

In School this Week...

Monday:  After having most of last week off from lessons I was hoping to be ready for this week, but I wasn't.  While each of the kids worked on something they could do by themselves for school, I  got our schedule for the week planned.  We also went to the library and they were talking about Fall during storytime.  Everyone made a tree with fall leaves on or around it.

Tuesday:  I had planned a full day of school and then remembered that we were getting together with friends to decorate foam pumpkins and play in the afternoon.  We did manage to get almost everything accomplished before we went to their house.  We had checked a fall craft book out of the Library so the kids have been perusing it trying to find things they could make.  Kent made a Columbus Day craft, since Columbus's birthday is on Friday.  Katy made some caterpillars for her and Kaomi.  I have yet to look through the book, but I'm glad to see that the kids have found some things they could do on their own, with little to no help from me.  They just need to remember to follow the directions.

Wednesday:  I had planned another full school day and then remembered that our Friday volunteering has switched back to Wednesday's.  I informed Kent and Katy that they needed to complete an English lesson and that we would do Wednesday's schedule on Thursday and Thursday's schedule on Friday.  We were gone all day running errands and supper was late.

Thursday:  Trying to get back in the groove.  Felicity kept wanting to know where we were going and when we were leaving.  We stayed home all day and managed to stay pretty much on top of things.  Kaomi even did a great job on her reading lesson, even though she was reluctant to read it with me.  I even got everything corrected after supper, ready for the kids to pick up and start on Friday.

Friday:  Morning started out busy and by 9:30 I suggested Kent and Katy begin their individual work and gave Kaomi her handwriting assignment to work on.  Kent was trying really hard to get everything done he needed to, because he is supposed to be going camping this weekend with Jeff.  We did a great job staying on top of his school and getting most corrections made or at least corrected by me, by mid-afternoon.  I started working on cleaning Felicity's room with her.  We didn't get very far, but she was excited to find her play phone that she had been missing.

I don't think I took any pictures of school stuff this week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Being a Mom is Tiring

This morning I was awake around 6:30.  Up by 7 to get dressed and have my quiet time.  7:30 Clark is ready to get up.  I nurse him while I check my e-mail and let him down.  He's in the kitchen in a flash.  Katy got Felicity up while Clark was nursing.  She came and snuggled with me when he was done.  I put Clark in his booster seat and get Felicity and his breakfast so I can do my morning chores.  Kent, Katy and Kaomi are already working on their chores.  I take my vitamins, load and start the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, pour cereal and milk for Kaomi, get the apple butter started in the crockpot, fix my breakfast and sit down by Clark to eat it.  He wants to get down so I let him down, it's about 8:45 am.  I finish my breakfast, Katy brings Clark back the the living room, he was interrupting her piano practice.  He turns on the TV, I turn it off.  I start another chore and he is back in by the piano.  I bring him back to the living room and block him in by his toys.  He decided to get in the game cabinet and get out the cards.  I put them away and block the cabinet door better.  Felicity wants to play with him, but she decides they are done being "trapped" and lets them both out.  Clark wants to read the library books, he can't quite get them off the shelf yet so he settles for some books on a lower shelf.  He looks at the covers and leaves them on the floor.  Then he realizes I left my bedroom door open and he's in the bathroom before I can chase him down.  I bring him back to the living room and try to get him interested in a truck.  He decides to look out the window.  Then he's in the game cabinet again (it is off limits, but he's determined and we haven't quite got it through his head yet that he isn't allowed to get in it).  I pick up the cards again and he's in my bathroom again.  I left the door open, again.  I bring him back to the living room.  He's in to the piano again.  I bring him back to the living room, he finds a piece of paper and decides it is trash and takes it to the trash can.  Before I catch him, he pulls trash out of the trash can.  I clean it up and take him back to the living room.  He sees some board books and takes off to look at them.  I finish my chore and the living room and kitchen are trashed and its only 9:05 in the morning.  I'm tired and there goes Clark into something else.  We haven't started school yet: Katy's having trouble with her piano practice, Kent is trying to clean the game room and Felicity is running around with her baby, high heels and getting into her own mischief, Kaomi is upstairs.  By 9:15 am I put Clark back in his bed and put some music on.  Now I have a messy house, school has yet to start, I need to bake gluten free muffins for Jeff to take on Kent and his camping trip.  There is so much still to do and my day has hardly started, but I could use a nap, which won't happen and Felicity wants lunch, even though she just finished breakfast about 30 minutes ago.  I'm off to try to keep my sanity and somehow get everything done that has to be done and it would be nice to get something extra done as well.

Linked up to:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Sewing Project - Curtains

We have been using a sheet in our eating area to block the sun in the evening.  There are already curtains in that window, but the sun likes to shine in the top window when we are trying to eat supper and makes it hard for whoever is facing the window to keep their eyes open.

We've talked about getting a shade of some kind to put there, but so far we haven't decided exactly what we want.  I decided to take the queen size sheet and make curtains that can go behind the ones that are already there and can be easily opened in the morning and shut when we need to block the sun.

The sheet we have been using tore a couple of months ago, so first I mended the tear and then I mended a couple small holes that had come from something else.  Next I laid the sheet out on the floor and carefully lined the long edges up.  Then I cut up the fold in the middle of the sheet.  I finished and hemmed the cut edges.

Then I purchased an expandable shower curtain rod and made large pockets in the top of the new curtains to slide them onto the rod.   These curtains actually touch the floor, so I am trying to decide how to shorten them without cutting them, as they could actually make fairly decent drapes at another window.  I was thinking maybe I could do something with velcro.  If you have any ideas feel free to share them with us.

This project didn't take very long and having a day to designate working on it made all the difference in the world.  I could have easily finished it in part of one day, but wanted to get the curtain rod first to make sure I made the pockets big enough to be able to slide back and forth easily on the rod.

Our kitchen area looks much nicer now, rather than just having the sheet thrown over the top curtain rod and curtains for a sloppy half-hearted attempt to block out the sun.

All Our Days          

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy October!

On October 1st we went to the Frank Buck Zoo.

We stopped to see the flamingos first.  They were quite active and one was even being social strutting up and down the fence line in front of us and making quite a bit of noise.  We took a close look at their feathers, since we have been learning about birds in science.
 The Military Macaw put on quite a show for us as well.
 Ginger, the new baby, female Giraffe.  The zoo traded one of their male giraffes named Nelson with the Zoo in Pheonix, AZ.
 Feeding Maui, the other giraffe.

Baby Ibex.
 The barred owl flew at the cage while we were there and perched on the wire showing off his wings.
 The black bear was up close and awake.

Trying to get a picture of everyone.  This was take 11 and probably the best one with everyone with their eyes open and kind of looking up.
 We finished at the zoo right around noon, so we went back home to eat our lunch this time.  We had bread, cheese and fruit on these squirrelly, Octoberish plates.

Linked with:

Mama Moments Mondays    Raising Homemakers    

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goals for October 1-6

This week I am planning a lighter week.  I would take the week off of school, but if we continue with English we will be sure to finish when we would like to in the Spring and if we continue with reading it just helps a little as Reading has been harder for me to work in for Kent and Katy everyday.

Goals for October 1-6

Monday:  Trip to the Zoo, Write a Letter, Order Produce Basket, Animal Craft (or Tuesday)

Tuesday:  English, Reading, Play Outside, Sewing Project, Write a Letter, Correct English and Reading

Wednesday:  English, Reading, Play Outside, Bake and Clean, Midwife Appointment, Write a Letter, Correct English and Reading

Thursday:  English, Reading, Clean, Chiropractor Appointment(Kaomi), Play Outside, Sewing, Write a Letter, Correct English and Reading, Animal Craft

Friday:  CLC work in classrooms, English, Write a Letter, Play Outside, Make Lesson Schedule for next week, Correct English

Saturday:  Pick up produce basket, Sort and take care of produce, Work around the house, Play Outside

We will see if we do everything, but hopefully the little break from school will have us ready to start up again full swing next week.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Evening

In the dimly lit room a cacophony of sounds is like music.  Felicity is singing and clip-clopping in her dress up shoes.  She stops to dance and spin with her baby.  Katy and Kaomi are talking loudly and emphatically about the Lego houses and people they are playing with.  Kent is totally engrossed in the book he is reading on the love seat and probably needs better light to read with.  Clark is pushing around a truck that the wheels click as he drives all around, stopping to read a book or play with something else before continuing on with his truck.  Jeff is sitting on the couch working on his computer and I am sitting in my chair reading something on my computer.  Soon its time to pick up.  The noise changes to the banging and clashing of toys being thrown into their containers.  The master bedroom door closes and soon we hear Clark fuss.  He closed himself away from the rest of us.  Jeff goes to open the door for him and grabs him to play with him on the floor.  The drawback is that he needs his diaper changed, so Jeff doesn't want to wrestle him.  Katy got her finger hit with a toy so there is a wail of hurt.  She's fine though.  Jeff stayed laying on the floor and Clark goes and starts giving him kisses.  Then Felicity wants him to roll over so she can walk on his back.  Clark comes to see me and says "hi" sticking his face into mine.  After I say "hi" back to him he says "bye-bye" and goes over to give more kisses to Jeff.

Linked with:

Raising Arrows       The Parent-Hood         The Modest Mom    

Saturday, September 29, 2012

In School This Week...

Monday:  Library Day!  Everyone was excited and worked quickly on their individual work.  We were a few minutes late to storytime, due to some children not following directions and getting ready to go when I said to.  Sometimes this results in us not going at all, so I was glad we were still able to go.  We finished completing EVERYTHING by 2:30.  Kent had his piano lesson after quiet time, as well.

Tuesday:  I really wanted to do art with the kids last week, so we caught up on that first thing this morning.  It involved paint and mixing colors and making a kite.  We'd been learning about Benjamin Franklin, so we glued our kites to a dark background to be the stormy sky.  Everyone had fun (me too, since I usually do the projects along with them).  After lunch, since we already had the table covered and a mess made I decided to go ahead and complete this weeks art lesson as well.  It was making a cave with wolf tracks leading up to it.  It goes along with Wednesday's history reading, so we will look back at them tomorrow after we read history.  Everything else flowed along well for school, though with the messy table I didn't do much school with Kaomi.

Wednesday:  We started off with the pledge and a missionary story.  Then we read history and Kent and Katy moved on to the things they could do without my help.  Kaomi and I worked on reading and math.  Felicity chose to look at animal cards from her preschool box.  I think we've gotten our money's worth on those cards that I found in the dollar section at Target this summer.  She loves to look at all the animals and tell or ask me what they are.  Then we read more Peter Cottontail and talked about how animals get ready for winter.  Then Kaomi made a snowy paper with some paint and some snowflake stickers that I had set aside to do something special with.  Felicity wanted to do the paper too, so she joined in.  Kent finished his individual work early, so he got to have a break while I was still working with Kaomi and making lunch.

Thursday:  Today started off with grumpy kids.  We were supposed to get together with some friends, but I decided that today wasn't going to work for that and we canceled.  I'm not sure what was up with Kent, but even though he was grumpy he finished all of his school work before lunch except reading which he had to do with me.  Katy went to bed grumpy last night and didn't wake up happy this morning.  She had an attitude all day, therefore her schoolwork performance wasn't very good.  Kaomi was so grumpy I sent her to bed after a failed attempt at school.  Felicity was fine for most of the day, but got grumpy after her quiet time and stayed that way until Daddy came home.  She didn't take a nap.

Friday:  Katy had a fever late last night although she was fine all day.  We didn't want to spread any germs or have her feeling bad while we were out, so we stayed home and didn't go to work in the classrooms at church.  We did a history review.  Kent and Katy completed an English lesson, filled in more of their timelines, and worked on their history maps.  Everyone was busy coloring pictures this morning.  Kaomi wanted to learn how to play Old Maid and Katy and Felicity joined us.  We are planning a light week of school next week, so it is good to tie up our loose ends today.  I also made sure that all the papers to be filed in the kids binders were placed where they belong.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Mess

Yesterday it was like this:

School went fine.  We painted.  Felicity was crying over everything.  Lunch ended up on the floor, with a broken pot handle and a hole in the linoleum.  I'm not really sure how.  I was trying to add the cheese sauce to the pasta and the next thing I know it was on the floor.  There was enough pasta left in the pot for the kids to eat cold with their veggies by the time I finished cleaning up sometime after 1:00 pm.  I ate veggies with dip.

Afternoon school went fine and I was starving by snack time.  We had apples with peanut butter sauce.

I was really looking forward to supper.  I was making broccoli and eggs.  In between changing diapers and being a mom the eggs were not edible, so I sprinkled the cheese on the broccoli and gave the kids broccoli and buttered bread for dinner.  Jeff came home to a plate of broccoli with cheese at his spot.  I ate my broccoli and some trail mix.

I was rather disappointed.  I mean, who wouldn't be after two ruined meals, a hole in the linoleum and the pot I use the most with a broken handle.

Later I ate some crackers with peanut butter.

    Life: unmasked button     

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bountiful Basket #6

This week we ordered an organic basket (on left) and a conventional basket (on right) and 9-grain bread.

We've been enjoying our baskets and having lots of produce to eat raw or use in recipes both old and new. 

This week so far we have had bananas, apples, yams and carrots in our beef stew, and cucumbers.

I'm looking forward to making some kind of gluten free dessert with the limes, if you have any ideas please let me know what I could do with them in the comments.  The pears are ripe now, so we are looking forward to having them with lunch tomorrow.  I'm planning on making some guacamole, as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

22 Weeks

Just thought some of you would like a picture of "Swimmer".

This pregnancy is going "just like the textbooks", as my midwife says.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Picture Highlights from 9/15-9/18/2012

Clark playing Daddy's Kindle.
Another gorgeous sunset.

Lissie, reading at her "podium".