Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Ain't Always Beautiful.....But It's a Beautiful Ride....

Well this week was much different then I had imagined it to be.  I thought we would be geared up and plugging away at our second 9-weeks of school....and I guess we did on Monday and Tuesday....then came a consultation with the oral surgeon on Tuesday afternoon.....

I knew THE BOY needed to have 7 baby teeth removed but I had no idea we would be doing it on school was put on hold.....

THE BOY did well.  He was very brave and has been an A+ patient.  He was really loopy on Wednesday and I enjoyed hearing his memory or lack there of after the procedure....but by late Wednesday he began to wake up a little.

Wednesday night was the big carnival at our church......the kids were syked so I took the crew to church and Daddy Bear stayed home to nurse THE BOY back to health....I think they went on a milkshake run ;)

The kids looked cute....except TWINKIE BOY....I mean he was cute but I have a feeling I'm going to owe him an apology for making him wear that costume one I'll go ahead and say it now.....I'm sorry Buddy.....only someone with your manliness could pull it off :/  I love you and my intentions were good....and Sunday you can be "Twinkies" with BIG BROTHER...and be a basketball player!  Deal?

The Girl LOVES her Dorthy costume!

 The Baby dressed as a frog.  Thank you Nina for the rocking dance costumes!  We love you!!!!

The Twinkies.....Snow White and a Dwarf (Sleepy)....I know....I'm sorry Bud.....It sounded so cute (and was on Lydia at her dance recital.....I'm SORRY)

The Carnival was fun!  I did have a time keeping up with all the here is the only picture I took...

Now just so no one is under the impression that life is as rosy as my blog....I didn't think to pull out the camera on the way home when 2 kids had balloons and 2 did not.  Talk about meltdown!  The kids are strung out on sugar and it's past bedtime and it's 4 against 1.....I wanted to run.....but I couldn't I had 4 buckets of candy, 2 screaming (and I do mean SCREAMING) kids, 2 balloons, 2 hats, a beard, and 5 home baked goods from the cake walk....seriously.....I could not get out fast enough.  I tried to reason....Your sisters will share which was promptly met with "no we won't!" and I tried to console him with the promise of a balloon at the grocery store later in the such luck....then I decided I'd just ignore him and jam to 94.7.  I know not the best parenting....I was just trying to survive!
So really it was not a sunshiny day.....It was LOUD and MESSY and in the words of Junie B Jones....pretty "Yucky Blucky".....

But at least it was BEDTIME!!!!

Then comes Thursday.  To my surprise THE BOY wanted to do co-op.  So we ended up going even though I'd made arrangements to be out.  He did have Tylenol with codeine in his system and on the way home (we left an hour early...he was worn out) as I asked about his day I realized he probably had not retained much.....but he really wanted to go????  He got home and vegged the rest of the day.  The little ones favorite part of their co-op day was mixing yellow and red finger paint to make orange pumpkins.  THAT was messy!

and of course seeing their little co-op friends:

They all huddled together and were looking at a book one of their friends brought.  It was really cute.

I just want to take a random moment and say how thankful I am for the women God has put in my life. 
One of my most favorite people on earth is DANA she rocks.  She shows up completely out of the blue to hang out at the oral surgeon with a worried mama and 4 kids in a waiting room.  Some people would think that was a rare form of torture!  My girl rocks!  She is a true friend and I am so grateful for her!!!!  What's even more amazing is that she is literally in the middle of moving and takes the time to put her life on hold to love on and care about me!  How sweet is that!  I only hope I can be that kind of friend to others.
My favorite GROUP of women are my home school  co-op mommy friends.  These 14 women are so different: We range from VERY white to VERY dark and everywhere in between.  We originate from 4 different countries and span the political spectrum, economic spectrum and probably every other spectrum....but we all love these kids and the Lord and are truly kindred spirits.  They are so encouraging to me.  When I feel like throwing in the towel they motivate me to keep it up!  LOVE THEM!
AND Thursday night I got to hang out with 2 super cool young girls (17 and 24) and had so much fun getting to know them better and seeing them journey through life's ups and downs and marvel at their maturity (I was so not as mature at their ages as they are)

Then today instead of doing school....we were slack.  Daddy had a personal day and  took a bunch of junk to the dump for me.... THANK you,! He helped me scrub down the interior of the mommy mobile...(GROSS) ......THANK YOU....and played with the younguns so I could run errands in peace......THANK YOU!!!!  and is now on a retreat with a bunch of middle schoolers sleeping (probably not so much) on a church gym he can go white water rafting with THE BOY tomorrow......THANK YOU.  I don't say it enough....but it's only because I don't want to brag....:)
I really do have the best husband in the world!!!! and my kids do have THE BEST DADDY on earth!

Nope "life's not always beautiful".....there's a LOT of noise.....sticky stuff... and tears...."but it's a beautiful ride".


PS Now we are 1 week into our 2nd nine weeks and 2 days behind!  Not such a great start.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Break

We are actually 2 days ahead of our school schedule so we decided to take off today and Monday and enjoy a fall break.  We are usually 2 weeks behind schedule by this a fall break is definitely a new concept for us :)

I was so excited that I planned a day full of fun for the crew....

After breakfast we got dressed and made goody bags for a neighborhood outreach we are participating in on Halloween.  We made some good goodie bags.....full sized candy bars and skittles and play-doh!  Thank you Costco for the timely rebate check!  The kids had so much fun making the bags.  I love to see them doing for others!  They were happy to see that there was leftover Play-Doh and promptly added it to their collection!

Then the kids spent a little time outside with the neighbors.....Following playtime we had some errands: Pick Grammy up from doctor, pickup check, go to bank, take Andrew to Basketball, Take Grammy back to doctor, pick Andrew up from Basketball.....

We then picked up lunch and headed out for our Big Adventure....

Oh, what fun we had....I only have a few pictures because my camera batteries died :( so here is what I have:
They really enjoyed seeing the goats, turkeys and roosters.  One rooster was VERY vocal we had quite a laugh!

Twinkie Girl and The Baby played in the sandbox while the other kids went down the giant slide!

The water pump duck race was a huge hit with all the kids.  They could have played with the pump all day....

very clever and simple setup and the kids had so much fun!

The train ride was a highlight of the day.

The kiddos also got to go on a hayride and pick a pumpkin, crawl through a hay tunnel, jump around a hay maze, bounce in inflatables, and mine for gemstones.....but there are no pictures....only happy memories!
We were all tired and on the verge of meltdown when we left the farm to begin our trek home (about 40 minute drive)  I got all the kids ice cream and a drink and within minutes they were full, sticky, and the 3 little ones were fast asleep. 

We didn't get home until 6:30 so we are having a late dinner.  I'm cooking and blogging while Daddy does baths.  3 kids are clean and in PJ's, one is in the process of getting cleaned up, and the baby is zonked out on the bed!  To wake or not to wake is the question?

Dinner tonight is a Randy and Kim comfort food.  Hamburger Casserole.  Not healthy but quick, yummy, and filling:

1 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. tator tots
2 cans cream of mushroom
Cheddar Cheese

Brown meat.  Mix together meat, tator tots, and cream of mushroom.  Put it in a casserole dish and bake at 450 for about 20 minutes.  Top with Cheddar Cheese and bake until cheese melts....
Season with salt and pepper to taste....
It's not much to look at....but it is

I think we are going to rent a movie and eat dinner in front of the TV and call it a day!  I LOVE fun days!!!

Goodnight and Happy Weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Apple A Day

We've had an uneventful week at our house.  Which is always a blessing!  We've been enjoying fall and the preschoolers and I have been doing a unit on apples!  We've made apple crowns, sorted apples by size and color.  Made apple patterns.  Painted using apple stamps, "planted" an apple orchard in the sandbox.....made apple's been all about the apple. We've written about apples, sung about apples, and read about apples....I love fall and to end our unit on apples I am planning to made a yummy apple caramel cake tonight with my little apple jacks!

Making our apple crowns in an A-B pattern.

Picking "apples" from a tree and sorting them by color.

Practicing our "reading" with facts about apples.

Sorting apples by size.

It's been a nice peaceful day at our house.  I spent the morning cleaning the downstairs...and it looks good (so ya'll hurry over in the next half hour before it's a mess again!) and Randy took the kids to a birthday party.  When they got back from the party I took THE GIRL and THE TWINKIES to sign up for basketball (the GIRL and TWINKIE BOY) and cheerleading (TWINKIE GIRL).  This will be a first for all of them with organized sports and they are very excited!  We got home and the kids are in roomtime and Randy is snoring-LOUDLY beside me and all is well.  I realized I never posted any pictures from our beach weekend with Randy's family.  Part of the reason is because my camera by the time I replaced it the trip was winding down.  I only got a few photos and none were at the beach.  I got my new camera on our last night there.  We did have a good time though and I will post the few pics I have:

We were suited up and heading down for our last night of swimming!  We had so much fun at the indoor pool/water slides!

Daddy and Twinkie Girl and The Baby taking a relaxing dip in the hot tub....

All the kids had movie night with Pepa.  Benji + PJ's + Popcorn=FUN

Don't let all the smiling happy faces fool you....they were crazy whiny the whole way home from the beach they were just putting on for the camera!

Well roomtime is almost over and we get to go to a sweet Crabtree Cousin Birthday shortly so I better gear up!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Love me gently, Lord
I'm hurting now.
I've lived to see Your sovereignty
You've taught my knees to bow
I've caught glimpses of Your glory
I've seen Your righteous ways
But right now I need You, Father,
Just to face another day.

You have promised not to always be
Exactly what I please.
But You give me sweet assurance
You're exactly what I need.
I need a gentle Father
And the lullaby He sings,
"Let Me tuck you safely
Underneath My healing wings."

Love me gently, Lord,
I'm hurting now.
You said, "Take Your cross and follow Me."
I beg, please show me how
To celebrate my weakness
That in You I might be strong.
When desperation grips my soul
A moment seems too long.

Oh, God, what noble plans I had
To do this whole thing right
Now I fall before You wounded
And I've lost the will to fight.
There are soldiers all around me
They're depending on me, too.
I fear I've nothing left to give
So, again I ask, Can You?

I'll love you gently, He says,
I know you're hurting now.
You've oft revered my sovereignty
Your knees have dropped to bow.
If you could only see things
From My throne's clear point of view
You'd see glimpses of My glory
Are fast at work in you.

I'll love you gently.
Let Me soothe your hurting now.
I've said, Pick up and follow-
I'll do more than show you how.
I'll turn this Throne of brilliance
Into a rocking chair.
Crawl aboard, My precious child,
And I will rock you there

Written by Beth Moore

As I look at the pain around me.  Real, intense, excruciating, the point it becomes a physical pain...I'm brought again to my greatest loss.  Matthew.  His name means "a gift from God" and that he was.  That sweet boy taught me so much and stole my heart in the short time he graced our family and I will never be the same.  I can't understand the pain of losing a spouse, a mother, a father, or a child you've known for years but I do understand a grief so deep it causes physical pain.  So when those around me grieve I grieve with them.  I look back on the years after Matthew died and realize now the only way I got through that time was God.  For those of you who don't know, Matthew was our second child.  I'm not really momto5 I'm really momto6.  I was 8 months pregnant with Matthew when he stopped kicking.  He had died due to a knot in his umbilical cord.  The doctor induced labor and 3 days after he died he was born.  A precious, beautiful blessing.  A pain the world would never understand.  I could spend hours telling all that God has done in my life from the loss of my sweet baby.  I do want to say this though God graciously carried me through the pain.  He used writings like the poem above and people like (Linda Reyner and Kim Salmon just to name 2) who showed their love with no strings attached and lavished us with cards, prayers, and kindnesses.  But more then anything He used His word.  I would feast on it.  I clung to it.  My world was shaken to the very foundation and it was all I could trust to be true.  And it was..... and still is.  I have pages of verses I typed out during that time and I would read the truth over and over and over.  I am so thankful for God's true and unchangeable word.  It literally sustained me for the first year.  These verses became my prayers for myself.  They became my hope.

Isaiah 53:4 
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.

Psalms 147:3
He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 27:5
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in His pavilion, in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me.

Psalm 29:11
The Lord will give strength unto his people.

Isaiah 61:3
And to provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Psalm 56:8
Record my lament, list my tears on your scroll-are they not in your record?

Psalm 119:28
My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.

Psalm 119;50
This is my comfort in my affliction, that thy word has revived me.

II Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

I wish I could ease the pain of those who suffer.  I wish I could tell them why this had to happen.  I wish I could undo the losses that cause their pain.  I can't so I hope that perhaps these verses and words will be a salve to your hearts as they were to mine.  One more poem for now also written by Beth Moore:


Satisfy me not with the lesser of you
Find me no solace in shadows of the True
No ordinary measure of extraordinary means
The depth, the length, and breadth of You
And nothing in between.

Etch these words upon my heart knowing all the while
No ordinary roadblocks plague extraordinary miles
Your power as my portion, Your glory as my fare
Take me to the extremities,
But meet me fully there.

Goodnight.  Much love and many prayers

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It was ONE of THOSE days!

Where do I even begin?  What a day!  It began early....Randy was headed out of town with his boss so I was a little stressed to begin with....and I walked him to the door and kissed him goodbye....he said...Honey...I hate to tell you this and I have to leave but you have a flat tire!

YEP....I did.  A flat tire isn't a huge deal except...Randy had to leave for his meeting.  He wouldn't be back until late Wednesday.  His parent's who live nearby were out of town.  My sister was at work.  I have 5 kids most of whom are young and can't stay home unattended and we don't really fit in most peoples cars....

What to do?

Call Daddy!  Daddy came right to my rescue and with quite a bit of maneuvering he got me to the mechanic and had me set up and delivered us all back home safely....

There was evidently a bit more work needed and they thought it would cost $1,000.....
Randy said NO THANK YOU....

So......a few phone calls later, some tough negotiating on my part, and another rescue...this time by Randy's sweet sister Rhonda....and we were off to a new mechanic....and my sweet in-laws who were out of town told me to go in and get a key and take their Expedition to drive while my car was in the shop! 
How blessed am I?

Now I'm holding my breath and praying this mechanics estimate comes back much lower!
We expect to hear in the morning.....ugh.....I really don't like messing with car issues! 

So my man is in Atlanta :(, my car is in the shop, and evidently it is going to cost a small fortune to get it back....UGH.....we did not get all of our school done, and of course as house is not looking the way I wish it looked and the laundry pile is there again!  What's the deal with that?

My sweet husband has a job....PRAISE THE LORD!  My Dad, and Mom, and Sister-in-law, and Mother and Father in-law ALL helped me and blessed me today....THANK YOU!  I have 5 beautiful, healthy kids who got to see first hand about blessing people today.  My Mama took THE GIRL today and invested in her life, which ALWAYS blesses me.  My BOY got to see me stand firm, but not lose my temper, and negotiate with a mechanic that wanted me to pay $100 for diagnosing what was wrong with my car and he got to see that you can be firm, not sin, and still stand up for yourself.  So all was not lost.....(I didn't pay the $100)
I got to visit with my sweet neighbor and we treated ourselves and our kids to dinner out which was a real treat.
And my Mama even surprised me this afternoon with a container of my favorite chocolate/strawberry tea and a pretty pumpkin dish towel and a cute fall notepad.  She spoils me!

I LOVE my Mama, My husband, My kids, My In-laws, My Daddy, My Neighbors......I am one blessed lady.  We all have THOSE DAYS but God gives us people to get us through!
Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.....Maybe a clean house????   DOUBTFUL :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I get asked a lot of questions about homeschooling and how we can practically get it I decided I would blog about some of the "secrets" we've figured out over the past 8 years for those of you interested. 

So today I'll tell about workboxes....Please try to contain your excitement :)

I love workboxes because they quite simply changed my life.  I know they don't look too exciting...but they really are!  I did not come up with this concept.....I rarely have an original idea....I love to read and research and borrow all the ideas other people have!  The set on the far left of the picture is shared by The Baby and The Twinkies, The middle set belongs to The Boy, and the set to the right belong to The Girl. 

Each evening I fill each child's box with their schoolwork for the next day.  So simple....yet so amazing!
1. It keeps everything organized.
2. It keeps the kids from asking me every 15 minutes what to do next.
3. They are motivated to work as they see their boxes come off the shelf...and the empty space.  They can immediately see how much is left.
4. It forces me to plan ahead so we are ready to go in the morning.

The Little Ones Boxes are filled with
1-Preschool Activity: Craft to go with theme, song, Cubbie verse, Speech work
2-Special Toy of the Day: Monday (coloring books) Tuesday (blocks) Wednesday (cars) and Friday (Play-Doh)
3- Movie
4-Book for Story time
5-Activity Bag (This are zip lock bags filled with an activity: ie tracing, simple craft, simple counting/sorting etc...that a preschooler can do independently)
6-Art Monday (Finger Paint) Tuesday (Water paint) Wednesday (cutting) Friday (project)
8-Room time
9-Outside Time
10-Free Play
11-Sibling Play
12- Mommy's Choice of Activity

They know to go to the first box and we do preschool together, then to get the second box and the three little ones can play with the toy of the day together, get the third box and they watch a movie mom has already picked out (so no arguing!)....etc.  We throw in lunch and snacks and sometimes have to reorder boxes to fit with the other kids schedules but it works.....

The Girl's Boxes are:
1-Bible Reading/Sparks verse
2. Handwriting
6-Writing Activity
8-Story time
11-Home Ec

The Boy's Boxes are:
2-Keyboarding (Tues/Fri) and Health (Mon/Wed)
5-Story time
10-Guitar Practice
12- Spanish (Tues/Fri) Geography (Mon/Wed)

The Boy and The Girl Also have cards that are put between their boxes with things like:
Outside Play
Play with younger siblings (this is an assigned activity and assigned sibling   for example I may tell The girl to play Candy Land with the Twinkie Girl and The Boy to play army with The Twinkie Boy while I play Little people with The Baby)
Room time (we all have room time everyday for 1 hour.....RARE is the exception)

That is is so simple....but it is a sure way to make sure everybody gets their responsibilities done for the day and that everyone get enough mom time and that mom uses her time wisely. 

So.....that is why I LOVE WORKBOXES!  It's made homeschooling so much more efficient and helped us manage our time better.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!