Friday, September 14, 2007

Cooking Kids

As part of assignments, the kids have been busy in the kitchen. Yesterday they made wonderful Banana Muffins. They were a great hit! The recipe was in one of the recent Family Fun Magazines. The kids enjoyed them so much I think they'll be trying another recipe very soon.

We also finished up our study on Monks. The boys made a lentil soup similar to what the monks would have eaten daily. We also had bread with it. We learned that monks would have bread often, but only on special holidays like Christmas would they be able to enjoy it topped with butter. That was hard for the kids to imagine.

We also learned that in order to be a monk one had to give up all worldly treasures. The one thing they did have and treasure was a small wooden cross. The kids and I discussed giving up worldly treasures. All agreed it would be hard for us to give up everything and live that life of simplicity.

Something About Pride Coming Before The Fall

What's that saying about "Pride Coming Before The Fall?" The other day I was at a friend's house and she was sharing about how an exterminator was coming to her home because they have a mouse problem. I listened to her story and proudly thought, "I'm so glad WE don't have THAT problem."

I should have known I shouldn't have even let that thought cross my mind. Remember the saying, "Take every thought captive."

Well, long story short...Our oldest son stashed a pack of gum in a secret drawer. Yesterday he went to retrieve his gum and instead he found a shredded wrapper and NO gum. He thought for sure our youngest had swiped it and stashed it again in her secret spot. I went to check out the evidence and knew immediately what had happened. We investigated further and found the individual Bubble Yum pieces in DIFFERENT drawers to the side of the initial location. WE HAVE A MOUSE OR WORSE YET...MICE!!

Sweet Hub and I set some traps, and yes used Bubble Yum as bait (forget cheese-these are teenage mice). Then Sweet Hub left for a soccer game.

As you can guess in less than a half hour the kids and I heard a "SNAP." But to make matters worse we heard the mouse scurrying around in the drawer with the trap. How awful can this get? I didn't want to open the drawer because I would have been completely undone. So we waited for Hub to return home and it turns ou the mouse trap trapped his leg! Oh my gosh!! Sweet Hub took care of it and this morning we awoke to no more caught mice.

Maybe he was the Lone Mouse. I sure hope so!

So next time I think of something I "Don't Have" I'm going to take that thought captive so as not to receive it within a couple of days. Crazy how these things work isn't it?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Story of the World- The Middle Ages

We're studying the Middle Ages through the Story of the World series. This week we learned about Christianity coming to Britain, Augustine, and monks. We mapped out the possible routes Augustine would have taken from Rome to Canterbury and we practiced our calligraphy. Here's some of our oldest son's work...

Seed Science

We've started a science unit on seeds. We're following a unit study from the curriculum Science Through Children's Literature An Integrated Approach by Carol and John Butzow. We read Eric Carle's book The Tiny Seed yesterday and today we're looking at different seeds under the microscope. We started out with lettuce seeds. When looking in the microscope our little girl (4) shouted, "It looks like the giantest cucumber." It's amazing how many ridges are on the seed and how long it appears. It's not noticeable to the naked eye. We also looked at a beet seed. Our middle son described it as a "sand world." When viewing a cabbage seed under the microsope our oldest thought it reminded him of a piece of gold, but then later thought it looked like a "crusty surface like a rice cracker."

The microscope we're using was my hubby's when he was a young kid. It's no wonder it was one of his prize possessions. That little chemist grew up to be a big chemist. By the way, the big chemist just got a new job as an asset economist. We're so proud of him!

A Lesson In Alliteration

We began our school days this week. It's going to be a fun year! The kids are a bit older and the activities we're able to do are going to be challenging and full of learning adventures.
The boys learned about alliteration and wrote their own poem/verse using alliteration. The exercise was full of silliness and laughs and they were both very proud of their finished work.

Our oldest, 9 years old, wrote:
Batman buzzed black bug's back beneath buggy's bath
Batman beat black bug
Batman's bride batted bunnicula beneath Batman's batcave
It was a bunny battle

Our Middle son, 6 years old, wrote:
Green Goblin got goat girl during getaway
God gulped!
God gave goat girl the greatest guarantee
Goat girl gave goblin gum.

A great book for illustration of Alliteration is The B Book.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Something from the Garden

How in the world do zucchini grow so fast?? One day they're little and manageable and a couple days later they're HUGE! This is one of the examples of what has been happening with our zucchini. A couple days of rain and we go out to harvest and find zucchini weighing about 12 pounds. Lucky for us a sweet Hungarian man at the food bank LOVES these HUGE zucchinis. He smiles and his face lights up when he sees us arrive. I guess there's a Hungarian soup he makes with them.
We've been blessed with a plentiful garden this summer. Right now I'm harvesting broccoli, beans, cabbage, beets, onions, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow summer squash, acorn squash, patty pan squash, hubbard squash and butternut squash. There are even some raspberries still on the vines. So yummy!
The flowers in the photo are also from the garden. I would love to have year round flower bouquets from the garden, but right now it's mostly during the summer months.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Family Hike/Slug Fest

We escaped for a little hike/walk on a local trail. We find that unless we actually get "away" from the house we don't do a very good job relaxing. We tend to see all that needs to be done and will work from sunrise to sunset (sometimes even after sunset). The jobs at home are endless so we try to get out for walks, bike rides, etc. The kids are getting old enough now to walk or hike a little way (with exception of the little one- but we're working on it).
There are so MANY beautiful trails and parks locally! We need to make time to enjoy them. On this particular day it had just rained so the SLUGS were out in full force. We saw many different varieties. In addition to slugs our trail had sights of the lake, waterfalls, forests, and yummy berries to eat.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer of 2007

The summer has gone by much too quickly. It's starting to feel like fall much too soon for me. A few more months of sunshine would be welcomed in our world. I've been behind in my posting, but thought I'd slowly try to recap our exciting summer.
We were blessed to provide lodging for another wonderful Ugandan group again this summer. It's amazing how quickly your heart can be affected by a loving group of orphans who have so much joy even though their lives have been so wrought with pain. We had 10 beautiful kids here along with 4 chaperones. It was a houseful, but it was well worth it.

Monday, August 06, 2007

1000's of Questions

It's a good thing (I think). I've heard a kid that asks a lot of questions has an active mind.

Well...we have some minds working overtime here. I didn't know there could be so many questions asked in a 24 hour period of time. There must be a Guinness Book of World Records record for most questions posed by a 6 year old in the shortest span of time.

Our middle dude is a walking "Ask Jeeves" advertisement (although I think Jeeves is out of a job now). I've gathered just a few of his latest questions he shot at me while I was relaxing in the sun trying to read a book. It went a little something like this...

Mom, so would dad be as tall as Jesus's feet?

Which way is Heaven?

Is it up or down?

If it's up then how high?

How come your mouth bleeds when you lose a tooth?

Why do we lose teeth?

When was 1972?

Will it ever be 1972 again?

Then after answering all these questions to the best of my ability without resorting to "Google" I pleaded, "Can I please just finish this chapter?"

He thought for a minute... and I thought I was free for just a couple of minutes. Then he quizzically looked at me and then asked..."How long is a chapter? Is it a page?"

Like I said, minds must be working overtime...I guess it's a good thing.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Our oldest just finished his summer baseball session. This year he played spring and summer ball. It was a first for the dedicated soccer player. He added baseball to his busy spring sports routine and learned a lot about the sport. It was a bit frustrating and intimidating at first, but by the end of summer session his confidence was building. Mom loves the sport because it offers her a lot of bench time talking with other moms.

Beautiful Girl

Having a little princess in your life is such a gift. I never knew how much joy this princess would bring to our lives. She wakes early and gently comes to our bedside and caresses my face. Good Morning Mom! She then asks, Can we curl my hair today and maybe can we go shopping? While curling her hair she talks about all the wonderful shopping trips she wants to go on when she is bigger. Strange thing is we rarely ever go shopping. So how does she know to love shopping. The boys never ask to go shopping, unless its to the local sportsman store to look at bikes or sports gear. I guess it's a girl thing. Thank the Lord for this little girl in our lives.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


This song by Natalie Grant has such powerful lyrics. I hope they speak to you as they have me during this difficult time.

Two months is too little.They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.
Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

Chorus:This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.We want to taste it, let the hatred NUMB our sorrow.
The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

(Chorus)This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

Bridge:If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

(Chorus)This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know, that the promise was when everything fell,
we'd be held

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Missing Sam

Yesterday was one of the hardest days. When I woke up in the morning I never thought that I'd be saying goodbye to one of the most wonderful, completely loyal, loving sweethearts in my life. My Sammy.

Sammy joined our family in 1995. We went on a vacation to visit my parents and next door to them in the backyard was this hairy, unkempt, neglected, urine-smelling energetic, loving springer spaniel named Sam. I'd go over and visit and play with Sam in his small, dirty kennel surrounded by cyclone fencing. My heart broke for this 10 month old who so desired to be with people, but the family he was with wanted no part of him. They fed him and threw out more hay to absorb the urine in his kennel, but they weren't interested in making him a part of their family. They didn't even want to pet him and would shriek and run inside when he approached.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy 40th Birthday

We just celebrated my 40th birthday. I'm still finding it hard to believe I'm already 40. I remember when my parents were 40 and I thought that was SO old. But when they were 40 I was heading off to college. Maybe this feeling of youth that I have is a result of having young children at home. I think they keep me feeling young at heart.

This year I decided to do more than have quiet time running around a local lake or on a trail. I wanted a PARTY! So my husband, mom, some precious friends, and I planned a get-together I will always remember. We were blessed with sunshine and an abundance of friends. Someone told me they counted around 90 some people, 2/3 of which were probably kids. We had badmintion, bocce ball, horse shoes, a kick ball tournament, tetherball, soccer, and croquet. It was so much fun, but like life time went by much to quickly. Everytime someone came up to me, I said, "Don't tell me it's time for you to leave!" I love having a houseful of friends and family! Thank you to all who came and all who contributed to this special day.

Apparently my sentiment to friends is hereditary. The day after the party I asked our youngest if she had a good time. Her reply was, "NO! I didn't have fun at all!" She played all day long and everytime I saw her she was carrying dolls around with her friends or playing some sort of game. So I was completely unsure why she had such a miserable time. So I asked, "What do you mean you didn't have any fun? I saw you playing all day." She quickly responded, "It was NO fun because I wanted my friends to stay 100 days." I guess she was feeling the same let down I felt when the party was over.

I was just reminded how I need to make a concerted effort to have friends and family over for the backyard bbq's that are so important in relationship building and maintenance. Hopefully this summer will be filled with bbq's and games on the lawn.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do You Hear A Killdeer?

There's a very loud bird chirping sound around our home this time of year. We've heard it in the past, but this year we actually are learning about these little loud birds known as Killdeer. They are cute little things with a black and white stripe around their neck. They appear to have reddish eyes. Or maybe their eyes are just red when they see us. The unique thing about them is they lay their eggs on the ground, in the gravel, and the eggs look like rocks so they are basically totally camoflauged. When you get close to the nest the parent bird tries to distract you from the nest and will try to get you to follow it or will act like it's lame with a broken wing. Anything to get you away from the nest. It's really quite endearing. What a parent will do to keep a predator away from it's young.

I've thought a lot about these little birds this spring. We've seen a couple of the eggs hatch and we just notice 2 more eggs have been layed in the pathway to our garden. When you're here- step carefully! You never know what may lay beneath your feet.

Check out the photo. See if you can find the eggs.

Spring has Sprung!

We love the sunny days! Here are a few photos of some of the blooming features from our yard. There's many more now that I hope to get on soon.

Precious Moments

I love to capture moments like these. You realize how much your kids really love each other at times like this. Sweet five year old won't move because he doesn't want to disturb his sleeping baby sister. And baby sister is so comfortable with her big brother she just cuddles up to him and fall asleep. Love it!

A Birthday for a Princess

Our youngest decided for her birthday she wanted to have a pedicure party. She invited some of her friends and we had pedicure and manicure stations set up. Each little girl had a foot washing, nail color application and were also able to pick out some rhinestone appliques for their toes. I think they definitely felt like they received the royal treatment. The boys even tried to get in on a "MAN-icure."

In addition to the pedicures, we decorated eggs, did the Martha Stewart silk tie dyeing technique, and did an Easter egg hunt. It was a day filled with SO much fun!

Daughters of the King

During spring quarter at our co-op I taught a class called Princess: Daughter Of The King. I had a wonderful group of precious girls in the class. The theme of the class focused on the fact that God is the King and as his daughters we are Princesses. Knowing this, we should act like the Princesses we are.

We looked at the Bible for verses that told of our royalty. We read books like I'd Be Your Princess by Kathryn O'Brien, The Way Home Princess by Max Lucado, The Princess and the Pea, Princess A Glittering Guide For Young Ladies, His Little Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd, and a princess book by Beth Moore.
We learned about Godly character, etiquette, and we learned some beading techniques. We made a chipboard scrapbook to chronicle our lessons. We discussed adornments and the girls each made a beaded necklace. One highlight of our class was a field trip to a local tea room. At our tea party the girls had a wonderful opportunity to practice the etiquette we learned in class, but mostly we had a wonderful time enjoying each other's company.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pine Wood Derby

We recently went to our local pinewood derby to watch these creative cars race. There were so many amazing cars there!! Creativity Abounds! We didn't make a car, but had a very good time watching the others race.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Learning Fair- Ben Franklin & Soccer

Ben Franklin

This year for our co-op's Learning Fair the boys each chose a topic that was of interest to them. Our middle son chose to learn about Benjamin Franklin and our oldest researched the history of soccer.

Did you know that daylight savings time was Ben's idea? How about libraries, hospitals, sanitation companies, fire departments, and oh so much more! How about that he was one of 17 children. Actually he was number 15. What if his parents said we already have 14 children!! No more. Boy what we would have missed out on. His inventions were amazing! We learned so much and I'm thankful our little precious came home one day after studying Benjamin Franklin at Co-op and said, "Mom did you know lightning and electricity... SAME THING! SAME THING!" That led us on our journey to learn more. Wonderful!

Our oldest followed up his last year's research, The History of Skateboarding, with the History of Soccer. Any guess what activities interest him? We learned a lot about soccer. Did you know it's estimated to have been around since Roman times. And that football and rugby are both spin-offs from the original game of soccer? How about the fact that soccer is the MOST popular sport in the World?? Cool! We learned about field positions, skills, and so much more.

The Historians

I think I end up learning more than I ever dreamt I'd know. I'm thankful for these opportunities to fill in the gaps where maybe I missed something the first time around.

Monday, February 05, 2007

So Tired!!

Have you ever been SO tired you could just collapse wherever you are and sleep? Our little princess works so hard every day that sometimes there's just not enough steam left to make it to bed. We found her asleep on the stairs like this twice. One time she was halfway up the stairs laying on "one" stair. If she would have rolled she would have gone down. So cute!

I Truly Couldn't Ask For More

Today was one of those days where I really saw the true character of one of my children. I was blessed!

The kids and I were driving down the road to our our oldest son's soccer game. Before we had left I had given the kids a little bite to eat in the car to hold them over until we got home. About a mile from the house our middle son began choking. I quickly pulled the car over and the oldest met me with the side door open giving me quick access to our middle boy. I could see big brother's eyes welling up with tears and his concern for his brother was evident.

In the following seconds and minutes I assessed our middle son. He was breathing, but very upset thinking something was stuck in his throat. While I was working with our middle son, the oldest walked about 20 feet from the car and began pacing. His palms were together and up at his face. He looked like he was praying.

Soon thereafter, our middle son had calmed down and felt like whatever was bothering him was gone. I told him he should go to his big brother and let him know everything was fine.

They both came back to the car relieved the episode was over. I looked at my oldest and asked what he was doing. He humbly said, "Praying."

It is said that our true character is revealed when we're in a challenging situation. He could have screamed or panicked. Instead he quickly and quietly took the situation to the God- The Great Physician and simply asked for help. And God heard his plea. AMAZING!!! and BEAUTIFUL!!!

Later when we were talking he shared that he couldn't even help it. He just had to pray. Isn't the prompting of the Spirit wonderful? And I thank God he listened.

Our oldest is taking a class at our co-op called "Prayer Warriors." I will continue to pray our children grow into amazing Warriors for the cause of Christ.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Super Boy to the Rescue!

Super Boy

I know I've been slacking on posting. The days and months are flying by so quickly. I'm going to try to post a few photos from life this weekend.

To help me out, I've enlisted the help of "Super Boy!" He truly is AMAZING!! He's a distant cousin of Nacho Libre. (This is what happens when children see a true hero). He flies, he's quick and most of all he's very kind. With his help and the help of his trusted companions, I may steal away a couple minutes to update. Wish me Luck!!