Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so the school year has begun....



My little 'nature walkers'---out to record some nature on their clipboards :) Of course, when Noah saw Eli and Cosette getting clipboards the other day, HE had to have one too. Cosette drew a pigeon, a pumpkin, and a bird house. Eli drew a three-leaf clover, a dandelion and a moth. Noah yelled 'Stop!' about a dozen times so he could bend over and scribble on his clip board. All in all, a successful first nature walk :)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For your laughing pleasure....

So, we're sitting in Ledo's pizza last night, having a 'first day of school celebration' with our kids. I think we had an 'end of the year' celebration there too....hmmmm......moving on....

Anyway, the kids were being very well behaved, not causing any problems, and I was really proud of them. Then, Cosette had to go potty. I was busy helping Leanna with something, so Joel walked with her to show her where the bathroom was and wait for her outside. They came back, and pretty soon, Eli had to go. My loving husband, being the great guy he is, jumped up again, and took Eli to use the potty. Well, you can all guess what happened after they came back....Yep, Noah had to go potty too. So, instead of sitting down, Joel just stayed up and marched Noah right to the potty.Well, needless to say, he had now passed the same group of people eating their dinner THREE different times with THREE different kids. Finally, they called out to him:

" Hey! Are these all your kids, or are you just the designated potty guy?"
Joel: "Oh no, they're all mine!"
"Got any more?"
Joel: Um, yep.....a baby back at the table and one in the oven!
"Hehe---Don't you know what causes that??"
Joel: "Of course, but if you saw my wife, you'd understand" :)


Hahaha!! I read that funny line somewhere and mentioned it to Joel, but I never thought he'd actually use it--made my night :) Love that man!


Now, WHAT to say to folks in the grocery store who so kindly inform me that I have my hands full....as if I hadn't noticed :) My votes are all out for the kind lady who actually helped me to my van one day and loaded all my groceries for me! Now THAT makes me smile :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eli's Baptism

I'm posting these pictures of Eli's baptism quickly today because I know my Dad and Suzanne and other relatives who weren't there will be anxious to see them.

I was so proud of my little man---so thankful for his sweet, sincere heart. He asked Jesus into his heart a while ago, and he wanted everybody to know it! Joel and I felt that it would be wrong for us as parents to deny him the right of every believing Christian----to be baptized. I'm so thankful that we belong to a church that takes the faith of children seriously!

As he stepped into the water, he informed his Daddy that he didn't need any help. But as he got in, he looked up at Pastor Joe and said "I think I'll stand right here on this first step--it's kinda deep in here!" :) I love the proud expression on Joel's face in this picture.
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Joel's parents on the left, my sister, and our family
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Leanna peeking out from her perch on Daddy's shoulders
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Love that I caught them both with the same, somber expression :)
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Oh.....how'd this get in here? ;) My loving husband made this for me at my request after lunch---we both agreed it was actually better than the one we had at Arby's the other day :)
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Seven quick takes.......and a Poll

I have lots I'd love to post about, but I can't get my thoughts organized enough to do one major post on anything. I decided instead to do seven 'quick takes'---this way, I can talk about ALL the things I want to talk about, and not have a post three miles long (well, maybe not ;)

My Quick Takes

1. We start school on Monday. Cosette is in third grade, Eli in first. I will be trying to keep Noah out of trouble and busy doing 'constructive things', like coloring, play-dough, learning his letters, etc. I am so grateful once again for our curriculum, My Father's World.  Lesson plan for the entire year all ready.....tons of cool books at our fingertips to read and use....everything from a Christian World-view...yes, please! We'll be celebrating the first day with pizza and wings for dinner :)

2. Eli is being baptized tomorrow. My first reaction was 'He's too young!' But my husband had a healthier perspective. You see, Eli asked to be baptized all on his own, without us suggesting it, and he was able to give a logical, correct reason as to why he should be baptized. And, based on that, Joel's response was "Who am I to tell him he can't be baptized? Jesus said to have faith like one of these little children...." Hmmm.....good point. So, tomorrow at our 10:30 service, my sweet Eli will be baptized :) Hopefully pictures to follow soon!

3. I tripped coming down the stairs on one of Leanna's toys yesterday and thought I sprained my ankle. It was throbbing, and I was literally crawling around the house all evening, or sitting around with it propped up and me full of Tylenol. I thought "Oh no, just what I need!" But I woke up this morning, and it hardly hurt at all! I've only thought about it once or twice all day.....thank you Jesus!

4. People used to tell my mom "Wow Karen, you have all these great new ideas!" She would say, "No, I just steal other people's great ideas." Well, I think I've officially inherited her gift. Clever ideas don't come to me just 'like that'---but I LOVE to steal other peoples. Remember Cosette's quilt a few posts back? I got the idea for that from another blog I read. I also love this idea, and I think I'm going to be trying to include it in our devotions this fall.

5. We are having these tomorrow after lunch. I know, I know---they're really bad for me, contain a bazillion calories, and will make losing the baby weight next year that much harder. But I don't care. See, when I start thinking about a particular food when I'm pregnant.....it's really hard for me to stop thinking about it. And these got into my mind and just won't leave. We'll be adding oreos, of course, because the shakes are just not un-healthy enough as it is :)

6. I am reading through The Mitford Series.  There is absolutely nothing brainy, intelligent, or super-enlightening about them---but I love them! I found the first two on my Mom's shelves when we were going through her books, and I brought them home. They make me laugh out loud, literally, and anything that makes me laugh out loud is a winner!! Don't read them if you feel like reading something deeply thought-provoking. Read them if you feel like relaxing and having a good laugh.

7. Last thought, I promise. My sister-n-law's are going to laugh out loud when they read this. We have been having an on-going facebook discussion (brought about by a real life discussion) about the proper term for little girl's hair arrangements. For instance: What do you call a single bunch of hair at the back of the head? And what do you call two bunches of hair on opposite sides of the head? And what do you call them if they happen to be braided? We're of different opinions on this, as I'm sure you've already guessed. So, I'm curious.....leave me a comment and tell me what you know as a ponytail, a pigtail(s), and what makes the difference?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The finished product

Well, I promised you I'd show you a picture of Cosette's finished quilt...and she just finished it this afternoon. The girl knows how to get a job done! :)


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And in case you're wondering, she did almost everything completely by herself. She only got stuck once or twice, then I helped her pull out a few stitches and she was on her way again! So proud of her hard work!

During this project, she gained these skills on the sewing machine:

1. How to sew a straight stitch
2. How to make a 'knot' on the machine
3. How to sew a zig-zag stitch
4. How to thread the machine
5. How to thread the bobbin

She also learned how to 'knot' a quilt (the little pieces of thread in each square that are holding the quilt together :)

And now, she has a beautiful, cheery quilt to use all fall and winter :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And that's how it goes......


Noah dumped a whole shovel full of dirt on Cosette's head tonight (she was bent over at the time). Needless to say, HE looked quite pleased with himself. Needless to say, SHE screamed and stomped her foot and looked like the world was coming to an end. . Needless to say, she also made a huge deal out of having to take an 'extra' shower. Needless to say, she had quite a scolding on making such a big deal out of something and acting like she was two. Needless to say, I marched little Noah Shaun straight upstairs to bed with quite a stern face and quite a few 'We do NOT throw dirt on our sister's heads!' That's when Eli looked up at me and said, ever so sweetly with a smile on his face "Gee mom, I'm glad you're not mad at ME!" Needless to say, that's when I cracked up :)

And Joel often wonders why I can't remember trivial stuff like how old I am......really ;) 






Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beauty in the making

I have a confession to make. I don't do crafts. I mean, like, I am NOT a crafty Mama. Glue sticks, wiggly eyes, popsicle sticks, little pom-pom balls---all that stuff practically give me the hives. I was the little six year old in VBS craft class so many years ago upset because the glue was making me sticky, instead of enjoying the craft. Yeah. So, we have a very limited supply of craft materials at our house. Glue, construction paper, crayons, markers----it you can't make it with those things, then you probably don't need to ;)

However.........sewing is a whole different animal. When you sew, well.....you actually end up with something beautiful and useful, instead of,....something you're going to throw in the trash can next Tuesday. My Grandfather blessed our family with my Grandmother's super-awesome sewing machine late last winter. I've been wanting to teach Cosette how to use it ever since, and today, I finally got up the motivation. So, here, in pictures, is the beginnings of putting together a 'patchwork' quilt...........



First, pick out some samples of pretty material. The brighter, the better :) Oh, and if you can go to the store during nap-time when Daddy's at home with the younger kids, even better.

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Then, of course, you need to cut them out.
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Lay them out carefully in a beautiful pattern.
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Then work hard all evening and amaze your Mama at how much you can get done :)
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The finished product will be revealed at a later date :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

An unusual fear

Sometimes I feel like I'm living my own reality show of 'Kids say the Darndest Things'
Today was a doozy, and I just had to share.

We've had these yellow jackets flying around outside our kitchen window---just one or two at a time. One of them got Noah the other day when he was outside playing, and then today, another one got Eli. We still can't find the nest (if there is one), but that's beside the point. The bee got Eli just below his eyebrow. After he had calmed down, he came to me with the ice on his eyelid, which had swollen quite a bit. He said:

"Gee Mom, I'm glad the bee didn't get me here (pointing to the middle of his forehead), cause that's where my brain is, and my brain has all my thoughts, and if the bee stung me there, all my thoughts would have fallen out!"

Hahahaha!!! It was really hard not to laugh, because his fear was legitimate. I think I finally convinced him that if a bee stung him there, his thoughts would certainly not fall out :)




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I asked her to dance for the camera....

....and this is what she did. One and a half little turns, and then she falls down. But hey, I'm her Mama, and I'm allowed to think that whatever she does is beyond cute. So here you go, Leanna's 'shortened' dance. (She usually spins around about ten times before falling down :)



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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Changing things up a bit

Sometimes, I think I'm kind of clueless. Example. For years now, I have been trying to have my 'quiet time' in the mornings. Here's the problem---my husband leaves for work at 6:45, so that means in order to fix his lunch, I need to be down to the kitchen by, like, 6:20, 6:30 at the latest. Which meant, if I wanted a quiet time in the mornings, I was needing to be up by like 5:45 or something. Ugh. I'm a morning person....but not THAT much of a morning person. Chasing four children around all day is hard enough without having to rise at the crack of dawn. So, I tried having my quiet times after Joel went to work. Problem with that is, the kids (especially my boys) usually wake up between 7 and 7:30, so half the time I was having my 'quiet time' with two little boys climbing all over me. Yeah---kind of breaks the whole spirit of things! Plus, in the mornings, my mind is always going 100 mph with things I need to do, get started for the day, etc, etc. So I'd end up losing my focus and not really concentrating. So what's a mom to do??

Then, after 6.5 years of having children, it finally hit me the other day. I said to myself "Dummy! (I'm allowed to say that to myself, but nobody else ;) Dummy...why don't you have your quiet time in the evenings? The kids will be in bed, the day is winding down, you are more relaxed, instead of thinking about 'everything that needs done today'." Joel is usually asleep before me, anyway, and I would use that time to read a book or blog or make a grocery list or whatever. But NOW, I've been using that time to read my Bible and pray and just....have quiet time!

I know, I know...it kind of goes against the whole 'starting your day with God' idea, that 'beautiful, peaceful morning time' that I always had in my mind. But let's face it, when you have little ones, you have to mix things up a little....find what works for you. And morning quiet times just weren't working.
So, for the past little while, my evenings have been spent in the Word. Instead of 'waking up' to it, I'm putting it in my mind before I go to sleep, and I've actually been able to concentrate better, stay awake easier, and appreciate the time with God more than I was before. And besides, when our new little one joins us next spring, I'm sure I'll be up late with him/her anyway :)

So that's my 'useful tip' for moms with little ones today. If your quiet time isn't 'working'-----change it a little! Find a different time of day, a different location, whatever you need to do to make it work!

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet....."









Sunday, August 14, 2011

Life

I have been a bad blogger lately! Unfortunately, along with a deep desire NOT to cook or bake anything, my pregnancy has also brought along with it a lack of interest in my usual photo taking. I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm just too tired? Well, whatever the case, it's too bad, because we had a lot of neat stuff happen this past week that I'd like to share pictures of, but most of them are on Joel's phone!
Fortunately, I did manage to take a few pictures here and there, so I'll just have to tell you about the week, and fill it in with visuals when I can :) (Note: I am sharing un-edited photos, because I'm just to tired to edit them---forgive me!)

It started off last Saturday with a surprise knock on our front door. Who was there? My Dad and Suzanne.....all the way from across the country!! Did I get a picture? Of course not :(

Well, anyway, it was nice to have them in this week, because on Tuesday (as you saw in my last post) we remembered the one year passing of my mom. Emotionally draining. A relief to have it past, in a way.


This random picture has nothing to do with anything....I just thought it was cute. I sent all three big kids upstairs (Leanna followed along, of course) to brush their teeth, and this is what I found when I went to check on them :)




We moved my sister into her new apartment on Wednesday and Thursday, and we are SO excited for her! I'm still waiting to see the 'fully finished' product with all the pictures and decorations hung. We threw her a surprise 'apartment warming shower' on Thursday evening, instead of our regular Bible Study.


She's gonna hate me for this one because I caught her by surprise and she wasn't smiling. Don't worry, she DOES smile :)

Then, on Friday, we had our first baby appointment--everything's fine :) Our normal practice has a new mid-wife, which we're thrilled about, and she seemed really nice and helpful. All my babies have been born with a mid-wife except Leanna. But even then, the doctor who delivered her did wonderful, and we had no complaints. We're hoping for an available mid-wife this time around, though.
After that, we packed up the kids and headed down to visit Joel's grandfather. Did I remember to take any pictures? Of course not :(  But here's one of the big kids in the motel afterwards.


Two eyes peeking out from under a comfy hotel blanket.


Two incredibly SLEEPY eyes peeking out from under the blanket.

And finally, my first attempt at pigtails for Leanna the next morning. They didn't last long :/

 We spent yesterday at the zoo, and finally arrived home last night about 8:30, tired but happy. Let's just say my little kids were less than beautifully behaved in church this morning after all the craziness of last week. We're all now collapsed on couches in the living room, enjoying a day of rest. Fortunately, this next week is looking to be a little less crazy :) 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One Year

Remembering my beautiful Mama.  9/8/62-8/9/10. We love you Mama, and will never stop missing you!







Sunday, August 07, 2011

You might be a parent if....

  • You go in to take a shower and find miniature size, plastic army men staring up at you
  •  You find yourself saying things like "No, you may not have a sip of my sweet tea. It is my sweet tea, only mine, and I am going to drink the whole thing all by myself" (No, that wasn't my three year old, it was me---how could you get that confused?? ;)
  • Your husband has to bring legos in from the yard before he can mow
  • You start to wipe a sticky spot off of  the wall and end up following the sticky spot through the entire upstairs.
  • You have ever cleaned your entire bathroom floor with a baby wipe
  • You have ever cleaned your windowsills with a baby wipe
  • You have ever cleaned.....okay, let's just admit it, you clean EVERYTHING with a baby wipe :)
  • You have ever heard the bathroom referred to as the 'potty room'
  • More than 1/5 of your grocery budget each week goes for buying milk
  • You've forgotten that whole 'organization' system of laundry you used to have when you were a newly wed. Now, you just stuff as much laundry in the machine as you can, white OR colored, and hope it turns out clean
  • 'Date night' now often means frozen dinners after the kids go to bed, as well as root beer drank out of wine glasses and a game of scrabble. 
  • Your most common words at 7:30 in the evening are ''Now say 'aaagghhh'....Now say 'Eeeeee'---no, no, no, don't spit the toothpaste on ME!"
  • You're filling out a form at a doctor's office and answer the question of 'What are your hobbies?' like this..."I have four kids six and under and another on the way....I don't have time for hobbies!!"

So, how did you do? If you answered 'yes' to more than two questions above, I would seriously suggest you go check your house for some little children....they're probably hiding in your kitchen, drinking all of your milk ;) 





    Saturday, August 06, 2011

    A quick word of explanation

    I hate when my written word is mis-understood. But, unfortunately, that is the reality of putting my thoughts out there in written form for the whole wide world to read. Every now and then, I write something 'wrong', and people mis-understand what my actual point was. So......a quick word of explanation.

    After posting my last post (read it if you haven't already), I've realized that many people were not getting my main point. So, let me state clearly (I hope) what the main point of my last post was.

    1. First of all, I was NOT suggesting that anybody has been attacking Joel or I for our decision to have another child. We have received only positive and loving comments and words from family and friends. My last post was not a way of trying to 'defend' myself---nobody has been 'judging' my family---at least, not that we know of :) It was simply my point to show how silly that well-known number of '1.5' children is. Seriously? The idea that some nameless agency out there can determine what is best for my family, in our own, personal particular circumstances, unknown to them, is just ridiculous. You can't put a 'one size fits all' label on families---circumstances are different for each couple. And also, I don't buy into the whole 'large families leave too big of a foot-print' idea that some environmentalists seem to have.

    2. Second of all, I was NOT trying to insinuate that if you have less children than I do, that you somehow made a wrong decision or something. Nope. That wasn't my point at all. How many children you have is totally up to you, your spouse, and God. My pastor's family has an even dozen. Do I ever see myself having that many? Nope. Not happening. However, I do NOT think that I am somehow less spiritual or something because I'm 'closing the door' sooner. Likewise, I will NOT look down on you if you have chosen to have less than five children---that's just silly too.

    3. Third of all, I realize that many couples out there are longing, wishing, and praying for a baby--even just ONE baby. Why God chooses to allow some couples to have five, while others struggle to have just one, I will never know (at least not on this earth), but I have to trust that He is still the all-knowing, all-loving, compassionate Savior that knows and cares about each one of us. I thank God for allowing me to have as many children as I do---and I pray for comfort for those of you who are still on the journey of waiting.


    Children are a gift from God, whether you have one or 19 like that well-known family :) OR....if you choose to have none at all and spend your lives serving your God and focusing completely on Him......then God bless you in your pursuits. I was not trying to hit upon some 'magical' number as 'perfect' or 'better'

    Bottom Line? Joel and I have another baby on the way....that will make five for us....we're excited, thankful, and praising God for another little blessing running around our house. May we do our best to raise them to His glory.





    Thursday, August 04, 2011

    Four......going on five

    Yes, I know the stats. The ones from the environmentalists that say that each couple should only have 2.5 (or is it 1.5?) children. And I've always wondered-----which last half do you get, the head or the feet?!! ;)
      Okay, okay, in all seriousness, I know our family is now bordering on the 'larger' side. And you know what? It's a good thing that I don't care what all those environmentalists think :) I'm a stay at home mom----my 'job' is to raise these kids to be God-fearing, loving adults some day. I am more than thrilled to be adding another to our kit and kaboodle. I realize that there are many families who are longing for just one baby to hold and love.....and I feel so blessed, beyond what I deserve, to be looking forward to welcoming our 5th. I am not taking our blessings lightly, folks.
       And besides, I looked around at my kids this morning and thought how much I loved every one of them---and how different our family would be if one of them were not here. I saw sibling affection happening this morning, and it warmed my heart.
      
      
    Downstairs, we had a fun game of 'Cadoo' happening at the kitchen table.

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    Add some yogurt and granola to the mix, and you've got one fun party! :)

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    Upstairs, we had a tea party going on.

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    See? It's kinda hard to catch moments like this if you only have 1.5 children ;)
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    Monday, August 01, 2011

    Scavenger Hunt

    We sent our kids on a scavenger hunt around the house this afternoon when Joel got home from work. We told them that we had a gift for the family, and they would get clues as they completed the hunt.

    At the end of the game, Eli and Noah had no idea what the gift was---but Cosette was starting to get an understanding grin on her face. She thought she knew the answer, but was afraid to say it out loud. Here are the clues we gave the kids:

    1. We will have to wait a while for this gift.
    2. You have had this kind of gift before
    3. The gift is small.
    4. The gift is often smelly
    5. The gift may be bald
    6. The gift will not be coming until March


    Yep :) As we finally close what has been a sad year for our family.....as we anticipate the one year anniversary of losing my mom in just a few short days.....God has blessed us with joy instead.
     
    "For I will turn their mourning into joy 
    And will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow." Jer. 31:13b.

    Baby Curtis Number 5----Girl or Boy? Only time will tell :)




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