Friday, January 30, 2009

coming soon...

she's 3 1/2 and almost there!
maybe a video tomorrow...


Thursday, January 29, 2009

fishing line

when fishing line gets left near the washer.
this is what happens

the entire spool!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home School blog

is linked right under my profile on the sidebar to the left. That way you can see when new posts appear! I've written two so far this week; we'll see if I can keep up with two blogs!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've been waiting for this day




The girls were whining about wanting pancakes this morning. I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open and told them I was not going to make pancakes this morning. Mary Clare got out all the ingredients, measured them all out, and made the batter all by herself! I just helped her a little with telling her the amounts of the ingredients and with the pouring and flipping. What a great feeling! They are learning to take care of themselves! They were both so proud. There's a great math lesson for today!

All of you with lotsa little ones, realize that this time is short. Soon you will have big helpers who can even cook breakfast for themselves! Woohoo!

I wonder what we'll be eating for breakfast all week?


Monday, January 26, 2009

The Great Outdoors

at last week's Nature Club

maybe this mud isn't so tasty


to find the biggest stick


and dig the biggest hole


now this is a classroom!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to eat a carrot

by Mary Clare

"First you close your eyes, and make sure you don't smell it...Then you chew it up!"
(and this is from my "good" eater!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

More excuses...

why i can't do dishes with him around


and now the girls have taken it for their own uses


this is right where i need to stand to cook dinner!


and what am i supposed to cook with?


he has taken over my kitchen.
and my heart :)

have a fabulous friday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The best things in life

are FREE!

I've been talking about doing this post for awhile. Finally got around to it. After a fun trash-find last week, I've been needing to document just how many wonderful things we've gotten for FREE! We have many more in our house that were family or friend hand-me-downs (from clothes to dressers), or low-cost used items (from leather sofas to strollers). In fact I think the only furniture items in our entire home that we bought brand-new are 2 mattresses!

Here are some of the best free finds...


This sofa table


and this side table, along with another small circular table we use for our altar,
these were found from our online classified "giveaway" section. Great furniture, free price. A little touch-up paint and they are perfect!


Since I haven't posted enough about my Christmas tree...
This was found on craigslist last year. My parents went to pick it up for me and after telling the seller about my young family who wanted a nice pre-lit tree, the lady wouldn't let my parents pay for it. Nice tree, free price.


This is another one of those things that someone wouldn't let me pay for.
It was waiting to be sold at the garage sale for the school where I used to teach.
It's gotten many hours of good use. Cute kitchen, free price. The red-painted bookshelf behind it was also free from my grandparents' house.


From a sweet friend in the homeschool group whose son didn't like it.
They even delivered it to my house! I love it because it's so easy to clean.
I did buy the tray from IKEA a few months later which has made things easier.


Another online giveaway. Steven Joseph's dresser.
This was sitting in the trash pile so I had to have Steven run and get it
before someone else took it! Some touch up paint and clearance drawer pulls added.


Our most recent trash/treasure from the neighbors-
the bottom floor of this Barbie house got a little flooded during Ike,
but the kids don't care! Steven Joseph likes to crawl into the 2nd floor room!


Found this shelf in the trash pile about a year ago.
It was bare wood and I painted it. Finally added the photos and got Steven to hang it a couple weeks ago. Great find!


These last two are our most recent family gifts...
the deep freeze from my parents and the fridge (plus office chairs and desks) are from Steven's brother's old office. They are getting lots of use!


We are very blessed to have so many gifts from friends and family. The school table from the S family sits behind me right now as I type on the corner desk from my grandmother's home. I stare into the playroom with my childhood toy box and Steven's old bookshelf, along with the playhouse found by Santa online and the shelf I bought from an old man at a garage sale. Each furniture piece tells a story, and I love it that way! Just think of the thousands we've saved by accepting and seeking out used furniture! Last week I found a great trundle bed that we'll have to put together soon. I'm always on the lookout! Now it's for a piano and a sewing machine...anyone have one in your dumpster???


Why I'm not posting much other than pictures

What else is there to say? The pictures tell the story.

He does this all day. Climbs onto chairs and stools.
Finds any type of writing utensil to eat or draw on things.
Or make it look like he's going to fall and poke his eye out.
This is a ball point pen and a pen cap while standing on a school chair.


And anytime I try to cook he does this: scream at my legs.
I had raw chicken hands so all I could do was call Mary Clare to
please document why I have such a hard time preparing meals.


This stage won't last forever...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saying Goodbye

It's one of the hardest parts of life. At least for me. I hate saying goodbye to friends and family, whether for a day, for a year, or until eternity. There's just nothing easy about it. As a child, I lived in the same home through almost my entire schooling experience, and I just couldn't understand why in the world people would want to move. It saddened me so much to see friends move away. I remember in high school when my friend Karyn moved to Virginia and Veronica moved to Colorado; I think I cried more tears than they did! Of course I've seen many more friends come and go, and I've even come and gone a few times since high school. I miss the mommy friends I had back in the "college town" and am saddened that I don't see them as much as I'd hoped. I dearly miss my friends who have become religious Sisters who I can't talk to very often at all. As for my own family, I have gotten used to saying goodbye to Steven each morning but still hate to say goodbye when he goes out of town...even for the day. Saying goodbye to the kids for any length of time is painful.

But saying goodbye to Mary Clare on Saturday before her MRI really tore me up inside. She was scared, I was scared. Steven carried her off to the car, and I had to let go and TRUST that he would protect her and God would have his hand over the whole experience. But I just wanted the whole thing to be over. And now it is. Sort of. I haven't updated here but the results were that she has a problem with the cartilage in her knee, which will likely require surgery. I'm so glad to have a diagnosis and so glad it's nothing serious. For months I've had a fear in the back of my mind from the "lesion" they thought they saw in one of the earlier x-rays. Praise God that it was not there! And I'm a little more comfortable with surgery now that she has been through the hospital/anesthesia experience. But if we do go that route, it will still be very scary and another short goodbye I won't want to say.

In the last week and a half, I've had 2 good friends move out of the country. My dear friend K from the homeschool group has moved down the street from Veronica in Qatar, and my other friend M has moved to Argentina with her husband and daughter. It's always hard to say goodbye to friends, and especially to see them leave for long periods of time. I wish them all the best in their new journeys and pray that we might again be in the same city as our children get older. One thing for sure, we are blessed to have these blogs, email, Facebook, and phones to keep in touch with those who are away. And even to find friends from days gone by.

I'm not sure what I'd do without this internet. Get a lot more sleep, I'm sure ;-)

And so, farewell to the R family! We miss you already and promise to visit your sweet mother whenever we can!

In case you were wondering...

yesterday's crayon victim was green.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Blog!

No, I'm not abandoning this little place in cyberspace, but I've joined a group blog called Home Schoolin' Mamas! Kelly and Megan are amazing mamas, and I've enjoyed reading about their homeschooling adventures, so I'm honored to be a part of their blog. I'll be sharing about our own homeschooling journey and have just posted my introduction there today. So stay tuned for more fun posts, and make a visit over there to "meet" Kelly and Megan!

Home Schoolin' Mamas

Always fun

to figure out what color crayon was eaten yesterday when I change the morning diaper!

During breakfast

watching Stevie eating a host of cheerios:
"He sure eats a lot. I hope he doesn't end up on 'The Biggest Loser'."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Playing with my blondies yesterday


showing some of his little sounds
video

playing in the train table

Please pray

for Mary Clare today.

Update: she made it through the MRI just fine!
She is groggy but was able to tell me on the phone that
"it felt like I just blinked!" What a brave girl!
No initial report from the MRI, which is good news (nothing serious)
and we'll find out next week if they were able to locate any damage
that could be causing her to still have pain and limping after all these months.
Thanks so much for your prayers!

She's at the children's hospital with Steven
having the MRI for her knee injury
and has to have IV sedation.

She's very scared and I'm very sad
I can't be there. Baby is sick with
cough and double ear infections.

May it go smoothly and may we find
an easy answer to her knee problems.
May we have a healthy 2009!

If you can also offer a prayer for my cousin M
and her little girl K
who is recovering from surgery yesterday.
And for my other friend Danielle
whose baby was stillborn on this day last year.

Thanks for your prayers, friends!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking off into tomorrow...







is that an airplane they see in the distance?
i sure hope so!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What we learned today...

how to write with a pen
he thinks he's such a big boy!


look, mommy!
they're all in the right "pockets"!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Heart's at Home Daybook-Jan 13

Outside My Window ...
it's sunny and cold, but inside we're toasty warm and dark. I need to open the blinds!
***
I am listening to...
classical music on the iPod...I think the selection right now is the Nutcracker.
We love the iPod dock!
***
Towards rhythm and beauty ...
Our life seems everything BUT rhythmic and beautiful right now. Runny noses, I've lost my voice, coughing, whining, missing Daddy. I've resolved to smile more this week :)
***
I am thankful for ...
my home, Steven's new job, my parents who are helping me a lot this week.
***
From the kitchen ...We're eating convenience foods this week! And lots of fruit smoothies.
***
I am wearing ...
a new black shirt that seems to be "stylish", jeans, and my sketcher crocks-type Mary Janes
***
I am creating ...
a list of moms to start a Charlotte Mason book club,
a list of books to purchase for this new semester
some new framed photos for our home
***
On my iPod
100 Most Popular Classical Songs (or something like that) from iTunes
***
Towards a real education ...
We found a website about US states yesterday and played around there.
We have 2 friends moving overseas in the next week, and a Daddy on a business trip
out of state. Lots of geography this week!
***
Bringing beauty to my home ...
trying to smile and capture the crazy moments in my mind and my heart
***
I am reading ...
just checked out Left to Tell and The Strong Willed Child from the library
but I've chosen to read my 10 cent Southern Living magazines
and Pottery Barn kids catalogs so far.
Trying to read a bit from the bible each morning
***
I am hoping ...
Mary Clare's MRI for her knee on Saturday isn't too traumatic
and yields helpful results. She has to be put under sedation at the children's hospital.
I'm worried sick. And missing my hubby. Hoping he doesn't get snowed in.
Please keep us in prayer!
***
Around the house ...
I am trying to catch up on the never ending laundry but am at least staying on top of
the dishes. The girls are supposed to be cleaning the playroom.
Mary Clare is trying to convince her sister to clean right now.
***
One of my favorite things ...
The one-piece long sleeve romper thing that Stevie is wearing today. Blue with a helicopter! It's 24 months but fits him perfectly and is so much easier than the pants/shirts combos on a baby.
***
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
To smile, make some special sacrifices for single moms, stay on top of our schoolwork,
and TRUST in God's goodness!
***
Here is a picture thought I am sharing~

baby boy playing in the backyard recently. I love how the sun is shining on him.
He probably has a pebble in his hand he's about to eat!

Monday, January 12, 2009

One of these days

I'm not going to feel like a sardine in my own bed
I'm not going to be awakened by voices whining for breakfast
I'm not going to have children at my feet in the shower
I'm not going to have endless laundry to do
I'm not going to be schooling children every day
I'm not going to have owiees to tend to
I'm not going to hear "WIPE ME" from the bathroom
I'm not going to have ponytail holders littering the floors
I'm not going to spend half the day looking for matching mini socks
I'm not going to have a car filled with toys
I'm not going to find sippy cups in the strangest of places
I'm not going to buckle carseats over and over again
I'm not going to have a baby needing to be held
I'm not going to worry about my children getting lost in public
I'm not going to need to cook dinner for 5 every night
I'm not going to have to wipe down nasty high chairs
I'm not going to have a baby who eats every small object in sight
I'm not going to have children who want endless books read to them
I'm not going to coerce them into the bath, then coerce them out of the bath
I'm not going to check if my babies are breathing at night
I'm not going to stay up late, worried about their health
I'm not going to have snuggly children surrounding me day and night.
And one of those days (if I make it) I'm going to be one bored, lonely lady.

Manic Monday

cigarette butts
(took this pic from far away
and didn't realize what he was holding!
hope he didn't eat it!)


baby butts


forever friends
(some of this crew is moving overseas
tomorrow...best wishes, g family!)


trapped in the basketball net


i thought we had a giant playhouse
to play house?
why is all this in the kitchen???


my crazy life.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

So I don't forget

just how adorably cute you are in camo pants
heading for your favorite broom
and holding your favorite soap bottle
and sporting your new haircut :)
how i love you, stevie joe!

For NeNe

Emily's new ballet costume.

taken by MC

A beautiful video about the Catholic Church



CatholicsComeHome.org

Ellie

is keeping me company tonight after she took a very late nap. She doesn't want to go lay in her bed with her sister and daddy..."I don't want to sleep with two people. I want to sleep with one people." (I guess she'd fail that one in the plural/singular game-see below, LOL!)

The Plural/Singular Game

Steven started a new game at dinner tonight and the girls LOVED it! He gave them a noun and they gave him the plural form. Ellie even did a great job with words like "tooth"! But the best one of the evening where MC earned a high five was "brother-in-law". Would you get it right?

I stumped Daddy with "curriculum" :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Video from Fishing Outing

I was chastised for not including the videos on the post about their fishing adventure. So here goes! (The videos are short because the camera battery was dying and kept cutting off!)

Ellie just misses a big bass
video

MC catches a big one (see picture on post below)
video

the other one won't load so I'll try again later!




Doing my morning prayers, still half-asleep

"Our Father, who art in Heaven....
....but deliver us from email. Amen"

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Learning the 10 Commandments today

Me, at dinner: "Girls, why don't you tell Daddy one of the commandments you learned today?"
Mary Clare: "Don't take somebody else's wife."
Ellie: "Sunday."

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fishing with Daddy

I wasn't there, I probably won't caption these quite right,
(maybe Daddy will edit)
but I know they had a fun time!
As Steven said, "We smoked 'em!"

Ellie checking out the grubs!



First catch...a little perch!


First bass


Another bass


Big fish for some little girls!


What a fun fishing outing they had
on a cold Sunday afternoon!
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