Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blogger's Fault

Sometimes I cannot get blogger to do what it is supposed to do. It moves my pictures around. Takes away all of the spacing. Adds in double and triple spacing. What the deal is, I do not know. But if you ever see a post that looks as if it is formatted in a strange way...blame it on blogger.

Good example...this was not double spaced when I posted. Help! Any tips????

The Big City

There is never enough time to do all of the things that need doing and have all of the fun that needs fun-ning. (Yes, I know "fun-ning" is not a word. Used for effect.) So yesterday we seized the opportunity to have some fun.

Ellie and Maggie were invited to a cousin's bday party at Bethel and we needed to kill some time. We took Carlie, Caleb, Glory and Micah to Como Zoo. It was a lot of fun and was a very easy trip, being that we only had four kids with us. Micah had never been to the zoo before and Glory is now old enough to walk through and truly appreciate it.

It was strange in a Twilight Zone sort of way...Glory and Micah have always reminded us of little Carlie and Caleb. Watching Glory and Micah was like repeating an event that took place with Carlie and Caleb 8 years ago. Only this time we had the older versions and the younger versions of the kids to watch. Very strange. And entertaining.

After the zoo we drove around St. Paul and showed the kids the State Capitol building, the downtown, the Cathedral, and the beautiful houses on Summit and Grand. Then it was off to pick up the girls from a princess party. And on to Sam's Club. (But I won't spoil the mental picture of a wonderful day with the kids by getting into shopping details!!)

The highlight of the trip for the kids was driving on the freeway. I know...I need to get them out of the house more!!! :)

Glory really liked the fish. A lot. I mean REALLY...a LOT.

Giraffes are funny.

Strike a pose.

The boys.

A much more typical pic of Glory. "Get out of the flowers!!!!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Girly Fun and the Kitchen Sink, Too!

I went away for the weekend on a ladies' retreat with the chicas from The Lakeside Fireplace. We had so much fun in Stillwater...went on a trolley tour, dinner cruise on the St. Croix River, browsed antique and gift and specialty shops. We stayed in Hudson, WI and had just as much fun talking, laughing, swimming, and just hanging out together.

Aaron took such great care of the kids while I was gone. In fact, it was he who pushed me to go on this get-away in the first place. He and my dad took the kids to the park, McDonald's, had movie night, and a bonfire.

Somewhere in the craziness of it all, my wonderful husband replaced my cracked kitchen sink and leaky faucets with the new ones that finally came in on the morning I left. Not only did I get away and have a blast, I did not have to deal with the mess of a kitchen sink update. I didn't have to live with a kitchen full of dirty dishes that couldn't be taken care of because the sink caulking needed to dry. He dealt with it all. (Granted...I did prepare the meals ahead of time and lay out clothes. And I got a little OCD and typed out a detailed list of how to take care of everyone. I couldn't help myself.)

So thank you, Aaron. I love the sink. You did a great job. Maybe a career change to plumbing???

The Old Sink...not normally dirty...but why clean it when it was getting replaced????

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big Boy

Micah is trying harder than ever to prove that he is not a little preemie baby anymore, but rather, a big boy. Okay...he didn't say that in so many words, but a mother knows. He still loves his snuggles and kisses and hugs, but sometimes he just comes on my lap for more of a "huggle". (That is my little word for a short, quick bit of love from the kiddos.)

*A mini language says more (mo'), please (eese), bus (buh), and bye (bye).
*Loves to sit at the table and counter and see what's up.
*Wants to color.
*Often lets me know when he is stinky. Either he brings the wipes over or he pulls up his shirt, points his rear in my direction, and grunts for me to check his pants. Sure wish 3 year old Glory would do the same, *sigh*.
*Top molars.
*Wants to feed himself his oatmeal, ummmm, NO.
*Throws his diaper in the trash and claps and says "yay".

Friday, September 12, 2008


We made it through our first of many full weeks of school. This week was not without its bumps and frustrations. I think the "newness" of school may be wearing off now, for all of us. Carlie is reverting back to her old ways of putzing and ditzing around, Caleb is such a perfectionist that things in school have a way of making him crazy. But Ellie is working harder than ever and I am so pleased to see that not only did she not lose any of her knowledge from last year, she seems to be catching onto the new things even more quickly. It is amazing how much kids can change over the course of one summer.

Maggie is cruising through her Kindergarten curriculum. In fact, today is the first time that she just didn't seem to be in the mood for school. I cut her back to only doing one lesson today. She seems to be averaging about a week's worth of school each day. (Sure makes my life easier...I don't have to work as hard with her!) Glory insists on being with us and having school at all times. This gets to be a nuisance as she hasn't figured out the art of speaking quietly and waiting patiently. (She balls her fists up, puts on angry eyebrows, and shouts that she needs to do "cool" and will only wear a "kirt", or as I call it, a skirt.)

But overall, it is going as well as can be expected. The kids are doing a great job at taking distractions in stride and are much more patient with one another than I expected this early in the year.

Still...I am really thankful that it is Friday. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where's Glory?

It isn't very often that we lose our children. We haven't had any separations at the grocery store or any runaways at the mall. That is good news and proof that my declaration that someone might "steal them" is working. I always tell my kids that they should be able to see me and I them. They know our rule is if they are separated from us, they should stay put and we will find them.

Occasionally, at home, we lose a kid or two. They go a bit further into the woods (we only have 2.5 acres) than we like and can't hear us calling. Or they go outside without letting an adult know. All very annoying, but not a huge deal.

But tonight, Glory was missing for a little while. I thought she was with Aaron and he thought she was in the basement with the kids. He checked up, down and out. No Glory. I wasn't too concerned, as she is known to get caught up with a horse toy or book and zone out. But she is also prone to getting into things she isn't allowed. (toothpaste, Dixie cups, hair things, game pieces, water and copious amounts of hand soap, you get the picture.)

I found her, curled into a little ball, in a tight space of her closet, fast asleep. Super cute, right?? Except for the fact that she had her nanny (pacifier, which we are gradually taking away) and a Pull-Up full of you-know-what. (A little background: potty trained-ness only lasted as long as vacation Bible school.)

Oh well. At least she wasn't in the middle of the road, in the cow pasture, or being attacked by the coyotes which are lurking here. :) Just a little after supper nap with a stinky bottom.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School Photos

Although we don't send our kids off on a school bus or with a carpool, the first day of school is always exciting and deserves to be commemorated with back to school pics and outfits. This has been our tradition since the beginning of our homeschool journey 7 years ago. These pictures were taken when we started a week ago.

I don't know why Maggie was so miserable here. Oh well, can't win them all. And she LOVES school.

Glory being her typical self, top and bottom photo.

Maggie is a super easy student. Makes my life a breeze.

Ellie, ever the fashion-ista, was more excited about her new skirt than her workbooks.

Caleb has grown so much over the last summer. He is taller than Carlie now. He was most excited to start history.

Carlie is truly starting to act like a middle schooler. I love how excited she is to learn!

Back to Reality

*The swish of the washing machine and humming of the dryer
*The grind of the pencil sharpener
*The sound of giggling girls
*The coziness of slippers and socks
*The chill in the morning
*Kids curled up on the couch with a book
*Color crayons and papers and scissors spread on the counter and table
*Soups, stews, and oven foods

Fall has begun. School is in full-swing. And it feels wonderful.

The kids have moved right into the fall routine as if it never ended. They are interested in their new science, history, and Bible books. And to top it off, the weather is AMAZING.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Last Days of Summer

I know that people always say things like "where did the summer go?" and "I can't believe summer is over!" But seriously, I cannot believe how quickly it flew by this year. As the kids are getting older we find ourselves doing more things together and allowing them to go more places without us. This Labor Day weekend found us working around the house and yard and taking the pool down for the year. I will miss the lazy days of just hanging with the kiddos, but I am eager to get on to the next thing!

So here is a little recap of our summer and a couple of pics of the last moments of the 2008 pool season!

*Day trip to Rochester
*Park Rapids cabin trip
*State Fair
*Burgers in the park/beach time
*Annual church picnic
*Vacation Bible school and Lakeside Campfire
*Backyard camping
*Bethel roomie get-together
*Gardening and canning
*Pool and swing sets
*Reconnecting with old friends and family on Facebook