Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ready, Set, Bake!

I may have gotten a later start than normal this year, but the Christmas baking has begun!! I am trying some different things this year. Partly because I just like baking and cooking new things, and partly because I want to make things that I am able to resist.

So far we have done pecan bars, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, and spritz. I don't intend to be quite as ambitious as I was last year, but you never know. Sometimes baking has a way of taking over my life and spinning out of control!
I hope you are all finding some fun things to do to prepare for Christmas. We have also cut back from our regular homeschool schedule, but have chosen a couple of books to continue to use as read-alouds and readers. The younger kids are as excited as ever to skip ahead in Bible and read the Christmas story again. It never gets old or boring and we are all amazed each time we read it that God would send His precious Son the way that He did.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just Chatting

Micah's vocabulary continues to explode and he is starting to have some interesting things to say. This is last night's conversation that he had with me.
Micah: You are my mommy.
Me: Yes, I am your mommy.
Micah: You're not a cow.
Me: No, I am not a cow.
Micah: You're not a pig.
Me: Nope.
Micah: You are a good, good mommy.
Me: Yes I am!
So sweet! And I am so happy that he knows I am neither a cow nor a pig. And by the way, did you know that a cow says, "Boooooo"?

Monday, December 14, 2009

And It's Only 7:30 in the Morning

Already this morning I have had to carefully explain, in ten-year-old-boy language, why Tiger Woods is constantly on the news and radio. Even though I change the channel and don't watch news with the kids around, they still seem to hear everything! (One of the advantages to homeschooling our children is that we have been able to keep them from knowing about "adult topics" prematurely.)

This morning Caleb said, "Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods. They are always talking about him!"

I finally told him that Tiger Woods has made some bad choices and that the media keeps talking about it. He couldn't understand that a car crash would be that big of a deal.

Hmmm. How do I explain Tiger's crappy behavior to a child who doesn't know about you-know-what?

I ended up telling him that Tiger is a married man with a family who chose to go on lots of "dates" with other women. I asked him to think about how he would feel if his daddy chose to "date" other women and kiss and hug them.

He wouldn't like that at all. I explained that this is not God's plan for families and that is why it is so sad.

He agreed. But not without adding, "But he's still the best golfer in the world."


Meanwhile, I gave Glory a choice of either milk or water with her pancakes and yogurt. Her answer? "Lemonade!"

Is it really only 7:30?

Friday, December 11, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

Maybe Maggie could wait until 2010 to get her two front teeth.
I love a toothless 6 year old!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Eyes Is Hot

Micah woke up yesterday morning with a little temp, hoarse voice, and cough. His symptoms escalated throughout the day and into the night until he was wheezing and miserable. I feel badly for the little bugger; I don't know if he has ever really been sick before (thank You, Lord). I took him to the doctor this morning and he just has croup. It will pass. But in the meantime, he still is super cute. Here are a few of his comments to me:

*"My mouf (mouth) hurts."

*"My throat has a cough."

*"My juice hurts. Kiss it." Apparently the orange juice burned his throat. He proceeded to open his mouth wide and stick out his tongue. Sometimes he asks us to kiss his butt when his bottom is sore from a messy diaper. I do have my limits.

*"Sorry, Mom. Sorry, Mom. Sorry, Mom." He says this when he coughs hard.

*"I need to get a shop." He means shot. As in the H1N1 shot that keeps being discussed around our house.

And lastly, when in bed with me early this morning with a fever he said...
"My eyes is hot."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Joy to the World

This year is Carlie's first year taking piano lessons. She is absolutely loving it and really wants to practice and learn. Here is a shot of her first piano recital. Following is a video for those of you who wanted to come but weren't able to make it. (The video is a pre-recital run through her piece.)

It's Great to Be Eight!

Ellie turned eight today! What a fun age. We celebrated with family last night and then Ellie and I went out for lunch and shopping at the mall this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We are one of "those" families who do not go trick-or-treating. We usually end up doing a harvest festival at church or having a fun family evening at home. We have had movie and game night. We have had a bonfire with chili and hot dogs and marshmallows.
This year we went over to my parents' and played games, grilled, watched movies...that sort of thing. A few of the kids decided to dress-up to answer the door to give treats to the 4 trick-or-treaters who showed up.

Micah was a super-hero. We were not allowed to call him Superman and he would not wear his "stupid cape". He also didn't like his hairstyle. In his words, "Don't like it mine hairstyle."
My mom was a happy grandma. All of her kids and grandkids were there.
Carlie has been having fun playing around with Anna J.'s old prom and bridesmaid dresses.

Caleb didn't dress up, but I happened to catch this picture of him being shocked when Anika spit up.

Anna J. Holding Superman's cousin (Liz) and the Little School Girl (Glory).

Ellie was a rock star.

Anika started out the day in a pumpkin orange outfit.
Then she changed into a mini Vikings cheerleader.
She ended the day like a cozy little taco.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kelley Farm and Wapiti Rendezvous

This year I decided to join a homeschool group that meets together once per month for support, encouragement, and fun. The leaders of the group decided that it would also be great to get together with our kids for outings and field trips. So far we have gone to a park outing, Wapiti Rendezvous, and the Kelley Farm. We are all having a great time making new friends and exploring different places!

Kelley Farm home
This is a historical working farm. They actually have a HUGE garden in which they grow plants from seed varieties that are 150 years old.

We got to tour the house and do some hands on work/play in the kitchen. The kids kneaded bread dough and chopped rutabagas. The kids also had the chance to clean up the garden, feed the chickens, and help in the barn.

Why was this so much fun? We do at least half of this stuff around our house. And we have electricity and plumbing!

Carlie got to hold down a sheep for other kids to pet and check out.

Nice shot of Glory, behind Carlie's bum. She is petting the sheep, not Carlie. I am not sure who the other kiddo in the picture is, but I overheard Glory telling her that she "really likes her look".

We got to smell a big momma pig and 3 little-un's, up close.

Wait for me!

Time to plow the fields. Ellie was up first.

The following picture was taken at the Wapiti Rendezvous. It was basically a touring camp that was set up to reenact what life would have been like on the frontier. People were dressed and living in the clothing and homes of the period. This picture was of "the naked Indian" who taught us about different types of weapons that Native Americans would have used.

I saw him that later that weekend, driving a truck and trailer around Monticello.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boys at Work and Play

The upcoming posts will feature a few things that we have been doing this fall in our homeschool and as a family!
Caleb, after a library trip, soaking up information.
(Actually, he was doing math problems in Lego books.)

Long division practice.
Why is division so much better on a giant piece of paper??
(Thankfully Aaron gets giant Post-Its at the 3M company store.)

Micah sorts things by color. He does this obsessively. But he doesn't know his color names

I didn't get a picture of it, but he loves to sort and count teddy-bear counters. The annoying part is that he insists on putting them back into the jar according to color, as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teach Your Children Well...OR ELSE

We have had our fair share of gross-ness around our home. But this evening we managed to take things to a whole new level. A certain child ran out of toilet paper while using the basement bathroom. Instead of screaming for help, like everyone else does, this child used not one or two but three sheets of paper towels to finish the job.

Flash forward to the discovery. Carlie was taking a shower and heard the toilet making strange sounds. Aaron proceeded to try to unplug the toilet but the offending paper product had already managed to make its way into the lift station. By Aaron plunging with all his strength, the nasty-sick water was able to back up from the lift station/pump-thingy onto the basement carpet. (Carpet isn't even two years old.)

So tomorrow will be spent with Aaron home from work trying to find a way to salvage the area of soiled carpet.

And I will be doing a homeschool lesson on what is appropriate to flush down the toilet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome Back to School!

We "officially" began our homeschool year the end of August and we are now in our 4th week. There has been a definite period of adjustment and our schedule is finally beginning to take shape! On the first day back to school for non-homeschoolers we went to WalMart...empty. Then the orthodontist...quick appointment. Then we went to the playground...also empty. The benefits of homeschooling!
A few first day pics...
My busy class of kids.

Being silly :)

Carlie's Motto: To never do what I am told the first time, second time, or third time I am asked and then have a challenging attitude the rest of the time.

Caleb's Motto: Fifth grade work is really hard, but I will do my best, most of the time!

Ellie's Motto: I must look fabulous, even if I never leave the house and always homeschool!

Maggie's Motto: I love love love love love school, even if my mom is making me do mostly second grade work!

Glory's Motto: It is my goal in life to see how many times a day I can raise my hand. I must rarely ever leave my mom's side and I need to add in my two-cents to Carlie and Caleb's literature discussion. Love the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Micah's Motto: I will whine, cry, fuss, beg for screen time and do whatever I possibly can to distract every person in the house. I miss all of the attention my siblings usually give me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

14th Anniversary

Today marks our 14th wedding anniversary. I can remember, before I was married, thinking that people who were in their 30's or married more than 10 years were O.L.D. But here we are, 14 years of marriage, 6 children, our 5th home and entering the eighth year of homeschooling...and I don't feel old at all.

I just feel content. And grateful. And, of course, blessed. Sure, life gets crazy-busy and we don't get to go out on many dates or have long conversations. He leaves for work before I wake up and I am often asleep at night before he comes to bed. We even share our anniversary with Maggie's birthday.

But we make the little moments count. We talk on the phone for a few moments over Aaron's lunch break. We schedule in time to watch a movie together or play a game now and then. And we are constantly striving to love one another as we should love one another.

If someone were to have told me, on our wedding day in 1995, what our life would be like in 2009...I would have laughed in disbelief. But the reality is I love where we are at in life. I honestly can't think of anything I would go back and change about the past 14 years. And I am looking forward to at least another 50 years together.

Baby Grows Over an Inch in Four Days!!

Baby Uncurled
When Anika was born, an emergency c-section took place. She was breech and when the doctors attempted a version for the second time (version is flipping baby), she experienced distress because of her cord being around her neck.
As a result of being breech, she was curled up like a little ball for the first few days of her life. She was so tightly curled, in fact, that her length measurement was inaccurate.
After unfolding for 4 whole days, her official length changed from 17.75 inches to 19 inches!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Bliss

I had a rare and awesome opportunity last week to go to Rochester and spend time with my sister, her husband and new baby. My mom and I went on Wednesday morning (without Aaron or my children) and I stayed until Saturday evening. I loved being part of the first moments and days in Anika's life. I could completely sympathize with Anna and her recovery from her c-section (remember I had five of them!).

It is so amazing to watch first-time parents bond with their new little one. Anna and Kelly have great instincts as parents already. I am looking forward to many more visits and cuddles with the little pumpkin. (This totally gave me my "baby fix". It is so much fun to love on a newborn, but yet not be the one responsible for her.)

At the hospital, preparing to take her home. Unfortunately, Kelly had to be at work so my mom and I brought them home.

Anna and Anika...waiting to leave the hospital.

Super proud new daddy.

Aaron and the kids came to pick me up so that they could meet her too.

Did I mention that Anika already smiles? No joke. She smiles when she is fully alert and being talked to. I didn't know that was possible!

Micah wanted to "play with him". We need to work on his personal pronouns.

Taking a little nap...the morning after keeping her mom and dad up most of the night.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Anika Rose
6 lbs. 13 oz.
17.75 inches long
Daughter to Anna and Kelly
I am so thrilled that my sister had her baby yesterday!! I haven't seen her in person yet, but I have heard she is adorable (as expected). She has a natural love of sucking her thumb and seems to have had lots of practice at that skill.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am so thankful for our amazing health insurance. We have never taken it for granted and have made great use out of it over the last couple of weeks. Ellie was in with a bad reaction to poison ivy. Then last week Ellie and Glory both came down with strep throat. Add to that 3 visits to the chiropractor this past week for me because my back has been acting up.

And then there was this.

Maggie took a fall on Wednesday night after coming home from our church picnic. She somehow fell up the one step into the garage and made contact with the metal step on the door of the garage service door. There was a LOT of blood and just as many tears. (I am not sure who cried more...Maggie or Ellie and Caleb!) I am certain they were all quite freaked out by the blood.

We have been down the ER road before, so I grabbed her jammies and blanket (she was filthy from the beach and wearing a swimsuit with dirty and wet clothes over the top) and we headed to the hospital. She calmed down quickly and did not shed another tear at the hospital. (If you know Maggie, that is huge for her.)

4 stitches later and it was done! She commented on the way home that she "had fun at the doctor". I think she liked having two parents hovering over her with no other kids with. Oh, and it didn't hurt that they turned the t.v. on for her, gave her a blanket out of the warmer, and filled her hands with stickers on her way out the door.

Snapshots of Our Summer

Rachel and Ellie

Caleb and Calvin

Chubby baby Samantha (so squishy!)

Aaron's 35th Bday cupcakes

35th Bday cake

Annual Lakeside Fireplace church picnic

More picnic fun

Beautiful bride, Anna, and "the team"
Glory, Micah, Jenna, and Liz

The team

My beautiful sisters
Anna (pregnant) and Nora

Aren't they adorable??