Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Gavin who is ELEVEN YEARS OLD today! Hope your day is great & you get some cool stuff. Do you have big birthday plans?

I'm a toy Nazi

I can't stand chaos. Trying to look all over the house to find something that one of my kids has moved drives me batty. When we moved to this house and unpacked the playroom, I gave everything a special place. My thinking is that this way, the kids can easily find what they want to play with, & their toys will get more use. Unfortunately, since all my kids are so small, they're not the best at putting things where they belong. So unless I clean up all their toys after them, they get put in the wrong spot. Not to mention, when friends come over to play, they are kind enough to clean up after themselves, but they don't know where everything goes, so everything gets out of order.

So, for the last year that we've lived at this house, we've had to reorganize the playroom about six or seven times. This last time, i had ignored the problem for so long that there were no more toys in the cubbies, bins, or drawers, they had all just been piled into the playroom closet for so long that you had to climb a mini-mountain to find the what you wanted.

Yesterday, I finally found the time to re-organize (yet again). Everything was in such disarray, that the only way to go about this is by piling ALL of the toys in the middle of the room. So i sent the kids on a treasure hunt through the house, finding any stray toys that weren't already in the playroom. Next, we dumped out all of the bins and baskets and made a nice little mountain to sort through. One-by-one I had the kids put the toys in the correct spot. I also took this oportunity to throw away any broken toys, & to give-away any toys that don't get much use. The hardest part is sneaking the seldom-used-toys into the donate bag. If those kids catch anything going in there, they have a melt-down telling me all about how that toy that they never played with, is their favorite, most special toy in the whole world. Anyway, little by little, the mountain shrank, until the room was spotless!

After we had finished, I took all of the kids on a tour through their playroom & bedrooms & talked about where everything went. We even made it into a fun little game & did some role-playing where i pretended to be a friend who didn't know where to put things. Chris & I also decided that we were making a new rule that all the toys stay in the bedrooms & play room, AND they get put away as soon as the kids are finished w/them. If not.... the toys are confiscated.

Today, we introduced the new "clean house policy". Tomorrow I'll start enforcing it..... wonder how that's gonna work...

Chloe's Birthday Party!

Here are the pictures from Chloe's birthday party on Saturday. So much fun!!

Chris rented a bouncer for the kids to play in. That worked out well, because we had eight little friends with no other parents, but they all were happy to stay in the bouncer the whole time.



Even Evy was able to enjoy the bouncer.
...Sort of

Make a wish!
Gimme Five!

Six years old!
Evy finds the balloons

Chris had a blast playing "monster" with the kids.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

little stinkers!

Saturday, I noticed that the boys had been quiet for quite awhile, & i didn't know where they were. So I called them, and Gideon answered from his bedroom. they never close their doors. But that day it was closed. So i walked in & asked them what they were doing.

Gideon was standing by his bed and answered, "we were just... in our room....with the door closed."

So again, i asked what they were doing, just in case he didn't understand the first time.

"We just wanted to be in our room with the door closed."

About this time, I'm starting to smell chocolate. So i say "Are you eating something?"

"well, we...just..."

And now I notice that the smell is coming from the corner of the room where Zachary is standing with his back to me. So as I walk toward him, I ask in my mean mommy voice, "What are you eating???"

And I turn Zachary around.....




There he stood with a bag of chocolate in his hand.

"Are you eating chocolate??"

"well... you see...we..."

again, in my mean mommy voice, "Where did you get chocolate???

"well...you see..."

"Is this Chloe's candy?"

Turns out, the boys had gotten into a large bag of M&M's that Chloe had gotten for her b-day the night before. Luckily, i had the presence of mind to take that very cute picture before i disciplined them sternly for stealing Chloe's candy.

The next day, Sunday, as I was in a bit of a rush to get ready for church, Evelyn walked up to me with chocolate all over her face and hands. Apparently, some of the M&M's had spilled out of the bag the day before, and she had discovered them.

Shortly after cleaning her up, I walked into the kitchen to find Zachary looking just like he does in the above picture, except the mess on his face was white. so i go to the fridge to see what he's gotten into... Chloe's birthday cake. He had scraped off all of the icing and chunks of cake from the top and eaten it.

AND...just now as I'm writing this (while the kid are supposed to be getting into bed for naps) Zachary walked into my room all covered in white powder. He had pushed up a chair to my pantry cupboard, and helped himself to a bag of Pirate Booty (similar to cheese puffs), and spilled half of it on the floor. Sheesh! What's with these kids? :)

Remote-controlled pigeons

Here's an interesting article that i read on yahoo news. apparently some scientists have learned how to control pigeons' flight by stimulating different areas of their brains. I thought the last sentence in the article was rather humorous. :)

"[they] ...hoped that the technology could be put into practical use in future.
The report did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons. " Tee-hee

Monday, February 26, 2007

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Here's a picture* of me & Chris when we're old. :)

When I'm Sixty Four
The Beatles

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
You'll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride,
Doing the garden,
digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera ,Chuck & Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.


*This is a photo of a card by Avanti. Photo on the card is by Scott Dingman

If we really understood...

I just read something really neat in The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. It was really impacting to me, personally, so I thought I'd share it (please excuse the typos. It's a long passage):

Do you know, my friends, that the Spirit within you is very God? Oh that our eyes were opened to see the greatness of God's gift! Oh that we might realize the vastness of the resources secreted in our own hearts! I could shout with joy as I think, "The Spirit who dwells within me is not mere influence, but a living Person; he is very God. The infinite God is within my heart!" I am at a loss to convey to you the blessedness of this discovery, that the Holy Spirit dwelling within my heart is a Person. I can only repeat: "He is a Person!" and repeat it again: "He is a Person!" and repeat it yet again: "He is a person!" Oh my friends, I would fain repeat it to
you a hundred times -- The Spirit of God within me is a Person! I am only an earthen vessel, but in that earthen vessel, I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory.

All the worry and fret of God's children would end if their eyes were opened to see the greatness of the treasure hid in their hearts. Do you know, there are resources enough in your own heart to meet the demand of every circumstance in which you will ever find yourself? Do you know there is power enough there to move the city in which you live? Do you know there is power enough to shake the universe? Let me tell you once more - -I say it with the utmost reverence: You who have been born again of the Spirit of God -- you carry God in your heart!

All the flippancy of the children of God would cease too if they realized the greatness of the treasure deposited within them. If you have only ten shillings in your pocket you can march gaily along the street, talking lightly as you go, and swinging your stick in the air. It matters little if you lose your money, for there is not much at stake. But if you carry a thousand pounds in your pocket, the position is vastly different, and your whole demeanor will be different too. There will be great gladness in your heart, but no careless jaunting along the road; and once in a while you will slacken your pace and slipping your hand into your pocket , you will quietly finger your treasure again, and then with joyful solemnity continue on your way.

In the Old Testament times there were hundreds of tents in the camp of Israel, but there was one tent quite different from all the rest. In the common tents you could do just as you please -- eat or fast, work or rest, be joyful or sober, noisy or silent. But that other tent was a tent that commanded reverence and awe. You might move in an d out of the common tents talking noisily and laughing gaily, but as soon as you neared that special tent you instinctively walked more quietly, and when you stood right before it you bowed your head in solemn silence. No one could touch it with impunity. If man or beast dared to do so, death was the sure penalty. What was so very special about it? It was the temple of the living God. There was little unusual about the tent itself, for it was outwardly of very ordinary material, but the great God had chosen to make it his abode.

Do you realize what happened at your conversion? God came into your heart and made it his temple. In Solomon's days God dwelt in a temple made of stone: today he dwells in a temple composed of living believers. When we really see that God has made our hearts his dwelling-place, what a deep reverence will come over our lives! All lightness, all frivolity will end, and all self-pleasing too, when we know that we are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within us. Has it really come home to you that wherever you go you carry with you the Holy Spirit of God? You do not just carry your Bible with you, or even much good teaching about God, but God himself.


tickle time!

This is Chris & Zachary wrestling. This is Chris's favorite thing to do with the kids. :)


Zachary has defeated the Giant!



birthday weekend

What a *fun* weekend we had! We took Chloe to Chuckie Cheese's on Friday night. It was great. Zachy says, "Tuckie Teese's are da best! right, Mom?"

Then Saturday, we had a party for Chloe w/all of her friends. --Very nice.

I took TONS of pictures. I'll post some of them one I have time to get them downloaded.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thirty Nine Years

Happy Birthday to Guy! :) --I don't know if you read this or not, but just incase you do... i thought let you know that we're thinking of you, & wish you a very happy birthday. :)

Birds

I took some fun pictures of our neighborhood birds yesterday. You can click on them to see them enlarged. --Thought Dad would especially like them. What kind are they?

I took this one from across the street. You could see his blue feathers standing out in the middle of a huge green bush. I'm surprised how clear the photo turned out since i was so far away.


While I was getting Mr. Blue Bird, this hawk was soaring above. I took tons of pics, but these are the only ones that came out somewhat clear. It's pretty neat to me, how clear you can see him in the photo, because from the ground, he was just a black blob. I think the 2nd one is especially cool cuz I got him when he was shrieking. :)


Friday, February 23, 2007

Chloe's Thoughts on Getting Older


I had a talk with Chloe last night, about her birthday:

"Chloe, this is your last day as a five year old. It's so sad."
"It's okay, Mommy, one of your other kids will be five soon."
"But you will never be five again."
"Well, I'll be just the same when I'm six --except maybe a little more whiney about my brother helping me clean...Gid-e-ON!"

I'm so glad my daughter is growing up. ;)

My Little Flower Blossom

Chloe turns SIX today!!!

Five Years Old

Four years old

Three Years Old

Two Years Old

One Year Old

Newborn

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Favorite Parenting/Educating Books

Since I homeschool, these 2 groups go hand-in-hand. There are also some good ones on my biographies page, that have been inspirational to me as a mom:

  • The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo. I *love* Lou Priolo. Heard him speak at a homeschool convention in July '07. He has a passion for the life-changing power of scripture, that catches. This book is for all parents --not just the one's with angry children . :)
  • Born For Such a Time as This by Daphne Kirk It's my new favorite for parents or children's ministers. I think that every Believer who has any contact with children should read this book.
  • Don't Make Me Count to Three! by Ginger Plowman "A Mom's look at Heart-oriented discipline" One of my favorites. Teaches parents how to guide children according to what's in their hearts, instead of just correcting their behavior; and explains how to use God's Word to teach your children. Very practical. Easy Read.
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp My "bible" for basic child-rearing/discipline.
  • Anything Love And Logic. Heather gave me CD's to listen to, so I don't know what the books are called, or who writes them, but I'd highly recommend anything by them. Wonderful advice for practical (logical & loving) discipline. Teaches kids to think for themselves & be problem solvers.
  • Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner Personal Discoveries of a Mother of Twelve by Jaroldeen Edwards full of encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom for mothers.
  • 52 Simple Ways to Teach Your Child to Pray by Roberta Hromas The title is self-explanatory. :)
  • Start Smart! by Pam Schiller Another one from Heather. Interesting book on child-development. The cover says "Building Brain Power in the Early Years."
  • The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Children Great book for practical health issues w/your kids.
  • Let's Grow! by Daphne Kirk A excellent workbook for discipling children through the foundations of faith.
  • Rivers of Grace by Mark and Patti Virkler "Raising children by the Spirit rather than the law"
  • 100 Ways to Teach Your Child About God By Karen Henley

Favorite Chapter Books for Kids

I'm just entering the world of kids' chapter books. Here are some that I've really enjoyed. What are your favorites, and why?

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis what can I say? A classic must-read.
  • Dolphin Adventure by Wayne Grover A true story of how a family of dolphins sought a man's help to save their baby's life.
  • My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett A fun and silly adventure story.
  • James Harriot's Treasury for Children by James Harriot True stories from Dr. Harriot's life as a veterinarian
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting We just finished this one. What a fun adventure story! And here's an interesting piece of trivia: Mr. Lofting wrote these stories when he was lieutenant in WWI. He was writing letters to his children, & knew that news from the front wasn't appropriate for them, so his letters became the story of Doctor Dolittle.
  • In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson True stories stories from a grandmother's childhood.

My Favorite Picture Books

Here's a list of my favorite books for young kids (in no particular order). I'll put a link to this post on the side of the page and add to it as I find more that I like. Please tell me what your favorites are, too!

  • The Squire and the Scroll by Jennie Bishop (elementary age) similar to "The Princess and the Kiss", but for boys. --and I like this one better because it has more depth. :) A parable about a young squire who survives many trials by keeping to the words of the scroll. "A tale of the rewards of a pure heart."
  • The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop (elementraty age) The story of a little girl who is given a precious gift (a kiss) from her parents, when she is born, and how she grows up and has to choose which, of many suitors should be the one to receive her kiss. A sweet story that teaches girls the value of their purity.
  • God's Wisdom for Little Girls and God's Wisdom for Little Boys by Elizabeth George (elementary age) The girl's book is Proverbs 31 explained in simple language, and the boy's book is the same, except it uses different verses from Proverbs. A great character-building book
  • The True Princess by Angela Elwell Hunt (elementary age) A parable that teaches girls that it's the heart that matters. "It is love that marks a true daughter of the king."
  • Mama Love by Kathy Mallat (preschool to younger elementary) a book about the love of a mother. Don't much care for the illustrations (it's a monkey & her baby) but love the words: "My mama loves me. I'm the twinkle in her eye, her heart's pitter-patter, her star in the sky. My mama loves me. I'm her absolute delight. She guides me and protects me through each day and night...I love my mama. She is everything to me, the rays of my sunshine, the roots of my tree. I love my mama. She's the twinkle in my eye, my heart's pitter-patter...my star in the sky." so sweet!!!
  • Too Many Frogs! by Sandy Asher hate the illustrations. love the story.
  • Alice the Fairy by David Shannon "One time my mom made cookies for my dad. So I turned them into mine."* David Shannon also wrote the "David" books, and A Bad Case of the Stripes. I love his illustrations.
  • Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill (preschool) "Sometimes I like to scream ever so loud, Not that I'm cross, I just like how it sounds"
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems A Caldecott Honor Book. "I'll be your best friend! How 'bout I give you five bucks? What's the big deal!? It's just a bus!!! No fair! I bet your mom would let me. I have dreams you know! "
  • One, Two, Three by Sandra Boynton (preschool) "Six is fun for running a race. (Except for the one who gets Sixth Place)"
  • Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton (preschool) "Three singing pigs say LA LA LA!" Another good one by Sandra Boynton: Blue Hat, Green Hat
  • People by Peter Spier (Elementary) All about different people in the world, & how great it is that everyone is different
  • Alexander and the terrible, Horrible, No Good ,Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (elementary) "I hope the next time you get a double-decker strawberry ice-cream cone the ice cream part falls off the cone part and lands in Australia."
  • Olivia By Ian Falconer --She's just like Chloe!
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes I believe he also wrote Owen ,which is also a fun book.
  • Where is Jesus? By Alan & Linda Parry A good book about how Jesus is always with us.
  • The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book by Bob Hartman Folk tales from around the world. Very fun.
  • The Little mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR By Don & Audrey Wood (preschool) fun & clever --& Don Wood is an amazing illustrator. I'd buy any book that he illustrates, just because I like the pictures. :)

*A funny story about that line: After reading this story a few times, Gideon thought that sounded like a pretty good trick. So he kept taking Chloe's things and "turning them into his." So I had to take him aside & have a talk about how "turning something into yours" really means you're stealing it.

Our house

The last time we moved, some of you asked to see photos of our new house. Well, I've finally gotten around to taking some picures. Here it is...

Just Kidding. :) This is actually the view from our backyard. It's always so beautiful to watch the sunset on that fancy house on the hill, with all of the palm trees making a beautiful sillouette.
And, it's pretty cool that I've got such a great zoom lens on my camera. If you click on that first picture to enlarge it, you can actually look in their 1st floor window & see someone standing in there. heh, heh. >:) (or maybe it's just a shadow. but it's fun anyway.)
Here's another view from our house. This one is from our front yard.

Some day I will try to get around to taking pictures of our actual house, & then I'll share them, too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So Sad....

I met my friend, Angie, about 7 or 8 years ago when she had 3 kids: 2 girls and a boy. Her next baby (another girl) was born just three weeks after Chloe. Shortly after, husband scheduled a vasectomy, but canceled it at the last minute. A few years later, Angie gave birth to their fifth child: another baby girl. Again, her husband was going to get a vasectomy, but they decided to try one last time for another boy.

Last week, Angie gave birth at home to her sixth child: a baby boy. I called her this morning to see how she and the baby were doing, and she told me that he's in the hospital. Apparently, his intestines were twisted, so he wasn't able to digest the food he was eating, and they had to do surgery on him. When they were inside, they saw that many of his organs are in the wrong place. (his appendix was underneath his arm, on the opposite side that it should be, so they removed it.) He's doing better now, but he will have to recover for 3 weeks in the ICU.

I'm just heartbroken for this family. They've waited so long for this precious baby boy, and this great, great joy of their life has become so sad.... Anyway... I'd just like to ask you guys to pray for this family as God puts them on your heart.

My Mighty Warrior

Monster Face!


All my kids love to have their pictures taken. --All of them except Gideon. These pictures are special to me, because it's one of the few times I've been able to get a good close-ups of him. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wheeeere's Evy?

Here's another one of Evy playing peek-a-boo. --Can't you tell that she's hiding??

A chat with Evelyn




My Evaline
by Weezer
My Evaline
Say you'll be mine
Won't you come and let me whisper in your ear
Way down yonder in the old corn field
For you
I've pined
Sweeter than the honey
To the honey bee
I love you
Say you love me
Meet me in the shade
Of the old apple tree
Eva-Iva-Ova-Evaline

Monday, February 19, 2007

What's your theme song?

If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Mine would be "He Will Make a Way" by Kathy Troccoli

I know that you’re discouraged
But you’re not alone
There is absolutely no situation
Out of His control
One door may close
Another will open
Jesus is healer of all that is broken

Chorus:
He will make a way
Where there is no way
He will bring His peace
Where there is no peace
Watch Him put together
What’s been torn apart
He can soften up the most
Hardened of hearts
He will make a way
Where there is no way

Don’t you go believin’ lies
He’s not forgotten you
There’s gonna be another
Higher, greater place
He will take you to
Watch Him move mountains
Ride you through the waves
He can deliver in the darkest of days

Repeat chorus
There is no war
He doesn’t win
When you’re at your end
He’s just beginning
He will make a way
Where there is no way
Our only hope is in Him
No matter what this life can bring
Jesus stands alone
As the God of impossible things

Repeat chorus
Watch Him move mountains
Ride you through the waves
He can deliver in the darkest of days

Repeat chorus

And for the action parts of my life, where the music can't have words, the music would be the theme song to Mission Impossible. (A wink to Glenna ;-) )

Tough Guy

Zachary Shows off his big muscles and makes his mean face.

There's a kickboxing gym next door to Chloe's ballet studio. We like to stop there and watch the men box as we walk back to the car. I always enjoy watching the kids pretend to box and look tough as they watch through the window.

She's Growing Up

Chloe turns six this Friday! I got tired of brushing out all the tangles in her very long hair, so I took her to get a "six-year-old haircut" the other day. It was very exciting. And Ashleigh, my hairstylist was so sweet to give Chloe a fun little "up-do" when she was done.

Sunday, February 18, 2007