Monday, January 31, 2011


Travis is 2 months old. 
He was baptized on his 2 month birthday. The text was Psalm 103.  Anyway, at his 2 month checkup, he weighed 13.5 lbs and measured at 24 inches long.  My little boy is big and growing quite well.  He is still a champion sleeper and has been cooing and gracing us with cute little smiles--real ones now.  As of right now, it still looks like he is going to have brown eyes and his hair may be darker than the other kids--though that does remain to be seen.  He is doing well all around and the other kids are really starting to enjoy him more, now that he is responding a bit.


..was all it took to change the back of our kitchen cabinet--that was unfinished and yucky-looking--into a chalkboard.  My idea, that Mike carried out.  We actually did this back in November, but I'm finally putting up the pictures.
We had some scrap wood lying around in the basement, which Mike used to trim out the sides and stabilize the center.  The can of chalkboard spray paint was $4.00.  It was a win-win.  We got a cleaned up cabinet and the kids got something to play on! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Do You Socialize Your Children?

Too funny.
Thanks for sharing, Aunt Dar


We knew this had to be done when we moved in.
And now the time has come.
Wet sheetrock does not make for nice tile.
 Mike started this project last night.

I'm thankful to have children that sleep soundly.
Is that genetic?  
As kids, we slept through heavy construction, late-night cleaning, even fire alarms.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Today I drove a minivan.
(There, I said it.)

Tomorrow, hopefully we're back to our normal vehicle--its getting a tune-up.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I don't know about you, but I haven't made a New Year's Resolution..probably ever.  If I did, I probably didn't keep them.  I read the following and thought it would be fun to try some.

This is from Focus on the Family's magazine, "Thriving Family," in the January/February issue.  I thought some of these resolutions were worthwhile enough to share.  The article is called "50 Guilt-Free Resolutions." 

"If you're anything like us, you've finally crossed off your remaining New Year's resolutions from last year--because you admit you'll never do it.  But this year, don't reach for the impossible; set the bar lower.  Try our guilt-free resolutions to get your family off to a good start.
We've listed 50 family-friendly ideas, but don't get overly ambitious.  Pick only a few.  Or just one.  After all, the goal is not to check off resolutions, but to enrich and enliven your family life.

1.  Put notes of encouragement in your children's lunch bags. 
2.  Write your previous New Year's resolutions on toilet paper.  Have your family do the same.  Host a 'flush away party.' 
3.  Take a family walk around the block...backward. 
4.  Have an after-Christmas thank-you note party.  Everyone in the family can pitch in to get all those notes done in one fell swoop.  Prepare hot apple cider.  
5.  Camp overnight in your living room.  Have a pillow fight. 
6.  Switch places at the dinner table.  
7.  Stop uploading each other on YouTube without permission.
8.  Build a family fort using only cardboard and duct tape.
9.  Clean the garage.  The goal?  Broom hockey!  Tape up the floor, pass out the brooms and toss in a tennis ball.  Score!
10.  Have a "family memory night."  Everyone gets to share his or her funniest memories and best family moments. 
11.  Create your own family holiday.  Set a specific date.  Invite each family member to help with planning a unique celebration.
12.  Avoid unintended science experiments.  Clean out the minivan together.
13.  During family TV night, press the mute button.  Make up your own dialogue.  The wackier, the better.
14.  Once a week, leave an 'I love you' note in a family member's shoe.
15.  Eat your way through the alphabet.  A is for aebleskiver; B is for baklava; C is for calamari.  Get creative...and adventuresome!
16. On the way to school, ask your kids, 'What is one thing you're looking forward to today?'  After school, ask them, 'What was the best thing that happened to you today?'
17.  Leave the Monopoly game set up until someone actually wins.
18.  Start a prayer jar.  Each family member can write prayers or draw prayer pictures and leave them in the jar.  At year's end, look through the prayers together and talk about God's faithfulness.
19.  Give something away every month this year.  Be looking for the needs of friends and how their needs may overlap with what you own.  Give freely.
20.  When your child shares something with you, stop what you're doing and look him in the eyes.  Ask a follow-up question.
21.  Say 'I love you' to your spouse at the start of each day.
22.  Get to know your kids' friends.  Have a 'friends dinner' once a month.  Let each child invite a guest.
23.  Learn how to say 'I love you' in a different language.
24.  Have a different family member call Grandma every week.
25.  Have everyone in the family take turns telling the 'joke for the day.' 
26.  Stop communicating in only 140 characters or less.
27.  Choose someone from a news story--a starving child in Sudan or a captive in a foreign country--and pray for him.
28.  Keep a running list of things your family is thankful for.  Post it on the refrigerator door.
29.  Fill a jar with ideas for 'fun things to do,' and draw one idea each week.
30.  Have a family 'read and feed.'  Provide favorite snacks, pillows, blankets and a great book to read together.
31.  Put all your Christmas cards into a pile.  Draw one card a week and pray for that family.
32.  Mac and cheese by candlelight?  Why not!  Share a special, formal dinner with your family.  Put on Strauss, dress in  your Sunday best, and set out Grandma's china.  
33.  Make a point of noticing the positives in your spouse and children.  Let them know what you see.
34.  Make a list of 12 parks in the city.  Picnic at one each month.
35.  Choose a 'family song.'  Whenever it plays, the whole family has to come into the room and dance.  Even if they're in their jammies.
36.  Create a family 'quote board.'  Whenever someone says something funny or strange, post it on the board for everyone to see.
37.  Once a month, go on a completely new family adventure.  Ride your bikes to an ice-cream shop, take in a community theater play, or sleep under the stars.
38.  Break the routine once in a while.  Eat ice cream for breakfast and cereal for dinner.
39.  Pick a night of the week to be 'No-Screen Night.'  Turn off all computers and televisions to do something fun as a family.
40.  Make pizza together.  Everyone chooses his or her own topping.
41.  Write a love letter to your spouse.  Sign your pet name.
42.  Research New Year's traditions from the countries of your heritage.  Pass them on to your family.
43.  Make every Sunday night a 'compliment night.'  Kind words can be shared verbally or left under a pillow.
44.  This year, skip at least two events that you planned on attending.   Put on your pajamas, and watch a movie together.
45.  Pray a blessing over your child each morning.
46.  Once a month, invite a family over for dinner on the spur of the moment.  The house will be messy, the food will be delivered, and the evening will be fantastic!
47.  Play every family game in your closet.
48.  Make the start of the week a bit easier with 'Messy Mondays.'   Give your family a 'pass' on making their beds and picking up their rooms.
49.  Celebrate the little stuff.  Hang banners for goal scorers and shoe-tying experts.  Honor tooth losers by serving pudding for dessert.
50.  Resolve not to make any more New Year's resolutions!


Thursday, January 20, 2011


 I guess there is a monkey in every bunch.  
Rian is such a monkey.  She climbs on EVERYTHING!!  Like tables that she is not supposed to be on top of..not to mention climbing into containers that are a little snug for her behind.  :) 
(I was helping Michael with a project for a few minutes if you were wondering where I was)  
So this is how I found her this afternoon--stuck in a container, on top of a table.  
It was pretty funny.   

Not that she thought so.


So, awhile back I promised I would share about my waterbirth experience.  I have a picture of the tub on my camera..but alas!!  We figured out that the memory card I have is not compatible with this computer and I'm unable to scan at the present there it stays.  Anway, I was searching for pictures of tubs used in waterbirth..maybe even the one I used at the hospital, and I had to laugh.  All of the captions regarding waterbirth say things like, "natural, gentle, pain-reducing, serene.." You get the picture.  They make it sound like it will be all flowers and sunshine. 


Giving birth is painful.  To the extreme.

I've heard say something to the effect that-- Childbirth is the pain most easily forgotten.  I have to disagree.  Can any of you Moms out there honestly say you've FORGOTTEN that pain??!!  I certainly haven't.  But I can say it was all worth it.  Children are a blessing.

Waterbirth did not change the pain aspect.  It didn't feel any less painful.  The benefit I found was in the ability to move around.  (Not that I did--I pretty much clamped in one spot), but I actually was in a position I "wanted" to be in though--NOT strapped to a bed or hindered by monitors etc.  Supposedly, waterbirth is better for the baby--coming from water into water..and supposedly birthing in water is more conducive to stretching your body.  It was also "nice" that I was able to catch Travis as he surfaced.  That was pretty awesome.  He came out and the midwife gave him a gentle push and I was able to catch him.  Another benefit was that I didn't have to give him up right away--the water was warm enough that we sat there for a little while and he had his first "bath."  It was more "relaxing" afterwards for me as opposed to being on a bed.

Now, a definite drawback--in that "bath" was disgusting (!!!!) water--I'm sure you can imagine without my going into detail what was in that water that Travis and I were sitting in.  GROSS!!  It was like sitting in a big, dirty toilet and some.  TMI?  Sorry.  That really was the only drawback in my book.  Would I do it again?  Probably, if I had the option.  And that concludes my thoughts at this time.  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It has been on my mind for quite some time, but now that we're "down to the wire" so to speak, its time for decision making.  Yes, it is Kindergarten registration time.

Options?  Public School.  Private Christian School.  Homeschool. 

While this decision may be easy for some of you, let me assure you, it is nowhere near easy for us.  I personally have pretty much done it all--I attended public elementary and high school, I was homeschooled for "middle school" with a Christian curriculum, I attended a private university, and taught at a Christian school..I also had different teaching experiences in various urban and suburban schools while in college.

I think at this point, we've eliminated public school--though it would be the "easiest" route for us to go.  Transportation provided, close enough to home, we already pay taxes..etc.  But easiest is not always best. (side note, if Michael does need more help with speech by the end of the year--public schools have the most resources available and he may end up there for that reason).  I have nothing "against" public schools in general, by the way.

That brings us to our next option.  Christian school.  In our area, there is no local Christian school.  The school I used to teach at does not provide busing.  The other one we would consider, has busing but they may not come out as far as our area.  And there is no way I could in good conscience put my children on a bus for 3 hours a day to go to yet a different school.  Plus, there is a good chunk of change that needs to be considered with private education.  At this point in time, that is not even a possibility we can entertain.  Also, while Christian school is preferrable over public school, it needs to be said that EVERY school has its issues and its group of kids--we all know the ones.  No institution of education is without its drawbacks and flaws.

Finally, homeschooling.  I must say that I never really thought I would even be entertaining the thought.  But here we are.  Entertaining and even leaning towards homeschooling.  Think about it, having your children gone 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 13 years!!  That is a significant amount of time!!  I also have a degree that is pretty much not being used at the present time. : /
Homeschooling is very family oriented, the kids won't be exposed (prematurely) to things that they may be exposed to in a traditional school setting, it is very flexible.  They will get individual attention and life skills.  There are so many resources and groups/co-ops available nowadays to homeschoolers and studies show that homeschoolers are generally ahead of the game.

That said, I personally know of several "homeschool horror stories."  Kids who are socially, emotionally, educationally crippled by their homeschool experience.  I don't think that is too strong of a statement to make.  Also, imagine having the kids 24/7...for as long as you can imagine.  No breaks.  Hmm...

To counter that--it is a huge responsibility and a lot of work--but then it IS my responsibility and my work.  God gave us these children to raise--not for the teachers down the street to raise--and we are ultimately responsible for their well-being and education.  Thats a tough one to argue against.  ;)

I could go on and on about this topic..but I won't.  For now.  Instead, I'd like your opinions.

We have not made any final decisions I would like your feedback.  What do you think?  Arguments for or against any or all forms of education??  Personal experiences??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


**Note, there is what looks to be French captions on some of the pictures, I do not speak or read or understand the if it is something offensive..please let me know. The video contains cute and funny dog pics otherwise.

You may have noticed this song in our playlist.
It does not seem to fit our profile. And no, it is not our typical listening material. So, you say, how and why??

Michael came home from school one day in the beginning of this school year and said, hey mom guess what...and he proceeded to sing this song (well, the chorus of this song) over and over and over and over again...

He learned it in MUSIC CLASS!! my day this is NOT what we learned in music class. You? But that is a whole separate issue we could hash over.

To this day, he still bursts out with "who let the dogs out" at random intervals, so I found it and added it to our playlist for him.

Here ya go, Michael!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


 Michael's pop-gun met with an unfortunate accident and the barrel broke.  So, last week Mike took Michael down to the basement for some "man-time."  I was not present, but the report was that Michael (with instruction of course) fixed his gun himself.
Showing off his newly fixed--modified--sawed off pop-gun.

Good job, Michael!

Its so important for boys to spend time with Dad..
there are certain things that just aren't the same coming from a Mom or female figure.


Last week we had an opportunity to visit with Opoe.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


How did this get in my house?!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


One of those days.
We all have them.
Things are going along and suddenly everything comes crashing down around you..sometimes literally (especially with 4 kids!) 

It is a sure reminder, that even though we think we have everything under control--we are in NO WAY in control. 
And thanks be to God for that!!

We all need a little bit (or a LOT) of perspective.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothes you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:25-34

Lets stop and just breathe.
And thank God for that breath..
He knows just what we need and when we need it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


"A Girl's Guide to Life," by Katie Meier, is just what it sounds like--a two hundred plus page guide for tween/teen girls on a variety of subjects.  She touches on issues such as self-esteem, romance, beauty, fashion, family, religion, peer pressure, and much more.
Meier writes in a plain, down-to-earth, rather light-hearted style which makes it an easy read.  The sections are well divided so that one could even use the "Girl's Guide" as a reference book.  Each section points out myths that teen girls often believe and counters them with facts.
Meier focuses throughout much of the book on strengthening one's mind, body, and soul, to become the person one desires to be.  While this is technically a "Christian" book, it could just as easily be found in the general teen advice section--Scripture references and teachings are not many.  
As a mom, keeping my young daughters in mind, "The Girl's Guide to Life" would not be the first book I would pick up to give them when they are looking for information.  I understand that Meier is writing to teens, but her language, while easy to read, makes it hard for me to take her seriously.  And she does touch on some serious issues.  I think a bit more gravity would have gone a long way.  Her advice also tends to lean too much to the liberal side for my liking.  That said, I do like the fact that the author touches on some more "modern" issues not found in some other books of the genre--cyberspace etiquette and eating disorders, for example.
All in all, "The Girl's Guide to Life" is a fairly light-hearted advice book for teen girls, touching on a variety of topics with a focus on find and being true to oneself.  

This book was a complimentary copy provided the publisher through BookSneeze (  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Today, Travis is 6 weeks old.
Last night he slept for his longest stretch yet--8 hours!
What a good boy!!
He still has quite an appetite..but we finally found a pacifier he will take so I'm not a human pacifier so much anymore..and it frees up quite a bit of time.

We don't go to the doctor yet for another couple of weeks so I don't have any stats..but we can certainly say he is growing!  Some of the smaller outfits/onesies are already too snug to wear.  
It looks like he is going to have brown eyes like Rian (and myself)..

So, birthing with a midwife.  Just a few comments.
It was quite different from having a doctor.
She was around at regular intervals just to check in..
and she didn't rush off, she would stay and "chat."
I had options.
I like having options.

Also,( maybe because I had male doctors previously, I don't know) 
she knew where I was coming from and what I was opposed to and why (episiotomy for example).
She also was more "involved." 
The "doctor births" I've had, have pretty much been nurses and then at the last minute the doctor comes in and delivers.  There is relatively no interaction.  Furthermore, the doctor (I had the same covering doc for both Michael and Rian) just did what HE thought was best without a word of warning or asking what I wanted...
not cool.

Anyway, I haven't decided whether or not I'm sticking with the midwives or not.  
What have your experiences, pros/cons been with either doctors or midwives??


Happy New Year!!

If you've never had are SO missing out.
Make it your resolution in this new year to try it. ;)
Coconut Creme Pie
compliments of Uncle David & Opoe..