Wednesday, May 23, 2012


(attempt #2, as I just lost nearly half the  post I started)

 I have been feeling the urge to blog these past couple of days.
However, nothing really pressing to document. 
 So, I'm just going to make it a rather miscellaneous post.

1.  This past weekend, we attended ENOCH (NJ Homeschool Convention) for the second year.  
I wasn't overly thrilled with the speakers/workshops this year--just nothing that really jumped out at me as something I felt I HAD to attend.  As a matter of fact, we got a late start on Friday combined with tons of traffic on the way down, so we missed the first two workshops on Friday afternoon.  The keynote on Friday night, was un-inspiring (for me).  Maybe because I couldn't understand the relevancy or even hear half of what she said??  Anyway, on Saturday I think we only heard two speakers...kinda because we intentionally/unintentionally followed them around.  Mike Smith, the president of the HSLDA, did a great keynote speech on Saturday morning.  Mark Hamby, of Lamplighter Theater/press, did an awesome one that afternoon..I kind of wish I had ordered some of the recordings "to go."  
This year's convention was also different in that we hit up the Used Curriculum Sale!  This past year, I used a boxed curriculum, so I didn't really have need of anything else, so we didn't shop it last year.  We got a pretty large stack of books (QUIET YOU! You can't have too many books! even if I have nowhere to put them--bookshelves needed!!!!) mostly literature selections and a couple of supplementary materials for roughly $30.  
It was definitely worth it.
Friday night, I had a pretty bad headache, but Mike had made reservations for a pre-birthday celebratory dinner so out we went.   We went to Benihana's (did I spell that right?).  The food was really good and there was a LOT of it!!  We ordered a meal to share and Mike ended up eating about half of my dinner anyway.  One downside to hibachi, is the "random" dinner companions...and we'll leave it at that.
 It was nice to get away, even briefly and even though it was a packed two days.

2.  We are in the process of winding down this school year.  We have about 2 weeks remaining.  Yes, I am taking a summer break.  We will of course be reading together and I'll do a Bible "lesson" of some kind with them every morning..but nothing official.  This school year, I used a "boxed" curriculum.  It worked.  However, come September is a whole different ballgame.  Mishmash!   
Saxon Math, The Story of the World, Shurley Grammar..just to name a few.
One thing I did not find to my satisfaction, was a Bible curriculum. 
As long as we stick with it, come next September, Lord willing, I hope to use the Veritas Press Bible Curriculum.  I was leaning towards the ACSI Bible Curriculum for this coming Fall, but on reflection, I have several resources already plus I was really, really hoping that there would be a sample at the convention (and there wasn't!) so, we'll work with what we have.  With a little bundle due to arrive soon after the school year starts, why complicate things more?  Right?

Below is a picture of Michael with a bunch of objects that he found to equal what his weight would be on the moon.  (I forget what the number is now, this was taken a few months ago.)

3.  We've made it to the second trimester.  I have my next appointment coming up in a couple of weeks.  Looking forward to feeling consistent movement really soon!  Did you know that when pregnant, I get a superpower? extra sensitive sense of smell.  Fairly common, but boy oh boy!  This has been with all the kids.  I remember when we were expecting Michael, taking a walk in the town we were living in and we walked into one little shop... I had to turn right around.  I could NOT go in there without gagging.  Needless to say, we left.  That is something that is just hanging on this time--I usually experience fairly mild morning (ahem! all-day) sickness early on with a super-super-hyper-active gag reflex.  Think, brushing my teeth is torturous.  In the past it has gone away by now.  Well, not with this one.  I don't have "morning sickness" anymore, but that gagging at random things..yeah.  It is staying nice and close.  I guess if that is the only thing I have to complain about, we're doing pretty well!  Praise God!

Someone is excited about a new little baby!

4.  I see some growth in the garden.  It is quite exciting!  Since it has been so rainy, I still haven't been able to plant the three remaining veggies..but I'm hoping to get to that this weekend.  The tomatoes have definitely grown, the onions also look to be going somewhere and I noticed shoots coming from the cantaloupe hills!  It has been nice not having to water daily..but a few days of consistent sunshine would be pleasant as well.  

5.  Our VBS (vacation bible school) is scheduled for early July.  I'm teaching the Pre-K/K class.  Should be fun.  I'm looking forward to it.  One of the things I miss about teaching in a classroom setting, is the different viewpoints and ideas of each student.  Not that my kiddies don't have different ideas..cause they do!  But, well, I think you know what I mean.  

6.  My birthday is in 4 days.  
It is much more exciting to celebrate the kids.

7.  Little Boogie is 18 months old today.  Did you know that this will be the biggest gap we've had between kiddies?  He is such a character.  He is also the most attached to me of all the kids.  Michael never had separation issues.  He was a perfect baby.  I kid you not.  You've never met a better baby than Michael was.   The girls both had separation anxiety in the extreme, so much so that they were dubbed, "Screama" and "Cryin' Rian."  Once they started walking though, there were no more problems.  This little bugger, while not so extreme in his screaming etc., is still very much attached.  Less than six months, buddy!

8.  I have vegetable soup in the crock pot.  It smells yummy.  I hope it tastes yummy too.  I used a new recipe that I tweaked a bit.  We shall see. 
Any suggestions or recipes on some good meals to freeze?  Couple new babies coming in the family, plus my own, and I know it was just so thoughtful and helpful when people would provide a meal for us after the babies arrived. 

9.  I've been having troubles with one of my children in particular.  This child shall remain nameless.
It is daily, several times daily, and it seems like no matter what method of love/discipline/speaking to etc. we falls on deaf ears.  Yes, there is remorse after the fact..but the same thing can happen again even minutes after the first time!  Trying to force an issue is usually a dead end.  This child will just shut down.  And yet, to leave this child go on in this path is not an option either.  It is like adolescence..but we haven't even hit double digits yet!  Any of you have similar experiences?  If so, what have you tried?  Besides lots and lots of patience and prayer(!!)  Did anything work?

10.  I'm excited for Bean's upcoming dance recital.  She really loves dancing.
This is from picture day!

With that, I'll leave you.
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I realize that this is a very poor picture.
However, look past that.
Do you see what I see?


There is hope!

I just felt the need to document these curls since Mister has not had his first haircut yet and they may just disappear.

Rian and Michael have hair that is as straight as straight can be...Carina's can no longer be called straight.  It used to be, but after her first cut it started to get wavy.  My November babies are pulling through..we'll have to see what #5 has in store for us.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Wasn't this past Saturday beautiful?
Sunny and 80 degrees.
We spent the majority of the day outside..from a 9am T-ball game until about 7pm that night.
Lunch and dinner were both outside.

After talking about it for a few years and even a run through in tilling last year, we finally have a garden.  I still have a couple of things to plant.  It was recommended that we wait on the last couple of veggies because it was still rather cold overnight.

Saturday, right from T-ball we headed over to the rental station to pick up a tiller.

Our plot.
We have so many trees around it was difficult to decide on a spot.
We didn't want to put it smack in the middle of the yard..because that is for playing in!
So, this spot gets about 6-8 hours of sun a day.
Hopefully, it will give us a good crop and if it all goes well, maybe we'll even expand it in the future.

Rock picking was a family affair.
Even Travis helped (and enjoyed helping!) but I missed getting any pictures of him.
I guess he was napping at that point.

Ha ha!  Even the little ones count!

The kids really did help quite a bit.
So much so, that Daddy decided to treat them to a milkshake that afternoon.
You can see some progress below.
Those lettuce plants had been sitting outside for a couple of weeks and nothing touched them..
so, I have high hopes....

Almost complete.
We got lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cantaloupe, carrots and rutabega all in that day.
Still have cucumbers, squash and zucchini to go once this rain stops.
Yes, we did put up a fence..Mike was adamant about it.
I guess it does make sense..I can just see the kids and/or dog running through it to get a ball or something..not the prettiest thing, but practical.

Plus side is that we haven't had to water it!! 

We'd like to maybe do corn, watermelon and sweet potatoes in the future.
What do you plant in your garden?
Any handy tips you can pass along?

Monday, May 14, 2012


Good Morning!
I hope all you Mothers, Grandmothers, Mothers-to-be out there had a relaxing and joy filled 
Mother's Day.

I had a nice nap and a wonderfully prepared lunch complete with a homemade card.

What I also had was a huge surprise when it was announced OFF THE PULPIT that we were expecting!

Now, I do assume that permission was asked before the announcement, but *ahem* next time, Pastor--ask the right one!  Mike has been chomping at the bit to tell everyone and anyone..where I'm not so forth-coming.  Not that I'm not excited, but it adds a whole new dimension to interactions.  Ya know, every five seconds someone asks how you are feeling and you get asked 35x a day when the due date is and don't get me started on belly touching.


I realize that all of these people are well-meaning and for the most part genuinely interested.  I get it.  I actually do appreciate it.  And I even do the same (except the touching part..I will never touch you OR your baby once born, without permission.) But..whatever, blame it on the hormones, it gets to me after awhile and I just long for that pre-pregnancy anonymity.

So, I guess I can't really wait anymore.  The news is REALLY out.

We are expecting our newest little 'bud" to arrive mid-November, Lord willing.
  I'm not going to state a "due date."  Those dates are arbitrary anyway...suffice it to say mid-November.  Our 3rd November baby!!  Add Thanksgiving and another cousin/nephew's birthday to the mix and November is a busy month!

I'm currently in the 13th week.
Feeling pretty well overall.

Guess that is all for now.
I'm sure I'll have updates along the way.

Now you know!  ;)

Have a good day!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Michael finally got his uniform shirt..and contrary to what everyone thought,
it is RED!!

He was pretty excited.
(still waiting on the hats)

Little Mister thinks he is ready for everything that his big brother does.

Maybe next year, Boogie!


At the end of April, the library hosted a turtle show.
Cool, right?
We invited a couple of friends to join us..

No one was allowed to touch the turtles, but the handler brought each one around so that everyone could see.

Pretty amazing..some things we did not know about turtles.
We always think of turtles as slow, right?
Well, one of the turtles he brought can run faster than the kids.
Yes, run.  Not swim.  
That little one there on the left kept looking for a way out of the cage the entire time.

We were able to hold and pass around two empty turtle shells.
Did you know that their backbone is actually attached to the shell?
This is why turtles cannot crawl out of their shell.

Travis was hesitant to touch the shells and kind of scrunched back when the turtles were being shown..but thought they were pretty cool from afar.

The one below is a tortoise.
His name is "Big Red."

It was neat how FAR he could reach out his neck to grab food.

After the show was over, the boys went up for a closer look.

I am sooo looking forward to the library's summer reading program and activities!!



Sorry for all the different sized pictures, I swiped a couple of these from Mike's facebook page because I didn't do a great job of documenting the progress. 
 Actually, that is not true.
  I did take a bunch of pictures, I just took them with his phone.
Anyway, last month we took the plunge and started renovating our one and only bathroom.
New floor, new paint, new fixtures, partial new tile on the walls...if you remember we replaced some of the tiles in the shower awhile it looks like a matching bathroom.

Previously, it was a light green in color.
The floor had pinkish tiles..
It is kind of hard to tell here.


 Mind you, it is not 100% complete at this point. 
We still have the fixtures to change on the vanity, I need to find a new curtain for the window, and we still have to build the closet behind the door..mostly little things.

The new floor being laid.

Yes.  Our only bathroom.
It was not a bathroom for about a week.
No, we did not go the bucket route.

The pipes were already in the basement, so Mike installed a toilet in the basement.
And of course we had the little potty seats for the kids if necessary.
It is still not a bathroom down there.
It is a toilet (and now a sink).
Right in the "middle" of the basement.
No curtain or enclosure of any kind around it..but let me tell you, it surely came in handy!

Beginning grout.

Yay!  Paint.
The official color is called "Colorado Sand."
It is in the orange family.
I like it.  
Very different from the green..but I was ready for change.
As of our last conversation, Mike wasn't too keen on the color.
I think it looks great with the tile and the I finally (you don't want to hear the story of trying to find a shower curtain!!!) found a shower curtain that fit the criteria of both likability and makes a difference.
Like, I said, still need a few little things but we're on our way.

I'll have to take a more complete picture to post for you soon..
but for now, this has to suffice.

What do you think of the color?