Friday, February 27, 2009

Going to Indiana

We bought a travel trailer! Well, I'm actually going to sign the papers today, so we haven't actually bought it, but we are in the process of buying it. It's nice, it's an 04 Salem, 31 foot with a 12 foot slide out. It's got a bunk room with 3 bunks and a space for the playpen for Mercie. It's got a queen bed for me and Rod. It even comes with 2 nice flat screen tv's. The layout is perfect. The kids and I are probably leaving early next week to go to Indiana to be with Rod. We are all very excited, sad about leaving family and friends, but excited that we will get to be together as a family, as God intended. Rod's been gone almost 3 weeks, and it is killing us, all of us, to be apart. I am so excited, and running around almost frantically, trying to pack, then deciding to wait to pack, wanting to clean, but deciding to wait to clean, and etc! My house is a bit chaotic right now, with a few plastic tubs full of toys, homeschool material, and the like, scattered around. I've been running around town the past several days, going to the bank alot, trying to take care of all the loose ends, and make sure I don't leave without taking care of everything. I'm a little frazzled feeling. Don't really know what to do...I know what I need to do, but I don't know when or how!! LOL.

We are taking a break from homeschool until we get settled in up there in Indiana. About a week or 2. That's why I went ahead and packed all that. I don't know how everything is going to fit in my Tahoe, but I'm gonna have to make it work!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Things I Forgot to Mention...

These days, I have "Mommy Brain" more and more. Here a few random things I forgot to mention about the past week or so...

Mikaela lost another tooth! This time, Eli knocked it out on accident. They were wrestling on the couch, and my sister in law to be was over here. All of a sudden, Mikaela goes, "My tooth! Eli just pulled my tooth with his knee!!" She was bleeding, and I couldn't find the tooth! I took her to the bathroom, and got her gums to stop bleeding, worried that she had swallowed it! (she has really really small teeth) Then Abby yelled, "Found it!" And so we found the tooth. They thought it was really funny that Eli "pulled it".

Wednesday, the kids and I packed up as soon as we got through with our morning bookwork, and headed to Monroe (about 1 and 1/2 hours away from my house). I discovered the hard way that Mercie didn't have any "in between" clothes. Meaning, she had winter stuff that is getting to small, and some really summery stuff that it's too cool for. She had no short sleeve/pants outfits except 1!! So we went to Toys R Us and Old Navy and got her some cute stuff. I couldn't resist though, and got Mikaela and Eli something too! Although they won't need anything for another month or so. I love shopping for my babies!! All 3 of them.

My nephew is having his 2nd birthday party tommorow! Bryton will be 2 Sunday, but his party is tommorow. He's having a John Deere Tractor party, and I get the honors of making the cake. I love making cakes! It's turning out pretty cute, but I'm not quite through with it. Happy Birthday Bryton!! We love you, sweet boy.

Rod is still in Indiana..suffering away from us until we can join him. Hopefully it won't be too long.

Homeschooling is still going great. Today we did our book work in the morning, and after lunch we made some "Y" books, because that was our letter this week. This afternoon, we took our paints and paper outside and painted a lion, because that was our animal this week. We read 1 chapter of Wizard of Oz tonight. The kids are really enjoying it, and retaining alot of the story. It's kind of...wizardy and witchy and fairy talish...I didn't realize, because I've never read the book or seen the movie! I guess the title, "The wizard of oz" should have gave it away...oh well. The kids like it, and they know that sort of thing is just pretend. Next chapter book will be preread by ME! Ha, ha.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Creation Lapbook

Today, we made our first ever lapbook. It was loads of fun, the kids were really creative, and they had a blast. We went really simple this time, simple fold, simple topic (creation), and simple content.

On the cover, we glued a picture of the creation and the memory verse for this week (Genesis 1:1), and then they stuck foam stickers all over the cover. I picked up about 8 bags of these from the Dollar Tree for $1 a bag of about 100-150 each, different themes, like animals, sea animals, letters, stars and moons, shapes, etc.

For the inside, I had some Bible coloring and activity books (which were also $1 a piece!). The first pages were the days of creation, with big numbers for each day and pictures of what was created that day in the number, and the verse at the bottom of each page. We tore those out of the coloring book, stapled them together to make a little book, and colored them. I stapled them inside the folder.

I also found a creation matching game, which I printed and cut apart, and the kids glued an envelope inside the folder and put the game pieces inside the envelope. Then they used more stickers and markers to decorate the inside.

I think they turned out great! My kids are so creative. I love lapbooks, and will definetly be using these as part of our 'curriculum'! The kids spent about an hour and a half, quietly at the table, using their imagination and creativity, and learning at the same time. Mikaela knows her Verse for this week and last week (Colossians 3:17). Eli, unknowingly to me and him, learned the first part of the verse last week. Mikaela was supposed to be telling it to me, and she said, "And whatever you do" and Eli jumped in "word or deed!" And she said, "Oh yeah, word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord." And Eli chimed in again, "Colossians 3:17!" I was surprised, because I hadn't worked with him at all on it (shame on me!). I asked him to say it, and he said it almost right! I was so proud, and decided that I don't need to work with him too hard, he retains more knowledge just by observing!

So all in all, homeschooling is going great so far. I'm not putting any pressure on Mikaela or myself, and it's so refreshing that way. We are just learning and living. I'm enjoying it so much.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The past few days...breifly

Yesterday we didn't have school. I had to take Mercie to the doctor. She broke out in a rash all over her body, and I really thought it might be chickenpox. It was spreading like wildfire, and the spot on her back I took her to the doctor for last week, was really looking worse. Well, the rash was only a viral rash, she has an ear infection (I knew it) and the spot on her back? The doctor doesn't know what it is! He said if it doesn't get better in 3 days or so, he's going to refer her to a skin specialist. That child has left me clueless so much in her 1 year of life!

We did have school this morning, and it went well. Mikaela is really good at "math" and phonics, and readiness skills. She loves worksheets. We started learning about creation, and we're going to make our first ever lapbook this week. We are also studying lions, Eli's choice, and we read some books about them and then they drew a picture. Last night, we read the first chapter in the Wizard of Oz, and both of them were queit and paid attention. They answered questions, and wanted to read more! Tonight we may read 2 chapters.

I'm really enjoying homeschooling this time around. I'm not stressed out at all. I'm going at our own pace, using materials that fit our needs, and Mikaela is getting alot more out of it, and enjoying it more too. I try to review at different points in the day (riding in the car, taking a bath, cooking, playing) her Bible verse for the week, her sight words, the letter (Y) of the week, the animal of the week, and so forth. It helps too.

My cleaning schedule is helping soooo much. Things aren't staying spotless all the time, but everything is getting cleaned during the week, I'm not stressed or over whelmed, trying to do it all every day because I know it will get done. The kids have been helping me. I'm just feeling much more at ease and peaceful.

My hubby sent us Valentine presents! He sent me a red bear with Love on it and a card and sent the kids each a stuffed animal and M&M's. He is such a sweetheart. I love him so much.

Happy Anniversay a few days late to my parents. They have been a wonderful example to me, and I know that they are very in love and will share many more anniversaries together. I love you guys!

Friday, February 13, 2009

happy valentines day

Today was a good day. A friend of mine came over and we looked at my abeka homeschooling curriculum. Then we loaded up and went to the library. The kids absolutely love the library. Eli, surprisingly, goes straight to the children's section, grabs a book, sits at the table and flips through the pages. When he's done, he takes it back to the shelf or brings it to me if he wants to take it home, and grabs another. Quietly, I should add. If you don't know Eli, then you won't understand why I just wrote that! Anyways..I grabbed The Wizard of Oz. Mikaela and Eli and I are going to start reading it each day, do some comprehension activites ( like drawing a scene from the book, sequencing, copywork, etc). Then when we're done we're going to rent the movie and watch it. We've never seen it before, so that should be exciting for them, especially Mikaela. It's getting close to time to start planting our garden! That's going to be a good learning opportunity for them. We've had a garden for 3 years now, but they are going to really help me plant, weed, water, and harvest. Tomorrow we have a Valentine party at church at 1. That will be fun. I'm a little sad though. My Valentine is in Indiana. I miss him sooooo much. Keep him in your prayers. Protection and safety and plus he really misses us, too.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Busy Day

I've had a busy day today. I woke up this morning, got all the kids ready and left at 8:30 headed to Bastrop (45 minutes away) to take Mercie to our doctor. She has a rash on her back that is spreading and looking really weird. I thought it was eczema, and I was right. The doc said it was infected (never heard of eczema being infected) and prescribed her some steroid cream. Eli had eczema really bad when he was little, and he still has it, but not as bad. Mikaela developed dermatitis when Eli was a baby. I guess it just runs in the family. Then we went shoe shopping to 3 different stores, and I finally wound up going back to Payless and getting the shoes I saw first. I got Mercie 2 pair (really cute white shoes and some pink and white tennis shoes) and Eli and Mikaela each a pair of sandels. They had BOGO going on, so I got 4 pair of shoes for about $45. Not bad. Average of $11 a pair. We then went back home and had to go to WalMart to fill her prescription, but they won't have the cream until tomorrow. So one more trip to WalMart. The doctor did recommend I use Eucerin body cream after their baths while their still wet. Well...the Eucerin cream was $13.97 a jar, and the equate WalMart brand of the exact same ingredients was $4.97. Guess which one I got? And I got the equate brand of oatmeal bath for $3.88, and the Aveeno brand (which I usually get) was $6.97. So...I saved around $12. And I was happy with the products, which I used on all 3 kiddos tonight. I might even use the oatmeal bath! the time we got home, the kids were ready to run around the yard, so we stayed outside a good while. Mikaela rode her scooter until she fell and skinned her elbow for the third time. Then she wanted to go inside. Mercie was soooo tired, so I was trying to keep her awake until bedtime. She fell asleep at 5:30, so I laid her down. She was conked out. Mikaela and Eli played babies (yes, Eli loves to play "daddy". I think it's sweet.) They took baths went to bed before 8, and I got 2 loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away. I'm waiting on my 3rd load to get out the dryer, but it's just towels so that's quick. I washed bottles and cups, mopped, organized all my homeschool resources, and all our art supplies. Now I'm just relaxing! My house is staying decently clean since I've started a cleaning schedule. I love it! I just wrote out Mon. - Sat. on some paper, delegated each day to 1 or 2 rooms, and that way it only takes me an hour or so to hit each room hard once a week. It's so much easier than not having a plan and just trying to get each room clean each day. I'm much more relaxed and have much more time. I feel like I have a plan. And I do! I do as much laundry as I can in a day, if I miss a day it's okay. I keep counters wiped, floors swept and mopped, bathroom clean, no dirty clothes anywhere but the laundry room in organized baskets ready to go in the washer. I definetely recommend a weekly cleaning schedule. I feel more in control of things. I'm going to bed pretty soon. My good friend is coming over in the morning to visit and talk about homeschooling. That will be fun. We are going to the library around lunch and I've got to pick up Mercie's cream.

BTW..I got out my old Switchfoot CD and have been listening to it tonight. The very first song really got me thinking.
"We were meant to live for so much more...have we lost ourselves?"
I think that I had lost myself a while back. I was so stressed out, trying to make decisions on my own without God, trying to be superwoman, supermom, superwife, running away from my convictions because they weren't what I wanted for my life. I have come to realize that it's not always about what I want. It's about trading in my dreams and desires for His dreams and desires for me. And when I finally surrended my family and myself to Him, His desires became my desires. I want what He knows is best for my family. I know that life isn't always going to be easy. Babies crying, kids fighting, mom crying! But it's not supposed to be easy. God wants us to live for SO MUCH MORE than we do. He has divine plans and desires for us. Who are we to pick and choose what we want? We have lost ourselves in selfishness...discontentment...materialism...worldliness. It's time we found ourselves and offered ourselves to God and not just part of ourself. All of ourself. I have such a peace now...a peace that I can't describe because I've never felt it before. But I know it's because I've surrendered myself and my family and made myself and my desires of no importance. The only importance is that I'm in His will and in His word. Thank You Jesus!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Birds, Emaw, Shoes

Today was a fun day. The kids and I went to WalMart this morning to buy diapers for Mercie and pick up a few craft supplies for the hummingbird craft I found online. In the craft section they had some wooden bird houses that you could paint for $2.62 a piece. They were pretty nice sized, and I already had lots of paint at home. The kids had a ball painting them and they turned out really cute. Eli wanted to mix his paint together, and he was so proud of his finished project. Mikaela wanted hers to be for hummingbirds, so she painted it red and yellow. They love to do arts and crafts. I really need to incorporate it in more fun ways, like today. When Eli was through, we washed his hands and he looked up at me and smiled and said, "Thanks for letting me paint, Mama. Your the best!" That just makes everything worth it.

Rod's grandmother, Emaw, is in the hospital. Pray for her. The kids and I went to see her today, and prayed for her, and took her some candy and a flowers. The kids were really calm and quiet in the hospital, which kind of surprised me. Here lately, they have been like different children. Not to say that they weren't "good" before, but they are much better behaved and much calmer. It's so refreshing. Mikaela is much more relaxed and happy now that she's home. Eli just loves having her home. We're still trying to figure out a good homeschool routine and curriculum, but we're getting there. She likes it, though. Just sitting at the table, working in her workbooks, coloring, cutting and gluing. Right up her ally. Eli wanted to be right up the middle of her schoolwork today. He's not too terribly interested in his workbooks, because they are a little advanced for him, but he wants to do exactly what she's doing!

I'm taking Mercie to the doctor tomorrow morning. She's got a terrible rash on her back that's getting bigger and she's been tugging on her ears and putting her finger in them. The kids are going with me, and I'm looking forward to it. I really think they'll behave. Then we have to go get Mercie some new shoes. She's down to one pair of Keds, that were Mikaela's!, and her poor little (I mean chubby) foot is just bulging out every side! She needs a pair of dress shoes and a pair of tennis shoes, so we're probably going to Payless first. They might have BOGO going on, Buy One Get One half off. They have really cute shoes, too. I'd like her to have some more Keds, but I'm going to look at Payless first.

Rod is missing us terribly. And we are missing him even more. I hate when he's gone. I can't wait to see him. Mikaela prayed tonight that he'd be home in time for Valentine's Day. I hated to tell her he wasn't.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yesterday went well...

Our first full day of homeschooling went really well yesterday. We went to the library, and would you know, there was only 1 book on hummingbirds that wasn't checked out?! We got it, but I couldn't help but many people are interested in hummingbirds?! Oh well...we're going back later to see if the rest are available yet. The kids were excellent in the library...quiet, calm, still. We came home, did some reading, some playing, some chores. My sister took us out to eat pizza last night, and we came home and took baths, read books, went to bed. It was a very peaceful day. It's amazing how when you get in God's will and do what you know He wants you to do, how peaceful your life gets. Not to say that there wasn't a single moment of chaos or arguing, but overall, it was more peaceful than usual.
We've already done our morning school work today, and Mikaela did great and didn't complain at all. She wrote in her journal, "I love to pray. Do you love to pray?" I can sense a pattern about to start...but since she's only 6, I don't expect too much out of her journal yet. I didn't have to spell anything for her. She told me she wants to make a hummingbird today, so I'm trying to figure that one out. Her and Eli have been getting along great all morning. She's fixing him a drink right now, without me even asking her to. I love when they help each other. It just warms my heart! Well I'm going to post more later. I've been trying out Peaceful Parenting, and I'm going to post about that during naptime. We're about to go play outside for a bit.

Monday, February 9, 2009

First Homeschool Day

Well, today we started our homeschool. It went really well, although we still have reading and Bible time to cover, which we will do this afternoon. I'm doing this very different this time. We sat at the dining room table while Eli and Mercie ran around playing. She loves workbooks, so I'm incorporating alot of them, as long as she likes to do them. We did several pages in her Abeka Letter and Numbers books (which I had from before). I had bought her a Strawberry Shortcake workbook on Time and a Scooby Doo workbook on Addition and Subtraction from the Dollar Tree for $1 a piece! We did a few pages in each of those. I also bought a primary writing tablet for $1, and for writing, she wrote her Bible verse for this week (Colossians 3:17). Then we reviewed her sight word flash cards (which I made out of index cards), and she wrote those, too. For her journal time, she gets to write at least one sentence about anything she wants. She wrote "I love princesses. Do you like princesses?" I had to spell princesses, but she did well. It took about 1 hour, and it went by really fast. We are going to have reading time each afternoon, and she's going to read her little Abeka readers aloud to me for 20 minutes. Then if she wants to pick a book from their collection of about 100+ books and try to read aloud, then we will do that. Bible time will be at night for her and Eli and Mercie together. Just reading the Bible and talking about it. We are going to the library when Mercie wakes up to get books on hummingbirds. I'm letting them pick 1 animal each week (taking turns, her and Eli) and we're going to read and learn all we can about it and do art projects, etc. She picked hummingbirds. We will probably just do this "science" as I'm calling it, whenever during the day.

I am taking this approach instead of the formal, classroom setting approach I tried with the Abeka. She didn't like that, and I didn't either. It didn't work for us. She learns by doing and writing and workbooks work well for her. Art projects, reading, and writing we do anyway, so we're just incorporating those into learning. I'm letting Eli be in on part of it, and my sister has some Thomas the Train workbooks for PreK she's going to give to Eli today, so tomorrow if he wants to, he'll have some workbooks to work in. Nothing formal or set in stone for him, he's only 3 1/2. Just learning if he wants, when he wants, until he's 5. However, he'll have Bible time and science time with us. That's a family thing, I guess you could say.

Mikaela enjoyed herself this morning, and she's watching Barbie Island Princess while waiting for Mercie to wake up so we can go to the library. She's been excited about it all day. Oops, I think I hear Mercie! Gotta go.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What Works for Me and Priorites

Rod is in Indiana. I already miss him so much. Don't know how I'm gonna make it!

We had my sister's baby shower Saturday. It was fun. She got lots of cute stuff. She' so excited, and so am I! There is something precious about a baby. They are so innocent and gorgeous and smell so good, most of the time!

I was talking to my sister in law to be last night about babies and kids, and how much you learn with each child! It's so funny...with your first one, you really don't know anything. You just kind of wing it, learn by trial and error, do the best you know how to do. Your second one, you think you know it all. Then they come along, and are so different from your first one, and you still have no idea what you're doing! And the third one, you know alot more, but not everything by a long shot, even though some days you think you do! And that's as far as I've gotten...but I think I'm doing good. I've learned alot of what works for ME.

The things that work for me are:
1. Bedtimes. My kids go to bed around 7-8 each night. No later than that, unless it's a special night.
2. They put theirselves to sleep, as soon as I bring them home from the hospital. I love to rock babies, but not when I have to rock them for them to go to sleep. I rock them during the day as much as they'll let me, but when it's bedtime, I hug them and lay them down and they go to sleep.
3. They stay in bed until 7 am. This gives me 1 hour in the morning to do whatever I need to or want to. (I get up at 6)
4. Naptime and quiet time. Mikaela has quiet time, she never goes to sleep during the day, but she has to play quietly while Eli naps.
5. They help me do chores. I've learned that it's okay if the towels aren't folded exactly so, they'll be in the cabinet anyway. It's okay if their beds aren't military style made up in the morning, they try their best. It's okay if their drawers are a little messy, because they put away their own pj's, underwear and socks. It's okay if they missed a spot dusting, because that's the only way they'll learn! BTW...I've jus recently come to this conclusion, and it's saved me alot of sanity.

There's more things than that I've learned...the first 4 have to do with sleep! Ha, ha. But sleep is important for children, and mothers, in my opinion. I'm learning each day, and God is helping me put my priorites where they need to be. It's easy for the order to get mixed up, especially living in the world we live in. But it's always God first. And a clean house has to go behind teaching children; Bible study; and playing with children. Organization is important to me, but I can't let it sneak up to the 3rd or 4th slot on my priorites list. We're supposed to be on guard and alert at all times, and I have to be concerning my priorites! I can't compare myself to other people. I can't compare myself with I think I should be. I can only compare myself with what God wants and desires me to be as a Christian, wife and mother.

And He's still workin' on me, to make me what I ought to be!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Mercie!

I can't believe my baby is not a baby anymore! She turned one yesterday. She is getting so big. She is so precious, walking everywhere and even running! She can say Dada and Hi and wave at you. We had her party last night. She had fun, she wasn't too interested in the presents. The only one she showed interest in was a small Little People barn and the purse I gave her. She loved the cake and ate two pieces! She wasn't sure how to eat it at first...but she got the hang of it! I'm going to post some pics of her eating the cake later. She is my little precious girl and I'm so in love with her! I'm in love with all of my kids. They are so sweet and I cherish them because it goes by too fast. Way too fast.

Today my sister Melissa and I are give my other sister Ashlie a baby shower. She's having a boy, Sawyer Blaine, and she's due in early April. I made the cake last night, but I need to go get ready! Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well, I have decided to homeschool. Again. I started homeschooling Mikaela the beginning of this year. However, it quickly got frusterating for me, and she missed her friends, and on a whim one morning, I put her back in school. That was the worst decision I've ever made. I made it without even praying about it. I know that homeschooling is what God wants me to do. So I've decided to do it, and quitting is not even an option. If I get frustrated, I'll take a 3 day break or something. But it's something I desire to do, and it's something I feel like I need to do. So as of next week, we will be homeschooling from now on.

I abosolutely cannot believe Mercie will be 1 Friday! For her birthday I bought her a cute little plush purse with a plush phone, wallet, credit card, and keys. It is so adorable, and I think she's going to love it. She loves anything that you dig in and take stuff out of!

Today we were in the play room and Mercie was of course trying to play with the puzzle that Eli (3) was playing with. He gets very frusterated easily, and he was steaming. I heard him say, "I hate you" not very loud, but loud enough where I could hear. I said, "Eli! What did you just say?!" He looked at me with wide eyes, and said so seriously, "I don't want to tell you." I said, "Eli tell me what you just told Mercie." He said, " said I love you." He got a spanking for lying, and then he told me what he said. Then he got a spanking for telling her he hated her, even though she's only 1 and doesn't understand, that is NOT something we're going to say in our home to our family members. Hmmm. 3 is a tough age.

Actual sentences said the past few days in our home:
"You will not put boogers in any part of her body!"
"Do not stick your hand in the VCR!"
"Do not stick that knife in the toaster!"
"We do not throw Mercie!"
"You cannot eat Peanut Butter Crunch for every single meal."
"I'm too tired to eat/clean/play/walk/bathe" (Eli)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This and That

Yesterday it was so pretty outside, so we stayed outside pretty much all day long. We didn't even take naps, because the kids were having so much fun!! I hate to interrupt them when they are playing so well together, but they were pooped last night! They took baths, ate sandwiches (I didn't cook!) and were asleep by 7. Mercie was asleep before 6! She fell asleep on my lap, and when I moved her to try to wake up her, she was like dead weight. Didn't even flinch. So I put her in the bed and she slept until almost 8 this morning!
Rod and the kids and I got the yard cleaned up yesterday. He cleaned out and around his shed and we picked up around the yard. He's leaving for Indiana Saturday to work for about 2 months. The kids and I are not going, and it's going to be tough! After that, there's a looong job in Georgia, 16 months or so, and we've been praying about it. I think we're all going to go.

These past few days my mind has been full of thoughts and heavy on decisions. Finally, last night, I just gave it all to God, like I should have done in the first place! It kills me, that I try to make decisions on my own, without consulting Him. I guess it's human nature to try to figure things out, but God knows what's best, He knows what's going to happen, and He knows what's not going to happen. Why I can't just leave everything up to Him, I don't know!! It's so silly of me to think that I can figure things out! Thank God for His never ending Love, Forgivenss, Mercy, and Compassion on us poor ignorant Christians!

I am so thankful and I just want to share it! I'm thankful for my wonderful, sweet, hard working husband. He's the Best I could have ever asked for. I'm thankful for my beautiful children that God has entrusted to me. They are so sweet and time goes by much too quickly. I'm thankful for the crazy, loud moments because it means my kids are healthy and strong. I'm crazy for the messy house because it gives me something to do when the kids are asleep. I'm thankful that I am healthy and my husband and kids are healthy. I'm thankful that my family has plenty to eat and wear, and a nice roof over our heads. I'm thankful that God provides for us when we need it! And even when we don't. I'm so thankful for my wonderful life. I would never trade any of it for anything in the world.