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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures!







Well....these are some tough financial times. Eric will be having to take a mandatory five day furlough between now and May. This will basically equal out to five days of unpaid salary. The state agency he works for has determined this drastic measure will save about 75 jobs and save a lot of money. Then in May they will have to determine again where things stand financially. We are just thankful that he has a job, as there are so many who are out of work. The other wonderful thing about his furlough is they are spreading the deduction over each pay period beginning in January and going through to May. It probably would have been a much harder burden to lose a large chunk of income directly from one pay period. Needless to say, God is good, and all the time, God is good. He always provides for our needs.






This brings us to yet again, thinking of all the ways to cut spending and be frugal. We have eliminated local and long distance calling plan from our land line. This helped save about $30 a month. Then the other night we were watching that show on TLC about the Duggards. It really peaked our interest to learn some of their savvy financial tactics! I mean anyone who has that large a family and lives in a house mortgage free is is obviously someone to gain a lot of wisdom from. I'm not ready to go start buying used shoes at thrift shops......but....I am ready to start making my own laundry detergent!!! And that is just what we did today!! Supposedly the breakdown is about a cost of .77 cents per batch of detergent. It makes about a little over 2 gallons of laundry detergent. We have yet to see how far the batch goes. It seems if you have large loads or heavily soiled clothing you need to use about 1 cup of detergent. On regular loads it should only take about 1/2 cup. I did our first load in the stuff and I have to say it seems to work just fine!! So I am excited!! Just in case you want to check out how to make some of your own detergent....check out this link!!






I kind of did a variation of my own.....I used baking soda along with about 1/2 cup of borax....and then added some fragrance oil that I had left over from a previous project. So we have some great smelling sweet pea flower detergent!! So that got me to thinking about all the other cleaners I could make myself....the only thing I was actually out of was glass cleaner....and yes I found instructions for how to make some of that.....so that will be in my next post.






And here is a little more motivation to save money and buy fewer things!! http://www.storyofstuff.com/



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!


I'm posting our Christmas card here. I have had some challenges this week with both Wes and myself being sick. I started to run completely behind on getting all my cards out!! So.....I decided this will be the safe way to make sure everyone at least gets to see the card before Christmas. Sometimes life just throws curveballs at ya! We hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year from our home to yours!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Ready for a Round of Birthdays!


Well...over the next week we will be getting ready for a round of birthdays. My brother's birthday is the 16th followed by mine on the 18th, and ending with Wesley's who also shares the same birthday with my late great-grandmother! For some reason December is a popular birthday month in our family! The birthday I'm most excited about is Wesley's! He's just at that age where he's really beginning to understand everything! He's so enthusiastic and comical! He has picked out SpongeBob Square Pants as the theme of course. We really aren't getting crazy with the theme or anything other than a tablecloth and some cupcakes. I am excited about the cupcakes though!! I found some cute little SpongeBob candies and some crabby patties...so I plan to get fully creative with the cupcakes! I really enjoy making cupcakes...so I'm going all out! I think I'm going to give it a go at making oreo flavored cupcakes with vanilla creme frosting! Wes has given his approval at my flavor suggestions, so we are running with it! Then instead of goody bags....and also to really stay budget friendly...the boys and I are going to make Christmas sugar cookies to put in goody bags! Making sugar cookies is a fun family activity! We are going to have a busy week in the kitchen! I wish I lived close enough to make cupcakes for my little brother!! I can hardly wait to see if he likes the gift we picked out for him! He's been driving my parents nuts about wanting his present already!! We picked out a really funny gift for him! But, it's a surprise...so I'll post more about that after his birthday! It makes me a little sad that we can't always be together to celebrate family members birthdays. But, I'm so thankful for technology of computers and web cams that make it possible to be there virtually!! :) We will be firing up the web cam so that we can chat with family on birthdays and Christmas!! Still can't believe my baby boy will be turning 3! I was playing with photos on PS tonight. I thought this one looked cute as a black and white picture! My oh my how fast they grow!! I'm so thankful to God for the blessing of being a mother! He has given me the most wonderful boys! They bring such joy to our lives! I love thinking about how God created every part of them! He picked the color of their hair and eyes and even where to place a freckle or two. He designed them with different personalities and gifts! I am reminded of the important job we have as their parents to teach them about having a relationship with God. A task I prayerfully ask God to help me with because I know I fall so short. But, I am so thankful for the unfailing grace He shows me on a daily basis. It's that same grace I try so hard not to forget to show my own children!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!


Well. . . this has been a challenging week! It feels like we are in the full swing of the Christmas rush! But I'm happy to report I think we have completed our Christmas shopping. We have really downscaled and tried to keep it simple. We have even decided to go green on the Christmas tree. We decided to buy a cheap little mini tree that is an actual plant instead of a chopped down Christmas tree. So we will actually be able to plant this one in the backyard in the spring. I think it will be neat in the years to come to look at this tree growing in the back yard that was formerly our Christmas tree. You can't beat a $12 Christmas tree. It might not be as big and beautiful as the traditional tree, but it's cute in a Charlie Brown sort of Christmas way!

So I had a challenge with getting the boys picture done for a Christmas card. They are such silly little monkeys! The pictures are either blurred from movement, or only one of them is looking at the camera. Then Petey decided he wanted to be in the picture too, well because he is Petey, and he thinks he's people, or actually I think he thinks he's the third child in the family! I really wanted to use this picture for our card, but it just wouldn't work right in the layout....So you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get your cards because it's going to be a completely different picture! This picture is just too great to go to waste...so it's my
blog-worthy Christmas greetings photo!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Trip to FL for Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday!





Happy early Birthday to the best mother-in-law in the whole wide world! Hope you have a great birthday!! Wanted to get this up here before we leave town and won't have access to my picture files!! :)We took some special pictures that we thought you might enjoy! Hope your day is extra special and filled with fun!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Movie


Tonight was our family movie night. We watched Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. What a great movie! Eric and I commented on just how it felt so close to home as it was set in the time period of the Great Depression. There were several mentions of foreclosures. It's startling because history seems to be repeating itself a bit with the stumbling stock market, high rates of foreclosures, and unemployment. I was glad that Austin was able to watch this because I think it really helped put a subject that can be so complicated to understand in perspective for a child on their level. It was too much for little Wes to comprehend of course, but he sat through bits and pieces of it. Popcorn, snuggles, and hot cocoa make movie night fun no matter what.

Overall, today has been a really nice day! Eric had the day off! Have I mentioned how awesome his job is! His work schedule is such a huge blessing to us! So we got to spend the day together! He surprised me this morning by making me a pancake with a big letter S on it. It made me nearly tear up because that's a tradition that his uncle used to do for everyone at family get-togethers. And now as the holidays are upon us, it makes me sad because I wish he was still here with us. I just had to look over on the fridge where we have a favorite picture of Uncle Bill with Eric as a toddler sitting on his lap. I put the picture up there ever since we got a copy of it from Aunt Barb, and I just can't take it down. It helps bring back the good memories of a very special uncle who touched us all with his spunky spirit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Thoughts to Ponder



Three-year-old Agustin covers his face with a net "against mosquitoes" at the Kituku camp for the displaced in Goma, eastern Congo, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. Augustin came with over 200 families of park rangers from the Virunga National Park one month ago, fleeing fighting between rebels and government forces that has left tens of thousands of refugees desperate for international aid
(This boy is about Wesley's age!!)

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with with words or tongue but with actions in truth.

Philippians 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Matthew 25:40 The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."



I looked up the word interest just to get a clearer idea of what interest really entails. As a noun the word interest is defined as a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something;

As a verb the word interest can mean be of importance or consequence

I came across these verses today...and feel encouraged at being in a position to help in some way!! I can't wait to get our boys involved!!
My thoughts have been preoccupied with the events occuring in the world today.
Funny how Eric and I have been talking about what would be a good family project for the Holiday season, something we have been talking about for a couple of months. Trying to decide what would be the best choice. Then I became aware of this need....and felt drawn to it over and over again. You cannot simply ignore the images that are floating through the media. It's impossible for it not to stir the heart. I'm growing more excited aboout putting together gift boxes for children in need hoping it will bring some measure of joy and comfort. Hoping it will sow seeds of love in the very least.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Can We Help!?






I feel drawn to this problem in the Congo. I found this great link for a Christian organization that is reaching out to help these refugees!! Please pray for the hurting people and those who are working so hard to bring the much needed help and supplies! Please also consider this holiday season maybe making a one time gift! I realize times are tough here, but we have it no where near this tough! I can't imagine my babies having to live in these type of conditions!! Yet there are someone else's babies and children doing just that!
Here is the link if you want for more information on what's going on and how we can help!
Crisis in Congo

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!



I found this picture the other day, Austin made it last Christmas season! I don't remember seeing it before, so when I found it, I just knew it would be a keepsake!! I wanted to share it with everyone! :) Especially the grandparents because I know they get a big kick out of the boys' artwork!!

I know that Thanksgiving is still several days away, but it sure feels like maybe we are just skipping that one and just rolling right to Christmas. The stores already have their decorations and trees up. Some of the radio stations are playing Christmas music. I think Austin wrote his Christmas list way back in September. What's the rush? And what in the world is up with the weather. The weather outside sure makes it feel like we have moved straight on to winter! One of my crazy neighbors already has their Christmas tree up! People, can we just get through Thanksgiving?? Okay, okay, I know, I'm in the Christmas spirit too. I admit it! I have even added some Christmas music to my playlist...:) maybe it's the chilly weather!! I just wish Christmas wasn't so commercialized! I think this holiday season we are going to try very hard to be more involved in some type of charity work....something to really help us all think outside the box and not forget that we really should as Christians show God's love by helping others. Maybe we'll help at a toy drive. I'd really like to do something to help in the Congo area. Things are so bad over there. There are all these refugee children caught in the middle of war activity. Seems awful that we are just thinking about budgeting Christmas gifts and our tanking economy, when here are all these hurthing children, some separated from their parents, homeless, hungry, and most definitely not out of harms way!! If you ask me what I think should be done, I think AIG should have to give back the money they have been wasting at these resort functions and send that money to help aid in places like the Congo. But, I'm not in charge! I hope these goofy business people realize just how selfishly they are living!! What a terrible waste of money when there is such desperate needs of children at stake.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shadow Is Home!


We were so excited to find Shadow this morning. After not finding him for three nights, things were beginning to look grim. We'd checked with the shelter, checked for any microchip activity, and posted various signs. Petey dog started to bark at
5:30 am, so Eric took him out. When he came back in he woke me up and told me he thought he'd heard a cat meowing. I don't know if I've ever shot out of bed with so much energy after hearing those words. Sure enough when we went outside we could hear him meowing. Unfortunately he seemed to be trapped inside our neighbors garage. We don't think he'd been there all along because we would have heard his meows for sure as he was pretty loud! So unfortunately, we had to wait until a more appropriate time of the morning to ring the neighbors doorbell. It was so hard knowing Shadow was there so close, but we still couldn't get to him. But all the while was thanking God because I was sure we'd found our kitty. I only hoped my neighbor wouldn't be angry with us about our cat being in his garage. I don't know how they slept through his meowing to be honest. At about 7ish I heard my neighbor start his car. The weird thing is, my neighbor always runs his car for a few minutes before he leaves. When we moved here, I used to hate that, it bugged me to no end. But man oh man, was I ever so thankful that he warms up his car. Because I never would have been able to catch him before he left for work to ask if I could check his garage for our cat. Sure enough when he opened the door, I could still hear Shadow meowing, but he was still hiding. At first I was worried that maybe he was inside the engine of their other car because I could hear the meowing, but I couldn't see him. Then I just kept calling and he just popped out of a box in the corner. No worse for the wear. I was so excited!! So thankful! I owe my neighbor big time for putting up with our wacky cat! Turns out they did hear his meowing, and they did look around, but didn't quite figure out that it was coming from the garage! Probably because he was hiding so well. I walked in the door and Austin was actually just waking up and I ran to his room with our cat telling him to look who was back. He was just so thrilled! I think we all piled in our bed with kitty who really didn't seem to bad considering he'd been lost out there during two days of some serious rain and thunderstorms! But he has been sleeping a lot!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lost Kitty



Our best kitty in the whole wide world is missing and we are very sad at our house. We have had two rainy days. We think maybe Shadow snuck out late the night before when we let the dog out, and then got scared and ran away. He's not good outdoors. Everything scares him! Once he gets out, he tends to panic. Austin is taking it very hard. I'm trying hard not to get upset in front of him, but if we don't find Shadow soon, I'm afraid my emotions are going to get the best of me. Yesterday we searched the neighborhood and we searched the woods behind our house. Then we also put up posters with his picture and our phone number. We even talked to a few neighbors. No one seems to have seen him. I worry that he may be stuck up a tree somewhere. He did that once a couple of years ago. The hardest thing is that the weather has been so rainy. Shadow has been out there somewhere during two thunderstorms. This morning there was really a bad thunderstorm. I'm glad Austin was still asleep because he would have been beside himself thinking of his cat stuck out there in the middle of it. I'm praying he'll have a good day at school because I know even as he left this morning, it was weighing on his heart. The weird thing is that before I realized Shadow was missing, I'd been reading a Bible devotion with Wes about being afraid. We read (Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.) I reflected on this verse throughout the day yesterday and reminded Austin of it as well as we prayed before bedtime adding special prayers for Shadow. I believe our God who cares for even for the little birds, cares about our pets as well. I realize fully that pets don't have the value of a human life. That doesn't mean that our pets don't have a special place in our hearts. I'm reminded that in this less than perfect world, that the outcome may be that Shadow doesn't make it home. So that verse is a reminder to put my trust in God that he will get us through it. I just have to remember to teach my boys that when we have sadness and fears that it's God who we can rely on to give us strength and comfort. For now, I'm putting my trust in God and praying that He will help us find our kitty. My heart is a sad with wonder of trying to figure out what happend to our special pet. I'm so used to having Shadow around. He is part of our daily habits. He always begs to lick the ice cream bowl, following me around until I give in. I'm used to him hanging out in the bathroom when I shower. I'm used to waking up at night with him snuggled up on my pillow by my head. Austin is used to Shadow laying in his bed as he falls asleep. And as I write this post tears are starting to well up in my eyes as rain beings to fall and thunder begins to rumble in the distance. Shadow, where are you? Please come home!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cool Book


I just finished a very cool book called The Shack. At times I was thinking where is this book going? At others I couldn't put it down. It confused me, made me sad, made me happy. It overall just really make me think about the things we don't see or comprehend. I wasn't sure I was liking the books at times, but I was compelled to keep reading. I wanted to know what was going to happen. In the end, I'm glad I finished it. Things became clearer after I completed reading the story. It's obvious that it's fiction, but there is realness in the sense that we should desire to have a "Papa"like relationship with God. And there is a realness in the sense that as humans we all experience pains, hurts, sorrows and dysfunctions in this life. But we have Hope and Triumph in a life spent connected in fellowship with God. Why are we so quick to miss out on the fellowship with God? He's always everywhere we are, but yet we still leave him out. So if you like a good book, pick this one up! Hopefully in the near future it will be made into a movie! A movie I will not want to miss for sure!! :)






Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Fun!





Pumpkin Carving




Halloween has come and gone once again. It's funny how for a child it seems like it takes forever for the fun day to arrive. Then in a blink it's done and over. We managed to have some fall fun from last weekend through tonight. Last Saturday we took the boys to a church trunk or treat. On Wednesday, we carved pumpkins with the kids. Then on Thursday, Wes got to dress up and celebrate at a toddler/parent program they have at one of the local elementary schools. It was crazy how excited the kids were. It was quite the craziness. The kids were all over the place. If you look at the one group pictures all the kids are doing different crazy things. One girl is sticking out her tongue. Another boy dressed as batman appears to either picking a winner or scratching his nose. You decide! :) This one shot the best we could get. The kids didn't even have sugar yet, but you couldn't keep them still for long. I think even Wes was a little overwhelmed with the energy level because before long he was requesting to go home! I think I was happy he was ready to go because I was feeling a bit tired that day too. You see, the night before Petey the amazing border collie, woke us up every hour from about 1:30 till 4:30. At that point I decided to lock him in (doggy jail) his crate for the rest of the night. I don't know what he was barking at, usually it's the wind. He's like child with an over grown imagination. All I know is I was very mad at him for disturbing my sleep. I gave him a good scolding the next night and forewarned him that he would be suffering my wrath if he repeated the same barking routine. He must have understood because he put himself in the crate and I didn't hear a peep the rest of the night. Funny thing is that Austin has been trying to get the dog to sleep in his bed at night. Which Petey starts out there, but for some reason he doesn't stay there. It's like he's on night guard duty as he sleeps in different spots around the house. We have also found a kitten. Eric and I have been against getting another cat. We really have been. But, then of course, as it would only naturally have to happen, about a couple weeks before this cat shows up, Austin starts asking if he can have a kitten because Shadow was already an adult cat when we got him. Well...it's hard sometimes saying no to your kid. Especially when you have a kid as great as Austin. He works really hard at school. His teacher always has great things to say about him. He's patient for the most part with his challenging little brother. So, we really didn't say yes to his request. We just sort of gave him the I don't know and left it at that. Then this kitten shows up at a time when the weather has turned down right chilly. It doesn't help that he is this kitten that is skinny and pitiful. His ears look too big for his head. I mean who can say no to a kitten all alone in the cold world. I guess that would be Eric and I. Then to make saying no even harder, our cat Shadow, who typically hates all other cats, welcomes this one right in. He actually makes these cute little meow noises at the kitten. He gives the kitten baths a few times a day. He acts practically like he is a mama cat. The last time Shadow saw a kitten, he hissed at it. But for some reason, when this one showed up, he instantly accepted him without any hesitance. So that made things a bit harder to say no. So, it looks like we are going weak and opening our doors to this little stray. He is cute. He's still a bit scared of everyone and everything, with the exception of Shadow. So taking his picture has been a big challenge! But he's not afraid of pouncing on our feet when we are sleeping for some reason. That's the one time he isn't afraid of us. Lucky us!
So here are the pictures from our fun. We are going to have a busy weekend with visitors from Thornwell. I really should be doing things around the house to get ready for that, yet here I am, still sitting here blogging. I think I'm going to form a support group for those addicted to blogging! I have to make my decision very soon, as in the next couple of hours....to do the post on my blog everyday in November challenge. My only issue is that we will be traveling to FL for Thanksgiving...and I just have a great fear that I would be able to make my posts during that time on the road. Eric has loaned our laptop to a good friend who has to go out of state for three months of training. And since he is going to be all alone in a strange new city, Eric offered to let him borrow it. We rarely use the laptop anyway, but this would have been one instance where it would have been good to have. But, I think Eric's friend will have more need for the laptop then I will. And I found out about this blog challenge well after we'd already promised to lend out the laptop. So the more I think of it, the more I feel like entering the contest isn't something I think I could pull off. If we weren't traveling, then I would most likely give it a go. But who knows, I may still sign up. I'm still undecided.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 80's

I think 80's music is the best! Makes me feel old that it is now basically referred to as the oldies now! I came across this and decided I would post it here to share! I'm considering joining a blog roll challenge to post for every day of November. I think I could do it...and there are some neat little prizes. I have to decide soon!
So just a quick post for now....as I have things that I'm procrastinating!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Brownies!

Wow, I think I may have found the best brownie recipe ever! Very simple to make and great tasting too! I will never buy brownie mix again! I found this recipe and decided to give it a try after having seen another blogger rave about it. I made it without the frosting and truly the recipe is great without it. I may make it with the frosting sometime for a special occasion. Being that I have no self control when it comes to eating brownies, I don't need to add the extra bad stuff to it! The first time I made it I decided to try it with some Hershey's Special Dark baking cocoa. The next time I made it I used the regular baking cocoa! The dark chocolate really makes it's rich! It was approved by all the boys in my house! The regular cocoa makes more of a traditional fudgie brownie. Sorry no pictures this time! I also added about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to this recipe and it is a great addition! Here is the link in case you want to try! But beware, you won't be able to stop at just one! These are high addictive brownies in my opinion!
http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?added=Grocery%20List&id=5008&page=1&per=25&keyword=best%20brownies

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Preview


Well, I am trying to work some thrifty magic! I found out costumes were on sale at Kmart 40% off! I rolled a bunch of loose change and managed to purchase two costumes for the boys for $15 each. I don't think that's too bad. Austin wanted a Starwars costume! Big surprise there! Wes well he was all over the place. The Starwars costumes are all really huge. Then he found a bright red Power Ranger costume that he liked. Hopefully he doesn't change his mind because he is stuck with it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is There Really Any Question?

This being Sunday

This being Sunday, I was really moved by this blog post I found. I thought this would make a good Sunday post. It's a clip from a church where members of the congregation are sharing their card board testimonies? What would yours be? I probably wouldn't have enough card board to do my own! There are many things that come to mind. Just makes me think about the many blessings I have. It also humbles me that in spite of my mistakes, selfishness, whatever the things I struggle with, God has never abandoned me. The verse I have been encouraged by this week is 1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
This is the clip I wanted to share: Cardboard Testimony

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Karate Kid









Well, we have embarked on another new exciting adventure! Austin has started karate lessons. We'd hoped he would continue with the guitar lessons, but at this point that is a bit pricey. I think I can manage to teach him what I know....so hopefully he'll still get to do that as well, and it will be free! He has been interested in Karate for some time now. We decided to look into it. He went to a week of free trial lessons and it was easily evident that he is completely enjoying it. It's a family owned place and the emphasis is really about he kids having fun and getting exercise. It's not like this high pressure competition thing. Which is perfect for Austin. After a day of school, it's nice for him to get to run around and get some energy out. I can only imagine how hard it is for boys to have to try and sit still and quiet in class with only a twenty minute recess to try and release some of that energy. That's just not in any boys' nature! He has such big smile on his face at karate. He just loves this obstacle course that they run and jump through Life will always have plenty of pressures. Karate doesn't need to be one of those. Sometimes the instructor even calls on Wes to join in the fun. So I have a feeling that later down the road we will have to karate kids in our household.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cowboy Wes and Smiley Petey



Just had to add a couple more photos. I'm picture crazy tonight! Have to makeup for my lack of postings! Wesley's grandma is from Texas after all....so I had to get this one up here especially for her pleasure! And Petey well he is just the best dog ever...and he was being very cute today!

Kung Fu Austin and Other News!






So it's been a bit of a while since my last update on things. Last week ended with a challenge of me leaving the sun roof open on overnight in the PT Cruiser. Of course that was the night the Kyle storm was rolling in. Didn't realize it until it was time to go to teacher conference at Austin's school. So, naturally I was late to that appointment as I was frantically trying to dry up water from all the interiors. I felt like an idiot for having left the sunroof open in the first place. I will be fearful from now on of even using the sunroof! But, thankfully our car dried out quick and seems no worse for the wear.

On to other news, Austin had wonderful scores on all his standardized tests. He is above average on reading and math. I'm not sure if their goals for second grade are low or what, but Austin basically has surpassed the goal they have set for the end of the second grade year on his reading level. I was so proud of him. I always questioned if we were doing everything we needed to cover while we home schooled for a year and a half. The test scores really made me feel good about our home school experience. I feel that God honored this time Austin and I had together. He is enjoying second grade and he seems to be breezing through it. His teacher is working on things that he can do at school to stay challenged. I always knew he was my little brainiac! It's funny because his 4K and 5K teachers seemed to miss all the potential he had in some ways. Until this school year, he has always seemed happier at home. He was like my baby bird who just wasn't ready to leave the nest. Now he is ready to start flying out there and exploring. Austin has asked to take Karate lessons. So this week we had the opportunity to Austin to participate in a free trial week of lessons. He had his first one this past Saturday. He really loved it. I liked the fact that it wasn't so competitive. It was more about individuality and having fun. He was so enthusiastic about it. He was making these deep "HiYaah" sounds when they were doing kicks and chops. The instructor really put a lot of emphasis about the proper time and place to use Karate. He also told the kids that school was more important than Karate. It just was so nice to hear someone putting a sport in the right priority. I really got frustrated with team sports because they have become so competitive to the point that it seems to lose the fun factor. These are kids not professional athletes. They have enough pressures and sports doesn't need to be another one. Okay, so I'll get off my soap box now!

Wesley has been just cracking us all up these days. He says and does the funniest things. And he has also turned into quite the cuddle bug. He just runs up to me at random and gives me these great big bear hugs! When you get the two brothers together it's even funnier. I have some pictures here to give you an idea of the latest silliness. I just love the pictures of them jumping on the bed wearing their t-shirts like togas! Wes was quite the photogenic kid today. He at times doesn't want his picture taken. Today though, he was more than willing on more than one occasion and I was just eating it up! He found Austin's old cowboy boots and he tried them on. It was so funny! He's not a cowboy though because he didn't leave them on for very long!

So there you have it! All the latest info. God is good all the time. All the time God is good! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Well, it's official, I have been tagged by my friend Pauline. This is my first time being tagged...so I'll try and keep this interesting. I'm supposed to tell you six random things about me here on this blog. I could probably tell you tons more, but I won't do that to you!:)

1) I am terrified of cockroaches, wasps, and bees. Spiders on the other hand don't really bother me, unless I walk unsuspectingly into a web. Then I might freak out a little bit. I have had a roach crawl on me on more than one occasion and I have been stung by wasps a few times. So, these may be factors to my phobia!

2) I am addicted to Dr. Pepper and Chocolate. I could probably go vegetarian before I would give up either of these two things. If I was stranded on an island, these would be at least two of the things I would most likely choose to bring.

3) I once was in a Marti Gras parade at Universal Studios, Orlando, FL. I got to throw beads out to the crowds from a giant float. I had a friend that worked there and he invited us to join him.

4)I write with my left hand, but I do use my right hand to cut with scissors and bat when playing baseball or softball.

5) I love making quilts. Making baby or children's quilts are my preference. It's a craft I learned to love from my mother. She taught me everything I know!

6) I talk in my sleep. Usually I talk about food. Who knows why!? I guess I really like food a lot!

So there you have it! A little random info about me! :)
Now I am off to tag Eric, Larissa, Bekky, Elizabeth, and Deanie!
Peace and Blessings!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What a great weekend!

I am just now getting around to posting about our weekend visit with old friends. Words can't justify how much fun the weekend was. I'm also still tired from the weekend. We just stayed busy the whole time. We started the night off with some Rock Band on the X-Box. Of course this was Eric's idea. He is after all, a rock band junkie! Everyone got in on the action. Even the kids gave the instruments and singing a whirl! The kids stayed up late playing and got up early the next morning to begin more playing. Karma made sure to set her alarm early to maximize play time! She and Austin had loads of fun. She has a very cool bedroom with a balcony view of the lake. Austin thought that was pretty awesome! Wes loved following them around trying to be one of big kids! One of the greatest things for the kids was having all this wide open sandy beach area all to themselves. Endless open space and fresh air to run around in. The weather could not have been more beautiful! The lake is just crystal clear and when it reflects the sky it just has the most beautiful shade of blue to it. I think I like this lake way better than Lake Murray. It just felt so clean and refreshing. Even our pictures just don't do the lake justice! You just have to see it in person to really appreciate it!
The kids got to try out tubing! The adults (minus Eric) got to try out some knee boarding. That was a challenge for me. It took some bruises, choking on water, and four attempts before I finally managed to get on the knee board. I think I was about nineteen or twenty the last time I'd tried that. Elizabeth, who'd never done it before, was up on her first try! I don't think there's anything she can't do! She made it look so easy! Eric wasn't willing to try it! He was more than willing to drive the Jet ski. He may turn into a boat guy just yet!! :)
We even got to ride over to a mysterious island with a very old cemetery! I really need to get those pics posted on here! And I promise I will! It was amazing exploring the island. It felt like the island in the series LOST! The beach sand reminded me so much of the ocean. For now I have to end this post! But Elizabeth and Rob, if you are reading this post, THANKS so much for an amazing weekend! I don't think we could ever top this kind of fun at our house! You have us beat!! Hopefully we can make that trip to Charleston some time soon!! :) Thanks again for having us out!! We cannot express how much we enjoyed hanging out with you and letting our kids have some totally new experiences that will last a lifetime! It was great catching up Elizabeth. I don't know if Eric and Rob got to quite sit around and chat like we did. I think we kept them busy with the kids out on the the Lake!!! :) But they're guys, so that probably doesn't matter as much!! Guys are more about doing than talking, right? Or at least that's how Eric usually is! :) Sorry they didn't have the chance to play some basketball! Hopefully they will get another chance soon. I think Eric is a little worried. Rob already has a height advantage....and then top it off he's been going to the gym!

pictures from our awesome weekend!





Friday, September 19, 2008

Austin's 2nd Grade Photo


Here it is!! Austin's 2nd grade photo. He really didn't want to where a polo for that day. He is a shorts and t-shirt kind of kid. If he could get away with it...he would wear his crocs to school everyday too. I insisted on getting dressed up for photo day. Good thing picture day only happens once a year. I still can't believe how fast he is growing up! This picture is proof. Seems like only yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the first time and looking into those great big blue eyes.

So we are off for the weekend to visit friends that have a lake house. Should be lots of fun for the kids and adults! Hopefully we'll have lots of great photos from our weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Learning Letter "B"



This past week was a challenging one. We had open house at Austin's school. With a school of just under 700, you can imagine what that was like. Parking was a nightmare....we were packed into his school like sardines. Didn't seem like the best planned event. But, it was nice to see his classroom and all the things they are doing and learning.
I have had a very bad couple of weeks with allergies. The pollen count has consistently remained at a high level. Motivation is very hard to find these days. I did manage to get a few activities done with Wesley this past week. He participated, but not with the same enthusiasm as last week. We may extend letter B into this week just to get a few more crafts in. I didn't finish all the things I had planned due to other things coming up. Wes has also become quite the puzzle junkie. He even tackled a bigger puzzle made for ages 5 and up! He loves a challenge! He loves to do big puzzles. He needs help to do them, but he can figure out a lot on his own. He loves to take them apart and do them over and over. That is another thing that he and I spent a lot of time doing this week.
Today we took the boys to a party. Thought Austin was going to have a cow because it was a girl's Hannah Montana party. I swear he hid the party invitation a couple of weeks ago because it mysteriously disappeared. I think he didn't want any of his guy friends to see it in the house! Taking him to pick out a girlie present was even more humiliating for him. He was sure she wanted boyish Lego toys. At the party he was so excited to find another couple of boys at the party. The girls took to shrieking in one room saying, "No boys allowed!" It was pretty funny seeing the boys stick with boys and the girls stick with girls. I know I have to enjoy the girls are icky stage because before too long he will be girl crazy! Not that he minds having a couple of friends that are girls, but don't dare ask him who he likes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wes Explains All!

video

The World According to Wes

I just love the words that Wes comes up with. Even beter than that is the definitions he comes up with to describe his word. The word is boomakah. Watch the clip for further explanation! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Penguins