Welcome to the zoo…

February 14, 2008 at 10:03 am | Posted in Blessings, Coffee, Family, Fun, Funny | Leave a comment

be-safe-at-the-zoo.jpgThere is a sign above my front door that reads “Welcome to the Zoo”…that is often an acurate description of our household.  Except for the constant mess, I love it that way!

Joshua had his 12th birthday a week ago.  After he opened his presents, he had a small rectangular box one of his gifts came in.  Like all good 12 year old boys, he knew just what to do with it…he handed it to Jessica (our 4 year old) and said, “Here’s a coffin for your Barbie”  (only 12 year old boys think of great uses for boxes like that).  Jessica was thrilled to have the box so she quickly said “Thank you.”  Then with out missing a beat, she opened the box and “coughed” in it.  I don’t think she quite understood the coffin remark, so she just made it fit what she thought it meant.  We all cried, we laughed so hard.  Jessica thought this was great, so she spent the rest of the night “coughing” in her box.

Speaking of Jessica, she has officially changed her last name.  She told me that she should now be called Jessica Teenager.  For several days now, if you address her as Jessica she corrects you and says, “You mean Jessica Teenager.”  I’m not quite ready for Jessica Teenager yet…or maybe ever.

We bought a Keurig machine and we LOVE it.  We bought the basic B40 model since I didn’t want to spend an extra $30 on a digital display.  It’s so easy to use and NO mess.  We do find ourselves making more coffee though.

Donald bought the kids ROCK BAND for PS2 last night.  We finally broke down and got it…our kids were so thrilled UNTIL they tried to play it.  Suddenly our PS2 isn’t reading discs anymore.  It was fine when the kids used it earlier that day, but now it’s broken.  Donald and the kids spent several hours trying to fix it, but it’s still broken.  My poor kids, they were so disappointed.

Donald takes his test for Master Sgt. today.  He’s been studying so hard.  Yesterday he had the day off work to study one last day.  After several hours, he decided he just needed to relax.  He and I went out for a nice quiet Chinese dinner.  After dinner, we both opened our fortune cookies.  Donald’s fortune read “You are next in line for promotion at your firm.”  We almost died…how funny is that!  We had a good laugh.

Emily turned 17!  I can’t believe my daughter is seventeen.  She had a friend over.  They went ice skating and to the Marine Corps Museum.  We had Chinese take-out for dinner.  She got texting back on her cell phone…she’s happy about that.  I think she had a fun day.

Never a dull moment at our house.  I’m so glad that along with all the daily drudge (housework, cooking, planning, etc) that my husband and my kids help me laugh at least once every day.  What a joy!

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Church through Daniel’s Eyes

January 15, 2008 at 11:29 am | Posted in Church, Family | Leave a comment

emptychair.jpgDaniel has been going to “big” church since last September.   It has been fun to watch him adjust to sitting through service.  

His initial impression was that it was boring, unless they showed a video.  Now I’ve been in boring churches and our church does not fit that description at all, but if you can’t read the words to sing the songs or follow the notes, then I could see how it might be boring to just try and sit still for that long.

Then when Daniel got use to the routine of being in church, he moved into his interactive stage.  If Pastor Steve asked a question, Daniel wanted to give his answer out loud, right then.  Daniel also thought it was okay to add comments (out loud, of course) as Pastor Steve would preach.  This was a fun stage for me…NOT!

Then two weeks ago, he made a break through and started “taking notes” on his pad of paper.  It was the story of creation and Daniel wrote on one piece of paper “God did it.”  He heard Pastor Steve say those words and he knew how to spell them, so he wrote them down.  Then he flipped to the next page and wrote “I am free to run.”  That was a line from the song we sang earlier.  I was so excited, because he WAS actually listening to what was going on.

 This past Sunday he didn’t take notes,but he got tickled at the title “The Blame Game”.  We’ve been working on long vowel sounds with a silent e and he was so excited he could read those words.  He thought it was the funniest title and he couldn’t stop giggling about it.

Church with Daniel is an adventure for sure, but it is fun to watch him learn about what is going on and start participating.  By the time he has this all down, Jessica will be joining “big” church and we will start all over again.

Plans

January 10, 2008 at 6:56 am | Posted in Bible, Change, Family, Isaiah, Plans | Leave a comment

blueprint.jpgIn my last post, I shared with you the coming changes to our household.  So change is coming, what’s next?  Planning.   Knowing how much there will be to decide…curriculum to buy, schedules to make out, lessons to create…planning early will be a key to having a good year.

I’ve been reading Isaiah in the Message.  (Yes, I am still reading the Message.  I have missed countless days in my pursuit, but I will not give up!)  In Isaiah 22, it is speaking of a coming attack on Jerusalem.  The city is seen making plans to fortify themselves the best they can.

You assessed your defenses that Day, inspected your arsenal of weapons in the Forest Armory. You found the weak places in the city walls that needed repair. You secured the water supply at the Lower Pool. You took an inventory of the houses in Jerusalem and tore down some to get bricks to fortify the city wall. You built a large cistern to ensure plenty of water. 

These all were good and logical plans.  They assessed what they had, strengthened weak areas, and secured necessities.  But God was not pleased.  Why?  The answer is found in the next verse…

You looked and looked and looked, but you never looked to him who gave you this city, never once consulted the One who has long had plans for this city.

Their fault…they didn’t turned to God for help.  They didn’t consult the One with the master plan.  They relied on what seemed best without seeking God first. 

Don’t you love God’s timing?  Yes, I have a lot of planning to do, but there is a lesson here is for me.   I need to go to God first and make sure I consult Him each step of the way.  I will not make the same mistake Judah made because I know the One with the master plan and I will look to Him first. 

it’s a .com world

December 19, 2007 at 10:57 am | Posted in Computer, Family, Technology | 3 Comments

wwwsign.jpgThis morning I was telling Daniel it was time to start his school work.  Daniel would rather spend time on the computer than do school work, so he had an idea.  He told me he would just do his schoolwork online instead.  I told him his school work wasn’t online…it was sitting on the kitchen table and we needed to get started.  Daniel asked me to just try http://www.sixyearoldschoolonthecomputer.com  I tried it just to show him it wasn’t there.  In Daniel’s world, everything is at http://www.com you just have to type it in.

It’s amazing how different the world is than when I was a kid.  My kids are use to pausing live TV and watching their favorite kids shows OnDemand.  When my kids are playing and one of them needs to get something or has to go to the bathroom…they yell “pause” and everyone stops playing till they return.  They “pause” their real-life play just like TV and movies. 

While listening to Christmas music on the radio station, Jessica’s favorite singers came on…Alvin and the Chipmunks…she thinks they are a riot!  But when the song ended, she was very frustrated that I wouldn’t “go back” to that song again.  She didn’t understand the concept of the radio.  In her 4 year old world, all music can be skipped ahead or jumped back to the song you want to listen to.

For my little ones…all cameras let you see the picture as soon as you take it, watching videos made on your cell phone is the norm, and everything is accessible through http://www.com.  They don’t understand planning your week around the one showing of Charlie Brown Christmas special each year.  They don’t know what it is like to wait a week or more to see if your photos turned out.  They have no concept of dialing a rotary phone and how that might work.  We live in a instant world!  It makes me feel old, but it hasn’t really been that many years.  It truly makes me wonder what the world will be like 10 years from now.

Daniel’s Big Day

October 25, 2007 at 10:49 am | Posted in Birthday, Family | 1 Comment

happybirthday.jpgHAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIEL!

Daniel requested a yellow cake with white icing and M&M’s on top.  He also wanted ice cream – chocolate and vanilla in the same container.  Daniel is very specific in his requests…good thing they make chocolate and vanilla together like that.  🙂

Daniel also requested homemade pizza for his birthday dinner tonight.  He wanted one with big, round things on it (pepperoni) and the other to have little black things on it so he can pick them off.  I  explained that we just wouldn’t put black olives on it when we made it.

happy mother’s day

October 18, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Posted in Family, Fun, parenting | 1 Comment

gift.jpgWe don’t make a big deal about things like Mother’s Day at my house.  We might pick up fast food on the way home from church or order pizza so that I don’t have to cook lunch, but no big celebration.  Emily always makes me a homemade card and she sees to it that all of the kids make me a picture, card, or something. 

Last year when she was helping the little ones color a picture for me, she must have made a big deal about telling the kids to say “Happy Mother’s Day!” to me when they presented their artwork.  Ever since then, whenever the my 3 little ones make an art project or color a picture for me, they always say “Happy Mother’s Day!” when they hand it to me.  It’s kind of cute, especially in October.  I thought they would quit after awhile, but they are still doing it.

Somewhere along the line, “Happy Mother’s Day!” started to mean more to Jessica (age 4).  Not long ago she started to tell me “Happy Mother’s Day” at random times and not only when she was presenting me with something. 

This week must have been an especially good week in our house because Jessica has told me “Happy Mother’s Day!” at least once a day.  This morning, we were waiting for her speech therapy teacher, just standing in a hallway, when she looked up at me and said “Happy Mother’s Day!” 

Maybe it’s because she is happy.  Maybe it’s because I am in a good mood.  I’m not sure why she decides to say it, but I love it when she does. 

So to all you mom’s out there…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

just what i always wanted…

October 5, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Birthday, Family, Fun, Present | Leave a comment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              present.jpgDaniel’s birthday is coming up the end of this month…he’ll be 6 years old.  My parents asked for suggestions of what he might want for his birthday.  I wasn’t sure, so I decided to be direct and ask him what he would like to get.  Below is our conversation…

Me:  Daniel, what would you like for your birthday?

Daniel:  A peanut butter & jelly cake, bread, and applesauce.

Me (trying not to laugh):  No, Daniel.  I mean what would you like for a birthday present.  Is there some toy you want?

Daniel (now seriously thinking):  Applesauce and a toy bomb.

So what more could you ask for???  I relayed this vital information to my parents and they enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as helpful as they expected.  Know anywhere to buy a good toy bomb?   I think I got the applesauce covered.  🙂

it’s been awhile

September 25, 2007 at 11:14 am | Posted in Bible, Christianity, Family, My Church, Reading | 2 Comments

I haven’t had a chance to blog for awhile.  I took a part-time position as Children’s Director at my church.   Adding those extra hours to my week has filled my schedule and I haven’t adjusted yet. 

I am really enjoying the job.  You can visit the children’s ministry blog and see what we are doing. 

In other news…

Emily is driving now and has made 2 trips on the interstate.  The DC area is not the easiest place to learn to drive but I figure if she can master this, she ought to be able to drive anywhere.

Peanut butter and jelly.  Everyday Daniel and Chloe want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Jessica doesn’t eat sandwiches so she opts for peanut butter crackers.  I try to make cool lunches to tempt them to eat new things but it’s always the same.  Everyday I have 3 peanut butter faces to clean after lunch.  🙂

Out with the old, in with the new.  My parents are moving to a new house soon so they are giving me their couch and 2 twin beds that won’t fit in the new place.  I am so excited!  We are giving away one of our old couches…I have never liked that couch!  I am so happy to see it go.  

We needed the 2 twin beds for the girls.  Jessica and Chloe have been sharing a full bed for awhile but Jessica is a definite bed hog and Chloe is getting pushed out too often. 

Things are going well.  I am still reading through The Message but I have to admit that I’ve not had as much time the past week.  I am hoping to get back on track.

random thoughts

September 11, 2007 at 12:24 pm | Posted in Books, Christianity, Family, Friends, Fun, Health, parenting, Reading | 3 Comments

pict0003.jpgI don’t have any big thoughts to share so I will share some random thoughts instead.

Power Struggle.  Since Joshua has gone off to public school this year, this is the first time that the 3 little ones and I have been home by ourselves on a regular basis.  Jessica (the princess you see in the photo) has always been in charge and Daniel and Chloe pretty much just do as told.  Now Daniel, being the oldest child home during the day, is suddenly trying to take his place as “man of the house”.  If I go to the bathroom, he announces that he is  “in charge” until I return.  He also keeps reassuring me that when I am gone someday, he will take care of Jessica and Chloe so I don’t have to worry about it.  Jessica still hasn’t figured out what is going on and I think she is saving it all for a big showdown soon. 

SpotBot.  I am cleaning the nursery rug this week.  One of my friends from church let me borrow her Bissell SpotBot to clean all the stains on the carpet (thanks Jessica).  Now I am totally addicted to the SpotBot.  It is easy to use, works virtually by itself, and does a great job!  I can see myself spending many happy hours cleaning all the little spots left on my carpet by my kids, cats, and most of all, my husband.  It is definitely going on the top of my Christmas Wish List (Donald…hint, hint).

Allergic.  I have developed a couple of irritated spots on my skin.  The newest one is on my right eye lid so of course, this meant it is time to visit the doctor.  Apparently, this is some type of allergic reaction.  I have never been allergic to anything, so now I have to try and figure out which of the 7,000+ things I come in contact with daily is suddenly causing this reaction.  I haven’t changed any major prducts lately…cleaners, hair products, etc… so it could be anything.  I don’t know how I’ll ever figure it out.

Klutz.  I am a klutz…no doubt about it.  Today, I broke my beloved 9×13 Pampered Chef stoneware baker.  I used it to make baked ziti and asked my kids not to clean it because I always try to be careful with my stoneware…it’s not cheap.  So when I went back to clean it, I dropped it in the sink and it broke.  As my mother-in-law pointed out to me, this is not the first piece of cookware I have broken.  Just off the top of my head…two 9x 13 stoneware bakers, one stoneware round pizza pan, a Crockpot, a blender, a George Foreman, and a griddle (maybe two)…all dropped by me.  My mother-in-law said at least she knows what to buy me for birthdays and Christmas.  I think I am going to start letting my kids wash my stoneware in the future…probably safer.

Day 13.  I am just finishing 1 Samuel 22 of The Message.  It certainly is taking longer than I expected but I have loved reading through Judges, Ruth, and 1 Samuel.  All the great things happening make for an easy read.  I’ve read them all many times before but they never get old. 

summer reading

August 28, 2007 at 10:27 am | Posted in Books, Family, Reading, School, Summer | 1 Comment

frustration.jpgOkay…you know I love reading.  I encourage my children to read.  Reading is important.  BUT I hate summer reading assignments!

For example, my 14 year old son has 2 summer reading assignments.  One was pretty simple.  He had to read A Day No Pigs Would Die and write 3 journal entries from the viewpoint of the main character.  No problem.  He did not like the story but he finished in less than a week.

His second reading assignment was a different story.  He had to read Great Expectations…a long and dull book.  Then he had to redivide the 59 chapters of the book into 36 episodes (that was the way it was orginally released) and he had to give his reasons for each division.  Who comes up with these assignments???

I know WHY they started summer reading.  I understand the concept.  But in reality, I think it does more to drive parents crazy than it does to teach students.  Parents have to constantly remind their kids to work on their projects…frustration!  Then to make it worse, sometimes the directions or the format is unclear and there is no teacher available for us to ask.  Not to mention trying to work in all this reading around summer vacations and camps.

PRESSURE.  Then there is the pressure for the sutdents to do really well on these assignments.  They are turned in the first day of school so the teacher will get her first impression of the students abilities based on these summer reading assignments.  I’ve got to be honest in that I probably feel that pressure more than my kids. 

After proofreading 6 papers, I think we are finally finished with our summer reading at my house.  I am so glad it is all behind us now.  We have one full week to enjoy our summer without projects hanging over our heads before we start school.  Before we know next summer will be here again…UGH!

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