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Monday, November 26, 2007

Small successes

So we blew off school entirely today (except Scott practicing piano) and cleaned the girls' room. Yes, it took the ENTIRE day. I should have taken a "before" photo. Mimi gets so overwhelmed, she just decides she wants to get rid of all her toys. Today, she even made a "yard sale" sign to get rid of her toys because she asked me Friday after my marathon shopping day if I had bought her any toys and I said "no" because she couldn't keep the ones she had picked up. She told me this morning that she might as well get rid of all her toys if she wasn't getting any more for Christmas. So we gutted her room. I did box up all her barbies-she never plays with them anyway-and put them aside for Sari to grow into. Sari LOVES babies, so she may actually play with barbies someday, but if not, we can give them away then. We also gutted most of the Polly Pockets and some poorly flocked horses, etc. and found a home for all the things we are keeping. We do this about every three months though, so we will see if this sticks. I gave in and realized that Sari needed a place to keep all her baby dolls accessible but easy to put away, and so I gave up a nice new laundry basket for the job. I hope it will work well. Kiwi-this FINALLY means we can reciprocate, if M is up to it!

Also, between last night and this morning, I got the entire parameter of my quilt "quilted". Okay, it's just 4 straight lines, but as the quilt is 72" square, it a quite a feat. I also quilted around one square. I am excited that I finally made real progress, and hope to do more tonight.

I have kept reasonably on top of the dishes lately, and only have two pots staring at me right now, but they have to wait until the washing machine is done because of our water pressure issues. I did though do the FLYLady challenge today and 27 fling boogie my desk and tossed/shredded 27 pieces of paper...that felt good!

Finally, Sari was praying tonight when I tucked her in (rest assured she will not actually go to bed now, but it's a nice thought), and she said, "God is great, God is great...Wait, mommy, I have to pray for baby Reggie, okay?" Then again with, "God is great, God is great, AMEN."

He is great, isn't He? So great that I was about to "diss" a friend (in a loving way) about her decision not to blog until after the holidays when my eyes fell on a note card I had just uncovered during my paper flinging. It read, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need at the moment so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29" I need to tattoo that verse across my subconscious! That's why it was on a note was meant to be hanging in front of my computer screen, but had fallen. It's back there now! And so, in the spirit of the Truth of scripture, good for you Aunt Fanny. I will miss your running commentary, but I know your family will cherish the time.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

A thought for your Sunday

"The human measure of a human life is its income;the divine measure of a life is its outgo, its overflow, its contribution to the welfare of all...If every word spoken in behalf of truth has its influence, and every deed done for the right weighs in the final account, it is immaterial to the Christian whether his eyes behold victory or whether he dies in the midst of conflict."
-William Jennings Bryan, Prince of Peace
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Funnies from today

Our fortune cookie from dinner said, "You have a very lively family." You think?

You know you watch too much TV, especially of one particular show, when your 2 1/2 year old sings her ABC's as A-B-C-S-I, LOL.

In our house, if mommy has to help you open something, she charges a one bite (or one sip) "mommy tax". TJ and Sari both get confused and think we are calling it a "mommy attack". So just now, I was loading the dishwasher, and I hear Sari playing with her snack in the other room so I stop and peek in and listen. She has a teddy graham in each hand, and is making one of them "say" to the other, "Oh no, mommy attack...aahhhhhhh."


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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

SO much to little desire to expend the energy to do it.

Today had all the makings for a wonderful day...until I woke up. To my neighbors. Making a ridiculous amount of noise in the street at 7:15. That's a whole different blog...
Anyway, I decided it would be nice on this Thanksgiving to call each of my children in to the bed room and tell them WHY I was thankful for them.

I called Scott in first. I told him how much we had wanted a child, and how we had tried for 5 years, and God had graciously, finally, given us a baby, and that was him. And I LOVE him so much for being the one who made me a "mom". I also told him the Bible says to give thanks in ALL things, so I was even thankful for his Sensory Processing issues. I told him those issues have pushed his dad and I to be better parents, to seek Godly ways of discipline, and that his disorder keeps us on our knees. I told him how thankful I was for the blessing of his piano talent. And finally, how wonderful it was to see him as a big brother. Having had 3 kids in 4 years, he never got the "big brother" opportunities, but he is so wonderful with Sari.
He was sooo positively responsive, it was great....

Mimi came in and I did the same thing. I told her that I am thankful she has such a beautiful heart for the Lord. That she makes up her own praise songs that bring tears to my eyes. I'm thankful she;s talented with the pastels, and that she is also a good big sister. But most of all, I am thankful for her persistence. If she wants to learn something new, she just keeps at it over and over until she masters it. It is amazing to see.
She too responded warmly, and I thought it was a great foundation to the day.

(Then TJ and Sari slept until almost 9, and had to hit the ground running. Their face to face chat about the blessing they are to me will have to be done tomorrow.)

BUT, here's the thing...
In the movie Evan Almighty, they make the point that if you pray to God for patience, he gives you the opportunity to practice patience. If you pray for closer family time, He gives you opportunities to spend time together, etc. Well, I'm here to tell you if you pray thankfully for your son's sensory issues, they will FLARE UP full force, on this, the one day when his "normal" demeanor matters most.
Today was a nightmare. It was the kind of day that literally brings tears to your eyes and drops you to your knees. His anger and tongue were completely out of control and I just did NOT know what to do or what to say to make him "right". Add to that the fact that I was fighting a migraine all day, top it off with subtle digs by the in-laws about...well, you name it (MIL: "Well, we are ready to take the family picture, but Mimi needs clips in her hair. I wanted to brush it, but she said you had clips." SIL:"Well, you told them red shirts and jeans, and you got that, you didn't tell them to brush their hair." Me: (biting my tongue HARD at this moment) "Mimi's hair only looks brushed for about 20 minutes after you brush it, and you only do that when it is wet unless you want to rip her hair out...(as I walk away to get the barrette)") and you get one awful day. I can't even explain to you the depth of pain Scott's words cause, or the absolute feeling of helplessness in those situations, or the mortification at having to attend a family event with a "loose cannon". Thankfully, he did okay while we were there, but started up again on the way home so much so that I had to take a page from Jennie's parent-child contract and tell him he would lose the use of his bed and get a blanket to sleep on the floor with and would loose the right to sit at the table and have to eat on the floor if he could not stop being a destructive influence in the house.

When we got home, I had a small quantity of caffeine, took massive amounts of headache medicine, and Mimi and I went back out the door to a friend's bonfire gathering. Mimi and her friend had a great time, my headache eased, and I appreciated the chance to let all the events of the day go. I returned home better off than I was when I left it, which is good since all the kids were still up to greet me.

Please, please pray for us. Specifically that my son would not sin in his anger, that he would reign in his reckless words, and that he would hear the still soft voice of God in his trails. Pray for Godly wisdom for his father and I as we strive to help him while not losing it ourselves. Pray for my other kids, that they would not be tainted by the things they hear and actions they see.

Thank you!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Say the name of the wine outloud

See no evil...hear no evil...speak no evil...pee-no evil...sorry, that's my 3rd grade potty humor coming through, but it just struck me as funny, so I had to share.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So behind, I'm still on October

So I never posted our Halloween pics. I know the "H" holiday is sort-of taboo in some Christian circles, and trust me I can debate the issue from both sides, but it comes down to the fact that God has not placed in me or more importantly, my husband, a strong conviction that our family should not trick-or-treat. His plan for everyone is different, and maybe He has given you that conviction, but for us, the going-door-to-door thing is a favorite event, especially since it is always shared with friends.

This year was especially nice as we got to go out with Marie and her family, who are finally recovering from her husband's life threatening illness, and with P and her family who now live in NC. It was also special since all of my kids wore homemade costumes...just not made in MY home, LOL. Scott's was made by a friend for her son in a school play, but is wonderful, if a little long torso'd for Scott. TJ's was made by a friend for Scott a few years ago, but he was happy to become a second-hand musketeer. Mimi and Sari both wore costumes made many years ago by my mom, and worn by my sister and I. My bother also wore the clown...but thankfully not the pilgrim dress. Mimi chose to call herself, "Little Red's grandmother" as we had recently seen Into the Woods, Jr. Her friend little Marie was Little Red Riding Hood, as was Mimi's Webkinz dog that she carried in a basket with her. It was an elaborate story, at least in her head, and she shared it with anyone who would listen :-).

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Fear and cold make for strange bedfellows

A while ago, the kids found a tree frog outside on our carport support pillar. Their interest in the frog made the frog desire a more secure hide-out, so he hopped up the pillar and under a piece of the wood that supports the carport roof.

Unbeknownst to the FROG, a corn snake had also decided that that exact plank made a great hid out to curl up in during the cool morning.

Here is the scene we were privy to...the frog on one side, the snake on the other, and no discernible way to rescue the frog without alarming the snake. I'm still not sure what became of either one, but we've never seen them again!
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Changing some stuff

So I edited my Blog Title, since I seem to not write so much about "mothering matters" like I thought I would. I also moved the Neo counter, and now have lost the display totally...that's pretty par for the course for me!

I'm behind on blogging sooooo much, but it takes time that I don't have to get caught up, so I hope you will be patient ;-)
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Productive Boys

My boys were "bach-ing it" this week-end as Mimi and I were at a mother-daughter conference. Actually, they still had a female influence in the form of Sari, but for the most part, it was boy central. They had their cub scout Thanksgiving feast Saturday morning in addition to a father-son cake bake competition. The boys had a great time, and while it was different than Mommy's end result would have been, that was the point of the exercise, and the men of my life got to spend some quality time working together in the kitchen.

Here's the end result:
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Sewing success

Yea! The top of my Christmas quilt is DONE. I'm doing the happy dance! I still need to assemble and quilt it, but allow me my small celebration before reality hits :-). AND, I really like it, which is even better. (And my HUSBAND really likes it too.) I LOVE looking at the blocks and smiling as I think, "L made that" or "Ann made that". If God is love, and Christ died for us to reconcile us to God, but told us the greatest thing we could do was to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, then I cannot think of anything more fitting than a Christmas friendship quilt...BUT, you will have to wait to see it until the big reveal...or until enough people plead to see it, LOL.

I also made a beautiful skirt for Mimi, with two more started for Sari and myself out of the same fabrics. This, I will show you a picture of :-).

And Mimi has been inspired by her friend M to do some sewing of her own. Here's her version of M's birthday gift to Mimi.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Made with real fruit juice...

So my kids went to two birthday parties yesterday. One for my Godson and his brother, and one for my nephew. So much for a day of rest :-). We also presented our veteran's quilt to our chosen recipient, and he was very happy to get it. It was very nice. But back to the parties...

My s-i-l went all out. They have one child, they will only ever have one child, and they are determined to do it all. No...hmmmm, maybe we can throw together a birthday party TONIGHT for them. Nope, they are the whole, "hand make the card to look like cookie monster's face" type. The beauty of an only child! Well, this only child turned 2 yesterday. BJ's party was over in Tampa, and so my husband took the kids as UIP had a concert. The same thing happened last year, and I feel bad, but we will see them for Thanksgiving anyway. They had a Sesame Street themed party, and when my family turned up, they doubled the size of the children attending, LOL. The little kids watched an episode of Elmo's world, and they played outside. "K squared" (my brother and sister in law both have K names) had ordered Pizza for food. WAY TOO MUCH pizza judging by the jumbo pizza and a half that came home with us. It makes me wonder if they invited a bunch of people who didn't come, or if they thought BJ and his 3 little friends would eat a lot? I guess the kids' parents and my family added into the equation, but there was still plenty left. An entire spinach and tomato pizza. Yucky...I mean LUCKY me, LOL. Even my kids want nothing to do with it, and they eat veggies. For the record I eat some though as you can pick anything off a pizza if it is warm enough for the cheese to be soft.

K squared had also bought those snack sized baggies of chips/goldfish, etc. They again must have overbought, because they sent home an ENTIRE stuffed-to-the-top paper grocery bag full of them. We have snacks for MONTHS now. AND, the party favors were little metal schoolbus- shaped, Sesame Street character covered lunch boxes. Filled with candy. Which leads me to the title of this blog.

You know ring pops? (Okay, Sparkling Suzanne might not know about them, but I trust the rest of you do, LOL.) Ring pops generally are 5 times the size of an allowable-in-this-house lollipop, but they were in the bus along with push-pops (for 2 year olds!!!!) and my kids opted to have either a push pop or ring pop after lunch for the rest of their RDA of sugar :-). As I opened Mimi's Cotton Candy flavored ring pop for her, I noticed the words, "Made with real fruit juice." Are you joking? Is that meant to make me feel better? How much "real fruit juice" (as opposed to fake fruit juice?) do you suppose there could possible be in there, and does it even remotely make up for the rest of the ingredients? Let's see: sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, buffered lactic acid, natural and artificial flavors (just how would you "naturally" flavor a cotton candy flavored lollipop? with more sugar?), PEAR JUICE CONCENTRATE, artificial color, red #3, blue #1 Lake, blue #1. Yep, that pear juice practically makes it health food...if you forget the sugar, sugar, more sugar, and artificial colors enough that the poo I find un-flushed in the toilets over the next day or two should be really interesting. Why bother with the real fruit juice? Because Concentrated fruit juice is SWEET, that's why. It's just one more way of sweetening it up without you realizing it.

Oh well, you only live once, and they only eat ring pops once a year, so I imagine they will be okay if we can avoid a sugar induced coma...

Off to sew!


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Insides and outsides

There is a very wise saying that you should not compare someone else's'outsides to your insides. Not your literal insides, but the deep dark insides of your mind and your life that make you look at things in others (their appearance, their clean house, their incredibly mindful children, their good job, their perfect boobs (threw that one in after a conversation I had yesterday with some friends), their fancy car...whatever it is) and think I could never do that, have that be good enough for that, etc. Whatever it is that allows self doubt to creep in when you compare someone's outsides to your insides.

Here's some wisdom I have learned about that:

1) There is someone in the world to whom you are the "outside". I PROMISE. There is someone who looks at you, and thinks all those wonderful things that you think about others and are convinced are not true of you, but to them, they are. You are that person they think they don't measure up to because they only see your outsides.

2) The path it took for some people to get those "outsides" is not one you would probably envy if you only knew. That person with an immaculately clean house may have been abused as a child if everything was not spotless, and they don't know how to live any other way. That person with the amazing huge house and fancy car may be up to her eyeballs in debt and worrying where the money for the next house payment will come from. The person with with those amazingly disciplined children may bribe them into it, or intimidate them into it, so that the compliance is real and physical, but not from the heart. The list of possibilities is endless, but I can tell you it is very real.

3) It may all be a matter of perspective.  Consider this.  Today, I could blog that...
A) I made my children a delightful breakfast of homemade oatmeal. And since we are cheerfully watching my neighbor all day too, I had five lovely young people happily enjoying their breakfast treat. After breakfast, I lit our 3-wick candle so we could all enjoy the scent, and went into Mimi's room to try on a bag full of clothes that my friend dropped of on our doorstep this morning. Then, I proceeded to work on the laundry while the kids enjoyed some play time. I've done 3 loads already today. Once I got the laundry going, I gathered all the children around, and I read aloud to the the next chapter in Betsy and Tacy go over the Big Hill. We discussed many differences between then and now, like the fact that the children dressed for "supper" including the girls neatly doing their hair. And they came home from school for "dinner" which is our lunch. They found it all very intriguing. After that, I got a butternut squash roasting in the oven, and got the kids situated at the sink taking turns peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes. They all happily helped out, even little Sari. While they did that, I got a pot roast going in the crock pot, and fed our composting worms all the scraps from our preparations. With the food work finished, they are now all outside playing until I call them for lunch.

b) We had oatmeal for breakfast. Not the organic, rough hewn, really healthy for you stuff, but the publix quick cooking stuff (although it was REAL and not the packets full of sugar with some oats added in...BUT...).Then I sprinkled a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar in the bottom of the bowls and about 2 tablespoons of mini-chocolate chips on top. Yep, I'd prefer to sugar them up myself then let the oatmeal packets do it for me. We have my neighbor R today, and she wouldn't touch it...apparently chocolate chip oatmeal is just a little beyond normal for her, but here, it's a staple :-). Then I went into Mimi's room to try on the clothes K dropped off. At least, I assume it was K as they smell like her clothes smell, but I never actually saw her do it. I had to be careful where I walked in Mimi's room because the mess if so pervasive. In fact, her precious pearl is missing, and she thinks her brother may have it, but I will not even entertain the notion of asking him until she can prove it's not in her room under some pile of stuff. We tried on the clothes, and I was walking out to put the stuff I needed to get rid of or box up to grow into in boxes, when I found a RIVER of wax all over my dinning room table. Really, there is less water flowing in the Mississippi River than the wax flowing on my table. And since the wax pool was gone, the flames on the candle (a 3-wick) shot so high that the smoke detector went off. I dropped the clothes, blew out the candle, and attempted to stymie the flow of wax before it hit the floor. Whew! Just in time. After averting the catastrophe, and rebuilding the wall of the candle with soft wax, I re-lit it and we shall see if history repeats itself. They kids DID happily help out with the potatoes, and Sari rubbed down the cabinets with the magic eraser...yes, I KNOW about the e-mail and the skin burns, but she was rubbing the CABINET, not her face, so she did fine. I also let Mimi handle a chef's knife with a 9" blade to cut up the potatoes. She still has all her fingers, and she said, "I never knew this could be so fun" so I think it was a good experience. While we were in the kitchen finishing up though, Sari was outside with no shoes on, so I am sure her feet are awful. Oh, and it's way past lunch time, and here I am blogging instead of feeding the kids. AND, the ONLY school we've done today is reading one chapter of that book, and Scott doing his piano theory work...unless you count our homemaking endeavors.

My point? That both of the above are true. And neither is complete without the other. I have had an amazingly productive morning, but none of those loads of laundry is FOLDED yet...just lying flat in a HUGE pile for me to deal with. I am watching 5 kids, and it is no big deal to me, but I love R like she's my own, so it's not anything extra to have her here. I don't usually have mornings that make me look like little Suzy homemaker, so I love sharing that I had one today, but if this little snap shot was all you saw, I'd look pretty good. On the flip side, I don't usually have days where I almost burn the house down, and while that's an exception, the second story is much closer to our usual truth.

Don't compare your insides to ANYONE's insides, good, bad or otherwise. God has a plan specific to YOU, and He created you fearfully and wonderfully to carry out that plan. Since His plan for each of us is different, it is natural that the insides and the outsides of each of us will be different. Live for Him. Worry about what He thinks. Let the rest go. And next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, stop and compliment THEM. Tell them what impresses you. We are meant to be encouragers. And I bet they will encourage you right back...either with something you do that they admire, or with the reason they can do that thing, or have that thing, that appeals to you, and you will find it has a high cost that came from a trial God had for THEM to perfect THEIR faith. Rest in the knowledge that He loves you just as much, and He has given you exactly what YOU need for YOUR tasks.

Just a thought.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sea World

Sea World Family photo op

Again, I am all behind in what I wanted to blog about. There's a variety of reasons, like my office being FREEZING in cool weather, but it leaves me with so much to say...
Last Wednesday the kids and I went to Sea World. I actually kept them out of P.E. for this entire month so that we would be free to do things like Sea World. (tonight while she was praying, Mimi said, "Dear God, help my mom know how much we want to do P.E." Sad huh?) We had a very relaxing stress to see any particular thing (except our favorite Blue Horizons show, which was PACKED, so we sat in the nose-bleed section).

We spent quite a bit of time petting sting rays.

Mimi, still with money burning a whole in her pocket, got to fulfill a dream...they have this pearl diving place there where they have "divers" bring a handful of oysters up to the surface and for the paltry sum of $15, you can chose one (each one GUARANTEED to have a pearl) and get yourself your very own pearl. All my kids have wanted to do this since Sea World built this area a few years ago. Well this time, Mimi spent her own money and did it. Now she has her very own pearl, and she couldn't be happier. Except we didn't have the money to buy any setting for it, so it's just in a little baggie, but if we can get it drilled through, we can string it on something.
Mimi and the diver who brought up her oyster

Sari had another 1st...she actually touched "Shamu" and had her picture taken with him.

Oh, and she got lost...yep, I lost my daughter. We went to Shamu's happy harbor, the kid's play area, and I was giving the other 3 instructions on where to meet and when (we go there often enough that they are very comfortable there and it's easier to give them a meeting place than to try to keep up with all of them-I still visually keep an eye on them every few minutes). I got done with the instructions, they took off, and suddenly, no Sari left behind!
Somehow in the 2 minutes I was telling them what to do, she had slinked away.
On to a ride.
That the attendant put her on without an adult present.
To his credit, he was standing by her side looking for me, and with her on the carousel she was actually at eye level and I spotted her quickly, but wow! what a moment of panic. Luckily I knew that was where she wanted to go, so it was my first place to look anyway. She of course was nonplussed.
Lost? Who? ME? Never!
Cutie Patootie!

Oh, and after 5 years of having passes, I finally caved and let the boys play with those "insert token for the pleasure of driving an RC boat for 3 minutes". They had a blast, and since they were bummed about Mimi getting a pearl, it seemed like the least I could do.

The boys rode Wild Arctic by themselves, which is good because it will be rehab-ed this week so will be closed for a while. After much confusion on the part of the Sea World workers (me: I want my boys to ride, but not me or the girls. Them: She's to little to ride. Me: Yes, I know...just the boys want to ride. Them: Okay, so you want to do a child swap? Me: No one to "swap" with...I just want to put them on the ride and wait at the exit. Etc. Etc.) They finally got it...we go through this every time so it is nothing new...and the boys had a blast. For the record, Mimi could have rode, but isn't brave enough to do it without mommy, who even if I didn't have Sari to worry about, would not ride Wild Arctic for all the pearls in the sea.

All in all, it was a great day, and I got home with 2 hours to spare before my concert for UIP, so it all worked out. I hope to take the kids again this month as the passes expire in December and I have no idea if we will make it back there with all the holiday stuff to do.
Until tomorrow,

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Thursday, November 8, 2007


So I've been summoned to jury duty. Again. I get summoned at least once a year. They must like me. This is Petit jury, and it will be a week long trial term...Ummmmm...NO!

First, let me say I totally believe it is the duty of every able person who enjoys the freedom living int he country affords to serve on a jury when called. That's how our justice system works. You can't have a jury of your peers without peers who are willing to serve. BUT, it just is not realistic for a homeschooling mother of 4 (ages 10 and under) to serve on a jury for a week. And I do meet the qualifications for exemption due to my stay-at-home mom of a 2 1/2 year old status, but it's funny how persistent they are in summoning me when I know some people who have never been summoned.

The last one I actually went to was for GRAND jury. Now there's one you don't want to get picked for, as the grand jury can be called anytime for a certain number of months. Sometimes it pays to have a high juror number, as they filled the jury box before they got to me.

I really look forward to serving sometime though, just not right now for this particular commitment. I am grateful though to live in a county where there is a system of trial by jury and not just randomly enforced laws with punishments carried out at the whim of one person. And I love that as citizens we get to be part of the process. We are really blessed that our system, even with its flaws, works as well as it does. All you have to do is keep up with international events to appreciate that truth.
I am even more blessed though that the ultimate judge is God and the price for my trangressions is already paid in the precious blood of Jesus.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So much meaty stuff to blog...but time for only the fluff.

I managed to make it through yesterday doing all our normal activities PLUS take baby R with us. We left the house at 8:45 and got back home at 3:45. She's a great trooper.
We had a few significant "firsts" yesterday...
TJ took his first art class with Miss Heather. He's still young, but he does his art work at home so purposefully that I wanted him to have the chance to get a little instruction. We are committed for this month, and we will see from there...He did really enjoy it though. Here's his turtle that he drew at class. The bottom is a little lopped off in the photo to cover his signature.
The other big first happened, and I had NOTHING to do with it. Sari has been telling me, and anyone would would listen for the past year every time she has had to go pee (and now she tells even sometimes gives us a head's up about the other option). Well, I am, since it seems this is true confessions week in our circle of blog friends, way to LAZY to deal with a potty "trained" 1 1/2 year old (which is when she started telling us about needing to go pee) and not so thrilled at the prospect even still. I have no rush to get her out of diapers. I think, until they are really old enough to recognize when they need to go and are able to go on command even when they don't "need" to for those times when you are out and the bathrooms will be scarce or scary, that all you really do is train yourself to have to ask them every 30 minutes if they have to "go potty" and train yourself to carry extra clothing/things to clean messes with etc. until they are really old enough to do it on their own. I'd rather just wait until they can do it on their own and be done. It's worked for my older 3, and I was planning on it working for Precept she told her teacher she needed to go "pee" and so the teacher took her in, put her on the potty, and voila! pee! Great! I say with mixed emotions. I'm totally happy for Sari and thankful for the teacher for being so kind. And I won't DIScourage it at all, but I just haven't ENcouraged it so far. So this morning I let her sit on the potty which produced nothing but a cute photo session, but that's good enough for me.
Funny Huh? She's wearing her favorite Sein-Sein PJ's. The second face is her..."my poopy not come" face.
More to blog, but life to live also, so I have to run. The kids and I are off to Seaworld today, and given the UIP has a concert tonight, I should be just about dead by 9 PM, LOL.
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Monday, November 5, 2007

Brotherly love

Here's a picture of my brother Michael and his girlfriend S. She lives in Ohio, and as he is quite serious about making a future with her, I am sure that even after he leaves his job that has him traveling all over the US and the world, we still won't see much of him. It's a shame because the kids LOVE him so. But hey, looks like we will have a reason to visit Ohio now.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Rant and rave

Let's start with the raving first :-). Here's my husband loving on our youngest. Is there anything better than the love of a father for his children?

And then here's my youngest loving on her sister. How the two of them reclined comfortably in this cheap-o folding chair is beyond me, but they were there for several minutes.

And the rant? My husband told me he spoke to his mother. She wants me to make the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner at her house. And, since she has the whole meal planned out according to some menu she got from somewhere (probably Bon Appetite or Gourmet), she will be providing me with the RECIPE to follow when making said mashed potatoes.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? is my gut reaction. You have the audacity to tell me what I am bringing, and then you are going to tell me how to make it too?

Not very nice, huh (my reaction, not her request)? Why is it so hard for me to just be good with her request? Why do I "kick against the goads" so much when it come to all things related to my m-i-l? But actually it is just a mental "kicking". In the end, I will do exactly what she wants because it will make her happy and preserve the peace, and it is not harmful for me to do it. And it's probably what Jesus would do...or at least what He would encourage any lady of the Bible to do, since I doubt He ever made mashed potatoes. He did turn water into wine for ill-prepared wedding throwers though. And He also fed the masses with loaves and fishes after spending all day teaching them. So the least I can do is make some mashed potatoes (even using some yet-to-be-produced recipe) because in the end it is about loving my husband (and by default his family), with whom I have a covenant vow of one-ness. with an agape, self-sacrificing love. I'm blessed I have a husband, many women don't. While we don't always bring out the best in each other, he does, just by his existence, drive me to be better...a better housekeeper, mother, and help-meet just to name a few things. God uses him, and our covenant of marriage to work on ME and that is priceless even if it is sometimes hard to swallow.
until tomorrow,
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ren Faire highlights cont.

Here is a picture from the pirate show. They choose people from the audience to help with the story, and in this show, they chose a lady who goes to our church. So here is B's big moment on stage...
The library had a "decorate a cookie with a renaissance symbol" craft going on. I'd show you a picture, but the cookies were consumed fairly quickly after being crafted, LOL. Another educational group sponsors brass rubbings though, and here is Mimi doing hers.

And from the "I've got to get myself one of these" category comes...the stockade. My kids LOVED it, and I got to thinking...I could LOVE it too...especially if I had my own personal stockade for at home use, LOL.

It got me to thinking how much we have changed as a society and a nation though, that once public humiliation was an acceptable form of discipline, and now nothing is. I'm not sure stockades were Biblically inspired, but I am confident that today's laissez-faire, "I want to be my kid's best friend" attitudes are not Biblically inspired either. Humiliation is not the key to winning someone's heart, but neither is turning a blind eye to sin.
Sadly, a man selling pendants at the faire was recounting to me how someone from a private Christian school stole one of his pendants (they are unique and custom done, and he had made very few sales that morning, so he KNEW no one had bought it ). Anyway, the kid who stole it actually came back to the booth WEARING it!!! The man confronted him, and the kid lied, but then got caught in the lie and gave it back, but so sad that it happened at all. Where were the adults who were meant to be chaperoning these kids? Where are the parents who obviously never taught them stealing is wrong? I think it is especially sad as the man and his family struck me as non-believers (due to the nature of most of what he was selling) and here is this "Christian" stealing from him. So frustrating...
I'm off to bed to enjoy my "extra" hour, but I wanted to say I am blessed with the fact that UIP's concerts start tomorrow night. I can't wait to see how God will work through them. And I'm blessed that TJ had his last soccer game this morning and I got to see most of it. He has really enjoyed it.

And finally, I'm blessed that Sari has fallen asleep at my feet and it isn't even 11 PM...that's amazing!

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Ren Faire Highlights

This week-end is the annual Renaissance faire for our area. It is a pretty good one, and on Friday they have education day where the tickets are significantly cheaper. We have gone for several years running.

I tried send Sari off to work with her daddy, but no such luck. Turns out, having her anywhere but at the Ren Faire would have been great. She is such a wonderful child. Quiet, obedient, funny, easy going, etc., but when she is having an off day she is a BEAR, and today was the mother of all off days. She whined anytime I wasn't holding her, and holding a almost 30 pound child while walking a fair is not my idea of fun, so either I suffered physically by carrying her or mentally from the whining. ARGH! I think because it is so vastly off from her normal disposition, it is really hard to deal with her when she is like that.

In the end, the other kids all had a great time, but we did not actually "do" much of anything. We missed the jousting and the falconry. And for the first time, we did not complete the "quest" (which is an elimination-type mystery you solve by seeking clues from Ren Faire folks wearing little white roses). We did though see the funny pirates, a perennial favorite, whose show is rapidly becoming too PG-13 for my 10 year old son. Actually, the show never seems to change much, but the jokes that used to go way over his head I now fear he understands.

Mimi was on a quest of her own-to blow through some money she has earned for watering our neighbor's plants. She was seeking Renaissance garb, preferably some of those beautiful dresses they wear. Unfortunately, the simple sheath with puffy elastic sleeves was $59 (for her size!) so she settled for a hair stick (a metal rod with a glass ball at the twist your hair up and then use the stick to secure it). It was $5 and really holds her hair well without it "hurting" like some things do.

I caved for the first time in history and let the boys get wooden "swords". We'll see how long they last, or if daddy even lets them have them (or let's me live for buying them), but the boys are excited. There will definitely be some ground rules!
Here are Scott and Mimi with my sister's friend's husband, who does re-enactments. We got the chance to watch him battle later on.
Sari and Mimi's favorites...pretty ladies on pretty horses.
The falconry show we tried to see got cancelled because the audio didn't work. Why do you need audio for a bird show? To explain what they are doing. We got to see it last year, and trust me, the audio is important :-). I don't think you can tell, but the falcon actually has a special little helmet on over his eyes to keep him from seeing until they are ready for the show (hence his bug-eyed appearance).
There's a bizarre-type job...what do you do for a living? I make blinders for falcons. Do you think that's what that person wanted to be "when they grew up?". I'm thinking that's definitely one of those "run in the family" sort of vocations.
So much more to blog, but I'm exhausted, so it's off to bed for now.
I'm thankful it was a beautiful day, thankful for the friends we got to see, if only for a few moments, and thankful that homeschooling means we get to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves all around us.
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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mom's home ;-)

As it is midnight already, I just wanted to quickly post that my mom is out of the hospital and is fine. I am not sure there is an official diagnosis, as all the tests came back good, but she is feeling much better and that is really all that matters.
Also, here's a shout out for prayer for a friend. She got some unexpected test results back and goes to see a specialist tomorrow. Pray for peace for her, wisdom for the doctors, and that this would not be the sign of something serious.

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