Thursday, December 31


Here are my 12 favorite photos of 2009 in 12 minutes (Read below for details...) Here is also an explanation as to why they are my favorites too :)

This one just needs no explanation! Too funny, and almost scary...

My sweet littlest lamb E, all ready for the Christmas Program at church. He was a sheep. Can you tell?

I just love this photo I took last weekend. All the kids in a row on their way down the sledding hill.
The boys with my favorite student D that I helped teach from 2003-2006. I know, a teacher is not supposed to have a favorite, but I just love this little guy. He's 9 now, and still a close friend of the family. So glad he is friends with my boys.

Scott and I in 2010. Well, we will be working toward that goal, but I don't think you will be seeing me in a two piece any time soon. Like... never!

This is so funny. I had been blaming M for messing up my computer, just recently before I took this photo. He kept messing with the setting, and it was annoying me to no end. Then one day, I tried to get on this particular website and this is the message that came up. I ran and got M and showed him it. He was like.... "What???? I didn't do anything!" I had to take a photo! Sooo funny, I guess you had to be there.

H with one of the pups. Too cute for words!

E and I in our Little Missmatched Socks! Love them!

Look at the smile on E's face. He had caught a chicken in the 4-H Chicken Scramble. He was so proud of himself! He received a gift certificate to Dairy Queen.

H and E, 2 of my 3 silly boys.

Spaghetti Fight! Need I say more?

My precious Christmas Angel!

Just in-case you are just stepping into this, and are unaware of what is going on with this post. See Stacy's blog post under Sprinkles for today. Here is the link:

What is a Sprinkle? Well Stacy posts a challenge, either scrapbooking related or sometimes not, but definitely something worthwhile and rewarding. Helping us to Sprinkle our lives with Color and Happiness.

So this challenge is somewhat scrapbook related, and since I am attending a weekend retreat next weekend in Bloomington, I am thrilled with the possibilities this gives me as a scrapbooker. It simply makes scrapbooking more fun. Last summer I realized that my scrapbooking, although still a fun hobby, was losing it's excitement. Yes, you heard me say it here. Can you believe it? So I was reading some of Stacy's hints in one of her books I own called Photo Freedom. Here is where I would post an Amazon Link if I could, but I don't know how, so you will just have to look it up yourselves, sorry... it's by Stacy Julian. So what did I do? I took my scrapbooking stuff outside. It was a beautiful day, the kids were swimming in the pool, I was under a big umbrella at the table with some of my scrapbook stuff, and I created like I hadn't done in a long time. And it was fun. So much fun, and so relaxing. So I did it again on a nice day, and so on. I have now figured out that I enjoy scrapbooking outdoors more than scrapbooking indoors. Funny thing about life. Another challenge of Stacy's that I tried a couple years back was to just grab random photos, your box of scraps, a stapler, and adhesive, 1 black pen. Only use those things. I had a blast scrapbooking with only those items, and some of my favorite pages came from that. So thanks to Stacy, I am figuring out new ways to stay happy and excited in my hobby.
Thanks Stacy, for making this year a whole lot brighter, and here's a champagne toast full of Jelly Bellies to you! Happy Double Digits Everyone! 2010 here we come!

Wednesday, December 16


I can hardly believe that it is true. That this boy of mine is 17 years old today. This precious little baby laying in a cradle in Wisconsin on Christmas morning 1992.

That this boy at 8 months old, smiling for one of his first professional portraits, is 17 years old today.
That this boy, full of spunk and wonderment in his Lion King one-piece outfit, chewing on a graham cracker, is 17 years old today.

That this boy, dressed in his first cap and gown, for his preschool graduation, is 17 years old today.

(Sorry, this one somehow got out of order)... That this boy, at age 1, sliding down the inside of a heart at the children's museum in Appleton, and who stole my heart away, is 17 today.

That this boy, so big and full of life and learning in Kindergarten, with a smile that would melt any heart for miles around, is 17 today.

That this boy, who got the chance to meet a professional wrestler, at age 6, and was thrilled to extremes, is 17 today.
That this boy, who played his heart out at his piano recital, with such confidence, and excitement, is 17 today.

That this boy, who loved to climb on things and is full of fun and laughter, is 17 today.

That this boy, who is loved by all his grandparents, and relatives alike, and is a friend to many many people, and loves to make his Nonnie try bad tasting things, is 17 years old today.

That this boy, who totally cracks me up, and is so much like his Nonnie, is 17 years old today.
That this boy, who loves his Uncle Ken, more than words could ever express, is 17 years old today.
That this boy, who is never afraid to laugh at himself, and never afraid to make people laugh, is 17 years old today.

That this boy, that makes each day a joy. Who makes me laugh each and every day, to the point of tears sometimes, is 17 today.
And that this boy, this beautiful boy, my most precious oldest son, whom I would never trade for anything in this world, who is growing into such a nice and decent man before my very eyes, is in fact, 17 years old today. I love you M, more than words could ever say. Happy Birthday Son :)

Monday, December 7


Well, I certainly don't have a few to share this time. First of all, I didn't post on McMama's Blog this very same thing, before I learned how to link myself... Long story, but basically the same thing I posted there. Tried to copy and paste, but it didn't work. Anyway, never mind. I can never get the same wording twice, so please bear with me.

My NOT ME weekend started Friday, when I took the kids (with our homeschool group) to The Nutcracker Ballet. Midway through the show, I most certainly did not find my self staring at a particular male ballerina's man candy, while he was pirouetting all around the stage. Not that he wasn't (or was) wearing a thong under his white and very form fitting tights, but the package in front most certainly was not "out-there" so to speak, for the world to see.

This morning I never would have succumb to my 5 year old's half-hour fit over wanting to put all the nutcracker ornaments on the tree and not share with his brother. His reasoning... because at said Nutcracker ballet above, his brother told him that it was boring, so apparently he thought he didn't deserve to put any nutcrackers on the tree.

Later this afternoon, my middle child, the boring nutcracker boy, while reading the states off in a random form, and as a 2nd grader is the perfect reader who never mispronounces anything, did not read West Vagina aloud, instead of you guessed it, West Virginia. It's just been a house full of nutcrackers and vagina's all day long!


I know, I know... It's been awhile again. I believe that the past 2 months have been the busiest I have ever experienced. October was full of Halloween/Fall excitement, November revolved around Thanksgiving/Turkey stuff, and now we are full into December with Advent, many Christmas Parties, and activities galore.

A few things to take note of... My husband Scott was awarded Employee of the Month at the hospital where he works. That was big and exciting news!

I am co-directing our church's Christmas Pageant this year, and am busy doing that.

I have taken in 3 extra children to take care of daily, while their mom is at school.

And I trudge along on the homeschool highway, trying to come up with new and exciting things for the kids to learn, without being too overbearing.

It snowed overnight, and the ground was blanketed with white this morning. Although the thought did hit me to take a picture this morning, I got sidetracked, and by noon it was gone. Tonight we are supposed to get up to 3 inches, so hopefully I will get the chance to take a picture for my December Daily album I will be posting soon. Below are a few photos I took for my December Daily album.

Dec. 1... First day of Advent. What is better than waking up to new Legos each and every morning. Nothing, I can imagine. M of course didn't want Legos, so he's been getting packs of his favorite gum, a book, cheese, a hat, and some WOW cards.
Dec. 2... I put the candy canes out front, and E decided to give my winter boots a try.

Dec. 4... The Nutcracker Ballet. The boys are patiently waiting for the show to begin. M was a bit miffed that he was the oldest of the group to attend this event, and I made him go. Oh well, a bit of culture can't hurt anyone, I must say.

Members of our homeschool group that attended the Nutcracker Ballet.

H and E with a few of the ballet dancers from the show. I thought it was simply wonderful. Great performance. Although a bit disturbing in a certain part, but I will post on that later.

Saturday, October 24

Late September - October Highlights

I guess I've gotten a bit behind on my blog. It's been a very busy couple of months, and it doesn't look like it's going to end very soon. Maybe after the 31st it will slow down some. I sure hope so. I have lots of photos to share, but am only posting the highlights right now, and will post the others as I have time. I will try to catch up as best as I can.

We started school the day after Labor Day. M in 10th grade, H in 2nd grade, and E in Junior Kindergarten. Every one's been working very hard, and I believe they have been learning a lot. M is currently studying Polynomials in Algebra; Kingdoms, Species, Class, Genre, etc... in Biology; Learning about the Aztecs in Spanish, along with the general stuff (you know...El numeros, Dias de la semana, Meses del ano, and Estaciones... Plus the all favorite... El Juramento a la Bandera).
He is studying Mesopotamia and the Near East in World History. He is currently reading Walden by Thoreau, and Sherlock Holmes by Doyle, and Greek Mythology. His outside classes consist of PE, and Speech/Debate.

Last night he went to see a play at the University about Emmett Till, and the start of the Civil Rights Movement. Very powerful, he said. He met with other homeschoolers in a discussion group after.

H is doing general 2nd grade work: Reading, Phonics, Literature, Math, Health, Science, American History, Spanish, Art, and Music.

E is working hard at learning his letters, and the sounds they make. Learning his numbers, and handwriting. He is also learning Spanish with the other boys, and cutting/pasting as well.

In late September, Scott was given a 4 day weekend for working extra hours, and just as a special treat. They love him there. We decided to take a small vacation to Chicago, and do some sightseeing. We took the kids to Legoland, and to the Museum of Science and Industry. We stayed at a really great Holiday Inn with a holidome attached. I have to say that it was the cleanest hotel we have ever stayed at. Pretty impressive. The pools and jacuzzi were exceptionally clean, and the nice restaurant next door provided us with a free buffet breakfast every morning.

The entrance to Legoland. M didn't want to be photographed under a Lego giraffe. Who can blame him?
October is Fire Prevention month, and so a small gathering of our homeschooling group took a field trip to the fire station in Decatur. They have the best program. Puppet and magic shows, a ventriloquist, and a tour of the fire house. The kids got to spray a fire hose, slide down a fire pole, and watch a fire fighter dress and undress for a fire. The kids were encouraged to go hug him in full gear, so they wouldn't ever be afraid to go to a firefighter if their home is ever on fire. Such a great program. I can't say enough great things about them. They were super!

Another field trip in October was to the Veterinary Clinic/Hospital in Atlanta. The vets and assistants gave us a tour of the facility, and outside they even had a petting zoo for the kids. As you can see, many more of our homeschoolers were able to come on this field trip, than to the fire station. This is about 1/4 of the children in our homeschooling group. We have a rather large group. Large enough for the University here to provide 2 homeschool PE classes. One for elem. school age children, and one for Jr. High and above.

October also marked a very special birthday in our family. Scott turned 36. As you can see by the cake I made, there were 36 lit candles all a glow for him to blow out. We just had a small family party.

Yesterday we took a few kids to the pumpkin patch in Beason. As you can see by their faces, it was a cold and wet day. The kids had fun none-the-less, but not many of the group decided to brave the cool weather.
Last night, the Marvelous Mama's (a mom and kids group we belong to), went out to a night club. Mamas only... no kiddies. We had such fun! What a great group of ladies to hang out with. I can't remember laughing so hard in such a long time. The Cafe'tini's were super yummy too. I think I'm going to have to try making these at home. Yum!
Well, I better sign off for tonight. I will be posting more photos related to the ones I just posted soon. Night... Night... Tomorrow is church and another Fall Festival. This time with a bonfire and hay rack rides. Thursday night is our MM's Halloween Party. Saturday we are Trick-or Treating with my best friend and family, while M helps out at our Church Halloween Outreach party. We will be stopping by that too, after trick or treating.
Besides all the homeschooling, field trips, and such. I have started babysitting for another family every weekday, and then I have Z on Thursdays as usual. So, most of the week I have 6 kids, and one day a week I have 7. It's been fun though, and it's helping out financially too, which is always good.

Saturday, September 12

The County Fair

I apologize that these are a little dated. The county fair was the first week in August. I am just getting a chance to post them because we have been so busy the past few weeks. It's been a fun few weeks though.

For those of you reading this on Facebook, you will want to go to my website to see the photos, as they don't show up on Facebook, for some reason. Go to:

This was H's first year to show an exhibit at the fair. He chose 3 categories. In the "All About Abe Lincoln" category, he received a 2nd place ribbon. He was very proud of himself. We were very proud of him too.
Here is a close up view of his collage.
What's better than hot dogs and lemon shake-ups at the fair? Hardly anything. At least E thinks so.

H thinks that the bumper cars were sweet. He had tons of fun ramming others with his car of choice. The blue one.

H also enjoyed the roller coaster. E was afraid to ride it, but did enjoy riding the helicopters and the tilt-a-whirl.
Both of the boys were in the 4-H Scrambles this year. E was in the Chicken Scramble, and H was in the Goat Scramble. Just in case you don't know, this is where they let animals loose in the grandstand, and the 4-H kids try to catch them. The youngest ones don't get to keep the chickens, they receive a goody bag instead, but the older kids get to keep their animals and have to show them at the fair the following year. E did end up catching a chicken. H just missed catching a goat. Not sure what I would do with a goat around here anyway. I get unnerved by the 2 dogs we have. I can't imagine a goat to boot.

E waiting in line to start the scrambles.

Waiting for the chickens to be released.

H's age group, in the goat scramble. Waiting for that to begin.

More chicken chasing.

E with his goody bag. He had a good time as you can see on his face.

Last Sunday night I went to see Julia and Julia at the theater with friends. It was about Julia Child, and another young woman named Julia who thinks the world of Julia Child, and decides to cook her way through JC's cookbook. Then ends up starting a blog about it. It was a very funny movie, and I had such a great time seeing it. Especially in the great company of friends. It was fun, and I hope we can all do it again sometime soon.
Monday night I went to my friend Angie's house. Scott had to work, and so did her husband. We had an enjoyable quiet evening just chatting, and having fun. Tuesday we went to a cookout at her house, since her husband had off of work. We hadn't done that in a long long time. We really did have a great time, even though we burnt the steaks. Oh well, it was the time spent together that mattered, not the steaks.
Thursday, M started his speech and debate classes at LBC. They look like they are going to be pretty intense, but I know he can do it, he's a smart kid. That night I watched Z, and took the kids to McDonald's for dinner.
Friday was our homeschool picnic at the park. The kids had fun playing with the parachute, balloons, and playing baseball.
Last night I booked our hotel for our 4 day Chicago get-a-way in two weeks. We are going to The Harry Potter Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, The Chicago Children's Museum, and the Brookfield Zoo. I was able to get a great price for our hotel stay through Priceline, at the Holidome, in a close Chicago suburb. Also, I got a great rate on a family membership through the Chicago Children's Museum. It's a year long pass, and includes many half price admittances, including the Museum of Science and Industry. Our price for the year was as much as what the tickets would have cost for the museum alone. Our pass also includes the CM in Blm, and many others. I'm so thankful to Gina in our hs group for telling me about it. I'm looking forward to the trip. This will be our only vacation this year with our whole family, since Scott has no vacation days until January.
This afternoon I was a contestant judge in the National Bible Bee competition held at LCU. I am so very proud of the children that participated. It took a lot of hard work to memorize all those bible facts, and memory verses. I am so excited for my children to participate in this next year.
Tomorrow I have Sunday School to teach, and M and I are greeters. Then we are having friends over after church for lunch.
Next week we have doctor appts for all 3 boys (check ups and asthma check for M), play date in the afternoon with our Blm friends at Holiday Park, M has speech and debate classes, there's homeschool PE, our first 4-H meeting of the year, and The Railsplitter Festival next Saturday. If you would like to take a trip back to the 1800's, stop by with the kids, for a very fun weekend.

Here's hoping you all have a great week ahead!

Monday, August 31


You may have noticed a few changes on my blog, but I was in need of a makeover, so I changed a few things. It's a woman's prerogative, you know. One of the things I changed that I should tell you about right away, is that I have changed my children's on-line names. My oldest child is now called M (simply because it is the first letter in his name), H is my middle son, and E is the youngest. It made sense to change this because M no longer skateboards, which makes calling him Skaterboy irrelevant. Truthseeker isn't always as truth seeking as he once was, and Thumbody is still working on giving up his thumb, but at 5 doesn't really like being referred to on-line (not that he even realizes this) as Thumbody.

Today was our first day of school, and E's first day of kindergarten. He was so excited to start, that he got up early before the other kids, and insisted on starting right away. He loved it. Every little bit of it. The coloring, drawing lines, making his name out of clothespins. Wasn't kindergarten the most fun ever? I remember it fondly, I think. Kindergarten and the 6th grade. I had the best teacher. She had us memorizing poetry, and singing all the old songs every day. I remember drawing lots of pictures, and writing poetry over top of them. So beautiful. Listening to nature programs on the radio, and doing narrations of them. Very Charlotte Mason, I must say, even for the early 80's. If she were alive today, I would ask her if she was ever influenced by Charlotte Mason. Of course back then, I didn't even know who Charlotte Mason was, much less care. Funny thing is that my memory remembers the most from that year in 6th grade, more than any other year in school. I have a friend who I went to school with, that also uses a lot of Charlotte Mason in her homeschool. I should ask her sometime if she feels the same way as I do, about our 6th grade class back in 1980. About 14 years ago I got the chance to see my old teacher at a square dance my Dad was calling at. I got to tell her what a great teacher I thought she was. She seemed very humbled. I'm not sure if she is still alive or not. But my memories of her and her way of teaching has stayed with me all these years, and has definitely helped influence my career choice later in life, and the way I teach today.

The kids stayed on schedule pretty well today, and we were done shortly before 3 p.m., which is about the same time as the public schools let out. I am trying my hand at teaching the children Spanish this year. I took 2 years of it in HS. and surprisingly it's coming back quite well. At least the pronunciation so far. This week they are learning the Spanish alphabet, and !Bienvenidos! Which means welcome. The first exclamation point is supposed to be upside down because it is a greeting, but I can't find it on the keyboard. It's probably here somewhere though, because I believe that most keyboards are created multi-lingual.

So glad that M is home from Missouri. He had a great time, and was able to see my favorite fun uncle and aunt that were visiting while he was there. Mom and Dad brought M home late Friday night, and my grandma came too. We had such a nice weekend together. Saturday, Mom, Grandma, and I went to the $1 a bag book sale at the library. Such fun to find old children's books for our home library. The kids already have some favorites they want read again and again. We then went uptown to the Arts and Balloon festival. Mom, Grandma, and I went to the wine tasting tent, and you would have thought we were all girlfriends the way we were sipping each other's wine, so we could taste all the different kinds. We even got to try pumpkin wine. Mom snuck some out of the tent in my purse so Dad could try some. He stayed on the sidewalk with the kids. It really was a lot of fun. The kids got to tie dye t-shirts, and make a few crafts. H tried bungee jumping (the safe way) and loved it. I say safe because there are bungees on either side, and a trampoline underneath you, so you bounce as high as you are comfortable going. He did get pretty high. That night I took my parents to a BBQ at a friend's house, that lives across from the airport. Her and her husband are pilots. The hot air balloon launch was taking place Saturday night at the airport, and we were able to see it all from her front lawn. It was quite spectacular, with all the balloons lit up in the twilight of the evening. Very fun night as well. Sunday the went to church with us, and then mom decided she wanted to color my hair, so I let her. She had gotten a haircut (very short) the day before at a local beauty shop. and wanted me to highlight her hair too. So we spent time Saturday doing each other's hair. It was time for them to leave all too soon. Dad was wonderful and reinstalled our bedroom door that Scott and I didn't do a very good job installing (it was up, but it wasn't plumb), and then he fixed our screen door latch that had broken. Last time he was up he fixed our dishwasher. I feel bad that when he's on vacation, my house keeps him busy, and he never charges us. Such a great Dad I have! Well, it is half past midnight, and tomorrow is a full day of school again, so I need to go to bed. Scott is working a 12 hour shift tonight, and won't be home until 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Little's are in bed with me, which should make an interesting night of tossing and turning for me. Maybe I'll just sleep on the couch. I may be more comfortable that way. Happy September 2009.

Tuesday, August 25

One "Two" Special Birthday!

Yes, it was this child's birthday. He is 8 now, thus the 8 whole pancakes he got to eat for breakfast that "night". Yes... these were for supper. We had to be at Chuck E. Cheeses by 10 a.m. for his party, so we left kind of early, since it's about a 45 minute drive there. So the tradition continues, only at dinnertime this year. And in case you are wondering, he did eat them all.

Our fun family and friends party we had at the house the Saturday before his real birthday which was on a Monday. He had a Lego themed party at the house, with a homemade Lego pinata (made by mom) and many fun Lego themed games with prizes. He even had a blue Lego Cake (made by mom, ie... me) too. Here the kids are picking up all the pinata goodies that they can get their hands on. The kids had fun swimming and playing outside. It was a fun relaxing party.Two of Truthseeker's friends each made him a homemade card, and wrote a story inside it. So sweet, and cute. Here his friend is reading Truthseeker his card, since she wrote it in cursive, and Truthseeker was having trouble reading her writing. Too sweet though. Something he will definitely save forever. The metals around the kid's neck were prized from the games they played.

Truthseeker's real birthday was held at none other than... you know who's. He wanted his party there so badly, but adding up all the kids he wanted to invite would have been too expensive for us, so he invited his cousin, who couldn't come Saturday, and a few other friends.

Truthseeker's b-day guests at Chuck E. Cheeses. A fun time was had by all.

Love this boy. Love him even more now that he's 8.