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.

Tuesday, August 4

June and July in a Nutshell

This has been an incredibly busy Summer. I can't believe that it's almost over already. In a nutshell, here are some of our favorite photos from our Summer 2009.

One big highlight was having lots of friends come over to swim each day.
Nana gave birth to 8 puppies. It was a huge litter, and she was thoroughly exhausted. We jokingly nicknames her the octo-mom. Those puppies sucked her dry. She most likely (as far as we can figure) bred with 2 different dogs. A Yorkie, and a Pug. Simply because some look like Yorkies and some look like Pugs. At 6 weeks we gave them all away, except one. A little black one that Matt wanted named Ozzie.
This is just a funny incident that made me chuckle. It was pouring rain outside one afternoon, and a squirrel just happened to be resting on our back bumper trying its best to get out of the rain. It kept popping its head out from behind the van. Then it would go back to where I couldn't see it again. Then again it would pop it's head out. It totally made me laugh. I just had to take a photo.

4th of July at the church. The kids has a blast playing tag in the parking lot.

The older boys played a game inside the church called ladder ball. The balls are on strings and you throw them across the room and try to rack them on a plastic ladder.

June and July in a Nutshell (Cont.)

More 4th of July pictures from our church. Truthseeker is playing pin the flag on Illinois. All the kids had fun playing this game.
Kroger was giving away free 4th of July balloons. Thumbody was lucky to get one.
Truthseeker (and all the others) were in love with the puppies. You could find them carrying around one, most of the time.
Another Summer highlight was making Cold Stone ice cream with our Cold Stone kit we got from mom and dad for Christmas, this past year. As you can see (behind Thumbody) we used the bottom of our car top carrier to house Nana and her pups. There were so many of them, we didn't really have anything big enough to house them. This worked nicely.
One Summer afternoon was spent at the Splash Pad in a nearby town. It's a free place for the kids to run around and get cooled off. The kids enjoyed this so much. I did too. I sat under a shaded area, and worked on lesson plans for the upcoming school year. As you can see from this photo, I had a perfect eye view of the kids. Love this park!
More Splash Pad fun.

Our home all in bloom. I just love summertime. All of my flowers are in bloom, and the house just looks so nice.
This is how Skaterboy spent the first part of his Summer. He and World of Warcraft have been companions during most of his freetime. He did complete driver's ed, which took up most of the month of June, but in his free time this is where we could find him. He is currently in Missouri working for my dad, as an electrician's apprentice. We will go pick him up in a few weeks or so.

A fun Summer carnival in the park.
There were lots of these blow-up things, and everything was completely free.
Truthseeker, down the slide.

Here comes Skaterboy!

What is better than an ice cold snow cone on a hot Summer day?

Here we are. Mom and Thumbody. Truthseeker wanted to take a photo of us at the carnival.

One tradition that we tried to hold true to this Summer was a weekly trip to the farmer's market. I loved being able to pick up fresh organic vegetables, and the kids enjoyed getting a little sweet treat too. Thumbody is enjoying a small loaf of banana bread in this photo.

Here is one week of organic fruits and veggies for the family. Yum!

June and July in a Nutshell (Cont.)

More Summer fun stuff. The kids enjoyed a very fun Star Wars birthday party for their friend Daniel.
The pin'ata is always a huge hit.
Truthseeker tries his hand at the pin'ata.
Camp Lean On The Lord was the title of our church's VBS this year. The kids learned all about people with disabilities, and how they can help them, and reach out to them. The VBS was narrated by Joni Erickson Tada. It was a neat experience. Here they are singing some of their VBS songs in front of the church.
Camping... In the living room. We had planned to go camping (for real) this particular night, but there were storm warnings, and so we chickened out. Instead we let the kids have a campout in the living room. Hope to do some real camping soon.

Since our camping trip was post poned, and the next afternoon was nice, we decided to take the kids to the water park. Scott and Skaterboy are resting after taking on some wicked water slides.

June and July in a Nutshell (Cont.)

Here we are. Don't we make a gorgeous couple?
The bumper boats were fun to drive. I tried to squirt Scott as much as I could.
Thumbody on the paddle boat. We took a leisurely trip around the pond.

The toilet slide (as we like to call it) as it feels like you are being flushed down a toilet.
Strange experience, I must say.
Scott and Skaterboy on the paddle boats.

June and July in a Nutshell (Cont.)

This is the scariest slide ever. It doesn't look too bad, does it? Well, let me ask you, have you ever had a dream where you were falling? This is how this slide feels when you are going down it. Then you slide up to the top of the other part, and you feel like you just may go off the edge. Once was enough for me on this one.

Scott took Skaterboy and Truthseeker on the Go-Carts. Thumbody was just a little upset that he was too young to ride.
After a nice trip to the water park, Scott drove us past the hospital where he works. This photo is only a small portion of the hospital. It covers 2 complete city blocks, plus a number of doctor's offices in the area as well.

Our 2nd to last stop after the hospital tour, was a visit to Abe Lincoln's Tomb. Truthseeker did an exhibit for the fair titled Celebrating Lincoln, and he needed a photo of his tomb for the collage he made. He did 2 other exhibits as well, that we will see tomorrow when we go to the fair. Truthseeker and Thumbody are also in the Goat and Chicken Scrambles tomorrow night. Ann and the girls should be here around 4 tomorrow, so they are going to go watch too.

Lots of family reunion time this Summer. Dad, Mom, my brother Ken, my niece Madison, and my brother's girlfriend Nikki came for a visit, and stayed the weekend. Here we are all enjoying the pool on a warm afternoon.

June and July in a Nutshell (Cont.)

Here we are, my family. Not everyone of course. It was so nice to see everyone and visit. It's been a good Summer, after a long hard Winter.
We belong to a playgroup that meets every week. This particular week the kids made homemade icecream. Here they are shaking the half and half (with 2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla in a small baggie) in a large baggie of ice and rock salt. It's pretty tasty I must say.

Shake, shake, shake....shake your bootie :)

Enjoying their home made ice cream.