Monday, December 6, 2010

Last week the kids had their Christmas program for CC, which was a lot of fun. My little class of girls did a fabulous job, and S & C did a great job, too. Caleb was my little clingy shadow, and H was thrilled to be sitting with Grandma!
We got to decorate for Christmas, H & C were not as thrilled about seeing as I'd anticipated. Lights, ornaments, the whole shebang should have just wowed them, or so I thought. Now, it's keeping hands off the pretties!
Caleb has been entertaining us with his carols. "Jingle bells...on a farm it is to ride in a one horse ony say." "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy menu!"
H's version of Jingle Bells is "Janna nall," which she will sing over and over.... She's enjoying all the pretty lights we see on houses. She's always enjoyed lights being on in our house and thanks me for turning them on, so when she sees houses decorated, she thanks me really enthusiastically! She's learning that it's to celebrate Jesus.
That's all for today. Have a great one!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Me: What does a cow say?
Hannah: Meow

Finding the humor in life is a great thing. Counting even the smallest blessing enlarges our lives exponentially. Realizing the steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases changes our lives.
Remaining thankful....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's after 8, and the 1st child has risen. We'll see how long that lasts... Normally, we're all up before this, but that's fine. We're finishing up delivering pop corn today, doing a little bit of school, and meeting my mom to let C spend the day and night with her and a cousin. Grandma needed some helping getting things ready for Thanksgiving, and 2 sweet granddaughters perfectly fit the bill. I know she's excited about it. Samuel is stuck with me, but he did get to spend the day with Buddy on Saturday, supposedly working, but the rumors I heard sounded pretty fun.
I got to spend time with H at therapy yesterday. Mom came to watch the other 3 while we were there. I thought I'd get some errands done, but it was great to watch what they do with her. I was pleased to see some progress, and got to talk with the therapists about how she seems to be gaining in some areas, but losing a bit in others. She remembers more of her routine, but is forgeting words to songs and prayers. I know it'll come back, but it's sad to see her losing anything she has to work so hard to gain. Great news is that if we can distract her, I can work with her feet without her realising I am. This is so great, because it was not fun for her. However, both PT and the Dr. say to keep doing it, so we will. This is just an added bonus.
It's going to be fun watching H tomorrow with all the excitement of the day. We're planning on being at my parents' for most of the day, which will lots of time to be with cousins and get to know them better.
I started working on a hat for H. Now that the sweaters are done, the afghan can be done in squares, and I'm finishing up on another project I'm challenged on, this is perfect. I'm using the smallest needles I've used, with very delicate yarn, so it feels like a big project! If I'm diligent, I'll finish by this weekend. I should work hard and finish it before the very chilly Thanksgiving Day we'll be having!
How exciting to spend our first holiday together, and what a perfect one to share. We're so thankful to see our family together, how far H has come, and to think in advance of the things this next year will bring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our former middle child has been on and off indifferent about the younger ones. Sometimes she has a great time with them (mostly if she's bossing them around) and other times is really bothered by them. The past week has shown a big jump in caring and kindness. She's been taking them into a bedroom to play school or music. (Is that an effort to get out of doing school work?) For today's activities, she got them to race stringing beads (great for H's hands) and to race across the living room floor to get a certain color of beads. Then it was races across the room just for the fun of it. H is even trying to jump during Simon Says. Parachute play and bean bag toss, too. Of course, every effort was rewarded by prizes/junk that I've been trying to get her to get rid of. She is! Only now I have to figure out how to get it from 3 people instead of just 1. They is pleased with the results.
What a fun way to pass the day!
While they're playing, it's laundry and knitting while listening to Christmas music. Yup, I gave into the wonders of celebrating our Savior's birth a bit early this year. Not ready for decorations yet, but this is a good way to get my mind in the right direction of the season.
Hope your Saturday is going well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, it turned into more of a deal than originally anticipated. 8 silver teeth, and 2 white caps for the front 2 teeth. It actually made it a qucker process. She did well through the procedure, tolerating the mask for the laughing gas, but did NOT like the shot. Thankfully, it was only one. The teeth were just too bad to do individual fillings. She woke up really easily, even tempered, and didn't get sick. We got home and everyone was impressed by all the metal in her mouth. She looked pretty pitiful with her little dry lips and her dazed expression. An hour later, she's doing better.

Our social worker came for our 3 month visit, which was just a bit late, about 20 minutes after we got home. Where did the time go? It'll 4 months tomorrow, date-wise, and it was so busy last month, we got a bit behind. H had her smile ready, as always.

The Dentist was really sweet and had some ideas for adapting her toothbrush. He said they really have no pain after something so major, and it's so much better than what they were feeling, that it's not a big deal. She may have the feeling of a "pizza burn" around her gums, but that's it. She was ready for bed very quickly, after drinking some clear liquids, and slept through the night. It's a new day, and she's back to herself! 1.5 hours of therapy this morning, plenty to eat and drink. Wow! If only I had had that great of an experience!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big change of plans for today- I got a call yesterday that H can go to the Dentist today! Her procedure is at 3:30, so nothing to eat after breakfast. Thankfully, she's still an out-of-sight, out-of-mind girl, and if I can keep her out of the kitchen and distracted during lunch, we'll be just fine. So thankful they can get her in early.

Catherine pulled out another tooth today. She's decided this is fun, and is very excited about the next ones to depart.

We started brushing (deep pressure) H yesterday after our OT session. Supposed to help her with her sensory issues. Boy, does that 2 hours go by quickly! Off to do more brushing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Picking up sticks for the bonfire we, sadly, never got to enjoy.

Dora and Boots at the Mall of America! Intently working on opening the blocks. Having fun with Grandpa.
Caleb's sweater is all done. He will be able to wear it for another year, thankfully.

Caleb enjoying the great outdoors of MN.

A treasure found in the woods. Hannah wasn't able to take walks with us out there this year. Next time. The wonders of birch bark!

Samuel's sweater, finished, but not blocked, and one loose strand on the pocket, which is now fixed.Hannah at the dentist's.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hannah update

Sadly, my camera remains with my mom. Happily, news doesn't need a camera.
Getting up early was a bear, but H did great. No complaints as I wisked her out of bed into a dark, damp morning. We ended up waiting for over an hour to be seen, but met some nice people while we waited. The staff was really friendly, and I liked Dr. Davey. Of course, seeing a patient who hasn't had their feet corrected until this age is unusual, and he did think they were pretty bad. The rest of her is fine, he didn't seem to think her wrists are very bad, but he did prescribe the wrist splints to help her keep them not so twisted.

We talked about the Ponseti method, which he thought worked well- for babies. Normally, if the feet have been neglected this long, this method won't have the follow up care necessary to maintain the correction. He didn't think that was the case with us. He said no one in our area does castings, and since he's in the OKC area only visiting here once a month, he doesn't have the capability here, either. Of course, I'm of the mindset of doing the least invasive and, in my mind, better in the long run procedure. I'm thinking if we can get her feet moved enough, the final surgery will be minimal, with less scarring and less for her feet to recover from. I want to be open to the possibilities and what will be best for H, so I asked him if he'd rather do the traditional surgery instead of casting. After a pause, he said if it was his daughter, he'd want to try the casting, too. That made me feel better, because that's what I really wanted to do. I've been so encouraged watching another little girl in Florida going through the process, with huge improvement. It gives me great hope for H.

When I got home, I made the call and set up 8 trips to OKC for castings, starting mid January. We could start in December, but we'll miss time for holidays, plus we have a developmental specialist to see, her teeth to take care of, and some therapy to fit in somewhere. He doesn't think it needs to be done right now, since it's gone on so long already. I'm going to have to figure out how to do school on that day, since it's going to be at least 5-6 hours away from home each trip.

When I went to the OT eval, the OT was thinking she probably has some issues with auditory processing and visual processing simply because of her sitting and not being very stimulated for her first years. When I go back, she will get a "sensory diet" for each day that should help her out. I can tell sometimes when she's not able to take any more when I'm explaining something to her, or when she misses out on all but the first and last words of something I'm telling her to say, and the last sounds of single words. She's still working on understanding the need to look at what she's doing to be able to do it right. (Put something where it goes, pull on her pants, etc.) It's getting better all the time. She's also getting better at letting me stretch her feet (which the Dr. wanted me to continue) without getting as upset. We work on counting and naming things, singing, and learning new sounds. Much better this week.

She's getting better at retaining information, too. It took a long time to remember any colors, or to be able to repeat the name for the 2nd item with that color, but she's getting that now. She doen't have to be told "pee pee and poo poo" every morning, either. Now when I tell her to go potty, she tells me what to do. The rest of the process needs a lot of reminders, but she'll get it. She's really fun to listen to when there's a lot of activity/excitement going on around her. She doesn't understand what we're talking about a lot of times, but she repeats words here and there to be part of it. Her noun vocabulary is growing, and she's adding some adjectives with them. Very few verbs at all, but is adding "da da da" between her nouns, which shows me she knows there should be something there.

She's still very content to sit for hours on end, doing nothing unless directed, but will go play when you tell her to. I know that's years of training, too, so we work on that.

I think that about covers everything. It is good to look back and see how far she's come in a short time and imagine what will come in the near future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early day for us tomorrow- Hannah and I will be on the road by 6:30 to get to the Ortho clinic by 7. It's an odd deal- 1st come, 1st served, and only once a month. It'll be great to hear from him what he sees as the plan for her. We also had our OT and PT evaluations this week, and our 1st actual ST session. No news on what OT and PT plan will be, but the OT did mention a brace for her wrists that will help her turn her hands in the opposite direction and relieve the strain on her joints. We keep reminding her, but a 5 year habit is a big one.
I'll get my camera back tomorrow! Catch up will be fun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I forgot the momentous occassion that occured while we were gone--- Catherine pulled out her own tooth while we were driving, and didn't even cry! The first one ever! What a big girl.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'd like to post pictures, but my camera ended up in my mom's purse. I'll see her by the end of the week, so I'll do it then.

A short recap, because I need to get busy getting my kids fed and in bed for tomorrow. We left last Friday and went to Minneapolis. Honestly, I don't remember what we did Saturday morning, but Saturday night was my cousin's wedding. She looked so beautiful! It was great to see cousins I haven't seen for 6 years! Samuel got to hang out with my youngest cousins, boys 1/2 my age! Sweet guys who were kind to include him in their activities. He was thrilled to show them his LEGO's. Which helped me remember what we did that morning. The Mall of America was just down the road. What was there? The Lego store (under construction, so a much smaller version) and the American Girl Store. Such heaven for children! It was Samuel's birthday, and I'd finished his sweater on the way up. He really liked it a lot! Now, it needs to be washed and blocked.
Sunday, after spending some time chatting with family, we took off for our next stop. Next door to where my dad grew up. We stayed with his oldest brother and his wife, saw a cousin, got to explore the woods and find cool things like mosses and birch bark, observe decomposition in the trees, see some deer (perhaps in their last few days of life, if my family was successful), and visit with a friend I've known since Kindergarten!
Off on Wednesday to see the house I lived in growing up. It's fun to see the changes and tell stories the kids can now identify with the actually places. We went to see more cousins by Duluth, and stayed with my mom's next youngest sister. My cousin, Lindsey, stayed over a few extra days so she could see more of us. It was really nice for my kids, getting to play with her, and making memories. Caleb would talk to Buddy and tell him he was at Lindsey's house. Catherine kept asking about Carrie, who had just gotten married. Samuel didn't really have a preferrence- they had Lego's to play with! We managed to get some school in everyday, which they tolerated nicely. Not as much as if we were home, but we gave it a good effort.
One of the nicest things about our time there was our visits with my Grandma. She's almost 83 and is having some drastic changes in her mental state. I wanted my kids see her, and have some memories together. We weren't sure how she'd be when we got there, but it was actually a very nice time. Caleb found a beach ball at the care center, and wanted to play catch with G'ma. She perked up the best she'd been during our visits, and seemed so much more of her "old" self. We helped her go to bed before we left and sang songs, at Caleb's request. It was sweet to hear him talk about Grandma V after we left and ask what she was doing.
We left from for home, via the IKEA store in Minneapolis! My first time there was a thrill! I had looked at a catalog YEARS ago and dreamed of using all their great organizational devices. It was really hard knowing I could only bring a few things home, since we were stuffed like sardines in the Suburban. It did help me get in the mood, though, and I spent part of today organizing in the boys' room/closet, and planning new things to build and do with Buddy.
Glad to be home, and looking forward to a great week. The kids did awesome, Hannah was a hit with everyone, and was her charming self. Still working on boundaries and such, but she traveled great, as did Caleb, and handled each long day and different bed like champs.
Now, if I could just find my pillow....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Home!

2 days of travel each way, 5 beds in 9 days, tons of fun, most everything put away within just 2.5 hours of being home, dinner made, kids in the tub, and I'm ready for bed!
Lots of fun pictures that I'll post when I'm ready.

Alice- I knit hats in the round, but I really should try sweaters that way.
Leslie- I'm sure you were awesome and all went well. Looking forward to being back. Thanks again!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

4 crowns, 6 other fillings, and deep sedation are the results of the Dentist visit. She did really well, thoroughly enjoying her "lellow" glasses and the chance to be the center of attention. It's pretty funny how she doesn't like other people to talk around her and makes sure they remember she's there! She's just so cute and sweet, it's easy to remember. I was a little torn while I was there- they told me they could take care of her on Monday. Great! Except we'll be in the frigid North in possible snow. Then I thought again about leaving Buddy, of missing having Samuel's birthday all together, the great speaker on Monday, etc., etc. Then I thought about not seeing family I've missed out on for years, and the opportunity to see my Grandma again. Not easy for this person who wants everyone happy and hates tough choices where someone might feel left out. So, we're going, and Hannah will see them again a month. Not bad. They said the decay was not so bad that it would cause her pain while we wait.
Now, it's time to get busy on the packing! We had a nice family dinner, complete with cup cakes that were big enough to make a meal out of. Kind of nice to have so many celebration of your day!
While I was waiting for Hannah appointment to be done, I managed to attach the hood and one arm, sew up one side seam, and get ready to close up the arm. I just may be able to finish before we leave. May being a VERY strong word.
School stuff is packed and ready, snacks are ready. Kids are packed. That just leaves me and the clean up of the aftermath of massive amounts of laundry, searching for our very warmest clothes, and trying to get 5 ready to leave for a week.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great news! All the parts are ready to put together on BOTH sweaters! What I'm finding is that finishing up is more challenging than all the work in between. Isn't it like that in so many areas? I'm just ready to be done and let Samuel enjoy his gift, and hope that Caleb will fit in his, since it seems a bit on the large size. Oh well, something to grow into.
We had our ST eval today. Taken a long time to get it going, but I think it was ok, allowing her to adjust and gain some more English. She drops all her end sounds and has some other issues that I'm sure they'll be able to help. So, 2 days a week we'll be seeing Ms. Alisha. Caleb sat in with us and was answering the questions before Hannah could. After a few times reminding him that Hannah needed to answer, he was quiet and played nicely with some cars. When we get home, we'll have our OT and PT evals. The goal is to coordinate our times there so we don't make a bunch of trips each week. It's only about 4 miles from our house, but interrupting school, packing everyone up, and keeping them focused on their work would be the challenging part.
I made it to the yarn store today and got help on my hold ups. (I was up until almost 1 last night working on C's because I was stuck on S's.) Got to visit with a friend while I waited for the store to open, then zipped home to take S and 2 friends for a little outing to celebrate his day. The boys were so well behaved and won some nice things from all their tickets.
Back home to pick up Catherine and off to Awana.
Still so much to do to get ready to go. Plus, we finally got into the Pediatric Dentist. I'm so interested to hea what they say and find out how they can help her. Hopefully that will help with her chewing.
Off to attach a hood and sleeves...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

family pic

So, not great but at least you see us all together.
Good news! I found Caleb's sweater pieces and am ready to put it together tonight. Tomorrow, I'll go to the yarn store and get some help so I can finish Samuel's. Meanwhile, we need to finish getting ready to leave for a week, run errands, take S and some boys to play before we go. Trying to get some cookin and baking done for Buddy to have while I'm gone. Lengthen my days, Lord!

Monday, October 25, 2010

So, we needed a new dord for the laptop so I could just put my card in to download pictures, finally got it, but then Buddy went out of town for 4 days and I got busy working on Samuel's sweater, made a huge mess with the hank of yarn, which took 6 hours to unravel, only to find out I don't know how to attach the pocket! Back to the sweater I almost finished for Caleb before we left for ROG, only to discover I can't find all the pieces in my whirlwind packing! What a deal.
Great day at CC. Hannah is enjoying her class, and we're all enjoying our time with friends.
Just a few days and we're off to MN for a week, minus Buddy, plus my parents. Lots to do to get ready.
Promise to post more thoroughly later.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today was our 13th anniversary, and we finally got a picture of the six of us. Not the greatest, but we sure tried. I'll post tomorrow. I'm so thankful for the past 13 years and all the Lord has taught us and brought us through. Trusting Him for even greater things the next 13.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quite the pair.
C enjoying our new spot.

Apples and tea!

I think she's been on long enough!

The Store
My khachapuri...
Samuel at work, always with his right knee under his chin,
"Feeding" the animals sawdust Who says an almost 11 year old can't have fun in the sand?

Not wordless, and not Wednesday. But, now you're caught up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More victories are happening here, and I'm quite pleased to share.
Today Hannah realized that there was no need to get hysterical if we were working with her. "If it doesn't hurt, you don't need to cry. Mommy is helping you. Does this hurt?" (Stretching her leg.) "No." "Good, no tears." And she didn't cry at all. The whole day. With any excercise we did. We just talked about numbers, letters, named her body parts, and doing some signing. It was our most pleasant day together in a while. I give God all the credit. He's really helped us all.

The past 2 or 3 days I'd left her to play on the trampoline when no one else was outside. She started standing up and walking a few steps at a time before falling. Remember how she is now bending her legs (thanks to having her do squats)? She actually figured out how to bend her legs and jump today! She was so pleased with her discovery that she had to show everyone. We cheered and clapped and she did it some more.

The weather continues to be quite nice, so the kids are out as much as possible. And I'm the broken record that keeps saying, "Shut the door!" However, I now don't need to say it, because Hannah has heard it enough to remind everyone, "shudada." One less thing for me to do.

It was dark out when we went to pick up Catherine from Awana tonight, and sadly, Caleb has not seen the moon enough to know what to look for in the sky. It was so funny watching him move his head around looking at everything BUT the moon. Catherine gets enough time at "A" to play and do her memory work before I pick her up. It's working very nicely, so I think we've found a happy solution. Tonight, she finished a Discovery and started on the next. It feels so good to accomplish things. Samuel also finished one, got a bunch of extra point, AND the boys beat the girsl, so he was pretty pleased himself.

Little Caleb story: He likes to sing Jesus Loves the Little Children before he goes to sleep. But he wants to sing by himself sometimes. One time went like this... "Jesus love a lil childen.... wait, wait, wait. ahem. Jesus love a lil ... wait, wait, wait. ahem." No way to not laugh at this silly boy!

Since Samuel was 4, I believe, he's been a Lego nut. We have Legos in every room of the house, and he knows just where to find the tiniest one in his many pieces. He's decided to add something new to his ATAV's (all terrain assault vehicles) and other Star Wars/City/Miner creations. He made Jesus and some disciples. They fish in a boat, switch hair, and have miracles happen. That's one bit of creative juice I won't shut down. My dad came over yesterday for a bit, since he was helping a friend in a neighborhood nearby. He got to endure the very thorough explainations of features in all Samuel's latest designs. Bless him. He's such a patient man!

I'm also pleased to say that Buddy is almost finished with school. He finishes class time this week, then goes out of town a few day the following week, and it done! This has been a much better round of it, since he's not working an hour away. We see him much more, and he's not as tired.

As for me? I finished Mansfield Park, which I did enjoy. I think it was harder for me to follow because I got sooo interrupted when I started, I kept forgetting who the characters were. I was happy with the ending, which was just as it should've been. Because of the weather changing and my 2 unfinished knitting projects, I need to get buy with that and stop reading for a while. There are days I can do them at the same time, but I'd rather not pull out any rows, if you know what I mean.

Golly, I write little novellas every time I blog. And no pictures! I WILL remedy that soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To say the new play area is a hit would be an understatement. The little ones spent at least 2 hours out there in the morning, and the big ones could hardly stay inside to do their school work! It's really been good.
I decided to do some baking, since I had already done the mountains of laundry on Saturday. I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookie/bars. Too much time to scoop them into cookies, and much easier to just make bars. They're almost gone. Then, I felt the courage to try making khachapuri. I had gotten a recipe when I ordered my Survival Georgian book, but never tried it. Of course, nothing close to the right kind of cheese, plus using some white whole wheat flour made it a very different eating experience. Sadly, Hannah didn't show any recognition when I told her what it was. I'm sure I'll try again.
Better get off to school...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 is a pretty cool thing! I didn't realize what the date was til part way through the day. Anywho.
What have we been up to? The fair was fabulous fun for the whole family. Buddy got to go with us for a bit, which was a huge help, especially the petting zoo area. Hannah wouldn't have been able to see very well had he not held her. (pardon all the alliteration!) She got to pet a goat, which she really enjoyed. There was so much to see! Caleb saw how other children were using the little shovels that were tied to the fencing to feed the goats. Since I hadn't purchased any feed and there were saw dust chips all over the floor, he figured that was what they would eat. He kept trying, but they knew the difference, and didn't want anything to do with it. We did find some feed, and he got such a kick out them eating!
The best parts of the fair for the kids were getting a yard stick and the play area where there were blocks, a huge sand box, little cars, bubbles with giant wands, a jungle gym/ball pit kind of thing, and science stuff. They big boys of CC made a city, which got partially destroyed by a cute little girl, and then the boys finished it off. Sad moment after all their hard work. I do have pictues, but don't see my cord.
Mom came to pick up the little ones so they could have naps, and we could keep going. We hit the big expo buildings and saw all the booths. It was fun, but after 5.5 hours, I was done for. So happy to come home and just sit down with the kids. We watched Knights of the Round Table to go with our history, (or maybe just because it kept everyone occupied while I made dinner.) 1954 had some good effects! I liked them seeing the story while avoiding all the bloody images a 2010 movie would have shown them.
Yesterday was dance, a nap with Caleb, who wanted to "snuggle on your belly," and hanging out at home. The kids made up some cute skits, with a store in the trampoline. The sweater I made this year was for sale for $15!!! I felt a little cheated after all the time and effort I put in, but I got over it.
Catherine has a way of getting the little ones to do what she wants, so yesterday afternoon, she had the littles racing around the back yard. Of course, H was a little slower, but if her face was any indication, she was going like the wind! Earlier, she and Caleb played by themselves outside and were on the trampoline, went down the slide, played on the teeter-totter, and she even tried to sit in the swing. Right now, she doesn't like being swung much, so that was huge. It was the most independent and adventurous I've seen her. Very fun to watch unawares!
It was also a big day for Samuel. We've been working with a different math curriculum, which I see the beauty of, but have only experienced the drudgery of so far. However, Samuel made a turn around yesterday! He did 400 math problems in less than 18 minutes, with only 1 mistake! I was so pleased with his progress. He's dreaded it, complained about it, avoided it, and now he's almost conquored it! The goal he has right now is to do all 400 correctly in less than 20 minutes without mistakes. (100 of each math function.) Catherine caught on that division was reverse multiplication, and she has begun to do division. I had her do it one day just to try it. We did about 15 problems together, but then she was ready to go on her own, and has done it every day since! She had been struggling with subtraction and has made a huge turn around there!
Hannah today, for the first time, said, "drink, please!" We've been working since I got her to ask for things with a please. Most of the time, it's just been the thing she wants, with no please. Fabulous moment! We made such a big deal out of it. We were later out in our new play area and Caleb had a bag of carrots. Hannah would say, "carrot." So, Catherine would ask Caleb for carrots, with a please, and he'd give them to her. Lights clicking on, I guess, and she would then ask right. We had to keep repeating the process, but I think she's got it. Well, with carrots, at least, and maybe drinks. ;) We were driving around yesterday, and Caleb had the first words book we'd used in the past to teach her some signs. She saw the pictures of table and chair and told me what they were. I see her catching things and it's really neat to watch.
One thing that we have to be dilligent about, and I was given some great info earlier in our journey by one of my readers, was how important consistancy in stretching and exercise is for Hannah. I'm seeing that more and more. She's gained a lot of strength over these almost 3 months. However, she really doesn't enjoy most of the things that make her work. She cries a lot, and loudly. If we don't work with her, she'll lose her independence and abilities, which I know she'd probably not like. So, almost every day we do exercises. We have skipped a few days and felt it the next day. She particularily doesn't enjoy us stretching her toes or legs. Remember how she couldn't wiggle her toes at first and then gained that ability? Well, we stopped stretching her toes and feet because she cried so much. This morning, I asked her to wiggle her toes, and they barely moved. Guess what it was time for? If we didn't love her, we'd leave her to herself and let her go, but we can't. We see her potential and know that if we help her now, she'll be so much farther ahead. It doesn't take long to do, and we can see how it's helping her. If we can keep her talking and distracted, she does much better, but if I'm by myself, it's a lot harder. In comes Catherine, again! Hannah actually bends her legs now when she walks. Before, it was like she was on stilts, but now I see her moving her legs at her knees. She's more stable when she walks, she can stand on the trampoline for longer without falling over, she can grip my fingers and pull herself up when she couldn't even squeeze my fingers before.
Our new play area is in our garage. We have a small house, 4 kids, and we homeschool. It's so easy to get things messy! Today we decided to move some things around in the garage and set up a play area. We have a salon, a kitchen, a tool box, table and chairs, coloring books and crayons. We did it during nap time, so they were thrilled to come out and find their new spot. This will keep them out of older siblings' things, and help them keep their rooms neater. It's nice weather now, so it works. When it gets cooler, we'll use our portable heater, and see how things go. I'm pleased, and I think everyone else is, too. Their rooms look a lot better! 3 have 3 bags to go to GoodWill tomorrow. :)
Ok, time to hop off the computer and get back to Mansfield Park.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random musings for the day.

I need a little help with planning things out. See, we have a lot of construction going on in our neck of the woods. I try really hard not to be late to things.... not really early, but just on time. Pull into our chairs as it's starting kind of thing. Only the "thing" that I'm really having trouble with is ballet. We're car pooling, so at least 1/2 the time Catherine is on time. The other half, I have not found a way to get us all out of the house, other to our friends' house, through the traffic that may be down to one lane, may be 2, alternate routes that end up also having construction or traffic back ups. Oh dear! One week, it took 45 minutes instead of the usual 25. Today, we had the privaledge of Buddy coming into town with us, so we went to an appointment, then dinner at Qdoba, and managed to find 2 ways we shouldn't have gone to get 3.5 miles. Only 7 minutes late this time. What a bad mom! Plus, we missed Saturday, since we were in Branson, and will probably miss at least 2 classes when we head North for a cousin's wedding. It's the really good school, so I hate to be starting out so poorly.

Hannah has had a huge improvement in her speech. She had such trouble pronouncing most letters, but "W" was never a problem. Isn't that interesting? We were doing the littles' school work this morning, and I was so pleased to see how well she was doing. She is used to sitting still, and Caleb is used to being on the go. Definitely one of those moments you wish he would pick up on her habits!

I really like fall. Did I mention that? It was 71 degrees in our house this morning, which is chilly to us. So, on went the sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt! However, by the afternoon, I was thinking shorts would have been more appropriate. It's the best of both worlds in one day.

I'm looking forward to heading to the fair in 2 days. We went last year with our CC group and saw a baby chick hatch from its egg. What an amazing process! I really wanted to help the little guy out, it seemed so painfully difficult! This year, I think Buddy will join us for a bit, then take the littles home so Grandma can watch while the big ones and I explore a little further. The last time I really enjoyed the fair was when I was 6 months pregnant with Catherine. Time to see some more!


My eyes were a little blood shot one day, and Caleb asked me if we needed to go to the store and buy some new ones.
He told Grandma I got married the other day, but daddy didn't.
God made the lizzard, but the lizzard can't eat God.
God has good plans for me, but He doesn't give me treats.
Sorry if those are repeats. I keep meaning to write them down and forget.

Have a rest of the week.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home on the range! Just got back from a quick weekend in Branson with the big kids. I had received an email about a homeschool weekend at SDC, so, of course, I wanted to go. However, Buddy had to do things for work and school, and couldn't get away. I didn't think I was up to taking 4 kids by myself on this adventure, but in stepped my mom to save the day! We decided Thursday night that I could go. We got up early (for me) Saturday am and were out the door by 7. Mom came and watched the little ones while Buddy went to work. We got to see this beautiful sight, something we haven't seen in a long time.One thing we haven't been able to see before is Marvel Cave. It's 450 steps down and 150 up, with many small, uneven areas. We could never take a stroller through, or ask Caleb to walk through. Hannah would not be able to make it at all. So, this was our golden opportunity! First thing we saw was a dead cat that had fallen through the sink hole. It's obviously very dark, so pictures didn't turn out very well, but this was the Liberty Bell, complete with a crack. The rest of the cave was a really neat experience. I'm so glad we went. It was the highlight of our time there, in Samuel's eyes. In fact, he told me the next time we're there, I can take the littles somewhere else, and he and Catherine will take dad in the cave. The park was full of artisans, and we were able to talk with quite a few of them. This gentleman used to paint murals on silos, but worked his way down to little pictures that were 1 inch x 1 inch, in some cases. He drew a butterfly on C's thumb that stayed on for a while, but S's disappeared when he blew on it a bit too moistly, and then accidently rubbed it on his pant leg while he walked. There was another guy, Tom Crain, who had been painting in acrylics for 38 years.

It was a pleasure to get to talk with some of them, learn more about them, and why they chose the field they did.
Oh, the best thing at SDC for me was the square dance! The band played fun country music, and at least 10 couples, none younger than 60's, were out on the dance floor. I had a blast watching them scoot around, some fancy, some more shuffle than dance, but it was thrilling to me. That sounds strong, but really, watching people enjoying their lives and each other, who knows how long they were married, made my day.
We stayed with our friends and had a great time together. Church today, and lunch afterward with another friend. When we got home, Buddy said I looked more refreshed that he felt. That was the goodness of God and the benefit of time with great people.
Hannah was so funny when she saw me, like it was no big deal that I was home. Unlike when daddy comes home. "Hi, Doddy!" in her most animated voice, and when he goes into the garage 2 minutes later and returns, it's the same reaction. However, she did tell "Doddy" I was home and seemed quite excited to tell me all about her time with Grandma, and "side," and "jump, jump." Sweet.
Here's a picture of the 2 good buddies after they discovered one of Catherine's toys...

You can't tell from the picture that well, but Hannah's shirt is inside out, her pants are on backward, and she did it all by herself! I just told her to get dressed, and she picked out her clothes and did it! Way to go!Glad to be home, but the scenery was so beautiful, the weather so perfect, (except I forgot my jacket at home and had to wear Samuel's wind breaker. Yes, it fit me, but was just a little short on my arms.) The leaves were starting to turn in the Ozarks, and it made me smile.
Looking forward to another great week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is in the air! I really like the colder weather, which is funny, because I don't like to be cold. It's the sweaters and sweatshirts, the cozy fires and the soups, pumpkin spices, etc, that are so much fun. We look forward to getting together with family, even though we get together with them as often as possible. (Also not having a ton of bugs fly in the house when the children repeated fail to hear, "Shut the door!")

Our first taste of it was this weekend. Unfortunately, Samuel was camping with his cub scout pack equipped with shorts, t-shirt, and a rain coat. I was trying to get him ready while I was getting Catherine ready for dance, mixed in with a few errands, and didn't take time to check the weather, since it was so nice outside at the time. Oh, dear. I felt so badly when I got up Sunday morning to temps in the 50's! When he got home, it was time for a hot shower and sweat pants.

He brought a tree lizard home with him. What an education we received at the pet store! Thankfully, my brother had almost a complete set up, and we only need to get a different light. I was hoping for some powdered food we could put in the bowl. Nope. Live crickets that ALSO need to be fed and watered, in their own special habitat. We'll see how long Frenzy makes it...

On the way to church, I told Caleb and Catherine you can't sneeze with you eyes open. To which Caleb responded- "I don't sneeze in my eyes, I sneeze in my nose!"

Thanks to Bobby for an honest comment. "either because of the addition, tiredness, just plain orneriness, or whatever else you can think of" from the previous post referred to ALL the children, not just Hannah. Do we regret our adoption of Hannah? NO! Of course not. Is it true she's going through adjustments and that other family members are going through it, too? Is it true that even with the addition of a baby, life is not always beautiful until you figure each other out? Is it true that at times, after each of my 3 births, I wondered if I was in over my head in responsibility and duty? Yes, yes, yes, and many yesses! Same thing with an adoption. There are things I never imagined, in spite of reading books and adoption education.
If you've been following us for long, you are aware it was 2.5 years of great pains in even getting her here, which was all I could focus on. Kind of like marriage. Planning for the wedding day and not realizing everything that comes after.

Should I pretend it's all beautiful? Maybe I shouldn't mention any not so beautiful moments, but I also think the honesty I read in others' blogs helps me realize what I'm going through is quite normal. To see the progress she's made is great. Is it without pains? No, but we ultimately know it was God's design and leading that brought her to our family and His wisdom and help that will help us smooth the rough places we face. I regret it may come off as wishing things had stayed the same in our family. Definitely not my real feelings. Guess I need to learn a bit more discretion and be slower to share our lives.

So glad for another wonderful day in CC. I'm enjoying hearing the older sharing about their days and being creative together as they plan and discuss different things. It's also fun to hear Hannah and Caleb, especially H, get so excited to see me after just 2 hours apart. I know they're having a great time in their music class and play time. I'm also pleased to see that Hannah is playing with the other kids and being verbal with them. It's refreshing to hear the comments about her progress. She's doing so well, I think we'll be putting her in the morning class with the 3 and 4 years olds! I know she gets bored sitting in my class where she sits still and has to listen. If she was with Caleb, she'd be enjoying all their play and learning time more on her level. She enjoys our school time together at home, so I'm sure it'll be lots of fun for her.

Hannah has found 2 things that she can get for comfort, which is really great. Not the things we brought home with us, but a little afghan my mom made, and a little bear we got the first night we were home.

Well, it's off to make dinner. Thankfully, we have no activities tonight! It's so pleasant to just have a night together where we can relax. I'm rethinking activities and think I've found one solution. We shall see. On one hand, I regret not letting them do fun, learning things, and on the other, if we have to pay for it the next day, it's just not working.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some days are not so pretty here, either because of the addition, tireness, just plain orneriness, or whatever else you can think of. However, today was a beautiful day! The weather was nice, children behaved, tried almost their best, and played nicely together.
Hannah is getting more and more mobile and independent, which is great to see. It opens so much more to her. I can still see some tendancies to sit and watch the world go by, but with only a little prompting, she's ready to go outside and jump on the trampoline or play on the little slide. I think this past week was a big turning point for her. We've not had much crying, and much more being part of the family and doing what everyone else is.

Have to share some Caleb'isms before I forget.
I walked out on Sunday morning and he said, "Mom, you've got sprinklers on!" My shirt had sequins.
I told him God had big plans for him, one night. The next day he told me, "God has plans for me, but he doesn't give me treats."

I'll have to think about the others. Some really funny ones.

For my birthday, I got a gift card and some cash. Mom came over yesterday to watch the kids while I shopped. Sadly, I haven't done it in such a long time, I had a hard time finding things I liked or that fit. I did find some really good deals and got a few things and still had money left over! That means I'll get some more practice in sometime soon! I'm really thankful mom has been helping me out. I'm able to get some errands taken care of, and she is a favorite of Hannah's. It's also good to hear what she sees in H's progress. Good to get an outside opinion to help you appreciate changes.

Thanks for the good book suggestions. Agnes Gray came in first, so I'm already partly into it, then Mansfield Park, followed by some Charles Dickens. Fun, fun fun. Also, for fun, one of my fellow CC'ers asked me to parse Ephesians 6:1-8. My goodness! That's some complicated stuff! Good for the brain. I like those kinds of challenges!
Off to another wonderful school day...

Friday, September 17, 2010

What a sweet day for me! I woke up to "Don't come out, mom." I happily complied with their wishes. In come the kids with breakfast in bed. Our traditional oatmeal with a candle in it. In this case, there wasn't a 4, so 4 individual candles and a 0. Followed by a fairly good morning of school, including being seranaded by fellow CCers, thank you very much! Catherine and Samuel made our lunch, followed by a brief bit of school, a movie for fun, and a mandatory rest for me. They were working on a surprise, but needed quite a bit of advice, so I eventually got up, cleaned up all the many measuring spoons, cups and bowls, finished making the cake Samuel started, and completed the dinner Catherine started. So glad we could be all together for this day. Can you tell who decorated the cake? Pretty ingenious, I thought. Cake and ice cream, Kung Fu, and some Survivor top off the day.
Funny comment about the day- Catherine said, "You don't look 40. What do people look like when they're 40?" Sweet girl!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The big 4-0

This post has nothing to do with my family, and is all about me. Why? Because this is the eve of my 40th birthday. What did I expect in turning 40? Nothing really. It's such a wierd thing, since my life is so different from my parents', who had an empty next by the time they were this age, and because I look so radiantly young! Really, though, it's hard to feel old when your youngest is 3! I have at least until I'm 55 before it'll time for everyone to scoot out on their own. Considering Buddy's age at the time, I'm a spring chicken! ;) (Don't tell him I said that.)

I'm really thankful that God gives me the strength and energy to keep up with my life. Some days, I rely on Him more, and I have the peace and the wisdom to deal with all my life entails. It's those days I get too busy, too impatient, too self-centered to look beyond myself to the inner strength He wants to give that I have the worst times. So, you can tell what my quest/need for the coming year is.

A haircut was in order. Starting with a change for the next 40 years sounded great. I was conservative, since I know Buddy doesn't like it very short, and only cut off 2 inches. No one even noticed, which tells me I should've been braver than I was. Next time...

I finally read Jany Eyre for the first time. It really was fun to stay up until 12 and 1 am to finish it. I was trying to tell Buddy the story, and he didn't get into it as much as I did. But to find out the customs of the day, stretch my brain (I should have had a dictionary nearby) while I was learning new vocabulary, and read a story that was over 160 years old was fabulous! One of the draw backs of going to a little school was not having to read classics. I'm up for another, this time with either a notebook to write things down, or a dictionary at my side. Any suggestions? There are all those parenting/self improvement books that I have on my bookshelf, too.... I think a classic is calling a little louder. :)

There is a lot to be thankful for on this birthday. I'm surrounded by blessings and love. I've had great adventures so far, and trust God to bring even more my way. My plan is to live to be quite old, but not the old, wasting away kind of old, which gives me time for lots of living. Won't it be fun to look back after another chunk of time has gone by?

The boys are out now shopping for my present. It's going to be fun to see what they come up with and how the kids mark the day. They told me that because it is my birthday, they decided not to do school. My thoughts were in a little different direction- because it's my birthday, you should do a really nice job and not make it rough on me. I'm sure it'll be the way I planned.

Hope you enjoy your day as much as I do mine. And, please, have some cake or ice cream to celebrate with me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celebrating Caleb

Today was our family get together to celebrate Caleb's birthday. At this point 3 years ago, after being in the hospital all day, we were debating going home or just staying through the night and inducing in the morning. I was in no pain, just wishing this boy would make up his mind to get serious about meeting us. Happily, just 14 hours later, he did make his entrance. Caleb means bold, Joseph means and addition, and that he is. This little guy is full of personality and energy, not much slows him down. He loves life and being in the middle of all the activity, yet he loves snuggles with his mommy and tickles from his daddy.

One of the funnest parts of today was that Catherine and her cousin Alex made salad outside, which included the fronds from my asparagus that had gone to seed, leaves from my lavender plant, totally decimating it, and leaves and flowers from the crepe myrtles. After they made the salad, they bagged it, even ate some of it, (not the crepe myrtles) and had Buddy and I reenact our wedding. Dad was the minister, as before, but this time, Samuel and Gabe, his cousin, gave me away, Caleb just stood by me, Alex and Catherine were flower girls (crepe myrtle blossoms,) mom was the photographer, and Hannah was the guest. Very funny!

At the end of the day, the new scooter from G'pa and G'ma was quite a hit, and everyone wanted to play in the moon dough, making animals for the farm. Really fun toy, slightly messy, but lots of fun.

We're so thankful for our littlest munchkin!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working on making a list of Hannah's English progression:

Mommy, Doddy, Shanno, Catawi, Cala, kitty, Nikki, Nora, eat, drink, sleep, outside, car, yellow, jump, thank you, please, potty, all done, Grandma, good job! shoes, uh oh! apple, banana, Jesus, me, no, yes, Bible (parts of Jesus Loves Me.)

Yesterday was raining, an Hannah was quite disappointed. Why? Because on Tuesday, she figured out how to go outside by herself. If she has her shoes on, and even when she didn't, she would open the door, walk across the porch and head out into the back yard. The trampoline is out there, and she's figured out how to get on by crawling on the little slide we scooted over so Caleb could climb on. She can also climb off by herself. I really like the independence she's gained! It's good for her, and I know she doesn't get as bored when we're busy and can't pay attention to her. She's never been distructive, just obviously bored and wanting the attention on her. She also likes the little tykes car we have and can get in and out.

There are still times she'll do things and I wonder what's going on in her head. Take for instance this morning. Caleb had woken up during the night twice crying really hard, , and I'm sure I will for a long time, saying his foot hurt. There was nothing on it, no redness, so swelling, nothing I could feel or see. The second time, he kept saying, "take it off!" So, with about 5 hours of sleep, I wasn't ready to get up at the normal time and asked Samuel to let me rest for a bit. He did; an hour later I got up and Hannah was still in bed. She never called out to get up, or even sat up in bed while she patiently waited. Only when Samuel said her name did she respond and was ready to get up. Now, if all my kids were like that...

We're almost done with our first full week of commitments. Normally, it's CC on Monday, with scouts that night. Catherine started ballet this week and really enjoyed her class yesterday. Last night was AWANA, tonight is karate for the boys, tomorrow is nothing, and Saturday we're back at dance. I'm rethinking how great I thought the schedule was, since we like to be able to go on the weekends to Branson. What WAS I thinking? I may have to talk to her teacher about switching classes, which will mess up the car pooling we'd planned. We'll figure it out.

Everyone is in bed, and it's time to relax! Have a great evening.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Samuel took this shot of the stormy sky one night last week. What is Labor Day, and why do we celebrate? Well, to be honest, we usually don't. We end up working on a project and that's about it. This year, we made a very good effort not to do that. The day started out with Buddy letting me sleep in, thank you very much. Then Catherine and I hit Wally world all by ourselves. We wanted to have a picnic, but knew that it would take too long to pack up and go where we wanted, because we were really hungry. So, the picnic was in our back yard. Everyone had fun. Followed by some serious swinging.......while the other 2 read.Then it was nap time for the littlest 2, and the big guy who was supposed to be watching a video for school. The kids and I played some games while the others snoozed.
When they were done, we headed to Will Roger's birthplace. It's just down the road about 20 miles, and we went during swim lessons. It was a bit windy (our stroller ended up halfway across the yard on the other side of the house while we were inside) which kept us feeling much cooler. There were stroller pushing contests...moments of silliness,some pitiful looking animals,some pride eating moments (why didn't I take 2 minutes to put on makeup!?!)and some joys in meeting animals.
On the way home, I dropped Buddy and the kids off at the park and went home to start dinner. It was so nice to have all this play time! After the little ones had their baths and were in bed, we got some ice cream and ate in the back yard. We put the tent up so S & C could have a fun adventure for the night. They came in at least 3 times before they were finally done for the night. I think they're sleeping, but who knows. At least they'll have had fun. Tomorrow starts dance for C, so we may need to make time for resting during the day. Looking forward to a great week.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

So, where've we been? Getting our car serviced to sell, running around doing errands, having happy hearts doing our school work, learning to obey quickly with a happy heart, and so much more that's not really blog worthy. Read as down right boring!
Buddy did start school last week. He only has 7 more weeks and he'll have finished all his courses. So far, he really enjoys his classes. It's broken down into one teacher, all day, for a week. Then another teacher for the next week. Each emphasizing a different aspect of missions training. Very interesting, he says.
We're enjoying the weather and being able to be outside. We sat out in the front yard watching chocolate balls melt in the sun while reading about the sun. It was really neat to see that they were soft in the middle, even though not melted on the outside. We didn't have a magnifying glass, so we used a glass jar and moved the chocolate ball to where the light was focuses. Lessons in improvizing, I guess.
We went to my parents last night to spend time with them and my brother's family. It's been since the end of school that we've all been together. Such craziness! It used to be that summer was the time when we got together more than ever. Well, life has a way of making it challenging to get 15 people together at the same time.
Currently, we're having a 3 year old wish to revert to diapers. Why?!?! He was doing such a great job! Not even wearing diapers at night for several weeks. I imagined we would have some serious reverting going on when I got home, but he did really well. Now, I can't see to wash fast enough to keep him in dry pants. Samuel used to get distracted and forget to go because he was so absorbed in his play. Not so with C. We'll get through this, too.
On the knitting front, I'm almost done with the front of the sweater! Then it's sleeves and putting together, and I think I'm done. I just don't see going to all the work of a hood and him not wanting/using it. We'll see how motivated I am. My eye is already wandering to other patterns, but I haven't picked Caleb's up to finish it! Goodness, I don't like doing things like this.
I've been working on the hidden accomplishments in our home- cleaning the pantry, organizing our hall closet, (games, Legos, business storage) organizing my part of our closet. What amazes me is, although you work so diligently to make things nice, you create soooo much chaos, and then when you're done, no one knows. Maybe I'll get my seen things organized soon....
It was so nice to be home together today, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. No plans, just want to maybe labor lightly and then spend the majority of the day enjoying each other. Naps don't last long enough to get in a long game, so we may have to put some children down early. We tried to play Cash Flow for Kids, but were really distracted keeping hands out of the game pieces. I didn't end up playing, but was banker and guard. :)
Everyone else is watching Kung Fu, season 1, so I think I'll join them. Not feeling very quick or as wise as Grasshopper, but maybe I'll learn something.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Standing takes more energy than sitting. So, if it's 11 pm and I'm eating honey puffs standing up, does that make it better? I was playing solitaire on my iPod, which should definitely help, too.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not everyone is thrilled about having a picture taken. Not sure how the lens got so dirty!
Remembered my camera yesterday, so here's a beginning of the year picture. The boys were teasing Samuel about being handsome, which helped me get a good smile out of him. Notice Caleb with his lunch box. Notice, also the chopped bangs Hannah has. I was fixing my cutting job, since I don't usually cut bangs, and had to leave to ref the older ones. When I came back, Caleb informed me he had cut her hair. Oh, dear! At least it doesn't have that far to grow to match the rest of her bangs.

I keep forgetting how the time has gone by since Hannah came home. 6 weeks ago was the 1st breakfast together. I will stop saying that eventually. ;)

We had a great day in school yesterday. I was able to sit in Samuel's class, happily knitting, while seeing what we need to be working on at home. C and H went to their little play place after lunch and did well without me. I'm sure music was great, and when I asked H about it later, she said, "alligator." That helps them remember 4 quarter notes. She showed me how they did "fast" and "slow" with the plates they fan themselves with to the beat of the music. (That's a lot of prepositional phrases!) One thing I'm dealing with is that I can tell when H has an attitude, but no one else hears it. So while I'm trying to teach, she wants things and I tell her to be quiet or that she can't have it, she lets me know she doesn't appreciate what I've told her. Once I tell her to stop it, she smiles her little smile- I know there are people around and I just want to see what I can get away with. Doesn't really bother anyone else, but I think she's doing well enough to pursue getting her into the nursery/preschool area in a few weeks where she can be playing and moving around instead of sitting in her stroller at the table.

Mom came for lunch, actually to pick up her chicken order, and told me how good H looks, how much healthier. I'm so glad to hear that. You know when you see it every day, it's harder to notice the changes. I really need to go back to look at pictures from the first days. Anyway, H walked all over when the chapel was mostly empty and walked to her class. She is very capable, but I think she waits for the permission as well as the requirement to do more.

They all did much better on the fighting/whining front last night, praise the Lord!

Buddy took S to scouts last night, and the little ones were in bed by 6:30, so Catherine and I had a great time playing with the sidewalk chalk (made the solar system somewhat to scale) and some card games. It was very nice to relax with each other.

Buddy took the suburban to work, since he has some things that need to be done on his truck. So, we're homebound today, which is just fine with me. I think it sounds like a good day for reading and playing educational games. After we get some work done! Speaking of which, it's time to do some educating!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


the missing walkie talkie that everyone was sure they put right where they were supposed to. And while we were finding that, we found the remote and another library book!
Sadly, also found is a fascination with dumping out soap bottles and unrolling toilet paper/putting the whole roll in the toilet.
It's quiet here- Buddy went to work for a bit, Catherine is at a sleepover from last night and so is Samuel. Caleb went to bed at 7 and slept until 8:40!

Buddy and I went on a date last night while mom watched the little ones. We tried a little Thai place in town that has really good spring rolls, and then went to a new frozen yogurt shop. It was so nice outside and so nice to spend a little time together without anyone demanding anything of us! The yogurt shop was crowded, so we walked around and tried some chairs Pier 1 had sitting outside their store before we went shopping inside. We only lasted 2 hours and came home. Sad, I know. But I hadn't talked to mom for a while, and Buddy wanted to watch our usual Friday night church service online.

Fun things about C and H. Yesterday, C pulled his chair at the table over beside H's. I had been in between so I could help them both when they needed it. However, he wanted to be by his buddy. This morning while H was eating (C was still sleeping), she had a little teddy bear she'd been given when we 1st got home on the floor by her chair. She told me her bear was crying. She's been carrying it around the last day or 2, which is really amazing, considering she didn't hold anything when she 1st came home. She's been getting on the potty all by herself, with no crying, not even needing me to be in there with her until she's done. It's really cute to hear her say, "Good job, Mommy!" after she's gotten on the potty. Then I wait for the "Mow dah" to tell me she's finished. I wipe and she gets down and tells me, "Good job, Mommy" again. C has picked up on her grunting for communication, which I'm not appreciating very much, so we're trying to teach her a better way to get her point across. One thing we're teaching her is, "May I have it, please?" Which comes out "maya maya pcheese." Cracks the kids up, and C does a funny job immitating her. Yesterday when it was time for C to play in his room, he wanted H in there with him. I usually put the gate up so I can keep him there while I do school with the big kids. However, I didn't so H would feel ok. But, they asked for it to be up. They did well. I'm so glad to hear them playing more than fighting now.

Buddy and S are really enjoying karate! They've done 2 nights and are excited about going back. Buddy is feeling the pain, and Samuel is just enjoying the whole process. Good for them to have time together in such a manly way.

Time to go collect big kids and get on with our day. I'm hoping to hit the farmers' market this morning, then a fishing party with the scouts this afternoon. I'm sure we'll call it a day a little earlier, since I'm sure both big ones didn't get much sleep!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Found the camera!

This is how Catherine did some of her school work today. I think she had 3 dress up outfits on before I called an end to it. Yes, that is Caleb. Girl dress up clothes are just more fun, or maybe we need to go find some better boy dress up stuff.
C was leading the races between the boys. Little C's lead kept getting bigger and bigger, but S could always beat him. They had a blast! There he is, all serious about his racing. He's growing into a man!
After a bit of squabbling when we got home on Monday, this is what Caleb did with Hannah.
It's fun to see them playing together more and more in nice ways. Caleb shows her how to do things and she helps him when she can. A friend gave this salon to us for the girls way back when. So glad we didn't get rid of it while we waited. It was a great source of entertainment while we cleaned the car on Sunday. Hannah thought she was something with Catherine's sunglasses and Caleb's hat. (We were cleaning the car to get it ready to be sold, so those yucky mats HAD to get cleaned.)

Caleb was so excited to have his lunch box! He hardly could leave it alone on Sunday. I'll remember next week to keep it out of sight! I forgot to have a show and tell item for his class, but he was fine because he got to show what was inside the lunch box.