Friday, February 26, 2010

Seconds & Laughs

I had another post I intended to share today, but it can wait.  This just can't! 

First of all, Angela is now truly a snaggle-tooth.  When she came in yesterday morning to ask for a new tube of toothpaste, I asked her to let me check her second loose tooth.  Instead of just checking, I managed to pop that thing right on out of there.  She took off just giggling, running to show Daddy.

Although that is important, at least to Angela, that thing I really must share today made for such a good laugh for me that I have to share the joy!

Background: Steven (now 3 1/2 years old) has recently come to the place where he can completely dress and undress himself.  He even picks out his own clothes, for the most part.  Typically he gets up, comes to snuggle and give hugs for a few minutes, and then is sent back to his room to make his bed and get dressed.  Sometimes I go help him pick out clothes and make sure he doesn't need help, and other times I encourage him to do it all himself.

Yesterday morning, though, I was in the shower when he got up.  When he got up and started looking around for me, Doug told him where I was.  So, he sighed and said, "I'm going to get dressed now..."

Fast forward to about 12:45.  Steven had been playing with the girls before naptime.  Suddenly, I hear him call (from the bathroom, I soon discovered)...

Steven: Mommy, it feels like I don't have any underwear on!
Me: Well, maybe you should check and see.
Steven: I just did - I don't have any on!
Me (about to fall out laughing): Maybe you should put some on!!
Steven (in a pouty sort of voice): Will you wipe my bottom and then help me?
Me: As soon as I pick myself up off the floor!

I'm still chuckling - and will be checking for underwear from here on out!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Box Day!

We recently did something I consider to be exceedingly fun – we ordered everything we'll need for school next year! No, we are not starting until August. Yes, it is early. But, there is a method to our madness. We like to place our order in about February or March when our tax refund has arrived (aka, we have the money!). This gives plenty of time for planning and preparation without Mommy having to hole herself away for a couple of weeks before each new year begins.

So, voila...we now have a house full of new books!! For Sonlight users, this is known as Box Day. We enjoy wishing one another “Happy Box Day,” because it's just as fun as celebrating a holiday. I usually take pictures, but this year I missed getting them. I was too busy enjoying!

We actually had multiple Box Days. First, we got three boxes from Mom (both Core 4 and other books for later) over the course of two of our visits. Having taught my youngest siblings with Sonlight, she had a large number of the books we needed for Core 4. I just can't begin to say how much of a blessing that is this year! Next to arrive was a big box from Sonlight last Wednesday, followed by a few boxes from Amazon on Thursday. And so the planning and labeling begin! Yay!

I honestly cannot wait to unwrap and peruse those Instructor's Guides. Can you tell I'm excited? Really, really, really excited!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Angela's News

I just realized something - I haven't posted Angela's most recent news! 

Angie has been wiggling on a couple of teeth for quite some time now.  One of them - her first loose tooth, by the way - was so loose it was practically hanging, but she wouldn't let us just tug it out.  Finally after lunch on Saturday, Doug decided it was time.  And sure enough, out it came!  She was ecstatic!
We quickly discovered that the new tooth was already coming in behind the old one!  We won't let its neighbor go that long - it should be coming out in the next week or so.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For today, Tuesday, February 23, 2010

(Quick note – Our wonderful hostess has changed daybook posting to Tuesdays because Mondays were, well, rather counterproductive. The daybook is meant to help us slow down and pay attention, and many of us have rushed through it instead because of the demands of Monday. So, Tuesday it is!)


Outside my window...The light from sunshine, but only clouds are actually visible – it's quite pretty. Squirrels and birds frolicking in the trees.


I am thinking...about my need to have a more joyful attitude today.


I am thankful for...forgiving children.


From the learning rooms...Revolutionary War, George Washington, John Milton, how protists eat


From the kitchen...homemade pizza for lunch – trying a quick crust recipe for days like today when I need to change lunch plans in a pinch.


I am wearing...dark jeans, button-down black suede-like shirt, clogs, hair down.


I am creating...curtains and hopefully a skirt. Needing to sort through summer clothes soon to see if I need to sew anything for the kids.


I am going...to get things around the house caught up this week. I'm determined!


I am reading...still working through Knowing God and Rick & Bubbah's Guide...


I am hoping...that March is a little calmer than January and February.


I am hearing...children playing, tapping on keyboards.


Around the house...a blazing fire, clothes that need to be folded, school books waiting to be sorted.


One of my favorite things...the presence of my wonderful hubby


A few plans for the rest of the week: chipping away at some more long-term tasks; our last Upward game and a wedding this weekend


A picture worth sharing...

Taking the opportunity to really enjoy the beautiful sunshine and spring-like weather after so many cloudy, frigid days.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Halfway There!

Last Wednesday the girls finished the first half of their math for this year.  On Friday we finished the first half of the rest of our subjects.  

The girls were so excited to start book 2 of their math (new books are such lovely things!), and they frequently browse the books we still have left to read, anxiously anticipating the chance to delve into them.  It's all so very exciting!

And so, today begins the second half - here we go!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Our House - The Solar System

After getting ready for church this morning, I was helping Olivia get some charms on her charm bracelet, and Doug was doing some writing.  It didn't take Steven and Angela long to disappear into the library to get back to playing a game that has been going on since Tuesday or Wednesday...

Let's Travel the Solar System!

We're not studying the solar system at all this year, but on Tuesday the girls found out that Wednesday was Solar System Day.  So, the solar system has been quite the focal point for much of the week. 

Apparently, each nook and cranny of the house has been assigned a name from the sun all the way to Pluto.  (Yes, we know that Pluto is no longer a planet, but the huge floor puzzle they put together on Tuesday is an older one that includes Pluto.  So, they're including Pluto, too.)  Each day they determine which planet they are living on and which ones they want to visit and why. 

Up until today, I've just heard them tossing around the names of the planets, but this morning was a little different.  Evidently Angela had found a new fact sheet about all of the planets.  So, as they plotted out their travel route for the morning, Angela read the description of each planet and then she and Steven discussed why they wanted to avoid certain locations.  Today, apparently, they wanted to avoid storms - particularly the massive storms on Jupiter and Uranus. 

Although I didn't hear exactly what history they were discussing, Olivia recently informed me that they were combining history with their solar system travels.  Hmmmm....

Have I ever mentioned how much fun it is to raise kids who love to learn?  :-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snow Fun

You've seen the beauty of the snow we had - now I can share how we messed it all up!  :-)  We had so much fun playing the two days we were in Judsonia.  It was perfect snow!  The kind we rarely get - nice and powdery, but sticky enough for snowmen and snowballs. 
Everyone got all bundled up.  Dad found this snowsuit from when we were kids.  Steven wasn't too sure of it at first, but between the snowsuit and the snow boots Grandma went and got for him, he didn't feel the cold at all!

Dad helped the kids make several snowmen.


He also pulled huge icicles off the roof for them!



Two afternoons of playing in the snow made for good eaters - and tired kiddos!  By the second night, Steven was ready for an early bedtime, and Angela was content to stretch out on the floor and watch the Razorbacks beat LSU!
We headed home on Thursday, anticipating the second front coming through that just might drop some of its wintry precipitation a little further south.  Sure enough, it started snowing late Thursday afternoon.  We didn't get more than about an inch, so it wasn't enough to do much playing in.  But, it was still that beautiful powdery snow that we almost never see in Arkansas - even when we do actually get snow!
So, we all bundled up again...
and headed out to enjoy a little Monticello snow!
We've had a few more flurries - even a nice dusting on Sunday night.  It's been fun to actually have real snow, even here in the south!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Beauty of God's Handiwork

I have seen gorgeous snow pictures before and just wished I could see such scenes first hand.  But, I live in the south.  What chance would I have?

Last week I got that chance!  I was so busy watching the road for ice on Tuesday that I didn't really get to take it all in.  But, out of the corner of my eye I could see glimpses of the beauty that surrounded me on every side.  Then, once we were there, Dad walked into the house and said, "Let's go for a drive!"  Mom and I grabbed cameras, and I looked forward excitedly to actually being in the passenger seat and getting the chance to really look. 





The next day the sun was shining beautifully, and I was blown away by the trees covered in white contrasted against the bold blue sky.  God's artwork just takes my breath away!





After we got back to Monticello on Thursday, snow actually came to our neck of the woods - yes, way down in southeast AR!  Before the sun came out and melted it away later in the morning, we loaded up in the van and went to see how snow looked on the town.

And this is probably my favorite shot of all...wow.  God is definitely amazing.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Visiting

I'm super slow about posting about our delightful experiences over the past few weeks!  But, hopefully I'll get caught up this week.  We have fun stuff coming up, and I want to make sure to be caught up on posting before then so I can post that stuff too!

We've been blessed with a couple of visits with my parents over the past couple of weeks.  First, two weeks ago they made a trip down here.  

For the most part, I was so busy visiting that I didn't take many pictures until the last morning.  There are a lot of pictures, but here are just a couple of pictures to show how much fun the kids had playing with Nanny and Papaw!

Then a week later the kids and I made a trip up to Judsonia to visit with them.  It wasn't the same without Doug there - we all missed him greatly.  But, we still had fun!  Most of my pictures are snow pictures (which will come later this week), but here are a few shots of our indoor fun...
Steven quickly found "big, huge" trucks!  What could be better!
 On Wednesday the kids got to play with one of their cousins.
Playtime was followed by lunch and an early Valentine's party.
Then there were visits to the house next door to see Grandma and Grandpa.



All in all, a lovely set of visits from beginning to end!  Of course, the snow made the visits even sweeter - snow pictures coming up in a day or two!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For Today...February 15, 2010

Outside my window...gorgeous sunshine and a very light dusting of snow from yesterday evening's unexpected snow shower.

I am thinking...about all I read this morning and how to apply it to the minute to minute daily routine.

I am thankful for...my washer and dryer. I am reminded regularly what an incredible blessing it is to be able to throw our piles of laundry in them.

I am wearing...blue jeans and a Quachita sweatshirt.

I am hearing...girls helping each other put clean sheets on the beds, Steven playing quietly (but not too quietly), the washer and dryer, and an overall sound of peace.

I am reading...

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Rick and Bubbah's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage by Rick Burgess and Bill Bussy

I am hoping...that the energy I have felt this morning carries on through the week. It feels good to feel good.

On my mind...the incredible and wonderful challenge of raising up children in knowledge about God that leads them to truly having known Him – and of seeing that in my own life as well.

From the learning rooms...some catching up and reacquainting ourselves with the routine of school.

Noticing that...my jeans are a bit snug this morning – needing to work on that this week.

Pondering these words...

Yet the invariable fruit of true knowledge of God is energy to pray for God's cause – energy, indeed, which can only find an outlet and a relief of inner tension when channeled into such prayer – and the more knowledge, the more energy!”

If, however, there is in us little energy for such prayer, and little consequent practice of it, this is a sure sign that as yet we scarcely know our God.”

J.I. Packer from Knowing God

From the kitchen...a request from the sweet kiddos – chicken parmigiana, noodles, and peas (unless I can whip up some sweet-n-sour green beans! Yum!)


Around the house...much catching up to do – but it seems we are still managing to avoid an overall sense of chaos. That's encouraging.

One of my favorite things~Mornings that get off to a good, energetic start


A few plans for the rest of the week: Gospel presentation at Upward practice tonight – praying for seeds to be planted in little hearts. Sorting through books, both loaners and new school books – finding storage for some and shelf space for others. Sorting through a bag of hand-me-downs. Plotting through the start of our first garden.

From my picture journal...

Angie finally has loose teeth! Both of her bottom teeth are loose, although not quite ready to come out. But, that doesn't stop her daddy from threatening her with the pliers! (Well, at least they're not rusty!)




Monday, February 8, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For Today...February 8, 2010

Outside my window...a very dark, wet day. (I must confess a bit of envy for many of my friends and family who awoke to much white again!)

I am thinking...about the week – praying all falls into place.

I am thankful for...a new load of firewood.

I am wearing...jeans, a purple sweatshirt (nope, no knit top today!), and tennis shoes.

I am hearing... the fan on the fireplace, Steven playing, the rustles of paper as the girls work.

I am going...to get a head start on lunch today so as to not be taken by surprise by chicken that takes longer to cook than it should!


I am reading...still Love and War

I am hoping...we get to go to Judsonia to visit my folks tomorrow despite the snow and ice, but also hoping we get snow – accumulated snow – down here before the winter's out.

On my mind...some friends who are struggling through some issues.

From the learning rooms...preparations to be gone for much of the week, weather permitting.

Pondering these words...

And it is possible, if you and I learn the lesson amid anxiety and sorrow and trial and pressure of work always to carry a heart so peaceful, so still, so serene as to be like the depth of the Atlantic which is not disturbed by the turbulent winds that sweep its surface.” ~F.B. Meyer, as quoted by Robert J. Morgan in a blog post about perpetual rest, regardless of the circumstances. Wow.

From the kitchen...oven baked chicken and potatoes.


Around the house...packing for our trip – must be prepared!

One of my favorite things~joy.


A few plans for the rest of the week: Trip to my parents', weather permitting; a Friday at home; basketball and a Valentine's banquet on Saturday; miscellaneous other things squeezed in between.

A picture worth sharing...

What do my girls do after school is done? Read more!




Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Family Visit 2

Here are some more snapshots from our trip to Judsonia two weeks ago. I already shared my favorite extended family photo, but I need to go through the rest of them. Hopefully it won't be long before I'll have pictures of Abigail to post!
Steven took this shot of Grandpa.
Ben & Ashley just three days before the arrival of Abigail. 
 
Grandma & Olivia


Papaw & Olivia
Uncle Tim, Aunt DeAnn, and Olivia
Mom & Alli (I love this picture, even if my dufus baby sister did intentionally close her eyes!)
 
Angie & Aunt Alli
No, Steven wasn't very social, so I don't have many pictures of him with anyone.  He preferred to help me take the pictures!  I'm sure that will change with my folks' visit with us this week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Family Visit 1

The visit was over two weeks ago.  The pictures have been ready to post for over a week.  And now, finally, I'm getting them up!
January 16 was my dad's 60th birthday.  January 15 was my parents' arrival in the States from Jordan.  So, we piled into the van immediately after finishing with our first Upward games (well, after we all got showers, that is - we wouldn't have been very pleasant company otherwise!) and headed to Judsonia to help celebrate.

We made Dad a cake - we were nice and didn't make him blow out 60 candles!
The girls helped serve.  Olivia cut the cake - and did a great job, I might add!
And Angela dished up the ice cream.
Then, of course, there was much visiting.  We began the celebration at my grandparents' house.  My sister Alli, my brothers Ben and Tim, and their wives Ashley and DeAnn had already arrived, so we naturally enjoyed much fun with them, as usual.  Olivia enjoyed watching Uncle Tim play Nanny's oud.
Steven, as is typical for him, wouldn't interact much with Nanny, but he sure did enjoy his papaw!
 
More pictures to come!  And, no, it won't take two weeks either!  

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook


For today, February 1, 2010
Outside my window...mostly cloudy skies; a neighbor's tree that is bare of its bark, leading me to believe that it was the victim of the loud lightning strike that so greatly startled us a week or so ago.

I am thinking...about school for next year. It seems early, but we get to set aside tax refund money to cover the expenses, so I'm planning for all we need now to know how much we need to set aside. This is really a fun time for me – I absolutely love planning each year!

I am thankful for...a second vehicle! God blessed us with the opportunity to buy it last weekend, and it has already been an incredible help just in the few days we've had it.

From the learning rooms...catch-up from some things we didn't get done last week, hopefully finishing Johnny Tremain and the research project.

From the kitchen...leftovers or sandwiches for lunch, and an early dinner of chicken pot pie.

I am wearing...olive green knit top (again), jeans, tennis shoes.

I am creating...still nothing new. I am catching up on the mending, though, so I should be creating again very soon!

I am going...to try very hard to post more than just this daybook post this week! So much to share!

I am reading... Love and War by John & Stasi Eldredge

I am hoping...that Doug is able to keep up with church stuff fairly easily over the next two weeks while he has also been tapped for jury duty. This is his third time to be summoned (in three different states!), but it's the first time he's ever had to actually show up.

I am hearing...kids heading off to play while they wait for lunch.

Around the house...tidying up for a visit from my parents.

One of my favorite things...watching my children grow up, and getting to be a part of the every day learning that is involved in that growing.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Staying flexible since Doug has jury duty, a visit from my parents tomorrow and Wednesday, and the normal – church, Upward, dessert night.

A picture worth sharing...