Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Recommendation

I had planned on taking the last few weeks of my summer to reread "Christy" by Catherine Marshall.  The leisurely reading I intended ended in a devouring . . . I had forgotten just how good this book is!  If you've never gone back and reread a book you read as an adolescent/teenager I highly recommend it.  It is amazing the different things that stick out and hang with you, depending on the phase of life you are in.

A few quotes to share:
On "taking time to smell the roses"-- "Human life is short.  Each of us has a limited number of years. So are we going to go through those so-few years with little time for our family and friends, with unseeing eyes for the beauties around us, concentrating on accumulating money and things when we have to leave them all behind anyway?"
That just resounds well with me, being aware of the little things--but the beautiful things--all God's graces He extends our way.

On dealing with life and it's unfairness--"Christy, those who've never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven have never encountered God at all."  Which probably sounds rather horrible, but I knew exactly what Miss Alice meant when she said those words to Christy.  The hardest times in my life and the loneliest ended up being the richest, spiritually speaking.  I realized I didn't have to understand His ways, just accept them and know He loves me.

Anyway, all that to say, good book. If you've never read it, well, you must.  I've half a mind to move to Tennessee now . . . ;o)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Snaps and Snippets

We've almost fully recovered from a week spent at VBS last week.  Every year I plan on staying on top of everything at home while being gone all morning.  Every year I fall rather short of that lofty goal.  I am finding more and more that any time spent away from home seems to double--triple!--the work left waiting for me upon my return.  I'm not quite sure how the math works on that one.
We got Isabella's birthday celebrated on Saturday.  We did our first friend party, making use of Grandma and Grandpa's pool and then finished off the evening with a family meal and cake.  It was a rather towering cake and hard to serve "pretty" but it was definitely tasty. ;o)
Jackson has been found contemplating the pool slide.  I'm not sure if we'll see him plummet down anytime in the near future, but the fact he's even sitting up there is cause for celebration.

The kids and I had a floor cleaning party last night.  I need to remember to do this more often:
Janna's Recipe for a Really Clean Floor
Whatever amount of naked/in their underwear children you have available
A Bucket with Soapy Warm Water
A Pile of Rags
Let 'em at it!!!
Honestly it makes for a really clean floor, while they are not the best scrubbers, they do a decent job and they use a lot of water, giving all that hard stuff a good soak.  By the time I come over it a lot of gunk has loosened and therefore less elbow grease is required on my part. ;o)  My floor sparkles today.
Not only is Owen getting around EVERYWHERE he also accomplished a new trick--
pulling himself up!!!
He also is sporting many bumps and marks upon his head because it seems his mobility out-developed his balance. ;o)  The little stinker--I was hoping to still have a non-moving complacent baby to ease myself back into a school schedule.  Looks like I'll really be on my toes.  But I've got a new gate coming via Amazon.  I just realized I've had babies in five different homes, each calling for different safety measures. :oP
And here's a funny pic of a game of Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey . . . gone wild:
Hee, hee ;o)
So, there's my little catch-up.  I've got a lot I want to do in the next (less than) two weeks until we start school . . . projects, plans . . . hopefully I'll get it all done.  I do love this time of year and the reorganization it inspires in me.  I REALLY love cheap school supplies and a new planner for me. ;o)  Everything seems so new and sparkly and full of fun and promise.  (And yes, the "honeymoon" does quickly wear off!) ;o) But for now we'll just enjoy this "getting ready" phase.  Have a great day!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy 7th Isabella!!

To my sweet girl on your celebration of seven!
You are our girly-girl, the one who can't leave the house without a headband in her hair.
The one who we find sleeping with said headband!
The girl who would really rather not wear the Cardinals shirt her daddy got for her, even if the rest of the family is wearing it. Well, just so you know, it doesn't matter what you're wearing or how you accessorize it,
You are beautiful just the way you are with your sweet smile and sparkly eyes.
You take good care of Owen and delight him with your animated songs and sayings.
He loves to rock out to your nearly constant soundtrack of piano music.  Sometimes Daddy and I stand in the shadows watching you play and wonder how on earth you got such an ear for songs.  You amaze us!

You still love to play Barbies, often coercing Marissa into Barbie playing marathons.  Sometimes I come into your room and wonder to myself what on earth you guys are imagining when I find Barbies tied up and hanging from your closet rod, houses made from books, and your room in all other sorts of disarray. It's not the kind of Barbie playing I remember doing with my sister, but you get an A+ for creativity. ;o)
You are obsessed with doing the splits and are freakishly double-jointed.  You have startled all of us on occasion by putting your arms in such weird positions.  Recently a sign for the "Cool Club" appeared on your door.  When I asked you about it you told me you had to be able to do the splits (or other gymnastic-y positions).  It doesn't look like your poor mommy will be asked to join the "Cool Club" anytime soon.

We hope you have a fabulous birthday sweet Bella.  You are so incredibly special to us and I am so thankful God blessed us with you seven years ago.  Keep shining and sparkling and loving Jesus with all your heart.  I am thrilled to my soul that you are "mine."
Happy, happy day!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seven Months Old!

Oh Owen, you're getting too big!!!
As of Monday (7/19) he is totally and completely crawling--everywhere--beating Jackson's earliest crawling record by about two weeks.  I'm still having a hard time getting used to finding him in different rooms.  AND I found him on the first shelf of a bookshelf (it's about 6 inches off the floor).  I'm not sure if he was helped, Jackson says he didn't do it, but *ahem* there is a lot of stuff that Jackson "didn't do."  I'm guessing the stairs won't be too far behind.

Owen has also expanded his diet to include a stale tortilla, a discarded bread crust and Josh's tennis shoes.  Yum.  I keep telling the kids (well, boys) they need to be more careful.  So really, there has been no by-the-book, try a new food, wait a few days . . . He's just kind of setting his own pace as he goes. He still mainly nurses--I don't do a whole lot with baby food until they can really self-feed. 

Other tidbits to remember--
~he always wakes up in the morning sooooo happy
~he likes the song "I had a tiny turtle, his name was tiny Tim . . ."
~still no teeth, but lots of drool and gnawing
~often I say, "Owen, where you goin'?" (it's a nifty little rhyme!) ;o)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cooling off . . .

I'm sitting here this morning attempting to come up with something to blog about because I just got back from a 2 mile run.  Now blogging and running might seem entirely unrelated, but you see, there is an air vent directly under my computer desk.  Following me? ;o)  I tried a new route today, one that sends me down around the Woodland Hills area, and consequently past waterfalls and big trees.  I even saw a huge heron! It was definitely more scenic.  Unfortunately, what goes down, must come up . . . The first half mile was a downhill, making the last half mile . . . an uphill.  That was bad planning on my part. Yes, I'll admit to walking a tiny bit. And now I sit over an air vent--after bumping the air down a few notches--with a tall glass of water.  I like to pray while I run.  Sometimes my prayers are rather disjointed because I'm concentrating on trying to breathe and not die.  Lately though my prayers are more just one praise on repeat, "Thank-you-for-air-conditioning-*gasp*-thank-you-for-air-conditioning . . ." ;o)  It's a great way to start the day!!  A happy Friday one and all--may it be pleasant and cool!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pumpkin Yearnings

These magazines arrived in my mailbox this week:
You'll notice they're looking rather fall-ish.  I must admit they've given me a hankering to start pulling out the pumpkins to adorn the house with.  I'm two days into resisting this temptation.  My goal is to wait until the middle of August, which would be a full two weeks longer than I waited last year. But with the humidity at about 500% today, I'm thinking I might wish summer's end a bit sooner, rather than later.  You know a day is going to be miserable when  you open your door at a quarter 'til seven and it feels like opening your dryer about 25 minutes into the cycle.  It's not really a way I like to start the day. Hence I'll be hiding inside for the rest of it, digging out all my old fall magazines and entertaining an "autumn state of mind." ;o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

For the Library

Here's a fun book we recently added to our small but growing collection of nature books:
It's a nice hardcover book and I really like all the information it has about trees.  There aren't real photographs, more like colored pencil sketchings, but it details everything you would need to identify a tree--the bark, buds, flowers, fruit, leaves, etc.  Now, it doesn't have every single tree out there, so don't be thinking it's an all-inclusive field guide. ;o) But it's definitely a book I enjoy looking at with the kiddos.  So, in the event you also would like to have a collection of nature books, here's your public service announcement. ;o)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catching up~

Last week was Josh's "off" week.  Three of the four summer classes are officially done.  He determined to spend the week doing fun things with the kids, so--
Tuesday--they spent a few hours at Lincoln's children's museum
Wednesday--they went to SAC and picnicked at Mahoney
Thursday--they spent a few hours at the children's zoo
Friday--the grand finale, Fontanelle Forest for a picnic and bug scavenger hunt:
and then to Omaha's children's museum.
I was an utter bum and skipped out on all aforementioned activities. ;o)  Owen and I hung out at home doing cool stuff like closet organizing and room cleaning.  I attempted to ruthlessly purge whatever got in my path.  I was semi-successful.  Overall, it was a nice break and I must admit to soaking up, relishing, basking in ENJOYING a bit of quiet each day. ;o)
Owen was a bit fussier over the last few days.  He has a *touch* of a cold, and I'm pretty certain he is also working on those first toothers.  But we've had some rough nights, and last night he got pretty upset while Josh and I were at a wedding reception.  I thought maybe the crowd/noise was just too much for him.
But now for my mother of the year award:
Owen ruptured an ear drum last night.
Yes, I've only dealt with like A MILLION ear infections with the other four.  My poor baby was suffering through an infection and I didn't even have a clue until he woke up this morning with drainage out his ear (and eyes, and nose . . .).  That awful night two nights ago makes a lot of sense now. *rolling eyes*  So now we're attempting to get a dose of antibiotics in him.  Basically Owen nurses . . . He's really not digging the pink stuff.  In fact he is so not digging the pink stuff he throws EVERYTHING up as soon as a drop lands on his tongue.  While smiling of course. ;o)  (He's so much happier now that his ear has exploded and all that pressure is gone).  I foresee an exciting ten days in my future.

Among other news we have entered the less-than-a-month-until-school-starts countdown.  The next season to decorate for is fall.  And one year from now Josh should have a "real" job again and hopefully a "normal" schedule.  This summer/year is going soooooooo fast!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Recap

Monday, July 5, 2010


Yes, that is a bullfrog on my girl's head.
Do you see that smile?
She is over-the-moon happy to have caught him.
And when I see that joy beaming out her face it just makes me over-the-moon happy too. ;o)
Isn't every season just the best?

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Schoolroom" Storage

First a reminder of how I stored books last year . . . go here .  The crates DID work.  Each girl had all their books handy, although often there was "digging" involved, we didn't lose anything (but stuff was looking pretty "crate worn" at the end).  While I wish I had a whole separate room that was our schooling room--as I'm sure most homeschoolers would--that is not an option now.  (Want to see my dream room? Go here. Drool.)  What I do have is a dining room with a big old beat-up table.  And an eclectic mix of chairs--not because having an eclectic mix of chairs is the new cool thing, but because I have yet to acquire a set of chairs to seat us all that matches. ;o)  Speaking of chairs, I'm rather bothered by the fact once Owen is able to join us at the table for meals I will have an uneven number of people on each side, one at each end, two on one long side, and three on the other . . . What to do? I'm debating between another child or having Josh build benches to replace chairs. (Just kidding . . . I think). ;o)  What was I originally talking about?
Oh yes, storage.
So, enter Craigs.list.  (I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but truth is I could look at before/afters all day--they're incredibly inspiring.  Hopefully you feel the same way . . .) ;o)  I found a set, a 4 drawer tall dresser, a 6 drawer short/wide dresser with an attachable mirror, and a 2 drawer nightstand for $60. I sent my reliable fetcher (Josh) in his hauler (the old minivan "hollowed" out by removing the two back rows of seating).  He came back with all of this, plus a desk the guy threw in for $5.  It all fit in just perfectly.
Here's the dresser I wanted for the dining room:
The one unfortunate thing--pictures on Craigs.list don't really give you any idea as to size.  I was a tad bummed to realize this was about 6 inches shorter than I would have like it, more of a dining room table height when I was going for a counter top height.  But I'll live.  Someday I think I might turn it into a hutch by building a shelving attachment for the top of it. 
Here is the after picture:
I LOVE IT!!! I get such a thrill out of seeing a piece turn out like this.  Each kid (except Owen) will get one big drawer to store stuff and then the top skinnier drawers will be for things like art stuff, paper, etc.  Everything will have a place and be out of sight.  It makes me excited to start school. ;o) 

I have another fun area to decorate seasonally . . .
Oh, and check out my new ruffled burlap table runner--I had seen one online for $59.  Guess how much I made mine for?  About $3--and some burlap wrestling. ;o)  I really like the texture--the eye appeal of it I mean, I definitely wouldn't want it for sheets!  When Marissa saw me throwing the burlap on the cutting counter she asked with concern, "What are you making with that?  It's kind of scratchy."  I told her it was for her new pajamas. ;o)  She was less than thrilled.
Sooooo, this project is declared complete.  With all the furniture I have lined up in the garage it looks like I have some sort of perpetual garage sale going on. ;o)  I have a LOT to get painted.  I can't tell you enough how fun this is.  Aside from couches/mattresses I'm not sure if I'll ever buy new stuff again.  (Although something could come along that would lead me to make an exception to that rule).  I really think if you're patient enough and just keep watching you'll find something you love or can make lovable with a coat of paint.  It has completely revolutionized "home decorating" for me.  I work with a very tiny budget.  You CAN have nice-looking things for cheap.  Isn't that cool!!! ;o) 

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I realize to you this may look like a boring picture of three children in a pool.  But what you wouldn't realize is the male child in this picture has been petrified of said pool for basically his entire existence.  As of last week we had a break-through.  The child who previously would not even get in with a parent will now get in all by himself and walk around the shallow end.  And brace yourselves--
He will even put his head UNDER for a few seconds and OPEN his eyes!
Will wonders never cease?! ;o)