Thursday, October 30, 2008

Firefighter Rick Relaxing


This is Steve's good friend, Rick who is on his shift. Rick invites Steve to go fishing every now and then and they have a great time out on the Columbia River. They didn't catch anything this trip though. Actually, I'm not sure if they've ever caught a fish together! Tee hee!!! The river was beautiful and as calm as could be this fine fall day.
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So Embarrasing!


I woke up from a nap and quickly took Josh to his dentist appointment. I was standing there talking to the Dr. when I noticed that one foot was higher then the other. I looked down and saw that I had put two different shoes on! I was soooo embarrassed! He laughed and said that he didn't even noticed. Of course, the ladies up front wanted to know what we were laughing about, so I showed them and they had a good laugh too. It goes to show you that you never know what is going to happen when you have five kids and are crazy with hormones from making a sixth! I can't believe I didn't notice it beforehand! The other picture is of me in my PJs watching "The Berlin Airlift" with Steve after the kids went to bed. How do you like our HUGE remote? It is the only one that we haven't lost!
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AWANA Harvest Party

Andrew in the jumping house

Marcus pigs out on cotton candy

Andrew tries the hula hoop

Andrew wanted a ladybug. He had just gotten a drink of water and got it all over his shirt. The kids had a great time!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October Pictures

Jacob and Mommy

Jess and Jacob playing in the tub

Jacob and Marcus eating Top Ramen

Josh peeks out of his room.

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What Makes Me Angry Devotion

I am going to try to post a devotion that I have sent out awhile ago. Mainly, because I need to reread them and be reminded of what God lays on my heart. So here is my anger one, that has once again left me convicted.


What Makes Me Angry


Dear Mothers,

If you are an angry mother, would you do something for me? Would you raise your hand? Guess what, my hand is raised, too! God sees your hand and He sees your admission to this particular sin.


Anger is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. First it was my parents, then when I got married it was directed towards my husband, and now of course it is trickling downward to my precious children. Anger has been my “thorn in my flesh”. I don’t think God will ever take it away. Do you know why? Because by having this problem, it keeps me dependent on Him and it also keeps me from being prideful in my mothering.

I would like to share some things I’ve discovered about why I get angry that have helped me along this journey towards a more peaceful existence. The first thing God revealed to me, is that I get angry when I don’t get my way. It’s pure and utter selfishness! Not pretty, is it? The second reason why I get angry is when my husband and children create more work for me. When I already feel like all I do is work, the last thing I need is to have an “extra” job of cleaning up spilled milk, Cheerios, mud, poop, and/or vomit! Do you know what I mean, ladies? Is it just me? No, I think not! You know why I know that, because I’ve talked to hundreds of moms that are just like me. I know you can relate to this!

So how do we combat this tendency towards anger? We have to deal on a daily basis with our selfish nature. We have to learn to “do it for the Lord”! We will have peace when we let go of those things that are hindering us to become more peaceful people. Ask God what your hang up might be. He’ll let you know, I guarantee it. I have had to cry out to God and repent of screaming at my children, of stomping my feet and acting like the two-year old that I am trying to discipline! I have to lean on Him for a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit EVERY DAY! When I wing it, I fall flat on my face in the first five minutes! Ask God to fill you till you are overflowing with His Spirit. Then and only then will you see the fruit of the Spirit shine in your mothering. You will automatically have patience, peace, self-control, kindness, gentleness, goodness, love, and JOY! And the best thing is, God will be glorified through your mothering! God will use a mother like that in mighty ways!

Remember ladies, you can’t do this on your own. It will never work. God is waiting to help you with your anger. If anger isn’t your problem, then I’m sure you have another “thorn” that is causing you to lean on Him.

The next time you get angry, ask yourself three questions…

1. Am I angry because I am not getting my way?
2. Am I angry because I have to do more work?
3. Am I angry because I am being selfish?

God may not take away the tendency to “lose it” on others, but if you are filled with His Spirit, you will have the power to make the choice to lose it, or to overlook the offense.

May God grant you His favor this day as you continue to press on towards the prize of godly mothering.

From One Mom to Another,
Stacie

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Andrew's Leg Update

Andrew's left foot turns in pretty severely. He also tiptoes with it. We just got a third opinion today on what it might be. They said it might be a type of cerebral palsy. Basically, a brain connection is missing that goes to the muscle in his lower calf that keeps the foot flat. They think something might have happened at birth or perhaps during his bunk bed accident. This doctor from Hood River said that a night brace or possibly a day brace could help. He recommended us to go back to the Children's Hospital at OHSU or Shriners and keep following up. He said that when he is older a surgery might be the best solution to cut the tendon on the heel to relieve the tightness that is in the muscle. Obviously, this would have to be a last ditch measure.

We are happy to know that we aren't crazy and that there might be something else we can do at this point. So I need to make a follow up appointment within the next couple of months for Dornbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

He really cautioned me to not let Andrew sit on his feet. I didn't even realize that it could make the problem worse. So I need to be aware of him doing that.

I'm tired and need to get dinner ready. Just wanted to especially let the Grandparents know where we are at on it.

Blessings!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Andrew's Potty Training

Andrew is doing great with his potty training! He rarely has accidents and wakes up dry every morning. I'm going to start putting him in underwear during the day full-time. We are so excited for him! Do you know how much money we are saving now on pull-ups?
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Seeds Planted

I was so blessed last night to have a lengthy converstation with Andrew, my three year old, about God and Jesus. He has never wanted to talk much about it. I asked him what he liked about God. He said he liked God because "he builds things". He can't wait to see the house God is building him in Heaven. I asked him if he knew what sin was. He said "yeah, it's like "sending something to the post office". I realized that the Cubbie verse he was learning was "All have sinned". He was totally confusing the words! Too cute! So I tried explaining it a little better for him. He is a cute little guy and loves to chat. You really have to be careful not to push this little guy. He is not going to believe something just because you do. He will be a thinker! I love that. I have new prayers for him now.

Steve and I had a lovely time last night chatting before bed. We are now sleeping in the same room together ever since I got earplugs. It's been nice. Bless his heart, but now that he's gotten older, he snores. We used to take turns on the couch, but he had voluntarily been sleeping on the couch for many months. We are going to take down our bed today. It has been broken for awhile. We don't have the time or money to fix it, so we'll just store it until we are ready to deal with. Currently there are ropes holding it together. Pretty pathetic, I know! Boy is it squeaky!

I need to scoot. Jacob is of course awake, and the others will be trickling out soon. I need to wrap my mind about what to serve for breakfast. Perhaps oatmeal.

I'm planning on making a Italian sausage lasagna today. Steve loves lasagna and he is home today, so it will be perfect.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Change

I was reading my Carol Kent book this morning as I was waiting for the kids to wake up. These three paragraphs just hit me.

When our actions reflect ruling passions that are based on biblical convictions rather than on distortions of the truth, our change points become opportunities for showcasing the power of God.

Is it possible to adapt to change joyfully? Tim Hansel thanks so. He says,

"Joy is a process, a journey-often muffled, sometimes detoured; a mystery in which we participate, not a product we can grasp. It grows and regenerates as we have the courage to let go and trust the process. Growth and joy are inhibited when we say "if only," enhanced when we realize that failures and difficulties are not only a critical part of the process, but are our very opportunities to grow."

Carol says, she needs to remember that! Our lives are constantly changing, and with those changes many new opportunities and problems are emerging. Whether the change is one we have chose or is one that we have no control over, it can be the door to an exciting adventure through which God can reshape the course of our lives!

Wow, this spoke to me on several different levels. The first being, yes, I chose to get pregnant, but it will still create problems. I WILL be uncomfortable the last three months of my pregnancy, I will be tired when the newborn comes. I will have difficulties trying to "manage" it all. But the reason why we chose to have a large family is because of the exciting adventure that it can bring! We can't wait to see what God is going to do with the lives our children. We are excited that we are raising arrows for God's Kingdom. It's not easy. But when something is worthwhile, is it ever easy?

Take my sister. Her husband is going to school to be in the Forest Service. This is the problem. He could get a job anywhere in June! She has no idea where and when they will be moving. She doesn't even know if it will be in Oregon or not. Just for added fun, her husband is also in the National Guard. There are rumors flying like crazy as to when he will get deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan again. But honestly, they really have no idea, just that it will be in the next few years. Talk about having to be flexible! I would be in despair. This is really teaching my sis that she really has no control over her situation and she just needs to sit back and watch God do the driving. Pretty hard for a former control freak! She is choosing to look at this as an exciting adventure for her family. Honestly, I'm trying to not get worked up at the thought of her moving even farther away. Three hours is agony to me, but it could be so much worse. They also do not know what to do with their house. Should they sell or rent?

I have another dear friend who longed to get married. God answered her prayers. She married a godly man, but one who has ingrained habits from his bacholor years. He can be inconsiderate and insensitive without even knowing it. Some of these habits have driven her crazy! But I have watched God slowly work on her. She has decided to learn contentment and to throw out expectations. She is growing into one of the most godliest people I know. She is so close to the Lord and talks with Him on a constant basis.

Another friend's husband has been diagnosed with an intestinal disease. This disease will not go away. It is chronic and can only be managed with life-style changes in stress reduction and diet. Both of these are huge issues. She has no control over the choices that he makes. She can only watch and pray for her husband to recognize his need for God.

What kind of changes have you been going through? Health? Uncertainty in the stock market? Pregnancy? Problems in your church? A move? A new marriage? The end of a marriage through death or divorce? These things can rock our world and steal the joy that God has given to us through Christ.

It's OK to question God, to be honest with Him and to let Him know exactly how you feel. He wants us to go Him and pound our fists on His chest, sometimes asking "Why me, Lord?". He wants us to go to Him with every little and big thing. That is what a relationship is! The deepest relationship is pure and utter honesty. Can you be honest with God? I'm learning this truth and I am benefiting from it. I pray you might as well. There is no way joy will come in the morning if we don't learn to lay these burdens at the foot of the Cross.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

EARLY morning

I woke up to the sound of chatting on the baby monitor. Now I know that Jacob doesn't talk yet, so I knew I was in big trouble. I ran into the living room to find out what was going on after I looked at the clock. 5:30 a.m is what it said in glowing red letters! Mama is mad! Joshua, Marcus and Jessica come running out of Jacob's room holding Jakers saying, "he was fussing, Mom, so we got him up." I told them they all better get back in bed and not wake up Andrew. I told them that I sometimes let Jacob fuss a little in the mornings because he goes back to sleep. Well, needless to say, they woke up Andrew because they couldn't be quiet. They are laying there until 6:30 to think about it. Of course, no one could tell me who woke everyone up first. I told them they better get their stories straight or else!

So I checked my email after I put in a Bible video for Andrew and Jacob. I found a great email in my inbox from Ilam and Francesca from Kenya. I had time to respond a lengthy one back. It is such a blessing to be able to help these people.

Steve got about 8 or 9 hours of overtime yesterday. He works 24 hours today, so it will be another long haul by myself. I have a few projects I want to get done around here today. I need to mow the front lawn and have the kids pick up their toys outside. I also want to get some manure and straw into the garden beds before it freezes and we can't.

Josh goes to ACTS this morning and Marcus was invited to his friends house for the afternoon and evening. It will be nice for them to have a break from each other. They have been fighting a lot lately.

Last night we watched Parent Trap together as a family. This was one of my all time favorite movies growing up. The kids loved it! After the movie Josh and I got into a lengthy discussion about his anger towards his siblings. Andrew knocked over a glass of milk while trying to steal Josh's popcorn. Josh shouldn't have had milk in the living room and refused to take any responsibility for it. It was frustrating going round and round with him and having him not understand that it WAS partially his fault. I caught him trying to spank Andrew which was NOT OK. So we had to talk about that, too. We ended up talking till nine at night. He still believes that Marcus is smarter then him and I had to reassure him once again that school comes easier for Marcus, but that he is not smarter then Josh, just different. Josh is smart. He proves it every day. It broke my heart that he is picking up on the fact that Marcus has an easier time learning then he does. He just wants God to take away his "focus problem". I told him about Paul and how he wanted his "thorn" to be taken from him, but God chose to leave it to depend on Him. I explained that we all have thorns and that it forces us to accept His grace in our lives. When we are weak, he is strong. He asked me to pray for him so I did. He seemed to feel better afterwards. I need to pray for him more often. He had a lot of anger built up. As a parent, I realize communication needs to keep flowing even if it is frustrating at times. His main beef is that he doesn't want go to Trudy's. It always boils down to that. It is work, and he doesn't like it. He doesn't see that it is a long term thing and he wants everything to be over with quickly so he can move on to Fourth Grade. I told him that we can't do that or he will fail the test at the end. So I tried to explain that he needs to be careful to read ALL the directions and not just look at the paper and assume he knows what to do. This has been a huge problem for him. He rushes through and then he ends up getting the entire page wrong because he didn't read all the directions. He wants to hurry up, get it done so he can play. I don't know how to get him out of this mode except to keep doing what I am doing.

Josh is an amazing kid. He knows more about wars and machines and boats then any kid I know. If he is interested in something, he researches it and studies it until he knows the subject forwards and backwards.

That's about all. I need to get off here and start feeding some kids and do my Bible study.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forgetful

I know this sounds weird, but there are days when I forget I'm pregnant. I'm feeling kind of guilty about it, but it is making the time go faster. These are the comfortable months and I have to say I'm enjoying not feeling sick and not being huge and uncomfortable. I feel the baby move every now and then which reminds me it's still alive and kickin'.

I'll be 17 weeks tomorrow. I'm almost at the halfway mark.

I look at Jacob. Andrew was just one month older then Jacob is now when Jacob was born. I'm so glad that God gave me an extra four months to let him grow up a bit more. He'll be 2 years and one month when the baby is born.

Today was interesting. It was very loud here and I was continually getting after the kids for the noise level. I sent them to their rooms several times when it got out of control. I finally was getting a headache and was sick of getting after them so I grabbed some big old blue ear muffs and put them on while I made dinner. It was so peaceful and quiet! I think I'll do that more often. It made my headache go away!

Life is good even though kids can be obnoxious. Josh was rude to me today and he apologized. I felt emotional and just sat down on the couch and hugged him. He wiped the tears from my eyes with my apron and prayed for me. It was sweet. He was much better after that. Marcus made a valiant effort towards the end of the day to behave.

Jacob got a scratch on his leg at the fire station, and screamed all the way home and for about half an hour after we got home. I put some neosporin on it and a bandaid, but he just finally had to cry himself to sleep. It was a scratch, I can't believe how it affected him.

Josh is watching his favorite documentary "Hitler's Lost Sub" right now while I'm typing this. He told me today that he loves the evenings when the little ones are all in bed and he can have some peace and quiet. I know the feeling!

Andrew asked today if he could pray for Daddy. It was very sweet and out of the blue. He does not ask to pray unless we are sitting down to eat. We were going down the road in the Sub and he just spontaneously asked to pray for him. I'm so glad some things are sinking in.

I had the boys watch an old movie that I watched as a kid about the Rapture. It was called "A Distant Thunder". Even though it was cheesy and had really bad acting, it was still pretty intense. I had to fast forward the guillotine part at the end. It made an impression on both of them and they asked a lot of questions about the end times and the Mark of the Beast. They are both relieved that they have asked Jesus into their hearts so they don't have to experience what those poor people did. I hope I did the right thing by letting them watch it. I don't want to freak them out too much.

Homeschooling

I just thought I would share a little of what I'm doing with the kids right now in regards to school. Many people ask me, so they must find it interesting.

I'll start with each child.

Joshua is ten and I start him out with two pages of phonics (Modern Curriculum Press) and one page of spelling (Abeka). Those are both front and back pages. Then I do Third Grade Saxon Math. I have them do only one side because it is so repetitive. They usually have one or two math fact sheets that I have him do every other problem. In the afternoons I have him do spelling. He chooses words and makes his own list. I don't let him do things that are underneath his level, but he usually chooses words that are way above his level and spells them anyway because he likes the words! Lately, we've been on an Indiana Jones kick. So he has had words like "Indiana, Jones, temple, crusade, whip, idol." It's great because he doesn't fight me on spelling this way. Then I have him read 10 minutes out loud to me of a book of his choosing. This is probably his least favorite part. That is why I keep it only to 10 minutes. I then have him write five sentences in his journal about any subject he chooses. When he goes to Trudy's for educational therapy, I usually have him do just a few of these things so he doesn't fall behind.

Marcus is eight. I have him do his own spelling list as well. I don't push phonics on him much because he really gets it. I instead use a Second Grade Bob Jones English book on him that goes into more of the language use. I think it's way more advanced then most Second Grade English, but it is working for us. He does one page front and back of that. He journals three sentences in his journal and he reads 10 minutes out loud. He reads a lot to himself, so I don't worry about it that much. He does Third Grade Saxon math and loves it.

Jessica is doing great. She is five and we do Bob Jones Worktext that covers everything from reading, English, Science, history and Bible stories. She loves it. We also do Bob Jones Math for Kindergarten. She does two or three pages, sometimes more if she is really excited about the subject. I just let her go until she wants to quit. I try to have her read to me at least one phonics book.

For all the kids I combine science and history. For science, we have an awesome selection of DVDs and videos of every kind. We utilize our library's resources as well. We have been studying bugs a lot this year. We also use Magic School Bus books and DVDS. I think I own every one of their DVDs. I've learned a ton with them!

History we are working on going through some Abeka material. It has been great. It profiles key American figures and has all kinds of interesting facts from a Biblical perspective. We have just done Columbus, John Smith, and Pocahontas. We will be doing Miles Standish next. It's falling in perfect order to cover Columbus Day and Thanksgiving that is coming up.

For Culture and Anthropology studies, we are going to have a Samoan birthday party for Jessica. We will invite our friends and family and will learn all kinds of things about the Polynesian culture in general. We have already watched a video and learned a ton of what they eat, where and how they live. I will invoke my Samoan friend, Paulette to teach us some greetings as well. Luckily, her party isn't until May 15! So I have plenty of time.

My kids love to reenact everything. So they are really into WWII again, thanks to Indiana Jones. They play with their Legos a lot and they are continually building and creating "sets" outside, which thoroughly annoy me because my yard looks constantly trashed!

My kids learn to work with their chores (they do not get an allowance), and they can earn money by doing extra chores here or at their Nana and Papa's. Marcus has a job with his Grandma Regina at her little farm and learns all kinds of animal husbandry there. He really likes taking care of the chickens and is always teaching me interesting facts about them.

Marcus, Jessica and Andrew and I garden together. Jessica and Andrew even help me in the flower garden. They are learning weeds from flowers.

I had Marcus pull out my dead plants from the garden yesterday. I would like to get more manure and straw into the beds before winter sets in. We are learning to garden together. It's a giant experiment.

We also made crystals this year. They are begging me to do it again, so maybe today we can start another crystal growing project. We'll see how much energy I have.

There is much more that they learn in life. Cooking, cleaning, different movies they watch. I believe none of it is wasted. Character building comes first in my book. Academics come second. God always reminds me of this when I start to focus on academics too much.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Steve came home from work this morning and we were getting ready to go do our errands. We need to run to the Ranch and get the 4-Wheeler and some more hay for the critters, then pick up Steve's deer from the butchers. Another firefighter called and invited Steve to go on his boat to salmon fish. At first my heart wanted to be selfish. I had been by myself with the kids for over 24 hours. I was tired and wanted some help. I felt the Lord, nudge me and tell him to go and have fun. I thought about how much fun it is to get away without the kids with my girlfriends. I'm glad I made the right decision. He was so excited!

So I homeschooled, did my Bible study, made bread, made a yummy pork and noodle skillet for lunch and gave two baths to the little ones. I also caught up on some blogs and the Quiverful Digest. I added a blog to my bloglist. This gal seems to be a lot like me, only with 10 children. I like how candid she is. I worked the kids on their AWANA verses, too.

I also found a great radio station online. So now I'm listening to some peppy worship music while I blog!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Their Growing Up Fast!

I was getting a massage and came back to see these pictures Steve had taken of the kids. I guess they had fun trying on different styles of homemade mustaches! They are so cute!
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Sister Pictures

Jackie and I are really looking alike with our hair the same shade. She's the skinny one!
Jackie and Hailey
snuggling
Andrew, Jessica, Hailey and Jacob in the bathtub. Assembly line time!
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Five Months Pregnant pics



Jessica gives the baby a smooch! I can't believe I'm in my fifth month already!
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Mysterious Dog

This dog showed up at our house and the kids made friends with it. They were so worried about it and thought they could keep it because it didn't have tags. I told them to take it around the neighbors and see if they were missing it. They found out eventually, but they were pretty disappointed they couldn't keep it. Oh well!
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Steve's Trophy Antlers



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ACTS Buddy Bowl

Jessica kicking around the ball with Marcus


Josh is the boy in the middle playing flag football.
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Ouch!

Oh my, the Suburban cost a lot more then we thought. Because it is a big block engine the radiator is twice as much. So what I thought was going to be about a $300 job, ended up being a $715 job. Praise God that I had put some money into an envelope for safe keeping such as this. God truly provided for us and I thank Him for it. I don't like living from paycheck to paycheck, but that is where we are at right now and it is kind of exciting to see how God takes care of us.

Two years ago, we would have had to put something like that on the Visa and then we would have been even more in debt. That is the nice thing about being out of debt. It gives you a little more flexibility.

I'll have to put our testimony of what God has done for us in the past on this blog. It's pretty amazing.

It is nice to have the Suburban back and to be able to take all the kids to where they need to go.

Marcus was able to go with Dad to ride big horses and do some work on the ranch today. He will be able to spend the night there and Dad will bring him back in the morning. Tuesdays are usually when he goes with his Grandma Regina to work on her little farm. But since he couldn't do it, I asked Josh if he would like to go. Josh said yes, and they worked him hard. It was good for him. He said he had fun, but boy was he tired.

As for me, I made bread today, made some yummy "Fly off the Plate Pancakes" for breakfast, had some yummy leftover Chicken stew with grilled cheese sands for lunch, and I think I'll do leftovers for dinner. We had spaghetti last night and the kids loved it! Oh, I mowed the lawn today, so I did get outside. That felt wonderful. It is the most beautiful warm fall I've ever seen around here. I'm just loving it. No wind and little rain. You couldn't ask for anything better.

Sorry for any typos that what happens when you have a little 20 month old sitting on your lap helping you type.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What a Weekend!

Wow,

What a weekend! It was a whirlwind of kids, coooking, watching some period-piece movies and staying up late chatting with my sister. It was great!

Jackie came up Friday and we made dinner, cleaned up and got ready for Diana's (my stepmom) party. We had an ice cream cake and it was very casual and small.

Saturday, I ran Josh to ACTS and then we cooked all day and watched a movie on and off. She helped me get some things done and then we made some leaf roses. The kids played and played! Everyone should have a twin, that's all I can say. She is my best friend. We do not agree on everything. For example, I made her eat a lot of "comprised" health food. I wouldn't do whole wheat dumplings, whole wheat corn bread cookies or whole wheat chicken pot pie crust. I do half WW and half white flour. I just like the way it tastes better and the kids don't complain that way. I also "poisened" her several times by defrosting some stuff in the microwave. She hates microwaves with a passion! We are different and that's OK. I don't think I'll ever be on the level that she is out with healthy eating. I'm proud of myself for changing the things that I have changed and being more aware of what I'm feeding my kids. So thanks, Sis, for showing me the way! Love you and thanks for coming up. It was so much fun!

Sunday, I took the 4 older kids to church and Jackie stayed home with the three littlest ones. They took naps. Then we made lunch again and she took off for home.

Then it was time for soccer. I took the three older kids to soccer and Candy (my old neighbor) came and watched Jacob and Andrew. It was soooo relaxing!

I struggled all weekend with Marcus' behavior. He was very sassy and disrespectful. After Steve come home for the class we had a LONG talk with Marcus and things have been a lot better today. We are thinking about getting him into counseling for his anger and disrespect. It is starting to spread to the little ones. So please be praying for him. I think we might be getting to the root of it.

It was hard not having the Suburban while Steve was gone, but God helped me figure out how to do it. Grandparents came in handy and helped me get two of the kids to church.

We found out that the Suburban needs a new radiator. It was a huge relief even though it is expensive, to know that it should be less then $400 to get it replaced. We were hoping we didn't need a new motor or something major. So God blessed us once again.

We have had some good attitudes today with homeschooling. Actually, Josh wanted to play today, so he got 85 percent of his homeschooling done on Sunday night. I couldn't believe it! Marcus got up and started doing his before he even got dressed. We were done by 10:00 a.m.

I took Andrew to his massage appointment for his foot. I thought I would treat him to a small hot chocolate. I set it in a cup holder but some how it tipped out and drained down into the console of the car. The WHOLE thing! I was so irritated. Luckily, it was only a $1.

I am looking forward to my prenatal massage today! It should be so relaxing. God once again blesses me and refreshes me when I'm at the end of my endurance. Praise God of Heaven for His blessings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Suburban Blues

I kept smelling burning oil in the Sub. The oil pressure looked like it was going down as well. I had Steve take a look at it and he showed me that the radiator fluid looked like chocolate milk. There is oil in the radiator. Not good. So we ran it down to the car shop today. This is really bad timing. Steve is going out of town this weekend. I kind of need the Suburban to get all the kids to all their different activities. I'm going to have to get real creative. I might utilize a grandparent or two. Also, Jackie will be up, so we'll have her car available.

I'm trying not to worry. I've prayed for the finances to come through to fix it. Things are really tight right now. Steve has gotten very little overtime the past few pay checks. It's a good thing though, because it makes us live within our "actual" means. I mean straight pay. We tend to rely on the overtime too much. We have made some major adjustments in our lives. We haven't ate out in a month or more, we are changing our grocery shopping habits and our eating habits. More oatmeal, Cream of Wheat and soups. I'm making all of our snacks, bread and so forth.

The worst that can happen is that we go down to one car. It can be done. We don't all go as a family to many places all at once. The older boys can be by themselves quite a bit now and that leaves me with three kids, which is what the car can hold. I wish it didn't have that darn air bag, or I could put five kids in that car. The front seat turns into a bench.

I need to go check on my homemade cinnamon rolls. Yummy! I'm also making a special treat for dinner. Steve hates sweet meat so I decided to make it while he was at work. I'm going to bread some pork chops, fry them up and then pour some apricot/pinneaple marmalade mixed with balsamic vinager on top and let simmer. For a side I'm going to make wild rice in the oven. I'm going to pour chicken broth over it. I've added celery, parsely, and minced onion as well. Doesn't that sound yummy! I hope it is, I totally made both of these recipes up! So we'll see. I have everything prepped and ready to go, so it should be a relaxing afternoon.

Nursing


Here is Jackie and I nursing our babies last February. It makes me miss nursing. I forget how relaxing it can be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blessed Sleep!

I took half a sleeping pill last night and slept like a baby. God even gave me an extra hour and let me get up at 7:00 a.m.

Today has been good. I homeschooled the kids in the morning. I took Josh shopping with me so he could push the cart and went to three stores in about 2 hours.

I then looked at my raspberry patch and decided it would be a lot more pleasant to cut the dead cane back when it was sunny and the wind wasn't roaring, so I did. I thought I would get one row done, but I ended up doing the whole thing. It feels so good to know that it will be all ready in the spring and I won't have anything to do with it but have the kids weed it once before the berries hit.

I made a delicious chicken dinner with the workds. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, sugar snap peas with mushrooms and garlic and gravy. Yummy! I'm stuffed.

Andrew has not had an accident in four days. I told him he was doing so well, that I would take him to Cubbies tonight. He was so excited! Steve is off today, so it's easy for me to take them. I'm happy for Andrew. He has worked hard and longed for this day.

Jessica will be a Sparks this year and is thrilled! I'm taking her tonight too since she doesn't have soccer practice anymore.

Steve is outside playing ball with the kids. They love having their daddy play with them. He is doing this more often.

I'm getting excited about having my sister and her kids up for the weekend! I can't wait to spend some quality time with her. Saturday, we have no plans. Just hang out, cook, maybe watch a movie together in the evening and talk, talk, talk.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Got Brave!

I dropped the boys off at their practices and decided to head over to Sorosis Park with the three little ones to kill some time. I usually avoid this park because it is really hard to see the kids and keep track of them all. I was thrilled to see my friend, Helena there with her Uncle and her boys. I rarely get to see her and really talk, so it was fun to chase the kids, talk and chase the kids some more. Her boys are so precious and are very close to age as Andrew and Jacob. Helena is Czech and I love to here her talk. She has a beautiful accent and love to hear her get after her boys in Czech. She comes to Mom's Morning Out and to our church. She has also attended a few of the Bible studies that I've hosted in my home. Her parents just came for a long visit and had to go back last weekend. It was very hard on Helena and I know she misses her family very much. I am so thankful that my family is near and not half a world away.

The kids had a ball playing and I had a ball chatting! A great combination...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Marcus and Elijah



This is Marcus and Elijah Chouinard. They are really good friends! Soccer was not so fun this weekend. Jacob decided to throw the biggest fit and wouldn't stop running off. He really needed a nap. I'm going to see if I can get someone to watch the two little ones next Sunday, since Steve is at a firefighter class. Jacob really needs his nap! I felt sorry for all the people that had to listen to him scream.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jess and her Cousins




I don't know why these are so small. But they are so cute! I love the ones with Josiah and Hailey.

Cousin Calia



Here are some sweet pictures of Steve's brother's daughter, Calia. I'm sure I'm misspelling it.

She sure was a sweetie

Andrew



I just love Andrew's mischievous smile!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Brother Josh


Josh giving Jacob and piggyback ride in my messy bedroom! OK, today I'm planning on cleaning it. It's getting out of control! I hate it when it becomes a catch all for everything. That's my scrapbooking stuff in the background.
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Steve Bags His Deer!

Yeah, we'll have some venision this winter! Steve shot a forked horn yesterday. It's the biggest one he's ever shot. Might be 80 lbs or so. He ordered steaks, roasts and jerky. Good thing I defrosted the freezer and cleaned everything out last week.

He was so proud of himself and I told him I was proud of him as well. The kids were so excited to get to touch the brain of the deer! Yuck!

Last night we went to the Chouinards for dinner. Wow! They outdid themselves this time. We dined on marinated Rib-Eye beef steaks and pototaos and salad. Paul had looked all over for the best cuts of meat. He's such a sweetie! I love how he researches everything! I wish I had patience to do that. I asked about what he thought of the stock market and he disappeared for a few moments. I knew I was in trouble when he brought out all of his graphs and research from the 1920's Great Depression. He loves that kind of stuff and really helped soothe some of Steve's fears about his retirement.

The kids had fun when the dad's went downstairs and had a Nerf-Gun war! Wow, was that loud! Rachel and I stayed upstairs with the little ones. It was fun talking. I could talk to that girl forever!

Steve and Paul are about the best dads there can be. They love their kids and they play with their kids and they also teach their kids. It's great!

I had three good conversations yesterday over the phone with Jackie, Catherine and Margaret. It was a relaxing day.

Last night was rough with Jacob. He woke up in the middle of the night crying. I checked on him. He wasn't poopy, he just wanted to be held. I held him for a little bit and put him back down. The screams that came from that child were almost inhuman. I let him scream it out though and he didn't die. He is one stubborn kid. This morning he was actually a little hoarse from it. I hope he learned something.

Andrew pooped in the toilet twice yesterday then promptly pooped him pants at the Chouinards. I don't get it. But at least were gaining a little. I just hope he can be a Cubbie soon.

I need to go. Josh is getting ready for his Buddy Bowl game with ACTS (Acclaiming Christ Through Sports). We'll go watch him for a little bit and then Steve will stay the rest of the time. Normally the dads play too, but last year Steve hurt his back pretty bad doing it, so he's going to be cheering from the side-lines. Josh was disappointed and shed a few tears this morning, but is happy his dad is going to be there. I'm glad Steve's going because I know he wants to get overtime today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hunting Widow

Steve has gone out again to try to bag a deer. He spotted a three-point at my father's ranch yesterday so now he's obsessed. He had a spike within shooting range, but opted not to shoot it hoping he will get this bigger one. He has only shot spikes and forked horns, so he wants something bigger this time. I kind of don't blame him.

He took Josh and Marcus out with him. Instead of homeschooling they are out traipsing around the countryside figuring out where the deer are and getting good exercise. It's great PE, Animal Science and if he shoots the deer and guts it, it will make a great anatomy project! Forget dissecting a sheep's eyeball! This is the real thing!

I get to have some one on one with Jess today. I love homeschooling her by herself. She is a great little pupil.

We went to the library yesterday, so we are going to have a book reading fest today.

The kids and I are trying to come up with a theme for our next "cultural party". Two years ago we did a German party with German food, decorations, and we learned a bunch of the language. This year we are tossing around the idea of Samoa, China, or Scotland. I got two videos at the library, one on Samoa and one on China to see if we can be swayed one way or the other. If we choose Samoa, Paulette is going to have to come and give us a crash-course on the Samoan language (greetings and such). She can also help us with figuring out the food and decorations and such. It would probably look like a Luau, but it would be fun regardless. I'm thinking about doing it for Jessica and Andrew's birthday party for this next year. It would be a month after the baby is born.

I love having something to look forward too.

Speaking of looking forward to something. I can't wait to go visit my friend, Catherine in Grangeville, Idaho next month! Margaret and I are going to ride up together and go see her in her domain! I'm looking forward to meeting her DIL and SIL along with their grandchildren who just moved from Hawaii. I have never been to her church and have heard so much about the congregation that it would be great to put some faces on the names. We are going up the weekend before Thanksgiving. The last time I went there was 3 years ago. The first night we were there my sister fell down their steep stairs in the dark and broke her collarbone. We stayed one more night and then came home. It was very traumatic for all of us and wasn't much of a visit. So I'm praying things will go better this time!

I need to go get my Blueberry Banana Spice Muffins out of the oven. Yummy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No 24 Hour Overtime Shift, Yeah!

Steve called last night and said that he didn't have to work the 24 hour overtime shift. So he is home today and I get more of a break hopefully. I need to get my hair colored bad, so he's going to watch the kids while I sit in a chair and talk grown up talk for two hours.

Josh is going riding with Papa Russ today and spending the night at the Ranch. Dad will bring him home tomorrow in time to go to Trudy's.

I am tired for some reason. I got sleep last night, which was wonderful, but I think it made me even more tired. Crazy!

I got up this morning at 6:00 and read my Bible. I was directed to Psalms and felt an immediate need to pray for the people in the Congo that are fleeing the violence from the 21 year old conflict due to the Lord's Rebellion Army. It is so bad that they are actually fleeing by the hundreds everyday to seek refuge in the Sudan, if you can believe that. My heart broke for them and I claimed God's protection and rescue over them. I know there are many Christians in the Congo and in the Sudan who are suffering greatly.

I homeschooled the kids today and put in the slowcooker some beef stroganoff for dinner tonight. It should be a relaxing day.

I am blessed!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pray For Me

Steve just got a 24 hour overtime shift after he works his regular shift, so he won't be home until Thursday morning. A 48 is tough on the kids and I, but we really need the money right now. So I ask that you would pray that I can sleep at night. I'm fighting insomnia. I want to be a loving, kind and patient mommy especially while I'm homeschooling.

I have two soccer practices tonight. Good news though, Jess's coach said he won't be able to do anymore practices so now we are down to two on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Yippee!

I am feeling the baby move a bit, which is exciting. I am feeling better and love not being sick all of the time. I even cleaned out a cupboard yesterday.

I'm trying something new. I'm sick of washing 15 cups a day, so I put all the cups up except one for each of us. Even Steve and I get one cup. Each child is responsible for his or her cup. Of course, Andrew and Jacob will need help. I have plastic and paper cups for when we have company. I hope this cuts down on the amount of dishes I am doing a day. I am doing three loads a day now.

Steve and I were trying to brainstorm on how to cut the cost of groceries. The prices keep going up and we are spending up to $600 a month on groceries. At least! Yikes! We need to rethink the way we are eating and shopping. It's not going to get better. I was getting WWFlour for $18 for a 25 lb bag. It went up to $25 a bag and now it's unavailable. I make my own bread so now I have to go to the store and buy it for twice that much. It is still cheaper to make my own then to buy it. It's better for you too.

I'm buying fewer snacks and making my own. I'll make brownies today made with sucanat and WWpastry flour. The kids love them.

We also talked about disciplining Marcus. He has such a snotty attitude sometimes and is very disrespectful to me. Steve gave me a few ideas that I hope will work. He will back me up on anything, so it's nice to know that. We need to get this straightened out before he becomes a teenager.

I love talking with my husband at night. The kids are in bed and we don't get interupted. We are getting along so good. It's been wonderful. He let me go to Yoga last night and it felt really good on my hips and back.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bacon Boy

I asked Josh to cook the bacon the other day. He got popped a couple of times so he geared up. he looked so funny I had to take a picture. Hey, I'm just glad he knows how to cook bacon!

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