Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Decals

I bought Steve these decals for his birthday. He mentioned that it would be fun to have them. I ordered them online (I can't remember where).
This van used to be a government vehicle, so now it looks more like a family van.
I had to throw in a picture of Andrew dressed up for his first day of soccer practice. He was so excited!
I told Andrew and Jessica to put their arms around each other, and this is how it ended up. I can't seem to get a good smile out of her anymore. She acts all shy now in front of the camera.

Andrew said the funniest thing yesterday. He showed me his "combine" made of Legos. He said, "Do you like my Frodotype?"

I burst out laughing! "You mean prototype?"

Where in the world did he hear that word? LOL! Kids are just so stinkin' cute!
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Come Thirsty" Part 2

This is taken from Max Lucado's book, "Come Thirsty". An excellent read!
My Dear Child,

Rely on My Energy

"You are worried and troubled about many things; trust me with all your heart. I know how to rescue Godly people from their trials. My Spirit helps you in your distress. Let me strengthen you with my glorious power. I did not spare my Son but gave him up for you. Won’t I give you everything else? March on, dear soul, with courage! Never give up. I will help you. I will uphold."

Your Father,
I believe this is a perfect prayer for mothers. We get worried about so many things, such as:
1. Will my children grow up to follow the Lord?
2. Will they be safe?
3. Will I be able to homeschool them in their high school years?
4. Will they be able to get and keep jobs?
5. Will my children rebel?
The fear can be paralyzing. God is not a God of fear! He wants us to take that list of fears (whatever they are) and lay them at the foot of the cross. He loves our children more than we do.
Is your child rebelling? Don't stop disciplining, don't give up, but continue to pray for that child. Go face-down on the floor and cry out to Him in a humbled posture. He promises that He hears our prayers. Pray that God will be glorified in your child's life. Pray that you will receive the encouragement that you need to keep up the "good fight". Pray for wisdom and understanding in your parenting. God is on His throne! He has not left!
Sometimes He allows us to stay in a wresting match so-to-speak, so that we can work it through. It raises the impurities to the surface. Our motives are purified, along with our hearts. If we hang on for the blessing, we will be new creatures in Christ! Isn't that what we want for our children and for us? Sometimes our children have to learn the hard way. Didn't we once?
Dear mothers, hang in there! The blessings will come...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This is Getting Ridiculous!

I just want to laugh when people say, "It must be nice to be married to a paramedic". He has NEVER been here when something happens. It's like Murphy's Law or something.

For example...

Sliced finger-gone

Bunk bed accident-gone


choking again-gone

choking once again-gone

stick jabbed into foot-gone

burn from hot tea all over shoulder and chest-gone

Spray-n-Wash in eye including having the bottle slice Andrew's eyeball open-gone

And now the most recent. Rachel dropped off the girls so that they could go deliver blankets and such with the Salvation Army for the fire that is happening over in Mosier. When she came back, we were chatting while Hannah and Ann were crawling into the van (parked on a slight incline) when the van's sliding door slowly shut onto Ann. She stopped it with her eyebrow. I grabbed Mary(who was screaming) and Rachel grabbed Ann. We both looked at each other and tried not to freak when we saw her eyebrow. Blood was dripping down into her eye and you could see the meat on her eyebrow. She has about an inch and a half gash on her forehead. I told her I thought we should call 911 in case she had a head injury. Ann was so brave! So Eric and Rick came by ambulance (both are Steve's guys on his shift) and checked her out. They said that she would be fine to go up by private vehicle, but that she would definitely need stitches.

I called Paul this morning and he said he didn't get out of the ER until 10:30 p.m. I think it all happened around 6:30. She had to have several stitches and it was just a nightmare because she could see the needle coming at her face. Lots of screams and tears. He said it was one of the worst days of his parenting career. Poor guy!

So, once again, Steve is gone (driving the van for Hood to Coast relay) and I do not have my personal paramedic available to me. Nothing new there. Maybe one of these days...

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Hooked" on History

These came out in the wrong order. When we went to Fort Vancouver, they had a blacksmithing demonstration. It was absolutely fascinating! We watched him make this decorative hook for Marcus.
He twisted, turned and punched a whole through the iron.

Here is one of the blacksmiths in his shop. He made all of the tools from scratch!

Of course, I had to tell them that my dad is a farrier. My dad doesn't make his own horseshoes, though! We learned that the Hudson Bay Company is still a company even today. Also, they hired children in England to make nails. They had their own little forge in their homes and that was a way they could earn money to help their families.
This was my favorite part of Fort Vancouver. It was a homeschooler's dream!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Come Thirsty By Max Lucado, Part 1

I just read an excellent book called, "Come Thirsty" by Max Lucado. I love that he writes in parables. If you can draw me into a story, it just sticks better.

At the end of the book there was a section called, "A Letter From G0d". It spoke to this thirsty soul. It is a little lengthy, so I will divide it into parts. He compiled Scripture into this wonderful letter. What a mighty God we have. He loves to encourage us!

Dear Child of Mind,

Are you thirsty? Come and drink. I am the one who comforts you. I bought you and complete you. I delight in you and claim you as my own, rejoicing over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. I will never fail you or forsake you.

Accept My Work

I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins, yet my grace is sufficient for you. I have cast all your sins behind my back, trampled them under my feet, and thrown them into the depths of the ocean! Your sins have been washed away, swept away like the morning mists, scattered like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.

Your death is swallowed up in victory. I disarmed the evil rulers and authorities and broke the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Your citizenship is in heaven. Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you where I will remove all your sorrows, and there will be no more death or sadness or crying or pain.

Your Maker, Your Father,


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vacation Memories

Here are all the kiddos lined up on the bed. Jacob is having a thing about getting his picture taken. But Lily and Josh sure look cute! We have outgrown motel rooms. Now that we have eight members in our family, we have to have two rooms. So the girls got one room and the boys had the other. Lily, Jess and I slept great! It truly was less stressful and more of a "vacation". We would all go swimming together and then split up at the end of the evening to watch a bit of TV before bedtime.
Lily and I after a nursing break going to Mount St. Helens
Sweetie Pie on the motel bed. I'm LOVING those cheeks!
Steve and Lily at Fort Vancouver. This used to be Jessica's bonnet. She is getting so chubby and roly-poly!
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Intentional

My children sometimes complain to me that we "don't do anything". I have to admit, sometimes they are right. I kind of hole up when Steve is at work. I don't go to the store, I don't go to the park and I certainly don't take them on adventures by myself like my mom did. I am trying to get braver and follow the lead of my dear friend, Rachel (who has five children of her own). This woman amazes me! She takes her kids everywhere. Doctor's offices, the store, movie theatres, you name it! I purposely schedule my appointments for when Steve is available to watch a kid or two, or three. Well, the other day the weather was not too hot and not too cold. We even had a break from the wind, so I loaded them up in the van and showed them a little place I discovered. There is a new resort going up in our town and they have gotten started on some of the landscaping. I fell in love with this waterfall/pond. The kids really enjoyed it as well.
There was a little bench area next to this waterfall. I dreamed of sitting there one day to do my Bible study. I can dream, can't I!
Here is the pond, complete with lily pads.

I think a bunch of houses are supposed to be built in this area, overlooking the bridge and dam. Those are the Klickitat Mountains behind the dam. We walked around the loop, but there was so much puncture-vine. The kids kept walking through it. I made them take their shoes off when we got in the van so that the "goat-head" stickers wouldn't rip up the seats. I HAAAATE that nasty weed. Good thing I didn't bring Snickers. She would have been miserable.

Today was a tough day. Satan wanted me to fall flat on my face. I kept praying all day long as I disciplined, disciplined, and disciplined some more. At the end of the day, after all of the conflict, I can honestly say that I think I got to their heart. It started turning for the better around 3:00 p.m. I even swallowed my pride and asked Rachel's husband, Paul, if he would be willing to take Marcus to soccer along with his kid. He gladly did it and I didn't have to load all of the kids up for the second time the day to go to a sports practice. Whew! Thank you!!!! I'll take any blessing I can get.

Before Josh went to bed, he apologized for being a "turd" (his words). I've never called him that, so I'm not sure where he got it, but I think he got the point. I really had a long chat with him about being a good example to his little brothers and sisters. We hugged and all is well.

I made it through another day. There, but for the grace of God go I. I couldn't do this without Him. Not for a second. He is my all in all. He is my strength and my song when I am drained of everything. People ask me all the time, "I don't know how you do it?" I just laugh and say, "I don't. God does." It's simple and it's true.

I praise you, God!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

This is How I Feel!

Do you see this picture? The umbrella is off and refreshing rain is pouring down her face. This is exactly how I feel. I feel like I just took the umbrella away and God has peeled off another layer of pride and fear as a mother and the Spirit is raining down on me.

I was listening to the radio and the pastor was speaking on teaching our children to stand up under the pressures of the world. God spoke to my heart when he said this...

"It is our job to equip our children. It is God's job to change our children."

Oh, man! Did I need to hear that. So simple, but so profound. I even know that I have heard it before, but it must not have stuck. I am struggling, never having raised an almost 11 year old. I am trying to teach all my children, not just my oldest ,to take responsibility for their actions. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall and I am battered and bruised. I now realize that the pressure is off, I don't have to change them!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God does the changing. My job is to patiently teach and equip them. Oh, JOY! Blessed be His Name! Thank you, God!

Just wanted to share...
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mt. St. Helen's Homeschool Field Trip

Here's the fam front of the volcano. I have lived in the Northwest all my life and have wanted to visit Mt. St. Helens. I was 5 years old when it blew and I remember ash covering the ranch we lived on. The kids were not happy here, especially Josh. The camera guy was taking forever and there were these nasty bugs flying in our faces.
The trauma this mountian suffered is astounding. It is amazing to think of a 1/3 of a mountian pouring into a valley and changing the landscape signficantly. One lake disappeared, while two others were formed. It was really windy and there were ash clouds in the center of the volcano.
Here is a look at the destruction of the valley beneath it. There were alder trees everywhere! They must be pretty hearty.
You can see more of the ash blowing around in the crater.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friends, Games and Pizza

At the beginning of our "surprise vacation", we went to Chucky's for pizza and games with our friends, Paul, Rachel and their five children. Here Jacob is really enjoying his pizza!
Steve being silly with Lily. As my children would say, "Hey, that rhymed!"

As you can see Jacob's blonde curls are finally starting to come back. I almost have wept with relief! Here he playing air hockey.

Jessica and Andrew in the "monster truck".

The babies, Lily and Mary did great on the way to Portland. I think they might have even talked to each other. Rachel rode with me in our van and Steve rode with Paul in their van. It was so nice to be able to talk with Rachel for a solid hour and a half without interruptions. I just love that lady, we agree on everything!
I'm going to do a post a day on our vacation to keep you all in suspense. I think it will be fun sharing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In-Loves Come to Visit

Steve's folks, Vern and Ethel, came to visit us last weekend. We went to Shari's for lunch. I was shocked when they told me that kids eat free! You just have to buy a 99 cent drink. I fed all of us for $15.
Vern and Ethel with their granddaughters.
I have been looking forward to being able to haul grandparents with us. Now that we have the van, we don't have to take two cars to church.
I just wanted to show you the latest and greatest in baby gear. I love this nursing cover. I wish I would have had one with my other five babies.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perfect Homeschool Field Trip

Have you ever thought of the county fair as being a field trip? Well, if you think about it, it is ideal! You are teaching your children, animal husbandry, commerce, photography, textiles and arts, and it is a cheap petting zoo! Jacob loved the sheep.
Free birthday cake for every one! Right after I took this, Jacob dropped his in the dirt. Bummer!
This is Andrew going down the big slide. Oh, my, if you could have seen how big his eyes got. He was a little scared, but then realized it was pretty fun and even did it again.
We met Margaret in the chicken barn. This was Riley's show chicken that she borrowed. The kids liked petting it.

Well, today we are off on another homeschooling adventure! Mt. St. Helens!!!! I can't wait. We will meet the Chouinards at 9:30 a.m., then go to Portland have lunch at Chuckie Cheese. We are all packed and have told the kids that we are going on a mini-vacation to a surprise destination. They are intrigued, because the only thing we told them is that none of us has ever been there before. I'm looking forward to learning about volcanoes with my children! On the way back, we will be stopping by Fort Vancouver to take a tour. Only $5 per family!

I'll share pics of our "field trips" when we get back. Ta Ta!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is Steve's 42nd Birthday! Happy Birthday from all of us!
Daddy is always trying to get his babies to stand early. I think that is partly the reason that they are early walkers. He is good at working with them.
Daddy Smooches!
Sweet...We love you, Honey! Thanks for working so hard, so I can stay home with the children.
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