Friday, December 16, 2011

Fall 2011

By my absence, you can only assume that life has been full around here.

We've thanked the Lord for the abundance He has given to us.

We've celebrated 7 years of married bliss.
We've refreshed our wedding vows with a simple, lovely ceremony on the beach and celebrated with a night away at the beach.

We've grown a lot in 7 years, in more ways than one!

We've hunted the perfect tree, prepared for the coming of the Savior

and today snapped some pictures of a little guy who is becoming a big guy.

On top of all of that excitement we have had our daily fullness of school and cleaning, time with friends, celebrating friend's new little blessings and a fresh cut for O.

It has been a wonderful and full fall.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I've been crafting....

I've been crafting. Our front door has had a makeover. Albert did the painting and I made the wreath. Take a peek:

Here is a close up of the wreath. It is made out of a styrafoam wreath form and fabric scraps. What could be more simple?

Doesn't it look cool from behind? This is what I get to see from inside.
I saw this: and tried to recreate it.
Here is a close up.
I actually finished this one today, but have not taken another picture. It is hanging over the drapes in O's room and is really pretty. I am very happy with how it turned out.

Who could resist that sweet face?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Road trip

Well, as I am sure you can guess, we have been busy.

This summer was a big one for us! We had twin cousins born in May, Albert turned 30 in June, Carson turned 1 in August and Canon turned 5 in August. To celebrate all of this, we headed out on a big road trip. We knew it would be a lot of hours in the car, but you just don't know what those hours feel like until you've sat through them. I was able to move around the most and my legs were aching by the end! So, anyway, our adventure brought us to Dallas. There we visited Albert's uncle, aunt and cousins,
my cousin, and her husband and kiddos
and Albert's sister. Our time there was SO encouraging. We loved every minute and were off to a great start on our journey.
Next we headed a tinge north to OKC. It was so exciting to be back! We drove through the base and saw our old home. The one that we brought three little ducks home to. The home where we grew so much in our faith in the Lord. The home that I couldn't wait to leave, but cried as we pulled out of the driveway. I almost cried driving by that day. I was happy to see that little house on the prairie. From the base we hurried to visit our dear friends. The Ks are more like family than friends. Mrs. K is the one who has taught me everything I know about homemaking. I love her so dearly and have truly missed our face time. Our kiddos hit it off and played beautifully together. The time was entirely too short. The next morning was our fellowship with our previous body of believers. It was so neat to be back and I cried a few times. It just felt like we were home, and I didn't realize how much I missed those people. Albert did the children's message while our littles roamed the platform. :{ We had dinner with my Sunday school teacher and soaked up their mentorship and love. I really did not realize how much I missed the prairie.
From there we spent a night in Salina, KS and surprised Albert's parents with an early arrival the next morning in CO. Our time there was short, but full. We spent a couple of days playing at the grandparent's and Albert and I squeezed in a date. We camped in Estes Park, went hiking and horseback riding. Grandpa saw a bear, but we missed it.We had a photo shoot with all 8 cousins, 5 and under. We had such a fun filled time. I know I am missing a lot of details, but we spent a lot of time enjoying the beautiful weather and playing.
On our way home we headed back to Dallas for the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate C and CJ's birthdays. We had a blast. We just spent one night, but were able to play in the water park the day we got there and the day we left. I think that was just long enough for the age of our littles.
We decided after playing in the water park on the last day that we were ready to be home. So, my awesome husband drank a little coffee and brought us on home. I was so happy to sleep in our bed that night, not have to be in the car the next day, and be at home for the boy's birthdays.
So, now that a month has passed since our over 50 hours in the car, even more has happened. We were home for two weeks before heading to Georgia for a Navs conference. It was great, as is expected, and we left very encouraged and refocused on the vision. They didn't have childcare this time, so I was able to get a lot of time with the other moms and the littles were able to play, play, play.
Since then we have picked up a cold and are trying to figure out how to do school with a relaxed mentality.
Whew, it's been a busy month and a half!

Friday, July 22, 2011

June and July

Well, we've been busy again! Between blueberry picking, friends visiting, weddings, a pending road trip, a night away, a couple of dates and a couple of big birthdays coming up, it has been a packed summer!

The picture above was before a wedding. The big boys were ring bearers. The groom and groomsmen were in military dress uniforms, so it was fitting for the boys to wear the groom's work uniform. Everyone got a big hit out of their flightsuits and they did a great job of not behaving in a way that drew attention to themselves. It was a beautiful wedding and so fun to celebrate. I have never left a wedding feeling as excited for the couple as I did at this one. It was truly amazing!
Some of our friends from flight school stopped in on their loop out west. We haven't seen them in over a year and a half, so it was really great to touch base again!
The Red team came down to house hunt and spent the day with us. We are so excited to have them living close by before the end of summer. We were neighbors in OKC and our boys get along great. Hopefully the friendship will endure more than one playdate!
War painting has happened some, though not nearly as much as the boys would like.
Sword fighting on nature walks.
A fun find one morning. Did you know a dog can pick up a turtle? That was a little scary! He is not a new pet, but was fun to watch for a morning.

This beauty took place within a couple of ours from being home from our night away. Toothpaste doesn't wash off very easily! But she did smell great.
This little guy isn't walking yet, but enjoys pulling up on something and standing for several seconds. His biggest brother picked out this awesome outfit the other day and I had to capture it. CJ will really appreciate his brother's fashion sense when he's older!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kindergarten plan

One friend asked what curriculum I am using for Kindergarten, so I thought I'd share my plan with all of you. I actually spent way longer than I meant to mulling this over. I am really excited about starting Tap.estry of Grace, but I want to wait another year. We've used Son.light for P3/4 and P4/5. It has been really great, but I just wasn't for sure about their Kindergarten. I'm not sure why, I just didn't love it. So, after figuring out a few different approaches and what I think will be enjoyable for my boys, while also being relaxed and purposeful, I came up with this. I'm not going to pull everything together again. It is taking a lot more work and well, I just don't have endless hours to set up my own teacher's manual. It is fun for one year, but I don't want to do the whole thing again.

Math: Saxon 1
We used Saxon K last year and it was great. C learned a ton and I want to keep this ball rolling. Albert and I are both pretty strong in math, so this is a great option for us right now.

Bible: The Child's Story Bible
This was given to us when B was born and is listed in several different curriculum that I am interested in. It is excellent!

The Big Book of Questions and Answers
I am planning to use this like a catechism, doing two lessons/week.

Navigator's Topical Memory system
This is our plan for scripture memory. C and I have already memorized the first 12 verses. We will both start on B pack and B will start on A pack. Is that confusing?

Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book K
The Burgess Bird Book For Children
Fun with Nature
More Fun with Nature

We are reading one small section of these. We'll work through one book at a time and take walks (hopefully daily) to search for the things we read about and just enjoy God's creation.


I have one book on each of these and I am going to order one CD of each. We will listen as we do chores and prep lunch. I will switch to the next one after 12 weeks.

Da Vinci
Van Gogh

I have a coffee table book of Monet, along with a book about each. I am planning to buy a print or two of each of these greats and display them around our house. I also have a couple of books about teaching children art. I'm not totally sure about the details of this, but yeah, at least I have some good tools!

Read aloud:
I am reading the Little House on the Prairie collection during lunch.
My Father's Dragon 3 book series
Aesop's Fables for Children
A Child's Garden of Verses
The Biggest Bear
Dolphin Treasure
Miss Rumphius
Dolphin Adventure
Mary on Horseback
Thy Friend, Obadiah
Boxcar Children
Winnie the Pooh
Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
Imogene's Antlers

I am planning to find some more books for reading aloud. We love new books and I think we will get through these pretty quickly.

Cursive First

Spell to Write and Read
We will work on phonograms this year. I am planning to really work on reading next year, after I become more familiar with the program.

A Light in the Attic
Winnie the Pooh
The Llama Who Had No Pajama

B will be doing Son.light P3/4, work on counting in rote and recognizing letters by sound.

We will also work on Habits and Handicrafts as recommended by Charlotte Mason approach. The big thing that I want to be intentional about is spending time observing and enjoying being outdoors. This is bigger to me than crafts. I think we are going to do all of our table work first thing in the morning, then read outside going straight into a nature walk, bike riding and play. We'll see when I get my house clean, but my children should be learning a lot and stretching their little minds.

First day is tomorrow. Pray for us!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


So, I meant to post a few times in May, but obviously that didn't happen. We went to a Navigator's conference over Mother's Day weekend. Everyone grew a little taller and a little faster.

B asked to go for a walk every single day. On the days that we did not go for a walk he said, "I'm sorry that we didn't go for a walk today mommy, will you porgib (forgive) me?" Such a sweetie!
When I told O to put her hand down, she did this. It makes me smile!
I have a picture of my dad running behind me and we have a picture of Albert's sister running behind him, so excited that C is part of the club! He also asks for walks often, but none of us can keep up with him now!
CJ has cut two teeth, though there aren't any pictures of them..... He loves the beach and has taken two naps while being held in the water. He is such a quiet baby when he's outside, he just loves it!
It has certainly been hot enough for sprinklers and simply living in the water! I guess our cold front is long gone. So much for a cooler summer.
Here is our Mother's Day photo, taken the week after mother's day. No one was really in a photogenic mood when we got home from the conference. We did have a nice time celebrating the next weekend though. I just love these little crazies!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The end of myself

Well, April has come and gone without a peep from me. Well, I have made a lot of peeps, but none on this blog. Life is busy as usual, but the Lord has really been teaching me a lot. I'll get to that in a minute.

We wrapped up pre-school the beginning of April. I have ordered all of our Kindergarten books and C and I are very excited to get going. I am planning to work out a "formal" schedule next week. B asks to do school almost daily. He wants to learn new things too. O just wants to be involved. With all of the interest from the middle two, I have moved all of our school stuff into our dining room china cabinet. It is the perfect storage space. Hopefully I'll put some pretty fabric in the doors where the glass is soon. I think that would look prettier than all of the clutter.

B has learned how to ride the running bike and asks for a walk every morning. He has done 2+ miles several times and loves the special time with Daddy.

We went strawberry picking with some friends one day and brought home over 64 pounds. The picking was a little easier than we thought and we were a little zealous. Now we have a freezer shelf full of strawberries for smoothies and a dozen or more jars of homemade strawberry jam. I even learned to can! It's so easy!!
We defrosted our deep freezer and moved it inside. It is so orderly right now. Hopefully I will type up my list and print it off before we use a bunch of stuff and it's wrong!

We celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus with our church family and my family. Albert led the Children's message at church by going through most of the resurrection eggs. Everyone really enjoyed it. We had dinner and an egg hunt at my sister's house and it was so fun! I love celebrating the various parts of Jesus' life with our children. It's so fun when they start to know the story and are able to tell us!

Yesterday was our last day of M.OPS. God provided an opportunity for me to share exactly what He has been teaching me with another mom. I feel a little uncomfortable sharing something as encouragement for someone while I am still learning it. I don't want to sound like I've arrived, but I do want to share what the Lord is teaching me with others.

Also at M.OPS I won the on-time basket! We receive a ticket if we have our children dropped off and ourselves signed in by 9:30. Yesterday we were just moving a little slow and about halfway to M.OPS I realized that I would probably be late. Instead of feeling anxious and like I need to speed or heard my children around, I took a deep breath and decided it was ok. It wasn't like I was going to win anyway. Skip to the best part. I signed in 45 seconds before the cut off and I won the second basket! It was full of yummy smelling body wash and foot scrub, some pretty nail polish that I think I'll enjoy this winter. It felt like a real mother's day gift. How exciting!

Today we went to a Blue Angels practice show. It was really cool. They were flying over the sea wall, so we were able to set up our blanket on the grass and watch comfortably. I think it was about 60 degrees with a steady breeze. We brought our breakfast and were actually early for an 8:30 show! Afterwards we played at a great park on base and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

During rest time, when no one was resting, I sewed up three pairs of these pants. B received some for his birthday, so he didn't need any. We are going on a short trip this weekend and I thought they would be the perfect travel pants. I'll toss them in the was tomorrow and they'll be ready to go. If you need some quick, comfy pants for your littles, these are great. To make them shorter for O and CJ, I just measured the length with another pair of their pants that I like the length of, added about another inch and a half or so and cut it off. These are play and travel pants, so they don't really need to be measured.

And now for what I've been learning.

For the last 8 months I have felt stretched. CJ has been an excellent baby, but I just haven't felt like I've been rolling through life smoothly. I guess I've felt like I was riding a bicycle and making it go, but very awkward and uncomfortably. Something has been very hard. It hasn't been my children. It hasn't been my marriage. There haven't been any obvious factors, I just have felt off. For eight months. I have searched book after book and friend after friend for what I need to do differently, how to organize my life so that it runs more smoothly, anything to help. Life will smooth out for a week or so and I may even muster up enough courage and energy to leave the house for several hours, then I feel overwhelmed and stretched again.

My pastor's wife has been coming over once a week or so for the last few months. A couple of weeks ago she said "Motherhood is a high calling." I thought about this and questioned it until the next time I saw her. Then I asked, "Does it say in the Bible that motherhood is a high calling? Are you sure it is? I just haven't been feeling it." The Lord and T have given me several things to chew on in response, maybe one or more of these will help you.
  • Start everyday thanking the Lord. Before you even get out of bed, thank the Lord.
  • In all things give thanks. When your (my) children are hanging on my legs and crying over their hunger, thank the Lord for their strong lungs and ability to communicate. Thank Him for providing for us. The pretty and the ugly, in all things thank Jesus.
  • My joy has to come from Jesus, not from my children's obedience or my husband.
  • The reason that I am so overwhelmed is because I am at the end of myself. The request being made of me daily are more than I can handle. I can't keep everything going in my own strength. My own strength has run out. This is exactly where God wants me to be. Being at the end of myself has reminded me that my only hope is in the Lord. I am having to figure that out daily.
So what do I do when I'm at the end of myself, I'm hoping in the Lord and there is still a list of things to do and four demanding little people? Go to the Lord in prayer. My Sunday school teacher in OK called them "arrow prayers". I've prayed in the morning, "Lord, go before me and fight the battle of disobedience. I know the battle is already won against my children's sinfulness. Thank You for going before me into this day."

Another thing that offers hope:
I've been reading through "Voices of the True Woman Movement". It is excellent. The chapter I read this week is talking about Hannah and Samuel. The author mentions that one of Hannah's prayers may have been, "Lord, I don't know the future, but I know that You hold the future." This has brought me so much peace. I can't really explain it, but it has calmed my soul as I know it is true.

So, I am praising the Lord that I have had more joy and peace in the last week than I have in the last few months and I hope you will too! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Happenings

This month has been nothing short of exciting and full!

This little guy turned 7 months old and is sitting up like a champ! He is successfully traveling forwards and enjoys riding in the front of the stroller for walks. Any time outside is fun for him, but he really loves crawling/scooting off of the blanket and eating grass! I've given him food off of the spoon a couple of times and he pretty much hates it, so all of this chub is just from nursing! Also, he has slept through the night the last couple of nights! So big!
B is riding his running bike with excellence. We went for a walk today and he was gliding all over the place.
Here's the whole gang at the park on Sunday.
C was a ring bearer in a wedding this weekend. He did great! He had to walk down the aisle by himself and I was so nervous! He looked so handsome, yet so little in his tux. I think it is really good for me to see him as a little guy every once in a while.
O turned 2 last week! Where has the time gone? I made her a strawberry cake and put some strawberry juice in the butter cream icing. I could have eaten the whole thing! I am so thankful for her and the excitement she adds to our life!
Here she is on her last day as a one year old.
In other news we have one more week of school and I have been searching out materials for next year. I think I am going to type up my own teacher's guide. It will take a lot of work this year, but I'll be able to use it for four years. I may do a post about what I'll be using, but I am waiting for a friend's opinion on everything first. It is really exciting though and I can't wait to place my order!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Doesn't this basket look like fun. Hoping to win it for O's birthday which is just around the corner! Happy winning!

Monday, February 28, 2011

February at a glance

Well, it's been a busy month again. Out of four weekends in February, our family was split in some way for three of them. That is more apart time then we've had in the last year! I am tired and ready to just hang out at home, wrap up school and enjoy this beautiful untimely weather. I planted some bulbs last week and can hardly wait for them to come up, but it should still be cold outside. We all had a little sunburn last week. Isn't it winter?? The flies are back already. Now, I know it's too early for that. We are really enjoying the beautiful weather, but it does seem a month or so early. What does this mean for summer??

Enough talking, here are the troops.

Albert received an award for "Flight Instructor of the Year." He and I were invited to a formal banquet. We had a great time and a delicious meal and left all four littles with a babysitter. It was a BIG night!!
CJ's latest adventures are sitting up, rolling all over the floor, spinning on his belly and trying to army crawl to the nearest toy. He is so fun and makes all of us smile so so much!
C is a crazy as ever. We are down to the last six weeks of Kindergarten. He is enjoying it and learning a ton. Last week we had an assessment of how high he can count. With a tinge of help he counted to 130! More exciting than that is how easily he is memorizing scripture and growing in his love and leadership of his younger siblings.
B is our silly boy. This picture is not what he usually looks like, but it depicts him perfectly. He is also memorizing scripture but needs a bit more assistance and likes to add in extra words like "poop". "Our Father in heaven, poop." I do correct him on this and am trying to teach him to show respect to the word of God, but it does make me laugh on the inside. He is just silly 99% of the time and so enjoyable!
O is the princess around here. She and I have started having weekly or bi-weekly tea parties. The boys participated in the first couple, and they are invited if they are around. Last week the 3 big boys (Albert, C and B) were on a "boy's trip" and CJ was sleeping. I thought that would be a great time for a girl's only tea-party. Instead of having tea we had m&ms while sitting on the floor. O scooped black beans and played while I read "The Princess and the Kiss" and the first part of "God's Wisdom for Little Girls". I really enjoyed our time together and hope to make this a weekly special time.
So big! CJ is 6 months old already! This is the crown I made for everyone back in December. Not sure if I ever posted a picture.
Matching Js from the Auntie A.
Our lives are full these days and I wouldn't trade it. I am finding the most contentment through being at home managing the troops and seeking time with the Lord. March is already feeling full and it hasn't even begun yet! I am thankful February is drawing to a close though, it was just way more busy than my liking.