Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He melts my heart

Yesterday Isaac decided he was tired and wanted to lay down with me in my bed. He crawled up next to me and pulled a blanket over us, and laid still for a few mintues. He then sat up, kissed my cheek and said "I love you mom". Then gave me another kiss and a great big hug before snuggling back into my arms and falling asleep. So charming he is.......

Oh goodness!

Today at lunch Jeremy and I were having a discussion with the kids about friends and the importance of having Godly friends. What prompted the discussion was that a boy from the next neighborhood jumped over the fence today to play with the kids, but this is a child that we have observed for a long time and do not feel he would be an appropriate playmate for our kids. We explained to the kids that whenever we see him we can wave and say hello and be polite, but that we weren't going to be seeking out friendship and playtime with him because mom and dad don't approve of the way he talks and acts. Bella then announced "when he gets really old and dies, he's going into the pit of fire!" Oh goodness me! Jeremy quickly corrected her that this boy was still very young and had a very long time to get to know God and become a Christian. We of course then went into a discussion about how they can tell other children about God and let them know when they are acting in a way that does not please God. It seems Bella definitely remembers the discussion we had about heaven and hell!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The boy loves to build

Isaac's "car castle"


Just a couple of sisters dressed for a day of hanging out at home

Hmm, not sure

It's not uncommon when I download pictures on the computer that I find a few odd ones the kids took. I'm not sure who took this, or when, but it struck me as amusing because it's just another scene from everyday life around here. Genna is jumping around being silly, and Isaac, if you will notice, is talking to himself through a stethoscope.

Slow it on down there kiddos!

I was talking to Genna about when we were going to be doing some room switching again, and told her after Christmas we would move her and Bella into their own room and move all 4 boys into the large bedroom. I guess the mere mention of Christmas sent their brains spinning because now my purse is stuffed full of letters to Santa! Bella has also been pestering me everyday about what she is going to be for Halloween, and is searching for her flashlight so she can go trick-or-treating. Can we please just get through Easter first guys? At least they are not procrastinators!

1 down, 2 to go

I made it through my first week of bedrest, and I have only 2 more weeks to go until I'm free to move about again. This first week wasn't too terrible, but on Thursday I had early labor symptoms all day. Luckily, Jeremy has Thursdays off so he was able to be home the entire day. On Saturday though, the crazies started to set in. I woke up Saturday morning and was laying in bed pondering what I was going to do for the day when it occurred to me the only thing I was going to be doing is sitting! I tried to think of a way that maybe I could get out of the house, but then decided puttering around Walmart on one of those little motorized scooters would probably irritate me more than satisfy my desire to get out for a bit, so I just went back to sleep for a while. Today I spent a lot of time reading my Bible, which helped pass the day peacefully. Unfortunately we found out Saturday evening that after Easter, Jeremy's work is closing, which obviously means that Jeremy will be without a job. Since the smallest amounts of stress send me into full contraction mode, I'm choosing to just pray about it and have faith rather than worry right now. Micaiah's health is far too important and he needs to stay put for a little longer. Thanks to everyone that has been praying for us. Please continue to pray that these next two weeks on bedrest pass quickly and smoothly, and please pray that God will soon present Jeremy with a new job opportunity.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A simple dream, that's all......

For those of you that know Jeremy well, you will read this and say "ah yes, that is Jeremy". For those of you that don't, welcome to my world!

Last night Jeremy came across a great photo of the moon on the internet. I've always knows he's wanted to travel to space, but this was something I had not heard before. (but doesn't surprise me one bit) As he was looking at the picture he said:

"Before I get too old, I hope I can go to the moon. I want to sit in a lawn chair on the moon, looking out at space, listening to UB40, and sipping red wine through my space helmet......."

There you have it. Just a simple dream.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This girl is on a roll!

It seems that Genna's passion for cooking came just in time. Tonight she wanted to make dinner herself, so Jeremy didn't worry about putting something together before he left for work. Tonight Genna made Mahi Mahi, which she cooked in the oven with a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and served it with fresh sliced avocados and steamed baby carrots. I was on hand to take the fish out of the oven and help dish it up since it was hot, but the rest she did on her own!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What was the point of THAT?

This morning Elijah made himself a rice cake with sunflower seed butter and jam. Apparently he did not like the new jam Jeremy got. Rather than just tossing it in the garbage, he decided to wipe it off on Nahshon's tush. (Nahsh had just gotten out of the bath and wasn't dressed yet) Why why why? Kids do the strangest things sometimes.

modified bed rest, modified

Most importantly, I want to say thanks to all those who have been praying, sending words of encouragement, and offers to help; I really appreciate it! Unfortunately it became crystal clear this weekend that "modified" bed rest was not going to work for me. As soon as I was up and about for even 10 minutes, I was right back to where I started. I saw my doctor this morning, and he said for the next 3 weeks I'm allowed to get up to take a shower and go to the bathroom, and that's it. No cleaning. No cooking. Absolutely nothing that looks or sounds like fun. Boo! What a kill joy. (I'm only kidding! I want what is best for the baby) Jeremy knows that I'm very stubborn though, so he's keeping a close eye on me to make sure I follow orders. It's very hard because after laying around all day I feel fine, and I feel like I should be able to get up and go about my life as usual. As soon as I do though, my body starts screaming at me to sit back down. I have also come to realize it's very hard to sleep when you have not done anything all day. Life gets boring mighty fast when you're stuck laying down all the time. The kids are being super champs about it all though. God has given them an amazing understanding of why it's so important for me to rest and give the baby more time to grow before he's born. They are all more than happy to help and adjust their lives to make sure their little brother will be born healthy and strong. I'm sure that in 3 weeks when all the restrictions are finally lifted and I can do whatever I want again, all these labor symptoms will stop and he'll end up being born a week late. haha! Oh well, I'll just use this as a good opportunity to get some quality snuggle time in with all the kids before the new little man arrives. Wish me luck that I don't lose my mind!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm home

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers this morning, I am home from the hospital now. I'm just about 2cm dilated, and 50% effaced, and baby is at -3 station. I have been put on modified bed rest, and will go see my doctor on Monday morning. Jeremy was able to get out of work tonight, so he will be home with me for the weekend to make sure I get plenty of rest. As long as I stick to modified bed rest then I won't be put on strict bed rest. Basically that means I'm free to get up as needed, but I should try to sit or lay down whenever possible and no heavy house chores. I'm 32 1/2 weeks along now, so once I get to 36 weeks I'll be free to be up and about because at that point delivery would be safe for Micaiah. Please keep praying though because my body definitely seems to be in pre-labor stages, and I don't want it to go any further until it's safe. It's been a long day, so I am off to take a nap.

Did you say 66?

That was the question Jeremy asked me, but what is amazing is the answer. Most people that know my kids know that they are good friends. They really love each other and take care of each other. This year I have really noticed them helping each other out when it comes to school work. They all have different areas where they excel, so they each have something special and unique to share with the others. Over the past few days I knew that Elijah had been taking his math book to his room at night to do some work. He recently finished up his handwriting book and his language arts book, so he is really motivated to get moving with his math. (during the days this past week he and Jeremy have sort of been doing a unit study on Noah's ark, and built a giant ark out of cardboard and animals out of paper, which means there hasn't been too much traditional "sit down" work for him this week) I have heard many times that homeschooled children often complete the same amount of work in 3 months that children in public school settings complete in one year. (it takes a lot of time everyday to get 20+ kids settled down and organized for each subject) Anyhow, I sat down to look over his "sister-taught" work, and realized he went through 66 pages!!!! The best part, everything was correct! (and I know he really did the work because as I was looking it over and putting stickers on each page he explained how he did the work and came up with the answers) When I told Jeremy he casually said "that's great" as he walked into the kitchen, and then abruptly turned around and asked "did you just say 66?" Clearly he was as surprised as I was! It is so neat to see that they have a real passion for learning. They get so excited every day when I say it's time for school work. Even Isaac loves to get into the learning, and the other kids love to teach him. It's not uncommon at all to see the other kids pull out the giant flip charts and go over shapes, colors, letters, animals, numbers, etc..... with Isaac. Whenever someone finally understands something they've been struggling to learn, an unprompted round of applause quickly fills the room. It's hard to even describe the joy that moments like these bring to a mother, but let me assure you that it is pure bliss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

4 pm

I don't like 4 pm. Never have. I find it strangely depressing. The sun always takes an odd position in the sky that just makes everything feel sleepy. It's too late to start an afternoon activity, but too early to start an evening activity. You start to hear the sounds of people who are getting home from work and wondering what they will cook for dinner; tired children that are trying to get in just 5 more minutes of play time before starting their homework and evening chores. Everything seems to move in slow motion, but in a way that makes you feel rushed and not relaxed. I guess it's just one of my strange quirks, but I do not like 4 pm.

All I can say is thank goodness she was with her daddy

Jeremy took Bella grocery shopping, and one of the stops they made was at Trader Joe's. As they were checking out Bella looked at the cashier and said:

"I think you forgot to take a shower today. Your hair is really messy."

Oh. My. Gosh. Looks like we're going to be talking about manners.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If you're going to start a battle, you better be prepared!

Bella was drinking water and decided it would be funny to spray it out of her mouth all over Isaac's face. Isaac was also drinking, and quickly returned the gesture to Bella. The problem? Isaac was drinking grape juice. I was out running errands at the time with Elijah, and when I came home Bella's whole head looked like it had been attacked by a pack of crazy grapes. Jeremy saw the puzzled look on my face and reported what happened. My reaction? Serves her right. Next time she should take a minute to figure out what he has to fight back with.

Monday, March 16, 2009

preggy stuff

I realized recently I haven't posted too much about the goings-ons of this pregnancy. I guess being that this is #6 and it's been fairly uneventful, I haven't really felt the need to write anything about it. We are in the home stretch now, just 8 more weeks until little Micaiah is due to make his appearance. As I reported earlier, the ultrasound went well and my doctor confirmed with me this morning that the placenta has moved up and is no longer a concern. The baby is estimated to weigh 3.5-4 lbs right now, which puts him on track for being around the 8lb mark at birth. Right now he's head down, and kicking and wiggling all the time. I'm tired a lot and my feet are swollen, which sometimes makes things hard. The kids have been amazing helpers though. They do their chores without complaint, and are eager to ask me if there is anything they can get for me or do for me. They have a wonderful spirit of service. They are also cruising through their school work, so I feel confident that when we end our year in May they will have completed everything I wanted them to in terms of school basics. (We had a slow start to the year due to my morning sickness) I'm also having contractions often, but I've been through this enough times to know that these contractions will keep up until about 37 weeks, and when it's finally safe for my body to go into labor, they will stop completely and I won't have another one until they end up inducing me. Just one of those things that makes life so interesting. On Saturday I went to the mall and picked up some maternity T-shirts and tank tops, and on Sunday I woke up to a snow storm. Another one of those little things that make life funny I guess. I've started making lists of things I want/need to get done before the birth, things I still need to buy for him, a list of school supplies for next year, etc...... I realize this means I've entered the nesting stage so I hope the burst of energy is right around the corner. The kids are getting excited and are constantly asking how many more weeks and days until it's time for the baby to be born. Isaac is still utterly confused about the whole thing. Every time I tell him there's a baby in my tummy he says "No, baby right there mom!" and points to Nahshon. Recently I told him it was baby Micaiah in my tummy and he said "Oh. Is it cute baby?" Haha! Gotta love two year old questions! I think that's pretty much all there is to tell at the moment. I'm sure as I get bigger and spend more time sitting I'll be posting about all sorts of preggy and baby stuff though. Just stick with me though and soon enough there will be pictures of this new little life on here!

The best moments in life are often just memories

Sometimes I wish I had the ability to take a photograph with my eyes. (I realize that may actually be possible in my life time, but we'll leave that sci-fi/techno talk for another time) Yesterday when I woke up, Jeremy was out having a special breakfast alone with Genna. In his place though was one of the sweetest things a parent could possibly see as their first sight in the morning. Isaac was laying down sound asleep, and Nahshon was sort of cuddling on top of him with a look of pure joy and contentment on his face. I'm not sure when or how they got there, but it was absolutely precious. I knew if I tried to get up to get my camera Nahshon would hop off the bed to follow me, so I just laid there and let the memory soak in. After a few minutes Isaac started to wake up and moved Nahshon down next to him, and put his arm around Nahsh. They laid like that cuddling for a bit (until Isaac was a bit more alert), and then, being boys, it turned into a giggling, wrestling match. By the time they hopped out of my bed they were both alert, happy, and ready to have a great day. What a perfect way to start out a Sunday morning.

a breath of fresh air

Spring snow storms are like a nice, deep breath. Yesterday we woke up to yet another white wonderland. When it snows in the winter, it makes everything cheery and sets the stage for the holidays. But there is often so much to do that it also adds a lot of stress. Snow in the spring though is a great way to just make you slow down and enjoy life. Put aside those spring cleaning to-do lists, sit by your window with coffee and a book, and laugh to yourself as you watch the snow fall only a few days before the official first day of spring.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

oh yeah, and this too

It's so nice to hear I'm not the only one that doesn't answer the phone! I'm glad all you wonderful people in my life understand where I'm coming from on this. I forgot to mention this one little thing though: Sunday. As I've been reading the Bible (as many of you know, I'm reading the Bible from cover to cover for the very first time.), it's become very clear to me what God says about the sabbath. This isn't something that just casually mentioned once, it is said OVER and OVER that we are to remember this important day of rest and worship. Jeremy and I have started making Sunday the day it is supposed to be; a restful day spent with family and friends, enjoying all the things that God has given us. We do no major chores on Sunday, and no school work. The computer goes off on Saturday night, and stays off all day Sunday. Emails will go unread until Monday morning. TV's are turned off, unless we decide to watch a movie together as a family. If you send a text that is important or has a time sensitive question, we will get back to you, otherwise you won't hear from us until Monday. If we are having a casual day at home we will usually answer our phones, but if we are out doing something with our children/friends/family, well, you can just read what I wrote about the phone in the post a few down. (and I think it goes without saying that you won't get ahold of us AT ALL while we are in church! ;) It drives me batty when people text in church or talk on their cell phones when sitting in the family room!) We want Sunday to be a day to recharge and refresh ourselves so we can start the week off right. We're not hiding on Sunday, so if you want to get together, feel free to shoot us an email during the week and we'll make plans! Otherwise, we'll see ya Monday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I don't really think that will work hun

Tonight Bella asked me if she could come to the hospital with me when the baby comes out. I told her that would probably be to scary for her, but that she could come to the hospital after the baby comes out. She replied "I could just wear ear muffs and close my eyes really tight like this!" I'm glad she's excited to meet her new brother, but I think we'll stick to my plan for now.

another wonderful meal from Genna

Yesterday morning Genna decided to put together a crock pot of chicken and dumplings for dinner. I wrote out the recipe for her, and she did everything herself. I'm a vegetarian so I didn't eat any of it, but it sure looked great and got rave reviews from everyone else! (I even asked Jeremy in private how she did so that I could give her any pointers she might need for next time, but he said it was perfect!) I think it's about time to upgrade her little apron now that she's a serious cook!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

flicks for kids?

I'm wondering if anyone has any good suggestions for movies for kids under the age of 8? Recently Jeremy rented Madagascar 2 for the kids, and I didn't pre-screen it or watch it with them because I know we have seen the first Madagascar, and I don't recall anything inappropriate in it. For those of you that don't already know, this is the song from the movie that Bella can't stop singing:

She even made up a booty dance to go with it. (and now it's also Jeremy's favorite song to sing to me in these last few weeks of pregnancy...... sweet huh? haha!) While I have to admit it's rather funny coming from my petite little 5 year old, I would like to avoid this type of thing in the future. So please feel free to share your suggestions!

words of Bella

Today Bella was talking about her birthday party back in December and said (with jazzy hands):

My birthday was really fun. It had lots of pizzazz!

Okie-Dokie Bella.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I am king

This is what Jeremy came home to find after a long evening at work. If you can't already tell, Isaac thinks he's the one in charge around here. He's good at being two. Very, very good.

I think we're done here

Today I felt compelled to ask Jeremy if he thinks Elijah's speech therapy is actually benefiting him this year. His immediate response: no. Sadly, I have to agree. He gets speech therapy for free at the public elementary school around the corner. He goes two days a week, for 30 minutes. Last year he made amazing progress. He had a wonderful teacher, and had one-on-one sessions. Unfortunately that teacher left at the end of the year last year. This year he actually has two different teachers, and is getting sessions with small groups. The teachers do different things, so he's not getting continuous practice in one area. (he sees one teacher on Tuesday and the other on Thursday) It seems they both have their own lesson plans, and I think he's getting a little confused. One the days he has speech we can't even do basic language arts and phonics lessons because he's so overwhelmed from his speech sessions. He often comes home very tired, which doesn't surprise me because the lighting alone in most schools is enough to make anyone feel drained after just a short time. At home (on days when he doesn't have speech) he can sit still and concentrate on work for long periods of time without getting exhausted. All in all, he's not benefiting enough to justify the inconveniences it brings. (I won't even get started on how ignorant they are at that school about homeschool laws in this state) Jeremy and I decided he will keep going until the baby arrives, and at that point we will pull him out and be done with it. I have found a homeschool speech therapy program that has really great reviews from parents of special needs kids, as well as parents of children who don't have any special issues. His teacher last year was great about showing me the tricks and techniques she used with him, so I feel pretty confident in doing this at home. Of course I'm not stubborn enough that if I don't see any improvement that I won't search out another resource for him. Jeremy and I also tossed around the idea of getting Rosetta Stone American English for him. If anyone has experience with doing this at home, please feel free to share your ideas or tips!

It's not you, it's me

This weekend I was having a chat with family about how I never answer my phone, so I'm here to tell you all it's not you, it's me. I'm not dodging you or ignoring you. Being a mom of many and a homeschool mom, I find myself needing to set boundaries to keep from getting distracted and sidetracked away from the things that need to get done everyday. One of the easiest ways for me to do that is to just not answer my phone. You can always send me a text, which I will usually read sooner than later and will get back to you when I have the chance. (unless of course it's really important) You can leave a voice mail, but unless it sounds urgent, there are no guarantees I'll call you back. Most likely you'll get a text when I have down time. I also check my email every so often throughout the day, so that is another good way to contact me. (our computer is pretty much always on because it seems like the kids are always asking a question about one thing or another, to which we turn to Google for answers) So, there you have it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What in the world is going on?

Does anyone else feel that way about our country? (perhaps I should say our whole world?) Jeremy and I both read a lot of news online, and for the past couple months I find myself in complete disgusted shock nearly every time I read the latest headlines. I realize a good amount of this is directly related to the change of power in the USA, and there will be issues regardless of who was elected office. However, I am sooooo tired of the blame game going on. If all the politicians would kindly step out of their mud pits and return to their desks, perhaps a few things might actually get done. I want to make it clear, that I'm talking about BOTH sides of the aisle here. My conservative moral and social views align me more with the Republican party, but I think both parties are being equally petty right now. Also, what is with all the "It's not my fault, I didn't do it!" garbage? I got my first job when I was 15, and it was drilled into my head that when discussing a problem with a customer we were NEVER to use those phrases. Not my fault. Not my job. I didn't do that. Someone else is supposed to take care of that. To all those in positions of power that are throwing around blame-shifting excuses, GET OVER YOURSELF! (I'm not just talking about the President's recent statements either, it seems like everyone in politics is doing that) It does not matter who did what or who's job it is or was supposed to be, all that matters is doing what needs to be done to make the situation right. This is true regardless if it's a poorly prepared meal at a restaurant or a poorly put together budget for our country. We can point fingers and place blame later, first we need to fix what is wrong. I really hope they will all pull themselves together sooner rather than later, for the sake of all of us.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Answers in Genesis

This site is really cool. I have a link to it on the side under my home school picks, but it's a great site for anyone and everyone to visit. Recently I started reading articles under the Get Answers section, and they are fascinating! I encourage you to take a look, and you might even learn something you didn't even know you had a question about!

she's learning her way around the kitchen

I am so proud of Genna. A few days ago she baked a loaf of banana bread 100% by herself. She did such a great job, and we decided to have it as a special breakfast the next morning. It turned out perfect and delicious. Tonight she was feeling a little bored with all the "Isaac safe" meals, and was really wanting a big salad. I encouraged her to make it herself, but let her know that I was happy to help with anything. She tore up her lettuce, cut up tomato and carrots, opened and drained some garbanzo beans, shredded some cheese, and topped it off with a little ranch and a piece of french bread on the side. It's wonderful to see her developing these skills, and even more wonderful to see the confidence she gains with each level of Independence she reaches.

snow update

By about 2:00 this afternoon we ended up with 8 inches of snow! WOW!

what a beautiful morning

The snow is coming down outside, and it's just lovely! I know it's March, but I still love watching snow fall. It seems to create a hush over the whole house. The children are very quiet and peaceful this morning. It is a great morning.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I don't know why I did it

It seems like everyone has a story about that moment in life when they did something completely out of the norm, and had no explanation for why they did it other than divine intervention. I love stories like that, so I thought I'd share mine and hope some of you will post a comment and share yours too!

My son Isaac is deathly allergic to peanuts. We have to be very careful about the products we bring in the house because so much is manufactured on equipment that processes peanuts. The biggest problem is that not all packaging has proper warnings, and some stuff seems to be worse than other stuff. For snack crackers we often buy a big variety pack from Costco that is made in a peanut-free facility. Last winter though someone had brought over a box of Ritz crackers. I had looked over the box of Ritz and saw absolutely no warnings about peanuts, but was pregnant with Nahshon at the time and my mushy brain didn't even think about the fact that Ritz makes peanut butter sandwich crackers. Normally I will just leave a pack of crackers on the counter and let the kids help themselves. One afternoon the kids were wanting some of the Ritz crackers, and being just a couple weeks away from my due date I was very tired and wanted to lay down and rest my feet. For some reason I decided to take the crackers with me while I laid down to watch the news, so the kids had to come in and ask me for some when they wanted to eat them. Imagine my shock and horror when I tore the package all the way open and found peanut butter all down the side of the crackers! It started about half way down, so if I had not torn open the entire sleeve, I would not have noticed it until the kids had eaten down to that point. There wasn't just a little either, it was a huge slathering from halfway all the way down to the bottom. I cannot even imagine what would have happened if I had just left them on the counter like usual to let the kids help themselves. Needless to say, Ritz crackers have never been allowed in our house since!

My second story happened when I was 17. I was on my way to work, and was stopped at a light. I've always been a careful driver; never the type to punch the gas the moment the light turned green. For some reason on this particular day when the light turned green I suddenly remembered my dad telling me to always wait a few seconds and look both ways before entering an intersection to make sure no other cars were coming through at the last minute. Even though my light had been green long enough that any normal person behind me would have honked, something held me back and made me look before entering the intersection. At that moment a car charged through a red light, going easily 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. Had I entered the intersection in a normal frame of time, my car would have been totaled.

The only explanation I have for both of these events is divine intervention from God.

If you have a story, I'd love to hear it so feel free to share!

money WELL spent

6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9

I really don't care much for parenting books and websites. For me personally, I have found just getting to know my children well, I am able to discipline or correct them in the way that works best for them. Now that Genna, Elijah, and Bella are at an age of reason, I've been wanting to use the Bible more when giving them correction in their behavior. Sadly though, I don't know my Bible well enough to be able to pull it out at any given moment and turn right to a scripture that talks about whatever the current problem is. This book is AMAZING. It is called For Instruction In Righteousness from Doorposts. This book covers just about every possible bad behavior your child might engage in, and provides tons and tons of verses from the Bible that discuss each of these behaviors. There is a sample on their website that shows what a couple pages in the book look like. Here is part of the description from their site: We want our children to understand that “right” and “wrong” are absolutes, based on God’s standards, not ours. For me, that hit the nail right on the head. I want my kids to understand that I'm not out to take away their fun or be tough with them just because I can. I want them to see I am trying to direct them into the life that God wants them to live, which will ultimately lead to the most happiness they could possibly get out of this life. I can honestly say that aside from the Bible itself, this might be the one and only parenting guide any parent will need. As an added bonus, I think Jeremy and I will benefit from this book too! (we all have something that we need to improve on right?) I really cannot express enough how pleased I am with this book. I feel the need to mention as well, that my purchase shipped out only 3 hours after I submitted my order, and arrived in only 2 days. (I chose the cheapest shipping option, which had an expected delivery time of 7-10 days) They were also kind enough to send a coupon code for $5 off my next purchase, and I am strongly considering buying a couple more of their products. In case anyone is interested, here is the website:
and a link to this particular product:


Since turning 1, sweet little Nahshon has gotten a bit feisty. I'm not really surprised, he's just trying to establish his place among his siblings. This morning though he did something I did not expect. He was starting to get tired and ready for a nap, and I was cuddling with him on the couch. I had to set him down for a moment to help Isaac change his clothes, and that's when it started. Nahshon immediately threw himself face down on the floor and started screaming. Then he quickly flipped himself over and started kicking his feet and flailing his arms with bursts of yelling. Uh, nice try Nahsh, but that is going to get you NOWHERE with me. Looks like we are in for some fun times.

That's what you get for being so good!

I had my ultrasound this morning, and decided to take Genna with me. She's been to many of the ultrasounds, and wanted to have a special morning alone with me. She was a little nervous at first (she always feels a little nervous at the hospital), but ended up really enjoying herself. She was telling the tech all about her siblings, homeschooling, her favorite foods, and pretty much anything else that came to mind. She also gave the tech a heart sticker on her hand for being so good at her job, and thanked her profusely for printed pictures from the ultrasound. The tech thought she was so sweet that she gave her a $5 voucher for the cafeteria (which Genna happily spent on a decadent chocolate mouse parfait) and a gift card to Blockbuster!

As a side note, the ultrasound went very well. Baby Micaiah is measuring right on track, and the placenta has moved up so it's no longer an issue. All in all, it was a very good morning indeed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I just can't get enough!

I never really enjoyed science when I was in school, and I think there were a lot of reasons for that. First, the textbooks were dreadfully boring. I'm not a big fan of standard text books as it is, but it seemed like the older I got, the worse the books got. The coolest pictures were always on the front cover, but you only got to look at them for a day before being required to cover it up with a paper book cover. Second, it seemed like the material was rarely ever relevant to everyday life. Of course there were always a few experiments that had that amazing "WOW!" factor where it didn't matter if you were never going to use that information a day in your life, but those were few and far between. I never saw the point of being able to identify the smell of an obscure mineral after it's been set on fire. Third, but most importantly, I don't believe in evolution, so much of what I was being taught just seemed flat out stupid. Sure there were a few important things that I learned, but it was never a subject I looked forward to. My college chemistry class really changed my views on science. I had a great instructor that knew how to relate the information to everyday life. Sure the text book was still about as exciting as watching paint dry, but the teacher was fun and funny. The experiments were actually interesting (for one of them we removed the fat from potato chips..... really makes you think twice when you can actually SEE the fat you are eating), and a couple of the experiments were things that a person might actually do in everyday life. (like making soap) That class made me realize that science doesn't have to make you feel like you want to sit under your desk and cry out of sheer boredom. Now that I'm homeschooling, I want to make learning exciting for the kids whenever possible. Of course there are times when they have to buckle down and do work that they don't really want to do, but I want them to find joy in learning. Science has been my favorite subject to explore with my kids, hands down. There is so much cool stuff to discover in the world, it's hard to even know where to start. Aside from good books and consumables (crayons, paper, markers, etc.....), I LOVE to buy science stuff for the kids! If I had an unlimited amount of money to spend, I could EASILY spends hundreds and hundreds of dollars on science stuff every year. Sadly, that is not the case, so I try my best to just buy stuff that focuses and their current interests knowing that we'll get to the other stuff later. Currently they love learning about animals and plants. Genna is fascinated with birds, Elijah is obsessed with jungle animals, and Bella wants nothing more than to plant a garden. I found some books on our science shelf for Genna (Usborne Pocket Nature, One Small Square: Woods, and the story of John James Audobon), and after pouring over them for a couple of days, she pulled out an empty spiral notebook and made her own bird journal. She drew pictures of all kinds of birds, and took time to color them very carefully. Elijah has been creating his own story books about jungle animals, and yesterday at the Dollar Tree I found some great books on Zebras, Lions, Elephants, and Giraffes. They have great photos, and very simple text. He spent HOURS looking at them yesterday and drawing pictures like the photos. For Bella I found cute little starter plant pots with Sunflowers and Daisies in the dollar section at Target. I've also got a few plant books on our shelf already from our NOEO Biology 1 set that I purchased 2 years ago when we first decided on homeschooling. Currently though, I've got my eye the Apologia Zoology books, the Answers in Genesis books, and the Planet Earth DVD series. I'm starting to figure out what I'm going to need for next year so I won't have to think about it and be looking for stuff with a new baby. I really don't need too much for next year since I've built up a pretty good stock of supplies over the past couple years. However, I know that if I keep looking at science stuff I'm just going to want all of it; I cannot get enough! I suppose most homeschooling families feel that way about one subject or another, after all, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't love learning. If anyone knows where to get great science stuff at good prices, please feel free to share. I think it's safe to say this is one addiction you shouldn't feel bad about enabling!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

the more the merrier!

Having a large family sometimes comes with it's own set of difficulties, but it also comes with it's own set of joys. Today was one of those great days where having a house full was lots of fun. This week we are reading Night Of The Moonjellies by Mark Sasha, with our Five In A Row curriculum. It is a beautifully illustrated book, with a simple sweet story about a boy that helps out at the family hot dog stand by the beach. I chose this book this week because it has a nice lesson of responsibility, which is becoming more and more important with the kids as we enter these last 10 weeks of the pregnancy and I need them helping out a bit more. Today I decided to do a fun activity with the kids; we opened up out own cafe! The kids made a big sign (they named our restaurant The Hambergers Restaurant, which you are supposed to say with a French accent), and menus. Dad was the head chef, Genna was the assistant chef, Bella took orders from the customers and called out "order up" to the kitchen with each new ticket, Elijah was our server, and mom was just a guest with two unruly toddlers that wanted lunch! haha! Jeremy made himself a big chef hat out of paper, and called out directions to his assistant chef. Our menu included hot dogs, veggie-burgers, bagels with cream cheese, chips, apple slices, carrot sticks, baked beans, milk, apple juice, and grape juice. Everyone ended up ordering a different combination of foods, which made it seem even more like a real restaurant. The kids got really into their parts, and it was so much fun!

Monday, March 2, 2009

her first book report

One of the moms from our homeschool group puts on a book report lunch once a month at Alfy's pizza restaurant. Kids are able to give any type of oral presentation, and have their homeschool friends as a supportive audience. Some children give book reports, some share poetry or short stories they have written, some give reports on animals or famous people, some talk about a recent trip they took with their family, and some show off their newly learned reading skills. Bella decided she was ready to do her first presentation, and wanted to display her new reading skills by reading SAM from the BOB series 1 books. She went up all by herself, and did a great job. I'm very proud of her! When all the presentations are finished, every child that attends, regardless of if they presented or not, receives a coupon for a free personal pizza! It makes for an all around great afternoon.

Here kitty kitty

Bella drew whiskers on Nahshon today........... WITH A PERMANENT MARKER!! Come see the amazing cat boy, he'll be here all week.

The business of being bothersom

Despite being only 2 1/2, Isaac has mastered the art of being a pesky little brother. I don't know exactly how this started, but it's being going on for a few months now at least. One of his favorite tricks to play is to tell Genna that mom and dad want to talk to her. He does this most often at night, right when she is on the verge of falling asleep. Even though we have told her many times that if we want to speak to her we will come and get her ourselves, but she likes to be obedient, so every single time he does it she will still drag her tired body out of bed to come and see what we want to talk to her about; and every single time her face is priceless when she realizes Isaac duped her again. Poor gullible girl.