Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

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from our family to yours!

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cleaning Obsession

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Sadly, I am not the one who has developed a cleaning obsession.  And really, nobody else in my house has either.  However, Daniel has developed a deep love for cleaning equipment.  His goal, from the minute I take him out of his booster seat after breakfast, to the time he is placed in his crib at night, is to get the vacuum and the broom.  He will listen to no reason.  No matter where I hide them, he finds them.  The vacuum isn't too bad, as all he can really do is push it around.  But the broom becomes a weapon, whacking into siblings, mom, and anything that's above his head level that can come crashing down.  The only break he will take from this cleaning item quest is to climb up on the kitchen table and dance around.  Or on top of Eli's desk.  Or on top of anything that falling off of could cause him great harm.  While this child has the most pleasant temperament of all of my children, he is the most demanding in many other ways!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Story

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This past weekend at church, our kids participated in The Real Story of Christmas, which was their presentation for children's ministry.  It was super cute!  Several weeks ago, pictures were taken of them in costume - the creative people involved took the pictures and did some great things with them, using them to tell the story.  I laughed so hard at these pictures!  They are great!!!

Here's Daniel!  This is my favorite picture!

I won't post them all, but here are a few more:

Sophie, an angel, with her little friend, also Sophie!

Eli and Isaac with a new friend Chase.  Isaac flat refused to put on a costume.  

The slide show was up with these pictures while the story of Jesus' birth was read and the kids sang some songs.  It was wonderful!  We are having a Christmas service this Sunday, December 22, at 10 am if you are interested.  There won't be any great kid productions, but it will be wonderful none the less!

Friday, December 13, 2013


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Well, here's an update on me - on my health.  I have not been well lately.  I have been wondering how a person tells others that something serious is wrong with them. I imagine lots of scenarios where it can come up in an easy manner - where I don't have to see pain and sadness in the faces of those I tell.  Where I don't have to hear people grasping at words, unable to respond...saying things that are not helpful and in many ways hurtful.  It never does.  It always seems jolting, unexpected, horrible.  Writing is easier.  It gives both parties time to think.  For me, it gives the issue an academic quality, and that eases the trouble of it. Pushes it back into the place where it is a thing, and not me. I try to speak about it from this perspective, too.  I step back.  I work around the parts of it that are painful, and stick to the facts.  Just the facts.

I had to do this sometime.  I had to tell people.  In an email conversation with some good friends from college recently, this came up.  They are wise - Melissa had it in her to ask some questions.  I asked if we could visit them.  It's been years since we've seen them.  I told her we'd be in Cleveland.  She asked why?  I told them I was seeing a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic now - the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis.  She asked if she had missed this update.  Of course she hadn't.  I kept it to myself, mostly, limiting where it went.  The sad thing is that her husband, our friend Phil's mom had MS - he knows about it.  And here's what he said to me, regarding his mom, "I believe it was the army of those engaged in prayer along with her own sheer will that allowed her to be with me as long as she was."  How can you pray for me if you don't know?  So let's start there.

I had my first flair when I was pregnant with Daniel.  It was a 6th cranial nerve palsy, that left me with double vision for months.  But it got better.  Then, about a year later, I developed trigeminal neuralgia (a 5th cranial nerve issue).  That was earlier this year.  I saw my neurologist, and he did another set of MRI films.  This one showed more lesions than the one I had when pregnant with Daniel.  But he claimed it was not MS, at least not for sure.  So I waited.  I put hope in his uncertainty.  I had a bout of fatigue that was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  My husband, however, pushed me for a second opinion.  That's how I ended up at the Cleveland Clinic - recently, actually.  The neurologist there looked me over.  She reviewed my MRI's.  She diagnosed me, right there, with Multiple Sclerosis.  She said it was not an ambiguous case.  It was clearly MS.  It was early MS, and my body is fighting it very hard and very well, but never the less, it's MS.  It's just not the thing you want to hear.  To be diagnosed with a disease that is chronic, debilitating, and, at this point, incurable.

So, the bad news.  I can't stop it.  The good news.  There is ongoing and substantial research being done right now that is moving the body of knowledge on this disease ahead in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.  I started taking some medication about a month ago.  It's nasty, it's horrible, and I don't feel like I have a choice.  If left untreated, my prognosis is not good.  This drug may not help, but it's worth a try.  If it works, it will slow the progression of the disease.  I won't know if it's working for a while.  The best test is to see if new lesions form, and if new disabilities occur.

To dispel some things I've heard - I did not get this disease because of my family history.  I did not get it because I drank diet soda at some point containing aspartame.  I didn't get it because I eat gluten - fat - simple carbohydrates - chemicals on lettuce, etc.  It is, as best as is known now, a random occurrence.  Very few people have this - about 400,000 in the States.  But I'm one of them.  I don't feel especially lucky.

Here's what I do know.  God is good.  He is mighty, and he is sovereign.  I will be healed of this.  The question of course is not if, but when.  I don't keep this body forever.  I may have to wait until I die to be healed.  And if that is the will of God, so be it.  But my God is the great physician, as well.  I will serve him and I will praise him regardless of when he chooses to heal me.  If he decides to do it now, or next week, or next year, I gladly receive that blessing.  It will point back to him - to his greatness - and if it happens during this life, all people will see it and they will know that there is a God.

So - How can you help me?  You're thinking it, right?  At least many of you.  I've heard it many times.  Would you pray for me?  That's pretty easy.  :)

Monday, December 9, 2013


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Well, the tooth is out.  I tried all kinds of methods to get that little, tiny, slippery, impossible thing out of Eli's mouth with no success.  At some point Sunday morning, while still sleeping, the tooth just fell out.  He found it in his mouth, got out of bed, put it on his dresser, and went back to sleep.  This is the absolute lowest drama tooth removal I've ever heard of!

I'm not sure how those big adult teeth are going to fit in his little mouth.  It looks like he might be able to fit 4 teeth in there.  He certainly has the jaw shape and size of my family.  Donations are now being accepted for the Eli/Sophie/Isaac/Daniel Orthodontia Fund.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Gifts of My Children: Part 1: Sophia

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I wanted to do some updates on my kids - on how they are growing and being formed into who they will be. Sometimes the simplest example can show a very deep truth.  Today, I want to share with you a little piece of Sophie's heart.  I believe this example shows some of the very core aspects of who she is:

(Sophie had just finished a funny joke, and I laughed.)
Me: Sophie, you are so funny!
Sophie: Thanks, Mommy.
Me: Sophie, do you think I'm funny?
(She looks at me very carefully, studying my face for a long time.)
Sophie: Do you think you're funny?
Me: No, not really.
Sophie: Well, I think you're a little bit funny!  Not really funny, but a little.

This girl has some wisdom in her.  The part that most impressed me was that she already knew her answer.  She doesn't think I'm funny.  (Which is fine, I'm really not.)  But instead of just launching off her answer, she stepped back, and thought through what was happening.  She had the wisdom (not her wisdom, by the way, she is only 5!) to know that answering that question could cause me harm.  She wasn't sure what I thought, so she probed a little deeper.  The other major character trait that this example highlights is that Sophia has a huge heart for other people.  She cares very deeply for others.  She has compassion, and is gentle in how she approaches others, because she knows words can hurt.

The name 'Sophia' means wisdom.  She was well named.

Here is Sophie (on the far right) with two of her favorite people, Reese and Ellie.  :)  I love these girls!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

She Wears Many Hats

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It's true - I wear many hats.  But this one I made myself!!! I'm super proud.  I have always started and stopped crochet projects, never finishing.  I started a blanket for Daniel LAST Thanksgiving, and finally finished it yesterday.  I decided to try my hand at making a hat.  Getting it started is complicated, but once I got past that part it was super easy and quick.  Chris requested I make him one!

I'm really thankful for youtube and all of the amazing tutorials there.  I would have driven somebody absolutely insane trying to teach me how to do this!  

In other news, we are a baby bottle free household!!!  Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!  I finally found a cup Daniel will drink out of that he can't figure out how to make a horrible mess with.  

Doesn't he look like he's trying to figure out how to dump milk all over the floor for the 7.8 millionth time?!  Guilty!  haha

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kathy's Kidney

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Kathy, with Isaac this summer.
Some questions have been directed at me about what is going on with Chris' mom, Kathy.  Here's a little post about how this all started, and what's happened so far.  A while ago, a friend of Kathy's was in need of a kidney.  Kathy volunteered to go through the screening process.  She did not end up being a match for her friend, and so agreed to go into a paired donation program.  That didn't work out either, as there was some difficulty finding a kidney for her friend.  (By the way, her friend did receive a kidney recently, praise God!)  Kathy felt strongly that God was calling her to continue in the donation process - that if she were willing to give this life-saving gift to a friend, she should be willing to give it to a stranger, too.  This morning, she became an anonymous kidney donor.  She knows her kidney is going to Iowa, but that's it.  

The surgery is over.  If you could continue to pray for Kathy as she recovers, and pray for her remaining kidney, that would be awesome!  Also pray for Chris' sister Emily, who is with her now, for another sister-in-law, Jillian, who will take over her care later this week, and for a good friend, Jill, who will be flying back with Kathy next week.  

As you can imagine, there has been a lot of concern about this.  We were all very worried about the surgery.  I want to share with you a piece of an email written by my brother-in-law, Todd:

"We are concerned for you because you are our mom/grandma/daughter/etc.  But we also know that this will have tremendous impact on another family.  Even though it’s a stranger, it’s a stranger who probably has a mom, dad, kids, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are praying and longing for a kidney match for their loved one.  God is using you as an answer to their prayers.  That’s a really great thing to be a part of.  So, we support you and we want to do whatever we can to help.  We will pray for you, and your health because we love you.  But we will also pray that somehow this would have a greater impact than we could ever know on this person’s life."

I do not doubt for one second that Kathy hears from God, and that this is what He has asked of her.  I pray for the recipient.  I pray they will receive this gift, this extension of their physical life.  But more than that, I pray that they will clearly see the hand of a living, loving God who has directly intervened in what seemed to be a hopeless situation.  I pray that if they do not already know about Jesus, and about the even greater sacrifice that he made, to provide an even more valuable life-saving gift for them, that this experience will open their eyes to the bigger picture, to the bigger sacrifice that has already been freely made.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Memory Verses

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I started working with the kids on memory verses this week.  In the past, I've let their classes at church dictate which verses they've learned, but I decided to start our own.  For me, memory verses are something I struggle to learn.  I know they are important, but I have a hard time with memorization in general.  Unless I really learn something, it doesn't stick.

Here is Isaac, sharing his verse with you:  (Please excuse all of the noise in the background [and foreground!], my house is LOUD!)

This is the verse from Matthew 22.  Today, we started on Micah 6:8.

So, which verses would you teach your children to equip them?  There are so many good ones - but I want to pick carefully.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


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Well, despite the bad weather forecast, our municipality decided to go ahead with Beggar's Night.  Chris works late, so I got the kids dressed up, and ready, and we went out in the rain.  It wasn't raining too bad, and actually was fairly warm compared to some years!

This year, we had a princess, a ninja, and Batman.  Daniel didn't dress up.  He was happy to roll  around in the neighborhood and look at everybody!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple Season!

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Apparently, the odd weather this year has produced a bumper crop of apples - which means the prices are quite good.  Our grocery store had them for 54¢ a pound the past few weeks.  I've had a break from canning recently, so I decided to explode my kitchen yet again for the noble and very worthwhile cause of apple pie filling.  I think Chris will be pretty happy!

I really need to do some applesauce!  I calculated recently that we use about 5 pounds of applesauce per week in this house! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Watch Day

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Today was "Watch Day" at Sophie's dance studio.  I was very excited to learn that her class would be offered during the day, so we didn't have to run up to the studio one evening a week, like we did last year.  The downfall is that Isaac and Daniel are with me.  That's usually not a problem - we walk around the studio, and go outside on the walking path while we wait.  However, Watch Day presents an entirely new set of issues.  I took them in with me, for the entire one hour lesson.  Isaac did really well.  The teacher gave him a stamp at the end, too!  Daniel was squirmy and generally annoyed, which made my picture taking endeavors pretty interesting.  He wasn't bad, but I'm glad I don't have to take him in often!

Sophie is doing really well in class, and I can already tell a big improvement over last year!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Final Camping Trip of the Season

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We took our last camping trip of the year this weekend, again visiting Hocking Hills State Park.  There's just so much to see and do there and it's so kid friendly.  We went with friends, which made it even more fun!  This was the first trip where I really felt like we knew what we were doing.  We stayed at the state park campground, which was pretty nice.  I'd recommend it.  We did have rain, but what's a camping trip without it?!

These kids are great hikers!

Me and my girl!  ♥

Daniel - he's content anywhere!  

Getting ready for a hard hike - Eli read the entire sign of warnings!

At Rock House.  Eli LOVES climbing.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Grade

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Eli is doing very well this year so far!  He made the transition from half day kindergarten to full day first grade quite well.  He loves school and is always so excited to get on the bus every morning.  I'm very glad to hear reports of "best friends" and how much he loves his class and teacher.  Here is his school picture - he told me he smiled for it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Made This Today

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All by myself.  :)  It's just a workbench, it will sit in the garage - I'm not even sure if I'm going to paint it.  Right now some wood glue is drying.  The surfaces of this workbench are made from DMD board - I absolutely despise DMD board, and will never use it again if at all possible. It was super easy to cut, but it just seems flimsy and it has the weirdest smell!  This was a test run to see if I really can handle this type of project.  There are mistakes, of course, but it's not falling down.  It seems to be level.  I am still very uncomfortable with the circular saw, so hopefully that will pass.

Here is what I really want to make:

Isn't that nice?  Of course, it's ONLY $2,500 - it's on special!  Oh, that doesn't include shipping.  I'm going to do it soon.  My main problem looks like it's going to be finding flat boards.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Post That Took All Year

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Sometime in late winter, I took a look at the list of posts I had made on this blog, and saw one with the big red "draft" indicator underneath.  I didn't remember even starting to to write it, but as soon as I opened it up, I knew - the post about finally becoming a RN.  I scrapped the whole thing, so here's the new post.  It needs to be made, because above all else, there are many thank you's that need to be said.  A year ago today, I was sitting in the NCLEX-RN testing center, so nervous I was physically shaking, with the biggest worry that I was going to vomit all over the place and be kicked out.  I knew NOTHING.  I had sat through countless classes, put in hundreds of hours of clinical time, and proven myself on so many skills.  Yet I was completely inept.  Of course, the reality was that none of this was true, but it's hard to see reality when you're trying your best not to throw up in the lobby of the testing center.

For those of you who are not familiar, the NCLEX-RN is the licensure exam that determines whether or not a nursing candidate is competent to practice nursing.  Of course, it is huge, and scary, and horror stories are told of it from the very beginning of nurse training, which doesn't help one bit.  I had taken a review course, which was fabulous, but I still did not feel confident.  I had delivered Daniel about 3 months earlier, and I was just starting to feel like I could think again.  I knew the longer I waited, the harder the test was going to be, so I went ahead did it.  After 75 questions, my test shut down.  75 is the minimum number of questions a candidate is required to complete.  I knew I'd either passed or tragically bombed it.  The next day I found out that I was done.  Finally.  I had passed, and this chapter was finally finished.  I started the process of working on pre-requisites when I was pregnant with Sophia.  I finished the actual nursing program and graduated 3 weeks before I had Daniel.  We were so busy.

The first person who I owe an unutterable amount of thanks to is my wonderful husband.  It simply would not have been possible without his sacrifice to finish the program.  At the end of each quarter, I would say, "Chris, I can't do this anymore.  I quit."  And he would tell me that he would support me either way, but he was sure I could do it.  My husband is often right.  :)  My kids also sacrificed - though of course they didn't really understand it.  I was often gone on the weekends for clinical work, and would leave to study and take exams.  A lot of family time was missed - it makes me sad to think about it!  To our parents, who helped out as best they could when they could, and were always available.  To friends and the church, who offered support, encouragement, and confidence when I simply didn't think I was going to make it.  To my clinical group: my fellow students who helped me whenever I needed it, who stuck by my side through a legitimately awful final clinical quarter, and who watched me and checked on me when I was quite ill and probably shouldn't have been there.  And of course, to my teachers.  Some were harder than others, but I learned a lot from all of them.

Because I stay at home with the kids, it's not really possible for me to work full time at this point.  I do use my degree, working 1 weekend per month at a camp for kids and adults with developmental disabilities.  I love it, and I love the campers.  I will tell you that there is no school on earth that could have prepared me for this job - they just don't teach you how to pass medications while a patient is in the swimming pool at nursing school.

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Haircut

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First haircuts make me SAD!  I know that the kids start looking a little mulletish as their hair grows, but I love the curls!  Daniel had to get his hair cut today.  It was time.  I leave boy haircut decisions largely up to Chris - he's a lot more conservative than I am on the subject.

Here's the before:

And the after:

No matter how hard I try to keep this boy a baby, I just can't win.  He looks like such a big boy now.  ♥

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Isaac is Four!

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Happy Birthday to my big 4-year-old!  Isaac is growing up so fast.  He has become a great big brother, and an awesome mommy's helper!  I'm excited to see what this next year brings for him.

A special Happy Birthday to Uncle Chad (my brother) as well!  He turns the big 3-0 today!  His baby will be arriving will be interesting to see if she decides to come on MY birthday!  I'd love to share!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting Along

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I'm not sure what it is about groups of 3 kids, but at my house, it just doesn't work.  When Eli, Sophie, and Isaac are together, small skirmishes break out often, and sometimes it escalates to the brink of full blown war.  However, now that Eli is in school all day, Sophie and Isaac play so well together!  It's really amazing!  I don't want to imply that Eli is the problem.  Alone with Sophie or alone with Isaac produces the same great behavior.  They just cannot handle being in groups of 3!

They are out in the back, doing something - I'm not sure.  I try to stay out of it.  It always involves dirt and flowers and rocks.  Sometimes I hear them talking about making soup.

This picture is a little grainy because I took it through the screen and the glass so as not to disturb them.  I think it's funny how Sophie has a pile of flowers in front of her and Isaac has a pile of dirt.  :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sophia is Five!

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Our sweet girl turned five years old today!  She picked Friendly's for her dinner out, and thoroughly enjoyed her ice cream.

Sophie got an American Girl Doll for her birthday, Marie-Grace.  She LOVES it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sophie's Week

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We are in the middle of "Sophie Week."  :)  Which is totally fine.  I find that having a daughter brings about an entirely new set of problems than having boys.  We constantly fight against the "princess" nonsense - not princess as in she is a Child of the One True King, but princess as defined by our distorted culture which attributes entirely unacceptable behavior to the title and in doing so makes the behavior acceptable.

Today, Sophie had her first dance lesson of the year.  This will be her second year at this studio, and even after the first lesson I can tell that the teacher is moving them ahead.  I'm excited!  I was also glad to see a few of the same girls in her class!  We often find ourselves in a sea of boys, and I worry that she doesn't have a lot of close little girl friends.

On Saturday, we had a birthday party for Sophie.  She had a blast.  Lots of people we love came over to celebrate with us.  Her birthday isn't actually until next Monday, but we decided to do her big 5th celebration early.

We went to visit Chris' sister Jill and her family this past weekend, and Sophie got to have a sleep over with Cousin Reese in Reese's room.  Sophie was THRILLED.  She keeps asking when we can go back so she can do it again!  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

But I don't like that team!!!

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Chris dressed Daniel this morning.  He does not approve.

Actually, this poor kiddo is having a really hard time with his teeth.  So sad!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fun Weekend

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I took Eli to the Lowes Build & Grow clinic yesterday, where we met up with one of his (and my!) friends.  We went 2 weekends ago and built Dusty, the main character from the new movie Planes.  Yesterday, we built El Chupacabra, another character in the movie.  Eli had a great time!  It's good for him to get to do something once in a while apart from his siblings.  It's a rare occurrence!

Today, I took Eli, Sophie, and Isaac to see Planes.  It's a really cute movie!  Unlike Cars, where I really had to work to muster up much commitment to Lightning McQueen, Dusty is a great little character right from the start.  If you have little kids, I'd highly recommend it!  

Sundays are "dessert days" at our house.  Which means you better not ask me for dessert any other day of the week - it's a special thing for Sundays.  Sometimes it happens on other days too, but it should not be expected.  This policy has helped to curb a lot of whining, and also the demands of the middles (Isaac and Sophie) for "where's my dessert of breakfast?" and "where's my dessert of lunch?"

I've talked to a lot of people who claim they have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I've never really committed to one.  I read a blog post about this phenomenon of fierce commitment to a specific recipe.  I found it kind of funny.  The blogger made up a bunch of different recipes and had taste testers decide.  The one I made today won.  I've seen the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe on lots of blogs over the past few years, but I've never tried it.  Since Friday was the letter "C," we decided to make chocolate chip cookies.  They have to sit in the refrigerator for 24+ hours before you bake them, so "C day" became "C weekend."  These cookies are FANTASTIC.  I would agree they are the best I've ever eaten.  They are also enormous, measuring at almost 5"!!!  The kids loved them, of course.

Friday, August 23, 2013

"B" is for Big, Brown Beaver

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Sophie and Isaac were not happy to learn that Eli would be gone all day at school, and they would not.  "That's not fair!" said Sophie.  I need to document this for future years.  I told them I'd do home "school" with them so they would have some activities.  A friend recommended a site with some linked material, and I've been searching around looking for worksheets and crafts.  Right now, we are going through each letter, day by day, and practicing writing it, making it's sound, and doing some kind of activity that matches.  Yesterday was the letter "B."  The kids did a beaver craft they were really proud of.

Even though Eli had his first art class at school, he came home and told me it wasn't fair that the littles got to make a beaver craft and he wanted to do it too!  Good grief.  So far, home "school" seems to be going well.  I need to think of more ideas.  Today is "C," so we're making cookies!  I love when forces outside of my control compel me to make and eat cookies.  hehe  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Purple and Yellow

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I've decided that the best tomatoes are not red.  These are prepped for some homemade pasta sauce for vegetarian lasagna.  Some are from my garden - Mr. Stripey, Cherokee Purple, and a few small Heinz, and some are from the CSA - Garden Peach and Purple Russian.   I love heirloom tomatoes!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eli's First Day of FIRST Grade

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We met Eli's teacher on Monday.  It's going to be a great year!  I'm so excited to see how he grows this year.  

The committee was outside to see him off:

Chris also started a teaching job this morning at OSU - it's been a while since he taught!  Lots of great changes are happening around here.  

I'm looking at online curriculum (free!) to run Isaac and Sophie through this year so they don't feel left out.  They are excited to learn.  :)  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


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Our first Black Swallowtail butterfly emerged this morning from it's chrysalis.  I thought it would take longer! On August 8th, we brought 2 caterpillars in from the parsley plant outside.  On August 10th, the first went through the pupa stages and formed a chrysalis.  On August 11th, the other followed.  Since then, they've just been sitting on the kitchen counter.  Last night we noticed that one looked almost black, a change from it's previous brown color.  Sure enough, I looked over this morning while making my pumpkin spice syrup, and saw a newly emerged butterfly climbing up it's stick.  And I screamed.  Oops.  It was odd looking, but I think it just startled me to see something moving in the now very clean kitchen.  My kids were much more brave about the situation.  We delivered the other chrysalis to the school this afternoon - hopefully it will wait until tomorrow morning to emerge (first day of school!) so Eli's classmates can see it too!

Here are a group of pictures documenting the changes this caterpillar went through to reach it's emergence as a butterfly this morning:





newly emerged

Beside the shell it came out of.

This was taken just before she flew away!

I'm pretty sure this was a female - the markings on it's back were very muted.  Pictures of males I've seen show bright yellow spots along the top pair of wings.  

Here are some pictures of the kids "holding" the butterfly:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zoo Day!

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We decided to go to the Zoo today - this will be Eli's last trip up there during the week until next summer due to school.  It was also beautiful today, a day without rain (RARE) and a little bit chilly!  The kids all did a really good job.  Each trip we take seems to get easier and easier.  I hope this continues!

Today we saw beavers.  We've been going to this zoo for about six years, and I've never seen them!  The kids loved watching them swim.

This picture is my favorite, although you can't see much - what you can see is Isaac's face reflected in the glass, just lit up as he watches the beaver swim by.  Adorable!