Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O forest and every tree...Isaiah 44:23

We had another busy day last Sunday! We left the house at 8 am to drive down some roads and up to the mountains. Then, we found this road...
No tire tracks! Since it had been a day or two since the last snow, we knew we were the only ones up in these mountains. At least the only humans...
Baby bear tracks!
We also saw tracks from fox, gray squirrel, mouse, and deer.

What a beautiful morning with the sunshine above the fog...
We finally found the area The Man remembered finding a tree before, and we walked up the hill to look around. This is it!
I went back down to get a not-sleeping-anymore-G from the vehicle. We took this picture. I feel like I should reveal the epiphany I received, but, it is just a picture.
The kids enjoyed a few rides while The Man loaded the tree.
The drive down the mountain was a bit more slippery, so we (The Man) stopped to install some chains.
(Think of that as an artistic photo and not that I was too lazy and cold to roll down the window and turn around to take the pic. OK? Thanks.) Yes, he is just wearing a t-shirt. He shed the other layers because I had the heat cranked up all the way because I was cold.

The Dog also enjoyed the morning. (Again, artistic photo.)

We got home, changed clothes, changed tires (The Man put the studded tires on the van), and loaded the family for a trip over the other mountains to M's piano recital (video on Faceb*ok or you can email me for a Y*uTube link).

Back home again to put up the tree and decorate. We've been having camera and internet issues, so I didn't get around to taking this picture until just now.
Wow, that picture really makes it look sad! It does look better in the evening with lights on and star straight, and maybe it could use a bit more popcorn, but it is what it is. I'm just thrilled that it isn't too tall or too wide!

The train sets were given to the kids 1 1/2 years ago by a church member a few weeks before he died of cancer. Last summer I packed them away and told the kids that instead of sitting on their shelves collecting dust, we would get them out and set them up at Christmas. The big and little kids had so much fun setting it all up around the tree. G definitely had that sparkle in his eyes--just like a kid at Christmas!

There are no breakable ornaments on the bottom part of the tree so it is G-friendly. He's not left alone in the room anyway because of the wood stove, but he does love the sparkly ornaments.

Merry Christmas to you all! We wish God's blessings on you through this season and throughout the new year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Give thanks...Psalm 92:1

"Mommy, is there a way I can cool this up?" inquired Sacagawea last Friday. Apparently the just-made almond milk was too warm for her. I told her that things are cooled down and warmed up.

"But it can be cool up in the mountains," explained M.

"And it can be warm down in the valley, " added J.

I have such helpful boys! They are such quick thinkers...someday I may appreciate it more!

Speaking of appreciation, Sacagawea handed me this note last Friday...

"You aer the best mommy teacher. I Love you."

We will work on spelling later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Every bitter thing is sweet...Psalm 27:7

All ready for church!

I know, it is pretty pathetic that this is only my 12th blog post of the year when last October I had 13 posts the entire month. What can I say? I'm a busy woman and I'd much rather spend my "spare" time staring at that wonderful face above than blogging! Ok, here is an October update on G with vain promises that I'll catch up on the other exciting stuff later...

This past week has been spent trying to find a suitable recipe to make a birthday cake for G. Yes, next Sunday the little guy has his birthday. It is not easy to find gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, oat-free, nut-free, whatever-else-he's-allergic-to-free recipes. Then I complicate that matter by trying to find a recipe for (1) a cake that (2) sounds like it tastes like we would want to eat it, and (3) is made with ingredients I can actually buy. Ha! I have a bag of xanthan gum sitting in the refrigerator just waiting for the sorghum flour that is supposed to arrive with the co-op order tomorrow (that's something I never dreamed I would say). Then I can experiment some more with some interesting recipes I found on the 'net. Wheeeeee.

I tried this one on Sunday made with Ener-G Egg Replacer. It was sort of ok, but I'm not a huge fan of bittersweet chocolate. Personally, I would try semi-sweet chocolate if I made it again. I'm not sure if it would have been different with real eggs, but this was very dense, like fudge. I'll hang on to the recipe, but I don't think it will make the cut for G's birthday cake. I'm not sure I could properly stick a candle in it!

Speaking of bittersweet...part of me is sad my baby is growing up. I'm not quite done enjoying the baby stage! He is walking and running all over the house, climbing everywhere, and doing his best to keep up with the older kids. He loves "reading" his books just like the olders. I love that he is growing and developing as he should, but I do savor the times (now fewer) that he just snuggles in my arms and goes to sleep.

He is learning by example what to do and when. Within the past few weeks we realized that he is clasping his own hands together to pray before meals. Last Sunday I took him and Sacagawea with me to a women's brunch. When the prayer was said before the meal, he clasped his hands together and held them together for several minutes until I got my food and put some cut-up grapes on the tray. He knew the food would get there eventually!

He is a very good eater. He loves the food he is allowed to have.
Slurping up some spaghetti squash

He's not saying a lot of real words, but he does babble quite a bit. He says "this" whenever he picks up a new item. By his mannerisms and actions, I'm convinced he is asking, "What's this?" He definitely knows his own name.

I'm still processing the whole allergy situation. I'm slowly finding out enough to make me pray even harder that he outgrows it...soon! Bathing is a challenge. He loves the tub so much, but we limit his time in the water due to his sensitive skin.

Marks on his shoulders from scratching himself

Scratching those ankles!

I am so very thankful that despite his obvious discomfort at times, he truly is a happy baby with a wonderful disposition.
Belly laughs for Mama

Showing off all his teeth

He is a joy and we all feel so blessed to be a part of his family.
All 5 playing together with the Duplo blocks we got out for G.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Poison (again)...James 3:8

I've started posts a few times to update y'all on school, but something always interrupts before I hit "Publish." The kids are all tucked in bed now and The Man is on his way home from the hospital with more meds for the Dog, so I have a few minutes now. What? More meds for the Dog? Yes. Again. Grrrr. Of course the vet is out of town, but we still know people. Hopefully the meds he brings home in addition to the stuff we've already given him that was left over from last year will fix him up soon.

School is going okay, I think. M is busy from the time he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed at night. At least it should keep him out of trouble. Those of you that know M personally know that he is the one least likely to get into trouble in the first place. He is doing a lot more this year and we're still not quite sure how all the classes will work out, but we'll keep going a week or two at a time.

J is in 7th this year. He decided he wanted to switch back to Saxon Math this year (from Teaching Textbooks) and is in Algebra 1/2 (pre-algebra). So far he is doing well, although the novelty of the new school year has definitely worn off now. You may read into that statement what you will, but that's all I'm saying about that.

S is in 4th grade. Fortunately he is still an eager learner and can pretty much direct himself with his work.

Sacagawea is enjoying 2nd grade, although she is realizing that it isn't as easy as 1st grade! She still has plenty of time to play with G.

G is into and onto everything. Crawling is still quicker than walking, but he loves to climb! We have to be careful to push the kitchen chairs back under the table all the way, or he climbs right on up.

I hear The Man driving back in, so I need to go help administer more meds!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wild by nature...Romans 11:24

Hi! Did you miss us? The past few weeks have been very full. Last weekend we were backpacking (I'm uploading pictures to Facebook right now). G turned 10 months old last week. Yesterday G decided to do more than move one foot and took an actual step. Today I noticed that his first top tooth is starting to push through to join the 2 he has on the bottom. There. Now G's babyblog has been updated!

Our summer is winding to a close. Tomorrow we are starting school! It was supposed to happen last Monday, but life wouldn't allow it. We're still waiting for some books to arrive, but we have enough to start.

We've spent the last two weeks sorting out a schedule for M (10th grade). We've settled on a tentative schedule that we'll try for 2 weeks. After that, parents and student may feel the need to adjust some things.

I spent 2 hours this afternoon making sure everything was in order for the other 3 school-aged children. It wasn't, but a quick on-line order took care of that. If only all our problems could be solved so easily.

We're praying for a very non-eventful first day of school. I'm sure you'll hear about it if it's not.

Just a few pictures of our summer...

This is The Man helping me remove a garter snake from a canning jar. I happened to be carrying the empty jar into the house when the snake was discovered in the grass. I caught it myself. Yes, I did. I really did. I even held it. I don't know why I did such a thing, but I think that I might have enjoyed it.
Sacagawea picked up this preying mantis while she was playing outside.
The Man and J built this raft while they were on a special father-son backpacking trip in July.
G loves books just as much as his siblings. This is M reading G one of M's very favorite books (ok, it was his favorite a dozen years ago)...

"No more pictures, Mom! I want to go to bed!"
Good night!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Began to make excuse...Luke 14:18

I almost stole my last post title for this one...we have been busy...but four months? Yes, it has been nearly four months since my last post. Dreadful. Terrible. I am ashamed. I am so, so, so sorry. Please forgive me.

I really don't have any good excuses, other than my limited computer time has been spent over on Facebook. Most of that is while I'm feeding G, so I really can't type a blog post. I should be doing something else right now, so I'm just going to give really quick updates. Ready?

G: The sweetest baby. Really. He is so intense, and smart, also. No, I'm not biased a bit. Since I've last posted, he started rolling, crawling, got his 2 bottom teeth, standing on his own, and any day now he will start walking. Whew.

We are still waiting for the remainder of his second round of blood tests we had done for allergy testing. He's had a rash for several months, and after ruling out all other factors, we had the blood testing. It turns out he is allergic to a lot of the things that I eat. So, until he quits using me for his main source of nutrition, I'm not eating: soy, wheat, gluten, oats, eggs, cashews, almonds, and peanuts. That's a small list, but I quickly discovered that those items are in almost everything I (used to) eat.

I can have rice, corn, apples, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, yeast, and cow's milk (although I'm slightly allergic to that!), and black beans. We just found out today about the black beans and we are still waiting for the results for other beans, seeds, and nuts.

Sacajawea has lost her two front teeth and has them mostly grown back in now. She has taken up crochet and will be happy to make a hat for you if you send her the size of your head. Color and style will be her choice!

S is thrilled that we actually TOLD him to dig in the front yard. We've spent the last 6 years telling him not to dig in the yard since he has 50+ other acres in which to dig! He helped dig out around some pipes that needed replacing. He also got braces in April.

J's mouth is now metal-free (for now), including his retainer, since some other teeth grew in. We'll re-evaluate his situation in six months.

The biggest news of our summer is that J made the decision to be baptized. The Man baptized him in the same pond in which M was baptized on July 11 surrounded by friends and family. It was a very special day as G was dedicated the same day.

M is growing taller. He's still working doing lawn care for the same place he worked last summer. I can't believe he'll be in 10th grade this year. We are in the midst of ordering all of our books for the new school year.

The Dog is now living outside. He got sent to the back porch when I was painting the inside of the house. Since then, G's blood test also showed he was allergic to dogs, so...sorry, Dog!

We're in the middle of Financial Peace University at our church. The county fair starts next week and our church will once again have a booth there.

I really hope to get photos up of our summer, but the battery in my camera is dead right now. Hope you all have had a good summer, thanks for being patient waiting for an update from us!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Busy here and there...I Kings 20:40

As busy as a beaver. That's us! Only 15 minutes into April 9 and I've already learned my "new thing" for the day. I finally had the urge to figure out how to get a picture off my cell phone and on to the computer. This is a picture of Sacagawea examining a beaver fall at the nature center last week. Beavers are such industrious critters. I bet they wouldn't wait until a week before the deadline to start on their taxes. I just finished got ours "done enough" to drop them off at the CPA's tomorrow for review. I still need to round up a few more receipts and verify a few of the numbers. I'm seriously contemplating filing an extension for the very first time. I simply have too many other things to do during the next week.

TomorrowToday is M's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, M!!!) and we are going here after S's ortho appointment. Sunday is Sacagawea's birthday. Monday we go up to the big city for M's music lessons (we were just there today yesterday) and I really don't know what is happening after that. Hmmm.

And then there is this blog which I've been rather neglectful of lately. I've sooo much to update here. Since my tax returns are printing, I think I'll go to bed. Only a few more hours until I need to get up to restart my day!

*If anyone can tell me the trick to get my cell phone's memory card out of the USB adapter, I'd be grateful. It doesn't want to slide out as easily as it slid in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To every thing there is a season...Ecclesiates 3:1

We're busily getting ready for The Man, M and J to leave for a church mission project in Chile. This is the first time the boys will have used their passports for international travel, and they sure are excited. M bought a camera yesterday so they will bring back lots of pictures.

Out of all the exciting things they could be excited about, the conversation yesterday was all about the seasons. It will be winter when they leave here. They will arrive in Chile (in the southern hemisphere) in the summer. A few days later it will become fall, and then when they fly back here it will be spring. They will experience all four seasons in a span of 2 weeks. It doesn't take much to excite homeschoolers!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fourth month...2 Chronicles 27:7

Picture taken 2/6/09

G turned four months old yesterday! He weighs about 13 pounds and is 25 inches long. We all enjoy hearing his belly laughs. On the rare occasions that nobody is holding him, he rolls easily from front to back. He will roll from his back to his side, but his cries of frustration usually bring someone to scoop him up at that point. He enjoys sticking his little puppy dog teether in his mouth and he loves looking at board books. He even turns the pages by himself (so says big sister). Night feedings are anywhere from 3-6 hours apart, but he immediately goes back to sleep in his own little bed.

I haven't been on the computer much the past few weeks which is why I haven't been blogging. I do have several things to blog about: bobcat, fender bender, yet another new pet, rope, ShareHim meetings we're right in the middle of, and much more. Maybe I'll have time to catch up on postings when The Man, M, and J go to Chile next month.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Melt with fervent heat...2 Peter 3:10

Hmmm...what shall I blog about? How about recent conversations heard in our house?

Sacagewea asked, "Can rocks melt?"

I replied, "Yes."

M added, "All the elements will melt with a fervent heat."

J said to Sacagewea, "Even you would melt if there was no oxygen and it got hot enough."

M concluded, "If there was no oxygen, melting would not be our biggest concern."

Nope, not much to blog about.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy is he...Psalm 146:5

G is 12 weeks old now and weighs just over 11 pounds. If Mom or Dad is busy, he has 4 older siblings to care for every need...whether it be a clean diaper, a burp, or simply a shoulder upon which to fall asleep.

He even gets daily private concerts. Here he is with M practicing the left hand part of Bach's Invention No. 4 in d minor.
G enjoys the violin also, except he doesn't get held during those concerts.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I shall be safe...Psalm 119:117

S bought an add-on for the gerbil cage and an exercise ball for Gerald when we were up in the big city yesterday.
We thought this was the safest way to introduce Gerald to The Dog since The Dog likes disposing of Gerald's distant cousins. The Dog sniffed around the ball for a bit then he tried to pounce on it.
We think it is best if Gerald's future exercise sessions take place while The Dog is outside. Gerald agrees!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Change...Leviticus 27:33

I don't think this revelation is truly blogworthy, but some folks seemed rather surprised by it, so here goes. G is now wearing cloth diapers. M wore them when he was a baby whenever we were at home. J, S and A wore them occasionally, mostly when the disposable stash was getting low and it didn't look like we would be able to make it to the store.
Since the nearest place to buy diapers is over the mountain (which isn't too far except in a snow storm), I decided that G would predominantly be in cloth diapers. I'm not a glutton for punishment, so I decided to wait until now when all of our holiday travels were over. Also, since the diaper bag stays in the vehicle for the most part, we'll do disposables when we venture out.

I still have all the cloth diapers I used with M and the others, so the only thing I needed was a few covers to replace some of the ones I had. Time isn't kind to elastic. I'm also using disposable at night until we get the new covers. Our old ones aren't reliable enough for long-term use.

I ordered this product * late Tuesday afternoon. I threw in another item so I would qualify for free shipping. Wow. It was sitting on my table Wednesday evening. That is blogworthy considering where we live. I don't think we have ever had a package delivered the next day without paying massive shipping charges. It took The Man less than five minutes to install it on our toilet. Why didn't they have these things when M was a baby? Please don't tell me they did and I just didn't know about it. I'll cry. No more dunking diapers for me!

G hasn't complained a bit about the switch to cloth. I think they make him look like a Weeble.

*This wasn't meant to be a commercial, but I do have a code that can save you $10 off any purchase of $49 or more. E mail me for details if you're interested.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Beast of the field...Genesis 2:20

I'll go ahead and state the obvious, just to get it out of the way.

I'm crazy.

There. I said it.

S has had birthday and Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket. A few weeks ago he announced that he wanted a new pet. At the library he checked out books on hamsters and turtles. Hamsters? As in, rodents? No way. I had been there and done that.

The Man and I have been up in the middle of the night trying to catch an escaped white mouse (who had been given to M) before it found one of the mouse traps intended for wild mice who found their way inside our house. In that same house, I clubbed a stunned rat to death so it wouldn't crawl off and die in the wall. Actually paying money for a rodent to live in a house with us? That would be wrong. Very wrong. Rodents need to live outside in the fields.

Thus, I tried steering S away from the hamsters and encouraged the turtle. After all, we still had the fish aquarium where Tails and Scales lived. We did a bit of research on prices and concluded that he had enough money for the turtle, heater, and other supplies he would need. He also stated he was willing to commit to this particular pet for the next 50 years, should it live that long.

Yesterday while we were up in the city for M's music lessons we stopped at the pet supply store. It was then that we discovered that the pet supply store was actually an empty building. Poor S. He had his heart set on bringing home a turtle. I hadn't planned on making a trip up to the big city yesterday, but we went anyway.

Since G was sleeping, just S and I went into Petsmart. We found the reptiles. Eek. The cheapest turtle was $99, and the other one was $199. That was a lot more than he had available. Hmmm...the rodents were a lot cheaper. J came in at that point and said G had woken up. I went out to the van to feed G and sent M and Sacagawea in to stay with J and S and look at the rodents.

I suggested that S name his new gerbil Turtle. The kids thought that was one of the silliest things they had ever heard. S chose Gerald.
S thinks he looks like the best pet ever. Notice the soap dish in the background. I thought it was prudent for them to be acquainted in the bathroom just in case Gerald decided to try to escape.

Gerald slept at the top of the cage last night. This morning he has explored around the rest of the cage and now seems right at home. Since S had so much money left over, he is already planning which add-ons for the cage he'll buy on the next trip to the big city.