Tuesday, December 29, 2009


First Thanksgiving and now Christmas.  They both have come and gone, all in a flash.   Seems as though all the days are passing faster and faster.

We had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving.  A day filled with family, friends and delicious food.  It was a fun day that we were sad to see end.

Christmas was much quieter.  A day spent with just hubby and the kids.  We enjoyed the quiet and special time we had together.

Christmas Eve

Making Jesus Birthday Cake


Happy Birthday Jesus! We are so glad you came, for us!

Traditional hot chocolate. Yum!


Almost ready

Whipping the cream

Thumbs up!

Mugs are filled and all are ready to settle down to listen to our annual reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Our beautiful tree this year.  My 10 year old decorated it all by herself. :)


Two new bikes

a walker for our not yet walker

a new Wii game

new clothes

little dogs


the year of the etch a sketch 

Balls and bat for a springtime of family time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My road to health

I've had some health challenges this past year that just can't be ignored.  So, I found myself at a naturopath/homeopathic clinic, aka Supplement Man. :)  Besides giving me more supplements to take then I ever thought humanly possible, he also did a sensitivity test on me and boy oh boy the results were sobering.

I'm supposed to cut out dairy, any grain w/ gluten in it, which includes grains that are considered "good", eggs and yeast.  What's left to eat, you ask.  Supplements! LOL

While that may seem to be what this particular man pushes, I found a great blog   and then cookbook by the blog's author, that I think will help me along my much needed changes.

With that in mind, I thought I'd give her Red Lentil Soup a try.  I went to Whole Foods, with the entire troop along with me, I might add.  That in and of itself is worthy of a blog post, taking 6 kids to Whole Foods is sort of the antithesis of the "save the earth" folks. LOL  Nonetheless, we all traipsed through the store as though nobody looked at us as though we were a freak show. :)

All my ingredients gathered (minus a few I forgot to buy ;-) )

Prepping the carrots

and the spinach

sauteing the onion and garlic

curry added, yum

Finally, the beautiful red lentils go into the pot

At this point the recipe says to simmer for 60 minutes.  My stove is kind of temperamental.  It takes forever to boil anything.  So, I walked away thinking it would be fine and come to a nice simmer.  Of course I was wrong. LOL  about 50 minutes later I asked my daughter if she thought it smelled like the soup was burning.  I walked into the kitchen expecting to find the soup had bubbled over a little bit onto the burner.  Instead I found that the soup and been BOILING for the majority of those 50 minutes and what I was smelling was the burnt lentils all over my pot.  Blech! :p  The smell was truly horrendous.  Two days later and my pot is STILL soaking, trying to get out the burned on mess that was supposed to be my healthy dinner!

The soup was a big gloppy mess.  I fed the garbage disposal the contents of the pot and have since been scrubbing and soaking that stinking pot!  I was so disappointed and disgusted w/ myself for not checking on it sooner.  I didn't even bother w/ a photo, although it probably would have amused you all. lol

Even though my first foray into healthier (for me) cooking was a complete and utter disaster, it will not taunt me from trying my best to work my way back to health. :)

Stay tuned for more installments of "My road to health" that will hopefully be soon to follow!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Instilling traditions into your family's life is a wonderful thing.  There is, however, a draw back.  When life gets in the way and you want to skip one of those traditions, you have all these little reminders telling you to do it, now! LOL

Coming soon, pictures of our traditions. :-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Results are in

The kids woke up to this smell

Ahh, heavenly.  Brown sugar and cinnamon baking.  Yum.

Just look at that syrupy goodness

First bites are always exciting.

As to whether or not they liked their french toast surprise, I'll have to get back with you on that later, once they wake up from their sugar comas!

French Toast

I was up looking through one of my Junior League cookbooks and came across a recipe for French Toast that I decided to give a go.

I grabbed my ingredients

and got busy.
Mixing my eggs, milk and salt

mixing the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon

mmmm, can you smell it?

pouring over my bread

All sealed up and ready for cooking tomorrow morning.

Won't my kids be surprised?  Yum!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;  Isaiah 11:1-2

Today is the first day of advent.  Did you know that?  I didn't! LOL  I remembered around 7 o'clock this evening.  Fortunately, we had dug through enough boxes in the garage we knew where our Christmas books, which is where my Advent books also live outside of the Christmas season.

The kids were very excited to start our Advent traditions.  We didn't do anything for Advent when I was growing up, so this is all new to me as well.  About 3 years ago I decided to start celebrating the anticipation of our Saviors birth.  It has been a wonderful time of learning and growing and focusing on the Christ's joyous birth.

This year we will be returning to follow along Jotham as he travels to find his family in Arnold Ytreeide's Jotham's Journey.  We really enjoy Ytreeide's triology and alternate each year, which has brought us back to Jotham.  My younger boys don't remember the story from 3 years ago, so it's all new to them. :)

We will also be doing a Jesse Tree using Ann Voskamp's beautiful devotional, The Glorious Coming.

Since Advent snuck up on me (I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving! LOL), I told the kids tomorrow we will put together the Jesse Tree ornaments and go purchase our advent candles.  They were very excited to hear about our planned outing.  Now let's see how excited they are when I tell them they need to get all their school work done FIRST, then we'll go buy our supplies and break out the glue and card stock. ;-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

School plans

As my kids have gotten older I've learned that I need to have a plan to ensure we have a smooth school day/week/month/year. I've also learned as I've discovered more about how my special treasures learn, not to rely too heavily on that plan!

With the identification and naming of specific areas one daughter struggles with in her learning, I've had to take my well layed out plans from this summer and toss them. Not really toss I guess, just tweak them. Of course tweaking them means I'm taking back about 99% of the independent work I was looking forward to relinquishing to her. Not gonna happen this year and that's ok. It wouldn't be fair to her to make her do something she's just not ready for yet. That's why we're homeschooling. One of the reasons, anyways. So that when we need to slow down, speed up, change direction or scenery to help our students be the best they can be, we can do it, for them. For one of the most important people in the world to me, my daughter. Instead, she'll get about 1% of the independent work she was originally going to have and that's ok. She's worth it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

OCD and other mental ramblings

I have a daughter that has OCD. It is probably one of the hardest things to watch when she's having an episode. There is something about fall that typically sets her off. Her episodes are sometimes short, lasting a few minutes or very, very long, lasting months.

It's fall again. She's struggling again. I saw it coming about a week ago but hoped and prayed it wasn't really happening, she'd be alright. I even mentioned earlier in the evening to dh that it's coming again. Tonight, she had her first real episode. A bad dream that had her worried. I was able to calm her fears fairly quickly. Prayed with her and she fell asleep shortly after that. If only they all could be so easy. :(

So while I used to say fall is my favorite month, I'm beginning to dread it's arrival. Instead of pumpkins and cornhusks, pretty fall colors and cool evenings, I have to travel up and down the worry hill with my daughter worrying myself with each pass if she'll make it to the other side this time.

My prayer is she will be healed, my hope is that Jesus never leaves her side, even in the midst of her worse episodes.

For our Keepers group we're learning hymns each month. Our hymn this month is All is Well with My Soul. A beautiful hymn w/ such amazing words. As we enter this season with trepidation of the unknown I will cling to those words and remember that all is well with my soul.

Friday, September 25, 2009


OCD is rearing it's ugly head again.  I hate it.  I hate what it does to my daughter.  Around this time of year, every year she begins to have problems.  This year we have a move to add to the equation which I know is adding to her stress.

I began seeing signs a week ago and didn't want to believe it was happening, again.  Tonight she had a very minor episode that I was quickly able to help her through.  Now I'm waiting for the big one.  The one that keeps us second guessing ourselves and everything we've ever done.  The one that will take days, maybe weeks or even months to get over.  We had gone so long with nothing and then, wham!  It hits you up the side of the head again.

So much anxiety for such a young person.  It makes me so sad to watch her struggle.  Her own mind working against her.

I love my sweet daughter and I pray that she will be healed very soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Was it really March since I last posted on this blog? Eeks, that's way too long to wait. Especially since I thought I was moving my blog on over here! LOL I haven't written much on my other blog either, so it's not like I've just neglected this little nook.

We have started our school year in earnest this week. We took June off and started school again in July. Life got complicated, which means, I started having some bizarre health problems. As a result my plans for one week stretched into two weeks. By the end of July I was ready for another break due to feeling beyond lousy. We took those 4 weeks of August off doing nothing for school. An actual, true summer break! The kids LOVED it. :)

After that much needed break I was ready to get a routine back into place so we started our school year, in earnest, this week. I now have a 6th, 5th, 3rd, 1st and PKer, along w/ a baby who's needs are growing daily (she doesn't sleep as much as she used to ;) ) and daily home therapy for one of my kiddos.

I will be honest and say that this week was tough. It was tough trying to fit everything in for everybody. I know as we keep plugging away we'll find that routine that will work for all of us.

Here's a picture of my class. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art Study

We've been studying Vincent Van Gogh's work the last few months.  About a week ago hubby took R grocery shopping and they came home with some sunflowers.  Since Van Gogh Sunflowers are one of the prints we're studying, I thought it would be fun for the kids to create their own paintings with our sunflowers. 

We read Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt, a story that is based on an actual encounter and real people.  It tells the story of Vincent coming to Camille's small town and Camille's family befriending the lonely artist.

After reading the story we broke out the watercolor paper, some pencils and the paints.  I turned on some Beethoven and let the kids create.  Here are their creations:

A view of my busy artists w/ our wilting sunflowers

Another shot of the artists and flowers

Finished Product

S's age 5

R's age 8

E's age 11

A's age 9

What I love about this type of activity is to see what part of the object the kids focus on the most.  Some focus in on the flowers, some on the vase.  In R's case, she drew all the people she saw around the flower at the time. :)  I love to see their creativity shine through. 

Just one more reason I love having them home, I get to see all this creativity come to fruition.  By the time I was R's age, art was a class I dreaded in school.  One too many art teacher had let me know that I was not artistic by the age of 8, that I gave up trying because I knew I wasn't good at it.  So glad my kids haven't learned that they aren't artistic because they couldn't make their project look like the teachers!

Not to be left out, here's J's creation:


J age 3

Hope you enjoyed our art project.