Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

You know how I said I loved homeschooling the other day? Here's the flip side...

The day started well, Tyler got his math done. Writing was a breeze. And I thought we might as well hit science hard. We'd been a little slack in that area lately.

Here's where things begin to go south.

We have been talking about birds. Learning birds don't live in nests. Learning what makes a bird different from other animals. Learning about migration. Naturally what follows is a birding expedition right? So we all head out.

Key word: ALL.

Read: Me, three kids, two dogs, a stroller.

Yes, I think I officially lost my mind.

Before we could even get out the door, our well behaved older dog decided to run out into the yard before we got his leash on. I corralled him with little effort. I got Maverick's leash on, gave it to Tyler and turned my attention to Macy. I got the leash on the new not so well behaved 55 pound puppy and opened the door.

Insert side note here:
I have never taken Macy on a walk before but thought to myself, "How hard can this be. I have a short leash. I tightened her collar. We're good to go."


As I was saying, I opened the door and stood there holding the leash waiting for the writhing, panting, slobbering, manic dog that was at my feet to relax before I stepped out the door with her. I was trying my best to recall obedience school from Maverick and put all the 'rules' into practice. The first rule of walking a dog is never let them pull. I waited and waited for her to calm down and stop pulling before moving on. Instead, the dog got out of her collar and ran like I have never seen her run.

Standing in the doorway of my home, I watched her run down the block. I called her. I slowly stalked her. I all but begged her to return. (I think she knew it was not sincere.) After trying to get her to come back, and watching her disappear around the corner, I decided that I should stay with my children rather than exact revenge on the dog for clawing my feet to pieces before she ran.

I walk the half block back to my wide eyed children and am met with, "Mommy, will we ever see her again?" Would it be wrong of me to admit to saying under my breath, 'not with any luck.' Because if it is, I didn't say it.

Our nature walk, which I had explained to Tyler was all about birding, became all about dogging. We found Macy. I put her collar on tighter than before. She proceeded to choke herself all the way home. I rang the school bell and called it a day.

Thank goodness tomorrows starts with new mercy!


Praying for Stellan

If I've talked to you about blogging, I've talked to you about MckMama. She has a wonderful blog, a huge following and an incredible story.

They have four children. Her youngest son Stellan was diagnosed with several different heart conditions before he was born. One of the conditions was SVT which is a very rapid heart rate. They were told he would die. He was born healthy, happy and healed. Truly an amazing story.

Stellan is over four months old now. He had shown no signs of heart problems until Sunday night. He had a nasty cold and to be on the safe side the took him to the hospital. One of the medications they gave him sent his heart racing back into SVT. They have been trying since then to slow the heart rate with no success. They have stopped his heart and allowed it to restart hoping for a normal rhythm but his heart only stays there a short while before going back up. They have been told it he cannot continue to go on like this. His little heart is already enlarged.

Please pray for this family. Pray for Stellan. God has healed him once and can do it again. Here is a link to her blog if you would like to read MckMama's updates.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

For Today, I love homeschooling

Truth told, I have a love/hate relationship with homeschooling. Allow me to explain.

I love teaching the kids. I love teaching them about history, science, and other subjects from a Christian perspective. I love praying with my kids before hard lessons and tests. I love going out and exploring our world and using books to back up our findings. I love that life is school. Life is learning. It's a lesson I was taught and I love teaching it to my kids.

On the other hand...

I hate mornings. Seat work happens in the mornings. My bad morning mood can carry over into seat work time. I hate being told how to teach. Especially by a 6 year old. And trust me, he knows. He knows it all. He will teach me before I have even begun to teach him. I hate having a pouting face staring at me when I correct them. I hate that my perfectionism has rubbed off on them and to fall short is to fail in their eyes. I hate that I so often feel like I'm failing.

But for today, I love homeschooling. I love snuggling when reading. I love that Tyler wanted to do THREE math pages today. I love that he did this after telling me two days ago how much he did not like math. I love that we get to do school in the summer. (Psst - don't tell the kids!)

I'm off now. I've got more snuggles and learning to do!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Monday is coming... I'm writing this on Sunday night. My brain does *not* work better at night. I certainly *never* feel sluggish in the morning, sitting at the computer, wondering what in the world I *didn't* do to write about in a hopefully funny, not too uncomfortably honest way. (It's a little scary what comes out at my 'good' time of day sometimes...) So with out further ado, here's this weeks

Come on over, link up at MckMamas and tell the world what did NOT happen in your perfect household. You'll feel right at home.

This week we did *not* have a perfectly wonderful vacation with perfect weather and mostly well behaved children. We did *not* stick our toes in the sand and sea every single day for 6 days straight. If I had, I wouldn't brag about it! Never.

It was *not* Doug's wonderful aunt and uncle who fixed us not one, but two feast in the less than 24 hours we were at their house. They also did *not* have the most comfortable bed I have slept on in my life. Nor did they treat our children like royalty. Our family did *not* leave feeling totally pampered and spoiled. (Thanks ya'll!)

While down on the beach, I did *not* watch Tyler TOWEL DRY and forget to reapply suntan lotion. If I had, I wouldn't have done it on the FIRST day of the week when his skin was most vulnerable. I am always conscious of my children's needs. So that couldn't have been my lobster...err son out there with a crazy mom chasing him down the beach with his hat and shirt every time he took them off the rest of the week. Nope! Not me.

We did *not* pay $40 for our family to be ferried over to an island that was supposed to have good shelling and then not (as in really not) find more than 6 decent shells. Not us! I did *not* feel slightly better when we were treated to two wild dolphin shows. The dolphins were *not* less than 10 feet off the shore. Really, it still doesn't feel real!

I did *not* throw Becca out into the ocean to get the sand off her. She did *not* cry because it was cold. I did *not* have to chase her down the beach in a game of tag to help her get warm. I am *not* so out of shape that there was really no reason for her to fear getting tagged. *sigh* Thank goodness that's *not* true.

I was *not* disgusted by Hope's apparent love for the taste of sand. I did not pull several handfuls of the glorified dirt out of her mouth. Nor did I hand her a shell in an attempt to distract her only to watch her crack the shell. Man, does that girl teeth hard. Excuse me, I mean if that were true, could you even imagine!

I did *not* hurry and pack to leave the house, and forget a whole load of clothes in the dryer. So there was no reason for me to call the owner of the rental house and ask for them to be shipped back. And there was not occasion for a slight (silent) mommy fit when she told me it might be a while before she could ship them back. I'm always more careful with my belongings than that!

On the way home, in a desperate attempt to not listen to a repeat performance of Hope's not so silent fits, I did *not* give her a Girl Scout Thin Mint. And if I had, she wouldn't look like this. Never!

I also would *not* feel bad about the extra attention Hope needed and feel like my older children were neglected and be excited about Doug's idea to get some popcorn and give it to Ty and Becca to make me feel better. I do *NOT* have Mommy guilt.

Also on the way home, I did *not* ask Doug to take both kids to the bathroom in a gas station, only to later find out Becca got stuck in a stall. Daddy to the rescue. We did *not* laugh at his thoughtful care of our daughter. My mom did *not* wonder how Doug knew it was a (her term) "2 holer".

It feels good to be so real. I'm glad things like this *don't* really happen. How 'bout you? What doesn't happen behind closed doors at your house? Head on over and spill the beans. You'll feel better.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Week in Review

It is always amazing how fast vacation goes. It seems like one day I was packing to go and the next day I'm packing to leave. CRAZY!

This week has been wonderful. The weather has been perfect. The kids have gotten along well. The van hasn't broken. (Please keep praying. Thanks!) Doug and I have spent time with each of our children alone. We couldn't have asked for more. God has again given us more than we could ask or imagine.

It's hard to believe that we will be leaving this beautiful place in the morning. I think we're going to get up early so that we can take one last walk/swim before we have to load up.

Tyler and Becca have loved writing on the beach this week.

Yesterday was a very full day. We went out to an island that is a nature preserve. Normally there is good shelling out there, but not this year. I think the weather has been so nice that nothing had really washed ashore. Becca found a really nice shell. Tyler spotted dolphins swimming really close to shore. We had never seen them that close. We could see one sticking it's whole head out of the water and another flip over backwards. It was something I will never forget.
The kids watching the dolphins with Grammy

Later that night we went into a little town east of here called Apalachicola. After we ate dinner, Doug sped back to the Cape so I could get pictures of the sunset. Here are a few of my favorites. The color that night was incredible.

We spent alot of time out on the beach in front of the house. Here are a few pictures of how we spent our days.
The kids are as proud of their sandcastle as they are their silly faces!

Hope is in love with Papaw.

And our nights.
Me and my man!

One of my favorite poses

Too fun not to post.

We are sad to leave but looking forward to going home. Doug and I were watching the kids play on the beach after sunset tonight. Doug commented on how nice it is to make memories with our kids while we have the chance. We have been blessed with many good ones this week. I can't wait to go home, get the pictures printed, hang them on the wall, and talk about all we did this week with the kids for years to come.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Serious Life

Serious.Life Magazine

I wanted you to know about this publication called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the March issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

I have really enjoyed reading their magazine and following their blog. This family's faith and determination to find joy in spite of their trials is such and encouragement to me. I hope you will check it out!

Switching gears...

I didn't have time to download pictures today, but it was another great day down here. We saw several dolphins and a beautiful sunset. I will try to get a few pictures up tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I still am pinching myself. It's hard to believe we are in Florida. The weather has been really beautiful. Especially for early March.

We have had three sunny days in a row. The kids are playing in the ocean...the cold ocean. *brr* I had to go in up to my shoulders yesterday. It was a 'little cooler' than my prefered bath water temperatures. But, a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.

We are in the process of building a sand castle. This is the first year Ty and Becca have been old enough to really work on one with us. Part of working is having a diversion program for Hope. She really is a one girl wrecking team. So far, so good.

It's not all beachtime though. Doug and I love to play board games with the kids. One of their favorites is Sorry. They love the game. They would play it every night. At first, Becca was true to her sweet sensitive nature and hated to 'sorry' anyone.

She's over it.

Last night she 'sorried' Doug three times in a row. Doug looked at her and said, 'Becca, why do you keep 'sorrying me? She responded, 'I want to win.'

Ahh, simple truth. That's the way I like it!

Today we stayed in for the middle part of the day. Ty, Grammy and I are nursing sunburns. (I forgot Ty towel dried yesterday and didn't reapply sunscreen. Ouch!) So we did 'school'. It was fun to take time to read about different aspects of God's creation and then go expolore them. Have I mentioned I like homeschooling?

As promised here are some pictures.

Don't jump in yet. Mommy wants a picture.

Ty and Becca runnning in the waves as soon as we got here.

Hope enjoying the waves.

Becca taking a break with Hope in the waves.

Have a great week!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Monday is here...and I'm denying it all! Come joing the fun at MckMama's and find out for yourself how wonderfully refreshing it is to spill the beans about all the so did *not* happen last week.

I did *not* decide find a vacation rental home in Florida at an outrageously good price and decide to jump on it. Especialy not since it meant leaving in three days. Especially since I didn't have thing ready to go. I wouldn't do something that impulsive. (Even with the blessing of my husband)

After booking the house we did not have to scramble to get our car in better working order. Nope, not me! (Really, my husband did all the work!)

We did not make plans to leave our two dogs with my father-in-law. Only to have to find a new arrangement for the puppy. And that was *not* because she came down with some stomach something that meant I spent over an hour on my knees cleaning out messes from her kennel. Not I!

Our van did *not* overheat on the way down here leaving us a little anxious for a few hours. Our kids did *not* make repeated inquiries to the nature of our beasts ability to make the trip down here. My husband and I were *not* having the same thoughts (albiet unspoken).

I did *not* when we arrived, tell my husband not to worry about changing the kids into their bathing suits before we went to the beach. I wouldn't say anything like 'they're just going to wade. That's what they did last time." And have all three of the kids in over their heads. Ty did *not* run out into the ocean and get tumbled by the waves and go back for more. Becca did *not* dance in the waves and fall down and decide to keep going back. Hope did *not* crawl out and sit in the breaking waves shivering. I plan for the contingencies much better than that.

I am *not* looking forward to a great week of memory making and picture taking down here. And I did *not* forget half my camera stuff leaving me wondering how to improvise. Not me!
I hope you all have a great week. Making no mistakes. I'm sure I won't be!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flying South ...sort of

****Updated* Two hours and spark plugs/wires (the ones on it were original to the vehicle)/distributor cap/rotor change later (adding in a return because '95 vehicles are apparently difficult to determine parts for) and it works as good as when we bought it with only 130K miles on it. I guess after 190K wires tend to wear a little. Thanks for praying! ******

As I eluded to in my last post, we are heading south. As in Florida. As in beaches and dolphin watching. As in sandcastle building and shell hunting. I am so ready to go.

I love winter. I enjoy the snow and the ice storms that leave their beauty behind. I like snuggling under blankets (just for honesty's sake- I do that when it 88 degrees outside too). I love hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream. I love sweaters that help me deny the weight I've added on as I've added children to our family. All these things make winter a happy time for me.

But, my parents did something to me. When I was in my teens they began to make a pilgrimage to Florida's Cape San Blas during my older sibling's college Spring Break. This week of heaven soon became tradition. And I have forever been spoiled. Once spring begins to make an entrance, my thoughts turn to these white sand beaches. My husband and I have spaced this tradition to every other year since we've known each other. Our young family and and an annual week long trip to Florida do not go hand in hand with our budget! It was on this beach that Tyler and Becca took some of their first steps. Those pictures hang on our wall as vivid reminders of these precious times. I can't wait to got back and make some more memories. I'll post pictures too.

There is one small hang up.

We lovingly call our '95 Nissan Quest "Chitty" - as in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When we bought it, it had a small exhaust leak. Which we had fixed. Then it had another. Which we just had fixed a few weeks ago. Now, the thing bucks. (It's an automatic!) So, I'm not sure what new name we need to come up with for the *insert large doses of sarcasm * dearly loved fully paid for vehicle. It still has an exhaust leak. It still has some sort of other problem (which we have been told the only way to find it is to rule out several options through repairs). So tonight my wonderful husband is going under the hood to work on our beast. Please pray. They don't get along well. He is quite adept at basic car repair and maintenance, but as I said, this one can be a beast.

As I dream of the warmth, my husband will be working in the cold. He's such a servant to our family. I'm so glad I got one of the good ones!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's MONDAY! It's so nice to have something to look forward to at the beginning of a new week. I really don't know why I so love to share all my horrifying and embarrassing moments so much. Maybe it's because they did *not* really happen! So join the fun and tell what you would not do in your wildest dreams (or most painfully real life!). Hop on over and link up at MckMama's blog or at least go check out what all the rest of us have not been up to. Happy Monday!

This week was certainly not a blur again leaving me wondering what I did and did not do! Oh my, when will I ever learn to write them down as they don't happen. ; )

This week I did not watch my beautiful 14 month old learn to throw fits with style. She most certainly does not throw herself down on the floor and kick her legs propelling herself across the carpet and get up with rug burn on her face. Not in my house!

There was not a time this week that I let Tyler and Becca "babysit" Hope in the yard while I worked cleaning up the lovely piles left by our dogs. I didn't have to stop at regular intervals to run in the house, wash my hands, and run back outside to pull rocks, sand and other nasty things from Hope's mouth. I would make sure the yard was cleaner than that before I allowed her to play outside.

I did not take all three of my children to the hospital to visit their grandma by myself. I would know better than to do that at nap time (again). Especially since this requires putting gloves on all of us and keeping the kiddos from touching anything in the room. Tyler did not do great (except for the touching things part). Becca did not walk around in tiny circles in the room after her brief conversation with Grandma. Every time her circle came in close proximity to me she did not say "can we leave now." I did not quietly hush her at least 20 times before finally relenting. Hope did not fuss, cry, and scream the whole time we were there leaving Grandma to *not* ask "What's wrong with her." That would be ridiculous of me.

It was not me that fed my family pasta twice this week while my husband and I try to lose weight. I cook better than that and know the importance of planning ahead. So that would never happen in my house!

After the lovely birthday party for Becca last weekend it did not take me three days to rid my house of the half dog eaten cake. I clean up way better than that so there is no chance that was me.

I did not forget to write a church movie night on the calendar and then go my merry way and forget all about it until 2 hours after we should have been there. I also did not have to 'fess up when asked by fellow Sunday school goers how we enjoyed it. Nope! Not Me!

Also at church I did not greet a friend in the hall with the words, "You need to update your blog." I have way more tact than that. I certainly didn't have to eat my words when she described the week she had. (You know who you are friend. I am praying for your scratches to heal!)

May your week be as wonderful as mine!