Friday, August 28, 2009

All Things School.

Week 3 already. Wow this year is flying by.

Or not.

But we are getting in a routine. We start school. Hope prays with us and then screams off and on for the next two hours of morning school. Tyler puts his fingers in his ears. Becca beats her pencil against the table and stares off trying to concentrate on that word in the sky.....

Oh, wait. That was only one day.

It has been quite different doing school with a toddler on the prowl. One day before we have finished she smells rather strongly of Pleasures by Este Lauder. Other days, the kids school work is scribbled on. Or there's the day where she has bits of playdough in her hair and on her face. It's so educational . Right?
I have learned that coloring, music and blocks will keep her busy for 10 minute segments before I need to press the toddler reset button.

Teaching two has presented new challenges as well. Becca is a self-motivated learner. She does great with worksheet after worksheet. Which is great because Ty is a social learner. Notice the body language here. One is totally engrossed in her work. The other is trying to peek out of the corner of his eyer.

It is so much fun to watch how they are so different in every aspect. Ty learns by asking questions, touching, taking apart things so he can see how they work. Becca quietly observes, listens closely, pays attention to details that I sometimes even miss.

Three down, thirty-three to go.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Not New, But It's Good.

A few years ago, three year old Becca was playing house in the hallway of our home. She was dressed up in all her princess glory and had at least three babies and all the paraphernalia that goes along with them in the hall.

We had been visiting my sister and went to her Pentecostal church. The kids were enthralled with the music and dancing and came home full of excitement about the Holy Spirit. As she was playing I heard her voice change to almost a wail.

"I cannot do anything right. I cannot do anything good. The Holy Spirit has left me."

What do you say to that.
Last week I volunteered to go help my grandparents freeze corn. Well, not my grandparents, but my husband shares and lets me call them that. It was a long day, much longer than I anticipated. Maybe because I thought we were doing about 10 dozen ears and someone else had the bright idea of doubling that. And the very generous people at the farm threw in an extra dozen. I don't think I'll be writing a thank you note.

I failed to get any pictures of the actual work, because I was...WORKING (my rear off). When the work was done we headed over to the school yard across the street for some play time. I should probably mention this is the same playground where Becca fell and broke her arm in a nasty way a few years ago. Long story short, it's pretty much a miracle she regained full use of her arm. Needless to say, I was glad Daddy made it over in time to help me watch the three wild, crazy kiddos.

Becca was loving the slide at the first play area.

Hope's first time on a real swing and slide.

Tyler posing himself.

Nothing like Daddy pushing you on the tire swing.

Or hitching a ride on his shoulders.

Back to the house for some of Grandma's incredible mac and cheese. Yummy.

And this one melted my heart. Grandpa and his lone boy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Upon hearing squabbling in Tyler's room, I went to investigate.

Tyler: "Hope's pushing cars on the top of my garage."

Me: "Tyler, Hope cannot hurt your garage."

Tyler: "But, Mom, she'll take the paint off it."

Me: "She can't do that, besides it's already been colored on."

Tyler: "I didn't do it."

Me: "I know you didn't do all of it."

Tyler: "Well, an(unnamed cousin) did the pink, and I certainly didn't enjoy that."

Moral, you can color on a my son's toys. Just don't use pink.

I Need Some Help.

No, not that kind. I may not always be fully sane, but most times there's still some sanity there.

The baby toes picture in the last post was a desperation shot. I tried and tried to get some cute pictures of my niece. The kind where it's perfectly framed, the lighting is right, her expression right. Marley was about a cute as a baby gets, but things on my end of it were pretty much wrong. See.

Even though it's not perfect, I love this one. Isn't she too cute!
Here's what I need to know. How do you go about getting great shots of other people's kids. I've seen a lot of your blogs and know you all do some pretty amazing stuff. And I'd kind of like to move from toe shots up to beautiful face shots. It will make it so much easier to decipher all those pictures in a few years if I don't have to say, "and who's toes were those?"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just Because...

Baby toes make me so daggone happy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The One Time I Didn't Take My Camera.

Well, not the one time, but you know what I mean.

Last weekend was hot, humid, and supposedly that last dry days we would see for awhile. Yeah, right. It's still hot, humid and DRY. What am I going to learn not to listen to those weather people. Excuse my ramblings.

So on that hot, humid Sunday afternoon we decided to pack up the kids and their bikes. We stopped for pizza and headed to an area park. It's a beautiful wooded park with lots of fun trails. We found a table and spread out for our picnic. That's where the hot, humid, fun day began to take a turn.

Swarms I tell you. SWARMS of mosquitoes came up from the grass. Being the less is more kinda girl I am, I took the natural bug repellent rather than the it might kill you, but it will definitely get rid of the bugs stuff. I immediately begin slathering my children and myself with the "repellent." The mosquitoes linger, but are no longer attacking so I sit down to eat again.

As I made the remark, "We should really do this more often." I heard a rather alarming buzzing sound. I looked towards the woods (and Becca) and see another swarm coming towards us. Only it's not mosquitoes. It's bees. Hope had bees coming towards her. Becca had three bees in her hair. We grabbed the food and ran to the car. Doug stood outside for a few minutes and then poked his head in to say, "I think it was the repellent." He didn't have any on and once the rest of us were in the car, the bees took off.

I think I might need to write a letter to the company. It might go a little like this.

Dear Burts Bees,

Did you know your insect repellent actually attracts bees?

Or is that too abrupt?

All that to say, I think I'm throwing it away. Because now that I look back on it, the other time I tried that brand of repellent I got chased by bees to. A mom ought to pay more attention to these things.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Down, Thirty-five to Go.

Weeks of school that is.

The kids did really good this week. I however had a slight melt down mid week. I'm still trying to figure out the reason. I'm not sure if it was because my sister/sister-in-law asked me if I'm pregnant. (I'm not.) The subsequent frantic digging out the workout video and daily work out. (The dreaded Shred) Or the vegetarian diet I've been on most the week. (We had no meat in the house and I didn't feel up to grocery shopping.) Or if it was simply getting settled into a new routine.

The jury's still out. (Is it bad that I'm talking about myself as multiple people?)

So today, the kids worked hard in school. HARD. When the (figurative) school bell rang they put their minds to it and settled into their seats and worked hard for several hours. They read science and identified the parts of an insect using insects they collected, Tyler did double math, history was read and an oral review quiz taken. Reading assignments accomplished. The weekly Bible verse and poetry memorized and recited. Grammar and art work reviewed and proudly displayed. The required penmanship work was written and self corrected. What was lacking?


And for that we headed to a well deserved recess. At the sprinkler park. After all, the kids need socialization right? We called another homeschool family in the area who is starting their school year next week and headed out. The kids had so much fun running out the wiggles from the week.

Tyler and Becca were so busy running around and making new friends along with the friends we brought that I could only get posed photos of them.

Hope on the other hand was a more daring this trip, but still stuck close to the edges. She is getting brave about sticking her face in the water. Surprise, baby, it's cold.

Days like this make me wish summer could last forever. But I really like sledding too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Did You Ever Wish?

I did something this week rather atypical of myself. I called a stranger. Well, not really a stranger, just mostly one. I follow her blog, she reads mine and leaves sweet comments. I think she's incredibly gifted and smart and funny and that's why I check her blog everyday at least once.

So awhile back we exchanged phone numbers via email and I got up the guts to call her. Sweet, funny, cute accent. And I did the nervous talk too much thing. (Friends and family, I know you're nodding your heads. )

And that's when I realized why I love blogging so much. It's me...censored by me.

It's me with a bonus package. May I introduce them, they are delete, backspace, and cut (as in cut and paste without the paste.)

So here is where the title comes in.

Did you ever wish...

You could just erase what you just said that totally came out wrong?

You press the mute button on yourself?

You could rewind and start new?

Maybe I ought to just practice on my family. They're kinda used to my weirdness. Then again, that may be why they don't answer their phones.

Mom, you there?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lunch Break

Today was the first day of school. It has gone remarkably well. If you don't include the screaming toddler after about an hour of school. She calmed down once Cheerios were brought into play. ;)

Becca whipped through her math and English seat work. She had a blast coloring in her papers once she was done. And she is reading so, so well.

Tyler proclaimed his math "so easy." Loved the English paper and when I asked him why the words "Mom" and "Dad" were capitalized he responded, "Because they're in charge." Of course. Why didn't I think of that.

So now little one is down. Lunches are being eaten. Science, history and literature await us. Thanks to all you who have offered advice on homeschooling with a toddler. It has been much appreciated.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shekinah Woodturning

On a recent trips to my parents I got to go shopping. Mom and Dad have kept many of the books, teaching aids etc that they used in teaching us. When we go to their home we peruse the book shelves and cabinets looking for items we remember loving or learning from. Sometimes both. :)

On one of those trips I opened the school room door and saw a new treasure awaiting me. Not books, but beautiful woodturned bowls. Not just this piece, but dozens of them on the floor the counter of the room.

As beautiful and unique as these pieces are I knew immediately where they had come from.

A long time friend of our family, Mike Abney is half dad, half grandfather to me. I vaguely remember when he came into our family's life, but he has always seemed a part of it. Mike struggled in school and never graduated. Yet he is one of the wisest men I have known. He became a believer much later in life than most I have known, but his commitment in serving the Lord is an inspiration to me. Mike turned his love of the woods into an art that is beautiful beyond what I could imagine. Although I have watched as he has grown in his craft for several years and am blessed to have a few of his pieces, I always fail to remember the beauty that these wooden vessels hold. Each time I see them I am newly amazed at them. I love to examine each piece and see what wood they are made from, discover the flow of the grain, imagine the branch that caused the knot, wonder about the woodpecker or insect that damaged the wood. It's truly a treasure hunt.

He has for several years now displayed his work under the name of Shekinah Woodturning. Recently he and my dad have worked together to set up a website showcasing some of his work.

Because I know Mike would want it to point to the Lord, I'll tell you why it amazes me. I have watched as he takes a piece of old, ugly wood. He has to work his way into the wood little by little. Refining it. Taking off the ugly outer, worn parts and exposing the beauty that lies in the heart of the wood. Sometimes he leaves a little of the outer bark on the vase or bowl. And that rough exterior so honestly contrasted with the beautiful polished interior reminds me of the work of the Spirit in my life. Shaving away the old self with steady hands and working to bring out the inner beauty. Removing the layers of self and flesh, and exposing what gives life. Even though their are often scars in the wood, even though there are often knots that are stubborn and hard to work with, given into a Master's hand, they can add to the beauty of the creation. Bringing glory to the skill of the Master's hand able to bring good out of ugliness.

Although it's "just" a bowl, Mike's work is beyond beautiful. It's a reminder of the beauty God has carved out of sinful life. It's a reminder that the rotten wood can still be salvaged and may make the most beautiful piece yet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quarantine and Other Randomness

***The link to Amanda's blog now works. Go check her out for some fun. ***
My baby is sick. And oh how I wish it were a cold or some other malady that I know how to cope with. What she's got isn't in my book of been there done that, until know.

Anyone know anything about hand foot and mouth?

Me neither until this week. I've learned quite a bit. But for now I'll leave the trivia games to Amanda. Until further notice we are staying home and keeping to our germy selves. If you hear of a stay at home mom landing in the asylum, it's probably me.


Becca to Tyler "I know something faster than God."

Tyler horrified "Nothing is faster than God."

Becca smugly "Yes-huh"
Tyler certainly "No there is nothing faster than God."

Becca laughing "It's just as fast as God if not faster."

Tyler curiously "What is it."

Becca in the highest voice she can attain "Jeeesus"

Tyler "Well, that is God, they're both the same."

Becca" But still separate."

--Ensuing fight about the Trinity---

It's so good to see Bible class paying off.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's That Time

  • Paper

  • Pencils

  • Markers

  • Crayons

  • Glue Sticks

I can't believe it's already time to get back to school. My tomatoes aren't even ripe. I realize that on those two things are normally not connected, but since I home school and I can much of the food from my garden they are rather important to me.

School is about to start. I have a garden full of not quite ready vegetables. And I have got to clean my house.

Anyone do windows?


Saturday, August 1, 2009


"Are babies nocturnal?"

"They sleep all day and everybody says they cry all night."