Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hay, Hay, Hay

Last night our homeschool group had a 'Fall Festival' type deal. Most of these consist of 'Halloween' type activities (which we do not do), but this was a nice old-fashioned cook-out and hayride. We had a blast. They had a zipline that Zach finally had the nerve to try...took him awhile, but he did it. I will not go on one of those though! They had a homeade merry-go-round that the kids had a blast riding on. They had a 'train' behind a four-wheeler that they loved riding on. We roasted marshmallows, ate S'mores and went on a hayride. It was so much fun. A bit chilly, but I brought along a blanket and Zach kept us all entertained on our end of the trailer with his antics. He was quite the character. We were out in the bayous of Mississippi! Not even sure where we were, but it was entertaining. At one point we ended up in water at a boat launch. The driver purposely decided to back up into it and of course who were the ones sitting at the end of the trailer? I was pretty freaked out that we'd get wet, but he finally stopped! Made for a good laugh. The kids had a blast. H made a new friend, G was pretty quiet but I could tell he enjoyed himself, and J was having fun but also asking to go home. We were all pretty tired by the time we got home. Good thing we got an extra hour of sleep last night! Here are some pictures of us enjoying ourselves! Sorry they're a bit fuzzy...guess that's what happens when you take pictures at night!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Caramel Apples

Today we made caramel apples. Who would guess that they are SO simple to make? The things I learn... My children have never had caramel apples until today! Boy, do we shelter them or what? Here they are taking a turn mixing the ingredients.

Here's H coating her apple in the caramel and then placing it on the cookie sheet.

Here's J dipping his apple. Posted by Picasa

J was quite proud of dunking his apple (even though just a little bit of it was dunked).

Here he is enjoying his apple. He devoured that thing!

H enjoyed licking off the caramel but was afraid to bite her apple for fear her loose teeth would fall out! At least she enjoyed the caramel!

Even G enjoyed the cut up apple parts I gave him. He enjoyed his so much his diaper afterwards really proved it. Ah, the joys of mothering!

Here is how we made our caramel apples:
Melt 1 1/2 tbsp. of butter. Add 1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar and 6 tbsp. of water. Stir until smooth. Gently bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pierce the center of the apple with a stick (I used cut up craft sticks since I didn't have popsicle sticks), swirl in the caramel until coated and place on greased cookie sheet to harden. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. I used about 8-10 apples, both red and green as I ran out of green.
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"The Cousins"

I just had to post this picture of Amie's littlest. I thought it too cute that he was trying to play croquet with everybody else!

This is one of the only pictures I managed to take of 'the cousins' which they all called each other! The two littlest boys were inside with their mommies while the older ones enjoyed playing on this structure that Zach is slowly making into a fort for the kids. They all played so well together and it was great seeing how well they got along!

And of course we can't forget the play of the big kids... They managed to wear one another out, however Amie and I did alot of shopping, which was fun but wore me out (and probably her too)!

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Making Play Dough

Here are H and J stirring the ingredients to make play dough.

And they really enjoyed the end product- lots of play dough! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First Batch of Pictures

Here is my mom reading the Bible to J and H before church.

Beautiful Pensacola Beach

J, Nanny and H enjoying the beach

Nanny watching G as he enjoyed playing with a stick near the water.
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My boy J and I.

The 3 munchkins.

I'm rarely ever in pictures with them so I thought I'd better take advantage of the moment!

I love this one of their feet that I cropped.
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Do you recognize this girl? No, it is not a Halloween costume, she is wearing Daddy's goofy wig.

Here G fell asleep on Nanny and she enjoyed every minute of it!

Zach enjoys things as much as the kids!

This is at the Stennis Space Center. We went almost a month ago.
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Here's J with his buddy J. We went to Stennis with their family. J is Heather's little boy (the one who just had the baby).

G, H and I!

They thought it cool to sit under the plane on display!

I have a few pictures to post from when Zach's brother and family were here so hopefully I will get to that soon. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

Baby Fever

Well, seems to be the time for everybody to be having their baby! My friend Heather, where I attended the birth of her baby. Then I get an email that my friend Beth had a baby boy! I can't forget my friend Angela who had a baby a month ago. I am awaiting news from Bethany and my friend Kim, actually two Kim's, that they're blessings have arrived. Seems the time for babies! I just can't wait until I am pregnant again. Although the doctor said to wait 3-6 months we don't believe in 'birth control' and have done nothing to prevent a pregnancy. It has only been a short time since my miscarriage but it seems like others who had one at the same time as me are already pregnant. I just can't imagine waiting until a year from now to hold a new baby of my own! So, it is baby fever! I am so excited for the blessings being born to my friends- children are SUCH a wonderful GIFT from the Lord! So, congrats to you all!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rambling Thoughts

So much has been going on and I have so many thoughts running through my head that I am not sure where to begin... I guess I will begin with the most exciting news first and then hope I don't forget the other rambling thoughts floating through my brain.

Tuesday night my friend called to say she was definitely in labor. About an hour later they called back and said that I'd better get on over there. They were having a home birth and wanted me there to watch the other two children, who are two and four years old. So, I prayed like crazy while driving over there, just for God's hand upon Heather and their child about to come forth. Their precious little girl arrived about an hour after I arrived! Heather only pushed two to three times and it just seemed like the babe gracefully flowed out of her with such ease (although I'm sure Heather will beg to differ). I just know that when I push (on my back) it seems to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But she was leaning over a birthing chair not laying like they make you do in the hospital! They were all so excited. The kids were a bit freaked out for a little while, but once they saw the baby they were awed. The four year old kept telling Heather what to do, like she wasn't nursing right and all! It was too cute! Already the protective big brother! That experience for me to be there and help them however they needed and to see such a miracle is one I will never forget! I am so thankful that they allowed me to be a part of such a special time for their family!

On another exciting note,
Amie and her family will be here today! The kids are SO excited to see their cousins! Zach is thrilled to see Miah and is hoping to kick his butt as they spar. I am looking forward to visiting with Amie. We always have such a nice time visiting. I also can't wait to meet Jonah and see how much the other boys have grown.

Have you ever heard of the word "teetee"? I am assuming it is because I am not southern that I don't know this word, because I never heard it until I moved down here. I guess it means "peepee" or potty. When one lady asked me something about teetee at Cubbies and I gave her a blank expression I think she thought I was crazy for not knowing what she was talking about! Just more proof to show my roots are firmly planted elsewhere!

I am reading this awesome book called,
"For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. It is awesome! So many wonderful ideas and most things I already know, but sometimes we need reminding in areas. She talks alot about Charlotte Mason and how school doesn't have to be about workbooks and sitting for hours. I think children today really lack the creativity that we had as kids. We can't allow them to ride their bikes all over the neighborhood for fear of pedophiles or bad influences. I rode my bike everywhere and as I did I loved to pretend I was driving on a road and I'd go to McDonald's (for pretend) and get ice cream or go and get gas. What about making a fort or tent with blankets? I don't know that my kids have ever done this! Our children are given so many toys that it seems they don't have time to explore and just imagine. I am working on trying to let them have more creative play. Zach is building them a fort. I wish we had trees for them to explore for bugs, nests, etc. Anyway, I highly encourage you to read this book!

Yesterday while doing school H says to me, "I'm sorry, I really have to go to the restroom." She got up and walked out. She was so matter-of-fact about the whole thing and I sat there with my mouth hanging open wondering where she learned to talk like that! I guess from her homeschool co-op or something! Most kids I come in contact with down here have such manners. Please, yes ma'am, no thank you, etc. It is weird because where I come from we didn't have that. It is difficult for me to have my children say ma'am and sir! But, they are in the habit of saying Mr. or Mrs. before they say an adults first name (most of the time). Then while riding in the car yesterday H was asking about babies and how cute she and her brothers were as babies. She asked what I looked like as a baby and I told her that I was cute, of course! I said, 'Aren't I pretty now? So that would have to mean I was a cute baby!' She replied with, 'Yes, you are pretty but you don't wear dresses very often. Why do you only wear dresses on Sunday? Can you wear a dress tomorrow?'. I busted out laughing! Guess maybe she thinks a woman isn't pretty unless she wears a dress!?!? So, I put on my skort for her today and she smiled when I told her I wore it for her!

H and J went to the dentist yesterday and were complimented on their 'perfect' behavior. J had x-rays for the first time and did wonderfully! He told me in the car on the way home, 'The dentist said not to suck my thumb anymore so I'm not going to.' Well, I already saw the boy sucking his thumb at naptime...

G loves to help mama. He helps put the dishes away, put clothes away, put shoes away. The only thing is he will not pick up toys! We have to fight this boy! He loves the mutt to pieces and will play with him, lay on him, etc all day long! Wish I had such enthusiasm for the mutt, but I am still not fond of him...

Anyway, I will try to post some pictures from when my mom was here now...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oh, what a week!

To recap the rest of the visit with my mom, we did much more shopping, went to Pensacola Beach in Florida, ate out a gazillion times and played with the kids! We also got a pedicure and manicure- my mom's first! We had a wonderful time and it was so sad to see her go home today. It just didn't seem like a long enough time! H bawled at the airport and I was crying more than I have the past few times saying good-bye too. My mom and I are really close, especially since I am an only child and for many years it was just her and I until she remarried. I will post pictures of some of the things we did soon.

I am praying that the pinkeye isn't back. Zach woke up this morning with crusted eyes and his one eye is pink. He says its just allergies (we're all suffering from that), but it looks like pinkeye! This is getting very frustrating! Why can't everybody get it at once if they're going to get it!?!?! Speaking of allergies...I've been suffering for weeks and may have to make a doctor appointment at this rate. I cannot stop coughing a dry cough. Any advice???

I've had my phone attached to my hip in anticipation of my friend calling to say she's in labor. She is having a home birth and I will be going to watch/assist. I have never seen an actual birth (besides my own children of course) and I am very excited to get to be there. So I sit and wait with her! Her contractions are all wacked out. A few days ago they were 5-10 minutes apart, but mild and I haven't heard from her since!

I've been wondering a lot about the whole casino thing. I'm sure some people who read my blog may be shocked that I went to one! I know our church teaches against them. But, does going to a casino once mean that I"m going to hell? I think not! Anyway, I just wanted to comment on that.

Well, I will post pictures later. Time to catch up on email and all that fun stuff! It will be nice to return to my internet addiction;) Mom, when you read this- thanks so much for such a wonderful visit! We miss you already and can't wait until you come back.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cars, Concerts, Casinos and More!

Well, we've been very busy since my mom has been in town. She arrived on Thursday and we haven't sat much since! This past weekend was 'Cruisin' the Coast' down here on the Mississippi coast. People from all over the U.S. come down with their old cars that are all done up and 'cruise along the coast'. You can go and walk the streets of various towns and look at them. So Friday we went downtown and looked at some of them. It was neat to see the different cars and try to picture the people that drove them way back. I could picture girls in poodle skirts and men with slicked back hair like from the movie Grease! I could picture farmers in their finest driving to church on Sunday in their new wheels. That day Zach went to work with a relief organization to help people rebuild their homes from Katrina. That evening was a free Charlie Daniels Band concert at the park. I had never heard of this guy, but my mom was very excited about it. So, we went to that. The kids got to ride on their very first real school bus and were quite excited about that! They weren't too thrilled they couldn't play on the slide and swings but there were too many people for that! They did eventually get into the music and were dancing and smiling!

Saturday morning my mom and I went to some garage sales. We took the kids to the park and went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Then we just relaxed at home, played outside, made dinner.

Sunday we went to church and after lunch my mom and I left to go shopping!!! This was the FIRST time in a LONG time that I had my mom all to myself! It was so nice! A mother and daughter need alone. We love to go places with the kids, but this was so nice. When we were in Michigan this summer we didn't get a chance to do anything with out somebody else with us. And before that it was probably at least a nursing baby with us! So, it had been a long time coming! That I took her through some of Biloxi to see the damage. There isn't much rebuilding going on along the beach at this point and it is still very devastating to see. My mom hasn't ever been to a real big casino before. The one in Baraga just doesn't cut it! We're not big gamblers (I'm not at all), but it is so neat to see the insides of these huge resorts! So, off to the
Beau Rivage we went! We played some penny machines and just had fun walking around looking at everything. She tried to explain various games to me like Blackjack, but it was way over my head! Then we ate the the buffet you hear such good reports about. It was good. You should have seen the dessert bar! I have to admit I was quite disappointed not to see a chocolate fountain I have heard so much about! When we had sat down my mom got up to get a knife from the server. Another customer was talking to her and when she came to the table she told us the lady had said how a man took his private out of his pants and peed on the floor. Right there. In a restaurant. How disgusting. So, that was part of our experience. One I guess we'll never forget...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's Back

The pinkeye monster will not leave us alone. I thought baby G would be the blessed one and not get it, but no such luck. He began to get it Saturday night and it is still not cleared up. Of course I was sick of going to the doctors so I was giving him some silver (a natural antibiotic), but it just didn't seem to do the trick. I finally got some good antibiotic drops and this will clear up soon! I am so tired of it and my mom flies in on Thursday so we have got to all get better and rid of this! Meanwhile I am giving the other two silver drops to make sure they don't get it again. Please pray that this ends soon! Today H went to co-op alone as I stayed home with the boys since G is not well. She had a wonderful time again! It was so weird with her not here and I kept thinking, "So this is what it would be like if she went to public school!" I don't want that- we all missed her and J even asked when she would be home! She's such a wonderful addition to our family and a huge helper to me!