Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Feeling Thankful

I have felt so grateful to God for so many things this past week. So, I thought I'd give testimony of them so God can get the glory from more people than just me!
I'm Thankful....
1. That I have a wonderful hubby that loves me even when I'm moaning through morning sickness and getting fatter...
2. For morning one on one snuggles in bed with whoever comes in my room first
3. For kids that love to read and leave their books all over the living room, dining room, bedrooms, basement, bathroom, but rarely near the bookcase....
4. For a hubby that I'm still madly head over heels in love with after (almost) twelve years
5. For the ability to have fresh water in our home and not have to go outside to get it
6. For good books to grow my faith
7. For "box dinners" when I can't cook
8. For simple traditions- like wrestling and driving around looking at Christmas lights
9. For the 12th week of pregnancy and the hope that I'll feel better soon
10. For the miracle of the growth of a baby inside a mother's womb
11. For daughters that throw whole cupfuls of water on their fathers when messing around
12. For fathers that know how to tickle little girls till they pee their pants
13. For pimples-cause they keep me humble
14. For maternity pants that don't have huge panels
15. For a hubby that loves buying me clothes- especially maternity clothes (hey, maybe that's why we keep having kids!)
16. For my little boys who run around outside barefooted in December even when I'm hollering to come inside because, for cryin' out loud, IT'S DECEMBER!
17. For kids who can do their own laundry, dishes, mopping, taking the trash out, wash windows, sweep, scrub bathrooms, BUT, physically CANNOT remember to clean their room
18. For God's gentle reminder of MY dependence on Him when I remind them, again, to keep their room clean.
19. For wonderful friends who hold me accountable to reading my Bible... it's such a good thing to have...
20. For having a blog where I can share all this rambling- otherwise I'd never remember to say it all to all of you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Sorry everyone for the color explosion. I'm bored just sitting on the couch and thought my blog could use some Christmas color.....

It's OFF!

Yay! The cast is gone. He's had a bath. No more stink! He's lovin' life!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shameless Hubby Brag

This is a completely shamless brag on my hubby. Even though his job is tough, he absolutely loves it- so this makes me happy. I love to see pictures of what he does so I thought I'd share it here. This past year his department obtained an $800,000 grant for equipment. This was an answer to prayer, but has also meant that Brent got tasked with researching, ordering, purchasing, etc every dollar of it! And, as you can imagine, the State of Md doesn't do anything simply. However, they have gotten some pretty "cool" stuff that enables them to do lots of "high-tech" tactical things. (I just barely understand what I'm talking about, so bear with me!)
Here's a pic of his team during a free-boarding training. (In my language- they drive a little blow up boat next to a really scary big ship with 50-70 foot sides and use a skinny ladder to climb up the side and take over the ship. All with carrying lots of gear and big nasty guns..... I just pray a lot.)

Brent is the second man on the boat's left side (right side of the picture)- the handsome one.

This was taken last week when Brent's team went down to the Middle East Peace Talks Conference in Annapolis. Their job was to be ready to assault and neutralize any threats (ie. make any bad guys dead) around the area of the Prime Minister of Israel and Secretary of State's landing zone.Disclaimer: This post in no way shows that I understand any kind of "police language". It is represented as best and as accurately as possible under the limited brain capacity of civilianhood. (Is that a word?)

Family Reading

Well, the left sidebar column of "Family Read Alouds" has been all too quiet for a while. Summer and fall have been so busy that we haven't been able to fit in any book reading. Getting in family devotions was about all we could manage and still get the kids to bed at least 5 minutes before us! BUT, the past few weeks, God has SLOWED us down drastically- due to morning sickness in the evenings! So, we've started a new series that Melanie suggested called The Sword, The Ring, and the Parchment- part of the Terrestria Series. It's an allegory along the lines of Pilgrim's Progress in modern language, but with the thrill of Narnia. So far we're loving it. We are taking a break only several chapters into it though, due to Christmas.
Last year we read the Christmas Advent story Jotham's Journey which I HIGHLY recommend. This year we are reading it's companion book, Bartholomew's Passage. These books are, at present, out of print and selling for ridiculous amounts of money on Ebay. However, they are supposed to be coming back in print. Yay!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Silly Sayings....

This morning as Quinn was laying in bed with me he said (out of the blue, as usual), "Mom, know what Daddad told me? He said that if we suck on our thumb we are really sucking our muscles! (pause) Nathan must have sucked out all the muscles of his thumb!" HA! HA! HA! Kimberly- I thought you'd find that funny!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I had taken these pictures last month one evening when we were cooking hot dogs over the campfire one night. I just love these of Grant! He's really concentrating on those hot dogs!

Family Pastime-Biking

Brent has always worked out and run to stay in shape for his job. About two years ago the kids and I started to join him and make it a family fun activity- biking and jogging! Cait, Grant, Jake and I ride bikes and Brent jogs with Quinn in the jogging stroller. We usually just go to the bike/hike trail in Susquehanna State Park (convenient!)

We usually bike between 3-5 miles and finish off with the kids getting to play on the rocks in the stream at the end of the trail. The nifty camelbacks they got for Christmas keep everyone hydrated (and just looking cute).

Saturday, November 24, 2007

5 arrows

Ready for our latest surprise???

Baby #5 is on it's way! Shocked? Us too! In a good way!

God is good and faithful to give us many blessings we don't deserve. I am so grateful that He sees fit to give Brent and I another gift to love and raise for His glory.

We had a blast telling the kids. I wanted to do it in a memorable way. We looked up a bunch of Bible verses that had to do with "children being a blessing", "olive plants around a table", "we shall not all sleep, but we shall be Changed", etc. Then we wrote the references on slips of paper and stuffed them into balloons. During devotions, they had to pop the balloon, find and read the verse, and figure out "God's message for our family" from those verses. We started with the hardest and most ambiguous, but even by the end they couldn't figure it out. So I whispered in Quinn's ear, "Mommy's going to have another baby". They all laughed. They didn't believe us! Grant even said, "Nuh-uh, Mom's not pregnant. You're just teasing. I can see the twinkle in Daddy's eye!" LOL! After I convinced them that we weren't teasing, Cait just sat there dumbfounded for about 10 minutes! It was funny seeing each of them react in their own different ways. Cait-serious, Grant-disbelief and then talking a mile a minute, Jake- bouncing everywhere, of course, Quinn- just excited that we were popping balloons!

The first week, I felt great. But, shortly after, the "all-day" sickness began. Still going through it. Brent has been fabulous and has truly taken over all the household stuff. Cait's training is really paying off. I'm so glad I put the time in over the past years teaching the kids how to do household chores, because she's able to do just about everything. And the boys are right there to give her a break when she needs it. How did I manage during all the other pregnancies?

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Well, we have a new addition to our family! Little Sadie the puggle. (Half beagle/half pug) We had been getting closer and closer to making the decision to add a puppy to our family when God tossed her right into our lap!

In our last small group I began keeping a prayer journal. I noticed in my journal that I had started praying last February that if it was God's will give us a puppy that he would provide a puggle for under $300. (A big deal since it is considered a "designer dog" and they run for between $700 and $1200. FOR A MUTT! Sheesh!)
Over the past few weeks I had casually checked a few websites for breeders in MD, PA, or NJ. A lady in PA had a female left but it was still $400- too high for us. Then, I just happened to check back on a Monday morning and saw that she was reduced in price to $250! She was the last to go for her litter and the lady just wanted to find her a home! Amazing! Brent was on his way to the store, so he turned around and we drove 2 hours up past Harrisburg to get her!

She is toooooooo cute. Lots of wrinkles on her face! We're all smitten! She has a wonderful cuddly personality. She loves to be held and petted and will roll over just begging to have her belly scratched.
So far, she's doing fairly well becoming house trained. Still a few accidents here and there, but she's still young. She is learning "come" and "sit" already. She loves to chew just about everything so that's been a challenge to keep our stuff "safe"! I just have to say how thankful I am for the Puppies for Dummies book! I didn't have a clue how to do dog training, so it has been very helpful.
The kids are loving every minute of play with her and are tolerating the potty time rotation schedule! LOL! Grant is having fun as the self-appointed "Pooper-scooper" of the family since he got his own cool tool to do it!
I'll try to get pictures up as soon as my dial-up co-operates!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Little Daredevil

It was inevitable. We had been spared so long in having any serious broken bones in the family that it was bound to happen soon. Last Thursday, my sweet little Quinn decided to roll headfirst down the wooden basement steps and land squarely on his right arm. It could have been much worse as he could have broken his neck. God in His mercy spared his spine and just gave him a broken arm.
He had stood at the top landing and asked if he could have a cookie, to which I said he could have just one. I heard him carefully take one out of the canister, then carefully close it up and put it back in the kitchen. The next thing I knew I was hearing a thump, thump, thump, thud, and saw him somersaulting down the steps. As soon as I rushed over to him, the arm break was unmistakable. Halfway down from his elbow to his hand was literally bending backward toward his elbow.
Normally, I would feel faint and squeamish, but since Brent was 2 hours away in HAGERSTOWN I knew immediately that I would be doing the emergency trip alone. He was crying, but not hysterically and once I scooped him up and took him to the bedroom, he had finished his tears! Amazing. He didn't have a shirt on (don't ask, it's a long story about boys who would love to go around naked if they were allowed) but I KNEW that he's the kind of kid that would flip out more if he had to leave the house without all his clothes than about a broken arm. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to get it on him, but I suppose that his arm was quite bendable and made it easy.
After flipping out a bit to Brent on the phone, and telling him where we were headed, we made the longest 10 minute drive of my life. Caitlin was an angel during the whole ride. She, too, doesn't handle emergencies well, but she really came through with supporting his arm and telling him all kinds of princess and dog stories along the way.
Thankfully, Mom Trautman and Ryan were home and quickly met us at the hospital to take the kids home for me. After a 40 minute wait we were finally "triaged" and they gave him a bed right away. It really is amazing that from the time I put him down in the bedroom until he had to get an IV he didn't cry. Only a few whimpers. He was even falling asleep in my arms.
Brent finally arrived in time for an xray and then an IV full of morphine. Unfortunately, the tech wasn't the best with IV's in kids and used too big of a needle, so he had to stick him twice. My momma heart was breaking for him. He screamed a bunch, but was quickly quieted when he got to see the "cool" blood in the tube!
We kept talking about how God makes him brave and at one point he asked, "Is I as brave as David when he fighted Goliath?" Too cute. I guess those Bible stories have personal application even for 3 year olds.
After the morphine kicked in, he was wired. He bounced around the bed as much as a broken right arm and an IV'd left arm would let him. He didn't stop talking and attracted MANY sweet onlookers and other patients. At one point the doctor came in to introduce himself and went to shake Quinn's hand and he held out his foot so the Doc could shake it! He thought himself hilariously funny. I think he was loving the attention!
The orthopedic doctor came and looked at his arm and skillfully put on his cast. Quinn did cry a little bit during the setting of the bones, but it wasn't super long. Later he wanted to know, "Why did the doctor have to squish my arm?"
Once his cast was hardened, and another xray was taken, he was so wired and lively I wasn't sure he would go to sleep at all that night. (It was after midnight by then.) Finally, we were discharged and made a quick stop to Dunkin Doughnuts, like Daddy promised.
So far Quinn has been our child that causes our hearts to stop beating- falling off the bed as a baby, having a trailer gate fall on his head, getting lost for half an hour in Dutch Wonderland, and now breaking his arm.
He is so full of life, though, and takes all of the events in stride. Today he is running around like nothing has happened at all! I love his kid so much!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Peaceful Chores

When I found out that BGE was raising our rates substantially, I was trying to rack my brain for ways to cut costs. One way that I decided to give a try is using a clothesline. I've always found them so relaxing and serene whenever we drive past the Amish homes in PA.
So this past spring, Brent, Quinn, and Jake worked together to put one in for me. Some days when it was blistering hot it was very annoying to have to stand out there, but mostly I really have enjoyed it. There is something very peaceful and comforting in watching your sheets or clothes blowing in the breeze. And they do smell so refreshing when you bring them in. AND, you can't shrink your clothes in the dryer like I so often do! LOL!

In some ways it feels like it takes so much longer to get it all done, but in reality, it probably doesn't. I can fit several loads of clothing on my 7 lines without having to wait for the previous load to dry for an hour (old dryers take a loooong time) first. And since I fold everything as I take it off the line, I never have laundrybaskets full of wrinkled clothing sitting and waiting to be put away. Oh, I still have laundry sitting and waiting to be put away, of course, but at least it's folded and I don't have to redry them to get the wrinkles out. (highly annoying!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Last Saturday we made a quick trip to Lohr's Pumpkin Farm. Each child got to pick out a pumpkin. They were allowed to pick any size, with the caveat that they had to be able to carry it back by themselves. Pretty quickly Jake found his BIG pumpkin and with great dedication carried it the whole time. Grant, as usual, was full of indecision and changed his mind about 20 times, finally choosing one that looked the same as 5 others before it! Caitlin settled on a medium sized perfect for carving. Surprisingly, Quinn was the most difficult. He had in his mind exactly what he wanted, but had a difficult time expressing what it was! He kept squatting down and saying he wanted one "this big". We thought we were understanding, but each one we suggested was "no, not that one- this big, mom!" Finally, as we were nearing the end of the pumpkin patch, we decided to choose for him since we thought it might be just a battle of wills issue. But, once we decided for him, he says" yes, that's just the one I wanted" LOL! Oh, well.

We've never carved pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns- being against all things Halloweeny. However, in a Family Fun magazine I saw a very pretty variation that was more Autumn decor looking. They carved fall leaf shapes into the pumpkin and tied raffia string on the stem. Very pretty and harvesty looking.
So, one night this past week, Brent sharpened the knives and we all set to work carving. Grant was allowed to use his real pocketknife which enthralled him immensely! Unfortunately, we realized that carving leaves on them were going to be VERY difficult, so we settled on crosses and hearts! LOL! Much easier.
We put little tea lights inside and set them on the front porch. Oooo. How pretty on a dark night like it was. The kids were so excited! I'm glad we did it.

Later we soaked the pumpkin seeds in salt water and then baked them in the oven. Mmmm. They were very yummy.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I don't want to complain or vent. I really do want to find joy in all things. BUT, I just have to mention 2 things that are driving me crazy today.

1. 90 degree weather in OCTOBER, for cryin' out loud! (I refuse to turn on my air conditioning, so it could be my own fault that I feel miserable. hmm.)
2. Fruit flies. Where no fruit or food is left out! Grrrr. We finally got rid of the teeny ants we had all summer only to be replaced with fruit flies.

Ok, I'm better. 'Nuff said.

2 good sites

This first one is a really good article that speaks to raising modern day pharisees in our children. It was very thought provoking for me (being raised as a "church kid") and more so as we raise our children.

This one, Melanie sent to me. It lists some really heart evaluating questions for parents to ask kids to reveal where they are in their spiritual life.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Camping with Muzzy and Pappy

While Brent was away in Mexico, the kids and I went camping with my parents. We just went for one night but we crammed lots of fun into that short time! We headed up to the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Quarryville, PA. We set up their new camper and a tent for the boys, swam in the pool, took a hayride, ate ice cream, shopped at the general store, hiked to the pond, and of course grilled yummy food on the campfire.

Dad had a blast spoiling all of us with tons of yummy food (which he MADE us try! LOL!), toys from the general store, and just about anything else anyone wanted.
I had a lot of fun getting to hang out with Jordan. It seems like I never have a chance to get to know him and this provided a great "bonding" time! He's a really cool guy that knows a LOT and is pretty funny and has a great voice if he doesn't know you are listening!

Jake and Quinn are Abbie's shadows. Abby has such a quiet personality that my boys are very attracted to. She has always had a special place in her heart for Jake especially- and vice versa. She is always so willing to let them climb on her and do whatever they want. She's a great aunt!

The general store provided lots of fun and just a "little" bit of silliness!!! Aren't we cute!

The pool was a huge hit and really cooled us off.

Jordan, Grant and Jake got some manly bonding time when they decided to have a wrestle/pillow fight in the tent. Later Jordan admitted that they were surprisingly more tough than he gave thought they would be!
Don't ask me how, but Cait and Sammi both squished into the tiny bunk in the camper together. They stayed up late whispering and playing Uno!

These are my luvy-duby kids. I think Muzzy is eating it up! They had fun waking her up!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ocean City, MD

A few weeks ago we took a quick trip to the ocean. I had wanted to go since Quinn had never seen the ocean, and since we are studying marine life this year in science. We were planning on going to OC, New Jersey, but after hearing that biohazardous medical waste was washing up on several NJ beaches, we changed our mind! LOL!

I was having serious decision making issues over a hotel, (I was still on overload from Mexico, I think) so we just drove there and found a hotel once we arrived! It was great, too! Right on the beach, a room overlooking a beautiful atrium with tropical birds and the heated indoor pool! And a kitchenette which we didn't really use but the kids thought was awesome!

We parked our many bags of stuff on the beach and Quinns eyes were as big as saucers! The other kids ran right into the water, suprisingly! Quinn followed, but as soon as he felt the undertow of a wave he decided he was safer just playing with the sand toys! We did get him to finally "jump" over the waves by the second day, thankfully.

About 45 minutes after we got there I thought I saw a dolphin, but then decided it was just wishful thinking. I was wrong though! A few minutes later the man near us starts shouting "Dolphins! Dolphins!" Sure enough! What a show. For about 20 minutes they leaped, spun and did all sorts of awesome displays. I have never seen anything like it before. Brent had taken Grant out a ways and they were SO close to them! God is so good to bless us with such an incredible show!

Then later that day we had another incredible experience. I had walked back to the hotel to take the boys to the bathroom (another reason why a beachfront hotel is a necessity) and when we came back we saw a crowd of people about 20 feet away from where we had been sitting. The man over there had been fishing and had caught... A SHARK!!!!! It was about 3 feet long and was probably a sand shark- not a dangerous kind, thankfully! Unfortunately for him, he couldn't be 100% sure which kind it was even after getting on the phone with the OC DNR, so he had to throw it back. No shark dinner for him.

The evening was finished off with a sunset cruise. Well, kind of! Quinn has been obsessed with Brent's NEW Tactical Police Boat they have for work. So Brent was talking to one of the guys on his team and he offered to take all of us out on the boat that evening! Talk about fun! The boys had a blast and Ken even let them drive the boat.
The highlight for Cait was that he took us right up to Asseteaque Island and saw wild horses close to the beach! So, I guess it really was a sunset cruise! At least as nice of a one as we can afford to go on!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Mexico...

Andy Hughes is giving one of the children his first toy. This was down in the canyon.

A Tarahumaran woman in ethnic clothing. Brent paid her to take the picture. They are soooo poor.
Working! LOTS of concrete block was laid and concrete poured for the floor!

The Batallion leaders in Divisidero overlooking the canyon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mexico Pictures

Ok, here are a few pictures from the Mexico Trip! I can only download a few at a time. More will come!

Here are a few children of the area being given some small gifts.

Pastor Manuel's ChurchA Tarahumaran home made directly into the canyon wall.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Follow up of Mexico Trip

Wow. There's so much to write. Brent and the men came back with so many stories and testimonies of GOD's sovereignty. Here are just a few.

1.The few days before the trip I spent hours and hours calling consulates and embassies trying to find out how they could bring in a Dingo (mini back hoe) so they could dig the foundation which was full of boulders the size of small cars. Basically the final word was that they couldn't bring it without paying exhorbitant duty fees. And, if they did attempt it, they could face imprisonment! They had felt like God had assembled them to do all the blockwork since they had skills that the other groups didn't have. Yet, it seemed like all they would be spending their time doing is digging out boulders with shovels and picks since they couldn't get any heavy equipment down there.
Well, the NIGHT BEFORE they left, Chad left a message on our answering machine that God had provided a back hoe! The Presidente of San Rafael decided he liked Chad and wanted to support the work he was doing and sent a back hoe to him! When the men all arrived in Mexico, the foundation had been dug! God is so Awesome!

2. The last of the Passports finally arrived the DAY BEFORE they left! God's timing is not ours!!!

3. Going through the border was very intimidating and uncertain. God provided a way to allay their fears, though. There were 2 missionaries in El Paso that met them and helped them cross the border. They actually rode in the vehicles and helped them fill out their paperwork. That was such a huge blessing since none of the men knew how to speak a lick of Spanish!

4. When the trailer with all the tools did get searched, the border guard seemed bothered by the tools. He was saying something in Spanish but Luke just shrugged and said "I don't know. No. No." And he let them go through!

5. While they were doing all the concrete work, God provided them with energy and strength to dig the sand and gravel out of the river to make the mortar. They only had one hand mixer so one of the evenings when they had walked up to Divisidero they saw a mixer in the parking lot of the big hotel. They asked the owner if they could borrow it and he said "yes"! That made the work go so much faster.

6. Each day it rained in the afternoon causing them to have to stop their work. By Wednesday they had run out of concrete bags and were expecting the last truckload of concrete. It didn't come. Still later in the day it had not come! They stopped and prayed that God would provide the concrete in time so the rain would not cause them to stop. They weren't going to be able to finish before they had to leave for home. Brent said he fully expected to see the truck pull up shortly after they finished praying to build their faith. But God didn't see fit to allow that on Wednesday. The rain came, and the truckload didn't come until the end of the day. They weren't able to do as much as they had hoped but they were able to take a trip down into the canyon and visit a small village of Tarahumara children. This, it seems, was the highlight of many of them! But, the most amazing thing happened on Thursday (their last day)! God provided them with tons of supernatural energy and they poured more concrete than the other days combined! AND, as Blake pointed out, IF they HAD received the concrete on Wednesday they would have poured it and it wouldn't have had time to dry before the rain came in the evening and it would have been ruined! Amazingly, God in His ultimate sovereignty didn't allow it to rain Thursday- at all! They only day it DIDN'T rain! They were able to finish the whole floor and completed so much more than Chad had hoped!

7. The trip out of Mexico was a lot longer than they had planned. This was because Chad's truck broke down part of the way (he was heading home to Colorado for a few weeks) and they had to pull it behind one of their vehicles. If the men hadn't been there, Chad would have been stuck trying to get his vehicle fixed on his own!

8. Since they lost about 8 hours dealing with Chad's vehicle, they decided they didn't have time to stop at a hotel as they had planned. So, they chose to drive the 52 hours straight home! But, God provided them with energy and alertness to do it! And, they were able to arrive back to church shortly after the Sunday service was over instead of at midnight! There was a huge group of friends and family to greet them!

These are just a few of the many stories they told of seeing God's hand in the trip. Brent said it was an incredibly spiritually growing time. The men's hearts seemed to really go out to the Tarahumara people and they are hoping that God will provide a way to return next year to serve Him there.

2006-2007 School Plans

  1. Vos Story Bible
  2. NT chapter
  3. Child's Book of Character Building Vol 1
  1. Mystery of History and Story of the World- Rome to Reformation
  1. Apologia Elementary Astronomy
  1. Prima Latina
  1. Typing Instructor
BJU Math 3
Writing Strands 3 and a little Classical Writing Aesop
Spell to Write and Read
Rod and Staff English 3
Reading- Literature Rotation

BJU Math 2
Pathway Readers

BJU Math 1
Pathway Readers

Jake's Book List

Working on Days Go By (Pathway Reader)

Grant's 2007-2008 Book List

  1. Billy Finds the Trail
  2. Tadpoles and Frogs
  3. Under the Sea
  4. The Story of Pocahontas
  5. Whales and Dolphins

Caitlin's 2007-2008 Book List

  1. Olive
  2. Viking Adventure
  3. Jessica's First Prayer
  4. The Shakespeare Stealer
  5. Teddy's Button
  6. Little Women- abridged
  7. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
  8. In Grandma's Attic
  9. The Whipping Boy
  10. Adoniram Judson
  11. Ricky and the Hammond Cousins
  12. Mario a Belizean Boy
  13. Shiloh
  14. A Question of Yams
  15. More Little Missionaries
  16. The Secret Garden- abridged
  17. I sailed with Columbus
  18. Heidi- Abridged
  1. The Mystery of History

Jake's Book List

  • First Steps- FINALLY! 6/07 approx 150 pages
  • The Foot Book 3/19/07
  • Cat Traps
  • Fun with Pets

Grant's Book List

  • Billy and Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony 7/17/07
  • Billy and Blaze and the Lost Quarry 7/10/07
  • Planes- Usborne 7/5/07
  • The Statue of Liberty 6/15/07
  • Henry and Mudge and the Sleepover
  • Penguins
  • A Nut Pie For Jud
  • When Eagles Fly Free 5/21/07
  • Barkley 5/21/07
  • I wish I had duck feet 3/30/07
  • Animal Hospital 3/27/07
  • Thunderhoof 3/23
  • One Fisth Two Fish... 3/21
  • Green Eggs and Ham 3/19/07
  • Henry and Mudge and the Green Time 2/07
  • More Days Go By
  • Days Go By
  • First Steps

Cailin's Book list for 2006-2007 School Year

  • The Tinker's Daughter 6/25/07
  • The Whipping Boy 7/10/07
  • Jessica's First Prayer 7/16/07
  • The Three Weavers 7/16/07
  • Teddy's Button 7/16/07
  • Olive 5/16/07
  • A Hive of Busy Bees 4/30/07
  • Gueniviere
  • More Story Times with Grandma 4/23/07
  • How God Used a Thunderstorm 4/12/07
  • Tom Sawyer (abridged) 3/30/07
  • One day in the Desert 3/24/07
  • One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest 3/20/07
  • Horse Stories 3/19/07
  • Hannah 2005
  • Old Yeller 2006
  • Spunky's Diary
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
  • Friska My Friend
  • The Boxcar Children
  • The Secret at the Peasant Cottage
  • The Best Christmas Pagent Ever
  • Hitty's Travels
  • Millers Book Series
  • In Grandma's Attic
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • The Mysterious Message
  • Weighty Matters
  • Midnight Sky
  • Who Me?
  • Footprints in the Barn
  • Door in the Wall 2/20/07
  • Hero Tales Vol 1
  • Caddie Woodlawn1/24/07
  • Understood Besty 1/2/07
  • Minstrel in the Tower 11/28
  • Amy Carmichael 11/17/06
  • Charlotte's Web 11/3/06
  • These Are My People 9/8/06
  • Nature Reader
  • New Friends 8/16/06
  • Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World 6/30/06

2007-2008 School Plans

Well, our new school year is upon us!
I thought I'd jot down the curriculum we are planning on using this year. We've just started so I'm still adjusting some things but here's where we stand right now!

All Together
Bible (during Breakfast)-
1. Read from the Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
2. Read NT chapter (Starting in Matthew) and discuss
3. Finish A Child's Book of Character Building Vol 2
4. Caitlin only- James- Kay Arthur Kids study
5. Personal Devotion, prayer, thankful journal time

Oratory Time
1. Hymn of the month
2. Memorize James 1
3. Review our box of old verses
4. Start memorizing States and Capitals

American History
1. Read aloud literature from Truthquest American History for Young Students Vol 1 (possibly will get to Vol 2 by spring)
2. Do craft kits from Hearts and Hands and Corps of Rediscovery
3. Do History Pocket activities

1. Read portion from Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
2. Orally Narrate
3. Make lapbook

1. Elementary Spanish lesson and worksheet
2. Rosetta Stone- occasionally

Individual Subjects
1. Math- BJU Math 4
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2. Spelling- Write 5-8 sentences from dictation 2x/wk
Phongram Drill daily

3. Reading-
Books from Truthquest guide
Literature Rotation (fiction, biography, mystery, fantasy, poetry, science related, history related)
Book summary when finished

4. English- BJU English (includes grammar and composition)
illustrated journal
Wordly Wise

5. Music- Piano Practice

6. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids

1. Math- BJU Math 3
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2. Spelling- write from dictation 5-8 new words 2x/wk
dictation- 2 sentences
phonogram drill

3. Reading-
Literature Rotation (fiction, history, science, poetry, biography, Pathway readers)
Book Summary when finished

4.English- Finish First Language Lessons
Illustrated Journal
Handwriting- Copywork of Psalm 139, American History Quotes, James 1, Spanish phrases

5. Music- Guitar practice

6. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids

1. Math- BJU Math 2
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2.Spelling- Write from dictation 5 words per day
Write from dictation 1 sentence
Phonogram drill

3. Reading- Pathway readers, other Early Readers

4.English- Finish First Language Lessons
Illustrated Journal
Handwriting- Copywork of Psalm 139, American History Quotes, James 1, Spanish phrases

5. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Filler Post!

I am trying my hand at creating a link list on the sidebar, but I can't figure out how to delete a post! So I'm just filling in the gap I made with this silly post! HA! If someone knows how to delete- Please let me know!

Caitlin's History

Here are a few things that I had recorded about Caitlin's early years.

Born 3 weeks and 1 day after due date!!!

Nursed 7 minutes total! Efficient!

Hated to cuddle or snuggle. Loved to be bounced- hard!

Started talking at 6 months! Started walking around the same time!

She never sucked on her thumb or pacifier, but around 6 months she started sucking on a cat stuffed animal. Then, she went to sucking on the scarf of a stuffed snowman Aunt Kimberly gave her (which we lost somewhere on the ride home from an Ohio reunion). Then, she graduated to the YARN crocheted blanket Mrs Vance had given as a shower gift. She shoved probably 6 inches of a corner into her mouth (and halfway down her throat, I'm certain... yuck!) and sucked. The corners turned gray and brown even after repeated washing and bleaching. The worst (and I'm sure everyone in the family will always remember this with a shudder) was when she yanked it out of her mouth to say something and flung it to the side, slapping you in the arm or face with the slobbery corners. This blanket was inseparable from her until she was 6. Finally, we were able to "buy" her blanket from her with the gift of an American Girl sized horse and pony. (Her next obsession- horses) Her blankie "Corners" as she affectionately called it, found it's final resting place in a spray painted basket that is lovingly placed in my hope chest. It is her wish that "one day her daughter can suck on it"!!!!

15 months- screamed and cried when she was brought in to see Grant after he was born

Age 11 months- put a slug in her mouth while sitting in the garden. Took a whole day to get the slime out of her mouth. No, she didn't actually swallow it! I'm not THAT bad of a mother!

Age 4- Swallowed a penny because, as she told me, "I wanted to know what it would taste like!"

Has the most incredible imagination I've ever seen. Very creative.

Definitely has her own tastes and opinions.

Has an obsession with shoes. The glitzier the better! And lots of them!

Spends a large portion of her day galloping through the house sounding identical to a horse. She has perfected the sound! She will need knee surgery by the time she's 12, but boy is she good at it!

Grant's History

Here are some things I had written down about Grant.

Daddy was in police academy for the first 6 months of life. Has a crazy birth story which I won't write here!

Has the Funniest faces. Loves to make people laugh.

Age 2- Dumped an entire box of cheerios on the floor!

Loves to play "Honey and Sweetie" (husband and wife) with Cait

Best friends with Caitlin although he doesn't let her boss him around!

Has a horrible stubborn streak that we're having difficulty dealing with. Spankings don't necessarily work!

Age 4- Oct 2003- Had an hour long (memorable) battle on church parking lot. All the uncles and boys were going to the park while girls had a tea party for Cait's birthday. Grant didn't want to ride in Alex's car seat. It was a long drawn out (embarassing for mom!) ordeal. he wasn't allowed to go and sat on a chair for the tea party. After that huge ordeal (Daddy wasn't there but even Uncle Eric administered some discipline!), I had very few battles.

Humbling scenario #2- I'm at Dawn Garner's house to lead a mom's Bible study on training your children to love God. Grant starts throwing a fit so I take him into the bathroom where I try to impress on him the spiritual battle he is in. Obviously, it wasn't working as he screamed at the top of his lungs, " I LOOOVE SATAN!" big sigh.....God has such a sense of humor, doesn't He?

In awe of Chip Bauer playing guitar for praise choruses on Tuesday Nights. Then Chip sat with us one night and Grant colored a picture for him during the service. After that he couldn't get enough of Chip. This has developed into a wonderful relationship. And, he got his first guitar in summer 2005 (6 1/2)

Age 6 1/2- 1st baseball game- Aberdeen Ironbirds

Lost first tooth December 2005

Becoming a very hard physical worker

Jake's History

Here's what I have written on a paper about Jacob.

All our kids were cute as babies and toddlers, but Jake was the cutest. He did nothing wrong until the exact week he turned one!

Would NOT hold still for nursing even as a newborn. This has not changed at all.

A conversation to remember (age 3 1/2)
Dad- "What do you want to be?"
Jake- "A Policeman"
Dad- "Swat policeman? K-9? Sniper?, which?"
Jake, after contemplating a while... "I want to be a FAT Policeman!"

A few weeks later, sitting across from a LARGE man in uniform (I think a firefighter) at the dentist's office....
Jake, staring in awe at the man- "Dad, THAT's what I want to be. A Fat Policeman!"

Age 4- becoming very close to George Hayes (and Chip Bauer since Grant hangs around him all the time)

Age 4 says "onside down" for upside down

Lost 1st tooth Oct 2005 Before Grant! He was quite proud
Lost 2nd tooth on 5th Birthday

Quinn's Baby History

As I was looking through my planner I found some papers at the back where I had recorded some notes about each child when they were younger. I am going to post them so I have them always- and since this is the only baby book any of my kids will ever have. sigh.
9 mo- had first major training session. Held him tightly on my lap and taught to "hush" by putting finger on lips and not letting up until he could sit for 1 minute without screaming. Each subsequent session is shorter and shorter
12- very quickly trained!
17 mo- says "Da, Mom, Car, Ball, Down, More, Pool"
17 mo- learning to sit quietly in church ( What Happened!!!!)
20 mo- Calls cait "Mom", then starts calling her "turtle"! LOL!
21 mo (Sept 2005)- Cait and Jake were lifting a heavy trailer gate up and it fell over and pinned him under it. Cut open forehead. Went to ER and got stitches
18mo-2 yo (I can't remember when!) Chipped both front top teeth in 1 week
1st carrying a flashlight and fell, 2nd fell on a brick step at small groups
Is very sweet with Cait. She can comfort and help him as much as I can!
2 1/2 yo can count to 10 without me teaching at all!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Canine Obsession

Well, the kids' obsession over a dog is reaching deafening proportions. It seems that Brent and I are going to lose the battle. I. just. cannot. say. no. anymore.!

This past Thursday we visited the Harford County Humane Society. They didn't have any small dogs other than a beagle ( ugly ones, too) which I don't want. Since I am not, by nature, an animal lover, it is very important to me to have a dog that is going to stay pleasant to look at. I know it is shallow and heartless and cold, but it is the harsh reality. I figure I'm going to have to look at this dog's face for a long many years and I want it to be a nice view.

So far, the dog I've found to be cutest and is in our size range (small to medium) is a Puggle. This is really just a mutt, but it's an "on purpose" kind of mutt! They breed a beagle and a pug and VOILA! You get a Puggle! Aren't they cute- and they stay cute, too. Now, just to find one in our small price range! Fortunately, over the past few months, I've found a few at the shelter sites. We'll have to keep looking....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

3 Columns!!!

ilyI did it! I did it! (Picture me doing the butter churn!) I made my blog 3 columns!!!! But I had to change the template to something simpler than what I had. If you want to do it too, then go to the website on my sidebar on Blog Tips. Scroll down her sidebar till you get to the link on 3 columns!
It wasn't hard to do, just really nerve-wracking. Don't forget to SAVE your original blog! Follow all her instructions to a tee. Then preview before saving. I did it in Mozilla so I could flip easily between sites!
Have fun!
Now, if I could just figure out how to put that crazy hydrangea picture across the length of my header....

Friday, July 20, 2007

A flurry of pictures!

Yay, I'm finally dialed up at 45 kbps! I'm going to finally post some pictures! LOL These are just a few of my favorites over the past few months.

I think this picture is hysterical. After Easter dinner at Cindy and Jon's, she gave out glowsticks to the kids. On the ride home they twirled them, twisted them, fenced with them, and, My FAVORITE, pretended they were Popdaddy with his oxygen tubes! LOL!LOL! I laughed so hard when they all came up with that one! Popdaddy thought it was so funny, too, when I showed him the picture!

This one above is my most recent favorite! Being on the phone all the time is really taking it's toll on my hubby! HA! HA! HA!

The first night we set up the pool and fill it with (RILLY, RILLY) COLD well water, it is tradition for Daddy to toss everyone in with their clothes on! Well, not Momma, of course!At the end of May we all got together and celebrated Bebop's birthday. Afterwards, he and Jordan played a "killer" game of checkers. I love this picture! It really captures Bebop's laugh. Happy Birthday Bebop!

I found all my "men" camped out in the bedroom discussing "manly" things! Aren't they all so handsome?
Mom is so supportive in teaching our kids table manners! I'm so grateful! LOL! LOL!
After the Scottish Festival at the museum, Abby Bynion and the kids had a blast playing dress ups with their new wooden fans and swords.

In June we had the rare privilege of spending some time helping to care for Popdaddy Carroll. During one week we had an extra treat as we got to visit with his sister from Ohio, Aunt Betty. The kids didn't remember her since it's been a while since we've been to an Ohio reunion, but everyone warmed up VERY quickly. She has a quick wit and is quite spunky. Right up our alley, right? This picture was taken as we all had devotions and book reading one evening. Quinn was sooooo wiggly on her lap (as usual) but she didn't mind at all. In fact, she fussed at ME for scolding him! LOL! I guess patience with kiddie wiggles comes with age! We had such fun sitting at dinner (Popdaddy sat talking for over an hour!) and hearing all about the jobs she had earlier in life.
Everyone had so much fun at the Sunday School Picnic. It was on the cool side, but that didn't stop the kids from staying in the pool for a long time. The sandbox was a big hit with even the older kids! They stayed in there forever!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Countdown to Areponapuchi

Well less than 3 weeks to go. Chad's last email had driving directions and answers to lots of questions we had been waiting on. Brent got his passport, PTL!!!! A few other people are still waiting for theirs.

Last Wednesday was the first planning meeting and tomorrow is the night to present it all to the parents. I've been working on the "PACKET" they'll get. There is sooooooooooooo much legal stuff. I really hope I'm not forgetting anything.

That Kissin' Stuff

Quinn's latest:
Brent comes over to kiss me.
Quinn covers his eyes. "Yuuuuck. Them's kissin! Me don't like that kissin' stuff!"
Peeks out of his hands to see if the view is safe.
Brent, of course, is waiting for him and lays another on me.
Squeals of laughter from Quinn as he covers his eyes again!
Over and over. These two are so silly. Not that I mind the kisses!

Tea and Poetry

One of the ideas I picked up from the wonderful book The Writer's Jungle is to have a weekly "Tea and Poetry" time. It's meant to inspire a love and enjoyment of poetry. We have tried it these past two weeks and absolutely LOVED it. Sometime during the morning, we all take a break, head upstairs for special drinks (not just tea!) and share our favorite poetry. The boys drink Brent's leftover coffee (I know, Bad, Bad Mother!), Quinn has some milk, and Cait has either milk or vanilla tea.

I have the book Poems, Old and New, and Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk ends (hardly great poetry, but right now it's fun and silly!) and there are a few in their First Language Lessons and Rod and Staff English books.

At some point during the morning or over the past week they are to have found a poem they enjoyed and prepare to read it with inflection and expression and accuracy. We go around and read or recite them. That's it. No hoopla but they are LOVING it. I hope it will attach a pleasant attitude toward poetry in their future. I always found the tedious "learning ABOUT poetry" such a bore. But there is such emotion and depth in good poems. One day, in the future they'll learn about the meters, rhythms, and rhyme, but for now, I just want to make it something they enjoy. And, as always, adding food or drink to it will definitely make it more palatable! LOL!

My hope is that in the future, we can kind of expand this to include our "discussion" of literature. Then we can bring in the talk of literary elements and themes and messages. I hope to make it something everyone can't wait to get to each week! So far, so good!