Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aaron is 9

I made Aaron's birthday cake. Just in case you can't tell it is a camouflage cake, complete with Army guys. I love the guy on the bottom left that looks like he is climbing a hill. I mixed up the frosting and added green then started to frost but it was too soft, thus the glob of green down the side. I just kept adding green and red to the frosting and kept making florets like crazy. If I am not too picky(which I am) Aaron loved it and Jake exclaimed "That is such a cool cake" Jake just had his birthday and had the coolest Indiana Jones cake ever, complete with a rolling boulder. I will take compliments even from 9 year old boys!
Making the cake was a good lesson for me to remember the importance of letting your children help. Ruby loves to help in the kitchen and took such pride letting others know she made Aaron's birthday cake.

My mom, Geaba, came up for the day with Sarah (my niece) and Justin (my nephew) the children love playing with their cousins and it is always fun to have Geaba there. Jake, Savannah, Justice and Honor and their mom, Jess came for dinner and homemade pizza. Talk about failure to plan on my part. I ran out of yeast so I had to go to the store and get some (gasp pay grocery store prices) Then when I got home and started to make the pizza I realized I was out of white flour so I had to use all whole wheat. I actually turned out pretty good considering I did not let the crust rise as long as I usually do. I made 6 pizzas for the crew!
Aaron got a new watch, a spy kit, some Lego guys, Lego cars, a target gift card, and Erik got him a wedged shape blog of wood (a jump) a bendy toy (gas pump) and a car (formerly his car) Gotta love the creativity along with the generosity.
Ruby (2 1/2) is 'reading' the Lego directions to Sarah (23 months).
The children took over the dining room table with Lego's for a few hours before bed. I am not sure where I heard the analogy but I am going to use it here, Often my house looks like a Lego eating monster came in and barfed all over the floor. I usually don't mind too much but man, those things hurt when you step on them and soon Liberty will be crawling and I don't think Lego's count as a safe chew toy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Triple Bunk

Well folks, here it is! The incredible triple bunk bed that my husband put together in 2 days time! The ladder is on the end and they climb to their respective bunks.
One of the greatest space savers for a home schooling mother of 7 in a 1200 square foot house!
Erik is in the middle and likes to flip out the side and Ian is on the bottom and still has a crib mattress but desperately needs a twin.
This bed is sturdy and looks like it is going to stand the test of 3 boys. Not much else around here does. I can totally understand Stacy's Blog (with great joy) about boys and their destruction. I do want you to notice that there is not a single Lego in the picture, that is only because I just vacuumed and threatened 'toy jail' to any offending Lego's.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2 1/2 Months

Libby is such a happy baby! I just love her cute smile, adorable dimples, and oh so sweet noises. We are discussing moving her out of the bassinet in our room into the crib in Ruby's room. It really makes me sad. I love being pregnant and having babies (not the actual having them part) but it just seems to go by so fast. I think it is so sweet how her face lights up when any of her siblings talk to her. I am forever finding Ruby's babies in Libby's car seat, swing, bassinet, or sling. I have to do a double take because the baby looks so real.

One of the great things about homeschooling is that all the hours you spend on the couch nursing are also spent reading to the other non-nursing children. Right now we are reading a Adventures of the American Revolution series and are on book 3 of Annie Henry (Patrick Henry's daughter) I am really enjoying the books and have to make myself not read ahead. Taylor loves the heroine and there is plenty of action to keep the boys interested. There are plenty of references to God and moral lessons without being preachy. Every time God is mentioned Erik interrupts and asks, "Why are you taking the Lord's name in vain?" He is very much a legalistic person and takes the 10 commandments very seriously.
And, Liberty is learning to sit and listen while I read!

I have been weighing her before and after each feeding to see how much she is getting (because she is really slow to gain weight) and she did not even wake up for this weight check.
I am so blessed to have such wonderful children and a great husband that provides more than what we need!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chicken Pox Activities

This morning Ruby woke up really feeling under the weather. She just wanted her mama. Unfortunately, Liberty just wanted mama too. "Luckfully" I have 2 arms for my 2 sweet little girls. Taylor is a young lady now, and Mikaela is an adult! Hannah came over to teach the children to macrame, because I have not done it since I was 8 years old! I really wanted to relearn but will have to wait for Taylor or Aaron to teach me since I kept getting interrupted. Taylor jumped on the bandwagon and made several bracelets for her and her friends. Aaron is still working on a necklace for himself.

I was motivated for them to learn because Ian has always worn a necklace and his just broke. Amazing how God works the little details out because I would have been reluctant to cut it off but it would be miserable with the amount of chicken pox that boy has on his neck. Now, we will wait until they clear up and give him his new necklace!

I enjoy the girls we have met through Mikaela. Hannah is our neighbor and even though Mikaela has moved out Hannah still comes over to talk and hang out. I really like that when I am reading the older kids still like to sit and listen to the stories!

Taylor learned the twirl stitch and Aaron learned the 'boy' stitch. I can't wait to see what they are going to do with their new skills. A great big Thank You to Hannah for sharing your patience and skill with us!

Ian and Ruby kept very busy with the $2 pack of army guys I found at Goodwill and our moon sand. Sean does not like the sand in the house but, when the cat's away the mice will play! We always clean up before he gets home. I just have issue with the fact that they are using our silverware since we NEVER have enough and have to save our fork if we are going to have dessert!

Awesome Husband Award

The award goes to my husband, Sean! On Friday I loaned my coffee pot to the neighbor for a party she was having (is it really possible to not own a coffee pot? Just wondering) but I forgot to tell her I needed it back for Saturday morning. Sean knows how much I enjoy my coffee so he volunteered to go pick up the pork loin that was on sale and get me a latte! What a guy. I also have to say only a guy would feel OK about putting 24 pounds of pork loin over his shoulder! Man, those things are big. But Oh so tasty.

I enjoyed my coffee then got to work making 7 meals out of the meat. I made 4 Chalupas and 3 Apricot Stuffed Pork Loin. Meanwhile, Sean got to work on the triple bunk bed that I casually mentioned on Thursday night that would be a good thing to get for the boys.

I think it is funny that Aaron is in the background wearing hearing protection and hula hooping! Aaron was actually a great help to Sean and he secured many of the 52 lag bolts and 120 screws that were in the bed.

Sean is so thorough that he routered the edges of the bed so they would not be sharp. He finished the bed in time for a late bedtime on Sunday night and we cleaned up after the children were in bed. I forgot to take a photo of the bed but will post it soon! It is so cool, although there is a learning curve for the boys. After we put them to bed we heard a loud bang and went in to see what happened, Aaron sat up in bed and whacked his head on the ceiling!

Home Church

We got a call from our dear friends Jason and Jess on Sunday morning to come over and have home church since we each had 2 children with the pox. These are 3 of the 4 with the pox, Savannah, Ian, and Ruby. Honor slept through most of it and woke up at the end to eat. We are hoping Libby does not get them and they are hoping that Justice and Jake do get them. We arrived a little before 11 and had already told the children this was a time of worship, praise, and learning not time to play. They came in and immediately took their seats and started to read, (I love homeschooling) Then when Jason was ready they put down their books and listened to a lesson on the obedient Racabites. Don't worry I had never heard of them before either but, Jason did a great job explaining the story and answering questions.

We then sang some hymns. They were a joyful noise unto the LORD! I loved the sound of the children's voices, especially Jake since he knew the words really well and was not inhibited by others' opinions.

Libby slept through most of the service in Jessica's arms. It is so wonderful to see your own children safe in someone elses' arms and completely content.

At one point I had both Justice and Ruby on my lap and looked around the room at the 10 children that were there and I thought,"this is the best!" The children were able to participate in the service, ask questions, sit still, sing hymns, and glorify God. The friendship and fellowship were wonderful! Thanks guys for a great day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Because

Taylor loves to dress nice. The children have certain jobs that they so for the week then we change on Saturdays. Her job this week was setting and clearing the table before and after every meal.

She decided to get out the nice tablecloth and fancy glasses for an ordinary Wednesday dinner. She proceeded to direct all the other children (except Aaron because he was still puking) to clean up all the toys and change their clothes to look nice and match. The all washed their faces and brushed their hair.

When Sean got home Ian was waiting on the porch and bowed to him and said, "Welcome, Sir"

Then when Sean came in the front door Ruby and Taylor curtsied and Erik took his bag and coat and said, "This way sir, please wash your hands and be seated at the table."

If only we could make him feel this special and revered every day!

I love the follow through that Taylor has, she made them practice their lines and taught Ruby how to curtsy.

Party & Pox

Ian woke up Thursday Morning, his 5th birthday with Chicken Pox. I was not sure at first but after careful inspection it was apparent he has a full blown case, in fact he has more than any of the other children ever had. I told him it was Jake's gift to him, since Jake had been exposed but as of yet has not developed them. I made him a green race care cake. I have some work to do on my decorating techniques, like plan ahead and don't frost the cake on the cooling rack. Also, make sure that you have enough candles for the cake luckily(or as Aaron says, "Luckfully") I used it as a home school lesson in simple addition, what is 3 + 2? The thing about Ian is he is just so full of joy and gives me grace abundantly that he was thrilled with his cake.

Geaba and Justin came up for the day and I was able to run a few errands and they had a great time playing. Libby got to hang out with Geaba for awhile while I was cooking dinner.
We are always so happy when Mikaela comes to visit it is great to see her with her little brother.

Ruby loved the whipped cream with our pancakes. She got caught trying to get more whipped cream for her cake, but it was all gone. She was not going to be detered and decided to suck the rest out!

I told Ian I loved him so much I was willing to stand in front of the stove for 1 1/2 hours making his birthday dinner request of roll-up pancakes (also know as Swedish pancakes) I have to remind the children that it is not a free for all eat as much as you can but slow down and enjoy them. As a mother and main cook in the house it is very frustrating to take the time to make a nice meal only to have it devoured in a matter of minutes!

By the end of the evening Ian was really not feeling well and had quite a few more spots. I would normally say that he is the healthiest of all my children but thinking back on it he has had more injuries than any of the others. His birthday always causes me to stop and think and Praise God for His provision and blessings in my life. I almost died when he was born so it is a reminder that God has given me 5 extra years and 2 more beautiful children. I am so grateful for the privilege of raising them and teaching them about our Savior.
I love my little Ian and his sweet tender heart.

At bedtime we noticed little Ruby with some 'chicken bumps' (a combination of chicken pox/goose bumps) Hers are definitely more mild but they do bother her, especially the ones around her mouth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Above Rubies

Last weekend I went with a wonderful group of ladies to an Above Rubies Retreat. There were 7 women and 3 babies. I left my camera at home, so to see actual photos from the retreat see Renee or Hillary's blogs. When I got home I found this picture on my camera. I love the excitement and joy I see in Ruby's eyes. She often says, "I a good mama." I pray that she will be fruitful and have a husband that cherishes her and children that call her blessed.
Erik has been having a rough morning but he takes his role as big brother very seriously. I gave Libby to him to hold and he calmed right down and held her for quite a while.

Back to Above Rubies, we had a wonderful weekend complete with sun, rain and snow. We did not have nearly enough time to sit and visit with each other but enough to laugh. Jess will forever be famous for her line, "Liberty or money" with her finger in the air! It all comes back to the choice of freedom or the bondage of money. There were many thought provoking ideas and thoughts and basically gave me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing what I am doing. We also had one mom with us that has 2 small children and is excited at the beginning of her homeschooling journey. We shared many ideas for time and money savers so I just wanted to pass along this great savings for Pork Loin at our local Cost Cutter this weekend. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Libby was laughing at Erik and I just couldn't resist her cute dimples. I weighed her yesterday and at 10 1/2 weeks she weighs 10 pounds 12 oz, exactly what Aaron weighed when he was born!! Today started off great! Aaron always loves MOPS days because he gets to spend time with Ben! I laughed when I dropped him off because Ben came out to greet Aaron wearing all Camo and had a Camo mask on carrying his gun. Aaron got out of the van with a Camo hat, Rollerblades and a b.b. gun. Where else but with home school boys will they know it is ok to bring a gun to someones house to play?
We went shopping after MOPS and I got a call from Syndi, Aaron was puking all over! What can I say she was so gracious she just said, "it is ok, I have a carpet cleaner." Again, I think we need to make shirts that say "We Puke" I have never met another family that pukes as much as we do. I made sure that he had his bucket and knew to not try to make it to the bathroom. (when he has tried that in the past he gets his bed, the ladder, Erik's bed and Ian's bed, and the floor in between).

Erik and Ian were helping me peel potatoes for dinner it took them about 45 minutes and 15 gallons of water to peel 2 potatoes. I kept them busy and helping. I guess when you peel potatoes you need to take your shirt off. I was surprised at how nervous the children were when I bought beer today at the store. I like to cook my corned beef in beer and it goes really well with beer bread. Taylor did not like it at all that we had 2 beer bottles in our recycle bin. I assured them that they would not get drunk by eating the bread and corned beef because the alcohol cooks off but they were still uncertain. I am glad and don't think I will push that issue.

Erik and Ruby loved helping make the pistachio pie. I never knew that you put the whole beater in your mouth to get the stuff off. The funny thing is Erik does not like to conform to society's standards. When I told him that it was St. Patrick's Day and you are supposed to wear green he carefully went through his closet and picked a shirt that was NOT green.

Ruby helped me make our traditional St. Patty's Day dinner, Corned Beef Brisket, Green mashed potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, and beer bread. I forgot to add the cabbage but that was ok with the children.

What St. Patrick's Day is complete without Pistachio pie? It was delicious!

I try to do things that are fun and create traditions but it was really hard for me because St. Patrick's Day was always a holiday that my dad enjoyed. His name was Patrick (Pat for short) and it was 2 years ago on St. Patrick's day that we had his memorial service. It is hard to believe how much he has missed (the birth of 2 of his granddaughters). Often we will notice things and Sean will comment that my dad would have gotten a kick out of it. I guess it never gets easier and is always close to the service.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Ruby is a funny girl. This morning when I got her up she asked to look at my footnails and promised to not pick the polish off (she likes to try to pick it off of my toes). She definitely has her own style pictured in this post are just 2 of her many different outfits that she likes to wear. I think she is really lucky because just a few years ago I would not let my children out of the house unless they matched. I guess my priorities are more in line now.

I had a revelation this week, It is much easier and more successful to home school if you are home (you might say,"Duh") Our Keeper group got canceled this week due to more snow and Syndi is not feeling well so our American Revolution day with Ben was postponed as well and I was able to get every thing on my list done and take a much needed nap while the children played quietly in the boys' room.
I also discovered that real, immediate, tangible rewards are a great incentive for the children to do their work independently. Now, you may think we have had a marvelous week. Alas, it is not so. We are still struggling with attitude and immediate compliance as well as an unnamed son that values his possessions above all else. But we are making huge strides and I feel like I can do this.
Please keep Sean and the children in your prayers for peace and joy this weekend while I am off to an Above Rubies retreat with 6 great ladies!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Science World

On Friday we went with Ben and Syndi to Science World in Vancouver. Syndi always tells me about great places to go and when to get the best price. I am always looking for a bargain and this definitly was one! We got in for $30 U.S. for the whole family! Usually it is $17 per person U.S. Thanks for the heads up! We got to use her GPS for the trip and let me tell you it is blind faith but it took us straight there. There was so much to do and see we had a difficult time making it past the exhibits by the coat racks. The boys especially loved the wheel chair races and simulated downhill skiing.
I had Libby with me most of the time but Sean took over when my back started to ache. She was very content and slept in the sling most of the time. Ohhhh, she is so sweet. Check Syndi's blog for a great picture of her.

We loved this part of the museum because there was so much to explore and hands on to touch. I thought it was funny that there was a large scale with a fulcrum and it measured in feet (we were in Canada they don't use that there) I also realized that after I was talking with a lady and she asked me how big Libby was that when I answered 10 pounds 13oz it ment nothing to her. Oh well. I really need to work on the conversions with the children so that I can learn them.

Ruby had a great time and was very busy it was difficult to keep track of her.

I look at Taylor daily and am amazed at how much she is growing. I am so excited that as she learns more I can share that with her. I was thrilled that she loved the museum as much as the younger children and got as much if not more out of the experience. One of the things I love the most about homeschooling is the multi-generational learning.

I got a hilarious picture of Ruby running where her pig tails were flying behind her but this one is where Erik was blowing her with a 'vacuum' ment for blowing the wind mills. She laughed so hard, and Erik enjoyed it as well.

Our last stop was at Lego land. Again, check Syndi's blog for great pictures of this area it truly is amazing what they can do with Legos. The children made lego cars and raced them pinewood derby style down the track! They got to sit in this lego car and watch themselves race on the screen.
We had so much fun and I was able to relax knowing that my dinner was already made and waiting at home in the crockpot! Yes I love my crockpot. We enjoyed cranberry roast beef and mashed potatos and gravy, with buttermilk biscuits cauliflower. A great end to a marvelous day!