Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving

 Look at this super cute banner that Taylor made! I was super excited that she wanted to make it. Often I come up with craft ideas that she is just not interested in. We found the pattern here and it took just a short time for spectacular results.
 We were so blessed to be invited to spend Thanksgiving with Syndiluhu and her family at her in laws house. You might remember Peggy's hospitality at the Historical Harvest Party, or Taylor's Victorian Tea Party , Peggy out did herself with the beautifully set table, coordinating dishes and service, and fellowship.
 I was busy and did not think to take photos of all the people but had to grab my camera and capture Sean playing 'Rosie" with the little girls. Ever since Liberty learned to play Ring Around the Rosie she can't get enough of it! The adults and the girls all stayed warm and cozy in the house, while the boys enjoyed the abundance of snowfall and the steep driveway to sled head first down the hill! I had to draw the line at crossing the road and seeing how close they could get to the mostly frozen pond. Eventually Taylor joined them for a few runs~in her velvet dress sans coat.
 We read about the history of "Come Ye Thankful People Come" and sang the Hymn together. I found a really wordy passage about how Thanksgiving became a National Holiday and had Aaron and Ben read it. We were all amazed at how far our Country has fallen since George Washington declared Thanksgiving as a time for Americans to to Thank God for His provisions, and remember how He has provided for us.
The women shared the cooking and the cleaning and fellowship together. Not one of us felt like we did enough for the amount of food we enjoyed!
Our menu included:
Homemade stuffing
My Grandmother's recipe for Cranberry Relish
Homemade crescent rolls
Gluten free rolls
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Beans
Brussel Sprouts (Aaron went back for thirds!)
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Pistachio Pie
Cranberry Lemon Bars
Whipping Cream
I am sure I forgot something but it makes me want it all again, Everything was amazing! What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
I think the memory that stands out the most on this Thanksgiving is the laughter, it is good for the soul.
I am blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Broken Noses

 What are the chances of having two children with broken noses in as many weeks? 
I did  not take a picture of Libby's nose right after it happened, there was just too much blood! Her nose swelled, turned purple, then yellow now there is just a faint scratch.
How does a 21 month old break her nose? We walked with some friends to the library, then visited the skate park located right behind the library. I thought I had it all together, I had 3 2 year olds, a 4, 6, 8, 9, and 2 ten year olds by myself while my friend was in the library with the baby and Taylor. Everything was going great when was helping one of the little ones put shoes on, someone pushed Libby off of the 4 foot high ramp straight down to the concrete!
There was so much blood and we had to walk all the way back to my friends house. I was worried about a concussion so I took her to the doctor who confirmed the broken nose and no other injuries. Praise God!
The following week Ian was outside in all the snow and ice with all the children ice skating and he tripped and fell on the edge of the ice. Fortunately there was not much blood but he succeeded in doing a fabulous job breaking his nose. We are two for two, hopefully bad things don't come in threes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I have a great post, Really I do.
It is saved because I cannot upload any photos.
It says server rejected.
What is up with that?
I'll try again in a bit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Babies, Babies, Birthdays and More

I have not slept more than and hour and a half since Wednesday. I had the blessing of being able to help a friend get some coveted time alone with her husband. As a result I had 11 children at my house ALL day Thursday. We had a blast and will post about that soon.
When I went to drop the children at another friends house I got a call for a baby!
The Labor was beautiful and I will share about that soon but for now please lift baby Sophie up in prayer. She is not breathing unassisted and had to be transported to Children's. Mom is anxious to recover enough to go be with her baby and hold that precious little girl.
I came across this verse today:

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions;
stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.
2 Chronicles 20:17

I stopped on my way home and got what I needed to have a birthday party for my 13 year old Taylor. We had 13 girls here for games, jewelry making, dinner and ice cream sundaes!

Tomorrow We will be attending a reunion for some very dear friends and the sponsors of my Birth By Design Classes. After that we are headed to my nephew Loden's First Birthday Party then to Children's to visit baby Sophie and to Grandma's house for another Celebration of Taylor!

I am humbled by the blessings God has bestowed upon me. I am unworthy of all His provision and faithfulness. Praise God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Third Annual Historical Harvest Party

 Sunday evening brought our much anticipated Historical Harvest Party. In years past we have included a  larger audience. This year however, was much more intimate. We had just 4 families and were treated to amazing hospitality by Ben's grandparents. They welcomed us with this amazing banner that included all the children's names.
 It was amazing how much better the presentations were this year. Is it because the children are older, or was the home setting more comfortable for them?
Jake did a super job informing all of us about George Washington.
 Ben and Aaron stuck with our Civil War history theme and were opposing Generals, with Ben on the Union side representing Ulysses S. Grant and Aaron with Virginian blood in his veins, General Robert E. Lee. I think Ben really liked it when Aaron had to surrender.
 All three boys were proud of their dress swords. Ben scrimped and saved and purchased his own sword, Aaron's was a treasure from my father, and Jake borrowed his dad's NRA sword.
 Savannah did a super job informing us about Katherina Von Bora, who was an amazing help meet for Martin Luther. Savannah's presentation showed how much she has matured over the last year. This year she was articulate and made eye contact and was engaging.
 When Taylor found this dress at Goodwill she knew exactly who she wanted to be for the Harvest Party ~ Martha Washington. I learned that Martha did not support George in is Candidacy for President of the newly formed United States, but she played the role of First Lady with dignity and honor. She served her country in the trenches (literally) and raised two of her grandchildren. Also, Aaron's character, Robert E. Lee married the granddaughter of Martha Washington.

Martha and George Washington
 Jake and Taylor discovered each other's characters shortly before the party and were surprised. I think most 10 year old boys would be horrified, but Jake humored us and even posed for a picture with his 'wife'.
 Everett did a Karate demonstration complete with the history and meaning of Karate! Have I ever told you how amazing  Everett's mom is? I told her I think I need to call her Saint Tami. She not only found the jacket I was looking for for Aaron's costume but made it as well! Yes, in all her free time homeschooling, being an amazing wife and mother (training a puppy) and serving wherever needs served she took a HUGE serving off my plate and made Aaron's costume! Thank you doesn't seem sufficient.
 We were also treated to glimpses in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Ruby, and Egyptian Princess by Isobel, and Daniel Boon by Erik. Probably my favorite was Ian's presentation of George Mueller. George was a 'naughty boy' when he was young and most people were unfamiliar with his life, so they were entertained by Ian's little voice telling about this swindler who later grew up to be The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans. If you have not read his story get this book.
 As parents of homeschoolers we don't have many opportunities to see our children perform. We were all proud of our children and their hard work getting ready. Thank you so much to Syndi for planning this annual event, and for Ray and Peggy for sharing your beautiful home with us!
 After the presentations we enjoyed way too many delicious desserts. My mom and Kimberly even brought a special gluten, dairy and egg free dessert for Taylor and Erik. Their gift and their presence were a blessing.
Of course, no event could be complete without the clashing of swords, at least not for these boys.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Boys

Sean and the boys are all incredibly enthusiastic about everything associated with Scouts. They took the opportunity a few weeks ago to to camping and fishing with a local scout troop.
Word has it that these boys were quite the anglers. Lots of fishermen were at the lake and catching very few fish ~ Not these boys, they caught their limit in less than an hour!
I still don't see the draw of standing out in the cold getting wet and slimy and sleeping in an open Adirondacks in the cold. If they truly love it and it offers them man time I am all over it. Plus it means the girls and I can paint our nails, eat pizza and ice cream and watch movies.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Loving Learning

We are Loving our curriculum this year. I have been wanting to try My Father's World for quite some time but have always been put off by the financial investment. I know homeschooling is an investment and I expect that but I really do not like to spend money on something that doesn't work for us. Think of my 17 3rd grade spelling programs that I own.
Through the generosity of a wonderful friend we were able to borrow most of the books needed to do My Father's World. One of our favorite books is from Answers in Genesis called "Properties of Ecosystems". We have done some fabulous experiments and this week we learned how the Xylem in trees help transport the water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree. We removed the Xylem from one piece of celery and left in in the other. We added food coloring to see how the water travels and within hours we could see the celery without Xylem was still green and went limp from lack of water. While the intact celery was still crisp and the leaves had turned red, we also discovered that when we cut the celery the Xylem in the celery was red. There is nothing like real life learning to bring the lessons home.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

House Ball

My children love to play house so when Aaron suggested they play house ball, I assumed that it was just part of playing house.
It did not occur to me that house ball involved our house. They use a little soccer ball from the dollar store and tennis rackets. Some of the children are in the back yard while others are in the front and they play tennis over the house.
Just one more advantage of a small house.

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Better

Not a flattering photo of me but it is a pretty accurate depiction of how I felt out there shooting guns! I almost think I was more giddy than the boys. However I saw Sean's fabulous smile on his face the whole time we were out there. I love that smile, I wish we saw it all the time. He frequently says he is smiling ~ inside. Sorry but that doesn't count.
Aaron loved how the M4 obliterated the pumpkins.

I wouldn't want to run into Syndi if she were brandishing an assault rifle in a dark alley. That girl can shoot with amazing accuracy. Thank you so much for infecting me with the bug.

There is something pretty cool about a mom using her son's .22.

I could try to blame my poor vision, or the fact that it was my first experience shooting an M4, but in reality I can't tell you how much of the pumpkins I actually hit. I was having far too much fun with the power and speed of gun to really pay too much attention to the minor detail of where the bullets were going.

Tim is an excellent marksman and offered great pointers. He even patiently taught me how to properly hold the pistol. I really appreciate his respect for guns and safety including instruction about the proper use of firearms.

Erik could use a magazine of bullets in seconds. His aim left a little to be desired but we cut him some slack as I think the rifle was nearly as long as he is tall.

He was much more accurate when resting the gun on the table. This boy can be the most trying and most rewarding child at the same time. This time he was pure joy!
This is a tradition I highly recommend, especially when rotten pumpkins are involved.