Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy Days...

"A happy Christian home is a tiny cirlce of heaven on earth. In it our children learn of God's eternal truths and values; they learn of His claims on their lives." - Ella May Miller, Happiness in Homemaking

I read this quote this evening and it made me start thinking about my home. Is it a "happy Christian home"? I was talking with a friend of mine this afternoon. She is a homeschooling mother too, and she has a new baby. She has been feeling overwhelmed and discouraged lately. A new baby consumes a lot of time! Raising children and homeschooling takes a lot of time and a ton of energy! There are lots of days when I feel inadequate for the job! I think we should be hardworking, but I also don't want to get so caught up in accomplishing my "to do" list that I miss out on the little joys everyday! Just this past Friday I glanced at the clock and said, "Wow, it is later than I thought! We aren't accomplishing much!" McKenzie said, "Well, we are having fun. Besides, it's Friday!" Of course that has to be balanced. You do have to get your school work done. You can't ignore a dirty kitchen and the piles and piles of laundry. I think our attitude is what can make the home happy... or not. Nancy Campbell with Above Rubies wrote an encouragement the other day on facebook. She said that she had blown it that morning by saying something negative. She talked about how one negative word can tear down our husband and children and how it takes a lot to build them up. I like to write scripture or other encouragements and stick them on the bathroom mirrors. I recently wrote one that ended with, "How can you be a blessing to someone today?" The children were discussing it at the lunch table. Madeline said, "I fed the horses for McKenzie this morning." Mariah said, "I am going to try to have a good attitude for mama, but it is going to be hard!" I agree, some days it is very hard! I pray that my home will be a "tiny circle of heaven on earth!"


Matthew had a dissection in Biology last week. It really grossed me out! McKenzie has to do a cow eye for Anatomy this week and for some reason it doesn't seem nearly as gross.

He had quite the audience.

Myles loves books! He will sit and look at his books forever! (Notice the book is upside down!:>)

McKenzie made frozen banana treats with them last Friday. Yep, that was one of the fun things they did that day! :)

Wow, it is late. I have got to go to bed! Otherwise my home might not be so happy tomorrow!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Soaking up the sun...

70 degrees today! Beautiful blue skies and sunny! The whole family spent the day outside. Went running in shorts, in January! I love it! Rode bikes, the guys worked on the goat pen, looked at seed catalogs. We have spring fever! I know, I know, it is not even February 1st... we will have more cold weather. But for now I will soak it up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ready For Spring!

(Yes, that is a bulb syringe that he is holding. He loves to chew on it! I promise, it is clean. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday night ramblings...

Mariah saw the post below and was horified that I put that picture of her on my blog. She said, "When I get big and have a blog, I am going to get a really ugly picture of you and put it on my blog." As she walked out of the office she said, "You ought to pay me a 'pology." She does NOT like to be laughed at. She is just so funny though! :>)
McKenzie had her wisdom teeth removed yesterday. I think I was dreading it more than she was. Why is it that you always remember the horror stories that you hear when you have to go through something? When we got to the office I had to fill out paperwork. I literally felt like I was signing her life away! #5 on the form was that the patient could have permanent paralysis, brain damage, quadriplegia, or death. I didn't initial that one. I went up to the desk when I finished it and quietly said to the lady, "Um, you guys have never had #5 happen here, right?" She said no and that she knew it was hard signing them! After they took McKenzie back I got my books out to read. I had brought along my devotional book on Trust. One of the first pages that I read said, "Bad things happen to us because God is actually calling us to a deeper faith, one that trusts him and chooses to stay with him even when his love for us includes losses, the relinquishment of dreams and earthly hopes, and painful experiences for which there will be no remedy in this lifetime." NOT what I wanted to read at that moment! I closed my book and prayed really hard! I was very glad when it was over with and she had done well. She slept all day yesterday and stayed in the bed most of today too. Her face only looked a little puffy yesterday but today it is pretty much huge. I told her that her face hasn't been that round since she was a baby! Marc sang a chipmunk song to her tonight. She didn't think it was very funny!

This is last night when she was just a little bit swollen. Marc brought her a Chick Fil A milkshake when he got home from work.

The little kids made cards for her and had her room decorated when she got home. It has been so sweet watching them all look after her. She does so much around here, so for her to be down has been weird. I think it has made them realize how much she does! I bought a loaf of bread from the store tonight! It is bad when our bread baker is down!

The weather yesterday was so pretty and then today it rained. I am so ready for spring! I normally give haircuts on the front porch. It has been too cold out. Malachi was desperate for a haircut. He lost his mind when I made him wear the cape.

Poor little Myles is teething! He only has the 8 front teeth. His gums where his 1 year molars are trying to come in are so swollen and red. I know he is miserable.
I don't like giving Tylenol so we have been doing the homeopathic Hyland's teething tablets. I can't really tell if they are helping or not.

Well, I stayed up too late because I wanted to unwind. I guess I better get to bed. I will be up giving a pain pill in the middle of the night and I am sure my teething baby will have me up too!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Funny, Funny Mariah...

This girl makes us laugh! Her lovely "Bubba teeth" make her little brothers cry. It is so funny that they are scared of them.

Marc was putting Mariah to bed the other night and it was a little later than usual. She said, "Daddy, we are burning the midnight hour!"

While shopping at Publix one afternoon we were near the meat section. I saw Mariah whispering to Madeline like something was wrong. I asked her what was wrong and she pointed at a sign that said, "Boston Butt". She said, "I can't believe they wrote that. They could have at least said "Boston Bee-hiney!"

Right after McKenzie snapped this next picture Mariah said, "I just love this baby so much! If he died I wouldn't eat for three days!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bits and Pieces...

Last week our entire family had dental cleanings. Those are two days a year that I always dread. We have great dentists, but it is an all afternoon ordeal! Marc and Matthew were last on the list so I took McKenzie to the piano studio to work and the rest to Chick Fil-A to kill some time. Mariah wanted to trade her kid meal prize for an ice cream. I went to the counter with her and ordered an ice cream with chocolate syrup for myself. They never put enough syrup so I asked for extra. When we walked away from the counter she looked at me horrified and said, "I can't believe you said that! I am so embarrassed for you! That was so gray dy!" (greedy)


This morning Malachi was sitting at the kitchen table eating. He put his arms up and said, "Look at my bones!" (meaning muscles) I put my arm up and told him to look at mine. He said, "You have tiny ones, mine are HUGE!" Later he wanted to go outside. I had told him that I would read to him. He said, "No, I want to go outside, you go do laundry." I guess he must think that is about all I do! Some days it does feel like that.


Speaking of laundry.... During our recent "ice storm" our dryer and computer both broke on the same day. I can make it without a dryer if I can hang my laundry out. I prefer hanging out the dark loads anyway. During freezing weather however, I much prefer having a dryer! For an entire week we had laundry hanging EVERYWHERE! I was so excited when the part came and Marc and Matthew got it fixed for me! It is amazing how the little things become BIG things when you don't have them!


Why is it so hard to stop doing the things that you try so hard not to do? I try so hard to respond and not react to things. Ever since our accidents in 2009 I get so panicky whenever I hear loud commotion or crying. You know the kind of crying that you know is a "real cry". This morning I was in the office reviewing with Madeline for her Bible test. Mariah, Malachi and Myles were in the playroom. I heard Malachi cry and I sat really still waiting to see if it was a "real cry". When I heard him take in a breath and then let out a wail I jumped up. I looked in there and he was laying on the floor with blood all over his face. Mariah was standing there saying, "I didn't mean to!" over and over. I yelled at her, yelled at Matthew because "he should have stopped it!" I just don't handle crisis situations with my children very well, especially when there is blood involved! After I got him cleaned up and realized it was just a bloody nose I felt like such a rear end for yelling at everybody. I immediately humbled myself and asked for them to forgive me. Children are so forgiving; sometimes that makes you feel even worse! This evening we were talking about it and Matthew said, "Mom, you just freak!" Yes, I do...


McKenzie works on Thursday afternoon and evenings teaching piano lessons where she, Madeline and Mariah take lessons. She informed me that one of her students that came today said he had been vomiting all day. Lovely!!! WHY would a parent take a child to piano lessons if he had vomited? She (being much like her mother!) scoured her hands and piano after he left. She came home and immediately jumped in the shower. Her boss called to tell us that the mother says he only vomited this morning and that it was something he ate. I sure hope so!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

To date or Not to date...

This was in Focus On The Family Thriving Magazine Jan/Feb 2011 issue:
Seven Rules for dating my son by Phil Callaway

Rule One: If you would like to talk to my son, please do so in the church foyer. Bring your Bible.
Rule Two: If you call my house to talk to my son, your conversation may be monitored by a customer service representative.
Rule Three: The following locations and activities are acceptable for your date:
Rule Four: My son cannot use the minivan to drive you to a mall. He has a bicycle. You may ride on the handlebars.
Rule Five: Please do not touch my son. Do not lean against him unless you are falling over and are in danger of plunging from a cliff. Do not even pull lint from his ear. He can do this himself.
Rule Six: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for girls your age to wear Fergie-style "shirts" that do not reach their low-slung pants. My wife and I want to be fair and open-minded about this, so you are free to show up in such attire. My wife will affix it properly to your body with a glue gun.
Rule Seven: Above all else, remember that we've been praying for this boy since God gave him breath, and we will continue to. When he chooses a godly girl, we will be overwhelmed with joy. Until then, we'll pray that you'll chase Jesus first and watch everything else fall into place.

I read that this morning and thought it was so funny! Being a mama to both boys and girls brings different kinds of challenges. Marc and I are raising our children to save their hearts for that one special person that God has for them. I guess there are different names people use for it, we use the term courtship. McKenzie being the oldest, my mind is often thinking along the lines of what that means as the parents of the girl. However, we want the best for our sons too. I just as much want them to remain pure before they are married as I do our girls. We live in a society that bombards males with immodesty everywhere they turn. You can't even go through a check out line at the grocery store without being exposed to garbage. I remember several years ago walking through Target with a few of my children. Matthew was with me and he kept bumping me. I looked over at him and realized he had pulled his hat over his eyes. I looked up and we were by the lingerie department and they had larger than life size posters! I was so proud of him but also so sick that you can't go anywhere without seeing that kind of stuff! I think that day I realized how serious it is that we protect the hearts and minds of our children! When we are out and I see the way some young girls are dressed I wonder what in the world their daddies are thinking! What is the real shame is that often times the church looks no different than the world. It can be very discouraging at times, and I often feel like we are going against the flow....

BUT these guys are worth it!
With God's grace, Marc and I purpose to shoot these three arrows into the world one day as strong, pure Godly men!
*I highly recommend Joshua Harris' book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and also (for girls) "Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally They both have really encouraged McKenzie.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Winter Wonderland...

Here in the south they predicted a "wintry mix" for last night. Like every other smart southerner, McKenzie and I took off for the store! Only we didn't go for bread and milk, we went for hot chocolate and the ingredients for homemade French Onion soup! :>) We rounded the corner to the bread aisle (just so we could see the shelves!) and sure enough the shelves were empty! What really cracked us up was that the little Publix bag boy was taking a picture of it! When he left the aisle I grabbed my phone and took a picture too. Too bad I can't find my cord to upload it! Everyone at the check out was buzzing about our "winter storm" coming and that they had already closed schools. I guess because I grew up in the north I thought it was funny! Now don't get me wrong, I HATE cold weather! I am a blue sky, sunshine, flip- flop wearing kind of gal! I like to run (and sweat!), ride bikes, plant flowers and be outside. This weather is the pits! Sure enough, we woke up this morning to our "wintry mix" all over everything! Ugh!

Poor little Madeline hates the cold as much as I do!Matt on a rare occasion wearing a coat! He thinks short sleeves and bare feet are for year round.

Seems kind of unfair that the old horse is out in the weather and "Princess Candy" is in the stall with her coat on!

Yesterday knowing that the bad weather was coming we wanted to get outside for some exercise. My parents gave McKenzie, Matthew and I new bikes for Christmas. I didn't want to ride mine until I made sure it would fit my baby seat. We have an old bike that Matthew literally built from other old bike parts. I told McKenzie I would ride that one. We were only going to go a little ways. We headed down the road and all of the sudden Matthew came whizzing by. So, McKenzie and Matthew were both on their new bikes and I was on the old one. He (being the male that he is) led the way and we rode and we rode and we rode! We ended up about 4 1/2 miles down the road! We started to turn around and head back and I realized my front tire was flat! We were in the middle of NOWHERE and I didn't remember to bring my phone! I literally was riding on the rim and it was very hard! Matthew kept hollering at me that if I wasn't so stubborn I would have listened to him when he said the baby seat would fit my new bike! While he charged ahead I kept pedaling feeling like I was going to die! It wasn't until we were almost home that Matthew told me the bike seat I was riding was from his bicycle he had when he was about 8!

Well, unlike the rest of the county, we have school today at our house! I better get back to work! Hope this weather warms up soon and I will have a more cheerful post next time!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Birthdays and The New Year

Matthew asked for fried fish for his birthday meal. I have never fried fish before! He wanted hush puppies and I have never made them before either! It was pretty easy (besides feeling greasy!) and the guys were quite pleased. The rest of us skipped the fish and ate our annual New Years Eve Chex Mix!

Matthew's favorite birthday treat is ice cream pie!

New Years Day we met some friends from church and went ice skating.

We finally got over the crud we had during Christmas and were able to go see my parents on Sunday. We missed seeing my sisters' families over the holidays. I felt so bad during Christmas that I didn't think much about it. Once I felt better though it was kind of sad that we missed being with everyone. My mom always works so hard shopping and preparing to make Christmas special. The kids had fun seeing them Sunday though. I haven't uploaded pictures from that day yet.


It was so hard getting back into the swing of things yesterday. I like routine and we seem to get so much more done when we are "doing school". I think being sick over our break made it harder to start back this year. We did 6 loads of laundry yesterday! The bathrooms seemed especially dirty, the baby was fussier than normal, Malachi was extra loud and Mariah had a faraway look in her eye when we were doing school! The older kids were supper time finishing their school work! I HATE days like that! Thankfully today everyone seemed to be back in the groove.

Marc spent some time going over New Years goals with all of us last night. I don't have anything huge on my list. I do have a few things that I want to work on though!

~Being more organized. (I need to redo chore charts for the kids. That helps things go much smoother!)

~Finding joy and contentment in everyday things. My parents gave me two devotional books for Christmas, one is on joy and one on trust. I am looking forward to reading them!

~Drink more water! I have actually been doing that for the last few weeks and I think it makes me feel better!

~Be better with meal planning/grocery shopping. (I guess that falls under being organized!)

~Have a more meaningful personal Bible study. I sometimes have the mindset of checking it off my "to do" list! I would like to memorize more scripture this year. That is SO hard for me! The kids can memorize things so easily!

Well, that is about it. If I can make strides in those areas this year I will be doing good! :>)

What are some of your New Years goals? Hope you have a good New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mariah!!!

It is hard to believe that our little Mariah Noel is 8 years old! I remember the night she was born like it was yesterday. We were celebrating Matthew's 7th birthday and I was 9 months pregnant with Mariah. I had a midwife appointment that morning. I took Matthew with me because I wanted to be with him for his birthday. My midwife checked me and said I was 5 cm and that I could go on to the hospital if I wanted to since I was contracting a good bit. I told her I really wanted to go home to celebrate his birthday first! We went home and had cake and presents. Late that evening the contractions got worse and because it was raining Marc thought we needed to go ahead and make the 30 minute ride to the hospital. We got there around 10:00 and Mariah entered the world around 2 A.M. Her birth was so peaceful being in the middle of the night. It was just me, Marc and our midwife there. Out of my four natural deliveries hers was the easiest. We just missed the tax break, but she made the newspaper for being the first baby born at that hospital in 2003! She has had her picture taken with this New Year's crown every year since she was born!

On my childrens' birthdays I always let them pick what we have for dinner and what kind of cake. Last year she told me that she wanted an oreo milkshake. This year she asked for one again! She is my kind of girl! :>)

Mariah is full of energy and personality. She is one of our most content children. When I asked her what she wanted for Christmas this year she said, "I want silly bands, a bubble gum pack and high heels!" When I clean out bedrooms and closets she is always the one that is willing to part with her stuff. I told her last night that I didn't want her to turn 8. She said, "Why mama? It's not like I am a woman or something!" She has been lots of fun and brings lots of laughter to our family!

We love you Mariah and pray the Lord's blessing on you this year!
May God fill your home with joy and laughter all your days. And may the peace of God keep your heart always in Christ Jesus.

"A merry heart does good, like medicine..." Proverbs 17:22