Friday, April 29, 2011

Double Digits Tomorrow

Pin It Wow.  Today is the middle one's last day of nine.  That absolutely does not seem possible.  Was I really *enormous* pregnant with her this day ten years ago?  (And make no mistake - she was 9 lb 11 oz, and I'm 5'4".  Enormous is the right word.)

Oh, my sweet middle one.  My unhappy baby, whose early days divided everyone into two categories - the mama, and not the mama.  If you were with the mama, you were somewhat happy.  If you were with not the mama, you were not happy and not afraid to let everyone know it.

You entered this world at nearly 10 pounds and at a year were a tiny 15 lbs, still quite high maintenance spirited.
I have referred to your sister as the music in our home.  Yes, she is the music, but you, sweet girl, are the color.  You are sunshine and happiness, and JOY!

As much as you were mama's girl as a baby, you are very much your father's child now.  And I guess I'll allow that, although I secretly miss the days when you only smiled for me.
You rarely leave us with any doubt as to how you feel about what's going on in your life and very much wear your heart on your sleeve.
You can go from hot to cold, happy to sad, angry to happy in about a minute flat, and I wish you would pass that quality along to me!
You are still the sassiest little thing I think I have every known, and I don't think I would have it any other way.

I love that you are not in a huge rush to grow up, and I love your shiny, gorgeous hair and sparkly eyes.

Happy last day of nine, sweet girl!  I love you and I miss you!  I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Clothes!

Pin It Did you notice?  I was ready for a bit of a change on my blog.  I'm still tweaking here and there, so you might still see a few changes, but mostly it's ready to share!

One of my sweet online friends did this for me, and she did a FABULOUS job!  Seriously - I told her that I loved what I had now and wanted something different but similar.  (I may be working on contentment, but deep down inside I'm still a high maintenance girl!)  Seriously - that is about all of the guidance I gave her and she came up with exactly what I wanted! 

Y'all need to go visit her blog!  She's new at this, very creative, and SUPER FAST! 

Oh, and did you see?  She made me a button for my blog!  You can feel free to take it and put it on your blog if you like.  :) 

Thank you so much, Michelle!  I love it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Sweet kiddos Easter morning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Easter Not Me

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There is NOT EVER any craziness at our house!  I just thought I would share with y'all the story of what didn't happen on Easter morning.

First of all, because I never wait until the last minute for things, we weren't about to get out the door to go to Sunday school when I decided that I needed to take pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits.

We didn't all walk outside - me with the camera and without the car keys, kids with their stuff, and get ready for pics and hear the door shut.  The words "I sure hope you checked to make sure the door was unlocked!" did not come from my mouth with a giggle.

The oldest did not rush over and confirm that the door was indeed locked. 

We didn't then snap a bunch of pics as if nothing had happened.  Priorities, people!

We didn't then call a friend who lives nearby and who keeps a key to the house.

We didn't wait for the friend to arrive with the voice in the back of my head saying "Her key is to the FRONT door, which will not be of any help because of my OCD locking of the screen door."

My friend did not arrive and bring us the key to the front door.
The screen door was not locked.

So, we were not all sitting outside of the house in some pretty serious wind unable to go anywhere, and I certainly did not contemplate us all sitting in the driveway and having our own church.

We didn't call Jim at work and have to leave a message.  The words "It's an emergency ... but not a medical emergency, a stupidity emergency" certainly didn't come out of my mouth in said message.

We didn't check windows and realize that not a one of us is an experienced thief, so that wasn't going to happen.

We did not then start looking at the fence and speculating.  Our fence is not in a REALLY bad way due to hurricanes from the past few years.  I did not quickly decide that it wasn't going to be me scaling the fence because a) there is no way our flimsy fence is going to hold me up, b) I am not nearly coordinated enough to get over it, and c) I was wearing a dress.  The oldest did not immediately jump on my bandwagon for the same reason.  The middle one did not attempt it and then give up stating that she wasn't strong enough to go over.

We certainly did not basically toss the little one over the fence.  He wasn't saying "I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS!!" while we were doing it.  The oldest and I would never have pushed his little legs over anyway.

He (really) did not fall, which is really good because I KNOW if he had, he would have somehow hit that exact same spot on his head.

The girls and I did not watch through the cracks in the fence, wondering if the back door would be unlocked or not.  Really, it all depends on who opened it last.  If it was me, no question, it would be locked. 

We did not all cheer to realize that I did not open the back door last, as evidenced by the little one being able to open it.

So, we all made it to church looking just a little bit windblown.  No women or girls had to scale a fence in a dress, and no little boys fell and hit their heads.  :)

And, we all loved the Easter service at church.  :)

Was YOUR Easter morning eventful?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gratitude Journal - 201 - 210

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201.  For the big shout out that will happen this week when another class is completed!  WOOT!!  On Wednesday, the middle one will finish fourth grade reading!

202.  For the other big shout out that will happen this week as we complete our last class day of co-op.  Co-op is a blessing, but always by about the time spring break rolls around, I am ready to be done!

203.  For Reese's peanut butter eggs.

204.  For the fact that Reese's peanut butter eggs are only available for a short time, and for the fact that I won't have time to go searching the stores for 50% off Easter candy.

205.  For a fabulous Easter service, and for the surprise of running into the church and seeing my husband there.  He's a slacker Chaplain (giggle), and as such doesn't usually get to attend church with us.  Occupational hazard.  I had no idea he was going to be there today, and we were quite surprised.

206.  For what is apparently the best sick leave program in the world.  Jim took off Thursday for Mom's surgery and will be off this week to take care of the kids while I run off to take care of Mom.  All using sick leave!  How awesome is that!

207.  For the ability to write up lesson plans for the week and to put them in someone else's hands.  Y'all might want to pray for Jim.  The girls try to take advantage of him from time to time.  I am writing down their assignments in detail, and they do know full well what is expected of them.  (Stay strong, Jim.  Don't fall for them batting their big brown eyes at you!)

208.  For an entirely comical start to our Easter celebration, which will be shared later this week.

209.  For MD Anderson Cancer Center.

210.  For the fact that mom's surgery went well and that she is recovering at home.  She will be going back on Friday to find out what comes next.

For what are you thankful this week?  Feel free to jump right in - A Holy Experience

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Gospel According to the Five Year Old

Pin It The little one has been talking about Easter a lot.  Between Sunday school, church, AWANAs, preschool, and home, he is pretty familiar with the story of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection.  Last Wednesday, he drew us a picture during church.

I asked him to tell me about the picture.  This is Jesus on the cross, when His Father turned His face away.  The people in the crowd wanted Jesus dead, so they were happy.  (Excuse my dirty shoe.  My scanner hates me and it was windy outside.)

This picture is from after Jesus arose from the dead.  Apparently there were balloons.  He did say it was a party and all of the people were very happy.

I just love these pictures!!

I pray that you have a very blessed Resurrection Sunday.  I pray that you are able to spend time with those you love and spend the day in celebration.

Most of all though, I pray that you know who Jesus is.  I pray that you have gotten a glimpse of how much He loves you and wants to walk with you through life.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mom Update

Pin It She is doing really well!

The surgery that we thought was at 10:30 ended up starting at about 2:30, but the surgeon said it all went as expected and that she was doing well.

She got out of surgery at about 5:15, dad saw her at about 6:15 and me at 6:30. 

Something I learned:  I did not inherit my low pain tolerance from my mother.  I remember waking up from general anesthesia repeating the word HURTS over and over.  Not so with mom.  When I saw her, she was carrying on a conversation.  I wrote down the actual conversation for future blackmail material.  No, no, I'm just kidding.  Kind of.  :-P

She was released at 8:30 this morning.  Yes, seriously.  :-O   Drains and all.  I watched the "how to care for your drain" video twice, so I'm all, you know ... trained.  Thankfully Dad saw the video as well, so not only does she have me (being the expert who saw it twice) she has Dad, who actually will possess the ability to do it.

I'm going to call and check on her in a bit, but I'm assuming that since I haven't heard from them since then, she's doing well. 

Thank you so much for your prayers, my sweet friends!  Please continue to pray for good pain control (perhaps prayers that she will actually TAKE her pain meds!!) and for a swift recovery. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For My Praying Friends

Pin It My mom is having a mastectomy this morning.  I would so appreciate your prayers for her.  I will update as I have a chance, but it will likely be this evening as my blog seems to hate my phone. 

Facebook friends, I will definitely update there. 

Thank you friends ... both those I've met and those I haven't.  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Pin It This is going to be pretty close to wordless because I need to run out the door.  Here are a couple of pics from the Easter hat parade yesterday.  I needed to have taken a close-up pic of him so you could actually SEE his hat.  Oh well.

HERE is the pattern we kind of loosely followed.  It did turn out cute.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random Observations from the Middle One

Pin It I'm starting this off giggling just thinking that it's redundant to use the words RANDOM and MIDDLE ONE in the same sentence!

Anyway ...

We went to the store tonight, just the two of us, because the oldest one guilted me into going and the little one was already in bed. Seems I forgot that the little one has an Easter hat parade tomorrow and is supposed to wear his hat for this parade. This would be the handmade hat that he doesn't actually have. Oops. Probably would have been nice to have thought of that BEFORE 8:30 pm the night before, but hey, I'm really just happy dancing that I remembered it at all.

So, he's half asleep and the oldest is making his hat. We started with what I can only call a dunce cap, then moved on to an aluminum casserole dish. We found this really cute craft online that was made out of a paper plate. Well, we don't have any paper plates so I was *trying* to go with what was available. Apparently, in the eyes of my oldest, not going to the store was akin to child abuse. Then I tried a bucket. Then I realized that he really did look kind of ridiculous, and agreed to go to the store.

Because some of my kids don't always mix well without much supervision, I took the middle one with me.

The middle one? She can talk incessantly. (And see how I've gone on and on and haven't even gotten close to the point yet? I can't imagine where she got that talking incessantly thing. The point is coming, I promise.) The middle one has no secrets because every thought that goes into her head comes out her mouth. (The oldest would probably do well to learn this ... I'm just sayin' ... ) Want an update of life in our house? Just ask the middle one, but get ready because not only will you hear about what we've got going on, you'll hear about everything else in her life. And I do mean everything.

So we're in the car going to the store and she's telling me about who she's going to marry. Apparently there are several people in the running, and she likes it that way. And apparently she has given this a lot of thought. I asked her how on earth she was going to choose between all of these fine young men and she said "well, whichever one proposes first is the one I will choose." And I said "um ... okay ... we should probably talk about that" (not to mention the fact that she's actually devoting thoughts to this topic at all!) She replied that there might be several of them that propose, so maybe they should offer kittens with their proposal, and she could choose the one who offered the cutest kitten. Then she wanted to know if it would be wrong to keep all of the kittens.

So. Kittens. There ya go. I love that child.

(Oh and pics of the hat might be a Wordless Wednesday post.) :D

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gratitude Journal -- 191 - 200

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191. The gorgeous weather we are having these days! It's making me want to just sit outside and read a book and enjoy the pleasant breeze.

192. Wherever my oldest child is, there is music. She is either playing the piano or singing along with the radio, or just singing. I love it. It sounds much quieter around the house when she's not here, and she's a pretty quiet child. It's just that when she's not here, the music isn't here. I am thankful for her gift of music.

193. As I am typing this, I'm watching the little one play in the backyard with one of his friends. They're playing in the mud, but having a great time. (My poor friends. They send their kids over here clean and I do not send them back in the same condition.) I'm just thankful for my kids' friends. They all three have a lot of friends, and every single one of them is a blessing to my kids, and to me. :) Several years ago, I prayed that the Lord would help me to love my kids' friends. He has answered that prayer with a resounding YES!

194. I am thankful that Mondays are typically "breakfast for dinner" nights. Everyone likes that, it's easy, and relatively quick with easy cleanup. Doesn't get much better than that!

195. I am thankful that our school year is winding down. The middle one has seven reading lessons left and that class will be done. She has about the same number of math lessons too. We only have one co-op class day left, and then our open house.

196. Both girls have finished their AWANA books for the year. Usually at about the start of May, we end up stalking AWANA leaders and catching them mid-bite on Wednesday nights so the girls can say verses to them. I told them back in September that we weren't going to be doing that this year. :)

197. I am thankful for a mild-mannered dog. After watching a neighbor's dog yap and bounce around INCESSANTLY, I am just thankful for ours, who comes in and wants to be in, or at least in very close proximity to, her crate at all times. She doesn't bark a whole lot, and is getting better about jumping up on the kids (which is a good thing, since she outweighs two of them and is dangerously close to the weight of the other one!) We really did not put a lot of effort into training her at all, it's just her personality, and I really do like it. Even though I'm not a dog person. haha

198. I am thankful for a fun day on Saturday. I went to a ladies' luncheon which was really nice and then with a friend to take some pictures of her daughter's preparation for prom. I enjoyed conversation with my friend and her daughter was simply beautiful. It was a great day!

199. I am thankful to report that so far, the girls' room is still clean. Shocker.

200. With this week being Easter, I am so thankful and humbled at the sacrifice that was made for me. And for you. It is just overwhelming to think about. I am planning to spend some time this week just pondering the cross. That on the days that I feel useless and helpless and hopeless, with no redeeming qualities, He loved me. The very one who made me and KNOWS me finds worth in me.

I know most of my thankful lists are light-hearted things. This one is a big deal though. :) I urge you to spend a few minutes listening to this song and just think about it.

I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today. Feel free to hop over and read the gratitude journals of others.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

L.E.N.S. Challenge - This Moment

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I love the L.E.N.S. Challenges. About once a month, there is a "This Moment" challenge. Yesterday I opened my (clean! Woot!) refrigerator in an attempt to wake up all the kids on a Saturday morning by cooking breakfast. My baby boy is five and a half now. Boys are different than girls. He leaves us subtle reminders around the house in case we should ever forget that a boy lives here.

Let me just say. I am not certain what the orange juice did, or the soy milk (besides the fact that it even exists. Not a fan of soy milk.) I am very glad to know that the powers that be wanted to protect us from such evil though, and put a guard in there to protect the rest of the contents of the fridge from the evil that is orange juice and soy milk.

Thank you, kind soldier, for your service. Staying in the fridge all night long, without a jacket. At least I think he's without a jacket. I feel so much safer knowing that you and the boy are on the job!

I'll be linking up with Home Is Where You Start From today! Hop on over to see the other entries!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011/2012 Plans Made!

Pin It Woot! The big ole' "this is what worked for us and this is what didn't" and "this is what I loved about this year and this is what I hated" has been hashed out in my mind and we have a plan for our schooling next year!

Starting with the oldest ... wow, 8th grade!
It is official, we're going to go ahead and move her up a grade in church. I left her with her current group when we moved her from 2nd to 3rd grade at school several years ago because I didn't want her to miss out on a year of AWANA and I didn't want to move her in Sunday school in the middle of the year. I figured we'd move her, or not, when she got to youth, and I've kind of been agonizing a little over that decision. The group of girls in her current class are fabulous. They're pretty close knit and I love every one of them. Ultimately though, I think she needs to be with the group she will graduate with. At least that's what I think for now. It's subject to change ... LOL

For school next year, we will continue using Heart of Dakota for her mainly. She'll be using the Resurrection to Reformation curriculum, with the extensions, which is a continuation of what she's doing now. She will continue with Bob Jones English, but I think we're mainly going to focus on grammar with that. We've started Institute for Excellence in Writing, and I think she and I like that better for writing, so we're going to continue with that. Add in Teaching Textbooks pre-Algebra, and she'll be good for next year.

Then the middle one ...
She will be in fifth grade next year. FIFTH GRADE. I can't believe that! We are for sure going to be using Bob Jones Reading 5, and Bob Jones English 5 with her, along with Teaching Textbooks 5 in math. She will be joining in with her sister again for Heart of Dakota, Resurrection to Reformation. This is a bit of a stretch for her, as was this year, but I think she still got enough out of it to make it worth it. We will adapt it to fit her needs; she won't do the extensions and we'll ease up some of the other work for her as well. My long range plan is for her to repeat both Creation to Christ (which we did this year) and Resurrection to Reformation when she is in 7th and 8th grade. This is mainly for my benefit because it's so much easier to combine the two girls, and really, this is my last year to be able to do that.

Then the little one ... yikes. It's going to be interesting having him at home for school next year! He will be doing kindergarten, which I'm thinking at least educationally, should be somewhat easy because he has gotten such a great head start from preschool this year. He will be doing Bob Jones K5 Beginnings for phonics and handwriting. We're going to jump on the Heart of Dakota train with him too, using Little Hearts for His Glory. I was planning to just use the BJU Beginnings and add some math, but then I got my hands on the HOD curriculum and think he will really love it. We may stretch it over two years; I'm not entirely sure yet. Since all three kids will have some DVD driven classes, DVD time will be at a premium around here, and we'll just have to see how the scheduling works out.

The one thing I have not yet decided regarding the little one is math yet. I'm leaning towards using the math that was recommended in the HOD guide. I love Math U See for little ones, but I don't love the Primer. He has a pretty strong grasp on numbers, so I might just jump in with Alpha and take it slowly. I really am just not sure yet.

So ... everything (except math for the little one) is nailed down, and a lot of the stuff I already have, so I'm calling this a good head start on school for next year. This is actually the easy part though; I've known for a while what I was going to do with the girls because of how much we have enjoyed school this year. The hard part will be working out a schedule ... and of course, implementing it.

It feels good to have plans in place, anyway! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Where my mind is dwelling these days ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not Me!

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Anyone up for some "Not Me"-ing?  (Yes, I did just totally make that into a verb.  Because I'm cool like that.)

Speaking of cool ... it is not me who has been repeatedly told by my oldest child how very uncool I am.  Bah on her.  What does she know anyway?  I probably didn't roll my eyes and stamp my feet at her.  :-P  Seriously, sweet child.  I am in my 40's.  I have experienced significantly more of life than you have and have tons of coolness.  AND, I even know how to properly spell the word cool, and it does NOT have a K, an E, or a W in it.  (Which probably makes me decidedly UNcool.)  Whatever.  I'm in my 40's.  I am who I am, and I don't even care.  Which, actually, makes me incredibly cool.

(Nope, we never have conversations like that around our house.  And these conversations never end with her rolling her eyes and stamping her feet at me.)

It is not me who got insanely sunburned on our trip.  Seriously, I was outside all of about an hour.  And there are places on my leg that are requiring antibiotic due to the burns.  What in the heck?  I did not joke that I could get sunburned in the rain.  At night.  And I suspect that I really could.  I did not give THE LOOK to the middle one when she looked at her gorgeous golden brown skin and remarked that she had never had a sunburn.  (Really I'm glad of that!)  The oldest got a teeny bit pink and is now brown, the middle one just turned brown, and the little one, bless his little heart, has his mother's skin, so he wears body armor in the sun.  He did pick up some new freckles though, which I think are totally adorable.

I did not go on a rampage last week that involved cleaning the girls' bedroom.  Nope, not me.  And I would never throw away or threaten to throw away a ton of stuff to accomplish this goal.  And I certainly would not ever threaten their very lives if their room ever got that messy again.  I am raising proper, neat, young ladies here, not slobs, so their room would never get very messy in the first place.  Glad that didn't happen.  Nor did the seven bags of trash that came out of there.

And I certainly would never type a paragraph like that last one while sitting in my own messy room.  Nope, not me.  No hypocrisy here.

(And it's also not me who is happy dancing that apparently I spelled hypocrisy correctly on the first try because there isn't a red squiggly line under it.  Woot!) 

So that's it for now ... What haven't you done lately?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gratitude Journal -- 181-190

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Ah ... so much for which to be thankful this week!

181.  For family vacations, even if they only last for two and a half days.  We had a fabulous time!

182.  For this relationship.  I just love how much she loves him.

183.  For something Beth Moore said that was amazingly eye opening to me.  I know you're going to read this and think "um, okay, Melanie ... whatever speaks to YOU" and probably scratch your head.  LOL  She was talking about a book signing she did for A Parable About the King.  It was for children, and the kids were encouraged to come dressed in costumes suitable for the era.  She said that all of the girls were dressed as princesses, yet the boys as a whole did not dress as princes.  They were dressed as knights.  :-O  I GET IT.  :-O  The valiant, protector thing ... I GET IT.  First time ever that has made any sense to me.  I personally would much prefer to just be the princess by birthright.  That is how God made me, and honestly?  I love it.  It's nice to have a perfect word picture to understand those of the other sex who wish to be the valiant protectors, because that's how God made them!

Like I said ... may not make sense to anyone else ... but it spoke to me, and I am very thankful.

184.  We had a letter from the insurance company waiting for us when we got back from vacation.  It very nicely said "HEY!  We're breaking up with you!"  Well, kind of.  It actually said that they weren't writing windstorm policies anymore, and since we live where we do, windstorms are actually likely to happen so we definitely need a windstorm policy.  Ours ends ... ironically ... on the first day of hurricane season.  Thanks for that, oh kind insurance company.

BUT ... yes, this is my GRATITUDE journal.

We met with our agent the next day, expecting to leave with a new policy written and financial destruction looming.  This in the shadow of a possible government shutdown, and Jim is a government employee.

What we actually found out is that we had been overpaying and were due a refund.  Not only that, but because we had been overpaying, our rates dropped.  WOOHOO for that!  Thank You, Lord.

185.  The little one has made me say "aww!" so many times.  As I previously posted, his preschool class is raising money to help furnish a school in Haiti.  He has offered to do some work around here in order to raise money.  He's earned about $3.50, which is a lot when you're 5.  He tells us all about the earthquake and how he wants to help.  What a sweetheart!  (I'm still not going to pay him $1 for making up his bed though, no matter how sweetly he asks.)

186.  I am really thankful right now for Voddie Baucham.  A couple of years ago, I read Family Driven Faith and it was so eye-opening.  Someone suggested another book of his and I picked it up and couldn't hardly put it down!  It has given me so much of a direction in some areas where I feel like I was kind of floundering. You know how sometimes you have a general idea of what your thoughts are, but don't really know what that looks like?  What I love so much about his books is that he doesn't just throw out these fabulous ideals that sound great but HOW DO YOU GET THERE, he actually tells you what it looks like in life, and how to implement it.  I'm deliberately leaving out the title of the book for a specific reason, but if you email me ( I'll tell you what it is.  :)    

187.  Progresso Tomato Basil Soup.  I love love love La Madeleine tomato basil soup, but since that really is basically a bowl of heavy cream and butter with tomato in it ... heavenly tasting but like 300 calories per spoonful, the Progresso version is a pretty good alternative.  :)

188.  For giggly girls.  There are five of them in the room right next to me right now (I'm typing this Saturday afternoon).  Not gonna lie, it sounds a lot like a room full of loud chipmunks, but they're all having fun and well, giggling.  Very cute.

189.  For French vanilla coffee with cinnamon vanilla cream.  That right there is a little bit of heaven in a cup!

190.  For my mom, whose chemo is done, and is starting to recover from the effects of it.  I know it will take a while, and she still has more steps in her journey, but this part is done!

I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today.  Hop on over and read some other gratitude journals, or start your own!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

L.E.N.S. Challenge - Corner

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Loving this challenge because it's allowing me to post one of my favorite pictures ever.  Do you all have pictures that no matter what has happened that day, put a smile on your face?  This is one of mine.  It's a couple of years old of my girls and two of their cousins.  And an unhappy little man in the corner. 

Apparently he was not delighted that this was to be a pic of just the girls.  I intended to crop him out and then saw the pic when I uploaded it and his FIT just makes the pic!
I'll be linking up with Home is Where You Start From today, so feel free to hop on over and see other "corner" pics!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

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I see I'm back to the every couple of weeks weekly wrap-up.  Awesome.  Oh well, it is what it is!

First of all, the little one's preschool class is raising money for a project in Haiti.  One of the girls in his class got the idea to do this; how awesome!! 

That is the little one's class in the video.  :)
They did a bake sale to kick off their fundraising:

Then we had a geography fair at our homeschool co-op.

We, of course, did Japan.  Again.  I think next time we are going to have to branch out.  ;)  It was very neat though - the girls focused their report on the earthquake and tsunami.  The little one, because of what he has learned about Haiti knew what that was and was interested to learn more about it.

After co-op, we took off!  We decided to spend a couple of days in Galveston and call it our family vacation.  We're planning a big vacation next year and want to try to save up money for that, so it's a mini vacation this year.
What's gonna work? Teamwork!

Woot, dolphin!  I can call this science, right?

Watching a B-25 take off!  (And WOOT, I believe this is called HISTORY!)

Then we came home and went to a concert.  Learned something here.  The oldest?  She loves concerts.  I'm sure that is no surprise to those of you who know her.  The middle one enjoyed it as well.  The little one pretty much hated it.  I think the noise, lights, and still recovering from a head injury worked together to just make him miserable.  He cried that his head hurt, then went to sleep during the first song and slept through the entire thing.  Here are a few pictures:

First, Natalie Grant:

Then, Brandon Heath:

Then, Mercy Me! I'm supposed to point out that the oldest took this pic.  :)

So, all in all, it was a fabulous week!  Back to the old grind next week though; final push to finish out the school year!  Eight weeks left!

I will be linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vacation Preview!

Pin It I have way too many pictures to go through and we are way too low on groceries around here for a real post, but this was one of the first pictures I took, and I love it, so here's a vacation preview!
More to come ... after grocery shopping.  And all the other stuff we have to do today. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Prize

Pin It We've had some interesting discussions at our house over the past couple of weeks, mainly revolving around marriage and what our plans are for our children as one of them is growing up so quickly. It's been interesting talking with her and seeing where her heart is in this.

I would love for my kids to just bypass all of that dating garbage. I would love for them to dream of marriage and to be able to enter into that relationship with no regrets and no baggage from previous relationships. I would love for them to build friendships and see where the Lord may lead those friendships. I would love for them to seek the Lord in all of their steps.

I'm still trying to cement my thoughts here, but as my mind has been dwelling on this topic, and on how to direct my children as they're getting older, I remembered (with the help of my mom) a discussion with the middle one a few years ago.

Mom had taken the girls shopping and let them pick out something. The middle one wanted a bridal gown. She was so cute, and of course mom bought her what she wanted. We were talking with her about it and she was telling us all about her wedding. I asked her what music she would choose.

She said that her song would be ...

Here comes the prize.

Mom and I just about died. So absolutely precious and absolutely hysterical, and if you know my middle one, so very her.

But you know what? She IS a prize. Right now, she is my prize. One day, I'm sure, some young man is going to take her away from me, but for now, she's all mine.

Here comes the prize!

Monday, April 4, 2011

1000 Gifts - 171 - 180

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I am feeling so thankful right now. So many blessings!

171. For a great visit with my parents and nephews last weekend. It was really nice to visit with all of them!

172. For Long John Silver's. Also on this list should be the fact that there is no Long John Silver's around here. It isn't so fabulous for the diet. It sure is great when there is one around and I can go get a piece of battered and fried to death piece of fish!

173. For children who really are obedient. Messy but obedient. haha We shoveled cleaned the girls' room this weekend. I don't think anybody was really happy about it, but when it got down to it, they were obedient to get in there and get it done. This has made me dwell a little on how obedient they really are, and how I would take that over spotless clean. :) (Although I'm not going to lie - I'd love to put here in a couple of weeks that their room is still clean!)

174. For a little boy who usually does keep his room pretty clean. Even if clean to him means that everything he loves resides on the bed. And he loves everything. Sometimes it's hard to find the boy in the bed.

175. For mini-vacations. :)

176. For some fabulous grown up conversations with the oldest, and just the realization that she really does have a good head on her shoulders and a sweet heart. And realizing that she picked up a couple of bad habits and thoughts directly from me, and for grace from her when I noticed it and talked to her about it.

177. For Sertino's sugar free mochas ... and for breakfast with the oldest (which would be when the above referenced conversation took place.) :)

178. For confirmation that a decision I've made is the correct decision.

179. Cadbury cream eggs. 'Nuff said.

180. This. And for the awesome privilege of being a small part of it.

I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

L.E.N.S. Challenge - Read

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My son is a big fan of maps. I had a hard time choosing a picture for this! This one is from almost exactly a year ago, as we were planning our trip to Disney World. I was all about getting the kids as excited as possible, so of course we ordered the maps and let each child participate in the planning. The little one STUDIED these maps. I mean seriously studied them! I should not have been surprised. I have a sweet picture from the year before of him studying the Sea World map.

I'm linking up with Home Is Where You Start From today, with their weekly LENS challenge! Feel free to hop on over and see the other entries. This week's theme is READ.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 - 5 Minutes for Moms

Pin It Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I decided to jump into this blog party this year! Looks like fun, and I LOVE reading blogs so I'm sure I'll find some more to add to my list this year! :)

About me ... I'm Melanie, married to Jim for nearly 15 years now. (WOW.) I'm a homeschooling mom of two and a half - one goes to preschool for another couple of months, and then he will be at home too. I have a seventh grader and a fourth grader. We enjoy homeschooling most of the time, and it seems that my blog revolves around that a lot of the time.

I also love to post about books I'm reading, what the Lord is doing in my life, how I'm being challenged, and there's an awful lot of just plain silliness around here too. I love to take pictures of my kids, and join some photo contests here and there. I am not a photographer, I am a mom with a camera, and I love that too.

I think that's me in a nutshell. I'm glad you're here! Be sure to leave a comment if you're a new visitor! There are a ton of blogs on the blog party list, and if you like my blog, I will probably like yours as well and wouldn't want to miss it!

Have a fabulous day!