Sunday, August 30, 2009


My oldest boy... very much an "all boy" boy.

My prayers for you, Daniel...

are really more about my lacks than yours.

Oh, that I would have more grace for you and in my dealings with you!

Being the oldest can be hard work.

John 1:16
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God...

Friday, August 28, 2009

School and stuff

I'm still pregnant here. No baby yet and I think we're still aiming for around the 13th of September for a birthday for this little one.

We've made some more progress on names. The need to do this was brought on by the news that I am currently dilated to 2.5cm. 2.5cm doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I could hang out here at 2.5cm for a few weeks and have historically done so. What does mean a lot to me are the contractions I have that come and go. Mostly they remind me that my body is preparing for labor but they don't make me feel as though labor is going to happen TODAY. It's just good to know that my body is getting ready.

The kids and I have been "doing school" for the past couple weeks here at home. Our homeschool co-op begins around my due date and I wanted us all to be completely settled into our school routine at home before we added co-op and a baby into the picture. I know there will be many changes when I'm home with 4 kids and our newborn. I'm looking forward to the fact that, at our house, a well seasoned routine is easier to play around with than a brand new one.

Here's what our days look like: (Or at least this is what I've posted on the white board for my kids to follow)

Wake up
Get dressed
Morning Chores
-Daniel- Begin unloading dishwasher
-Michael- Sort the laundry
-Mercy- Return library books from the bedroom to the book bin
Quick Clean Up
Circle Time (Our little Bible Study and prayer time together)
School Time
-Daniel and Michael at the table with me for Math, Handwriting and Grammar
-Mercy enjoys Blanket Time playing by herself with something special
-Josiah plays nearby in his Packnplay
Chore Time
-Daniel-Finish Dishes, Make kids' beds and clean kids' room floor
-Michael- Finish Laundry, Take out trash and recycle items
-Mercy- Put her special toys away
Free Play
Alone Time
Lunch Time
Chore Time
-Daniel- Clear table
-Michael- Floor pick up around the house
-Mercy- Napkins from table to garbage
Rest Time (Boys have Read Aloud Time with me after I put younger two down)
Free Play
Clean Up for Daddy (because he's coming home soon)
Dinner Time

When co-op begins, we will also add more of a co-op based Bible curriculum to our Circle Time and a History component to our School Time.

I've learned the value of not attaching a time of day to each of these items in our routine because some things just take a lot longer than I've planned on a given day. I don't have to feel stressed or driven to get through Math so we can move onto Grammar. I've tried that and it just seems too harried. This means that we may have a later lunch or less Alone Time. I try to stick by my 1pm-3pm Rest Time boundary, though. That one is pretty firm.

And if a particular child is slow to finish chores during chore time, he can simply use his free play time to complete his jobs. That has become a pretty good motivator for Daniel and Michael to work more diligently at their chores and requires less of my involvement.

So that's what we're up to here at home!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Like Daddy

(Michael's lawn mower is the imaginary kind)

Josiah's Words

At 17 months, Josiah communicates with us quite a bit. It's time to make a list of all his funny words before he begins to say everything we say.

Mama/Mommy - Mommy
Dad'en- Daddy
Ah foh - Elephant
Pig sign - His special blankie ( Figure out that one!)
Bipee - Diaper
Bob'em- Bottom/Bathroom/Potty
Sh's (+ shoe sign) - Shoes
Milk sign - Milk
Please sign - Please
Please sign when being held - Please put me down
Grouchy, naughty grunts that sound surprisingly like Mercy- I don't like ____. Or I want something that you won't give me.
'A'Er - Water
Eat sign - Food/Hungry
More sign - More!
Nuney- Hungry
Uh Ah- Uh oh
'Nana- Banana
C'ackah- Cracker/food/cookie
Ch's - Cheese
Apple sign - Apple
'Zah! - Pizza
Bidee - Berry? Blueberry?
'Nah- Snack
All done sign - I'm all done with that food or drink.
A' dah!? - What's that?
See?! - Can I see that?
'nsieeh! -Inside
'asieeh! - Outside
Play sign - I want to play!
Train sign - Train (The train goes by our house 8 or 9 times a day)
Caaaw - Car
Airplane sign - Airplane
Uff uff - Dog
Mm oww - Cat
Pig sign - Pig
Bird sign - Bird
Me' mee- Mercy
'Ammy - Grammy
Dad dad- Grandad
Namaw- Grandma
Papaw- Grandpa
Paw- Pa
Gee- Joy
Beebee- Baby
Bah- Ball
Bee (+Book sign) Book
Buh (+ Boat sign) Boat
Crying sign - Someone(Michael, Mercy, Daniel) is crying.
Happy sign - Happy (when he's told to "Be a Happy Boy")
(Hands in the air) - Pick me up!
Brush teeth sign- Time to brush teeth.
Comb/brush sign - I'm brushing my hair.
Ny ny - Sleepy? 'Night 'Night
Bye bye! - Good bye

Rocks for sale

My busy boys.

Daniel and Michael want to buy some 3 ring binders and special plastic pages in which to keep their baseball and football and I think Star Wars cards.

After I told them that they couldn't choose random things from the house to sell by the street, they decided upon an activity I remember doing as a child.

I am so thankful for the cheerful neighbors who now own Daniel's and Michael's spontaneous works of art.
PAinted roks for twenty five cents

My guys are growing at being good brothers to each other.

I love that!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Names, People!

I went in to see my OB today.

I'm about 35 weeks along in this pregnancy.

My due date is Sept 13.

He asked some of the standard questions:

Him: Is the baby moving?

Me: Yep.

Him: Any contractions?

Me: Not really any I've been concerned about. Maybe a few.

Then he says something like: Well, no need to stop 'em at this point. If you do go into labor, that's fine. I think you'll have this baby before Labor Day anyway. Be ready. I think you'll have the baby in about three weeks.



First of all, my firstborn came on his own but about 10 days late. With our second, I was eight or so days late when I kind of went into labor, stopped being in labor, and then was induced the following morning. And every child after that has made his or her appearance after being coaxed out by an induction.

So I'm thinking: Ha Ha, Doctor! Yeah, right.

After going over our conversation with my husband this evening he pointed out that if I did have the baby in three weeks, I would be within the 2 week span of time surrounding the due date. And really the due date is just a guess. Delivering 2 weeks before the due date or 2 weeks after (although that late sounds awful) is considered "on time".

Well, whatever. I know my doctor doesn't really have inside information on this pregnancy. He doesn't know when this baby will make it's appearance. But there are a few things that trouble me as I think about the short time we have before he or she will join us.

One of them is this:

Where are all these people going to sleep?

Bob and I keep coming up with "solutions" and then I go back to the drawing board because I just can't see how it's going to work.

Another is the name question.

We have two names, sort of. One for a boy. One for a girl. And I'm not wild about either of them. I want to be excited about our baby's name. I need some suggestions, you guys, just to get the juices flowing. I'm tired of the names we have and I want to think about some new ones. So leave your ideas in the comments, please!

And, no, I can't share the names we sort of have. It's just the rule.

I know there are more things that have been on my mind that belong in the "before baby comes" category but I can't think of them right now. I just don't feel very ready and putting all my not ready thoughts down here is maybe helping?

I'll come back and write down a more complete list of things to do when I form one because I think that will help too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cool Eats in the Heat

So I've never been much of a pasta salad fan.

And I've only ever made one kind of green salad.

The kind that has some type of standard lettuce, tomato, carrots... maybe some red or yellow or orange pepper diced and thrown in and maybe some celery. Top that with some ranch dressing and that's what you might find on our dinner table to accompany many a meal.

Let's just say it's dinner time at our house, and you are in our kitchen. Ignore with me the fact that our kitchen is decorated in Gaping Holes In the Counter and Perpetually Open Cabinets.

Sit down to dinner with us for a meal that includes a salad:
Immediately following our dinnertime prayer, or even before, the boys will begin The Tomato Chant.

"Does it have tomatoes?"

"Do I have to eat them?"

"Are those red things tomatoes?"

"Do I have to eat them?"

(Mercy doesn't join in because she happens to like tomatoes. I'm waiting for her to join in anyway because she faithfully mimics everything else her older brothers do. Josiah doesn't chant yet. Before dinner, he alternates between screaming and sitting tearful and silent with his hands folded.)

With all this hot weather we've been experiencing, I've been less inclined to cook up something hot for the family in the kitchen at dinnertime and more inclined to try an alternative.

Sometimes that alternative has been just plain leaving the house. Spontaneously fleeing to the beach where it's cooler with a bunch of snacky picnic dinner items has been a common occurrence.

What I'm here to share with you today is a recipe for a pasta salad that doesn't remind me of the kind that you get in the deli section of your grocery store. Maybe that's what I like about it. That and the fact that it doesn't heat up my kitchen or require really much time to prepare at all.

And it's what we had for dinner last night.

Pasta Salad

In a large bowl combine:
1 can drained kidney or garbanzo beans
2 tomatoes, diced (soon to be coming from our garden!)
1-2 avocados, diced
1/2 chopped onion, red or walla walla variety(from our garden!)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cubes of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped(also from our garden!)

Cook up some smallish pasta. I used curly noodles last night but shell pasta or whatever would work, too. Rinse it under cool water in your strainer when it's all done. Add the pasta to your large bowl of chopped up things when it's cool and drizzle it all with some olive oil and fresh ground pepper.

Oh and the answer to the question raised in The Tomato Chant is "Yes."

"Yes. You will eat whatever we put on your plate."

(We try to ensure that there are a few tomatoes in their serving but not too many. They might like them someday.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Today, so far...

...we' ve had some owies...

...a reluctant breakfast eater who then had to eat her breakfast for lunch... (it's granola)

...and a bit of puffiness... (sorry, kind of gross).

Atleast mine haven't broken off completely like Squirrel's.

In the midst of these little obstacles I've also enjoyed time with this happy helper...

...and I'm thankful for these four who, when I give them the chance, make me laugh and make it all better.