Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This year we spent Thanksgiving just the six of us. We had a nice family day. Even though it was pretty low key, Thanksgiving would not be complete without a traditional Thanksgiving meal. That meant that we still had turkey, dressing, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, and much more including dessert! The boys really enjoyed having dad around the house for a few days even though he was feeling under the weather. Thursday afternoon found the boys and I putting up the Christmas tree while Kerry took a nap.

Since this post is so late coming out, I have to say that I can hardly wait for Christmas! Next week my Dad flies out to California so he can help drive the boys, Bailey, and me to Texas! Yeah! Kerry will fly out on Christmas morning. We will miss Daddy, but we are super excited to be in Texas when my sister and mom are out of school. They already have a long list of fun things for us to do!









Kerry is so good about taking the pictures that I have realized this year that there are so few of him. This Christmas, I plan to make an effort to make sure he is in a few pictures. His pictures just always turn out better than mine so I let him be in charge of the camera when he is around.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nature Hikes







This year I've been trying to take the boys on more nature hikes. It's been pretty amazing to discover things that are so near to our house. There are plenty of wide open places for the boys to explore. It just takes a little planning. They would stay outside all day if they could. If it was that easy to pack up all of our school books and lunch each day, I might just do it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nana's November Visit

Nana came to visit us the first week in November. We were all so excited to see her. She arrived at LAX at 11:00pm on Friday evening, November 5th. When I left alone to go pick her up all four boys were awake. They were so excited Nana was coming. My mom and I were looking forward to some uninterrupted conversation on our way home which is impossible with 4 boys. We did enjoy our quiet conversation and our milkshakes.

Saturday started very early with Josiah's soccer game at 8:15am. After soccer, we enjoyed some time playing outside. After lunch, it was time for Caleb's baseball game. By the end of Caleb's game, we were all a little worn out. We had dinner, celebrated Nana's birthday, enjoyed a movie, and went to bed (not as smooth as it sounds).

The boys were excited to help Nana celebrate a belated birthday.

Sunday morning found us at church. Levi enjoyed his class with Caleb serving, and Josiah, Nana, Silas and I went to the worship service. After the first hour, Caleb went to his class while the rest of us had a snack and played on the playground (just the boys). We got home with plenty of time for lunch before Caleb had another baseball game. Josiah and Levi didn't want to go to another baseball game so Nana stayed home with them while Silas and I took Caleb to his game. Kerry joined us as soon as he could. We enjoyed a relaxing evening at home.

The best picture we could get at church.

Monday morning we were moving pretty slow after a busy weekend. Nana treated us to a tasty lunch before it was time to take her back to the airport. It was a fun but very short visit with her. Thanks for coming to see us, Nana!

Nana and the boys before taking her to the airport

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Fun Festival 2010


Caleb dressed up as a dirt bike rider. He couldn't seem to decide if he wanted to dress up, but in the end he did.


Silas is wearing the costume Levi was supposed to wear until he changed his mind. This picture was taken at 9:00pm when Silas had a lot of sugar in his system. He had so much he was crawling around on the floor barking like a dog.


Josiah dressed up as a knight. I'm so thankful that Josiah doesn't always want something new. He went into our costume box and decided on the knight. He was almost Buzz Lightyear for 3 years in a row.


Levi wanted to be a dirt bike rider after we had bought him the knight costume. He was really excited when a big kid dressed in his dirt bike gear came up to him and gave him a high five.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 was a very busy day. It all started early when we drove the 40 minutes to church. Josiah went to his Bible Study class, Caleb served with Levi, and I volunteered in Silas's class. As soon as we were finished, Caleb changed into his baseball uniform so we could go to his game. We had a picnic lunch in the car as we drove.

I won the worst mom of the day award when I took Caleb to the wrong baseball game. By the time I was able to find which field we were actually on (which was about 15 minutes from the field we were at), the game had already started. Caleb was very upset, and I felt horrible. I made him miss his game.

We went home for about an hour which was long enough to change into their costumes for the Family Fun Festival. When we arrived, I realized I had forgotten half of Silas's costume. I was a little frustrated. The boys had a blast, and I was pleased with the organization of the event. To conclude the evening since we had not had dinner, the boys got to eat as much candy as they wanted on the way home. We were all hungry. Two boys fell asleep in the car (I did brush their teeth while they were sleeping) and the other two remember they needed dinner at 9:00pm. I'm glad our day ended well.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Granddad Comes for a Visit

Last week, Granddad came for a visit. It was so good to see him since we hadn't seen him since July! He arrived Wednesday, October 27, and we kept him busy from the moment he arrived.
Wednesday evening, Granddad rode over to Yorba Linda with us since Caleb had Element (Wednesday night Bible Study for 5th and 6th graders). Kerry took Granddad and the three little ones back to the house while I stayed with Caleb getting to serve as a driver for his group.


Thursday morning, we headed to Tanaka Farms. The boys had a blast picking out pumpkins and petting all the goats in the petting zoo. It brought back sad memories for them since we had talked about getting a goat or two if we had stayed in Florida. They still had fun. In the afternoon, the boys and I had some official school time while Granddad took some time to work.


Friday morning, we took Granddad to the beach. We hadn't been in awhile, and the boys were thrilled to play in the sand and the cold water. That evening, Granddad got to watch Caleb's baseball practice. We ended the evening by watching Prince Caspien. I was amazed that the three oldest ones stayed awake for the entire movie.


Saturday was supposed to be Josiah's soccer game but it was cancelled due to rain. We still went to the park to let him show Granddad how he plays soccer complete with all of his gear. They had more fun on the playground than they did on the soccer field. Granddad treated us to a nice lunch, and then it was time to take him back to the airport. We were sad to see him go but are looking forward to seeing Nana tomorrow night.

Monday, October 11, 2010

All Boy

God didn't just bless me with boys. He blessed my with 4 boys that are all boy. If you add in Kerry and the dog, I am surrounded by 6 special people/animal that are all boy. I will admit that they do clean up well, especially for church on Sundays when collared shirts and khakis are a must for their momma. But on those summer days (that are now gone) when they have hours to play without interruption this is what they can be found doing. They spent many hours this summer playing "hunting" in our small backyard. The three little ones felt so proud to have big brother playing with them, especially hunting games.

Levi and Josiah with Silas in the dog house (aka their hunting blind)


Big brother Caleb all dressed up (notice Silas still in the dog house)


The two big brothers hanging out together

It's at times like these when I look at these pictures that I wonder why God has placed these 4 nature loving boys in a city. They long to be somewhere where they can chase creatures all day long, ride their bikes, and get dirty. They do get to ride their bikes. They have found creatures in our yard and neighbor's garage, and they do get dirty all the time. We have plenty of places around here to see God's creation but it takes planning and energy for me. I guess that means I need to get busy planning.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Success!


Caleb is a part of a program called the Element at church. One of it's main focuses is on serving. Caleb loves serving with little ones so he signed up to serve with the preschoolers. Levi has yet to feel comfortable going to "his class". We are so thankful that Caleb gets to serve with Levi. Levi was so excited to find out on Wednesday that Caleb would be one of his teacher. This morning he was still just as excited. When we got to "his class" he walked right in (Caleb was already there). The teachers appear to be great, and it helps that one of them is a man since Levi seems to bond easier with men than women. He came out beaming, because he was so proud that he had gone to class. I know it helped tremendously to have Caleb with him. He can hardly wait to go next week.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Owl Pellet


The owl pellet - yuck for mom, cool for Caleb. A few weeks ago, one of our science experiments called for an owl pellet. An owl pellet is the regurgitated remains of an owl's meal, including all of the bones of the animal it ate. Fascinating, right?

When our owl pellet came in the mail, Caleb was so excited. He had to wait several days for this science experiment, but it was well worth it to him. Caleb at times has a hard time focusing on things that don't interest him. I guess I can't blame him. He loved this activity so much he worked on it for over two hours. He was meticulous about finding all of the bones. The picture below is not complete. He added more bones after the picture. I was amazed at the focus it took him to do this all in one sitting or even at all. He loves creatures, even the remains of one.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Potty Learning Laughs


Silas has begun the fun phase of potty training/potty learning over the past few weeks. He does pretty good around the house as long as he is naked. He goes on his own and will hold up his hand at times and say no to inform me that he wants privacy when I try to accompany him to the bathroom. As soon as clothes are put on, he tends to forget about the potty. There was one day last week when he refused to wear a diaper when we had an errand to run. The errand ended up taking us all morning. He stayed dry (with multiple trips to the bathroom) until the last few minutes when we were headed home. He told me that he needed to go, but I was trying to make it home before stopping. That one was definitely my fault.

Yesterday, Caleb had a baseball game. FYI - we spent 3 and 1/2 hours at the baseball field that day with practice, game, and packing up all of our gear that keeps 3 younger brothers entertained during a long game. Towards the end of the game, Josiah needed to go to the bathroom. Fortunately, the boys and I were sitting in a grassy area by the outfield that just so happened to be near the bathrooms. As I was standing at the door to the men's bathroom for Josiah (one at a time type of bathroom), Levi tells me he needs to go and heads on in. I was holding the door open a little bit (not many people around) to let in some light. Then, Silas tells me he needs to go. I told him to hang on as Levi was telling me he needs help since the toilet is too tall. I was not about to enter the men's bathroom, so I told Levi that I would take him to the girl's bathroom. At this time, I glance up to see that Silas has taken off his shorts and diaper outside in order to go potty. I'm just thankful that there was only one little boy around. I scooped Silas up trying to cover him up a little while helping Levi get dressed again in order to go to girl's bathroom. Silas really did need to go potty, but I sure wish he would have waited to get inside the bathroom. At least I can laugh about it.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday, Kerry!


My sweet, dear husband is celebrating 40 years of life today! Life with him keeps me on my toes. There is one thing about Kerry that is constant and that is he is constantly changing, always wanting to try something new. Here are 40 things that you might or might not know about him.

1. He is the baby in his family.
2. He grew up in a small town in East Texas called Gladewater.
3. He is an Eagle Scout.
4. He got his degree in Forestry at Stephen F. Austin.
5. He worked as a professional forester for a few years in Arkansas before God called him into full time ministry.
6. While at seminary, he was a security officer on campus for a time.
7. He is a good golfer even though he rarely plays.
8. He has his pilot's license (although not current)
9. He got his scuba diving license and bought all the gear before Caleb was born. The scuba gear has long been sold.
10. He did get to use the above scuba diving gear while in Cozumel and Honduras.
11. He enjoys traveling to other countries sharing about Jesus.
12. Since flying is an expensive hobby, he tried remote control airplanes for awhile. The airplane was sold in a garage sale a year or two later.
13. While living in Texas, he started a non-profit organization called Aviation Fellowship where one of the goals was to place free Bibles in as many airports as possible.
14. He has a number of tattoos and I fear that by the time we have been married 50 years his entire body will be covered with them.
15. He likes trying new hairstyles. He's had it long. He's shaved it at times. He's had it in between too.
16. He can sing really well, but he doesn't like to mention it.
17. He is a great outdoors man. He has such of knowledge of the outdoors that I feel very safe being out in the wilderness with him. He is passing on his knowledge to our boys.
18. He has traveled to Sri Lanka and India and would love for the boys and I to go someday.
19. He had his concealed handgun license (not sure that's what it's called) in both Texas and Florida.
20. He likes to hunt, especially with a bow.
21. One of his dream hunts would be an elk hunt since his wife has said a definite no to bear hunts.
22. He would like to learn to weld someday, sooner rather than later. Well, he knows how but he would like the tools to learn more.
23. He enjoys fishing and Caleb is constantly asking him when he's going to get his fishing license here in California so they can go fishing.
24. He loves anything that has to do with technology. He wants to be up to date on the newest technology available at all times.
25. He is looking forward to the day when there is tv (meaning cable or satellite) in our home once again.
26. I think he could make a living cutting hair. I didn't like how my hair looked and tried to fix it (but messed it up). He then had to fix my attempt. I'm pleased with the results but he refuses to even cut the boys hair unless it's a trim. He does a good job though.
27. He has started mountain bike riding.
28. He has had four different motorcycles since we've been married.
29. Currently, he has a street legal dirt bike that he's looking to sell. At the ripe old age of 40, it's not so fun or comfortable to drive back and forth to work everyday on a dirt bike.
30. He is a great dad to his 4 boys.
31. He loves Jesus with all his heart and you can see Christ daily in Kerry.
32. He is a people person. He loves people and never meets a stranger.
33. He is not afraid of hard work.
34. He will be the first one to volunteer to help someone at any time. He's especially good during a crisis - like broken bones, blood, and stitches (I'm getting better).
35. He continues to work hard to provide for me and the boys allowing me the privilege to homeschool our boys and take care of our home which is what I have wanted to do since I was a little girl.
36. He always tells the truth even if it's not what you want to hear.
37. Overall, he's pretty easy going.
38. He is a man of integrity.
39. He is a smart guy and most things come really easy for him.
40. He is the husband I prayed for.

Happy 40th birthday! I'm looking forward to spending the next 40+ birthdays celebrating with you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No More Injuries!


Oh, sweet Silas! Can you stop being such a risk taker, an adventurer, a flying off the couch type of child, just for one day?

Honestly, I wouldn't trade any of this about Silas. I love his personality and God made him this way for a reason. But after a busy day of running errands and homeschooling, I just didn't need any excitement. I was working with Caleb when I encouraged the other three boys to go play in the backyard. As I was talking to Levi , I heard a crash or maybe it was a bump. Anyway, it was a noise of a child getting hurt. I hadn't even seen Silas slip into the room but somehow he managed to have an accident. Caleb says he saw it all happen but I'm not too sure of his explanation.

When I went to pick him up, Caleb started hollering that Silas was bleeding. Head wombs always bleed more than other places which I have learned from personal experience with all four of our boys at one time or another. I tend not to panic unless the bleeding is coming from the face. His was coming from the back of his head somewhere underneath all of his hair. I didn't get too stressed. Okay, maybe a little. Fortunately, his cut or maybe his puncture womb wasn't too bad. It was one of those questionable injuries. Yeah, the er might have put a staple in it but they might not have. I opted to not go to the er since he was down laughing and running around 3 minutes later. He even landed on the back of his head while playing outside and it didn't phase him one bit. It looks like he's going to survive. I'm not too sure about his mama though.

A Welcoming Church

We had an extremely busy weekend for us. One baseball practice, one soccer game, one baseball game, 3 church services (we were at all three), and me dragging all of my boys including Kerry shopping to help me find an outfit to wear. I'm sure it is a taste of what is to come with 4 children. Not sure I am ready for it though.

Anyway, this past weekend at church we were "introduced" to our new church this weekend. When Kerry told me that they were introducing us up on stage during all three services I got a little nervous. I used to love being on stage when I was younger, but now I prefer to be way in the background. Let everyone see and know Kerry and the boys, and I'll just stand to the side supporting them.

This time I couldn't hide. The first thing I felt I needed to do was decide on what the boys should wear. The two little ones already had something that would work, but the older two needed new shirts in the same color scheme as the younger two. Fortunately, they did very well on agreeing with the shirts. They would not have been my first choice, but neither would they have been my last pick. I think it was a good compromise.

I took three of the boys with me one night to try and find me something to wear. I am not good at shopping by myself. It is lonely, and I need someone to tell me the truth. My mom and sister are very good at this but they aren't here. Plus, I have been pregnant or nursing babies for the past 6 years (still nursing) and haven't really focused on fashion at all. I came home with a dress that Caleb said was great only to look at Kerry and see that he didn't like it. So, a few hours before the Saturday night service, he and the boys went with me and Kerry picked out something for me. I think from now on I will let Kerry shop for me, because I was pleased with what he picked out.

After being introduced at all of the services this weekend, I got a little teary-eyed at the wonderful welcome that the people of our church gave us. They made us feel so loved and welcomed. While walking down the halls, people time and time again stopped us to say that they were glad we were there. I got to meet other moms that home school their children and people that have already invited us into their homes. We have been at some wonderful, amazing churches, both big and small, but this one is standing out. We even received a sweet, handwritten letter in the mail from a family welcoming us. They have made us feel so accepted that I want to be able to give back to them. I hope in the near future, I will be able to start giving back by serving them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Caleb's First Game of the Season


Caleb had his first official game of the season this past Sunday. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to pitch in this game. I, on the other hand, was so nervous for him. He seems to play better in practices than he does in games, but he is having a great time. I am pretty excited that their team is sporting Baylor colors. He told me that he was glad he chose baseball as his activity for the fall (We told Caleb this summer that we wanted him to choose an activity to be involved in this fall which could have ranged from art, to a sport, or something to do with reptiles). That makes the 2+ hour games worth it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Josiah's First Soccer Game


Josiah had his first soccer game last Saturday. It was a lot of fun to go out and watch him play. I will admit that I was so proud of all of my boys at the game. Caleb stood on the sidelines the entire time cheering for Josiah. Silas and Levi hung out under the umbrella with me but they were cheering for Josiah. Levi could be heard shouting, "Go Josiah!" and Silas could be heard shouting, "Josiah go!" It was so cute, and I was so glad to see that they were all excited for him.

Josiah played hard. This is our first time in AYSO and at this age they split the team up and half of the team plays on one field and the other half plays on another field. We were missing a couple of players so everyone got to play the entire time. Josiah ran and ran and ran. He never stopped or complained that he was tired. Even when he fell down and got kicked in the face, he was right back up and playing hard. He had a great time. The only time he got upset and actually cried was when he set his cookie down and Silas decided to eat it. His first snack ever was eaten (a tragedy in his eyes) so Daddy came to the rescue and took him to the store to pick out a new snack.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back into Baseball

Tonight, I loaded up all the boys and we went to Caleb's first baseball practice of the season. He was excited to be playing again and I have to admit I enjoy watching him play. As we were walking up to the practice I experienced an array of emotions: thankful that Caleb has done so well with moving so many times and having a new coach and a new set of teammates each year, sad that we have moved so much and hearing other people tell me that their children have been playing in this league since they were 5, proud that I knew Caleb would go out and do his very best, nervous that his best might not measure up after not playing for a year, and joy as Caleb did his very best and although a little rusty will do just fine.

All the other boys dressed in their baseball gear to support their brother (the only picture taken was on Kerry's phone). After we got home from practice tonight, Caleb mentioned that I didn't take any pictures or videos of him. I told him I would do that on Sunday at his scrimmage. That comment struck me as I realized that even at 10 he still needs to feel loved and important by my actions. He watched as I took pictures and videos of Josiah's soccer practice and noticed that I didn't take any of his. Even if no other parent was taken pictures of their 10-12 year olds, it was still important to him.

The game/scrimmage is set from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m., and the coach told the parents to have them there at 3:30p.m. After practice, Caleb informed me he needed to be there at 3:00. I informed him that we didn't need to be there until 3:30 but he said the coach told them if they got there early they could start practicing. I guess we will be getting there early. I'd much prefer him wanting to get there early than not having any enthusiasm for it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Silas Turns 2


Silas at the park on his birthday (went to Josiah's soccer practice)


Silas's Buzz Lightyear cake


Silas's favorite gift


I love his expression when he opened his backpack - Buzz Lightyear. He must be the baby of the family because I never would have bought the other boys character backpacks.

Silas's birthday was a pretty low key day. Daddy worked for the majority of the day but came home in time to celebrate as a family. I think he must have known it was his special day because he didn't take a nap until dinner time.

I can't believe the baby of our family is now 2. Silas still is our baby even if he is growing up quickly.
A few things about him at this age:

*He loves Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story so this year he enjoyed a Buzz Lightyear birthday cake.
*He also loves the GeoTrax trains. He can play with them for long stretches at a time.
*He loves playing outside, especially on his little toy truck. He even managed it with a broken leg.
*He loves food and will try anything. Kerry loves having one of the boys who will sit and eat anything with him.
*He has known how to say Caleb's name for a long time, but now he will call out for Josiah as well. So cute!
*If he feels like he is being left out of something exciting, he gets extremely upset. For example, Kerry has room for only 3 of the boys in his car, and he was in tears when he couldn't ride with them.
*I am planning on working on his "potty learning" this week. He has the concept down. We just need to work on it full time.
*He catches on to things really fast, and I think he understands a lot more than we think he does.
*When one of his brothers needs something, he will go out of his way to help them. The other day Levi wanted some juice and Silas went and found him some.
*We just got him a toddler bed and moved him in with Josiah and Levi. It's a very tight fit but the three boys really enjoy being together.
*He is definitely a mama's boy but he loves spending time with Daddy and his brothers.
*We have made it to the 2 year mark with breastfeeding. He's nursing less and less so I know he will gradually wean himself.
*He also still has a pacifier. I think he will give that one up on his own as well. We only have a few left. He even decided to cut one of them. Now he won't use the broken one.
*His cast came off a week before his 2nd birthday. He still walks with a slight limp and his foot seems to be turned out a little.
*He loves praying at meal times. He will shout out, "Me pray!"
*He has learned to word, "Mine," and knows how to use it.
*He really enjoys watching the trash trucks come by our house every week. As soon as he hears the truck (3 in one day) he will go upstairs to his room and look outside the window. The excitement shows on his face.
*He likes me reading Clifford books to him. He's not that interested in many other books, but he will sit for a long time and listen to Clifford over and over again.

Silas, what a joy it is to have you as part of our family. It has been so much fun to watch you grow these past two years and I look forward to the many years ahead. Even at a young age, you have a heart for others and I can't wait to see how God uses your heart for helping others as you grow up. I pray that you will grow up loving Jesus.

And because this precious 2 year old fell asleep at dinner time, he got some special one on one time with mommy until about midnight. Sweet memories. I really do love those late nights when only one is up with me. Great conversations.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Naptime


A couple of weeks ago, Silas was upstairs playing with Josiah and Levi or so I thought. He also had been watching Barney. Caleb and I were downstairs working on school. When Levi came down I asked him what Silas was doing and he told me he was asleep. It is a very rare occurrence for Silas to fall asleep on his own. I assumed he had fallen asleep in Josiah and Levi's bed, so I didn't feel like I needed to go and check on him immediately. Once I finished with Caleb, I headed to check on Silas. What I saw surprised and scared me. He was sound asleep at the top of the stairs. He was so near the edge of the stairs that one roll to the wrong side would have sent him rolling down the stairs. I learned my lesson. If Levi tells me Silas is asleep, I need to go and check on him immediately to make sure he is in a safe spot.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gymnastics Versus Soccer



At the beginning of August, I signed Josiah up for soccer with the realization that we would probably be placed on a waiting list. The date that we should have received a phone call came and went. Since we have decided as a family (okay me and Kerry) that the minimum age to play sports in our family would be age five, I knew I had to find Josiah something to play or he would be devastated. He had waited 5 long years for this moment. I spoke with Josiah to let him know that he probably wouldn't get on a team with the league we signed up with originally but that I had found another place that he could learn soccer or t-ball. I could see his mind churning. He said, "Do you remember when you said I could try gymnastics if I hadn't already signed up for soccer?" I remembered saying that, and he decided he wanted to try gymnastics. I called that very day to a nearby gymnastics center and they had an opening for him to try out the class that afternoon to see if he liked it.

To say if was excited would be an understatement. You would have thought it was Christmas. So, the other three boys and I watch him during his entire class. It sure brought back memories of my gymnastic days. He was beaming the entire time. After the class, he couldn't wait to talk to Kerry on the phone and then called Nana and Granddad to share the news that he was going to take gymnastics. By this time I was in shock over how much he had loved it. I started seeing images of Josiah in competitions as he got older and me being a "gym mom." I even called them back and they said he could start in September.

That same evening, I wrote to the soccer league explaining that I was pretty sure that my son was on the waiting list and that I needed to remove him because I had make sure he got to play something this year. The next day, I received a phone call from them saying that he had indeed been placed on a team and that they had emailed me and his coach. I thanked them and decided that I would let Josiah decide. We also have a one sport at a time policy in our family. With four boys, there is no way we could afford or juggle that many activities. At first he asked if he could do both, I told him he could only choose one.

He chose soccer. I was a little surprised. He had his first practice this past Friday and loved it. I don't know if he really cares what he plays as long as he is playing something. I think he loves that for a little bit we are all watching him and cheering him on like he has watched us do with Caleb. He was so proud when he got his uniform. I have to admit, he looks pretty cute in it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Schooling with an almost 2 Year Old

I want to write down more of the cute and memorable things our kids say and do so that I can look back and truly enjoy them. Homeschooling with an almost 2 year old does not help keep our house clean most days, himself included. I have started keeping a basket of supplies on our table during school time. Today, Levi decided he wanted some paper and glue. No problem, let him create a masterpiece. After completing his masterpiece of construction paper with a glue design on top, he left it on the table. Not long after that, Silas found the masterpiece and thought it was shampoo. I found him scooping up the globs of glue and rubbing it in his hair. Beautiful! No picture was taken.

Tonight after dinner, Josiah and I were sitting at the table. He was watching me get things ready for tomorrow. Silas comes up and says he wants to color. After I hand him paper and crayons he says he wants to cut with scissors. So, I hand him some scissors. At this time I became busy talking with Josiah. When I glance up, it was to find that Silas had used the scissors to cut all of the brand new crayons instead of the cutting the paper. Oh well, at least it was only a box of 8 crayons.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Church


Today, we went to our new church. It was wonderful worshiping as a family this morning. Our church had VBS this past week, so the older children (K-5th or 6th grade) were in worship today. Great idea! Our two little ones were with us as well and we made it through half of the sermon before I had to step out with Silas (Josiah and Levi came too). That's a pretty good record with our boys. I look forward to one day hopefully in the near future when we can make it through an entire service sitting together as a family.

Kerry has accepted a position at this church which is about 45 minutes from where we live. We are at peace that this is where God wants us. I'm not going to post the name of the church here though. Why? I like the church very much, but I want to fall in love with this church. I want my kids to fall in love with this church. It feels like we have been many places (it's only been several), and I know each time we have known God was leading us to a certain church at that time. We have also felt his leading away from each of those churches. We're just listening to God. Caleb has even asked why some people don't have to move as much. I've tried to explain in a positive light that God sometimes needs the help of people by moving around a lot. And He picked us.

But now Caleb is 10. We haven't been somewhere long enough recently for him to make some lifelong friends, friends that love Jesus and will encourage Caleb to follow in His steps. I want to find such a connection at this church that I want to invite everyone I meet. I want to be able to say, "I love my church and would love for you to come experience it." I want Levi to finally step inside a Sunday School class and fall in love with his teachers and make some friends. I want to serve with Silas until he's confident about going to class by himself. And then I want to love on those babies that need loving familiar arms each week (since mine are growing up). I want to connect with other homeschooling families in the church so that we can be surrounded by other parents and children that homeschool. I want this church to fit us and us to fit this church.

I know I am not a jump in feet first type of person. I know it will take me longer than most to "acclimate." But I'm praying that this is a great long time fit for our family.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to School


The three baseball players (random picture not related to this post)

We started homeschooling back up this week. Boy were we rusty! We have so enjoyed a couple of summer weeks mixed in with our trip to Texas. But now it's back to work. Josiah is officially in Kindergarten. He is proud to be in school like Caleb and loves letting Caleb know each day that he has finished before him. I'm working on explaining that Caleb has more work to do and that it's now a race. Josiah is doing very well and I love the questions he asks especially during our Bible Study time. Some of his latest questions include, "Who will help us find our way to heaven?" "Will we just wake up in heaven?" I love these questions! I also love seeing my kids learn to read! So much fun!

Caleb is in fifth grade. Caleb and I both will be learning a lot this year. This week has been intense as we are both learning the ropes of fifth grade and the added work that comes with being a fifth grader. He will be learning to take on more responsibility of his schooling with him doing more projects on his own. I know he will do great once we get into a routine.

I am still trying to find the best flow to our day. Levi loves to be right with Josiah when he is doing his school which means Silas is right by Levi. They don't want to be left out. Levi and Silas appear to be used to Josiah playing with them so they stay pretty close by. They will sit at the table and color or will participate in science experiments, rhymes, music -- okay most of the fun stuff.

My biggest prayer is that we find a good rhythm to our days especially with Caleb's schooling. It is a lot of learning this year and I want to balance the more challenging subjects with the more enjoyable things like art throughout the day. We are looking forward to the weekend when we can relax and just play.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Cast #2 for Silas


We knew once we returned from Texas, Silas would need to be seen by an orthopedic. The Monday after we returned I called his doctor's office. It took them over a week and me leaving 3 messages to get a return phone call. This past week I called the orthopedic on Monday. By Thursday I had not received a return phone call. I called Thursday morning and they called me back around lunch time. After explaining his situation, they said he needed to be seen quickly. That got him in for the following day.

The nurse on the phone told me that they would not take the cast off the following day, because it would be too soon. After checking in, they took us down to the "casting room." The "casting guy" looked at his cast and said it was now too loose and had to come off. I was thinking wonderful thought of giving Silas a bath as soon as we got home or blowing up the little swimming pool in the backyard. Not the case. They took x-rays and even though it is healing nicely, they felt he needed to be in a cast for another 3 weeks. And not just a short cast, a long one. Silas and I aren't too happy about it. I understand why they feel he needs a long cast but now he really can't walk on much. So that means I am carrying him almost everywhere, even around the house. It also seems a little sore since he is having to move around at an odd angle. I did decide to go ahead and order a cover for the cast so that he can take a bath and maybe even go to the beach. I'm looking forward to that coming in the mail this week. Three weeks sounds like a very long time now.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Josiah Turns 5!


Our sweet second born turned five on July 26th. One of the big things on birthday at our house is the birthday cake. He had seen a birthday cake on the internet that he wanted me to make. He was very happy with the results. Kerry needed me to run an errand for him which took twice as long as expected. He got a little sad about spending his birthday in the car, but Caleb was a big encourager for him. We stopped for lunch letting him pick where we ate. Then, Caleb played all afternoon with him, a wonderful birthday gift. When asked what he wanted for dinner, he said, "Jack in the Box" That was a very random choice since we rarely eat there. So, Daddy brought it home for us. He loved opening his presents and eating his birthday cake. He especially liked the gifts Caleb gave him -- toys that Caleb didn't want anymore but knew Josiah would like. I love birthdays with Josiah. He is content with the simple things, knowing the day is all about him and that he is loved.





Sunday, August 01, 2010

Texas Trip: Part 6

Day 14: Instead of a leisurely morning, we were up early to go to Braxton's tball game. They also tiny out there. After they game, we drove back to Gladewater to see Granny some more and pick up Bailey. We all took it easy that afternoon and then enjoyed playing in the backyard with the sprinkles and bubbles.

7/17/2010 - Braxton and Caleb after Braxton's game


7/17/2010 - Braxton, Caleb, Brock, and Levi


7/17/2010 - Levi loving the bubbles


7/17/2010 - Josiah playing in the sprinklers

Day 15: We went to church with Granny in the morning. The three little ones and I ended up hanging in the nursery after the singing. All three of them love when they can be in the same class together with mom. I'm sure we will be back in there again when we visit next. After church, we drove to Henderson to have lunch with Hudspeths. We met at Golden Corral. I haven't eaten there in a long time but I learned I don't think I can handle a buffet style restaurant again until at least three of our kids can carry their own plates. Plus with Silas wanting to be held most of the time, it wasn't easy. But they all loved the desserts and it was great to see family. Then we headed over the see Josh at work. Then it was back to Granny's to pick up Bailey and head back to Arlington. We dropped Bailey off at my parents and then took the boys to dinner so we could enjoy some time with the 6 of us before Kerry went back to California.

7/18/2010 - Granny and four of her boys


7/18/2010 - Part of the Mackey/Hudspeth families


7/18/2010 Cousin Josh with the boys


7/18/2010 - Josiah and Granny


7/18/2010 Caleb and Granny


7/18/2010 - Levi and Granny


7/18/2010 - Silas and Granny


7/18/2010 Kerry and Granny

Day 16: Silas and I took Kerry to the airport very early that morning around 5am. We thought we left the other 3 sleeping but Levi woke shortly after we left and was very upset. Nana and Granddad took very good care of him and he was sound asleep when we returned. We went over to RyAnn's house so the boys could play in the morning and for lunch. Then we went back to Nana and Granddad's house to relax and just be at "home." After dinner, we me Brock, Braxton, and Nate at the park to play some baseball. The boys all had fun playing.

7/10/2010 - Josiah playing ball


7/19/2010 - Granddad and Levi


7/19/2010 Caleb borrowing Brock's hat


7/19/2010 - Braxton and Levi


7/19/2010 - RyAnn and Braxton

Day 17: Today was the day planned to celebrate Josiah's birthday. We went to Chuck E. Cheese with Brock and Braxton to play games. We were supposed to have dinner at Nana and Granddad's but their air conditioner broke and we had it at RyAnn's house. Josiah got to open up his presents and then we went to watch Brock play tball. After the game, we went to Braums for ice cream.

7/20/2010 - Josiah at Chuck E. Cheese


7/20/2010 The practice shot before the good picture


7/20/2010 - All the boys together


7/20/2010 - Nana and Granddad with all their grandsons.

Day 18: Our last full day in Texas. I spent part of the morning running errands, getting last minute things for the trip back to California. We also spent most of the day packing. RyAnn brought the boys over for one last visit. I got it all my packing done and the car loaded, gas tank full, ready to leave bright and early the next morning.

Day 19: We were up and on the road right around 6am. The boys did great and it was so nice having Nana in the car with us. We made great timing for 2 ladies, 4 kids, and a dog. We stayed at the same place we stayed in Las Cruces, NM on our way out to Texas. We enjoyed ordering food in the room and the 3 older ones had a great time swimming. Silas didn't get to swim though. Josiah started to get sick that evening developing a fever.

Day 20: I was a little slow moving on this morning. The boys were too. I was able to load the entire car while they slept. We made it home in time for dinner prepared by Kerry. Everyone was glad to be out of the car and enjoyed a nice meal. Josiah really didn't feel well by the time we got to the house and fell asleep while Nana was holding him.

I am so thankful Nana was able to help us drive back. I probably could have made it but it would not have been as easy or fun without her.