Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ivy Joy

 One minute, she's peaceful..
so innocent-looking...

 the next:
she's so excited to see you,
she can hardly contain herself!
Her arms and legs a-swingin',
her smile bigger than her face.
She's gonna get you,
one way or another.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Watch Yourself--Ivy's on the Move

This baby...
crawls everywhere

pulls up on everything

empties laundry baskets

finds every minuscule thing that can't go in her mouth

smiles all the time

chomps with those teeth

brings such joy to my life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mama Ruby

 Ruby's like her mama...
always a baby in her lap or on her hip.

She's also really in to doing this
scrunchy nose thing when I ask her to smile for a picture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Story Time

 Linnea helps me with doing school with the littler ones.

Their favorite book is a collection of classic stories,
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, 
The Three Billy Goats Gruff,
The Gingerbread Man,
Little Red Riding Hood, 
The Three Little Pigs,

Each of the us takes a part...
it is so fun.
I get Mama Bear, of course!

I also love hearing the little voices jump in with,
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!"

Linnea can keep the story going,
even if I am over at the stove getting 
dinner ready!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ruby's Clues

When I let Ruby watch a movie,
she will either choose "Max and Ruby" (surprise, surprise!)
or "Blue's Clues".

She loves to write in her
handy dandy......

She carries one around in her purse, too.
I love this girl.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Won! I Won!

How cool is THAT??
I won Vanessa's giveaway on her blog,

I'm so excited to get to work on 
some cards--for free!

Thank you, Vanessa!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am I think I know

(Taken from Bonnie's post.)

I am: staying up really late.
I think: too much about things
I know: too little about too many things
I want: to know more about so many things.
I have: an intense hatred for salamanders and mice
I dislike: when people come down on someone for using discernment and instead label it intolerance
I miss: going on dates with my husband
I fear:  losing a child (I don't mean misplacing one)
I feel:  lonely more often than anyone would think a mother of 8 would feel.
I hear:  my husband snoring
I smell: everything. I'm like my mom that way.  I can smell a poopy diaper the second I come within yards of the offending child.  If Dennis has eaten something on the road, I can tell what it was.  He knows he could never get away with cheating, 'cause I'd smell him out in a heartbeat.
I crave: something chocolate. Or cheesecake.  But not chocolate cheesecake.
I search: for ways to improve the way our household and homeschool run.  I also search for missing library cards, cheap food, that candy bar I thought I hid in the back of the cupboard, and Dennis' wallet/belt/very important paper/socks/flashlight/or anything-else-that-wasn't-really-my-responsibility.
I wonder: how babies can wake up so happy.  Ivy is down-right giddy when I get her in the morning.
I regret: many, many things.  Things I have said.  Things I have done.  Things I have left unsaid. Things I have left undone.
I love: watching my children play and learn together
I care: about the kind of men and women my kids will turn out to be.  It seems my every parental move is dedicated to molding and shaping them.  It's exhausting and difficult and wonderful all at the same time.
I am always: always always always always second-guessing myself.
I worry: that the arthritis in my hands at the age I am now will render my hands completely useless by the time I hit 40.  I'm not joking.
I remember: my parents watching shows like Dallas and Alice.
I have: watched pretty much every episode of Friends.  And Dallas. But I haven't watched one where the Friends were in Dallas.  I'm quite certain they never went to Dallas.
I dance: when no one's looking. Great.  Now you'll all be watching.
I sing: while rocking babies...at nursing homes...at church...in the shower......while hanging clothes on the line in the spring/summer/fall...I don't sing as much as I used to; I miss it. (My intended career was music education until God spoke to my heart and called me to be at home with my family.)
I don’t always: stick up for myself or say what I really think.  This is both good and bad.
I argue: with my husband.  Well, I'm not really arguing so much as explaining why I'm right.
I write: lists, lists, and lists.  They are the only way I can possibly remember anything.
I lose: my temper
I wish: I didn't lose my temper.
I listen: to things that aren't said.
I don't understand: why people are so astonished to hear that I have 8 kids.  I don't understand the really rude things people say--some people have no filter.  I also don't understand why it takes forever to check out at Wal-Mart.
I can usually be found: at home.
I am scared: to talk on the phone with people.  I make my kids call.
I need: new slippers. Oh--and a 15 passenger van.
I forget: to be joyful.
I am happy: -est: when I am at home:   crocheting...reading...schooling...cooking...baking...cleaning...training...living...and loving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Elijah-Boy

My Elijah turned 4 years old on Sunday.
He was so excited when he opened this shirt from an aunt
that he had to put in on right away.
He also got a new belt that he
immediately put on.

I love this kid.
That is just how he is--so excited about the small things.
Like a shirt and a belt.

Here he is with his deer hunting cake.

blowin' out all those candles!

(since we have two November birthdays,
we just do one party for both kids.
Hence the cake has Andrew's name on it, too.)

It didn't take long until
he was a tired little man!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How We Obey--Cheerfully

In our home, I strive to train my children to obey quickly, cheerfully, and completely.
I spoke about obeying quickly here.

Let's talk about obeying cheerfully.

This is a hard one for me.  The children don't always obey cheerfully, trust me!  I forget to follow through on making them respond cheerfully--which may or may not be related to me forgetting to ask nicely.

Then, I read the Duggar family's book.

I promise you--whether you have two kids or twenty, you can glean something from this book.  It is not merely a "this is how I clean a lot toilets because I have a lot of kids" type of book.  There is an element of that, of course, but more-so about laundry and cooking.

I gleaned several child-training gems from this book.   
One in particular is "Yes, ma'am, I'd be happy to."

Oooooh, I love this one!
In order to teach it, you have to make it fun.
The way Mr. and Mrs. Duggar do so is to line up the younger ones and play a sort of "Simon Says" game.  For example, you say, "Andrew, touch your head with your right hand."
He says, "Yes, ma'am, I'd be happy to." and touches his head with his right hand.

For a littler one, you may say, "Elijah, jump two times."
He needs to say, "Yes, ma'am, I'd be happy to." and then do what you asked him to do.

When you start with these silly kinds of things, you are laying the ground work for bigger things.
Once everyone has the idea down of responding to Mom in this way when she asks for something to be done, you move on to "Christopher, please pick up the blocks and put them in the box."
He needs to say, "Yes, ma'am, I'd be happy to." then do it and come back to you as quickly as he can.

To be honest, the novelty of this waxes and wanes.  
Sometimes, my children's response isn't very convincing.
When this happens, it's an opportunity for me to get down on their level and remind them of how they're supposed to respond.  It's also an opportunity for me to make sure my heart is right in the way that I have asked them.

Mom and Dad can carry this over into their interactions with each other and with the children, too. 
Mom asks Dad for a hand with the groceries, he can say, "Yes, dear, I'd be happy to."  (wouldn't that be great???)

Dad asks Mom to make him a sandwich on his way out the door to a meeting, she can say, "Sure, honey, I'd be happy to."  (This certainly sounds better than "Are you kidding me?  Can't you see I'm _______?)

When a child asks for your help, you can respond in this way, too.
"Mom, can you help me with number 4 on my math?"
"Sure, honey, I'd be happy to." would create a much better environment than "Seriously?  You're only on NUMBER FOUR?????!!!"

I've heard it said that Mom sets the tone for the home.
I know this to be true--because I have seen it play out here in our house many times.
Even though I know this to be true, I fail miserably and often.

I'm making it my personal goal to really work on responding with "Yes, I'd be happy to."
'Cause those other responses up there-----  
Well, let's just say I didn't pull them out of thin air...

Friday, November 5, 2010

8 Months

Ivy Joy 
is 8 months old today.

She is a most delightful baby;
adored by her family,
doted on by her siblings.

I'm not sure where 8 months went,
because it seems as if just yesterday
she was born...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

8 Years

Andrew turned 8 years old today.

He is really into playing "army" 
so we gave him some military planes.

We also had his favorites
to eat today,
hamburger noodle hotdish for dinner,
and these for snack:
Your family may call them special k bars--
our family calls them "Andrew bars".

Happy 8th Birthday, Andrew!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010












Can you guess to whom these belong????
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