Tuesday, October 22, 2013


My sweet little guy is 5.  Wait, is that right?  No, he can't be five already!  That is not a little guy!  I'm really having a hard time with this birthday.  I'm not ready for him to grow up.  I'm not ready for this stage of life.  I like the freedom and flexibility we have to do school whenever we want, assuming we want to do it.  But at 5, kids start kindergarten at 5.  Yeah yeah yeah, we don't have to worry about that until next school year, but the fact remains that my kid is old enough to be in kindergarten.  He's just so BIG now.

We had a fun birthday party for him over the weekend.  He wanted a pumpkin patch theme and wanted it at our church.  So we bought pumpkins and set up his little patch.  We brought old tee shirts and painting supplies so the kids could paint their pumpkins.  I expected this to last a while.  It didn't!  But they were very happy to run around like little crazy people.  We had lots of balloons and a few games set up.  We didn't play many of the organized games I planned, though.  They were too crazy.  We were able to play 3 legged race, though.  It was fun.  T and his buddy B (who my sister used to nanny for, so we know him well) won both times.  I was honestly impressed with their strategy and team work!  The first round, they ran to the finish line like it was no big deal!  The second time, they fell down, but it didn't stop them from missing a beat.  They both crawled.  Ha ha!  The piƱata was also a big hit.  I bought way too much candy!  Sorry other moms!

I don't think I have T's birth story written down anywhere, so I'm going to take this opportunity to share it :)

At 37 weeks, I was 3 1/2 cm dilated.  Doctor said he didn't expect me to be back next week!  Yeah!  Baby time!  Next week, I was still 3 1/2 cm.  Sigh.  Again, I left thinking I wouldn't make it to my next appointment.  Half way through the week, I have one contraction which pushed me up to 4, closer to 4 1/2 cm dilated, but still no baby.  For a month, I walked two laps around the mall every morning (it's a huge mall!) and then J and I walked laps around our apartment complex...over and over and over.  Still, no baby.  I was scheduled to be induced the day after my due date.  But finally, at 39 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor.  I called J as soon as I realized I was in labor (around 11) and asked him to come home.  It was a long drive and I was worried about being alone.  By the time he got home, I was having good, strong contractions and hopped in the shower until we ran out of hot water.  After that, we decided to head to my in-
laws house because they have a big Jacuzzi tub.  That was WONDERFUL.  The contractions hurt so much less when I was under the water.  But about 3 1/2 hours after the first contraction, we decided to head to the hospital.  J called to let them know and they told him I didn't sound like I was ready but I could be checked at their office if I felt like I needed to go.  I told him we were going straight to the hospital, not the doctors office.  I was 6 1/2 cm when we got there and so discouraged.  Soon after that, I was asking for an epidural.  Then my water broke.  That's about the time J suggested I wait to be checked again before getting the epi, because he knew how important it was to me to go med free.  9 1/2 cm!  Almost there!  Then labor stalled, I cried, almost threw up with every contraction, held onto J's arm, cried some more, then felt like I had to push.  Yay!  Baby time!  After a while of pushing, the nurse realized baby was sunny side up, which was making it hard to come out.  The doctor said he was too far down the birth canal to try to move him and he would have to be delivered that way.  YIKES.  But the nurse knew some tricks to encourage him to turn himself.  I pushed on my hands and knees for a long time and he eventually turned.  2 1/2 hours later, he was born.  After a total of 7 hours, my 8lb 8oz baby boy was born.  He left me with a 4th degree tear, but was otherwise the best baby.  Nursed ok, slept well, happy as can be.

Here is his yearly quiz :)
Favorite food- corn dogs
Least favorite- spaghetti
Favorite toy- the lazer tag and the remote control truck, both he got for his birthday
Favorite game- tag
Favorite tv show- spiderman
Best friend- little girl who used to live across the street, but moved to the single family area in our community (L)
Favorite place- Chick Fil A
Favorite color- blue
Favorite book- Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
Favorite song- Oh no, never let go
Future Career- Stay home to help Mommy with the children.  Ha ha.  He's such a sweet kid.  But this mommy is done having children!  ;-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No School!

We have taken the past few weeks off from school.  While I miss the structure and the time we spend gathered at our table, I thought it would be rough to try to learn academics with all that the boys have been doing.  We've done some fun things, though!  Like....

Busch Gardens!

Then, we stayed at a hotel and went to a place filled with trampolines and apple picking.

Obviously, a good time was had by all.  We can't wait to go again.  I love spending time with my little family.
After our family getaway, the boys tried their own little trip without mommy and daddy.  My parents took them to visit my sister in North Carolina.  T had a great time, L was ready to come home.   In fact, he threw such tantrums that they came home two days early.  J and I planned to go through our entire house, top to bottom, and clean, purge, and organize.  We got through a lot of stuff, but we have a lot left.  Sigh.  Oh well.  Someday, we will have a nice, clean, organized home.  When that day comes, I think I'll miss the excitement and joy young kids bring.  It would be nice if I could have both, though.  A clean house and young, joy-filled kids ;-)
Now that we've had a couple weeks off, I'm debating whether to hit the books again, or to work more on chores.  A certain child has a really hard time cleaning up after himself and doing things on his own.  Even things like getting dressed.  Part of me is thinking that I need to take this time to teach them more how to take care of their things (this goes back to my frustration over my house). 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter B! And a 7 Month Old.

We worked on the letter B last week.  I decided it would be easier to blog our whole week in one post.  Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of everything we did, but I'll share some of our fun things.  So here we go!

This week, I introduced journaling.  We "wrote" a lot about the BEACH (my favorite place to be!).  The way we did this was by having the boys color a picture and then telling me exactly what words to write down.  I encouraged them to use full sentences, which was hard at times, but I think they will catch on quickly.  T LOVES journaling.

 L worked on squares.
T fed the Bunny some carrots.  I would write a number on the bunny's belly and he gave the bunny that many carrots.
L sorted Bugs by color.  This was his favorite activity and he has taken them out several times since. (He really does where clothes sometimes.  I promise.  Lol)

 We did a few other things, too (but don't have pics of on my computer...).  The best game of the week was Balloon Blast!  I wrote numbers and shapes on the sidewalk and let the boys throw water balloons at whatever number/shape I called out.  We also made butterflies out of capital B's and tissue paper. (This is not my picture, but this is the project. Here's the website it came from)B is for butterfly preschool craft.  @Debby Dawson
Princess had her first play date, complete with dress up!  Oh my, how adorable are these two together???  And what makes these BFF's even better is that they have very similar names.  As in, almost identical.  I see lots of fun (and confusion) between these two as the years go by.

 And one more picture, because my sweet little princess is growing up!  7 months old!  Already?!?  Her big accomplishments are 3 teeth, all along the bottom (with more coming), she's crawling, pulling up on things, and responding to her name.  She is probably the most popular kid on the planet because she smiles at anyone who looks at her.  It's fun walking through a store or church because everyone ooo's and aaah's over her and she EATS IT UP.  She has started on solid food and LOVES it.  I mean absolutely loves it!!!  We are slow to introduce things because I want her breast fed as much as possible, but so far she's tried peas, banana, apple, and mushy carrots.  When she eats, she always says, "ummm mmm mmm ummmmmm."  Oh, another big accomplishment this past month is that she now sleeps in her own room instead of Mommy and Daddy's room.  She does great in there.  She's so much like her biggest brother.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Rest of Week F

I wasn't able to update the blog each day, so here's a quick peek at the rest of the fun things we did this past week:
Feather painting

 This was T's math one day
 I have two kids in Awana this year!  L is in Cubbies and T is in Sparks!

L working on his F flag
 Writing in shaving cream

T's F flag
 L's turn to draw shapes in shaving cream
 Princess watching her brothers and being a little ham
 We made puffy paint and made Fish with it, but I forgot to get a pic

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Meal Plan

This week, we are having:

Ham and potatoes
Chipotle Chicken
Tortilla soup made from left over chicken
Pot Roast
And J will grill out.  Yum!

Still haven't started planning out all meals, but I'm just happy to had dinners for the week. :)

School was good again today.  L had a harder time, but that's to be expected.  It will take him awhile to get into the routine.  I also skipped morning chores because I'm hoping to get to the grocery store today.  I didn't think I could get to both.  Back to school.  I should say that I get most (all?) of our school projects from pinterest, but I'm really bad about saving the pin and giving credit to whom credit is due.  If I stole your ideas, THANK YOU and I'm sorry!  So, we are on F.  T worked on his book and did great, but didn't ask to do more today.  It was a lot of coloring and that isn't his favorite.

L worked on a flower picture (because it begins with F).  T did one after he finished his book.
 We did some science today.  I made up papers for them to predict whether objects will float (F theme).

 L absolutely loves water, so he had a blast.  T loved it, too.  L didn't really do the paper, but he did say his thoughts (usually after he put the object into the water; he doesn't like being wrong).  Please ignore our recycling in the background.  T made those "decorations" hanging on the wall. 

I let them watch a few youtube videos on a frog's life cycle.  Double science lessons today! 
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/474003929501133127/ This one was made by a 2nd grade class.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/474003929501640913/ Another one, not as cute though.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/474003929501640670/ This is a cute little song they enjoyed.
T did a little bit of math from his math book.  He never finished the second book last year, so we will slowly make our way through it.  He gets a little bored with it after a while, so we are in no hurry.  L didn't do any math.  He reached his limit pretty quickly today.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Little L is 3!

My sweet little guy is now a 3 year old!  I can't believe how fast these kids are growing.  Unfortunately we didn't get a lot of pictures from his party (forgot my camera), but we celebrated at my community's lake.  It was fun but he got overwhelmed by the end.  He told his grandmother, "I don't want to be the birthday boy anymore."  Lol!  Poor kid!  I try to ask the kids some questions on their birthday.  I don't know what I did with last year's answers, but here is how my L answered this year:

Favorite Food: Snacks
Least Favorite: Carrots
Favorite Toy: Nemo (He just got this for his birthday.  He's played with it twice)
Favorite Game: wrestling
Favorite TV show: JoJo's Circus (this changes weekly)
Best Friend: Daddy and T
Favorite Place to Go: Chick Fil A
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Book: Cars
Favorite Song: Veggie Tales
Future Career: Fly Helicopter     

The following day was Princess' half birthday.  At 6 months old, C can sit up by herself (she's even pushed herself into a sitting position twice!).  She has started scooting across the floor, gets on all fours and rocks, and has had a taste of banana and a baby mum mum.  She loves both and so badly wants to eat more!  Poor girl has to wait until we get back from our vacation, though.  This momma doesn't want to deal with those types of dirty diapers while we are gone (breast fed poo washes out, but once babies start solids, you have to dump and get it off first).  She also loves hair, her thumb, and people.  She is not a fan of diaper changes and being away from her Mommy.

We are in the process of planning for school (something else that has to wait until we get home from the beach).  This year, I've decided against a curriculum.  Well, actually I did buy a reading curriculum, but we didn't buy math, language, or anything else.  I came to the realization that one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool is because I don't want these boys sitting at a table doing papers all day long, so why would I do that at home?  Plus, we feel convicted to pay off our car and not buying curriculum will save us money.  That makes extra work for me, but I've had fun putting together games and projects to do in place of paperwork.  I will try to keep this blog posted on our fun stuff.  But you know me and blogging ;-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Schedule

As I said earlier, I've reached the point where I'm completely overwhelmed and ready for some order in my life.  After talking with friends who seem to have it all together, and reading blogs of Christian homeschooling mothers, it seems like the people who have happy, productive, intentional lives are the ones who have daily schedules.  I'm kind of torn on this.  I like flexibility.  I like going wherever I want, whenever I want.  But something isn't working for me.  I am wondering if this is it.  Maybe I NEED more order to my life.  Maybe all this freedom and flexibility is actually causing me more stress and less real freedom (because if I have a time and place to do stuff, I'll have more free, fun time available instead of always feeling overwhelmed)?  I don't know, but I'm going to find out!  My friend and I sat down today and put together a schedule of how I'd like my day to run.  It's going to be hard because I'm not a very disciplined person.  I am still willing to try, though.  I figure, if this doesn't work, it's ok.  What I'm doing now isn't working anyway, so what's the harm in trying ;-)  So, here it is!  My new daily schedule!

7- wake up!
7:30- head downstairs and make breakfast.  After we eat, the kids will clear the table and then have quiet play while I finish cleaning up.
9- morning chores.  The boys have chores but we don't enforce them.  I will start.  I will also come up with daily chores for me.
10- school starts!  I will have a very specific schedule for school this year, too.  That's to come in another post.....
12- kids get an educational show while I get lunch ready.  Then we eat, clean up, and head upstairs where we rest from 1-2, or later if needed (like by L)
2-4- catch up on morning chores or school work.  Once that's done, it's time for free play.
4- afternoon chores (in other words, get ready for Daddy to come home...)
4:30- dinner prep.  The boys can pick another tv show or play on the electronics.  I hate that they will have all this screen time, but at this point in life, I'm going to just accept it and not beat myself up for it.  I have three children, my oldest isn't even 5.  I will show myself grace.  Lots of grace.  And someday, when life (hopefully) gets a little easier with the kids, they will have less tv time.
5:30- DINNER.. Yum.  Everyone helps clean the kitchen after.
6:30- time to head upstairs and start the bedtime routine.  Brush teeth, diapers, books, devos, kisses, water, good night! 
7:30- lights out!
After the kids are in bed, I would like to do a 15 minute clean up with my hubby, then prepare for the next day (review what's for breakfast, dinner, any outings, whatever) and then finally, kick my feet up and relax. 

Tomorrow, I want to spend some time figuring out what chores need to be done, by whom, and write it all down.  That way, when we start this schedule, the kids and I will know exactly what to expect.  I also want to be more specific in my meal plan.  I've done well planning dinners, but I think I need to start planning all meals and snacks out.  That took extra work up front, but it definitely made my week run smoothly.  So, there you have it!

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Past Three Days

Forget goals, we are back to just surviving.  But here's why:

T woke up "dizzy" and had an upset stomach, so off we went to our second home, the doctor's office.  Turns out he has strep throat.  Again.  Have I mentioned our recent history with strep?  6 weeks ago, T had a terrible case of it.  A week after that, I came down with it and was absolutely and completely miserable.  So sick!  A week after that, my sister came to visit and guess what... got strep.  That's when I decided to take L in to see if he was the carrier, even though he had NO symptoms whatsoever.  He tested positive.  Yay!  We know why it's going around our family and we can finally get rid of it.  Right?  WRONG!  A week later, we were visiting Stacy and had to make a trip to urgent care for...you guessed it, strep.  Thankfully I wasn't as sick this time as last, but sick none the less.  A week after that, I had to take Princess in for a tick bite and she was put on antibiotics.  So we are up to five weeks in a row of someone being up on antibiotics.  But I was happy because we went a whole week without someone coming down with strep!  We finally beat it once and for all!  Then comes this week, and this appointment, and strep again.  Exhausting.  At this point, I am SICK AND TIRED of strep going from person to person.  So after T's test came back positive, I asked them to test C.  She's negative.  I scheduled an appointment for L even though again, he was acting perfectly normal.  Positive.  Two down in one day.  I also scheduled appointments for J and me.  I had mentioned having everyone tested last time I had strep (two weeks ago), but this time, J decided to give in and go this time.  I had my appointment first.  Negative!  Yeah!  J is the ONLY one who hasn't been on antibiotics.  He has felt fine, no symptoms, nothing.  His test came back...POSITIVE!  The man has been getting us sick for the past SIX WEEKS!  He's lucky we love him so much ;-)  I afraid to "jinx" it, but hopefully, prayerfully, this is the end of strep throat for our poor, poor family!  C is still on the antibiotics for that tick bite, so I'm currently the only one not on them!  I'm a little worried they pasted it onto me and it just hasn't had time to settle before my test yesterday.  But I'm praying THIS IS IT!  So, that's why I haven't been setting goals or blogging.  I've spent my days at doctor's offices and pharmacies.  Today's goals are:

1. give kids medicine
2. don't get sick
3. enjoy my family
4. don't get sick
5. make dinner

and a bonus goal again- don't get sick!!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23

I did well on yesterday's goals.

1. swim lessons went well.
2. laundry-check!
3. Hubby was pleased with the amount of dishes I did (I HATE dishes!!!!  Hubby has always done them, but with his crazy work load lately, he's asked me to step up and do a few.  Ick)
4. Made ham and potatoes for dinner.  I was planning to make something else, but accidentally forgot to take the meat out of the freezer.
5. I packed most of the bag last night for swimming today.  So my list wasn't completely done, but I'm happy :)
I also did my bonus goal.  Well, half of it.  I stuff a lot of diapers.  Again, not all, but most.

Today's goals:

1. Be on time for swim lessons, and then stay late to do extra swimming.
2. Wash diapers AND one load of laundry.
3. Make dinner.
4. Pack bag for tomorrow.
5. Dishes :(

I'll be honest, swimming is done, dinner is done, the diapers are drying and the regular laundry is in the wash.  I added them anyway!  I've also done a few dishes.  I know I need to do more before J gets home (in the next 15 minutes...), but it's a start.  I'm really tired again today.  Thankfully, Princess slept 8 hours last night.  Meaning.... this Mommy slept 8 hours!!!  I'm praying she has another amazing night!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Today's Top 5

I feel like I've been living in survival mode for the past several months.  I have a friend who is now pregnant with baby #5 and said told me once that it takes a good 6 months to adjust to a new baby.  Everyone in the family has to figure out their new roles and routines and it just takes a while.  I think she's right.  Princess is almost 5 months old, so we have about another month to go.  I have to admit, I'm tired of just surviving.  I want some order to my life again, some type of control (I realize I cannot control life, but I would like to be able to go to sleep when I'm ready to go to sleep instead of when C allows me, or to sit down and eat an entire meal instead of two bites before someone starts screaming. or at the very least, to pee when I have to pee!).  In an attempt to try to get a little, just a teeny tiny bit, of control back into my life, I'm going to write out my top 5 goals for the day.  Some won't seem like much.  Don't judge.  I'm tired and not wanting to stress myself out even more!  So, here goes!

1. Swim lessons for both boys.  Be on time!  (DONE!  Boys did great!  I'm a proud mommy)
2. Cook dinner.
3. Try to have most of the dishes in the dish washer by the time J gets home.
4. One load of laundry.
5. Pack swim stuff for tomorrow.

And Bonus points for me if I stuff diapers ;-D

But for now, all three kids just fell asleep.  This .NEVER. happens.  Forget the list, I'm taking a nap!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Menu Plan- July 21

I'm getting back to menu plans, but only doing dinners for now.  Eventually, I'd like to plan out all of our food.  But for now, just dinners :)

1. Carnitas. Mmm.  I have a friend who had a baby yesterday (YAY!!!) so I'm hoping to bring her some.  I'll cook these whatever day she tells me she wants a meal.
2. Meatloaf
3. Chicken Fried Rice
4. Tatertot Casserole
5. Ham and Potatoes

We usually go out to eat once as a family and then eat out with my parents on Sundays, which is a late lunch due to church.  We end up getting a light snack instead of a meal Sunday evenings.

The boys start swimming lessons tomorrow.  They are very excited.  T has done a great job swimming so far this year and I'm sure he's going to do amazingly well with his lessons.  L has been timid, but has already come a LONG way with being comfortable in the water.  Since he's only 2 and timid, his lessons might be interesting.  But he will love them :)  (Swim pictures are from our visit to my sister's house)

Princess hasn't been sleeping.  I am one tired momma.  Being tired makes me cranky.  Poor kids.  But I keep reminding myself that this phase is temporary.  Hopefully the up-all-night phase will be very, very temporary!  For everyone's sake.....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where has the time gone?

I realized the other day that it's been forever since I last blogged.  About two and a half years ago, I felt overwhelmed with house work, mothering, and life in general.  Well, baby girl is now the same age L was, and guess what!  I'm overwhelmed with, well, the exact same thing!  My house feels out.of.control!  We have way too much stuff and every time I start to go through it, I feel like we need to keep all of it. I feel guilty getting rid of things that were given to my kids, or things they picked out and bought (like Awana store stuff, or cheap stuff they spent "their" money one.  It's mostly pure junk).  If it's something big, like their basketball hoop, I feel like we spent too much money to just get rid of it!  We haven't gotten our money's worth from it.  But, they don't play with it so we probably never will.  And papers.  Those are the worst.  Stuff. Everywhere.  No where to put it!  Plus, we've decided that we want to pay off our car.  Besides our mortgage, it's our only debt.  BUT, God has convicted us that we need to pay that off.  We shouldn't be in debt to anyone, and while it's unrealistic to try to pay off our house right now, we need to put more effort toward paying off the minivan.  That thought is overwhelming, too.  Especially because I have a hard time passing up a shopping trip!  Those two issues kind of go together for me.  I have all of these grand ideas (thanks, pinterest) for how to organize my life, but those things cost money.  That's why it's overwhelming.  I feel trapped in a cluttered home, a cluttered life, with no way to escape.  God has also been working on my contentedness.  I cannot tell you how many times I have complained about one thing or another over the past couple of months.  The big one is that I feel like we have outgrown our house.  Like I said, we have too much stuff and nowhere to put it all.  I also feel like we NEED a yard.  A big one, with lots of room for two little boys to run and play.  And a driveway to ride bikes, scooters, and play with sidewalk chalk.  And we "need" a garage to store their bikes and scooters.  See, I have a long list of things we "need" and I have allowed myself to dwell on that way too much.  Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who knows when to (gently) call me out on these things and remind me that we have more than many people and we need to be thankful for what we do have instead of focusing on what we don't.  Sure, a yard would be amazing.  But we have parks nearby, a pool that we're members of, and a lake with beaches to swim and play in.  My boys have bikes and fun things, I just need to be creative about where to store them.  They won't feel like they are missing out on anything by not riding them in our driveway, because they're not.  They can ride their bikes other places.  Anyway, enough with my rambling.  I'm hoping that by getting back to this blog, I might become more disciplined and force myself to get my act together.  It worked two and a half years ago, so it should work again, right?  ;-)  But since it's been so long since my last post, I think I'll end this one with a recent picture of my sweet family:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let's get back to meal plans!

Princess C will be a month old tomorrow.  Tomorrow!!!  A month!  Wow, how did that happen???  Anyway, now that she's been here for a month, it's time for us to start cooking for ourselves again.  We are eating our last freezer meal tonight and meals from friends have stopped (but I have been beyond blessed with almost two full weeks of meals from people!).  I really don't want my family eating out a ton, and even if I did, we are very limited with our food allergies...especially now that the Princess is having reflux and we have decided to see if cutting dairy from my diet (which will take it out of my breast milk).  So, it's time to start planning meals.

1. Meatloaf tonight.  Our last freezer meal :)
2. Ground Beef Shepherd's Pie  I have not tried this recipe, but we already have all of the ingredients so I'm going to make it.  Hope it's good!
3. Pot Roast in the crock pot, because I love my crock pot.
4. Hamburgers on the grill.
5. Either chicken tacos or chicken taquitos.  I'll probably decide which one at the last minute.
6. DH's bean, ground beef, and (dairy free) cheese meal.  It's not my favorite, but he loves it.  Plus he will be the one to make it!  Whoop whoop!

I'll end this post with a picture of my beautiful daughter.  I have a DAUGHTER!!!!   Yay!