Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peace On Earth

...starts at home.

Join me, if you like in my 31 day quest for peace in our home in an otherwise chaotic month.

It never fails to amaze me, how much responsibility I have as a mother in maintaining the peace. I can be at peace, whether or not I'm...
  • organized and all together
  • late on getting out Christmas cards
  • done with my "to do" list
  • growing something in the bathroom
  • 75% done shopping
  • making things perfect for
  • doing cute little crafts for the holidays
When I'm at peace, when my cup is full and all is calm in me, my family reflects the peace. When I am frazzled and stressed and late and hectic, the family reflects those things.

So I'm going out of my way to plan a full cup, a calm mind and peaceful heart this season.** I want my boys to have memories of this being a season of Joy, Peace and family. Join me if you like....our own little advent if you will. Starts tomorrow!

Oh~ and should you decide to join me for a day or two, tell us about it!

**Disclaimer; for those of you who think I'm crazy or obbsessive or perfect, you're wrong. I will NOT be doing all these wonderful peace-making activities because I am working my way out of being a perfectionist. SO, I will do my best to do all of these tasks, but refuse to loose any peace if I'm just too busy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Graham Cracker Houses

A family tradition, we put together mini-style gingerbread houses last Wednesday. I used graham crackers and had great success. The crackers are just lighter weight, therefore the houses don't collapse nearly as often. Of course it was a treat for the boys to all make their very own houses. I made gobs and gobs of icing (if any of my local friends need some for building houses let me know) and bought gobs and gobs of candy. The boys had a sugar feast. Wednesday was a day my nephew had no school so he was able to get in on it with us for the fun. Yum!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Scoot!

Scooter is turning seven today! It's a good thing, he's been waiting about two months for today to come.

Happy Birthday, to my water-diving, reading, rock climbing, brother-loving, lego building, dad-loving, game playing, sweets-eating, watermelon-hugging, mountain hiking, mama-helping, friend, loving, nature-loving, water baptized, sweet boy. I love you, Scooter.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Girls' Night Out

At Red Dog again, we met, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we talked, we took pics, we talked, we ate. Ahhhh. Now wasn't that nice. Aren't these just some cute ladies?

If you didn't make it, (Karyn, Jenny, Becky) you were missed dearly. And as for you Miss Salem, miss you!

Praises of the Day

You can join us over at Sweet Peggy's Simple Woman at

For Today...Monday, November 24, 2008

Outside my window…the morning sun warms the frost covered grass and rooftops, trees are bear and birds flit around looking for breakfast.

I am thinking…that I'm going to make chili for dinner rather than chicken.

From the learning rooms…we are learning about salmon life-cycles, the amazing Oregon trail journey , math, of course, and symmetry in art, Jeremiah 29:11 &12)

I am thankful for…my sweet husband, an awesome backrub last night AND he made yummy dinner AND watched the boys while I napped AND fixed the leak under the sink.

From the kitchen…crockpot chili beginnings (in a new crockpot) and a sink full of dishes. The dishwasher is empty.

I am wearing…cosies....sweats, sweatshirt and slippers.

I am reading…Swiss Family Robinson, The Josefina Story Quilt, Bible Study book & Bible.

I am hoping…for a good long run today.

I am creating…a crocheted blanket, plans for a fun Thanksgiving holiday.

I am hearing…Peanut singing the ABC song for the 8th time, Critter is hungry again (for the 8th time) Sesame Street too.

Around the house…my bed needs to be made, streamers for Scooters birthday party with a "Happy Birthday" sign. Little of this and a lot of that.

One of my favorite things…Thanksgiving at my Aunt Laura's house. Lots of family and wonderful food, and the long walk we take after dinner.

A few plans for the rest of the week…haircuts, library, packing, birthday dinner for Scoot on Wednesday, drive to Pleasant Hill, Roseburg on Friday, Salem on Saturday. How fun is that? A fun week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies Never come to an end...

Critter says.... (Early Christmas Reminisce)

Early this mroning we were talking about winter, weather.
Critter says; "It's fall, mom. You know what that means?"
Mom: "Hmm?"
Critter: "It's almost Winter. You know what that means?"
Mom: "Snow, Christmas, mittens, snow suits, fireplace, snow boots..."
Critter: "..and sledding down the hill into the canyon. Then carry the sled back up- boring, boring, boring!"

I laughed so hard, of course we all dread the trip back up the hill, but it's so worth it once you get to the top again. Oh, I love this season!

Snow, Christmas, mittens, snow suits, fireplace, snow boots, wet shoes, slushy roads, snowflakes, hot chocolate, christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, Silver Bells, houses lit up, remembrance of Christs' birth, even those obnoxious inflatable yard-globes*, peace in our hearts, crazy shopping trips, little shiny gifts, secrets, family gatherings, traditions, Christmas trees huge and tiny, snow, snow, snow!

*if you have a globe, you have my permission NOT to inflate it this year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A weekend guest

Last weekend we got to 'keep' a my friend, Kristin's daughter while she was out of town . It was great fun, we played games, chatted, grocery shopped, watchedh part of the Wizard of Oz (Mandi'd never seen it!) It was really fun. I sat in on Youth Group for awhile too, between that and doing Girl Talk at the church I'm getting lots of girl time. A very different perspective as well. !

Have the weekend with Mandi was really great. Mandi is tender-hearted toward others, has a great sense of humor and loves God with her whole heart. She loves her mom and dad so much and I can see the hard evidence of all their loving persitance with Mandi. That's a great encouragement to those of us that don't yet see how our days and nights of work and love pay off....

Thanks for hanging out with us Mandy, you and friends are welcome here anytime!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am Thankful (Thank Full)

We made a tree, a Thanksgiving tree. The list of things that the boys are thankful for;

  • toys
  • trees
  • bedtime
  • mom
  • leaves
  • legos
  • God
  • Magic Tree House
  • healthy Foods
  • morning-time
  • the world
  • daddy
  • cathcing leaves
  • rain and snow
  • church.....
The list goes on and on.

1 Chronicles 16:34 (Amplified Version)

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

Tonight I was thinking about what I am thankful for. Of course, much like the boys, my list could go on and on. Lately, though, I'm thinking about the meaning of being 'saved'. Christians use this term loosely. Usually, in reference to the great one time salvation, being saved from eternal separation from God as a result of our sin. I'm talking about all the times I have been saved. Saved from myself, saved from the manipulation of others, saved from poisonous thoughts and a diseased and crooked heart. Oh, I have been saved dozens of times. I shudder at the thought of where I could be, had I followed my own road.

I could have been a beggar. (I am so rich in Him)
I could have been an unforgiven liar. (I am forgiven, and know Truth)
I could have remained so damaged. (He has healed my pain)
I could be selling myself so short... (He values me, I can care for myself)
I could be without family. (Wealthy both in family and The Body)
I could be so empty. (My cup is full!)
I could be without esteem. (I am finding my identity in Him)
I could be homeless. (He has provided greatly)
I could be cursed and shamed. (I am beautifully redeemed)
I could be hopeless and chronically depressed. (He is my hope, and lifeline)
I could be neurotic, obsessive. (I have been freed from worldy concerns)
I could be abused. (He has provided a loving husband for me)
I could be striving for approval many. (I need only God's approval)
I could be so lonely. (He will never leave me)
I could be dead. (I am living, and will eternally!)

None of these are exaggerated in my mind. Not one is far fetched, when I think back over my years, the choices I've made. I have been saved from so much I can't imagine.

1 Chronicles 16:34 (The Message)

34-36 Give thanks to Godhe is good
and his love never quits.
Say, "Save us, Savior God,
round us up and get us out of these godless places,
So we can give thanks to your holy Name,
and bask in your life of praise."
Blessed be God, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Then everybody said, "Yes! Amen!" and "Praise God!"

I am grateful for a God who loves us enough to whisper in our ears. To walk with us, as well as ahead of us.

He is a friend. He is a comfort. He gives us direction. What a kind, loving, LIVING God.

I can walk through life and have rest. I love this word. Rest. I can walk through life, knowing whatever comes my way, I can rest in Him.

Matthew 11:28-30

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I can rest, I am so thankful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Where did it go?"

scooter said at the dinner table. I had this horrible feeling I knew just what he was talking about. His tooth. The wiggly one.

My eldest son swallowed his first tooth.

First I thought he was going to cry. I hurried on to tell him that it was no problem, I could email the tooth fairy right quick and explain what had happened. The tooth fairy would still come! That calmed him quickly.

Then I thought I was going to cry. The first lost tooth, the one that caused my sweet baby so much grief when it came in, and I'm denied the privileged of getting to hang on to that tooth. You see, my boys are growing, and as Mia well knows, they will keep growing. One day, all I will have left to remember their little selves by is the box of teeth they left behind (and 6 million photos). I know, I know, it's just a tooth and I'll get plenty more, but entertain me. I was feeling sorry for myself. I think I'm over it.

Scooter left a note under his pillow for the fairy;

Kids are awesome.

A visitor!

Friday an old, but young(er) friend came through town visiting. She and her husband met up with the kids and I for a great little visit. We've been keeping up with eachother's lives via blog, we discusses how reading someone else's blog really keeps you feeling quite familiar. It was so fun to get all caught up, I haven't seen her for probably 16 years. Thanks, Hil and Jan Michael for coming to visit.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I teach my children well

This morning my boys were drawing. Amazing little pictures they come up with, it's one of my favorite things.

Litter Critter says to his dad;
"Look dad, I made everything dangerous in this picture; guns, cannons, swords, earwigs, knifes, scepters, tornadoes..."


Did he say earwigs? Dangerous? I couldn't agree more.

It must be fresh on his mind, yesterday we found one in the bathroom and I didn't try and hide my disgust for these useless ugly little creatures. This is only noteable because I really have no problem with other bugs or spiders. In fact, I helped a nice Daddy-Long-Legs out the back door this morning so he could continue a happy outdoor life. I don't mind the other bugs. But earwigs. Maybe it's the name. Do they really get in your ears? (shudder)

Ew. My son is smart, and I made it that way. Earwigs are dangerous.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things for which I am Thankful

bright mornings, boy kisses, kitchen scents, fresh-cut grass, long runs, jeans, friendships, photographs, bible, hot tea, autumn leaves, sunsets, jammies, good books, phone calls, family, slippers, date night, hot baths, schooltime, mom and dad, holidays, crock pot, soft carpet, 'for you' drawings, quiet evenings, board games, breakfast abundant, camping, puppy, sweet husband, lemon meringue, afternoon naps, quilts, staying home, toys everywhere, soft sheets, journaling, juniper, running shoes, girls' night out, a good wine. our only Hope, laughter, quiet minutes, my car, tradition

Kiddos cracking me up over here...

Last night Little Critter prayed for dinner.

"God, thank You for all the animals you made. Thanks for all the flies and spiders too. Amen."

Today, we sat down to do school. I sat down for a little one-on-one with Peanut.
"Let's talk about animals, mom."
"Okay. You tell me about animals."
"My favorite animal is a frog. Now you tell me."

Peanut sniffs his snuffly nose and says, "My nose sounds like a cricket."

Take two on the Yogurt....

I've been following the crock pot blog, many of you know I'm a little more than infatuated with my crock. My most recent experiment has been making yogurt in the crock, a timely but otherwise simple endeavor.

The first time I tried yogurt I used 2% milk instead of the recommended whole milk. The yogurt came out tasty, but runny & slimy. Kiddos wouldn't touch it. We didn't touch it. I've saved it away for smoothies of the future. I might even try and freeze it.

Today I'm trying again with whole milk. The hope it that it will come out much thicker, and then I can add flavour enough that my kiddos will enjoy. Next I'll be trying Rice Dream yogurt....and the granola recipe!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Phobic- by Plumb

I watched you sit alone
I watched you cry your eyes out
Now tell me what you've done

is it so bad that
I would shut you out
And leave you here alone

Yes, I saw what you did
I was right there with you
I won't let you sink
No, I forgive you

Don't be
Grace needs a little more freedom
Don't be
Love needs room to breathe

I have watched you grow
And I've stood in your shadow
I've never walked away

I hung the stars and
I hold your heart
So, don't ever be afraid

Yes, I know when you breathe
And I feel when you need
I won't let you sink
No, I forgive you

You can be healed
You can be free
You can know peace
Never be afraid again

Never be afraid
Never be afraid
He's here

Sunday, November 9, 2008

For Tonight....

For Today...

Outside my Window...dark skies close in on us early

I am thinking...about the next week, looking forward to school and the rhythmn of life.

From the learning rooms...studying lines in artwork, love learning new spanish, penmanship is getting tight and oh, we love to read!

I am thankful for...good conversation and a little time with my sweet husband tonight. An at-home-date right in the kitchen with ice cream too!

From the is closed. Candle burns sweet.

I am wearing...jeans, tshirt, slippers and Ralph's fleece.

I am reading...Hide, The Bible and my study, Swiss Family Robinson and The Horse and His Boy of the Narnis series.

I am get started with Christmas gifting soon, and for more Christmas gift ideas (see next blog)

I am creating...lots of yummy back up meals in the freezer

I am hearing...Ralph get ready for bed.

Around the house...lots to be done, but it will all get done. The boys are sweetly sleeping and my bed awaits me and a good book.

One of my favorite things...when Little Critter brings me nature's treasures, so beautiful leaves, today.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The dig further into school, play memory with my boys, meet up with some friends, clean out my car, meet up with a group of girls from church, a baby shower, take the boys for a hike with the sole purpose of turning over every rock we can find to see what's beneath, falling in love with nature again ...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Scooter in Snow- November 2006

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Peanut wrote his name!!

I'm so enamored with my boys when they make these little benchmarks. Little Critter has been doing addition problems and is learning so much right now. Oh, the days!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pet Peeves

Is today a good day to share a pet peeve?

I used to pride myself (back when I was running solo) in having absolutely no pet peeves. I was one could annoy me that much.

Nowadays, I can't even count the pet peeves lining up at the door to tromp in the house, muddy-ing up the floor and dropping hair every where they like.

Pet Peeve #1
My boys cannot pass something lying misplaced on the floor without kicking it. A shoe on the floor in your path? Kick it! A toy on the floor? Kick it. Books, even library books on the floor? We'll kick it!

Drives me insane. Even worse- when they kick a blanket or shirt on the floor...and then follow it and keep kicking it around, dragging around dust and whatever else might be on the floor.


Ok, I feel better.

Now, if you're thinking of asking me why there might be a book, a blanket, a pillow, a toy on my floor, you haven't been hanging over here nearly enough to see. You need no invitation, come by and hang out!

Your turn...what are your pet peeves?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homeschool Update

I'd like to give all interested parties an update on our schooling. Perhaps some of you would like to see just what school looks like during the week in our house. Perhaps you'd love to look in and see that these kiddos are getting all that they need, hopefully I can show you that they're getting all that, and more.

About three weeks ago I stumbled across an opportunity to sign Scooter up for a free charter school curriculum program. I've looked into this program before, but it runs about $1200 a year, so I never got any farther. This year the State of OR & K12 have partnered together to offer this to homeschooling families at no cost. I took one look at all the books, supplies, lesson plans, etc. and signed up. I have really enjoyed 'designing' our own work in the past, but this is a no-brainer for me. The lesson planning is done for the school year, each day is scheduled up for me. I can still implement the things I see important that aren't included (nature hikes, journaling, Bible) and be flexible in choosing what we do each day (ie: should Scooter get on a roll, say in math, and do two or three lessons we can skip other subjects and pick them up later.)

I started the program two weeks ago, and though we were set back in 'starting over' with a new program and learning how to meet everyone's needs, we are getting the flow of things.

I have learned quickly that my whole day is more successful and happy if little Critter and Peanut get me first. After breakfast we'll sit down on the couch with a pile of library books, or play a learning game, do something fun and interactive together. Then we do the calendar, and work on a variety of things, maybe more reading or flashcards, manipulatives, or writing or drawing. By this time Scooter usually floats in ready to get to work too. One the days that Scoot has hands on Art, History or Science, we'll usually do this next so that LC and Peanut can stay involved if they're interested. That has been one of the best parts about this new program...the activities and art are mapped out for me, and I'm provided with all the supplies I need but paper and pencils.

I'm also feeling a bit nicer as a homeschool that the lesson planning and 'holes' are filled in for me. It gives me time to play while I work and laugh a little more. **Working on this a lot, light hearts make light work** I don't have to worry about whether or not we've done enough each day, and I'm working with the accountability of a teacher, so I don't worry that we're missing things.

This week, we're reading Swiss Family Robinson with the promise of a movie when we finish

Maybe I'll update you with more of exactly what we're doing one of these days. ;)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!