Friday, May 28, 2010

Pictures of Family

My sister was up from Colorado Springs last weekend and took a few pics of us while she was in town. Actually, I realized I had no pictures of myself pregnant with Charlotte, so I asked her if she would take a few before we went to church on Sunday. We are not an easy bunch to get a picture of. But she did her best with what she had to work with. =)

Here are the cousins, my sister's kiddos and ours. Once again, not an easy crew to photograph. But entertaining.

So now I have something to show Charlotte. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more before she gets here. But I know we'll get plenty of her once she arrives. That's the important part.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Check These Out, Linky Love

I tell you what. I just love the bloggy world. It is so full of encouragement, ideas, resources and great bloggy friends!

Here are some of the blog posts, links and clips I have been enjoying lately.


Loved this devotion: From The Excellence of Wisdom, The Joy of Children and the prayer at the end is great too.

Great Color Mixing Experiment: From Confessions of a Homeschooler, Coloring Mixing 102. There are many coloring mixing experiments out there. This one was different and fun. Plus it includes measurement and more!

Yummy, Easy, Freezes Well: From Joy in My Kitchen, Three Cheese and Spinach Ziti. We all liked this. It was easy to make. You could make extras and freeze it. Can be used as a 1 dish meal cause it's got carbs, protein and veggies. Yum, yum.

Mama Encouragement: From Raising Arrows, The Perfect Mom. We all need to read this and remember, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12

Video Clips:

WOW! WOW! WOW! This is from Voddie Baucham. Cale and I listened to the whole seminar: Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. You can listen to it all on You Tube. It is beyond excellent! Dr. Baucham is down to earth, says it like it is, a great speaker. But most importantly, he knows The Word and he stays true to The Word. Ya'll, he does not pull any punches and we NEED that in today's world. This seminar is full of scripture to back up everything he says. Please listen to this. It is wonderful for us as men and women, but also for us as Dads and Mamas. Really, you will not be disappointed!!!

This is a clip, but all of the parts for each one are available on You Tube.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just To Make You Laugh

Our family does not do tv. Meaning we do not pay for cable, we do not have an antenna to get any tv stations, we have no channels. We do have a tv and a dvd player because we enjoy a family movie night together. But then Daddy and Mama are in complete control of what movie and discussion of said movie.

The other day I ran across this online. It made me laugh. Now many of you have probably seen this already. Those of you who do not live the no tv lifestyle. But just incase you have not, here it is. And even if you have, well, it's pretty funny, you could watch it again.

I also want to add, we know nothing about these ads and do not own one of these vehicles. So do not shoot me if the van or the ads are not that great. I just liked this little video.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To Start The Day, With A Good Ending

Before you read this post you'll want to have read this one from this morning. Or it won't make much sense that is.

I just want to add that I did not mean to sound complainy at all. So many of you as mamas have had much worse days. For instance, mine was nothing compared to this car fun had by a friend of mine. I would take a whole week of mornings like I had today compared to one of poor Meagan's car incidences.

I also know God never told us being a mama would be all rest and relaxation. Ha! I know that even with the little things, we are being mamas through His strength and not our own. This is probably why I was able to actually get out of bed this morning. So to continue on.

We loaded into the car in pjs, misc jackets found by almost 2 year olds, strange outfits put together by almost 5 year olds and t shirts that just barely cover pregnant bellies. I was NOT planning on getting out of the car.

After a visit to the Burger King and an order from their dollar menu we were off to the park. We pulled in by the lake so we could eat and listen to our Bible on cd.

By the way, the cd was at Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Good reminder God. Thank you.

As we are sitting there eating and I'm explaining what shall not want means, I look out my window and see this. Do ya know what that is?

It's this!!! A Northern Flicker nest. They make cavity nests in trees since they are a type of woodpecker. Here you can see the Male dumping out pieces of bark.

I pause the cd and have the kids look, look! Then the female comes flying up to the nest and crawls on in.

Mr. Northern Flicker kept up the hard work. Caroline is saying, "tweet tweet" over and over again. Caleb is saying, "mama, do you see it, do you see it?" And I was just sitting there in complete awe. I have never seen a Northern Flicker nest before. Let alone the male and female going in and out and working on it.

Here is one of the male flying away. The male and female took turns coming and going. Well now, I am just praising the Lord inside. He is so magnificent I am telling the kids. When Caleb says in a loud whisper, "look mama babies."

Out of Caroline's side window were a mama Mallard and her 9 baby ducklings. Caroline started pounding on the window and quacking so mama Mallard did not stay around long. But oh, I just love baby ducks.

Well, at this point we just had to get out of the car. You can see what I meant by misc jackets and such. I was so glad we had the camera. Here are the kids watching the mama and her ducklings.

But that is not all. God also blessed us with baby goslings, three of them. They were having their breakfast too.

So a morning that started out with me barely able to get out of bed, messes, discipline issues, mama son talks, more messes and sleep depravation ended with a wonderful gift from God. I got to spend the morning watching His handiwork in action, listening to His word and sharing it all with my children.

I know I've said it before, but I will say it again and again and again. God Is Good All The Time, AMEN!

To Start The Day

I had a hard time deciding what to post about today. So I'll just post about how the day started. Cause honestly, you'll either relate, get a kick out of it or pray for our family. Either way is good.

The morning started off early, too early for this pregnant mama.

Caleb has decided he does not like his room, his bed, the amount of light, the temperature. He came in at 5:30 this morning to tell us that he had overheated and it made his big toe hurt. He sleeps in the basement, it is never hot down there. In fact I worry it can get too cold. His elbow hurt and his tummy hurt and he can apparently no longer reach the bathroom light.

The night was long, too long for this pregnant mama.

My husband has started a new insulin. This takes adjustment and LOTS of testing. As in before bed, at midnight, at 3 am, in the morning before breakfast, 2 hours after breakfast, before lunch, 2 hours after lunch... Get the picture. I love him very much, this is better insulin for him and I want to be awake with him, supporting him, helping.

When I finally did drag myself put of bed, after 15 minutes of prayer for self control, energy, grace and praise, that even though I feel like blah and ugh today I still get a new day Thank You Lord! I went downstairs to get the kids to find more work, messes, chaos.

Caroline had removed her diaper at some point and put her pj bottoms back on. She was soaked, her clothes were soaked, the bedding was soaked, the stuffed animals were soaked and even her pillow was soaked. She was happy though. Which to be honest made me more grumpy. Although I managed to hold this in.

I cleaned, disinfected, started laundry, diapered and gave morning hugs. The whole time just wanting to cry and get back in my bed. I may be a little hormonal. But no, I still had to talk with Caleb about what had happened this morning. Cale and I had managed to discuss the best way to handle this conversation at the crack of dawn before he got up for work.

Caleb listened, "yes mama," seems to understand what he is allowed to do and not do. We discussed why he was feeling the way he was this morning and what we'll do about it. He really is a good boy who tries very hard to please his parents and obey the Lord. Man I wish I could be more like him some days.

Then it was upstairs to start breakfast and morning chores.

Except, and I am not joking, the cat had barfed on the floor. So I stopped, cleaned and disinfected again. Anyone want a cat? She's really pretty and only barfs occasionally? No, I'm just joking, I think.

Well, here is where I made an executive decision. Everyone shoes on, load up, we are getting Burger King for breakfast and eating it in the car at the park. No cooking, no clean up and all children contained. Plus, we have the Bible on cd. I figured we could all use some food for the body and spirit this morning.

It was the best decision I've made today!!! Our trip to the park ended up being a GIANT gift from the Lord. And next post I will show you why.

I've got to get the pictures from the camera into the computer. But it is worth the wait.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Making Granola Bars, Caroline Style

Caroline loves to cook with mama. This makes me so happy since it is quality time spent together and also training time for when Caroline has a home of her own one day.

We were out of granola bars and since this is a fairly easy recipe I decided we'd make them together. I got out the bowl and the pan and was in the pantry getting ingredients.

When I came back this is what I found. She had taken her baby, put it "nite nite" in the pan and gotten the dish towel we keep on the stove handle to cover baby with. Wouldn't want baby to get too cold in her 9 x 13 pan bed. Caroline was just standing there waiting for me to come back with the oats, brown sugar and such. No big deal, what's so odd about babies sleeping in glass pyrex pans?

Thankfully I had not greased the pan yet. And Caroline made some very yummy granola bars too. A young lady of many talents it seems. =)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

10 of My Favorite Things

Ticia, from Adventures In Mommydom has a cool linky up about 10 of our favorite things. I wonder how many of us will have books on that top 10?!

These Are A Few Of My favorite Things, In Very Random Order:

1. Caleb and Caroline: Honestly this is not said to sound corny. My children are a joy, most of the time, to be around. =) If you couldn't tell from other posts on my blog, being a Mama is a huge passion of mine. I feel like God called me to this role and He has put such joy in my heart about being a mama. Yes, even the tough days have such rewards. Plus, my role as a mama is 1 billion times easier because of the type of man, husband and daddy Cale is.

2. Books: They have to be on there. I just love them ya know. Children's books, non fiction books, fiction books... I do not care for Fantasy or Science Fiction. They make no sense. Guess my imagination is just not that broad. Here are some of my favs right now.

Values Driven Parenting by Marc and Cynthia Carrier

Upgrade by Kevin Swanson

Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent

3. Sweet Tea: I know, sounds silly. But I love a good glass of Sweet Tea. Or maybe 2 or 3 glasses. =) It is refreshing, relaxing, yummy, mmm. I could use a glass right now. Really, other than water, it is the only thing I drink. Oh wait, and hot tea too. But mostly in the Fall and Winter. Sweet Tea is a year round obsession.

4. Dates with Cale, Relaxing with Cale, Bible Study with Cale, Hiking with Cale... Hmm, I guess I should just say time spent with my husband: We have been married almost 10 years and enjoy spending time together now more than ever. Once you start having kiddos this time is even more special! God gave me one of the biggest blessings in my life when He chose Cale for my husband. And yes, God was totally in control of that.

5. Worship Music and Hymns: Nothing lifts the spirit like putting in a good worship cd and praising the Lord. As for hymns, some of the most eloquent poems put to music ever. They really knew how to take what the heart feels and put it into words. It Is Well With My Soul is one of my favorite hymns ever.

6. The Outdoors, Nature Study: I love being outside! I love hiking, not for the exercise, although that's great, but for being surrounded by God's creation. I love nature walks, I love bird watching and feeding, I love sitting by a creek and just listening. I love it when I can identify a tree, flower, bird or find a new one to look up and learn more about. The only part of nature I am not fond of is spiders. I know God created them, I know they serve an important purpose. I just do not want them near me. And they better not come inside my house!!!

7. Really Good Sermons: I am jazzed for weeks after hearing a really good sermon that is filled with God's word and makes me think, pray and grow. It can be on Sunday morning at church, a sermon Cale and I listen to together online or one we have on cd that I am listening to again just because I loved it so. Here is the link to a great sermon about Biblical Manhood we just recently listened to. I know I am not a man, but I have a son that we are raising to be a Mighty Warrior For the Lord. So I really loved this sermon: Biblical Manhood by Voddie Baucham

8. Anticipation of a New Baby/New Baby: We are currently pregnant with number 3. There is no other feeling in the world like thinking about what your new little one will look like, smell like and feel like in your arms. There is nothing in the world like a newborn. The way they scrunch up when you hold them, their teeny tiny hands and feet and deciding who they look more like in your family. This season is incredibly short, blink and you will miss it. There is no other season like it in parenting, when your miracle is so fresh from God to you.

9. Foot Rubs: Do I really need to explain this. I mean really, they are the best. Or at least the foot rubs Cale gives are the best.

10. Shortbread: The kind from Panera. It is buttery, yummy and served slightly warm. I love this dessert. Very good with hot tea or sweet tea as well. Take my advice and have 2 pieces instead of 1. Especially if you have children or a husband. Because they will feel you should share with them and you will feel you should share with them. Ya know since you love them and all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bible Study Time

Continuing along in answering questions about Family Worship, Quiet Times, Bible Study, etc.

*** Added May 12, 2010, I had a comment about Caleb concentrating for this long. So I wanted to add that he loves to be read to. If it's something he's interested in he wants you to read to him longer than your voice wants to. But believe me, his attention span on many other things is not as long. So no, he is not some super human kiddo. Just loves to read.***

I already posted about our Bible Memorization. So ya'll can check out our Jesus Box if you want to. This post will be about our Bible Study Time.

We do our Bible Study Time in the mid mornings. After breakfast, Jesus Box, chores and a little free play. We have tried it at different times in the day. But it just seems like we are freshest mid mornings. Our attention spans are longer and it helps to build up Godly attitudes for the rest of the day.

Our Bible Study is different than our Family Worship. I'll post about that later. We are reading and studying the Bible during this time. This does not mean we are not focused on character development. We are focused on this throughout the whole day everyday! But we do it by Bible Memorization at breakfast (Jesus Box), Bible Study mid mornings, Quiet Times in the afternoons and Family Worship in the evenings. As well as of course during play, discipline, nature study, chores, reading together... you get the picture. All of the time, it is VERY IMPORTANT!!

Caleb and I do our Bible Study time together while Caroline plays with an organized activity by us. That way she can listen in and we're all together, but she is also occupied so I can focus on teaching/training Caleb.

We use
The Children's Story Bible by Catherine Vos. This Bible is not really a story Bible, the name is misleading. It is the whole Bible written for children with some explanation built in. So no books of the Bible are left out. It is not just a sampling of stories. It is everything.

We read some together and I stop periodically for Caleb to do some narration. Or we stop to discuss questions he has, or for me to point out something specific that I want to make sure he caught. Really it is snuggely time spent reading The Word and talking and discussing together.

Some days we stop here. It depends on how long we spent reading and discussing together. Other days we color a Time Line Page. We use the
Big Picture Bible Timeline.

Other days we take all of our timeline pages and mix them up and then Caleb puts them in order and tells me a little about each story.

Some days I pick specific timeline pictures and ask him specific questions. Or we play games like "I'm thinking of a person who..." and I give clues and he finds the picture of that person or place on the timeline pictures.

I might ask him to show me three people who did not show self control and he tells me what they did and then we talk about what choices they could have made instead. Or two people who were very brave and why he thinks they were brave. There are many options for what we can do for review and further discussion.

We always have fun doing these activities together and they are low prep on my part. I know I keep saying that, but it is important for me to spend my time learning with and training Caleb and not to spend tons of time prepping.

This is one of my favorite parts of our day. I can really see Caleb growing in his Bible knowledge and life application. Plus, I tend to read much of what we've discussed during my quiet time as well. We also hope this will help develop a habit of Bible Study in Caleb and it will continue on his own when he is older.

Our Bible Study time normally last around 30 or 40 minutes. Now and then Caleb will ask to keep going and we do! But 30 to 40 minutes tends to work best for us now. That's Bible Study Time for us in a
very big nutshell.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Caroline, Earthworm Enthusiast

I had a mama ask me what does Caroline do while we are doing our nature studies. Well, she does them too, in her own way. She loves the outdoors just as much as the rest of the family. Rain, shine, wind, she loves it all.

It has been so wonderful to see how she just jumps right in to any nature walk, collecting and examining treasures with the rest of us. She loves experiments just like her brother and watches him to learn just what to do.

But best of all is how she has so much passion for the world God created. She smells every flower, lies in the grass and looks up through the trees, points out every bird, and well, now she's an earthworm enthusiast!

See for yourself what I mean:

She's even teaching Caleb a thing or two.

Our Caroline, full of adventure and love.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Here is a beautiful bouquet Caleb picked from our yard for me. He really has quite the eye for nature. As a mama of little ones these are some of my favorite gifts. Handpicked flowers, hugs, kisses, scribble drawings... I am so glad we have another one on the way. I'm not ready to do without these precious gifts yet!

Happy Mother's Day All!!

Photo Spring Cleaning

Cale and I were looking through some photos stored on our computer last night. I realized I had many misc photos of the kids from this Spring. They do not really fall under something that would be a whole blog post. But since we have the cutest, smartest, most wonderful kids in the world (smile), I thought I'd post them anyway.

Caleb wants to hug all the time. Caroline is a half the time hugger, unless it's daddy that is. So I love it when I catch these moments!

Smell the flowers, Mama

Caleb and Maple. They still have a close bond. I know she's a tree, but it doesn't matter when you're 4 1/2.

Caroline has now started her obsession with rocks. I believe every child must go through this at some point in their lives.

This one is extra cool!

Didn't I say they were the cutest, smartest, most wonderful kids in the world. See.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Caleb Talk

Here's some more Caleb Talk for ya'll.

Caleb: When I grow up and become a daddy I'm going to teach my son about the Bible. Because I had to learn about it when I was a kid.

(You know, way back then when he was a kid.)

Caleb: When I am older I am going to have two cats.
Mama: That sounds nice. What color?
Caleb: One cat with a uterus, so she can have kittens. And I'm not going to let the vet take her uterus out. Then she'll have kittens and one will be white and I will name her Joyce.
Mama: Trying not to laugh. Sounds like a very good idea.

(Our cat is spayed and he knows this is why she cannot have babies. We never told him the vet took her uterus though. He just knows that babies grow in uteruses and I guess assumed if our cat cannot have babies it's because the vet took her uterus. Not bad logic for an almost 5 yr old.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Type of Soil Do Earthworms Prefer Experiment

Caleb is always asking me why he does not find earthworms anywhere he digs. And he's a little boy, so he does lots of digging. This experiment was born from that question.

QUESTION: What type of soil do earthworms prefer?

CALEB'S HYPOTHESIS: Earthworms prefer sand.

EXPERIMENT: We decided to test a dirt, sand, mulch and gravel. We made them all moist because we had learned that earthworms prefer moist environments over dry.

First we tested gravel vs. sand. We used a cookie sheet with gravel on one side and sand on the other side with a blank spot in between. We placed our earthworm in the blank spot and watched to see which it preferred.

RESULT: Earthworm preferred sand over gravel.

How about mulch? Would the earthworm like mulch or sand better?

We did the same thing with mulch and the sand.

RESULT: Earthworm liked mulch better than sand. This surprised me.

Next it was time for dirt vs. mulch.

RESULT: The little earthworm still preferred the mulch. Now I was really surprised. So we tried again. And again it went to the mulch. Folks, this is why we experiment. I would have said dirt hands down. But our earthworms definitely liked the mulch best.

CONCLUSION: Earthworms hate gravel, like sand and dirt, but love mulch best.

I also made a notebooking page for this experiment. It is 2 pages, you can download it here and here. It has a cute bucket of worms on it, so you should check it out. =)

The Jesus Box

edited 2-25-11: We still use this method, but our children are now 5 1/2 and 2 1/2. Daddy leads this time and Caleb has more verses than Caroline since he is older. Caroline will frequently finish Caleb's verse for him if he gets stuck. This method has been AMAZING for our family. Cale and I also memorize them this way since we are doing it with the kiddos everyday. Oh, and we now do this after supper each night. I cannot tell you how easy and effective the Jesus Box is. Praise be to God for leading us in this direction!

I have had a couple of questions about how we do our Bible verse memorization. We have done a few different things over the years. It was very simple when Caleb was 2 and 3 and has changed in complexity as he has grown older. We've added Caroline (almost 2), and we have a new one on the way. She hears it too you know. =)

Also, we had to pray, try things, and see what worked best for our family. God has been very good to us and we seem to have really found a great fit all around.

At breakfast each morning, except Sundays, we do our Bible verse memorization. We use this time because we are all sitting down together and we love to start our day with God's word.

- Our verses are in our Jesus Box as the kids call it.
* 4x6 Index Card Holder with a lid.
* Each verse is written on a 4x6 index card. Currently I write them out, as the kids get older they'll get that fun. Many of the verses are set to a familiar tune. I get these from Hubbard's Cupboard, or we put them to a tune ourselves. This is great for younger kiddos and adults with memorization issues. My almost 2 year old daughter loves to "sing" these verses. (mainly gibberish with a few real words) Some are just written with no tune. Caleb seems to remember them well either way.

* There are 43 dividers in the box. I bought 1 pack of already numbered 1-31 and then some blank tabbed dividers that I labeled: daily, even, odd, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 1st week, 2nd week, 3rd week, 4th week.
* Put the verses you know the least under daily, even, odd, etc. As you get to verses you know better put them under 1st week, 2nd week and so on. Then for those verses that are pretty well hidden in your heart put those under 1, 2, 3, 4, ... As you get to know them better move them to the back.
* The idea is that you would do them everyday (daily), on the odd dates (29th or 3rd, etc), even dates (2nd, 12th, etc), the specific day of the week (mon, tues...), the week of the month (1st, 2nd...), and the actual date (the numbered dividers). This keeps you always reviewing the verses you are learning and not just memorizing one verse for a week or so and then moving on never to revisit that verse again.

Caroline will go and get the box and say, "Jesus" randomly through the day. That's how much she loves it. Caleb never lets us forget a morning. This has also helped Cale and me hide God's word in our hearts. We did not grow up doing this, let me tell you it is harder as an adult. But this way makes it fun, easy and family oriented.

How did we come up with this? Basically I saw different versions of it around the web. We made one that fits for our family. Cale and I had talked about wanting to make sure we reviewed verses and learned new verses. We knew having them set to music would make it easier to memorize. We wanted it to be used everyday and fit a variety of age groups. Plus it needed to be something low prep or it just wouldn't happen the way it needed to. God led me to a few blogs with similar ideas and tada, the Jesus Box was born.