Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out of the Mouths of My Babes

Noah, yelling downstairs from upstairs: MOOOOM, Ben said he was gonna poop on my head!!
Ben, also yelling from upstairs: NO I DIDN'T! I said I was gonna SIT on your head!
(I cannot contain the giggling with these kids)

Ben, drawing a picture: Mom, how many legs do dogs have?
Never considered I'd have to answer that question in my life!

Noah: MOM, I have a GREAT IDEA!!! Let's get a CAT!
Ben: No, Cats are for GIIIRLS!

Grace has been dog-sitting for a neighbor. She feeds him, plays with him, and then takes him back to his house. She is doing such a great job! Tonight, I left the kids with Nate and walked the dog home. On the way back, I stopped to talk with some of our neighbors.
   When I returned (it was probably 15 minutes), Ben and Grace ran up to me and hugged me. Ben said, "Mom! Where WERE you! I thought we were ORPHANS!"

Whenever it storms, Noah says the cutest things. "Mommy, do you hear that WUMBLE?" and, "I'm scared of the FUNDER, Mommy"

I'm working in the vegetable garden while the children play outside. Noah runs to me, all flustered and excited, "MOM! Mom! The TORNADOES are turning RED!!" I have no idea what on earth he is talking about until he takes me over to the "tornado plants" that are just starting to change color. What a cutie!

Friday, January 6, 2012

TV Time

We are trying, trying, trying to get back into a normal routine after the holidays. I had hoped we could continue with school everyday since we were home, but that just did not happen. I think we all enjoyed the break, though. My biggest concern now is the back stepping I see happening in Grace's math skills since the break. I'm hoping we can work through those and continue moving forward.

Today I wanted to post something we've been working on for about two months now. It's our TV access guide. There really is no reason why the children should be watching television after they've played in (and not picked up) every room in the house (and yes, this includes the bathroom!).  TV time is an earned privilege, and I'm hoping they will eventually develop a practice of independently completing their responsibilities before pursuing entertaining venues. There's no hard, fast rule here, but this works for us! It really helps the kids stay motivated to work through the daily school schedule as well.  The children basically have a list of tasks they should complete before they can ask to have TV time. Sometimes they can access two 30 minute TV times a day, and sometimes they will get none at all, depending on our schedule for the day and on their own desire to complete the tasks. So far, it's gone very well (when enforced).

We posted a simple sign in front of the television:

Want to watch the television (T.V.)?
1. Did you finish your breakfast?
2. Are your dishes in the sink?
3. Is your bedroom clean?
4. Are you dressed?
5. Are your teeth brushed?
6. Did you read your Bible this morning?
7. Did you empty the dishwasher?
8. Did you finish one subject of school work? (Grace and Ben)
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, complete the task and try again. If you can answer yes to every question, then you may ask your mother for permission to watch 30 minutes of television.

Want to watch the television (T.V) again?
1. Is it after 5pm?
2. Are you in your pajamas?
3. Did you brush your teeth?
4. Did you empty the dishwasher?
5. Have you completed all of your school work?
6. Is the kitchen floor swept and mopped?
7. Are all the bathrooms clean?
8. Is your bedroom and play room clean?
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, complete the task and try again. If you can answer “YES” to every question, then you may ask your mother for permission to watch 30 minutes of television.

What works for your family?

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Noah Did NOT Say

Nathan and I were lying in bed last night laughing at the way Noah tries to sneak in bad words throughout the day by talking about not saying them. I knew I needed to write these memories down before I lost them. He is such a funny kid.

We have each of the following conversations about three times a day.

Hey Mommy?
Yes Noah.
I not gonna say shuddup.
No, you're not going to say that.
No, I not. Shuddup is NOT nice. We don't say shuddup.

Mommy, can I say what da heck?
No Noah. We can't say that. That's not nice.
Okay. I not say what da heck...

But K* says what da heck.

Yes he does, and that is not nice either.
Okay. I not say what da heck.

Mommy! I didn't tell him to GET oudda here!
That's so good Noah. Thank you for being sweet!
It's not nice to say HEY YOU GET OUDDA HERE.
That's right. That's not nice. Have you been in trouble for doing that before?
(annoyed groan) yessss
I am so glad you didn't say that to that nice man. You were sweet to him.

Yes Noah.
I not say I'm the boss.
Good, Noah because you're not the boss.
Daddy's the boss.
Mommy and Daddy are both the boss of you.

Mommy? I'm not gonna to say shuddup.
That's a good idea son.
I not gonna to say what da heck eiver. And I'm not gonna say HEY YOU! GET OUDDA HERE! That's not nice.
No, Noah, that is not nice at all.
Mommy, Can I say shakalaka?
Baby (giggling on the inside), you probably shouldn't say "shakalaka" anymore because your daddy and I keep thinking you're saying a bad word.
(annoyed sigh) okay. And I'm not the boss.
No you're not honey. (trying my darnedest not to show my tickled side.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Learned While Gardening in 2011

I wanted to write down some things we've learned this year while gardening. Also, you'll see a few pictures sprinkled along the road.

1. The numbers on the back of the seed packet that say you should have produce around 33 days, 90 days, etc. They're never accurate. Today I finally picked  our"30 day" radishes after 120 days. They're marble sized. 

2. Dirt makes all the difference. I use the cheap dirt usually because, well, it's cheap. But I ran out of the cheap dirt on one part of the garden and used the miracle grow expensive stuff. Well, what do you know? The side of the garden with the better dirt is growing faster, healthier, and even showing less yellowing due to over watering (yes, my bad. Water before it rains much?). I'm also seeing fewer bug attacks on the plants with the better dirt, but I'm not sure if that's related.

Can you see the difference? Just one plant over is healthier and larger than the other.

3. Broccoli really does like soil that drains well. You'd think I'd know that because I read it in a book somewhere, but then I just had to plant the broccoli in soil that did not drain well to prove something. The book was correct. I am gingerly watering my broccoli now this season. Oh, also, did you know broccoli doesn't like its leaves to be wet? Only water around the stalks, and never on the leaves. You learn so much when you read!

4. Peas are awesome! Yes they are.  They are easy to maintain, they put nitrogen into the soil as they grow (thus nourishing the soil for next year's crop), and they taste great. Every spring and every fall from here on out, peas will be planted in my garden.

5. Don't get distracted by your children while planting peas and forget the seed packet out in the yard. It will inevitably get rained on, and, two weeks later, you may find the dilapidated packet full of sprouting peas and have more peas than you know what to do with! This did not happen to me. I'm just saying that it could happen. To someone. Not me.

6. Peas need something to hold onto before they will produce their peas. The trellised peas in our garden are producing. The non trellised peas? They have not yet produced and have been sentenced to creative trellising through the end of their growing season. Today I dug some holes next to our frostbitten tomato plant and its trellis and put a few more large seedlings alongside the dying plant, hoping it will vine.

We're also using a plant stand as a trellis and some gone to seed lettuce stalks, hoping they will vine up them.
This is what you call desperation, people. Clearly, I need to invest in some more items for the peas to climb.

7. Lettuce really won't do well for very long in a pot outside. I need to plant it in the ground if I want to get any decent use out of it. We probably should mulch over it next year as well, for the same reason.

The warm fall days caused our lettuce to shoot up and grow bitter quicker than I had hoped! 

8. Cilantro doesn't like hot heat! Our cilantro went to seed at the beginning of the summer. I was so disappointed because I was hoping to use it all summer long. I managed to salvage some of the seeds, and I refrigerated them for a few weeks (to imitate a winter chill), then I stuck them in some dirt and watered them occasionally. Nothing happened all summer long! Just now, in the first week of November, I am finally seeing some cilantro shoot up from that dirt.

Lesson learned: cilantro does not like heat. I'll likely grow cilantro inside during the summer from now on.

9. Grow more parsley. It can go in anything.

10. Grow more basil. It goes in every Italian dish and we use it a ton (because I love Italian)!

11. Grow more sage and learn to read. Our "basil" was actually sage this year. Still tasty but in an ignorant sort of way.

11. Grow more tomatoes. We never had enough!

12. Ants will eat your vegetables too! Get rid of them!

13. Prune those plants! If you get in there and clean the dead leaves off your plants, you will be thanked every time with heaps of new buds less than a week later, which means more produce! Early mornings, pulling out dry, dead limbs always brought sweet spiritual truths to mind about the work our Father is doing in us, pruning out useless limbs so we can generously produce fruit.

14. Do this again next year. It was a ton of fun! Well, it still is fun. We're not done until the whole thing freezes over!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eight Years

Eight years ago today, two youngsters got themselves hitched. They didn't know what love was.
They thought they did.

They had no idea that nine months after this kiss, their world would change again with a new baby on the way.

They were on the five year plan.

Five years later. The five year plan lasted all of eight months!

Eight years and he is still my best friend, my prayer warrior, my helper and strong leader. By the Lord's grace, my husband is a better man than the great man I knew eight years ago. He is so good to me.
And he still makes me laugh.
A lot.

Thank you Nathan, for choosing me and for not quitting when the waves toss us to and fro. Thank you for clinging to Jesus for me and with me through this walk. You still are the man of my dreams.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The three

It's been a LONG time since the kids' beautiful faces have shown up on this page. Here they are on a lazy Saturday morning fort-making session. Ben is fine. He is being firmly loved by his big sis.

 Noah is wearing his spiderman pajamas. I cannot get these pj's through the wash quick enough before he's dying to wear them again! He's the same way with his spiderman underwear. Can you take a wild guess at what this little man will be for Halloween? You guessed it.
Funny faces and lots of love. We are so very, very blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Digging Deep

The Father is digging deep.
Drawing His people to Him.
Unveiling the dark, ugly portions of our hearts and saying, "Come sweet child" with tight embrace.

My febrile, snotty nosed, sick child can expect to be taken up in my arms and nursed to health. We can equally expect our Father to have compassion in our sickness - thanks to Christ!

Because He is a loving Father, He will not leave us undone in our broken, sick state.
He reveals our filth as He cleanses every crevice and corner, and He loves us deeply, all the way through it. We have a good, good Father.