Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things we never thought would come out of our mouths...

...until having children!

I was on the phone with my dear friend, Shannon, on my birthday when I said to David:

"You may NOT use my kitchen tongs to catch lizards!"

Honestly, you'd think that would be a no-brainer. Things that I use for food preparation shouldn't be used to pick up live animals, right? Apparently, to my boys, things can be used for multiple purposes. There's no problem when it can be washed. Unfortunately, the very idea that the kitchen tongs could have potentially touched a live, squirming lizard just grosses this mama out!

Then either yesterday at breakfast, or at dinner the night before (my memory is failing me at the moment), I had to say to Aidan:

"Take that fork out of your nose! It's used for eating your dinner, not for picking your nose."

Oh, some of the many joys of having boys. ;)

Poison ivy/oak, ticks and no hot water--oh my!

That pretty much sums up last week--we had an awesome time camping up at Goliad State Park over the last half of spring break; however, 2 days after we returned home, my littlest man was covered in bumps and was itchy all over. While we were out camping, he got into some poison ivy or poison oak (not sure which) when he and his brother were out exploring on the bank leading down to the San Antonio river or in the little wooded area behind our campsite. Aidan fell asleep on the couch by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, his cute little face swollen and covered with flesh-colored bumps. He had a red rash under his right eye, on one of his ears, on each side of his chin, on his neck, spots on his legs, arms and hands. There was no crying (on his part)--he just itched and took his plight like a little champion.

The hubster took a quick trip to Walgreens (or Walmart--one of those Wal-stores...) after we consulted with a good friend about what to use to treat it. He came home with Zanfer, or as we like to call it in our house: liquid gold. 3 treatments over a period of 3 days, and now you would almost never know that he had it!

Here he is after homeschool co-op on Friday

Now to the no hot water. When Rob got home from work last Wednesday, he saw a small water puddle out by the garage door. We didn't think much about it at first, figuring that maybe someone decided to fill up a water bottle or something with the hose that is on that side of the house. We ate dinner, got ready for Awana and then noticed on the way out the door that water was running off the step from the area where the hot water tanks are in the garage and was trailing out the garage door. He sent the boys and I on without him, and stayed behind to take care of the water mess. The tank was leaking from the inside, and needed to be replaced. However, the home warranty company's contractors were not going to be able to get it taken care of until Monday!!! Ugh. We are so thankful for friends who offered to let us take showers at their houses, even if we only took one friend up on their offer. It's such a blessing to know that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with wonderful friends. :) The hot water was fixed yesterday, so we could finally take showers at home. And, come to find out, someone had turned the water main down, so we now have more water pressure than we have had since moving into this house. It is SO wonderful! We can now run two showers at the same time, which we haven't been able to do before. Oh, the little things we get so excited about! ;-)

Ticks...David found one on his stomach yesterday and freaked out a bit about it. To his credit, he picked it off himself and killed it. However, my little hypochondriac was scared that the bump was getting larger and redder (it was shrinking, but was only red where he was scratching it, every time that he thought about what had bitten him there). Today, the bite is nearly invisible--yay! I am unsure where he picked it up. He didn't have any in his hair or back or chest when I had checked him after our hike on Saturday, and he hadn't noticed anything until yesterday. Thankfully it is now gone, and we will now be on the lookout for more!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

School Views...

We just finished up a geology unit and did so many fun things with it over the last 2 weeks! We grew a crystal garden, played a game to go through the rock cycle, modeled the rock cycle with crayon shavings (will do another post about that), made a lapbook (some of the pockets and mini books were printed from this site--I found them under the Rocks In His Head lesson plans and materials). I also purchased a rock and minerals kit from Home Science Tools--the boys really enjoyed getting to do the different tests when learning how to identify the different types of rocks and minerals. We read Magic School Bus Inside the Earth and Magic School Bus: Rocky Road Trip. There are 2 more things we have to do to finish this unit: finish our volcanoes and look at coal.

A and I also made a lapbook for review on our studies about Ancient Egypt, and we are now doing spring-themed copywork for penmanship and writing practice.

Here is a look at the "board" at the end of lessons today. D's spelling words are on there (A decided to write a few of them himself). A lot happens here--I don't know how I managed without it before now! :) I'm also going to start placing a few Spanish/English flashcards up here for the boys to grab to help them with learning Spanish. For the next week or so, we will be looking at colors.

Science experiments - electricity with batteries. The boys had a blast making their circuit maze and the headlamp. We still need to make our buzzer game, make our electromagnet in addition to a couple of other lab activities. Some things require more planning and time to execute, but we all have been learning a lot (and Rob thinks I'm now ready to start changing out outlets since I am becoming quite adept at stripping wires, connecting them, etc. I may leave those sorts of fun tasks to him though).

Math. We are just finishing up the first unit in each of these books. A flew through Singapore levels 1A and 1B and is just starting out in level 2A. It is definitely more challenging for him, but he enjoys it. D is now in Singapore 3B. I have really enjoyed using Singapore and Miquon math. My only qualm with the curriculum, Singapore especially, is that there is not enough drill and practice for certain sections. We have been able to by-pass that through various math websites online where you can print worksheets for free. Math-drills.com has been my favorite go-to site for the past 3 years when we need to do a little extra drill and practice. I think the boys like it best when they get to do speed drills with Daddy, or when we get to play other games.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

D at 9.

Holding the chocolate moose that Nana and I made for his birthday.

  • You give amazing hugs!
  • You aren't too big to snuggle.
  • You are now tall enough to drive the go-carts at The Zone all by yourself (you come up to my collarbone).
  • You have a great sense of humor and love to tell jokes!
  • You love to read--you just devoured Chuck Black's Kingdom series, the first 3 Harry Potter books, are almost finished with My Side of the Mountain, and want to read through C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia for the 2nd time in less than a year.
  • Your favorite colors are green and yellow.
  • You love the Texas Rangers.
  • You were a Minnesota Vikings fan, but have now moved your allegiance to the Seattle Seahawks (which has made your daddy proud).
  • I often find you shooting hoops out in the driveway--especially when it is time for us to pile into the car to go somewhere! ;-)
  • You love to play football too.
  • You say that you hate math when people ask you about it, but I know better (you really do like it).
  • You like to catch frogs (and probably soon will like to catch lizards too).
  • You love to build with LEGO.
  • I love the worship songs that you make up and now accompany yourself to with your guitar.
  • I love how you love your little brother.
  • I love your tender heart.
  • I love how inquisitive and creative you are.
  • I love YOU!

These are just a few things about you, my firstborn, my heart. Blessings to you over the next year. :)

Mama xoxoxoxo

Spiritual lessons from the kitchen.

You may see this picture and wonder what pancakes have to do with anything spiritually related--don't worry, there truly is a connection. :)

I have a confession to make. I am not the most patient person on the planet. There are times when I feel that God's fruit of patience is showing (and growing) in my life, but there are so many other seconds, minutes, hours, etc. where this fruit seems to be out of my reach. Especially when patience is required to wait on God and His timing.

God reminded me about how cooking pancakes requires patience while I was standing in my kitchen making pancakes a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure that I responded something like this: "Huh?' and had a blank expression on my face. Then, the Holy Spirit brought to my recollection the first few times I ever tried to make pancakes. Oh my, those pancakes of years past were so deformed and misshapen (thankfully the way they looked did not impact they way they tasted!). I'm so thankful that Rob ate my feeble attempts at what were supposed to be pancakes during our first year or so of marriage. ;-) I had no patience. I felt that it wasn't important to wait until they were mostly set with air bubbles popping on the surface before flipping them. I just wanted to get those things done so we could eat breakfast! However, cooking pancakes requires waiting. The task requires patience. It takes practice too, but they definitely require patience. For someone who likes to be in control of things to some extent, and who sometimes feels a bit overwhelmed when she has to relinquish some sense of control, patience and waiting can be a bit difficult.

The common theme that my Father in heaven has been whispering to me over the last 2 months or so is to wait upon Him. I need to be patient. I need to trust in Him. God is trustworthy, I can put my trust in him and am learning (and practicing) putting my trust in Him. I know that he has a plan for me. His word says in Jeremiah 29:11,

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD
, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

His word also says: "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for you. His love for you endures forever--and he never abandons the works of His hands!" (from Psalm 138:8).

And do you know what? He is trustworthy. I don't need to be fearful of whatever the future may bring. As long as I am walking day-by-day with God, and am submitting my dreams, plans and everything to Him it will be okay. Things will not happen in my timing, they will unfold according to His perfect and sovereign plan (of which he reminded me in Isaiah 55:8 - "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD.").

My pancake-making skills have improved dramatically over the years, and I would like to think that with the Holy Spirit's help, I have also grown more in patience. But, I know that there is still ample room for growth, as I am being shaped into the likeness of my Creator.