Sunday, May 30, 2010

Keeping Cool

with no a/c......

G doing a flip into the pool

Son C DIVING for the very first time!

Little Man jumping off the board

(be still my heart!)

Son L on daddy's back

Friday, May 28, 2010

Johnny Prophet

We have a new teaching pastor at our church whom I just love. Love, love, love his teaching! Love his passion for God's Word. Love his friendliness and ability to connect with people. Love his wife and family. Love God for bringing him to our church. Just really feelin' the love. :-)

He has been preaching a series on John the Baptist, and some talented and creative people at our church decided to couch the series in a 50's theme and call it:

Last Sunday, in association with this series, we had a 50's style potluck dinner after church. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I have always loved the 50's. When I was a preteen and teen, I used to pour over my parents' high school year books, as they both graduated in the 50's and were married in 1959. I was in love with 50's cars, 50's clothes, and 50's music. On a side note, it was very fascinating for me, personally, to study the 50's in more detail during our history studies this year, and learn more about this decade that I had always been in love with. It had some very ugly aspects to it, as well as the cars, clothes and music that are now so oft associated with the 50's. But considering my love affair with this decade, it was a very fun potluck!!

We even had a hoola hoop contest and a bubble gum blowing contest!

Probably the thing I loved the most is that it was a church wide event that included people of all generations, ages, and stages. Our church has determined that is a high value to us, and though it would be a lot easier to be all one kind of church (contemporary or traditional) with predominantly one style of worship, we are working through the messiness of what it means to be a true "family" church (with people at each age end of the family spectrum) with a blended worship style. I love that! I love my church family!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Challenge


We survived yesterday! Our a/c actually worked for a portion of the day, and we were able to keep the temperature inside the house under 80 until mid afternoon. We stayed in the basement until it was time to leave for soccer practice, and afterward the children ate lots of popsicles and had a water gun fight. Today it is cooler! Thanks so much for all your helpful suggestions.

Original post:

Remember when our furnace broke last fall, just after my husband got a new job after 9 months of unemployment? Well, now our air conditioner seems to be on the fritz. In the eternal scheme of things, this is not a big deal. But the last few days have been HOT here (nearly 90 degrees with high humidity) and today is supposed to be even hotter. So, we are having a hard time staying cool.

We're praying the a/c unit we have can be fixed, because if it needs to be replaced we're just going to have to be hot this summer (we can afford flowers for the front porch, but not a new a/c unit!). In the meantime, I am making homemade popsicles left and right, we are playing/working outside in the morning and doing schoolwork in our cool basement all afternoon today, the shades are pulled down on the sunny side of the house, and the windows wide open on the shady side, and we have all available fans blowing. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday L!!

Another child has turned double digits! How did that happen? How can it seem like yesterday that he was born and yet an entire decade has passed?? We were very excited to celebrate this milestone with L, and it was a delightfully warm Saturday, which means we could be outside and daddy was home. Win-win. :0)

We gave L one of his gifts early in the day,

so that he too could enjoy them right away! (this appears to be the year for roller blades!)

Usually I make our children's birthday dinners, but for turning double digits we let L pick a restaurant of his choice, and we went there to eat along with Grandma and Grandpa and two friends. It was a restaurant with a salad/soup/barbeque bar, and all the children but Little Man returned multiple times to the bar. We definitely got our money's worth!

Then we came home and played several games of "mafia". This is very fun, but you need at least 9-10 people to really play it well. More is better.

If you are not familiar with this game, first assignments are given by the passing out of playing cards. If you receive the king or queen card, you are a member of the mafia (we had 2 of these). If you receive the ace, you are the doctor, and if you receive the jack, you are the sheriff. Everyone else is a townsperson. Then the moderator (my hubby) says "town asleep" and everyone looks down and closes their eyes. When he says, "mafia awake" the two mafia people open their eyes and point to one person to "kill". Then the moderator says, "mafia asleep, doctor awake." Then the person playing the Dr opens his/her eyes and points to someone to "heal". It may or may not be the person who was just killed by the mafia, since the Dr does not know who that person is.

Next the moderator says, "Dr asleep, sheriff awake." Then the person playing the sheriff opens his/her eyes and points to someone to arrest. Again, this may or may not be the actual mafia person. Then the moderator says, "town awake". Everyone opens their eyes and the moderator makes up a hilarious story on the fly about how so and so (naming who got "killed") had a horrible accident, and though the Dr was called, they were not able to be saved (if the Dr pointed to the wrong person). An arrest was made, but there was not enough evidence to go to trial (if the sheriff pointed to the wrong person). Then the "dead" player is out of the game. If the Dr pointed to the right person, the dead person is miraculously healed and remains in the game. If the sheriff pointed to the actual mafia person, they go to jail and are out of the game.


Did all that make sense?!

It's funny because it's supposed to be totally silent. If the person next to you hears your arm moving to point, they may figure out who you are. Or if Little Man announces his identity during the game, that may give it away too! And my husband made up really hilarious stories between each round that kept us in stitches. It was very fun!

Next, L opened his gifts. Here he is with his new webkinz stuffed animal from his siblings.

He has always had a flair for the dramatic, and this picture shows his impassioned "thank you!" to his grandparents for giving him the lego set he wanted.

We love you so much L! God gave us a tremendous blessing when he created you and gave you to our family. We pray you have a great year being ten, and that you will grow closer to the Lord this year and always walk in His truth.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday's Thankful Things

As you know, we were unemployed for 9 months last year. In my husband's industry, and in our area, work is very transient. So we may very well be unemployed again. Job or no job, God is good and He always provides for our deepest needs. But it's true there are some things only money can buy. They are not the most important things in life, but right now I really appreciate them. I want to thank God for the things He has given us the money to afford recently.

Flowers. At this time last year we could not afford to buy flowers for our porch. We were struggling to survive. Literally. Flowers were a luxury. This year I was able to invest in some beautiful flowers that give me pure joy just to look at them. Each of the children picked out a few flowers for their very own, and we've had fun planting them!

Airtight food storage buckets. Yes, I am thankful for buckets. During the winter of our unemployment, bugs invaded my wheat berries and dried beans. My husband and I discovered them early in the winter. We picked out as many as we could, and then ground the berries to bake bread, and used the beans anyway. We never told the children. It was simply not an option to throw that food out. We didn't get sick, and perhaps it gave us a little extra protein, who knows? But I really did not want a repeat of that experience. So with the blessing of a paycheck, I was able to buy 3 large buckets with gamma seal lids. They are airtight and watertight, yet very easy to open. Every day when I go to the basement and see those wonderful buckets storing some of our staples, I am thankful!

Clothes. I think I have paid less than $200 for clothing for our 5 children in the last 2 years because we have been the beneficiary of so much used clothing from others. And these are nice clothes! I seriously could not put a price tag on all that we have been given, but I know it would probably number thousands of dollars worth of clothing. How blessed we are! I have also been able to buy a few new tops for myself this spring, and 2 new capri pants for summer. I'm feeling kindof cute these days!

Soccer. I'm so thankful for the ability to pay for soccer, and for the scholarships we have received from our soccer club so we could continue to play when finances were tight. It makes our schedule crazy, but it's a sport that draws us together as a family, everyone in the family enjoys it, my husband is an assistant coach so he gets to do this together with his sons, and the children are learning so many valuable lessons through this sport. Plus we have made some wonderful new friends. Plus it's fun to watch. And I have the reputation of "loud cheerleading parent from the sidelines" to uphold.

The means and ability to fix things. Last year when a bedroom doorknob broke, we had to just leave that door unlatched. When the screendoor ripped, we had to leave it ripped. I know it's a pain sometimes to spend time fixing things, but when you haven't been able to fix anything for awhile, it is a real blessing to have the means to do it!

Field trips. We can pay to go on field trips now! We are all very excited to be going to the zoo tomorrow with our other 3 co-op families. We did enjoy some field trips last year, but they were all of the free variety, such as parks with sprayscapes. And let's face it, the zoo just isn't free. So it's extra fun to be able to go there this year.

There are so many more things I am thankful for. Money comes and money goes. I am learning not to worry so much about the amount we have at any given time, but to always have a grateful heart regardless of our bank account, and to wisely use (and enjoy!) the money we have when we have it, because there will probably come a time again when we don't have much.

Thank you Lord, for all that You give me on a daily basis which is intangible yet so much more important than money. Help me to have a grateful heart. Thank you for all that you have allowed us to buy with the money you've given us. Help us to be wise and careful stewards, and to keep our eyes on You at all times. You are so good, Lord. Thank you for being You.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

X is for "X marks the spot" and Y is for Yolk

I bet you have been wondering what we were going to do for the letter X, right? I have a pet peeve that most books and alphabet games say that "x is for xylophone". That word doesn't sound like X at all! Confusing to young learners. So we talked about lots of words that have the x sound at the end (fox, box, ox, ax) so they could really hear the sound, and then made pirates with big X's on their chests. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Here is the writer's class down in Angela's new basement schoolroom. This picture doesn't do the room justice, it is really, really nice!! They are putting in a bathroom down there too, so there were construction items sitting around and a few of them you can see in this pic. Such a beautiful new room for learning, and lots of storage!

Up at the kitchen table, the young 5's worked on their pirates. This was quite popular with the boys!

Here is a finished pirate with yarn hair and a big X on his chest.

Next we boiled some eggs and then opened them up to see the yolks.

From the yolks we made deviled eggs, and most of the children really liked them! (the moms did too!)

I can't believe we are at the end of the alphabet and only have one more letter to learn about! Z will be really fun, as we are learning about the ZOO!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

W is for Whales and Waffles!

On "W" day, Angela was having some work done in her basement, so the writers got to have class in a TENT outside!! Is that fun, or what??!

While they were busy sharing their compositions and learning new writing techniques, the young 5's were busy reading about whales and making whales out of brown paper lunch sacks.

We did explain to them that the Bible says Jonah was swallowed by a "big fish", but we took liberties and pretended it was a whale. Here Sally is demonstrating the whale swallowing Jonah.

After playing with Jonah and the Whale for a while, we made waffles for snack. Yum!

Another great day at co-op!