Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Room!

Our boys have a completely new room! Gone are the crib, changing table, and dresser . . . and now it looks like their "big boy" room! One of the best things about moving old things out and rearranging is that you can now see their gorgeous wall mural much better. We put this up in 2006 but you coudn't see it as well because there was a bed in the way. Now you can see all of the animals, which is good because I think my boys belong in a zoo! :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to two great loves in my life--my mom (today!) and my husband (tomorrow!). I won't disclose their ages, but suffice it to say, they are both older than me. :)

I love you both bunches! I hope you both enjoy your special day this weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Bunks!

Our boys received new bunk beds today and they are too fun (the beds and the boys!). Other than making the beds--which isn't the easiest thing--we love the new beds! It's just one more thing that reminds us that our babies are growing up. We took apart our crib and got rid of our changing table. It is finally looking like a boys room and not a baby room . . . it's a fun change! Once we have everything else moved back in the room, I will post pictures of the complete room.

We ordered the beds from my uncle who owns a furniture store in Ohio and gave us a good discount (thanks, Lynn!), and my parents also gave us some really nice furniture (desk, chair, two dressers) that complete the room (thanks, mom & dad!). It's coming together, and the boys were so excited to go to bed tonight--let's hope that keeps up! :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

God of This City

Have you seen this yet?? Do you watch American Idol? How AWESOME it would have been to have heard this beautiful song on the AI stage, sung by a Christian! I have absolutely loved this song since I first heard it at our church awhile ago. I have it on my iPod and listen to it often . . . very powerful! If you haven't yet seen this video, or aren't familiar with Kris Allen--the recent winner of American Idol--I hope you will watch it. I think you will enjoy it!

Hands-On Science!

We recently started a new science curriculum called "God's Design for . . ." by Answers in Genesis (yes, at nearly the end of the school year!). We are studying the human body and so far, the kids are really enjoying it & learning a lot! Some recent highlights include: writing the names of the bones on Riley, walking on our hands, checking the speed of our reflexes, and trying to write our names on paper with our toes!

School is winding down (today was scheduled to be our last day but we took too many days off during the year) and everyone has been ornery--the teacher included! It makes our days a bit sillier, but the kids are still learning--and that's all I ask!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


You've made it! Welcome to my new blog and new look! I would love to know what you think of it! I moved to Blogger for many reasons, and decided a new look was in order, too. :) Here you will find my thoughts: everything from politics to parenting, homeschooling to football. I plan to blog more regularly and am working on a more regular blog schedule. Please be sure to visit often! For now, feel free to browse around, check out my links, or visit some of my favorite blogs!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Help Protect Kids!

Pardon the interruption while I delve into a not-so-happy topic! I was headed to Target this week (a frequent occurrence!) when I nearly burst into tears in my minivan. I was listening to the radio when a commercial came on that I will likely not forget. It was from an organization called "American Humane Association" and was a very realistic and emotional commercial about child abuse. The basic premise (complete with hearing a parent yell and hit and then hearing a child cry) was "What would you do if you saw or heard a child being abused?"

This is unfortunately the reality that many kids face. I love kids so, so much and cannot imagine abusing a child or even seeing a child endure this! It breaks my heart to even know it occurs in some families. I hope that I would immediately step in and say something, and yet, what do you say? How do you handle this situation? I have never been in this situation--and hope never to be--but the website from American Humane Association addresses this very thing. They have tips on what to say and how to handle this very situation. My hope and prayer is that we never encounter this--but if we do, here are some ideas on how to intervene.

Step in and be an advocate for kids! Love 'em and protect them!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Told Ya...

Told ya she was beautiful! I'm completely biased, I know. :) My computer is *still* not fixed (my slaptop screen is broken and it was too expensive to fix it, so I am once again hooked up to an external monitor --ugh!), but since I have it back, here are some photos of our pretty girl! Love ya, sweetie!!

IMG_6180 Getting her face painted at EPCOT, and helping make homemade strawberry jam last summer. She's sweeter than the strawberries were. :)


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Testing Time!

Testing Riley has achievement testing for three days this week, so our schedule has been completely different! We are fortunate that our local homeschooling offers achievement testing (Stanford Achievement Tests) for kids from second grade through high school. Riley knows quite a few of the kids there, as well as some of the teachers, so she feels comfortable with it and I think she enjoys the break from our regular schoolwork. :)

Brad and I now strongly believe in having our kids take achievement tests every year or every other year for many reasons. Some of these include having a good benchmark of yearly progress (for our kids AND to see how the parent is doing) and to prepare our children for standardized tests in the future. Not all homeschool parents are fans of testing, and we certainly don't feel it should be mandated, but it works for our family!

I'm getting a lot accomplished each morning since we aren't doing normal schoolwork, as well. :) I've cleaned a lot, caught up on my laundry, and made lots of yummy recipes. :) Plus, I've spent lots of good quality time with my boys! Always important!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I love Mother's Day. :) Not because I get great gifts from my kids and husband, or because I get breakfast in bed, or because I don't have to change dirty diapers . . . but because it's a day to remember that I am so blessed to have a great mom and to be a mommy. Growing up, I always knew I wanted kids. I just never knew how much I would enjoy them!

Riley is almost 9 and the time has flown by. Owen is likely our last child, and as he gets older, that is harder for me to swallow. I'd love to have lots and lots more babies. :) My kids are a lot of fun and after having worked full-time during some of their younger years, I am very blessed to be able to stay home with them full-time now. They make me laugh daily and give me more love than I ever could have imagined. Even on a 'bad' day, they still give my hugs at night and say "You're a great mom!" Melts my heart! They forgive easily and are still so innocent. I know it likely won't always be this way, so I'm soaking up as much as I can of them now!

I've been scrapbooking a lot more lately and reflecting on lots of family and childrens' photos. I have a horrible memory, so I am thankful for lots of photos and scrapbooks to remember all the details of our family and their childhoods!

I am also very thankful for my own mom, who taught me how to love well and how to be a great mom to my own kids! I love you, mom. You taught me the importance of spending time with your kids and I have fabulous memories of my childhood. I hope to be able to give my own kids the same thing!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beautiful Riley

She really is beautiful, our daughter. It's just that for some reason I don't have many photos of her on my blog; I'm not sure why.

I realized this recently when looking through my blog for some photos of our kids (since my computer is *still* being repaired). So, cute girl of mine, you will see lots of photos of yourself here shortly! I just need to get my computer back and then I will put up some recent pictures of our growing, beautiful daughter!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

MenuplanmondayIt's time for Menu Plan Monday hosted my OrgJunkie! Check out her site if you haven't already--lots of great ideas!

We have gotten away (again) from planning our meals which leaves us eating out more--ugh! Yummy, but too costly and not as nutritious. So on Sunday, with the help of my great assistant, Riley (again, insert beautiful photo of Riley here since my computer is still in the shop!), we made meal plans for two weeks! She looked through all of my cookbooks and recipe magazines and suggested lots of good meals. I made the grocery listed and then we shopped together--she is a FANTASTIC assistant! Her mom must have raised her well. :)

Here is one week's worth of dinner meals (though the order may change):

Day 1: Hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob, strawberries, ice cream sandwiches
Day 2: Sweet & Sour Crockpot Chicken (w/veggies), Rice, Watermelon, Rolls
Day 3: Taco Ring, Chips & Queso, Corn, Peaches
Day 4: Caesar Steak, Crash Potatoes, Green Beans, Applesauce
Day 5: Lemon Herb Chicken, Salad, Jello, Peas
Day 6: Blueberry Pancakes, Bacon, Applesauce
Day 7: Off - leftovers or out

Hope you have a YUMMY week! :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Funny Little Owen

{insert cute photo of Owen here - my computer is in the shop along with all of my photos!}

He totally cracks me up. His speech has improved greatly with the help of a speech therapist this past year (yay!), but his grammar is still lacking. He doesn't quite get all of the words in a sentence, he uses a wrong word, or he mixes up the order. Any which way, it is still funny! He makes us laugh constantly and always has a ready audience with the other four of us!

Today I was keeping him company while he sat on the potty before his bath. He stood there for a few minutes (he goes back & forth between sitting or standing), then turned to me and said "Can I touch you eyeballs?" I laughed out loud (a lot!) which made him only continue to repeat it . . . so there I was, with a naked two-year-old who just kept asking me if he could touch my eyeballs! I *think* he meant my eyelids, but who knows with a two-year-old??

(And for the record, NO, he wasn't allowed to touch "me eyeballs!")

Friday, May 1, 2009


Australia_kangaroo We've been studying Australia all week and are now off to the zoo! It's 11:30 in the morning, schoolwork is done, it's a beautiful day--so we are headed to the the Australian Adventure area of the zoo for only an hour or so. We are so blessed to have such a great children's zoo in our city!! It's a great way to wrap up our week of learning about Australia. They even have a great aquarium there to represent the Great Barrier Reef.

Enjoy your weekend! :)