Saturday, December 25, 2010

Some things you just don't want to forget...

Their goofy expressions and sweet smiles

Their ability to sit still for mere moments

That they can always do that which you asked someone else to do and do it so well

 Participation is sometimes optional

That 4 kids under the age of 5 1/2 will never cooperate at the same time

That my son has worn his snow boots everyday for at least seven weeks, almost before the first snowfall

That they all have a sweet side

Presents for 4 kids create enough mess to have me picking up small things off of the carpet for the rest of the day!

That one year they'll look like this...

And 12 months later look like this!

This day started out around 6:45 am.  Hosanna and Judah burst into our room this morning proclaiming that Santa had come and there were presents under the tree.  "And I didn't even hear any sleigh bells!" she added.

Last night before they went to bed, we told them when they woke up in the morning they would find presents and they weren't to touch them.  They could however, play with the toys that were on the table, which they received last night at their grandparent's house.

That plan was genius.  It bought me about an hour and 15 minutes this morning, although last night I was silently cursing the toy company that thinks it's necessary to attach anything to a box using 29 plastic ties and 2 screws!  Honestly.

We had a relaxing day today and ate ham, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and rolls for dinner.  Although tearing them away from their new treasures to head to bed proved a little more difficult than usual, they were tired from the excitement of the holidays.

I was tucking Zoe (who insisted on wearing her dress up shoes to bed) into her bed, she said, "I need Jesus!"  Which, for a while we had been singing 'Jesus Loves Me' to her before bed, but haven't recently.  But it made me laugh to hear her say that and it gently reminded me that we should all be saying that before we hit the sheets at night.  She then requested that I sing her latest favorite song, Awesome God. 

We are thankful tonight for our MANY blessings and the biggest blessing of all, that Our Father God sent His Son for us!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What cards will you be sending this Christmas?

When we first started sending out Christmas cards eight years ago (!) there weren't all that many options.  Most of the layouts were 1 photo, the designs were average at best.  The photo card market has increased in popularity over the years and rightfully so, I remember my mom always including a picture of my sisters and me when mailing out her yearly Christmas cards.  So making a photo card is the perfect solution for the family who wants to share holiday greetings with friends and relatives and include photos of their family.

These days the options are endless and I'm excited because I can't choose just one picture to share with the ones I love.  Shutterfly asked me to tell you about some of the great cards and gifts that they have this year.  The card pictured above is one of my favorites, I love the layout, the colors and the message.  I think our little family will look terrific on the front of it.

And this one here, is fabulous because you can put up 7 to 8 pictures on it and a personalized message from your family.

Shutterfly also has great photo gifts.  Over the past couple of years, we have given my parents and in-laws photo books that were made up of photos from the past year.  They LOVE these and now look forward to getting them year after year.

These coasters would be a great grandparent gift as well.  Way to put pictures of the kids front and center!

Everyone uses calendars and you can add your important dates to the calendar that you create so that no special occasion is ever forgotten.

Shutterfly has great cards and gifts for everyone (especially the hard to shop for) on your list this year.  Head over to their site to see everything they have to offer.

**Disclosure - Shutterfly is providing me with 50 free cards for writing this post about their products.  The above is my honest opinion and experiences regarding their products.**

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The View...

from the front window on this really-nice-play-outside-kind of afternoon:

 A five year old riding on a toddler bike  
while pulling a doll stroller that was holding a pumpkin.

 Here she is again waving when she realized I was taking her picture. 
Yes, she's wearing a dress, purple leopard print leggings and Nikes.

 Her brother is wearing shorts, snow boots and riding her bike
which he claims is his own.  
These three are quite the trio.

 Her younger sister, who has been in constant need of having her nose wiped 
all day long, and stubbornly insists that her name is "Me" not Zoe.

All the while, Shiloh stands inside longing for this time next year 
when she can join the ranks of her bike riding siblings.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodnight Stuff

 It's Harvest Time and we are keeping pretty busy around here.  Hosanna made this sign to put on the door to the basement.  We are planning to have a Harvest Party tomorrow night, the kind where we carve pumpkins and eat all things pumpkin.  I'm excited and so are the kids.

For homeschool, this past week we were learning about the letter M and moon.  We read the children's book "Goodnight Moon" then the assignment was to find pictures from magazines and create your own book saying goodnight to things.  Here's what she came up with:

Goodnight Stuff

Goodnight crayons.  Goodnight stuffed animal penguin and ducks.

Goodnight hot dogs.  Goodnight heart.  Goodnight clock.

Goodnight shoes.  Goodnight daughter, goodnight books.  Goodnight cousin.  Goodnight ice cream.

Goodnight swimming glasses.  Goodnight puzzle.  Goodnight cupcake.

Goodnight food.
The end.

I wrote the story as she told it to me.  Quite the writer.  She just now came up to me and showed me a picture she drew of her family (we were all astronauts) on the back was our farm with a rain storm and a cow named Jessica America Elizabeth Felicity.  Wow.

Well, now I'm off to make chili for the party tomorrow.  Next week I plan to post pics of harvest time things that we've been doing 'round here.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Latest Adventure

We began school last month - homeschool that is.

For Hosanna's kindergarten year, I chose to do a curriculum called My Father's World.  I liked this particular program because it's a unit study, meaning there's 26 units that revolve around a subject (i.e. the sun, leaves, apples) and you are teaching math, language arts, writing, science and Bible for 6 days.  And then the subject changes.  So far it's working out well.

With homeschooling, there's always room for extra activities, especially ones that interest the student.  The kids get Highlights Magazine for Preschoolers. While reading it, Hosanna spotted a craft and she asked me if we could make it.  I was trying to figure out when and how it would work out.  She asked me for at least a week.

Finally, today I had a brilliant moment and this is what we came up with.  The original craft used cardboard and fabric to make stick-like figures and cats.  We used a shirt gift box, like the one pictured at the top of this post and colored paper to make the clothes.

While I was cutting out the pieces, I was asking Hosanna questions like how many arms did each 'human' (that's what they called them) need.  Then she glued them on and chose the color of paper that we made their outfits out of.

We are talking about the sound the letter s makes, so skirt and shirt were perfect to practice working on these sounds.  She colored flowers on the clothes and later said we needed to give the cats 'style' - so she colored them.

A cat

The 'humans'
This was a great activity for both of them.  And I believe we'll be elaborating further with hair, socks and shoes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

At the Park

Yesterday we spent some time at the park.  It was a beautiful day.  I had to camera, so I took a few pictures while we were there.

These kids LOVE it outdoors, it's just getting them to stand still long enough to get a good picture.

Look at those CHUBBY fingers!  So cute!
My person favorite from the day!
Zoe (25 months) and Shiloh (10 months)

Toothy grin!
He honestly said, "Here Hosanna, CATCH!" as he pushed Shiloh towards her.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Peanut Butter Bandit

On a Sunday morning a couple of weeks back, the baby had woken up particularly early - I went to get her and met Hosanna in the hallway. She was going into her room. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Going back to bed.
(I smelled peanut butter.)
Me: Have you been eating peanut butter?
(She hastily wiped her mouth with her fingers, as if I could see her lips in the near darkness.)
Her: Well, I didn't eat much dinner last night, so yeah, I was eating peanut butter.
Me: Go back to bed and be quiet.

I was laughing so hard. I had to remind myself to be quiet.

Awhile later, when we were all awake, I looked in the kitchen sink to see what she may have used to eat the peanut butter. I didn't see anything.

Me: Where's the spoon you used for the peanut butter?
Her: I put it back.
Me: Well, did you clean it off?
Her: Yeah...with my tongue.
(Of course, the obvious answer - why hadn't I thought of that?)

Still later, I was getting someone dressed and Hosanna came up to me.

Her: Mom, I gotta tell you something else, I think you're going to be mad. But I hope not.
Me: Ok, what is it?
(She brought her stuffed dog, Sally, over to me.)
Her: I got some peanut butter on Sally, it got on my arm and I wiped it on her. I hope you're not mad.
Me: Well, you'll have to clean her off.

Hours later, I was sitting in the dining room and Hosanna came and sat beside me.

Her: I need to tell you something. I didn't tell you what really happened to Sally.
Me: Ok. What happened?
Her: Well, I actually used her to wipe the spoon on. That's how she really got peanut butter on her.

And the truth came out.

All in all, it was quite the morning. At breakfast, Judah decided that he wanted Shiloh to sit closer to him and he pulled her high chair as close as he could. He was eating his Fruity Cheerios and she reached over, grabbed the bowl and dumped it all over him and the floor. Great.

Soon after, I was making oatmeal for Zoe, went to put in my usual cinnamon and the lid came off and I ended up with a whole pile in the bowl instead of the sprinklin' I was going for.

Thankfully, we pulled it together and got to church.

Sunday is by far the craziest day of the week for this family!

Seasonal Work

I believe the hiatus may be over...

I have been in thought lately...when my world is quiet enough to think. And it's possible that I WANT to get blogging again. Well, I actually have been -Crumbs and Chaos - but not about kids, family or our latest venture - homeschooling (!).

But to everything there is a season -
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I believe we are finally settled. Transition is a challenge, especially with children, but we're to the place now where we're getting our groove back and the kids know what to expect.

At this moment, Hosanna and Judah are playing on the hill behind our house and Zoe is riding her 'bike' (tricycle) in the driveway, all while Shiloh is napping and the washing machine is vigorously spinning our clothes clean.

Oh, wait, as soon as I typed that, I had to explain to Judah if he hit anyone else with the stick he had he would be coming inside for the rest of the day, open a new box of chalk for writing in the driveway and then deny Judah entrance to the house because of the wet sand that now cakes his clean shoes. Good grief!

The spring and summer this year we had decisions to make and to take action based on what God put in our heart to do. Now that fall is here we are continuously looking to grow as a family and follow God's plan for our lives.

I, personally, would like to keep track of things this SEASON and share with you, especially as we have begun our homeschooling year and learning is an incredible thing.

More updates on the way soon!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cute 'Let Them Know You're Expecting' Ideas

There are few things sweeter than a new baby...the above picture is Shiloh - 1 day old.

Lately there are two people that I know that are pregnant. I thought their ideas for making it known were pretty creative, so I thought I'd share them with you.

#1 -

My sister, Kate, told us about a month ago that she is having baby #3, due around the beginning of October. She outright told me, but the same day they were going to an event with his family.

So, Jeff decided to text his mom, dad, brother and sister while they were all out eating lunch together. The text said something like "We're pregnant, but don't say anything until everyone gets the message." So then over the course of the next hour or whatever, they all got the message and then got to chat about the exciting news.

#2 -

Last night we went to church and some friends of ours have an 18-month old son. His name is Z (short for Ezekiel) and he was wearing a t-shirt. It wasn't the usual Big Brother shirt that could give the secret away, his shirt said - MOM'S KNOCKED UP! - so cute. They had seen it online and his mom made it with iron-on letters.

I thought these were a few sweet ideas for YOU to file away, in the case that you need to use them someday. Notice I said YOU and not ME, that's because I do believe that 4 is plenty of children around our house.

From Blogger Pictures

This is Shiloh, 2 months old, she will be 3 months old NEXT WEEK! But I figured better late than never. These photos aren't necessarily related to this post, but I thought you might enjoy them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You MUST try this!!!

And I mean MUST!!!!

I found this recipe a little over a month ago and I have made it three times since and my sisters have also tried it. We all LOVE it!

It is called Balsamic Chicken Noodle bowl. You can find the recipe here. It's pretty simple and super delicious.

I'm going to go for now - someone has to fold the laundry, sweep up the graham cracker crumbs under the table and taste test the peanut butter-oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made earlier.

Oh wait, I already did that last one...and they were goooooood!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting a word in edgewise

There are many times when Judah tries to get a word in around here and he just can't. He has honestly said to Hosanna before, "Stop talking!" in a very loud, impatient way - just because she goes on and on and he feels like he doesn't get a turn to speak. So when she isn't here, it gives me a chance to REALLY listen to him. He's pretty funny.

The other night Jeremy was sitting on the couch and Judah walks up to him and says, "Dad, can I have some money?" I was right in the other room and I just laughed out loud. I had a fast-forward-about-12-years moment and could just see him standing there as a teenager. It was hilarious. He was actually asking for some change to put in his pocket to play with.

The next evening Jeremy asked him if he wanted to play a game on the TV with him. We have an 'old-school' Nintendo machine. While he was hooking it up, Judah came into the kitchen and said, "Mom, Dad's gonna teach me how to play the 'deo game." It took me a minute to translate that meant video game. He was so excited and he said it about 5 more times.

He was playing yesterday and was counting down. It went like this, "Ready? 6....5....awesome!" That was such a 'boy' to say something like that.

All day long yesterday, we heard the partially thawing ice falling from the trees. At lunch, Judah asked me what that noise was. I told him it was the ice and trees outside. He said, "Oh, you mean in the forest?" It's funny to me how his little mind works, because I was talking about trees they are automatically part of the forest.

I was making some Cheerio Treats and he asked to help me. It was kind of a hard thing for him to help me with, he had a spoon that had some of the yumminess on it, which he licked off and asked for more. I said that he had to wait until I made all of the treats, so he asked me another 12 times for more. Of course, preschoolers can't wait a single second. I kept telling him to wait. Finally, he says, "My stomach is really hungry, can I have some more now?" As if his hunger would change my mind!

We are constantly putting lotion on Judah because his skin is pretty dry, so every time he sees some, he wants some. I had given him some and turned around to do something else. He gets in my face a minute later, smacks his cheeks and says, "Look Mom, I'm pretty!" with a huge grin. He definitely has an older sister!

I enjoyed my day with only one child that could speak in full sentences and I'm sure he enjoyed being able to be heard.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's January 2010...

Actually, January 19th - if anyone's keeping track - and I have yet to do a lot of things on this here B L O G.

I've been harassed by my sister to get this thing up to date - you know adding things like Halloween, Christmas and, most importantly, the birth of our 4TH CHILD were on my list of things I would have loved to have blogged about at the end of the year and never got around to.

But lately I've been thinking about it and decided maybe I need to get around to getting up to date, partly because I miss documenting parts of our lives and sharing recipes or the funny happenings and partly because blogging is an outlet - something I need in the midst of the chaos.

So I'm going to work on it. I was attempting the upload a few pictures to whet your appetite for what's to come, but it's not cooperating so that's all for now. I'll be back soon.