Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Gift From God

My children truly are a gift from God. I look at these faces and can't help but smile. I can see the light of Christ shining from each of them. I have to marvel sometimes at the way parents speak about their children. As if they are a burden and a nuicense.

I honestly do not understand it. I love getting to know there sweet personalities. Finding out just who this little person is and who God made them to be.

I never can understand why people laugh or tell me I am crazy when I tell them I have four children and would love a few more.

One of the biggest blessings in my life is homeschooling. I get to spend my days learning, playing, educating, snuggling and laughing with my family. What a blessing!

A Fabulous Mid 19th century giveaway!

I saw this giveaway on Mrs.G's blog and had to enter! Its for a toddler dress and its absolutely gorgeous! If you would like to enter just follow this link!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly Weigh in Survived the holidays!!

I didnt realize I could be so excited to NOT lose weight! But I surely am! Ok I guess really what I am excited about is that I havent gained! Its a good feeling though to not be bummed out that I havent lost this week. I am still sitting at 173lbs and ater the Chritmas holiday I am glad to still be there.
One thing thats been on my mind lately is excepting ourselves AS WE ARE. In high school I was curvy. I am 5' 6 and weighed around 150. I had a very nice curvy womanly body, and I hated it! I thought I was so "Fat" and needed to lose weight! After having my first baby and then weighing 220 pounds then I really missed that body I had and couldnt understand why I had hated it so much.
I think as a society and as women especially we have been taught thru media and other things to not be happy with who we are and what we have. When all you see on t.v are size two rich women you start to think that that is normal and thats what you should be.
We need to accept and love ourselves WHERE WE ARE AT TODAY. Yes I want to lose weight and be healthier But that doesnt mean I am not a beautiful woman today. I should NEVER hate who I am. I can love myself and still want to improve myself. I have struggled with that in the past.
"When I weigh X amount then I'll be pretty/happy" I would tell myself. Thats just not true. If we cant learn to be content where we are right now today then we will never be content with who we are. No matter the weight. So a new goal of mine has been to look for the positive things about myself, especially when I look in th mirror. My eye tends to go straight to the things I DONT like. I need to change that habit and see the beautiful things in front of me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Sweet companion

There have been so many pictures on my blog and for the last several months none of them have had my sweet hubby in them. I am missing him like crazy and think of him constantly and so I thought I'd put a few pictures of him on here. The first is one from a family vacation in July. The next is a picture of Justin on D-day (deployment day) All those pictured with him are dear friends and soldiers who were deploying within the two months following my sweety. Calvin, Steven and Chad.
Such good men and good soldiers.

This photo is another from D-day, this is the "getting his head in the game" picture.
My husband is loving, honest, funny, sweet, caring and brave. I am so proud to be his wife and so thankful that God gave him to me to be my companion.

Christmas Pictures

I just wanted to share some pictures of my sweeties on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Weekly weigh in

Not a bad week this week. I am down 2 pounds. I havent been posting my actual weight on here but am finding it harder to keep track that way! LoL So I guess it wont hurt to post it. I was 175lbs last week and was 173lbs this morning.
My plans for this week are to be sensible. If at a holiday get together I want a piece of fudge then you know what I'll have a piece. But only a piece, not five! Everything in moderation even holiday treats!
I hope the love of Christ fills your hearts this week and every week after!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My little mommy

My two oldest children are sons. One is eight and one is five. They are such sweet guys and I love them dearly. When our third child came along we were honestly expecting another boy. But God had other plans and blessed us with Hannah.
I have loved having a daughter and seeing myself in her.
Today was one of those times. She grabbed her baby doll and layed her in her sisters swing and covered her with a blanket. Then she picked up her baby sisters pacifier and looked at me and asked "baby?"
"Yes" I told her "you can give it to your baby." Then my sweet little two year old goes to her baby doll and gently cups the baby's head in her hand and gives the baby the pacifier. Then she pats the baby and says "There go baby, there go."
It struck me so strongly as I watched her that God had put into my little girl the character traits and instincts of a mother. God has given us as women everything we need to be exactly who He wants us to become.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekly Weigh in

Well my weigh in this week was pretty good. I stayed the same as last week. Now typically this would bum me out to not lose any weight. But this week I am content just to stay the same and not gain. Let me tell you why.
Saturday was my nieces birthday party complete with cake and icecream. Sunday was a Christmas party at Grandma's work, candies and cookies abounded and Monday I went to the dentist and had a wisdom tooth pulled, so there was no excersise going on at all. Despite all of the crazyness the past three days I didnt gain any weight and I consider that a sucess for sure! =-}

Sunday, December 13, 2009

God knew

God really knew what He was doing when He created us didnt He? He created men and women inherently different. Both equal and both wonderful, just different.
I LOVE the roles that God has placed me in. I LOVE being a mother and nurturing, educating and caring for my children. I LOVE being a wife. Taking care of and working along side my husband. I LOVE running a household and all that it entails. Organizing, managing, cooking, cleaning, decorating, loving, sharing, caring, learning and growing. I honestly can not imagine doing something different with my life. I am really thankful that I have a desire to do what God put me here to do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baby blues? No maybe just the blues.

Today I am feeling kinda blue.. yesterday I was feeling kinda blue too. I think it has a good bit to do with all my hormones going crazy after having Alyssa. I think it also has a lot to do with my darling companion being half a world away. I'm not depressed, I'm not angry. Just a little down and lonely for my hubby. Lonely for the family time we usually share, especially when we bring a new baby home.
Despite being a bit down I am comforted by the fact that I am so truly blessed. My life isnt perfect but its still so good. I have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I have four amazing children who are healthy and strong. I have the ability through the internet to talk to my hubby most days of the week. I really am very blessed.Knowing that helps me get through these blue days.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

22 fun Christmas questions

Twenty two fun Christmas questions!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Egg nog is kinda gross in my opinion. My favorite is home made hot chocolate =-}
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We don't do Santa. We feel its just one more thing in the world that distracts from the true meaning of Christmas which is Christs birth.
3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white? LoL This is a big debate at our house! I love colored lights on the tree and hubby prefers white, so we switch off each year =-}
4. Do you hang mistletoe?Actually no we don't.
5. When do you put your Christmas decorations up? Usually right after Thanksgiving.
6. Favorite holiday dish?Green bean casserole
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Every Christmas Eve we would gather with my cousins, aunts and uncles and have a family dinner.
8. When did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly don't remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We always open one on Christmas Eve and its always new Christmas P.J's.
10. How do you decorate a tree? Daddy puts on the lights and we have a mix of old and new ornaments.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I like a nice light covering of snow its so beautiful. I don't enjoy it when it gets hazardous!
12. Can you ice skate? LoL NOPE!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Nothing specific really.
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Celebrating the birth and life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sharing that with my family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?Pecan pie! Oh I'm hungry now!!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?HHmm I think reading the scriptures that tell us about the birth of Christ with my family Christmas morning around the tree.
17. What tops your tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer-Giving or Receiving? Both are lots of fun!
19. Favorite Christmas song?Mary Did You Know.
20. Candy Canes-Yuck or Yum? They aren't my favorite
21. Favorite Christmas show? How The Grinch Stole Christmas =-} I have watched that every Christmas since I was little
22. Saddest Christmas song? I can'treally think of any sad ones

Official weigh in week #2

This week was a very good week. My goal this week was to watch my eating and staying with in my points (I do weight watchers). I am proud to say I accomplished that goal =-} I also lost five pounds this week. I am officially to my pre pregnancy weight.I am really excited about this because usually it takes me a lot longer and a lot more work to get off the baby weight!
My goals for next week are to continue with my healthy eating, find some healthy desert options for the holidays and to add three days of excersise into my week.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Celebrating our Savior

Every year we get funny looks from people when we tell them that "We dont do Santa". From the time our first child was little we knew we did not want Christmas to be about Santa and presents, but about Christ. We also felt that there was no need to lie to our children about some jolly fat man who would bring them presents if they were good. That just seemed to be sending the wrong message!
I feel such pride in my children when some one asks them about Santa and they respond that Santa isnt real and that what we celebrate is Jesus Birthday. =-}
One of the ways we make Christmas Christ centered is we read from the scriptures about the birth of our Savior throughout the month.We also make a "birthday cake" for Jesus.
How do you all keep your focus on Christ this holiday season?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

I was so excited to find Kris' blog chronicling her weight loss journey. I just had our fourth baby and had already planned to start working off the weigh. I always do better at being healthy when I have others to share the journey with!
I am a weight watchers girl. There are no off limits foods. If I want chocolate cake I can have it. Weight watchers has a point system and it helps me to learn to make healthier eating choices. I try not to be number oriented when I am losing weight. I try to focus more on being healthy and fit. Not weight "X" amount or being "Y" dress size.I make healthy eating goals and excersise goals instead.
This time around my goal starting off was to lose the 35 pounds I gained during my pregnancy in the next three months. The three month time frame came about because my dear husband who is currently deployed will be home for a few weeks come March.
This week I am one week out from having baby number four and I have started my weight watchers and bought a scale so that I can keep track of my progress. My starting weight is actually only five pounds above my pre pregnancy weight! I was so excited I had to laugh!! So my new goal is to tone up and focus on healthy eating habits.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My journey to faith

I recently read a post by another blogger that insired me. She shared her testimony of how she came to the Lord. I enjoyed reading it very much and decided that I woud like to also share my conversion as well.
I was raised by Christian parents. We went to church most every Sunday. I was raised with good values and beliefs. But they were always my parents values and my parents beliefs. I, like so many children cared much more about what my friends thought and adopted most of there idea's and attitudes. After all I spent most of my time with them.
As a teenager I flirted with the line between what was and was not appropriate. Sometimes I put a toe over the line, but that was really it. I didnt get into any major trouble or cross what I considered to be any major lines.
Then my parents announced that they were getting a divorce. This was crushing to me. My parents had been married for almost twenty years and I had always viewed them as the perfect couple, I can look back now and see that I was blind to many issues in there marriage. Thats normal I think for a teenager. I can also see now how they are two much happier people apart then they ever were together.
I distinctly remember thinking that I had always been taught that our family's can be forever, eternal. I decided since mine wasnt that I didnt care anymore. I was going to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I dont in anway blame my parents for the choices I made. They were my sins and my mistakes, I just remember there divorce was a sort of trigger for my worst behavior. I used it as an excuse to do whatever I wanted.
That began the worst time in my life. I used boys and drinking as a way to get attention and also in a way to escape the feelings I had about my parents divorce.
I became pregnant at 16 almost 17 years old. . . I know that teen pregnancy is not a good thing. I understand now that the Lord would have us save ourselves for the companion He has chosen for us. I also believe that the Lord used my sins and my mistakes to bring me back to Him. When I became pregnant I suddenly had to look at my actions and behaviors and see where they would take me, I had to decide what I wanted for my child. At that moment I knew what I wanted was the Lord in our lives and the peace that I knew I could have if I put the Lords will first in my life. Thats when I started my journey back to church, back to the beliefs that had been my parents but now they were my beliefs. As I worked on developing a relationship with the Lord I gained my own testimony and I havent looked back since.
I love the Lord so much and am thankful daily for His foriveness . Thankful that He can take our weaknesses and our mistakes and use them to humble us and bring us back to Him.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Alyssa is here!

Its so nice to be able to sit down and post about the birth of our fourth baby. She is so sweet and so beautiful. She came on Friday November 20th at 1:37 in the afternoon. Weighing 8 lbs 1 oz. Ill post about her birth later for now I am going to rest and enjoy my newest little girl =-}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

" few women truly embrace their God-given role as wise guardians and keepers of the home...Home is too important to be left to itself; it is something precious to be tended, cared for, kept, and yes, guarded. God has given women a sphere that is naturally and wonderfully their own to manage and wisely govern."

I found this qoute today on another blog and I really liked it. It reminds me just how blessed I am to be at home. It also makes me really think and evaluate how well I am tending for, caring for and keeping MY home and those who are in it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

titus 2

Titus 2:3-5
" The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

I really love this scripture. I love that it tells us not only what sort of women we aught to be. Chaste, good and obedient, but it also gives us a commision to raise up our daughters and the young women of the church, the young women of the world really to be family minded.
I think so much emphasis is put on having a career. The message now adays seems to be that selfish persuits will make you, as a women "fullfilled". Then when you get around to it you can have a family.
I believe there is no greater thing on this earth I could be doing than raising my family. Loving and supporting my husband and helping my children to grow and love God.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Feeling Gods presence

I think we have all had those times in our lives hen we felt like we were going it alone, like God wasn't close to us. I know that God is always with us and during those times typically it is us causing the distance and not God.
What I am truly thankful for today though are the times that we feel Gods presence really strongly in our lives. For me those times are usually during some sort of trial or hardship. Of course because those are the times I look to God the most.Now granted I should be constantly looking to God. That is definitely something I need to work on. That aside though I am just so thankful that during this deployment I am feeling God strengthening me daily. I know I couldnt get through this without Him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

39 weeks and counting

I am 39 weeks and one day. Still not much progress toward getting this little girl out either! She seems very content to stay were she is and really can you blame her? I am a fabulous shelter for her =-}
I haven't posted anything on my blog lately although so much has been on my mind. I find my energy is just not what it usually is( wonder why haha) and so posting is one thing I don't get around to very often right now.
Mostly on my mind has just been the joy of having another blessing coming to our family.I am about to become the mother of four children and I couldn't be happier! I am getting used to the looks from others now. I walk into Walmart with two boys hanging onto the sides of the cart. A sweet little girl in the seat. Then people see my huge (yes huge) belly. I just have to laugh at some of there expressions =-} I also am usually, I'd say 95% of the time by myself since the love of my life is currently deployed.
The comments on the other hand have taken a bit more to get used to. Some have been very positive and kind. But those have not been the majority! Most are negative. No one has been out right mean But you can tell that some people definitely do not view all these children as a gift from God or as a blessing. Its sad really. I have had more joy and happiness and fulfilment as a mother than I could ever explain!
Something else that has been on my mind lately is my priorities. I have heard women so often say "my kids come first". I have also seen women devote all of there time and energy to there children. That doesn't sound like a bad thing does it? BUT we are not told in the scriptures to leave our Mothers and Fathers and cleave to our children are we? We are not told that our children are our leaders and heads of our home are we? When those children grow up and have families of their own then who will be there with us?
I have seen women exhaust them selves n the service of there children and have NOTHING left for their husband.The man who is by Gods design her life partner and eternal companion. This makes me so sad. I have seen couples get so wrapped up in other things that they don't bother to make time for each other.
I think this has been on my ind so much because my husband is away. When you have to go without your eternal companion you really get a chance to appreciate them more. My husband and I do not have a perfect marriage =-} Never will on this Earth since neither He nor I are perfect. BUT we have come such a long way in our eight years of marriage!
Some things we have learned have been very valuable to our marriage so I will share them.
First we always go to church together and read our scriptures together. Sharing our beliefs together and our time wit Gods word together is so beneficial to our marriage! We also make sure we have a date night at least once a month. Time together for just Him and I to enjoy each other. To be husband and wife and not mom and dad. I see so many couple neglecting making time to do this! They blow it off like its not a big deal, but I guarantee you it is hurting there marriage to do so! I see so many women think themselves a better mother (mother martyr) because they devote there time 100% to there kids.But doing that is neglecting there God given responsibility to be a good wife and companion.
The other thing that I have learned has really been all about Me! But it has probably been the thing that has improved my marriage the most. I can let my husband do things His way! Did you read that???? Do you believe me?? Well its true! I used to ask y husband to do things and then nag, and complain and belittle because He wasn't doing those things My way. I can tell you that caused a lot of resentment and bad feelings in my marriage. After our first deployment I think is when I had learned to just appreciate what my husband did for me. To appreciate it with no strings attached, with no grumbling. So what if he did things in a totally different way than I did, He was willing to help and willing to do them and that is really all that mattered! One of the amazing and wonderful side effects to me learning this was that my husband was happy to help out AND helped out more! Because He saw that He was being appreciated and wasn't being nagged about what he was doing and how he as doing it. I am just so thankful for the time I have to reflect on my life and my family and my marriage. Its so good to look at your life sometimes and see just how blessed you are!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In my ninth month

Just wanted to post some pictures of myself. I am officially in my ninth month and feeling good still =-}

The feeling Feminine Challenge

This challenge is something I read about on another persons blog and I loved the idea ofit.

"The challenge is to wear only skirts/dresses for an entire week (7 days.) Post some pictures on your blog and show us some of your outfits. If you don’t have exactly 7 different skirts, that’s alright. Mix and match with different shirts. If you’d like, post every day of your challenge week and show us what you wore like the other ladies did, and be creative! You can easily be modest and fashionable at the same time. Being modest and feminine doesn’t mean wearing a skirt that covers your toes and a shirt that comes all the way up to your neck, or has dull colors. No! You can be modest, feminine, lovely, beautiful and stylish all at the same time! Put on a hat if you want; Dress up with some jewelry and fix your hair in a lovely fashion. Fix your hair a different way each day of the challenge week. Be creative and try new hairstyles. Show us pictures of daily activities of you in your skirts. Show us how you can look modest and feminine, yet with some added style."

I have always worn pants, just seemed normal to me reall, but i have foundin recent years that when I come home from churh on Sunday I WANT to stay in my dress or skirt. I feel pretty and feminine and womanly as I go about the house making lunch and being with my family. I LIKE this feeling!
Now at this point I am 9 m0nths pregnant and my skirt/dress seletion in maternity clothes is slim to none. So I have decided to do the challenge once this fourth little blessing comes and I can fit into my regular clothes again =-} I'll post pictures once I get to that point! I'd encourage anyone else to join in and enjoy feeling a little more feminine for week!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One of those weeks

Well this week was one of those weeks! Half of what we had planned for school didnt get done! haha We did do lots of review though so the week wasnt a total wash. I just keep trying to remind myself that I am nine months pregnant and the loss of energy was bound to happen! I also keep reminding myself that these children of mine have a God given desire to learn and can do that without my help. We dont have to sit down and have a lesson for them to learn something. =-}
I am so glad that we homeschool. I am thankful that we have learned that each child developes at there own pace, they all excel in different area's. It makes learning a joy and not a chore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Few Homeschool pic's from this week.

This week for homeschool we are doing a unit study on the book "the Rag Coat". Its a great story about a family living in Appalachia. Papa is a coal minner who dies from "black lung" and to keep the family going Mama makes and sells quilts. In the story Minna wants to go to school but doesnt have a coat. The story tells about her very special coat and the reactions that her schoolmates have to it.

For art today the kids all made there own quilt square.Even Hannah had a good time taking scraps of paper and gluing them together.

Also this week Isaiah has written out vocabulary words and definitions pulled from the book.Justin is working on number and letter recognition so his handwriting was the numbers 10,11,12 and his name. Hannah enjoyed scribling away on her own paper!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Counting My Blessings

I am So blessed and felt the need to just count my blessings today.

1. I have three healthy beautiful children
2. I get to spend every day learning with them
3. I am 8 months pregnant with another sweet baby
4. I feel really good for being 8 months pregnant
5. I have an amazing suportive husband
6. I have a husband who is strong in the gospel and loves God
7. I finally learned after a few years of marriage that I can let him do things his way
8. I have the scriptures to learn from
9. I get to be near family and have there support during this deployment
10. my hubby has a good job and we dont have to worry about layoffs

That is just such an amazingly small part of my blessings, but if I tried to list them all I'd be here for weeks and weeks =-} These are just a few I am particularly thanksful for at the moment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I am feeling refreshed

I have had a great day today. I got to send some time out with my sister. Chatting about homeschool and husbands and everything else! The kids got to spend a few hours with Grandma. They went to the park and played all there energy out =-}Now I am just putting up some recent pictures and enjoying a relaxed evening.

Pic's of Me, my big belly and all the kids.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The President is on crack!

Ok now I know everyone has there own opinions about our President and thats just fine. My opinion personally is that He is on crack. Specifically when it comes to lengthening school days for public schooled children.
I homeschool so why should I care, right? I care because familys are being attacked in this country. Both parents working outside the home, kids in daycare from as young as 6 weeks old and up, kids in school for 6 and 7 hours a day just to come home to hours of homework. No wonder the divorce rate is so high, no wonder teen crime rates are rising! What kids need is to be with there parents. What families need is to be together.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Appreciating what you don't have

One of the worst and hardest parts of going through a deployment is simply missing your loved one. No matter what I am doing I miss Justin. It feels like your missing part of yourself. Even when I am having a good time and doing something fun it is tinged with thoughts of missing him and wishing He was there too.
One of the "perks" of deployment(yes there actually are some perks!) stems from this lonelyness. I appreciate my husband SO very much. I appreciate a little e-mail He may send out of the blue to ask how my day was. The sound of His voice telling me He misses me. I appreciate all the things He does when He is home SO much more because right now I am having to do them!
I find that having been through a deployment I tend to nit pick less, strss less, nag less and I dont have to have him do thing MY way like I used to. Because of that we have a far happier and more content marriage than I coud have pictured us having 6 or 7 years ago.
Going through a deployment has really given me a testimony of the fact that Heavenly Father makes even our trials for our good. Being apart from myeternal companion for a year is the hardest thing I have ever had to do BUT despite that I have been blessed the whole way through.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Changing Seasons!!

Look at my beautiful new blog layout! I was feeling particularly fall'ish today after the kids and I went for a walk on the bike trail and I happen to have a Sister who is particularly handy with this sort of thing. She offered to do it for me. Thanks Sis!!

I am starting to feel IT

I am officially feeling TOO pregnant! LoL This being my fourth pregnancy I knew this would come. That I would get to the point when I was up peeing more than sleeping at night and just getting me and the kids out of the car and into the store, let alone doing any grocery shopping would feel like an accomplishment.
I took the kids and headed to Walmart yesterday to get the cars oil changed. I thought it would be a nice little half hour trip with a chance to shop around a little.
Sadly only five minutes into our "nice little trip" I was tired, my back was aching and the smell of tires and oil from the tire and lube center was still making me nauseaus!
I had to laugh today when my sister suggest we make a trip to pick apples at the apple orchard NEXT MONTH. You know when I have about 4 weeks left till my due date! I reminded her of the looming due date and the fact that I would be taking all three kids Alone (i.e without spouse help).she said to me in all her crazyness
"Well My hubby and I will be there!"

Now for anyone who knows and for those who dont my sister and her Hubby have five children of there own! What kind of help would they really be?? None, not in the least bit!! I love ya Sis but you know its true!! =-}
Now in all honesty I might make the trip! The kids would have a ball, get some fresh air, fresh apples and Grandma and Grandpa usually go.They having no children of there own to chase would be helpful with my own rugrats! Of course just the thought of the whole trip makes me want to lie down and take a nap!! We will see if I get the energy up to make that trip!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Justin is 5 today

I can not believe that I have an eight year old, a five year old, a two year old(on the 29th) and another one coming in November!!
Today my second son is five years old. I can still remember when He was born. He was born very shortly after my husband joined the military. We were in Georgia, hot, icky, stick Georgia! His was a very fast labor! three hours and forty minutes to be exact =-} I was at the hospital for forty minutes before He was born. Justin was my husbands and my first child biologically together and it was so amazing to go through the whole labor and birth process with my husband and see his wonder at his new born son.
Justin has always been my laid back happy guy and I love seeing him grow into himself every day. He truly is a joy, a blessing and a gift!

Pregnancy update

I had an appointment with my midwife and an ultrasound this week so I thought I would update on how things are going.
I am 32 weeks along now and have gained 22 pounds so far.. Now I am fairly indifferent to that fact. I have gained with my pregnancy's as much as 55 to 60 pounds and as little as 15 to 20 pounds. Cant say I did anything different with each pregnancy and I figure my body gains what it needs and it can all be worked off later.
The ultrasound was primarily to check the position of my placenta, which was Very low and close to the cervix as of the last check. If it were to remain too low a c-section would be necessary. Thank goodness that is not the case and no c-section in sight! Miss. Alyssa is looking to be around three pounds right now and the ultrasound tech said that is right on. Now if she will just move to a head down instead of a head up possition we will be ready for delivery=-}

FIAR and lapbooking

We are a family that loves unit studies! For those who don't know what a unit study is let me explain. In some teaching methods everything is separated and has nothing to do with anything else that is taught. You have a Math book, a Science book, a History book, an English book and so on. With a unit study approach you fit several subjects (History,Science,English,etc.) into/around a central theme.
Example: We could do a unit on Birds. For Science we will learn about types of birds, there habitats, breeding habits, what they eat and so forth. For English/Language I will have my son write a story about his favorite type of bird, going thru the writing process doing pre-writing, a rough draft and a final product. For Reading I would hit the library for some books on birds. For a preschooler maybe they would be sesame street books with Big Bird. History we might learn about birds that are extinct and how or why they became so.
One of the best things about doing units is that you can teach to several age levels at one time. For our unit on birds when my 2nd grader is writing his story about his favorite type of bird my kindergartner can be practicing tracing/writing/identifying the letter "B" and learning that "b" say b-b-bird.
While my 2nd grader is doing a worksheet identifying the parts of a birds wings (anatomy) my kindergartner can be coloring a picture of his favorite bird and talking about the birds beak and what he uses it for again anatomy just on his level.
This year we are using a curriculum called Five In A Row, FIAR for sort. It is a unit study curriculum. All the units are based off of classic children literature.
In the books we have read we have swam down the Yangtze river in China with a duck named Ping taking time to learn about rivers, China and ducks. We have played a Japanese weather telling game with a little girl named Mako and taken time to learn about Japan, islands and meteorologist. We have read about Madeline and learned about her home in Paris, France. Learning about Authors and Illustrators and writing our own poetry.
We are experiencing and learning so much this year and we are doing it all together!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I LOVE homeschool

I am sure that more than half of my posts on this blog have been about how much I love homeschool, but really I just love it so much! I cant imagine doing anyhing else, or why anyone would for that matter!!
For anyone else who homeschools they can relate to the interesting situations that come up around "back to school" time. I hear all about how "little Sally" cried for 20 minutes on her first day of kindergarten but mom was just "sure" it was normal and somehow good for her. Or how "Billy" came home this week saying five new words that were NOT exceptable but mom was just "sure" it was normal and he would get over it. Or how after being back to school for a week the teenager in the house was trying to dress like a street walker and had to be checked each day before leaving the house, but again mom is "sure" that this is normal....
When did all this crazyness become "normal"?Yet I hear about how MY children are missing out on such important adolescent experiances! Yeah right like what? The ones listed above?!
I dont mean to sound bitter or holier than thou But a girl gets a little cranky when she has to sit and listen to every "public" school parents back to school bliss(woohoo I get rid of my kids for most of the day) and there problems (listed above) and yet no one asks us about school and how its going. I honestly think they dont ask because we dont have anything to complain about!
For example I always get a little grin when I ask a friends child if they are looking forward to school starting and I hear all the whining, grumbling and complaining about how much school stinks. When said friend asks my child in return if they are looking forward to school starting (and again half the time they dont even ask!) The response they get is generally something resembling this
"Yeah I cant wait, homeschool is so awesome! We get to learn about X,Y, and Z this year I cant wait!" =-}
We all need a good rant now and then and THAT was mine!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

some pictures recent

I just wanted to put up some pictures of the kids and I. =-} I am getting pretty big and I still have two months left!! =-}

Monday, September 14, 2009

Finally Settled in!!

I am totally exhausted BUT we are finally settled into our apartment!!! The furniture is in, the pictures are on the walls,the internet is (finally) hooked up and homeschool is back in session!
Homeschool has gone really well so far. Both boys are doing great and still asking for homeschool! Gotta love that!
I was so proud of myself today. I did a few things that typically are my hubby's job. I hooked up our web cam, our new phones AND programed the universal remote! =-} I am very proud of myself.
The kids birthday party is this weekend and I will post lots of pictures afterwords!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I have been a total slacker!!

I feel like a total slacker as far as my blog goes lately! I havent posted anything worth reading and no pictures what so ever for a good bit! Now in my defense in the last two weeks I have hit my sixth month of pregnancy with baby number four. I have sent my soldier off for his second deployment, this time to Iraq AND I traveled from one coast to the other with my three kids, the cat and my mother!! Hahhaha ok now I dont feel like such a slacker!!
Things here this past week have been pretty good. We all miss Daddy terribly and that can cause some tantrums, and not just from the kids! We are trying our best to settle in to a house hold that isnt ours, into a single room shared between me and all three kids. But to be honest its not been as bad as I expected!! We have done this before. So I had a fairly good idea of what to expect. Although there have been some rough days and my patience is no where near its normal, things really are going well.
We move into our own apartment the 31st of this month and I hope to post lots of pictures of the new place and us getting settled back into a routine and into homeschool for the year.Between the 26th of August and the 29th of September all three of my rug rats have a birthday so we will also have lots of birthday photo's to post as well.

Friday, August 7, 2009

On the road

As of Monday the kids and grandma and I will be on the road heading for Ohio. Its a fairly long drive, about four days. I am not looking forward to the long trip but will be happy to be settled in Ohio for a few months =-}

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One last cookout

We got together last night with all our friends here at Fort Lewis for one last cook out before all the guys start shipping out. My guy is one of the first to go. With him our friend Jason (pictured beside me) and Hoffman (pictures front and center of course) are heading out the begining of August. Our friends Chad (pictured back row with his daughter on his shoulders) and Steven (pictured next to Chad) are heading out late September/early October.
Its been so great to meet all these awesome people while we have been here at Fort Lewis. They really are our substitute family here and we love every Crazy one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We are back in Washington now and trying to get everything ready for our deployment/move. We had so much fun hanging out with our family and are looking forward to being able to be there with them for the year =-}

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well I probably wont post again anytime in the next week or two. We are in Ohio on vacation and having an awesome time visiting with all our family!! We are doing camp outs, and art projects, photo shoots and swimming. The kids (and adults for that matter) are having a great time!
This week we are also going to look in to some apartments for when the kids and I move back next month. This is bitter sweet for me. I love the thought of being here with my family for a year and the kids being able to be with there Cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents BUT still I would give pretty much anything to stay in Washington with my hubby if that were an option. Unfortunately that is not an option. My DH will be half a world away. This will be our second time going thru a deployment as a family. His first to Iraq. I am so incredibly proud of my husband for doing what he does. For protecting us and our rights as well as the rights of others. When I think of my husband I think about Captain Moroni and the title of liberty. It said
" In memory of our God,our religion,and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."
That is why my husband does what he does. When we talk about our lives in the military those are the things that come up.
When we talk about being apart for a year we get all sorts of reactions. Anything from "Wow that must be hard." to "I would never do that!" It IS hard and honestly you probably couldnt do it! But this is the path that God has put our family on. We have known that since day one, since the day we decided to talk to the recruiter and because we are doing what we know the Lord has directed us to do He blesses us and strengthens our family and gets us thru those long seperations.
We never intended to move away from our little hometown and we never intended on going active duty Army. When my husband was laid off from his job several years back we started praying and he started searching for a new job. Then one day I was sitting in my living room and the idea came to me. Why not just go active duty. At that point my Justin was a reservist. When I brought this up to justin he was shocked, I had always been very adament that this was my home and this was where I would stay. But from that moment we started praying about going active and it just was right. Beyond any doubt we both knew that this was the path the Lord was leading us too. Despite our fears and despite our familys shock and upset we couldnt deny it was the way Heavenly Father was leading us. I cry about it now when I think about it because from the day we made the decision to do what Heavenly Father asked us to do we have been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined! Heavenly Father is SO good to us!
Wow I hadnt planned on going into all of THAT in this post! But there you are! =-}

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Simplifying life

Today at church we had a lesson that really hit home with me. It was on simplifying our lives. I guess it isn't something I had thought about recently. A lot of the stress in our lives we create ourselves. During the lesson we were told about a man who lived by himself in a cabin for two years. After that time he said he had determined that we have four basic needs. Now I don't know about you, but when I start listing my "needs" my list is way longer than four things! I "need" my cell phone, Internet, cable TV, extra money to eat out, you get the picture!
Well the things on this mans list were food, shelter, clothes and fuel(spiritual fuel is what he focused on). We had a really good discussion about each one of these things and really I think it just helps you put into perspective your own idea's about needs and wants and priorities. For quite a while getting out of debt was very high on our priority list. We had ran up credit cards and gotten loans and most of it was unnecessary. We wanted to pay off our debts so we could start living more within our means and more frugally. We finally paid off our debts, every last penny! We did for a while live fairly frugally. But it really hasn't been a permanent or long term thing. We still have no debt, except for a car loan we unexpectedly had to get BUT frugal living has not been our motto. We tend to spend a bit more than we need/should on non-essentials and "fun" stuff. Now there isn't anything wrong with having a bit of fun EXCEPT when it prevents you from doing other more important things like establishing a savings or working on gathering food storage which our current spending habits have done.
I love that the Lord is patient with me. I have heard the message of frugality, living within our means and simplifying my life to what really matters time and time again. But like my four year old who is told at least 5 times a day not to harass his brother , I don't always get the message the first time or the second for that matter!

Friday, June 26, 2009

thanks Sis

Do you love the new look of my blog? I do! Its all thanks to my sister and her skill with a computer! hehe. Thanks for the new layout Tristan!

To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed?

Ugh.. To be completely honest I don't even want to be contemplating this question! I didn't breastfeed my first two kids and had no real desire to do so. With my third baby I wanted to breastfeed and did for about a week. By the end of the week I had bleeding nipples (sorry if that's to much info) and cried in pain every time I picked up my baby girl.That was not how I wanted to feel when I fed my sweet baby. BUT I didn't call a lactation consultant. The girls (my breast) are a fairly private thing for me and having some stranger grab and shove and juggle them in an attempt to help me breastfeed was NOT my idea of a good time. So after a week I cried as I sent my hubby off to the store for bottles and formula.
So tell me after all of that Why oh Why is the thought of nursing creeping into my mind! It was hard and it hurt and this time around my hubby will be deployed and I'll be alone to deal with all of it! Still though breastfeeding is on my mind!
I know that breastfeeding CAN be a wonderful bonding experience for a mother and baby. I know that it is healthiest for baby too. But the thought of doing it again and it hurting and me failing at it is really not a pleasant one. Have you ever felt like Heavenly Father was putting a thought in your head that you really Didn't want to listen too/think about/ pray on? I think I am there =-}

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pardon the Dust!

Please pardon the dust - we're working on remodeling the blog so things will change a lot for a bit!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Just a nice day

Today has been a really nice day. Nothing exciting going on, nothing out of the ordinary. We started summer break in June and we have had a chance to be out enjoying nice weather and doing things as a family a lot. But lately however packing and pregnancy have taken up a fair amount of my energy. Which means the kids have been watching tons of TV. When they weren't watching TV they were complaining of being bored and having nothing to do.
We typically do not take a whole summer off and this is the point at which I would usually end our little summer break and start school again. that is just not an option this year! We will be gone two and a half weeks of July, then back to Washington for two to three weeks which will be full of packing and sending Daddy off on his deployment, Back to Ohio again where we will spend two to three weeks living with Grandma and Grandpa until we move and settle into our own place the first of September! There is just NO chance of starting our official school back up and having any sort of working schedule!!
Since we couldn't just start back off to school but the kids are going crazy with no real set schedule I decided I had to do something. Not a strict schedule really.Just a plan of things to do during the course of the day other than sit in front of the TV.
I read through one of the new Magic Tree House book "Dragon of The Red Dawn" we borrowed from the library. Its a great one about a brother and sister who travel back in time to Japan. They meet Samurai and a poet named Basho who writes haiku poetry and see Mount Fuji.I thought up some fun activities and crafts we could do to go along with the book for the week.
So we got up today and had breakfast with Dad and then we read a couple chapters of our book.We talked over what we had read while we drew a picture of our favorite part of the book so far. Even Hannah got in on the coloring. Of course by the end of it she had more marker on her than on her paper!
Afterwords the kids played for a while and I got some laundry going. Then we did lunch. Hannah went down for her nap and the boys got twenty minutes each of video game time.During video game time I got on the computer to find and print a map of Japan that showed Mount Fuji as well as a world map so that we could see where Japan was compared to where we are.
At the end of video game time the neighbor kids asked if the boys could play in the back yard, so the boys headed out for an hour of backyard fun.
When they made there way back in the boys decided they wanted to play a board game. We grabbed out one of our favorites from Grandma and Grandpa Dino monopoly.
After monopoly we looked at the maps and found Mount Fuji in Japan and colored on the world map North America and Japan then we read a few more chapters of our book.
Now the boys are watching an episode of "Duck Tales" and mommy is having a little computer time before Miss. Hannah makes it up from her nap.
The great thing is that the kids have been so great having fun and playing. not whining, not bickering and NOT watching TV all day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Today we had our ultrasound to see just who baby number four is! I love having ultrasounds and getting a chance to get a glimpse inside the womb. My hubby enjoys them to because then the baby seems more real to him. We found out that this little one is a girl! I couldnt be more thrilled. We have two boys age 7 and 4. our daughter Hannah who is 1 1/2 and now she will have a sister! Thats exactly what I was hoping for.
Its funny to me to think about how much I wanted her to have a sister to grow up with and share things with considering how much my own sister and I did NOT get along! Those teen years were just terrible for us! I am sure they were even worse for our mom! Hahaha
But then I look at my relationship with my sister now and I know why I wanted so badly for my little girl to have a sister. My sister is my best friend in every sense of the word. I look up to her and seek her advice when I am struggling and she is the first person I want to share my joys and triumphs with. She is just a really awesome lady and I love her so much.
I just cant believe we are already at this point in the pregnancy, half way! I just so look forward to seeing my new little girl and getting to know who she is and enjoying the blessing that she is in our family!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Time for an update

Not much has been going on in our household but I thought I'd type a post any how! We are still just trying to prepare for Daddy's deployment, our move cross country and the new baby coming. The packing is going fairly well and I hope to have that all done by july. I prefer to pack a little bit each week over a few weeks rather than try to do it all at once. The last minute stuff stresses me out.
We have our ultrasound this week. I love ultrasounds! Seeing the baby in there moving around and finding out the sex of the baby just makes it all seem more real. I dont wait to be surprised at the birth as far as what we are having because I like to start calling the baby by there name, instead of refering to them as "the baby" or worse "it"!
We have planned to take a whole summer off of homeschool because we are busy with all of the aforementioned craziness going on BUT to be honest it is already driving me crazy! The kids need structured time and activities. Now technically that doesnt have to be "homeschool" like math, history and the such. That can be any number of things. SO I am sitting down to work on a schedule for our summer. Some of the included things will be Read aloud time, art project time, outside play and board game time.I will probably also incorporate things to do with helping out. For instance Mondays Isaiah will help with all meal prep and Justin will play with/occupy Hannah during meal prep.We will switch off on the days of the week. I find if we have no schedule at all it becomes "can we watch tv" and "I'm bored" time way too much! So this schedule planning will hopefully help with all that!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I was out in the yard playing with my three kids yesterday. Its early June and we have finished homeschool for the year, we are officially on summer break. The days are getting warmer and so while all the public school kids are sweating it out in a classroom we were out enjoying the early morning cool air.
My neighbor across the way who's yard is butt up against ours came out and asked me the question I knew she would ask eventually. "Umm do you homeschool or something?" you see her daughter was one of those "sweating it out" in the classroom that day. I laughed and told her we do and thats why we got to enjoy the ealy summer vacation and the cooler part of the day. Next came the other question I knew she would ask. I knew she would ask because EVERYBODY askes. "Well how do you make sure they socialize since they arent in school."
A few years back when I first started homeschool I was always nervous to answer peoples questions about our personal education choice. Now that we are a few years in and have seen the beautiful results of our homeschooling coming about I dont even hesitate. I came across a little something today I thought I would share.

"Patricia Lines published an article in July 2000 titled, “Homeschooling Comes of Age.”1 In this paper she cites a controlled study on interpersonal relations in which a researcher videotaped 140 children at play. Half of the children were publicly schooled children and the other half were homeschooled. The counselors who watched the tapes did not know which children were which. The homeschooled children were noted, “to have fewer behavioral problems.”

This study just showcased what I have known all along. I dont want my children "public school socialized" because it generally is NOT a good thing. Throwing a young child into a classroom with twenty five other kids is NOT going to teach them to act appropriately, is NOT going to teach them what its like in "the real world" and is NOT going to give them an independant mind but a mind cotrolled by there peers. That is Not the socialization I want for my children. By homeschooling my children I know who they are with all the time. I as there parent make sure those people are modeling for them appropriate behavior. By homeschooling my kids I teach them about "the real world" by taking them out into it everyday. Because my kids arent with there peers for the majority of there waking hours they learn that what they think is important. Not what Sally in the desk next to them thinks.

Now I believe whole heartedly that everyone has to make the educational choice that is best for there kids. So I dont want to hear any whiny comments about me being Anti public school. I am just letting everyone know why I have chosen homeschool for my kids =-}

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I am feeling fairly accomplished today. We have a big move coming up and that takes lots of planning. Today I reserved our PODs and scheduled them to be delivered and when we want them picked up after we load our house hold goods in them. I also called the apartments I want to live in back home and discussed all the specifics with the property manager.
I am not a psychotic planner like some people I know who shall remain nameless =-} But when we have a potentially stressful situation, like a deployement and cross country move, then I do feel better when I have a plan.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Zoo

We spent this beautiful spring day enjoying the beautiful weather at the zoo! I took tons of pictures and I wanted to share them.
Mushroom sitting

Jumping off the mushroom

So Handsome!

Enjoying the water

right in the face!

dripping wet

Hannah and daddy looking at the musk ox right before Isaiah yells "EEww it just pooped!" LoL thats boys for you!

Getting tired and grumpy!

Mr. Tiger

Me and my boys!

My cutie husband!

The three greatest kids!

Handsome handsome boys

Barn owl

Hannah loves the aquarium

Watching the sharks

Hannah enjoyed walking around

cutie pie


beautiful flowers

I love this statue

mole rats


thats right I am drooling!

spider monkeys!

snail 1

snail 2

spider monkey 3


she loved the meerkats

really cool looking peacock

I made it thru the day!!