Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jaxson's Self Portrait

My camera wasn't located in it's usual spot. When I spotted it, I took a look at the pics on it...since obviously someone had been playing with it. *I already figured who the lil culperate was* and after seeing many random shots that he took....I then found this one.......

Ahahahahahahaha!!!! Isn't it sooo funny??? I couldn't stop laughing!!!! ;) Such a silly boy he is!!! I thought maybe *you* would get a kick out of it too! ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

School Days of October

Many people say, when they comment, that they love to see pics and hear of the kids' school days! So I wanted to share some of that with you today! :) *Yes, Xavier has a little mohawk....compliments of his daddy and the clippers...hehe ;) *

Xavier just started on lesson 9 of the Kgarten My Father's World Curriculum. (Each lesson is broken down into 6 days). We are now talking about the letter O and the sound it makes and how to blend it with other letters he has learned to make words. :) We are talking about Octopuses and Oceans...and how God created them too! :)

Madelyn is still working with her lessons with the Abeka 2nd grade curriculum. It is going well. Daily she does Letters and Sounds, Language, Cursive Writing, Math and reads from her Bible Reader. Then on different days throughout the week she does Spelling, Health, Science, and American History and also reads from other readers. :)

Jaxson will work on letters with us...and participate in discussions and sing songs with us...but he also just does some of his *own* thing too! :)

And after schooling....there's always time to play army men, right? ;)

If you have any questions about homeschooling in general....or about our particular methods, organization or curriculum we use....please feel free to ask. If I get more questions than can be answered individually in the comments or through email...or if I get repeat questions...I will maybe make a Q and A post about it (all your questions answered by me)....if anyone is interested. :) I am not perfect and don't know all the answers to things....but I know when I first started homeschooling a couple years ago...I was so nervous and had no clue what I was doing. I also love to hear how others organize and plan...and methods they use for things! :) So if anyone is interested in *our* ways...I am more than happy to share!

Before I go...I just want to mention that Madelyn had to have an *extra* tooth pulled yesterday...and she did super well! :) Praise God! For all good things come from Him!

Thanks for coming by and visiting with me. I hope you are having an enjoyable week!!! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Let the rain kiss you......

...Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby."
~Langston Hughes

It's been raining here the past couple days...and after being blessed with some truly beautiful days...I am happy for the rain to come and encourage us all to stay nestled and cozy at home....I have housework to do....make some cookies with the children, books to read, knitting to knit and such. The rain seems to help slow the pace of a day, doesn't it?

I thought, since I had some time, that I would share some pictures from the days of sunshine we had previously. Each of those gorgeous days, the kids were so anxious to finish their schooling so they could get outside to play in the leaves. They raked leaves and jumped in them, rode bikes and did lots of swinging on the swingsets! :)

Watching them play just made me smile. As I sat in our front schoolroom the other day, working on lesson plans for schooling, I watched out the front window that is right in front of my desk and the kids worked hard to rake up leaves into a big pile. I sat with a very big grin upon my face as they put down their rakes...ran to the "starting point" and counted 1...2....3.....go! And off they went....running and then jumping right into that pile of leaves!

Since Daddy had gotten more logs cut and into the back of his truck....the kids decided to *help* once again and roll the logs into a pile for Daddy! They work hard at it! There is nothing better than seeing someone, especially a child, cheerfully do a kindness for someone...just because they want to.

I'm not sure where you are as you read this...but here in PA...we have a severe case of ladybugitis! We've got ladybugs everywhere!!! The picture below of our back door just gives a glimpse into the amount of ladybugs we are infested with. It's kind of funny...they just look like little black dots there don't they?

The *girls* and the *clique* are doing just fine. Just their fun and fiesty selves. :) Their greatest responsibility is to eat....isn't that wonderful? :) The kids collected the eggs the other day...and came in with this itty bitty one! I have one of the normal eggs we collect next to it. We haven't used it yet...I think the kids want to save it...hehe ;).

I did a little rearranging on one of the nice days as well. The kids were out playing and it was the perfect time to move a few things. I like to sometimes find different homes for things. I enjoy decorating and making my home cozy and a comfortable haven for all who enter. My decor aren't expensive items....just things I have gotten over the years that I feel add to the warmness of our home.

I have my knitting in a basket next to my chair. I like to have it there so anytime I sit, if one of my kiddos haven't crawled up to snuggle, then I can just reach over and grab it and knit. Sitting in those oversized, super soft and super comfortable clouds that we call so relaxing. I like to be able to keep busy when I sit in one so that I don't get *too* comfortable and just melt into the chair! ;) Have you ever just gotten overly comfortable before and after some time felt discouraged that you had just *sat* so long? I like to be comfy and also be able to accomplish something at the same time! :)

The kids have fun playing in the yards...front and back...but they also really enjoy the basketball court that is beside our backyard. It's kind of hard to see in the pic below...but it's back there! Some of you may already know about this...but for those who don't....we have some of the most generous neighbors! They made this basketball court years ago and we are allowed to use it whenever we want. They actually encourage us to! They also have a pool that they let us use anytime through the summer. Basically...any of their friends, neighbors or family at all is welcome to use the basketball court or pool at anytime! I truly love the place we live. Our home may be humble and we may not have a lot of *stuff* in the world's terms....but we have good friends, family and lots of love around here and that is the *best* in my book!!! :)

A boy and his cowboy boots....hehe...I love when his pant legs end up like that because of his boots! ;)

Last evening was trunk or treat (people dress up as Bible characters and hand out treats and tell the story about be held outside but because it was raining...was moved indoors) at our church. I was to go and paint faces.....well...I locked the house door and closed it behind us...we all walked through the rain to the garage and loaded up into the van. And then....I realized.....I locked the keys in the house. My car key and house key are on the same keyring. *gulp!*

I did a mini-panic and then called Chris *so glad for cell phones*...who was in the next town with his dad and brother at a football game. He has a key....but by the time he would have drove back to let us in the house to get my keys...the trunk or treat would be over! So I paced a bit and then tried to break in our luck. Good to know our locks are *quite* strong...however, bad when you have locked your keys inside! So....I called my mom. Her and my dad were having supper at their preacher's house...but after they all had a good laugh about I could hear through the happily said she would come take us to the church. I was crying. I felt so frustrated and embarrassed with myself that I locked my keys in the house! I know accidents happen...but it just threw me for a loop! My kids hugged me and told me it was OK. They were so incredibly sweet and it warmed my heart as they tried to comfort me. We got to the church and all ended up OK. We were only a little bit late and it wasn't the tragedy that I felt it was when I first had realized I had locked the keys in the house! :)

After Chris got home from the game...he came and picked us up. What a night! Luckily, all turned out well! :) Have you ever done anything similar? I would love to hear about would make me feel a little less embarrassed, I think! ;)

So that is an update from me....if you have the time and have *taken* the time to read my long-windedness (is that a word?)...then I thank you! It's much easier to take the time to sit and blog when it is raining outside. :) But alas, the laundry won't fold itself and I don't think the other housework will finish itself I should run.

I thank each of you who takes the time to stop and read and even sometimes comment. Your warm and thoughtful comments are truly appreciated! I hope your days are full and bright. I hope you will come visit me again soon...your friendships are dear to me! :) Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
~Galatians 5:22-25

Thursday, October 22, 2009

*Hay* Ride!

We are so very blessed to have a family that can take hay rides in the middle of the week! Chris's mom thought it would be fun for us to go on a hay ride this we *did*! :)

Above is a pic of my Christopher <3 driving the tractor to go pick up the wagon and hay! *X is trailing along behind!* ;)

While we waited for everything to get hooked up and ready to go....Jaxson and his cousin, Ty, attempted to climb a big *mountain* of hay ;).

And Jax pulled Ty in the wagon, below. See that ramp there? Jaxson actually pulled Ty (who is Jaxson's age) in the wagon...up and *over* that ramp!!! Chris's mom and I were pretty impressed!!! ;)

All of a sudden, my mother in law called out, "Look X...they wrote your name in the sky!" ;)

YAY! And here comes Chris with the wagon!!!

Chris and one of my brother in laws stayed behind and cooked hotdogs for when we got back...while the rest of us piled in the wagon and Chris's dad drove the tractor!

We had a very fun, but bumpy ride! We were laughing most of the way! We even saw a skunk and were all yelling "Go, Go!" to Chris's dad, as he had slowed down and we were quite alarmed that we would be sprayed! *Luckily, we got away in time!*

Mama and Madelyn on the ride.....

We all had a lot of fun and laughter! It was a bit chilly...but super enjoyable! We came back to warm hotdogs and some other good munchies. We even made s'mores....which tonight was the first time I tried them using a reese's cup rather than just chocolate...OH my goodness! Deee-licious!! Now we are home and all ready to get to bed. I am so so anxious to snuggle down in my quilts with a good book. It has been an exhausting day!

Thank you for visiting. :) Wishing you a warm and happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The *Clique*

As I had mentioned in a previous mom gave us three of her chickens because she was getting new chicks and didn't want the older ones to hurt the little she gave them to us. They are a different breed than our *girls*. Our girls lay brown eggs...these ones lay green...although they haven't layed for us yet.

The stinkers kept scurrying away from me whenever I would try to take a picture. The three of them just stick together...they don't go near the other girls and I just can't figure out if they are shy or stuck up? ;) In the picture above...all I got was their hind ends because they just kept a runnin'! Below I got a better picture...except the tree blocks one of them. Then they scurried under a hole under our red shed. I hope they aren't laying their eggs under there!

The *girls* are doing just fine...keepin' themselves busy....eating and laying. :)

Although...did I tell you....I hit one a few weeks back? It was just awful! I had to take Madelyn to KICS (Kids in Christ's Service) at our church one evening. *It's kind of like a youth group for grade school kids.* The *girls* were out free ranging that evening and they always swarm around my van. I have no idea why...but they always do. Well...I go super slow but I can't see them directly in front of or behind the van. As I was inching along...all of a sudden I felt *bump*!! It was just terrible! I just *knew* I had hit one of the girls. I hopped out and found out...gulp...that I had basically squished the poor thing! It was just horrid!!! I called for Chris in the house and he came out and buried her for me. I bawled. I felt so terrible! Thankfully...all the *girls* don't seem to hold a grudge against me for it. They probably just figure "more food for us!"....ha!

We are enjoying a gorgeous fall day here in PA! I am totally LOVING it! :) I have bread rising in the kitchen and plan on making dinner rolls to go with the stuffed shells I plan on making for supper! The kids have been playing outside and I have clothes out on the line! The house is tidy and candles are a burnin'!

Yesterday, a headache started around lunch time for me..and it got worse as the day wore on. I ended up going to bed around 6:30pm! Chris was out getting wood...but luckily got home soon as it was getting dark so I could lay down. It was just awful! I am so thankful for a gorgeous day today...*headache free*!

Thanks for stopping by! Hoping your Wednesday is full of joy and happiness! :o)

Monday, October 19, 2009

As the days get shorter......

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."
~Elizabeth Lawrence

Thankfully...the little bit of snow we got last week has melted! I don't mind some snow...but not in October. I like to savor every ounce of autumn that I possibly can before it turns into winter! The trees are absolutely gorgeous. Colors and beauty everywhere. It is definitely my favorite time of the year! The beautiful blanket of leaves that covers the ground glistens in the sun on days like today! Blue skies, gorgeous trees, and a crispness in the air~a perfect fall day!

Although at first I said "no" out of concern for their safety...I looked out and saw the children rolling wood out of the back of Chris's truck this afternoon. They were *helping* daddy. :) Those logs can be quite heavy...but they worked together and rolled them all off into a pile. They were really *loving* being able to I let them do it. When Chris got home he thanked them for doing such a great job and being such good helpers! :)

After schooling was done for the day...the kids had fun playing outside. I hope we have lots more of these type of days many as possible till the snow sets in! I even got the chance to hang clothes out!! :) *Previous days have been too damp, wet and rainy!*

For supper, I put a ham in the oven. While it settled in to cook for a few hours...I made some homemade french bread dinner rolls. You can find the recipe for them HERE. *I didn't brush the egg on them to make them crustier and shiny...I forgot! ;)* They are delicious. This is the second time I made them. :)
I thought it would be nice to invite my parents over for supper as well....and they accepted! We had ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli with cauliflower, homemade rolls and homemade jam. I think everyone enjoyed it and we all had a nice time visiting! :) I love having people over for supper!

I am almost through reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and I am enjoying it! :) The next book I plan on reading is called "The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman" by Anne Ortlund..which I found on Jewels' blog and thought it sounded like a good read! :) When housework is caught up and schooling is done and while the kids are playing...I have been working on knitting some items for a friend who is due to have her first sweet little one on December 21st! :)

Well, I should finish up here soon....I am ready to curl up under my quilts on my bed and open a book! The only bad thing is that when I read...I soon find myself tiring quickly and not always able to read quite as long as I would like. Do you have that trouble when you read?

**OH...and I will have to share with you soon about the new "clique" that has joined the "girls". My mom gave us three of her chickens and they keep to themselves. They don't associate with the other chickens in the coop. When out free-ranging in the afternoons and'll see the clique strutting around together...but always off on their own. Never with the other girls. I am not quite sure if it's because my "girls" won't accept them newbies...or if the "clique" just doesn't want to associate with the "girls"? I will probably never know for sure, I suppose! :) I will be sure to get pics sometime soon and introduce you to the *clique*! They are a different type of hen then the rest of the girls. :) I will be sure to hopefully share pics sometime in the near future!

Warm wishes for a wonderful rest of the week! :o)

"Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come o're the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold."
- A Children's Song of the 1880's

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jaxson's Haircut!

My smallest one got his hair trimmed today! Previously we had buzzed it whenever it needed cut but as I let it grow out a bit...I noticed it start to curl! It is just too cute and along with proddings from family and friends...we let it continue to grow *much to Chris's disliking*! ;)

But then it did hit a point where it *was* just a bit too we went and had it trimmed at my aunt's salon today! :) Doesn't he look so handsome? I didn't post any before pics...but if you look back in my can see some of his crazy *cute* hair!

**Also...I have to mention the fact that today....we got snow. Yes...snow here in western PA in the middle of October! I, myself, like colder weather...but snow...? Already?? I am truly hoping it doesn't stay too long. I want it to wait till December! ;)
**Before I go...I just wanted to say that I started reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, yesterday. I am liking it so far...although I am only about 50 pages in. I sometimes have to reread what he writes...just so I can fully grasp it. But once I understand what he is makes for easier reading as I go. Have you ever read this book? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on it! :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
For those of you, like us, who have snow...stay warm!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Treasury of Simple Moments....

"Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories."
~ Cathy Allen

I have tried journaling many times. I start out strong and good for days...weeks..even a few months..and then I realize that I have sooo much to say and no energy to write it. My hand gets cramped from writing too much and sometimes trying to put into words what I am feeling and thinking is plain old *work*. And normally...I am busy enough and don't want to add on another thing that feels tedious. I wanted something I could actually enjoy.

Last year....while reading Jewels' blog (oh how I enjoy her blog...) I came across THESE posts about simple journaling that she does. I thought that was such a wonderful idea!!! She also uses hers as a sort of planner/to do reminder list as well...but I have my planner for that I just record what we have done during the day or what I hope to do during the day....verses and thoughts and quotes that encourage me....what the weather is like for the day....etc.

These are all just a few pages I have taken pictures of...but there are many! :) I look forward to jotting things down through the day when they come to mind! Plus...I include pics from magazines that I just love to look at! :)

I hope to be able to look back one day and recall simple and "not so exciting" moments in my life. I want to treasure them in my heart. For each and every it simple and ordinary and busy and a gift from God. I also hope that one children will enjoy looking back and seeing what we did when they were young...and sharing my treasured recorded moments as well!

Do you journal? If do you enjoy doing it? Do you like to jot simple things down at times...or are you more of a writer? I would love to hear about it if you wish to share with me! :)
I posted HERE about when I first started this memory journaling. :) Thanks for coming by! I know days are busy and full....I appreciate you setting aside the time to visit with me...even though it is by way of the internet! ;) I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, friends! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contentment ....

is not the fulfillment of what you want,
but the realization of what you already have.

My sweet pup, Ruthie, is a super content lil girl. :) Her and I are *very* good buddies. She follows me wherever I go. She absolutely loves me (yay!)...and is happy just being near me. If I am up on my computer in my bedroom...she is on the bed, resting, or under my feet at the desk. If I am in the kitchen...she is laying in the dining room watching me. When I am in the living room...she lays at my feet or on the couch near me. When I am in the school room...she lays under my desk at my feet. And when I go outside...Oh goodness...if I go outside without her...she sits at the door and cries and cries till she is able to be out with me. It is so incredibly sweet and I just adore her.
Ruthie has no want or need in the world as long as she is near me. I say her name...and she perks up...ready to go or do whatever I say.....isn't that how we should be with our Savior? Now...I know we aren't all dogs ;) ...but shouldn't we just all be striving to be *near* Him..and when we content with our lives? For He gives us *everything* we need. Shouldn't we all be listening to Him and when He calls ready and willing to do just as He says? We have all we need in Him...our Creator, Our Abba, Our Savior, Our Best Friend.

"I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."
~John 10:10-11

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful: ~Hebrews 10:23

"Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care."
~Psalm 95:6-7

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake."
~Psalm 23:1-3

I get excited over, what most people would consider, *very* little things. I find enjoyment out of even the tiniest of blessings. I truly think that that makes for a more joyful life! A week or two sister and I had gone to a craft wasn't all that it was quite chilly we stopped for some lunch and then went to a little mall in the area. While looking around in favorite section is the clearance shelves. :) Oh what deals I found! I have wanted a small lamp for on my computer desk for a while...but usually, between the cost of the lamp and the lamp shade...I could never find one that looked right and fit my budget. Well...that day I found the super cute lamp pictured above. The lamp was marked down to $3 and the shade (which was originally $16) was marked down to $3.50! And there is not a thing wrong with either item!! I was thrilled! It works perfectly on my desk! :)

I had knitted a baby doll hat for Madelyn's baby (whom she named "Kate"). Madelyn is working on knitting a matching scarf for her baby as well! :) She was so excited that I would take her picture with her baby. :)

My aunt took me out to lunch this past Friday. We got salads and had a really nice conversation! I really enjoyed it! *Sent her a thank you in the mail today!* While we were out...we stopped really quick at a local shoppe. It had this doll house for sale at a great price. (This is the store that I bought my dining room table at as well....they have wonderful prices!) I have always wanted a doll house for Madelyn...and thought this would be great!

Over time, we will get furniture and people...make curtains and decorations and have fun with it!! Madelyn was absolutely thrilled! She has already put a few knick knacks of her own in there...she was just so anxious to have *something* in her house! ;)

I hope you had a lovely weekend and wish you a warm week ahead! Our woodburner is keepin' our house nice and cozy during these chilly fall days! Having candles lit keeps things feeling and smelling nice too! :) Thanks for visiting!