Sunday, July 30, 2006

General and incessant rambling about not much

My sister Bobo is visiting right now.  She's so fun.  I wish she would live down here.  She's playing a board game with Dash, Tank is at the church gym with dh, and Dozer is currently watching Barney and dancing in a big puddle of popcorn (really).  I guess I should get up and do something about it...and put him to bed.  Okay, maybe a little later.


Have I mentioned that we canceled the birthday party?  Well, it had been dumping rain and flooding the street on Wednesday.  The forecast for Thursday was more flooding with still a 30% chance of rain on Friday.  Soooo, we canceled the party.  The idea of all those people IN my house or sloshing through backyard mud was kinda freaking me out.  Wouldn't you know it?  Friday was absolutely sunny all day with all the yard puddles drying up.  I felt a little dumb but I'm used to that so it's not a big deal.  I'm hoping to reschedule a downsized version of the party (as in no daddy's) sometime on a weekday afternoon.


I can't remember who it was...Tia maybe (aka Sagerats) who mentioned a chocolate fountain.  So we opted for that instead of the moonwalk. :-)  Cheaper and I can use it over and over again!  Of course, we kept it even without having a party.  The boys both have grand plans of sticking their entire heads in the streaming chocolate at the end of the party!  I'm sure we can assist them with that. hehehee...


What else?  We got our Sonlight box the other day.  I guess we need to finish up last year's Sonlight first, huh?  Actually, we'll be done in a couple of weeks.  It has been such fun and we've read a ton of great books!  If anyone is looking for a solid, pre-scheduled, literature-rich program, then Sonlight might be exactly what you're looking for.


Blah, blah, la dee daaaa...


I think I'm going to make me a pot of decaf, clean up the popcorn confetti on the floor and read a mindless magazine for a little while.  What are y'all doing tonight?  I've got a ton of "good, productive" things to do...but there's always tomorrow right?


Other stuff wandering around in my head:

  • My boys make me laugh.  They are so silly and dorky and just plain fun.  And they are in that laughing hysterically at their own jokes that are completely nonsensical stage right now.

  • I'm addicted to coffee.  Even decaf.  It's the process of drinking that I like...and the taste...mmmm.... with lots of real cream and sugar. 

  • I like shoes.  I wore some pink peep-toe heels today.  They made me happy.  I'm currently on the hunt for some nice red flats.

  • I'm distressed that the "fashions" of the '80s are back.  Leggings, ankle boots, vests, blech!  When will the insanity stop?!  The HORROR!

  • I'm blessed with some good friends.  It's nice to almost have too many friends. :-)  Most are all from my church, so we are like-minded as well (but very different!) so it's always fun.  And I like their kids which makes it even better.

  • Baseball is boring.  I'd rather just watch the highlights on ESPN.

  • It's hot and humid outside.  I wish I could say it makes my hair curly or something cool like that, but it's still flat, oily and sticks to my head.

  • I don't floss regularly.  I should but I don't.

Okay, that's it for now.  I'll check back with y'all tomorrow.




Thursday, July 27, 2006

This site is better than googleEarth

I know many of y'all have already checked out googleEarth, but this site is even better!  While the info is a little inaccurate at times, the pics are fairly recent (2005 or 2006).


Kinda scary though...I feel like someone is watching me...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Please pray for Beth

Please stop by Beth's blog (aka LIFE).  She had an ultrasound a few days ago and there are some major concerns.  She could really use some prayers and encouragement right now!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Moonwalks and I need your ideas!

Tank just turned 5 and Dash will be 7 in a few weeks.  We are having a combined birthday party next week for both of the boys and Dh and I were discussing the possible rental of a moonwalk. Tank comes running into the room...


Tank: Mommy! Are we going to walk on the moon?  Are we?  On the mooooon?!


Me:  Nope.


Tank:  Okay...are we going for a walk at night?


Me:  Uh uh.


Tank:  Dash, do you know what a moonwalk is?  What's a moonwalk?  Can you tell me what a moonwalk is?


Dash: It's kind of walking on the moon in space.


Tank:  But no...


Me:  It's one of those bouncy things that you can jump know, inflatable-- filled with air...


Dash:  So it's when you're a firefighter and you're on a very tall building and you need to get down and you jump off the building onto a trampoline?


Oi veh.  They really have been on one many times!  But somehow I am not speaking their language right now...


Speaking of the party...  Any ideas on some fun party games?  We will have tons of kids from ages 2-15 along with their parents.  I forgot who mentioned it on their blog, but I am planning on hiding a cherry in a plate of whipped cream and having them find it without using their hands.  Any other outside contests/games/ideas for us???




Thursday, July 20, 2006

They're growing up already

I hate to say it...but my boys are growing up to be men.  I know... you're thinking this must be another DUH! moment, but it's not.  At the ages of almost-7 and 5, they might not exactly be on the brink of manhood but they are indeed already on their way!  Every day brings them a step closer.


Steve Walden's post about fishing with his son and his dad really got me thinking.  Grandpa, dad and son spoke together about manly things like carburetors, war and wetting a hook.  While I could talk to my boys about these things, it's just not the same as if it were coming from their dad.  After all, they want to grow up to be a MAN (like their dad) not a woman/wife/mommy!


I really came to the whole boy/man-wannabe realization a few weeks ago when we went out to lunch.  We were eating at our fav Mexican restaurant and ordered waters for everyone.  The waiter returned with large cups of water for me and David.  Tank (5) and Dozer (1.5) got the usual styrofoam cups with lid and straw.  Dash (7) would normally get the lidded cup and straw as well...but this time he got a big cup.  As in "real" cup.  No lid.  No straw.  Slice of lemon.


He looked at me questioningly, pointed to his cup and whispered Look, mommy.  (Translation: Why did he give me the wrong cup?)


I answered, He thinks you're big enough now. 


A smile began to creep across his lips and then he started to twinkle and smirk.  To think that someone else thought he was big!  I couldn't help but share his smile and I could see the pride on his face.  It was a good kind of pride...the Finally! Someone else actually sees that I'm not a baby anymore! kind of pride.  He was beaming.  And all for that one little big glass of water. :-)


It's funny how they really do grow into their labels sometimes.  You treat them like babies and they act like babies.  You treat them with a little respect (well, the respect worthy of a future manly man!) and they actually act a little more mature.


I guess I need to find more ways to show him that he really is a little man right now.  I need to expect him to be brave and courageous, expect him to work things out with his brother or friend, expect him to succeed in a difficult physical task...  He's pretty good about living up to my expectations! 


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Canadagirl's Nature Photo Contest

Yesterday I spent half an hour composing a clever and fun entry to Canadagirl's Family Nature Photo Contest...but then my computer locked up and I lost ALL of it.  I even had some extra pics and hyperlinks and everything!  *sigh*


But alas, 'twas not meant to be.


So here is my entry to Canadagirl's Contest:



This is a pic of David and I in Beijing, China this past February.  Ironically, behind us you will see the lake at the Summer Palace-- completely frozen over.  Yup, we're smart travellers-- next thing you know, we'll decide to go snow skiing in August!  (seriously kidding...sorta)


Since I hate to leave y'all with boring winter pics (there's not even beautiful snow...just a frozen over lake), here are a few bonus pics from our fateful but fabulously fun trip to Tennessee last year.




Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Speaking of Coffee

I saw this today from the Homeschooling with Humor Yahoo group run by our very own and very talented Jojo...and since we've been talking about coffee lately, I thought it would be perfect to share with my friends.


The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space

between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize
that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--- your family, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained , your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the
jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad! you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's
always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

If I only had a brain

I just had a huge DUH! moment.


Last night before bed, I had a nice hot cup of my deeeelicious Gano Excel Decaf "Healthy" Coffee.  It's supposed to have even less caffeine than regular decaf.


Well, last night I was so proud of myself for getting IN bed by 10:00pm (for the second night in a row!).  This was a huge accomplishment for me as I had been in the terrible habit of staying up until midnight to 2am for the past month.  Anyway, I could not for the life of me go to sleep.  I was tired.  But my body just would not sleep...


I last remember looking at the clock at 1am.  Drat.  Double drat!  Why couldn't I go to sleep?


Well, this morning I figured out why.  I went to dump the hot water out of my stainless steel thermal insulated carafe...and it came out brown!  Zoiks.  And then the DUH dawned on me.


I forgot to take the old, used coffee filter (with regular coffee grounds in it) out before I ran the fresh pot of hot water.


I had added regular coffee to my mix of instant decaf without realizing it.  This was a huge DUH moment for me.  Might seem small to others but when it has to do with my sleep or my coffee, it IS a BIG deal...and this, unfortunately, messed up both!


I asked Napoleon if I had a brain and he said No.

Friday, July 14, 2006

My mug shot

Here is my entry to Michelle's Mug Shot Contest:




My dh gave me this coffee mug and a coffee maker as a gift for our first Christmas together.  We had just gotten engaged a couple of months before, so the message on the back of this mug was EXTRA special to me! 


It is chipped and faded from much repeated much so, that I only drink from it on special occasions. :-)  I love this mug...and the mug who gave it to me (ridiculously awful pun intended).   And this from my man that can't even stand the smell of coffee, let alone the taste of it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I can't believe Tank is 5 years old!

There is less than half an hour left of my sweet Tank's birthday.  I can't believe he's 5 years old already!!!  We had a great family day starting at Chuck E. Cheese.  He proudly whooped up on me on Arctic Thunder...and I didn't even let him win!  Then we went out to lunch, let him pick out a new bicycle from Academy, and then my in-law's let him pick out a present from Target.  He thought it was a fantastically fabulous day-- and so did I!


 What can I say?  We all love video games in our house...And me getting my bootay kicked by a newly crowned 5 year old was a family affair!


Dh and I were lamenting his growth last night and remembering the day he was born.  It was a tough pregnancy with me going into early labor at 27 wks while we were visiting family out of state.  It took ALL night for them to stop the contractions and I also had this excruciating pain in my side that they thought was appendicitis.  But God brought us through it and my precious second son was born only 5 weeks early.  He was a tiny thing at a little over 6 lbs and was in the hospital for over a week as he overcame some kind of infection and tried to regulate his body temperature (which was very low).


He was such a HAPPY and sweet and easy-going baby!  This kid loved to eat everything and anything.  And from the beginning wanted to be laid down to sleep!  He would hardly ever fall asleep in your arms but just wanted his own bed.  (Such a difference from his big brother Dash!). 


As he got older, he would play in his bed until he fell asleep and then would play in the morning until we were ready to get him out of bed.  I know, I was one spoiled momma! :-)  It was such a blessing though as he did battle RSV, asthma, etc when he was really young.  Even now he is usually the last one up...and if he's really tired, he'll just give us a kiss and tell us he's going to bed.  Weird, huh?


Oh, back to lamenting his growth...there's a reason we call him Tank-- he really is a solid little man.  When he heard dh and I talking about his growth, he came up to my dh, climbed into his lap, put his arms around his neck and said:


Daddy, don't worry... I will always be your baby!


That's so sweet that I'll overlook the fact that he didn't say he would be my baby...  Oh well, two out of my three are mommy's boys!



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My new friend needs some encouragement and prayers

My new friend Kathy is beginning her first year of homeschooling.  Could you please pray for her right now?  She could use some encouragement as we all know that the first year is ALWAYS the hardest! 


Stop by her blog, say howdy, and if any of you have experience with Rod and Staff (be it words of wisdom, used curriculum you're willing to part with :-) or anything helpful at all) please leave her a comment.


I remember going through 2 packaged curriculums before I found one that was just right for us (at least for the first year or two!)-- and even then, it required some tweaking.  I know she can't really afford to go through too much "trial and error" financially.


Also, any suggestions on free homeschooling resources?  Something besides just the typical google search...anyone actually USE any of these sites, resources, etc?


THANKS a bunch, my friends!  Y'all are the BEST!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My worst picture contest entry!

Okay, so here is my entry in JocelynDixon's contest.



I know I have pictures that are even worse than this...but I don't want to win that badly!!!

Free stuff...well...if you're the winner

I like contests.  They're just super-dee-duper-fun, don't ya think?


Amber's Heart of Art is having a free graphics contest.  All you have to do is take a little poll.  She is quite talented and you will LOVE her work!


And Michelle is having a muy bueno MUG SHOT contest-- you can win COFFEE!  Did I mention that you can win my most favorite beverage of all time?  Coffee!  Coffee!  Coffee!


That JocelynDixon, though...she takes the cake with her clever contest.  How come no one else came up with this idea before?  It is HIlarious!   All you have to do is post the worst picture of yourself and then leave her a link.  She'll pick the worst picture and the winner gets some neat-o Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies (stickers, paper, journaling boxes, etc).


I think I will have a hard time entering this contest-- although I will do my best to find one.  It's not that I don't take any bad pictures, it's just that once I do, the really ugly ones are dutifully deleted!

Saturday, July 8, 2006

No more b-b-b-boring blog!!!

Wowzers!  Have y'all seen my new do?  Yup, no more boring blah blog for me...I'm now out of the stone ages with my fancy schmancy fantabulously fantastic blog!  Maybe not for content, but definitely in appearance.


You likeeeee?


I wish I could take all the credit for this...but I can't.  While I do have a few html codes up my sleeve, the elegance and talent and very cool graphics are courtesy of our dear Amber's new venture-- Ambers Heart of Art




I still can't believe I have a look that actually expresses my own personal taste.  Weird how it changes your perspective of a person, huh?


Okay, that's all for now.  Be sure to check out Amber's Heart of Art and tell her how talented she is!  I'm sure she can cook up the perfect graphics that expresses your own personal tastes and style.



Marsha who is so extremely excited about my fabuloso new look!!!


PS  Check out Amber's latest contest for some free graphics-- all you have to do is take a poll!

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Holiday? We're daring to be different, I guess

While many of you are celebrating the festivities of this Independence Day, the Drews household is not.  While we did talk about the what/why's of Independence Day, there was no picnic, barbecue, boating or shooting of fireworks for us.  It's not because we're party-poopers though.   Here is why we actually had our lessons (read: school!) today:


1.  It's been raining for a couple of days now...and expected to continue throughout the night.


2. We didn't make any real plans for the day since we expected dh to be working (which he now is not).  Plus, all the rain that was forecasted makes for swarms of swamp mosquitoes that attack you without mercy.   So no lake or outside activities for us!


3.  We school year-round but have taken the last two weeks off...not intentionally, mind you, but just because we've had invitations to the beach with friends, celebrated our 10 yr wedding anniversary and just had other things to do!


4.  Dash reminded me the other day that it's only two more months until he's in second grade.  Ummmm...we have WAY more than two weeks worth of work left-- so we better double up!


5.  The boys do better with routine.  Two weeks off in a row means for bored boys.  Bored boys fight.  Bored boys get in trouble.  Bored boys irritate mommy and make me into a yelling, angry, frustrated lunatic that nobody wants to be around.  By the way, I'm 200% better now! :-)


I am rather pleased with how our lessons went today.  We covered a lot of material...not just because I wanted to, but it actually made sense to the boys and they were interested in continuing.  You don't find that in public schools very often, do ya?!   The only thing left to do is finish the last part of our current read-aloud The Light at Tern Rock.  Oh, and I really want to do the glo-germ experiment that I ordered from Fizzbang Science (thanks, eyecorn!).


So what are you doing today?  Am I the only one who was a mean mommy and had lessons today?  (Although technically it's not mean when your children don't fuss about it...and they really don't know what "normal" is for other children anyway!)

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

11 years ago today

Eleven years ago today, it was the day after I had first met David.  I was waiting for him to call me.


And he never did.


Not until the 29th anyway.


How's that for holding on and never letting go of a memory?!  hehehee... 


Tomorrow, my beloved and I will be celebrating 10 fantastically fabulous years of marriage.



Sunday, June 25, 2006

Silly kids and the things they cry about

It is almost midnight here.  Dash and Tank have been goofing around in bed-- laughing, talking, plotting-- for a couple of hours now.   They should really be sleeping.  They are very, very tired.


Tank just walked in with big, giant tears streaming down his face and the most pathetic frown you have ever seen.


Me:  What's wrong?  Why are you crying?


Tank:  Bwaah...sniffle...ahooooo....oooooo...sniffle... (and lots more crying)


Dash translates:  He's really sad because he doesn't get to go to junior camp.


Me:  Ummmm...YOU can't even go to junior camp for another year-- you're just not old enough yet.  It'll be three more years before Tank can go.  (turning to Tank)  Why are you crying about this now???


Tank:  Because he gets to go and I don't get to go.  And you know the only thing I don't like about camp?  It's that youuuuu won't be camping with me!  Waaaahhhh!!!


Poor guy must've taken some crazy pills before bed.  He was seriously distraught about a camp that he won't be attending for another three years.  I can still hear him whimpering quietly in his room.  Dash is trying to console him and tell him that it's just the rules and when he's old enough to go, he'll probably not want me there with him anyway. 


While I am flattered that he wants to be with me, it is a bit silly, don't you think?  All that crying and worrying about something so far in the future.  Especially when he doesn't have all the facts about camp...and doesn't quite understand the present, let alone the future!


He'll be fine in the morning.  Just needs some sleep and a little more time.  But I'll give him another hug and kiss before bed...maybe make him giggle (but not too much-- don't want to wake up the not-quite-a-baby-anymore!).


Sounds a little like me at times.  Needless fretting and worrying about silly stuff.  Crying to God when I don't even realize that I am not understanding the big picture.  And God is always patient and understanding and loving and encouraging...and wipes away my tears and calms my anxious heart. 


By the way, after hearing silence for a while I went into his room for the nightly check before I head to my own bed.  Tank was asleep and as I adjusted his blanket, he said (with eyes closed) Mommy, the only thing I don't like about camp is not having you with me.  I kissed his sweet head and told him that I will always be with him and take care of him.  He sleepily replied, Yes Ma'am and turned over and went back to sleep.  I just love that boy!



Saturday, June 24, 2006

Urgent Adoption Need!

China has never allowed children with Down's Syndrome to be adopted before.  Why?  Because they think that nobody would want them.


They have finally offered up for adoption one precious baby boy named James.  If you have ever thought about adopting a special needs child or know of anyone else who has, please pass this link on to them.  He MUST be adopted by July 1st or he will be re-institutionalized...and no other children with Down's will be allowed to be adopted in the future.  If cost is an obstacle, funding has already been promised for this adoption!


Please pass the word and pray for this precious baby boy.

Review: Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek

I never would've thought to even attempt to introduce the Greek alphabet to my children.  But since I really enjoy Johannah Bluedorn's illustrations, I thought Why not?  I received Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek in the mail and was excited that is was a boardbook!  Hooray!  I can actually leave this one out for the kids (and even Dozer) to look at without having to worry about torn pages or pages wrinkled by slobber and sippy cups.


This book teaches the alphabet for Biblical Greek.  Each letter is introduced on a page and includes the capital letter, lowercase, pronunciation and letter sounds.  The kids' favorite part was, of course, the beautiful illustrations.  By the way, their favorite letter was kappa.  Why?  Because kappa says the c sounds as in candy.  Mmmm...they just loved the picture of the candy in the glass jars... Simple logic, huh?  And if they were to remember even one letter of Biblical Greek, it will most definitely be kappa!


While I don't currently plan on teaching the Greek language to my children, we will definitely go over this book many more times.  It did make the idea of teaching Greek a little less intimidating... So who knows what the future may hold for us...


This book also allowed for some great discussions that we would not have otherwise had.  For example, we talked about the books of the Bible and how they were originally written in a different language.  And how different languages have different alphabets...and some of these alphabets have sounds and letters very similar to our own English alphabet!  Believe it or not, we even discussed translations and King James...which then led to a brief conversation about people in other countries who do not have a Bible in their own language. 


I think this talk of other languages and countries could be expanded even more.  I'm sure they would be very interested in talking about some of the missionaries our church supports.  And that, of course, could branch out into lessons on geography, other cultures and who knows what else!  I just love homeschooling, don't you?!


If you haven't done so already, I would definitely recommend Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek by Johannah Bluedorn (or any of her other books as well).  The illustrations are lovely, the products high quality and the content inspiring!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dentist is done!

I don't know about y'all, but I can't stand going to the dentist.  I really especially truly can't stand it when it's my child and not me.  But HOORAY!  Our first official icky "procedure" at the dentist is done.


I woke Dash up this morning to go get his cavities fixed.  The only thing he cried about before he left was that he didn't get to eat breakfast.  Poor guy.  He is sooo very skinny but eats all the time!  So this was very traumatic for him.  Anyhow, I dosed him up with the prescribed sedative and then he drove off with dh.


After an hour and a half, dh called and said it was done.  Wow, that was really fast!  Apparently, Dash slepted the entire way there and only woke up when they were working on the last tooth.  He woke up screaming because it was a deep cavity that required a crown...and A LOT more numbing!  I guess he settled down after a few more shots.   Good thing they had him tightly wrapped like a papoose too.


So he slepted on the way back home and is still passed out.  They said he'd probably sleep until 3pm, although that's doubtful since he is not a sleeper by nature.  Besides, we've got plans to swim and play with friends this afternoon so that little guy better wake up after lunch! ;-)


I am SO GLAD that *I* didn't have to take him this morning!  I'm sure I'd be reliving and playing back that memory over and over again in my head. 


Thanks again for your prayers.  And remember, brush brush brush!  Floss floss floss!  And absolutely, positively no sticky candy...better to give them chocolate than the sticky stuff.  I'm going to go toss out the fruit snacks now too.




It's noon and he just woke up-- hungry!  He barely stumbled up the stairs (we have a split level so our main living areas are upstairs)... The first thing he said was I don't know how a nap could make me sooo dizzy!  It's weird to look in my baby's mouth and see a shiny silver crown.  I guess the one side of his mouth is still pretty numb.  He keeps asking me How did they make my teeth bigger?  It feels like I have one tooth inside another tooth.  Eeek.  I remember the dental days of my youth...blech!


Gotta go laugh some more at my son.  He is doing everything very slowly-- walking, talking, moving, chewing... hehehee... That is so completely opposite of his usual self!  Maybe I should get the video camera out...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Discount Home School Supplies is giving away a FREE microscope!

Discount Home School Supplies is giving away a FREE microscope to one winner!  How do you enter?  All you have to do is cut and paste this information to your blog and leave a link in the comments section of Tami's blog.


This is open to the first 100 entrants!  So hurry!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dash's dental update

Thank you, my friends, for all of your great advice and prayers about the dentist!  I found a great pedodontist that actually accepts our DMO and was able to get appointments today.  We took both Tank and Dash in for checkups and cleanings right after lunch.


First the good news.  The dentist, staff and my boys were great!  We had zero meltdowns, whimperings or even frowns.  Tank even got upset yesterday when we were talking about taking Dash to the dentist and not him.  So we were very happy when we were able to get both boys in for checkups and cleanings.  I just know that if they were in public school, they would've been quite fearful of the dentist from all the horror stories that other kids would likely have told.  I am very thankful for their positive attitudes-- it sure makes it easier on not only them, but everyone else around them as well!


Now the bad news.  As I suspected, Dash has two bad cavities.  He's taking antibiotics now and I filled the prescription for the feel-good medicine he needs to take before we get his teeth filled on Friday morning.  I wish I had that stuff when I was little!  


Tank also has some small cavities that are beginning to form between his back teeth.  We got a prescription for some flouride gel to floss into that tight space.  What a blessing to have caught this early while it is still small and fixable!


While I'm thinking of blessings, I am also thankful that this happened to Dash now instead of later.  He'll be 7 years old at the end of summer, and that is the precise cutoff age for our insurance to allow him to go to the pediatric dentist.  So if this had happened even 3 months from now, he would've had to suffer the rougher hands and demeanor of my dentist!  Yikes!!!


Another blessing is that the kids have been talking about sugar all day long...and in a good way.  Mommy, does this have sugar in it?  What about Capri Sun?  Candy?  Cheerios?  What about this?  This whole dental visit has really encouraged my kids to CHOOSE water over juice and to not ask for those gummy-tooth-sticking fruit snacks.  Pretty cool, huh? 


I am SO thankful that I am able to stay home with my children and have the time and opportunity to talk to them about brushing, flossing, and sugar.  Not every mommy has the gift of having these small moments to talk with her children.


And while I've got your ear, they advised that we brush our children's teeth for them until they are at least 8 years old.  They can brush for practice, but always follow up yourself to make sure they get a good brushing.  I guess this is where I messed up.  Ever since Dozer was born, I've been letting the kidlings brush their own teeth.  I guess they're not as thorough as they should be...


Anyhow, thanks for the advice and encouragement.  Please keep him in your prayers for his appointment on Friday.  My sweet dh will be taking him for that appointment.  It's a lot easier on him than it is on me!  Plus, it encourages Dash to be a little tougher than he might otherwise be...although I don't think he'll even know what hit him once he gets the meds. :-)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pics of the weekend and our first cavity *ugh!*


Me and my niece Emily (she's one month old now)


This one is Tank (who will be 5 next month) and my little sister Lele (real name Leah...lovely, isn't it?...much better than Marsha which sounds so heavy and clunky...Leah is so light and lovely and cheery!)


My sister Coco (who's real name is lovely as well-- Christine) put this together.  She's Emily and Benjamin's mommy... My boys are the bald ones, Ben is the one with the cool rock-star hair!  I guess we need to work on photoshop'ing those arms out of there as well... hehehee... ;-)


We had a great time visiting my folks in Fort Worth.  Everyone except for my little bro was there.  It's getting increasingly difficult to get all five of us kids together each year...and that's not counting the missing spouses.  It doesn't help that we live in different cities and different coast's even.  But it does make the time we spend together that much more precious!


Anyhow, we drove back late last night and avoided rain until we were about an hour out.  So not too bad.  There's been quite a bit of flooding here in Houston, but we fared pretty well.  I can hear the deafening sounds of frogs right now... I'm not kidding, it is really loud out there!  You can't even carry on a conversation outside without almost yelling.  WEIRD.  The frogs, crawdad's and all sorts of wet-loving creatures are out in full force tonight.  It does bring for some great bird watching in the morning!


Oh, the cavity.  Or perhaps in plural.  And why oh why does this have to happen to Dash!  While he is the eldest of the three kidlings, he is also the most...what's the word I'm looking for?.... sensitive.  *sigh*  I need to call around tomorrow and find out who takes our insurance.  I hope the pediatric dentist will accept our DMO.  I am SO dreading this!  But my ever sweet and loving dh has volunteered to be the one to do the dentist duty.  While I hope he has a little compassion for Dash, I worry that he'll be too tough on him.  I'll get over it though, especially since I just can't even think about listening to the whining, crying and whatever else that is bound to come with this visit.


The good thing (or is it a bad thing?) is that he has never been to the dentist before.  So there are currently no negative associations with the visit.  He only knows about the happy Berenstain Bear's book/video on a visit to the dentist.  Plus some other Nick Jr or Barney shows about it.  I have not taken any of my children to the dentist yet because of the many conflicting pieces of advice from dentists, friends, and even doctor-- go when they get teeth, go when they're three, don't go unless they have some type of pain, etc.  *sigh*  and *SIGH* again...


Please pray for Dash and the dentist...that we find the right one and can get in immediately.  He's been complaining all afternoon about his tooth hurting.  And it even looks like a cavity to my untrained eye!  Zoiks.  I'm ill just thinking about it.  I had several cavities when I was little and absolutely HATED going to the dentist!  While I never threw a fit over it (I knew better than that!), my little Dash is not quite as much of a people-pleasing-rule-following-authority-following individual as I was.  So please keep him and his tooth in prayer.  I feel really bad for the little guy.


Any advice?  Anyone?   Anyone?


Friday, June 16, 2006

My Father's Day tribute

After lunch today, I will be loading up the kidlings and heading home to visit my daddy for Father's Day.  I am so blessed to be able to just go home!  I am also very blessed with all of the wonderful father's in my life!


First, I am thankful for my heavenly Father.  I still can't believe that He loves me enough to have sent His own Son to die for my sins.  I can't say that I would willingly sacrifice my own child for the sins of others!


I am thankful for my daddy.  Although generally a quiet man, we would have the best conversations when we'd go for evening walks together.  Many times it was just me and him--a rarity in a house of 5 children!  I'm sure our conversations were often one-sided-- I talked waaaay too much and he listened patiently.  He was and still is a living example of what a true Christian should be-- honest, loving, and kind.  Daddy, I could never have asked for a better father than you!


I am thankful for my father-in-law.  My husband is an only child and was raised by his dad.  They were such buddies (and still are)... and man, oh, man did my f-i-l put up with A LOT!  heheheee... Honestly, if it wasn't for the amazing love and dedication of my f-i-l, my husband would not be the fine father and husband that he is today!   So thank you, dad, for teaching my husband how to be a real man.


And last but not least, I am very thankful for the father of my children-- my beloved husband of almost ten years!  I just love to see him play with, talk to and just be with our boys.  They eat up all of his attention and totally want to be just like him when they grow up!  He is never ever too busy to include them in his plans.  He talks to them, teaches them, plays with them, and never ever complains about bringing them with him on errands...He enjoys their company and they bask in his!  Thank you, baby for being such a great daddy!  It will be a sad (but funny) day when they really do whoop up on you in wrestling!!!  I am so glad that you are not letting their childhood slip through your fingers-- riding bikes, burn piles, swimming, CiCi's, Home Depot, the driving range, father/son campout, Pinewood Derby and popcorn... they will always remember and hopefully do the same with their children one day.  You're the best, baby!


To all of the father's in my life (and all of you out there in blogland)...






PS  This is for all you daddy's out there that are helpful with the husband included!



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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My best days

When I look at my best days, those are the ones where I spent much time at home and actually interacting with my children.  Not just co-existing or being in the same room.  Not just trying to trudge through our lessons so I can get on to other things that I need to do...


Nope, my best days are like yesterday.  I planned to spend the day truly with them.  Unrushed.  Relaxed.  That was my purpose.  Not a byproduct of chance.   It was a good day.  A great day, in fact!  For both me and my children!


David worked all Sunday night (with no sleep) and got home around 7am.  I knew that he would appreciate a restful, quiet sleep for several hours.  So the kids and I quickly got dressed and slipped out the door.  Destination: Shipley's Donuts.  The kids were ecstatic about actually getting donuts for breakfast IN the donut shop!  And they loved looking at, with their own eyes, all the varieties and toppings available.  I wish I could've taken a picture of the expressions on their faces for y'all to see-- talk about priceless!


After pumping them full of sugary donuts, I thought it would be a grand idea to take my children to... Nope, not the park to run off all the sugar-energy.  Even better than that...  THE LIBRARY!  Oh man, am I a genious or what? ;-)


We turned in our bzillion books from last time and headed to the ...*sigh* section first.  Each of the boys got to pick out one video/DVD.  Tragedy averted.  Now we could move on to books!  


Dash wandered away from our "usual" area and found that they had re-arranged the library.  It was such fun to see three little tables with bookshelves all around.  The shelves were filled with great non-fiction books-- the kids were in heaven!  They completely stocked up on books about trains, bats, trucks and almost had one about Madagascar. 


Tank ran up to the book when he saw it was about Madagascar.  The boys always talk about wanting to visit "the wild" in Madagascar.  When he saw what Madagascar really looked like (the land, people, villages) he actually ARGUED with me that it was NOT Madagascar!  Silly boy.  You'd think that he really though he'd find a picture of Alex the Lion in there...


LIBRARY TIP:  If you have big book checker-outer's like I do, then take a small carry-on luggage bag with you.  The wheels and long handle makes it easy to carry a ton of books.


Wow, this post is getting really long.  Condensed version of the rest of the day:  After library, we went grocery shopping.  Home to a real lunch.  Finished three days worth of lessons in only one day-- because the kids wanted to!!!  Spent time with daddy/hubby.  Watched their videos together as a family.  Supper-- yup, I cooked that one too  (hooray for me!).  Quiet rest of the evening until bedtime. 


What a great day.

Do you think it was the donuts???

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another reason...

...of why we do what we do...


Check out this great, encouraging video entitled Animal School from



And for a weird thing to try, check out Aligirl's blog.  hehehee...

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Are you from Texas?

With all the hullabaloo about the FPEA and a brunch with a bunch of bloggers, I'd like to know who around here is from good ole Texas!


First, if you're NOT from Texas, then I'm sorry.  But would you please consider linking to this post on your blog so I can get as accurate a rollcall as possible...especially considering the considerations of this non-scientific poll!  I greatly appreciate yer kindness and cooperation!


Now fer you fellow Texans, if you would be so kind please comment and put your city in the subject line.  It would be fun to organize a get together or shindig or whatnot in our neck of the woods!


By the way, I live in NE Houston (Porter).


Leave that comment now, y'hear?!  And don't forget to pass this on!!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My little helper

Tank has been busy cleaning the glass on the french doors today.  With paper towels and Windex in hand, he then worked his way through the kitchen as well.  I see him duck into the bathroom and then out again with a big wad of paper towels.


What are you doing, Tank?


I'm cweaning the sink.


You are?  Why?


Because I sawed on the bawtle that it will cwean the sink and make it spawkle!  I heared it say that on the bawtle.  Don't worry.  It will just take me a minute.


He disappears again for a minute.


Is the sink clean in there, Tank?


Well, it's not spawkling yet.  It IS shiny, but it's not spawkling.  Maybe we should give it a few more minutes...


Yes, maybe we should. :-)  In the meantime, I will hug and kiss and tickle him and just enjoy him while it's just me and him.  Maybe dawdling isn't so bad after all!

Ups and Downs

The past two days have definitely had their ups and downs.   Today was not so good.  Dawdling, whining and more dawdling with just one little handwriting page!  Surprisingly enough, this was by my usually on-target-and-happy-to-race-through-it-all Tank.  *sigh*  So I sent him to bed until he was "rested" enough to get back to work.  So Dash finished and then went to run errands with dh and Dozer.  I rustled Tank out of bed (never did sleep) and he is currently in boy heaven washing my windows.  Weird, huh?  But very sweet and helpful!


Our Memorial Day was very relaxing.  It rained most of the morning and then off and on during the afternoon.  I don't know what it is about rain, but I love how it makes the kids sleep in!  The big boys stayed in bed until after 9am and I made Dozer get up when it was nearing 11am!!!  We went out for lunch, did a little shopping and then spent the rest of the day at home. 


The boys (all of them!) had such fun digging in the yard, sitting in puddles and oozing through the mud.  They were quite excited when they found a crawdad (aka crayfish) and kept it in a bucket with some mud and water.  We looked up more information online and found that they liked worms and snails. generous little guys didn't want the crawdad to starve.  They immediately began the hunt for snails and worms.  The take: 1 worm and 28 snails!  Good thing it was a big bucket!  They stored their new little friend under dh's truck (but it's not behind the wheels, mom!) so the birds and other predators wouldn't get it. :-)  Somehow, the little guy escaped and probably hid in the depths of the swampy jungle that is our front yard.


We also went blueberry picking for the second time in a week.  It is SO relaxing to go late in the's not too hot, it's peaceful and there are TONS of berries on the bushes.  We quickly filled a 5 gallon bucket in only an hour (including potty breaks).  You just can't beat the price of $1.50/lb either!  They were delicious in a blueberry-strawberry smoothie this morning!


And to end with another UP... the other day Dozer (who is 18 months old) was merrily playing with this construction set in the living room.  I asked him if he wanted to go outside.  He got so excited, picked up every single toy, placed it in the plastic container, snapped the lid on, and then brought it to me!!!  Without me even asking him to!!!  Whooohoooo!!!  Then he said "sssshhhhhooooooo" and started hunting for his shoes so he could go play.  Just when I think I can't handle his crazy into-everything-ness, he does something like this.   And I realize there is hope!  heheheee... just kidding... sorta...  He is really sweet and cute and cuddly and fun...but he is also into e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g !


Gotta go make something with blueberries now.  Anyone have a recipe that includes oatmeal and blueberries?  I've got tons of both!




Sunday, May 28, 2006

Finally! Pictures to share!

I guess it would be a good idea to start with a pic of my mom and sisters (and me!) at Coco's baby shower.  I'm only a month behind on the post...


(me, my mom, Lele, Bobo and Coco-- who is the prego one)


So I guess this picture would be before (April)...

And this one of my niece Emily would be AFTER (last week):



Isn't she beautiful?!  I wasn't very good with the camera on this one though...the flash kept making her squint her eyes.  She looks really big in this picture but she's really, really small on that quilt!  Which, I am proud to say, I made all by myself!  A seamstress I am not, but I think this quilt ended up quite lovely. ;-)


Since I'm in a picture uploading mood, here's one of Dozer making a tower from the pantry.  Was 4 enough for him?  Nooooo....he just had to go for one more which was his undoing!



I don't think I could've made that big of a tower with those materials...


And here's one more of Dozer making the biggest, grinniest face that he could muster!



Well, that's it for now.  Have a great Memorial Day, my friends!






Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dash is actually doing Mind Benders all by himself!

The other day, I showed Dash how to do a logic puzzle from Bright Minds.  It is called Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 and teaches deductive thinking skills.  Now, I LOVED logic puzzles when I was in 4th grade, but I don't remember doing them at as young of an age as Dash (who is almost 7).


I couldn't believe it when he opened up the book today and did 3 puzzles all ON HIS OWN!  This is the same kid who needs "encouragement and prodding" just to do a simple math sheet or one line of writing!  He is a bright boy, but does not like to face any kind of challenge alone.  If an answer to any problem does not come to him immediately (be it grammar, math or even drawing a picture), he starts crying and pouting and I have to coach him throught it. about aggravating!


Man, it IS a good day today in our house!  Even if the baby is in his bed pitching a fit right now...he's tired and has a terrible temper and the boy just needs a nap.  But who cares?!  Dash did it ALL BY HIMSELF and said it was FUN!  And he got all the puzzles right too!


If you haven't had a chance yet, definitely check out Bright Minds where you can find lots of great products that help to build critical thinking skills.  And their nifty site lets you shop by grade level, which makes it even easier!  Great for Pre-K through Adult.


By the way, this was not a requested review from the publisher...I got this book on my own and just really love it!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I always associated with Bert anyway

<table width=350 align=center border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2><tr><td bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align=center>
<font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif" style='color:black; font-size: 14pt;'>
<strong>You Are Bert</strong>
<tr><td bgcolor="#DDDDDD">
<center><img src=""> <height="100" width="100"></center>
<font color="#000000">
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!<br />
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you<br />
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil<br />
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
<div align="center"><a href="">  The Sesame Street Personality Quiz</a></div>



Well, I always liked Bert more than that silly Ernie anyway.  I would like to think that I'm more fun than Bert!  But you'll have to ask my friends and family about that.  Dh does say that I'm a very nice person but I have a mean streak on the inside that scares him.


I'm not sure about the odd passion though.  Is it weird to collect cookbooks from my travels instead of magnets?  Or baking pans?


Okay, I'm going to stop asking questions now that I don't want to know the answers to!





Thursday, May 25, 2006

Update on my week

It's been a long and exhausting week, but lots of fun!


I got to see my beautiful niece Emily and nephew Benjamin this week!!! And spend lots of time with two of my sisters and even my mom and dad. 


I got back home from OOOOOOOOO-klahoma(!) on Tuesday, had our last day of Master's Club for the semester on Wednesday night, and had a fantastically fun and fabulous Homeschool Field Day with some friends from church.  I am simply exhausted!  But the entire family had a fun time of fellowship, yummy food, and giganto moonwalk-like slip and slide we rented, and a b-day party for a friend all rolled up in one.


I am SO blessed!


I hope to post a couple of pics tomorrow but don't hold me to it-- I am so ready to get back into the routine of school!


Now it's time for me to clean up and wash up.  By the way, flip-flops are NOT the ideal footwear when you're in charge of 4-6 year olds at a field day that is held on a mini-ranch.  Talk about dusty and icky feet!


Talk to y'all tomorrow.


Friday, May 19, 2006

I don't know if I've ever been more offended!

I got this in my inbox today from AFAI am offended beyond words!



The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) has refused to apologize for an obscene anti-Christian assault in the campus newspaper Insurgent.

The March edition of the Insurgent ran one of the strongest attacks on Christianity I have seen. The paper ran graphics depicting Jesus as a homosexual. One was a depiction of a naked Jesus on the cross with an erection; the other, titled Resurrection, showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections.

When asked for an apology by Students of Faith, ASUO refused to give one saying that "there are no grounds for demanding an apology from Insurgent." The ASUO went on to defend the publication saying that the newspaper contributes "to the cultural and physical development of the university community."

The Insurgent would never show a naked graphic of the Rev. Martin Luther King kissing another man, both sporting erections. But offending Christians was of no concern to the Insurgent or to University President Dave Frohmayer.

The ASUO Women's Center tolerates no defamation against gays and lesbians. Three years ago, ASUO demanded that the university radio station, KUGN, drop Michael Savage (a conservative talk show host). The university promptly discontinued the program. But depicting Jesus as a homosexual is perfectly OK.

Here is what Insurgent Student Editor Jessica Brown had to say about the graphics. "I have to say it is really fun to offend people. It is fun to break the rules. If it pi--es people off…good that's the point!!! It has here in this office. So read, get pi--ed and talk about it."

Incidentally, the University forces all students, including Christians, to pay student dues of $191.00 per term, part of which goes to support the Insurgent.