Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's ALIVE!!! Mwahahahahahaha!!!!!

Some of you may recall the fiasco where my cell phone drowned in the bathtub.  Contrary to popular belief, I was NOT in the bathtub and talking on the phone at the same time!  I was merely correcting my children during a dispute that occurred while they were bathing.


Okay, so here's what really happened.  They were fighting and I pointed at them with my phone and yelled "Quit fighting! I'm sick and tired of this!"  (You woulda thought that it was some kind of remote control that would magically turn off the fighting-- wouldn't that be the invention of the year?!)  But I digress...


Per mominpa's advice, I just left it alone with the battery out for a few weeks to let it dry out... Lo and behold, I switched service back to the phone today and IT WORKS!!! HOORAY!  And I never did get around to buying another phone-- just used dh's old, yucky, mumbly, terrible phone for a while.  God is SO GOOD!


On another note, here's a pic of Dozer loving on his little lamb. :-)


  And goofing around on the couch...


He's so cute, I just wanna eat him up!


And finally, in the car today Dash announced a change of career plans.  Initially, he wanted to be a pilot like daddy.  Then he informed me the other day that he wanted to be a tank driver in the Army.  I guess his brain (or his stomach) has been thinking a lot lately and he said:


"Mommy, when I grow up I want to work in a cinnamon roll factory."


"You do? Cinnamon rolls are really delicious. Maybe you should OWN a cinnamon roll factory instead."


"Oh yea! That's a great idea!"


Tank chimes in with "I want to make cinnamon rolls too!"


"We can work together! Mmmmm...mmmm..mmm...we LOVE cinnamon rolls!"


"Yeah, with 6 cups of frosting on it!"


Big smiles all around as they agree that this is the best idea EVER.  They can be partners in a cinnamon roll factory.  Who says homeschooling doesn't let your kids dream BIG?!


So if any of you love cinnamon rolls and have young daughters, my hungry little entrepreneurs will be of a marriageable age in another 20 years or so.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Our God is an Awesome God!

Check out Dash and Tank singing on my sidebar! :-)  They're singing Dash's favorite song Awesome God...well, it's his favorite when it's not Christmas anyway.


Speaking of Dash, he scored his very first goal in soccer last night!!!  It's funny, even when the other team scores he gets all excited for them.  While the games are non-competetive and they don't officially keep scores or stats, all the dad's (including coach dad) keep score in their heads.  But win or lose, we're so proud of Dash's good attitude and sweet spirit with this sport!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Vote now!

It's time to vote for the Fit and Fun Blogger Contest that chickadee is having... so take a look see and vote by Tuesday!


And no, you don't have to vote for me. :-)  If you vote for Bek though, please note that it is a pic of her tying her shoes while 20 weeks prego.  If she wins, I think she should be required to send in another pic at....ohhh... 36 weeks prego as well... now that would be a workout!


Have a great weekend!




PS If your kids are bored this weekend, simply take some masking tape and run a start and finish line in your hallway or living room.  It's AMAZING the things they will come up with on their own!

How Conservative/Liberal are you?

While I question what exactly is meant by "Liberal" ethics, this was still fun.  Not to be too snarky or anything, but how can you even have "liberal" and "ethics" in the same sentence without having "lack of" in there as well???


<table style="font-family: serif; color: black; font-size: 12pt;" align=center border=1 bordercolor=black cellspacing=0 cellpadding=5>
<tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#CBE5FE">
<h3 style="margin: 0; border: 0;">Your Political Profile</h3>
<tr><td bgcolor="#CCE2FE">
<strong>Overall</strong>: 85% Conservative, 15% Liberal
<tr><td bgcolor="#CDDFFE">
<strong>Social Issues</strong>: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
<tr><td bgcolor="#CFDCFF">
<strong>Personal Responsibility</strong>: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
<tr><td bgcolor="#D0D8FF">
<strong>Fiscal Issues</strong>: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
<tr><td bgcolor="#D1D5FF">
<strong>Ethics</strong>: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
<tr><td bgcolor="#D2D2FF">
<strong>Defense and Crime</strong>: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

<div align="center">
<a href=""> How Liberal / Conservative Are You?</a>

Friday, March 24, 2006

Contests and other stuff (revised)

In light of JenIG's wackily-wacko-with-the-comments contest where the prize was an ultra cool $225 KNEX set, I'd thought I'd post a few happenings to make sure y'all didn't miss out on anything else.


Be sure to check out Chickadee's very cool fun and fit contest!  There are some great (and hilarious!) entries so far and the deadline is Friday (TODAY!!!).   Although I'm not very good at being fit, fun, fittingly funny, or funnily's my entry that dh took this morning.  BTW, Dozer and Dash are VERY heavy!!!




DandelionSeeds has a Clean Heart, Clean Home Challenge that will be starting soon.  She is almost 33 weeks prego so we will be riding the nesting, hormonal and very fun roller-coaster with her!  Besides, who can resist the lure of winning a magnet? (asgdj;'ladsgjkl;'agdfsj'klfahgasjk;laglkjagjklag;)


When not being stalked, Gena-bena is giving away a PILGRIM'S PROGRESS curriculum!


Oooo, and Jaybird just came up with a brilliant new contest where all you have to do is leave a comment-- and you can with legos!



Okay, that's all I can remember in my very limited gray-matter.  If y'all are aware of any more, let me know and I'll revise this list.


Now get busy-- it's time to win some free stuff!!!


One more thing, be sure to stop by Donna's blog and congratulate her on her BIG DAY!!! 





PS  Since it's tax time, check out HomeschoolCPA Carol's blog.



Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Easter Story Cookies (Recipe)

Cindy Downes (aka emptynestmom) posted this great idea on her blog.  Very cool idea for Easter with the kids-- just be sure to start it with your children the night before.  Thanks Cindy and Ellen!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Seeds and a major accomplishment

Tank:  Mommy, when we get home I'm going to plant these seeds!


 (look closely...can you see them?)



Me:  Seeds?


Tank:  Yeah, I'm going to plant these seeds and grow a hamburger tree!!!


He was completely serious.  That is one of the bzillion reasons why I love that boy!  He always warms my heart, makes me laugh, and what mommy wouldn't love it when her son kisses her hand and tells her she's handsome?


*sigh*  I'm SO blessed!


Poor Tank was so disappointed that the sesame seeds from his hamburger bun weren't hamburger seeds after all..............and so was I!



Oh, and I can't believe I failed to mention Dash's great accomplishment!  Now, I told y'all that my friend Dixie was superwoman...Well, she also taught Dash how to ride a bike without training wheels...and in less than an hour!   Before this trip he just didn't want us to take the training wheels off his bike.  Nope, I like them on!  But after seeing all of the other kids riding without training wheels, he wanted to give it a go. 


So a hint to all of those who have kids who still use training wheels-- you can either find yourself a superwoman friend with nine kids to teach your child or you can wait until he's almost 7 to teach him.  I'm sure it will cut down the learning time dramatically!


Gotta go.  We're off to grandma and grandpa's for the weekend!  Have a great week and be sure to check out the latest video of Dozer on my sidebar.  Isn't he c-u-t-e?!




Friday, March 17, 2006

Smelling smoky but still survived

I am happy to report that I survived the campout this week!  Oh and I was wrong about the 4 mom's and 20 was actually 22 kids.


We had a great time!  I'm telling ya, it is so much fun to go camping with other families.  It makes all the work of camping, like cooking and cleaning and averting disasters, much easier!  It also helps to go camping with a superwoman like my friend Dixie.  She is a fun, homeschooling momma of 9 children.  She also brought along 2 nephews and 2 extra friends of her children.   We were quite a sight caravan-ing behind her passenger van and large trailer full of firewood, ice chests, a bzillion bikes and luggage!


This is where I would've inserted a few pics I took but I'm experiencing technical difficulties with the computer that actually has the pics stored on it...


I can now say that I think I know what it takes to feed a very large crowd when all you have at your disposal are a few cast iron pots and a campfire.  I know we ate a lot better than what we would've eaten had *I* been in charge of the meals! 


There was not a single sandwich or bowl of cereal eaten.  Instead, we had spaghetti, chili, stew, chicken and veggie foil packets, pancakes and bacon, fresh donuts, hushpuppies, peach cobbler, homemade biscuits and gravy, and of course s'mores!  Mmmmmmm...


Dash and Tank had a blast hanging out with both the older and younger kids.  And playing with LOTS of fire!  I think their favorite activities were putting pinecones and pineneedles into the fire, roasting marshmellows, and running down this very steep and giant hill (and falling, of course!).


It was such fun staying up late in front of the fire and just talking late into the night.  There were enough older kids to feel comfortable with the children buddying up and playing hide-and-seek at night.  Dozer and another really little one pretty much played in the mud together near us mommies.  Talk about head-to-toe d-i-r-t-y!  It's a good thing that kids and clothing are washable or I'd be in a world of hurt.


Well, since I can't insert pics I better stop now before I lose my audience!



Marshie (who is muy glad to have the conveniences of a soft mattress, hot shower, and a gas stove-- and my laptop!)


Sunday, March 12, 2006

New nickname, presents and camping

A while back I asked for suggestions for a new nickname for my littlest man-- aka Chunky-Monkey.  After much thought, hem-hawwing and such, dh and I have decided the baby will now be called Dozer.


It's such a fitting name-- really it is!  Our almost 1.5 year old little guy climbs everything, loves to roll around in the dirt, scoot chairs and other obstacles around, and can wrestle (er, wrastle) with the best of 'em!  When he sees dh on the floor, he'll run up and jump right on top of him while making the oh-so-appropriate "Ugh!" sounds.


My merry band of little men is now composed of Dash, Tank and Dozer.  Much thanks to Amberleoda for coming up with the name!  (e-mail me your address and I'll send you something's a secret). 


Speaking of Dozer...  The other day the boys were all playing outside and I was sitting on the swing watching them.  They were jumping, running, sliding and was the perfect day for them!  I look up and I see Dozer walking towards me with his blue eyes shining, a big semi-toothed grin and his little fist held out in front of him... 


What could this little man be bringing me?  His brothers are always bringing me flowers and weeds and pretty rocks... Hmmmm...I wonder what is making him sooo happy?  He gets real close to me and waits for me to hold out my hand.  Like a true gift of love and affection, he gently lays his gift in the palm of my hand...a big, giant handful of...dirt!  He was sooo proud of himself and lifted up his little face to receive his well-deserved reward of a kiss.  He gave me one more grin for the road and was off again.


Honestly, I wanted to save that precious little handful of dirt forever-- it was one of the sweetest, cutest things ever!  If you could just see the expression on his face as he started walking towards me and how he purposefully deposited that gift right in the palm of my hand.


These days are precious and I never thought I'd see the day where the days really do fly by so fast!


Tomorrow morning, three other mom's and all of our kids are going camping for the week.  There will be 4 mom's, no dad's, and at least 19 children.  I think we're a wee bit outnumbered.  Needless to say, I'll be out of commission at least until Wednesday.  If I, I mean Dozer, holds up well enough we'll stay until Friday.  It should be lots of fun!  Campfires, fishing, bike riding, hiking and sleeping in a tent with my merry band of little men to protect me!  They are uber-excited!  And the best part is that I don't have to do all the work of cooking, cleaning and keeping up with the kids all by myself. :-)


I'll let you know if I catch any fish, especially if they are bigger than the ones found in Lake Curry.






Friday, March 10, 2006


Stop by Gena's blog and wish her a Happy Birthday!!! 


Jen has some mighty fine words to say about her older sister...and I think that she might actually get Gena a very special birthday present.  But just in case she doesn't, here's my present to you my dear friend...



See the smile?!




Thursday, March 9, 2006

My take on Body Worlds 3

Body Worlds 3 is a current exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Are you kidding me?!  Why would I want to pay a whopping $22 to see an exhibit made out of real human bodies?  I think that is totally and completely gross.  Plasticized or not, just know those are real folk in there is just plain creepy.


So, have any of y'all actually seen this before?  I have no idea why it's at the Museum of Natural Science.  There is just nothing natural about a prego lady lounging on a couch with her baby in the womb-- with their skin peeled off like in a horror movie!  Y-U-C-K-Y !!!  I would've thought that this would have been showing at some weird art know, the ones that have gross or just plain ugly stuff that they pass off as "art."


Perhaps I'm overreacting...ummm...Nope...I think everyone else around here is underreacting.


Have I mentioned how gross I think this whole thing is? 


Good... I didn't want to give the impression that I actually like this sort of thing.  I have a few weirdo friends, however, who have differing opinions...but I'll forgive them this time.  After all, everyone's entitled to a few oddities (or in Gena's case, many oddities!). hehehe...

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

I'm lazy...

...but that shouldn't surprise y'all.  I'm too lazy to repost the pics into a blog entry., click, click of the mouse is just asking too much of me.  So if you'd like to see pics, just click on the picture-y part (ahem, JenIg) of my flickr badge on my sidebar.  Be proud of me...I did write titles to the pics so you know where the pic was taken.  Besides, it's a bit embarrassing to look at (once again) all of the pics of David and me.   I think we kinda took away from some of the beautiful scenery...well, at least at the Great Wall.


I do, however, want to mention that it was very, very cold.  And windy.  And smoggy.  But the people were great, hubby and I spent lots of time together (sans kids!), the fish that you see on that platter (head and all) was deeeelicious, shopping was an adventure, and the Great Wall was truly breathtaking.


And that's all I have to say about that.


Oh wait, in case you think I jest about the Starbucks-- they really are everywhere-- even in communist China (it's not just for McD's anymore)!

 Hmmm...I can get a combo meal at McD's for less than $2US, but Starbucks still costs a little less than 32RMB ($4US)...That's relatively the same price we paid for David's new "Armani" wallet at the Silk Market!


Tomorrow I might write all about my day at the museum, zoo and my opinion of BodyWorld3 (I haven't seen it but why would I want to see it?-- blech!).   Until then, I hope y'all have a great night!



Sunday, March 5, 2006

China pics

I have finally gotten around to uploading some pics from our trip to China last week...


Check out my flickr badge on my sidebar to see them!  Sorry, but you'll have to suffer through some of our other family and vacation pics as well. :-)  I'll try to post with more comments in an actual entry sometime tomorrow.


G'night y'all!


Marshie (who is very glad to be back in a free country!)

Friday, March 3, 2006

Thinking about Missey

I have been thinking about dear Missey all day long.  My heart breaks for her husband and children.  I really don't know what to say...


But PattyCake says it does Ann at ChoosingHome.  There is also a memorial on the Company Blog if anyone would like to write a message.  They are planning to put everything on a CD for Missey's family.


You may also send a card or words of encouragement to:


Solid Rock HAS

Attn: Tom Gray

P.O. Box 22254

Hot Springs, AR 71903-2254


Missey did not have any life insurance.   If you'd like to help the family, you can make a contribution online or send a check to the address listed above.


Please, please continue to keep this family bathed in prayer...

Thursday, March 2, 2006


I found this on ccpeterson's blog today:


We have lost a friend here at HSB.  Missey passed away yesterday afternoon, after having a c-section.  The baby is doing well.  My heart is in pieces for this family.  Please keep them in prayer during this very difficult time.  I can't imagine how her children must be feeling right now.


Like her, I cannot imagine how devastated her dh and children must be right now!  Praise the Lord the baby is doing well though.  This totally breaks my heart...




Pattycake has this updated info on her blog:




I just had it confirmed -- fellow homeschool blogger Missy passed away unexpectedly yesterday after giving birth.


I am waiting to learn more details.  I remember when she emailed our loop (Basically Beechick - she was the list mama) that she was pregnant.


Honestly, I am shocked beyond words.


Just pray for her family, and lets wait for more details, which should be forthcoming later today.


This was cut and pasted from the email on the loop where Missy was our list mom:


Yesterday Missey went in to get her stress test that she's been getting every 2 weeks.  The test showed that Missey was loosing amniotic fluid and that she had lost enough of it for  it to be alarming. That's when they decided to go ahead and take the baby.

After they lifted the baby from her body, some of the amniotic fluid got into her blood stream and caused a blood clot, which is what caused her death. She never came out of surgery. Her mil said that this only Happens 1 in 200,000.

She said that the girls are holding up OK. She said that they all slept, no clung, together in their bed last night. The oldest got up at one point and asked if little Nathan could also sleep with them, so they moved him into the bed with the 3 girls. She said that Tom is just in a daze. He has gone to the hospital this morning to be able to feed the baby.


Tom and Missey had chosen a name for the baby, but after Missey passed on they decided to name the baby Melissa Kate.






The Thinking Toolbox-- two thumbs up!

The Thinking Toolbox: Thirty-Five Lessons That Will Build Your Reasoning Skills by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn, illustrated by Richard LaPierre


Wow, if my kids had seen this arrive in the mail (and they were a bit older and sassier) I am sure they would've said "Hey, mom!  You HAVE to read this!!!  It's exactly what you need!!!"  hehehe...I can just hear my sweet dh chuckle to himself...Yup, anything that might make you reasonable is a good thing!  So I guess it was a good thing for everyone around me that I was the only one who saw what was inside the package!


I wasn't quite sure how I would like a book that's all about sharpening your reasoning skills and that used the term LOGIC.  Would it be boring?  Would it make me feel dumb in the end?  Would it bring back nightmares of going to class in my pj's and not realizing that the final exam would be today and I hadn't studied and would not graduate after all???  Sorry, got a little carried away there...


Anyhow, I had heard great things about this book by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn (as well as their other book The Fallacy Detective) I dove right in...and was not disappointed! 


Why couldn't they have had books like this in high school and college???  The Thinking Toolbox really is full of all kinds of tools that you can use for different thinking tasks such as:

  • When is it dumb to argue?
  • Using the Scientific Method
  • Five rules of brainstorming
  • Who has a reason to lie?
  • How to analyze opposing viewpoints
  • How to analyze evidence and sources
  • How to list reasons why you believe something

Sounds a bit daunting, doesn't it?  But do not fear!  The Bluedorns did a fabulous job of walking you through all of these in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand and quite entertaining way.   The scenarios and conversations they include will help you apply your new-found skills into real life situations.  After all, what good is a tool if you don't know when or how to use it?


I loved how each lesson was short and to-the-point.  Quite necessary for those of us with demanding toddlers or anyone with a short attention span.  Each lesson also had exercises at the end (don't worry, no crunches or push-ups required!); and each exercise builds on previous exercises which helps to further drive the point home.  Ahem...and for those of you who still worry about tackling logic, there IS an answer key at the end!


Initially, I was quite skeptical of being able to recommend a book about logic, but The Thinking Toolbox is one of the BEST books I have ever read on the subject!  It is self-teaching and offers a Christian view of logic.  It is written for ages 13 through adult and is a very useful way to introduce critical and systematic thinking/reasoning to students.  I think it would be a perfect read for your student before they tackle their next science project or experiment, make a speech, write a research paper, or just any time.  It would also prove quite useful for any mom or dad to get their thinking-ducks in a row as check it out!