Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Amazon & Swagbucks Loot!

I was so excited when the UPS man showed up at my house today that I just had to share the love! I had been saving up my swagbuck gift cards on amazon to use for getting an early start on Christmas gifts for this year, when I heard about this great book I HAD to get... ("Seven Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential", by Zan Tyler) Well, we all know it makes no sense to not buy $25 worth and miss out on free shipping, am I right?? So I had to add in a book from a website I love (StuffChristiansLike.net) The author is just so funny. I love how he can laugh at our Chrsitian culture while he still obviously loves the family of believers. I am not sure if you can see the captions on the cover but it shows item #106, "The Side Hug" , complete with 3 or 4 "blessing pats". I plan to keep this in the car with me so whenever I am sitting there waiting for one of my kids to come out of a store, or class, or a friend's house I can laugh a little instead of getting hostile! And the final book needed to bring my order over the magic $25 threshold is, "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt. I actually already had an older copy of this book, which I forgot I had, because I have stacks of books all over my house in various corners and under beds. So Laura Beth, the other copy is headed your way when you get home from Alabama. Three great books for absolutely no money out of my pocket. Ya gotta love it! So, as you can see, my children won't be getting any Christmas presents this year, because apparently the swagbucks are all about Mommy! : )

(Last but not least, a shameless plug for anyone who may not already be signed up with swagbucks to sign up using this link and we will both be earning :

Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting Ready for Easter

I was sitting here doing my usual meal planning, circling stuff on my Walmart list (which I couldn't shop without anymore....I made a document with everything I could think of in each aisle and I circle things, rather than having to write everything. It saves lots of time backtracking on the day of the shopping trip) I was thinking about what I need to get this week for Easter. I felt the same dread that I sometimes feel as Christmas approaches and I want to do such special things for my family but it seems that finances always prohibit. I was again (for the hundredth time! ) reminded that what is special, when it comes to celebrating our Lord, is of greatest cost to Him, but free to us. I want to feel free to celebrate this holiday for its true meaning, without worrying that I missed out on the coupons for Nerds jellybeans, or I have no malted milk eggs. So I am on a quest so simplify our Easter celebration. My hope is to be frugal (in the extreme) but that the holiday will be more meaningful and richer because of it. I am planning to use a couple of ideas in this link
I will post pictures post-Easter and let you know how it goes!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Forget-Me Nuts

I have no new photos lately, because we have lost my memory card, and I am still waiting for my son to send me the USB cord that goes with my awesome camera (hint, hint, Mickey!) So I have not posted anything lately, but this little exchange made me chuckle today, so I thought I would pass it on:

I say: "Look Abbie, there are some forget-me-nots!" as I look down at the pretty flowers in the grass.

Abbie says: "Oh they are flowers?? I thought forget-me-nuts were the kind of nuts you're not a-pposed to eat!! Ya know, cause you should just forget 'em !"

This all made perfect sense in her little head. You could tell from the look on her face that this was one of those bits of information that everyone should just know. Always just forget the forget-me-nuts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Downward Spiral

It all started out so wholesome and innocent...we were reading aloud Misty of Chincoteague, when Irene got the idea that she would get her two little "horsies" which, I must admit, bear a little resemblance to Phantom and Misty. It is strange enough that this turned into a photo-op, but wait, there's more!

Irene then also decided that since she found the horsies, she also needed to be in the picture, in order to get proper credit for her find. Abbie will not be excluded, so she makes her appearance here, too. We have, however, run into a problem. Irene can not keep her eyes open when the flash goes off. I have (literally) upwards of 25 pictures that look quite similar to the one above as we snapped picture after picture, trying to get just one of Irene with her eyes open. Well, the silliness escalated....

...which meant that Matthew needed to get in on the fun. He gave the foal some mandarin oranges in her "trough", while Irene tried desperately to prop her eyelids open as she got sillier and goofier by the second!

Well, by this time the whole thing has degenerated (for me) into a maddening attempt to get a nice sweet picture, and a free-for-all good time for the kids! I, in my frustration, chunk the camera onto the couch and say, "Are we going to read the story or what ! ? " I sure know how to wreck all the fun ! :)

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rachel's Birthday

Rachel turned 18 years old today. I just can't believe it. EIGHTEEN YEARS since I held my first little baby girl in my arms. Eighteen years since Mike almost passed out on a gurney for the second time. Eighteen years since my mom & I cried in the delivery room when we saw how much she looked like Matt. I know how cliche it sounds, but to my friends with babies and toddlers...when you reach this day you will really wonder how it can be that the time passed through your fingers so quickly.

Rachel has been saving for a very long time for a laptop. As you can imagine, when you have 6 people in a household, and every one of them likes to use the computer, the competition can get pretty fierce. For a long time we have known it would be a help to Rachel to have her own computer so that she didn't always have to wait for someone to get off of the computer so that she could start a paper for school.

So she saved and saved and saved. Every week when she babysat for our community group at church she would faithfully set aside her pay toward a laptop. She often set herself back, though, because she would not let a friend's birthday pass by without giving a gift, or Christmas without buying something for her brothers & sisters. She made lots of progress, but seemed to be discouraged that she was reaching her goal so slowly.

Well, Rachel's birthday present was a laptop. She is a very, very, very happy girl. I suppose now I should say young woman, rather than girl. If it sounds like I am using this post to "toot Rachel's horn", I guess that is true. I can't help it. I'm her Mama, who sees the writing on the wall that another one of the children that the Lord has blessed me with is growing up. And I will have to learn to let go...again. But for now, I will count as a gift each day we have with her still at home, and I will enjoy watching her playing on her new laptop !
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 1, 2010

More from the Tea...

I found a couple more pictures...here is Rachel reciting her poem with a big bunch of sunflowers right in front of her, and

waiting in line with her classmates.
Posted by Picasa

Literary Tea

Well, I will admit it...when I first heard that we were going to have a "Literary Tea" at Veritas, I rolled my eyes a little. I feel quite intimidated by events that require hostessing skills of any kind. Thank goodness I have a couple of friends who actually have china and know how to place it on a table! In this picture are the Roell girls, Rebecca Washney, and my Rachel.

Matthew scoffed at the idea of going to a "tea", but he was won over once he saw the food...the way to that boy's heart is definitely through his stomach! So you may be wondering where the "literary" part of the tea comes in. Each student, or group of students, had a poem, song, or selection of some sort to recite.

Rachel rearranged and changed around (to suit her ideas) the lyrics to the Liberty Kids theme song, and recited it as a poem. I really liked how it turned out. Unfortunately, I thought I was getting a picture and video of her speaking it, but I mistakenly turned the video off when I thought I was turning it on.

Matthew (here with Miss Jessica, his beloved teacher) had a stanza of "Where the Sidewalk Ends" to recite with his classmates. After I got over my initial worries about what to do and how to set the table and how in the heck should I cut up those little finger sandwiches, and we got on with the business of watching the students, I was very happy that we were there. I also feel very happy and thankful that my kids are part of a school where the director and teachers feel like some traditions and old ways are worth remembering and preserving. I also realized that it isn't all that painful to get a little "fancy" once in a while!
Posted by Picasa