Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Around Here!

I did it! After being here on Blogger for several months I finally figured out how to change the look of my blog! I used to do it all the time when I was at HomeSchoolBlogger, but simply couldn't figure it out here. All it took was waaayyy too many hours of sitting here and playing around with the code until I figured it all out. Now, if I can just remember what I did when it's no longer Christmas!

So what do you think? Like it? I don't know, I think the colors make me look a little bit sickly in my avatar picture. Ah well. It's a miracle we even have a picture of me at all, since I adamantly refuse to be photographed, so I guess we'll just stick with the sickly-looking one.

Oh, speaking of HomeSchoolBlogger, which I still love intensely (but just didn't have the patience to figure all the new changes out so that's why I moved to I could figure a WHOLE NEW place out *rolling my eyes at myself on that one*)... ANYWAY, if you know of the Surez's at all (the publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine), head on over to their blog (or here at Paul's blog, which has more pictures and even a few videos of the new tiny miracle) and congratulate Paul and Gena on the birth of their new little daughter, Susanna Hope! She's such a cutie-patootie!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to Catherine, a very sweet Five in a Row friend, for sharing these Thanksgiving verses that another precious FIAR mom, Lorrie, had shared with her, one year before she passed away. Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, will be the one-year anniversary of Lorrie's passing. I thank God for having had the priviledge of getting to know Lorrie through the FIAR boards before she passed on to Glory and for the testimony she left behind.

Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 105:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 136 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

A REAL Mom's Thanksgiving!

I read this over on Melissa's blog and just had to share it here. Although the original author is unknown, at least by me and Melissa, only a mom could have written this!


Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes:

1. My sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, I decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

2. Once inside, please note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the neighbor kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.

3. The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and I will try to make sure everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.

4. My centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist has assured me that it is a turkey.

5. We will be dining fashionably late. The children can entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I made this morning regarding Thanskgiving, the pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of that tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.

6. I toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast but I chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table in a room next door.

7. Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

8. I would like to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread.

9. Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains.

10. Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional apple pie, garnished with iced cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice, take it or leave it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Christmas Picture For 2007

Merry Christmas!

Baby Girl - age 11

Handsome - age 8

Reece Cup - age 7

Princess - age 5

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Operation Christmas Child

This was our first year to participate in Operation Christmas Child, the shoebox ministry from Samaritan's Purse. We did one box this year, for a girl age 5-9. Our prayer is to be able to do four boxes next year, one for each of our kids to do on their own.

Baby Girl did this one as part of our Keepers At Home group at our church. She picked out everything all by herself, and since Handsome was with us when we went shopping, he decided that he wanted to use his $3.00 to buy three different things to also include in the box (we were at the Dollar Tree). He picked out the pink teddy bear, a Disney Princess kalideoscope, and two pair of socks with ducks and monkeys on them. Isn't that precious? *sniff sniff*

We watched a 10 minute video from Samaritan's Purse about the children who receive these shoeboxes and it has really done something major in Baby Girl's heart. Her compassion towards these children is overwhelming. She has asked if some year we can travel to Atlanta and volunteer to help inspect and pack the boxes, and maybe even pray for God to make a way for us to actually be some of the ones who travel with the boxes to another country and hand them out to the children! I can't think of anything I would love to do better.

Baby Girl's heart is so compassionate towards others, and she is SO good with children. They all just love her and flock to her every time we're at church. I see a true gift and talent that God has given her and I am so proud of her. I look very forward to seeing what God has planned for her life.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall Is My Favorite Season

I thought we had been lucky enough to have missed the sick bugs going around. What was I thinking?

I had to take Princess in to the doctor and she tested positive for Strep. I hate that particular germy-bug, as we so affectionately call them. However, this is the site that awaited us as we walked out of the doctor's office...

Now how can anyone complain when God paints us such beautiful masterpieces year after year?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Zoo Day!

November 10th was Free Day at the zoo, so we loaded up the kiddo's, filled the cooler with goodies and drinks and snacky-type foods, tossed Mamaw in the back of the van with all the squirmy wormies, turned on Meet the Robinsons to stave off all the 'are we there yets', and we set off for a day of adventure! It had been 5 years since we had visited a zoo, so a day of ooo's and ahhh's was had by everyone.

Can you guess what we saw while we were there?


...and tigers...

...and bears! Oh MY!

While there, we had the priviledge of meeting up with two other Five in a Row families we hadn't met yet. Can I just say how AWESOME FIAR families are? Not once do we ever hesitate in meeting up with any of these families, whether we've met them in real life before or not. The Five in a Row message board community is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, my strongest and most loved and treasured homeschool support group. I am so thankful God led us to FIAR right from the very beginning of our homeschooling journey. I honestly don't know where I would be without these wonderful gals and the wisdom from Steve and Jane Lambert, the authors and creators of everything Five in a Row.

Anyway, here's a picture of all us FIAR mom's and kiddo's.

Here's a sign that made us all laugh...

But without a doubt, I think THESE were my favorite animals of the day...

My goodness, when did they get so big? Sigh...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wisdom From 5-year-old Princess; Wisdom For Us All

We have been discussing fire safety with our children this week and this was Princess's out-of-the-blue comment at the dinner table last night...

"If you're on fire, and you're not dead, stop, drop, and roll!"

This made us all laugh, simply at the "and you're not dead" part. At least we know she was listening.

But in all seriousness, the reason we had the fire safety discussions in the first place is because a member of my family lost her 20-month-old son this past Monday when their home caught on fire and his dad was unable to get to him to save him. It has broken our hearts and while I sat at the church where little McKinzie's wake was last night, I began to feel physically ill. I can not begin to imagine the pain this family is going through. This is McKinzie's parents after hearing their son had been pronounced dead.

So, in honor of little McKinzie, please take time right now to discuss fire safety with your children. I can't believe we've waited this long to talk about this with our kids.

Here are some helpful and fun sites to help you.

Be Fire Smart

U.S. Fire Administration for Kids

The Great Sparky the Fire Dog

NYS Department of State Fire Safety

Kids Health

McKinzie Robinson
February 2, 2006 - November 5, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Need Real Reviews of Homeschool Curriculum?

Before I purchase any new curriculum, I first check out this site for unbiased reviews from real moms. I thought some of you may like to check it out as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yes You CAN Wear Dresses in the Winter!

I used to wear skirts and dresses all the time, and you know what? I really liked it. I felt so much more feminine. I was treated nicer by strangers, more respectful even.

Sadly, I have to shrink back into those skirts and dresses before I can dress that way again (because I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe, nor do I want to, for the new size I am). But I WILL get there with God's help.

Until then, I found this article the other day by way of Mrs. U's blog (which is one of my favorite blogs to visit) and it really made me long for those... now, you gotta say this in a Ms. Scarlet accent... soft, feminine, lady-like days of wearin' dresses again. I thought some of you might enjoy the tips and ideas for wearing dresses and staying warm in winter.


Baby Girl's Winter Poem

Baby Girl came to me today and read this poem that she had written... all by herself, without mom prompting her! I was so proud of her.

I'm proud of my children's work, especially when it's done just because they WANTED to do it, and I'm happy to show it off.

Why not show off some of your children's work on your blog? Let friends and loved ones far away see some of what they are doing. Besides, it makes kids feel really important and special when their hard work is shown off to others. It makes them want to do more and put that little bit of extra effort into what they're doing. Have you ever noticed a little one's face when they are being praised and told how good they have done? Priceless.

Now, without further ado, here's Baby Girl's poem...

The soft winter winds

that sway me to and fro;

Who is doing this,

I would like to know.

The sweet little snowflakes

put on a snowflake show.

Who is doing this,

I would like to know.

There's presents under the tree,

though we've told the children no.

Who is doing this,

I would like to know.

I now know

that God has done these things.

He's sent us down an angel

with a halo and wings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Homeschool Blog Awards 2007!

Be sure to head on over and nominate your favorite bloggers for this year's Homeschool Blog Awards!