Sunday, March 29, 2009

A day in the life of ANDREW...

I decided to casually observe my 4 yr old for a day. Andrew can be laid back and simplistic for the most part, easily entertained. He is known for marching to his own beat. A bit aloof in practical things, yet amazingly creative in his own world.


he can not seem to learn them as of yet. Two of his older brothers are mildly color blind (blue/green contrast, pastels), but I am beginning to wonder if Andrews colors all just kind of muddle together?

Traffic safety... uh, yeah, parking lots can be stressful. "Stop, look, & listen" does not seem to be grasped so well by this 4 yr old. Variety of cars and different 'paths' (between cars) seem to fascinate him more.

Dressed to shoes?... He does not favor pants much. never wears them at home. He can walk in the front door and flick them off in 1/2 a second flat. We are into reasonable modesty as a standard in our home; so now that he is 4 we are working on staying clothed, especially when company shows up. Ofcourse, he would NOT be caught without his baseball cap on! (note picture: removed hat to make him look at it as to stand still for the photo)

His own world:

Will take colorful pipe cleaners and bend in shapes of letters of the alphabet...content for an hour.

Uses his sisters life-size rag dolls for ninja warriors... stairs are his favorite place to battle.

(those picnic spoon/fork things) are a favorite... he will march them around as soldiers. (Nick added a variety of faces to some for Andrew's Christmas gift...endless entertainment)

Lincoln Logs... is getting good at building houses, but by far loves to "line up" all the short stubby pieces along any table or desk.

Movies... can and will re-enact any of his favorite movies...word for word. Will also re-enact a daily scenario in our home with Little Peoples, Leggo people, even straws used as people, etc... Thankfully, it is usually "good morning honey", "let's get dressed Little Bug", "are you ok sweetheart?"...(hmmm, never knew I used so many pet names, lol)...which is better than mimicking "shut up Asia" as when our dog barks too much!

...loves to hang out in the dark, looking for monsters; aren't kids usually afraid of the dark AND monsters? ;^)

Our Andrew is of constant chatter, yet is just now being more articulate w/ his words. I just figure he has a lot of information in his head that doesn't always come out of his mouth so clearly.

He will be super fun to homeschool once I figure out how to channel his creativity in more of a structured setting...all the while knowing that we will be playing outside the box.

Friday, March 27, 2009


was to go to the Zoo...
first thing in the day so it would not be so crowded, of course. We woke up late, then it started to rain, but we ventured out anyways... the drive is only about 30 minutes, and there became a glimmer of hope as the rain subsided. "zoo parking FULL", so we follow the SHUTTLE parking lane, which winds us up, and around, and through the 'zoo parking', back around, back down to the on ramp of the freeway we just got off?? down several miles to the next exit, that I missed, in which I turned around at the following exit, to yet again miss the exit...round 3? sheesh! only to discover that the whole right lane of traffic on the freeway is going to SHUTTLE zoo parking, which, BTW, has NO parking! hmmmm, no thank you...

Plan "B"... Out of This World Pizza! My first visit ;^D For those who don't know us (me) well, let's update:

Me> outgoing, friendly, extrovert...but... when it comes to my many kids, I am not fond of crowds. I am known for making my children (and any who may be in my care) all wear the same very bright color, and we use the 'buddy system' of having to have pair up.

Umm, yeah, this was not the case today. This place is a huge warehouse style building where you pay-to-play. Entertainment for all; bounce houses, a huge play structure, rock wall climb, kitchen & doll area, babies only area, little race cars, etc... It was crowded, no tables available. I had my whole lot of kids, plus Fred's little sister (15), along with my girlfriend and her 2 kids... so we were bold enough to ask if we could use one of the empty party rooms...and WOO HOO we scored (thank God, literally). The pizza was great, everyone had fun. Andrew did get popped in the nose once by some other little boy (yes, on purpose, ugh), but he regrouped well. Baby Bryson had fun too. My wonderful friend Angie use to be a nanny, so she is gifted at making things fun for all! She even gave me "the look" when I started tidying up the baby area, so I just plopped down on a near by couch and relaxed, lol. We stayed for several hours.

Our day did not end here, oh no, we continue...

At home we....

learned how to play Cribbage
rearranged toys

Later we...

had friends over
played w/ Lincoln Logs
used a microscope
played word games
had a pillow fight
played follow-the-leader
enjoyed breakfast for dinner
and had craft time! (Note: the picture)

On a side note:

After much consideration and research, Nick and I headed to the city for a camera shop, in which we had to have the camera we wanted ordered and shipped to us??? sheesh, I coulda dun that myself on the internet, eh? So you lucky viewers will soon have quality photos to see, hopefully very soon, lol!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random thoughts to share....

*Katie-girl gets to hangs out w/ Nana and the girls today at the beauty salon. I think she will be getting her nails painted. She was so excited to go!

*Nick is doing very well with his driving. Very natural at it. We will get his car insured in May, then the fun lessons will begin...stick shift here we come.

*Baby Bryson is just too smart I decided. I observe how his brain absorbs information... he is way too detailed, imho, for a baby. He watches, he does. He watches his brother use the TV remote, then now uses it for volume, and to flip the back off and remove the batteries. Uh, yeah, I am convinced that TV is going to be disassembled to pieces by age 2.

*Andrew is in for a huge field trip on friday. We have been doing preschool lessons w/ his bestest friend Aria all year...this week is letter Zz... so off to the zoo we go. We shall celebrate the alphabet...I wonder if we can find an animal for each letter while we are there? nope, Andrew will be way too enthralled by the actual animals; for him, this will be better than a candy store.

*T.J. (pictured) and I enjoy watching nature shows together. So many to see, from 'behaviors of bees' to 'how to survive the jungle' to 'undersea urchins'; the information opportunities seem endless (one of the very few benefits in deciding to actually have cable). This also makes it easy to apply Animal Science to his school curriculum, along w/ essay writing, persuasive speech, and research papers... gotta love homeschool ;^D

*Joe- We still have not been to his apartment *blush*. He seems to be doing well. This past week end, he took Nick to a Christian concert. It was VERY crowded, but there were some great artists there, and they had fun. I usually LOVE to go, but I am not ready to leave Bryson for a significant amount of time quite yet, so the boys had fun w/o their mom dragging along, lol. I love seeing siblings interact at all ages and levels...tis truly a blessing of the heart!

*My DH Fred has been very busy with work, although he is doing an incredible job of balancing family and work. Last Friday he took Nick, TJ, & Katie to the local swimming pool...they loved it. Last night was game night for our youth at church, so all our 'men' went, except for Baby Bryson. Katie and I had the house to ourselves, so to speak, so we just grinned at each other as the guys drove off.

As for myself, I have some to-do's to keep in order...

*one of my nephews will be spending next week w/ us for spring break
*I need to plan and prep for a garden
*end-of-the-year testing is quickly coming up for our homeschoolers. I don't like those test, btw, as it seems to take away from the 'real' learning my kids seem to thrive on.
* figure out some summer goals; personal, school, and family related.

But for today, I just thank the Good Lord for His provisions... for health, a home, and happy children!

Friday, March 20, 2009


How does that word make you feel? It amazes me the stereo-type these dogs endure. Can this breed of dog be dangerous? absolutely Can other dogs be dangerous? absolutely (but I will stick to the topic I am sharing... pitbulls). In our state, someone is trying to pass a bill to ban this breed. To own one would cost you a fine of over $6,000 and a significant amount of jail time...fortunately for us, I think this has been turned down.

A HISTORY LESSON: Bull Dogs were believed to be used by butchers to chase and catch a bull by the nose, thus the name. These dogs were known for their jaw strength, as to "let go" of the bull before the butcher could kill it would lead to the death of the dog. Then in the early 1700's they began the sport of "bullbaiting". This is the sport of killing a bull for entertainment purposes, as it would be tied to a pole as a bull dog would be allowed to "attack" it. As this cruel sport declined, the entertainment of dog fights increased, thus wanting to create a stronger dog. They cross-produced the bull dog and terrier to create the Pit Dog (dogs who fight in a pit). Despite thier mannerisms in the pit, the PITBULL was a good companion and good with children. During this particular era, it was not uncommon for an injured dog (from a fight) to ride home w/ the baby in a pram (carriage). The pitbull became popular in America in the 1800's as the perfect watch dog. , specifically as a "nanny". This dog is very loyal, and would protect the children, whom were left outside to play while dad hunted, and mom cooked, cleaned, etc...This breed has a high pain tolerance which is great for babies and toddlers who may tug an ear, or pull a tail as they toddle and lose their balance.
Famous pits...
"Jack" the family dog from Little House on the Prarie
Helen Keller's companion
"Petey" on The Little Rascals
...and many other celebrities could be listed, including presidents, as owners of these beloved dogs.
Now, don't get me wrong, as there can be a problem with these dogs, but this problematic issue is with the owners, not the dog. These dogs require LOTS of attention, are eager to please, and will insist on being part of the family. To own one for a "bad" image enhancement, or for dog fights, or to just neglect in your back yard is wrong.

Meet ASIA; our Stafford-
shire Terrier

(aka Pitbull) She will be 10 yrs old this summer. We have had her for her entire life. Bad habits: barks too much, begs at the table, gets on my furniture, does not get along well with other animals, specifically larger (intimidating) dogs. Personally, I call her a 'social reject' when it comes to her canine peers. Quirky fears: spray bottles, sneezes, and smoke alarms.

Good habits: incredibly patient w/ children, bar none! If a baby wants to pet her, she will lay submissively. If a small child were to come up to her food dish while eating, she will stop eating, turn her head away from the child, and stand like a statue. She loves attention, endlessly...

She has been in 1 fight before. Yes, she initiated it. I was pregnant at the time, outside with several of our small children. She got out, and charged a German Shephard that was running around loose near us. The fight was on, it was awful, snarling, foaming mouths every where, and when it was all said and done, ASIA never actually bit the other dog. She would not back down, and would aggressively use her body in attack mode, but, I believe due to the training she has received from us, never bit once. On the other hand, she endured several bite wounds. This same German Shephard attacked 2 other dogs in our neighborhood over the summer...ASIA may have initiated it, but just maybe she sensed something that we were not aware of?

Asia loves when Fred plays rough w/ her! She gets all snarly, loud, and foamy at the mouth....
blech! He has a blast messing w/ her, the boys love it too, and us girls (Katie & I) are not so amused. But at the end of the day, she is a lovely and affectionate pet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

*A husband who works hard to support his family so that his wife (me) can do other important things...
*the flexibility of homeschooling...
*enjoying the day that an older child (young man) can look after a younger child when needed, and willingly.
*imaginations and portable car t.v.'s
*the patience and compassion of a middle child.
*McDonald's (for today, lol)
*having a beautiful relationship w/ my mom!
So, yesterday was a long day. I volunteered to take my mom to her eye doctor appointment. Um, yeah, she had already drove home once with her eyes dialated for one of these appointments because she couldn't find someone to give her a ride, and since I found out about it, that has no longer been an options (good grief). So, off we headed north to another state, and to a BIG city. I took Baby Bryson, Andrew, and TJ. Nick stayed home as to be there when Katie got out of school. You would think a teenager would be thrilled with a house to himself for a few hours, especially with so many siblings. But some how I did not get that impression (maybe he enjoys our company more than I give him credit ;^)
The drive up was smooth; Bryson napped, Andrew watched t.v., and TJ and I had a great time chatting. Traffic was clear, so it was only a 2 1/2 hour drive. We visited at 'Grandma's for a bit of play time before driving her to her appointment, waited in the van during her appointment (1 hour), and drove her home. Only she did not have her keys to her house?? so I took her nearby (thankfully, lol, as it was 5 o'clock traffic time) to a friends house. Now I am faced with the drive back home during rush hour?? At the request of my 4 yr old, I begrudgingly stop at a McDonald's Playland (note: love the convenience of "drive thru", cringe at the thought of overcrowded, germ infested playland's). Yay! it is not crowded, and there are just enough kids to make it fun for all; and hey, hand's wash, right? all except Bryson finds the rubber floor fascinating to lick (yes, ew!!!)... all in all, it was a pleasant, get your ants-out-of-your- pants hour. Andrew slept half way home, and Bryson wasn't too thrilled to get in his carseat...again, but brother TJ was amazing at keeping Bryson entertained the whole way home! (peek-a-boo's, wheels on the bus, itsy bitsy spider, pat-a-cake, etc). We survived, and Grandma is loved!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is Andrew helping me cook our breakfast style dinner. Let's just say we went through a lot of bread that day. ;^)

Andrew saying GRACE with us.

Father and son moments...

Our Nick is cleaning our bathroom sink pipes out w/ the guidance of a professional pipefitter. One more thing checked off our Home Maintenance 101 class. ;^D

Friday, March 6, 2009

Katie had the day off from her school, so she joined us for project day. Here she is painting our sky...

Andrew is painting our boxes for our 3D land effect.

TJ is sponge painting the 'grass'. Just pretend you don't see the teacher's desk behind him, Fridays always look like that. ;^)

Our final product....DINO-LAND!!!
(real rocks, tiny dinosaurs...hey, they were cheap)

We had friends over for a sleep over. Along with dinner at Dairy Queen, creating a pet shop, playing with Polly Pockets, and fiddling with playdough...the dinosaurs were a great hit! Currently they are all (Katie, Andrew, Monique, and Aria *pictured*) laid out in our big room snuggled up in beds watching "Land Before Time".

On to some other exciting news... Nick studied well and it paid off... he is officially ready to hit the road, driver's permit in hand.

The blessed car that never dies...
A gift from my darling cousin Faith. It has survived our oldest sons use (4 yrs or so), and now is ready to face our next man-child!
I am so thrilled to see Nick start driving. I love it! Several folks I know kinda cringe at the thought of their teenager driving... not me! I have plans! Yes siree... how soon can he get his license?? hmmm... it would be great for milk runs, dropping off younger brother at soccer practice, picking up sister from a friends, taking the littles to the park to play...yep, the possiblities are endless, hehe....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Child #3, "Hey mom, can I light a candle for you?"
Mom, "I suppose, just be careful"

5 minutes pass....

Mom, "Are you playing with fire?"
Child #3, "Nope, just roasting marshmallows"...followed by a big cheesy grin.

Yeah, well, let's just not show the younger siblings this one... I would never be able to light a candle again! ;^D
My best purchase in a long time... a dog bed for our 9 yr old puppy Asia. Less than $20 ... and she LOVES it. she looks a bit pitiful in the picture cuz she was still trying to figure out if it was for the baby; every time I looked at her, she would lower her ears down. I prefer our dog stay off the couch, but we also have hardwood floors, so we are all pleased with her new found comfort.

So this week in history we are learning about creation, Deluge (the great flood aka Noah's Ark), ice age, and dinosaurs, and how it can all tie in together (there seems to be an endless suppply of theories on all of this). Then I came across this on Brenda's site about how to create your own dino-land! So, although the older boys (11, 15) are actually doing the studying, all the children will be pitching in to create our own dino-land, with Andrew as the lucky recipient of this attempt.... now off to the store to try to find some simple, little, plastic dinosaurs.