Thursday, May 21, 2009


There are some tragedies in life that we cannot protect our children from... Death is one of them.
Four years ago
today our (Fred's) step-brother (21 at the time) died in a car accident down the street from where we currently live. It was due to bad weather. It blind-sided us. Our oldest son, Joe, had the closest connection to Brandon. Brandon taught him how to drive a stickshift in his really cool car, gave him bowling tips, and spent hours 'racing' on the Xbox. His death left a void, but taught us the value of appreciating life.
Two years ago (this July) my lifetime bestfriends' husband died after battling a very long & strong battle w/ luekemia. He was the father of a 12 yr old daughter and an 8 yr old boy. He was a good family man, and he was not done being a father...but the Good Father above had different plans. This left us with questions, but taught us to trust in His plan.

Two days ago, Randall died. He was 12. Randall was in our Sunday School class that Fred & I taught for several years. He played soccer w/ T.J. ... Fred coached that team. He was an active part of our Sunday mornings, Wednesdays, VBS, & soccer seasons. He was too smart for his own good at times (I say this with a smile). He has a lovely family; left behind was his father, mother, brother Ryan (9), and brother Dustin (1). This was a tragic accident that has left us puzzled, but we know God is the answer...
When we are left empty...God can fill us up,
When we are sad...God will comfort us,
When we are weary... God is our strength,
When we are sinners...God can save us by His Grace,

Rest in peace, Randall!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Running on couches and bouncing on beds,
Crawling in cupboards and patting on heads,
Clearing off shelves and playing with shoe strings,
These are a few of my favorite things!


Playing in toilets and climbing up stairs,
Giggles and wiggles and learning to share,
Brothers that duck when I throw key rings,
These are a few of my favorite things!


Me, in pajamas with brown little bears,
Snuggling with Mommy in our rocking chair,
Playing with Daddy, and listening to Sissy sing,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

... yet...

Running a household for the 7 of us can be chaotic at times, but I have been a mom long enough to know to embrace the moments...yet now we are adding a few items to my load...
*Fred is already working in our new location, thus he is gone all week. Now, I know my job does not ever stop just because my dh is home. I mean I still change all the diapers, still need to continue chores, still get to bed late; but what I do get when dh is home is a bit of a mental break. I am never "off duty", but it is a bit relieving by evening to have a 2nd set of eyes to be aware of household events happening. It is relaxing to have the littles up in the big room playing with dad while I scramble to get more things done downstairs (I just ignore the fact that a mess is being made upstairs, while I am cleaning downstairs, but hey, atleast they are having fun!).

*Can you imagine how much "stuff" our size of family has? Amongst other things, I am now packing up our house.
Half the toys are packed. I packed up all our jumbled-stuff like leggos, lincoln logs, marble sets, etc... less mess equals more time to get things done.

It was much work to weed through our school books, carefully choosing only what we will need for this up coming school year (for 4 of our children). All the remaining reading books, unit studies, curriculums, & resource books are boxed up and in the garage. Go me! ;^)
Now I am headed to the mysterious beyond...closets! I am amazed how well I utitlize space in coat closets, linen closets, bedroom closets, & 3 storage closets (one for board games, yes, we have a lot! They are great for family time. Another is for arts & crafts, photos, and the like. The last one is out of season items such as Christmas stuff.) The content to these spaces seem endless...but I am getting through it!
Next will be the laundry room! If I can get through these few things this week, all-the-while still being a family, I will consider it a successful week!

Asia is not so sure about what is going on with Dad gone a lot and me packing, so she just lounges about and watches me.

A lot of folks are commenting on how we are going to manage living is such a small space with all of us... My dear m.i.l. has a quaint 3 bedroom rambler-style home. Just think 'Brady Bunch' style, and it will work, lol. It is temporary, a minor season in life, and quite frankly, we could survive in a cardboard box if needed, (although not neccessary) as long as we all were together. Family's matter, eh?

Friday, May 8, 2009

I love being a mom!
Most days I am in awe of the blessings I have around me.
It is not an easy journey,
but it is a very rewarding one!
It is not a glamorous job,
but it is a priceless one!
It is never about me,
but it is always about glorifying God.
It is not about waiting to get them out of the house,
but embracing them while they are still in the house.

Who is in my house?

A baby (11 mo)~

a fearless go-getter, with a delightful personality.
A preschooler (4)~
loud & playful, with a creative spirit.
My girl (7)~
precocious & focus-driven, with a tender heart.
A Junior-higher (12)~
sensible & smart, with an amusing humor.
A Highschooler (going on 16)~
an active & skilled athlete, with a touch of charm.
Our man-child whom is 20, does not live w/ us,
but is still an important part of our lives~
hard-working & responsible, with clever dash of kindness.

This particular Mother's Day is very special to me. Not for what my children can do for me, but for what I can do for them. After 20 years of parenting, I am very well aware of each age, personality, challenges, and talents that my children are gifted with. This is the year I am blessed with many childhood stages at once, and will lovingly embrace the moment!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

MOVING step 2: Paper Clutter

Paper Clutter...
just thinking about it seems over-
whelming. Oh where to start?
I sorted through our bills; tossing old ones, marking the calendar for up coming ones. Cancelled our water cooler account. Now how to figure out magazine subscriptions?...some are gifts, some are school related, the rest for fun. They consist of National Geographic, Highlights, Disney Princess, Boys' Life, & Christian World News, among a few others.

Next I went through my stack of home-schooling catalogs as a few were getting a bit outdated ;^D. Yes, I am a catalog reader, I admit it. I can spend hours (if I had that much free time) reading through catalogs. My current favorites are:
ABEKA- Great for preschool! It is also good for classic textbook/workbooks. At the higher levels, it does seems to be advanced, so I don't recommend it for struggling learners.
SONLIGHT- considered a "living books" style. Great for avid readers. I find it a bit expensive, so I have not used the curriculum as a whole, just good books here & there.
OAK MEADOW- I think this one is less known in the home-school community. This is not Christian based, but is moral-based (do good/feel good). I would recommend it for a creative thinking student. I also found the higher levels good for struggling learners, as all English & spelling lessons are based off one history story.
SRA/McGraw Hill- secular based. Has an incredible reading program (reading mastery) which is great for all of my students. I discovered this after using "How to read in 100 Easy Lessons", which btw, was extremely successful w/ my daughter at age 3/4ish. Our Andrew will use this when he is 5 as he is a bit more aloof with his attention span. ;^)
Teacher Created Resources & Learning Train are not curriculums, but great resources for workbooks/reading books, and for learning tools & toys.

I also went through my cookbooks and phonebooks. Do we even need phonebooks nowadays??

will be to organize and sort our school books, arts & craft supplies, and Bible lessons. This should be a challenge, because I will need to set aside what we directly need for this August while trying to pack the rest to storage. I will have a Junior, 7th & 2nd grader, and pre K going into our new school year! Limiting books seems a joke. This gives me a bit of anxiety, as the teacher, I like access to our resources at my disposal. Wish me luck ;^D

Saturday, May 2, 2009


TJ is a middle child. Some stereo-type I think it is a blessing in its own way. Lucky enough to have older siblings to look up to and younger siblings to mentor.

He fits well in the middle of us all.

TJ is a very caring son. He will step up and help me out when he sees I need it.

He loves sports & video games! I think he enjoys the challenge of having older brothers to keep up with. Yes, at times, he can also get frustrated. What a great way to learn to manage those types of feeling before facing the stresses of adulthood.

I do find it amusing when the older brothers seek out facts from TJ regarding football, specifically the Seahawks.

TJ also loves to fish with his Dad! This child is not a morning person, but tell him he is going fishing and he is up at 5:30, tapping Dad on the shoulder by 6 a.m. Maybe if I took him fishing every morning, he would be more eager to get up and moving for our school day ;^)

Ice Cream Dates: When you have several children, you tend to enjoy any one-on-one time. Lucky for us, we have a Dairy Queen just down the street...
"TJ, let's go for a walk...uh, yeah, a stroll down the street sounds good"
I don't think Dad has caught on...yet!