Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Does anyone else's home look like this? Every time I turn around I seem to see more messes. I take the credit for the 'desk' mess, but the littles are certainly doing their fair share too.

We are wrapping up our last few weeks of school, getting ready for the end-of-year State Testing...

...and quite frankly, we are going a bit stir crazy waiting for our spring weather to begin to shine. Yes, April showers bring May flowers... but gray and dreary is...well..... blah....

Atleast my kitchen is still *smiling* at me
(aka it is clean).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Life continues on...

Katie-girl suggested s'mores...
Dad liked her idea... he bought a fire pit that she put together. =)


Well, it was quite a bummer to put our dog down; now it is just the normal every day habits that we have to adjust to...
never leaving the front door open so she can't get out...
or glancing at the bedroom window to see if she is "giving me away" to the littles as I sneak off to a store...
or coming home after being gone all day---and no longer having Asia greet us at the door. *sigh*

but our lives continue on...and we are entering a very busy month for us.

May 3 TJ's birthday (14)
May 13 Grandpa's birthday, and end-of-the-year State Testing.
May 14 Bryson's birthday (3)
May 22 Nick's graduation


hopefully by the end of May we will actually be moving into our own house?
Well, not our "own" house, but a house (rental) where we can unpack our things and call it home.

Dear mother-in-law Michele is moving along with us. I am praying to find a house that will fulfill all our humble needs...


*more than 2 bedrooms ;^)
*a main floor bedroom for Grandma M. Understandably, she is not a fan of stairs, yet houses w/ 5 bedrooms usually have stairs.
*more than 1 bathroom (oh super please!)
*enough space to have a "school area"
*a fenced yard, preferrably. =)

God's provision of our homes have been vastly different in past years...

2001: Back when we had 4 children we lived in a wee tiny quaint house (800 sq ft) with a BIG yard...
2002: then we bought a large home (1800 sq feet) on a decent lot...
2003: (followed by a very l-o-n-g lay off, in which we lost the house)
2004: where we then moved into a small 4 bedroom townhouse (1100 sq ft) w/ 5 kids...
2007: followed by an offer from a friend to move into their house (2000 sq ft) w/ a pool and a hot tub w/ our 6 children (woo hoo)
2009: job expansion led us out of our home town to big city... where we first lived with dear m.i.l. & s.i.l. in a modest 3 bedroom house (yes, all 9 of us) until their house sold...
2010: then we were welcomed into my parents' home until we knew our next step, which is also a 3 bedroom home (yes, with all 10 of us).

Thus, the journey continues...

wish us luck, and throw a prayer our way, would ya?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Happiness.... is being interrupted...

Our lovely 'pit' is not doing so well...


We will need to put her down soon...




Asia has been the very best nanny-dog ever;

she has served her family very faithfully, with love & protection...

Most of our children don't ever remember not having her with us...

Asia is 12, and she has walked Nick through all his school years...

and it will be incredibly hard to say "good-bye". :(

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How do you do "to do" lists?

Chrissy at
Enriched Living
asked this awhile back,
I could not figure out how to send her a document via e-mail...
so here it is via "a picture". Hope this helps Chrissy! *smile*

My day consists of :

a "Rise & Shine" routine, a time for just me in the mornings. My spiritual triathlon is 10 min reading, 10 praying, 10 listening (usually w/ worship music, but sometimes in silence)
Loving movements? yeah, that is just my kind way to tell myself to exercise ;^)

a "Morning" routine. Things I should have done before our schooling for the day begins.

a "Afternoon" routine, in which the kids do most of this. =)

a "Light's Out" routine; this is where we wrap up for the night, and the house is tidied up so that it is "smiling at me" in the morning. ;^)

I have had this schedule for many years. I laminate the 2 papers back to back and hang it on the wall for reminders. The only thing that really ever changes is "Our Day" when our school subjects can be rearranged or sports change the schedule.

I have not been doing my routines lately...and yes, it shows...not only by how the house looks, but in my attitude also....

Anyone else have routines to share?
How do your days look?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

...and the Happiness 101 continues...

(#35) A husband that loves all things- "manly"- but still treats his only daughter like a princess.

(#36) finding a new friend (via blogging), where ideas can be pondered; where similarities and differences are shared. Personally, I don't know a large, homeschooling family. I know a (as in 1) large family, and I know several folks whom homeschool, but not both. =) So I am pleased to "meet" some lovely ladies who write about their days, knowing how very much I can relate to what they are sharing.

(#37) I *love* unconditional friendship... ya know... where you haven't seen someone in ages, and you can just pick up where you left off... I find it rare, but I am blessed by a few of them.

(#38) fresh-smelling little children after a much needed bath... anyone else sniff their children's hair after bathtime?

(#39) to blush simply because my husband is flirting with me... yeah, that makes me smile. ;^)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happiness 101... (#29) Spring! really, it is very much still very wet here in the Pacific Northwest... but just for today it was dry. The tulip farm we went to was pretty, but definitely was not in "full" bloom! Katie-girl ended up being a tourist attractions for some folks from India. Katie almost blended in with a few rows of tulips.

(#30) A Sunday visit with my dear mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They brought our camera back to us... yay!
(#31) We have a plan in the works for us moving at the end of summer... I am very much a planner... this makes me happy.

(#32) I woke up to the smell of bacon & eggs frying... Yumm!!! My wonderful husband made us breakfast *smile*

(#33) I find it humorous when my husband (or the older kids) finish doggy-doo duty only to have a dog "go" again... and the 2 yr old is very adamant to let them know.

(#34) I love it when I pretend to cook a meal, and it actually turns out well. =)

Roast Beef, Southern Fried Potatoes, & fresh baked bread
(I forgot to set out the salad-oops)

As we head into this fresh new week, may we all find things around us that make us SMILE...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

continuing... my happiness....

(#25) Daffodils are blooming... yay! Ok, so if we had our camera back, Nick could actually take pictures of ours, but this lovely lil bunch looks much like our own. ;^)

(#26) Reading time with Andrew is (finally) becoming consistent. He actually asks now... and admittedly, it is a bit of an unconventional style. The "signal" is when Andrew asks me if I want to lay down with him. This is usually after lunch, and has landed in our quiet time... but it is priceless, quality time with him. He "practices" his word ladders (ba, be, bi, bo, bu, etc), then we lay down as I read out of an old-fashioned stories & rhymes book. Then he reads to me some Abeka phonic beginner books. This is all spread out amongst our king-sized bed, complete with the comfort of many surrounding pillows!

(#27) I went for a =)

(#28) During these long never ending rainy days I decided to make some playdough for the kids- and added glitter to it. It added some fun to our afternoons this week! I layed out spring like cutters (flowers, egg, bunny, etc) for a theme, but mostly they made a lot of snowmen, pepperoni pizza, and worms! That's boys for ya, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happiness 101 What makes me smile...

This is our oldest son Joe and his girlfriend Amber. They make me smile.... We were out of town this week end; in our hometown to be exact.
(#15) Joe & Amber went out of their way to find out where we were, as to hang out with family & friends on a Saturday night. (#16) These two also showed up out-of-town on Sunday (after church) to join us for Nick's 2nd game of the day. The photo is of them waiting for us to get back from lunch.

(#17) Nick was asked to play soccer with his old hometown team since he was already in town. =) Great kids to hang out with, and I adore the parents too!

(#18) I was able to spend some down time with a good friend (Thanks Anna).
(#19) Our toddlers had a blast playing together. Her Dustin and my Bryson are about a week apart in age. Dustin REALLY likes us... that makes me smile! Enough so, that he broke out of his child-safety-locked house to join us in their RV (our hotel for the night). I guess he also ran after us when we up the secluded driveway and down a country road...before his poor mama could finally catch him (Did I mention how fast he is? ;^)

(#20) Anna & her husband have a modestly LARGE home. Come to find out that they are renovating the lower level into a separate living quarters. Convenient enough, it will be finished around the time we should be moving back down in the area *cheesy grin* A win-win situation for us all.

Home Again...another school week...and some more rain....

(#21) Katie likes math again, and had a blast with learning the simple way to multiply double digits by 11. =)

(#22) Andrew is now my backseat driver... "Mom! That light turned red" (really it wasn't til I was through the intersection)...the very next light turns on me, and I bustle through another yellow light... "Mom! Yellow mean s-l-o-w down" ok Andrew, ok.

(#23) TJ always does the tedious chores around here. You know, the ones that everyone should be feeding the dog, taking out the trash, starting lunch... yesterday, when I said "whose gonna water the dog?" and everyone sat around like they didn't hear me... then TJ pops up off the couch extra-energetic like, and says "oo-oo- I'll do it!" (insert sarcasm) I found it funny.

(#24) Bryson has been sleeping in his own bed all night! woo hoo! (need I say more?)

Monday, April 4, 2011

l.i.f.e. Academy~

Yes, it is that time of year again.

Our year-end-testing.

ok, so it is not for 6 more weeks... yet this is when I start prepping the kids. No more 'real' education, now is the time to practice 'how to take a test'. I call it surface learning. You know, glance at the info provided, and deduct the correct answer. Which is usually a candy-coated answer. A few of my students are logical thinkers (much like their dad), and base answers off of what seems most logical. This is not always beneficial for testing time, but I would not have it any other way. These kids know how to think for themselves, and like to dig into the meat and potatoes of information.

We have been using the Robinson Curriculum this year, and it has been a perfect fit for our family!

*sigh* ok, so I'll toss the test prep stress out this year, and continue with our 'real' education...

April Goals~

SCIENCE: We had fun with rockets. We still have a few more experiments to carry out. Then we will focus more on the mechanics of science ie Newtons Laws.

BIBLE: We are still reading through Luke until Easter time.

HISTORY: The Constitution... Article IV, V, VI, VII... slow-n-steady wins the race, eh?

LITERATURE: We are reading for fun this month so it is a free pick. Katie- PollyAnna; TJ- Tom Swift and His Aircraft; Nick- Netforce

FINE ARTS: we will skip our regular studies and will focus on some Easter activities this month.

FRENCH: Money review, table discussions, & room etiquette

MATH: Katie is plugging away nicely at her Math. She very much seems to dislike it, which is odd because she is good at it. Nick finished his math book so he is reviewing many things to keep things fresh in his brain. =) TJ is finally catching on to all the fraction, decimal, percentage blur and is now moving onto some geometry concepts.

FITNESS & NUTRITION: We are on the move... walking, that is. Ok, some of us *ahem, not me* are running. We are going to focus on our nutritional choices, and get our bodies moving more. This long, dreary, wet winter is very draining to any sort of motivation. I am hoping that getting our bodies fueled correctly (and moving effectively) will improve our attitudes, clear our thoughts, and refresh our momentum for the fun things in life. Rain or shine!