Friday, March 28, 2008

Riding the roller coaster

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster.
  • We have had family here for about 2 weeks and we have been madly working on our home (promise to post pics soon). To note a few changes: lighting in the house and redid the hall bath.
  • Chuck's work continues to be crazy and ups and downs.
  • Went letterboxing today and found 8 boxes (great weather and it was fun, but a LOT in one day.)
  • Recovered from a road trip from last weekend (only 1500 miles in 2 days).
  • Spent a day doing doctor check ups.
  • Hit the local "zoo" and studied the animals for school.
  • Tutored a second grader.
  • Apologized to a neighbor for leaving our piles of branches in front of the house (promise to haul them away tomorrow, after receiving her letter of disappointment).
  • Prayed fervently for 2 friends who are in the midst of bringing home their adopted babies (Courtney and Steffany).
  • And to top it all off, Tissy "new tooth" fell off today. =(

What can I say??? You can't win them all and NO WONDER I AM TIRED TONIGHT.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Just a quick shout out to my wonderful Mom on her birthday. She spent the day (night rather) flying to Oslo, Norway (on the red eye) to minister with my Dad. Regardless that they are still fighting jet-lag from their trip to Japan. And two days after they get home from this trip they will hop on another plane to fly down here. Oh the traveling sounds so glorious, but my Mom would rather be home in her own space, eating her own food, sleeping in her own bed. She does this because of all of her wonderful traits and her servants heart might just be the BEST characteristic that God has blessed her with.

My Mom is so supportive, encouraging, and gracious to say the least. She desires to stay with the times and embrace the technical world we live in. She is forever trying to learn new things and keep up with my Dad as he embraces life at full speed. She has been the loving supportive wife to a man in full time ministry. She has almost always worked full time to supplement our families income. She has set a great example of getting up early to spend time with her Father. She has faced her fears of speaking in public and taught the Word to pastors in Asia (with her shoes off, for she feels like she is on holy ground when she does the Lords work.)

My Mom is a wonderful mother, Grammy and friend.

Happy Birthday Mom! I pray for you both daily when you are traveling and serving God overseas. Looking forward to a celebration of birthdays when you head our way.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Yesterday was a busy day for the 3 of us girls. We had a few appointments in our previous town and ended up bringing our school work with us to do in the waiting rooms we spent our time in. Interesting how waiting rooms turn into observation rooms. Maybe I am just cursed with the observation gene, but I am so aware of others. In the pediatrician's waiting room I found a few families interesting. A set of grandparents waiting for their very young daughter to finish with her babies visit. (thought: Are they just being supportive or are they helping raise this little one?)

I also noticed that our schooling was intriguing to another mom with a preschooler. She ended up drumming up a conversation about homeschooling and how she was HS all the way through high-school, but she has her kids in public school. She said they respond to other teachers better than herself. (thought: I haven't heard that reason in awhile of why someone doesn't HS and why do people feel the need to tell me why they don't homeschool.)

I always notice when someone has a new baby with them. A beautiful lady had her new baby in the infant seat and she spent her waiting time on the cell phone while her baby drank from her propped up bottle. (thought: I bet that little one would love cuddle time while she eats even if she isn't breastfed.)

And then there was the Mom in the waiting room that caught all of our attention. She had to take her little one to the bathroom for a "sample". She came storming through after the staff shooed her out of their private bathroom. As she walked across the room her screaming preschooler yelled "Mama" the whole time. This didn't not result in the mama slowing down. Then when they stormed through again when they were done in the bathroom, the little girl did the same thing, yelled "Mama Mama" the length of the room. Everyone looked up and watched them parade through the room. They even caught the children's attention. (thought: give her the benefit of the doubt...then I noticed her "JESUS" shirt and cringed.)I noticed when we were checking out, that same mom and this time her daughter was screaming about the lolly pops and stickers.

Now before you think I am too judgemental this is what I sat there thinking of myself. We look like we have been living out of the car for a few days (reality: well, just today). Of course I homeschool, look at my Birks and chipped toe nail polish. (reality: I really need a pedicure). We are hogging the kids magnetic car sand table. (reality: this is a great area to do our worksheets and look...we are studying magnets.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

How I started homeschooling...

A good friend of mine wanted to hear about how I got started homeschooling. Well, to be totally honest I never thought I would be a homeschooling Mom. I was familiar with it years ago, but never really thought that it was for me. When we lived in California, I had Tally enrolled in a great neighborhood charter school that had lots of parental involvement. When our family uprooted and came out the other coast, I knew that I had to rethink our schooling options. The first year we were here, I had the girls in a private church school. Tally did kindergarten and Tissy enjoyed the preschool program. At the time it worked for us but I wasn't sure what to do the next year.

At the time, Tissy was diagnosed with her heart problem (that causes the fainting) and I knew that I need to have her close to me at home. Homeschooling seemed like the best option for us. I started looking into co-ops and HS groups. I found that all types of families HS and it was pretty easy to find a group that would support our needs. I felt pretty "green" and new the first year. I figured that the most important thing to focus on was reading and phonics and math. That was our focus that first year. Both of the girls adjusted well to having Mom be the teacher. Any change in life means time to adjust to what is new. Now that we are in our 3rd year, we seem to be flying along pretty smooth.

Don't get me wrong. That is not to say we have our rough days. We do. But...I believe that on the whole, school is just another part of our day, just part of the routine. We try and get most of our work done in the morning. The girls have learned to be self governing. I can put out what needs to be done and they can do a lot of it on their own. We have found our grove in the curriculum that fits us (another post of what we use).

I do not believe that homeschooling is for every family. For us, for now, it is the right fit. Who knows where God leads us in the future. Looking back, I often say "We stumbled into homeschooling." I never went looking for this type of schooling for us and I never thought it would be so much fun. The hardest part for me was just taking the leap into homeschooling. On a positive note, it is a blessing to see my children's education tailor made for them. A program that encourages their gifts and challenges their weaknesses.

Easter Highlights

Thanks to Mar Mar (Chuck's mom) the girls got these huge baskets this year. We were busy and she offered to get them baskets. I remember always wanting a big basket from the store and not understanding that is wasn't as full and big as it looks. She added to these baskets to make them full of great goodies for the girls (great idea).

We have always done an egg hunt. The girls are older now so I am hiding them more than before. I do, however, fill the eggs with more than candy. Dry cereal, crackers, money and one is empty to signify the empty tomb.

The best part of the egg hunt is opening up all the eggs to find out what is inside. They are still thrilled with what ever is in them.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm still here...

It has been an unusually busy week and we have had a whirlwind weekend. But I am still here. As time permits I will share more about what is keeping us busy here. I do hope you have a great Resurrection Sunday! Enjoying your families and time together in the amazing Easter celebration.

A quick update on those wonderful prayers for my dad. My parents are home from Asia and recouping from their travels. They are both still feeling a little sick and are preparing for the next trip next week to Oslo.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Creative parenting = produce hunt???

Being a homeschool mom, I almost always have my kids with me. For every errand, big or small, I tote my kids along with me. This does call for some creativity and team work when we have to be out and about. My girls have learned to do their school work in a waiting room, or listen to stories on CD in the car. They understand that I have to wait for them at birthday parties or to play at the park and I expect them to do the same when I need them to be patient while I scour the shelves for a certain product in the store.

To make one of my least favorite chores a little more enjoyable I have come up with the produce hunt. If you know me, you know that I don't enjoy grocery shopping. I find it one of the least enjoyable tasks to do each week. But, taking care of my family is part of my job, and so each Tuesday I hit the local market to stock up. When we get to the produce department, the kids ask for a produce hunt. I describe something and they have to find it.

Here's how it goes..."I am small and round and furry, what am I?" Girls start hunting...eventually someone says kiwi. Next week it goes like this..."I am round and brown, what am I?" Potato? No. Onion? No. "I am also kind of hairy." Coconut. (you get the idea).

This tends to give me enough time to find what I need in that department and then continue on with my shopping. I am running out of ideas on different fruit or veggies, but they do love the game.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Can you believe it is March?

Technically it is still winter for another week or so and look what these guys are doing this afternoon. Don't worry it is solar heated and the water temp is about 74 today. It always gets a little wild when Daddy gets in the water. Today was water baseball.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

A quick tribute to my Dad on his birthday.

Not many people have traveled the world, pastored churches, sky dived, sailed from California to Hawaii, been an all-star basketball player, smoked jumped into forest fires, built a house and a church, written a book, counceled hundreds of people, flown a plane, married and buried, and above all, have a passion for God, His Word and His people.

Dad, you have instilled in me the biggest desire to do what's right. I love you. I am still praying that you are feeling better soon. Hope your birthday is special and that you come home safe.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A glimpse of a great study

I wanted to share what a blessing it has been for the girls and I to be part of a Precepts study at a local church. Not only am I completely blessed each week with my study in Daniel, I am so thankful to be part of Tally's study in the book of John. Tally is the youngest child in the class full of homeschool kids and she loves going each week. Chuck and I have helped her with the homework each week and it has been such a joy to open scripture with her and be part of this process of spiritual growth.

It is fitting that we are studying the crucifixion of Christ (as Easter is soon approaching). She understands, as a result of the study, what Christ went through on the cross for us. She was grieved to the point of tears one night in how terrible He was treated. She was so eager to read the next chapter and find out what happened.

This style of study gets these little ones learning at such a young age. To study for themselves and create a habit of time with God each day. I wanted to leave you with a page of her story board drawings from John 19.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Join me...

I am asking my blogging friends to join me in prayer for my Dad. He is in Asia speaking at pastors and missionary conferences and he is fighting a head and chest cold. Please pray with me for his renewed health as he has a heavy speaking load these next few day. Pray that he can be a blessing to those he comes in contact with and that God uses him in a mighty way.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Birthday weekend highlights

We had a nice little party for Tissy on Saturday. She wanted to have an American Girl doll party.
We invited a few friends to come and bring their dolls for the Doll Mall. I set up stations all over the house for the girls to play at with their dolls. Walk-in clinic, pet shop, pizza shop, beauty salon, book store... you get the idea. And the kids just played at each station. The hit was the beauty shop where I gave the dolls new hair-dos. Just for the record, this is the easiest party to have. I have done it before with bears for a teddy bear picnic. I find that kids really just want to play with your toys at parties and not do organized activities. Half the fun for my kids is setting up the party and making the little centers around the house.

Tissy is not a big fan of sweets (you can tell by how skinny she is!) so she doesn't like birthday cake. We got her a cookie cake from the cookie shop at the mall instead. Yum.

Tissy's favorite food is pancakes. We went to a nearby park that has a old mill restaurant that serves pancakes. The griddle is built into the table and you make them yourself. This place is pretty popular and the wait for a table is about 2 hours. Chuck and I enjoyed our flapjacks with blueberries and they tasted great with maple syrup.

You may wonder what we did while we waited our 2 hours for a table... why we went letterboxing of course. I can't stress again what a fun family hobby this is. I blogged about it awhile back. (here) This park has a few boxes, and we were lucky enough to find one. It is always the thrill to succeed in the hunt.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Peek into Tissy's Past

Happy birthday to my dear TRISTEN. Just a little stroll down memory lane. She is a pure JOY in our lives and I am so glad to be the mom of this precious child. She took us by surprise and came a few weeks early and has kept us on our toes ever since. (a few pictures of our little Tissy)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snack Fairy

On a rare occasion my little ones head to bed and still seem a bit hungry. Maybe we had dinner extra early or it wasn't their favorite meal. For what ever reason, their little tummies are a rumblin'. Every once and awhile, the snack fairy will visit them, bearing a small container of something yummy. Tonight the snack fairy delivered a little dish of goldfish crackers.

Now don't get on my case about they have already brushed their teeth, or they shouldn't eat in bed. Every now and then, they deserve a little something extra. And being the no nonsense mom that I am, it is fun to throw caution to the wind and do something special for these precious children of mine. Just because I can.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Late night shopping thoughts

In the midst of the birthday shopping for Tristen's upcoming celebration, I was overcome by a variety of thoughts. I couldn't help but think of how much excess we already have. I was torn between wanting to get her something and not wanting to purchase junk. I believe that we have so much more than we need. The kids have plenty of toys and books and clothes. We already have too much. In fact I was embarrassed of that when we moved here to this house.

I should have planned ahead and ordered something special from a catalog of something that I know she would really enjoy. Instead I am combing over the toys at the Walmart and only have a set of $ .88 jacks in my shopping carriage. I walked the aisle and looked at the shelves and didn't want to buy any of it. Most of it is cheaply made. Most of it promotes self centeredness ("it's all about me" diva type of stuff). A lot of it promotes these tween age girls to embrace growing up too fast. I'm not sure I want my 8 year old thinking about dates and boys and mid-riff shirts. And I know that I don't want to support a line of toys titled Bratz (I don't want to raise a bratty child). I desire to filter what the world has to offer and check it with our Christ-centered beliefs.

I feel like it is hard to raise my children in our society and not compromise on my beliefs. Am I alone on this one? Maybe shopping at 8:30 at night after a long day is just overwhelming anyway.

Monday, March 3, 2008

"My tooth fell off"

We drove to our "old" town to see the dentist today to have him fix Tissy's tooth. He was able to put a composite on it and said it looked pretty good but wasn't sure it would hold. We had many errands to run and fun to be had on this beautiful spring day. We were just walking into a park when Tissy said her tooth fell off. Yep. There in her hand was the tooth composite. We headed back to the dentist and did another "patch" on that front tooth. Not sure it will stay but it looks good and it will protect the nerve. Praying it adheres better than the first one. The fuzzy picture shows how it looks now.

A few pictures of us enjoying this spring weather and having fun on a otherwise stressful (with multiple faints for Tissy) day. Tally was a huge help today and was a good sport considering all we went through. I am sure it is hard to have a sister that needs a lot tending too. I know she felt so badly for Tristen and the pain she was in.
We were only able to stay a little bit at this beautiful park that has
natural springs. Some great shots from a lighthouse ride.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Dirty kids + bubbles + jetted tub + Daddy = FUN!!!