Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breakfast

Well, she woke up very happy and hungry and said she wanted to eat all our food. Evidently that equals 1 cup of milk and 1 whole english muffin with peanut butter! =)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drama Queen

Our oldest can tend to be a little.... dramatic. Well tonight she told her sister she "HATED that picture". Now many of you may let your kids say that, but in our house you do not talk that way to each other. She only said she hated the picture because she was mad at her little sister. I told her to apologize and she did... kinda. I reminded her that we do not say the word "hate" and that we do not speak to each other that way and reminded her of what would happen if she did. I asked if she understood. Rather than hear, "Yes Mommy." I hear silence. I asked again. Silence. She gets a spanking and goes running to her room. My husband tells her she needs to come apologize to Mommy and little sister and reminded her that we are eating dinner in 5 minutes and that it is lasagna and garlic bread WITH sprinkly parmesan cheese. She came out once and murmured "sry". My husband explained to her that was not good enough. She ran back to her room screaming again and he went to tell her that when dinner was over, it was over and she really needed to come tell mommy sorry. Well, we took about 30 minutes to eat and around minute 27 she came and apologized and was then horrified when she only drank her milk and ate her garlic bread and I told her it was story time. Here is what ensued. "I will starve! There is nothing in my belly! I will be making trips to the bathroom ALL night for water and then we will run out (insert LOUD wailing) and I will be SO hungry! I am never full! I am so hungry! In the morning I will need English muffins, 4 peices of toast, peanut butter and mini wheats and I will not be full (more wailing). I am so hungry!!!" My husband said, "Wow. I am so sorry. I wish you had come out sooner so you could have eaten with us." She said, "Well, I did eat. Just only milk and breeeeaaaaaddddd waHHHHHHHHH". I felt slightly bad for her but mostly it was just very comical! She is SO dramatic and very argumentative! Maybe it will serve her well when she is older!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get your kleenex

This article was in a North Carolina paper recently. He was my husband's friend. Though I never met the man, my heart and prayers go out to him and his family. Personally, this hits a little too close to home. Please remember them in your prayers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Faking it

After church on Sunday, we came home and loaded up our van and took the girls camping. Well, sorta. We kinda faked it. We rented a very small cabin, but barely spent any time there. My poor husband just did not want another night sleeping on the ground. I was happy to oblige! We had a complete BLAST! We took a family bike ride, hiked around a lake, let the girls dig in a huge dirt pile and of course, made dinner over a camp fire. We bought this little sandwich maker and had grilled cheeses and baked beans... followed up by smores. I wish I had photos but our camera was not working. However, try and picture this with me. We were getting the food ready and my husband was gathering fire wood. He had rolled over some stumps and logs (leftovers from our huge ice storm). I saw that they were perfect sizes for kids. So, we turned over a HUGE stump and it became the table. We got two small logs and they were the chairs. The girls ate there and called it their "stump party"! They were filthy by this point and we took them to the outdoor water pump thingy. I am not sure what you call but my husband said it is what farmers use. The youngest took a huge gulp of water and promptly spit it all over her sister. That started it. Those girls chased each other all around the site spitting water and laughing. They were soaked and 100% thrilled at the end of the night.
Another highlight was when we saw a snake. We think maybe it was a black rat snake but are not really sure. It rattled and struck at my husband (who was trying to pick it up). It was real exciting!
My husband made a butterfly net for the girls too. They love bug catching. He rented them a dvd about bugs and they liked the pinned bugs (the bugs people pin to boards etc...) He brought cotton balls, alchohol and an empty jar. He let the girls help him catch a giant bee, a wasp and a dragonfly. They took turns putting the bugs into the "kill jar" (Cute name huh?) Now he has to get the board and help them start their collection.
Tonight he kept the youngest home for special time and I took the oldest on a date and to her soccer practice. It was great!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fashionable at 5 and feeling the pressure

Today was a GREAT day! Beautiful weather, a date with my husband and of course the first soccer games of the season! It was also a day that completely reinforced the importance of home-schooling... especially if you have little girls. We were sitting at our oldests game and my husband commented, "Hey look. We have the only kid without soccer cleats on." I looked and sure enough, there were a total of 16 kids and 15/16 had on soccer cleats (that are actually NOT a requirement for 5 year olds playing Upwards soccer). I did not think too much about it though. Then I started noticing that ALL the kids are wearing special soccer shorts too. 15/16 in cleats AND special soccer shorts. I am starting to feel a little odd but not too much. The game ends and our oldest was THRILLED! We were too. She did so good and tried so hard the whole time. She had a few saves and few assists and just did her best. We take a break at Target and then head back for the 4 year olds game. That is when I actually started feeling guilty!!!! I looked around and again... 15/16 in soccer cleats and 14/16 in special soccer shorts. Not just ANY soccer shorts either... represented in this motley groupsof four year olds was Gap, Nike, Umbro, Upwards brand and Adidas. The cleats were almost exclusively Nike and I think Adidas. I was starting to feel like a parental outcast and it hit me. WHY? What on earth difference does it make? At four and five our sweet girls are perfectly content in their garage sale, end of season clearance rack clothes and they did not even notice the differences in their outfits. It is really shocking to see this stuff on kids so young. Do I think dressing in name brands is wrong? Absolutely not! But the fact is, it is likely impossible that those parents ALL got those clothes on sale or hand me downs. So, if at ages 4 and 5 they are getting these uber brands for their kids, what do you think those kids will expect at 7 and 13 and... You get my point.

Another incident from the day that made me smile and made me so happy that we home-school... We were on our way home from soccer when my husband spotted some semi-fresh looking roadkill ( the possum kind) and he pulled over and got the girls out. He got some guy stuff out of the van and gave the girls a lesson on death, dying and the life cycle of flies. They were absolutely intrigued and loved it! They were so full of questions and excitement and very little squeamishness. I must admit to staying in the vehicle! ;)

The last thing to say is that our 5 year old chased after and caught a frog today! I was so proud! She named him Pushy, played with him and then released him at a safe location. Happy jumping Pushy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Awesomeness

Not even if sure if that is a real word, but today was awesome! My husband did have to go in for morning PT but it was not the norm. They got to play with logs and tires and stuff. Afterwards we hit a local school. They had invited home-schoolers to come and see their Career Day. They had cars from all different companies and the kids got to hear about them and get in some. The girls liked it. Then we hit the riding lesson. You wanna talk cute? Our four year old rode the pony ALONE today! The teacher walked about 2 feet away and our daughter was in complete control of Sunshine the pony. She LOVES it! Let's see.... after that I took the girls to a playland while my husband took care of somethings. We all went to a park and held some worms and threw rocks and sticks. We went to see the movie "Earth". It was very good! The girls were quite intrigued by it! Did you know that elephants can swim? During the movie they show a cheetah stalking some gazelles. The youngest leaned over and said, "I think the deer thingy is trying to look sad so the cheetah will not want to eat it." Ha! If you go, make sure you stay for the out-takes! AMAZING! Finally we ended with soccer practice and came home for quick showers! Tomorrow is more of the same. AWESOMENESS!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

4 day weekend

Starting tomorrow morning we are getting a 4 day weekend! I am way excited and we have so many plans! Tomorrow morning we have a riding lesson, followed by career day, followed by volunteering at the food pantry and finishing with soccer practice and maybe some coffee!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For Luke

A friend wanted to know exactly why we started the whole toy thing with our girls. If you scroll back and read "Terrible 5's?????" THAT was why we started thinking about it. We felt concerned because of our daughter's horrible tantrum and initially (talking in private NOT in front of her) we thought that we should just take all their toys away. Then we thought well... maybe everything but this and oh yeah, that and.... Maybe that was not such a great idea. So, I googled something to the effect of "Is it criminal to deprive your kids of man made toys?" Basically nothing awful came up so we started talking about what alternative we had to simply taking all their toys away. See, we have always had the rule 1 toy at a TIME, but basically they were constantly asking to clean up and get something else out. The clean up is where the fights were taking place. "But I am not done playing with this so I don't want to clean up!" etc. You can imagine the things they would say/fight over. I felt I was spending half my time supervising them cleaning up and constantly saying, "This toy is being donated because you did not clean it up" or "This toy is in our room for 7 days because it did not get put up". Not to mention constantly finding little peices of toys hidden in places (being somewhat type A.. this does NOT bode well with me). My husband and I were discussing this after they were in bed and we decided rather than make it a punishment... lets make it an adventure! And we did! We told them our new and EXCITING plan and how it would make our play time easier and more fun! Then we threw a cleaning party! They were very excited to see the process and help organize and we even filleda bag of toys for Goodwill that THEY voluntarily chose! The toy room was sparkling and everyone was happy. My hubby picked up pizza and we all snuggled and watched "Little House". Now our days are (generally) much smoother and happier. Day 1...oldest chooses. Day 2... youngest chooses. Day 3... they choose together. Do you know what is happening on day 3? They ask each other what would make them feel happy and decide in true togetherness. At night, there is just 1 toy to put away, no fuss and I do not think they have complained once about cleaning their toy. It really has brought more peace and togetherness and more imagination into our household. (Note: Not PERFECT... just more peaceful). We still have tears and sibling rivalry but I am so pleased we have done this with them.

Luke... Did that cover it all for you? I am thankful for your comments and everyone elses as well!

Also thanks to my TN friend for trying this too!!! Love ya!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

That Toy Thing

I believe we are rapidly approaching the 2 week mark of "taking the toys away" and it is STILL going wonderfully! I think I can now safely say that it works. We have girls who fight less, imagine more, help me and each other out more, have more positive attitudes and I do not believe I have had 1 argument involving cleaning up since this started. If you have considered doing this with your kids, I strongly urge you to try it! You can always go back if it does not work for you. I was talking to my friend tonight who is doing it at her house and she is thrilled! She says she is getting more housework done and less fighting and more working together. Try it and let me know!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Music = Jesus

My husband treated us all to a relaxing dinner out tonight where the girls ORDERED THEIR OWN MEALS! But while we were eating the oldest leaned over to me and said, "Do you know what? I think that ALL music is really all about Jesus or songs for him. Like all the music we have is about Jesus, but songs like "Twinkle, twinkle little star are about the star lying above the manger he was in." Is that not so sweet? Plus did you read the first sentence of this????????? I am in awe!!! Thank you Lord!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I can't believe

Well, I can't believe I just copied my friends title for her blog of the day! =) But that is not the real story. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that both of our girls have Selective Mutism. You also know it is something they have been getting treatment for. We have been seeing small gains but today... I cannot believe what happened!! My sister-in-law and I took the girls out for lunch. We were patiently waiting for them to bring our crackers. Our oldest asked if we could get some crackers. I told her to go ask. She asked if her sister could come and I agreed. She went up, waited for the waitress to notice her (took about 3 minutes) and she came back with a bowl of crackers. When I went to pay I asked the waitress if our daughter spoke and she said, "Oh she is the cutest thing! She said, "Excuse me please but we have been here a really long time and would like some crackers please." What?!?!?! I am way beyond thrilled!!!! This has been a great day! In almost 6 years our daughter has never spoken to a cashier, waiter or waitress... till today!

Mud River






We had some rain today. so, my youngest and her aunt wanted to go out and play in the river that used to be our front yard! Hope you enjoy the pics. They do not do it justice! It was hilarious!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Auction

In our area a family of four recently lost their home and belongings in a fire. The community held a benefit auction for them today. We all decided to go. My mother-in-law gave each of the girls $10 to bid on something. It was so much fun! The youngest had her eye on this vanity set. I went up to some of the assistants and asked if it could be brought up before we had to leave for her riding lesson. They were happy to comply and you should have seen that little girl! She was bouncing around and grinning ear to ear! She held up her auction card and started the bidding at $10. She thres up her card and bid against herself for $20! The place burst into laughter and no one would bid against her so she won it for $20! We had to help her pay for it but she was beyond pleased with the vanity and herself! The oldest had her eye on some barbies and someone outbid her. She got lucky with a set of Beanie Babies and she is also very pleased. My husband's mom and sister seemed to enjoy the auction and watching the youngest with her riding lesson too. Then my husband's sister took us all out to dinner. Tomorrow is church and I have homemade bbq and homemade cole slaw ready for lunch!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Alive!

Just a quick post before I head off to bed. We were playing outside today and the oldest saw a butterfly. She looked around frantically for her bug catcher or her butterfly net and could not find them. She was already happy with her scooter and said, "Oh well. I will just let that one live." Ha!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Makeup Lesson

Today we were at the doctor and the youngest wanted to call Nana and ask when they could come see her again. She wants to go to a playground near where they live. While they were talking she said, "Did you know that at my horse lessons we are going to do makeup for 'em?" I could hear my mom desperately trying to decipher the meaning here. I stepped into to help and said, "What do you mean?" She said, "We are going to decorate and put makeup on the horses. Remember? My teacher said we are doing a makeup lesson." Aha! Now I know what she meant. We have a make-up lesson for one the teacher has to cancel. Our sweet girl heard makeup lesson! Isn't that great??? What a kid!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Little bit of this...

Just a mix of things to blog about....

Guess what made its' way into my dishwasher last night? A Kevlar Helmet! We heard that was the best was it wash it up and it worked like a charm! So, if you have a Kevlat helmet and it gets dirty... you know what to do!

The toy thing is still going swimmingly well! Clean up is taking a few quick minutes and there has been no fussing about it! It also seems to be making our days have a better flow to them. I am able to set a timer and ask them to play for 30-45 minutes while I get things done and it is working! I am so amazed and still find it hard to attribute this to the toy thing, but i think it is related. Another one of my friends is doing this. She said today that all their toys are up as well. She is excited to see if she has any changes too.

The girls had their dental exams today and are both cavity free! The oldest has 4 adult molars too. Do you remember the whole toothpaste trauma that I blogged about once? Well, our visitors from last weekend told us about this link. It made sense but I was hesitant to spend that much money on MORE toothpaste (we even tried the baking soda). But at the dentist today the hygenist had been to a training recently and said some people have a sensitivity to SLS and it can feel like a burn to them but not to us. Wow. I feel pretty darn guilty. Guilty enough to try some expensive toothpaste for her. I showed her the site and explained why we were getting them. She said, "Wow. You mean other people burn their mouths like me every time they brush?" It made me feel bad, but I am excited to place my order!

Finally, we were driving today and the youngest said, "What iffin' we saw a chicken up a tree?" I asked her if she had seen one and she said, "No. I was just pretendin'. Sometimes I like playin' n stuff." She is adorable!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Salad

My husband was out at the range all day today (still gone). I did not know what to do for dinner so I decided to have a Salad Party with the girls. It was a raving success! They have just recently begun eating salad so I thought they would like this. I baked some chicken and sliced it up, then I set out bowls and filled them with sunflower seeds, raisins, peanuts, broccoli, cheese, crunchy noodles, pecans, bacon bits, dressings and carrots. I let them have lettuce and spinach and decorate their salads. They LOVED it! The oldest ate her entire bowl and found out that she likes spinach more than lettuce. The youngest liked hers but really enjoyed picking out a special salad bowl. They said I am better than a restaurant! That made me feel great! Let me know if you ever host your own salad party!

Update on the toys

If you have been reading my posts then this will make sense! LOL! If not... go back and read them ;)
Several people have asked about the toy thing and how it is going. I was hesitant to post because I am not sure if the changes are due to coincidence or in direct relation to the toys being gone. But here is what we have noticed so far.
1. They are being more sisterly to each other. More concerned for each other and just sweeter in general.
2. The siblings fights have reduced by at least 50%.
3. They have been happier with the toy they choose and their play is more imaginative/more involved.
4. Clean up is quicker, easier and happier for them!

I think that is about it, but I am hoping it is because of what we did. They loved helping with it. My friend said she may try it and I am hoping she notices the same trends!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Surprise visitors











I was able to surprise my husband today. His closest friend was the best man in our wedding. His friend called me the other day and said they were coming through our area. I arranged a time to meet, but did not tell me husband. Sadly, my lack of "poker face" gave away some clues but when we walked into the Applebee's and he saw his friend he was shocked! They had not seen each other in 6 years. It was a great visit! He had his wife and their youngest son with him. We all ate and then went to the Patton Musuem. After they left, the youngest said, "That boy sure was cute huh?" I thought that was adorable and their son is a very handsome 8 year old! I love being able to surprise my husband and loved catching up with our friends. I just wish we all could have had longer to visit.
The rest of the day was great as well. We went with my husband for him to practice an obstacle course, did our youngests riding lesson and made a YUMMY dinner! Tomorrow is Easter and will be another great day!

video

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter is about......

I just remembered this conversation. We were riding along and the oldest said, "Mommy, what is Easter all about?" I said, "Well, remember? Easter is about Jesus dying on cross and then in 3 days he rose again." she said, "And that makes all the furry little animals happy?" I said, "Huh?" She said, "well, Mommy, if Easter is all about Jesus then why is everything that is out all about furry little animals?" Great question huh? Out of the mouths of babes

What we did

Remember my post from the other day and our oldest really acting out? We came home so upset over her words and actions. We did not talk to her much about it. My husband read from the bible with her and prayed with her. But after they went to bed we had a major discussion. We wanted to help her out. What we decided on is to put all toys away. As of now, we have coloring books and crayons and games and puzzles. At the start of each day they will be allowed to select 1 toy for the day. Like maybe tomorrow they will choose Polly Pockets and maybe Sunday they will choose their tool box etc... We are hoping it will cut down on their fighting and make it easier on them to clean up. So we created a celebration night for it (we did not want it to seem like punishment). We started with a cleaning party! They helped create containers and organize toys etc. Then we had a pajama and pizza party followed by a laundry party! It was a great night and a very peaceful night around here. I will post again soon and let you know how the toy thing is going.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Must read Book

I try and not ever suggest a book on here, but I have to let you know about this book because you may not run across it. My husband picked it up for me. It looked really interesting and all but to be honest I did not think I would really be into it. It took me by surprise and I really think anyone who is a parent, thinking of being a parent or is ever even around kids should read it. The book is called "So Sexy So Soon". It is NOT a book for your kid to read and it is graphic. However, it was very eye opening! I had it at the dentist and it sparked a great conversation with her. I know my husband and I are often viewed as the loopy parents. We home-school, we shelter and we are very strict about what they watch on T.V. The T.V. is never on when they are awake, except for PBS kids in the morning. They are not allowed to see commercials or movie previews. We do not watch anything for ourselves while they are awake. It may sound extreme but we prefer it this way and are very pleased with it. Now, I am not advocating that you do this AND neither does the book. So please don't be put off. It is seriously worth the time to check it out from the library, down load it and listen to it on your ipod or buy it. It will change the way you see the kids around you and give you glimpse into your kids lives and how hard it is for them to grow up these days. Please consider it and please let me know if you read it/have read it and what you think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Terrible 5's?????

Someone else PLEASE chime in and tell me you started having trouble when your kids turned 5ish almost 6ish. Our oldest has really been trying my patience lately. Today was really the icing on the cake. My husband got off really early and we set off to run errands and enjoy ourselves. We stopped by the fabric store to get material for the youngests dress. When we went to have it cut the oldest asked who it was for. I told her the youngest since we did not have enough material to make it last time. She went on to have a meltdown and my husband whisked her out the door. He tried talking with her and it went nowhere quick. We made another stop and I stayed in the van with her because she was still upset. I tried talking to her about being happy with what we get etc. and she started going on about "On my birthday I am counting and making sure how many gifts I get and when I get home I am couting how many things I have because I want the most." I was horrified and so was my husband! You have to understand that we rarely buy them anything in front of them. We do not get them a gift at the grocery store, we do not regularly bring them gifts if we are gone etc.... Where did this come from? When we got home my husband got out the bible and talked with her about everything but she really does not seem to "get" it. Does anyone have any practical advice? I sure hope we are not alone...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baby-sitting






Today I had the wonderful chance to watch my friends SWEET little baby boy! He was 7 weeks old. Here are some pics of our time together. He was taking a bottle for the second time and doing great with it and the oldest said, "Wow. I think deserves a brave chart." It was tons of fun and i cannot wait to keep him again sometime!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Believe

Many of you may recall that we do not do santa or tooth fairy or anything like that here in our house. I know, I know. SO many people disagree and that is ok. I do not think it is wrong or evil, I think believing in those are fun! I grew up with it and loved it! BUT if you are on the fence and are wondering what it would be like to not do these things... let me tell you....the excitement is still there no matter what!! Our oldest knew that we were taking her tooth and leaving a toy for her. She was up til 9 wondering if we were sneaking in yet. Instead she woke up to a note telling her to look on the couch. We got her a brand new soccer ball! She was beyond thrilled and woke up the whole house bouncing it at 6:20 a.m. She put the note we left her in her privacy box! It was magical and adorable, so if you are thinking of doing those things, rest assured that the excitement levels are the same. No regrets here! ;)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Golden Day

Wow. Today could not have possibly gone any better! It started off by my husband waking up early and he grabbed the oldest and took her out to surprise us all with bagels. While they were gone her tooth came out!! Her first lost tooth! I felt a mixture of excitement and sadness. Where had the time gone? But, mostly it was exciting! After the morning excitement (and multiple phone calls) we set off for an easter egg hunt. Man, it was the perfect weather and the perfect amount of people/kids! The girls were in different age groups. The youngest went first and she was so cute! She ran past so many eggs to get the ones she thought were better colors. She definitely does not have that competitive edge yet. The oldest sure does, but there were only 3 other kids in her age group. They had hidden golden eggs, two per age group. Well, guess who found one? The oldest! She was ecstatic! She got a basket full of goodies! It just made her day! We hit a few garage sales and then ate at a very local little diner type place. It was not real good, but it was very relaxing! We ate outside and were all alone. My husband took me home and took the girls out to a park. I planned our meals for the week and vaccumed. (Yeah, I am beacon of excitement). When they came home it was finally time for horse lesson number 1 for the youngest. If that girl does not end up doing something with animals or horses I will be shocked! She was in her element... horses, dirt, horses, farm, horses, cats, horses, flowers etc... She got the groom the horse, saddle it up and of course ride it and give it a treat and an apple. The pony's name is Sunshine. It was the cutest little thing. I just cannot tell you how neat it was to watch her. While she rode, my husband and the oldest played catch and played the farm cats. It was a blast! She is such a natural around horses and animals. We left and she asked if she goes back tomorrow. It will be a long wait for her. But seriously, today was awesome! The weather was great and the girls were great and we all had the entire day together!

Something is missing

Friday, April 3, 2009

Freckles

I took the girls to a playland today. They were having a blast! The youngest came out for a sip of her drink and we got a chance to chat privately. She said, "Mommy, there is a boy in there with freckles all over his face!" I said, "What did you think about that?" She said, "I thought it was so cute! He was a big boy, but had freckles and mommy I like freckles! They are like toys and I like the way they look and feel. I love freckles!" Is she cute or what? A love of freckles works in my favor too. See my best friend is REALLY fond of having boys (they currently have 4) and we have a plan for us to keep having girls and them to keep having boys. Her boys all have freckles (very cute ones), so you see, this works well for our plans that surely at least one marriage can take place between our families! Our youngest loved playing with her boys and now loves freckles! This is perfect! ;)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mopping

I let the girls mop the house today! That was fun. They actually did really good. It is neat that they are getting old enough to really start doing things. Last night, the oldest mostly cooked the chicken by herself. Obviously I do not leave her at the stove alone or anything, but she did not need any help. They both still love doing chores and cooking and helping me out. I hope it lasts! My poor hubby is still at work. I am trying to wait and eat with him when he gets home but I am sitting here starving! Finally we had some spring like weather! The girls and I played outside and washed the van. It was nice! Tomorrow... off for our weekly appt.