Pig Tails

Pig Tails got a new swim suit and a pretty necklace for Christmas. :)

She's so pretty.

A Big Girl

I've been telling myself that after Christmas I am going to take away the pacifier.

And I did.

And...she's living...but she's sad, which make me sad. :(

Here she is, happily going down for a nap, with a pacifier...pre-Christmas. :)

She's such a good girl.
She's saying "Cheese!" :)

What I Love:

..having 3 (going on 4) little kids.

White Christmas

We're visiting family for Christmas.

It's white. :)

We're stuck inside during a blizzard. It's fun. :)

These photos were taken BEFORE the blizzard....and after the icy fog storm... The heavy ice caused power outages, one of which was on Christmas Eve night. We read the Christmas story, sang Christmas carols, and opened gifts by candlelight. It was romantic. Anne of Green Gables romantic.

Having a wonderful Christmas. How about everyone else?



My ferocious little lion: Mom, why is God everywhere?

His younger sibling, the mean dinosaur: Cuz God's a spirit, and he has no body as we do.

Up until recently, I wouldn't have been able to tell you what a catechism was except that the Catholic kids "do it" weekly. However, I have learned that other denominations use catechisms to teach church doctrine to their children. And, our church belongs to one such denomination.

There are different catechisms, and the one we use is based on the Westminster Confession of Faith. Basically, the catechism is a series of questions and answers that give kids (and adults) a means by which they may memorize and understand the truths of Scripture.

There is a children's version of the catechism which I prefer even for me, because it's simple...and I'm simple. :)

I bought a CD with songs written for the first 20 questions of the catechism.

Here are the words to one of the songs:

"What is God? God is a spirit, and He has no body as we do."

"Where is God? God is everywhere."
...and a lot more repeating.

*Note the striking resemblance between the lyrics of the song and the conversation between my two young boys (outlined at the beginning of this post).

Great music..super catchy...I love it. My baby (18 months old) is already requesting and singing along with the song "Who Made You?" every time we get in the car.

The kids love the music, and the doctrine of God seems to be staying in their minds and hearts in a deeper way than I had imagined.

I'm encouraged. :) You should try it...if you want and stuff. :)

30 Weeks

So...the picture's a little "grainy"...but let's call it "artistic" instead! :) 10 weeks to go!

Reformation Day 2009

Our Littlest One

Here is our littlest baby.

We do not know boy or girl. :)

But...cute, right?

See the little fist up by "his" forehead?

Let's see.....

Who's bigger?

We better start keeping track now. :)

Oh, and Baby is due to arrive around February 12th which puts me...ALMOST at 6 months! Woo Hoo!

Random Fall Stuff

Did you know that October 31st is Reformation Day? That's what we like to celebrate in the Fall. Our decorations and traditions are similar to every one else's...we just like to think of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five theses on the door at Wittenberg while we're carving pumpkins and dressing in costumes. :)

I love fall colors.

Two of my children were born in May, which means I suffered morning sickness during the entire fall season. As a result, I now associate all the smells, textures, and sights of fall with nausea...which is unfortunate, because I mostly love (or used to) the smells, textures, and sights of fall.

We got 3 pumpkins on our Pumpkin Patch outing: one for each kid. They each told me what they wanted carved, and I carved it. My little girl didn't so much tell me...we just all assumed what she wanted. :)

We roasted some pumpkin seeds...a first. Pretty yummy.

The pumpkins are arranged in order of the "owners' " ages. The first one is suppose to look "kinda mean", the second is a dinosaur, and the third is a butterfly.

Impossible Request

Each morning over breakfast, the boys and I discuss our dreams from the night before...if we remember them.

3 yr. old:
"I had a dream that a baby alligator was biting my arm! I ran away, and I tried to shoot him, but my gun was broke! So Daddy shot him with his gun!"

This dream seemed to be a recurring one, because for the last 4 mornings, I've heard about it.

Last night:
4 yr. old:
"Dad, I want you to come into my dream and kill something."


I love my kids.

A Little Field Trip=A Wonderful Day

I'm pretty certain there are no actual pumpkin patches in the state that we live in...
But, we temporarily live very close to a state that CAN grow produce!...so we were able to get to a pumpkin patch that was only about an hour away from our house. And...it was a perfect, perfect day.

We got that pumpkin for $1.

The kids got to play on some hay bales.
My baby took this picture on accident. I had set the camera on the ground, and she started messing with it...and...voila! I think it's a great picture!
The boys. :)
The petting zoo section.
The baby goat that we all fell in love with. He/she was hopping and jumping and kicking all around. So cute!

Somebody fell asleep on the hay ride....


Translation: "Will someone please come sit with me?"

Daddy: "It would be my pleasure!"

Like Daddy, Like Daughter...

Oh, my! What a big sneeze! Bless you, Sweetie!

Watch out!

Our baby girl has some mad faces.

Unfortunately...we love them. :)

How can you see this face and not burst out laughing?

See...I'm doing it right now...

Love you, Baby Girl! :)

It's true.

Reading Progress

I somehow, a couple years ago, came across the book, The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise-Bauer and Jessie Wise. I read the first few chapters and knew that I had found a guide to help me as I embarked on the homeschooling experience.

The Well-Trained Mind is a guide to classical education...and I'm so excited about classical education!

The 3rd edition of the book is now out (I want it!)...but I have the 1st edition now.

And, the 1st edition recommended Phonics Pathways as a starting point for preschool/kindergarten phonics and early reading.

I bought the book right away (about a year ago?), but I didn't think it would work with my boys....mostly because...I'm a cynic. :)

But, it turns out, I just needed to be patient and wait for beginning reading to be developmentally appropriate. And...Phonics Pathways is seemingly so for my 4-yr. old right now.

We started by learning all the vowels and short vowel sounds. We use this sheet daily to review and become more and more fluent.

This is a "vowel stick" provided by the book. The reason for this tool is so that the student has a reference to look toward if he suddenly forgets a letter or its sound. And...it works very well for my boy! It forces him to stop and think rather than just "guess".

This week was a big stepping stone. We started blending consonant sounds with the vowels we've become so familiar with. I tried this about 6-8 months ago, and it was a debacle. But...this week...easy breezy.

I'm so proud of my boy!

He's doing so well, I'm going to go out and buy him the first set of the Bob Books in the next couple days, because I think he's going to be ready for them soon!

"E says eh!" like in "egg shells"!

In homeschool, we're currently working on getting very, very familiar with the vowels and the short sounds they make. The boys know them all well, but not quite well enough yet. When they are fluent, I will introduce a consonant and start some blending. I'm very excited...and trying to be patient. :)

If you'll refer back to my goals, this lesson had my goal (as the teacher) in mind as well as the letter/letter sound goal for my 4-yr. old.

I know, it is sort of weird that we used old egg shells...But, it was a way to take a mundane task and spice it up a bit. Plus, the kids get excited about gluing....so that actually satisfies another of my goals for the kids. :)

The egg shells idea was not mine originally...I got it online. You can use the idea too, if you want.

We have other activities we're doing to get these vowels ingrained in our brains. I'll share them later.

My 4-yr. old is currently saying, "Mom, I want to do a lot of homeschooling!"...so...gotta go!

A Nice Weekend

Last weekend, our oldest, oldest...big, big boy...the big brother of them all...came to visit.

He plays football.

And he wrestles.

And he likes UFC.

And he likes Rock and Roll.


...he really and truly loves his little brothers and sister. He plays with them and fishes with them and talks about how he is going to protect them as they grow up.

As you can imagine, the little ones adore their huge brother just as much.

We had a good weekend.

Come back soon, Big, Huge, Enormous Brother.

Team Work

I put this alphabet up on the wall last week. While its intended purpose is to expose my boys to the letters at every turn, my baby girl is trying to learn along with the big kids.

She's showing off here, and then she's giving her big brother a little encouragement.

It's so darn cute.

Why I "Need" a New Camera...I Think

I believe the proper term for the problem I'm experiencing is called "overexposure". It rears it's ugly head especially in the summer time, since I take a lot of pictures outside in the sun.

I love this picture, but my poor baby's skin has the radiance of the sun. :) I've tried a little bit to remedy the issue by messing with Photoshop...but it makes her look unnatural in a more...orange way. :)

Of course, it doesn't help that my kids are such toe heads. Just that much more opportunity for reflecting the afternoon sun.

Look at the tops of the blondies' heads.

The background is what seems too bright in this picture.

Background again.

Maybe I can fix this with my high-end point and shoot. Does anyone know how?...or how to fix it with Photoshop Elements?

I'm pretty sure that if I had a DSLR, it would be a little easier to control the amount of light I allow into the lens...and maybe reduce the glare. Is that true?