Friday, December 30, 2011

Crawling

Noah is crawling! He gets all over and can sit up by himself. He is 7 months and 3 weeks old. This means that nap times are about my only free time now! I know this is just a phase of life and so I'm making sure to enjoy my sweet little boy!

We had a great and very busy Christmas. Perhaps I will find the time in the next few weeks to write more!

Merry Christmas (late) to all and I pray the New Year brings you many blessings!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's in a blog . . . really?

Blogging used to be such a good outlet for me. I'd even write blogs in my head as I would go about my day. Now it seems to be tweets and Facebook statuses. Ha! I still want to keep this going because it is about the only place where my children's lives are successfully and consistently recorded. I want to keep that up but as they grow older and as lives change, I have found that expressing myself through blogging has to take a back seat to more of a "fun update" sort of blog.

Ya'll know what I mean??

Sigh.

So . . .

My kids are all growing like weeds. I need to download my pictures (soon, yes very soon!) and post some on here.

Abigail:

Comes up with some new and very silly things lately. She is so into dancing and ballet and is actually quite expressive at it! She gets her moves from Angelina Ballerina so I'm not sure how far she'll go but it is fun for now. Right now she loves to take care of the "babies" (Elsie and Noah), play with any electronic equipment (tablet computer, iPhone, computer, tv), dance, help me in the kitchen, and help me wrap Christmas presents! Yes, she is still just 3 years old and has moments that remind me of that. I tend to think she's older but she does throw fits for juice, going to bed, not getting to watch her TV show, etc. She has a tender and sweet spirit that I cherish each day!!

Elsie:

Oh my. Elsie Monster is an appropriate nickname. She is not a complete daredevil but is much more of one that Abigail ever was. Her new favorite thing is to sneak back over to the table after a meal (and before I've cleaned up) and climb on the table and eat leftovers!!! I have trained Abigail quite well to help clean off her plate so this minimizes this activity. Crazy girl. She got a concussion a few weeks ago from falling off a bench onto a tile floor backwards. She threw up once and then acted fine so we didn't take her to the ER. A few days after that she flipped off Abigail's bed and landed on her head. She was still fine.

She also loves, Dora, Elmo, and loves to dance like her sister. She is a GREAT sleeper and a pretty good eater. Many times I have caught myself saying "you have to eat something other than broccoli and fruit!!" A good problem to have, I guess.

She is still slower at her language skills than I imagined she would be at this point. She can get her point across but she hardly ever says a complete word. For instance she will say "buh buh" for her bunny or "Pah" for paci. She is starting to say more recognizable (by me) words.

Noah:

Oh my boy. He is now 7 months old. He has tried eating bananas (which he loves) and Avocado (which he tolerates). He still gets a healthy dose of mama's milk with each food and I'm not in a rush to push things in the food department.

He already has 5 (almost 6) teeth! I remember Abigail getting her top teeth in at about 11 months old and he already had four of them. I am not sure if this signifies anything or not - probably not. Maybe just that he'll be a good eater!!

He loves to get up on his hands and knees and pretend to crawl. He wants to go so badly but doesn't have the coordination yet to do it. He is still working on sitting up by himself and topples pretty easily. If I remember right from the girls, he'll need to master that skill before he really crawls around. He can get to toys he really wants, though.

He does not have the best sleep habits. For the last few weeks he's been teething, one tooth after another, and those nights are bad. He can get up anywhere from two to five times a night. Last night I think it was four. No wonder I can hardly write a coherant blog post! He usually gets up twice.

I am really hoping that he solves this sleep issue once this last tooth comes in. I am beginning to change my stance on letting babies cry (for long periods of time) and I don't want it to come to that. It's always an issue between Andrew and myself too. Andrew wants me to let him cry and I don't want to. Since I'm the one getting up, I guess I win that disagreement!! :)

Other than being extremely busy with little kids, we're doing fine. I have pretty much adjusted to being able to only do things in short two to five minute intervals. Switch the laundry, change a diaper, empty the top rack of the dishwasher, nurse the baby, pick up 5 toys, wipe the counter, change a diaper, sweep the floor. You get the idea.

Andrew is currently on a business trip in New York. It makes for some pretty long and exhausting days around here but we are surviving. I can definitely tell that dinner time is crazier. For some reason breakfast and lunch don't usually have the same fussiness attitude that dinner has so daddy is definitely missed!!

All for now. Hopefully I'll get around to some pictures soon. Who knew that with 3 kids under 3, life would get crazier before it got easier?!!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

New Phone

Well I broke down last weekend and got a smart phone. So blogging from it right now. Despite the slow keyboard typing, it may help me blog more.

Pray for my dad today. He is having shoulder replacement surgery. And pray for my father-in-law who is having his wisdom teeth removed. It is a day of surgeries!

Monday, December 05, 2011

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Whew!

Birthdays, kids getting cold after cold after cold, growing active kids, etc, etc, has kept me from blogging!

I recently took Elsie and Noah to doctor check-ups and both are fine. We switched doctors to one that is much closer to us and I really like him. Elsie stood like a big girl on the scale to get weighed and measured. It was cute but I didn't have my camera. :(

I am going by memory here so these might not be right but I think Noah was 27 inches long and weighed in at 17.8 pounds. Elsie was 33 inches tall (I think) and was 27 pounds.

My family was all here to celebrate Elsie's birthday. It was so much fun to have them! We just wish that they were able to stay longer and lived closer. We spent a lot of time talking about future visits and trying to figure out the best way to see each other. It's tricky to try to figure out how to travel 850 miles with three kids. I'm tempted to try flying but I just can't picture how to get three kids, two car seats (Noah would be on my lap) and all our gear through the airport, on a plane, off a plane, on a plane, off a plane, etc. There are very few direct flights between the needed airports. Boo!

Noah is growing and changing so much. He is able to sit up with a little help. He still gets up one to three times per night but can sleep through the night. I gave him a little taste of bananas when my family was here but we are not in a big rush to try solid foods yet. He still naps three times a day. Sometimes they last 2 hours and sometimes they last 10 minutes.

Elsie is turning into a little girl in front of our eyes. I love this stage of learning and exploration but it is also challenging. She has quite a few words but hasn't added any new ones for a while so communication is still a challenge. She loves to imitate her big sister (especially doing ballet dancing) and loves to play with her new dollhouse, baby dolls, and loves to read books.

Abigail is really into dancing right now. She loves to imitate Angelina Ballerina (a PBS kids show) and looks quite like a graceful ballerina most of the time. I just have to constantly remind her not to whack her sister in the face as she spins or step on her brother - if he's hanging out on the floor. She is also learning lots of responsibility with her younger siblings around. Just this morning I set up a sticker chart for her to earn more privileges (TV and computer time, mainly) and she got so excited about it! I love having a little helper around!

Andrew is also doing well (Ha! I don't write much about him anymore - poor guy)! I can brag that he recently received a promotion at work. They seem to be pretty pleased with him and I'm not really surprised. I'm always impressed by his work ethic, his superior brain (LOL) and his easy going nature. I'm sure that makes him fun to work with.

That's all for now. My darling 3 year old has been patiently waiting to play PBS kids on my computer here so I'll go for now. Hopefully I can update more often but I can't make any promises!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These are the days . . .

What a crazy night! I used to wonder (back when I had one baby) how in the world people did it with more than one. Now I know . . . you just do it because you have to!

Everyone's healthy as a horse (well relatively) but I still got up with each person last night.

It started with Elsie at 11:30 pm. I'd been asleep but I woke up to her sitting up and crying. She's been very fussy and "off" for about a week now but is not running a temperature or anything. The only thing I can think it is would be her teeth, which she still has two left to go . . . then we're done. Whew! I gave her motrin and she slept the rest of the night.

About 12:30 am, Abigail came upstairs and woke Andrew up saying she couldn't quit coughing. Poor girl still has lingering cough/lung issues after a cold. He took her downstairs and gave her some honey and toast (our usual cough remedy). I was still awakened even though he was kind enough to handle it.

Well, she continued to cough in bed and since Andrew has sleeping issues, he couldn't go back to sleep. I went down eventually and propped Abigail up on pillows and that seemed to help her cough. Went back upstairs to scratch Andrew's back until he went to sleep.

Then before I could drift off . . . Noah. Needed changed and nursed.

I finally got to go back to sleep but then Noah was up again at 4 am, 6 am, 7 am, and 8:15 am (and he is still sleeping and it's 9:15). Abigail also came upstairs saying she was hungry at 6:30 am. Andrew told her to go back to bed. She did and slept until 8:30 am!! Which is very late.

Whew! Anyone else tired? I am.

Not all nights are like that, thankfully and I know this too shall pass. I'm blogging this so that someday when my kids are in college or grown and gone and I wish for just one second to hold their precious little baby bodies again and kiss their sweet baby cheeks, I'll remember that as much as I love them (which is a lot, believe me) not every moment is rosy!! :)

Off to have some tea (since I've given up coffee).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zoo trip

So . . . many many moons ago we took a trip to the zoo. Then I got busy with life and birthdays and sick whiny kids and did not get a chance to blog about it . . . until now.

Woo hoo!

So anyway, my mother-in-law and I took all the kids to the zoo one day. Abigail had earned it with her sleeping sticker chart.

It was fun! We could have spent more time there but we needed to get back home for Bible study and before Elsie needed a nap.

My boy, Noah, was so good. I hardly knew he was there!



Abigail by the elephants.


Elsie by the giraffes. (Abigail said these were her favorites.)


Elsie is chasing a peacock. This girl is very different than her sister, who ran away screaming (okay, not really but she was afraid of them).


Polar bears!

Abigail, Elsie, and their Nana looking at the Polar Bears.





We had such a fun time. I am looking forward to more trips next year when it warms up. The kids will be even older and will be able to enjoy it more!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Behind

Oh my, I'm behind . . . again.

I have lots of stuff to blog, just no time to do it. Maybe soon.

Very busy week with lots of activities, birthdays and cooking!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Food Blogging Friday - Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Honey

This is a recipe that I got from Rachael Ray. It's definitely yummy!

Take sweet potatoes. Wash, Peel, and Cube them.


Boil 'em. :)


Return them to the pot and mash with chicken stock, honey, orange juice. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Sorry I forgot to take a finished picture. Ah! I'm so bad at this photography stuff.

Anyway, these are a healthy and delicious side to add to any meal.



Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Honey
Rachael Ray
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Boil the potatoes until tender; drain and return them to the hot pot. Mash with the chicken stock, honey and lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Eluding the Paparazzi






My Elsie Monster! :)

She climbed to the top of the stairs for the first time today (Wednesday, October 5). I showed her once how to slide down. Next thing I know she climbed up and down all by herself. My girl is growing up!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Food Blogging Friday - Whole Wheat Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes

We are BIG breakfast eaters around here. It is the most important meal of the day after all. We don't eat boxed processed cereal for breakfast (every once in a blue moon the parents do but our kids never have). Instead I usually make something from scratch. Usually it's toast and eggs but sometimes we have something else . . . like these pancakes. I love these. Hearty, flavorful, delicious!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups + 2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
Butter for frying

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots; don't over-mix. Pour 1/4 cup into hot griddle or pan and cook each side 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Serve with butter and REAL maple syrup. Yum!


I will often make a big batch and freeze them for other breakfasts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Food Blogging Friday - Baked Berry Custard

I don't often make dessert especially if it is just our family eating at a meal. However when I do make dessert this is one of my favorite ones! It's yummy, flexible, and most importantly, easy! Note: This is not necessarily a healthy recipe. It does use white sugar. As with all things, eat in moderation. Ha ha!!

I got the original recipe from the Martha Stewart Show. The original recipe called for Raspberries but I have made this recipe using all sorts of different berries! I suspect that it would also be good with peaches or plums (or a similar fruit).

Recipe:
Baked Berry Custard

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups berries (about 9 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In oven, melt butter in a 9-inch pie plate, about 6 minutes.

In a blender, combine milk, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla. Add melted butter and blend mixture until smooth, 30 seconds.

Distribute berries evenly in pie plate and pour batter over top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and bake until slightly puffed and just set in middle, 20 to 25 minutes. Heat broiler and broil until top is deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve warm.

My favorite is probably with strawberries as seen below. Yum!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Noah's Sleep


Noah is a pretty good sleeper most of the time. He is 4 months old and has slept from 9 pm until 7 am before. He doesn't always do this but he has about four times now.

I am still spoiling him rotten (which is going to end soon!) by rocking, bouncing, walking, or nursing him to sleep. I NEVER would have thought I would be doing this when I was a new parent with Abigail. We started sleep training her at 5-weeks old. He usually wakes up once a night but sometimes will get up two or three times. Usually more frequent wakings are because he's getting sick (a few weeks ago) or if he wet out of his diaper.

However my thoughts with this one are that this is more than likely our last baby and I am having some mixed feelings about the subject. So . . . I am just enjoying this beautiful baby boy as much as I can. I love the snuggle time we have each night as I rock him to sleep. I am also trying to help him be a flexible sleeper. I'm often running around with the girls and I want him to be comfortable sleeping in his seat or in my arms if necessary.

He usually takes 2 or 3 naps a day - anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Ha! He has sleepy days and some not-so-sleepy days. Today is a sleepy day but if he's awake, he wants to be held!!

I'm thankful to have such a good sleeper (at night) otherwise I wouldn't be able to spoil him like I am doing!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Elsie's Speech


"Ear"

Elsie is finally starting to make some progress with her speech. I want to record it here so I don't forget how old and what she is saying! :) Here are the words she says that I can remember. In parenthesis beside the word I am explaining how she says the word. Some of these are probably only ones that I can understand.

Mama
Daddy
Sissy
Noah (no no)
Dewey (not very clear but says "dew uh")
Snack (nack)
Eat (eah - has a hard time ending words!)
Ear
Eye
Mermaid (murh, murh - it is a picture in a book, I don't know why she picked up on this one)
Blueberries (bu bu)
Cheese (chee)
Nana (sounds more like ninny)
Papa
RoRo
TV (tee tee)
Elmo (very clear! Ha!)
Amen (ah meh)
Shoes
Paci (pah)
Ball
Chair
Isaac
Car (only when we ask her to say it, not when she sees a car yet)

That is all I can think of at the moment. She's getting her point across. She also makes a specific sound if she wants a drink but it doesn't sound like drink. Ha!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Blogging Friday: Sloppy Joes (crockpot optional)

These aren't fancy but they sure are good. I love Sloppy Joes - especially when they live up to their name . . . "sloppy". Mmm! Another one of my favorite tastes is BBQ and this recipes combines those two things beautifully.

So . . . if you like your Joes sloppy (ha!) and you like them to be a little more on the barbeque side then this easy recipe is for you!

First you take one pound of beef and brown it in a skillet.

*This beef is actually in my crockpot. I actually doubled this recipe because I was making it for a family at my church as well as my own family so I stuck all these things in the crockpot all day so it would be hot for me to take it to them come supper time.*



Chop 1/4 cup onion and add it to the beef.


Then add 1/2 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons barbeque sauce, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the beef and onions.

*Note: You can go very right with these ingredients or you can go very wrong! Read ingredient labels because many of these things can contain HFCS. You can easily find products without it though, just shop around!*



Simmer 10 minutes until all the flavors combine and sauce thickens. Or you can add it all to the crockpot on low at the beginning of the day and have it be hot and perfect right about dinner time.

Add to your favorite bun (I like using Thin Buns because they are only two or three weight watcher points - depending on the kind you get but it is just a regular bun in the picture below).




You can also add cheese or cole slaw or pickles or anything else that might strike your fancy!




Yum! (Sorry for the drop of meat on the plate. I saw that after I downloaded the pictures of my camera. I need to work on my photography skills. Just pretend it isn't there! Ha!)







Full Recipe:




Sloppy Sloppy Joes



1 pound ground beef or turkey breast


1/4 cup chopped onion


1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup


3 tablespoons barbecue sauce


1 tablespoon prepared mustard


1 tablespoon vinegar


1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


1/2 teaspoon celery seed


1/4 teaspoon pepper


6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Brown beef in a skillet. Add remaining ingredients except buns and simmer 10 minutes. Serve on buns with cheese (optional).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blessed Sisters

video

I have been very impressed lately with how loving and patient Abigail is with her younger siblings. Perhaps I ought to say "can be" with her younger siblings. It's not this way all the time but still. She is good at sharing and loving most of the time. This video is a great representation of that. Can you see her giving Elsie a kiss at the end? Funny!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Refreshing, Guilt-free reminder

I really have enjoyed this blog post that a friend shared with me and I wanted to share it with you. Of course I am still going to continue to sit down and work with my kids . . . when there is an opportunity.

But now . . .

I'm not going to stress over it!

http://simplehomeschool.net/the-truth-about-preschool

Friday, September 09, 2011

Food Blogging Friday: The BEST Chicken Pot Pie

I can honestly say in all my years on this earth that I have never found a better chicken pot pie recipe than this one. I haven't lived all that long but I challenge you to find one. This uses a white sauce instead of gravy and it is . . . yum!!

Okay, to start out with I made Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust. It was my first time trying it and yes, it was perfect. As a side note, I was tempted to try it with butter, and I think I will next time, but I used organic expeller pressed shortening and not Crisco.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/12/p-p-p-pie_crust_and_its_p-p-p-perfect/

Then you take 2 tablespoons butter and melt it in a sauce pan. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for about a minute. Don't burn it!!


Add 2 cups milk. Whisk constantly to prevent lumps.




Here is the key to this recipe. No matter now long it takes you must wait until this mixture is thickened. I have had it thicken in 5 minutes and sometimes I cook it more like 15 minutes. You'll know. I'm not sure what the difference is but you'll have watery and runny pot pie if you don't have a thick sauce.




*Add 1 cup of cooked shredded chicken.




Add one bag of mixed vegetables (your preference).




Add one teaspoon of Nature's Seasons.




Add the chicken, vegetable, and sauce filling to your pie crust.




Please ignore the beauty of my pie crust. It was NOT beautiful. It was delicious but not beautiful.


Add the top pie crust.




Bake for 45 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I actually ended up baking mine longer because the Pioneer Woman's crust was a bit thicker than my usual. I just made sure that the top crust was baked and the rest was perfect.




I forgot to get a picture of it before we dug in! I had some hungry people to feed!!





* The chicken. I made this recipe and others with cooked shredded chicken that I will occasionally put 5 or 6 chicken breasts in a crock pot with carrots, onions and celery and cook all day. Then I will shred the chicken, measure it out into one cup portions and freeze it. Makes this dish super simple! If you haven't done that ahead of time you can just bake or boil (or whatever) your chicken.

This is one of our favorite recipes. I could make it in my sleep, I think. Anyway, enjoy!!




The BEST Chicken Pot Pie


jaimeschechter.blogspot.com




2 pie crusts


2 Tbsp flour


1 cup cooked shredded chicken


2 cups milk


2 Tbsp butter


1 tsp Natures Seasons


1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

Place one crust in deep pie plate. In large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook until thickened. Add chicken, seasoning and vegetables and stir. Pour into crust. Top with other crust and seal and flute edges. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Freezes well.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What is important: Society vs God's Truth

I recently came across the following article and it said everything that I have been thinking and experiencing these last few years.

It also has challenged me to the core! It has challenged me to let go of my frustrations, which are really just selfish desires, and to be even more in-the-moment with my kids.

Read this:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/motherhood-is-a-calling-and-where-your-children-rank

After I read this, I was struck with the realization that I have had this happen to me so many times lately. I have had so many comments from people saying:

"Why would you put yourself through that?"

"How do you cope?"

I could go on but I won't. I can so easily recognize it now as people valuing other "things" in this life above the precious gift of children. I am guilty of this myself! I can very easily slip into wanting to do my own thing each day and when that thing gets interrupted then the frustration and anger sets in.

I can see this issue goes beyond raising children. True sacrifice is not a very popular option.

How can we change that?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

4 month old comparison pictures

Here are pictures of the kids at approximately the same age (around 4 months old).

What do you think? Similarities?

Abigail










Elsie


Noah














I think Elsie is the most unique looking (meaning not like the other two) but I'm not sure. Anywhoo, they're all cute!! :)

Picnic and Visiting Daddy

About once a year I try to take the kids to visit their daddy at work. I think it's fun for them to see where he works and he says (ha ha!) it's fun for him when we come visit. So . . . last Wednesday I packed up a picnic lunch, packed up the kids, and headed downtown to visit him. I hadn't been since last fall - right after I found out I was expecting Noah but before we had told anyone.

It really makes me appreciate my extremely hardworking husband all the more for making that LONG drive every single day.

We picked him up at work and opted to have a picnic lunch at the nearby Eden park rather than brave eating in a tiny downtown restaurant with our many-children-who-like-to-scream!

We had a beautiful spot where we could see the Ohio River.






And . . . had a nearby playground.








I didn't get any pictures inside Andrew's office but you can surely imagine it. It looks like an office! :)


It really was a fun day and if the drive wasn't so far we'd do it more often. :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Chatty Boy



My boy just slept through the night (a few days ago) for the third time - 9 pm to 7 am. He's growing up! Time, slow down!!


He's becoming more vocal. He's always had a loud cry (has to be heard over his sisters - you know) but lately he's just become more chatty.


So much fun but also a reminder that this time is precious. Someday he'll be really talking and I will miss these days!



video



Monday, September 05, 2011

Camping Adventure

I wrote a few posts ago about the little bout of sickness that hit our house. Well, it all started with this camping adventure! My husband, bless him, has been wanting to take our oldest girl camping for quite some time. We decided the back yard would be the best place to begin. So, he set up a tent.


The exitement from the girls was quite fun to watch!



Abigail loved the "doggy" door we have in our tent. We used to take our dog camping with us. Now it will have to be the kids door! :)




Well, I think my husband and daughter lasted two hours in the tent until my daughter started vomiting so they opted (ha ha!) to come inside.


Hoping the next time goes better.


Here is a video of how exited they were to play in the tent. At least they got a few hours of playing in it.




video

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Blessings

We have been receiving so many blessings lately. I want to briefly share them for my own memory and for the most important reason - to praise Him who has made all these things possible!!

1) Our home refinance came back a whopping $15,000 more than the last one we had done in January.

2) We had a medical bill (worth thousands) that I was mentally and financially preparing to pay. We received a letter yesterday that said we qualified to have it reduced by 100%. I still feel like it's a joke! Wow!

3) A blessing of a quarterly bonus.

4) A very positive review for my hardworking, initiative-taking, intelligent husband today during his yearly review. He's the only person I know who has continued to work (part-time) for previous employers after he leaves their employment full-time. That says something about his work ethic, integrity, desireability as an employee and overall genius! :)

5) And . . . this is nothing new but I have lovely, beautiful, intelligent, funny, precious children I get to care for all day, every day!!

I know that there will be days when these blessings seem like a distant memory and I will praise God for those days too but I want to praise him (and remember for my sake!) these wonderful blessing-filled, encouraging days.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Preschool Time: Camping Adventure

Abigail is not attending preschool this year, unlike almost everyone else we know. Therefore I am attempting to have a "preschool time" with her several times a week.

Our first subject was learning about camping. It fit in nicely with my husband's plan to take Abigail camping one night. More about that experience later. The resources I found were great. They worked on vocabulary, math, writing, letter recognition and sounds, games, painting, etc. We're still working on it, actually!!

I usually try to have this time during Noah's morning nap. He isn't napping reguarly yet so it's still tricky. Then we have Elsie. Oh Elsie. She wants so badly to be included yet she can't do everything that big sister can. So I have started to encourage her to color . . .



And she does pretty well. She will only last a few minute until she gets frustrated and bored but at least it's a start.

And this darling . . .



absolutely loves to learn. She will jump for joy if I say I am going to pull out the learning sheets. I hope I can keep this up as Elsie and Noah grow and change. I figure that she'd only be going to a formal preschool 2x a week so that is my guide. We've easily surpassed that these first two weeks.


Trying a s'more as part of our camping adventure.






I still think that the best form of learning for this age group is through play and life situations. It is amazing to see how much she imitates us and how much she learns through that. So this is not strict or formal in any way. In fact if she ever showed signs of not enjoying it, it would not be a priority in our house. She seems to love sitting down to work on this stuff so I will take that as a sign that she's ready for it.