Graduation

Graduation

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Snaggle-tooth Boys

Daniel lost two teeth in two days, and Ethan joined him yesterday!  I wonder what foods I should be preparing for their toothless mouths to enjoy...

Adorable. 

Hannah has been pretty dissappointed that she hasn't lost a tooth, yet.  She's been so upset, and there's no reasoning with her.  A couple weeks ago she was distraught because she didn't know how to fly, and there was nothing I could say to talk her down from the completely unreasonable position she'd taken.



(P.S. I got my Christmas gifts- 1. a new "cyber-cheap" camera to get me by until I can get what I really want...at which point my children will be old enough to be completely uninterested in my gadgets. and 2. a new keyboard for my laptop because the girls had popped off over half of my keys so I rarely typed anything at length!  They had better not even touch these keys... grrrr.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pothole Commercial By: Daniel

video

This is Daniel's rendition of the "pothole" commercial.  He's my little comedian, that one.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Fun

October was a phenomenal month!  Beautiful weather, and I'm pretty sure the leaves all changed into the most beautiful colors overnight!  The weather cooled off so much that I'm looking forward to the electric bill...  Well, "looking forward to" may be a stretch, but I'm certainly not dreading it. 

Last Friday, we carved our pumpkin and roasted the seeds. And by we, I mean Deron. He carved it. I tried and failed miserably. He scored a bunch of daddy points with that. However, I roasted the seeds, and I felt like a pretty accomplished mama while the kiddos munched on the fruit of our labor.  Ethan and Daniel were pretty grossed out trying to help clean it all out, though. The seeds were really good, and roasting them was much easier than I thought it'd be. They tasted kinda like homemade chex mix.
That afternoon, we did fall coloring pages and word searches, and then, the little rascals spent the afternoon making leaf piles and playing "leaf fireworks." It was the best!

We headed out to the pumpkin patch with our church family Sunday afternoon and got lost in the corn maze! (Not really.  We didn't brave the adult maze.  We walked around the kiddie maze.) I have been The kids have been eating waaay too much of all the candy I've managed to buy on the cheap. Rationing the goodies is difficult especially since I buy the good stuff. No boring candy in this house. It's hard enough for me to restrain myself. I don't expect miracles from the kids. Note to self: Hide the candy. Maybe if I move it, it'll be less of a temptation. Seriously.

Since the weather has cooled off, mornings on the front porch with Deron have become crisp and perfect for our pipin' hot cups of coffee and a cozy blanket! Honestly, it's perfect. Just perfect.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Update: The Princess Haircut

These photos are pre haircut fix. Well, I tried to fix it, but this was Friday. We went Saturday to get them to even her out from my efforts.

Sooo, Hannah loved getting her hair cut so much that she finished it off herself the other day.

And for those who want to know: No, we don't actually leave the scissors out for the kids to play with! She used a kitchen stool to climb to the top of the bookshelf while I was sick with a stomach virus and Deron had left to go to the bank. I was too sick and too slow, I suppose. And she was much too quiet during all of her fun.

She immediately wanted her princess hair back. I'm ashamed to say this, but I freaked out! Completely. It was a short lived freak out, but she cried...I cried...we both cried and cried. In my feeble defense, I was sick. Seriously. I'm no good to anyone or anything without sleep or food, and I was suffering from the lack of both. Deron called me from the bank to get the account number, and we were crying and crying. So now, all the strangers at the bank know what a crazy lady I am. {sigh}


There was no way we could get it fixed for another week. We had a church meeting to go to, and Deron wasn't able to help with the other children durning the week. So I had to fix it the best I could, and I have to pat myself on the back. It wasn't too terrible this week.

We went this morning, and the stylist fixed her right up. She blended it and fixed it up in the front to disguise the front of her hair where she cut it down to about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Also, I thought she had bedhead before... Short hair creates worse bedhead. Fact.




It looks really good on her, but it's such a dramatic change. It's taken a while to get used to.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sausage and Rice

With the weather cool, I thought I'd share one of our family's favorite warm, comforting, hearty, one dish wonders!

Sausage and Rice
(I always double this recipe. It reheats very well.)

1 pack of smoked sausage, sliced/diced
1 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes, drained, reserve tomato juice
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
sprinkle of garlic powder
1 12 oz. can of beef broth
1 c. brown rice
1 T. oil
salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste

In a large pot, heat your oil on med-high heat. Saute your onion, pepper, and garlic powder. Add your sausage and brown. While the sausage is browning, gather your liquid. I pour my juice from the tomatoes into a liquid measuring cup, add my beef broth and then enough water to equal 2 1/4 cups of liquid for a single recipe, doubling if needed. Once the sausage is browned to taste, add tomatoes, liquid, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Lastly, add your brown rice, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Enjoy!


**Note: If you use white rice, you'll need to add less liquid. Not sure how much less.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daniel!


To my precious, blonde-headed, blue-eyed, six year old boy,
It wasn't very long ago that we welcomed you into our family...into our hearts. You are a precious boy, and I'm very thankful for you. I remember the day you were born. No hair and that newborn reddish complexion. So sweet and precious, I couldn't stand it!

We brought you home, and that first night, you slept 5 hours in a row. By then, you'd surpassed your birthweight, so I knew you were growing well or I'd have woken you to eat. Still, I'd go and place my hand on your little chest just to feel you inhale. You would stir a bit, and I'd feel better. The doctor told me to enjoy it! You were a great sleeper! Still are really.

Right now, we're working through first grade, and you're doing so well. You'd rather not sit still while you work, and you'll wiggle in your chair. It's amazing how much you absorb considering how short your attention span is. Maybe it's a boy thing. Maybe it's an age thing. Maybe it's just a Daniel thing!

This birthday post was planned to come on your birthday, but we ended up sick. You told me you felt like your birthday had been cancelled, so we're having a "make-up" day! Cake and ice cream, here we come!

We love you, Daniel! You brighten our lives!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hannah Bella's Princess Haircut


My sweet baby girl looks so grown up since she had her "princess" haircut this afternoon. She walked into the hair salon somewhat timidly and perused the beautiful earrings and homemade jewelry and accessories they sell. Now, she wants her ears pierced, but I doubt she'll even remember that idea. She enjoyed having her hair washed, cut, dried, and "fixed," and by the drying part, she'd become quite talkative with her stylist. She assured her that purple really is the best color there is. She told her that she really does like her brothers and sisters, and she also insisted that chocolate is the best kind of candy there is! My kinda girl, my Hannah Bella.



I sure enjoyed the one on one time with my girlie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Couponing...The Real Deal

I've been trying to convert all of my non-couponing friends and family to join me in the money saving. It is worth your time. You will save money. Seriously.

But I don't want to buy all the junk the coupons are for... My answer to that reason for not couponing is this. Don't buy food with coupons if you're convinced you don't want any of the food items. Buy all your household items (i.e. dish detergent, laundry detergent, paper goods, handsoap, etc.) and personal care items (hair care, body wash, toothbrushes, paste, and floss, medicine, etc.) with coupons, and keep an eye open for great sale pairings.

But I don't have time for this... You have time. I don't clip coupons weekly! Ever! I file my inserts. Literally, I may not even look at the inserts, but I'll put them up. I have a file box with hanging file folders. They're labeled by month. I have one folder for All You magazine, one for store coupons, and and one for catalinas. I put a piece of paper to divide the inserts by week, and I quickly scribble, I mean, label the piece of paper with the date. I chose a reputable site for coupon match-ups, and I only clip the coupons as I want to use them. This makes preptime quick and easy.

Ficticious Example: $/1 Softsoap bodywash SS 10/3-- I pull the SmartSource insert from 10/3, clip that particular coupon and place the insert back in my box. Takes all of 30 seconds or less. Really.

Sunday, I bought 4- 18 oz bottles of Softsoap Bodywash, 2- 18 oz bottles of Dial Bodywash, 1 tube of Crest ProHealth toothpaste, 1 tube of Colgate toothpaste, 1- 20ct bottle of Advil Liquigels, 1 Purex 3in1 laundry cloths, 1 pack of Halls Throat Lozenges, and a bag of Brach's Candycorn. Grand total: $5.75 Total preptime: 15-20 minutes. (Confession: I rarely ever bought bodywash before I started couponing. We used plain bar soap, but once I started couponing, I kept finding it for free or for much cheaper than the bar soap. We have enough to last a long time! In fact, Deron doesn't use anything but the Men's bodywashes I've purchased for him.)

This afternoon, I plan to make a run to Walgreens to purchase FREE toothbrushes since we found out one of the children had been "borrowing" Deron's (nice.). During this particular trip, I will have to purchase something (don't know what that something is just yet) in order to absorb the overages into the negative.

Now, let me say this. I've only been effectively couponing for a year, now. At first, I bought all kinds of things because they were good deals, and I learned firsthand that you can burnout quickly if you're trying to get every great deal that comes along. Let me tell ya...there will always be good deals! Always.

So, if you burn out, take a break. Put it away, and don't worry about it. I took off most of the month of August, and we were no worse for it. We had plenty put up in stockpile and plenty of food. We made quick purchases for dairy and a few sales, but for the most part, I took off.

I've learned how to purchase things that we like and use for a fraction of the cost. As far as food items go, I, frequently, receive store coupons for $3/ $10 produce or frozen foods. There are, also, lots of yogurt and other dairy, juice, and most importantly, coffee creamer coupons.

My point is this: Couponing will save you money, and I wish I had done it sooner.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wedding Bells


My grandfather got remarried, recently, at the church Deron and I married. Just a little church out in the country. We tried to get pictures out in front, but the fact that the girls hadn't had naps was beginning to show. They're just like their mama. They need their sleep.

It was nice to revisit. The little church brought back so many precious memories. I could see myself frantic because Deron had gone out to eat for breakfast and took for-e-ver to get to the church. I could see his face while I walked down the aisle. I could hear Bro. Chad's voice while he spoke and instructed us during the ceremony. I could feel Deron's hand hold onto mine as we turned to walk out to the church as husband and wife.

Here we are...almost nine years later, but it feels like it was yesterday. Except for the fact that we have four children!

Precious memories...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 2010


September has been a very busy month.

We started school back in August, so this month, we really got in our groove with it. It's been wonderful. This year we're studying Astronomy, the Middle Ages, American History (in preparation for our field trips to Jamestown and Yorktown), and of course, literature, reading/phonics, math, and handwriting.

We've spent the past few days doing all our read aloud stuff out on the front porch because the weather is beautiful. The air has a nice chill. The leaves are turning. The breeze is blowing just right. The kids have enjoyed sitting around on the porch and listening. We put out fall flowers into all our front porch pots, and that seems to have transformed it into fall! It's so peaceful out there.

Halfway through September, we went to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and newest nephew, Baby Jackson. He's adorably cute and wonderful. Really, he's a very good baby. We had the best time.

I mentioned earlier that we were able to visit Jamestown and Yorktown. We toured both of the living history museums and learned more than we could have ever learned any other way. Seeing it up close...the recreations...letting the children ask questions and participate in activities...it was amazing!



There are moments I've wondered if my children are really listening and understanding what I'm trying to teach them. At Yorktown, Daniel answered questions about the Boston Tea Party, and I couldn't have been more excited! It felt like a little victory.

While we were in Virginia, Hannah fell head over heals for her Uncle Joe. At three years old, she wouldn't let him out of her sight... We went to a local county fair while we were visiting, and the guy running the ferris wheel was not very coordinated. They had to have been on it for 30 minutes! Then, they got to ride in the back of a monster truck, and Deron was surprised they didn't make you sign a waiver before getting on.


We started to ride the swings, but Hannah was too small. However, she did walk right up to the big ole dude running the swings and said, "I'm not scared. I'm a big girl. I can do it." Seriously. She did not do it. And then, when we took her to the kiddie dragon ride, she got in a yellow dragon and asked the guy, "Can I please ride in the purple dragon?" You should have seen his face, but he moved her to the purple one.

We had a blast. The best part about the fair was the food. Oh, they had all the typical fair food, but they also had local vendors. We got these amazing little fresh...not frozen or prefab in any way, shape, or form...crab cake sandwiches and sweet potato fries. Very good...very good. Another day, we went to Maggie Moo's Ice Cream shop, and I fell in love with cheesecake flavored ice cream and red velvet cake flavored ice cream.

We were able to babysit Jackson a few times for Jenn and Joe, and it made me miss having a little one around. Grace may be small, but she's not little! We'll get chance to be with Jackson again this weekend! Oh...and Jenn and Joe, too.

September has been great. And now that the weather feels like fall, I just can't ask for anything more!
I've had high hopes for staying consistent with our blog, so we'll see.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We did set him free...



We found this little fella scootin' across the front yard a few weeks ago. The children were thrilled, of course. Any excuse to play with another critter... They tried to "create a habitat" for him in our cooler! We set him free despite protests from the peanut gallery.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First Day of School


We started our 2010-2011 school year on Monday, and so far, things are going decently well. Ethan started 2nd grade, and Daniel started 1st grade. Entertaining the little princesses is a little tricky, but for the most part, it's been great!


















Guess who's my class clown?



















And the little darling girls...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

She's goin' to the pot-tay!


Grace is potty training! Hooray! She's finally ready. In the past, I'd always start the kids when I was ready or when "so and so" started their kid. I'd tell myself that it ought to work for mine if it worked for their kid. Then, it was like I was trained...not my child. Very frustrating.

Now, I know better. Well...I knew with Hannah, too. It was far less painful and a whole lot faster with her. I pushed the boys before they were ready, making life miserable for them and for me. Live and learn, I suppose.

I feel like dancing in the kitchen every time Grace talks about heading toward the bathroom! We all clap and jump up and down for her. She loves it! Seriously.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Officially switched!

This will be our full time family blog. I've stopped using the other blog since they changed it or went to a new server or something. I don't know, but it was driving me crazy! Welcome to the new blog! Maybe I'll write more now...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010