Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm obsessed

For some reason this week, it just dawned on me that I have THREE kids to teach next year...actually that would be 3 kids to start teaching in about 6 weeks. Sure, I taught Princess P last year too...but not really. PreK is just for fun, IMO. She learned her memory work right along with the boys, but there isn't the pressure for me to really TEACH them before Kindergarten. So, this year, I'll be teaching a 5th grader (yikes!), 2nd grader, and Kindergartener. Oh My! I usually get obsessed with choosing curriculum back in May, even before we finish up the current school year. But, for some reason, it slipped my mind this year. Maybe because we are so loving Classical Conversations so know we are doing that again this year...I don't know. Still, with CC, I need to get Math, Language Arts, Bible, etc lined up on my own.
So this week, if you wondered where I had been, I have been up to my eyeballs in curriculum. Searching online, visiting Mardels (and for the first time ever...leaving Mardels without spending a dime - wow), asking friends, reading message boards, etc. I think I have a plan in my head now and just need to get it on paper and start hunting for the best deals (that is a game in itself...I like to put the retail prices in a list and see how much I can beat it by - haha).
Oh, and for some strange reason, I am also obsessed with cleaning out the rooms upstairs. It looks like we might end up having a garage sale at some point this summer (or's too hot now). I would prefer to just donate it all, but the kids are itching to make a little money so I might have to suck it up - ugh.
I am trying to figure out what to do with an extra room upstairs. We already turned the playroom into a playroom/school room...but we never use it for school. We always end up back down at the kitchen table, our bed, or the couch. We also have a craft room up there that used to be the guest room but we gave that bed to P when she outgrew her toddler bed so now it is just a junk/catch all room. I am considering moving my office up there (but it is so handy down here) or making that an extended school room....wonder if Big Daddy would let me knock out part of a wall....hhhhmmmmmm.....

Monday, June 21, 2010

The one with a TON of pictures (aka. our 1st camping trip)

[After writing this all up, it got really, REALLY long....I want it for our records, but don't expect anyone (except you, Big Daddy!) to read this]

We had been looking at motorhomes/campers/etc for over a year before we finally found one that caught our eye last month. It isn't pretty...but it was cheap (in motorhome talk) and met enough of our requirements for us to agree that it was "the one" ;) So, Big Daddy drove her home a few weeks ago and I marked this past weekend off my work calendar so we could have our first adventure. We dropped it by our family mechanic, who kept it for about 2 weeks and got it all safe for us (new brakes, belts, etc). We got her back Thursday evening and still planned to leave after work on Friday. Big Daddy picked up Wendy's for us to eat on the way, so we didn't have to cook as soon as we got there. Apparently Captain C was taking pics from the back seat - haha (I forgot my camera....I know, I know :( so I was thankful he brought his!).
Side note: whenever we pick up dinner, Princess P always says, "I'll just have a sandwich from home" so here she is, eating her pb&j ;)

We got to the campground and got the motorhome backed in the first try (woot!) and started getting it set up. Everything was going great until we tried to hook up the water...and the hose was too short. Oh well, we had enough in our tank that we did ok without any fresh water (I had packed quite a few gallons of drinking water and we just saved the few dishes that weren't paper to wash at home). Oh, and I should mention that everything we read said you should definitely bring a car on your first trip b/c you WILL forget things. We ignored that and figured we would just "rough it" if we forgot something....after all, it was only for a weekend.

We had a great first night, playing around the camp and catching lightening bugs. They ended up with a bottle full of them that lit up the camper...until they 'fell asleep'.
Notice the Winnebago manual in the picture....we kept that baby close by this weekend. Although it wouldn't have killed them to throw in a little blurb about how to open (and close) and awning. Each one took us about 30 minutes to figure out - haha!

After dark, T and the boys watched Back to the Future and I read while Paige talked to me while I read ;)

It took some convincing to get little t to sleep by P but finally he did (actually, he said he was afraid she would pee on him so slept hanging off the bed with only his head on the bed - In her defense, she has never wet the bed since she was potty trained by 2 so not sure what his real issue was...except he likes his space).

Saturday, we went out first thing to hike before it got too hot to leave the a/c (what the Winnie lacks it looks, she makes up for with her coolness....awesome!).

Incidentally, this is the last picture that C's camera took before the batteries died...and did I mention that I forgot my camera (UGH!). Oh but don't fear, I did have my phone. Not a fancy i-anything, mind old Nokia flip phone that happens to take pictures - woohoo. Better than nothing, right?

We spend most of Saturday IN the motorhome. And had a blast. We played Farkle and Princess P kicked our butts - lol. Then moved on to cards...I tried to teach t and P "Spite and Malice" that my Grandma used to play with us whenever we would visit. After one round, t said, "Can we just play Go Fish?" we did.

Much better (and I won!). Then we brought in the whole family and played BS (which we called "Liar"). P was WAY too good of a was kinda scary. For being 5, she totally caught on to the game and was all, "What are we on?" "Kings" "I don't have any Kings, Oh is one"...and would totally throw anything down there with a straight face. t, on the other hand, wasn't quite as good and ended up with most of the deck in his little hands.

P also made up a card game for us...that was fun -haha! I had checked out several movies from the library so the kids watched a movie on the laptop and I read more (I almost finished 2 novels this weekend - :) )....Big Daddy and WonderMutt napped.

We ended Saturday with cooking hotdogs and s'mores over a campfire, just to make the camping experience complete.

P was pleasantly surprised to find a duck shaped chip ;)

Sunday was Father's Day and the kids had brought along their gifts for Daddy. They LOVE giving gifts and had been asking all weekend if they could, but we made them wait until Sunday. And no, they didn't get him anything from VS...they just grab whatever bags they can find to wrap things in :)

After a pancake breakfast, we decided to load up early and go home and swim, instead of staying b/c it was SO hot on Sunday. So by 11, we were all ready to go....and the motorhome wouldn't start. Totally dead. AAA came and tried and the battery was fine so they left. Remember when I said we weren't going to bring another hindsight, that was dumb. T's brother and his wife ended up dropping what they were doing to come all the way out to us to help.

My sister-in-law and I sat in the cool motorhome and caught up with each other while the boys replaced the cylinoid....but it still didn't start :( So they took us all home to get the van and Big T bought a new starter and we drove back to the lake, praying that this would be it. Now, let me stop here to say that while T is an amazing husband and father, he isn't a mechanic. This was totally new ground for him, but his brother had walked him through taking the starter off before he left so he figured he could put it back on. It turns out, that even if the car is off....if you hook up a starter, it WILL try to your hand. I haven't been that scared in a LONG time as when I heard that thing start firing up with T and t under the motorhome (little t could squat under there and wanted to watch). T was shaking like crazy and I didn't know if I was going to have to drag him out by his feet and revive him or what...but he was fine. Just a little shocked ;) I undid the batteries, he finished hooking it up and (after everyone was out from under it!), it started up perfectly. What a sweet, sweet sound!! Finally, 7 hours later, we were on our way home, sweet, home.

Even with the delay, it was a great weekend and we can't wait to do it again. Although, next time, I will follow in the car....just in case ;)

We asked the kids their favorite and least favorite parts of the trip, to see what we needed to do differently next time.

C: Fave - building the fire; Least fave - hiking
t: Fave - lightening bugs, fire, and everything; least fave - didn't have a least fave!
P: Fave - playing in the sand, and everything; least fave - also didn't have a least fave!
Me: Fave - all the time with the family - priceless! least fave - bed sucks (we threw out the bed that came with it and had one made...and it truly sucks!) and bug bites - the bug spray we bought didn't work...thank goodness for:

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I am sure Big Daddy would blame PMS but I feel that I have justified reasons to be grumpy today. Isn't it just like God to make a paper fall out of my Bible this morning (when I was grumpily going to read it because I had already made the boys read theirs so felt like I should) that had Romans 12:18 written out on it. I don't even remember writing it down, or what the situation was at that moment but apparently I needed it then, and I know I needed it this morning.

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, 
be at peace with all men." 

Dang it! I had bought hats and balloons and everything for my pity party and you know how I hate returning things. So, this is me, sucking it up, moving on, and not blowing things any further out of proportion.

Off to live in peace!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quest for health (aka. keep 911 on speed dial)

I joined a new homeschool community last fall and feel so blessed that not only do we LOVE the direction it took our homeschooling, I LOVE the friends I have made. Our fearless leader fondly calls us freaks and we all definitely have at least one characteristic of freakness to each of us...but not in a bad way. You see, sometimes it is totally ok to not be "normal" and do a few freaky things (think about it...we all have something that others would think is odd). Our differences make us such a great group and I am learning so much from these ladies. We have several families that eat very healthy...and they are slowly teaching us how to eat right. We have heard words and seen foods this week that I have never heard of...and I'm excited to keep learning. On Saturday, I visited my first Farmer's Market - super cool. I'll definitely do that again soon! For breakfast today, we had homemade bread (I love that I can set the bread maker to be ready at 7am and then go to bed and wake up to yummy bread baking smell), topped with homemade butter (really!). Delish! I spent 2 hours yesterday following a friend around Whole Foods, learning the good, the bad, and the ugly of our current diet. We have a long way to go but are taking baby steps to get there. Eating the elephant one bite at a time, so to speak.

Which brings us to kombucha. We had a ladies night out last week and one of my awesome friends brought us starters of kombucha. She use to teach Science so I thought she had pigs ears or something in there that we could dissect with our kids. Nope. No such luck. Hmmm....after researching it online, I think it really will be good for us to detox our bodies from all the junk we put in, so I decided to start it last night.

When she was giving us the directions, I was adding in things that probably would be common sense to most, but really, I need this dumbed down for me! But I felt good about it and got started.

I got through step 1 without incident. Boil a gallon of water. CHECK.
Then we got to step two, add tea bags. I thought I did really well with that one, until the house started stinking. See, we have a gas stove and those little strings that hang down with the labels on them are pretty long. And apparently NOT flame resistant! Oops. Lit all three on fire. Here is what was left of the 3 after I finished step 2.

I got it all finished and it is quietly fermenting in a cabinet as we speak. Yummy.

So, wish me luck on my quest for health. It will be worth it...if it doesn't kill us in the process ;o)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thankful for Strep ;)

I finally had to take Terrific T to the doctor today. He just wasn't getting better and now started complaining about his throat. It wasn't bad enough to keep him from eating at CiCi's and swimming last night...or from swim lessons today, but he said his chest hurt too today so they squeezed him in. I didn't go into details on that last post, but he had been waking up feeling shaky and having really low blood sugar. I called the nurse on Wed and she said to just bring him in when he is healthy and they would check him over. Hmmm...Ok? Due to other family members with diabetes, that is always in the back of our minds so we were trying to not worry and praying for the best. He also has had a rash all week. Turns out he has Fifths Disease.  The doctor wanted to swab him for strep but I told her "We don't ever get strep" and than ate my words 5 minutes later when it came back positive. 1st time for everything, I guess ;) She said that the low blood sugar was due to the body fighting off an infection, the strep (might need to educate their nurses a little better, ya think?). Needless to say, we are thrilled that little t has much better than the alternative.  Just poking t a few times this week has given us a much great appreciation for the reality that my little niece with type 1 diabetes, and all the others with this awful disease, live with daily :( We love you, N, and will keep on praying!!!

And on a side note, looks like its time to take Captain C to the eye doctor again. He couldn't read a sign on the wall from across the exam room (we spent a good hour in there waiting to be seen so had lots of times for mommy tests ;) ). Last year on Easter, he asked us why they put words on the screen at church if no one can read them...and got glasses the next week. Looks like we might need to revisit that prescription soon!

[I just realized that you can see the rash on t's hand in my photo blog today - oops!]

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Casting all my cares on Him.

I am a worrier. And I do it really well. If something comes up, I like to google it to death and read the worst case scenario and know all the details. I especially like to bring it up over and over to Big T...he loves this when he is trying to fall asleep ;) Today, I had a little heath scare with my middle kiddo. Something was just off and it kinda freaked me out a bit. However, a couple of hours into worrying (and googling), I remembered our Pastor's message on Sunday morning. He said that if you can worry, you can meditate. Think about it. Meditation and worrying are basically the same thing, thinking about something over and over. Why not switch from worrying (over something that I can't change anyway) to meditating on God's Word and enjoying the comfort he offers. We had done all we could do (we are still being cautious, not being stupid and ignoring anything) so there was no need to worry to death. The kids and I prayed and then we cranked up with some worship songs and went about our day, trusting that the peace of God would transcend all understanding.  And we enjoyed our day.

Try it. Next time you start worrying, go to the Word and find a verse you can meditate on. Or fill your mind (and home) with praise music. It is hard to be worrying and praising the Lord :o)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I think I can, I think I can

I have always lived by the rule that there is no reason to run, unless you are being chased. I broke that rule today.

Back story: I started a "Biggest Loser" type comp with my sisters, mother, and brother-in-laws on January 1st. Somehow, over the last year or two, I had put on 15 pounds that I couldn't ignore any longer. In about 8 weeks, I lost 13.8. Then stopped losing. I don't know if it is a fear of success thing or what, but I could never bring myself to lose that last 1.2 pounds and be back at my fighting weight. 4 months later, I am still teetering around the same mark...never quite getting to the 15 pound mark. It wouldn't even be that hard at this point. I know how to do it (oddly, if you eat less and move more, you lose weight - genius, I know!), I just needed the umph to do it. I helped some friends with some moving on Sunday and my legs are killing me. They shouldn't be! Like, really, they shouldn't be sore after that little work. So today, C and I got up before Big Daddy left for work and jogged around the block. And I survived. C loves to run but I hate it. But I do like being with him and I know, even if he doesn't send me a Halmark card saying it, that he likes being with me. we go. Let's see if I can get to that 15 pound mark....and then push it a little further. Strangely, XXX pounds doesn't look the same at "mid-life" as it did in college ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Little life lessons (aka. money talks)

Our first born is 10. He is all about making a buck. You can get him to do just about anything for some cash. Last year, he started mowing the front yard, then the front and back yard, and then moved up to mowing Grandma and Grandpa's yard too and was able to save a big chunk of change before the year was over. I think he is the only person in Oklahoma who was dying for the grass to grow this year so he could start mowing. I should also mention that lately he has started with an oh so enjoyable, pre-teen attitude that has got to go. If you thought the terrible 2's were fun, just wait! So this morning, I asked him if he would run out and mow the front yard before it gets too hot. He mumbled something but didn't do it. I gave it about 30 minutes without mentioning it again, then sunscreened up and went out to mow it myself. I didn't say a word. When he realized what I was doing, he started in with 150 excuses (mostly blaming me for him not mowing yet) and was trying to take over. Too late. I ignored his pleas and finished the front yard. When I quit (thankfully, I couldn't hear the whining with the mower running), he was right back by my side making more excuses. I was so proud of myself for being so calm and not getting agitated with him (which is SO easy to do these days). He is sulking but I think he actually learned something today. We will see if he remembers it when I ask him to mow the back in a bit ;)

A friend told me recently that they are at the age that they are deciding what kind of men they will be. I am praying that we can shepherd him in the right direction so he can grow up to be a Godly, responsible young man. Goodness, parenting is hard!

Why I blog?

Earlier this week, RHOK asked everyone why they blog and even though the week is almost finished, I am going to answer. I have different reasons for different blogs but one of the things that I love about blogs is that you take a few minutes, type up a blog, hit "publish" and it is done. You don't have to rewash it, repick it up, refeed it, or rewipe it over and over and over like everything else in a mother's life. You just publish and walk away. That post is done. I like having something finished.

Like I said though, I have different reasons for my blogs. I have one blog that I started in October 2007 to simply to record the crazy, off the wall things that my kids say and do. I found that if I don't write them down, I will not even remember them to tell Big T when he gets home from work so how will I remember them to tell the kids' friends or dates later on? I am planning to have these slurped into a book at some point so I can embarrass the kids later on :)

At the end of 2008, I realized that I had roughly 25,000 pics of my kids that year and 2 of me. I wanted the kids to know that they had a mother, not just a photographer, so I decided to challenge myself to take one picture a week with ME in it. Woah, crazy concept for a mom, right? It was so much fun. I didn't miss one week in 2009 and actually looked forward to posting. That book is almost ready to be printed...but I haven't taken time to finish it up yet. I didn't want to do the same thing in 2010 (I was tired of looking at me) but wanted to keep that blog up too. I changed it up this year and am still posting photos and sometimes they have me in them, but they always (or almost always) have a note in them. Just switching it up a little ;)

I also have a blog for my business. The reason for that one is pretty self explanatory ;)

Which brings me to this new one. I realized that I don't have a place blog where I can just speak freely. Share MY opinions and day to day doings, what the Lord is doing in my life, etc without trying to keep it in a certain mold (kids sayings, photos, biz). I think it will be fun to just be me. We will see.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Garage Sales

I love the idea of a garage sale....getting awesome things for really cheap gets me excited! However, it is a lot more work that you'd think. In an ideal world, houses would be where you think they are going to be and items would be neatly organized and priced. Y'all, it is SO not like that. My friend and I ventured out this morning at the bright old time of 8:30 to find all the supplies I would need to cheaply stock our new (to us) Winnebago. The kids were going to have so much fun playing quietly in their seats while we negotiated great deals. NOT! We learned a few things today that might help you out in the future if you decide that garage saling is for you.

1 - 8:30 isn't early. Our other friend joked that "all the good crap would be gone by 8:30" and it turns out she wasn't joking. These people are serious and apparently take naps to make up for getting up before dawn to get a pool with a hole in it for a quarter.

2 -  People are selling this stuff on their lawn for a is crap. If you want nice new things, your best bet is to go to a...what do they call those...oh yeah, to a STORE.

3 - Kids only play nicely in the car when there are bribes involved...namely sweets. However giving them said sweets can result in them bouncing off the car walls until it wears off. But you should be able to get through 4 or 5 sales before you need to reload them so it is totally worth it.

4 - While you might not find the treasures you were searching for, the surprise treasures make the trip totally worth it. Seriously, this was $1 - sweet! Honey, you don't need to worry about this year's Halloween costume. I've got ya covered! Surprisingly, this thing was never worn!

PS. I broke up with Mr. Farmers via his secretary who took it rather well. Phew, glad that is behind us!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do...

Big T has been with the same auto insurance dude since '87. Really. That's 23 years, people. No one better accuse him of having commitment issues ;) And it isn't without merit.... Mr. Farmers really is a nice guy. He is always friendly when we chat about coverage and very prompt with both his Christmas and Birthday cards every year. We've never had a single issue or reason to break up...until now. We have found someone else. Sure, they are both just as beautiful on the outside and even both wear the same impressive 100/300/100 size...but Ms. AAA can do something that Mr. Farmers will never be able to do....she's leaving us with money in our pocket! Like, we are kicking ourselves at just how much we will be saving by switching. Last week, we added in a motorhome to the two cars already covered (a whole other post for a whole other day!) and will be saving $900+ a year.  Money talks, y'all and as of 5:02pm tonight, we are having an affair. See, we are currently double insured until we get the nerve up to call Mr. Farmers up and break up with him. I told Big T that I would do it since I haven't been involved in this relationship quite as long (just 13 years) so it won't hurt as much but I am still dreading making that call tomorrow. I have his email....but it would be tacky to break up over email...right? I know, I know. I will man up woman up and make the call....soon.

So...let's see how this goes.

I have several blogs going now but none that are a place where I can just post whatever I feel like posting, whether it be serious, stupid, venting, or boasting. I have my blog of things the kids say (that I am so grateful for or I would never remember the crazy things they say at the end of the day), my photo a week blog (that I started so my kids would remember they had a mom when they look back on the 1000's of pics of them and see none of me), and my biz blog (that pays the bills - woot!) but I got thinking that there is More 2 Les (that's me) than being a mom or photographer. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, I just don't need my entire identity wrapped up in individual things. I hope to be able to find remember who I am and have fun in the process.

So, let's see if I can spin one more plate without them all crashing down around me. K?