Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The beginning of the summer was WET.  
I mean, almost every day it rained.  
And rained.  And rained.  
I was wondering if our garden would drown, 
though thankful that I didn't have to go out and water it daily!

We've had a small little harvest!  
And actually, now we are hoping it will rain 
as things have really dried out the last several weeks!  

Here are some pictures from our little patch of sunshine! 

(This carrot looks like it exploded in the growing process!)


 Our spaghetti squash are about ready to be picked!


And this girl... all she wanted was a banana!

Monday, August 10, 2015

And so it begins....

Today was Eloise's big day... her first day of KINDERGARTEN!

Now, I have to admit she was not overly thrilled to begin school.  She actually threw a couple of tantrums (mostly just dramatic whining) this weekend when we would try to hype her up for it.  Always trying to spin it in a positive light, we would tell her how much she would learn and that she would get to stay home with me and her sisters, etc., etc.  Nothing we said could convince her that she was going to enjoy homeschool.

We even made graham crackers yesterday so we would have a "snack" prepared!

And this morning, after her special first-day-of-kindergarten breakfast of (egg free) French Toast and fresh fruit... she was just convinced this was the most horrible thing.  Starting homeschool and all.

But miraculously, despite a few bumps in the road, she survived and actually said she enjoyed it!  I'm thinking she was more glad she got it done and could go play... but hey, I'll take it!

Here are the girls enjoying their snack!

I'm hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly as today!
(And the next day and the next day... etc.  But I'm under 
no illusion that we will not have our *rough* days!)  :)

SO BLESSED to be able to stay at home with my girls and 
homeschool them!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

8 Months!

Audra turned 8 months!

 This girl has been on the go!  
Not only is she crawling, but she is pulling herself up and 
walking along furniture, letting go and holding her balance steady.  
She has yet to take any *real* steps, but I'm ok with that!

And!  She has two teeth!
Praise the Lord that those teeth finally broke through!
She was quite a bear for awhile.  

We do a mix of baby foods and finger foods.  
She prefers finger foods, but I admit that I 
am a little paranoid about her choking!  
So we are taking that a bit slow!

She does not like to be told "No" (as seen above)... 
and is developing quite her own little personality.
She is a bit of a ham when mimicking us!
And I LOVE her giggle!

The same day Audra turned 8 months, we also
had her dedicated at church.  My sister wrote up a post about it on her
blog, if you care to check it out!  I didn't get many pictures
since I was the one actually standing up front and 
busy with other things once we got home.
We hosted a small picnic gathering for family and friends
who attended the service.

It was a day to celebrate, however, also a 
day of sadness as we learned that a young man
that we know took his own life several hours after
the church service ended.
It has been a time of grief for our church family,
and will continue to be so for quite some time, I'm sure.

The day after the dedication, we celebrated my birthday.
Here I am with my girls!

Hard to believe that the summer is already winding down.
So thankful for the beautiful weather we've had
and the days and evenings of playing outside!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Buck Fifty

Back, oooohh, 9 years ago, Cory and I made a trip to NYC to pick up an old crane game to put in my dad's shop.  THAT was an interesting trip.  We are not city people.  At. All.  Thankfully we made it back in one piece and we had a crane game to boot!  I admit, I am somewhat of a crane game addict.  The thrill of the "catch".  Now, I'm no dummy.  I know that there are different settings to make it easier or harder to win and it just depends on the machine you use.  BUT, there are little tricks that you can use for any machine that increase your chances!  

Unfortunately, my parents machine ended up breaking after only several years of use.  They tried to have a couple of people repair it, but I think it's beyond repair.  Something electrical.

Anyway!  When Eloise was around 8 months old, I believe, we took her picture in the machine.  Then along came Dinah and when she was around 9 months, we took her picture.  Now that Audra is coming right up to 8 months (and my parents are going to get rid of the machine), we decided to get her picture.  And how could we resist all 3?!  :)  Kind of a fun memory to have!

Anybody got a buck fifty to try to win these little sweeties from the crane game?  ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Round and Round...

I feel like we have been on the go for the last couple of weeks... and I'm exhausted!  

We had to make 5 separate trips to a town/city about an hour and 15 mins (one way) for Allergist and Eye Appointments (plus another hour trip to my hometown for an appointment for me!).  It's no joke to have to cart 3 kids under the age of 4.5 on multiple car rides.  I think we're done for awhile.  At least I hope anyway!

The diagnosis is... 
Egg allergy for little miss Audra.  :(  

Though I am not overly pleased at that, at least we are already familiar 
with it as we have dealt with Eloise's food allergies for the 
past several years.  And on the bright side, 
little miss Dinah does not seem to have any 
allergies to egg or peanut at this point!  PHEW!

Eloise got her glasses!
She has done very well leaving them on.
I have to admit, I'm still getting used to her eyes being 
a bit magnified... but I am thankful she can see.
And if you looked through her glasses...
you would wonder how she ever could see
without them!  They are definitely STRONG!

The Eye Doctor even gave her a Hello Kitty Case, 
which she is extremely proud of!
Poor girl was tuckered out!

And of course, 
Little Sister wants to be like Big Sister. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Getting Ready...

Do you ever feel disappointed when you go to the mailbox to find it... *gasp!*... empty?  
Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling I'm not alone! ;)

Anyway, imagine my excitement today when I got a package in the mail!  
Of course, it wasn't random.  It was something I had ordered.  
But the excitement was still there!  

Taa Daa!!

Cory and I have decided that the best route for Eloise, amid her food allergies (and lets face it, the way this country is going... dare I say... downhill), is to homeschool!  I admit that the thought is a little overwhelming.  I grew up dreaming of being a stay-at-home mom, taking care of my babies until they were school age, only to send them off to school and have the whole day to myself.  I could throw pottery.  Weave at the loom.  Sew.  Cook, clean and all that stuff as well, of course.  But fast forward to REALITY.  Having a kid (or two.. or three) really changes your perspective on life.  At least for me.  You go from being a selfish kid... to a selfish adult... to a parent who needs a major attitude adjustment.  Trust me, I struggle with that daily.  It's hard to let go of years of doing for myself.  Not that I didn't do for others or volunteer, etc.  But you know what I mean.  You get to eat when you want, wake up when you want (well, depending on jobs and responsibilities), go to bed when you want, wear what you want, etc etc... you get the point.  When you become a mama, you are subject to a demanding infant who wants to eat when they want, poop, sleep, play and all other manners of infant to toddler things that make you realize that you probably should go to bed AS SOON AS the baby falls asleep at night because you know you'll only get to catch a couple hours of sleep, if you're lucky.  Or you might as well wear your old Tshirts from high school because you don't want to get your "good clothes" spit up on or projectile pooped on (yes, that's happened to me!).  You eat when you can fit it in... and same with chores.  You feel like you're going CRAZY for awhile.  (Maybe it's just me?).

Anyway, it's taken me awhile to TRULY realize that the most important thing in my life at this moment is to take care of my family, with God as the center.  I used to get restless because I never felt I had time for ME.  But I am finally finding the balance.  It's a good place to be.  Not perfect.  But good.  I still make a little time for myself sometimes.  Mostly when the younger two nap and Eloise has a little quiet time.  I will sew or try to crochet (yikes!).  I am happy to be blessed to stay at home with my children.  And I'm even happier to be able to homeschool and use every day experiences as learning situations.  AND I AM SO EXCITED that our Bible Curriculum came in the mail today!!  My sister, who homeschools her three, gifted me many resources to get Eloise started.  I have been sorting through and figuring out what we want to use this year.  I absolutely love the idea of doing Bible lessons.  Of course my children read bible stories and sing scripture-based songs, etc.... but we don't take them to Sunday School (food allergies make us very wary... especially when even family sometimes has a hard time remembering to be careful with what they bring around El).  We want our girls to be grounded in the faith and what is the best place to learn than at home, by the people who love you most? 

Eloise is 4.5 now and won't be 5 until January, however, she is reading very well and we feel that if we wait another year she will just be spinning her wheels.  She loves to learn, so why not fuel that hunger for knowledge? And the bonus is that Dinah will get to learn along side her in little spurts!  And they'll still have time in their day to play!  Playing is learning, after all! :)

Now... to get myself organized...