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...

Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Months

This little miss turned 7 months on the 26th!


Time flies, as I'm sure I've stated a million times before!

Currently Audra is enjoying sitting up on her own, scootching to get where she wants to go and making a huge mess with her toys.  It's amazing what a mess a little baby can make if you leave enough things within her reach!


She hasn't started crawling yet (thank goodness!), but she seems to be on the cusp of starting!  I am in no hurry, having had my other two WALKING around 9 months.  I am just not ready for that again.  It's fun to watch her try to move around and figure things out.... lets just hold off on the walking for awhile!

She still wakes up once or twice to eat at night... but otherwise sleeps like a champ.  Nap times are a blessing because it gives me a chance to get things done or focus on my other two!

We waited until after she was 6 months to start solids.  We try to do a mix of purees and finger foods.  She makes the funniest faces when she eats green beans, but she still opens up for more so I'm assuming she likes it!

Her giggle is contagious, as is her smile.  And she loves watching her sisters.  I think she gets frustrated at times not being able to play with them.  And they get frustrated when she invades their toys (and that we've had to round up all of the choking hazards and put them away for now).

What a sweet sweet blessing little Audra is!
Happy 7 Months! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Seeing Clearly

Today... Audra is 7 months old.  

I plan to do a little post about it, but it will have to be later.....

We are soon to be on our way to the Eye Doctor (a little over an hour away).  Eloise had reported seeing "red dots" on her bedroom ceiling at night when it was dark.  She has a small nightlight, but it is very insignificant.  We quizzed her on it trying to make sure she wasn't pretending, yadda yadda... and with everything Cory has gone through with his dad's brain tumors (and his own retina detaching and needing laser surgery), we figured it would be best to get her checked out.  The nearest Pediatric Opthomologist office is, like I mentioned, over an hour away.  So Cory was able to get her in this past Wednesday and he took her down while I stayed home with the other two.  I won't go into detail about the appointment, since I wasn't there I don't have great information anyway... however, it was determined that Eloise is 300% far-sighted.  I had no idea what that meant and called my sister to share my woes after Cory had called me to break the news.  I still don't really know what it is... other than it's not good.  I guess I could Google it... but I almost dread knowing (though I WILL look it up at some point soon).  All I know is that the doctor was SO thankful we brought her in when we did because had we let it go longer, it is possible she would have gone cross-eyed or ended up with a lazy eye.  He was surprised that she loves to read (and reads so well at only 4.5) because most kids have a difficult time with it.  He said that she must be finding a way to compensate for how poor her eyesight is.  I don't really understand how you can do that, besides holding something closer or farther away.  But they are the professionals, so we are trusting what they say!  He also said that out of the 50 patients he'd recently seen... he would hold up a silhouette of a chipmunk... and not ONE kid got it right... until his last appointment of the day.  Eloise.  That's my girl!  Everyone else thought it was a squirrel!  

I have to admit, I feel like I've somehow let her down.  Don't get me wrong, I know it could be worse.  And I know LOTS of people wear glasses (I wear them to drive).  But this poor girl with her food allergies and asthma issues... now this.  Sheesh.  Apparently it's genetic.  And Dinah will be tested at 3 yrs... if she has poor eyesight, then it's almost guaranteed that Audra will.  I truly hope and pray that they are OK!  I can't stand wearing glasses!  I always feel like they're in my way!  I suppose it's something you get used to though!  And it's not the end of the world.  I actually am excited for her.  To think - it will open up a whole new world for her.  Things she thought she could see... will be clear and in focus.  I may just have to video her reaction to putting on her glasses for the first time!  (Making a mental note....)

SO... today... we pick out frames.  Cory told me to let her choose whatever she wanted.  Even if they are bright purple.  Hmmm.......

Thursday, June 25, 2015

And... It's almost July.

Where has the time gone?  It's soon going to be July and I've barely had a moment to even think about blogging!

Our garden is continuing to grow.  We have harvested more radishes.... and believe it or not, I've been having success with growing tomatoes from our seeds!  It's been hit or miss with most of what I started indoors with seeds.  One broccoli plant made it (out of 4)... none of my cabbage made it.... several tomatoes bit the dust... and now my green peppers!  But four tomato plants are thriving and I am thrilled!  Like I have mentioned previously, I am very new to this... and it's a learning process, for sure!  The seeds that we planted directly in the garden seem to be doing well.  Hopefully the tomatoes will transplant well when the time comes.  We have been getting LOADS and LOADS... and I mean LOADS of rain this month so I don't think we've watered anything once!  Of course, some of my hanging plants around our front porch might be drowning a wee bit....

Anyway!  I have some good news!  If you have followed at all, you will know about my father-in-law's cancer situation.  (I would tag back to the posts, but literally am too lazy right now, phooey!)  He was not expected to live way-back-when in 2011... then again in 2013... and the doctors told us this winter that they'd be surprised if he was alive through March.  He had some really bad episodes and we truly thought it was soon going to be the end.  BUT, here we are at the end of June and we were able to celebrate Father's Day with him!!  

I insisted on a picture... and I truly think it is one to treasure!  I can't tell you what it meant to Cory to have his dad on Father's Day.  I know it's more a marketing ploy than anything (as every holiday is pretty much)... but it was another significant milestone to us considering he wasn't expected to be here.  I am not a hugging kind of person, but while everyone else was out getting into the vehicle to head home... I felt compelled to run back in and wish my father-in-law a Happy Father's Day and give him a hug and a peck on the cheek.  I even told him I loved him... and I am pretty certain I'd never told him that before.  I might have been more surprised than he was, but I just felt it needed to be said.  I am thankful for him (and my MIL) and for the man they raised Cory to be.  Of course he is not perfect... but he is perfect for me (despite our differences!)... and I am so thankful that Cory had such good parents.  And they have been wonderful in-laws and such loving grandparents for our girls.

After church on Sunday, my parents came over for a Father's Day visit.  We had some lunch and the girls ran around and played, loving the attention of course!  I was able to round up my crew and get a picture with my dad.  

I am so thankful for him and who he is!  We were never really close growing up... I just don't think he knew what to do with two daughters.  But I know he loved me and my sister... and I've always looked up to him for working so hard for our family.  Self employed in a small town for most of my life, my parents really scraped by for a lot of years.  But both of my parents worked their rears off for our family.... and I am grateful for that! 

This may give you a little chuckle before you go...
Father's Day evening I was in the kitchen (on the phone with my mom, if you must know) finishing up dishes.  The girls get a little bit of milk and are allowed to watch about 15 minutes of TV before bed while Cory takes a shower and I do a little straightening up.  I left Audra on her blanket, playing with toys.  The other two were (supposed to be) watching a show.  I finished the dishes and mosied over to a seat in the dining room where I could continue to chat with my mom and keep an eye on Audra.  She is starting to move a bit by scootching, so I don't like to leave her alone (obviously).  Eloise is glued to the TV, which is her nature when it's actually ON.  And Dinah was out of view..... but all of a sudden a smell hit me!  NAIL POLISH!  I jumped up and ran into the living room where Dinah was sitting on the floor, slathering her legs and feet in maroon nail polish!  Now, you have to know... we don't let them use "real" nail polish.  We opt for the less toxic "piggy paint".  However, some well meaning relatives had given the girls regular nail polish over the holidays and I had procrastinated on doing anything with them.  So they sat on our (open to the living room) steps in the same gift bag they came in.  (I know, so horrible of me).  The girls are not to be on the steps unless they ask (or are going upstairs, of course)... so Dinah went about halfway up the steps to retrieve the nail polish, brought it back down and was able to open it all on her own... and proceeded to make a huge mess, which included the adorable handmade skirt she'd worn that day... and the carpet!  Cory was out of the shower already and ran down the stairs, quick as a wink.  Of course he was NOT happy.  I wasn't either... but I knew it was ultimately my fault for many reasons... so I was just trying to keep calm and not make a big deal out of it.  (I hang my head in shame, truly)  So much for trying to go the less toxic route, as we ended up using nail polish remover to get it (mostly) off.  And, for future reference, if you ever need to get nail polish (or any stain!) out of carpet... google how to do it with Windex.  It works.  No joke.  I must say though, even though it was a little bit funny... and a lot alarming... I am just SO glad she didn't drink it!  I can't even imagine.  Thank you God!  

The nail polish is now far far away.... 

Hope you were able to spend Father's Day with the special guys in your life!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hooray for Harvest!

This weekend we were able to harvest 
some of the radishes in our little garden!!

I admit, it was tough having little hands help PLANT the garden... 
but having them help with harvest was a much more 
pleasurable experience.  Less room for error 
(as Dinah dropped about half our carrot seeds in the 
grass when we were trying to plant awhile back!  Oops!).

The girls were excited to see each radish as it was revealed... 
and, of course, we had to stop to watch the 
helicopter flying low over us!

Since our garden is quite small, we didn't get a lot... 
but that was expected.  We have more radish growing in 
another rotation.  We shared a few with my in-laws and
 then cut up the rest for ourselves! 

My only complaint was that we had some type of 
insect that would burrow holes in some of the radishes.  
That meant we ended up having to toss several of them.  
Any tips on how to naturally repel pests?

Friday, May 29, 2015


Real quick I just wanted to mention that I am having a Giveaway 
on my Shoepiddy Doos Facebook Page!  
It's just a quick one... ends on May 31st!  If you're interested, 
I'd love for you to check it out!  
Here is a picture of the shoes I'm giving away!  

Go HERE to enter!!

You don't have to "like" my page to enter... 
but I'd be thrilled if you did! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Little of Our Spring

We have been blessed with some lovely weather the past several days. 
 A few light sprinkles of rain, but nothing that
 doesn't dry up fairly quickly.  It has been wonderful to 
take the girls outside to play, a blanket and some toys 
for me and Audra.  Some friends of ours recently gifted us
some outside toys which the girls are just absolutely loving.  
I can't say I'm a huge fan of having giant plastic toys 
in my yard... but hey, it brings my girls joy, which brings me joy!

Not sure what you're supposed to do with a doll 
house outside (I don't like the idea of bringing dolls outside!)...
so Eloise decided it could be bunk beds!  
I thought that was pretty clever, 
and thankfully it holds up when they climb in!  
Just have to make sure it's clear of spiders first! ;)

This little kitchen has been getting a lot of use... 
we've had "mac-n-cheese", "blueberry pie", "pizza", "salad", 
and a plethora of other "delicious meals".

We were able to have a little picnic outside over the weekend.  
Cory was inside with Audra, so the girls and I sat outside 
and talked about what to get him for his birthday.
(Not an easy task, I might add!) 

Several years ago, I had bought some plants to try getting 
a little flower garden started in front of our (hideous) front porch. 
My choice of flowers didn't pan out too well... 
so this weekend Cory dug most of it out 
(except the Rose of Sharon and some iris) and did a little "cleaning up". 
I think it looks pretty nice and simple, considering the 
porch/block in the background.  My mom brought a few 
more hanging baskets, but I took this picture before we got them placed!

And look!