March 31, 2010

How Time Flies

On Saturday our little Lucan turned ONE! I can hardly believe it's been a year since his traumatic delivery. He is such a happy, healthy little guy, and I can't imagine our family without him. He had his one-year check-up on Monday. He is only 19 pounds, 8 ounces, and 28 1/4 inches long. I'd have to look up the definite stats in the boys' baby books, but I know that at a year they were well over 20 pounds already. Charis, on the other hand, was a mere 18 pounds at her one-year check-up.

I do know that Lucan's appetite was greatly diminished the week before his birthday, and for good reason--it looks like his top two teeth are ready to pop through any moment. He was crabby, drooly, snotty, and all that other fun stuff. But he seems to be through the worst of it, and his appetite has definitely returned. You should have seen him stuffing his mac 'n cheese into his mouth at lunch time!

Lucan isn't walking unaided just yet, but he is on the verge of a major breakthrough in this skill arena. He has recently realized that he can stand without help, and he is SO steady it's a wonder he hasn't just taken off yet. I'm sure it will be any day now! He loves having his own cheering squad that breaks into praise every time a sibling notices he is standing on his own or even, like last night, taking a couple of steps without realizing it.

Some favorites:

Food--bananas, grapes, raisins, pears, sweet potatoes, mac 'n cheese, Cheerios, spaghetti, PBJs. He does NOT like cheese and wasn't too excited about his first hot dog.

Objects--anything with a cord, especially Mommy's computer mouse. Socks. (He likes to chew on his own.) Stuffed animals. Chairs. (He likes to push them around the tile floor in the kitchen, as they help him walk.)

Toys--his walker, any one of multiple toy phones we have (he especially likes my old cell phone), baby keys (the ones that make noise when you push buttons, of course).

Activities--playing airplane, being tickled and chased, banging objects, grabbing anything he can reach off the table.

March 27, 2010


So...Ted and I put the kids in bed and were ready to tuck in early, but we are now waging war with the 3-year-old, who is screaming and raging in her crib tent. Charis is in the library (our home library, that is) reading so she doesn't have to lie in the same room with her sister, and the rest of us are biding our time until Kenna gives up and keels over from sheer exhaustion. So here's an update while I'm waiting...


Ted's birthday was Monday. He had to go into work early to file his travel voucher from his 10-day TDY to Mississippi, but other than that, he was free for the day. I felt bad that I hadn't gotten to plan anything particularly special for him (spending 10 days alone with 5 kids puts severe limits on one's brain cells and energy level), but I'm pretty fortunate in that his only request was to spend a quiet day at home with his family! After the afore-blogged-about errands and Mouse Hunt, he got to enjoy relaxing in the afternoon and playing games with the boys while Charis and I cleaned the stamp room. We fixed one of his favorite meals, lemon chicken and Cajun potatoes, and for his cake I baked his requested zucchini bars with cream cheese frosting. Yummy! We enjoyed a family dinner with cake and presents afterward, and like a good wife I focused on enjoying the moment and didn't ruin it by taking any pictures. (Which just means I forgot to use the camera until it was all over, LOL.)


Tuesday Charis, Tobin, and Arden spent a chilly, muddy morning at their first homeschool science day! I just recently learned from my friend Stefanie (mother of the boys' friend Justin) about these awesome events the county park system puts on once a month. From nine to noon they hiked around, listened, saw, touched, and heard lots of new stuff! They were full of things to tell me when we picked them up afterward. I can't believe we didn't get into this sooner--this may be our last one for the year, as the next one is during testing days, and I don't know if they meet in May or not. But you can bet we'll be participating next fall!


Because Ted was home Monday and the kids were gone all Tuesday morning, I decided this week would be a light school week. I didn't want to declare it spring break because, well, it doesn't feel very springy around here. In fact, we woke up to snow yesterday morning. We skipped a good part of our language arts lessons, doing only the phonics and activity pages. No math. No handwriting. Two days' worth of science. And we're way behind in A Little Princess. But we did manage to get through all the Core Sonlight reading. It was nice to have a lighter schedule, and I enjoyed doing some fun things with the kids instead of trying to squeeze in all the "scheduled" school.


Friday was one of our lightest days of the whole week, though I did plan to "catch up" on the Core reading and try to finish it all. That night we were scheduled to host 4 students from Cedarville University for the "Home for Dinner" program--this is where local alumni host students in their homes for a home-cooked meal and fellowship. So, even though we didn't "do" a lot of school on Friday, here are the "schoolish" activities that I observed my kids doing throughout the day:

* Tobin reading further in Return of the King. (He finally finished The Two Towers!)

* Arden playing a game of Trouble with Kenna and me--he shared his "Mom" time with his little sister and was remarkably patient with her.

* Charis working hard on the latch hook project she purchased on Monday with her own money.

* Charis and Kenna helping me bake cookies for our guests to take home with them.

* Tobin writing two chapters in his "book" that he is making up, an interesting detective-type story that involves lots of bad guys, guns, and breathtaking action.

* All the kids running around and pretending various scenarios, some of which included being "Indians," "Aztecs," "Gladiators," and I can't remember what else.

* Charis and Tobin coming up with interview questions to ask the college students when they came to the house--with Tobin writing them in his notebook. (This was their own idea!)

* Lots of home economics: preparing dinner for guests, cleaning the house, etc.


We ended up having all girls for our "Home for Dinner" night. They were amazing, beautiful young women. My daughters fell in love with them immediately--at one point, all the kids were playing hide-and-seek with them upstairs, and one of the college gals even crawled underneath the crib to hide! We had a yummy dinner of chicken spaghetti, pistachio salad, and homemade sourdough bread, and then we enjoyed Lucan's birthday cake and hot tea while Charis interviewed the students using the list of questions Tobin and she had come up with during the day. We had a wonderful time visiting, and then we sent the girls off with platefuls of homemade cookies--we went on a baking blitz and had peanut butter, molasses, and snickerdoodle cookies and told them each to load up a plate with whatever they wanted to take back to the dorms.


Woohoo! Kenna is now quiet, and all the kids are in bed. Not asleep, but in bed, anyway. And that's where I'm headed, too!

March 24, 2010

Monday Mouse-a-Rama

In the last episode of Mouse Watch, you learned that I had opted for the "Easy Kill" mouse traps as the means of getting rid of our unwanted house guest. Unfortunately, after setting them in the pantry, we saw neither hide nor hair of Mr. Mouse...that is, until Ted came home from his TDY and saw it scurrying away from the pantry early Sunday morning. Ted had the brilliant idea of moving the traps out and placing them by the refrigerator and the stove, the two places the mouse always scurried after leaving the pantry.

I was so confident this ingenious plan would work that I was flabbergasted the next morning when both traps still read "set." Huh. All right, then. That was it--glue traps it was! We had an appointment with the chiropractor Monday morning to get all our kids evaluated--they're starting adjustments, too. Afterward we ran some errands that included a stop at Lowe's for the traps. We planned to put them out at night after the kids were in bed. (As an aside--Ted was with us because he had the day off for his 34th birthday!)

So we return home after a yummy lunch at Chick-Fil-A. The traps were still where we had placed them the night before, since we had left the house in a rush to get to our appointment. I noticed that the one by the stove read "Not set." Grrr. That had happened once before when we had it in the pantry. I picked up the trap and went to swing the lever around to reset it, but it wouldn't move. It didn't dawn on me at first what the deal was...until I looked more carefully and saw FUR through the little indicator holes!! Eeeek!

Sure enough, we caught our mouse! Thank goodness for being in a hurry in the morning and leaving the trap by the stove! We have the glue traps in case there are any future rodents that need dealing with, but for now I'm just thankful that we're rid of the pest and I did NOT have to see a full-out mouse corpse!

A Toot for Tobin's Horn

It dawned on me after my last post that I really should make more effort to notice and applaud the spiritual growth of my children in the same way I recognize their academic achievements. After all, that is one of the major reasons we homeschool, right?! Sometimes it seems that growth is so s-l-o-w and nearly unnoticeable, until all of a sudden we realize, wow, that has not been an issue in a long time!

Since Tobin is often the, ah, challenging child in our family, it is high time I share some positive choices I've seen him make recently. Just before Ted's TDY Tobin came home from a neighbor's house in tears. His story was that one of the boys (there were a number of them playing together) had thrown a toy at him, and it hit Tobin in the head. Sure enough, he had a mark. (And two days later there were still two coin-sized bruises on his forehead.) I asked what else had happened, and he just shook his head and got his book to read. I usually take what Tobin tells me with a grain of salt, knowing he is often the instigator, and assumed that there was more to the story than he was telling me.

So two days later when he asked to play with the boys again, I let him go, assuming that since he had apparently forgotten the incident, hopefully things would be smoothed over. He returned shortly in tears again, saying that one of the moms told Tobin he could not play there since this other kid was there also. I drew the whole story out of Tobin of just what had happened previously, and it went something like this.

O.K. ("Other Kid") called Tobin a name during a game they were playing. (The name was "Stupid Sobin.") Tobin naturally got angry and promptly called O.K. the feminine version of his name (i.e. added "elle" to the end of an -el name). O.K. got angry and threw the toy at Tobin that caused the bruising. Tobin lost it, chased O.K. around the room until O.K. ran outside, and then Tobin locked the door so he couldn't come back inside. The rest of the boys turned on Tobin and told the adult in charge that Tobin had locked O.K. out of the house, and Tobin was sent home. (I'm not sure why Tobin didn't mention the welts on his head--I think in his shoes, I would have wanted to make sure it was clear that I wasn't the only one at fault!)

Arden later vouched for this story, and I also heard from a different mom that it does seem the other boys in the neighborhood tend to gang up on Tobin and pick on him. Plus, Tobin and O.K. are like oil and water, and though Tobin says O.K. is one of his "best friends," I have my doubts about the mutuality of that sentiment.

So, anyway, in my mind O.K. definitely started the tiff, but Tobin obviously played a role in the whole thing. When Tobin was sent home this second time, he was ready to head to another friend's house instead. I said I thought maybe he should consider how he could make things right with O.K. He thought about it and came up with the idea of writing an apology letter. He did so all on his own and brought it to me. It was a sweet letter that asked for forgiveness right off the bat, then launched into a list of all the fun things he hoped he could do with O.K. I approved it (although I did suggest that he actually write the words "I'm sorry" on there somewhere, LOL), and then we prayed together that O.K. would accept the apology and that God would be glorified as Tobin did his best to make things right. Off Tobin went to deliver the letter.

O.K. received the letter well and invited Tobin to play with him and the other boys, and they spent the afternoon happily playing together. When Tobin came home, I asked for a report, and he told me all had gone well. I asked if O.K. had apologized to him (since he had, after all, caused Tobin bodily harm!), and Tobin's response was amazing: "No, he didn't, but that's OK, because he doesn't go to church."

Somehow Tobin realizes that having God in his life makes him different, and he was willing to show grace to a kid who doesn't understand why our family thinks it's important to confess our wrongs and ask for forgiveness. I was blown away, and SO proud of my son!

After this incident, I started actually paying more attention to Tobin's actions and responses. Ted left for Mississippi (or, as Kenna calls it, "Mitsi-pippi"), and I have to admit that Tobin was really a huge help during his absence. Typically I lean on Charis a little to help things go smoothly--she cares so well for the little ones and can be depended on to do anything you ask her. But Tobin was the one who stayed in from playing one afternoon to help me put the house back in order when it was an absolute disaster, and Tobin was the one to give me back scratches and extra "I love you, Mom"s and "Thanks for dinner" sentiments when he knew I was feeling frustrated and unappreciated. I'm thankful for the opportunity to see my often headstrong boy in a different light, and I praise God for working in his heart even on days when I wonder whether any abstract thought will seep into that concrete head.

And one final thing to note...after I came home from a long day running a big stamp camp, I found this on the counter. You can click on the image to see it enlarged and should be able to read the sweet note Tobin wrote. The reason this is so spectacular is that he NEVER does stuff like this! Arden has always been my bring-Mom-flowers boy, picking dandelions and anything else that resembles a flower and bringing them to me with a sweet, "Here, Mom! I got this for you!" So the rarity of such an occurrence makes this especially endearing.

March 22, 2010

They CAN Be Taught!!

I have to post this before I forget. It's clean-up time around here, and as I work in the kitchen and Ted bathes the little ones, the older three are responsible for general cleaning. Tobin was doing something to purposely annoy Charis, who was in the kitchen with me, and I was in the process of calling out his name to send him on his way to clean.

Charis turned to me quickly and said in a low voice, "It's OK, Mama. I'm trying to have patience with Tobin, and the more he annoys me, the more I can practice."

Oh, sweet Lord Jesus! If my heart is singing at these words, how must your heart rejoice also!!

March 18, 2010

Whirlwind Wednesday

Oh, my, this week is flying by! That's a good thing, I guess...I'm looking forward to having my husband home tomorrow night and getting through a big Stamp Camp on Saturday. Then I can maybe breathe and have a few moments to myself...?!

Yesterday, St. Patrick's Day...

* Amazingly, the kids actually slept in. I woke early and worked out, showered, and had my quiet time before I heard a peep from Lucan. RARE and most appreciated. Thanks, Lord!

* Made scrambled eggs with green dye in them for breakfast. Read Green Eggs & Ham aloud while the kids ate. (We had no ham, but the eggs were sufficient to get us started on our Day o' Green-ness.)

* Did school and laundry in the morning.

* Made Butter Mint cookies from a link from Megan's blog. (Thanks, Megan!) The girls really liked dipping the glass into the green sugar and smashing the cookie dough down. Kenna's cookies looked a little...odd, LOL. No matter. They tasted good, I'm sure. (I was good and only ate one cookie.)

* Watched Veggie Tales "Sumo of the Opera," which features three stories of perseverance, one of which tells the real story of St. Patrick.

* Ate and played outside in the wonderful weather. (Charis brought me a flower that is one of many popping through the mulch in our yard--lovely! Can you see it tucked behind my ear?)

* Got the little ones down for a late nap, finished school, sent the older kids to play for a bit while I made an early dinner and prepped a veggie tray to take to small group.

* Hustled the kids through their dinner and out the door by 5:15.

* Dropped Kenna and Lucan off at Amy D's house.

* Took older kids to AWANA.

* Ran to Office Depot to grab supplies for Saturday's stamp camp.

* Went to small group.

* Hustled back to church to pick up Charis, Tobin, and Arden.

* Picked up Kenna and Lucan.

* Herded kids to bed.

* Collapsed in bed myself at 9:40.

Whew! Perseverance, indeed. I'm still behind on so many things, but so thankful for my sweet kids who have been a huge help and an even bigger blessing to me these busy, crazy days with Ted TDY. I love them so much, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Well, maybe a few hours of interrupted sleep. :-)

March 16, 2010

There's a Mouse About the House

An Usborne book by the same title is in our library. It's a cute book, with a little paper mouse that goes "in" and "out" of various places, running amok looking for some food. The kids always loved shoving the mouse through the slot to the next page.

I'm looking forward to shoving our REAL mouse into our trashcan in the garage. Sooner rather than later, I might add.

It has been nearly two weeks since I was nearly scared off the toilet in the basement when a rodent ran across the floor into the storage closet. We've had the plug-in electrical shock wave things ever since. However, Saturday morning I nearly sloshed hot tea all over myself when, at 5:30 a.m., a mouse ran from the laundry room into the kitchen and behind the fridge. He then skittered over to the stove and disappeared under it. Two days later it happened again, the exact same path. Obviously this mouse is either deaf or numb--I'm not sure how those plug-in things work, but he seems to be immune.

Lots of advice poured in via Facebook, and I opted for the traps that contain the mouse inside a circular cage with a setting that points to whether the trap is "Set," "Not Set," or "Mouse Inside." I couldn't stand the thought of discovering a mouse corpse in the was bad enough finding all the mouse poop in there the other morning. Yesterday the kids helped me bait the traps with peanut butter and set them accordingly, and we placed them both in the pantry. They're a little large and a bit awkward--they're supposed to be placed up against a wall, since mice move in straight lines, usually along a baseboard. So placing it near the fridge or by the stove really is not a good idea, especially with a crawling Lucan and a curious Kenna wandering about.

Today, though, I'm wondering if we shouldn't have just gotten the old-fashioned spring traps and slid one underneath the stove and another back in the corner by the refrigerator, as well as in the pantry. I was sure that after seeing the mouse travel the same path two of the last three mornings, the trap in the pantry would read "Mouse Inside" this morning. No such luck.

Do you think he heard us making our war plans? Did my removal of the cereal boxes and rice bag from the pantry floor not go unnoticed? Or is he just lying low, thinking he'll revisit the pantry after some time has passed so maybe I won't notice?!

All I know is, I'm WAY more creeped out than I ever thought I'd be by a creature smaller than Kenna's sock. I turn lights on in a room and wait a minute or two before I walk in, and I'm constantly scanning the floor ahead of me. Yes, I know, the mouse is probably more afraid of me than I am of it. But that's beside the point.

You know what really creeps me out? If you've seen the movie Ratatouille, you'll remember the scene where the old lady is shooting at the two rats who are trying to escape from her kitchen. She shoots so many holes in her ceiling that the light fixture drops, pulling away much of the ceiling and revealing scads of rats hiding in the rafters.

What if I'm only seeing one Private out of an army of mice?! THAT is what worries me!

March 13, 2010

A Day in our Homeschooling Life

[Note: This particular "Day in the Life" happened on Thursday, March 11, 2010.]

It's 8 a.m., time to get going for the day. Arden and Charis are still sound asleep...

Tobin, however, has been awake for awhile and is coloring in one of his "hidey-holes," the boys' closet.

Lucan, who always wakes at the crack of dawn or earlier, often does Crib Time while I eat my own breakfast, clean the kitchen, or whatever I need to do without him crawling around. He's pretty happy when I go to get him today!

We start our morning by watching a worship video.

At the breakfast table, we do our Bible reading (Joshua 9 today), review Bible verses, talk about our day, etc.

With breakfast cleaned up, it's time for our morning activities--checklists and "Funvelopes." (I still need to blog about those sometime, don't I?!)

Arden is finishing Explode the Code book 2 today!

Tobin works on his Sonlight science activity sheet.

Charis opts to type her writing assignment today, a paragraph about an animal with descriptive details. She chose to write about CeCe, a neighborhood cat.

Kenna notes that it is raining outside and decides she still wants to be her pajamas...and thinks it will be OK with me since she has her rain coat on.

After checklists are finished and all kids have had their "appointment" with Mom, I fix lunch for kids 1-4 (Lucan is napping by now) and read our history and science assignments aloud while they eat. Since we have P.E. in the afternoon, it's easier to get the reading done while they eat rather than try to do it after we come home. (I totally meant to have Charis take a picture of me reading at the table but forgot.) So, when we are finished with this and the table is clear, school is "over" and it's time for me to have my lunch. Today: grilled cheese and leftover Tomato-Ravioli soup from my friend Lisa's blog. (You can see the recipe by scrolling down just a few pictures.)

Lunch for me is normally when I have a few moments of peace to eat and read the paper or work on the crossword, which I typically start during my breakfast. Today, however, I haven't had much peace with Lucan waking at 5 a.m.! And he woke early from his nap, so he joins me for lunch today and also eats a grilled cheese sandwich.

Our late lunch is finished, and now it's time to load everyone up to go to homeschool P.E. Kenna's latest accomplishment is learning how to buckle all by herself. This is GREAT! Still need to check for twisted straps, LOL, but it is very much a timesaver.

Since it is SUCH a long way to the rec center (about 15 minutes, LOL), the kids always scramble to grab a book to read on the way. Did I say we were "done" with school for the day?! How cool is it that Arden chose a historical book to read on his own?!

I took the camera to P.E. with me but got caught up in visiting with the moms and trying to keep Lucan from melting down and Kenna from crawling up the walls and...yes...forgot to take any P.E. pictures. But soon after we got home we were treated to our second Happy Box of the season. Man, I missed those boxes in January and February! This is what all we got this week. YUMMY!

And let's not forget that Thursdays are also Laundry Days at our house. Only 3 loads of laundry today since I had done two loads on Tuesday.

A different ending to my Thursday...the ladies from our neighborhood Bible study came over after the kids were in bed for our not-so-weekly study. We try to meet on Mondays, but we've been having other events pop up for various people, so we decided to try for tonight. We're reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and discussing a chapter when we meet. It's good so far! Love my time of fellowship and prayer with these sisters in Christ. Beside me are Eilene, Sidra, and Chris. I'm so thankful for each of them!

March 12, 2010

Four on Friday

1. No mouse sightings to report--here's hoping the electronic thingies plugged into the wall are working. Either the mice are moving out, or I will. What an annoying buzz. But much better than seeing beady little eyes and a furry body scampering across the bathroom. *shiver*

2. Earlier this week Kenna took advantage of the spring weather to do her business outside. Folks, this is why we do not have a dog! (And yes, it was #2. Thank goodness it rained the latter part of this week.)

3. Charis, Tobin, and Arden had dental exams on Wednesday. The dentist raved about their wonderful behavior and clean teeth. Charis will need braces sometime in the future--no surprise there with such a tiny jaw! But otherwise, all looks good. Kenna and Lucan get their turn in April.

4. Crib Time has been a lifesaver around here. Formerly known as "playpen time," we put Lucan in his crib with various toys and shut the door to let him learn to play on his own. He plays quite happily for up to an hour some days, allowing me to eat breakfast, fix lunch, work on school with the kids, or, on some days, shower. I'm not sure why moving him to the crib for this confined playtime did the trick, but all I know is he HATED playpen time with a passion, and I was beginning to despair of getting anything done during his waking hours, especially since he has mastered the art of going UP the stairs but not DOWN.

March 11, 2010

On'y One??

Kenna came downstairs after her nap a couple of days ago wearing two dresses. She had been wearing something completely different. I just looked at her and said, "Kenna, you changed your clothes? And you put TWO dresses on?"

She sweetly tilted her head and asked, "On'y ONE?" As in, "Well, may I keep wearing a dress if it's only ONE dress?"

If only...

...if only I could walk, I could be playing with the big kids outside, too!

March 07, 2010

Little'uns Update

We did a homeschool update recently, so now I'll give some air time to Kenna and Lucan.

As I've already posted, our Kenna is now THREE years old, and we're still finding it hard to believe. She is still the ray of sunshine in the family, consistently joyful, with occasional thunderstorms of rage or tears. Thankfully she is also at the easily-distracted stage, so I can often steer her away from her tantrum and get her involved with other things. She adores helping me in the kitchen, so I frequently ask for her to "help" me make bread or prepare meals, which engages her while the older three do their morning school work. She runs after her stool and stands RIGHT next to me, eager for instructions. She can find many kitchen utensils to bring to me--the can opener, various measuring cups or spoons, the mixer, the beaters, etc. And of course she has to sample whatever we're making.

More and more Kenna occupies herself for longer periods of time, and this also is helpful during the homeschool period of our days. She enjoys coloring and is quite thorough--reminiscent of Tobin's coloring days when he would color every square inch of paper. Thank goodness for Magic Erasers for the tables. She also enjoys puzzles and the plethora of building-type toys we have. I love to listen to her singing while she plays by herself--last week I caught snippets of her own little song about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins! She especially loves it when I announce it's time for "her school," which sends her running for books for Mommy to read to her.

Though she began her potty training eagerly on her own a number of months ago, she has yet to make the decision to be 100% consistent. A sticker chart does help with the motivation, but there are days when she flat-out refuses to wear her underwear and chooses a Pull-up instead. I've learned to pick my battles, and frankly, this is not one of them...

Lucan is scooting around about as fast as you can imagine and has the tough pads on his knees to prove it! Though he could likely walk on his own, he doesn't yet believe he can do so without help and promptly sits down when we let go of him. But it won't be long, I bet. The kids are still learning to put things UP and AWAY, as he can make like an octopus and grab every rippable object in sight before you can say "please don't tear the library book!"

Despite struggles to get Lucan on a predictable schedule, it is so nice to report that he is finally on a consistent schedule each day which does allow us to fit school into our preferred structure very nicely. He's still up early, often by 5:30 a.m. But that's fine with me, because then I can put him down as the kids are getting up! I'll post more about our daily school schedule later...I've been wanting to write about our "Funvelopes" this school year and how that's worked out for us. Anyway, Lucan naps about 2 hours in the morning and is ready for lunch approximately the time the kids are finishing their morning school activities, so then I nurse him and work to feed all the kids at the same time. He absolutely adores his older siblings, who heapingly return the affection!

[Side note: The automatic spell check is not liking my made-up words! A dollar for the first person to list them all in a comment, LOL!]

Let's see...what else about Lucan. Well, he's starting math lessons and is now reading at a first grade level. OK, not really, I just wanted to see if you read this far. :-) He's beginning to babble more and often spews out syllables in response to our talk, so we have "conversations" back and forth that amuse the older kids to no end. No recognizable words yet...Kenna tends to do most of the talking for him these days. (And lots of her words are barely recognizable as well!) He is VERY attached to his "suckerdoodle," which we are trying to limit to nap and bedtime. The nursery workers told me today that he went after another kid's binky so frequently that they put it away...and Lucan went looking for it! Our older 3 "quit" their addiction more or less on their own around 8-9 months of age. We made Kenna quit cold turkey around 16 months or so. Guess we'll see how long we let Lucan's a lot harder to mess with a good thing the more kids you have to try to keep happy!

And now it's time to get dinner on the table. Meatloaf and baked potatoes...oh, are they smelling good! Have a wonderful Lord's Day!

March 04, 2010

Thirteen on Thursday

1. Today began at 3:39 a.m. when I woke up in a coughing fit and couldn't get back to sleep. It's Day 7 of the Sinus Infection, and I have officially given the eviction notice. It is not welcome here.

And speaking of unwelcome items...

2. So I'm in the basement bathroom at 4:30 this morning, um, doing my business, when a little brown mouse (whom I am sure would be very cute in a Disney movie) ran from...somewhere outside the bathroom (either the playroom or office), across the bathroom floor, and into the storage area. Being rather incapacitated at the moment, I did the only reasonable thing to do. My instinctive scream didn't do a thing, however. It's nice to know my Hero is such a sound sleeper.

3. A stop at Lowe's is on the Honey-do list today.

4. We received word that BOTH of our moms will be able to fly to Ohio in April to do Grandma duty while Ted and I escape, er, attend the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention. (Although...I suppose this may be subject to change based on whether or not our moms read #2.)

5. Ted and I are both super excited about our upcoming getaway, not only for time together without the kids, but also since our favorite comedian, Tim Hawkins, is going to perform during the 2 1/2 day event.

6. Also heard from our Vegas friends Blair and Heather that they may be able to attend the Convention with us!! We are ridiculously excited about the possibility of seeing them again and enjoying sweet fellowship. And yes, this is the Blair and Heather of the famous Catan photo, which is certainly worthy of re-posting.

7. One of my hostesses has requested a stamp class event for her moms' group. We are making 3 projects, one of which is this fab frame, which she found at Deals for $3. The Eastern Blooms set really works well here, don't you think? There's space in the bottom corner for a coordinating Decor Element flower to go on the glass...still need to order those.

8. Our sweet Kenna received a birthday package from my friend Debi, who holds a special fondness for our 4th child, having been present at her birth. Isn't this the sweetest dress? And didn't Charis do a good job taking the photo?

9. The sun is shining this morning!!! Oh, Lord, please let it be spring soon!!

10. We checked out Season One of The Muppet Show on DVD from the base library last Friday. Boy, does that bring back childhood memories...

11. Charis is now on a Muppets frenzy, wanting to find every movie ever made with these characters. I think I've created a monster.

12. Thursdays are "Laundry Day" at our house, even though I typically do at least 2 full loads other days of the week. At last count, there were 56 socks on Laundry Day. Eight of those had no mate.

13. Todrick Hall, who wrote the Oz musical Charis performed in last December, is currently in the Top 20 of American Idol. The judges weren't too impressed with him Tuesday night, though, so we'll see how long he lasts. He's a very talented young man and great with kids, though.

March 01, 2010

Kenna's Birthday

Kenna's 3rd birthday was nearly buried amidst an extremely busy weekend, but it turned out to be a very special afternoon. We spent the morning at church rehearsing for the Kids' Street Live program, which both Ted and I acted in, but it was actually a treat for all the kids except Lucan, who wasn't very impressed with Mom and Dad leaving him every so often. Kenna had a blast dancing during the music and playing with other kids in the play place.

After a desperately-needed naptime, we did cake and presents here at home. The lemon cake mix with Grandma K's yummy glaze was a hit and (I think) made up for the fact that I had forgotten to buy ice cream! Kenna got some cute gifts and oohed and aahed appropriately. Then we went to the bowling alley on base. Kenna had never been bowling before and was very excited, thanks to the prompting of her siblings, who were thrilled to get to go bowling again. I've taken Tobin and Arden for our dates recently, and Charis was a little put out that she hadn't been as well, but the promise that we'd go for Kenna's birthday was a soothing balm for pre-tween angst.

It was pretty crowded at the bowling alley, but we were able to get two lanes together. The first few frames Kenna had help actually shoving the ball down the lane, but then a "dinosaur" became free, and she LOVED being able to do everything herself. Hindsight being 20-20, Ted and I now realize we should not have bothered to try bowling ourselves; a fussy Lucan made for a difficult time concentrating on the game, and between trying to feed him and remind the kids to stay off the wood, well, it was pretty much chaos. But happy chaos, I suppose--the kids seemed to have a great time! One game was enough for us, however. Based on the final scores, it was obvious that Mommy could have used some help from the dinosaur, as Kenna scored much higher than I did, LOL.

Afterward, I said goodbye to Ted and the kids and escaped for some much-needed girl time at Panera, where the moms from our family community group met for our monthly discussion and prayer time. Ted took the kids home and let them watch a couple of episodes from the first season of The Muppet Show, which we had checked out from the library the day before. All in all, Kenna seemed to have a very good birthday. She was all smiles for most of the day and kept telling us, "Happy Birthday!"