Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleep Over....=)

Last night Christian, Cullen, and CLARA spent the night with Meemaw and Pawpaw. This was the first night Clay and I have had alone in over a year and a half. I am so excited for Clara and Meemaw and Pawpaw. It is like a little light switch went on and Clara was ready to stay with them. To be honest, I think she wanted to stay longer. They had a great time. She went to bed last night at 10:30 easily but wanted to be up with every one else. They played games. Clara took a nap with Pawpaw in his chair today. This girl LOVES her Pawpaw. My dad has a shaved head and she just LOVES rubbing Pawpaw's head! She even rubs her sleep cap at night and says "Pawpaw's head". She loves him to pieces. It is so wonderful to watch them together. The boys have always been Meemaw's boys so it is neat to see Pawpaw get a piece of the action too.

Since Clay and I had the evening together ALONE we went to dinner together. We then met Matt and Candy at the movies and watched two movies. We watched Edge of Darkness and Lovely Bones. I liked Edge of Darkness besides the bad language and violence. Lovely Bones was.......well lets just say it wasn't good but it wasn't bad. It is definitely a renter. I was expecting so much more. Disappointing really. Beyond that we had a great evening being togehter. It was a very nice evening! Now that Clara is comfortable leaving us and spending quality time with Meemaw and Pawpaw I hope to enjoy an evening out with my wonderful hubby more often!!! =)

I will ask for prayer for a very young lady of 19 who has had a little girl. She is living in a homeless shelter and is just not stepping up to the plate for her daughter. We found out today that the baby was admitted into the hospital with a fever and congestion. Please pray for her health and pray for her mother's maturity in Christ. She says she loves her daughter but love is so much more than words. Loves is an action. Loves is something you see and not just a word you hear. My heart aches for both of them. The mom has grown up in the foster care system and from what I have seen she just does not know what a "family" is. She relies on everyone around her to take care of her and her baby. She calls people she has known for a month or so family. I feel so sorry that she was cheated by not having an appropriate Christian family to grow up in and now is doing the same thing with her daughter. They are constantly in my thoughts and heart. I want them to know "family" so badly and prosper the way God wants for them. How do you teach someone that love is an action. God showed us His love by teaching us His ways and for sacrificing himself on the cross for our sins! He did not just hug us and "say" He loved us. He showed us on a daily basis .....second to second! Again, please pray for them!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Field Trip to Sci-Port

Yesterday we packed up to head out to Shreveport.  We met Wanda and the kids at Peking and had lunch before getting to Sci-Port.  We have never been to Sci-Port before so we were excited to have a fun day together of play and learning. 

This was going through the moon walk.  It was really neat inside.  Sci-port 12-20-10 004

Here the kids are trying to get their balloons and other crafts to float in the air stream

Sci-port 12-20-10 009Sci-port 12-20-10 013

Here they are learning how the flow of a river (Red river) changes the landscaping.Sci-port 12-20-10 015

Here is a shot of the baby alligators.  Clara was soaking it in.Sci-port 12-20-10 019Sci-port 12-20-10 024Sci-port 12-20-10 021

This was cool.  You pushed a button and it pushed you to the top.  Cullen loved it and then he added Clara and she could not get enough!

Sci-port 12-20-10 033Sci-port 12-20-10 046

In this exhibit you cold ride a bike to see how many watts you could produce to power any given item. 

Sci-port 12-20-10 036Sci-port 12-20-10 035

Clara even gave it a try.Sci-port 12-20-10 037

     Clara, Chandler, and Brennan are learning about pulleys. Sci-port 12-20-10 040Sci-port 12-20-10 041      

Here is baby James laughing it up!  Sci-port 12-20-10 048

Chandler and Christian trying to figure out circuits!Sci-port 12-20-10 051 

After this water exhibit, Clara was drenched and so was Lammie.  She decided Lammie wanted to play in the water too!  It is amazing how quickly a 2 year old can get into the stroller and pull out her Lammie!  Lammie is safe and sound and is even dry now after the incident!  Must keep a better eye on Lammie…cannot lose him!Sci-port 12-20-10 055Sci-port 12-20-10 061

Here is Baby James taking it all in again!  He is so laid back!Sci-port 12-20-10 066

This is the tornado exhibit.  Clara thought it was pretty neat!  She even climbed into the middle of it at one point ! Sci-port 12-20-10 067 Sci-port 12-20-10 069

I think Cullen was ready for his turn! Sci-port 12-20-10 070

Here is the final shot when we were leaving.  Brennan, Evan, Cullen, Chandler holding Clara, Baby James, and Christian.  Little did we know that tornado weather was heading our way as we made it down to the Boardwalk to sneak in some quick shopping!Sci-port 12-20-10 073

We went to the Boardwalk and barely made it before it started pouring!  We made it to The Children’s Place, Stride-Rite, and Shoe Rack.  The lady at the Shoe Rack told us they were going to close the store because they had been hearing the sirens and had spotted tornadoes.  I looked at her like she was crazy and said, “so you are going to throw us out into the storm??”  Needless to say, we stayed and did some more shoe shopping.  Cullen had gotten a pair for his birthday so Christian and Clara got a pair this time around.  I will have to get a pic of Clara’s shoes.  They are called Twinkle Toes and light up!  Too, too cute!!  Christian’s shoes are “handsome” shoes and he did good after he FINALLY picked some out!   We ended up making it home safe and sound.  We went past an area on I-20 that looked like we had missed the tornado by probably 20 minutes if that long.  I have never seen so many police cars and clean-up crew trucks.  The debris along the road was scary to say the least.  It looked as though someone had picked up the road signs and crumpled them like paper!  Trees and branches were all along the road.  I think they had cleaned that part of the highway and were working along the side roads when we made it past.  It was quite scary.  We did make it home though after a very long day of fun and learning.  I was EXHAUSTED!!  Clara was too as she crashed as soon as we got in the car to head home after a juice box and fruit chew. =)

Here are some school pics from today.  Clara colored the letter ‘B’ blue today with a marker and dot to dot painter.  Later in the day we used stickers that started with ‘B’  and placed them on our paper.  Can you tell Clara was proud of her work?? 

Sci-port 12-20-10 075 Sci-port 12-20-10 079

Monday, January 18, 2010

Homeschool Confessions!

I wanted to share a pic of Clara and her new “mad” face the boys have taught her.  I love it when they “teach” her such useful stuff.  Actually, you know, I do love it.  I love that they love to be together, play together, and teach each other!  She can also make a silly face and we are working on the sad face. 

school day Jan 18 2010 002

Also a note that she is wearing her Princess and The Frog pajamas that Aunt Candy gave Clara for Christmas.  I had not tried them on her because they were a 3T.  I decided to wash them and give them a go.  Well, you guessed it.  They fit with a bit of room to spare but definitely not too big for sure.   This is Clara’s new smile when we tell her to say “cheese”.  school day Jan 18 2010 003

I will be honest and say that it can be very difficult to home-school.  I love my kids but there are some days I just find myself not being the mom that I want to be.  I am short with them and do not treat them with the patience they deserve.  I have really handed my last few days of schooling to God and have to realize that when I try to do it all myself I will ALWAYS fail miserably.  I know that when I give my days to God from the very second I wake up and then continue handing it to Him throughout the day it goes so smoothly; not easy, but smoother.  I love having the honor of teaching my children, but often I don’t act like it.  I need to remind myself to slow down, breathe, and realize this too will be gone too fast.  I want to cherish the moments I have with them reading on the couch, teaching how to finish a pre-algebra problem, putting words together to express yourself in writing, and so many other things we do in a given day.  To learn what God’s will is in their lives and to learn how to live it out as HE sees fit is my purpose as a mother.  What other more important thing could I do with my life besides raise my children in the way of the Lord and protect their hearts as they reach Christian maturity?

I have decided that I need to blog more about what we do with our schooling.  Today I decided to take some photos to share too.   I had realized that I needed to do more schooling with Clara.  She tends to run around here just doing as she pleases while I focus on the subjects we must fit in with the boys.  This is cheating Clara and also not a good way to be training her.  So, I must make time to “school” Clara while also keeping her occupied well while teaching the boys.  This is a shot of Clara in her kitchen.  She likes to cook us some strawberries, oranges, broccoli, etc.  She will bring them to us while we are doing school at the table.  We will act like we are eating it all up.  She loves it!  She will then go back and make more. 

school day Jan 18 2010 005

Here is a little photo album of our day today.  Clara started the day with the letter ‘B’ and a worksheet on brown bear.  She painted with brown paint.  She really enjoyed it.  Later we pulled out a sheet on ‘b’utterflies.  She did dot painting on it.  Cullen helped her with a few puzzles too.  Cullen got his math and science done by himself.  Christian and I focused on strengthening our pre-algebra skills.  He took 4 tests today and tomorrow we plan on taking 2 more and working on strengthening our weaknesses.  Cullen worked on how to write a letter and what the parts of a letter are called.  We then curled up on the couch and started The BoxCar Kids book 1.  Christian and I have read it before but you can never read a good book just once.  I have really tried to make it a priority to read out loud to the kids and have them read to me.  This is something that has been weak in our household but something I feel is so very important.  (so then why do I cheat it??)  I am going to try and use my blog as my accountability partner by documenting what we are getting done.  I know it is Martin Luther King Jr. day.  I told the boys that MLK would not want us to cheat our education and that we were going to get some schooling done today.  =) 

I hope you all don’t think I am awful for spilling my guts.  I just know that the reason I started my blog, besides keeping Tierra up on our day-to-day life, I also wanted to help others as other blogs help me.  I do know from 6+ years experience homeschooling that some moments are just much more hectic/chaotic than others.  I also know that there can be some glorious times spent growing together.  I will just continue asking God to lead and guide my every day.  I pray for His wisdom in educating my children.  I pray for guidance down the paths we need to travel.  Although I never get to “clock out” from my career I would have chosen no other!  I have the best co-workers and I need to remember that on a day-to-day basis.  =)

Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a Dream"

I remember reading Shawna's post about Martin Luther King Jr. last year. I think I shared it with you guys last year too. Shawna has such a tremendous talent in her writing. I could not say it any better than Shawna has written it and I again want to share this with you all. Here is a link to her post here. Please read it and think of the wonderful man. "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools" I am thankful for a day to stop and remember a man who has helped make it possible for my family to be just!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year’s Eve and Great Wolves!!

We spent New Year’s Eve at our usual location….Meemaw and Pawpaw’s house!  We had extras this year with my oldest brother, Mike, and his family being in.  Matt and Candy also graced us with their presence this year!!  I really enjoyed New Year’s Eve with all of them.  I wish we could do it every year.  I was just grateful to have my big brother in from Boston for a good time together.  Here are some shots from NYE.

Clay, Mike, Pawpaw, and crazy, uncle Mattie! 

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 002

Uncle Mattie and Clara goofin’ around

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 006

I cannot tell you how much fun we had takin’ these pics!  We goofed around quite a bit.   Meemaw, Casey, me, and Candy!

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 010 New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 014

After we rang in the new year we headed home for a quick night’s sleep and off we were to Great Wolf Lodge the next morning.  Meemaw and Pawpaw had gotten us Christmas presents to all stay there.  We had a blast.  As an extra special treat Meemaw and Pawpaw got Cullen the Wolf Den Suite for his 10th birthday (was on the 6th)!  Here are some shots of the kids enjoying it.  The wolf den was set up like a mini-log cabin within our room.  There was a set of bunk beds along with a flat screen and video games. 

I tried to get the best shot of the outside that I could but as it was narrow right there I had no room to get farther away.  This was looking inside the little cabin part. 

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 020

I think Cullen liked it……they all really did!

  New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 022 

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 025

Here are the kids all geared up for the indoor waterpark.  I got much grief for making them wait out for this pic!  It was worth it though.  I do not have a lot in the waterpark as it is no fun to lug the camera around while trying to play in the water.  We had a BLAST!!!

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 027

Here is Pawpaw, Cullen, Clara, and Candy in the wave pool. 

New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 028 New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 032New YEars EVE 2009 and Great Wolf 034 

I’ll be honest….The waterpark was very chilly the first day.  It was not as enjoyable as usual but the next day was MUCH better!  The water was warmer and the temp inside the building was much better. 

The evening we were there we had bought a game for all the kids called MagiQuest.  It is somewhat of an interactive scavenger hunt throughout the hotel.  It is an 8-story scavenger hunt and I was the only grown up that participated.  I must say that it was the most fun I have had in an extremely long time while completely wearing myself to a complete exhausted state!  =)  AND I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!!  Plan on it the next time we are there.  We played that game for hours until 11 p.m. and they shut it down running up 8 flights of stairs to find our clues and solve our quests.  It was so, so much fun!  The boys had a blast too!  I was worried when the game first began.  At the beginning it was quite confusing and we were tired already from playing in the waterpark.  Cullen and I were to the point of giving up when something said, “let’s just keep trying!”  I am so glad Cullen did not give up.  As Cullen said it was the most fun we have ever had together!  It was a great example of what patience and never giving up will get ya!!

Well….that was our NYE and weekend wrapped up.  We also enjoyed celebrating Cullen’s 10th birthday together with a dinner just the 5 of us.  It was a small birthday but we celebrated it in style eating our Asian food and dining on homemade peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate buttercream!  I cannot believe Cullen is in double digits.  Life just flies by……literally it feels as though it has been a second and my babies are a year older!  Sometimes I wish I could hit pause but I know God has so much planned for us in this life and I am so incredibly blessed to have been given my precious family to share it with!

On a side note…..Candy I am extremely ticked off that I am just now learning about Microsoft Live Writer to do my blog posts.  I think the reason I have not been posting so much is b/c it was so dang hard to post pics and really….the pics are the best part of my blog as my writing skills are rusty and I just don’t take time to try and be witty and inventive with my posts.  So….Candy….big razzberry to you!!!!!  =<….. (can you tell that is a face with a razzberry blowing it at you!)  I am just grateful you finally decided to share your secret to making blogging much easier and a lot more productive!!!