Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Christmas Letter 2007

Has anyone else started to notice that time is going by much quicker as we get older? Thank goodness I have the children to help me keep track of everything.

As I write, the children are all outside playing together. The weather is unusually warm, although it is predicted to be in the 40’s this weekend.

Sarah (12) and Trey (almost 11) are keeping an eye on everyone while still having some fun themselves. Bobby (9) is playing keep-away with William (almost 7) and Jeffrey (5). I think they are trying to keep Jeffrey’s whistle away from him which I’m sure will please the neighbors!

Rebekah (9 months) is sitting in her stroller watching all the fun. Though she is quiet now, she does like to comment when things get quiet. That usually means she is blowing raspberries during the sermon on Sunday morning!

John will be home soon from his job doing remodeling work for Magnolia Construction. He still enjoys building things and likes the challenge of each project being different from the last. Unfortunately, his knee that he injured in high school is not doing well under the strain of being on his feet every day. Since we have no insurance to cover knee replacement surgery, we are praying that God will provide a new career for John to support the family while being off his feet. The good news is his knee has not kept him from playing the drums in our church praise band.

Some of our favorite moments from the past year – For me, it was when the doctor said, "It’s a girl!" Jeffrey says it was staying at the Blairs’ house while I was in the hospital having Rebekah. For Trey, it was riding Acrophobia at Six Flags over Georgia while Bobby’s favorite ride was Mindbender, even though he kept his eyes closed most of the ride. William enjoyed chasing the seagulls when we went for a day trip to Folly Beach, near Charleston. Sarah’s favorite moment was the first time she held Rebekah in the hospital.

I pray your year was filled with precious memories and your Christmas is filled with the joy of knowing that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Monday, December 03, 2007

12 of the Joys of our Great, Big Family

1. Mom: Here are the joys of our great big family:
Youngest: They each and everyone love me!

2. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

3. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

4. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

5. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Lining up for the loo,
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

6. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Keeping track of socks,
Waiting for the loo,
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

7. Here are the joys of our great big family:
Rocking the new baby
I can’t find my socks.
Still waiting for the loo!
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

8. Here are the joys of our great, big family:
Never peace and quiet
Rocking the new baby
Have you seen my socks?
I still need the loo!
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

9. Here are the joys of our great, big family:
Who ate all the food?
Never peace and quiet
Rocking the new baby
Aren’t those my socks?
Hurry up in the loo!
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

10. Here are the joys of our great, big family:
Sharing my toys,
Who ate all the food?
Never peace and quiet
Rocking the new baby
Does anyone have socks?
Did you fall in the loo?
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

11. Here are the joys of our great, big family:
Driving the big van,
Sharing my toys,
Who ate all the food?
Can I please have peace and quiet!
(very quietly!)Rocking the new baby
( Muttering)What’s up with the socks?
(To the person next to them)But I really need the loo!
(Rest, same as usual) Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

12. Here are the joys of our great, big family:
Kissing good-night,
Driving the big van,
Sharing my toys,
Who ate all the food?
Never peace and quiet
Rocking the new baby
I’ll go without socks,
Finally getting in the loo!
Help with my schoolwork,
Lots of hand-me-downs,
Always kids to play with,
And they each and everyone love me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More tricks from Rebekah

Well, less than one month ago, we were thrilled that Rebekah had finally learned to sit up on her own. Since then, she seems to be progressing quickly through the milestones. She can now pull herself to standing, wave bye-bye, and clap her hands. I wish I had a digital video camera to capture her antics. :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rebekah Rose sitting up by herself

This picture was taken by Bobby.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apple Orchard Field Trip

Today, we went to Nivens Apple Farm. It was only about a 30 minute drive, maybe less. Trey was my navigator and he did a great job, even figuring out how to reverse the directions for the ride home. We all had our orange shirts on - even Rebekah had an orange onesie on! I wore her in the front pack and she seemed to love it. She even kept a hat on the whole time.

We were the only family there, although some older couples did come and go while we were there. First we went into the shop and looked around. The most intersting thing in the shop was the baby chicks with an animatronic rooster on top that had a motion sensor. He would pipe up every time someone walked by to tell about the chicks. Cute one time, annoying the thirtieth!

We went out the side door and found a porch with picnic tables on one side and rockers on the other. One of the tables had a large checkers game on it, but the children were more interested in the playground. They scampered off to crawl through some long black tubes suspended off the ground. Then they bounced on the inner tubes. Trey and Bobby both bounced very high.

Also in that area were a Little Tykes house and a teepee. They seemed to have seen better days and had many flies buzzing around them. They were from the animals that were close by. We saw a cow, a pig, some chickens, goats, and a donkey. There was a sign about a peacock, but we didn't see it.

They had some large cardboard pieces where you stick your head through to get your picture taken. The first one was farm animals with five holes. Perfect for our five big kids. The other one was a school bus with 6 holes, so I had Sarah hold Rebekah's head through one and got all the children in a picture.

They had a large wooden board cut and painted to look like an apple. It had some fold up flaps with questions about apples and the answers underneath. We learned that it takes about 36 apples to make a gallon of cider. They had another with facts about pumpkins and we learned that pumpkins can be orange, tan, yellow, and even blue!

We saw pumpkins growing in the pumpkin patch. Some were small yet ripe and some were huge and not ripe yet.

After touring the pumpkin patch, we headed back into the store. We bought Gala Apples for eating and Winesap Apples for baking plus a gallon of Apple Cider. The lady behind the counter was very freindly after we started picking out apples. She gave all the children 2 samples of cider. She also turned on the train for them to watch. We were very interested to learn that the metal buckets hanging from the ceiling were actually concealing the speakers for the sound system!

We had a fiunt time and we hope to go back next year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beach Day!

We went to the beach last Saturday. I have not been to the sea in a few years, so I really enjoyed this.

We left around 7:30am for Folly Beach. We stopped at one rest stop on the way down and arrived at the Folly Beach County Park at around 11:30am. They had changing rooms so we could all change into our suits. We did this a few at a time, but I think we could all change at the same time if they are not too crowded.

Rebekah spent most of her time in the stroller under the umbrella, but I did take in the water for a short while. She seemed to like it, but prefers the pool.

My favorite part of the day was bouncing in the waves with Sarah and, for a short time, Bobby. Bobby had skinned his legs early in the day and the salt water irritated it, so he didn't stay in with us very long. Trey didn't like the waves splashing in his face, so he stayed in the shallows. The little boys had a blast just playing in the shallow waves and the sand.

Nice note - I mixed up some baby cereal for Rebekah with bottled water but she doesn't like it cold. There was a spot selling snacks and the guy there heated it up in the microwave for me. :)

After showering off the sand and getting changed, we headed into Charleston to drive around. We found White Point Gardens and got out to wander around. We went on the wall (The Battery?) and looked out at Fort Sumter, which is on our "To Do" List for another trip. We also had fun looking at (and climbing on) the cannons in the garden.

After driving around some more, we went over to Mount Pleasant to look at Patriot's Point. When we first saw the planes at the Patriot's Point Museum, Trey started screaming "Thank you! Thank you!" It broke my heart to have to tell him we weren't going there this trip, but it was at the top of the list for next time.

We had seen signs about the Hunley so we followed them to a museum. It is in a very scary part of town and the admittance price seems very high ($12 per person), so I don't think we will return there.

We stopped briefly at a LaQuinta Motel before heading home. I just wanted to see the rooms, which were very nice, for future reference.

I hope we can return to Charleston soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jeffrey's Best Birthday Ever!

Jeffrey was 5 on August 12, 2007. We had his party that day after church. It was also Sarah's 12 birthday party. :-)

We had the party at Grandmother's house, as our guest bathroom is still in the middle of a remodel. At the party was Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt Beth, Uncle Scott, Cousin Laura, Grandmommy, Uncle Greg, Aunt Caroline, Mr. and Mrs. Blair, and all of us. We had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Here are the gifts he received:

Grandmother and Grandfather - Spiderman Backpack
Aunt Beth et al. - GI Joe Sigma Six toy
Grandmommy - Playmobile Pirate toys
Uncle Greg and Aunt Caroline - Cowboy Hat
Mr. and Mrs. Blair - $25

For his birthday dinner after we got home, we had spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce. At that point, we told him that his gift from us was $15 to spend at Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Last night we all went to Build-A=Bear to spend his money. He picked out a dark brown bear. One of the staff helped him stuff it. After he had picked out a heart and placed it in the bear, she laced it up tight and tied the laces. Then Jeffrey had to take it over to the wash station to give it an air wash and brush out his fur. Then we picked out a shirt for him - Jeffrey choose a pirate shirt that came with a bandana to go over his ears. Arrrr! Then we registered him on their kid-friendly computer (so we can get lots of junk mail!), we paid for him. At that point they gave us the bear's birth certificate (Pirate Blackbeard) and put him in his carrier so he wouldn't bite us on the way home.

Next, we went to Toys-R-Us so he could spend his money form the Blairs. He picked out a Playmobile Pirate Treasure Chest to go along with his other toys. Today, he is dressed in his pirate shirt and playing pirates with all his siblings (except Baby Rebekah!).

He has declared more than once that this was his best birthday ever!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What actually happened for Mother's Day Weekend

We got on the road Thursday as planned, but later than hoped for. This wasn't a big deal, however, as the Microcar Museum was closed for construction. We did detour very briefly through Athens to see the only double-barrel cannon known to exist.

Over the course of the weekend, I found I had forgotten the following:
plates, plastic ware, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, milk, can opener, charcoal, lighter fluid, a belt for dh's shorts, most of the sleeping bags, and the bedding for my bed. We went to Wal-Mart to replace most of the forgotten items and used packing blankets for sleeping blankets.

Friday, we went to Six Flags as planned. John and I decided to dress the dc in swimwear since they wanted to play at Skull Island. Unfortunately, Skull Island and most of the water rides were closed. The one running had an extremely long ride so we avoided it. Everyone but the baby went on at least one roller coaster and the children all had fun in the Bugs Bunny area.

Saturday started nice, although it got hot quickly. Trey had gotten Jeffrey's cold (from before we left) and started vomiting. We kept hoping he would get better under John's ministrations. Meanwhile, I took the other dc to the lake for swimming which they really enjoyed. When we got back to the campground, I planned to take a quick shower before John took them back to the beach. On the way back from the shower, it started to sprinkle. Since we could no longer swim, and Trey was still vomiting, we decided to go home. As John and I started packing up, the rain started to pour down. We put the dc in the car and packed as quickly as we could. We still got soaked!

he ride home was quick and uneventful. Once we got home, William found a tick on him. John tried to remove, but the mouth broke off inside him. They ended up going to the ER for 3 hours, where they dug the mouth parts out with tweezers. [b]Ouch! [/b] By grace, when John got home he was finally able to get Trey to stop vomiting without a trip to the ER for him (the usual result).

So, I spent Mother's Day washing everything we brought with us. At least I didn't have to cook as I had made lots of food before we left.

I think next year I will plan a brunch on my behalf. :-)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trying to add a picture

Here is a picture of Sarah and Rebekah.

Friday, April 06, 2007

My suggestion for Mother's Day Weekend

I just got a flyer in the mail for Six Flags over Georgia. They are having an exclusive homeschool day on Friday, May 11 (10:00am-5:00pm). There will only be homeschoolers there that day.

Tickets are either $24.50 or $17 per person. The $24.50 ticket includes a free meal and a return ticket. Return ticket is valid Monday-Friday, May 28th-August 10, 2007. Tickets must be ordered by April 27th.

There is also a free workbook available on-line - but I can't find it right now.

If ordering tickets on-line, the promo codes are HOMESCH (for $17 ticket only) or HOMESMEAL (for $24.50 ticket incl. meal and return ticket).

So, here is my suggested itinerary for the weekend:

Thursday, May 10
Drive to:
The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum Inc.
2950 Eatonton Road
Madison, GA 30650
Open 1pm-4pm (call to confirm)
Drive time = 2 hrs. 40 minutes
Admission is free, but a donation is suggested
(all proceeds go to the Morgan County Humane Society)
Then to:
Hard Labor Creek State Park
Knox Chapel Rd
Rutledge , GA 30663
Drive time = 20 minutes
Set up camp

Friday, May 11
Drive to:
Six Flags over GA
Homeschool Day
Drive time = 1 hour
$144 for the day (incl. $15 parking)
Drive back to campground for the night.

Saturday, May 12
Camp and enjoy

Sunday, May 13
Drive home
2 hours, 40 minutes

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Passover and Easter Menus

For our Seder, I think we will have:
Roasted Chicken
Cheesy Potato Kugel (from allrecipes.com)
Buttery Cooked Carrots (also allrecipes.com)
Haroset (using pears instead of apples)
Meringues for dessert

For Easter, I am planning:
Baked Ham
Sweet Potato Casserole (the one with the marshmallows on top)
Potatoes Au Gratin (for dh who won't eat sweet potatoes)
Overnight Blue Ribbon Dinner Rolls (allrecipes.com, again!)
Some sort of veggies to be chosen by dh
Carrot Cake

What are you planning?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's a Girl!

Rebekah Rose was born 02/22/07 via scheduled C-section. She was 9 lbs., 2oz. and 22 inches long. She had some problems with jaundice her first week, but that is now resolving itself. Other than that, she seems perfect in every way. Of course, we know that she is a sinner. ;-)

Wish I knew how to post photos!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Walt Disney World Tips

Back in the Spring of 2002, we took our 3 oldest children to Walt Disney World. They were 6.5, 5, and 3 at the time. I tend to like to have lots of safety measures in place ahead of time so I can just relax and enjoy when we go out together. Here is what we did for that day to set my mind at ease.

The children were all dressed the same in yellow shirts, red shorts, and white hats with socks and shoes. This made it easy to keep an eye on them in the crowds at the park. They each had a "fanny" pack they were told they had to keep on all day. In the fanny pack was an index card covered with contact paper. On the card, I wrote my husband's name, his cell phone number, and the phone number of where we were staying. I instructed the children that if we got lost, they should find a Disney employee (they all wear name tags) and tell them their parents were lost. Then they should show them the card.

I also brought child safety leashes for the two younger ones. When we first arrived at the park, we rented a double stroller. I told the boys they either had to wear a leash or be in the stroller - their choice. The stroller was a great investment because by the end of the day, all three children were happy to be in the stroller! It's important to remember that all the strollers look alike, and that park employees will move your stroller while you are on a ride or on line. I bought yellow ribbon that had been curled and tied it to the handle of our stroller. This made finding the stroller much easier.

Another concern with spending the day at WDW is the effects of the sun. First, use sunscreen. We put it on when we arrived at the parking lot, then again every few hours in the park, especially after Splash Mountain. The other effect of the sun is dehydration. We brought in water bottles for each child and made sure they had a drink before and after each ride. We refilled them with the water fountains around the park. Remember that the effects of the sun are there whether you can see the sun or not, so be careful on cloudy days as well.

If possible, borrow a copy of the Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World. It will describe the advantage of FastPasses, which we loved. It also is helpful in planning your itinerary - which rides to get to when, etc.