Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where I Left Off...

As far as where I left off with the last update, the new year started off with Mark being gone the whole month of January. He was on an out-rotation for work, and it was the first time that he's been away for longer than 5 days. It was tough saying goodbye knowing that there was so much time from then until we'd see him again next, but after the first two weeks, time went more quickly, the kids and I got into a routine, and we managed pretty well. It was weird having such quiet at night, and many nights I stayed up way too late watching Jane Austen movies and finally teaching myself how to knit.       

My first ball of yarn :)
I have such a deeper appreciation now for those women whose husbands are/have been deployed or whose husbands are away on business a lot. It's tough! By the grace of God, we got through, though. :)

Moving into February, we made our first ER visit in 7 1/2 years with children. Lincoln fell on some metal landscape edging and had a nice split right under his throat, above his breast bone. {It was in a scary spot, and he was being watched over to not have the wound another smidgen up into his throat.} Seven stitches and a few hours later, he was in great shape. What a tough boy he was, never crying through any of it and actually quite enjoying all the special attention. :) Again, God was with us, as this happened literally days after Mark returned from out-of-state while he was already at the hospital working and just done with his day. He was able to meet me and the kids at the doors of the ER and stay with Lincoln, so I could keep the others. What a blessing that it turned out so well! {I'll spare you the picture of this...} :)

Our Lincoln, all boy...
Spring has come quickly here in North Carolina, and we've been enjoying the weather, green, and bird chirping tremendously. The Dogwoods and Wisteria are blooming and gorgeous around here! We've started on our garden for the year, expanding it to about three times the size of last fall's garden. The "soil" is pretty much sand here, so that's a change from gardening in Ohio clay. :) Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures as it comes along. In other spring happenings, there's not much to report, so until next time, here's some pictures of my Loves enjoying their springtime play... 
This picture of Finn just cracks me up. Can't you just sense the zoom of his toddlerhood scamperings in it?
All aboard for morning pj play :) 
This so well captures Brigham's personality. He's our little comedian. Not usually is Finn in such terror over it, though!
Our first with all-over waves. So precious...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Update

After my post last week, I had fully intended to update with some pictures and brief ramblings on what's been going on with us over the past many months that I've neglected to do so on here. Then we got a worm. A computer worm. Ick. {I thought only computers in movies got those... Thank you Pinterest.} Thankfully, though, it wasn't a huge deal other than shelling out some cash to have it fixed by the company that was already protecting our computer when we got the worm. Yep, doesn't seem right does it? In return for our cash, we now have 365 days of full computer, printer, smart phone, and all things techy support. We've vowed to call at least 365 times and get the most for our money. Anyways, our computer is all better and now I can update on things other than our computer's love of worms. I'll break my update into two parts, so here's the fall and winter up to Christmas...  

First, I'll introduce you to the newest members of our family. Like my sidebar says, yes, we have gone completely mad and got not one, but two Boxer puppies in the fall.

We didn't set out to get two, but Mark and I were split on which we wanted and the breeder gave us a two-for-one type deal. Also, we figured that we'd just get through the puppy stage right away, instead of waiting a few years and adding another puppy as a second dog like we were hoping. Yes, they are cute. {These pictures were within a few weeks of getting them, taken in October.} No, it wasn't {isn't} easy having two puppies. At all. *thud* The last time we had a puppy was when we had no children. Now with four little ones, my time is directed towards them, not a fur-baby. But, I think we are finally through the worst. They are good girls, really, and we look so forward to having them be a part of our family, especially in a year or two... ;)  

We had a nice fall and just focused on settling down a bit more in our new home. Mark planted a few things in the garden {there's already a huge plot here!} for some cool-weather crops, and we enjoyed campfires and camping in the pines next to our house a couple of times. Our baby boy turned one in September and tore into his cake and devoured it like nothing we've ever seen before. I think he finished it in a minute flat!

It was so great to have fall-changing leaves again after missing them so much in south Texas last year. Oh, how I had missed the reds, golds, and oranges! Down here in the south, though, we had to wait a lot longer into the fall for them to make a showing...

We sold our SUV and purchased a much bigger, much older SUV that will hopefully be with us for a long time. It's big, y'all, but I adore my big truck, Tanker. {And it actually has room for both a stroller and groceries. Score!}

Finally, for the fall and winter, we had decided to head back to our hometown in Ohio to celebrate Christmas with our families. We hadn't been able to go the year before with being in Texas, and we already know that we'll be moving over the holidays this coming year. {I know... Right?} So, we made good use of our new monster truck, loaded it up, and headed north in search of snow and family. The snow skipped out this year, but we had a great time spending time with our families. We even got to spend some time in our beloved town {and stop by our old house!} that was home for five years before heading south as an Army family.

The four siblings all went together and got my parents family pictures this year... My cousin's wife, Brittany, took them at my Mom & Dad's around the farm and did an amazing job. So fun! :) 

For my fellow OSU fans :)

See you in another few days {pending no more worms} for the rest of my update.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On My Mind

Every time I sit down to write or catch up on here, my mind is blank. It's awkward. It seems foreign to me. I'm not sure how to start back up, so I just... don't. I'm not certain how I evolved into feeling this way about my own space, my "journal" of sorts. After all, it's just me talking to and catching up with myself and writing out loud what's in my head. It's been a love-hate relationship. Awkward? It shouldn't be. I think the part that hangs me up is that the journaling is not just for me. Through the years, it's been a way to connect and meet some wonderful friends and ladies whom enjoy what I enjoy, understand who I am, and goodness, have even helped bring out the real, true me and in the process helped me to shape my desires and convictions into my own. I love this about blogging. There's an ability to have and create friendships and connections that sometimes can't be fostered in the traditional day-to-day tangible way. That's not the hard part, though. That's the love part. The hate part? Well, let's just say that I'm a pretty private, guarded person, not one to easily show transparency. Sometimes I worry what others will think of me. I know, I shouldn't... After all, I'm a grown woman with a husband and family, and we are confident to make our own decisions even when they aren't mainstream. I can't help it, though, because the truth of the matter is that I do worry. I'm trying to get better at that. {The part about being myself and being proud and confident in who I am to not just some people, but all people.} So, while I try to get back into the rhythm of journaling and sharing and growing relationships, just remember that if I come up missing again, it's not you... it's me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not Still Life


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We're Expecting...

new additions to our Brood...


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homeschool 2011~2012

Most of you know that my journey as a homeschooling Mama started last year, and while there were the normal newbie snags {mainly my time management & gusto!}, I'm so excited to say that we've started back up this past Monday with a fresh year! Even though I may not technically be a "brand-newbie" anymore, I sure feel like it. There's a few changes here at home that will make this year more challenging than the last to find "quiet, uninterrupted" time {or heck, just plain time!} for lessons.

Firstly ::: I'm not pointing fingers, but a certain 10-month-old, ahem, has decided to enter toddlerhood early. Full-on walking {yes, walking!}, destructing, attention-pleading...  It's for this reason that the start of our school day is on hold until 9:30ish, otherwise known as morning nap time. :) Morning lessons finish shortly before lunch, and afternoon lessons pick up around 1:30-2ish, otherwise known as afternoon nap time. :)  

Secondly ::: Again, not pointing fingers, but we do have a crazy-cute blond preschooler here still. While there is an afternoon nap break most days from the random "ahoy, mateys" and new-three-year-old meltdowns, morning lessons are a bit boisterous at times. {Also, I will proclaim this 'til my grave, but three is sooo much harder than two. Anyone concur?} But really, Brigham's great for the most part and does like to practice on the dry-erase boards. :)

Truly, I do love my little boys being around and learning from the get-go with the "big kids", and if buckets full of extra patience & prayer is what it takes to keep my kiddos at home learning with me, bring it!  

Here are my two school-aged learners and what we will be using for curriculum this year.

Bella {7 yrs} ::: 

Ultimately, I decided to go with MFW First instead of Adventures in MFW. I didn't want Adventures to get too hard too quickly, even if Bella is a great reader. I'm sure that all there is to do in First Grade will keep us busy and learning enough, as it looks pretty "beefy" so far. Also, she's a young 7-year-old {less than a month ago}, and we'd rather not push too much.  My Father's World First Grade deluxe package also includes the following that we will be incorporating daily and/or weekly with the daily lessons in math, reading/phonics, & Bible.

  • Science using Things OutdoorsScience with Water, & Science with Plants.  
  •  Art using Drawing with Children, Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children, and Come Look with Me: Exploring Landscape Art with Children
  • Music by introducing the orchestra using classical CDs that are included with MFW curricula
Lincoln {5 yrs} :::
Lincoln is very excited to be doing school work of his own this year, and I'm pretty excited that I'll be able to teach him MFW from A to Z after just finishing it up with Bella last year. In a way it will be tough to do this program all over again so soon, but I have so much new material with Bella that it will be nice to have something I'm completely comfortable with. Lincoln's pace will also be different than his sister. I am anxious to see everything *click* for him over this year.
We still have some kinks to work out, and I'm sure there will be some speed bumps {or sinkholes!} along this long road ahead this year, but we feel so blessed to be home again learning. Even with all the stop-and-go traffic of homeschooling a 1st grader and kindergartner amidst a toddler and preschooler... ;)


Thursday, August 4, 2011


After we found out that we would have a big, private backyard here in North Carolina following our tiny sub-divided yard in Texas, one of the things I looked forward to the most was putting up a line for the clothes. Yes, I knew it would take more time and effort {we hung clothes growing up}, but I wanted to give it a go in an attempt to move towards a more simple lifestyle.

I'm so glad that I made it a priority, as we have been hanging the wash for a couple of weeks now. I look forward to my twice-daily jaunts to the line, for there I can slow down and enjoy the fresh air, chirping birds, and towering pines surrounding me. {See the tall, lanky pines in the picture?} I'm always so blessed and rewarded when we take the extra time and make an effort towards a slower lifestyle.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Motherhood Parallels Crimefighting

He comes quickly, with the impending *slap, thud, slap, thud* of swirling arms and legs barreling closer. Lip bit in concentration, the mischievous glow of his eyes lock and load onto his next target.

Nothing is safe in his path. Every room has a "hot spot". Classic pots and pans and spice cabinets in the kitchen, mess of TV cords and cable box in the family room, stairs in the hallway, crinkly papers and Daddy's deer mount in the office... The list goes on and on. "Moooommmeeee! The baby's in the trash... again! Ewww, he's eating an eggshell! What's that stuff on his hands!?" {this morning's sausage gravy, FYI}

He scales along the edges of the couch and kitchen cabinets with grace and ease. New developments have him turning to run away while belly laughing and squealing, forgetting that his legs carrying his petite 18-pound frame aren't quite on the same page as his scheming head. Slower, more deliberate steps have him getting further.

The crib, stroller and I? Yeah, we're like *this*. The crib and I have forged a deal during nap times. {Though the crib is still holding out for higher pay during the night hours.} The stroller answers the call of duty as I hang laundry on the line. Sweet deliverance.

{Surveillance of The Offender: 10 months}

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Emerging out of the blue and in a new place...

Well, that was a very, very big lead-up to this post. What, it's been like 6 months since I've last wrote anything on here!? I'm not even sure if I remember how to post. I'm not even sure if any of you remember me or are still out there waiting for the monotonous cricket chirps to burst into my infamous ramblings. Either way, I've missed you all and have decided to spend a part of my Saturday and the baby's naptime catching up on here.

We live in North Carolina now. There. I said it and just got it out of the way, ha! Remember that I told you we were moving on to our new state in June for Mark's Phase II schooling? Think waaay back. Well, we moved cross-country and are here now. We like it and so far so good. There's lots of sand, lots of pine trees, and lots of lizards where we are. It's quiet and secluded, and I can walk around outside in my pajamas 'til my heart's content without anybody looking at me funny. We can hear the bugs and birds chirp and my hubby has named the tree frogs that frequent our front porch at night. The children ride their bikes and scooters up and down the looong drive that leads to our stone road that leads to the dirt road. This is so much more my style. Our style. Don't get me wrong, living in a subdivision has its good points {a pool!}, but for us, it's just not our style. Here on our chunk of land in North Carolina, the only things missing are chickens and a clothes line. {Although I'm still working on that.} Oh, and my hubby for some many extra hours of the week... It's okay, though, as he's finally doing what he's been waiting for. He's started in the OR {or "operating room" for those of us that don't live at a hospital or have a spouse that does} practicing all of his anesthesia know-how. As much as we loved Mark's time off while moving and settling in and having him home all the time, we must admit that it's always nice to get into a routine again. There's still a lot of tweaking of the schedule that needs done on my end {especially with school starting up again next month!}, but I think we'll settle in nicely for these next 18 months.

So, that's where we are now on this adventure as a military family. Now, how in the world have you all been?! Tell me what's new with you and your adventures...



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thoughts From This Day

I have many random bits {swirling} in my ponytailed head today. Here are just a few.

Is there anything cuter than a two-year-old running around in underpants? If it's a two-year-old in boxer briefs, you bet! :)

I almost made it through my day out with the kids without somebody telling me that I "have my hands full". {The kids were behaving beautifully at the time also...} Does having four children automatically qualify me for having full hands? I honestly feel that four {for us} is no harder than three was. Moms of "many", any thoughts?

I adore going to the library with my kiddos. There's just something about them getting so excited about finding the perfect book for the week's school lesson or read-aloud time that makes me feel so proud inside. I always think how wonderful it would be to be able to keep all the {20-30} new library books we check out each time. Just think how our at-home library would grow! I am thankful for the books we do have, though. What a blessing!

I feel so "caught-up" and accomplished at home if my laundry is {mostly} done, the kitchen is clean, and the playroom is tidy with everything in its place. If one of those three things is off, so am I.

How is it that I feel I have more patience lately? Does patience multiply {like love} with each new baby? In a way, it doesn't make sense to me. Yet in a way, it makes perfect sense.

My wonderful, cute bloggy friend Lenae is so, so close to meeting her fourth little blessing. {and first girl!} She's having an online baby shower this weekend. How wonderful the blogging community can be, huh!? For goodness sakes, you can not only have a good friend {whom I've never even met} through blogging, but a baby shower too!?

We've found out where we'll be moving to next for Mark's Phase II residency! Can you believe that we only have 4 1/2 months left in Texas!? Surreal. Any guesses as to what state will soon be our new stomping grounds? {Those that know, no cheating!}

That's it for now. Have a blessed weekend! Oh, and by the way... What's on your mind? :)