Friday, September 30, 2011


"I like to wear one shoe because it feels like I'm on an elevator and I like elevators." -Kate

* * * * *

While hanging her wings up in her room, "I have to take the fairy wings back to that the other tooth fairy tonight. She lent me some because she had extras, but now I can give hers back."

Thursday, September 29, 2011


The other day we had out the markers for the girls to color some folders I got for them. If you know little kids and markers...well it can be a touch messy. I had hoped to distract Nate with crayons, but he's getting past the substitution stage at this point and must-have-what-sister-has. So I was thankful for washable markers and we went on with our day.

I sat right with the kids and kept an eye on them, since the baby boy had markers and who knew what he would do with them! After awhile, we packed it up for the time being. Nate was getting antsy and we needed to make a run to the grocery store.

Isn't this just a neat little postcard into the happy life of homeschool?

That afternoon as Nate was napping, I gave the girls the markers to work on their folders a bit more and headed to check my email. I hadn't even made it through all the subject lines in the list before I heard hysterical giggling. As a mom, there are three sounds that should send you checking on your children immediately: a very loud bang, complete silence, and this kind of laughter.

And I was again thankful for washable markers.


If you are a homeschooling family, you can register to win some curriculum prizes here:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


How did life get so busy? We didn't have anything major on our calendar last year, or at least so it seemed. Now all of the sudden, I'm having trouble keeping up!

I dropped library story time to help, though they are constantly trying to get us to stay at our local branch. Zoo days, art days, and two days with weekly classes. Even church is getting busy this fall--classes about the church itself (2 days), membership classes (2 days), and volunteer training!

All the kids have their birthdays in the course of seven weeks here too! Visiting with our families over birthdays--my father-in-law, mother, sister, and I are all mixed in there too. Ack! Then Thanksgiving, then Christmas! Can some one wake me up after the new year?

Sometimes it makes it hard to slow down and take the time to read that extra book that we don't 'have to' read as part of our official school. But I'm going to try to do that this fall, in the middle of crazy, to walk when the sun shines, play on the swing set, chase some leaves, and make a mess in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Fairy Tale, Katie Style

Kate had an assignment to write her own fairy tale for school. Here's what she came up with:

In case it is hard to read:
In 1805 there was a princess named Beth. She looked like she was a flower. She was from Kansas. One day she was listening to music. Then eight aliens

kidnapped her.

The next day Prince John from Atlantis read the paper and found out Beth was kidnapped by aliens.

So he went to

outerspace because he likes princesses. He went by rocketship. He found the princess on the planet of Neptune. He rescued her. When the aliens were asleep,

he snuck past them.

And they lived happily ever after.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Six years ago Miss Kate finally decided to grace us with her pretty little face.

My darling gal, you are so big. You have grown up so much in the past year. You are reading, writing, and calculating. You are memorizing scripture. You do everything big. You are outgoing and friendly. You can be so compassionate.

My hope for you is that you grow up to be a Godly woman with a passion to serve His people.

To the gal, who stood beside me and told me exactly how to decorate her cake.

The one who wanted Rapunzel hair for her birthday.

And who wanted to use as many of her presents as once as possible (hair, wings, skirt, necklace, book, harmonica [only Aunt Holly would give her a harmonica...I think maybe there will be a nice visit to Aunt Holly's house soon].

Love you beautiful!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Yesterday was our very first day of co-op. It was semi-organized chaos, as is often the first day of activities containing lots of children and people who have never been involved in the group before.

Kate took a science class, where they studied about paper floating on water and gravity. The second hour, she took a class in Tao Kwon Do. They practiced punching and good manners. She has homework for that class, in both Korean and manners.

Gabriella's classes were Montessori based. She studied numbers, letters, animals, and a parable about Jesus, but she could quite put the words together to tell me which one.

Nate and I hung out in the nursery with a couple of little ones that were tagging along with their big brothers and sisters. We grilled hot dogs and corn on the cob in the play kitchen, bathed baby dolls in the 'sink', used an indoor slide and listened to Veggie Tales music.

It was nice to be around other homeschoolers and the girls were both very excited about their classes. I was so glad that Gabby got to be involved too. I would love to have a co-op closer to us though, we had a 40 minute drive over and over an hour drive home. We'll have to see what is available in the spring!

Here are the munchkins ready for an afternoon of learning. Nate wasn't too sure about having his picture made and kept running off, so we finally got this one just before we walked out the door!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I can't get over how the price of computers have dropped. Our first laptop was over $750. As I've been scouting this week, I found them for $350! And of course they can run circles around the one we had before. Now to see if we can avoid purchasing a new one for 10 years!

We were late into the DVD scene because we knew if we waited we would be able to save quite a bit. Whats more, we could by those inexpensive VHS tapes that no one else wanted. Sometimes it pays to be late to the party!

In case your wondering, we got a Dell Inspiron, at recommendation from my mother.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peaceful Walk

The other night we set off on a little walk around our neighborhood. We've done a few walks lately and Nate has been able to make them too. As we started up that first hill, it struck me that for the first time in almost exactly six years we were walking without a stroller (or carrier of some sort) these days. We were enjoying the slightly cooler than normal temperatures and the slight breeze, the time out of the house and the low glow from the setting sun.

After only a half mile, Nate gave out. He's been making it nearly a mile under his own steam, with Justin and I volleying him back and forth the rest of the way. Then, at the very furthest point from the house, Justin feels his blood sugar start to plummet. I take the little fellow and we're encouraging the girls to hurry every little chance they get. I was considering knocking on a door and offering to buy them a case of whatever soda they could let us have.

It was not the most peaceful walk we've ever taken, but we made it back. We learned our lesson: the baby is not all grown up yet and we need to take glucose tablets on our walks, even just 15 minutes after dinner.

Monday, September 19, 2011


My computer went kerplunk kerpluey (as in won't even run DOS) as I was scanning in pages from a little story that Kate wrote that I planned to let you read today. The netbook I'm using can't use my scanner (no CD drive), so you're stuck with just me today.

We'll be purchasing a new computer this week, which we haven't done in 10 years (yep, we aren't into the latest and greatest), so if you have any recommendations for the most basic of laptops or ones that haven't been great to stay away from, drop me a note. I blog, facebook, and email. I store pictures, type for home schooling, and occassionally stream a TV show, if my computer cooperates. The kids play a few educational games, not the things that take up a lot of RAM. So we don't need anything fancy. I prefer laptops to desk tops as a space issue. And that Nate tends not to type on it so much if I close a lid and hide the keyboard.

Friday, September 16, 2011


According to Nate...

Earrings are actually keys,
milk is actually knock,
and fork is a not nice word, since he doesn't have his 'r' yet.

We're encouraging the use of 'spoon' for all utensils at the moment, since his fork is more like a spork anyway.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I'm excited to have these in our possession!

Announcements for graduation! We are so glad to have this one behind us.

There are lots of projects on Justin's plate these days...teaching, writing for his doctoral adviser, a research project (or two) at work, and beginning on his tenure package, but it is wonderful to have this accomplishment! Maybe he'll actually have time to take some vacation next summer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Notes From a Three Year Old

An email from my Gabby girl to her grandmother:

Thank you for my ring. I love you Gam. I’ve been doing gymnastics. I’ve been running and doing a somersault. Today I read about ‘a rat in the sack.’ And I love Toby dog. Pass it over to Toby so he can see it. I love PawPaw too. I want to come to your house today.


Monday, September 12, 2011


I am Kate (And Gabby and Nate)'s primary teacher, but I am thankful to not be the only teacher. There are grandparents who teach them little things as they go, Justin who teaches about music, video games, and chemistry, and then other organized learning too.

We go to programs at the library, classes at the art museum, lessons at the zoo and Sunday School. Now we've added gymnastics to our list and we're planning to be a part of a co-op later this month. I am excited for the new friends, teachers, and learning opportunities we have being closer to the city now. And thankful for a calendar to keep it all straight!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Nate's favorite game these days:

"Wheh ah you?"

(Where are you?)

as he hides behind his hands and giggles.

* * * * *

He also calls his sisters princess from time to time. They are smitten.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flipping It

My littlest gal had her very first gymnastics class this week.

She was able to pass through a rotation of activities--tumbling on large foam mats, walking a low foam beam, practicing the steps for a cartwheel, and flipping over a low bar.

She had to learn to stay on her task. The first activity she was given was to walk the beam. She walked it once, but then waited to be told what to do next. After the first couple of minutes passed, she went to one of the teachers who was spotting another student. She was walked back and told to do it again. Twice.

At the end of one of her mat practice runs, she found the side of the long trampoline. There were other children taking turns on it, but that didn't stop Miss Gabriella. She hopped up and, well, hopped. One of the teachers walked her back to her activity. She got to play on that trampoline later.

She tells me that she had fun. (And Kate did too--she tried a class for older kids.) This week was a free trial. It makes for a very long day, but we're going to see if we can work it out for them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hand Writing

What a difference a year makes!

This is a picture of Kate's handwriting sheet from a year ago.

This is from this past week. The blue circles are the (minor) errors I marked for her.

*In case you are wondering, we are using Writing with Ease (without the accompanying workbook) for writing this year. Actually, I intend to use it for four years, as it has the instructions for teaching writing for 1st-4th grades.*

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Thankful for Justin's job that pays the bills and mine that doesn't, but pays in many other ways.

I take pay in sticky kisses, silly stories, cuddly hugs, and cute smiles. Other payments are negotiable.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It is September, Right?

100*? 100*! Really?!

That's all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dog Days

Nate happened across a copy of this picture, which so aptly summerizes our children's personalities...Kate posing, Gabby hiding, and Nate (not yet walking) on the move. I asked him where Kate was and he showed me. He also showed me Gabby. Then he points to himself and tells me, "Nate a dog here."

While we were at my parents he took this a step further... My parents have a yorkie named Toby, who the kids just love. Nate crawls in from the kitchen with the dog's favorite toy in his mouth, continues over to my mother. There he drops the toy for her to throw (just like Toby). When she throws the rubber cow, Nate jumps up onto his feet and runs for the cow. He then gets back down on all fours so he can pick it up with his teeth.

Not the most sanitary of activities, but we were so surprised and laughing so hard!

Prayer Request

My heart has been heavy this week. A friend of mine here in town had a stroke last Friday. I haven't made any close friends here yet...we knew we weren't staying in the first house, so I didn't put down roots. I wouldn't let myself get attached to anyone in that area. We got settled in a church and a home and I was starting to build relationships. She was one of a small handful of women who I was getting to know. And of that group, we probably share the most in common: recent transplants from out of state, trained educators who are staying home with our littles, married to PhDs (both in science, I might add), and mamas to three children each (our oldests were born within a month of each other). We've been in each others homes, smiled over each others children.

Could I ask you to pray for my friend? She has three boys, a devoted husband, and family that has traveled to be with them. They could all use prayers for grace and peace, wisdom for the doctors and the family as decisions are made, comfort for her boys, and of course healing for her. And I wouldn't mind one tiny bit if God granted a miraculous healing, the likes of which leave the doctors with nothing to say, but that God had His hand in it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tough as Nails

Miss Gabby is the more feminine and maternal of the girls. The other day I was reminded that doesn't mean she's not one tough cookie.

I've been taking the kids for a walk a few days a week. We enjoy the sunshine, the time out of the house, and we count the time in as part of Kate's PE. My kids love PE.

We had just turned around to head home and the girls were running ahead to the next mailbox holding hands. Very Norman Rockwell. Then Gabriella fell. Holding on to Kate's hand, she was not able to break her fall well. She scraped her knee pretty badly and cut her chin. I scooped her up and started to walk home carrying her and holding Nate's hand. Then my tough little gal looks at me and tells me that she can make the walk. And she did. She walked nearly half a mile home and let me clean up her scrapes. The only thing she cried about was the blood that got on her skirt. (Thank goodness for peroxide!)

Kate told us, "I would have cried and cried!" I know kiddo.