Monday, November 19, 2012

In on the Secret...

Kate was asking hard questions.  Questions about why Santa didn't give gifts to those who get Shoe Boxes and goats.  Why some children get so little and others so much.  So I took my curly headed oldest out on a date.

We bought our advent candles and then settled into a coffee shop, rather than the McDonald's she had her eye on, in hopes not to ruin any small children's Christmas dreams.  We talked about St. Nicholas.  She excitedly told me that she knew all about him and his coins down the chimney.

Then I asked her what happened when people got old.  First she answered, "They look different?" (ala Santa).  Then I asked what eventually happened.  A question formed on her face, "They die?"

Ah, yes.  St. Nicholas died a long, long time ago.  I explained that we use Santa to teach children about St. Nicholas and the giving of gifts.  She asked lots of questions and found out that all kinds of adults are in on the whole thing.

I was so glad I got to tell her, not some mean kid teasing her.  I'm trying to get her on board with keeping the littles in the dark until I can take them out for a hot cocoa and a cheese danish some day, when they are asking those hard questions.

I told her that I told my own little sister.  She asked if I knew better.  When I told her I did know, she was shocked.  Her Mama wasn't perfect as a little girl.  I told her I also upset Aunt Holly greatly, and I hoped she would do better than I did.  We'll see!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nate is Three!

Three?!  I can't believe that our littlest is three years old today.  I have such clear memories of that day--such beautiful weather, such bad traffic...  I don't think I'll ever remember that day without being thankful for a friend who insisted she stay with us that morning so that my little gals weren't caught in that traffic jam as we scrambled to the hospital!

Raising a boy has been so fun.  He loves dirt

and trains.  He was so sad when this ride ended.

He's the one that runs his head into things and bleeds in my lap.

He also loves taking care of 'Baby' (the teddy bear).

He often hangs out with the girls while they do school.

He's so cool,

And he adores girls.  That is a good thing, since he is constantly surrounded with his sisters and all their friends.  This young lady, he absolutely adores.  They are great sparing partners too.

He turns brooms into 'chine [machine] guns (you know, because I kept toy guns out of the house) and could turn jumping off of chairs into an Olympic sport.  He cuddles in my lap and calls me, 'my little Mama.'  He holds my heart in his little hand and causes it to skip beats.  He's my boy.

Happy birthday little man.  I pray that you will be a young man of integrity, a beacon of truth, and a man courageous enough to treat women as they ought to be treated, even when they do not do the same for you.  Luckily for you, you are getting plenty of training on that last one with two older sisters!  I can't wait to see what you become.  You tell me you want to be a daddy, a 'digger man,' and a firefighter.  We'll see where you path goes, but I love you always!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Banner of Verses

The kids and I have been working on a memory verse almost every week this year in school.  I didn't want us to forget the ones we had previously learned, do I copied each one on to a paper and made a wall hanging so that we can look back over them.

First, I cut my paper (card stock) to squares (6" x 6") and wrote the verses.

Then I placed scotch tape on each card at the top to protect it from ripping.

Then I stitched the paper onto a ribbon in the back with a button on the front.

I hung it on a pillar next to our front door, near where we school, so we can look back over them.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (ESV)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Water Cycle Model

When we studied water, I couldn't exactly build streams and rivers, though I did contemplate using the hose to simulate water flow, but instead I opted to used yarn.

The 'water' came down out of the mountain in streams, joined to make a river, fell as a water fall, and made a delta as it flowed into our lake.

This isn't ground breaking, but it was impressive to the littles and it gave a great 3D representation of water--oh, and I held the skein of yarn up to represent a cloud, so we got the rainfall/evaporation part covered too!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Card Shopping

My family has been using Shutterfly/Tiny Prints for many years for photo ordering.  They have good prices and it is always nice to have a package on the doorstep instead of waiting at the photo counter with little ones.  Two years ago, we chose photo cards from them for the first time--and they were wonderful.  We have never had so much positive feedback on a Christmas card before.  Of course our kids are adorable, but the quality on these cards heavy paper was great too.

The customer service was great on those cards too, as we moved not too long before I ordered them and I forgot to change the shipping address.  We were able to remedy it with the excellent service they provided and get our cards out for Christmas.

Since it is November, I thought I'd share their Christmas Cards collection with you too, so you can make an order!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Christmas Cards Twinkling Hallelujah - Front : Cream

Flat Holiday Photo Cards Batik Damask - Front : Aqua

Flat Holiday Photo Cards Moments in Time - Front : Light Gray

Flat Holiday Photo Cards Tasteful Holidays - Front : Firecracker
Fun colors!

Don't forget to check for special promotions they offer here.

*I am receiving a coupon code, in exchange for my promotion of Tiny Prints, but all the opinions are my own.*

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back to Granola

Have you been reading about GMO corn?  It is getting a lot of bad press, and the studies are pretty condemning.  Corn is everywhere.  It is in so much of the prepared foods we purchase.  While I do a great deal of cooking, I do still buy things with corn in the mix--BBQ sauce, ketchup, and the one that has really been bugging me is cereal.  Condiments, those are occasional use, but cereal, the kids eat that on a regular basis.

I've never been one that would buy chocolate flavored cereal or the kind with the mini-marshmallows, as much as I remember enjoying them as a kid.  My kiddos had plenty enough energy without the extra sugar, plus add Justin's diabetes to the mix, we just don't do it.  After much cajoling and me checking the sugar content of a cereal, the kids convinced me to buy a cereal with pink icing.  It made me ill to pour it.  That was the last straw.  Ick.  They were going to eat that!

I went back hunting and found a granola recipe.  Most of the time I'm looking for ways to save our family money and this does cost more, corn crops are subsidized after all, but it isn't a ridiculous expense--I'm estimating it will cost $6.75 (plus any dried fruit or nuts we choose to add) as opposed to the $5.38 I paid for that icky stuff, for the same number of servings.

Here's the recipe I used as our basis--though I'm guessing it will take about 2 times that amount to feed the kiddos granola for 5 days.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Holly!

Happy birthday to my sister!!  You have made me a better mother because I grew up with you, and you are a wonderful aunt to the littles.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!