Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at Mom's!

Christmas at Granny's is: Sweet. Loud. Yummy. Fun. Giggly.
Did I mention CRAZY! With the 6 grands, three of them practically babies, CRAZY it definitely is, but we wouldn't have it any other way! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No way!

I've always wanted to sample Rosetta Stone to see if it would be right for our family. Here is a great way to WIN a Level 1 Homeschool no money lost if it doesn't work for you!

Follow the directions below to enter:


Now is the perfect time to give your child the gift of possibilities for the holidays with Rosetta Stone Homeschool — and you can WIN a Level 1 Homeschool program, language of your choice (valued at $249)!

Right now Rosetta Stone is having a special Holiday promotion on our Homeschool Edition program and we’d like you to help spread the word! Everyone can save up to $150 on Rosetta Stone Homeschool by visiting our website at

By helping us spread the word you can win a Rosetta Stone Homeschool Edition Level 1 program, language of your choice, valued at $249.

This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever!

Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this program, copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR post about this contest on your facebook page. Then go to the original page at
and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post, and good luck!


Friday, October 29, 2010

In case you can't tell, Madeline is thrilled to be mobile--all over the house, she is!
I didn't realize until today that October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Erin at Tear & Mend so sweetly reminded us of all the many families out there who face a seemingly devastating diagnosis. One in a thousand (or so) babies are diagnosed with SB, and approximately half of those babies are aborted before their parents have the chance to realize that these babies are WORTH IT (as Erin said).
Being decidedly pro-life, Glen and I never considered or wanted to end my pregnancy. However, I do remember in that first rough day thinking that I could understand a little more why some mama's might consider it. It's terrifying to wonder what extreme difficulties your little one might go through. Today I ran across a blog written by a mother who struggled intensely with her decision. This was one of the most tear-jerking and eye-opening posts I've come across, and it hits so close to home, knowing the uncertainties that come with a spina bifida diagnosis. Also addressed are the varying reactions she received in response to her honesty and vulnerability. If you have the chance, stop by and celebrate her decision of life. Then continue to pray for peace for her and her family as she walks through the weeks and years ahead.
Today I can't imagine my life without Madeline, special needs and all. I wrote last year, "What did I do to deserve this?" Through ups and downs, challenges and victories, one smiley and determined little girl brings joy to our home every day, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Am I the only one?

I seriously need your feedback on the following question:

Am I the only homeschool mom that occasionally has to take the day off just to catch up on housework after a bizarre week? I hate to not appear perfect here (heehee) but I seriously couldn't take it one more moment. I knew I'd never have time to get done what needs done if we didn't take off. Kokomo is on fall break anyway, but we had decided not to take off since we didn't count all of our vacation as educational.

Still to go:
  • the rest of the dishes
  • mop the kitchen floor
  • laundry
  • kids' room
  • finally finish sorting through the fall/winter clothes and...
  • get those boxes out of the house
  • possibly make cookies for the campaign bus
  • go to a campaign rally
  • exercise
  • transcribe a sermon due back tomorrow
  • figure out the rest of school this week...

A mother's work and all that, but I have three Excedrin in me now to cover pain from wisdom tooth extraction on Tuesday, so I have lots of caffeine energy! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trip to the apple orchard

At the end of September, Olivia and her preschool friends went on a fieldtrip to a family-run apple orchard. We'd planned to all go along, but Carli ended up sick, so I left her and Madeline with Glen. I love spending one-on-one time with each girl.

Kissable, huggable, loveable, unbelievable.

Olivia and her teacher.

I took pics of this little guy for his mother, and I couldn't resist putting one up here. One of Olivia's favorite people! :)

I could just eat her up...figuratively speaking, of course!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Of Sign Language, Sippy Cups, and Sufi (OK! So my alliterative skills aren't as good as my Daddy's!)

Madeline Kate is making great progress with her communication skills, thanks in no small part to her incredible speech therapist, Ann, as well as her other therapists and sisters who speak non-stop to her. In the past week, she's been putting two words together using sign language--"Please cup" and "More please." She's also starting to answer "yes" or "no" appropriately. I love that she can get across her desires a little more.
In the feeding-tube arena: We're almost done with it! Madeline finally has 5 or 6 teeth and she can handle almost any table food from soft to semi-firm. She gets most of her fluids through the sippy cup with Thick-It mixed in to thicken it to a consistency she won't aspirate on. We use the tube only for her medicines and water now, and occasionally to get an extra feeding done if we don't want to wake her.
Tomorrow Madeline will visit Dr. Sufi in Indianapolis. Dr. Sufi is her new pulmonologist, and I'm really anxious to see if we can find some answers for her continued need of oxygen. If it's due to the DiGeorge Syndrome? If so, will she outgrow her O2 requirements? Will the kyphosis (sever spine curvature) correction in the spring help her breathing at all? So many questions, and only One Great Physician who has all the answers. We beg for your prayers, that the doctors will have wisdom in dealing with her situation, but more importantly, that His will will be done in her life for the primary purpose of bringing glory to Him.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MFW Adventures, Weeks 7 & 8

Let's take a poll right now and see how many people think that this is a downward trend? I started out trying to get the weekly update in by the weekend of, and now has turned into every two weeks. Thank you to all my lovely readers who show such patience! :)

Besides keeping up with the three R's (or technically, the R,WR,AR)...

During the past two weeks, our Bible lessons taught about Jesus, the Bread of Life. We started off the week with homemade English-Muffin Bread (mmmm), and through the weeks, we tied in yeast experiments, dough making, and a fun book from our book basket.

Glen's boss sent home a huge bag of books home for the girls. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this book, so perfect for our study.

Mixing up the yeast/water/sugar combination for experiment

...which is poured into a bottle and capped with a balloon.

The yeast feeds on the sugar, producing carbon dioxide. The balloon expands.
Olivia documents the experiment
Cute, huh?Carli's narration of the experiment (She dictated it to me, but drew the pics herself).
Carli joins the littles for an afternoon nap, making mama very jealous!
In history, we studied the colonists in New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and the pioneers in Michigan. Besides enjoying the Pioneers and Patriots book, we read several books from our book basket (forgot to take a picture). One of the favorite parts of our day is always the read-aloud, related to history. Carli begs to keep going. Our current read-aloud is The Courage of Sarah Noble, based on the true story of a little girl who accompanied her father to the wilderness of Connecticut in the 1700s.
We also made butter (in pajama bottoms with a sweatshirt that doesn't match, evidently)!
Lots of shaking...
...turns whipping cream into butter in about 15 minutes.
I chose Amelia Bedilia for Carli's reader this week. She laughed herself silly, as you can see.

Ooops, these should have been up further, but here's Carli making homemade modeling dough. The intention was to bake her creation and then paint it, but evidently Daddy didn't get the memo. After it was out of the oven, he picked it up, asking, "What's this?" while it fell apart in his hands. Ah well, she had fun making it.
Comparison dictated by Carli

Just for fun...One day we ran over to the Pointy Pencil to pick up some primary-lined paper, and they had a craft going on for Oktoberfest.
For a nature walk this week, I had Carli draw in her nature journal one item and take my camera (!) and take pictures of something that made her think of fall. Her pics included...
...fading hydrangeas...

...leaves starting to turn...

...the neighbor's bush changing color...
...herself in the grass (huh??)...
...the clear blue sky....

Our weeks were especially busy with extra activities. We took Kirsten to Indianapolis Museum of Art (more on that in another post),

...visited an apple orchard with Olivia's preschool (pics coming soon)...

...trekked clear over to Flora with our homeschool group to take in an Amish sawmill and honey farm...
...celebrated National Reading Day with books I'd saved back from my Usborne party (one for each girl..they were beyond thrilled and we had fun reading them aloud together).
Although I didn't get pictures, the girls also spent two nights with Grandma and attended Old-Fashioned Days at their aunties' school, and on Sunday we took part in a Life Chain to support the rights of unborn babies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Aw, Thanks!

You're so sweet, Monica, for thinking of me when it came time to pass this award along! We are both members of the MFW Blog Roll, and Monica and her little ones are one week ahead of us in Adventures, so I feel like I get a little sneak preview! :) You can check out her awesome blog here.

There are a few rules for accepting this award:

1. Post a thank you from the person who awarded you and include their blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 to 15 other bloggers.
3. Comment the blog owners and award them.

I really enjoy these lovely blogs (in no particular order in alphabetical order):

A Moment In My Father's World
Being Made New (corrected!)
Clemens Clan Current Charades
Golden Acorn Homeschool
In the Heart of My Home
Indy 2 Guam
Jimmie's Collage
Joyous Family
NieNie Dialogues
Sumana's Faith
South-Dakotan Satterfields

Grab a cup a copy and enjoy these lovely blogs! And thanks once again, Monica!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Preschool for Olivia

Olivia is over the moon that she gets to go to preschool. We are sending her three mornings a week (for two hours) to the same preschool that Carli attended, and we absolutely love this school. She is constantly asking when she can go back on those off days.

Open house:

I love this picture! Carli and Liam were in the same class in preschool, and now Livy and Rhys are. We get together with them quite a bit through the year for homeschool outings or just to play.

First day excitement

Walking in to the school...
...down the stairs...

...and onto the circle rug.
A little quiet this first morning, but no tears.

Her turn to take the Mystery Box. (I know she had white on after Labor Day, but I haven't gotten Fall stuff out yet.)

Just altogether too adorable.