Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Family Pictures

We try to take a family picture every year or so... ReC is SO hard to get a picture of these days! But here is the best we could get this year :) 

The picture that's best of everyone but ReC....

The ONLY picture ReC was even looking at the camera, let alone smiling...

P.S. All the ellipses were for you Kristine ;) Because I love you...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Just for Mommy ;)

There have been complaints recently about a general lack of blogging, so here :D 

Updates - my pregnancy has vastly improved. I feel much better, and am able to be up and around. I'm currently trying to not to overdo it with the nesting. I got so far behind in everything while I was out of commission though, it's hard to stop when I need to. We've crammed in a lot more school work, and Cadence's writing and math have improved drastically. She's always been a great storyteller, but now she is starting to be able to write down her thoughts herself. ReC went through a really rough spell in January, but has been much better this month, it's been wonderful to see happy, ornery ReC again! James has become rather obsessed with math over the last month or two. I made math centers for Cadence, and he insists on doing all  of them, especially anything to do with money. He's my sweet rescuer, always eager to help out. Tony has been his usual self, doing pretty much everything around here for us. 

Writing time! They love their desks Tony converted from garage sale TV stands. 

ReC. Don't let the jacket and shoes and socks fool you. She dresses like that every day at lunch, because she loves fruit straight from the refrigerator, and it makes her cold. 

This is such a neat program! The library brings in therapy dogs, and the kids can come and read to them. Cadence has gone twice now, and loves it! It definitely fills her bucket :) James can't wait for his turn, but I'm letting him learn a bit more before he does it. 

Cadence's teacher reading to the kids. James usually spends the whole lesson time parked right there, and she includes him as much as the lesson permits. He is very excited to start kindergarten next year, and have her for his teacher  too. 

Haha. Tony and the kids made a "Mommy" snowman, and little kid snowmen. They even put a pen in the snowman's hair :p

The science museum! We've been wanting to go forever, and it was a lot of fun. We will be going back as soon as possible. 

My sweet munchkins... They love 'recess' after lunch every day. Sometimes it lasts most of the afternoon... and sometimes they get a head start before lunch, and sometimes again after supper ;)

ReC having her first Daddy teaparty. She had a lot of fun pouring tea for everyone, and Tony is so patient with them. 

Wow, poor Harmony has way fewer tummy pictures, because this pregnancy has been so limiting. This is actually the only picture we have so far - about 28 weeks. 

Wow. These kids cracks me up. And they are so cute. And they never all smile at the same time. 

This was one of the most fun things we've done. We've been going through the continents and learning about the animals who live there, biomes, and adaptations. This was for Antarctica, and we compared how blubber keeps animals warmer than just our skin. 

Love. They lie in the sunbeam to read and play. They look so sweet and innocent. 

Zoo lovers :)

Aw, look at the baby rhino following his mama :) 

James found a tiger. He's hunting. That's his fierce hunting face. Enough said. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Baby Pecan Ultrasound

We had our last ultrasound Tuesday. Baby Pecan is super healthy looking, and was very cooperative! They were actually running ahead of schedule, so the tech took me back and started with the 'boring' stuff until Tony got there. Cadence went back with me, and just about combusted waiting for Daddy to show up. As soon as he got there, we started looking for a gender. At first all we could see were two little legs firmly pressed together, and then a little hand poking down in the way. So we poked my tummy a bit, and... SHE shifted into perfect view.

Yup, another girl!

James was a bit frustrated at first, but not overly so. We are all excited to welcome our new wee one, and so thankful she let us see so we could stop wondering! I have to confess, I will probably cry the whole time I'm packing up the baby boy things to donate - it just seems so hard to believe we will never use them again!

As I mentioned, she was very cooperative through the whole ultrasound. We got to see five distinct fingers on the hand she was waving around, all her toes, and her little bitty muscles as she flexed.

We also have a name, finally! We let the children have their way with her middle name, since they've been begging for this name for a year or two. She will be Harmony Rose... and here she is!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

And James :)

It is so hard to get a good, normal smile from this boy when I am holding a camera. He wants so much to give a good smile, he tries too hard! But here are some cuties of my buddy :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Don't get your hopes up for regular posts - but here's one at least!

 There are so many things I've wanted to blog about this last year, but I never seem to have time for the computer these days! So here are all the blog posts I want to write right now - each paragraph is a summary of a full post ;) If you make it to the end, or if you just scroll down, you will be rewarded with pictures of ReC in honor of her somewhat vaguely recent second birthday.

We are having baby number four! Pecan is due May 1st, and everyone is super excited for a new baby in the family. The big kids have been praying for a boy since before I got pregnant, but it will be almost Christmas before we find out. 

For the first time ever, I'm having some pregnancy complications. My body has vehemently announced that it is done carrying babies! There shouldn't be any risk to Pecan involved, but there might be emergency surgery on me at birth. At this point we can't really make many predictions, because my condition is pretty rare, and basically never seen in a woman with my demographics - under thirty, early in pregnancy, no other health problems, and only three previous pregnancies. No matter what though, it looks like this will be our last munchkin. We're not particularly sad about that, although I'm sure I will get all sentimental as the baby grows up! But... if we get baby fever again after this, we can foster or adopt! 

Tony is still loving his 'new' job - teaching leadership and life skills at the middle school he's been at basically since we got married. He's been doing a bit more with the young people at church, and has been taking care of everything around here since I got pregnant. Literally. Seriously. Not exaggerating. He even started putting ReC to sleep, and getting up with her most times in the night - and somehow miraculously cured her of waking up eleven times a night!

Cadence is thriving right now. Back in September we made the decision to homeschool her. She's been doing great and it is working out really well for our family. We are using an online charter school called EPIC, and are really enjoying our experience. Basically we get to do whatever we want, but we have access to a learning fund for supplies, classes, and curriculum, and they provide a teacher to come help as needed. We love our teacher, and have asked her to come every week. She brings a lesson or book to read, then does a little activity or craft and plays math type games with Cadence. She is also great with the younger kids, and includes them in as much as they are able to do. 

Last year when Cadence started school she did not know how to read at all. She had refused to even attempt to sound out words, and the only sight words she knew were names. This weekend she started reading this book, and is a good portion through it... It's a fifth grade reading level. This is how Cadence has always learned. She will not even try until she is confident that she can do it thoroughly and completely. Because of this, and the strange way her brain is wired, she learns in huge leaps instead of little increments, and it also seems that practice and repetition don't really help her much; instead she seems to do best with being introduced to a concept and then left to simmer and stew on it for a while, then when you bring it back up later she suddenly knows it. 

James is hanging in there - I feel bad for my poor middle child right now! I just don't seem to have much time to give him right now, but it's getting better now that my morning sickness is gone. I can at least sit up on the couch and read to him or do some school when ReC goes down for her nap. He loves preschool and learning. He knows his letters now and is starting to sound out words, and absolutely adores math. He's always begging me to quiz him on his adding and subtracting - "Ask me my 2's Mommy!" 

James is still our little comedian, and loves to sing. He can be so sweet sometimes, and is definitely Daddy's boy!

Rec... whew. ReC is convinced she can achieve anything, and is determined to keep trying until she succeeds. She sings, climbs, jumps off the stair landing, jumps off of barstools, climbs in the treehouse, swings as high as the big kids... she is determined not to be left behind in any way! She potty trained herself back in February, for which I am very grateful! It's been our first experience with a kid that just goes potty when she needs to, without us having to send her to the bathroom after every meal. She also tells us if she's hungry or tired, instead of just starting to act weird or getting sick. She adores being outside, being read to, and having snuggles. She spent the summer bonding with Daddy, and now they are almost as close as James and Tony. 

ReC has decided she is a frog. We are only allowed to call her "Ribbit" or "Frog", never baby, sweet girl, ReC, etc. She corrects us quite vehemently if we get it wrong! 

Well.. I would love to expound deeply on all of the above and twenty million other things that float through my mind these days, but I think that's going to have to be it! Maybe someday I'll get back to posting about homeschool, fostering, preschool, and life with little ones... but don't get your hopes up ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Master of the Wind

Our family is in a stormy and exciting time right now. In the midst of following God's direction, my fearful prayer has been, "Lord, please shelter us - please don't let this destroy our home, or hurt our children." Today as I was putting James down for his nap, he wanted me to sing him a song about a storm - and what a blessing it was! I have been looking at the waves and the wind, and having no faith! God said to us, "Let us pass over unto the other side." And my answer was, "Carest thou not that we perish?" Thank the Lord for the great calm He has brought to my heart, and the knowledge that He will bring such a great calm to our home and our children!

Mark 4:35-41
35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Master of the Wind
by Bill Gaither

My boat of life sails on the troubled sea,
Whenever there's a wind in my sails
But I have a friend, who watches over me,
When the breeze turns into a gale

I know the Master of the wind,
I know the Maker of the rain
He can calm the storm, make the sun shine again,
I know the Master of the wind

Sometimes I soar like and eagle to the sky,
Among the peaks my soul can be found.
An unexpected storm may drive me from the heights,
Bring me low, but never brings me down

I know the Master of the wind,
I know the Maker of the rain
He can calm the storm, make the sun shine again,
I know the Master of the wind

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Last Two Weeks Compared to Today

Two weeks ago Monday we dropped Cadence off at school, the littles off with Nana, and I went to the dentist. I picked up the littles, picked up lunch, picked up Cadence, and we ate on the way to Broken Arrow to see Mommy. We stayed the night there - on the way home at noon Tuesday we got a call asking if we could take a 2 week old girl for a week or two. We got home, got some things ready, and welcomed baby K right after Tony got home.
Wednesday began Thanksgiving break, and had a short visit with K's parents, Thursday was thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's, Friday was decorating at Mom and Dad's. Saturday we stayed home, Sunday was church. Sunday night Cadence woke up running fever and throwing up, which lasted until Tuesday.
Monday morning we woke up before the sun and took J to have surgery on both eyes, and I caught cold. While we waited for the anesthesia to wear off completely we put up some Christmas decorations. Tuesday we started daily visits with K's parents. Since Cadence was still sick Nana kindly kept her and J while ReC and I went. Wednesday I took Cadence to school (a few minutes late), and took ReC and J for K's parent visit. By the time we got home my cold had beaten me up, so a neighbor friend who has a kid in Cadences class brought her home. Then Lowes delivered our new dishwasher, minus a few key parts - so we pulled out the old dishwasher, which required turning off the hot water in the kitchen and unplugging the garbage disposal, and did not have time to fix it until Friday. Thursday was another parent visit, Friday was a parent visit followed by a mad dash to get home, put ReC down for a nap, pack K's diaper bag and start gathering the rest of her things so she could be released to her parents that afternoon, greet the social worker who came to take K to the doctor, put out lunch, wake ReC up, pick up Cadence, finish packing K's things while the kids ate lunch, then drive to Norman to deliver K's things and let the kids say goodbye to her and her parents. Then we let out the breath we'd been holding all morning and headed home for a nap.Ton picked up parts before he came home, and spent the evening putting the garbage disposal, hot water, and dishwasher back in order.  Saturday was Dad's 60th birthday party, then Sunday church all day of course.

All this to say...

Today was downright leisurely, and the children and I have been reveling in it!

We woke up with plenty of time to snuggle and read Bible stories in bed before breakfast. When everyone was ready to go we still had time for morning worship, then the big kids pretended to be practicing for the Christmas program. After we dropped Cadence off for school J and ReC played out front in the leaves, whacking the tree with sticks and throwing Sycamore tree seed balls. Then J went out back to play while ReC played in the playroom. Next came preschool - a video clip about a first trip to the dentist, then leaning back in the recliner playing dentist, then choosing from the preschool basket and playing with our binder and cookie sheet activities while we ate a snack. Now I am rocking ReC while J plays firetrucks. And we still have half an hour before we go pick up Cadence!