Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby News

Yesterday I had a DR.'s appointment. We all went because I was having an ultrasound and the children were hoping to find out if we were having a brother or a sister. The appointment went well. The baby weighs 8 oz and my doctor says the growth is just fine. We think it will be an average size baby (average is good.) At first the baby was being very stubborn and was holding it's legs closed, but as the technician took some measurements we began to get a better view. The outcome? It is a girl!!! We are fairly confident the baby is a girl as we looked at many different views and saw no boy parts hanging around anywhere. The tech will not guarantee that she is right, but she did say she was more than 90 % sure. The pictures did not scan into the computer very well (sorry I don't know why they did that.) The children are very excited and Alex wanted to bring home the baby yesterday.

Chelsea's Last Soccer Game

Last night was Chelsea's last Soccer Game. I must admit that I am a wimp about the cold. Even though I was born and raised in Western New York, I have lived in the South long enough that the warm temperatures have thinned my blood and it was only in the 40's last night. I did bring a blanket to keep warm, but it didn't help. Chelsea bought Hot Cocoa from the concession stand at half time to warm herself up. The game was supposed to start at 6:30, but we got pushed back to 7:00 pm because the early game started late. Once the game got started it was a great game, the best they have played all season. The final score was 3-2 (we lost.) Our team did not win a game all season, but I am glad that they had a coach that was focused on teaching them skills and improving their game and not on winning at all costs.

Monday Morning Project:Homemade Play Dough

Chelsea's project for Ancient Egypt this week is to sculpt and paint a Canopic Jar. Since she had to make some dough anyway and we haven't made play dough in a long time (I think it was a Monday Morning Project last year) we made play dough. It is very easy and provides hours and sometimes days of fun. Christian did not get to play with it. he kept trying to eat the dough.


2 cups flour

2 cups salt

1 Tablespoon powered alum

1/2 C-1 C hot water

Mix all ingredients together adding water last.

To add color add a teaspoon of cooking oil and some food coloring.

You can let the dough dry for several days or put in a 250 oven for about three hours.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soccer Tournament

The boys had their Soccer Tournament on Saturday. We had to play our first game at 1:00 and we won 5-0. All the children were excited to win, but we had to play our second game after only a fifteen minute rest. The team we were playing had a bye in the first round and 12 players (we only had eight.) Our team was very tired and glad when the game was over. T he final score was 12-4 (we lost.) To celebrate the end of Soccer, I had made cupcakes and brought juice, so we sat down and had a snack. Then Art handed out the kids trophies. The boys are sad that the season is over and already talking about next year. Alex is so proud of his trophy he sleeps with every night. Chelsea's Championship game is tonight and then we are all finishes with soccer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Homeschool Co-Op

Yesterday was a LONG day. We left the house at 9:00 am and didn't get home until 7:00 last night after our Homeschool Co-op, errands, dinner in the park (easier than driving all the way home) and soccer. This is the last time we will have a day like this because soccer season is coming to an end.

The day started with our Homeschool Cooperative Learning Day. The children got to have a lesson on and identify several fish. The older children also got to play a BINGO game with reptiles and fish while the smaller children read a story about the life cycle of a tadpole and drew pictures of frogs. After lunch the children got to build their aquariums. We used empty 2 liter plastic bottles that they filled with gravel, greens, and creek water. Then we added the living creatures. The fish didn't make it, but all the children got tadpoles. There was also water bugs, beetles, a leech, and a worm (we picked numbers for the things that there weren't enough for everyone.) We were very excited about the tadpoles. They were really big and will become bull frogs. We ended up with 4 tadpoles so everyone but Christian has their own. After assembling our aquariums, those that wanted to got to see a fish dissected (I opted out of this activity but all my children but Christian watched.) It was a fun filled day of learning for everyone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Children, A Blessing?

As many of you know, Art and I will be welcoming our sixth child into the world this March. The announcement of our new baby has received many reactions ranging from heartfelt congratulations to any of the following comments: On Purpose? Haven't you figured out how to prevent that? Don't you know how much kids cost? How on earth are you going to buy cars and pay for college for all of those kids? The most recent was when we were walking into church and the greeter in the foyer looked at another lady and said,"Here they come. Would you want to have 6 kids?"

I think these comments (and many others) have a lot to say about our society today. Children are no longer considered a blessing, but a burden and a financial strain. We measure our worth by a number in a bank account and think we need to provide the most expensive of everything to be good parents. It wasn't that long ago that large families were not uncommon, they were the norm. The " typical " family these days is two children and any one with more than that is considered unusual.

On the other hand, this is some of what the Bible has to say about children. Genesis 1:28 tells us, "God blessed them and said to them Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. " Psalm 127:3-5 says, " Sons are a heritage from the Lord. Children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Jesus did not see children as a burden. He blessed the children and called them to him. He also says in Matthew 18:3 " I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Is it hard having a house full of children? Sometimes. I get tired, frustrated, and impatient just like any other mom. Is does take us longer to get ready to go somewhere and we do have to account for loading and unloading the children from the car (3 are in car seats.) We do not have designer clothing or all of the latest electronic devices. Going grocery shopping is definitely an adventure and we do have a lot of laundry and dishes to wash every day. Our boys do have to share a bedroom (why is that a bad thing?)

The blessings we receive from having a larger than average family are too numerous to name. My children are never lonely, they always have a playmate. There are plenty of hugs and kisses to go around. Every day we get to learn things like compromise, sacrifice,compassion, and working as a team. Every day I have the opportunity to watch these amazing human beings learn and grow. I can't imagine my life being any different.

The most important thing is not whether you have 2 children or 20. The most important thing is how you look at these wonderful little human beings. They are a blessing. A wonderful extraordinary gift from God that he has blessed us with, not an inconvenience.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Snickerdoodles

You probably know by now that I love to bake. It actually gets worse when I am pregnant. I don't know if it is a nesting instinct or a deep seeded craving, but at least once a week I get an incredible urge to bake something. Cookies are one of my favorite things to make because they are quick and easy. I planned on making Snickerdoodles today because I knew we had all of the ingredients, but when I opened my cookbook, that particular page was missing. I hopped on the Internet and googled Snickerdoodles and found this recipe on www.popularcookierecipes.com

1/2 cup butter softened
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
4 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the 1 C sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Combine 4 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon. Shape the dough into I in balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place two inches apart on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

Monday Morning Project: Paper Spiders

We have been making these paper spiders since Chelsea was little. They are really easy and fun to make.
1. Fold a piece of construction paper in half.
2.Place your child's hand with their wrist on the fold and their fingers spread open.
3.Trace around their hands.
4. Cut out the hand and cut off the thumb.
5. Open up the piece of paper and you should have a spider with eight legs.
6. Either draw or glue on some eyes and a mouth.
7. Hang up your spider. You can tape it to the wall, hang it from a string, or make a mobile out of several different size spiders.
We now have paper spiders hung up all over the house. Alex especially enjoyed this craft because he could do the whole thing without help (I did have to remind him to put his hand on the side of the paper with the fold.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am Not Tired!

"I am not tired, I do not need a nap!" Lately I have been hearing these words more and more often from Anthony (3). But, every day after lunch while watching his before nap show he has been laying on the floor or the couch yawning. Today he grabbed his Spider man blanket, climbed up on the couch, covered up, and said,"I am not sleepy." (yeah right) I find it ironic that the little ones fight to go to sleep, and the grown-ups can't wait until it is nap and or bed time. I would LOVE to take a nap every day and would definitely not argue if someone told me too. I know Anthony's nap days are coming to an end. Nick and Alex both gave up naps before they were 4, but for now we are sticking with the naps, even when I get a little argument.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Shoe Monster

The sock monster has been a frequent visitor in our house. As a matter of fact I can't ever remember folding a basket of socks where some-one's sock did not come up missing. I am not sure if the monster strikes before the socks go into the washer, while they are in the washer, or after they come out of the dryer, but I know it is not picky and loves all of our socks.
Quite recently, our house is being visited by the shoe monster. We have a bench in our hallway to keep the children shoes in, and underneath the bench we line up the bigger people's shoes. For the last week or so, every time we need our shoes, either one of Christian's or mine is missing. Now, unlike the sock monster, the shoe monster does not make the shoes disappear completely never to return again. Instead, the shoe monster moves the shoes out from underneath the bench and puts them in a different part of the house. I have found one of Christian's shoes under the island in the kitchen, in the bath-tub, under the couch cushion, and in the high chair. My missing shoe is not usually that hard to find (probably because it is so much bigger) but it is never where I left it. I don't know if I will ever solve the Mystery of the Shoe Monster (maybe we will write a book about it ) but I guess I should be glad that that is the biggest mystery we have to solve.
Is there anybody else out there whose house is frequented by the shoe monster, the sock monster, or some other mysterious creature?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our First Lapbook

We did not do a project this week because Chelsea and Nick wanted to work on their lapbooks. In case you have never heard of it before, a lapbook is an educational tool made out of a folder that usually uses several minit books and can fold up to fit into your child's lap. I have seen several examples of these on other homeschooling blogs and we decided to give it a try. It was a lot of fun and will be something we definitely do again. Chelsea's will not be done for several weeks because hers is a lot more involved than the boys'. The boys read Madeline for Five in a Row this week so their books were finished in just a few days. Alex did not do as much as Nick since he is only 4 he joins in when he wants to.

Front Cover- Nick colored a picture of Madeline I found the link on http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

First Flap- Vocabulary Words- Nick wrote the words then dictated the definitions to me.

Second Flap- Paris France- minit book Where in the World is France? and coloring page of Madeline and the Eiffel Tower(from homeschoolshare)

Third Flap-Math- We did a lesson on symmetry and dividing twelve girls into different groups. (both minit books from homeschoolshare)

Fourth flap- Art- Nick wanted to draw a picture from the book so he drew the house.

Last Flap- Science- Health- Benefits of Exercise minit book, Clean Hands minit book (you guessed it from homeschoolshare), drawings by Nick of sleeping and eating healthy to keep our bodies healthy.

All in all I think it was a pretty good attempt for a first try.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mummy Dolls!!

Right now I am working on study of Ancient Egypt. Today as a project for my lap book I Mummified a Barbie Doll. It sounds crazy to all the girls who like Barbie Dolls, I know, but It was actually quite fun. Here's the instructions I used to do so. I call them Mummy Making Steps:

Step 1. Get an old Barbie Doll- I used one I didn't play with for years- and wash it in cold water.

2. Using an old paint brush coat the Barbie in white distilled vinegar (they really used wine). 3. Using a paper towel gently wipe most of the vinegar off the Barbie, then coat in oil. 4. Sprinkle 1-2 spices all over the Barbie, thinly. 5. Sprinkle 4 small handfuls of salt over the "body" and let sit (40 days in Egypt 40 min in our time) while you are doing the next step. 6. Tear or cut long strips white fabric. 7. Gently wash the doll. 8. Take some foam-or paper- and cut out several shapes. 9. Mix 3 cups water and 1 cup flour. 10. coat one end of a strip in the mixture and wrap it around the doll. 11. Wrap the legs and arms separate from the rest of the body. 12. Wrap head. 13. Paint a little of the mixture on your shapes and press them on the doll. 14. Take 1 really long piece of fabric and wrap it around the whole doll. 15. make a paper mask for your Mummy.

And there you have it, a hand-wrapped Mummy Doll!!

We got the idea from the following link http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/jaminacema/319302

Written by Chelsea

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Quick and Easy Chili

Soup can be an inexpensive meal to add to your dinner menu. Once a week in the fall and winter, we have different kinds of soup for supper, using the left-overs for lunch the next day. I usually serve soup with some kind of homemade bread (bread, rolls, biscuits) and fruit to make a complete meal.

Quick and Easy Chili

1 lb ground beef (or turkey) browned and drained
1 onion
16 oz can stewed tomatoes
11 1/2 oz can V-8 juice
2 15 oz cans pinto beans
2 15 oz cans kidney beans
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I leave this out)
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP chili powder
grated cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese in a crock pot. Cook on low 4-5 hours. Serve with grated cheese on top.

Monday Morning Project: Popcorn Corn Husks

As I mentioned before, we were going to do this project last week, but we had run out of popcorn. I printed the coloring sheet off of http://www.dltk-kids.org/, colored in the corn husks and cut the pieces out. Then we glued the corn cob to a piece of construction paper and glued the husk over top of it. After that, we glued the popcorn to the corn cob. The children really enjoyed this part and quite honestly ate more than they glued. After the glue dried, I hung the pictures in the kitchen. We wanted to hand them on the front door, but the children were afraid that birds would try to eat the popcorn. This was a fun and easy project that everyone could do. I did have to help Anthony with cutting out the pieces.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Favorite Moments of the Week

Too often I think we caught up in how many things are going wrong in our lives, and we forget about all of the wonderful things that happen all of the time. I like to focus on the positive, so here is a list of 10 of my favorite things that happened this week.

1) I got to listen to the baby's heartbeat. This is exciting every time and something I never get tired of doing.
2) I found Nick cleaning his room without me even reminding him to do it. (he earned some extra video game time because I didn't have to remind him)
3) My wonderful husband has done bath duty not once, but twice this week for all of the boys!
4) I hobbled downstairs the morning after I twisted my ankle to find that Chelsea had left me an ice pack and a pillow on the couch. Now wasn't that sweet?
5) Anthony has not had one single potty accident this week!
6) Alex climbed up into my lap with his blanket, snuggled in, and said, " Mommy I really like you."
7) Christian went down for his nap two days in a row without a fight.
8) I got to eat ice-cream for the first time in weeks and it didn't make me sick!
9) I made a simple supper last night. Salad for the adults and Chelsea, and yogurt, cheese, crackers, and lunchmeat for the children, and Alex told me that I made the bestest suppers in the world.
10) I get to stay home tomorrow! There is nowhere we have to go.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Arts and Crafts With Daddy

Art is much more artistically inclined then I am. A few years ago (when Chelsea was really little) he sat down with her and a pile of construction paper to make some holiday decorations. They made things like the Grinch, Hermie the Elf ( from Rudolph ) Santa, and Snowmen. The tradition has stuck and every year now for different holidays they grab a stack of construction paper and make decorations. Last night they a gruesome Frankenstein. The children have a great time spending this time with their dad, and dad enjoys it too. The other thing Art does that makes it really neat is that he uses parts of the children in the decorations. Last night he traced Alex's hands and Christian's feet, and last time he used Nick's hands and Anthony's feet. Chelsea was not interested in working on this last night, she was engrossed in a different project (more on that another time.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grocery Shopping

Yesterday was pay day! You know what that means? All of our cupboards were bare and it was time to go grocery shopping. Since we had to drive all the wasy to Texarkana for my doctor's appointment anyway, we decided to do our shopping there. The Walmart there has a much bigger selection, and Texas does not have a grocery tax, so we could save a little money. I am not exaggerating when I say the cupboards were bare. We were out of just about everything and shopping for a whole month of food and household items (with the exception of lunch meat, produce, milk, and bread) so by the time we reached the checkout we had filled two shopping carts all the way to the top. It took us a little over an hour which wasn't too bad considering we were not very familiar with the layout of the store. It was not a very busy time of day, and there were several checkouts open with very few people in line. Even so, the cashier started complaining about how much stuff we had (loud enough for us to hear) as soon as we got in line. I just smiled very cheerfully and continued unloading the basket. I don't see how it makes a difference if they check us out with two shopping carts or two people with one. Out of all the different ways I have tried shopping, going once a month with a few small trips in between has saved me the most time and money. I do not know how many bags we ended up with, but we bought 180 items, and it only took 10 minutes for us to check out.

It's Been a Busy Week

I am running a little behind this week, I can't believe it is Wednesday already. It has been kind of a crazy week. Monday was pretty ordinary, but we had to make a small change of plans in our Monday Morning Project. We were going to make corn husks with popcorn, but I discovered at the last minute that we were out of popcorn (we will do that project next Monday.) So instead I printed off an Autumn Coloring page from http://www.crayola.com/, that after coloring you could cut out, staple, and turn into a book. The rest of Monday was spent trying to catch up on housework and I didn't have time to get to the computer. Tuesday, we had to get all of our schoolwork done before 10:30 in the morning so I could feed the children an early lunch and head off to my doctor's appointment. Luckily, Art worked extra hours every day last week so he could take a half day and I didn't have to take all of the children with me. So Chelsea and I drove the 1 and 20 minutes it takes to get to Texarkana TX. My appointment was for 1:00 and I am happy to report we were walking out of the office by 1:10 pm. It was just a regular OB check-up; weight, blood pressure, and baby heart beat. The baby's heartbeat was 151 (about the same as all of the other boys) and all was well, but I was told that I need to start gaining some weight. Ironic isn't it? I spend half of my life trying to keep it off, but now when I am supposed to gain, I haven't been able to. Oh well, I am sure I will make up for it next month now that the nausea is easing up some. After the doctor we went grocery shopping (more about that in my next post), got home just in time to put the cold stuff away, eat a quick supper, and dash out the door for soccer. While carrying Christian across the soccer field, my left foot went down in a hole and I twisted my ankle pretty hard. I did not drop the baby, and did manage to hobble over to the bench to watch the soccer game. Today I have been taking it as easy as possible and trying to stay off of my foot which is a little bruised and still sore. All of this to explain why I have not managed to put anything on my blog for the last several days.