Sunday, December 30, 2007

13 Years

Tomorrow will be Mike and my 13 year wedding anniversary.

13 years for us =

4 children
6 dogs
lots of fish
1 guinea pig
1 ferret
3 rabbits
58 birthday cakes
9 vehicles
6 houses
in 6 towns
in 3 states
1 job lay-off
1 college graduation
1 eye surgery (me)
1 vasectomy (not me) :)
5 church homes
3 ministry positions
tons of laughs
a few tears
thousands of movies
lots of games
lots of cards
many great friends
2 cruises
2 ski trips
a few family road trips
a home school mom
many, many kids sports games
lots of quiet dates alone
some precious gifts
and sweet love letters

Wow, I started this list then realized there is so much to our 13 years together! Too much to list. He is my heart and my best friend. He can make me laugh like no one else and I feel so blessed that God put him in my life. We aren't perfect and have definitely had our rough moments but all those times have just strengthened our lives together. When I look at his gorgeous face it just makes me smile and can't believe that He gave him to me!

I can't wait to see what the next 13 years will bring us!


Friday, December 28, 2007

A Relational Christmas

After a crazy week last week with Mike preparing for the four services on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve arrived and it was awesome. I was only at one of the services but it was great. What an awesome night of life change and celebration. The staff at The Orchard never stop amazing me with their creativity and skill.

We decided to take the Advent Conspiracy to heart and gave relational gifts this year. It was really a fun thing to do. Mike and I skipped gifts for the kids this year and we decided to take the kids, on Christmas, to an indoor water park. Santa did visit the house and fill our stockings and after the kids opened their gifts from their aunts and uncles and grandparents we packed everyone in the van and headed for the Dells. What a great time!

It was awesome. I have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to putting a bathing suit on this ultra white body after so many months of not being exposed to the sun, but it was a blast. Mike and I both got some great one on one time with each of the kids, whether it was going down the tube slide, sailing down the lazy river or playing a little one on one at the pool basket ball hoop, priceless bonding times were had by all. We brought the movies that Santa brought and watched those in the evenings, ate bake potatoes and ice cream sundaes at 10 o'clock at night and laughed a bunch.

I think we may have just started a new tradition for our family. The kids loved it and didn't miss the cheap toys that break the next day. Mike and I loved it and didn't miss the cheap toys that break the next day. I am sure the kids will always remember this Christmas.

I wish I had pictures but there are only a couple and my sweet man has them. And no there are none of the actual water park. You have to know I wasn't going to be having cameras in the bathing suit vicinity!!!!

And the best part it waited to snow until today!!!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seth's Fried Sandwichs and Such

I felt that maybe I should update the progress on the fried sandwich shop. Since it was first thought of there has been branding, hiring, firing and plans for building. Amazing so much could happen in such a short time.

Seth decided that the name should be Jones Fried Sandwiches and Such. His oldest sister was hired to make desserts, his Kylee was hired to make appetizers (she has a specialty of garlic bread), and his brother was hired to paint paintings....he wants to be an artist, not a restaurateur.

I found out this morning that in Seth's words his sisters had "fired themselves" and Joshi is going to open an art gallery next door to the restaurant instead of inside the restaurant. He was pretty distressed that he didn't really have any employees.

Mike and I suggested that maybe he could put up a help wanted sign. He thought that was a great idea and said that as soon as it was built he would do that.

So it sounds like things are back on track after a some what traumatic week in the sandwich business.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cooking Up Some Patience

Man am I tired!! We are finishing up our last week of school before Christmas break, Mike is working like crazy getting ready for Christmas Eve and the four services that are to be, basketball is still going through this week, and the kids and I have been doing a ton of baking.

We are finishing up our three week mini unit on non-European ancient cultures, with our focus this week on the ancient Americans. Lots of reading out of some great books, history and literature, but not a lot of cool activities. So I thought why not spend our activity time this week baking for Christmas. The kids love to bake. I love to bake. Confession time.

Okay, I don't have a lot of patience for helpers in the kitchen. I don't just mean children. But children definitely fall into the category of ones I don't have patience with in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I want to have them learn with me and I do have the serene image of the kids and I working together in the kitchen them gently stirring a bowl of batter while I smile and crack eggs. But let's face it that isn't how it happens. The batter never stays in the bowl, the ingredients usually get strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other and what child can resist licking fingers in the middle of cooking? EEWWW!

While they were little I convinced them that you learn by watching. That worked for a little while. But now that they are all older not so much. Faith luckily stuck it through the "learn through watching" stage and is a really great cook now. She can make snikerdoodles like nobody's business!!! But she has unfortunately also inherited my "lack of patience in the kitchen" gene.

Okay, I got off the subject there. I did, even though it nearly killed me, have them all help out with the baking this week. Seth and Kylee helped with the chocolate cookies with Andes mints melted on top, Faith and I both worked on fudge and Faith made her famous snikerdoodles. Josh and Seth dipped the crackers in the melted chocolate to make the thin mint cookies- I can't even describe what the kitchen looked like when they were done with those- and no they were not allowed to lick their fingers. Tomorrow we go for another batch of Carmel corn, since my first batch ran into a little problem I like to call "I need new cookies sheets", and probably some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to finish off the baking week.

So enjoy some baking this week and earn some patience.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Just Kylee Taking a Math Test

Here is one of the many things I love about home schooling our kids. This is Kylee taking her math test. I came down the stairs and found her lying on her back in the sun doing her work. I love that they can be themselves and aren't restricted to do things the "normal" way. BTW, Kylee is almost done with her 4th grade Saxon Math book with only a few more chapters to go. The beauty of having them at home is that I work with them every day, one on one, so I know that they understand the concepts fully before they move on to something else. And I think that is why they are all ahead of their grade level on the work they do. Not because we push them, because I don't, but because they get individual attention every day and when I see a problem I stop and we work on it until it isn't a problem any more.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Kitchen Boy

I just finished The Kitchen Boy A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander. I loved this book!! There is quite a bit of fiction to the story, but lots of cool history as well. I am sure the fact that I know very little about Russian history helped me to enjoy this book.

It presents an imaginative twist on what really happened to the two missing Romanovs' children's remains. Really a well written book, with great character development and an interesting plot.

It was funny coming back into a historical fiction novel after so many weeks of reading Harry Potter. I had to change my whole mind set.

I just picked up a novel about Annette Vallon, William Wordsworth's mistress, set during the French Revolution, today and I am hoping it is as good as the Kitchen Boy!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teach a Man to Grill....

Today for lunch the kids decided they wanted grilled cheese. I didn't feel like making grilled cheese. So I told Faith she could make the grilled cheese. She didn't want to make the grilled cheese.

Seth said he would make the grilled cheese. Which meant a cooking lesson for Seth.

He made everyone a grilled cheese sandwich and did a great job. But here is the best part. After lunch Seth declared:

"When I grow up I am going to open up a fried sandwich shop, for people who like fried sandwiches!"


A grilled cheese sandwich store. All grilled cheese all the time. I don't know.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

December Snow

There are no girl pictures here because they were on a date with their daddy. The boys made the snow man all on their own, for the first time ever!! Frosty had to have his eyes, mouth and buttons collected before Jasmine met him because they were items that are toxic to her. She did try and knock his head off and run off with his scarf this morning.


Friday, December 7, 2007

The Air We Breathe

The one consolation to being sick this last week, I thought, was that I had just been to the library and had two new books.

Unfortunately for me I picked the wrong one to start with.

I began The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett this week and struggled all the way through it. Although, not a long book it took me all week to read. Partly because I was sick and didn't really feel like reading, but mostly because I really didn't like her style of writing.

The story is set in 1916 in an isolated community in the Adirondacks where tubercular patients were being treated. There are two groups of care cottages one for the wealthy who have private cottages and one for charity patients, mainly immigrants, who were in a large public sanatorium. The book is all about the interaction between one rich patient and the poor patients, the use of x-ray in curing these patients, and the war starting up in Europe.

For me there just wasn't enough character development. I really didn't care about any of them and she wrote it from a weird point of view. It was like she was writing from the perspective of all the poor patients as one person but they some how knew what was going on every where else and in everyone else's minds. I just found that confusing.

After I read this book I found out this author's primary focus is on scientific history which makes sense from the page after page of science text book she included in the book.

Just not my thing. But I did start the second book on the last Tsar of Russia and am LOVING it right now. I will let you know!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Visiting The Doctor Wellness Phenomena

I first discovered this phenomena with my first child. We were typical first parents and when she got a cold or virus, we would rush our little sweetheart to the dr. for them to tell us that she had a virus, take her home and let her rest.

This is where the phenomena kicks in. After leaving the dr. office the baby, toddler, child who could barely walk and hadn't smiled in days would immediately begin feeling better. Never again would we see the high fever, lethargic behavior, green snot. Romping and playing would ensue and a normal healthy child we would have again.

I don't know if some kind of chemical is released in the body when you enter the office but for some reason it just works.

Well, I think I tricked my body yesterday. Because today I feel sooooooooo much better!! My throat looks incredible. Still got the weird bruise, but it looks to be fading. But I can swallow and eat!! So maybe it is the stress of going to the doctor. Because I definitely felt that yesterday, even though I didn't go. Hmmmm. Stress related cures, I don't think it will take off.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More On Being Sick

Okay, so I am coming out of a little two hour freak out. I have been sick for going on 6 days now. And to this point really just thought I had the flu. The kids had it. They were miserable. They had it for about 7 days, all the same symptoms, so when I got sick I just sort of settled in for the long haul.

Well, then today I decided to have a little look at my nasty throat and noticed a pretty ugly spot on the back amongst all the other ugly spots and right then flashed my flash light up and noticed on the roof of my mouth a huge blotch. Kind of like a giant bruise on the roof of my mouth.

Okay so I freaked a little. I have four kids and one husband and have seen my fair share of stuff. Trust me. But never, never, never, seen this. So, I called my trusty friend who would give me the best council and she told me to find out who my dr. is and go.

See, I don't go to the dr. Ever. Yes, I know. But this isn't time for a lecture. I am sick remember.

So, I called my trusty (ha) HMO and asked for my dr. name. called the number and they didn't answer. Not even a machine. Hhhhmmmm. Not a good sign. I called the insurance back and waited on line for-ev-er and then finally got through.

They gave me another dr. name. Called them. They are out of town. Told her my symptoms she told me she would page the dr. They called me back and told me to go to the emergency room.

Okay, now that freaked me out a bit. Now, I know they are telling me that so they can cover their back sides but when you are sick you aren't all that rational. After I cried for a couple of minutes convinced that I had some rare monkey flu, I decided to try the insurance company yet again and see if I can get a different doctor.

15 minutes later the insurance lady gave me the name of another doctor. Actually three doctors at one office but said I could only see them. Okay.

I call that office and select the option to speak with a nurse. This is a great solution I am sure of it. I tell the nurse my symptoms, don't water it down one bit and she says that I need to be seen to swab for strep.

Okay folks this is what I have been waiting for. I am about 99% sure I don't have strep. Kylee had the same EXACT illness and we did take her and they did swab her and she didn't have strep. But okay, I will be swabbed.

So I ask to make an appt. Guess what?

No appointments.


How about tomorrow?


But she did tell me that if I call back tomorrow at 7 I may be able to get in....

That is perfect for me. I found out I don't have some strange other-worldly disease brought here by some inter planetary creature (I know this because the nurse would have been worried about more than just strep, right?) and if I am still miserable tomorrow I will call tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way did I mention that I can't take basically any over the counter medication for colds because it gives me some very, very, strange side effects. No Sudafed, No NyQuil. Oh nothing prescribed with Codeine in it either.

So, I will continue my Tylenol, Motrin regiment and pray for the best.



I woke up to Seth and Joshi running through the house squealing with delight that it had snowed. This was a tad disturbing at 7:00 this morning. And before you think I am just lazy I only got about 2 hours of sleep last night because of this blasted sore throat. I had come down stairs and made a cup of hot tea at 5a.m. hoping to make the throat a little bearable and had just drifted off on the couch at about 6:15, snow gently falling out side, when I was jolted awake by the little Misters.

They are really wound up. I can't really blame them. They have been trapped in this house for so many days with a sick mommy. I welcome the snow, it will give them an outlet for their energy. Mike told them to get dressed and start their school work, we are on a very abbreviated work schedule due to teacher illness this week but they still have their basics to do, I said maybe they should go and play outside for 20 minutes first, so they can focus better.

They got all suited up and romped. Very fun. We had warm fake-o cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate waiting for them and now I have to go and stumble through some school work.

I am hoping that this super virus will just pack up and get out soon.


Monday, December 3, 2007


Fever, chills, sore throat, no appetite, headache, muscle and joint pain. I am going to lay down.