Thursday, April 30, 2009

County Fair

One of the (many) things we did this past weekend was our end of the year party for our co-op. We have 7 families that have have been meeting together each Thursday for the past school year. This group has been the most wonderful blessing to me. The Lord has given us very special relationships and we truly believe He brought us together. We wanted to make our party fun and we wanted it to coincide with a "prairie" theme. We decided to do a "County Fair" and once we put the ball in Rachel's court we knew it would be a great party.

Papa playing games with his grandsons

Rachel had all sorts of games and prizes (like lace handkerchiefs and slingshots). Each of the kids entered something (like a craft, cookies, a sketch into the fair and received blue ribbons for their work. Even the preschoolers got blue ribbons and Wilson wore his for 48 hours straight, only taking it off to re-pin it to his p.js or new outfit.

We ate barbecued brisket (it was de-lish!) and everyone brought sides. After eating there was a sweet little ceremony recapping all of the topics each child had presented on over the course of the year (every 3rd Thursday of the month was presentation day) and they showed everyone what they entered into the fair (of course, I couldn't find my camera during this part!).

I know this picture doesn't look like a "keeper" but it is everyone crammed into the kitchen to pray together before the meal and it really is a precious shot to me.

This is Wilson and Tyson's little friend, Mia, doing old fashioned stilts wither her daddy.

After our ceremony we were on to more games. This time the parents had to get involved... sack races, tug or war, and a "broom dance." It was really so much fun.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Charlotte's Web

We had the busiest weekend ever! Starting with the kid's production of Charlotte's Web they were in. They had dress rehearsal on Friday morning and the performance Friday night. Nana and Papa came up to see their grand kids grace the stage. Madison was Charlotte, Carson was Wilbur, and Allyson was Lurvy (Mr. Zuckerman's farm hand). They were awesome!!!

I dressed Piper in theme for the evening...

Only my three oldest kids are in the acting group but one of the twins little friends was playing the part of one of the baby spiders at the end of the play. So, Tyson kept asking me what his part was in the play. I kept telling him he was "Audience Member #4" and that his role was very important to help people know when to clap. I made a sign that I had on his seat before he arrived...

My favorite part of doing the costumes was fining these ridiculous rhinestone studded fake eyelashes for Madison!!
All of the children were amazing! I could not believe how much my Madi and Carson had to memorize and how well they did. They are all so talented and I am so proud of them!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's the little things - part 2

Another thing the kids have been doing since the warm weather has been more consistent is taking blankets outside (usually without asking) and setting up some sort or activity or "club." The oldest 3 did this for the first time the other day and this is what the yard looked like soon after...

They won't sit and do something quietly inside - but they spent quite a while enjoying themselves on their own blankets. They visited back and forth to each other's places. Soo cute. Ahhh, the simple things - I love it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's the Little Things - part 1

I love the beginning of each new season. I love the first day my kids wear long sleeves after the summer and the first day they wear short sleeves after the winter. I always seems motivated to make the most of the season when it has just begun. The kids, too, seem to enjoy the things that accompany the changing weather.

Jason got the lawn mower out this past week. Our back yard looked especially crazy with different lengths of grass and weeds. The kids think the riding lawn mower is the coolest thing (so does Jason). They think of it more as a ride than a tool to accomplish work. Jason met everyone ride with him on the mower. He even let Madison drive it. He even had them tie a bike to the back and pulled them around the yard! They had so much fun.
Wilson and Tyson chasing the mower while Ally and Pip get to ride

Piper absolutely LOVED riding with daddy. She was SO, SO sad when we made her get off and come inside so he could actually mow. I'm sure she didn't appreciate me taking pictures of her pitiful little crying fit.

SO Jason took her back out for a while before he mowed. She just cuddled in to him and enjoyed the ride. When it was finally time to finish she was, again, so, so sad...

Who needs a trip to Disney World when you have a riding lawn mower - right? It is such a great reminder that is the little things that mean so much to children. They don't need a production - they just want your time and something that seems insignificant to everyone else. Spring has so many opportunities to do easy things that delight our children. Jason was a great reminder to me in this. Lets take the opportunities! And then remember "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matt. 7:11)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's on your hand?

Ally came out a little bit ago and asked me what the digits on the end of your hand are called (she didn't use those words)...

"Fingers?" I said - wondering why she was asking.
"Fffffffingers?" She clarifies as she exaggerates the "f."
"Yes." I say, wondering what the problem is.
"Oh man, I always thought they were THingers! That's weird that they are Ffffingers"
and she walked away!!

It was really funny. Not just that she always thought we were saying "thingers" but because thingers is a funny name that kinda makes sense for fingers - don't you think?

A long time ago Madison was disappointed when a spelling test revealed that the things outside with leaves on them were called "trees" as she had always thought we were saying "chrees."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blowing Kisses

Piper never does her tricks in front of other people. Her latest favorite is blowing kisses. We were sitting in the van waiting for Jason and Piper kept blowing me kisses over and over again. She'd call my name and blow me a kiss. She must have done it 20 times before I picked up my camera to start recording. She is so cute - and I am so in love with her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mother's Helper

So I've started sending Madison to be a mother's helper for my friend, Sunny. I've been wanting Madison to get to do this... have a place where she is expected to be diligent, busy, helpful, and a blessing. I mean, she expected to be those things at home, but we all know that sometimes it is harder at home. Sunny has younger kids and is adjusting to having three and the Lord made it clear that she was the right mother to help.
Madison absolutely loves it. Sunny puts her to work big time but Madison still says she would like to go every day if she could. She cleans, cooks, and helps with the kids. Being the oldest of 7 has helped to equip her for the job. So much is expected of her at home and she is such a huge help to me. I love that this makes her feel important and that through it all she is learning about serving. Not to mention that Sunny is so cool and fun - who wouldn't want to hang out at her house?! It has been a perfect experience so far.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I love waking up Easter morning. I love thinking about the women who found the empty tomb. I imagine the most glorious weather and an indescribable energy in the air. How thankful I am for a risen Savior!

We attended Easter service on Saturday night (when we normally go). It was a beautiful service. here are a few pictures of everyone in their Easter duds (and a huge thanks to our sweet friends who bought the girls dresses for us in this uncertain time :) )...

In almost every picture Tyson has his shorts pulled up like they are above. Why??!

On Sunday we were invited to the Lee's for an Easter meal. Andrea went all out and treated us like we were really special guests. We enjoy them SO MUCH.

Lunch was delicious and the kids all played so well together.

We left the 4 oldest kids there while we took the little ones home for a nap and then we went back for leftovers! THEN, the Lees all packed up and came to our house, we put the kids in beds and watched a movie! It was a fun day. How thankful I am to be able enjoy friends and celebrate my faith (and put kids to bed and watch movies!!).

Good Friday

I've been a bad blogger. We are doing well and praying about potential work for Jason - there are a few things that might work out in the coming days.

Easter is my favorite holiday to celebrate. I love to teach my kids about the great importance of this day. We read about, do our resurrection eggs, to crafts, have our baskets and treats, go to the Good Friday service at our church, and of course celebrate the in the resurrection service. However, despite all we do, I asked Wilson what Easter was all about and he said "cake! and umm, candy and baskets." "What?!!" I said in horror. "What is Easter ALL about, Will?" "Ummm" (he had NO idea!) "Is it God?" (no response from me) "The Bible?" (no response) "Baby Jesus?" "That's Christmas!!! Christmas is all about baby Jesus being born. Easter is all about.....?" nope. No idea. It was like he had never heard it before when I told him. I then asked him later and he still hesitated and said "God.... I mean, Jesus....on the cross." Ahh - the joys of being humbled as a parent!

Our church did a "Good Friday Experience" this years that was really neat. I know, it sounds a little "new age" the whole "experience" thing. Once upon a time I would have turned my nose up at that - but oh how glad I am for the opportunity to grow in grace! It was fabulous. They set up station all through the sanctuary taken from the last 24 hours of Jesus life (the last super, the garden, the tools of punishment etc..) and at each one there were objects to help you reflect and Scriptures to read and challenges for every day living that pertained to the theme. The final station was the cross. It was such a neat way to reflect. We took the oldest 3 kids through as well.

That evening we had the Lees over to read about the arrest, trial, persecution, and death of Christ. We also shared "wine" and "unleavened bread." With each reading we blew out a candle until they were all blown out (the white one representing Christ is then re lit on Easter morning).

(You can see in the above picture that Tyson was really in the Good Friday spirit). Afterwards we put the 4 youngest to bed and watched most of the Passion of the Christ (fast forwarded a few parts) with the Lees and their kids and our oldest 3. Watching the movie with these kids will remind you of how numb we can become to what Christ has done for us. Those children wept and wept through that movie. At one point I wondered if it was just too much but Jason reminded me that it is the most legitimate thing they have ever cried over. They were deeply moved and it truly assisted them in deeper worship throughout the weekend.

We ending our reading together with Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15 "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain... And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins...If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." Praise the Lord that the story does not end there!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Consider the birds of the air...

Jason lost his job last week. This isn't the greatest time to be looking for a job, but here we are, believing that we are here as a result of our loving heavenly Father's good intentions towards us. Our hope and security should never be in a paycheck from a job - it is always the Lord who provides and He can do it without a paycheck just as easily as He does with one.

Please join with us in praying as we ask the Lord for direction, as we attempt to trust in Him without worrying and for Him to provide another job soon.

Luke 12:22-34 "Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coupon Craziness

Several of the blogs I read are by women that are on this amazing coupon kick. I have seen girls get large amounts of groceries for 10 cents (yes, Donna, you know who you are) and even a girl I don't know (I blog stalk) who is getting MONEY BACK when she buys $200 worth of groceries - because of all the coupon-ing. I just don't get it!!!!!!!! Here was my attempt...

Groceries for the week.

$100.18 worth of stuff (less than my typical week)

$100.18 paid

total savings $0!!!!!!!!

I got my Sunday paper and scoured a few of the online coupon sites and although there were many coupons none of them were for things that I was needing to buy nor were they for things that I typically buy (except for one $1 off a cleaner but by the end I didn't even print it off because what was the point?!).

I don't have any grocery stores that do double or triple coupons here - I settle with WalMart because they have the lowest prices. I do know that they price match but the competition store around here does not advertise prices. SO - I just need to know... DONNA, DOLLY, ANGELA...IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR ME TO BE LIKE YOU?? I think I need an in home tutorial. :) How long does it take you to get all your coupons ready for one week's shop? Do you girls have to routinely shop at several places? Because that's another thing I do not think I could do - I'm pretty sure I need to be a "one stop shop" kinda girl. Maybe I'm not supposed to have much success at this because I would obsess over it way to much. I don't know. I just leave these blogs inspired by their awesome shopping sense. Any help?