Steve and Angie

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

A day I just have to blog about

Some days I go so hard all day, that my mind is still going a mile a minute when bedtime rolls around. So here I sit with my blogger therapist trying to relax. :)

Today started with five little monkeys more than a little anxious to play in the fresh fallen snow. So we bundled them up and let them go at it. Ruth was extremely cute (as if there was any doubt about that) in her first real experience playing in the snow. I took a few pictures, but not too many as I was already trying to multitask.

I also tried to do some house cleaning, laundry (you know, the usual four loads or so for a Saturday), school planning for next week, and finishing up the Christmas letter.

We ate an early lunch and headed to downtown Kokomo for the festivities (Hannah babysat Ruth, and Nathan was helping Steve at church, so I only had four kids). Sarah's choir was singing, but we also got to see Santa come on the train and make a neat craft at the Pointy Pencil. I even ran into my cousin Annie, and we got to chat for a while while Esther played with her (what would it be, third) cousin. Then I took a deep breath and took the four kids Christmas shopping. While at the Care and Share store, I put myself in contention for mother of the year. They had a chocolate fountain, so I bought it. The kids went crazy over one they saw at an open house last spring.

When we got home I started getting ready for our dinner in front of the tree, one of the few traditions I guess that we have. I also made a few batches of fudge and some buckeyes, and figured out the chocolate fountain. :)

After dinner, clean-up and bathes, the kids and I watched a Christmas movie. It was the first movie I'd sat and watched in a LONG time, but I have another hat I'm crocheting, so it worked out well. Oh, I also made four dozen cinnamon rolls during the movie (for church tomorrow), so I guess I didn't see it all.

Finally, we read I Thessalonians together and sent the kids to bed. Now I'm doing some online Christmas shopping and finishing up this hat. So, if I can just get the adrenaline out of my system, I think I'll sleep well tonight!

I'm looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Well, Ruth kept me up for a few hours last night and I went to church to mud for three hours this morning, so I'm pretty wiped out this afternoon. I'm missing Hannah's basketball game because I have little ones that have to nap at this time, so why is it that I'm not napping?

One of my projects lately has been to decide if I'm going to allow the girls to see "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Not that I would pay for them to see it, by the way, but they are so excited about it that I thought about putting it on their Christmas lists.

So, here has been my debate with the whole thing. Deuteronomy 18 10-12 says, "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire,or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD . . . " And I was reading in Roar, a Chronicles of Narnia guide last night and it summed up my question. "Is writing about evil spiritual powers in a way that shows their evilness and the ultimate triumph of God over them also prohibited?"

I guess the conclusion I've come to is no. I certainly don't want my children to ever get the idea that casting spells or anything having to do with witches or the occult should be toyed with. However, I really believe that the Narnia books do portray these things as evil (although I do intend to reread the book in the next few weeks, just to make sure for myself). So, now I'm trying to come up with some lesson plans to show all the allegorical links they will see in the movie. I'm not a big "allegory" genre fan myself, but I'm hoping they can learn about the Lord through this.

And last night at small group I got another question to ponder. We were once again talking about our children and marriage (and no, that isn't all we talk about, it was just a brief comment time). One lady said that some young adults aren't mature enough to marry young, and another lady from the group stated that our society isn't raising children to be mature at a young age. So now I'm pondering what I need to do to raise mature children.

Well, two little boys are now awake, so I better log off.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trouble with the law

This past week our internet has been acting up, so I haven't been able to do much on facebook. I'm sure this isn't a problem for some people, and I wouldn't say I have an addiction or anything, but it is one of my few sources of continued sanity in my life. So, what I have been doing is going to the library parking lot at the only time I have free . . . after the kids are in bed around 9:30 -10 pm. Unfortunately, the library parking lot lights go off around 9:45, so I'm left sitting in a dark parking lot in my black van. Creepy! Well, I discovered that a church 1/2 mile away has internet and night lighting near the building, so last night I pulled in there I was only there a few minutes when a gentleman pulled up and circled around to ask if everything was okay. I was sufficiently spooked and planning to go home as soon as I finished an e-mail. Just as I sent the e-mail, a truck (probably the one that talked to me) came around the church shining a spot light on the building. It occured to me that he probably thought I was the one waiting to drive the excape vehicle (ya know, big black van). Before I had time to think, a police car, with light going, pulled into the lot. I thought it was over for me! :) However, he pulled over to the spotlight truck and talked to him. At that point I figured I should stay in case he wanted to talk to me. I didn't want any police chase on my hands. Well, the officer started pulling out of the lot, so I quickly followed him. Sheesh!!! I guess my late night internet runs are over!

Tomorrow is Nathan's birthday party. We are trying to make a pinata right now of a chess pawn. How hard can it be, right? I haven't exactly planned how I'm going to do the chess board cake, but it isn't like I'll be cleaning the house and teaching five kids tomorrow! :)

Tuesday is election day, which means inspector Steve will be hard at work at the polls. It will certainly be a long day for both of us!

Somewhere in the week we need to complete our International projects for the International / History Night on Saturday. Hannah choose Egypt, so no problem coming up with stuff for that. Steve even visited Egypt on his Holy Land trip, so he has some pictures for her. But Sarah choose Togo. The library has 0 books about Togo in the kids section and none that I want her reading from the adult section either. Praise the Lord for the world wide web!

Friday night is KASH leadership meeting at our house. You all know the house will still be clean from the party Monday night, right?! LOL! Actually, it won't be clean Tuesday morning.

I finished weaning Ruth last week. It was probably harder on me than on her. Some kids are just really attached nursers, but Ruth was ready to quit. The last time I nursed her she was playing on the floor. She didn't come the first time I asked her, but she finally looked at me and smiled and came. I could almost read her expression as, "Well, I don't really need this mom, but if it makes you feel better . . . ".

I probably ought to head back home and make sure the house is still standing! I wanted to use the daylight hours while Steve was home to come to the library.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thinking about dating

Last night we started a small group using "Family Driven Faith" by Voddie Bachaum. A topic of discussion we touched on that has been on my mind today was about dating. One thing he said (and it will be a rough paraphrase because I don't know where our book is right now) was that dating before one is ready for marriage is like going shopping without money. The shopper will either leave frustrated or take something that isn't his. Steve said something last night about our girls getting close to "that" age and I just about snorted (okay, maybe I did snort), but really, thinking of how quickly the last 13 years have gone, four or five years isn't that far away, I guess.

Now, I, of all people, truly understand that no two children are alike, and each one will be "ready for marriage" at a different rate, but general ballpark here, when are people ready for marriage today?

I have to say that Steve and I dated for almost four years and I really wish that we hadn't. I wish that we had either gotten married two years sooner or that we hadn't started dating for another two years. I just read "Shadow of the Almighty" and the Jim and Elizabeth Elliot relationship was a wonderful example of waiting!

I guess I'm just curious about what other like-minded (conservative, sheltering, Bible-believing / teaching) parents think about this. I had a sister that got married after her sophomore year of college and was still able to complete her degree, but I do think that is rare. And her husband dropped out to support them during that time and never completed a degree. Not that I think my kids HAVE to go to college, by the way, but I certainly think it is beneficial, especially for a male (in the looming financially disaterous future in our country) that is Biblically commanded to provide for a family.

So, if I put all of my thoughts together, I would say, if my son were to really desire a college education, I would recommend not dating until the last few years of college. Of course, he will be an adult and able to make that decision himself, but I guess that would be what I would have to recommend and teach toward. Now, as far as my daughters . . . I tend to think their situations are much more up in the air! I was 21 when I got married, but I'm sure the outcome would have been the same had I gotten married at 19.

Anyway, I've spent way to much time pondering with my fingers, but I'd welcome any comments from my faithful blog readers! Especially you with older kids that have dealt with this or those of you that are pondering the same things right now!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall frenzy

I know it has been forever since I've blogged (dramatic exaggeration learned from living with a 12.5 year old girl). I've blogged about 20 times in my mind, but getting to the computer hasn't been easy lately. I wish I could just recap the last few weeks since vacation, but that would just be impossible and really, really boring. So, I guess I'll just start with today and work back until I get interrupted.

Today I woke up still very tired from the day yesterday (yeah, so maybe working backwards won't work so well). The house was in the post-bomb state from last night, but of course you don't know about that yet. :) After church a lady came up and asked me what I needed for the "Olympian thing". I thought she was asking about something for Wed. and I was totally confused. Turns out (and you pastor's wives will really appreciate this) we were having a meeting at our house today that Steve has kinda forgotten about (so I'd never heard about it). Praise the Lord, Steve suggested when they planned the meeting that they not make me cook lunch. Anyway, I raced home with the girls and did a mad clean up of the downstairs, minus my room which NEVER gets cleaned in those situations. :( Another blessing was that Kathy Miller, a former pastor / missionary wife was the first to arrive and helped me finish up my dishes. That is a good friend when you don't feel bad letting them help you with the dishes.

Yesterday was our crazy day! Sarah left early in the morning for a choir "thing" in Lafayette. Steve dropped her off, fed a relatives cat, checked on a part for our broken washer (more on that later), and picked up some milk for us. I stayed home and made four dozen cinnamon rolls and finished packaging all our goodies for the bake sale. I ended up taking cupcakes, carmel corn, and cinnamon rolls. Steve went to church to work while I took Nathan and Esther to help set up for the barn dance. My good friend was doing the concession stand, so I took a good amount of roasters, crockpots, etc. In the afternoon I crazily made the decision to finish some crochet work I had started for the craft sale instead of cleaning up all the bake sale mess . . . because, after-all, there is always Sunday to clean that up. :) So, in the afternoon, Steve went to Sarah's concert, and I headed back to the barn to get ready. The barn dance turned out pretty well and I couldn't believe how quickly I sold all my bake sale items. I think it has a lot to do with the wonderful friends God has put in my life that were gracious enough to buy all my goodies. Around 11 we got news that Hannah's volleyball team has come in second place in the state tournament! Very exciting for all of us!

Friday. . . seems like a really long time ago! Oh yes, the washer! As I'm sure you can all imagine, we run our washing machine a few times a day, usually. Friday afternoon it started acting up. We have had infant socks get into the pump three times already, so we figured that was the problem. This was while I was making carmel corn, cupcakes and supper, of course. I helped Steve tear it all apart. Turn out there was no sock, but we did find a quarter, two nickles, six pennies, a charm, a token and a few keys in the trap to the pump. We put it all back together, and it still didn't work. Take two and we found a piece of Lincoln Log in the pump. Put it all back together and it worked (yipee), but it leaked all over the place. Not as bad as the dishwasher leaking into the basement on Monday, but a pretty good mess.
Well, I have a wee one crying at my side. But for everyone that wonders what goes on in those large families, now you have a bit of a picture. The Lord's sustaining grace is needed every day! Trying to mold our children in godliness, survive the thrills of homeownership, allow each child to develop their God given talents and interests . . . no rest for the weary body here on earth, but I'm looking forward to rest in heaven!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Well, I'm going to try and remember what we have done so far, but it will be hard! We left pretty early Thursday morning and drove most of the day to a state park in New York. My aunt, uncle and three cousins met us there since they were also headed to Word of Life. The park had a really neat waterfall that we hiked to the next morning. We all headed out after that and drove to the Word of Life family campground. It was really nice (for my New England friend that might be interested in that fact). We went to a rodeo Friday night and picked up Hannah and Sarah on Saturday morning. I was hoping to look around the campus a bit, but I never got around to doing that.
We packed up, dressed up for church, and left Sunday morning. We usually have no trouble finding a church when we do that, but this day was different! Well, I guess we did find a church, but we ended up leaving before we went into the sanctuary. Good thing nobody saw us! We did see another church as well, but it was also not one we wanted to try. :) We were driving through rain and heavy trafic all day, so we changed our plans and found a state park beween Philly and NYC. It turned out to be a "not so high in demand" state park. I think we were the only ones for a night or so, which is really neat for the kids. I don't have to worry about them disturbing the peace!
We went to Philly on both Monday and Tuesday. Monday we saw Independence Hall, etc. Tuesday we saw the mint and the Betsy Ross home. Wednesday we took the big trip into NYC. We drove to Staton Island and took the ferry into Manhattan. First we just walked around the city to see some sights (stock exchange, trinity church, gound zero). Then we got on the subway and went to Time Square. People . . . lots and lots of people! We found a McD's in Time Square and ate on the second floor (the kids were very excited - about the second floor, that is).
Thursday we headed to a long beach island (north of Atlantic City). The sand fleas are driving Steve nuts, so I think we will be leaving tomorrow. :)
I better go because the kids are back and ready to go swimming.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Packing break

I know, I know! The last thing I should be doing two days before vacation is taking time to blog, but really, packing is going pretty well, considering what I have to work with. :) It is my poor husband that has a list a mile long that we should all feel sorry for. Three weeks of bulletins, car repairs, trailer repairs, yard work . . .

I was just reminded last night of how the Lord often grants us special desires that aren't really even needs, so I thought I should share. A few days ago, I mentioned to Steve that I really was hungry for a steak. Now, Steve is a big steak eater (I'm sure you are all shocked), but I don't usually get hungry for a steak, so it was a bit out of character for me. Anyway, last night a friend dropped by with her father. Steve had helped them out a few weeks ago and he brought by a gift for Steve. A big box of steaks. So, Steve and I had steak after the kids were in bed last night. Noah was still up when I was cooking them, and he told me he wanted soem of "that" on vacation. LOL! No daddy and mommy hamburgers for you!

A friend of mine mentioned on facebook last week that she was watching MacGuyver on the internet. That got me to thinking about the shows I used to watch as a kid, so last night I also dug out a TV movie my grandpa had taped for me years ago: The Eight is Enough Family Reunion. I had forgotten that I really liked that show when I was a kid. Ah, memories.

So, now I have to decide if I want to do more packing and cleaning, or if I want to read the new World magazine that Steve brought home. Ah, there is always tomorrow to finish packing! :) Of course, tomorrow I will be making the rice crispie treats and muddy buddies because if I make them today, they will be gone by Thursday (and that is even without Hannah and Sarah here).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vacation Prep, etc.

I just got back from my shopping trip to get ready for vacation. I always feel like a terrible parent when I do my vacation shopping. :) If anyone looks at my purchases and sees all the cereal, crackers, etc., I'm sure they think my kids are the most unhealthy kids around. It was a little hard since I just had the four little kids with me. It is actually easier when I have all seven then when I just have the little ones.
I have been trying to pack just one or two things a day to get ready. I've packed the matching shirt tote, the medical kit, DVD collection, swim bag and started on the food boxes. Packing our food always reminds me of the story of the time the Duggar family pulled away for a vacation, but couldn't go very far because the weight of the food wouldn't let the vehicle go over 25 mph or something like that. It is nothing short of amazing to see how much food my kids can consume when we are traveling . . . especially snack food that they don't normally get.

Yesterday morning the girls left for New York. They have both been very excited! I'm hoping they get some very positive spiritual influence this week! However, it has occured to me that my girls are not at the same spot spiritually that a lot of 7th grade girls are at. I told Steve that they need chapel lessons on being hard workers and trusting parents. I'm not really crazy about the "boy crazy" atmosphere they may be exposed to, and I'm wondering how I will reteach this issue when they get home.

Tomorrow is the funeral for our friend and fellow homeschool mom, Dana. Noah is really having a hard time understanding how their son, Owen is going to manage without a mommy. He is asking if Rhonda (Dana's best friend) will be Owen's mom now. This makes twice this year that they have had a friend from church lose their mom. Sarah wanted to lay in my room for a while the night Dana died, and I thought that was an okay request! Please pray for the family as they adjust to their new life.

I finally got the first week of school pretty much planned. Uggg! I was really shocked when I started going through Noah's books. He has been doing some of his work without me! I may have to buy some first grade books around Christmas time. Of course, being made to do school is totally different than picking up the books when HE WANTS TO! LOL!

My friend Bobbi had her eighth child (at home) last night. She is now evened up with four boys and four girls.

Okay, boys are chasing each other with swords, so I better go.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is it really the end of July?

Well, Esther has been looking forward to her time at Twin Lakes Camp for months now. I really can't believe tomorrow is the day she will go. The end of July seemed so far away . . . She has such a tender heart, and I know she will learn a lot (and have lots of fun,of course).
Yesterday we drove four hours to Six Flags Great America. The kids earned free tickets from a reading program they have, and I got a free ticket because I am their teacher. Of course, by the time one adds the gas, $9 in tolls, $15 in parking, $55 ticket for Steve, $30 in food and drinks in the park (only enough to keep us hydrated and my belly full enough so I didn't pass out), and a rather LARGE meal at McDonalds coming home, it was a very expensive day. Which is why I usually don't mess with those "free" things for our family anymore. But the kids sure had a great day. Priceless I guess they would say, I'm just too cheap to call memories priceless. :)
At the end of the day, my ever so wise and spiritually deep daughter, Esther, told me that the day was just like God's grace. It wasn't something we deserved, we just got it anyway. I guess that made it all worth while.
It really was a neat park, and we could have spent several days there. Hannah didn't get to ride all the coasters, but she got to ride most of them. Esther even rode on everthing she was tall enough to ride. Hannah and Esther are the coaster lovers. Sarah and Nathan or more the coaster endurers! The little boys enjoyed shooting the water guns in the pirate boats the most. Ruth just went with the flow, as always. I was especially grateful for airconditioned nursing areas! We didn't get home until after 2 am, so I don't feel like doing much today, and I'm looking forward to a good night of sleep tonight.

Today I went to consult with another dentist about my tooth. He took one look at the x-ray and asked who did my rootcanal. I guess I should explain that when I had the original rootcanal done, the numbing drugs wore off while they were doing the procedure (long story there), which caused me to get sick (I guess I didn't realize it shouldn't be hurting so much, and I'm too tough to mention the pain). They had to rip the files out and redo the whole thing. So, I guess it really isn't a big surprise that the tooth looks terrible now. He said I could have surgery on the tooth at a periodontist, but it might not even work. I decided to just have the thing pulled. I'm all for using God's perfect design of our teeth as long as one can, but I think this ones life has expired.

Today a friend from church took the girls shopping for me. They were so excited to show me their purchases! They really hate to shop with their brothers in tow (which is almost always), so I needed a little help. I needed someone frugal, modest and cool. I so appreciated Audrey Ann spending some of her time with my girls. We are getting really close to having them ready for their New York trip in a few weeks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


So, my friend Jolyn has four boys that are about the ages of my four youngest children. Two of her boys have curly hair, and Hannah told me we need to have a baby with curly hair. I told her she would just have to marry a boy with curly hair if she wanted that to happen. She only shakes her head about that (marriage - yuck).

We did go to the Tipton park on Tuesday night. My kids really love that park for some reason. It is silly to drive 20 minutes to play there, but is sure makes them happy.

Friday while Steve was at the Rescue Mission and Scott was at the track, I "let" Jolyn babysit all the kids while I went to the dentist. Now that's friendship! :) I've had a tooth bothering me for a few weeks. Unfortunately, I've already had a rootcanal in the troublesome tooth, so I have to go consult with another dentist next week. It's me and my wierd health issues again! I'm trying to upload a picture of Jacob and Ruth, but if it isn't on here after I get out of the shower, I'm going to forget it! Ruth and Jacob are just about three weeks apart in age. Last summer Jolyn and I spent a good deal of time sitting, chatting and nursing on our D.C. vacation. This year we just had to stay up late at night to sit and chat.

Love my Jolyn

I'm sitting in the library parking lot and a storm is rolling in, so this will be quick. I just wanted to recap our week long visit from my Cedarville roomie, Jolyn, and her family. I'll just start by saying when they were here, there were 11 kids in the house . . . seven of which were boys. Exciting times. We visited the Creation Museum, went swimming, and . . . well, I guess I didn't do much else with them. :) Her husband did take Nathan and their two oldest down to the Indy track to watch the practice. Nathan reallly liked that.

Well, the lightning has started, so I'm heading home!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Here are the pictures I couldn't figure out how to get in the last post.
I had a camper tell me yesterday that Ruth is so cute and I'm lucky to have her as a daughter. :) It was a good reminder of how blessed I am.

Yesterday I took the kids down for a creek walk. The kids love to paint their faces with clay from the rocks. It was such a hot day, but it was nice and cool down by the creek. I did take a nasty spill with a camera in one hand and Ruth in the other hand, but I praise the Lord for protecting me. A broken arm would not have been good!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our week at camp

I've thought a bit more about a happy marriage. I think that fulfilling
Biblical roles goes a long way in making a happy marriage. So, if the wife respects the husband and the husband loves the wife, that would be a very good start! Also, certainly the Lord blesses some marriages more than others perhaps. He is God after all, He can do as he pleases.

So, this week the family has been at Twin Lakes camp. It is a lot less stressful this year because I have Hannah and Sarah to help with all the little ones. I am eating way too much, but enjoying it none-the-less. Noah and I have been on several hikes, and I have done a whole lot of paddleboating (which is a way to justify all that I'm eating). The ponds have an overpopulation of fish, so fishing is pretty exciting for the kids. Ruth doesn't sleep well at nights, so I'm getting a taste of what life on vacation will be like.

The girls both did really well in 4-H this year. We weren't able to see the final results of the projects because we had to be at camp on Monday morning, but my mom looked up everything (and remembered most of it, I think).
Hannah: blue on sewing (which she was lucky to get after she told the judge sewing wasn't for her), honor on bike and shooting sports (although she earned a trophy on this, so I'm not sure how that worked), and champion on personality and garden.
Sarah: blue on foods and sewing, honor on microwave cooking and make-with-a-mix, and (we think) reserve champion on crocheting.

Next Monday my Cedarville roomie will be at our house with her family. I didn't know if we would ever see each other when I graduated, but we have seen each other quite a bit over the last 15 years.

It is hard to believe that July is half over! The summer always flies!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I realize that my blogs jump topics almost as much as Noah jumps off the furniture at our house (which is very frequently if you don't know Noah). This week we went to the wedding of Steve's brother, and I've been thinking of something ever since then. I guess it would make a good Bible study project if I get some free time.
At the wedding there were many wishes for a happy marriage. So I've been thinking on exactly what makes a happy marriage. Steve thought it was just exhaustion when I brought it up the night we got home from the wedding, but I've really been meditating on it a lot lately. I guess it comes a little from my belief that happiness isn't really required to stay in a marriage, because I'm more concerned about pleasing God, but I think the Bible does talk about happiness.
The verses I've thought of off the top of my head would be "happy is the man who has his quiver full of children" and the idea of "rejoicing" with the wife of ones youth (an intimate conotation for sure). I know there are other verses about happiness or joyfulness, but none that I thought of dealt specifically with marriage. Surely both of the above mentioned verses would fit our marriage, but I'm sure that isn't how most people would judge marital happiness.

So, ironically, Steve and I had a disagreement at the end of this week about a significant issue. Not that we fought about it . . . we don't fight. I just submit, but sometimes these things make me very sad. But I would still label us as having a very happy marriage. I'm sure a lot of women would get bitter submitting to their husbands, making an unhappy marriage for sure (like the contentious woman in Proverbs). I know a lot of happiness has to do with ones thought life, but I think there is more to it than that.

Anyway, just something I'm pondering. I know I dwell on things like this a lot because of my parents pending divorce. I just want to teach my children to think correctly about these things, so I need to sort them out in my own mind first.

Tomorrow we have church, a birthday party for Ruth's friend Gwendolyn, then youth group at our house in the evening. Monday morning we leave for Twin Lakes Camp. We should be home Saturday, just in time to get ready for my Cedarville roommies arrival (with her hubby and four boys, of course). We are very much looking forward to everything that is coming up!

Hope you are enjoying the summer. Those leaves will start changing and falling before we know it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fair week!

Well, 4-H week has arrived! Tonight Sarah will be making a chocolate mint cake, biscuits and a pineapple upsidedown cake. Hannah also has to have her shooting sports poster at the fair tomorrow, but it is finished. After we are done with judging tomorrow, we will head to Haggerstown for Steve's brother's wedding. Then Thursday the girls both take their sewing, Sarah takes her crocheting and Hannah takes her personality poster. Thursday night Hannah will be riding in the bike rodeo. Friday we have to find something from the garden to take. Friday night I hope to prime the men's restroom if I'm still functioning. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The new pop-up has passed the test! We took the family over to my sister's house for a few days and it worked really well. Not only did we use the AC, but we even turned on the furnace at night. We had a good time with Cassy, Mindy and their families. I probably gained a few pounds, but that is just what happens on vacation!

Last week I received Hannah and Sarah's standardized test results in the mail. It is really a bittersweet thing for us. Hannah has made dramatic improvements in her reading, but she is still struggling greatly. She tests like a ninth grader in math and a fourth grader in language. Which means she has improved two grade levels in two years in reading, but certainly not overcoming like we had hoped. What to do? Several weeks ago I contacted the tutor I would like to use for her, but the fees are more than we spend on food (for our family of nine) each week. I just don't know how much money we want to sink into tutoring. There is always the option of my getting licensed at the dyslexia institute, but that would take forever with my schedule I'm sure.
Then there is Sarah with her gift of language. :) She actually didn't test too much higher than average on most of her math, but she excels with all things involving language . . . well, except spelling, but that's the gene pool she is stuck with for spelling, I'm afraid.

This is 4-H week for Hannah and Sarah. Almost everything is done, and I'm just ready to turn it all in and have it over!

I'm reading a good book by Voddie Baucham Jr. right now called "What He Must Be. . . if he wants to marry my daughter." Good book! It was actually a gift to Steve from a man at church, but I'm glad he shares with me!

I guess I should go make a cake for the party at the J's tonight. We are having a Singspiration then heading to Tipton to watch the fireworks. I'm so grateful for the country I live in!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The try-athlon is over! I'm starting to tick summer activities off the list. This week we are hoping to finish up some 4-H projects before the July 4th weekend! If we get the pop-up, we want to go camp with my sisters for a few nights. The kids are looking forward to seeing their cousins more than I can explain. We only see the Grayless family once or twice a year, so it means a lot!
When we get back it will be the week to take projects to the fair and Steve's brother's wedding. Then we head to Twin Lakes Camp the week after that. When we get back, my friend from Cedarville will be here for a week. I'm trying to think of neat things to do around Kokomo if anyone has any ideas. She has already seen the Steer and the Stump, so what more does Kokomo have to offer? LOL! After that week, it is pretty much a blur, but I know Esther goes to camp and Hannah and Sarah go to camp. In mid August Hannah and Sarah are also heading to Word of Life Camp in NY. We will pick them up and start our vacation from there. There is just never a dull moment around here!
The mudding at church is going pretty well, and I'm hoping I can get out and prime the walls in the next few weeks.
Well, I better go get supper for the kids since it is 7:00 pm. Noah just came in with a bowl of cereal. Shame on me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I thought I would celebrate Josh's birthday with a picture of him at about one week. He sure doesn't look 10.5 pounds, but he really was.

Time to finish those projects!

I've given the girls one week to get their 4-H projects finished. Do I think it will happen? Not really! Especially since they have a Spanish final tomorrow and the try-athlon on Saturday. Right now they are all sitting in front of Steve's new laptop watching National Treasure though. What's a mom to do? Stay up late the night before the fair, I guess! :)

I've been taking the kids swimming every day trying to get Esther ready for her swim. I've reached to point where I told her she could just hang onto the lane divider floats. The poor girl is really struggling. She is super strong for a seven year old, but she isn't a fan of putting her face in the water.

I also had two kids finish their reading club cards today. I opted NOT to do the read-on boards! Craziness would be how I would describe our family checking in books at the library.

I think Josh had a pretty good birthday today. He was happy to get to swim and really liked opening his presents. I always loved having a summer birthday, and I think he will too. He did accomplish potty training over the last few weeks, for which I am VERY happy!!

Well, I feel just a bit more sane after blogging for a while. Why is that? This has just been an incredibly busy week!
If anyone has a free morning on Saturday (LOL - does anyone have free time anymore?), Hannah starts her race at 8:30 am and Esther starts at 9:45 am. They swim at Kokomo Beach then ride around Foster park, and finally run around the Beach and back into the park. I'm sure they would love a cheering section!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Forgot to mention that I found my calendar . . . actually, Sarah found it in her bookbag. Hmmmm! Unfortunately, I washed my cell phone tonight though. Yes, I did that to Steve's phone last month too.

Is it really almost July? Sure, the buy one, get five free fireworks signs are all over Kokomo, but didn't school JUST get out? Uggg! I think I need five months of summer!

Tonight we finished up Nathan's baseball season. He really seemed to enjoy it, but right now we are thinking it may be his last year in baseball. Of course, we thought that last year too. :)

Next Saturday is the Try-athlon for Hannah and Esther. I've been trying to get a little training in with them, which just isn't an easy thing around here. Hannah will do just fine, but I'm a little concerned about Esther's swimming. Esther was the second girl in the half mile at Coyote Kids last week, and she can bike forever, so we just have to get that swimming down!

This week we took the kids to First Landmark Baptist Church's VBS. We don't do VBS at our church anymore, so it is always fun for the kids to go to VBS. Of course, they all got to see their friends too.

This just happened to be the week that the cherries were ripe on the trees too. So early in the week I made two cherry pies and a lemon meringue. They lasted all of two hours. I tried it again a few days ago and the same thing happened. I'm planning to make some for Father's Day, but I guess I won't make them until the kids are in bed on Saturday night or Steve might not get any.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A most dreadful thing has happened! I have lost my pocket calendar. It was in my wallet at the library when Ruth got hold of my wallet, so I'm hoping it fell out there and is sitting safely in the lost and found. I am the official calendar keeper of the family, and quite a calendar it is!

We don't get the newspaper, but I happened to see a copy the other day. I was most distressed to read an article about Al and Tipper Gore. Married in 1970 (40 years of marriage), no fault-divorce . . . hmmmm. I read something the other day that said it is a lot harder to get out of a mortgage contract than it is a marriage contract these days. Now, the Proverbs say that a fool vents all his feelings, so I'm not going to do that, but I will say I fall somewhere between frustrated and horrified with the veiw of the holy institution of marriage in our time. Today Steve had a message on the role of parents to teach the Word of God to their children. So just in case there is a doubt, I'm promising to teach my children the Word of God, including the command to remain pure until marriage, to keep the marriage bed pure and to tell the truth when they say "till death do us part" . . . hmmm, maybe people don't even say that anymore . . . it has been a while since I've been to a wedding!

On a more positive note, Hannah and Sarah have blogs now. I thought it would be both good typing, spelling and writing practice for them. Hannah wrote something the other day and is looking forward to comments (not that I know how to do that). I'll try to link her site in here sometime.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The get-away

I used to be such a planner . . . I guess seven kids changes things! Steve and I were talking about Hannah and Sarah late Thursday night. I mentioned how I just wished I could take them away and talk to them for a night. I was almost shocked when he said he thought that was a good idea. This is the same man that would just rather go set up the pop-up in February when I was eight months pregnant instead of go to a hotel (although he did end up taking me to a hotel then . . . and Olive Garden with the fire trucks, etc.). He booked a hotel for us and we spent the night talking and doing a little booklet I put together. I'm really hoping it will be a good investment in that the girls should have a better idea now of what we expect and why we believe some of the things we do.

I don't have much time because Steve asked that I go mud at church for a while. He is really ready to get this mudding and sanding and priming and painting done (none of which he does, by the way, LOL).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I can't believe we have only been out of school for a week and a half and I already feel so refreshed! I certainly believe homeschooling is worth the effort (or I wouldn't do it), but it is an all consuming, draining experience for me.

I've been reading a really neat book lately called "Family Driven Faith" by Voddie Baucham Jr. The last few chapters are devoted to family integrated church (vs. age-segregation for anything). I've been thinking about it a lot over the past few days. I must admit, I probably lean more this way than the average church member. I am obviously very big into the idea of parents being the responsible party for the discipleship of their children (remember that draining homeschooling), but I guess I find value in occationally allowing my children to recieve training from other sources that I consider qualified. :) I value the additional training my children recieve at Sunday School, Bible school, camp and Word of Life clubs. I will admit that the church down the road is using Answers in Genesis VBS this year. I would love to have my kids go to a AiG VBS, but I'm a little leary of the doctrinal differences they may hear.

We are almost at the end of baseball season. I really love baseball, but dragging six kids to 18 games to watch one sibling play has just about done me in with the sport! We may have a few weeks break from sports before volleyball starts in July . . . oh wait, basketball off-season play starts in a few weeks - never mind! LOL!

Hannah finished her skirt for 4-H yesterday. I can't believe how long it takes them to sew! A month seems like plenty of time to finish everything, but who knows! Sarah is still crocheting away too . . . same thing there. Slow as molassas in January as a friend from high school always used to say.

I really need to spend some time up in the attic before the little ones wake up. It is amazing to have free time like this to do these big projects! I love summer! Have I already said that?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Neat Day!

Today our Word of Life missionaries came to award Hannah and Sarah their Steadfast Achievement awards. Good job girls on six years of hard work! After church those ornery folks insisted on taking our family out to CiCi's pizza. What a special treat!
We did get some serious pictures, but I just really liked this one!
After dinner we headed to another graduation open house then back home for youth group.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Asking for pre-teen girl advice from Titus 2 friends

I've got something on my heart right now that I'm going to ask for help with from all my conservative friends. Hannah turned 12 in March and is really growing up. Over the past few months I've noticed some slight attitude changes that I've really been thinking about. I call it the "woe is me" attitude.

I'm not really sure where she has picked up some of her ideas, but I want to deal with them swiftly and Biblically, and I would really like some books to use with her if anyone has some ideas. I guess her biggest complaint has been that she thinks she has to work too hard. I do admit that she has a lot of chores. She is also taking piano lessons and she practices 25 minutes a day, and I still ask that she practice her flute ten minutes a day. I'm trying to teach her to have a servants heart and to work hard. I really believe that laziness is a sin that is easy to slip into, and I don't think the teenage years are an excuse to be lazy. I think if she would work hard, she would have a lot more free time. She mentioned the other day when she was doing a chore for Steve that she thought he should do it himself.

I guess in summary, I've decided that my living a life of submission as a helper to my husband hasn't exactly shown her the biblical role of a wife as I had hoped. I've decided I need to be more thorough in my teaching with her to show her God's design in this area. I have several books already that I can start with (Lies Young Women Believe and A Young Woman After God's Own Heart), but I would really appreciate any other sources that would help me teach these issues.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Slow but sure progress around here

We are making progress on these projects! The girls spent several hours cutting and sewing today. Still no finished skirts or shirts, but I think we might just have them finished in the next month. The garden still has more weeds than produce, but we slogged around in the mud pulling a lot of weeds today. Sarah only has about six more granny squares to go before she can put together her baby blanket.

We are reading in Psalm now for Bible reading (the halfway book, right). Steve is having us memorize Psalm 1 together. I'd like to spend some time looking into what a scornful person is. It is pretty obvious what the ungodly and sinners are, but how would you define the scornful that we are not to sit in the seat of?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Here is my little Josh. Three weeks until he turns 3 and still not potty trained *sigh*. So far the three girls were trained at 2, but all the boys have been 3 before they have been trained. So, I'm in a mad rush to get him trained before his birthday! I know I just need to make the leap to no diapers, but what a pain for a family that is always on the go. For some reason, stubborn boys just don't care . . . and Steve and I seem to be really good about getting stubborn boys (just like their dad).

Monday, May 31, 2010

Relaxing on Memorial Day

This weekend was full of celebrations! Friday night was the KASH graduation. Saturday we spent the day (again) working on outside projects getting ready for our Memorial Day picnic last night. Saturday night we went to the booming town of Windfall for a wild graduation open house for two girls from church.

Sunday was an interesting milestone for Hannah, Sarah and I (although Hannah wasn't even at church). After teaching the girls in Sunday School for many years (best I can figure it has been about five years), we have decided to move them up to Steve's class next week. Since our church is so small, we only have three classes for kids. It really is hard to believe they are moving into the "youth group" phase of life.

We had a special time during our worship service as all the veterans sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic. There was one line I really liked that I hadn't thought much about before . . . wish I could remember it now . . . something like "as He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free".

We also had a recognition time for all six of our graduates. I just can't help but think about how my kids will be there soon. Sarah is already looking forward to graduation she told me yesterday.

Sunday night we hosted a cookout for . . . well, anyone that wanted to come. Steve and I counted afterward, and we think there were 66 people here. And the deck is still standing :) ! It is always nice to have our friends over! I did, however, pretty much take today off (the rain helped with that).

Steve is in the basement watching some war movies to celebrate Memorial Day right now *thanks Walt (where is that sarcasm button)*. Noah watched a bit of one movie and told me all about how the Jerks (his pronunciation of Germans) stole our plans, loaded cannons, etc. It is just a male thing I think!

The next big event on the calendar is the KASH leaders meeting we are hosting Friday night. It is only six families, but you know some of those crazy homeschoolers and their large families! I don't think we will hit 66 again, but it might be close.

We are also looking forward to awarding the Steadfast Achievement award to Hannah and Sarah on Sunday morning . . . yes, they are officially graduating from Olympians to the teen group this year.

Our family is finishing up our reading of Job. What an interesting book and reminder to trust God. Were you there? I'm glad I know the One that was there when everything began!

Well, Noah is giving me minute by minute updates on what time it is, so I better wrap this up. He got too much of a nap today! If I were a dilligent homeschool mom, I'd whip out some reading books and teach him to read right now. I'll have to let you know if that happens. :) Oh wait, Ruth is awake for her first snack of the night . . . it just might be a long night!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

School is out, school is out!

This tired teacher officially "let the monkeys out" today!! Hoping for a good summer to regroup before starting in with FIVE students next year (oh my).

I've had the urge to blog for a few weeks now, but life has just been too exciting! Well, today I'm indulging (and yes, chocolate chip cookies and blogging are about the extent of my indulging in life) . . . at least until Ruth wakes from her nap.

This by far has been the school year I was most ready to end! Out of the four students, only one is a really self-motivated student, so I seem to spend most of my time motivating kids to do what they don't want to do. I just think that if I were homeschooled as a child, I probably would have finished my year in March or April. But, I recognize God's distribution of personality traits varies greatly even among family members, so I accept His sovereignty in this area, but that doesn't mean I don't get frustrated at times!

The next thing to conqueror are the 10 4-H projects the girls are in. I have a sweet friend from church that is crocheting with Sarah. I think she would have exhibited something very small if it weren't for my friend Joyce. There is another lady from church that has helped them with their sewing. The garden was doing well until a rabbit got in this week. Urrrr! We have a fence around the garden, but not all the kids are very good about getting the gate closed every time . . . and a rabbit can do a lot of damage in one visit.

Right after the fair, we will be heading to Twin Lakes Camp. The kids already have a paper chain to count down the days. Steve will be the camp pastor and Nathan will be the only official camper. The rest of us will just be tag-a-longs. Hannah and Sarah will be attending camp in August . . . junior high camp?!!! I'm not sure what happened to my little girls, but I have these two pre-teens living in my house now!

We are also looking forward to a visit in July from one of my Cedarville roomies. This is the friend that we met in D.C. last summer. It is a real blessing to have "friends for life" like that.

The most exciting thing that has happened this week has been putting the baby pool up on the deck. You would have thought we had invested in a water park in our back yard. It has been very nice, and I'm once again thankful for a husband that can build me nice things. I have two little boys crashed out on my bed right now due to the hard pool play they had this morning. That right there is almost worth the money we invested in the deck! :) I was doing paperwork on my bed this morning when Ruth opened my screen door, walked to the pool and climbed in, wearing her regular clothes, of course. So, I think if one can do that, they lose their baby status (and no, that wasn't a hint at anything).

Well, I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about sitting in a chair for more than ten minutes. I'm sure I can find something to clean if I look really hard (joke).

I love summer!