Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apple Picking

 The Children
Pretty girl!
Yesterday we decided to make the short drive to one of our favorite orchards.  We picked apples, grapes and tried to get a few fun pictures of the kids.  It was a GLORIOUS day! Sunny, breezy, blue skies dotted with big white billowy clouds.  It was lovely and it reminded me of how much I love being outside in nature with my family!
Last year when we made our trip to the orchard, this little lady was still happily swimming in my belly.  I was so happy to have her actually here with us.  She soaked it all in and was happy.

These three guys have my heart!  Oh how I love them!!
And oh how this little lady loves her daddy!

This picture of Tommy makes me laugh.  He looks upset, but he was really just being very serious about his grape picking. 
We picked about 25lbs of apples and grapes.  I made some grape freezer jam and plan on making apple sauce and apple dumplings.  It was such a great day and we can't wait to go back!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Falling in Love

These two are too much! Look at Penny's little smirk.  She is a spitting image of her biggest brother!

   Penny has many Lovie's.  The boys picked out a pink elephant that Charlie named Ellie, before Penny was even born.  It was the gift they gave her at the hospital after birth.  Her cousins also bought her a lovie.  A white bunny with a soft pink blanket.  And then there is Teddy, or Ted.  A very small white-ish teddy bear.  He was the first thing I allowed in her crib with her and choose him because he was so tiny.
 But despite having all her lovies, she does favor Ted, she hasn't really formed any real attachments with them.  She has however, fallen head over heels for Charlie's Lovie!  She squeals when she sees Lovie and clasps him in her chubby little hands.  Charlie allows her to play with Lovie, but always laughs and says "Oh Penny!", because Lovie always come back to him covered in a blanket of Penny slobber :)
When I bought Lovie for Charlie, before he was born, I also bought a replacement Lovie.  Yes, it is true, there is more then one Lovie!  I hid second Lovie deep in my dresser and he is identity was never revealed.  Until the other day.  Charlie was playing with Penny in the kitchen and commenting how he wished there was another Lovie that Penny could have, just like his.  I asked him how that would make him feel if he knew there was another Lovie.  I didn't want to spoil the love he has for her because it is so sweet.  It didn't phase him at all and he was more then excited to find out that he could give his little sister a Lovie that she loved.

In fact, when he placed the brand new looking Lovie on Penny's highchair tray and she grabbed him up like she was going to devour his blue velour, Charlie explained "Look Mama! She is falling in love!".

Sweetest boy ever! And now Penny has her own true Lovie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Joy Challange

My attitutude and spreading joy has been something I have been working on lately.  I truly believe that regardless of what life is dealing me at the moment, I can still choose to be happy and find joy in our everyday.  It is also a choice as to how I react to situations.  Amy I loving? Am I gentle?  Am I kind?  Am I thoughtful?  or Am I angry, frustrated, biter, mean and unhappy?

I am by no means a perfect person. I have many flaws and I fall short in my attitude and how I treat people on a daily basis.  I know it when I have stumbled and it always humbles me and brings me to my knees.  I definitely need God's grace! 

But negativity abounds! It is everywhere and frankly, I don't want to participate any longer.  I am more then guilty of complaining, being ungrateful and having a negative perspective.  And so in another attempt to find more Joy and ultimately change my attitude, I am participating in a Joy Challange.  Each day in the month of October, regardless of what is going on, I will make a list of at least one thing I am grateful for or see Joy in. I hope to be able to write more then one thing, but for me it really has to have meaning for the context of the day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The First Week and Missing the boy

 The first week at school has gone better then we all expected.  Tom or Thomas as he introduced himself to his new little friends, he is pure cuteness!, fit right in to his new routine.  The mornings that he is at school literally are a blink of an eye and then he is back at home.  The big news from Prek is usually what snack they had.  They sure know the way to my boys heart!  The rest of the day he is my right hand man, and thoroughly enjoying it!  He is eating up all the attention and one on one time.  The change has been good for him.

  Charlie has done well too.  He aced his first ever spelling test, woot! woot! and his handwriting has improved immensely this week.  He had a bit of homework which he finished in no time at all, and with no complaints!  He also seems much more relaxed,  and his "motor" seems to have settled a bit.  I think the day is long for him though, and he is usually pretty tired when he comes home.  But that makes for good snuggling time with Mama!!!  He has LOVED riding the bus and has had some great teachable moments.  He has had the opportunity to teach others how to be a good friend and our little evangelical even talked to a boy in the bus line about God!  The conversation went something like this:

Charlie:  "God is the BEST!"
Boy in bus line: "No, my Dad is the BEST!"
Charlie: "God made the WHOLE world!  So He is the best!"
Boy in bus line: "My Dad made a world too"
Charlie:  "Your Dad isn't God, so he only made a pretend world.  Like a globe"

Love it!!  I couldn't get out of him how the conversation started between him and the bus line boy.  But it doesn't matter! And what was even cooler what that he connected what he said to the boy about God with the lesson he learned at Sunday school last week. Which was about how we shouldn't keep Jesus to ourselves, but give him away to others so that they will know him too.  He told me all about it at bedtime, sweet boy! I told him that talking to that little boy about God was the greatest thing he did all week and that I was very proud of him.

But I can't help but miss the boy something terrible!  And I am not the only one either!  The day is just too long for all of us.  We are all carrying around Charlie's Lovie during the day, even Penny.  Tommy told me that Lovie was crying for Charlie, then patted Lovie on the head and in the sweetest voice said "it okay Lovie, Charlie love you and be home soon".  Pitter patter my little heart!

And after we dropped Charlie off this morning I hear a little voice from the backseat,
Tom: "Mom, I miss my Charlie"
Me: "I know buddy, I do too.  But he will be home soon"
Tom: "I all alone back here.  I need Charlie to sit with me.  Mom, when you grow up you sit with me back here?"  Too cute!

So the week has gone good.  We are all adjusting.  There have been no tantrums or tears, expect on from me...tears, not tantrums :)  But each day is a bit easier.  And I can tell you that I have never looked more forward to the weekend then I do today!!! I don't want to do anything but all climb in our bed, snuggle up with the boys and stay there all day!

Boys, we are so proud of you!  You guys are doing great at school and we are excited to see all the fun stuff you will learn!!  Love you tons!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of School

 The boys started school today.  Charlie is in first grade and Tommy, PreK.
 After we told the boys that we would no longer be homeschooling we had two days of major complaints.  Charlie took it the hardest. But after two days both boys turned a corner and started to get really excited for the new adventure that lay before them.  I think the matching Mario Kart backpacks and light up Spider Man shoes helped :) 
 Tommy was ready to go to school last week.  In fact when we went to church on Sunday he loaded up his backpack and had it in the car ready to go.  He thought we were going to school, not church.  On his first day of school he had a great time.  He told me that he wanted me to take him first in the morning because he was so excited.  Then when we got there he said he wanted to walk in by himself :)  Even though he had so much fun, he said the best part was at the end when I picked him up.  What a sweet boy!

And this little stinker had a good day too.  I love his new little smirk!  I think the adjustment will be the hardest on him since he is older and going for a longer period of time.  But he has a great teacher and she is more then happy to help him transition.  In fact, she emailed me 2 times the first day with updates.   Charlie did have a great first day and talked in detail about some projects they made, games he played with the other kids etc.  They also tested him on his reading skills.  This is something that they do for all new students in the district.  Our boy who doesn't love reading, scored very well and his teacher was rather impressed ;)  So proud of our little guy!!!

So, the first day went better then we expected and everyone had fun!  The house was strangely quiet and by 10am I was calling Trent telling him how painful the silence was :)  I truly missed our boys but I was so happy that they were happy and doing so well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 months, Penny Jane

 Penny is 10 months old.  I can barely believe that I am already thinking about her 1st birthday party! CRAZY!
 The girl is such a peach, great personality, fabulous smile.  She loves to give hugs and open mouth kisses. :)
 She also is developing a fierce independence when it comes to her food.  She only wants food that she can feed to herself and then she is picky at best. 
 Miss Penny now has 6 teeth.  She cut three at the same time and was a trooper even though it was obvious that she was not comfortable. She is also now taking more milk by a cup/bottle but still prefers to nurse.
 She is also starting to stand a little bit more and has taken  a few steps while holding on to our hands.  Her legs are still so wobbly and I doubt that she will be walking before the year mark.  Which is just fine with me!
 She is also a bit sneaky and LOVES to try and eat our shoes that hang out by the back door.  Gross, I know. She will do a mad crazy army crawl dash across the room, stop and look at me with the same sneaky little look like in the picture above.  Once she knows I have seen her, she lets out a squeal and then whips around and races for the shoes.  I always catch her in time :)
I think my favorite thing that has happened this month with Penny is that her sweet whispy hair has started to come in a bit more in the back.  It actually has a curl to it and Penny loves to play with it while she falls asleep on my chest.  She also has started to rub her ear like I have done since I was a little girl :)  So sweet!

We love you to pieces Miss Penny and are having the best time watching you grow!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A New Season

Some of our fondest memories of homeschooling the last 2 years.

The boys have really changed during this time, grown in so many ways.

They have learned to read, write, and cherish time together as a family.  The latter being the most important to me.

From the very beginning we said that we would keep an open mind to their schooling.  I have often prayed that God would direct us in this area for we can not raise these babies without Him!

So, with a peace that I have not felt in a long time but with also a sad heart, we have decided to end our homeschooling days.  I am excited for our boys and the adventures that await them and yet hesitant, but trusting.

Charlie and Tommy, I have loved being your teacher and will continue to be.  Whether you are in a traditional school, or at home, it doesn't matter.  Our family is based on love. Built on faith, loyalty, and friendship.  We will continue to teach you of Jesus' love, and the truly important things in life.  We will always look back on the last 2 years with fond memories and a grateful heart for time spent together.  We are so proud of all the things that you have learned, all the fun things we have done and the miles and miles of growth you have made!  You are wonderful boys, God's greatest gift to us and we cherish each and every moment we spend with you.  We are excited for all the things you will learn, the fun you will have and the friends you will make. 
We love you.
Daddy and Mommy

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happiness is.......

Brotherly love, April 2009

Happiness is after a long day of constant correcting of bad behavior and refereeing of two stubborn brothers, to have a certain youngest son plant sweet, gentle kisses atop my head and the head of his older brother as we lay snuggled up in bed.

Tender mercies!

Friday, September 2, 2011

To Be Four

Favorite Summertime Game

Hopscotch on the drive

Wearing mismatched socks with Crocs in 90 degree weather



The baby boy