Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009

It is a rainy day here today. I was going to take the boys out to do some grocery shopping but then it really started pouring rain so I changed the plan. I was really craving a soda today, since we don't buy them anymore to keep at the house. So I rounded up the boys to run out quickly to the nearby Quick Trip so I could get a soda. I have done this before. The boys stay in the car and I run in and it only takes me a minute to get one can of soda, pay and go back out and the boys would not get wet because they would get in and out in our garage.

As I was getting out of the van at the Quick Trip, the boys were asking me to bring them something. It was now raining pretty hard. I pulled on the hood on my hoodie jacket and ran, locking the van with the key faub as I went.

I went into the small store, walked straight over to the fridge with the single cans of soda, went from there to the candy display, across from the counter where one pays, walked over to the chips display and grabbed a small bag of cheetos for the boys and went back to the counter to pay. All of this took approximately 2 to 3 minutes and very few steps, as the store is small.

There was one person in front of me so I didn't have to wait very long to pay. After paying, I started looking for my keys, which would normally be in my jacket pocket. My cell phone was there but not my keys. I didn't have a purse with me but I had a fanny pack. I searched through it and still did not find my keys. I was starting to get nervous and started praying. I dumped everything in my pockets and the fanny pack on the counter, still no keys. Now I am really panicking and praying the whole time and on the verge of tears. I retraced my steps and carefully looked on the floor and shelves, still no keys. Now I am in a full scale panic. I asked people working at the counter, they had seen my keys. I retraced my steps again, multiple times, and also searched my pockets and fanny pack again, multiple times. My keys were absolutely nowhere to be found.

At some point, in the midst of all of this, I called my husband and told him what had happened. Thankfully, he was not seeing patients so he left work right away and headed home to get the extra set of keys to the van. In the meantime, I went to the van several times and told the boys what had happened (I yelled through the window that I had lost the keys and daddy was coming to help us.) They really handled it much better than I did:).

It was lunch time when we ran out and I thought we would be right back. So I knew they were very hungry by then. Still, neither of them got upset and they pretty much just sat and watched the cars and people come and go. A small mail truck pulled up alongside our van. He backed in so the boys were sitting right next to the mailman, while he ate his lunch. I think they stared at him the whole time. They must have been locked in the van for about an hour, by the time it was all over.

After searching thoroughly multiple times and not finding anything, we concluded someone must have stolen the keys. The people who worked there also helped us look and there was just not that many places that they could have been hiding. I was wearing a zip-up sweatshirt hoodie that has lose pockets and there was a guy standing next to me while I was paying. I am wondering now if he might have lifted my keys from my pocket. Who knows but I am pretty sure someone stole them somehow.

We are going to change the locks on the house and on the van too. It will likely cost a fortune but we feel as if we have no choice.

In other news, I think I forgot to tell you that there was a fox outside our house a week or so ago. It was a Sunday and we had stayed home from church because we were sick. I happened to look out the kitchen windows and there was a fox, trotting up our driveway toward the garage. When he discovered he was fenced in, he turned around and trotted back down our driveway, took a left and trotted down the road. It was pretty incredible to see in the middle of this small city where we live. I don't know where he could have come from, as we are a ways from any area where foxes might live, as far as I know.

The other wildlife event at our house is we have a squirrel that keeps getting on top of our bird feeder and helping himself to a good dinner. It is funny to watch, as he lays across the top of it with his head and front paws hanging down and eating the food, while he holds on for dear life with his back paws and tail. I still haven't figure out how he gets on top of the feeder because it is mounted on a steel pole. The pole is in the ground and the feeder is about the height of my head so I don't think he could climb it or jump that high. I think he must be jumping off the roof of the house onto the feeder but have yet to see him do it. We saw him out there for the first time yesterday and I have already seen him there twice today.

In still other news, our quiet time is going very well. We have been doing 30 minutes a day but today we are shooting for 45 minutes. I would like to work up to one hour but may need to do it over a longer period of time. We'll see how today goes.

We have started reading our first chapter book. It is a book called Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. We have already read the first tale and are in the middle of the second one. The boys are really enjoying it and I am too, since I have never read this book before either. It is a really cute book. Nick never wants to stop reading but, after a while, Ben usually says that's enough for now. I am surprised they were into it actually. I had started it with them several times in the past and each time they were not interested. But I happened to pick it up the other day and started reading it to them while they were eating and they really took an interest in it. I will have to find some other chapter books for kids their age when we finish this one. If you know of any chapter books for the 3 to 4 year old market, let me know.

Well, we have a little under 10 minutes of quiet time left and Ben has fallen asleep on the couch in the living room. Nick is no longer looking at books but is flipping and flopping on the small couch in the library. I wish he would take a quick cat nap but I don't think it is on his agenda for today, even though I think he typically needs it more than Ben does. I better go now. Hope you are having a good day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

The husband was off on vacation last week so we planned to take that trip to know, the one that was canceled due to the big, two day snow storm we had in March. So we planned to go for a long weekend, the first weekend of our vacation week.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this in an earlier post or not but I started getting sick on Wednesday, April 15th. Turns out that the following Saturday and Sunday were my two worst days, when I was feeling especially terrible. I ended up losing my voice and getting a sinus infection on top of everything else. My voice really just came back to normal yesterday. So we once again moved our trip out, thinking that by the end of the week I would be feeling good again. I think it might have been around Wednesday that the husband came down with whatever illness I had. His worst day by far was yesterday (Sunday).

In the meantime, Ben came down with the other virus that has been working it's way through our family. This is the one that the husband had first, then I got, then Nick and then Ben finally got it. It is the strangest virus I have ever seen. We all had the same symptoms. It starts out with an eye infection that requires antibiotic eye drops. It quickly moves on to cold-like symptoms. Fortunately, by the time Ben got it, we recognized the symptoms very quickly and got the eye infection under control within two days. He only had a light case of the cold symptoms so he never missed a beat really (neither did Nick when he had it - they recover so quickly).

So we never made it to Kansas City, much to our disappointment. We were all really looking forward to spending time with our friends but we will have to plan another time.

We are all relieved that, it seems, we are finally getting over all of this. The husband and I are both still taking antibiotics. Our symptoms? Fever, body aches, coughing....your basic flu-like symptoms. The husband actually went to work one day to take the flu test, just to make sure. It came back negative though. He took it again today, just to be sure, and it came back negative again. So, we're not sure what we have had but, thankfully, it was not the flu.

Not much else to report around here. We had a very low key week, since we were not feeling well. The boys really never missed a beat so the dad and I were juggling our time with them by who felt the worst at any given moment:). Fortunately we were not both feeling at our worst at the same time so the juggling worked out pretty well.

Well, gotta go. Time to get boys ready for bed:).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

The boys have been having a ball playing outside this week. Every time they go out, Nick comes in covered with dirt. Ben gets a little dirty, especially his hands, but his clothes do not get as dirty as Nick's. I was standing at the window, watching them play outside the other day and I noticed that Nick plays outside just like he plays in the house.....meaning, he plays on the ground, just as if he were on the floor or rug in the house. He jumps around on it, trying to do hand stands. He throws himself down and rolls down the small hill in our yard. He lays down in the sand box, while making trucks drive around the sand. He is very comfortable outside and he really makes himself at home.

When he comes in, I always have to change his jeans. If it is early in the day, I sometimes put them aside in case he wants to go back outside again later that day. I am having to do laundry often:). And now, as of today, it is time for shorts. So, now it is time for them to go straight to the tub when they come into the house.

Ben is still resisting shorts and short sleeved shirts. Today I finally insisted because it was so hot outside and he was sweating so much.

My mom and sister came to visit today. We cooked burgers and fries out on the grill and we all sat on the patio and had lunch together. It was very nice but it is really warm here the point of being uncomfortably warm if you are in the direct sunlight this afternoon.

We once again made plans to go to K. C. this week. We were going to leave tomorrow. We were going to drive through the town where my niece is going to college and surprise her with a visit, and then head on to K.C., spend the night in a hotel and go to this really fun farm place where we took the kids once a couple of years ago. That evening, we were going to hook up with our friends in K.C., stay with them and do lots of visiting and catching up and just having fun being together again. We were really looking forward to this small vacation.

Yesterday evening, my husband started feeling as if he was coming down with a fever. Sure enough, today he has a fever and is not feeling well. It seems he is coming down with what I have had. I am really still not feeling great myself. I think allergies are likely piling on to the virus I have had and it is making it harder to recover.

So, it seems once again that our trip to K.C. has been canceled. I have lost track. I think this is the third time we have had to cancel in two months. I am really bummed but I would rather go when we are all feeling good. Hopefully we can plan something for later in the year.

Hope you are having a good Wednesday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18, 2009

Have I told you about my wonderful husband? He really is an amazing man. He has so much patience and is so diligent, it amazes me.

He is a doctor of family medicine so he has to re-take his boards every so many years (7? - can't remember?). He has been painstakingly studying for his boards for the past almost-two years. He will re-take his boards in July and he started studying for them two years in advance.

He divided up the amount of material he had to study in such a way as to be able to make two passes through it all. With the first pass, he summarized and took notes and now he is studying his notes for the second pass. He has been waking up early almost every morning, for close to two years now, to do a little each day.

When it comes to his profession, he is a detail person. He is very thorough and he always goes the extra mile, even if it means he has to give up personal time to do it. He is constantly reading and studying and learning new information that comes out in the various medical journals during is personal time. It is not just a profession for him. It is an integral part of who he is. He is definitely the kind of doctor you would want to go to.

He is very diligent about working out. He works out every other day. He very seldom misses a workout. If he misses a day or two because we are on vacation or he is sick or something, he quickly gets right back to it as soon as he can. (Actually, he normally works out even when he is sick.) He keeps track of his weight and has a range within which he stays. If he sees he has moved to the upper level of his range, he cuts back until he is back where he wants to be. He definitely has a lot of self control and discipline.

He is also very diligent about keeping up with repairs around the house and with our two vehicles. He is always fixing something around the house. Right now it is the crown molding, which is in need of some re-caulking and painting. The people who lived here before we moved in had the house built and then lived here for 6 years or so without doing any maintenance work, or so it seemed when we moved in. So my husband has spent lots of time and effort over the years we have been here repairing, caulking, painting, etc. You name it, he has probably fix it. Last night, after he put the boys to bed and before he came to bed, he cleaned all of the crown molding in the foyer. This morning, he was up before anyone else and he re-caulked it all.

He is also wonderful about spending lots of time with our two sons and he is so patient with them. He spends hours reading and playing with them. Most Saturday mornings find the dad and his sons out running errands together. Today they went to a huge garage sale near our house that started at 8:00am. After that, they went to the tire place to have new tires put on our van. If they get finished with the tires in time, they will go to our church where they are having a special fun event for preschoolers today.

He takes care of all the finances, including researching and managing all of our investments. He keeps track of car repairs and mows and trims the lawn. When we have to make a large purchase, whether it is four new tires for one of our vehicles, a new camera or whatever, he researches it thoroughly to ensure we get the best deal for our money. He is a very busy man but he never complains and he never nags.

He is almost always in a good mood and is a very upbeat person in general. He loves to read, as do I, although most of his reading is about medical or financial information or a Bible study, unless we are on vacation when he might read a novel. He hardly ever watches television. He would rather be doing something, fixing something or reading something. He likes to spend his time doing something productive. Neither of us listen to much music, unless we are in the car and then it is usually the kids' music. I have a CD of classical music that I like to listen to in the kitchen and the husband and sons like it too so we listen to it when we are eating. Other than that, we don't listen to music.

Before I was married, I prayed often for the man I would marry. I am so thankful that God did not just give me what I prayed for:). I would never have thought to pray for so many of the wonderful character traits that my husband has and that God knew I would need in a husband. He is such a thoughtful, caring and giving person. He is so easy going and I don't think I have ever known him to hold a grudge. He is very slow to anger and, when he does get angry about something (which is very very seldom), his anger is always a calm, controlled kind of anger. He may raise his voice a little, more with inflection than volume, but he does not yell. I think he is probably the easiest person to get along with that I have ever met.

Our disagreements usually end up being more like discussions than arguments. Thankfully, we don't have them often. We went to many weeks of premarital counseling before we were married and I know that helped to prepare us a lot. We had to discuss so many things and we also had to create a budget together. I highly recommend this type of premarital counseling to anyone who is considering marriage. It really helps you to discuss so many important topics BEFORE you get married.

I think one of the reasons we have so few disagreements is that we have so many of the same beliefs and values. We have the same religious and political beliefs. Before we were married, we had already discussed and knew that we both wanted children, even though we were marrying late in life. We knew that we were both open to adoption and we knew and had discussed that we both wanted to homeschool our children. We knew approximately what our budget would look like but, more importantly, we had agreed to a philosophy of how we would manage our money. This could easily have been a problem for us in our marriage, had we not already discussed it, because we came from families who handled money very differently. In the first two years of our marriage, we had many more discussions about how we were handling our money and some were tense and took some long walks together to work through them. But we worked through it together and came out stronger on the other side. Before marriage, we also had many discussions about children and we have similar beliefs about how to raise our children. I think having agreement on so many of the important things in life really helps to reduce the number of disagreements that might pop up in the future.

Don't get me wrong. We are not perfect. We do have disagreements from time to time. But we have a very strong foundation for our marriage. The most important thing, by far, is that God is at the center of our marriage. That is most important for a strong foundation for marriage. We also both agreed before marriage that, if at any time during our lives together, one of us felt that we need to go for counseling, the other would go. We had both seen the value of counseling in our lives at times when we were single so we felt it was reassuring to know that the other felt the same about this.

I love my husband so much and I thank God for him often. As I have said, my husband is an early riser and a hard worker, so he normally falls asleep at night very quickly. There have been many nights when, as I watch him sleep, I pray to God, thanking Him for the awesome blessing He has bestowed on me with the gift of my husband. Just thought I would share with you what a wonderful man he is.

Hope you are having a great Saturday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

Believe it or not, I am sick again. This is so frustrating. I have some sort of virus that started off as a bad tummy thing on Wednesday evening and, that night, also moved to a very sore throat. My stomach is now better but my throat is still very sore and I hardly have any voice left, plus all of the sinus stuff, head ache from the sinus stuff and very low energy level. I feel sorry for my kids right now because I know this has not been very much fun for them the past couple of days.

Additionally, because I am sick again, our trip to Kansas City has once again been delayed. I am bummed because I was looking forward to attending at least one day of their homeschooling convention. But, oh well, it was not meant to be and I still have plenty of time.

The good news is that the dad is on vacation all next week, so that will be very nice. He has to give about 4 months notice before taking vacation time. Fortunately he gets a lot of vacation time so we normally just pick some months and he schedules some time and then we decide later what we are going to do. This time, we will likely have some very relaxing family time around here and we will hopefully make it to KC for a couple of days at some point.

I have been researching various home school paths and products. There are some really great products out there for homeschooling these days.

Currently I am planning to use My Father's World for kindergarten, although could change. It has a very good, age appropriate Bible study and character development study which will be good for all three of us:). I am also planning to use Right Start Math, possibly supplementing with Singapore Math, and I am still working on what else we will be doing. Of course, we still have a ways to go, since the boys are only three and a half years old:). I do enjoy planning ahead though.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that we can tailor it specifically to their learning style and pace. Of course, one of the very best things about it is that we can also provide our sons with a great Christian education, a classical Christian education no less, and we can do it all relatively inexpensive. There is just so much freedom with it. I am so thankful that we have the freedom to do this and that it is an option for our family.

We are still planning on going with the classical education approach. I am currently going back through parts of The Well Trained Mind book with a fine tooth comb, taking notes. I am also researching Tapestry of Grace and My Father's World in detail, among various other products, and looking up books at our library's web site to get a feel for how much we will be able to rely on them. So far, it is looking pretty good. I am very impressed with both TOG and MFW and am enjoying researching their products and others.

We have decided it is time to give up naps. The boys did not take a nap on Wednesday and they really did very well. They took one on Thursday, mostly because I was feeling so sick and needed the break, but they did not take one today. I'm thinking this will be a good week to go nap-free, since the dad will be around to help out.

The boys have had a blast playing outside this week, which has been nice. I have started working towards planting the seed of "when we don't take naps, we have a quiet time" and explaining what that means. We had a short quiet time today but I really need to work on figuring what our new daily schedule will look like with no naps.

Our potty training had been going so well until just the past couple of days. Nick had two accidents yesterday and three today. The only thing I can think of is that I have been sick those days, I had not been reminding him as much and I have not been much fun. I hope this is just a fluke and he will be back to using the potty tomorrow. I was just so surprised that he did this because he had really been doing very well.

Well, I was only going to write a couple of quick sentences but I guess I should know better. I am not a person of few words, as you know:). Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

I didn't say a typical day because it really isn't a typical day. I'm not sure we really have a "typical" day around here, or that is the way it seems anyway. But today is rainy and dreary so we stayed inside and focused on some preschool tasks. The boys were really focused on playing and having fun but I was focused on some preschool learning:).

We all got up right at 7:00am this morning, which is unusual. Ben usually sleeps 20 to 30 minutes longer than Nick. The first thing I did was to clean Nick's eyes and put drops in them, as he has that cold and eye infection that I had a couple of weeks ago...and the dad had it a couple of weeks before I had it. It is a tricky little infection. Just when you think it is gone, it rears it's ugly head again.

After taking care of Nick's eyes, I helped the boys get dressed. They can take off and put on their pants and underpants now but they sometimes need help with snapping their jeans and also taking on and off their shirts. Then we ate. Today we all had toast with cream cheese/butter and juice.

I cleaned up the kitchen while the boys played. Then I started looking at email but I overheard the boys talking about which is more 3 or 4 (they were debating how long the timer lasts, 3 or 4 minutes; we have two small 3-minute hour glasses that they to take turns when they are both wanting to play with something; we keep one in the living room and one in the library and we sometimes have to take one outside with us; the nice thing is they can do it by themselves, which eliminates a lot of arguments:) so I got the pegs and pegboard so we could play and learn about which is more/less for a while.

After that, I did a couple of chores (made beds, etc.) and they started playing with those little square blocks that have the letters on them. And then, a little later, I overheard them talking about letters and letter sounds so I took the Phonics flash cards with me and went in to play with them again. We reviewed the 9 letter sounds that we have been learning and then went over 9 new letter sounds. Ben was doing so well with this that I got out the book to go over a little letter blending with him. Nick was not very interested. Ben is catching on to this pretty quickly. He was able to blend an, man, in, inn, lam very well and he was so happy about it. Nick wanted to try a little but mostly played while Ben and I worked on it. We did not do blending for very long before Ben had had enough too and wanted to read. I read four books to them and then it was time for snack.

After snack they decided they wanted to "do school". So we sat at the table and they did some mazes from one of the Critical Thinking books (Visual Perception Skill Building Book 1). They are both really doing a good job of holding their pencils correctly these days. After the mazes, they wanted to color for a while so they colored with markers and crayons and also did a bit of cutting. As Nick was cutting, his scissors going open and close, open and close, his mouth was following along, open and close, open and close. It was so cute.

I started fixing lunch while they played with their toys again. While we were eating lunch, we read two of the devotions from their daily devotions book. Each one includes a devotion, a scripture and a prayer. It is a very sweet little book and the boys love it. I would like to get into a routine of doing our devotion at breakfast time. Hopefully I will get this going sometime soon.

After we ate, I cleaned the kitchen while the boys played with their matchbox-size cars and trucks on the back of the couch. After I vacuumed the floor in the kitchen and surrounding areas, it was time to start putting away all of the toys so we could get ready for nap time. The boys did a great job of helping to pick up toys and put them away.

Now I am sitting in their room while they fall asleep. Nick has been asleep for a while and Ben is almost asleep. When they wake up, they will likely watch a 30 minute movie, have a snack and we will either read or play a game or they will possibly go outside to play if it is not raining.

Then it will be time for me to fix dinner. Tonight we are having soft tacos and tostados. These are very popular at our house so everyone is looking forward to dinner. The dad will arrive home around 6ish, he will quickly change clothes, look through the mail and play/talk with the boys a bit. I will finish up dinner and we will sit down to eat around 6:00pm.

Once we are done eating, we will all help to clear the table and I will load the dishwasher and finish cleaning up while the dad and the boys play or read together. When I am done cleaning up, I will likely go to my room for a short break and will probably read more about homeschooling options. (I am taking a look at Singapore Math and considering buying some of their books that are very popular and are going out of print soon.)

Soon it will be time to start getting the boys ready for bed (around 7:30 to 7:45 pm). They will pick out their pajamas and go to the bathroom and we will help change them. The dad will brush their teeth while I close the blinds and clean up a little. They will kiss and hug the dad goodnight, since tonight is my turn to put them to bed. We will go upstairs and they will each pick out a book to read. We will sit in the chair together and I will read the two books they picked out and then we will read two stories from their Bible. After that, we will say prayers, get a small sip of a drink and then go to the bathroom one last time before climbing into bed. I will give them each a big kiss and bear hug and then I will sit in the chair and read, while they start settling down and fall asleep. Around 9:00pm I will head back downstairs to get myself ready for bed.

So, that's pretty much it. That's what we are doing today at the Pisarik house, just in case you were wondering. Ben is asleep now so I am going to go downstairs and make a couple of phone calls. Hope you are having a great day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

I tend to write about things of which I have taken pictures but I have not uploaded the pictures to my laptop yet so the pictures come later. This is another one of those. Pictures to catch up with the posts and a few fresh ones from this morning.

I think it was Thursday that we had a play-in-the-sink day. The boys had a blast. We normally save that activity for when our babysitter comes but it has been so long that I decided to surprise them with a special event.
Nick making bubbles with soap in a sponge.
Ben thought that looked like fun so he did it too.
And here is the behind-the-scenes picture, so you can see how we keep the water from getting all over the floor. Actually, they both do a pretty good job of keeping it in the sink these days. I have heard the boys say 'actually' at the start of a sentence a few times lately. Very cute. The other day, one of them said about the dad "he's a really nice fellow", or something close to that.
And here is Nick, pretending to be the leader of the band, as he also plays the cymbals. Don't you just love his band leader's hat?

Here is a picture of the very old barn that I mentioned in the last post. The back half of the shorter building in the forefront was where my grandfather used to milk cows. I'm not sure what he used the front half of the building for back then. When I was little, they stored saddles and feed in there. The taller portion of the barn, just behind the building in the forefront is where the haylofts are and, just behind that, the shorter part is where my grandfather used to store things like his lawn mower and a bunch of other stuff.This is the inside, where grandpa used to milk the cows. There would be feed in the long trough with the slatted boards just in front of it. The cows would stick their head between the slats to get the feed and someone would move the slat into a position where the cow could not pull her head back out. Then they did the milking by hand. I think that little ditch that runs across the room was just below where the back end of the cow would be, so they could just hose the cow poop down the ditch and out the back door when they were finished. Aren't you glad I included that bit:).This picture shows the ladder going up the wall where we used to climb up on top of the hay. That little door next to the ladder would be block completely by hay so the only way in was up. We had so much fun climbing around on the hay back then.Here is the old potato cellar (on the left) and the old tool shed (on the right). Grandpa was forever going in and out of the tool shed, when he was working around the farm. The old house used to sit just in front of these two buildings. Us kids spent many hours playing around the house, playing hide-n-seek, climbing the trees, trying to tame the wild kittens and just running around after grandpa. I wish I had a picture of the old house. I will have to go through all of my old pictures and see if I can find one to scan in and keep. The front room of the old house was once a little cabin all by itself and it had been added to over the years.
This is the house that my grandparents built before they tore down their old house. They used to enjoy sitting in that blue two-seater slider swing thing and watch the great grandkids play in the yard.
And, last but not least, here are a couple of pics from this morning.
"I found one!"
Checking out the stickers in my egg.
We like Easter candy!
Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11, 2009 Part 2

Today and yesterday were chalk full of busy-ness for us. Yesterday we took a drive up to see my family. First we went to my sister's house and saw her, my mom and my niece and nephew. The boys had a fun time and we all had lunch together. After that, we drove around the area where they live for a while looking at the various neighborhoods. N fell asleep for a little while and B sang songs.

After our drive, we went to my dad's house. Actually, first we went to my grandmother's house because I wanted to take some pictures of the old barn where my cousins and siblings and I used to play on rainy days when we were kids. It is a very old, rickety barn now and looks as if it could fall apart at any minute. That's why I wanted to get pictures of it before it falls down or someone knocks it down. My husband told me to be careful because he was afraid it might fall in on me.

A very long time ago, my grandfather used to milk cows in that barn. It has a couple of very tall rooms that they used as hay lofts and that's primarily where we played, climbing over the hay. Back then, those rooms seemed soooo big. Yesterday they seemed rather small but still very tall.

I also took a couple of pictures of the old tool shed and the potato cellar. The entrance to the cellar was once inside of a large screened-in back porch, which was attached to a very old house, and the tool shed was just behind the porch. The house and porch have now been torn down and I never got any pictures of it before that happened. It was a very old house that had a lot of great memories in it. A new house was built near by and it is not so new anymore. I took pictures of it too, just to have them. It was the first time I had been over there since my grandmother passed away a while back.

I saw a lady at Sam's Club earlier this week who looked so much like my grandmother. It made me long for my grandmother so much and also remember such sweet things about her. Brought a few tears to my eyes, then, and again now. Oh how I miss her.

Anyway, sorry for the side track. After the picture taking, we went to my dad's house and visited with Papa and Mimi for a while. One of my brothers came by and brought us a power washer that we wanted to borrow. Then we headed back home and got home just in time for dinner.

Today I went to the used home school curriculum store and looked around a bit at a couple of things I have been considering for future use. Later in the day, we all went to the store and bought two sets of training wheels and two helmets for the boys. When we got home, the dad put the training wheels on the bikes while I put some chicken and squash on the grill. After we ate, we colored some eggs. It was the first time we have done this with the boys and I would say it was not a stellar event. We were out of vinegar so we used the method which does pastel colors and it did not work as well as I would have liked. But the boys had fun and we can let them put on the stickers tomorrow. We will hide Easter eggs tomorrow after nap, although we will likely have to do it indoors as it is suppose to rain.

The boys are asleep now, earlier than normal. They took a shorter than normal nap today because the power washer woke up Nicl, who then woke up Ben. I have to go do some ironing for church tomorrow:).
Happy Easter!

April 11, 2009

I promised pictures of my little project of recovering the little stools, so here they are:

Here is one of the stools with the old fabric. I had already cut it loose so the fabric looks looser than it did normally. I wish I knew how old these little stools are. They have to be at least 45 years old or more, possibly even 50.
This is the layer of material under the fabric. Each can has been individually covered with this material and then one piece was fitted over the top. (I didn't do this part. It was already there.) It is holding all of the cans together.
Here is what it looks like underneath.
This is the new fabric I am using to recover them. I used wax paper to trace the top of the stool and then cut out a pattern.
I used a straight piece of fabric for the sides, hemmed it and then sewed it by hand to the top piece.
Then I used the same kind of thick thread that had been previously used to hold the fabric in place. Here is a picture of the underneath again.
I have one finished and the other one just started. I have cut out the fabric and now need to start sewing again. I know if I had a sewing machine and knew what I was doing this would take about 5 minutes. It takes a bit longer by hand:). I do end up with a nice feeling of accomplishment though. Oh what a change has taken place in my life. This project is oh so different than the kind of projects I did when I was working outside the home:). (I have still never missed my old job though!)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April 8, 2009

Nick: "Mommy, do you like my camp fire? I build it myself."

There is a road on the other side of the fence behind our house. There is a little hole in the fence. Every time a loud vehicle drives by, Nick makes a wild dash to the fence to peek through the little hole and see what it is.

Both boys are enjoying the beautiful sunny day, driving their little cars around and parking them, pretending to go somewhere and come back, getting out and pretending to go in to a store. They have vivid imagination these days.

Nick still sings all the time. At church Bible study, one of the ladies says one of the boys was sitting by himself, while others played, with a book in his hands, singing his little heart out. I'm sure it was Nick. He sings constantly. More often than not, he can think of a song to sing and he sings many different songs that we listen to while driving the car. If he can't think of one, or if he just feels like it, he makes one up. In this case, the words may not be understandable.

He was singing "I've got peace like a river", while they were banging on the pots and pans, which was anything but peaceful. I'm sure it was music to our Lord's ears though.
Ben is having a "ta daaaa" moment, as he finishes up a special piece:).
They both talk about Jesus and God a lot. Ben just ran in to the garage where I am sitting, singing 'and the rains came down and the floods came up' over and over again.

Everything is in bloom here now. The trees are getting their leaves, the Japanese Maple trees are a beautiful, deep red. The dogwood is striking against the large trees hugging in around them. The red bud trees, which are really purple (still can't figure this one out; whoever named them must have been color blind), are still in bloom, although some are starting to turn green. The forsythia has already bloomed and is quickly turning green. My azealas are just getting ready to bloom. They are covered with buds that are so very close to bursting open; a few around the bottom have already bloomed. I have pointed out all of the beautiful blooming bushes and trees to the boys so much that they are now pointing them out to me.

Now Nick is making letters with sticks. He is good at H and A:). Now both boys are making various shapes out of sticks on the garage floor. I asked Nick what he was making and he said "Jesus". Hmmmm. What an imagination. We are all happy to be outside today. I think...I really think that THIS time, the cold is finally over and we will have warmer weather going forward. We'll see but I am going to put the coats away again and hope for the best.

The boys are still taking naps these days, although now, they are consistently napping in big boy underwear. They have been doing this for at least a week or maybe two now and neither of them have had an accident yet. They will still wait too long to run to the bathroom at times, especially Nick, and end up making a mess, but this is happening less and less frequently as the days go by. Overall, they are really doing terrific. They only wear pull ups at night time now. Ben is waking up with a dry pull up most of the time and Nick does at times also, so we are almost there.

 Here is Ben eating a slice of apple into the shape of an animal.
Here it is. I think he said it was a dog. Not bad eh?Nicl is very proud of himself because he spread the cream cheese on his toast all by himself. He did a pretty good job for an almost 3.5 year old.
And here is Ben in action, spreading the cream cheese on his toast. They are both doing very well with this and they also spread peanut butter on crackers for snack sometimes.
I feel like my little boys are becoming big boys so quickly that I don't even recognize or know them at times. I can't keep up. They are changing so quickly. They can do so much for themselves these days and they are such big helpers.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April 4, 2009

Well, with spring comes all of the garage sales again:). We have been wanting to get the boys a small bike so last night I looked on Craig's List and found one that was in a garage sale today for $15. The lady held it for us and we went to get it this morning. It is a bit bigger than I had intended but I think it will do. Then, on our way home, we stopped by another place and found one exactly like I had in mind, a bit smaller than the first, for $12 and it was in perfect condition (the first one had couple of small torn places on the seat but was otherwise fine). So two little boy bikes for $27 and no tax. Not bad;). I love to get a great deal.

The wind is really crazy here today. When we were on our way back home, I said to the husband that I have a very low tolerance for wind. He said "I noticed". Part of the problem was that I was not dressed warmly enough. It looks like it would be very warm outside and it is really not too bad but, with the wind, I could have used a heavier jacket.

In other news, potty training is going great. Yesterday the boys even wore their big-boy underwear when they took their nap and they both stayed dry. I think we have only had one accident in three or four days now. I am hopeful that the current package of pull ups will be our last ones to purchase. Regardless, we are definitely going through them very very slowly these days, which is great.

Well, I don't really have much to say today. Isn't that a surprise. We are just hanging out. The dad is doing some touch up painting around the house. I have been working on some of my little projects. I finished erasing the pencil marks in two maze books that the boys really enjoyed and I thought they could do again. I also finished sewing a new cover for one of two little stools. I think I mentioned this once before. They are made out of tall cans and one of my great aunt's made them back when my brothers were just little tykes. All the kids have used them so much that they are looking pretty ratty and the material that covers them is falling apart. I will post some before and after pictures soon. I still have to recover the second one.

The other thing we did this week is the boys and I had a fun day with papier mache. I cut some shapes out of a cardboard box (square, circle, star, rectangle, triangle) and I also made a ball and a giraffe. It was the first time I have ever done this and I really enjoyed it. The boys had fun too, although I ended up finishing some of what they started, which is to be expected for 3 year olds. We have not painted them yet but we will have a fun day of painting sometime soon.

That's it. Not much other news. Hope you are having a fun Saturday. I will post pics soon.