Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nutcracker Revisited

Chris, Jacob, Daniel and Isaac backstage before the performance.
Bailey, Emily and Josephine before the performance.
After the show, milling around onstage.
More of the actors/dancers.
Just a few more....We LOVE Timbrel school of dance. Love the kids there, love the teachers. And for spring I do believe we will have 3 in theater dance and one in ballet. Next fall we will have some in hip hop, too, and when Jordan is old enough, he wants to do theater dance, too. It is a fabulous family oriented place, and Christian in nature. So glad we discovered them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Babysitter's Club

Opinion column:

People who know us, know that we are particular about the media we expose our family to. Well, last week when at the library, Emily chose a book from the Babysitter's Club series. I was unsure of the appropriateness, but agreed to let her check it out so I could preview it and decide if it was ok. Well, I noticed her reading a chapter so I got the book when she finished the first chapter. I was not happy with the content.
First, this is a series about 4 girls about age 12 who have a babysitting club. They take jobs for neighborhood people and inadvertently end up solving some mysteries that arise. Unfortunately the narrator, which is one of the girls, makes fun of the conservative way 2 of the girls dress (unstylish in plaid skirts and white tops), criticizes one for not wearing makeup (they are TWELVE---HELLO!!), criticizes one parent of a friend for being discriminating about what movies she can see (SHOCKING!), and complains that two of the friends are still babyish since they still play with toys instead of daydream about boys. And all this in the first chapter as she describes how her strict parents are horrible for making her complete her homework which she routinely blows off or does incompletely, and often gets in trouble at school over this matter.
Needless to say I gently told Emily that this book was not appropriate for anyone since it was teaching lust, and disrespect for parents, and immodest dress/makeup. She saw the elements I spoke to her about and agreed.

So that is my take on this series. Though I have only perused one book in this extensive series, it is clear that it will not be coming here again.

COMING SOON: book review and excerpts from a favorite preteen training book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. He and his brothers and parents have great books and a website that is very noteworthy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random December

Totally out of order, but I really could care less today. Here is the tree, glowing in it's splendor....
And this is a miniature gingerbread house that Emily made out of sculpey! How cute is that??!!
And this is the food we ate for Thanksgiving at my in-laws house--I would have taken a photo of the food at my parents' house but it wasn't all in one place. Makes ya hungry, doesn't it?
And this is Em and her cousin Alissa--after Thanksgiving dinner they (and Elizabeth) ran a pretend restaurant for the family. I don't recommend eating there as they charged some exorbitant prices!
This was a pretty day at the park. It was just us and Hope, so poor Jordan had no boys to play with. I felt sorry for him.
But he seemed quite happy most of the time. He brought guns just in case his friend Isaiah came.
This was the beautiful sunset on Thanksgiving Day.
Still at the park--messing with the pond. Still totally out of order!
Playing in the street (bad mothering) and jumping in leaves. Very fallish and fun!
One of the crepe myrtles turned a beautiful red. Had to photograph that!
And this is a tea party Emily planned and set up using a fabulous library book, that she would love to have a copy of for her birthday--hint, hint!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blondes Have More Fun?? Oh Really????

I think NOT! Brunettes are where it's at! At least that is what I think now that I am a brunette...ha ha ha!
Think I will keep the dark hair--I love it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life in Pictures

This was at our Halloween party. We opted for this instead of the door to door. Kids had hot dog roast, mnarshmallow roast, bobbed for apples and hunted candy. It was a big hit!
Still had plenty of kids (and adults!) ring the doorbell even when all lights were out, though. There needs to be a flyer put out citywide that says: Halloween Etiquette 101--Rule 1. If the lights are out do not approach house! Rule 2.No adults (or almost adults) are to get candy.
Maybe I'll make a yard sign next that's a thought!
This was my MIL's side of the family reunion at Cooper Lake. This shot was just too cute. Two little cousins sharing a coke! Adorable!
Birthdays in October on my side of the dad and grandma and a family friend. Emily baked a cake from scratch and decorated it herself. It was very tasty.
And this is Jordan after earning his Bobcat badge with cub scouts. Good job, buddy! He is such a cutie!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

I don't have the photos off my camera yet but hope to get them on the hard drive today. i also have pictures from our annual Morrow family reunion at cooper Lake. I hope those turned out well.

This year Halloween fell on Sunday and that is a major day of the week as we attend worship twice on Sundays. So we didn't want to come home and have to pass out candy and rush around so we decided to have a mini Halloween party at our house for a few families from church. It turned out very well. Emily was our party planner and did all the decorating. She even carved a pumpkin. We cooked hot dogs, had a HUGE candy hunt in the backyard, bobbed for apples, played hide and seek and roasted giant marshmallows over the fire pit. Some kids had costumes and some didn't but best of all we got to know a great family that has two kids. They have been going to church for a while but we haven't gotten to know them. They both work so they have little free time, but they had fun and we look forward to more gatherings with them. We also had fun with old friends. I think we all decided that this was a great way to spend the time together. And we plan to do it again next year!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


As my littlest grows older I find myself having a stronger and stronger desire for another child. I didn't think i would feel it, but it has been keeping me awake at night, in the middle of the night, often near tears, with longing. It is in my thoughts every time I see a baby or a toddler or a preschooler or when one of my kids comes to snuggle, no matter how old they are. It is so strong and will not go away. It is a heartbreaking physical feeling that I can't seem to shake. A very real ache for that soft little life to carry and train ( am I nuts?) just one more time. I found myself unexpectedly googling for cloth diapers, playpens, and a Moby today! And the kids keep asking more and more frequently, too. What is going on!?! They know how much a baby changes lives and the sacrifices that come with a new family member (all worth it of course, as they are the greatest blessing the Lord can give you apart from salvation).
But I just pray and pray about it and know that the Lord has a plan for us. Maybe it includes this desired child and maybe it doesn't. I will have to learn a very hard lesson in contentment if it doesn't come...I just wish I knew why the desire has grown so strong lately.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I am not sporty. This family is not really sporty. Ok, so we watch some Cowboy football and some Olympic gymnastics and swimming, but that is about the extent of it. We like to ride bikes and swim and sometimes hike, or throw balls around...and there are lots of larger homeschooling families who are just like us. YMCA sports are such a drain on family life that more than one kid involved would drive me insane so we have stuck to weekly classes. Anyway, our homeschool friend network decided we would like to get together occasionally for the kids to learn some simple sports for exercise and coordination and just fun. The above picture is from our first sports day where we had a big kickball game...that lasted almost 2 whole innings. But the kids had fun and want to try soccer next time, and maybe volleyball. They are all learning and getting there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Week in Fall

So here it is Monday again. Time is sailing by. Maybe one day I will find the time to sew up that dress I cut out last in 2009!
Anyway, lately I have been experimenting with curly hair. I think I like it. Must invest in some more curlers, though. I have also been trying to manage an October schedule. Lots oging on from scouts to family birthdays to reunions to friday school, to sports days, to lessons to homeschool, to clothing rotations to housework to church work---you get the idea. Lots going on. Not looking forward to halloween. Not a favorite holiday at all, and this year Jacob will be at a youth devo since it will be on a SUnday, and we will only have a very short time to trick or treat after services. And then there is the costume issue. I really am not into paying for costumes that will be worn for about an hour. We will see how cheaply we can get by, but on the other hand, my kids do tend to wear costumes in public, so maybe the investment, though tiny, will be ok.
The new van is fabulous! I really really really like it. Haven't made a payment yet, and that will likely cause the ooh ahh factor to drop a bit. Especially since I learned today that Emily has just 3 teeth left to lose before we begin ortho treatments--and all three teeth are loose! Man, the savings will never get built back up! But life happens doesn't it!
All kids are doing well and are relatively healthy. I think we are going to skip flu shots this year. We get the mist, but I am not a fan of having that H1N1 as part of the vaccine. i really don't trust it or think it is a big enough threat to innoculate, and I don't like being forced to get it in order to get a flu shot. We will take our chances. We will just keep up with our vitamins and try to stay healthy.
Well, i must go now. there is some online shopping to do for a very tall 12 year old who has grown several inches and needs some clearanced long sleeved shirts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ramblings of Young (actually Middle Aged) Woman

Sometimes I think I am just totally abnormal. Strange, quirky, eccentric, name it.

Sometimes I feel young and sometimes I feel old. Today i feel younger. My hair is all curled, I have minimal makeup, and am about to put in my contacts. Sometimes i look back and wish I was 27 again, about to give birth to my first child, and about to celebrate my 28th birthday. I want to get the opportunity to raise them again and relive those moments, just with the wisdom i have now instead of the ignorance I had then. Maybe I am having a midlife crisis. The crisis is that I am having a LOT of difficulty dealing with my kids growing up, and with me growing older. Time is so short with kids...and then there is the aging. It happens, but I don't like the rate at which it happens. I know I am nearing the end of childbearing years and that saddens me even though I probably won't have any more babies.. Notice I said probably ;) ! 40 used to seem fairly old to me--after all I was 18 when my mom turned 40. Now here I am at 40, and I think looking pretty good and I know I feel really good, but my oldest is barely 12. That is good. But I am still 40, and getting older, wiser than I was in the past, yet I still feel like a 20 year old inside. Weird.

I do not regret staying home with the kids. I definitely do not regret homeschooling and I pray that continues through graduation for all of them. I do not regret my choice of husband. I do not regret becoming a Christian. BUT, i do regret the time I wasted on useless stuff, and the times I could have played with the kids but chose to sew or quilt or talk to friends on the phone, and I regret the times I was an "in-your-face, my way is more righteous" kind of Christian. Those people are so hard to stomach--and I used to be one! Shame on me and I apologize to everyone I offended. I regret wasting money on useless material things, and not saving enough, and giving in to my sinful side. But the things of the past can't be changed, so onward I go, trying to be better each day, messing up along the way. With some grace it won't adversely affect my children ro my relationships. And hopefully my impact on the future will be bringing glory to God.
I like being behind the scenes, doing what I do, most days. I like who I am, most days. I love my life, most days. I guess I am sort of normal after all...whatever that means.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On to Other Things

So now we have a "new" van.
It is a 2009 Town and Country. We love it. But I am cheap so i detest making payments. Still, i got the lifetime full coverage warranty so it's not all bad. Put a huge chunk of savings down on it too, so no big vacation for a few years while we rebuild the savings. And what we were putting into savings is now going into the van payment so bye-bye to that cash.
But we have a safe vehicle that will take us into the next 10-15 years of life.
Now on to the bank to refinance the house. Maybe we can pay it off before we are 65, this way!
I pray this is considered good stewardship of our blessings.
I just really, really hate being in debt, other than the house.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

car shopping

van shopping actually--online. my van is a 1999 grand caravan and i love it, but it is starting to get cranky with me--you know--things like the power locks don't always work, or they work but only on a few doors, or the a/c cools a little, but to get full cooling you have to turn it all off, restart the van and then turn it on--very contrary, she we are looking at getting a 2008 or newer that we can put at least half the money down on and use the old van as a trade in---i want to have cheap payments so I can still put something into savings...but a new ride would be very sweet, and given my driving record I will likely keep the new van for at least 10 years!
we shall see.......................
I have found a 2009 town and country that I really love. hopefully we will be able to negotiate a great deal this week. And maybe we will also be able to get the house refinanced! Been praying about it, so whatever happens, is what is supposed to happen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Annie has Arrived!

What a week! Last Friday i got our copy of the Nutcracker Revisited dvd, and this Friday we will get both blue and yellow cast dvd's of Annie!!!!!

I cannot wait to view them. The great thing is that a friend's daughter will be here while her mom researches homeschooling, and the girl will get to see what we and our hs friends do, on dvd! Can't wait to pop some corn and have a great Friday evening!

But right now, i have some cinnamon roll dough that needs my attention before church time. Adios all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

I get lots of people asking for my recipe so tonight i decided to post it. Loosely. I made this up so all is approximate, but you will get the idea. Be bold. Experiment! Ready?? Here we go!
First I make the sauce. It consists of 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can of water, 1/2 cup sour cream, some cumin, a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning, and about 3/4 cup salsa. Mix well. Add 1 cup shredded cheese. Shred your own, please. That pre shredded stuff is coated with some nasty powdery junk. Notice my block of cheese. A lovely item! We buy 2 of these every month and sometimes run out....notice it says 5 pounds???? HA ha! it is a great value, though.
Then you will want to cook about 3 chicken breasts, or use half a boiled, deboned chicken, or what I did today was use 5 or 6 boneless thighs. I seasoned them with steak seasoning by Tex-Joy, and some cumin. Then I chopped them pretty finely with a big knife and mixed them with some shredded cheese, about 3/4 cup of cheese, I think. Looks pretty in the red bowl, don't ya think? I love that bowl.....

Then you use a spoonful or two in flour tortillas (great value brand are the softest) and start rolling and packing them in tightly--see the above out of order photo.
Roll them tightly......until the pan is full
Then pour on the sauce and spread to cover the enchiladas.
Then add more cheese to the top. Be generous, now! Then bake these babies for about 30 minutes in a 350 oven until nice and bubbly. I like to serve these with our favorite healthy side dish of tortilla chips and salsa! If I feel really energetic you might get a can of ranch style beans, too. Or some guacamole...but don't hold your breath for those.

They are great and we MIGHT have two left over after all 7 of us eat----maybe.

Oh and I should add, I do not like the smell or taste of sour cream and have NEVER eaten a chicken enchilada in a restaurant. But I like mine! Maybe you will too.....

In Other Random News......

It rained last week...I mean really rained...there was a hurricane named Hermine who came into Texas and literally flooded us. But we were oh so dry and needed it. And since it was not thundery or anything the kids played and soaked themselves. Ahh the joys of childhood!
Jordan has decided to be a cub scout so he went to cub fun day and learned archery and .......
BB shooting.
He really had fun. this kid has loved guns and bows and knives since he was born. This was right up his alley!
As we studied history we cam upon the Sumerians who were quite an advanced people. They even had flushing toilets and hot/cold water in homes! Amazing. they also had a 600 character written language called cuneiform. The kids did not choose to make cuneiform tablets for a project though. They went with lego versions of ziggurats (used for idol worship--lovely).
But the work was good. Jacob did a whole city. Emily did two ziggurats. Gotta love Lizzie's with the red flower on top! Good learning, too!
Since my eyes are so sensitive, I wear glasses more often than my contacts. So i figured, hey...if I buy online at Zenni and get cheaper stuff, I can change up my style a bit! That was fun! A glasses collection! Crazy, huh!?
Below you will see my indulgent Chinese Laundry flats. I am totally wearing them to the library today!!!!!!
But this last photo is why I didn't really NEED them. And this photo doesn't include the roller skates, 6 other sandals, 3 sneakers, 3 boots and 1 pair flip flops. I have issues with shoes.
So, I warned you...that was really random stuff. I am just shocked I got on the computer long enough to post it! So anyway, hope the Lord is blessing your day with love and peace!
Now, on to the chores......

Monday, September 13, 2010

BreakFast and Chinese Laundry

Well, I know I was supposed to be on a fast of spending for clothes, but i have broken it....shameful, i know...but i had to have undies!!! Then I realized my staple shoes for fall/winter are black patent ballet flats. They wore out last year so on clearance I bought a new pair for $8--different brand though, and they rub blisters on my heel. Can't wear them at all! Ugh!

So i have to go on Sunday to buys shoes for my two oldest bigfoot kids and find some great pewter flats by Chinese Laundry that felt FABULOUS on my feet, and were on sale! My gut told me to get them even though they weren't black--I mean how often do you find shoes that love your feet so much---not often, I tell ya! BUT I didn't listen to my cheap self, and went to payless and bought some black satin ballet slippers. They are cute but after extended wear my big toe hurts so today, i am going to get those Chinese Laundry shoes that fit like a dream. Then I promise I am done shopping---well, unless I need a pair of jeans for fall/winter......but then I will be done. Really. I promise. Seriously!

Confession over.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September is here!

Homeschool is going well.
Jordan is excited about scouts and Kimberly loves gynmnastics. Lizzie decided to give up on theater with Jacob and Emily so she could go back to gymnastics.
Unfortunately this afternoon Kimbelry fell off the bed (while playing with jordan--he pushed her, so I heard) and she cracked a bone in her wrist, and has to wear a splint for 4 weeks. No gymnasics for her. Plus it was her right hand...guess which had she draws with???????? And she draws, paints and uses playdough daily! Ought to be an interesting 4 weeks. She already had a meltdown because she couldn't change her shirt on her own. I'm preparing myself for the next few days until she gets used to the brace.

It has been raining a bunch here since hurricane Hermine blew in to Texas. Tons of tornado warnings, but at least the temps are cooler and the ground is wet.

Well, that was probably the most uninteresting blog post EVER, but it is just a quick update. Toodles.....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Week of School

Monday I arose early to don my classic jumper and put my hair in a nice bun before making a lovely breakfast at 6am. Then I woke the cheerful kids who promptly dressed and arrived for breakfast, and devotional, and began working on science right away.....

WHATEVER! (not that there is anything at all wrong about doing it the above way--it is just so not me!)

So back to what life really looks like this year........I did wake around 6:30 to make coffee and walk the dog (its our communal time) and then came in to wake the kids around 7:05. They were happy to drink some coffee -yes we feed them coffee, and they are fine, I promise- and watch some PBS until 8. Then it is tv off! They go to play and are called to a simple breakfast around 8:10. I had been doing some laundry, cooking and getting school lessons ready for little kids. We pray, eat, and read aloud from Family Pilgrims Progress, then clean up breakfast, make beds brush teeth and they are free until 8:45. Actually, most played, but Jacob was so excited about science he started that. We had devotional at 8:45, then at 9am Jacob and Emily worked on Language Arts, while I taught math and language arts to the three youngest. Then I called out spelling to the two oldest, finished some house stuff and set out food for supper. At 10:30 we exercised and did some PE (homeschool family fitness book). At 11 we came in for history all together, then had lunch and hung out enjoying life until 1pm. We all did chores and at 1:30 I read stories to the littler ones while the older ones did bible reading and math (normally it's Jacob's science time too, but he did that bright and early). We played games and watched videos and talked and built playhouses and went outside, and then at 3:30 we had drawing lessons. The littlest was worn out so she napped. At 4pm we headed to the library to search for stuff for our units, free reading books, videos, and did some coloring and played checkers. Headed home a bit after 5 to throw supper on the grill--yummy! Went swimming at 7 and came home for some light "homework" with dad before getting ready for bed and a new day. Of course, we had some rough spots during the day, like sibling arguments and refusal to eat food served, and throwing fits over not finding swim goggles, but mostly it was a fabulous day, and quite typical.
Oh, and I do NOT wear jumpers--mostly a skirt and t-shirt, or capris and tees--hair in clips or braids or headbands, and bare feet! We DO cook a lot from scratch. And we have a flexible school schedule, though it is regular, and a monthly menu plan, and weekly chore chart to keep life sane.

There, that was just a peek at a day in the life of this homeschooling family. All in good order.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

Oh, I could have added a thousand photos for this post, like sleeping kids, kids on bikes, kids in snow, kids in swings, kids swimming, kids at the beach......but I went with kids at the arboretum because we just went and it is always so beautiful there. (Well, the exception is the kids in the first photo which is actually at the sprayground playground)
Walking through the gardens is just a breathtaking experience. The kids even love going and seeing the flowers, the ponds, the fish, the gardens, and the waterfalls. Each season is magical at the arboretum.
And in summer there are gorgeous butterflies everywhere--this one was just inches from us. The theme was Peter Rabbit and they had the cutest displays. This butterfly had better watch out, though...he is in Mr. McGregor's garden!
This was taken in a section where all the Beatrix Potter characters had their own special house of foliage, fully decorated with mini yards and houses you could walk into. This was the main one.
The five most special children and loving together each day!
I love this picture. Purples are lovely, and so is Elizabeth, the most active and dramatic of the kids.
Jacob is growing up too fast. He is going to be a teenager next year...oh, so handsome and intelligent and creative.
Our little favorite 6 year old in the world, he is full of mischief and adventure every day.
Kimberly is a doll, so sweet and kind, yet fiercely independent.
And Emily, the most caring and generous of the kids, a helper in every way.

They are all such a blessing and they bless my life daily.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One Week to Go!

One week until we start "school". Are we ready? Of course :) Yesterday we had our co-op planning and the kids got enrolled in some great classes like phonics, cooking, politics, speech, martial arts, greece and rome, colonial america....and I get to teach Greece and Rome! I volunteered of course. My plan is to use the Drive Thru History dvd as a springboard, and supplement with a hands on kit from the Estes family stock. There will be lots of bible and biography study too--so exciting!

As for the homefront Kimberly will be learning through manipulatives alongside her siblings. Jordan is beginning to learn to read with Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and starting first grade math with Saxon. Elizabeth will use the same programs as him, just on a 2nd and 3rd grade level. She has also started Spelling Power. Emily is using the same literature and Spelling, but is moving into Teaching Textbooks for math. Jacob is using the same lit and spelling and math as Emily, but his is pre-algebra level. JAcob and EMily are also using a bible based writing lesson book from Institute for Excellence in Writing, and Writing Strands. The whole family will do KONOS unit studies and Mystery of History volume 1. Jacob, being middle school is taking Apologia general science, too. Late in the afternoon we will be using a variety of drawing and art and music curricula, and Rosetta Stone Spanish. The kids who read, will read the bible daily and the two oldest will have book studies in A Young Man/ A Young Woman After God's Own Heart. And we always have morning devo time with scripture memory, singing, bible and character training. And I do solemnly promise to do my best to keep up with read alouds this year!

For extracurricular, Kimberly plans to do homeschool gymnastics, Jordan wants to try scouts, and Jacob, Emily and Elizabeth will take musical theater classes. We may try some intramural sports with a different homeschool group, and some of their social activities. All but the two youngest will participate in LTC at church and Jacob will do some youth group stuff. We plan to visit the zoo, go to some plays, see the DSO, and who knows what else!

Sound busy?? It is, but it will be a great year of learning and growing together, and we will adjust where necessary.

Monday, August 9, 2010

making a change

It has been 5 years since I exercised regularly, so this morning I got back on that horse! Well, so to speak--I am SO NOT country. But i did get up at 6:30 to walk. It was great! I hope to make it a weekly habit. In the past 5 years I have had a new baby and taught some PE classes and worked out with my kids for PE, but nothing just for me. Workout speaking, that is. So here I go again. Forty is great!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Makes me Hungry!

So I am browsing my blog list and The Pioneer Woman has this giveaway for a FABULOUS LeCreuset dutch oven in PURPLE! It is SO COOL! So I enter the giveaway (but I will never win it....:( ) Keeping my fingers crossed...oh the stuff I could cook in that beauty!
Anyway, I am becoming addicted to her recipes....I mean, those sliders look awesome, and we are so making that cheesecake with blackberries! It's like Paula Deen, only cooler! And she is not far away either. Just in Oklahoma, and has a bunch of kids, and homeschools. She's on the top of my list for sure! Check her out if you haven't already. Ree rocks!
Well, I better clean up breakfast and get some topping on that Key Lime Pie I made this morning. Hope your day is blessed!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kimberly Turned FOUR!

This is her jungle cake she requested. She gets to keep the animals. As usual, all the kids helped bake and decorate it, and we had a fun mess!
She loved to hear everyone sing to her. What a classic Kimmie face!
She got a doll with stroller, playdough ice cream factory, matching game, treehouse playset, bracelets, bubblebath and fuzzy slippers, and some cash. She was very happy to have everyone come over and play.
And she requested a pinata. The kids always love that. Poor little pony, his head was severed! But he was delicious inside...
I just can't believe she is 4! Part of me would love another baby to raise, and part of me says, "you are not quite ready for that...look at all you have going on with these five...they need you." So if it is meant to happen the Lord will take care of that in His timing, because my timing is really not a good idea. But leaving the toddler years forever seems so horrible to me. But I suppose we all grow old and that time has to come......sigh.