Beautiful Life





Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Day At The Park




















Yes, there are other things we could talk about. But, those things are as cute!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can I get a stamp?

I'd like a stamp on this project.
Un-Extreme Home Makeover: Phase III, Part3

Stamp this one
COMPLETE!
Because this mess....


is now organized!


Ahhhhh! Doesn't that look nice? I have a wonderful husband that is so talented at making stuff like this. And, the best part, unlike the 5 year bunk beds he made for the boys this project only took two weekends!

I can finally check a project off the list. This one is complete. The girls are loving their new room and love sleeping in the bunk beds! And, now that all the white furniture is in there, the colors don't look so loud. That makes me happy! The only thing I will still do, is hang some pictures on the walls. But, I'm going to call it complete thankyouverymuch!
The Girl's Room


I love the matching curtains!

The beds look so sweet!

Especially with little girls in them!

Lovin' her big girl bed.

I can't believe that my little Isabel is big enough to sleep on the top of a bunk bed. Wasn't I changing her diapers just the other day? Where does the time go???

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Weekender

Because I know you never tire of seeing pictures of my cute kids, I thought I'd share a few shots from our recent weekend away. Paul and I have been blessed to have close relations with some of his extended family. You know, aunts, uncles and cousins. So our children have Great Aunts and Great Uncles and loads of extra cousins to love up on them! The weekend away was to honor Paul's cousin, Shawn. She recently ran off to went to Hawaii and got married! Not that any of us were sore about being denied the opportunity to witness this union or anything. *sigh*

All kidding aside, we were very happy get the chance to meet the newest member of the family a few weekends ago when they came to Florida. Aunts, Uncles and cousins came from miles away to wish the happy couple well.....and to, you know, get a look at the new guy! Who, incidentally is named.....Shaun. Shawn and Shaun. What are the chances? Now they need to have a son and name him Sean! Okay, that is not really funny. Anyway...



The happy couple on the beach.

Well, I guess this is a better shot!


And we enjoyed hanging out. I love to travel with my family!





Goofball here thinks she needs goggles to hang out at the beach!


The boys had a blast with a little cousin





They really love to run!

But, I did manage to get them to sit still for a minute.


Emma and Claire are the same age, but Claire doesn't really understand how to play with kids her age so they just kinda played near each other....and sometimes, not near each other!


Isabel loves sand! Has always loved sand. When I would take her to the beach as a baby, she would lay in the sand and roll until it was stuck to every inch of her. And, by the time I got her home, it was in every crack and crevice! I'm not a sand phobic, like Paul, but she's extreme when it comes to sand, even for me!

A cutie cousin, Jacob
I didn't take nearly enough pictures. And many of the ones I took didn't come out well. I'm still trying to figure this camera out. In many ways, it is much better than my last point-and-shoot and in other ways it doesn't do as well. I don't know what to think.
I guess I'll just have to sweet talk Paul into that digital SLR I have my eye on. *wink, wink*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to the Books!

All across the country, bleary eyed and excited children have dawned their “first day of school” outfits and backpacks to trod out and begin again, or in some cases, for the first time, a new school year. Moms like me, wait in car lines, drop their cargo and then hurry home to try to get something done before they get back in the car line! I know this is happening because I have a Facebook account, people. I don’t think there is a school system in the continental US that has not already had it’s first day….at least not that my friends live near!

But, we homeschool and I set our schedule, so today was our first day. I wanted it to be Monday, but I was sick on my "teacher workdays" last week…..so it was postponed. That would be the beauty, and the curse of homeschooling. Beauty that I have the freedom to postpone as needed, the curse is that I don’t know for sure when we will finish….when it’s done, that’s when. When we have fulfilled our 180 day requirement. Right now, my calendar says it will be June 7th. Here’s hoping!

And, for all the money I had to spend on curriculum, at least I don't have to take my kids shopping for new school clothes. I know some of you enjoy that. I'd rather buy books! They can do their school in pajamas for all I care. I do actually buy them clothes people! I just don't care to run through the malls two weeks before school starts to try to find deals on all the hottest, latest, greatest craze in fashion! That's all I'm sayin'! Isabel dances to the beat of her own drum anyway, as was evidenced by what she wore to Drama class this afternoon....not kidding. Mini skirt, short leggings, shirt and tennis shoes (all coordinated in pinks), BLUE fingerless gloves and a silver biker hat...cocked to the side.....Beat.Of.Her.Own.Drum. Wish I'd taken a picture.

This year I have two 7th grade boys, one 3rd grade girl and my little preschool princess to deal with! I also have a new laptop with some pretty snazzy software that is taking a whole bunch of time to figure out. I hope it will make my life easier, but that remains to be seen at the moment! If all goes according to plan, the software will keep track of my lesson plans and the kids assignments and spit out agendas and report cards for me! Hmmmmm. We shall see.

The great part about the laptop is that it’s mobile! You knew that didn’t you? Well, that is the great part! What does it mean for you and me? Well, duh! That I might actually get to update this blog a little more often than I have lately! For example, I am sitting in my van right now. Well, not now that you are reading this….but, I was when I wrote this! On my way to take the Drama Queen to her drama classes, I grabbed my new toy and here I sit, while she…..ummmmm, impresses her new acting coach with her stage presence. And, I am writing a post. I know! It’s a fabulous development in our relationship!

Okay, moving on! Our first day of school was eventful. And, not because it was loaded with learning. Nope. Well, of course it was loaded with learning, that just isn't the reason it was eventful. That's all I'm sayin'! It was just full of events. First I had to have Claire at the dentist at 7:45am. Have I mentioned how much I just love getting up before 7 o’clock? Have I? And, have I mentioned that while the dentist is a mere 10 minutes from our house, it takes 30 to get there in the morning! So, it was a great morning. Up before the sun and traffic!

How did the dentist appointment go, you ask? Oh, peachy. Lets see, the Demerol that knocked her out last year, did not this year. She was still wide awake when they decided they needed to begin. And, she was none too happy to be strapped down to a chair! I stayed by her and held her hand, which seemed to calm her a little, but she is just too curious now. Every time the dentist did anything she would holler, “What is that?”, “What is he doing?” Holler! And she wanted no part of having a gas mask over her nose! She finally calmed enough that he could do a few x-rays, so I left the room. By the time I got back, she was blissfully asleep…..for the time being. She managed to wake up before he finished the work and there she is, mouth held open with clamps, huge pink gas mask covering her nose, tools sticking out of her mouth…..I can only imagine what she thought when she woke up! It couldn't have been good because she started screaming “MOMMY”. Thank goodness I’m a calm woman. I have a feeling my friend Rina would have knocked the dentist in the floor and snatched the child up, tools flying, chair uprooted! I calmly walked over and took her hand…..unfortunately, this made it worse. We had flailing and kicking, and in restraints no less!

Now, don’t go thinking that these people don’t know what they are doing. Last year, two similar procedures went off without a hitch. And they really were trying. The hygienist/helper lady was talking softly to her, and for his part, the dentist was trying to get out of her mouth as fast as he possibly could! When it was over, she was fine. A little shell shocked, but fine. The bad news. He only got half of it done and we get to go back next week and have the other half done!

We managed to get home in time to make “first day of school” cookies. Can’t have the first day without “first day” cookies. Right? Just a little tradition my mother started when I was in school….you know, a few years ago. Claire helped and we called that pre-school. So, she had a fieldtrip and a project in one day! The others got tons done without me and some done with me after cookies. Then I loaded the Queen in her chariot and here we are at the place where Drama is made….as if we need some more! Ahem.

And in other news, the elusive college kid is back. I can’t prove it because I didn’t get a picture of her yet, but she’s back in town, and she's been here, and she will come back. When she does, my camera and I will be ready.

Yeah, so I don't have any cute pictures of my kids all clean and cute and sporting new backpacks, waiting by the door to head to school......

But, I managed to get this one of Noah doing his math at the computer.....at least he's clean!


And, these of Claire making the "first day" cookies!





Boy were they yummy!









The End!
1 down, 179 to go!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How much can you handle?

'Cause there is a whole lota cuteness uploaded here!


Scroll down to the bottom there,
and mute that music because you will want to hear,
as well as see the miracle that is Claire.

A year ago, this child was still up to her thighs in hot pink casts, courtesy of Dr. Dobbs and the Shrinners Hospital of St. Louis. In October, having never taken an independent step in her almost three years of life, she put her first, "corrected foot" forward with the help of a two foot high walker......and there has been no stopping her since!

Today, 10 months and hours of hard work later, she leaves her walker behind!

video

Upon meeting our "Determinator", her therapist declared, "one day she will just let go and take off" and she did!

video

There is a doctor in Guangzhou, China. If you go there for a Visa medical, you may run into him. He may even look at your child, as he did at ours, and question if you are sure you want that child..... especially if your child has "deformed" feet....to go with the 6 inch scar across her back....that clearly indicates, if only to him, that she will not walk. "Do you know your child's feet are deformed?" the translator asked us as the doctor looks to us for confirmation that we understand. "Yes." we say. "You understand that she can not walk?" We nod. We understand what you think. We know what our God can do though!

video

And just to take it over the top for you, have a conversation with Miss Sassafras....because she is ALL that and a bag of chips!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Had to brag.

I wish I felt well enough to blog about the wonderful weekend we had down in Florida. But, that would require uploading photos. And, quite frankly, I haven't got the energy to upload a photo. Not even one.

Truthfully, I am on my laptop.....in my bed.....where I have been for 48 hours. And, I don't have any photos on this computer even if I did what to upload them here.

And, I haven't got the pluck to get on my desk top computer where the pictures are.

We had a wonderful weekend. Take my word for it.

Please.

Aside from trying to weed through the 137 emails delivered to my in-box between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, I have only had the stamina to read blogs and deal with my Facebook addiction today.

At some point in time, I managed to contract a nasty little stomach virus that has me sicker than I've been since November of 2000. Yes, I get sick so infrequently that I know the date of the last time I was sick. Sad, I know.

Anyway, my sweet husband has been playing nurse and working from home and taking care of our kiddos since I woke him at 6am on Monday asking for ginger ale and crackers. I don't remember much else of Monday. Except, I might have sent him to take Claire to the dentist, only for him to find that Claire's dentist appointment is next week. Oops.

At least today I'm coherent. Just not active.

I woke the husband this morning around 8am to remind him that Claire had therapy at 8:30. "Are you sure?" he asks. Now, why would he question me? Oh, yeah. That whole dentist thing.

And, even though I don't have the pep to post a picture, I had to brag about said therapy session.

Though my head is a little swimmy right now, from sitting up for so long, I HAD TO BRAG.

Ms. Denise hasn't been here in two weeks. She took an extended vacation from therapy to spend time with her kids before school started for them. So, she had not seen the leaps and bounds progress that our Claire has made recently. She was blown away this morning!

I wish I had video I could post.....but, then I need....you know, the energy to post it.

So, I'll just have to tell you about her. She is walking like no body's business, y'all. She walks up and down halls and across rooms. She can start and stop right in the middle! This is a big deal, because when she started walking she always had so much forward momentum that she couldn't stop until she either got there or fell over forward! SHE CAN MAKE TURNS WHILE WALKING! I'm not even kidding here!

After our vacation this summer, I quit taking her walker everywhere we went and instead just let her walk with our hands or would let go and tell her to go to it on her own. She wasn't crazy about that at first, but it has worked wonders for her not to have that walker as a crutch. She still falls a good bit, but not nearly as much as before and she has so much more control.

Ms. Denise said that she now has to redo Miss Claire's entire therapy goals sheet and exercise plan, because in just two weeks so much had changed. She also said that she doesn't need therapy every week any more. It's like a graduation of sorts!

So, I had to brag!

I can't wait to post a video.

Just as soon as I can find some get-up-and-go juice.

And, guys keep us in your prayers. I don't need my whole family coming down with this crud!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder....

About these kids of mine.





They really are intelligent.
I promise.

I think.


But, they do have their moments.



Moments that leave me scratching my head.


And, wondering whose genes these are?



Because, I never cooked with my goggles on!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What you've all been waiting for...

No, we haven't finished the kitchen yet.

No, we aren't adopting again.......yet.


But, after much paint flingin'....





Un-Extreme Home Makeover: Phase III, Part 2

Whew!


Even the boys got roped into helping!


They were thrilled with this opportunity.
Can't you just see it on their faces.

We finished the girls room and furniture!
Then the boys ran down to get the bunk beds....some assembly required.
Of course.




Claire supervised!

'Cause she was the only one that could read the directions, you know!


And, I pretty much let the kids put the beds together.

That's safe, right?


Right?

RIGHT?

RIGHT?


Say right!

Because, they totally did put it together themselves!



Awwww, isn't that sweet looking!



It's very fresh looking and....ummmm, colorful!

But, then you all know that Isabel is a colorful kinda girl.

Remember Our Own Personal Rainbow? Remember?
Yeah. Colorful.

So


We have

a finished project!

Well.....
(insert sound of screeching halt)

almost.
Daddy has spent the last two weekends
building a beautiful bookcase,
on which most of this junk pile will be organized.
One day I will have a finished project in this house.
One day.