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Friday, March 31, 2006


We are having a great time watching Carter play baseball (pitching machine). He has only had scrimmage games, but they have been so fun. Carter is so happy to get to play catcher. He has taken to it as if he were born behind the plate. Jeff and I are so proud of him!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Madison

Our firstborn.
She became every dream that I ever had as a little girl. She was the baby that I dreamed of as I played with my dolls.
Having her placed in my arms was better than all of the Christmas gifts that I had ever received… all bundled up into one.
When I first looked into Madison’s eyes I knew that I would never be the same again.
And so I became a Mother…her Mother.
From the time Madison’s personality began to blossom, I knew that she was a leader.
She is not afraid to speak her mind, however, I watch her struggle between the need to do so and the desire to spare other’s feelings.
She has such a sweet heart. She will give you the shirt off of her back if you want it. She loves to please.
When I am sick, she turns my bed down and insists that I rest.
She knows when I need that.
If I am giving up the last bit of food so that others can have it, she knows.
She will insist that she isn’t hungry.
Madison loves babies and children of all ages. She finds opportunities to surround herself with them because she loves them.
Madison is creative. Give her anything and she will create something out of it.
She loves music.
She loves to perform for others
She loves people.
Madison does not easily learn by merely sitting in front of books. She learns by doing, feeling, seeing, experiencing.
Anything outside our front door is her playground. She doesn’t need a playmate….she has always been capable of creating her own.
But she is the happiest when surrounded by people.
Not everyone knows how to take the things that Madison loves and use them to her benefit.
By homeschooling her, I have been able to explore ways to teach her that brings out the self confidence that she first demonstrated as a baby.
Madison will learn what she needs in life by living it....exploring it….creating it…..sharing it. She will teach me far more than she could ever learn from me. She will be a teacher to many…..and she will enjoy it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Carter

I am so tempted to tell you about Carter by comparing how he is different than or the same as Patrick. I won’t, however, do this as Carter is a unique child and deserves much more than a mere comparison to someone else.
Carter is a typical, if there is such a thing as typical, youngest child. When I found myself pregnant with him, with a 4 month old and a two year old already to care for, I was so scared. When the realization of what was to come had finally set in, I told Jeff that this may be the very child that brings us the most joy. I cannot say that any of my children make me happier or are loved more than the other, but I can say that Carter is the one who finds joy in most any situation. He does, therefore, bring me much joy.
Carter has always been very adventurous, trying new things and refusing to learn from his mistakes. He is the one that initiated me into emergency rooms and stitches. When he was less than two, I found him on the top shelf in his closet! I have no idea how he got there. He will still try anything new without much reservation.
He laughs a lot. It is so fun to do things for him because he just enjoys life. He amazes me over and over how he can find joy in the most simple things.
Carter is the one who will sit at the table and wait for me to finish eating so he can put my plate away. If he sees me cleaning a mess up, he will stop to help me. He always has a hug for me and anyone else who shows him kindness. He has yet to reach the stage where he needs to show himself independent from me. He is uninhibited and seems almost unaware of relationships between people in the sense that he doesn’t seem to care what others think of him. By this, I mean that he has yet to reach the point that he has to present himself in any way to anyone so as to appear more mature or “cool”. He just lives for the moment and you like him or you don’t. He makes me so happy…how I wish I were more like him. I was watching him tonight as we were playing a game and wondering how he is going to grow into a little man without losing the essence of who he is. I pray life will not change him too much.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Patrick

When he was born I cried. I cried because he was my second and I feared that I could never love another as I loved my Madison.
I was wrong.
I cried when Patrick was four months old and I found myself pregnant with Carter. I feared that I did not have enough of "me" left to do it again.
I was wrong.
As if Patrick knew that he would not be the baby for long, he matured. It is hard for me to even think back on Patrick as a baby. Before he was barely a year old, he was talking to us all. By the time Carter arrived, Patrick was "big brother material." He has filled those shoes well.
His heart is big.
It is easily broken.
Carter has been good for Patrick. He brings out the rough little boy in Patrick that sometimes hides behind his need to think...to understand...to figure out.
Patrick gives himself fully to the things and the people that he loves. He is not ashamed of affection, though he does not give it freely.
When he gives it, it is sincere.
He is trusting.
He is forgiving when that trust is abused.
Patrick believes in dreams. He dreams big. To him, anything is possible for him if he wants it bad enough. It is still hard to figure out the things that he wants and why he wants them. He is not driven by the things that a lot of little boys are driven by. This is okay. More important, Patrick is okay with it.
I appreciate Patrick because of who he is. I learn from him. I try to teach him and find myself learning. His emotions run so deep, yet can be brought to the surface in an instant. He is passionate. He is strong.
I pray that Patrick will always be surrounded by people who love him. I pray that they will never fail to show him this love, to reassure him and appreciate him. Sometimes I feel that, in him, I have been given a responsibility that is bigger than I am capable of. Now, I have been given the opportunity to give Patrick the one thing that he loves the most...knowledge. I am so thankful that God has given me the privledge of teaching Patrick, and I pray that I will live up to this responsibility in a way that Patrick will one day be able to look back and be proud of.

Monday, March 20, 2006

We Are Finished!

We finally finished putting down the flooring. I also got the painting done before we moved everything back into the living room. I am pleased with the color. I was sad to see Jeff go back to work this morning. I was really wishing that he could have one day home to rest after all of the work that he did. Also, I miss having him here after all of the time we spent together...listening to our music and working.
It is back to school for the kids today. It was good for us to have a week off. We are getting a bit of a late start, but it doesn't matter. It is rainy out and we have nowhere to go. That's a big change from the busy weekend we just came out of!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Out With the Old....In With the New!

We are finally getting wood flooring for our living room and foyer. Jeff took off of work Thursday and Friday to install it. He has always impressed me with the tasks that he takes on. I am the type who is willing to pay extra to have someone to just come in and do it, but not Jeff. It doesn't matter if he has never done it before, he will learn it. I am so glad that the boys have this role model to learn from. My dad is the same type of person and I always knew that I wanted to marry someone with that trait. I just respect that so much in a man. I guess I shouldn't talk of Jeff being a role model to only the boys, as Madison is the one who has helped him the most. She put her kneepads on and got to work. We have given each of them an opportunity to help him. I wanted this to be something that we could say that we came together as a family and did.
We are almost finished laying the flooring. It is BEAUTIFUL. I love it so much. Tomorrow, Jeff will finish all of the edges while I paint the living room. Since we have been wanting to change the color anyway, we decided to get it done while the furniture is out of there.
Needless to say, there has been no school for the kids this week. There was no way to do it with everything going on, however, this has been a good experience for them.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sand Art

Jeff found the greatest little art project for the kids. I thought is was precious that he went out and bought it. He said that they do it often with their patients at work, and he thought the kids would enjoy it. He was right. They loved it.
The project is sand art. Parts of the picture are peeled back to reveal sticky areas to sprinkle with colored sand. It makes a beautiful, neat picture when completed. Patrick isn't very into crafts and hasn't done his yet, but Madison and Carter did all of theirs. I will certainly be buying some more!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

You Don't Have to Leave Town!

We had a great time with the kids this weekend. Friday night, we stayed at a hotel here in town so the kids could swim. They have been begging us to get our pool ready, but it just isn't time, so we did this for them. Saturday morning, we took them to the mall to eat. We also let them climb the big rock there. Carter and Madison made it to the top of the "hard" side for the first time. Patrick has a little trouble with the whole rock climbing thing, but still enjoys it! We ended up staying in the mall for over 4 hours...just playing and shopping. It was a neat day. I always feel closer to all of them after we do something together like this. It makes me look forward to vacation later this month!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Louisiana Culture

We have been studying "culture" this week in Social Studies. I wrote down ten different areas that a state can possess different cultural characteristics. We studied them as they pertained to Louisiana and branched out to other states for comparisons. We discussed how, even in one state, many different cultures can be found. This was easy for them to see when we compared North Louisiana to South Louisiana.
Today, I gave them each a poster board and let them make "Louisiana Culture" posters. They divided their pictures and objects into the different categories...food, music, festivals, recreation, emblems, etc. We all had a good time doing it, and the posters turned out great!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Time for Exercise

My children have always been good about playing outside. Madison and Carter could stay out there all day long, and Patrick loves to jump on the trampoline. However, Patrick also loves to be inside. Well, he has been telling me that his tummy is getting fat...hahaha.....and he wants more exercise. It is a BIG deal for him to suggest this. He has gained a LOT of weight this winter.
Exercise is no problem in the summer because the kids STAY in the pool. I'm glad that it is warming up enough for them to get out more. Yesterday morning, we all put on our roller blades...yes, even me....and went for a walk. I am ashamed to say that we were worn out by the time we got home. Even so, Patrick said that he wanted to do it again the next day. I will get up and walk every morning if they want to. It makes me so happy to see Patrick wanting to get out. And hey, it can't hurt for me to get a little exercise either!!!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006


I bought the kids some Color Wonder finger paint. It is so cool. It looks clear in the container and on your finger, but when you put in on the Color Wonder paper, you can see it. The kids loved it. Even Patrick, who doesn't enjoy art very much, sat with the others to do it. Josh, the neighbor, painted a page as well.
Patrick and I also made little bars of soap with a kit that I bought for him. It was a good night for Patrick to have enjoyed two craft projects. He loved watching the soap melt in the pot and then form fun little shapes in the molds. It wasn't the best smelling stuff, but that was irrelevant to him :).
It was a fun night!