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Sunday, July 30, 2006


I'm not crazy about spiders or anything, but I just wanted to share a few things that we have recently gotten to see.
While at our Sunday School party last weekend, I saw this huge spider hanging in its web VERY close to the pool. The couple who lived there told us that the spider, or one like it, is there every summer. They know that it isn't poisonous, so they let it stay. I asked them if I could catch a cricket and put it in the web so that we could watch the spider capture it. That's what we did....twice. It was AMAZING. We called the kids over so they could watch the spider spin it's web around the cricket to capture it. I can't believe how fast it happened. One minute the cricket was moving around and then, within seconds, it was paralyzed and wrapped in web. What an amazing thing to get to observe!

This week, Jeff brought home another surprise for us to see....a Black Widow spider! I have never seen one alive. It was scary to be that near a live one knowing how much damage it could do. We froze it so the kids could get a close look at it. I wanted them to know what it looked like so that if they ever see one they will know what it is. Hopefully, that won't happen!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Reunion at the Lake

We had our family reunion for Jeff's mom's side of the family this past weekend. We spent 2 nights at the lake with many of our Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Jeff and I took the boat and tube as well as all of our fishing gear. I loved watching the kids play with their cousins who they only get to see a couple of times a year. They all got along so well. I enjoyed playing with the kids as well as relaxing...reading and sitting out in the sun. The kids are at a wonderful age that allows Jeff and I to enjoy ourselves as well as spend time with them. They are still easily entertained, yet, I can walk away and leave them to play without me as well. My MIL has always told me that around the years of 7-12 were some of the funnest years for her with her boys. I now know what she was talking about. I would love to freeze time right now.

We hated to leave when we did, but had to get back for church and a Sunday School party on Sunday. We enjoyed the party so much. Everyone had their children there for swimming and outside fun followed by a fish fry. I enjoyed the fellowship with the other families so much. I'm so glad that we have changed churches. I feel more at home at this church than I have anywhere in a long time. It is good to feel like we are where we belong.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A History Lesson

Madison has taken after me in the fact that she is very interested in 19th century history. Like me, she loves looking at pictures and hearing about other eras before that as well, but really enjoys this particular century. She checked out a book from the library on the fashions of past centuries. She had a friend over for the night, and they got this book out and decided to pretend to be girls during that time. They asked me to get them a mirror so they could do their faces with makeup. They even wanted to know if girls during that time liked their faces dark or light. I told them that everyone preferred to be pale. Tanned skin indicated having to work out in the sun, therefore, pale skin was an indicator of wealth. After they had their faces done, I found them some dresses of mine that would be long on them. After they had them on, they wanted me to pin them as tight as I could at the waist to mimic the corsets worn during that time. Then, we did their hair up on the top of their heads. They looked really good :). Even when I took their pictures, they were trying to mimic the way the girls looked in the book...no smiles. In one picture, Madison was trying to stand in the contorted way that some of the corsets made the girls look...haha. When they were finished, I made dance cards for them with little pens attached. I explained that when a girl/woman went to a dance, the men had to sign her card so that she could remember in what order she promised dances to them. They had a good time pretending to go to the dance. It was all great fun and a wonderful hands on History lesson. The greatest thing is that they initiated it themselves!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Christmas in July

I'm having the greatest time ordering and receiving the kids' school books. I wonder if it is as exciting for other homeschool moms when the books come in.
It has been a very long task...deciding on curriculum and finding the books. I still have some to order, but have most of it in already. I've been working on the yearly lesson plans for each of them. Once this is done, I will be ready to start. To me, this is the hardest part. Once I have everything down on paper, it is just a matter of doing it. It has been a lot of work, but I enjoy organizing things. It has been fun to watch it all come together. I hope I have made all the right choices.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Eat, Sleep and Play

My sister and three of her children came to spend a couple of days with us. As always, it was so great to be with all of them. I love hanging out with Vicki while all of our children buzz around us. No, we don't get a lot of alone time when we are together, but it doesn't matter. Part of the joy is being with her kids....getting to know who they have become since the last time we were together. These are precious times, and I'm glad that I realize that now...while we are in the middle of them. It's always so hard to see them go when our visit is over. I would love for them to live next door, but then again, I might not be worth much to the rest of my family. I'm afraid Vicki and I would have a hard time living that close together and not hanging out every day. We weren't able to do it growing up...we wouldn't be able to do it now!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fishing Fun

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Independence Day

We had a relaxing, fun Independence Day. Jeff grilled hamburgers while we popped some fireworks. We watched some movies that Jeff rented for the day and just hung out. That night we took the kids to the river to see the firework display. We took our towels and sat out on the levee with everyone else. We have never taken the kids to see a firework show like this, so it was exciting to watch them when it started. I knew that they had never seen fireworks that big. The display lasted for 15 minutes...really nice. On Wednesday, I found some cookies in the refrigerator that I had intended on baking with the kids on the 4th, but forgot. We made them yesterday. They were fun to make and yummy!!
Jeff and I really tried to make the kids understand the significance of the day. They understood that it was America's birthday, but we wanted them to understand why. We want them to realize and be thankful that we enjoy freedom that not everyone in the world does. Many men have died so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have. I don't want them to ever take it for granted!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kid Meal Toys/Junk or Treasure?

I got out of the bed this morning with one goal in mind...to clean out the toy boxes and get control of all the things that my children insist that they can not live without. As I dumped each one of the toy boxes out, I was faced with the same dilemma over and over. What should I do with all of the kid meal toys? I already have two comforter bags full of them, and with my children only 10, 8 and 7, I can see many more years of bringing these little treasures of fast food home. While other moms admit that these are the first things that they throw away when they clean up, I am just not able to throw them away. Though I have never been much of a collector, I just can not seem to part with these toys. When I look at them, I do not see just junk. For most of the toys, I can think back to the day that we got them and remember how happy they made my children. I remember one or the other of my children carrying different ones of them around for days at a time before they finally tossed them into the toy box and shifted their attention to the next thing. As I emptied each box out, I made a pile of the kid meal toys and watched my children get excited all over again as they began to go through them. My trash bag began to fill up with other toys that were broken, missing pieces or just not played with, but the kid meal toys remained in their pile. As I tied the trash bag up to carry it to the trash, I stopped in my sons room and pulled out the bottom drawer of his dresser. There laid an empty comforter bag waiting to be used for that special something that caused it to be placed there instead of the trash. I grabbed it from the drawer and, after dumping the bag of unfortunate toys into the garbage, headed back to the playroom. I scooped up the kid meal toys and filled the bag with them. My last thought before I threw them into the closet, along with the other bags that were already there, was not that they were getting out of control. Instead, I was already thinking about finding another bag that would be big enough to hold the next pile of treasures that I would pull from those toy boxes the next time I woke up determined to weed out the junk.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

One Year Ago

I can't believe that it has been a year since we took our trip to Colorado. It seems like yesterday that we went, but our lives have changed so much since then. I would love to take the trip again. There was so much that we wanted to see and do, but didn't have the time. I know that we'll go back one day. Jeff wants to go in the winter to ski...just the two of us. It has been a long time since we took a trip alone. He also wants to take the kids in the winter when they are a little older.
Our vacation this year will be very different. We are taking the kids back to Disney World...yippee!!! We have decided that we will also go to Universal Studios this time. It will be a different experience than last year. It doesn't really matter, though, where we go. What is important is getting away from home and routine and spending time with each other. I always feel closer to Jeff and the kids after vacation. That's the greatest thing that I get from it.