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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Campout Birthday Party

We had a great time at the campout party on Friday night! We had nine children here from 6:00 Friday evening until 8:00 Saturday morning. All but one of the children made it for the entire night.

First, we went on a hayride to a friend's house to feed his animals. I made each one of the children a little bag of bread to feed to them. Our friend, Mr. David, also let each one of the children pick a pumpkin to throw over the fence for the animals to eat. The kids were so excited to see and feed the different animals.
After the hayride, the kids opened their party bags. I tied all of their little prizes up in bandannas and tied them to a stick. I gave each one of them a flashlight, glowstick, trailmix, gummy insect, and a drinking thermos. After they opened their bandannas, they were able to use the little sticks to roast their weiners and marshmallows for hotdogs and smores. I played some games with them and gave out prizes. They played flashlight tag and a cool game with balloons. Then, Jeff brought his guitar out to the campfire and played for the kids while they sang. I couldn't believe how many of them wanted to sing. We also did some fun impersonations and told jokes. I hadn't planned any of this for the party, but it ended up being my favorite part. Our neighbors, Cathy and Ron, were there with us as well. They were a lot of help! I loved the feeling of all of us sitting around the campfire having fun and laughing. The kids loved to listen to Jeff play his guitar and were so great about taking turns talking and singing.

Finally, around 10:30, we went inside to open gifts and eat cake. I couldn't believe that the boys didn't ask to open their gifts before then. I guess they were having so much fun that they forgot about them. I made the boys separate cakes this year. I let each one of them pick out the plastic bugs that he wanted on his cake. I usually do one cake with each set of candles on opposite sides, so they enjoyed having their own this year. They received some nice gifts and plenty of money to spend at Toys R Us later!

We made it out to the tent around 11:30. We told progressive stories...each child added his part to the story when it was his turn....and made shadow animals on the tent wall. Most everyone went to sleep around 1:00, but some of us stayed up and played games until 2:00. It didn't get really cold until around 3:00 that morning, but everyone wanted to stay out. We got up Saturday morning and had donuts and orange juice before the kids left around 8:00. All of the kids kept talking about how fun they had at the party. Patrick asked me if he could have another birthday party this year :). I had such a good time with this campout. Hearing the kids talk about how fun it was made all of the work so worthwhile. I'm so glad that I was able to do it for the boys.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my two sisters, and their families. We gathered at my sister's house for a day of food, fellowship, and fun. I was so pleased that everyone was able to be there! What a great feeling to stand in a room before a meal surrounded by only people who mean more to you than anything else in the world...family. God has truly blessed us all!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The kids and I had a great time today playing and enjoying time with friends. Patrick got invited to spend the day with one of his best friends, Tristin. I took him to Tristin's house this morning and picked up a friend for Carter. I called Madison's friend, Kaitlyn, to come and spend the day here. Then, our neighbor, Josh, came over as well as Caiden, my nephew. The amazing thing about the four boys is that they spent most of the day playing outdoors and with toys when they were inside. For some reason, they weren't drawn to the game systems today. I loved listening to them laughing and playing outside with Madison and her friend. They rode the 4 wheeler, played on the tree swing, chased each other, created awesome things with the Tinker Toys, etc. Madison and Kaitlyn did arts & crafts, played outside, and made some homemade chocolate candy. It was an awesome day. I took Carter's friend home and picked Patrick up from Tristin's around 6:00. When I took Kaitlyn home, they asked Madison to stay the night. Josh, our neighbor, stayed and played until bedtime.Today reminded me of the great summer days filled with kids and time outside. I love to see my children surrounded by friends, especially since so many people assume that homeschoolers aren't socialized enough. That is just not true for my children. I truly feel that they have more time to socialize and make friends than they ever did while in the school system. I will always see to it that our home is a fun place to be, and that all of my kids' friends feel welcome here. I want them all to enjoy, not only my children, but their home as well!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Meteor Shower

I hope everyone got a chance to experience the "shooting stars" last night! It was very cold here and tempting to not sit out in the yard, but on our way to Jeff's mom's to pick up the kids last night, Jeff and I saw a beautiful meteor shooting across the sky. That was it...all I needed to motivate myself. I just knew that I wanted the kids to experience it. I didn't know if they would join me, but they all did. The neighbor also came over with her son. We took our chairs, blankets and sleeping bags and settled in out there for about 1 1/2 hours. There would be a period of time when we thought we wouldn't see any more, then they would be there...shooting different directions. Some were bigger than the others, but they were all beautiful to me. I told the kids that we could sit out there all night on another night and not see one....we saw over 20 last night!
Afterwards, we warmed ourselves up with hot chocolate. It was a perfect way to end an awesome night.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Feet

I took our kids to see Happy Feet yesterday for Patrick's birthday. While it was a precious little movie that made us laugh alot, it was very sexually oriented from the very first! Now, I don't beat movies to death because I know that there is adult humor and innuendos in all kid movies, but this one seemed worse. At one point, one of the penguins sang, "Let's talk about X, baby." He might as well said sex. On another part a female penguin said, "You want some of this tonight?" It was disturbing. A lot of the show is about mating seasons and stuff, which I know that is normal part of life, but the spin on it was disturbing. Four or five females hanging on a popular male and walking off out of site talking about the season...such and such. "Come on baby, do you want to go make and egg." Really, too much of it was put right out there on the kids' level. I just really don't know what to think of it. It was such a cute movie....they could have done without all of that.

Patrick is 9 Years Old!

Happy Birthday Patrick!! Where did the year go? It seems like just yesterday that I was wishing my 8 year old a happy birthday. For that matter, where did the past 9 years go? Nine years ago, Patrick was little more than an hour old. I was still trying to comprehend the fact that I had a son...a precious son that I had no idea that I wanted so much until they placed him in my arms. Though I thought that I couldn't love him any more than I did at that moment, I fell in love with him more each day...and continue to every year I spend with him.
I took Patrick, Madison, Carter, Jayden(their cousin), and Josh to the movies to see "Happy Feet" this afternoon. Afterwards, we played games in the theater arcade for a while then went for frosties. Tonight, we had the grandparents and a couple of cousins over for cake then let Patrick open his gifts. He is spending tonight with his cousin next door. When I hugged him bye he told me, "Thanks for making my birthday fun." I hugged him a little tighter and knew that there was no amount of fun that I could give him that could have truly been enough for what he has given me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cowboys & Indians

We had "Cowboy & Indian" night at AWANAS on Sunday. Luckily, I had a lot of cowboy and Indian stuff from school and birthday parties. It was fun to dress the kids up and see how others were dressed. I thought it was good timing with Thanksgiving approaching. It was a fun night!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Great Visit

We had a fun visit with the grandparents this past weekend. My dad works on the pipeline and has been away working for over 6 months. I was so excited to receive a call from him on Friday saying that he was home and wanted us to come spend Saturday with him and my stepmom. The kids love it there. They have so much room to run and play and new horses to see.
My stepmom let Madison make the bananna pudding for dinner. She was so excited to be able to do it on her own and serve it to everyone.

I didn't think that my sister and her family were going to be able to join us, so I was very happy when Vicki and two of her children showed up. It was so great to be able to spend time with everyone again. I hate it when my dad and Lyn are gone for such a long time. They still live in the same house that I grew up in, so visiting with them will always be like going home to me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jello Cell

Today we made an animal cell out of jello and candy. The finished product wasn't very pretty to look at, but we had a fun time making it. The kids had an even funner time eating it!! We were lucky to do the project right after Halloween because we had plenty of candy to choose from for the cell parts. The jello was the cytoplasm of the cell, and different candy pieces stood for the different organelles in the cell. Tomorrow, I will have them make a poster of the cell with all of its parts labeled, as well as what candy pieces we used for each part. I hope it will help them remember what they learned.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween 2006

We didn't skip school for Halloween, but I planned some fun things for the kids to do afterwards. I baked some cupcakes and let them decorate them with "spiders" made from tootsie rolls and decorating icing. They enjoyed making them!

Afterwards, I got out the Halloween foam shapes and let them decorate their trick or treat bags. Our neighbor, Josh came over to help us with the cupcakes and to decorate his bag. I love seeing the different things that they come up with.Next, I gave them each a goodie bag with Halloween prizes in it. I got each one of them a glow necklace and a glow bracelet to wear trick or treating.

Then, it was dress up time :).We went to Jeff's brother's to trick or treat with him and his family. It was a great place to trick or treat, and the weather was beautiful. We had a really great time with them.