Thursday, July 31, 2008

A new blog.....


Like we don't have enough going on we started a new blog. It's a blog for our business Great Doggie Doos. We thought this would be fun for our customers, and us too. So, I did the first post tonight with a slide show. If, your interested to see what a typical day in doggie daycare looks like go check out the slide show. You can see how our older kids spend some their time, it's truly a family business. If, you have any questions about what we do feel free to ask.
Elizabeth & Cookie (our dog)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going Bananas....

Often times I feel like I'm going bananas. Those times seem to be the worst when my house isn't in order, like right now....I should be cleaning NOT writing a post. Oh' well the mess will still be there in a few minutes when I'm done. I just wanted to share James' banana story.

James loves monkeys, they are his favorite animal. As, much as he loves monkeys he also loves bananas. He likes all fresh fruits and veggies very much and, isn't picky at all. By far though bananas are the top on his list. One night he ate 3 bananas with his dinner(we were having breakfast foods for dinner), and then he ask for a fourth. I said NO!That's NOT the norm to give him that many, I was just a tired Moma that night. Arthur and the girls were out of town. So, at times I call James "Monkey Boy". When I said he likes fresh fruits this means, the banana must be all yellow with no brown spots. That's where the story/conversation with James comes in. I was giving him a banana with his breakfast and here's how it went.....

Me: James would you like a banana?
James: yes, Mam
Me: OK (then I hide so he doesn't see it's a little brown, and then I cut out a spot)
Me: Here you go.
James: (He looks at the banana) Moma it's damaged! LOOK!
Me: It's OK James.
James: NO, Moma! It's really damaged....LOOK!
Me: James it's fine.
James: NO, they sold you a damaged banana!
Me: James it's fine just eat it.
James: NO, Moma. We need to take it back.
Me: Sigh....James I cut a bad spot out of it, it's fine now just eat it.
James: You are trying to feed me a bad banana, are you the one who damaged it?
Me: No, James.
James: I don't think I can eat it.
Me: Then give it to William, he will.
James: I can't give William a bad damaged banana.
Me: UGH!!!! Than just throw it away.

James did trash the banana. I'm sure he wonders now if I feed him damaged fruit and veggies all the time. Got a love a kid who will eat all his fresh fruit and veggies(raw or cooked).

Monday, July 28, 2008

She's back....

Amanda left Saturday the 18th and went on 9 day trip. She took in many sights on the trip, each day held a new destination on her adventure. She traveled with Grandma Charlotte(Arthur's step mother) on the Knoxville Tours, and met many new friends. She met a special friend on the bus named Andrew, who like Jonathan has down syndrome. He was traveling with his family, too. The main stay on the tour was the Cape Cod area. They also enjoyed Martha's Vineyard, Manhattan, Gettysburg, and more. This wasn't Amanda's first bus tour, she and Rebekah went 2 yrs. ago to New York with Grandma Charlotte and Grammy(my Mom). She seemed to like this trip the most, I guess because of her love for history. I'll let you know when Amanda writes about her trip on her blog. Writing about her trip will fit right into her school work, and she can post some pictures of her trip, too. I was VERY happy to get her back home, the house wasn't the same without her!

Happy Anniversay



"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man
separate." Matthew 19: 5-6


Our anniversary was yesterday. I'm thankful for my
wonderful husband and to be married to my best friend.
I look forward to many more years together.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A day trip to Atlanta....

Friday morning my friend Deanna and I are heading to Atlanta for the day. We are going to attend a homeschool fair. I bought most of the curriculum I needed at the large fair that was held the first weekend in May. Each year 5 or 6 ladies and I attend that fair, also held in Atlanta. We leave for the May fair on a Thursday and stay until Saturday evening.That weekend is filled with lots of looking, buying, and mom talk. The fair I'm going to tomorrow Arthur, Wesley, and I attended last year for the first time. It was our anniversary so we made a weekend out of it. The thing that's so different from this fair and the one in May is the speakers. It seems most of the speakers are parents who have been there and done that, not there just to sell something. There's not a lot of hustle and bustle, it's low key. This year I'm just going for the day and with a friend....and very much looking forward to the reprieve. Even after 8 years of homeschooling, I like to hear what others are doing and how they teach. None of our children have the same learning style, and you can learn so much from listening to others. So, Monday we start school back, I'll let you know how it goes......this year I add another student Stephen. Now I'm up to teaching 7 kids, thankful Arthur and the girls are a BIG help. I'm thankful we live in a country that it's legal to teach our own children from home. If you wonder what we feel are the most important things to teach, here it goes in order 1 and 2 being the most important. You may not agree and that's ok, that's why God blessed each one of us with our own children to love, teach, and train.

1. To teach our children about God and His Word
2. Christ like character
3. Formal education

An education is a wonderful thing and it's a must to live in this world, but......"When the end time comes and we meet the Creator face to face what will matter the most"?

Train up a child in the way he should go,and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Time for clean up!




This was the end product of our hard work, everything back as it should be! We all seem to function better this way.


BEFORE
Out of Elizabeth's mouth "it's time to clean up when the baby can't find his toys"! Yesterday was the day for the big toy clean up. The toys are in our family/playroom. For some time we have had most the toys separated into storage containers. These are mainly the toys with small or many pieces. The larger toys like trucks, balls,books, and Wesley's baby toys are out at all times. The boys have to what we call check out a storage box of toys. Then we
inspect to see all the other toys have been put away, they are able to get out another box of toys. With summer, not much structure, and a Moma who hasn't been at the top of her game for the past few weeks, the toys were taking over. We put Wesley down for his nap and set off on our mission. With the cleaning efforts of Jonathan, James, Stephen, William, and myself we were done in a 3 hours....thankful for Wesley's long naps. As my kids like to say it could have been done faster if we didn't have to clean it Momas way....which I like to remind them is the right way. We had 2 trash bags full when we were done, with toys that had missing/ broken pieces, and a few for Goodwill. Elizabeth vacuumed really well and now we are back on track. Wesley was thrilled after his nap to see the room in order and his toys in their resting spot. I'm hoping to start school back full swing on Monday and I needed to get things in order. With 11 people in one house keeping things in order is a must....or is it a must for Momas sanity and peace?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SWAP!


We have a new addiction at our house, the card game SWAP! It's so much fun, and you can have up to 10 players. It says ages 7 and up, but Stephen is 5 and can play it....really he just keeps us laughing with wanting to change cards! The game is very fast paced, and never dull. We highly recommend this as a family/friend game. Word of warning: if you are very competitive this may NOT be the game for you. See just when things are looking good and going your way you may have to SWAP your cards, and it's like a whole new game! We purchased this at Target or Wal-Mart can't remember cause we've had it since Christmas, but Elizabeth just opened it over the weekend. I can't count how many rounds we've played since then, even letting James and Stephen stay up past their bedtime to play.....looking forward to tonight :)
Tip: I would purchase 2 decks!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Laundry in the summer!




I love laundry in the summer time. A few months ago I did a post about LAUNDRY and that I enjoy it. As you can see I like to hang some of our laundry outside to dry.I do this for several reasons....like the way laundry dried in the sun smells. It also helps with the electric bill, by cutting back on the amount of times the dryer is ran. Last but not least it keeps the color of the clothes looking newer longer. I know this to be a fact, Wesley is wearing some of Madison's clothes. These are clothes that are 10 years old and have now been worn by all 6 of our boys. I'm thankful boys styles don't change like girls! If, you wonder what I do in the winter well, I hang the clothes on drying racks and hangers in the house. It makes for a messy look so I try to hang the clothes before bed at night, in hopes it will be dry by morning. Often times people ask us how can afford to have 9 kids. Most of the time we just let them know we try to be good stewards with what the LORD has given us.....even down to the clothes/laundry. I still like to be the one who washes the clothes and hangs them out to dry. Elizabeth and Amanda help fold the laundry. Rebekah helps gather the dry laundry and she now irons! She really enjoys ironing and what a wonderful blessing that is for me. I think Rebekah may have my gift of laundry...I still question is that a spiritual gift? LOL Everyone is responsible for putting his or her own laundry away. Well, today I've done 4 loads and still have some to go....from the week end, and with Arthur and Madison going to camp it's gotten me behind. So, off to more laundry :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Couldn't link it...

Sorry I tried to link you to the tooth fairy post from June, about James. I thought I had it but didn't, guess I'll be calling on my friend Christina to help me out. So, for now if you missed that post you can go back to June and read it.

The Tooth Fairy...on the 1st night!




The Tooth Fairy came to our house last night on the first try! Unlike the last time we needed her to come for James a few weeks ago. This time it was Jonathan's turn to place his teeth...yes 2 teeth under his pillow. Jonathan had to have 2 bottom teeth pulled yesterday, by the dentist. We have never been able to pull his teeth like the other kids. We will look and his new adult teeth will be coming in before the baby teeth are even loose. It would take Jonathan a lifetime to loose his teeth, the roots are always longer than the tooth it's self. Yesterdays teeth made his 7th and 8th to have to be pulled, and he may need 2 more in August. Having Jonathan's teeth pulled is like a cake walk, his pain tolerance is so high. Dr. Chad said yesterday that Jonathan is the best kid and acts like getting his teeth pulled is nothing. Yet Jonathan hates to get them cleaned go figure!? Anyway, they are going to keep a close eye on his teeth, to see how the new ones are coming in and if they have enough room. Jonathan's mouth is so small and his baby teeth were so crowded, it makes me concerned what his adult teeth/mouth will look like if we don't keep on top of it.

The tooth fairy left Jonathan 2 books...not sure it was a big hit!?! I'm thinking she'll choose to leave something different next time :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mr. Safety & Mr. Destruction

Mr. Safety (aka William) and his small buddy Mr. Destruction (aka Wesley) seem to hang out more and more lately. Mr. Safety loves to show Mr. Destruction how things work and what toys are most fun to play with. Mr. Safety also likes it when Mr. Destruction is in the playroom with the safety gate up, in his high chair, or in his stroller ....like in the picture. This way Mr. Safety can keep a better eye on what Mr. Destruction is getting into....which most of the time is anything "NOT nailed down"! Mr. Destruction looks sweet and innocent, yet what's under that sweet exterior is a Master of Disaster! He is into everything the only time he isn't is when he's asleep, thank you Lord for 3 to 4 hour naps each day! The whole disaster thing really seems to bother Mr. Safety who is very calm and easy going. So, he has taken on as his mission in life to make sure Mr. Destruction always has someone watching him with a close eye. This has it's good and bad, poor Mr. Safety never gets much of a break. This is what I hear all day long......

Mr. Safety...."Moma"
ME................"Yes, Buddy"
Mr.Safety...."Look at what YOUR son is doing"

Then the other day we were all outside in the back yard and this is what I hear from a far........

Mr. Safety....."Daddy"
Arthur....."What William"
Mr. Safety..."Look at what MOMA'S son is doing"

Ok, why is it he always must be MY son when he's into something for the millionth time that day? Well, I'm thankful Mr. Safety loves Mr. Destruction so much that he watches out for him. Just pray one day soon Mr. Destruction will catch on to some of Mr. Safety's ways and follow them.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've been on a journey....

For the last several weeks I've been on a journey. This journey is one of those you didn't sign up for or even know you were going on. You begin the journey and as the days go on you look around and nothing seems to be going as it should. I have been on many a journey like this over the years, spiritually speaking. You see I start off on top of the mountain, were I like to be sitting as close as I can with the Lord. In past I'd start my journey much like the one I've been on without knowing. As I'm taking this journey I take many turns, twists, and curves in the road, along with loads of bumps. At some point I look up and see that I'm descending down into the valley. Oh' I've been in the valley many times for many different things like cancer, Jonathan's birth, surgeries, death, finance, and sickness. Each part of the valley is so different and offers to give a new life lesson. While in the valley all I can do is cry out to the Lord, seek Him for strength and peace.

The other morning I awoke and went to Gods Word to seek that strength and peace. While reading I was asking God to give me a word from Him, I found none. Later that afternoon I sat in my laundry room floor with a mountain of laundry around me waiting to be folded. As, I sat there I began to speak to the Lord and ask Him why I found no peace from His word, and that I wanted to come back out of the valley in which I sat. At that moment God spoke to mt heart and gave me scripture. This wasn't just any scripture but a Psalm I had learned in 3rd grade in public school from a wonderful godly woman Mrs. Lyle. After all these years God was placing that scripture that I can still recite to this day in my heart.


The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in
green pastures;
He leads me beside the still
waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of
righteousness
For His name sake.
Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they
comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in
the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of
the Lord
Forever. Psalms 23


This did speak peace and comfort to my heart. Am I back on top of the mountain? NO! It took sometime to reach the valley, but God has given me what I needed while here so, now I'm on the long journey back out of the valley and to the top of the mountain. While sitting in the valley I've never ask God why, why not me. The valley isn't fun or enjoyable but the blessing you receive while there are a great reward. Looking back over time I've always been thankful for my valley experiences, because they have all brought me closer to my Lord and Savior.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July flash back


This was 4th of July 2006. Funny to see how the boys have a changed so much, in just 2 years. Look close and you will see there are only 5 boys, Wesley wasn't born until the next year.

Happy 4th of JULY

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Popsicles...where did they come from?

"Back in 1905, young Frank Epperson was outside on the porch,
enjoying a refreshing fruit-flavored soda.
But, it wasn't like the soda we know today.
In those days, you poured soda water powder in water,
stirred, and viola! Instant tasty drink.
So, Frank was enjoying his soda, and for whatever reason, didn't finish it,
and forgot to bring it with him when he went inside.
There it sat. On the porch. All night. With the stirring stick still in it.
That night brought record low temperatures,
and when he found his soda the next morning, the drink was frozen to the stick.
Boys will be boys, and instead of taking it inside to clean it up, he tasted it. It was good!
The story goes then that he took it to school to show his pals, and made them for his friends.
He called them Epsicles.
It didn't occur to him to patent his frozen treat until 1923, as he sold seven flavors of Epsicles at a lemonade stand at an amusement park in Oakland, California.
His patent was granted in 1924, and the name was changed to the familiar Popsicle we know today. (It seems his kids gave him the idea, as they were always asking for 'Pop's 'sicles.')
There are now over 30 different varieties and flavors of Popsicles,
and an estimated 3 million of these frozen treats are sold each year."

I got this nugget of information from Life in Our Quiver The Paul Family. They have 10 children and I enjoy keeping up with their family. They also have a recipe site, too.

As, you can see from the picture James is enjoying his cold treat. All of my children and Arthur LOVE popsicles. I'm sure tomorrow as we celebrate the 4th of July we will consume quite a few!





Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Praying for Miss Kennedy



We are praying for Miss Kennedy today. What an amazing Groovy little girl who has the spirit of a trooper. The Muncks love you and are praying for you and the Garcia Family.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where did June go ?



I sat here last night and wondered what happened to June? It seems it was gone as quick as it came. Then I got to thinking about how over the years June has taken on a whole new meaning for me in my life. I've always been fond of June knowing it's the month that brings on the warm weather and the official beginning of summer. After I met Arthur it held more meaning, it's his birthday month...yes "Birthday Month". Arthur's birthday is on the 3rd, and from the that day on he claims it his birthday month....he is a sweet tooth and loves cake, homemade ice cream, and of course DQ blizzards...Yum! We seem to have sweets more often in June than any time. After the birth of our first child Elizabeth it gave another reason for celebration Father's Day, Arthur's month continues. Then, this past June marked the anniversary of Arthur's LAST round of chemo June 2004, 4 years cancer free. So, I guess you can see why over time June has taken on so many wonderful meaning for me. I'm so very thankful that I have a wonderful husband born in June, we can celebrate that he is a fantastic father, and most of all that he is CANCER FREE and we pray daily he stays this way. I'll gladly call June "Arthur's Month" !

The picture of Arthur is from his birthday, and he is wearing his I survived the Chemo Monster shirt...how fitting!