Friday, August 28, 2009

Observations This Week.....

This week in the younger children's science unit study we were talking about observing an object. We studied about taking the time to observe how an object feels, smells, looks... is it shiny? Is it rough? Is it smooth? How big is it? What color is it? Yesterday we did a nature walk and made some observations.

I observed Jerusha looking at some Queen Ann's lace:

I observed Esther studying this purple weed:

I observed Elizabeth expending a great deal of energy pulling this maple seedling out of the ground:

I observed, from a safe distance, Caleb and Josiah watching this slug:

While we were outside I observed the broccoli needed cutting:

For Benjamin's science, we had a couple of lab experiments where we observed atomic activity:

The hot water made the blue dye spread faster because of the faster atomic activity than the cold water.

I also observed Benjamin tasting the cold water to see if the food coloring had any taste.

We also observed the effects of a chemical reaction where the gases from some boiled cabbage mixed with baking soda blew up this balloon.

This week I also observed Isaac trying to sit on his own:

I also observed that Isaac is now 22lbs, though I suspect that is from Mama's milk, and not the tag from the Boppy he is chewing on because of the 3, yup, that's right, 3 teeth I observed he is cutting.

I observed a recipe for sugarless banana oatmeal cookies online which I tested. I observed they were pretty good!

I observed that it has been a very good week, and that the Lord continues to bless us abundantly, for which I am grateful!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knitting project finished!

We have a prayer shawl type ministry at church called Fibers of Faith. We meet once a month, but of course work on the projects at other times as we can. I just finished this basket weave stitch shawl tonight! I think I will do a lap quilt next. However, I am still knitting, but on a Baby Surprise Jacket for Isaac. I'm only on about row 12, so I won't be ready to post for a little bit yet.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 24th...

Outside my window... It is very gray and cloudy, hopefully we'll get some rain! And thankfully, it is much, much cooler than it has been the last couple of weeks.

I am thinking... About everything I need to do to get things organized for the week.

I am thankful for... The computer and a printer... saves a lot of writing out by hand for me!

From the learning rooms...We are adding in the last of the subjects for the first semester this week. Up to a full schedule!

From the kitchen... It looks like a tornado went through. We jumped right into devotions and schoolwork after breakfast.

I am wearing... A sage green t-shirt, and matching printed 3-tier skirt.

I am creating... Spelling lists and printing up memory verses at the moment.

I am going... to a Fibers of Faith meeting tonight at church.

I am reading... Island of the Blue Dolphins out loud to the children. I finally finished a Tree Grows in Brooklyn!

I am hoping... I can think straight enough to get all the "brain work" done this morning that I need to do!

I am hearing... Isaac with the hiccups, Josiah practicing piano, and Jerusha telling me she finished the page I gave her to do.

Around the house... So much to do, and so little time! LOL... We have laundry going, children dispersed here and there doing schoolwork, and me trying to get stuff organized for the week.

One of my favorite things... Moments of quiet productiveness.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Nothing exciting... schoolwork, working on Jerusha's quilt, some knitting, and all the regular chores. I am also slowly trying to reorganize my binder, and get my routines reorganized. After two babies back to back, things have gotten a little askew over the last 2 and half years.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Camera Shy Sunflowers

For instructions and guidelines for the Simple Woman Daybook:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smile!... Or Not

Since Isaac was born, we have taken many, many digital pics of him. What parent wouldn't? I know I have posted many pics of him smiling, but you have no idea of how hard that is for me. And only me. It seems that when I get my camera in front of my face, he is Mr. Sobersides. Not scared, not upset, just all of a sudden serious. You remember those old photographs of 150 years ago, when people NEVER smiled in front of the camera? Apparently Isaac has the same philosophy, but only when Mama is trying to take a cute picture. Why do you think I have so many pictures of him sleeping? At least then he doesn't see me with the little gray box in front of my face which is a automatic signal to him to stop laughing, smiling, or doing whatever ingenious and supercute thing he was doing.

Here is a pic from January. He was only a few weeks old, and even though he hadn't mastered smiling yet, this look is the basis for 8 months of infancy habit.

This next one was in February, after he had mastered the art of the full-faced, intentional and responsive smile:

And a sample from March:

How about laughing and holding one of the girls' dolls? Nope. From Mr. Smileyface to Mr. Sobersides in less time than it takes for the guy behind to honk his horn after the light turns green when you are driving in Boston:

Oh I know, when Memere is here Isaac always puts on the "cuteness" factor for her. I whip out the camera and then its:

You see the obvious pattern here, right?

Skip forward to last night. We were sitting at supper, and Esther had him laughing and squealing. It was SO funny, and SO adorable! How could I not snap a picture. I snuck out, got the camera and turned it on without Isaac noticing... then just as the picture was taken I got this:

Okay, so I decided to wait for a couple minutes while Esther continued with her antics and made Isaac laugh, squeal, and wave arms and legs around. It was SO funny, and SO adorable. I quickly took a picture and just before the camera captured his image he changed from the laughing, squealing, arm waving bundle of joy to:

Elizabeth, the little twit, got her camera out and took a perfect picture of him laughing and squealing on the first try. Okay, since he is in the mood, and his attention is on Elizabeth with the little gray box in front of HER face, I quickly pointed my camera in his direction and just as the camera did its thing Isaac, in the twinkling of an eye, changed to:

Guess what???

Seriously, these are NOT all the same pics. They are each taken seperately off my camera and uploaded here.

It was time for Family devotions, and as Dale was using his one free arm like an Italian, Isaac thought that was funny. He wasn't laughing and squealing, but he had that wonderful full bodied smile that I can never resist. Guess what the camera was able to catch?

I tried again and again, even tried getting a video of more laughing, giggling, squealing and limb waving, but all I got was:

Ah well, sometimes I can catch him in a wonderful, contagious, face-splitting smile, and other times it ain't a-happening.

This next shot has nothing to do with above... just some tomatoes we picked that evening from the garden. That doesn't include the 8 or 9 I sliced to go with supper. There are a ton of green tomatoes out there still. I can't wait for them to ripen!

(BTW... the pic at the top of the post was taken by Memere while she was here, and uploaded to our computer. Pfffft. )

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is With the Shoes?

I finally broke down and went to the Flylady website after seeing a comment about someone commenting on facebook about having their sink shining, and shoes on.

What is with the shoes????

Flylady makes a big deal about wearing shoes.. not just any shoes, but lace up shoes. If you go here you can read about it.

I would like to humbly disagree with her reasonings. I am a big fan of NOT wearing shoes! I don't believe they do anything for me as far as wearing them in my house. My attitude does not change one iota. Now getting dressed.. that is a different story.

Flylady says:
The reason behind this duty was that you act different when you have clothes and shoes on. You are more professional. The customer can tell when you don't feel good about the way you look.

Definately. But my family aren't "customers". I am certainly not getting paid, or even tipped, unless I find change in the washer while doing laundry. My family members are not strangers I am selling goods or service to. What I do for them is a labor of love. I give of my time and energy and effort because I love them. I like to wear what is according to the day's chores. If I am deep cleaning and using bleach, no way I am dressing up for that. I have this malady that whenever I use anything with bleach in it I always get bleach spots on my cloths, even if I am wearing an apron. I'm not dressing up for that, sorry. Honestly, the kids don't care what I look like as long as they get fed. :)

She also states:

Putting shoes on your feet that lace up are better than slip-ons or sandals, because they are harder to take off. Instead of kicking your shoes off for a quick snooze on the couch, you actually have to go to a bit more trouble.

Well, call me lazy, but if I have a chance to lay down I am going to. Not that I do anymore, but my Dh has told me over and over again, don't be afraid to take a rest. Having 6 out of 7 kids homeschooling, the youngest being a baby, is wearing, and there is nothing wrong whatsoever with taking care of yourself!

Also in her article:
I see this problem more in the SAHM (Stay At Home Moms) because often they don't have to leave the house and it is not necessary to get dressed every morning

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Just kidding... that is SO not true! I am dressed every morning, unless I am sick or just given birth. I think this is a comment that is a little backhanded. I personally don't know of any SAHM's in real life that laze around in their pj's all day.


I don't want to hear, "Well I don't wear shoes in my house". Well you do now, sister! Buy or clean up a pair just for that reason. It's not going to be that you track in the dirt anyway. You are still boss and you can require your children to remove their shoes. What is the problem here? In most homes you have had trouble even finding the floor, much less keeping the carpet clean. Do you even know what color it is supposed to be? And when you vacuum once or twice a week the dirt goes away. Teach your children to not track in stuff. Have a mat outside the door for them to remove unwanted dirt and mud. I bet you have 10 pairs of shoes at the door right now. What does that do to your vacuuming schedule? Make the kids take their shoes outside to clean them up and then take the shoes to their rooms. If they had to pay for those expensive tennis shoes they would take better care of them.

Well, no I don't wear shoes in our house, nor do I allow the children to. For us, everyone wearing shoes in the house is a pain. It adds more dirt to our carpets. We already vacuum twice a week. I like clean floors, especially with Isaac rolling around everywhere. We have an area in the entranceway closet for putting shoes when they come in the house. And yes, they are supposed to wipe their feet coming in, but mats don't always do a good job. I prefer them in the closet, thankyouverymuch.

No, I'm not going to spend money on another pair of shoes that I don't want or need.

Our kids don't wear expensive shoes.. we get them at yard sales or Thrift stores.

Oh, and my carpet is a light brown color. :)

On the other hand... I love her little steps that she has listed for starting out. However, I have issue with the whole system, because it doesn't allow for nursing mothers, or homeschooling, as far as I can tell. She assumes the children "go to school". As any homeschooler knows, there is more to our days than shining up sinks, and wearing nice clothes, doing our hair, and wearing lace up shoes.

Okay.. enough of the soapbox. I'm going to walk over to the couch in my bare feet and take a nap.


My motto:

Cleaning and Scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up we learn to our sorrow,
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Schoolwork, Kitchen Work and Fun!

Whooohooo... watch out, this is a pic heavy entry!

Earlier this month we were blessed to have my mom, AKA "Memere", here for a visit.

She introduced Isaac to a new "toy". A water bottle! Don't worry, we made sure the cap was on super tight.

While Memere introduced Isaac to the joys of the water bottle, we introduced Memere to the joys of the Olive Garden. We were quite the spectacle with all of us gathered around a couple of tables pushed together.

We don't go out to the Olive Garden very often, but when we do I always enjoy looking at their beautiful and eclectic collection of plates.

After my mother's visit, it was back to business as usual. We were busy... we started school on the 10th! I am still tweaking the schedule, and though we have a very full schedule for the first semester, I am excited about what we will be up to. Benjamin is starting in a new science book, and did his first experiment on density.

The above picture is too dark to see all the layers properly. In a glass, he put in maple syrup, then water, then oil. Then he dropped a grape, a cork, a rock, and an ice cube in simultaneously. He had to observe where each object ended up suspended.

Our garden is still producing, and we spent the morning this past Monday doing ups some green beans and peppers.

Isaac is trying to sit on his own, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet. His older siblings are always willing to help him out.

Isaac has proved to be one of those babies that hates to nap. Esther seems to have the touch for getting him to sleep at times. I love this pic:

Still extremely humid here, though perhaps not as hot as it was. Next week looks much better!

Ya'll have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Growing Gardens

Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?

Well, my name isn't Mary, though sometimes I may be contrary. But my gardens are growing by the grace of God.

There are several different kinds of gardens. The first ones that come to mind may be vegetable gardens, or herb gardens, or flower gardens. Our flower garden is called the "Memorial Garden" because I have a plaque with a poem for Aaron on it. Right now the weeds are winning the battle, but the war isn't over yet. It has been all we can do to keep up with our big vegetable garden, which has it's own challenges between weeds, ant colonies, and a very bountiful crop of rocks.

This week we have been blessed with some of the bounty.

There are other gardens however in my life. Seven of them. Each garden has to be tenderly cultivated for that specific "crop". If you have ever read "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott, you may get what I am alluding to.

My children.

Each one is different from the other. They all have their specific personalities, and little idiosyncrasies, and interests, and strengths and weaknesses.

For example, last Friday, Elizabeth ( who is 11) wanted to buy a certain book with her money. She explained it to me. I happen to have a copy and offered to let her borrow it, but she wanted her own copy. I told her "yes" and we went to get it off the shelf. Here is a pic, with her choice, for a little light reading.

That's right.. the complete works of Shakespeare! The amazing part is, that she read some of the Merry Wives of Windsor Saturday morning before breakfast and was giggling over some of the comedy, and could explain what she read to me. Remember, she is 11!

I want each of my children to have a good work ethic, so I am always pleased at my helpers when we are all pitching in together to get a big job done.

Of course, the youngest member of the Beehive can't do too much yet but look cute and provide us with endless entertainment. Someone pointed out how chubby he is and how my milk must be very good! Here is a comparison:

Newborn pic:

7 months old:

Speaking of which, some of his latest accomplishments are cutting his first tooth, rocking on his hands and knees, babbling in baby-ese and trying out all different vocal sounds, and trying to sit up on his own.

Like pulling out little weeds, we need to be caretakers of their characters. But let's not forget to admire, love, and enjoy them while they blossom to maturity.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 17th...

Outside my window... The fog is almost all burned off for what is going to be another very hot and humid day.

I am thinking... August is half over.. yay! (August is usually our most hot and humid month).

I am thankful for... The coolness of our basement. We'll probably do school down there today.

From the learning rooms... We are starting our second week of school, and with it our new read aloud book, "Island of the Blue Dolphins".

From the kitchen... Elizabeth is making bread, and Esther is washing breakfast dishes.

I am wearing... Denim pleated culottes, and a pink t-shirt.

I am creating... my To Do list for today, and a general list of what I would like to get done this week.

I am going... Outside to hang laundry soon! ;P

I am reading...The book of Matthew, and still listening to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" on CD. I would get done with it a lot faster if I wouldn't keep falling asleep while listening to it!

I am hoping... To grow in grace this week.

I am hearing... The early morning bug and bird sounds.

Around the house... The bathrooms need to be cleaned, and the garden produce needs picking. So far we have a few zucchini in this morning, a bucket of beans, more being picked, and the tomatoes, peppers and broccoli need going over.

One of my favorite things... Enjoying the cool overnight air after a hot day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: sewing Jerusha's quilt, boys' haircuts, mowing the lawn, and knitting on the baby surprise jacket I am making for Isaac.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

MMMMMM! Tastes like chicken!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alive In Him

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I new live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galations 2:20)

The final verse of Charles Wesley's "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" provides a fitting climax to all that has gone before:

No Condemnation now I dread,
Jesus with all in Him is mine,
Alive Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, thru Christ my own.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). "Who is he that condemneth?" Not Christ! "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (v. 34).

As in our text, we are now alive through Christ's work on the cross. This gives us a standing far beyond our comprehension. "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the God bodily. And ye are complete in him" (Colossians 2:9-10). The song calls Him our "living Head", and so He is. Peter calls Him a "living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.... The same is made the head of the comer" (1 Peter 2:4-7).

In response to His love, we "put off concerning the former conversion [way of living] of the old man... And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24). Dressed in His righteousness, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrew 4:16). "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day" (2 Timothy 4:8).

(Written by John D. Morris, Ph. D, Days of Praise, ICR)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Chains Fell Off

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

The fourth verse of Charles Wesley's great hymn "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" compares Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison with a sinner's deliverance from bondage to sin. "Peter was sleeping... bound with two chains... And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison:... And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him... follow me" (Acts 12:6-8).

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light:
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

The Bible teaches that before being delivered, "ye were the servants of sin [i.e. in bondage to sin], but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6: 17-18). We were powerless to gain freedom on our own.

But "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6), bringing freedom and life. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened [i.e. made alive] by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18). "And you, being dead in your sins... hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13). If He has done all this for us, how can we do less than follow Him?

(The above was written by John D. Morris, Days of Praise, ICR)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

His Mercy Found Me

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

The third verse of the hymn, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" sets the stage for the implementation of His majestic plan.

He left His father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
T'is mercy all! Immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

The plan involved the death of God the Son. The Creator dying for the creation. The righteous Judge taking on Himself the penalty of the condemned. The rejected Holy One becoming sin on behalf of the true sinner. The convicted ones, powerless to alter the situation, simply receiving the offered grace though faith (see our text).

First, God had to take on Himself the nature of the condemned, live a guiltless life so that He could die as a substitutionary sacrifice. To do so, God the Son had to leaved His Father's throne. And, although "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [i.e. was willing to give up his kingly status]: But made himself of no reputation [literally, 'emptied himself'], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:... and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:6-8).

Adam had rebelled against his Creator's authority, and all of mankind suffered. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12), yet Christ's work on the cross changed all that. "For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (v. 15).

Amazing love!

(Written by John D. Morris, Ph.D., Days of Praise, ICR.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 11...

Outside my window... The air is very humid and you can see the moisture in it!

I am thinking... It is way too sticky!

I am thankful for... Our little pool, and our fans.

From the learning rooms... First day of school!

From the kitchen... I need to plan the menu for this week, and today I need to make amish bread cake.

I am wearing... Pj's at the moment, but will soon be dressed.

I am creating... a quilt for Jerusha.

I am going... No where today, thankfully!

I am reading... Through the minor prophets.

I am hoping... The high humidity won't last lone.

I am hearing... The early morning birds, a few cars making their way out of our neighborhood, and children whispering to each other after their Bible reading is done.

Around the house... Laundry, general cleaning up.

One of my favorite things... Watching Isaac nurse while falling asleep. I love the contented look on his face! He is such a good snuggler.

A few plans for the rest of the week: bean picking, tomato picking, working on Jerusha's quilt, working on the bsj when the humidity lowers (I can't knit in this weather!), and some orginizational stuff.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

For guidelines and information go to the Simple Woman's blog!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

For Those of Us With Twins

How twins are made.....

I thought this was just too cute.

So this is how they do it... one of life's great mysteries solved.

The Immortal Dies

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1: 17)

The second verse of "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" poses ans solves and great mystery:

T's mystery all! the immortal dies!
Who can explain this strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries,
To sound the depths of love divine;
T's mercy all! Let earth adore!
Let angel minds inquire no more.

Our text reminds us that God is immortal. And yet, "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3) to bring us salvation. If this astounds us (and it should), we can take solace in that we are not alone. "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things... which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Think of it! The Creator, the Author of life, has died to offer eternal life to His creation, for "all have sinned" (Romans 6:23). He died, so that we don't have to die! This grand plan remains beyond our full grasp, as it always was to the prophets and the angels.

The motive behind His plan is God's mercy. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us;... Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 3:5-6). "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out" (Romans 11:33).

(The above was taken from Days of Praise, written by John D. Morris, Ph.D. of ICR)