Sunday, July 12, 2009


When Knight and I were picking a date to get married we just picked a random date. Now, 15 years and 4 kids later things are a tad more complicated than that. When I realized our 15th anniversary was coming up, it crossed my mind I would like to do something special. Something a little more than our standard dinner out. So I had mentioned I would like to go away for a night or weekend to celebrate. He said it sounded good to him so I started looking at the calendar for weekends that would work. We had a couple weekends in August that looked promising. Then I became aware that he wanted to do it either the weekend before our anniversary or the weekend after (our actual anniversary is on Wednesday). So I decided to surprise him. I changed some appointments, figured out what the kids would do, and then told him we were free to leave the next day if he got done early. He did get done early, I found a hotel room, and off we went to Duluth (our favorite vacation spot). All in all, a nice relaxing time. Here's some of what we did...

The view from our room...

We spent the evening on the beach...

Watched the sunrise...

Knight ate from Crabby Bills...

Thursday, July 02, 2009


This is my daily weekly monthly update. I really mean to update more often but I always think
  • I need to get those pictures onto the computer to add to the post
  • When the next event gets done I'll have even more to blog about
  • I can't share that. It's not blog appropriate
  • I don't have anything worth sharing. Plus I'm sure no one reads this anymore

or any number of excuses. But here I am. If only to remind my kids of this summer since I don't scrapbook.

Last month my southern sister came up to Yankee country for a girls weekend. There was lots of relaxing, kayaking, beading, and henna to be remembered. There was the "remember when" conversations, along with the solving of all life's problems, and analyzing everything to death. But that is who we are and what we do. At times it's nice to catch up with your original family when life has separated everyone with lifestyles, or physical distance. Good times but I am glad to be home where I belong.

The three youngest went to camp the day after I got back from the girls weekend. They had a great time and came home a little bit more aware of God in their lives. I love that they have a great time with all the activities at camp, but what I love more is that it opens up more conversations about the truth of Christ. Rara was homesick for the first time this year, but she decided that it was probably an attack from Satan because he would not want her to be there having fun and learning about Christ. She's never been homesick before, so maybe she's onto something.

I also was able to go kayaking with a wonderful group of ladies, one of whom is back on furlough. It was such a pleasure to be able to share the kayaks with some ladies who needed a quiet morning in nature. The problem came when these women were not quiet, but having splash fights and laughing so much that they scared all the wildlife away!

That is how my days in Paradise are going. I am truly blessed

Friday, June 05, 2009

Annual Parade

We have an annual parade that our village puts on every year. And since we live on Main Street, it comes right by our house.

We have had a tradition each year to grill out, invite a couple families and visit for the day.

Well, this year we have had such an abundance of sickness that I was not up to thinking about it when it came time to invite people. Knight was heading off to church and very stupidly I just said "I don't care. I don't want to think about it. It's your baby this year."


Let me say that again.


He just informed me that he was making calls to the invitees and seeing who was going to make it. It is up to 39.

Thirty-Nine people.

And I am not a crowd lover.

At least I know most of the ones coming, and those I know I like.

Panic is not quite setting in ... Yet!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Observations From the Couch

Since I have been down with Strep since Tuesday and haven't moved off the couch, I had plenty of time to see things I may have missed if I hadn't had this "opportunity" of a couple days off.

1. My kids are growing The house didn't get too out of order this time around. Dishes and laundry even were kept up. And there were even times that I didn't have to ask for them to do it!

2. Another evidence of my kids growing up is that my phone rings more for my kids than it does for me. My guess is that this will only get worse.

3. Video games are mind-numbingly boring. I had plenty of time to try to get past that stupid castle on Zelda (original) and I can't make it. But I can't force myself to play it for hours either. I tried Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and stratagy games. All of them don't entertain enough when you are tired of sitting on the couch.

4. My body can't take lying/sitting around for 2 days. I ache all over. Makes me wonder if those who are wheelchair-bound/bedridden live with aches from inactivity. I think of little Micah and wonder if he deals with this, and if he thinks that everyone is always in pain like he is, that it's normal. Mine may be slight, and very temporary, but it still gives me a new compassion for others.

In other news I sorta got paid for taking some senior pictures. The payment came in the form of a gift card with a nice thank you attached. Exciting for me. Imagine, if I actually keep it up, I may be able to make money at this!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Adventures in vehicle shopping

We have been vehicle shopping... slowly.

Not being in a hurry and waiting for a deal to come along generally pays off. Also we have limited funds. That tends to make someone more patient.

I have been going online to look at our local and semi-local car dealerships to check out their inventory and see if they have what we are looking for. We knew we wanted a minivan, newer than 2002, preferably with quad seating and a CD player.

While looking online, we spent most of our time searching the lots with the best reputations. The place with the very best reputation in our area is in a tiny little town and a 20 minute drive to get there. They did have a couple that looked promising online so we headed down last weekend. The one they had sold, and the other was out on a service call.

Shucks. Call us when it comes back.

We talked to him about what we could do for trade and have been looking yet, but haven't found much. He thought the van would be back Tues. Tuesday came, and the vehicle hadn't made it back to the shop yet so he said he would give us a call.

So then comes the call today. And it's a good day, we have time to test drive it. But it was not meant to be. They can't find it.

The van is gone.

They have the title. He's asked all those who work there (he is one of the owners). No one knows what happened to it. They are embarrassed and wondering if it was stolen.

And that left us looking again.

We did find one at a huge bargain at a different dealership. 2003 Kia Sedona. Quad seating, CD player, leather seats, even a sun roof. Now I can pretend I'm cool and have a convertible as I drive my minivan.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Name that disease...

Since the illness in my house continues, I thought we could have fun with it. I will give you the background information, along with J-Bird's symptoms and we will see who can come up with what he has this time. It will be FUN!

J-Bird finished his amoxicillin on Sunday night(apparently irrelevant). Monday morning he came down with a fever of 102.7 (here starts the clues). He napped, didn't feel very well, but not REAL sick either. Tylenol helped a lot. This morning the first thing I noticed about him is that he had a rash on both sides of his face and I looked at his trunk and had some rash there too. I took his temp and it was down to 101. A couple hours later the rash is worse but the fever is down to 99.6. I took him in and got my answer of what is wrong with him this time. Here are the major clues...

-Starts as high fever. Goes down pretty quickly.

-Rash develops. This rash is known to be on the cheeks.

-A very common childhood illness.

-Normally kids get it between 3-4 years old. I guess home schooled kids may take a little longer to contract it.

It has two common names, and one technical name that I know of.

Ok, who can tell me what J-Bird has??? Come on and play along!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Did you know???

Here is some things I didn't know but I have learned in the last 8 days....

People can still get Scarlet Fever. I didn't realize this. From conversations I've had, most others didn't realize this either.

Scarlet Fever is basically a reaction to a type of Strep Throat.
Scarlet fever is caused by an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria.
The bacteria make a toxin (poison) that can cause the scarlet-colored rash from
which this illness gets its name.
Not all streptococci bacteria make this toxin and not all kids are sensitive to it. Two kids in the same family may both have strep infections, but one child (who is sensitive to the toxin) may develop the rash of scarlet fever while the other may not.

The rash reminds you of sandpaper. Fine little bumps mainly on the trunk of the body.

You also get the slapped cheek look (red cheeks, white around the mouth).

It is treated just like you treat strep.

Once the rash goes away the skin starts peeling, especially around the fingertips and toes. No pain, just peeling. For little boys this can be fun to gross his sisters out with.

At least this is our experience.

Friday, March 27, 2009

50 questions about me

Since I can't figure out how to get this on Facebook, I'll post this here. Mom says I need to blog more anyway! lol

50 Questions
1. What color is your toothbrush? Blue and White
2. Name one person who made you smile today: Rara, she's wearing a headscarf like she's Muslim today. You never know what to expect with her!
3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning: Checking Email
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Devotions
5. What is your favorite candy bar? Kit Kat Crunchy (or something like that)
6. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope.
7. What is the last thing you said aloud? Go eat breakfast
8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Peanut Butter Perfection at Cold Stone Creamery
9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Limeade (last night)
10. Do you like your wallet? It does it's job. What's not to like
12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? No. Who buys clothing weekly???
13. The last sporting event you watched? Superbowl? I caught a couple minutes of it.
14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? fresh homemade popcorn with salt and butter
15. Who is the last person you sent a text message too? Probably Knight
16. Ever go camping? It's been about 12 years
17. Do you take vitamins daily? No
18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Yep
19. Do you have a tan? No, it's March. My tan died in September when the weather turned
20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? No. Who would? I like Chinese though
21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? No.
22. What did your last text message say? I don't remember. It was over a year ago
23. What are you doing tomorrow? Cleaning, then... I don't know. First Sat off in a long time
25. Look to your left, what do you see? Fish tank, 2008 paperwork needing to be stored
26. What color is your watch? It's a silver razor cell phone. No need of a watch
27. What do you think of when you hear Australia? Kangaroos
28. ????? I guess they missed this one
29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? I normally go in. Why bring the mess home. Isn't the point of going out to not have to clean up?
30. What is your favorite number? ? I didn't know people were supposed to have one.
31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone? I think Jodi.
32. Any plans today? School, cleaning, interview with reporter for a magazine (yes I'm serious)
33. How many states have you lived in? 5 I think
34. Biggest annoyance right now? That I'm tired
35. Last song listened to? Haven't turned it on today. I can't remember last one played yesterday
36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? No, and don't care to try
37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? No, unless you count that I "made" the kids clean
38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Tennis or boots
39. Are you jealous of anyone? Not really. I like my life
40. Is anyone jealous of you? I can't imagine why anyone would be
41. Do you love anyone? yes
42. Do any of your friends have children? Yes, most of them do
43. What do you usually do during the day? School, clean, cook
44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No
45. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? yes
46. What color is your car? Green
47. Do you like cats? Yes, but I'm allergic to them
48. Are you thinking about someone right now? Not really. Just my to do list
49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? No. Don't really desire it either
50. How did you get your worst scar? Surgery. Gall bladder. Fun times

There you have it. All the stuff you didn't know about me, and didn't really need to either.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Life Recap

I have noticed something weird about blogging. The longer it is between posts, the harder it is to come up with something "blogworthy". And nothing in my life seems blogworthy right now. So here is what we have been doing to catch anyone up who still happens to be checking this thing (Mom).

It is that time of year again where I am looking at curriculum to order for next year. I have my list pretty well set, but I still have many books to add to wish lists so it will be easy to order when the time comes. Just my history and literature book list is 314 books long. It's a lot of books but really it isn't that many considering each kid reads at least 2 books a week for school. And the younger grades read more books since they are shorter. Beyond that, my list has math, grammar and grammar, spelling, handwriting, writing, science, music theory, and art. I am thankful that we can work with a school that helps us with purchasing our curriculum. We are able to get quality curriculum without worrying too much about cost. I still am not able to get everything on my wish list, but I can get the basics, and that's all that matters.

The kids are in their last month of Awana until the fall. They are working hard to learn the rest of their verses so they can finish their books in time. The grand finale for Awana is the pinewood derby race so the kids have been working on cars along with school and Awana verses.

And the last thing that we have been doing is dealing with spring issues. Cleaning the yard up. Taking plastic off windows. And I have been thinking about repainting and redecorating some rooms. The snow is almost all gone (for now) and it has rained for the last couple days so we should be getting some beautiful green grass soon.

That's our life in a nutshell. Not too exciting, but that's how we like it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So... I'm selfish

I will admit it.

I'm selfish.

See, I admitted it.

Last night someone gave me the rest of a bag of M&M's. I don't buy stuff like this and I thought it would be a great treat. So after the kids went to bed I pulled out the bag, ate a couple, put the twisty tie back on it and threw it in the highest food cupboard, way in the back. I couldn't even see it. I figured it would be out of sight, out of mind, and safe from little raiding vikings I have living in this house. Who would look there anyway? It's not like we make sweet bread very often, and that's what is stored up there.

Yeah, that was the plan.

Today, of all days, Rara decides to dig in the cupboards looking for things to make. Like jello, pudding, and...

"hey mom! Look what I found!"

Awww! Didn't even last 24 hours before they found them.

So much for a selfish heart. I should have known better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Writing the right way

While talking to my mom last night she let me know that I don't post enough. Not that she is being critical, she's right. I don't.

In my defense, it is winter, and we don't do much. Well... I don't to much. I should blog. And I will. It's my Feb 13th resolution.

Anyway, I have been doing curriculum research, getting my order ready for next year. I have been looking for a decent writing program and looked through one at a friends house yesterday. Then I went home and looked on Homeschool Reviews to see what other parents had to say about using this curriculum. And then I ran into this review that made me giggle...

i, personally, LOVE this curriculum. we r doing level 3.i like that it teaches so many different kinds of writing (descriptive,informitive,etc.) i love that it is so detail-oriented. My son's writing has improved alot in the past 6 months:) We STRONGLY encourage this curriculum.

It sounds like a good curriculum, but seriously... don't you think you should form correct sentences when you are talking about how you taught a WRITING curriculum? At least she gave me something to giggle about while doing research.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How times have changed...

I felt it important to have the kids watch the inauguration today. It shows a new president taking office, and one that made history in their lifetime. And it is educational. Cross off government studies on our to do list!

Anyway... if you were watching you saw Aretha Franklin sing My Country Tis of Thee. Being kids, they didn't know who she was. So Rara, J-Bird, and I have this conversation...

J-Bird- Who's she?
Me- Aretha Franklin. A famous singer.
J-Bird- How'd she get famous?
Me- She's a singer.
Rara- She got famous because she sings.
J-Bird- Oh, I get it! I think she made it big on American Idol!
Rara- No! I think she was on America's Got Talent.

Imagine a time when people got famous without having to worry about getting voted off the show!

Friday, January 16, 2009


As I sit here, and it has warmed up to a balmy -15 degrees I've made a decision...

Next chance I get, I'm going to vote for global warming.

This is ridiculous!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to Life... Back to Reality

We are now back into the routine of life... well, if you can consider our controlled chaos routine anyway. I have to admit that it does feel great!

Most of the Christmas gifts are now out of the boxes. We have used the quasedilla maker a couple times, I have cleaned the juicer nearly every day, and today I loaded pictures into the digital frame.

I even tried out the Wii Fit (stupid video game called me overweight, just cause I was standing on it! HUMPH!!!)

We had a great Christmas with the families. It's always nice to spend time with those we love but don't get much time with. I do wish we could see them more, but already my calendar is filling up. I even have something written in Feb already. I guess there is no rest for the weary!

If you are looking for me, I am basking in the fact that we are back to school and work.

Ahhh, routine.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Vacation... Episode 3

From the Creation Museum we headed to Chicago to see Shedd Aquarium. It was great with lots of different habitats and wildlife, both in and out of the water.

The kids each had their favorites. Sharks, Sawfish, Guitar Fish, Stingrays, and the huge sea turtle.

The aquarium was horribly busy the day we were there and we were fighting huge crowds. Since we got a membership, we hope to go back when hopefully it won't be so busy.

Then from there we headed to our last stop of our vacation. The Chula Vista water park in Wisconsin Dells. The kids spent the time burning off all the energy they stored up from all the driving. They had a good time running the lazy river, going down the water slides, and playing on the play area. The water was a little cold for Knight and I so we spent most of the time sitting in the chairs watching everyone play.
We then made our way back home. It is nice to be back home and finding our way back to our normal routine. The first major vacation with the kids went very well, with very little fighting, lots of fun and laughter. We hope to be able to take another one someday. Someday, not anytime soon!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Vacation... Episode 2... The Creation Museum

The Creation Museum opened only a year and a half ago. This was built as a state of the art museum built to talk about science from a biblical perspective. It did just that.

We checked out the planitarium, where they bring you far into space to look at other stars in the universe. We learned about blue stars, yellow stars, nebulas, and the order they have found in the universe. Watching that, you really feel how little our planet is, and how amazing it is that God cares for each of us, and knows us.

They also have a walk through history. This was one of the neatest parts. They have different scenes from the Bible along with scientific facts about those scenes from the Bible. There are dinosaurs, Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Methusala, Moses, etc. They also showed how taking God out of most of society has changed it. Very interesting. It took a lot of time to go through it all.

Anyone who knows Rara knows her sense of humor. She is such a funny kid. Because the focus was on creation verses evolution, she asked me to take her picture next to "grampa" for the evolutionists! Funny!

They had a beautiful gardens that you could walk. On the day we were there it was around 70 degrees, sunny, and grassy. What a treat! It had a petting zoo, bridges (including some rope bridges the kids loved!) and dinosaurs. In the summer time, I am sure it has beautiful flowers for all to see, but still it was great to see some foliage and be able to enjoy the outdoors.

In the evening they also had a walk from "Jeruselem" to "Bethlehem". We had to pay our taxes to the Romans (a coin they provided) in Jeruselem, and then some townsfolk pointed us on our way to Bethlehem. Along the way there were fellow travelers either wishing us well, or telling us about a couple that came by hoping to find a room for the night. Then some shephards stopped us and told us that angels visited them about a baby, the Messiah, born to us. He told us where we could find the babe. When we got there, the couple was there, holding the babe next to a manger. (A live nativity)

The last thing I'll talk about was the show. Every day they offer a show or a lecture of some sort. The day we were there happened to be Buddy Davis. The kids had heard of him from some videos they'd seen, but I didn't know I had heard of him too. (For those of us who worked with the kids at church, he's the one who wrote Billions of Dead Things along with some other great songs). He put on a great show and the kids are enjoying a lot of his music.
It was a great time, and a blessed day. I have lots more pictures, but I haven't finished talking about the vacation yet.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Vacation... Episode 1... getting there

We are hoping you are all having a great start to 2009. As for us we are recouping from our vacation.

There is so much to say about our vacation, that I figured I would have to break it down into smaller episodes.

We have been planning to do this vacation for a long time. In fact we tried to go over a year ago, but things happen and we went to Duluth for a couple days instead. Planning this vacation was fun, and the kids were SO excited.

We picked up the rental van on Christmas eve. We wanted to be comfortable on our drive and not worry about our high mileage vehicles breaking down. We decided to leave straight from my dad's on Christmas day so we tried to drop the dog off at the dog sitters.

Yes, I said tried.

We brought her over to the house and then she proceeded to wiggle out of the collar and run away.

When it was 5 degrees.

Anyhoo, we ended up getting her situated, and headed down to my dad's house. We had a great time visiting with my family and then we headed out. The weather held out for a couple hours and we made it to Wisconsin Dells for the night.

In the morning we got on the road first thing. We made decent time getting to Chicago around 11am. We figured we would make it through the city and stop for lunch around 12:30 just on the other side of Gary, Indiana. And we would have too, if it wasn't for the traffic jam.

We hit the traffic jam with only 10 miles to go before we were out of the city. Before that J-Bird was wanting to move to the city. 10 miles and 2 hours later he decided we needed to stay away from anywhere that could have that type of a traffic jam.

We definitely prefer the traffic jams in our neck of the woods. You know..."You know you're from Wisconsin when your idea of a traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway."

We made it to Indianapolis only a couple house late, with only 1 kid holding a sick bucket, and only one trip to the Indianapolis Airport because of a wrong turn. Still, the hotel was great and when we woke up in the morning it was 59 degrees with grass around us.

From there we headed off to Cincinnati. The trip was beautiful, with the sun shining, no traces of snow anywhere to be seen. We didn't hit any wrong turns and wound up getting to the museum around 10.

Which leads me to tomorrows post... Episode 2... the Creation Museum