Monday, March 31, 2008

I guess I'll start here...

So. Far. Behind.

Too. Many. Pictures.


Homeschool. T-Ball. Piano. Guitar. Church. Nurse the Baby. Field Hockey. Dinner. Wash Underwear. Nurse the Baby. Sweep Hairballs. Nurse the Baby. Gymnastics. Feed The Dog. Nurse The Baby.


I am about to dazzle you with a mind-numbing view of our life over the last few weeks. You may need to break for coffee or errands or Christmas shopping...and that's fine. have been warned.

The Ferguson Family Visit

Lea Ann (aka, La La or The Lurker) came from Maryland for a visit last month. We had such a sweet time! Remember these girls? Well, they all came over to my house for yummy food and some meaningful conversation.

I washed my hair and put on earrings.


Just before the *Worst Virus Ever* we had our first t-ball practice.

It's just plain cute. Our little guy is in the navy shirt and gray shorts.

When he overthrows the ball, he likes to yell, "HEY! YOU GOTTA MOVE TO GET THAT!"

He got his patience and tact from his momma.

We Bought Groceries

Hannah thought this was an impressive image, so she took a picture.
The thought of putting these groceries away made me gravely ill, so I took a nap.

Emma: The Gymnastics Saga

I have written about the process of the USA Gymnastics Program and where our Emma fit into that program. For the last year she has struggled with the practice schedule (4-days per week, 3-hours each day). This practice schedule is gravy compared to larger gyms and while we (mom & dad) were never exactly thrilled with this schedule, homeschooling seemed to allow more family time, so we continued on this long as it was what she truly wanted.

Fast forward to the new year and several teary-eyed conversations later and we have reached a conclusion. Gymnastics (part of the team) required too much of her time away from family. She came to this place all by herself, which is a blessing to my heart because I knew we were approaching a time where we (mom & dad) would have to intervene.

So. She is now participating in the Rec-Optional Team, which means practice when you want, compete when you want, and best of can make up your own routine!!!!

Emma is more thrilled and excited about gymnastics than she has been in a long, long time.

So now, she has more time to learn the art of motherly multi-tasking. Here she is taking a History test, eating cinnamon rolls and comforting baby brother :)

U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition- Fort Lee, Virginia

We attended this cooking competition without any real expectations, but WOW! It was awesome! The kids & I were completely impressed with the skills of these chefs. Who knew that mess hall cookin' could look and taste so good?

This was my little crew's first day-long outing "by ourselves" and I think we did rather well.

That is, after the full blown panic attack that ensued following my wrong turn at the entrance of the base in which two very large men came along side of my vehicle and looked as though they might pick it up and turn it around for me.

Very picky with the safety out there.

We did get to sample what these guys were cooking (Emma sampled all, Hannah sampled some, Samuel sampled none, since they were not cookin' fruit snacks).

Hannah Turned 13!

I still cannot completely wrap my brain around this but according to her birth certificate, it's true. We celebrated together as a family and then Hannah and I spent an afternoon shopping. She was officially inducted into the world of "Clinique Cleansing Products" which for some reason makes her seem even older? We enjoyed our time together and had some beautiful talks about life and how glad we are that board shorts are in style this summer.

I am apparently swollen from some sort of allergic reaction that I developed shortly after finding out I was pregnant. Strangely enough, it has not gone away and appears to worsen after bouts of devouring cake and Dr. Pepper.

Colonial Williamsburg

We went to Williamsburg several weeks ago on an unseasonably warm day. We started off late but we still enjoyed our visit. They offer a special rate for homeschoolers during the spring and fall on particular weeks for a fraction of the regular admission price. Unfortunately, the spring special is during a time when several of the most popular demonstrations don't start for several weeks.

Homeschool Family Lovin'

We aren't sure what it is that our children have said to make this woman giggle and I'm not sure that we want to know.

I asked about picking up one of these for the house, but I think they thought I was joking.

How this lady held my son's attention is beyond me. He has a fondness for 18th century law.

Little Man Down

Samuel and Benjamin went for their well-checks together and received a combination of EIGHT SHOTS. Big brother did not shed a tear through the third shot, but threw in the towel at number four and pleaded for his life. Little brother cried enough for both of them.

The following week Samuel got very sick with Mono and ran fever for about 9 days.
Not fun.

Daddy's Birthday

We ate cake and had Japanese from our favorite place. That's about it.
Oh, yeah and he got a new bass boat.
So that means, "Happy Birthday forever & ever Daddy".

Emma's Birthday

Emma turned 11 years old and we held a sleepover party at the Homewood Suites so the girls could swim. Well that, and so that someone else could clean up the mess and make a hot breakfast. Dusty did this a few years ago with her daughter and she joined me as a chaperon this time. I have to say this idea is brilliant and I wish I had thought of it first. It is the most fun for the least amount of work and believe me, I have "worked" some birthday parties.

As a matter of full disclosure, we don't usually "do" sleepovers with the exception of one like this where I am present and AWAKE until all children are asleep. Our kids don't sleepover away from mom or dad. Period.

Do we sound like crazy, over-the-top protective parents?

Well, thank you. I'll take that as a compliment :)

Note to self:
Rabbit ears or peace sign is a very popular form of photo posing these days.

Benjamin...He's Growing


Well folks, aside from our regularly scheduled programming, that's about it. Life is good and really really busy. I am learning remembering how much little bitty babies love to cry from 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. and how much they love to eat. All. Day. Long.

I am also remembering how much I love little bitty babies.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


My boy has been terribly sick. Most likely mono but it still early to tell. He is on day seven of fever with these grotesquely swollen tonsils and glands. We have gone through almost two bottles of Motrin and he takes Tylenol with codeine when I can get it down him. The most difficult part has been getting enough fluids in him because it causes such pain for him to swallow and being concerned that his airway may get blocked when he is sleeping.

Hannah had this when she was in second grade and I am certain it is the worst virus in the world!

We may have turned the corner this morning because he came downstairs with his cup of Gatorade and said, "Mom.....guess what? I drank all my juice!"

It has been so hard to be unable to provide comfort for my son. My anxiety level rises each time I know we must give him his medicine or force fluids and I can't imagine how mothers deal with children who are chronically ill. My heart aches for them. Relying on God's timing is difficult but embracing suffering for my children is so much harder.

Prayers are coveted while he recovers.

I miss my Silly Sam.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008



1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation

2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated

3. the expression or display of glad feeling

7 weeks old

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Hedge Of Courtesy

This is a very well written article by Nancy Wilson regarding the varying methods that Christians may apply to the same biblical principles.

I wish I could say that I have approached friends and family whose methods may be different from mine, with grace and understanding....but I cannot. Often I find myself with so much well-meaning zeal and conviction that I completely negate the scripture which first commands me to love and I skip straight to the part that supports my argument.

My zeal ends up making me look more like a know-it-all than a Christ-follower.
Thankfully, I am made new each day.....and thankfully my friends and family still love this know-it-all.

This was a good read for me....

"A tenderhearted sister is not on a soapbox, preaching her method without care for the condition of her sisters."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Purity...On Purpose

Ever since my girls were small, I have had people comment on how "we were going to be in trouble" when they were teenagers. You know, the "Daddy better get his shotgun ready" kind of tone?

I shrugged it off when they were preschoolers, but it wasn't long before I realized that we had to take deliberate measures in order for our children to understand what the biblical standard is for purity and what that looks like in our culture, while they are young.

For us, there were the easy things like modest clothing, appropriate movies & television shows, and music, etc..... It is not difficult to see where these areas need to addressed, but can prove trying and challenging when the world around you is bombarding your kids at every opportunity.

I think that sweatpants with writing on the rear-end is a small example of how our children are exploited and nobody even notices. Should we be reading a 12-year old's bottom that says, "Daddy's Girl"????

I think not.

The on-purpose part of this teaching also comes with explaining to our children what biblical marriage is designed for... which is to glorify God. (period) I believe that the instinctive draw that men feel towards women and vice-versa is a God-given trait, but within the boundaries of a pure and committed marriage relationship. Any other relationship between man and woman should be either a:

A) Platonic relationship or
B) Courtship-Dating relationship (which would have the end-result goal of marriage....NOT casual fun)

I don't believe that purity begins with the physical but rather the emotional. If God intended for my daughters to present themselves *whole* to their future husbands, doesn't that begin with their hearts?

The focus today, especially in the church is about the "legal" view of purity but I think that is a misdirected easy way out. True biblical teaching about these relationships should begin at home and then church but instead, church is a hotbed for the preteen and teenager boy/girl relationship to flourish and parents are encouraging it.

Certainly these notions will seem foreign and bizarre to the world, so I want to make this part very clear. I wish I had more time to write but I am a slave to the clock these days and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

O.K., let me finish making this clear.

I cannot make my daughters or my sons choose purity or for that matter choose Christ. God saves. Our creator is in charge of my children and their hearts.


I am in charge of teaching them according to His word. It isn't about rules. Or age limits.
It is....and this is the bottom line......about

Honoring. God.

My accountability rests there. I am in prayer for my children and I am teaching them the beauty of His Word....His Ways....and His Plan for them. My girls have relationships with boys their age and it is a wonderful thing. They are friends. The best of friends that trade sour-gummy worms and bonk heads on the trampoline. They treat one another like siblings and because the boundaries are so firm and well-defined there is no fear of being teased or pressured.

Kim at Lifesong (a friend who says what I think ALL THE TIME) has written a wonderful series about this. I agree in almost every single way with these posts and since I couldn't say it better, I'll just ask you to read this:

Part 1- Developing Godly Relationships During The Teenage Years

Part 2- Gray Areas Versus Biblical Standards - God's Standard Of Purity

Part 3- Busting The Boy Craziness (edited to add this info)

Part 4- Being A Godly Young Woman

A Modesty Checklist

Part 5- Practical Steps To Courtship/Dating