Saturday, December 26, 2009

All Is Quiet.....

So after a whirlwind week of guests, guests, and more guests I barely know what to do in quiet. It was so much fun to have people stay with us and I know the kids can't wait until they stay again! Now we are all resting, watching Full House episodes(my gift from the kids), and I think I'm going to order pizza for Shabbat tonight since you can only eat so many leftovers and until the leftovers are gone I can't make any big meals due to no fridge space. Pictures to come but for now......all is quiet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Family Night: Fiesta!!!

Finding things to do for winter Family Nights is always harder. L had been asking to do a pinata for a long time so that gave me the idea for a Fiesta Night.
We still have quite a few sombreros from a VBS a while back so the kids had fun getting in costume. We had enchiladas, bean salsa, and chips for dinner.
The new furniture hadn't arrived yet so we had a big, open spot in the family room. The kids took turns from littlest to oldest with the bat.
Of course daddy liked to make the toucan jump much more when B's turn came around. B still had some good hits though. Thankfully the treats inside came out just a few at a time which gave all the kids a chance to be successful.
H was very concerned about her new pet toucan and kept trying to feed it the treats that had fallen out. She is still by far my biggest animal lover!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Big Birthday Surprise

So for two months we had been planning this big birthday surprise for B and it was killing me not to tell him. I kept the secret until the night before which was the day after his birthday.

Here we are in the car all ready to go. You will first notice that B is the only child in the car. That was part of the gift. A day alone with daddy and mommy all to himself. Uncle D and Aunt F also joined us.

And here was the Big Surprise..........

STAR WARS IN CONCERT!!!!!!!!! Now if you would have told me ten years ago that I would be going to a Star Wars event I would have said you were nuts. The things we do for our children.

B all ready for the show. Yes we did let him bring a mask to wear and yes he was the dressed down version of costume. Some people spent a small fortune on costumes for the occasion.

It turned out to be one of the best shows we've ever seen! The symphony was awesome and B was glued to his chair from beginning to end.

The actual guy who plated C3-Po is the one who narrated it.

The big screens and light show were great too.

There were plenty of characters to get your pictures with.

Now I can definitely say that the funniest moment was when B didn't want his picture with Princess Leigha so daddy and Uncle D piled all the coats and programs in his hands so they could get one.

Oh dear. We all had a great time. My favorite part of it all was getting to spend a whole day with just B.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So when B told me he wanted an Army cake and he really wanted camouflage fondant on it I was ready to take on the challenge. What had I been thinking!!! I think I had to redo the camouflage layer about three times and I still wasn't thrilled with it but considering it was 2am I was exhausted. I had planned on decorating the bottom layer as well but I had to move to plan B. I rummaged around and found some army men to fill in the gaps.
My heart melted when I was awoken by B exclaiming,"My cake looks AWESOME!!! Thank you mom!". That made all the work and frustration worth it.
So I'm done with fondant. Well for a couple of weeks. The kids want to make a cake while on Christmas break.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friends and Birthdays

So we have finally embarked on the world of friends staying the night. B has been to friends houses before to stay the night but this was his first as the host. Let me be the first to say.....IT WAS A BLAST!!!! Now I don't think this was really fair since Br and N are such great kids and to be honest I think I could have these two live with us all the time! The night was filled with pizza, video games, cake, video games, presents, Lego's, video games, a movie, and a little more video games. Please note that all these boys have limited media time so the idea of no limit was fun in itself! It's so funny to watch 3 boys who are all first born try to decide on a movie to watch. (Note to self: Next time go rent the latest hit that everyone will be ecstatic about.) It was funny to see how they all had their own little coercion methods they have perfected on younger siblings. Here in this arena though it was a tough sale. They finally decided on Wall-E.....or maybe I did but they did all enjoy it....I think.
All day on B's birthday I was feeling a little sad that he was already 9. I love seeing him grow up and experience life but I really can't believe how fast it's going. It also didn't help when I realized he's at the half way mark to 18. Half way!!! Once his friends came over though I saw the fun in having an older kid. I can remember when B was little and we would have play dates and I would be counting down the hours until it was time for friends to go home. They were always fun but when you add in more toddlers you are also adding in work. This time I found myself wishing we would have had everyone come earlier and leave later. The time flew by!
I want to be the house where we always have friends over and I think this is the beginning of that season. It won't be long until we have teenagers in the house. 4 years???? I think I'm going to have an anxiety attack when I see that written down. I'm sure THAT will be a hard birthday but then I will come to see the fun in that as well!

Who Would've Thunk It

So I have so many posts in the works but I just wanted to share what I've done today.

  • I got more Christmas shopping done. Not quite done but I see that light at the end of the tunnel!
  • I found out how to check a dog for fleas. Josh had gotten a bite and we weren't sure if it was from our house or at work. So far I haven't found any on Mosheh. Hopefully that will be the report tomorrow when I repeat the check.
  • Sent a letter to the great women I'm doing a Bible study with.
  • Watched some videos on doggie obedience.
  • We changed our evening plans at the last minute so I ordered some pizzas.
  • Josh and I finally decided on bunk beds for the girls and I bought them.
  • Shopped around for where I want to get the mattresses for said bunk beds.

Wait, did I mention I didn't leave my house today? What did we do before we had computers and the Internet?!?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Photo taken by jennyhoke photography.
When did B get so big and mature? This weekend we celebrated his 9th birthday and I still can't believe it. We had a jam packed, fun filled past couple of days. First sleepover and a big birthday surprise were just some of the activities in the last 72 hours. Yes, I said some. I can't wait to tell all about the fun but right now I'm going to do a little Bible reading and relaxing.
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy. Please don't grow up too fast. Although, I think that's already happening.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So today I'm working on B's birthday cake. After I made the army helmet and the gun out of rice krispie treats there was some left over so L really wanted to make her own creation. Then she made me laugh so hard. Here is our conversation......

L: Mom LOOK!

M: What?

L:I made a boy riding a bicycle!......He's riding a "rice"ycle!!!

This was just after the kids noticed that snowflakes had started falling and L screamed,"Lets go find our sledding clothes!".

Oh my life would be so boring without these kids to make me laugh!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Family Night: Farm Fun

I can't believe this family night happened over a month ago!!! It seems like it was just yesterday we were rushing around the house trying to make it to the farm before it closed. This was a very spontaneous trip. We usually always go to this farm instead of trick or treating. We don't celebrate Halloween but we wanted to find some kind of alternative that 1.)Really was an alternative, and 2.) Would be a ton of fun! This is definitely it! Unfortunately the forecast for the day of Halloween was rainy, cold, and rainy. The Tuesday before was absolutely gorgeous though. So after gymnastics we ran home and rushed around to get ready.
This was the new favorite! The big jumping pillow was a great addition to the farm and was most definitely a load of fun! While I was taking a pic of B above I can not stop laughing at L in the background. Unfortunately I didn't get her expression but I can imagine that big smile on her face as she was bounced up in the air by big brother.

Can you tell that L was having a great time?!?!

Then it was off to the hay and corn playground. B loves this part.

H on the other hand thought they were all crazy.

Here was H's favorite part. The barn!!! She loved petting the horsey and looking at the chickens and bunnies.

Here L is testing out her driving skills.

B enjoyed the pedal cars again this year. L tried so hard to ride one of these but her legs were just a tad to short. On her one lap around I think J had to run out and give her a push about five times. L was very frustrated that she couldn't ride again. Then it was back to the.........

JUMPING PILLOW!!! H couldn't climb up the side of it but she loved sitting on the edge while the other kids bounced her up and down. Well I think she would've if she had wanted to but it made her a little nervous.

Oh and if for any reason they stopped jumping she would let them know that it was unacceptable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful: What I Love

So the plan was to do one post each day leading up to Thanksgiving about each of my children and what I love about them. But since this was a CRAZY week it didn't happen. So now I'm going to lump them together in one big post. Here it goes......

B is getting so big. In one week we will be celebrating his 9th birthday and I can't believe it. I can barely contain my excitement about his big birthday surprise!!! More on that next week. I love B's sensitive heart and his amazing discernment. I love how he is such a great big brother. He is especially helpful with Hannah. I love how even though he is getting older he still will play with "little kid" things to make his sisters happy. I love that he can put together a Lego set in no time. I love that he gets so passionate about things. I love that he literally could stay up all night reading. I have found him asleep with a book numerous times. I love that right now he is so into learning about the World Wars and how he can't wait to see my Grandpa at Thanksgiving and Christmas to ask him questions. I have a feeling B is going to talk his ear off but I also think my grandpa will be happy to see him so interested. I love that B loves cleaning the kitchen and unloading the dishwasher. Now I just need one to love doing the laundry and I'll be set.

Then there is L. I love her "I will not give up" attitude. I love her curly, blond hair. I love her dimples. I love her "excited" smile and laugh. I love how she makes me laugh. I love how she loves to do girly things like paint her fingernails but then will turn around and play sword fighting with her brother. Have you ever seen a little girl in a cute dress with a pink bow in her hair go looking for frogs with the boys? I have!!! I love her fearless self. Although this trait has taken many years off of my life. Like when my little girl flies down our big hill on her bike...just a week after she learned to ride with no training wheels! I love her love for adventure.

I believe this picture says it all. How could you not love those cute cheeks and big blue eyes. I love that H makes me laugh on an hourly basis. I love that when she gets tired she gets slap happy and is even more hilarious. And I would never admit that I have let her stay up late just for the pure entertainment of it. I love how she loves animals and has no fear of them. A person she doesn't know will produce instant tears but a huge dog she doesn't know will produce instant smiles. I love how she absolutely adores her big brother. They have such a special bond. I love her new found opinion even though at times it can be exhausting. I love how she dances to any song in her own unique way. This is usually how she makes me laugh on that hourly basis.
I feel very blessed with such a great husband and these three kids. J and I hope that God has many more of these little blessings in our future but right now we're thankful for the three we have and we are going to continue to enjoy them.
But most of all I'm thankful for the salvation, joy, peace, and love given to us by a Wonderful, Counselor, Healer, Deliverer, and Messiah.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seasons Changing

H trying to keep up with the big kids.

So now that H is 18 months old and it was when B was 18 months old that I started staying home full time it makes me so grateful that I can be with my children all the time now. Even though I was only working a couple of days once B was born it was still hard to not be with him. I can remember having these same thoughts when L hit that big 1.5 mark.

This past summer I spent a lot of time thinking about how things used to be before homeschooling entered the picture. I can't believe how different my life looked. I can remember meeting D and the boys at the mall and playing for hours. I even remember one time we got stuck there because of a tornado warning. I remember being huddled in a hallway with our kids and about 20 other complete strangers. Oh and it got really interesting when K had to nurse and there wasn't much of a choice! I remember trying to hold a blanket up for D to give her some sort of privacy among our new "friends". Ahhh, great memories. Oh, and there was a tornado that went through right by the apartment we were living in at the time. I was praising the Lord we had been at the mall! I remember Mom's Group field trips and lunches. For some reason one of my fondest Mom's group memories is packing up the old church for the move to the new. I also remember going to get our family picture taken for the new directory and that morning I had found out I was pregnant with L and every time I saw anyone I just wanted to shout,"I'm pregnant!!!". I did keep the secret....that day. I must admit that there were times this past summer I felt a little depressed thinking about those "good old days". The cold summer also didn't help!

But now our family is in a new season. A season filled with new learning opportunities. A season that is just as fun...but very different. It's so funny because when I first started this post I was going to title it "If I Could Go Back" but that is not what I'm wanting. I don't have any regrets. OK so maybe I wish I would have realized when B was little how fast he was going to grow up. I notice that with H I am very aware of that. Even though I do see the fun in this season I also feel the exhaustion of it. I'm tired. This season of homeschooling, homemaking, homechurch......I NEED TO GET OUT!!! This extrovert needs to be extroverting! OK so now I think I may be making up words. Is extroverting a word?
Well today I start another 90 day Bible Study with three other women and I'm so excited about it! I feel like in the next 90 days the Lord is going to do some amazing things in all of our lives. It's so nice to not only be doing an intense study but to also have the opportunity to get together and discuss. Last night we got together for the first time and it was fun to fellowship and discuss. The next get together there won't be as much casual talk but more discussing what we've been reading and I'm just as excited to do that. It was in the midst of this same study last year that the Lord changed the direction of what He was calling our family to do and I can't wait to see what happens this time! OK so I'm also a little nervous about what we may be called to do next....but I know it will be great!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Watch Out Julia

Watch out Julia Child's! Here comes L!!!
One Friday L told me she wanted to make Sunday dinner and she was going to make soup. The next day she mentioned something again and said she wanted to go to Farmers Market for vegetables. I needed eggs anyway so we headed out and also stopped by Meijer. L was VERY particular about her produce purchases. Including $4 tomatoes that she insisted on having because of their color and size. After home church L set to work(with a little help). She had carrots, potatoes, green peppers, onions, and very expensive tomatoes along with shredded chicken, stock, and noodles. Earlier I had a talk with J and B to let them know what was going on and that we needed to be very excited about the end result. I also promised there would be sandwiches and bread and dip. Can you tell that I wasn't expecting to add this into my regular meal plan? When the time came L dished everyone up and.....IT WAS SOOOO GOOD!!!! Even B liked it despite so many veggies. L is our veggie kid after all! I told her we would call it L's Farmer's Market Soup. I think I may let her loose in the kitchen more often to see what new creations unfold!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How To Eat a S'More

Step 1: Remove shirt if you are under 2 1/2 feet tall. If over, just be careful. Melted chocolate stains!!!
Step 2: Check out all the ingredients and find the chocolate. It's by far the best one.
Step 3: While eating the chocolate half stick the marshmallow half to your stomach so you don't lose it and so no one else steals it. Something about marshmallow goo all over your stomach makes it unappetizing to others.
Step 4: Don't worry about the mess. It is well worth it. And look, you now have a little snack stuck to your stomach for later. Perfect!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So we as a family do not celebrate Halloween but the excitement leading up to going to the pumpkin patch is always great. This is one of L's favorite things to do all year! Which is kind of funny considering we are normally there for 10 minutes total. She started asking about pumpkins in July!!!
L found this cute little pumpkin as soon as we jumped out of the van and H fell in love with it. I tried to get her to look around a little more but she wouldn't leave "her" pumpkin so H never made it 10 feet past the van.
"What is taking those guys so long?"
After the pumpkin patch we brought back Chick-Fil-A for dinner and then made S'Mores in our bedroom fireplace. We finished up with some Bible trivia and then it was off to bed.
Another fun Family Night!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Wheels

I love sunny, beautiful fall days. Unfortunately this fall hasn't produced as many of them as I would like. Anytime the sun peeks out from behind the clouds though you will find us outside. The kids have been enjoying their new wheels.
This summer L mastered a two wheeler. You can now find her zipping around the circle while giving mommy a heart attack. She taught herself in one day and fell countless times but you know L. She is as strong willed as they come and would not give up.
B has been learning how to skateboard.
H loves hanging out in the wagon.
Even little O joined in on the fun when she was with us and enjoyed hanging out in a stroller.
Now I'm sure daddy would love to join in the fun of having new wheels but the kind of new wheels he's looking at cost a tad bit more. Does anyone else agree that a sports car is not an ideal set of wheels when you have three kids and who knows how many more to come? J says it can be our date night car. Fun...yes! Practical.....hmmm?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

18 Months!!!

I really can't believe H is 18 months already!!! I wasn't planning on posting this today but after the H day I've had it seemed appropriate. She is still a laid back child but she has MOST definitely found her opinion and will. Today we started out with her first Mommy and Me gymnastics class. She was very excited as we were getting ready to go. This is after all at the same place where big sister goes. It is basically just an open gym for this age. She did well and took all of her surroundings in like she always does. I'm wondering if she will be one of those photographic memory kind of people. Even the teacher was laughing at how she would look at every single person and object so intently. She loved the big slide and walking down the long tumble trampoline. She even tried a couple of small jumps on it. I think she is catching up more and more every day. When you see the other kids her age in the class you can tell she has a little more catching up to do but I'm sure by the time she turns 2 she'll do it. There are some areas though that she is extremely advanced and that is also very obvious. Oh and did I mention she is talking up a storm and very expressive. Today I'm pretty sure I heard her calling "Mommy!" about a thousand times and that is not an exaggeration. (Please note the exclamation point on the end as that is very critical.) She also did a couple of laps around the cul-de-sac with me and was very concerned that the leaves were falling off the trees. She loved trying to catch leaves as they were falling with B and L. J and I comment each day at how funny she is. We aren't sure if she is our funniest child or if it's because she has older ones to imitate which is hysterical. When she decided she didn't like her pulled beef sandwich for dinner tonight she fed part of it to the dog. Did I mention that Mosheh becomes more fond of H by the day? Then for the ultimate "my baby is not a baby anymore but is now a toddler" sign. H threw her first all out temper tantrum!!! After her bath......and after I wrestled her into her pajamas......after I finally caught her running around upstairs naked it happened. I'm still not quite sure what she was so upset about. Perhaps it was the fact I put an end to the streaking party. She was screaming and throwing herself down for a good ten minutes. I held her in my lap and told her she was not going anywhere until she calmed down. Finally after ten minutes with no sign of self-control and calming down I called J up and he held her. H calmed down within two minutes and we talked about how we don't behave that way and then she was off to say goodnight to brother and sister like nothing happened. Ahh the joys of toddler training and discipline.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So a couple of weeks ago when cute little O came to spend some days with us it was clear that all H needs is a playmate. School went so smooth those couple of days since H was distracted and not constantly trying to steal the kids books away so she could have a turn. The schoolroom was officially moved this weekend and things are now going much better. More on that along with pics. later.

H and O playing so nicely together.

The one day when we went on that insane field trip I had many people thinking they were twins. I could not understand this since they are 8 months apart, have different color hair, eyes, etc.. When I took this pic though I could see why people might think that. They are close in size! H still has an inch on her though.

However, when H decided she was going to pick on one of the older ones and steal their books she now had her own little sidekick.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Celebrating and Missing Daddy

So it is really hard to believe that the last fall feast is over. Where is the days, weeks, and months going?!?! For Tabernacles we set up our "pop-up" Sukkot in the living room and had a few dinners and family Bible times in it. It was snug and cozy when you try to feed a family of five in there. Ahhh, great memories! We also had cupcakes to celebrate Jesus's birth. L enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Him.
The day after celebrating J left for L.A. for a conference. L had a really hard time with this and cried on and off all day on Sunday and then randomly throughout the week. J used to travel so much but I soon realized that L was too little to remember those days. I try to completely change the schedule up when J is away. It seems like the kids and I handle things better that way. After we left the airport we headed back to the zoo. I had promised the kids one train ride this year and I thought this would be the perfect distraction. It was a gloomy day and I was REALLY worried the train wouldn't be running. Praise the Lord it was!!! I did not have a back up plan!!!

The kids love riding the train. They were especially excited about getting to ride in the caboose facing backwards.

H can't wait for the ride to begin.

After the train we went to see if the tiger was up. Even though there is that piece of glass there I always take a step back when he comes right up to the window! That is a big cat! H has absolutely no fear when it comes to animals.

When we went over to the white tiger he was happily resting but as soon as I set H down by the window he jumped up and came over. Mmmmm midday snack.
We survived J being gone and were all happy to see him when he came home.