Sunday, October 30, 2011


Halloween was a bit of an afterthought this year (as it also was last year).  I mean, it was not an afterthought for Ada, but it was for me.

I planned to trick-or-treat on the McDonough square because we can walk there from our house, and it sounded like fun to me.  However, I thought that was happening Saturday night, and it was actually happening Friday night.  So we missed that.

And I really wanted to "get it done" over the weekend, because Mondays are crazy enough without adding trick-or-treating into the mix.

So, thanks to a friend from church, I heard about a trunk-or-treat happening at a local church, and we decided to go for it.

I was bound and determined to get a picture of the kids in their costumes.  The problem with Ada is she kept wanting to do "Cinderella poses," which looked a lot like ballet to me.  And John just wanted to go inside, take off his costume, and go to bed, so pictures were the last thing on his mind.

But, finally, pictures were taken, carseats were loaded, and we were off.

The trunk-or-treat got the job done, I suppose.  There was a long line that was not moving when we got there, so Scott went in search of someone to figure out what was going on, but he never really got much info. Finally, though, we were moving, but even then, the line was so long, it took us forever to get to the first "trunk."  In the mean time, Ada is freezing cold, so I took off my sweatshirt to wrap around her, and John was fussy from the get-go, so you can imagine the scene, right?

However, once the candy started flowing, all was right in the world.  We even let John break into his candy right away just to appease his emotions, and Ada, despite her shivering lips, was loving it.  She even wanted to make a bracelet and jump in the bouncy house after the actual "trunk-or-treating," and we had to make her leave when it was time because her little hands and cheeks were frozen.  She kept insisting that she wanted to stay.

So...another Halloween done.

By the way, Ada's costume was an absolute last minute decision.  Until about ten minutes before walking out the door, she had planned to be Rapunzel (for weeks she had planned this), but all of a sudden she announced that she was going to be Cinderella, so Cinderella it was (luckily we had lots of options in the dress up box).

Friday, October 28, 2011


It's driving me crazy that my blog is so neglected right now.

Blogging is my outlet, my journal, a record of the day to day with these kiddos of mine, and the list could go on and on.  But I am having a bit of a writer's block or more like energy block.  My energy level stays in the negative these days, and blogging just keeps falling to the bottom of the list.  (I am looking into possible causes for this low energy).

But I am here.  Life is moving along.

I am so thankful for fall.  The fall air and colors have been especially good for my soul lately.  On the rare day that we have a free afternoon, I load Ada and John into the double stroller, and we head out to soak up these fleeting days of fall.  They crave it.  I crave it.  It's good for us all.  (Ada does walk with me, but the double stroller is there for back up when she begins to complain that she is tired).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We have been trying to find a time to fit in a trip to the pumpkin patch, but our weekends keep filling up.  So...we decided to go yesterday afternoon, after John's nap.  I'll be honest with you.  On a Sunday afternoon, the pumpkin patch is not my number one choice of activities, but it seemed the best option.  I would prefer a Saturday morning, but it is what it is.  And Ada and John loved it.  To say the least.

 You've got to love this kind of picture--you know the "prop" picture.  Ada was loving it.
 And here, John is patiently waiting on some llamas to come over and eat some grass out of his hand.  They were not interested.  They weren't even looking at him.  But he just kept standing there, so trusting that they would eventually come.  He had seen Ada feed the pony, so he wanted in on the action.

 And the hayride, which was fun.  You know, a hayride in the middle of fall is always a good thing.  I think.
There was also a jumpy house, a big slide, and a few other "attractions."  We closed the place down (only because we got there in the late afternoon, so it was only about an hour and a half before closing).

The pumpkin patch, it's a childhood must.

By the way, the pictures are still from my camera.  (no kidding, right?)  We are waiting to see if there are any super after-Thanksgiving deals before we make the big camera purchase.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Catch

God has gifted me with a mind that constantly teeters on the edge of "going off the deep end," and hoping there is someone at the bottom to catch me if I do in fact "jump."

In my feeble, "he remembers that we are dust," state of humanity, I have often tried to deal with this crazy mind of mine by controlling everything in sight.  My weight, back in school--my grades, and now, my house and my children.  In other words, I try to take the pill of perfectionism.  And I always crash and burn into a pile of my own sin.

It isn't pretty.

But over the last year, as God stripped me of all control, I learned that, it's true.  When my mind is spinning out of control, and the perfectionism isn't cutting it, because in my "state of dust," I really don't have any control at all, I can trust him.  I can trust him.  He will catch me as I fall.  As I plummet, even.  He will catch me.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.  Isaiah 26:3

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thankful. #s 181-190

I'm a day late, but here goes...

181.  After six weeks of tutoring with CC, finally getting a paycheck, and Scott saying it was mine to do with as I wish.

182.  Wonderful, insane deals to go with that paycheck.  (For example, a Banana Republic dress, originally 60.00, I got it for 13.00.)

183.  A random Home Depot coupon for buy two, get one free mum, adding a little bit of fall to my front and back porch.

184.  Finally, finally, finding a hair salon that I like here in McDonough--two minutes from my house and open on Saturdays (so Scott can stay with the kids).

185.  John's little hand softly patting my back when I cuddle with him in the mornings after he wakes up.

186.  Ada reading several words without us getting in an argument to make it happen.  We're getting there.

187.  So many wonderful fall days spent outside with the kids.

188.  Bringing fall inside with two new candles from Bath and Body works (bought with a B1G1 coupon)--leaves and spiced apple toddy.

189.  No afternoon tutoring this week.  A welcome break!!!

190.  Beautiful canopy of trees on the backroads between here and school on Tuesday mornings.  It is just the pick me up I need to snap me out of my sleepy state each Tuesday morning.

As always, there is much to be thankful for.  I love fall.  I love it.  It is good for my soul.

It makes me want to escape to a cabin somewhere surrounded by nothing but gorgeous trees and crisp air.  It's a tempting thought...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

School continues. And what I am learning in the process.

 Just as I suspected back when Ada was a baby, and I first began to think through the option of homeschooling, my perfectionist, obsessive tendencies tend to bleed into our school time every single day.  When Ada can't remember the sound of O, even though we have been practicing it for weeks, or she forgets a Latin word that I know she knows, I get frustrated, she gets frustrated, our voices cross over into the land of not so kind, and...she's only four.  She's only four.
 When she can't remember every single bit of her memory work for the week (and it's a lot), and I become convinced that I am a terrible homeschooling mom and we need to immediately enroll her in public school, Scott has to remind me--she's four.  Focus on reading.  Focus on getting used to the routine.  She's four.
 When my house is a disaster.  A disaster (look at these pictures for a visual image of this).  And I read other blogs where moms have perfect morning routines so that their houses are perfectly in order before they even begin school for the morning, I, again, want to throw in the towel.  I am having to remind myself that me as a homeschooling mom is still going to look like me.  I am not an orderly person.  I am scattered and scatterbrained and intense and get it right one day and get it super wrong the next.  I have to know that just because I declare myself a homeschooler, I won't fall into perfect routines right away.  So...I am having to find something that works for us.
 And this is the main reason that I signed up for Classical Conversations.  I knew that I needed something to keep me on track. Accountability each week so that we don't veer completely off course.  But I also knew that I would feel tempted to compare and fret and want to be the best and feel like a failure if we aren't.  So, surprise, surprise...homeschooling is just another way that the Lord is showing me the depth of my sin and my desperate need for the gospel.  Desperate need. is homeschooling going?  It's going.  It's up and down.  Our goal is to get in three solid days at home (not counting our Tuesday in the classroom).  My goal is to get the main daily chores done before we start school each day.  Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn't.

And, being honest with you, it's turning out to be more of a time commitment than I realized.  It's a bit overwhelming.  I sometimes feel a bit like I am drowning, and I need to run far away and find a little corner where I can just be alone.  But, my conviction hasn't changed.  I have no doubt that this is what God has called our family to do, so I am trusting that His grace is sufficient.  He will equip me.  Right?  (please, Lord, help me do this).

I have also realized this year, as my time is stretched thin over various commitments, that next year, my one commitment needs to be homeschooling.  It's full time, and if I am going to do this, I have to do it.  I am sure there are other women who can handle more than me, but for me, for us, I will not take on nearly as much next year.

So, there you go... a little school update.

Bottom line.  We are learning as we go.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Budding Artist

Look who has discovered the joy of a blank piece of paper and a crayon.  He loves it.  He can't get enough.

And when I tell him it's bath time, he just brings his paper and crayon with him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Morning. Another Week.

Traditionally, Monday is when I do my thankful list, but I am going to change that today and do a little catching up on the blog.

The kids are fed, the dishwasher is unloaded and kitchen cleaned, and the laundry is going (beds are not made yet, I confess), so I am grabbing this moment to blog.

What has been happening with us lately?

1.  Ada started ballet last Wednesday.  She is thrilled to be back at it.  All summer she has asked when ballet will start again.  When ballet ended in the Spring. Ada was dealing with her extreme fears and it was a battle to get her to go into the classroom each week.  I am relieved and thankful  that those fears are gone.  On Wednesday, she pranced into the classroom and never looked back.  Thank you, Lord.

 (Ada goes barefoot for ballet.  I think she will get some ballet shoes for Christmas)
(by the way, we do have a yard with grass, I just always end up taking pictures in our parking area)

2.  On Thursday, a group of us went on our first official homeschool field trip.  My first, I mean.  It was homeschool day at the train museum in Duluth, and there we were in all our glory ;)  Overall, it was...okay...

John held it together until the end, but once he was done, he was done.  But we did it, and I know these types of things are good for Ada.  The field trip ended with a really bad train ride.  It was so slow and random.  But, we did ride a train.  And it was fun to tour old passenger trains.

 (there was a sheet for the students to fill out as they toured the museum)

(the very slow train ride)

3. On Friday my parents came for the day.  I have no pictures of this.  It was a really fun day, though.  They needed to pick up some furniture that we no longer have room for, and we made a day of it.  Mom brought lunch, and we just hung out around the house.  Ada and John loved it, of course, and it was fun for me, as well.  Plus, mom brought lots of food, so that took care of meals for us all weekend long.  Yay.

4.  On Saturday, with all of its glorious fall weather, we headed to a local "fly-in."  We have a neighborhood of pilots here.  You know, where everybody owns their own plane--and the father of the girl who teaches Ada's ballet class is one of the pilots in that neighborhood.  So, around lunch time on Saturday, we headed over there so that Ada and John could see the air planes and enjoy being outside.  I thought that Ada and John would love seeing the airplanes, but they were only mildly impressed.  Still, it was a fun outing.

 (Ada sitting in an airplane)

(playing on the playground)
 (Ada spends her life dancing)

And, of course, we wrapped up the weekend with the huge Auburn win--War Eagle!!!!  And a family walk around the neighborhood.  We are trying to soak up as much of this wonderful weather as possible.

And so begins another week.  I continue to feel a bit overwhelmed by life, but I am putting one foot in front of the other, and reminding myself...

This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it
Psalm 118:24