Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do you have EVERYTHING?

Love this hangs in my kitchen so that I can see it in clear view daily...

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just MAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING they have.

Wow...Don't ya just love that!!!

There's my uplifting thought for you for the day ~ hope it makes you just want to run out there and make it the best day ever!

I'm in my happy place ~ Smack in the middle of our crazy crew of kiddos...some are happy, some are not...such is a day in the life of a family!
I truly do have the best of everything and fully intend to keep on believin' it!!!
When one person has so many people to love and be loved by ~ how could life be anything but THE BEST???
Here's to a fabulous Tuesday!

A Day In The Sun & Wind

Saturday...What an incredible day we enjoyed together! The wind was a little strong, but the sun was SHINING!

We spent the day doing what all my boys love the most (the girls are startin' to love it too!)
Playing in the dirt, climbing the highest hills, jumping the highest jumps possible ~ cause if you're a boy "catchin' serious air" is a major thing in life! (I just hold my breath and hope they land it okay!)

Yep, he's in the air ~ do you have any idea how many shots it takes to actually catch them in the air. Got him on the ground, just the ground, just after landing, just before jumping...anyway, we finally got it ~ how happy he was! That bike must have jumped 200 plus times Saturday!

Here's the gang, I'm taking the pictures so I'm not there, but all our kiddos except our oldest are present and riding! How special is that?! Don't they just look awesome! What a sight ~ I take a look at that and think to myself ~ Wow, they are all mine!!!

Now I have to show you that I really can boys all LOVE it when I am out riding with them. Our oldest son let me borrow his motorcycle ~ I'm not as good as he is, but he was impressed...he told me that I looked like I loved riding the motorcycle way more than the four wheelers. Truth is way fun, a little scary at times, but it was a blast. And I think the best part is the looks on their faces when I come back and they are stunned at what I just did!!! It's good to surprise your kids and hubby once in a while! Keeps 'em on their toes!

Here are some extra shots of the day ~ just couldn't leave them out!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Country Life...


Spring Babies

Spring is such a magical time ...

Flowers blooming, green grass poking through, sunshine warming us, buds on the trees, the lovely sound of chirping birds, and the wonder of new SPRING BABIES!!!!

What a wonderful time of the year to be a child ~ to experience the wonder and the awe of creation!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Leprechauns Have Been Here!

Did the leprechauns visit your house this morning???

Our kids awoke to a deeeeeelicious green breakfast...

The green milk was a little much for some of them...they were positive it just tasted different...But no complaints about the green sprinkled donuts, green grapes, green apples and green yogurt!

I think the rest of our day should be filled with rolling in the green grass and searching for green clovers outside. It is way too beautiful to be indoors...
school may have to move outside so we can soak up some of this wonderful sunshine!

Happy St. Patrick's Day ~

Hope your day is filled with Golden moments!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Peacemaker Update

Okay this is just the cutest...and how happy I feel that a lesson we gave actually meant something to at least one of our kids. For Family Home Evening a week or two ago, we did a whole HUGE lesson on being a Peacemaker ~ it was an attempt to lessen the contention happening around here.

The next day I was more than a little concerned that it all went right over their heads, when our little 4 year old came up to me crying. She said she couldn't earn the peacemaker award because I wasn't helping her "make any pieces"...
HUH??? What??? Oh dear...she just didn't get it at all!
Aaaaauuuuuggggghhhhhh....why do I try so hard...breathe momma, breathe!
So, I took a nice, deep refreshing breath, put on my happy face and re-explained that we weren't going to be making pieces of anything, we needed to be happy and kind and that would bring peace and we would be making peace happen, so we would be peacemakers.......
Only time would tell if she "got it" or not.

Well, today I was visiting with a friend of mine, (also our littlest one's primary teacher). She told me she had the funniest thing to tell me that our little girl had said to her...and how very, very intent she was as she told her!

Our little one very seriously approached her primary teacher, who had been working with her sister teaching the little 4 year olds, and asked her if she was a peacemaker. Her response was that she really tried to be a good sister and a peacemaker. Our little girl said, "Good, you MUST ALWAYS be a peacemaker with your sister!" Content with her primary teachers answer, she turned and walked away.

Hooray for those sweet little spirits! (After the morning of tears being shed over not "making pieces", she has been the one who prays that we'll all remember to be peacemakers and that we can be nice and kind and not hurt anyone and that we can remember how Jesus wants us to be!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Part Two ~ More Fun!

Okay, lunch is now officially over. Those of you who have lots of boys know that means I have a very short amount of time until they are ready for their second lunch...always hungry, always hungry. A mom's work just never ends! Ha Ha

Speaking of work, I probably should be doing some, there is laundry waiting, dishes to do, floors to sweep and mop and vacuum. Saturday should, by all rights be a working day, but I needed a break today...and so do our kids ~ we all need a little down time now and then. Sometimes I think I had all these kiddos just to help me with the chores around the house ~ just kidding! but our kids are great helpers, I wanted them all to know how to do each and every job essential in running a household and they do! Hooray for me!!!

I just have to show you the cutest treat ever! My fabulous friend came up with this and did what I am sure had to amount to hours and hours of prep so we could make these adorable little goodies for our kiddos...

Cheeseburger and Fries Anyone???

Wow did they come a runnin'! Best Cheeseburger and fries ever, they'd like me to make them each day!

"Cheeseburgers" are made from a cupcake cut in half with a delicious little brownie in the middle, add some colored frosting for the ketchup, mustard and lettuce/pickle look, dip the top "bun" in a little sesame seeds and voila ~ you have the most adorable cheeseburger ever! Add some tasty "fries" (made from sugar cookies dough) and it's the perfect Happy Meal! Can't get any better than that!

Well what else has been fun around here?

School Days!!! Here are just a few of the crazy things we do around here...

Ever thought of using a mouse trap for anything other than catching a mouse???

Well, our son decided to turn one into a car...he was pleased with the great acceleration, but quite disappointed with the distance...


Science Experiment????

Can cell phones REALLY pop popcorn?

Well, our's did not, but the anticipation of waiting to see was very real.

I could see the wheels turning, "If a cell phone can pop popcorn, is it cooking my brain?"

WOW ~ Do other people's kids come up with this kinda stuff?

Having trouble figuring out what this photo is???

Well, it is an egg and was made by one of our little girls from modeling clay. She made it one night before bed, showed it to her Daddy and told him to wait until morning. Why wait until morning?

"It will turn into a bird in the morning, my egg will hatch!"

Well, being the amazing, magical dad that he is ~ he made that come true for her! Just one more reason to love him!!!

Up early the next morning, he set to work, creating the perfect bird!

Check out that impressive creation! She was thrilled ~ What A Dad!!!


Recently, actually over Valentine's Day, my dear hubby and I had a job in the mountains that we were able to travel to, do the work and then get to stay the whole weekend...What a great time for us to get away ~ that doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it is just the best! Here are a couple photos of our fun:

Had to take a shot at ice-skating. All the little kids were skating circles around us! He's showing off for me...just did a little twirly loop-ity-loop and didn't even fall over! Wow...

How cute is he (I meant my husband) the frog is cute too, but I couldn't believe he got me this giant stuffed animal for Valentines Day ~ it's got the whole googly eye thing goin' on with a heart with xoxoxo on it. Yeah, I got it made, he is soooo good to me!

Wow do I love him...this was just on our way out...we are ready to see our kiddos ~ it's a little crazy not having all the NOISE of busy little people running around!

Very seldom do we have quiet moments in our day ~ to tell you the truth, we are both so grateful for that ~ noise and busyness means we are really is good!

Until next time...

Some Fun To Share!!!

So as I have been thinking about what's been going on in our little are just a few of the crazy highlights!

Ever tried dodging Tumbleweeds?

Good luck, I swear those hummers must have a mind of their own...traveling this morning to take our daughter to another horse competition, I find myself trying (heavy on the trying!) to dodge these crazy tumbleweeds ~ I was fairly successful until one of them decided to become a permanent fixture on our van. I think it must have been sitting on the sidelines just waiting for the perfect moment to jump out with a surprise is now the newest member to our world perfectly embedded just beneath my bumper!

Oh, I have the greatest thing to show you!!!

Some very smart soul out there has created my kinda horse...we don't have to feed it, it doesn't poop, doesn't throw my kids off, doesn't have to be de-wormed or shoed or pastured. It just sits there looking adorable all the time! Not a bit smelly, no mess, it's perfect! And it's great for dress up time, stands perfectly still, allows the littlest of riders to climb on safely and have the time of their life! Hours and hours of entertainment ~ I have to remember to thank Dixie for this great gift for our little ones!

Dancin' the Night Away!
Don't we all just love a good party? We've had some fabulous ones over the last month ~

Dance, Dance, Dance...Do those kids look like they are having the time of their lives or what! Well, all us "old people" had a pretty fine time ourselves. I spared you the photos of us (although they were quite hysterical to see!)

I just love all the pure, sweet fun families can have! And I am here to tell you the exercise you experience with dancing is intense!!! We were all huffin' and puffin' and workin' up a sweat. But we sure did have some great laughs!

Oh and the makevoer session was something to see ~ the boys even joined in with a helping hand. They wouldn't go for the girls doing makeovers on them, but they were quick to apply makeup to those little cuties!

Could this be a career in the making for her? And look at the intensity on his face...he is serious about this makeup business...I love it!
Well, I really must run now...I am being called, "Mom, what's for lunch, we are starving!!!!"
Stay tuned ~ more fun to come...

Can Any House Be A Home?

Have you heard that our nation is suffering difficult economic times...of course you have, we all have. But I see it a little differently, I see it as families suffering the difficult times!
We can look around and see many that we know and love who have lost their jobs, some their businesses, some their homes and for some their Hope.

Over the past many months, our family has been right in the midst of all of this turmoil and change...change can be hard and devastating OR it can change us for the better and make us stronger. But I believe that one of the things that has to happen is that we have to reach the point where we know that all hope is not lost, that whatever comes we can survive and we will be happy if we choose to be!

For me, I've had to stop listening to all the people "out there" who have their judgemental opinions of the housing crisis. Well, I am here to tell you that it is only a crisis if you are truly in the middle of losing your home, that is a crisis, sometimes it feels like the end of the world. I've had to get over the comments that you hear from the news, from the media, from the "know-it-all's" that people losing their homes are only losing them because they couldn't really afford them to begin with....

WELL, I have a thing or two to say about all of that!!!

We searched long and hard for the perfect house to make our home...we found it, put down a large downpayment, purchased it, moved in, filled it with children and love, and made our payments (thus, we could afford this dream of ours) Our home is nothing extravagent, not a mansion, just a sweet, simple older home that had the perfectly wonderful huge kitchen made just for a big family who all cook together, one bedroom for all the boys and one bedroom for all the girls, lots of open space for kids to be was simply the perfect, beautiful, wonderful home made just for us.

When my husband and I bought our dream home, the home where we dreamed of raising our children and providing what we could see as the best possible upbringing for a whole crew of kiddos, we intended to be here "forever". It felt like the most perfect piece of heaven meant just for raising kids who needed to learn to work and to serve and to run, to play and explore, to build tree forts, see the hawks flying overhead, to see the wonder of openness, baby kittens everywhere, the beauty of a country life, to raise chickens (and learn to run from roosters), to experience the frustration of plugging all the holes that those sneaky little pigmy goats could escape from, more baby kittens everywhere, to enjoy the peacefulness of laying out on the grass looking up at the clouds, watching the breeze blow through all the leaves on the trees, crossing the creek (occassionally falling in while trying to save their fabulous boat they set a sailing), loving more baby kittens (yes, they just kept showing up, much to our little girls' delight!), learning to raise a garden, riding their horses, falling off and picking themselves back up and climbing right back on, and learning the responsibility of caring for and loving and sometimes having to say good-bye to the animals they nurtured. All the things we felt were essential in building the character of our children.

Well, as most of you have probably already figured out, this dream of ours seems to be coming to an end...

And the sad part is that we truly feel there is nothing more we can do. We didn't lose a job as so many others did, we just own a service business ~ often thought of as a luxury, not a necessity, and so with others losing their jobs, we in essence lost our job, as our level of work has dropped substantially, we've done (I should say, my dear husband has done) all the odd jobs, creative work he can possibly find, which has provided for our needs, but hasn't quite covered our dream home.
BUT we are still working and we still have hope and we will not give up because we are not quitters! But we will be moving on and we will be okay, we will be exploring new lands, conquering old fears, building new relationships, and learning new things about ourselves.

With all of this, what I have to come to accept and this is truly a blessing for me, is that we can still have our dream home in any house we live in, in any area, in the country or in a subdivision. It's really in how we look at it and how we portray our love and excitement of change to our children. And if only for a time, our children did get to live the dream my husband and I desired for them...and that can last a lifetime for them and for us!

So, can any house be a home?
With a little love, unending hope, smiles and occassionally tears, yes, I believe it can!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Take my breath away!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

In each and every day there are "moments" that can take our breath away if we will but "see them"! They are there, we just don't always take the time to recognize or appreciate the moment.

When your kids run in for you or call for you ~ are you available to them? Do you joyfully come to them, respond to them, run and play with them, go and see and do with them?

I was soooo grateful for the beautiful sunshine we had helped me to be the kind of momma my kids need and deserve. I'm sometimes such a pansy when it is too cold outdoors and I'd rather just stay toasty and warm indoors and watch them through the windows. BAD MOM!!! I need to be going and seeing and doing WITH them, those will be the "moments" for them and for me that we will always cherish. They don't want me to see through the window, they want me right there holding their hands, splashing in the puddles, looking at the budding trees and flowers, riding the bikes, rolling in the grass, jumping on the trampoline and swinging 'till we can touch the sky together! This time will go fast and right now I am the luckiest person in the world 'cause my kids want me there, I'm important to them, I'm special, I'm fun and sometimes I'm even a little crazy! We laugh together and I love those special times!

I learned a great lesson from my little girls today while we were walking in the park. There were several large groups of high school kids running (my guess - a P.E. class or track team) group after group passed us, and finally one of our girls said, "Wow, why is everyone in such a hurry around here?" I laughed and then thought about what she had to say and how she perceived that moment. As moms, I think we often feel like we are always in hurry, rushing here and there, food to cook, laundry to do, boys to scouts, girls to piano lessons, 4-H meeting if 15 minutes, bills to drop off to the post office, little ones to read to, older ones to help with math or biology, (take a big breath) and then we're off to....... It hardly feels like there is time to enjoy this busy life. But we do have the blessing of deciding how to spend our time! Maybe we need to just take that breath and ask ourselves why is everyone in such a hurry around here? Why am I in such a hurry? What can I let go of? What is important?

I do know what is important...So no matter what the weather brings or what the busyness of life brings, I am going to be there right beside them soaking it all up, loving our moments! Because in this life I really have no idea how many breaths I might be blessed to take, but one thing I do know for sure is that the moments that take my breath away could be (as my kids would say ~ infinity plus one!) And I don't want to miss a single one!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Family Home Evening ~ Peacemaker Award!!!

Is contention just raging in your homes somedays???

I hope for you it is not, but I pray that it is not just happening in my home, with all my children...If so, I must be doing something terribly wrong!

Well tonight was our great attempt at doing all we can as parents to try to curb this behavior. We are implementing the Peacemaker Award. Who wouldn't want to earn this incredible title?! My sincere hope is that ALL of our children will want to earn this honor on a daily basis...I know I am probably dreaming, but I am going to go for it! And what is life without a dream.

Here are the scriptures we started with and then we presented the awards to be begin with we'll be going with the basic method of bribery ~ your choice of candy for fabulous peacemaking abilities...I'm not above bribery! I know we'll have to be creative to keep this as an incentive, but I believe this was a prompting for our family and so onward we go!!!

I printed the following out on card stock to post next to our sign announcing the winning family member of the Peacemaker Award ~

Peacemaker Award
Do you have what it takes to be a Peacemaker in this world??? In this family??? In your heart???
Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.”
John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Romans 12:14-21 reads, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt reap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -- Marcel Proust