Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lessons Learned

When's Mommy gonna learn?

You see, she gets busy.

I get fussy.

It seems her go-to fix for these problems is...well...food.

I like food.

Okay you Biggest Loser fans, it seems like I'm headed down a dangerous path, right?

Fear not, I'm well aware food does not bring peace to my heart.

And, I do have carrots on my tray.

But, you see, that's not my point.

When Mommy puts my siblings in charge of me while she's busy, well, it never turns out too neatly.

When Mommy said, "give Kate a few more goldfish..." well, Grant dumped the bag on the tray.

And, without consulting Mommy, they thought it'd be swell to put whole baby carrots on my tray. Maybe it was the adjective "baby" that confused them.

Does it look like I have rabbit teeth to gnaw through that? As you can tell, I wasn't successful.

Fortunately she finally came to my rescue...

just in time to snap this totally awesome picture of what appears to be a golfish hanging from my nose.



No, I'm not that talented.

Just lucky.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Challenge

I added one more item to my Christmas stash for the kids. Kate was short an item. I know she will never have a clue, but I will. So, thanks to Fab.com I received a $10 credit that I used for this...

A must have, right, for every one year old?

Originally this is $19.99. With the Fab.com  discount and the $10 credit, it became $3.99 and then the lovely $4.95 shipping bumped it up to $8.94. Still, though, more than half off.


But wait, there's more! You too can receive the $10 credit if shop at Fab.com! It's good through Monday. And, if your 1 year old is in the market for an engaging pull along toy, well you too can get it for $8.94. And it's guaranteed to get here before Christmas. Awesome huh? And if you click on any one of my Fab.com links  I'll get credit. Isn't it lovely how that works?

So, here's my Christmas challenge total:

Oh and I'm still planning on getting Kate a pillow pet too, but banking on my $25 Amazon gift card that's in the mail to get here in time to order it.

The smaller items will be going in their stockings.


Total Spent: $53.72
Toys bought: 2 pillow pets,4 hairbows, a dollhouse with accessories, Citiblocs, a rainmaker, GeoBaby, Iron Man shooter (a gift I got a year ago), Lego Walkie Talkies, Mario coin bank, a vintage barbie (I got a year ago), a gear toy (I got a year ago), and a pull along toy, 2 chapsticks from Target's dollar section, the coloring tablecloth

The vintage Barbie I got at Target's winter sale last year. I spent $11.23. The gear toy I got during last year's black Friday for probably about $9. And the Iron Man mask and shooter I got at last year's black Friday for about $6. So, if I factor those prices in my total spent is:

$79.95 which will be my grand total, as long as that Amazon card gets here soon!

For fun..here's what I would have paid if I paid full price for all of this:

$370.54 (based on Amazon prices)

A savings of almost $300!

Not bad!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mommy's Moment: Contributions

I have made some contributions.

I'm not talking about to orphanages, pregnancy resource centers, or homeless shelters.

No, I'm talking about something much more vain than that.

My genetic contributions to my children.

You see it seems I get this...

"Oh they look just like John."

or

"When are you going to bear kids that look like you?"

or

"That's a spitting image of John."


I love my husband. I love what he contributes to our children.

But I carried these children for nine months and bore them...

I'd like to think my contributions are appreciated as well.

So today, I took matters into my own hands...or uh, scanner.

My first act of scanning...(after a year of owning a scanner)

to prove I did have some genes enter into my children.

Perhaps I'm setting myself up for failure.

But here I go...


I tend to think Grant resembles me the most.

GASP.

But, I have some proof.

Grant at 2                    Me at 2
        
 


Come on, do you see it? Something? A glimmer of Hart inside his body?

I like to think we share the same full face (not my proudest asset) along with our coloring.

So, what's your thought?

Only share it if it agrees with mine.

I need to hear you say it.

Just say it...

Grant looks like me...

(taken from a line in Far and Away...read the last part with an Irish accent...it'll pack more of a punch, trust me.)



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conversations with...Grant




In the car with the windows down...

Me: Grant, I'm rolling up the windows, make sure your hands are away from it.

Grant: because I have "pwecious" hands. pause. And you have "pwecious" hands too.


At dinner:

Me: who wants to pray?

Grant: me! Dear Jesus, thank you for sweet Hannah, sweet Mommy, sweet Daddy, sweet Kate. Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How I Roll

This is how I roll.




Milk in hand. A little bead bling around my neck. And some mean Winnie the Pooh on my shirt. And some milk dribbling from my chin.

Don't freak.

I know it's fierce.

This is just how I roll.

Conversations with...Hannah


Hannah: Mommy will you look like that when you're old?

Me: No.

Hannah: when I grow up and you and Daddy are old, I'll make you supper.

Me: that's be awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Unexpected





Unexpected...

when that pregnancy test almost six years ago showed two lines

and when just a short year and a half later, another one did

Unexpected...

when the sonographer tells you that the third little baby no longer is viable

Or when you find that check laying on the floor that will pull you through a tough financial time

Unexpected...

when your husband comes home early from work to tell you he lost his job...for being honest

Unexpected...

a sweet surprise of a fourth life growing inside of you

But the most glorious unexpected happens in the midst of a world that thrives on self accomplishment. The better you perform, the better accolades, applause, rewards. What you do directly affects what you receive.

Unexpected is "while we were still sinners Christ DIED for us..."

Unexpected is unmerited, scandelous grace that says...your reward is not dependent on your actions. In fact, you have NOTHING that can present you acceptable in my eyes. SO, I will give you Christ who makes you acceptable. Not because you are good. Not because you work hard. Not because you are moral. But because it pleases Him.

And so, for those of us who have Christ dwelling in us...we experienced and are experiencing the most unexpected. . .the eternal goodness of the Lord through His Son, Jesus. A reward that deserves perfection on our part but is impossible to attain. So, Christ did the unexpected, He attained it for us.

Praise be to Him for the Unexpected.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

John and Kate Plus Distaste?

So yeah, our relationship gets a little rocky. Perhaps that's the way it goes for John and Kate combos.

But, it's rocky because, well, of juice.

He has some. I don't.




And it seems he has no interest in sharing but rather is taking full pleasure in gloating about the fact I'm stuck with milk.

Distasteful.

So this is how it's gonna be John?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Homeschool Diaries: A Refreshed Perspective

Fortunately, my lack of homeschool blogging is not a reflection of our actual homeschooling.

We are moving along and have finally completed the alphabet! And with the completion of the alphabet Hannah is becoming a stronger and stronger reader. I love to hear her sounding out words as we go about our day in the car or on errands. She is confidently reading her Bob books with little help. It makes me happy to see her running to grab her books to read them to me.

And as she is growing in her love for reading, I am growing in my love for a classical education. And, for those of you who know me well, when I start to love something, you know like Christian rap artists Flame and LeCrae and the whole coupon thing...I like to talk and talk about it! I get fired up.

A former public school teacher, I was skeptical of this method. But now, I can't stop talking about it. I was fortunate enough to go to a practicum for Classical Conversations two weeks ago. It was here where I finally felt like I was 100% on board with educating our kids through this method. And excited about it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the model, like I was just a short while ago, it's method that focuses on the three stages of learning: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.

We are in the grammar stage: memorizing the basic facts or "grammar" of math, history, science, language arts, and latin. The kids in no way are expected to know the meaning behind these facts at this point. They are only committing them to memory.

In 3rd or 4th grade (can't remember..think it's fourth) they move into the dialectic stage where they begin making sense of those facts now committed to memory. They begin organizing them and using those facts.

Finally, they move into the rhetoric stage (high school age) where they take all that they learned and apply it to their life.

An example is like a computer: input (grammar), processing (dialectic), and output (rhetoric)

An example in music would be memorizing the music notes in the grammar stage. In the dialectic stage the student would then use the basic facts about the notes and what they look like to start playing music or reading music. Finally in the rhetoric stage, the student would then not only play music but be able to write his/her own.

Another great example is studying the Bible. In college I was introduced to the method: observation, interpretation, application. Same thing here. Observation is like the grammar stage, gathering facts in a verse/passage. Then, the dialectic stage is the interpretation of that passage...taking those facts and beginning to make sense of them. Finally, the rhetoric stage would be applying what you learned through the interpretation in your own life.

Okay, so I could go on and on. But these examples were very enlightening to me with how the method worked.

Of course I love that the goal of Classical Conversations is to know God and to make Him known.

And in the midst of the grammar stage of memorizing we are also learning to read, working on basic math skills, and delving into some crafts.

So, here we are, homeschooling. And, actually enjoying it. Who'd a thought?!

Today, we had a small victory...Grant finally held his writing utensil (a dry erase marker) the RIGHT WAY. We've had many a tears with trying to hold it correctly. And with some great advice from other moms at Classical Conversations, Grant cheerifully held the marker the right way and practiced writing his G. He was adamant to write a G so I let him. And Hannah is finally writing her name correctly, meaning not in all caps. Just the fact we accomplished this today made me happy!

I'll leave you with their proud work:

Sunday, November 06, 2011

My Chariot Awaits

I've got a cush life. Like a queen.

I can't complain.

My brother and sister wait on me hand and foot. They even designed my own special "chariot." Fitting for a queen, right?




Okay, so it's a cardboard box but that pillow, well that pillow makes it extra special. It shows they care. They care about my comfort. And queens need to be comfortable.

And so, as I take my royal ride, I close my eyes and visualize being escorted through the palace streets.



But in the midst of that visualization I come to a startling thought...

were chariots more for war? Should I be picturing myself going into battle? Okay, that could put a damper on my whole post. War, really? I don't like that idea. I'm not ready for such a heavy thematic dream. Not only does this idea become unsettling it also impedes my otherwise pleasant ride, soon crashing me back into reality.

You know, like this...






All because I lack an education vivid enough to portray the accurate details to entertain my imagination, thus catapulting me into a hazardous situation.

How embarassing.





It just goes to show kids, an education is even an important part of our imaginations.

So...

Learn your facts. Stay in school. Or your posh chariot ride may turn into a war tragedy.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Would I remember this....



if I didn't have a photo or a blog to pin it up as though it were a bulletin board?

Because today, she's now this...




4 and half years have passed. And with each passing year I find things hard to remember.
As I watch Kate waddling across the room I can't help but try to picture Grant doing the same at that age, and yet, I can't.

Funny how memories fade. Fade too quickly. They move so fast that I can only see them as a fog slowly lifting away.

And so, I have this blog. Yes, an outlet to write and to share but more importantly it is my place to remember. Because all too quickly that moment I swear I'll remember soon becomes muddled in that fog of memories that occupy my mind in a dreamlike way.

So, I fight to remember with each picture I post and with each word I pen.




Tuesday, November 01, 2011

O Brother Where Art Thou?

Sometimes, I cry...

O Brother, where art thou? When you're beyond my gaze.

When I find you, I'm determined not to lose you.

So, I hold on to you.


And, I get comfortable because, well, I don't want to lose you again.


So, don't even think about getting away. Because, I'll stick to you like white on rice.


I'll refuse to let you go.

Or as Rose says to Jack on the floating board in the icy waters as hypothermia rages through their bodies, "I'll never let go, I'll never let go."