Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring is in the Air!

   Its been in the 40's the past couple days!  Oh, its been wonderful!  It doesn't even feel cold anymore!  :)  Today is so bright and sunny and most of the snow is melted off.  I looked out the window this morning and thought it must be at least in the 60's!  An early spring morning.  But when I opened the door, I discovered my eyes were playing tricks on me.  Its still cold out there.  But, the birds are singing, and to me, that's the first sign of Spring!  It makes me want to run outside and take a deep breath of cool Spring air.  There's a certain clean smell in Spring.  Everything is brand new and so fresh.  I love Spring! Its right around the corner!
   I had to do some shopping yesterday and took the kids with me.  We've all had a bad case of cabin fever lately and I knew the kids needed to work off some energy.  But just what do you do in the middle of winter, when you live in town?  There's nothing to do!  So I gave in and did the only thing I could think of.  I actually took the kids to MacDonalds.  I have this thing with MacDonalds.  Their food is lousy and the only way they can get people in there to eat it is to build Play Places for the kids.  I can't remember the last time I ate there.  I avoid MacDonalds.  I'd rather not eat than eat there.  (ok, personal opinion. :)  But, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH TWO TODDLERS WHO NEED SOME EXERCISE, and the only place to go is that big wonderful Play Place at the local MacDonalds??  So, while we were in town, I broke down and dragged myself in there.  What a mother won't do for her children!!!  :)  The kids were so excited they could hardly eat.  I didn't force them.  The kids played for a little over an hour and by the time we left, Christian had made friends with just about every little boy there!  Probably couldn't tell me a single name though if I asked.  I love it how children can play all day with another child and never get their name.  :)  The kids wore themselves out and Audra just about fell asleep in the shopping cart at Walmart afterwards.  It was a good day, and we all enjoyed getting out.  It always takes so much longer to get anything done when you have to haul two toddlers and an infant in a car seat every where you go, but when they are not with me, I find that I miss their chatter and constant questions. 
   Andy submitted the paperwork to get a loan on a house in the country.  We're waiting to hear from the agent handling it.  It looks like we'll be able to get a real good loan!  Next step...hope that the seller will take our offer!  I pray we can be in a house before time to plant a garden! 
   I've started Wesley on some fruit.  He's got to take an herb to help with this rash problem of his, but the stuff absolutely tastes horrible!  I gave him a drop of it the other day and he about came off the floor.  So I tasted it and its got a terrible bitter, sour taste way worst than lemon juice.  So I figured I'd better dilute it somehow with some sweet fruit or we'd never get him to take that.  I couldn't blame him.  So last night I mixed some with some apple sauce.  It was Wesley's first taste of anything like that, and the faces he was making had me in stitches.  :)  But everytime I took the spoon away, he'd look longingly at the bowl and his arms would flail wildly until I gave him another spoonful.  The funny face again, then the flailing arms.  The applesauce hid the herb perfectly, so now I've got a plan that's a keeper for getting it down him twice a day.  :)  I'm also supposed to give him chicken broth, and I haven't figured out how we're going to manage that.  He won't take a bottle, and a dropper is way too slow.  (I tried that yesterday).  Maybe I'll mix some into that fruit along with the herb.  :)  Add a little cereal and that'll probably do the trick. 
   Tuesday is our Ladies Meeting at church.  One of our ladies will be giving her testimony and I'm looking forward to it!  Her family has been through a lot this past year and yet she's had such a sweet spirit through it all.   She's been such a blessing to me!  I think the trials have made her and her husband stronger.  I'm looking forward to her testimony.  We're having a finger food "potluck", and I need to sit down and figure out what I'm going to make.  I also need to dig out some decorations and figure out how I'm going to decorate the basement of the church where we'll eat. 
   We're all dealing with colds right now.   My constant companion these days is a box of tissue.  I've actually got those and rolls of toilet paper placed strategically around the house for easy grabbing when I see a runny nose.  It seems all I do these days is wipe noses.  But, what are mom's for, right?  :) 
Audra loves playing with her box of bows.  She's all girl when it comes to frills, pretty dresses, and bows in her hair. 

uh....ok, she's real limber. 

Love the face!

But this one is even sweeter. :)

Kissable cheeks! 

Apple Jacks for supper?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bologna Men

   I've been trying to come up with new ideas to make Christian's schooling exciting.  He's so eager to learn and loves school immensely.  Still, it takes a lot to keep even him occupied for longer than 10 minutes at a time.  I ran across a link today that is a huge help!  Its got everything on there from crafts and games for learning the alphabet and number, to chore charts you can custom make and print off.  I spent a good part of this morning browsing the site and getting great ideas, some I was able to print off, and some I will draw and design myself.  Here's the link for those home schooling moms who run out of ideas like me.  :)

 My kids have hit the picky stage when it comes to food.  Oh I dreaded it, but I knew we'd get to this point someday.  I got so tired of fighting them every meal and telling them to sit there and eat their food!  I got tired of unfinished plates sitting on the counter waiting to be reheated later when they came in wanting a snack.  I mean, granted.  Everyone gets sick of PB&J or grilled cheese eventually.  So I decided to try something new.  I went to the store and bought some bologna (BIG TIME YUCK!), but, spurred on by a childhood memory of Andy's, I actually gave good money for the stuff, along with some different kinds of fruits, and healthy snacks that I never yet tried on the kids.  Today, for lunch, I became Master Kid Food Chef!  (Add that one to my list of Mom Titles from my last post. :)  We had Bologna Men for lunch!  The kids stood on a chair and watched while I put the little fellows together.  And what do you know!!!  They actually ate them!  And the fruit and healthy food that made up their little bologna faces.  Christian insisted that they needed cheeks, so he proceeded to smear squirt cheese at the edges of his little man's mouth.  :)  A little time, effort, and excitement put into their lunches made all the difference. By request of Christian, we're doing bologna tractors tomorrow.  Yikes!  :)  Does he think mom is a bologna art expert already???  I've only had one try at the stuff so far.  I tasted everything today on their plates EXCEPT the bologna.  Just couldn't bring myself to do it.  :)

Another Wesley Update...

   I took Wesley to an allergist/natural herbal doctor yesterday.  He found that Wesley has a protein deficiency.  He said he see this a lot in big, stock baby and toddler boys especially.  Their big, growing bodies need more protein than they get from milk, baby food, or toddler foods, but they can't get larger helpings of it because their bodies aren't equipped to handle it yet.  In other words, Wesley needs a T-bone steak,  :)  , but his body isn't developed enough to chew it or digest it.  So the doc told me to make some chicken broth, strain it real thoroughly, and feed it to him in a bottle.  He also put Wesley on Phosphorus to help break down the protein in the broth and make it easier to digest.  A protein deficiency can cause skin rashes that look and act like eczema.  So the doc is treating this deficiency first to see if the rash clears up.  Wesley also has a few other allergies, especially to things like dust, mold, grasses, and a few different kinds fruits and foods, but the doc things its the protein deficiency that's the main problem.  I'm taking Wesley back in a month and if he still has the rash, the doc will try something else.  At least we have some more direction.  I can't wait to get this thing licked! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mother's Titles

1.   Master & PhD in Patience
2.   Familial Law Enforcer
3.   Non-TV Activity Coordinator
4.   English Language Educator
5.   Playground Medic
6.   President of Waste Management
7.   Fast Food Chef
8.   Tantrum & Meltdown Negotiator
9.   Search & Rescue: Small Plastic Pieces Unit
10.   Chief Monster Hunter
11.   College Application Advisor
12.   Doll Doctor
13.   Archaeologist Specializing in Under Bed and Inside Closet Digs
14.   Backyard Safety Commissioner
15.   Toy Repair Specialist
16.   Art Critic
17.   Philanthropist for Little People's Arts & Music
18.   Anger Management Specialist
19.   Toddler Tantrum Wrestling Champ
20.   Play Date Social Secretary
21.   CEO, Department of Make Believe
22.   Manners Expert
23.   Personal Shopper
24.   Fashion Stylist & Consultant
25.   Professor, Imagination Studies
26.   Sleep Scientist (work mostly night shifts)
27.   Teen Anger Psychoanalyst
28.   Captain, Soccer Mom Cheerleader Squad
29.   Dental Hygienist
30.   Tooth Brushing Instructor
31.   Keeper of Top Secret Secrets
32.   Personal Chauffeur & Expert Driver
33.   Hairstylist (specializing in pigtails and wiggly clients)
34.   Birthday Party Planner
35.   President of (Insert Your Kid's Name Here) Fan Club

Fun With My Camera

   Here's a few pictures I took last week.

Playing with Not-So-Little Brother.

Playing "stare down" before church Sunday morning.  :)

I love this picture.  Andy is doing Christian's devotions and telling him about Jesus dying on the cross for him.  Christian was all ears. 

The First of Six Chalk Drawings

   Last night, Andy did the first of six chalk drawings for this year.  He'll be doing one every other month on Sunday evenings.  He's been telling stories on Sunday nights of great Christians and Missionaries, which has been so interesting!  So far, he's told the stories of Fanny Crosby, Adoniram Judson, and John Bunyan.  Last nights story was of John Newton, the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace.  What a rough life that man lived, from a wild, murdering young man who got "pressed" onto a ship in the British navy, to a slave trader, and eventually a preacher and song writer.  Its amazing what God can do with a life given to Him.  Andy drew a picture of a ship on stormy seas, and the black light picture was a cross.  I know Andy's a little out of practice, but still, he did a wonderful job.  The service was a good one and we had a lot of visitors.  One young family has been coming on Sundays.  The husband is saved, but the wife is not.  She has been against anything to do with church for several years, but this year, she made a resolution to start going.  She loves our church!  Please pray for her salvation.  Her name is Kolby.  Their two children, a boy and a girl, LOVE Andy's Sunday school class and ran up to him last night at church telling him how much they missed class that morning, having not been able to make it for some reason.  Pray that this family will continue to get in.  Our ladies meeting is next Tuesday and Kolby said she wanted to come and will be bringing her daughter.  She's all smiles, which is a switch from when they first started coming last month. 
   Some of Andy's family also came down for the chalk drawing.  It was good seeing them again!  We had pizza at our house afterwards.  Thanks again, Edi and Nathan!   :)
   Tomorrow, I'm taking Wesley to an allergist.  Hopefully he'll be able to pinpoint what's causing Wesley's rash.  All three of the kids are battling runny noses and coughs right now.  Not too bad yet, and I pray it'll stay that way.  Sick kids are NO fun!  I can't wait for this weather to move on and take all the bugs with it! 
   Andy's tuning a piano at the church of a preacher friend today, and may tune our church piano if he gets home in time.  He's been staying busy these days!  He's been rushing to finish his Samurai, or at least get the engine parts cleaned and put together and on the frame.  He's been getting some paperwork together so that he can try to get a loan on a house.  He's decided to go ahead and try an make an offer on a place about 7 miles out of town.  Its a three bedroom, two bath, with big garage and a full basement, and a good size shed, and a smaller tool shed next to it.  The house sits on about three acres surrounded by fields and horse pasture.   We're going to go forward with this and see what happens.  I pray that the owners will take the offer and we can get moved in before Spring and planting season.  I'd love to have a garden this year, especially since Wesley will be eating solids soon.  I want to grow most of it myself.  Spending another long summer in town really doesn't thrill me!  :)  Please pray that, if this place is right for us, that it'll all go smoothly.  We want God's will on this.  Buying a house is no little decision. 
   Andy surprised me last weekend with a dozen roses and a box of chocolates for Valentines Day!  Not that he never does anything like that.  :)  He NEVER forgets a special date.  Its just been a few years since he was able to get flowers.  There has always been something else that we needed, and we learned that flowers were a luxury.   Oh, I'm like every other girl out there, I love flowers and chocolates!  But life sometimes gets in the way of little luxuries like that and you learn to live without them.  That is okay.  We learned to make our dates special in other ways that were less pricey, and we also learned to enjoy those simple ways.  Looking back, I wouldn't trade those days for anything.  They taught us a lot about being grateful for what we had.  We would save up our loose change, and when we had a few dollars worth, we'd head out early Saturday morning and hit every yard sale we could find to hunt down a good deal that we could try to sale online and double our money.  It was a good time!  Simple ways will draw you closer to your husband and family in ways that the wealthy know nothing about.  Oh, it got hard at times trying to stretch those few dollars to make ends meet, but God provided our "needs" every time.  It was the "wants" that got put on the back burner for awhile.  Like flowers and chocolates.  Luxuries.  So, when Andy walked in last Friday carrying those beautiful red roses and a big box of Russell Stover chocolates, I almost cried.  It was so sweet, and so special.  A lot of memories came flooding back.  Memories that drew us close. 

My kitchen becomes Grand Central Station when I'm cooking.  I finally had to make a rule that no toys where allowed in my "cooking corner" of the kitchen.  The kids LOVE being in there with me.  I normally have a preaching CD playing while I'm working and the kids will drag their bedding in there and find themselves a spot to either play toys or read books.  I don't really mind stepping over them, as long as their are out of my work space.   It tears them up if I tell them to "go play".   I was changing Wesley one day in my room, and when I finished I noticed how quiet it was in the house.  That is always worrisome when you have two little ones who are supposed to be playing somewhere!  As I climbed the stairs to see what they were getting into, I heard a mans voice and thought that Andy had come home without me knowing it.  When I peeked into Christian's room, I realized it was not Andy's voice I was hearing, but Bro. Ron Ralph's on a CD.  Christian had gotten my kitchen CD player and taken it up to his room and he and Audra were playing on the floor, quiet as ever, listening to Bro. Ron tell them to get right with God.  :)  Christian gets all excited when he recognizes a Bible character in the preaching!  :)  So no, I don't mind the kids camping out on my kitchen floor while I work.  They are listening to the preaching and that is worth a little inconvenience on my part. 

A VERY Long and Cold Winter!

   This has been a long, long winter, and oh so cold!  I am SO looking forward to Spring!  I went to Richmond a couple days ago to do some shopping.  My last stop was Walmart, and when I went in, it had just started snowing.  When I came out about 30 min later, it had snowed at least an inch.  I started home behind a line of vehicles going no more than 20 miles an hour.  The road was covered in slush and ice.  By the time I finally got back to Liberty, another inch had fallen.  I tried to go out to pick up Christian and Audra from their babysitter, but as I headed out on the country roads I was sliding around so much, I decided to go back home and let Andy go get them.  He took a different route than I did and later told me he just about got stuck more than a couple times.  Our van does amazingly well in snow and ice, but still, it can only handle so much.  Especially on hills.  I'm a chicken when it comes to hills and ice!  It continued to snow late into the evening.  When it finally quite, I went outside into our back yard, free of drifts, and stuck a ruler in the snow.  A whopping 9 inches!!!  There hasn't been enough time between snowfalls for the previous snow to melt off, so its just been adding up. I hear we're going to get more nasty weather tonight.  Oh, its been a LONG winter!  

Our back yard.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Picture Post for Family

Wesley's favorite position.  He can only go this direction though.  :)

Ok, I DIDN'T dress him!   This was his doing!  :)  Who cares what you look like at bedtime.  :)  He normally does good at matching his day time clothes, but PJ's are a different story.  :)

Teething?  Absolutely!  He's already got two on the bottom!!!  He's really rushing babyhood!

Brotherly Love

And wearing 6-9 month clothes!
My happy little fellow.