Saturday, August 29, 2009

progress on my bead project

I think I put this picture on here several weeks ago, but I wanted to show that I AM making some progress.

There are a total of 106 rows on this lamp shade. I've completed 12 :-) During the summer, I could do a lot more at one time because I could stay up later. I would watch a whole movie and string beads the whole time. Now I only watch about a 1/2-hour of a movie each night, so the beading has slowed down quite a bit.

It's kinda difficult to see the colors -- the frame is purple and the middle so far is an olive green with a row of white now and then.

At this rate, I SHOULD finish this project somewhere around the same time I start collecting social security :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Luke's evening adventure

Darryl and Amanda (sib-in-laws) live right around the corner from us; so when Amanda called tonight to tell me she had a bag of clothes for the boys, it made sense for one of us to walk over real quick to get it. Luke was the only one available: Joel and I already had our pajamas on, Seth doesn't know the way :-), Makenzie's at a friend's house, and Jason's out of town. I called my cell phone, gave it to Luke, and talked to him while he walked over there.

Now I was thinking she had something like a Walmart bag full of clothes, but it was a big garbage bag! Since I can't see their house from mine, I didn't understand what the holdup was after Darryl gave Luke the bag. Luke made it out of their driveway and down the street about one house before he had to give up and beg me to come pick him up in the van. I still didn't understand the problem, so I unsympathetically said, "No, just pick up the bag and hurry home. Shut the phone off, put it in the bag, and use both hands to carry the bag." The poor child was really confused about how in the world he was going to get this huge bag home.

At this point, I decided that I'd better walk over there and help him. I don't think I have ever left my house in my pajamas. I get up at 5 a.m. to ensure my spot in line for the bathroom so that no one ever sees me without normal clothes, hair, and make-up. But my poor little guy was struggling out there, so I threw out all vanity and walked down the street. I was shocked to see a little 50-pound child trying to pick up a big garbage bag full of clothes. Then I got scared when a car drove up next to him! I wasn't too worried since I was only a half-block down the street and Luke was still on my cell phone. A man got out of the car, picked up the bag, and put it in his back seat. I was a little more concerned now, so I called down the street, "I'm right here, Luke. I'm coming." As I got closer, I could see that the people in the car weren't strangers. They were two of Jason's co-workers who live across the street from Darryl and Amanda. They told me that they offered Luke a ride, but he said that he'd better wait for his mom (good boy! even though these are friends, not strangers).

So we made it home safe and sound with our bag of clothes. The funniest part of the whole story is that the people in the car thought that Luke was RUNNING AWAY!!!! I'm sure it looked like that, too!!!! I hope if Luke ever tries to run away, he'll take a giant bag like that so that he'll be easier for me to catch.

(p.s. Seth's all better now :-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

seth is sick :-(

I think I really messed up! I thought I'd try Metamucil for Seth's "diaper problems" because it's more natural than Miralax. But now Seth is sick, and I'm pretty sure it's because there must be something in those things that he's allergic to -- probably the oats :-( The poor boy even took a nap today. He hasn't taken a nap for months except when he falls asleep in the van on the way home from somewhere. He wouldn't eat any dinner and kept falling asleep all evening. When he was awake, he was either staring, moaning, or crying. I'm hoping he'll be ok when he wakes up in the morning! Anyone want the rest of the box of apple-flavored fiber wafers????

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

water park with 2-year-olds

Technically Seth is four; but he's at about the same developmental level as Gavin, his two-year-old cousin. I took both Seth and Gavin to H2Oasis today (indoor water park). I wish SO badly that I had taken my camera to video the whole outing! Gavin was cracking me up the entire drive. Almost as soon as he got in the van, he noticed that our ceiling light was broken. He told me that Uncle Jason needed to fix it :-) I laughed for a good mile over that one! Both boys were really excited about going swimming. Gavin and I had both forgotten that he HATES H2Oasis! But we both remembered as soon as he walked in the door: he started walking backwards, saying "I don't like it! I don't like it!" I picked him up and carried him to the bench to take our shoes off, and then I helped him use the restroom. Every time I put him down to walk, he tried to sit down so that he didn't have to go any farther.

"Don't you want to go swimming, Gavin?"

"No, I want to go to Mommy."

He did walk around in the water a little bit and sat down in the water when Seth and I sat down. We sang "Jesus Loves Me" to try to make him more comfortable, but it didn't work. I held him and went down the slide with him, but I'm pretty sure that was my biggest mistake :-) He did enjoy standing at the bottom of the slide, holding on to a pole, cheering for Seth to go down the slide. I'll have to remember that if we get to go again.

I didn't want to traumatize the sweet boy, so we only stayed about 40 minutes. I told the boys it was time to go home, and Gavin said he wanted to come to our house to eat his lunch and watch "Signing Time." That was a GREAT idea so that the end of our adventure would be a happy memory for Gavin :-) While we were putting our shoes on to leave the water park, Gavin told me that he had fun (an obvious untruth, but what good manners!). And then when we were walking out the door, he told the lady at the front desk, "Good-bye! I had fun!" He made her day, the little charmer!

I'm counting that trip a success because: 1. no one got hurt, 2. Gavin didn't cry so much that he threw up, 3. both boys ate all their lunch, 4. we ended with a smile, and 5. I still made it to my sign language class on time :-)

Angela's Ashes

I finished reading Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, and this book has left a serious impact of thankfulness on my heart. The author grew up in Ireland in extreme poverty, and I don't just mean "awwww man, we can't go to McDonald's today because we don't get paid until next week." I'm talking about having an alcoholic father who spends every last penny on booze even though he has a wife and five kids at home literally starving. I think they mostly had a slice of bread and a cup of tea for each meal, if they had anything. For several years, this family had to live in an apartment that completely flooded every year and smelled so bad they often felt nauseated because the outhouse was too close to their door. Most of his life, this man didn't even have one penny; and when they did have any money, they had never been taught good money managing skills. They wasted what little they got on candy and movies. Often, his mother had to beg, ask for credit, and stand in line to receive charity. Obviously, since he's the author of a best-seller, this man got out of this kind of life. But there are many who never get out, and that makes me both sad for them and thankful for the blessed life God has allowed me to have.

There are many funny parts to the book, mostly sarcastic kind of funny, turning a desperate situation into something humorous. The humor helped alleviate the sadness of this story. One phrase that he used throughout the book will stick in my head forever, I think. His uncle didn't care what anyone thought about him. The way the author expressed this is that his uncle "didn't give a fiddler's fart." I'm laughing as I type that!

Now I'm reading his second book about his life starting over in America. I'm sure it's going to be just as interesting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

GREAT day!

I couldn't have asked for today to go any better!
  • The kids got ready nicely and on time this morning.
  • Therapy went great.
  • I got all the laundry done.
  • My sign language class was AMAZING (overwhelming to realize I know next to nothing, but so very interesting)!
  • The kids loved everything about their first day back at school.
  • Dinner was ready early and turned out to be super-yummy.
  • We got to go kiss Makayla, and my kids didn't break anything or make anyone cry while we were over at Darryl and Amanda's (as far as I know).
  • The kids got ready for bed very nicely.
  • The sun came out so that I didn't have to walk in the rain.
  • It's not even 9 p.m. yet!
Here's hoping that tomorrow (and every day of this school year) goes just as smoothly!

first day of school

WE DID IT!!!! This morning couldn't have gone any better! Makenzie woke up earlier than I had told her to because she wanted to read and get ready early. Joel and Luke got up on time and came upstairs in good moods, not even trying to irritate each other. Joel got ready so fast, he helped me get Seth ready. We got to school ON TIME (I should be hearing applause right now because "on time" is NOT something I do well!).

Here are my three matching cuties on their first day of 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades. Joel didn't want to match his brother and sister, but I made him -- time to learn some family loyalty :-) Plus I got an e-mail about everyone wearing red on Fridays to show support for all the troops overseas. Being a little touched with ocd and having a limited number of uniforms, I like the kids to change shirt colors each day. So it's red on Mon, Wed, Fri and blue on Tues, Thurs :-) (You can laugh and make fun if you want -- I probably would, too, if I weren't me.)

Seth walked around with us and waved good-bye to all three of his playmates. Now he's stuck with just Mom.

Makenzie gets to be in class with several of her favorite friends.

Luke didn't really seem to understand the concept that he was STAYING with his class. He kept trying to follow me away, but at least he wasn't crying! I break down when Luke cries his "I'm scared" cry! This is Luke's new teacher, Miss Shields. If you're a praying kind of person, pray for her!

This year, there is only one fifth grade class with 29 students. The teacher is a VERY nice lady, and I'm hoping these turkeys don't try to run all over her and make her life miserable! Her name is Mrs. McCoy, and she could use some prayers, too!

Seth and I got to speech therapy early and got to chat with my friend Monica. While you're praying for those two teachers, you could pray for Monica, too. She just found out that there's a cist on her hip and it's eating her hip bone. She's getting more information on that this afternoon.

Seth had a really good therapy session today! His therapist and I were pretty impressed with him :-) After therapy, we did some shopping (so much faster with only one child!). I was going to take Seth to H2Oasis; but by the time I got home, I realized that another outing would cause too much stress. Instead, we had a nice, quiet lunch and watched "Blue's Clues."

We ARE going to make swimming a regular activity this year, but not on therapy days!

I'm really looking forward to hearing all about the kids' first day of school, and I'm SURE all of you will be waiting anxiously to get the rest of this story, too :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

school starts tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I'm so excited, and so are the kids :-)
  • backpacks are all ready to go
  • clothes are laid out
  • children have received morning instructions
  • breakfast is sitting in freezer
All I have to do outside of the ordinary morning rush tomorrow is make three lunches. I'm a little nervous about getting everyone ready on time and making it a good start to a new school year (with no yelling, fighting, or crying and no being late). We'll see how it turns out.

After I take the three older kids to school in the morning, Seth and I will go to his speech therapy (with no siblings interrupting his session), Walmart (again, with no siblings causing trouble or chaos), a quiet lunch, and then H2Oasis!!!! I decided to not procrastinate this year, but to jump right in and start the school year off with some fun.

I'm also very excited that I get to start a sign language class tomorrow! I've learned a lot from Signing Time, but I want to see what else I can learn to be able to sign complete sentences. I would love to learn enough to be an interpreter someday!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Makayla Ann Nelson, my newest niece was born this morning. She and Amanda (my sister-in-law) are both doing great! We went to see them this afternoon, and Amanda looks MUCH better than I felt after any of my kids were born!

Makenzie has waited six years for this moment to hold a baby girl in our family :-)

Luke was so excited, he was shaking (nothing new really, he always shakes a little, but I think he was quite nervous to hold such a new, tiny baby).

Joel waited patiently for his turn to hold the new little princess.

Seth really didn't want to get anywhere near Makayla (which was really a good thing since "be careful" isn't a direction he knows how to follow yet). Jason did get him to kiss her little head (several times until I caught it on the camera).

The sweet girl slept through our whole visit. That's a pretty amazing accomplishment considering there was practically a circus going on all around her.

Some women hold a new baby and think, "oh how I'd like to have another little baby of my own." NOT ME!!! I was thinking, "Makayla is a beautiful little gift from God, but I'm SO VERY GLAD that Amanda's the one in the recovery room, not me!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seth is 4

My sweet Seth turned four today :-) He was apparently quite excited about this day because he woke up at about 6:30 this morning! So he got his birthday bath, put on his new birthday shirt, and went to the living room to watch a some birthday Signing Time while I got his birthday breakfast ready.

After breakfast, his grandmother brought him a huge Winnie the Pooh balloon and a little stuffed Blue (from Blue's Clues, his favorite movies -- I'll have to get a video of him saying "Blue's Clues" because it's hilarious!).

I realized yesterday that, while I had gotten all of the kids' school supplies weeks ago, I had forgotten that they needed school clothes. Normally, I go to Walmart or Value Village; but today I decided to "branch out" (a phrase my high school best friend Lisa liked to say to me) and try a couple different places. We found some pretty good deals at Kohl's and then some more good deals at Target. One of the deals was a new swim suit for me that I think will cover enough of me so that Seth and I can go to H2Oasis while the other kids are in school. Normal clothes can cover up A LOT of the weight I've gained after having four children, but a swimsuit is a much trickier matter! Seth got a new Blue's Clues dvd (which he watched at least three times today). We also had to go to Home Depot (one of my LEAST favorite places to have to go -- ranks right up there with public restrooms in my opinion) to exchange the propane tank so that we could have hot dogs on the grill for lunch (I know -- this is riveting stuff I'm sharing here).

After lunch, I took Seth outside to try to get a good birthday picture. He's a tough one to get a good picture of because he really doesn't understand "say cheese" or "smile" or even "look at me" -- or if he does understand the words, he doesn't understand that I really do expect him to do any of that. Here's what I got:

Taking away the plastic fishing rod would've caused quite the temper tantrum, so it became the birthday picture prop :-)

Seth is sitting on the see-saw -- one of his favorite back yard activities. I'm always his partner, though -- or rather, my foot is. He'd go flying if I tried to sit on that thing.

Seth loves leaves!

Seth hardly ever stays in one place or holds still for more than a couple seconds unless he's strapped in to a seat (or swing in this case :-)

I am amazed that Seth taught himself to climb the swingset ladder!

After his birthday dinner, he got another "happy birthday" song and blew out another birthday candle on his birthday brownies :-)

He opened one last birthday gift before it was time to go to bed. This adorable little four-year-old is a precious blessing from Heaven!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Seth's 4th b-day party

Seth's fourth birthday is this Tuesday, so we had a family birthday party today after church. I had almost EVERYTHING ready yesterday -- chicken marinated in the fridge, cake baked, gifts in bags, house cleaned (not spotless, of course, I've given up on that ideal until the kids are old enough to help), berry lemonade in fridge chilling. Then this morning I put the chicken on time bake, measured the water to make the rice, frosted the cake, and made a batch of vanilla ice cream. All I had to do after church was transfer the chicken from the oven to the grill, boil the water to make the rice, cook the veggies, and set the table. Now here came the problems. The chicken didn't bake all the way because I always forget that it takes longer to bake something when there's a lot in the pan. Then the grill ran out of gas. So everyone sat around talking while waiting for the chicken to finish baking. It turned out to be very tasty, so I guess the wait wasn't too irritating. And the rice was delicious. Then the cake was kindof a flop. I used the new Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mix, but I let it bake too long because I forgot to set a timer. The ice cream was good, though. Here's a video of Seth not blowing out the candles :-) Then poor Gavin was just exhausted and wanted a nap, so we hurried to the living room for Seth to open his gifts.

He LOVED this microphone from Makenzie! He used to have one, but broke it. He didn't want to put this one down!

His funny faces crack me up!

Gavin had fun playing with Luke's binoculars :-)

Seth's version of holding up his gift to get a picture -- backwards :-)

Uncle Richard put a musical card in with the gift -- Seth was enthralled with the music!

A new play vest (very good for therapy -- lots of zippers and velcro) and a new shirt:

Happy with another card :-)

Now he's getting the hang of showing his gift for the camera :-)

And a new ball to replace the one he popped outside. The first time Seth touched this kind of ball when he was a baby, he cried. Now it's his favorite ball.

This child is absolutely amazing! I can hardly wait to play with him with all his new things -- and his old things, too. Joel, Makenzie, and Luke start school in one more week. Seth and I will have lots more play time then (not that I want to hurry the other kids off, but Seth does need to do more pre-school work than I've been doing all summer). Autumn: my very favorite time of the year for many reasons!

Friday, August 14, 2009

one of those days

Today could've been much worse -- nothing really went wrong or badly really. It was just one of those days that seems like a waste. My alarm started going off at 6 a.m. (music, not buzzer -- "beep beep beep" is NOT how I prefer to wake up!), but I couldn't make myself get up. I shut the thing off and slept until 8 a.m. (at least a half an hour after I heard Seth start talking). Sleeping in of course put the whole day off schedule, but it didn't really matter since I didn't have much that needed to be done today anyway. It was just a lazy "I wish I could just go back to bed anyway" kind of day. The worst part of sleeping in is that I don't get my "alone time" -- getting ready, reading the Bible, and having my breakfast before anyone else is awake. Having that time is really worth the bother of waking up so early.

I did finally get to read the Bible tonight after my walk, and I'm very glad I did! Here's some of what I read:

No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Rom.3:20)

Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Rom. 3:22)

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God AND are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Rom. 3:23-24)

At one time, we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. (Titus 3:3-5)

"What do we lack? Righteousness. What does Jesus give us? His righteousness. He doesn't change His standard in order to include us. He changes us to fit the standard" (Gladys M. Hunt).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seth's good morning song

Sometimes Seth and I sing some songs in the morning when I get him out of his bed. One of them REALLY cracks me up! To the tune of "Happy Birthday," I sing:

"Good morning to you.
Good morning to you.
I'm so glad to see you.
Good morning to you."

And every single time, Seth's leans over and "blows out the candles"!

chemistry lesson

While trying to make cookies today, I learned a nifty little fact. Fifty degrees TREMENDOUSLY changes the way cookies bake! At 400 degrees, oatmeal/butterscotch chip cookies flatten out and burn to a messy crisp. At 350 degrees, they bake to a perfect little golden round deliciousness. I'm not much on following rules to the exact letter, but I guess the temperature on the recipes do have a purpose and need to be "obeyed." :-)

sermon on love

In my Bible reading this morning, Jesus gave a sermon on love (Luke 6:27-38) :

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love you enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you."

This is, to me, the most difficult set of instructions in the entire Bible. To forgive, do good to, and LOVE someone who has hurt me so badly that I consider him or her to be an enemy? Seriously? But it's right there in Jesus' own words, so He really does expect me to do it. As a sinful, selfish, hurting human being, I cannot follow these instructions and honestly don't even want to. But as a born again believer in Jesus Christ, as a Holy Spirit-filled Christ follower, I CAN do all things -- even this -- through Christ who gives me strength. (This is my pep talk, by the way -- it's so easy to say, even easy to believe when I'm sitting in a room with just me, God, my Bible, and computer -- much more difficult to practice when I walk out of this room and have to deal with the reality of my life.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

nothin much

Not much exciting has been happening the last few days, so here are some super-cute pictures of my almost-four-year-old baby :-) I think Luke just stopped wearing these jammies less than a year ago, and Seth can wear them already!

I took Seth to the pediatrician on Friday to get his opinion of the skin rash. He said it is definitely related to psoriasis at least. He prescribed an anti-infection antibiotic. If it doesn't get rid of the rash, he wants us to see a dermatologist. GREAT! Another doctor to add to Seth's already-long list. This poor child knows WAY to many people in the medical profession! But at least he's healthy and we pretty much only see doctors to hear them confirm that he is, indeed, still healthy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

A few months ago, I had a 40% off coupon for Borders. I asked around for people's opinions of favorite books and looked up a few "top ten" best sellers. All of the suggestions I got looked interesting, but could be found at the library. So I opted for a couple "oldies," one of which I finished reading this afternoon: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. This was a REALLY good story, but a little difficult to get through because of the writing style (which was good, but very detailed and definitely 19-th century-ish). I'm glad I read the book -- it was a nice contrast to those "disturbing" movies I watch last week!

The main character is a woman named Helen who is married to an A#1 JERK! He is completely self-centered and self-absorbed, and she ends up almost hating him because he drinks too much, because he blatantly flirts (and more) with other women, because he neglects her, because he leaves home to "party" for months, and most of all because he is a VERY bad influence on their son. She finally decides to leave him. She sneaks away before dawn with her son and personal maid (who is really a friend because Helen explains to her that there's no way she'll be able to pay her any wages except food and shelter).

In the town she moves to, people believe that she's a widow and a very reclusive woman. She doesn't want to make friends, but people keep visiting her. One man in particular, Gilbert, becomes a very close friend; actually, they love each other. These feelings make her leave this town so that she doesn't do anything wrong; but before she leaves, she gives Gilbert her journal that explains to him all about her past and her reason for having to leave.

It seems like the story isn't going to have a happy ending at all for these two, but then Helen's husband dies. That seems like a pretty sick way to make a happy ending, but the author makes it quite clear that her husband's death is his own fault because of his wild living. Also, Helen goes back to him and tries her very best to nurse him back to health and to get him to repent and believe in God. She fails at both attempts. His death, however, leaves her free to love whomever she chooses; and she and Gilbert marry a couple years later.

I wish this book could be made into a movie -- IF the screenwriters could keep the story and moral exactly the same as the book.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

just checkin

Last night while Joel and Makenzie went swimming with some friends, Luke and I played a couple games of backgammon. Luke doesn't really understand the game, so he rolls his dice and I tell him where to move the pieces. He won both games, but he REALLY beat me the first game. When I said to him, "You just beat my socks off," he looked under the table to check my feet! I laughed, of course, at his confused look of "Mom, you still have socks on."

Friday, August 7, 2009

two movies i didn't like

WARNING: I'm going to tell pretty much all the important details of two movies.

I recently watched two movies that I would recommend that NO ONE waste time watching: The Duchess and Atonement. Both of them are quite disturbing in my opinion. Besides the fact that there's a lot of blatant immorality in both movies, the messages of them are just depressing. The Duchess is about living with responsibility. The main character (obviously, the Duchess) gets married, thinking that the Duke loves her. The truth is, though, that he just needs to get married and produce a male heir. Even though she's quite disappointed, she does her best to accept her life until she finds out that the Duke is having an affair with her best friend. When she confronts them and demands that her ex-best friend be sent away, the Duke refuses to end the affair and actually continues the relationship right out in the open. When the Duchess falls in love with another man, however, the Duke confronts her with an ultimatum: stay with the other man who will never be allowed to work in England again or go home to her children whom she will never see again if she stays with the other guy. She, of course, chooses to keep her children after contemplating leaving them until she read letters from them to her saying how much they love and miss her. When she returns home, she realizes that she's going to have the other man's child. The Duke demands that she be sent away until the baby is born and that she give the child to the other man's relatives. That whole part is just heartbreaking! I can't even imagine having to give away one of my children! She lived the rest of her life in the same house with the Duke and his mistress (with whom she became friends with again). The most depressing thing is the realization that some decisions ruin the whole rest of life and can't be undone or fixed.

Atonement was quite confusing, but I got the main gist of it. A little girl has a crush on one of the servant's sons. He is in love, though, with the girl's older sister. Either because of that or because of a rather explicit note that she read from the servant's son to her older sister, the little girl falsely accuses the man of raping her cousin. The man goes to prison and is only released so that he can fight in the war (World War II, I'm pretty sure). He re-connects somehow with the older sister, and they both demand that the little sister clear the man's name. Before she can do that, though, both the man and the older sister are killed in the war. The younger sister becomes an author, and writes this whole story right before her own death as a means of atoning for the wrongs she had inflicted. This movie is even more disturbing than the other one because it shows that sometimes people's lives are in the hands of other people who lie to destroy all hope of happiness. Because that girl lied and refused to tell the truth, two people's lives were completely destroyed.

I've been getting movies from the library, but haven't found any that I really liked yet. And I'm not getting very far very fast on my beaded lamp shade. Actually, last night while I was winding a string of beads around one of the bars, the bar broke off. Now I have to glue it back on with some "J B Weld" (which I've already done once because I broke it when I ripped off the original covering). I'll have to make sure to be more careful and not use so much pressure when I wrap the beads around it next time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Seth shopping

This is one of my favorite pictures of Seth from a long time ago :-) He used to love to play with that water-filled toy. He has always had that huge smile -- now he also has some hilarious smiles that make everyone laugh.

Today I took all four kids out to go Seth shopping. Seth will be turning four in a couple weeks, so we went to Over the Rainbow Toys :-) There are two great toy stores in town that have some great things for Seth -- well, for everyone, but for Seth especially. A lot of their toys have some good "therapeutic value" -- they help teach Seth some kind of concept or skill that he doesn't quite have yet. I'm SO excited for his birthday to get here so that: 1. he can start playing with these new things (many of which closely resemble things that he does at therapy) and 2. we can have birthday cake!

I learned yesterday that buying the kids' shoes is a job to be undertaken withOUT any of the kids with me! Fred Meyer has a buy one get one free clearance section, so I took the kids to find some shoes. They were pretty rotten -- although not nearly as bratty as they could've been, so I'm thankful. We didn't even find what we were looking for -- school sneakers. Makenzie found a couple cute pairs of dress shoes, though, so it wasn't quite a wasted trip.

The kids were pretty well-behaved today, so they got to pick out a little something at the toy store today. Joel got "grow your own sea monkeys" -- REALLY looking forward to that (sarcasm if you couldn't tell). Luke got a sword -- just what he needs, right?! And Makenzie got a "paint a flower pot" set. We started that project as soon as we got home and got everything else put away. The set didn't come with enough paint, though, so all we got to do is paint our base color. We'll have to go to Walmart to get more paint tomorrow (and maybe some soil and flower seeds, or maybe silk flowers would be the smarter idea for this plant-killing household).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Luke and the bus :-(

I forgot to share Luke's near-death experience! I'm sure we've all seen movies or tv shows in which a mother is too far away from her child to rescue him from an accident. She either stands still and screams the child's name or runs toward him, screaming his name. I ran, screaming Luke's name!

We went to a park yesterday -- Makenzie and I walked, Seth rode in the stroller, and Joel and Luke rode their bikes. They got a little too far ahead of me and couldn't really hear me yelling to them to "get back here!" Luke, for some reason, decided to ride on the road instead of the sidewalk. He kept swerving out into the middle of the road -- not a busy street, really, so not too big a deal. UNTIL the people mover came down the street! I don't know if it was my screaming his name or if he realized a BUS WAS DRIVING RIGHT TOWARD HIM, but Luke got back up on the sidewalk before the bus driver had to slam on his brakes. If he wasn't shaken up by the idea of almost being run over by a bus, I think my spanking and yelling drove home the point that he needs to pay more attention and stay closer to me on our little excursions!

Sometimes Luke can make me angrier than anyone else in the world, but OH MY! how cute and adorable he is!! When I think of all the little things he's had to go through in his little six years of life and how bravely he's faced them, I'm really proud of him and thankful that God trusted me to love this little boy! When things like this happen, I'm reminded how life would NOT be the same without my Chunky Monkey (his nickname from when he was a baby -- a pretty chubby baby).

This picture is from last year. Both Luke and his bike are a little bit bigger this year, but not much :-)

what's going on?

I think I keep forgetting to get on here and write "stuff." I log in to see what other people have written, but then forget to write anything on mine. One of the main reasons for this "forgetfulness" is that I've been very preoccupied with this:

Self-control is quite obviously not one of my greatest-developed attributes! I made a deal with myself several months ago that I would NOT start this beading project until AFTER I had completely cleaned out and re-organized every room in my house. The house is still a mess, but I'm creating the beaded lamp shade anyway. I decided that cleaning up and cleaning out the house would be much easier when the kids are grown and gone, so I might as well wait until then to start THAT project and go ahead and do THIS one now -- logical, don't you think? The lamp shade is turning out to be more difficult and costly than I thought it would be; but I'm really enjoying it, so I don't care. It's going to be GORGEOUS when it's finished!! I work on it at night while I watch a movie. I've seen some good ones and some stupid ones so far. I actually did something I've never done before -- not finished watching a movie because it's stupid. I always finish every movie, no matter how much I don't like it, thinking that surely it'll get better by the end. But I decided that some movies just aren't worth my time and attention. So I've set up a little night-time routine that often makes me lose a couple hours of sleep, but I'm enjoying my activities too much to give them up for sleep. As soon as the kids go to bed, I go for my 35-minute walk (I've cut back a little on the walk time to make room for the beading). After I get back home and stretch, I read a chapter of the Bible (I'm still on Exodus). Then I get to watch a movie and string beads. If I can still hold my eyes open after that, I check my e-mail one more time and sometimes even read a chapter or two of a book. The late hours make it difficult to get up between 5:30 and 6 a.m., but I try really hard because I like to have my shower and breakfast before it's time to get the kids' breakfast. It's also BEAUTIFUL outside in the mornings and I like to sit out on the deck and read a little bit while I drink my latte.

A friend from church called this morning at 8:20 (she knows me well enough to know that I'd already be up and somewhere close to ready for whatever the day's activities would be). She invited me and the kids to go to a park downtown with her and whoever else from church showed up. We were the only ones there for quite a while, but then two other families came, too. It was a great morning/early afternoon of chatting with other moms!

I forgot to put long sleeves on Seth, thinking it was too warm for long sleeves. BIG mistake! He scratched one of his psoriasis rash things on something and it started to bleed a little bit. Good thing I grabbed this little sweatshirt because this park was full of sand -- super dirty! Even though we LOVE the warm, sunny days, I'm hoping for some cooler temperatures so that Seth won't be too hot in long sleeves and long pants to protect his poor little scabby arms and legs.

Now I'm going to go to the kitchen (oh joy -- my favorite place) to make an impossible pie -- which really makes me miss my mom because this dessert is one of her specialties in my opinion. I'll crank up the Third Day, though, so I won't mind being in the kitchen so much :-)

The Hofacker Family 2008