Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More good news!

We just found out that CKB's eldest brother, A, went home from the hospital Monday as well!

Please keep both his father and brother in prayer - they are both weak and undergoing physical therapy to build up their strength.

Thank you all so much for your prayers thus far!

Signs that Spring has officially least we hope so this time, ie, it won't snow again maybe....

1. "Mama, can we inflate the pool?"

2. "Mama, when can we go take swim lessons again?"

3. "Mama, can we go back outside after we're done with history?"

4. "Mama, can we go outside???????????"

5. Appearance of the following on the fence in chalk letters:  "Do NOT mow down the flowers!"  (weeds)

6. Appearance of more of the same on the fence after yard mowing is completed:  "DO NOT MOW THE FLOWERS, BY ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT!"

Uh huh, the president eh?  Anyway :) What signs of Spring are you seeing?

Here's one of my first bouquets this year....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another House Update! The end is near! And that's a GOOD thing!

No pictures this time - sorry!

The reason being that most of the excitement is going on INSIDE the house now - flooring, cabinets, painting, etc. etc. etc.

The end is near - we are getting excited...well, except for the whole moving part, but we'll make it through that somehow - we don't have a closing date yet, but will soon - can you feeeeeeel the excitement?  :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some good news!

We just found out this evening that CKB's Dad was released from the hospital today. He's at home resting, and very happy to be there.

He is to see a specialist in the coming weeks.

We are so happy he's able to be home at this point, and I know he is too!

Please continue in prayer for CKB's eldest brother, A, who remains in the hospital at this time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We need the prayers of those we love...

Please keep CKB's family in your prayers. His father is in the hospital. He had surgery Wednesday and was kept in ICU 2 nights...I don't know yet if he's been able to return to a regular room. Tomorrow will make a week that he's been in the hospital. This is not an easy thing for him to endure, but I know w/the grace of God, he will.

May God bless you and yours.

I will post a picture of him later today when I fire up my laptop and search to find one....I have a few here and there of him, but not as many as I'd like!

Here's one of "Granddaddy" with Miss A when she was a little tot :)

I spoke w/CKB's Mom earlier today and his Dad is in a room again - "good vitals - was sitting up in a chair" - all good to hear!

Also - found out CKB's eldest brother, A, is in the hospital as well - please keep him in your prayers as well - they're in the same hospital, different floors!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I've lost my "dinner groove" - do you have it?

I don't know what it is lately, but I've completely lost my "dinner groove" - the desire to cook dinner that defines our daily lives at dinnertime.

You know, the groove....


Anyway, the children haven't complained yet, but I'm starting to wonder about can only eat cold cereal so many nights before you start thinking about picking up take-out on the way home instead...and well, we've been eating tooo much pizza lately...and Chinese...and, well...anyway.

So, did you take my dinner groove? If so, I need it back. I think it went along with my "desire to go to the grocery store groove" - I lost that at about the same time. What ever happened to "PeaPod" where you could order your groceries online and have them delivered to your house - not just dry goods like you can do through amazon, I believe, but everything....ack.

What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Okay - so a few of you have hobbies, the rest of you...not so much? and House Update!

I forgot to mention my newest hobby - haunting the build site - maybe this isn't a hobby, but hey, some of those worker folk are starting to recognize my van (and wave!) when I sloowwwwww down to look and see what they're up to....hmmmm, maybe I should try to be more discreet, but I don't expect camouflaging a big red van is going to be easy...or cheap, so they better just finish the house already, right?

So, for those who didn't jump in and share what makes them tick, here's your 2nd chance - what DO you do when you're not taking care of the children, working, or whatever, hmmmm?

Here's the first post - a few of you replied - thank you - it's always nice to get a more in depth look into the lives of our friends and acquaintances!

Anyway, a product of my newest hobby - house site haunting - is that I get to see the house every step, or brick, of the way....more progress - hooray! - and photograph it (ah, another hobby) - enjoy! It occurred to me just now that I always thought I'd live in a 2 story red brick house when I grew up....weird. Does this mean I'm officially a "grown-up"? Yikes! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just keep bricking...bricking....bricking....

The beginnings of the brick on the house - it's amazing how fast they accomplish each step of the process....

Monday, March 22, 2010

In other news....hobbies and such

Ok, so it occurred to me that some of you might be tiring of my photography improvement efforts, so here's a totally different topic - sort of - hobbies.

What are yours?

Mine include, but are not limited to, photography (whoops! had to throw that in), reading (is that truly a hobby?), sewing, other things of a crafty nature that occur to me or are inspired by things I see that others have made, scrapbooking...

So....share! I want to know what makes YOU tick, what you find enjoyment in doing, what you do, what you like to do, etc. even if you never seem to take the time to do it/them!

In the interest of sharing at least ONE picture here, you will see something that should be transformed into some beautiful new dresses for the older girls very soon!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ahhhh, Spring in Texas!

So...what did the forecast say for the first day of Spring here in North TX?

What else, SNOW!

Ha, we thought, we'll believe it when we see it....then later in the afternoon we saw it....TEEEEENY TINY or two of them....uh huh, BIG snow.

A bit later we noticed a THIN dusting on the picnic table and thought that that was pretty amazing and that was probably going to be it - the flakes were still VERY VERY VERY TINY.

Children go to bed, CKB and I decide it's about time to go to bed...CKB goes to look out the back window and exclaims something to the effect of "OH MY GOODNESS!" - I naturally hop up off the couch and go to look....THE YARD IS COVERED IN SNOW! Not just a light dusting, THE GRASS IS GONE IN MOST SPOTS! There are a couple of inches worth of snow on the picnic table - NO WAY!

We woke up the children so they could come see the snow - yes, we did - and they were all amazed, then asleep again in their beds in see, Northerners, we don't get a lot of snow down in these here parts and it's a BIG deal for us - also, Northern folks, sometimes it's GONE the following day...and well, we didn't want to take any chances on the children not getting to see it.

Now, before you think we've completely lost our minds, we did NOT, I repeat, did NOT, get Miss Baby up to see the snow - what'd you think, we're crazy? Ha ha!'s what we found this morning....

We measured almost 15 inches on the table this morning (YES, that's the yardstick, the 12 inch ruler is still submerged in snow on the table...we expect to reclaim it later today or tomorrow when it's supposed to be 64 degrees for the high!) - granted, I don't believe this is the most scientific method of snowfall measurement, but compared to the last snow we got - it was pretty amazing to see all of that snow piled up on the table this morning!

Miss A chose this as the first thing to do when she went out....I'm thinking I'd have waited until I was about ready to go in unless I was worried there wouldn't be any good spots left to do this in, that is...hmm....sure looks cold though, doesn't it?


The crew: (still working on proper exposure on photographs - not much success w/getting anyone to stay still very long for me today though - can't imagine why....)

 Miss E


Miss A
Mr. E

Mr. A

Friday, March 19, 2010

And yet another.. {Photography}

Needed to run errands this a.m. and so our school day started late today, but it all got done and that's what's important.

Tried another few shots of Miss A around the same time this evening as the ones I took yesterday and worked on getting it metered correctly - I posted it on the same photography forum I've been haunting lately and got one reply so far that said "Perfect. I think your exposure looks great." - it's only one person, but hey, at this point, I'll take it and am thrilled since I've seen some of this person's work and it's be-you-tee-full.

Anywho, I took 3 shots of Miss A with Miss Baby watching and that was all Miss Baby would have of me not paying attention to her :) Nothing like trying to concentrate on your camera settings w/a baby screaming at you...ah well, another day, another opportunity perhaps. I'm happy w/this, to work on CONSISTENCY...and a world of other fun photog. stuff like white balance, consistent focus, considering getting a grey card...backlighting, more creative poses ;) composition....and more and more and more....

Ok, already? Here's the shot...

Another try.... {Photography}

Still working on getting correct exposure.

Another try with Miss A yesterday evening....the light was going, but the whole back yard was in the shade, sun was low and behind the chimney....I'm told I'm almost there.....Miss A might be getting tired of being my model though :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More beautiful blessings....well, just one of them today!

Working on seeing the light in their eyes and shooting in "open shade" and forgot all about the things I was working on yesterday, but anyway, this is my favorite from today - I had about 2 seconds to rub together and went out back just before Miss Baby woke up from her nap.

Miss A who taught us as 2nd child, that no two are alike....each one after taught us the same thing...all 5 children are UNIQUE!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On to more positive things, like the beautiful (and handsome, in this case) blessings in my life

One of the sweetest souls I've ever known came to us in the form of a little boy 6 years ago.

This image is TOTALLY blown, but I still like it - our first blessing, sugar and spice!

Well, that's all I'll share for tonight, I need to get to bed....if you can't tell from some recent posts, I'm working on my photography more again :)   To get the full effect on these, you really need to click on them and see the full size version, seriously, then just back up and you'll be here again to see the other one!


Are they all yours? and other stupid questions

Why are people such busybodies? Nosey? Whatever you want to call it?

Today I went to Wal-mart. Maybe that was my first mistake. However, I needed to get a new ink cartridge for our printer so we could do our geography maps this week, so I went. We went straight to the ink cartridges and got what we needed, then I looked around a little in the baby clothes for Miss Baby. Then we hit the food area and got a few frozen items and then some cereal. That was where Mr. Nosey was. I came around the corner, Miss Baby and Mr. A in the cart, oldest 3 walking with me. Mr. Nosey, who I will describe as an older man...gray hair...probably in 60's....noticed us come around the corner since he was right there near the end of the aisle...and so it begins:

Mr. Nosey -   "are they all yours?"
Me - debating on being a smart aleck (I SOOO want to be sometimes, but in the interest of being respectful to my elders, I resisted) - "Yes"  (with a smile)


Mr. Nosey - "are some of them twins?"

Me - "No, a couple of them are just close in age" (right now Mr. A and Miss A look like twins heightwise and he's 2 years younger! Boys!)

pause  (as I instruct the children they can each choose a type of cereal)

Mr. Nosey - "how many...4?"

Me - (is this guy blind?)  "5"  (with a smile)

longer pause

Children are picking out their cereals

Mr. Nosey begins to leave aisle and leaves this gem with me - "You have my sympathies."

Me - FOR ONCE, my brain is in the moment and not as distracted with keeping an eye on everyone since they are doing exactly what they have been instructed to do retort with - "Well that's something I DON'T need."

Mr. Nosey disappears.....I don't know what his reaction to my comment was...if he even heard me...I really don't care. It's bad enough when you're pregnant - everyone thinks your pregnancy is their business from the vague questions to the insane people who think they can walk up and touch you without your permission. Then, your children are born and it continues...insane strangers walk up right outside the Walmart bathroom and put their hand on the face of your child to "ward off the evil eye" - uh...that lady had better be glad I remained calm....then they get a little older and are walking about and have multiple siblings and it still doesn't end....are they all yours? you sure have your hands full? any twins? etc. etc. etc.

Since when is my family anyone else's concern? Since when are my children their concern? Did that man stop to think how his comment might affect my children? What they might think when someone perceived I needed sympathy because of them? This REALLY irked me. I was ranting to myself all the way home in the car - spewing forth venom in my mind that was really intended toward this man and his careless remark.

I don't often let things fly on the blog - but this time, I guess I just needed to vent a little bit.

Anyone see the most recent version of "Emma" on Masterpiece? Emma's brother-in-law, Mr. Knightly comments out in the town one day to someone, I can't recall who right now, as that person starts to make a comment about Mr. Knightley's sons who have run on ahead, and are acting like boys do and should, about why it is that everyone feels it their responsibility to comment on the behavior of his offspring. Why, indeed! doesn't end there.

I remembered I needed to stop at Sam's for a couple of things, so we embarked on that mission before heading all the way home. Nothing remarkable happened whilst shopping, we checked out and headed for the door. There's an older lady there to check our we approach her, she says "What a lovely family!"

Well, thank you very much - much bigger and more genuine smile given to this woman who actually realizes that children are a blessing and a gift from God and not something to be looked down upon, given sympathy for, pitying the parent who is so apparently in misery because of their progeny. Thank you, I said, and off we went. Some of the sting from the earlier incident was assuaged, you can see...not all of it.

Mr. Nosey - keep your thoughts and your sympathy - I don't need them. I am blessed above measure with 5 beautiful children and it is I who pity you - YOU have MY sympathies.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Watching them grow

Miss E has been learning about what makes a good paragraph in her Grammar studies and had to write her own "off the cuff" paragraph (not rearranging someone else's sentences to make a paragraph) and I thought it was very good for her first attempt!

She was to make sure to use good descriptive adjectives and adverbs in her writing and write about a place.

Here's what she came up with:

The Smoky Mountains are a great place to visit. The Smokies stretch from North-east Tennessee to North Carolina. There are a lot of stores nearby, but my opinion is that the mountains attract most visitors. The Apple Barn is the best restaurant up there! It is also where something special happened - where I discovered my first loose tooth! In the Smokies, they have a lot of cabins built along the road. At one of the stores they have blueberry jelly that is soooooo good! If you're ever going there, take some biscuits along! The Smoky Mountains are a gold mine if you enjoy adventure. I wish we could take another trip up there soon.

- Miss E

Hmmm :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just a few from the weekend

We traveled to Houston for a preaching appointment for CKB and stayed w/friends down there. I'd hoped to take some pictures on the way down and while we were there, but didn't ever get the camera out. Figures!

Anyway, we enjoyed our visit, but as usually is the case, had to head out Sunday early to get to CKB's appointment in Madisonville. After services, I did take a few of the children out in the church yard while CKB was carrying Miss Baby for a bit. The first photo is from one day last week (of Miss A). Now, mind you, these aren't their "official" pics for the year, but if I don't manage to get my act together and take the "official" ones, well, these would suffice!  :D
As usual, you can click on any photo to see a larger view, then use your browser's back button to get back into the blog post.


Friday, March 12, 2010

The roof is on!

As I've said before, it's very exciting to watch the house taking shape!

The roof is on and that means there are only a few things left that the weather could affect regarding the completion of our new home!

Is it just me or does it look like the house has a face on the right there....ready to swallow up our cars....hmm.  :) It would be nice to actually put the cars in the garage for a change....right now the garage in our current house is full of stufffffffff - anybody need anything? We just might be able to help you out...but I could get lost in the garage looking for it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quote from today's History (TOG) reading....

I haven't been keeping up w/my school week updates for quite a while now, and probably will not start again b/c I just don't expect I will, but wanted to share something from today's reading.

We are using Tapestry of Grace and in our history studies today, we read "William Penn: Founder of the Pennsylvania Colony" which included the following quote from William Penn that I heartily agree with and enjoyed:

"The country life is to be preferred, for there we see the works of God, but in cities little else but the works of men. And one makes a better subject for our contemplation than the other."  - William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

10 years!

As hard as it is sometimes for me to believe that we have 5 beautiful children, it's equally hard to believe we've been married for 10 years already!

The time has gone by so swiftly it seems and yet here we are!

10 wonderful years with the man God set aside for me - 5 beautiful children - countless wonderful memories.

We celebrated 10 years by taking a mini-trip - 2 days and 2 nights leaving late after getting Miss Baby to bed and returning 2 days later around dinner/bedtime. With a 1 year old, we couldn't justify being away for too long and that seemed a reasonable amount of time this go around. After the time away though, I think this should be an annual event, not just every 10 years!

We had a wonderful "vacation" - it was nice to have some time alone for the first time in a long time. We didn't go far, but found plenty to do and just enjoyed a more relaxed pace for a few days. We shopped, toured some museums and had one of the best, if not, THE best dinners in a long time at a fantastic steak house. We did a week's worth of things in 2 days, it seems, when you aren't buckling and unbuckling carseats, stopping for countless potty trips, taking 2 hours to eat each meal and so on. The time away was priceless, but naturally we were glad to return. Miss Baby became quite vocal when she heard our voices when we came in the door (she was off in one of the bedrooms w/Grandma), and the rest of the crew came running to greet us (something I don't experience often since I'm always at home w/the children) with hugs and kisses and "I missed you's" and "I'm glad you're home's" - we missed them too! Naturally I had to call once each day to check on everyone and was especially concerned about how Miss Baby was going to do at bedtime, but she did great and I was relieved and able to relax and enjoy the time away.

Maybe, by our 15th or 20th, we can take a longer trip and see some places we'd like to go to and not worry so much about having an infant at home - we'll see. For now, it's good to be home and it was good to be away for a little bit.

Happy 10th CKB, I love you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Moving on up!

To the second floor! The builders continue to work hard on the house and the second story is framed and ready for the roof!

It's very exciting to see the house taking shape and begin to make plans for where to put things and which room will serve which children best!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mr. E is 6 years old!

February is a very busy month for us - as I try to catch up here....Mr. E is now 6 years old!

I know I probably say this a lot, but where does the time go????

I very vividly remember the day Mr. E was born  - CKB was working 2 hours away at the time...I called him and told him he needed to drive back...another 2 hours...and by the time I got the girls and my mother in the van and finished packing a bag and driving to the hospital, CKB arrived only 5 mn. later - then, we waited...and waited...all day...and finally Mr. E arrived around 11 p.m. that night.

He has the sweetest heart and gentle nature and is also ALL BOY and fights lightsaber duels and sword fights with the best of them. He is my sweet Mr. E and will remain so no matter how big he gets. Got that?  :)

We had a video game birthday party for him - it was a lot of fun - only one shot of some of the gamers - they were standing so close to the tv that it made it hard to get a good shot of them!

Let the games begin!

And...they're off! (playing Mario Kart)

The cake....


The this is NOT the tea party group we had a few weeks back is it?   :)

And, Miss Baby (and Daddy, aka CKB)  was there too - she really liked the balloons!

We love you so very much, Mr. E - don't grow up too fast!!!