GOD's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
(Psa 32:7 MSG)


Christmas 2008 memories

Christmas Eve was spent here at home and was very relaxing and enjoyable. it was such a beautiful and sunny, but cold winter day. the artist in me just couldn't resist taking a few photos of the trees in our backyard (through the window, of course!) i love how the shadows and snow contrast.

it was so nice to once again take the time and remember that it's the birth of our Savior that we celebrate at Christmas. God has given us the best gift ever in giving us His Son. i think that's one reason why we like to give each other gifts at Christmas. one of my favorite gifts this year is a very interesting knitting book from my dear hubby. oh and also the yarn & new knitting needles from bubba. ;-)

one of bubba's new books: The Tale of Despereaux. and he's not at all happy to get it. *wink*

cj enjoying all of his new books (hand-me-downs from his big bro!)

Christmas Day was celebrated with my parents (after stopping by T's sister's place for a quick "Merry Christmas" and to give T's folks their Christmas present.) as usual, my parents bought us all way too many gifts and the boys both made quite a haul. lots of new toys and some new clothes as well.

bubba and the ultimate movie gift this Christmas--Kung Fu Panda.
cj thoroughly enjoys this movie too. i believe he has discovered his inner tiger while watching this.
every time he's seen it, we've had to listen to him rawr (lots!) and we've had to take care for he will occasionally attempt his own style of kung fu move as well. thus far, he is just being playful.

mom's gift from me: a few of my favorite pics from 2008 nicely framed and matted

mom (and dad) knew i wanted more yarn, but didn't know quite what to get or where to get it, so they gave me a generous gift of money specifically to purchase yarn! i was so excited that i woke up friday morning at 5:30am! (if you know me, you know that's NOT normal!) i then spent most of the day friday shopping online! it was fun to look at the different yarns and imagine what it would look like as a pair of socks or whatever. it was especially fun to be able to buy yarns of a higher quality than i usually can afford! yippee! now if it would just hurry up and get here!!!!!

T was feeling awfully neglected that day, so after i finally decided what yarns i wanted and placed my order, i sat down and played a game of scrabble with him with our new super scrabble deluxe game.

me and the super scrabble deluxe game for mommy and daddy from daddy and mommy!

it made him feel better, i think. except i won. (whomped him, actually!) hehe. intensive shopping does that to me. we had a rematch on saturday and he beat me soundly. that's how scrabble goes, i guess! it really all depends on whether you get the right letters and can make your words fit on the board in just the right way to gain lots and lots of points...or not.

saturday was really snowy. we tried to capture a few pics of it as we four-wheeled it into town in the old pickup truck. it's kinda hard to tell in the picture just how much it was actually snowing though.

since then, i've been knitting and crocheting lots. i began working on a pair of fingerless mitts for myself. i finished the right one, then decided to start a pair of socks. since both projects require the same knitting needles, i can only work on one or the other at a time. i'm especially liking the sock that i'm making--i sort of even designed it myself--and am looking forward to being able to wear it.

brown sock #1--about 3/4 done

which means i'll have to make it's mate right away when it's done so i have a pair. that's one reason why i'm so excited about my new knitting book. it teaches you how to knit two socks at the same time...on 1 long circular needle! it's amazing! i never would have dreamed of knitting like this, but i'm so glad someone else has so i can learn how! it will be so nice to begin knitting that way (after my new yarn and knitting needles arrive). by knitting both socks at the same time, one doesn't ever have to worry about single sock syndrome! which can be a real problem. a knitter will finish one sock and then go on to something else. that poor little sockie hibernates until is rediscovered (months later) and the hapless knitter hasn't a clue what to do because they've forgotten how they made poor little sockie way back when...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

thankfully, this has only happened to me once thus far in my personal knitting history and that was a baby sock that i didn't like! i can just imagine what it's like though. that's probably why i have made a concerted effort to finish off each pair of socks i've made, even if i'm bored to death with them by the time i'm done. socks aren't meant to be alone!

i also just finished yet another crocheted shawl...it's a gift, so i can't say any more about it right now. (but i can post a picture! i wouldn't want the recipient to know what they're getting before i give it! *grin*

isn't it pretty though?!!!

ugh. T just told me it's -24F. brrrrrrrrrrr! time to hibernate myself. g'night y'all!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

this is always a special week for our family.

first of all, of course, there is Christmas. it is such a wonderful thing to take time each year to remember the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

we usually go to church for a Christmas Eve service. we were planning on it as usual, but we've changed our plans because it's at 5pm this year. this is a problem since T works until 4:30 and it takes us half an hour to get to church. we could probably get over there (just a few minutes late and really stressed), but then there's the fact that it's right at supper time. dealing with a crabby 2 year old is not my idea of an enjoyable service anytime. so, we're gonna stay home, relax, eat chili, have our own little Christmas service singing carols and reading the Christmas story, and then open our gifts to each other. i don't know about you, but that sounds a lot more fun than dressing up and stressing out!

another reason this week is special is that yesterday (the 23rd) was bubba's 9th birthday. 9 years ago on a cold and sunny Christmas day i brought my sweet baby boy home from the hospital. i remember being very tired and sore, and yet, thrilled to the core to be a mommy. and it's been an adventure in parenting ever since!

we haven't done much to celebrate bubba's b-day, yet, since we're having his party in january, but i decided to give him his new brainmonster hat (and cj got his too so they can match).

he likes it! and cj likes to play with the googly eyes.

aren't they funny hats? when i found the pattern online, bubba saw it and said "oh, cool!" so i asked him if he'd wear one. "yes!!!" so mommy made one for each of the boys.

i originally planned it to be a Christmas gift, but i thought he needed a present to open ON his b-day and since i'd already given him his tamagotchi (and the gift from daddy is being saved for when we have his party), i just had to give it to him as a b-day gift instead. speaking of his tamagotchi, here's what i've had to put up with for the past week and a half that he'd had it.

as you can see, he's totally engrossed in this new toy. and he loves to talk about his tama-family and what they're doing, what he's bought for them, etc. it's gonna get old...fast, but i'm glad he likes it!

as for myself, i've begun yet another knitting project. this time it's for me. i'm making a pair of fingerless mitts so my hands don't get so cold when i'm knitting or typing.

i just remembered...i never posted a pic of the prayer shawl i made. i'd best do that now!

i really like how this turned out. the colors and texture of the yarn makes this shawl super cozy. it's like a warm, fuzzy hug!
and since this prayer shawl was made for megan, i'll just add that we are so happy that she is home already!! (only 3 weeks since the accident!) we know her full recovery will still take some time, but it's amazing that she is home for Christmas! what a wonderful answer to our prayers!

God is Good, All the Time!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


creative gifts

i've been pretty busy the past few days. busy knitting, that is. i'm making hats for the boys. will post pics when i can. all i can say is just wait and see! they're hilarious! also, i've been attempting to read and knit at the same time. i think it's taking me twice as long for both, but i really don't care. i'm enjoying myself!

i'm also working on a few other miscellaneous Christmas projects/gifts. can't say too much about them though--wouldn't want the wrong person to read this and find out what they're getting! ha!

bubba's b-day is on the 23rd, and we were gonna have a party for him last sunday, but we had to postpone it due to unruly weather. he was a bit bummed, so we decided to let him open one of his gifts anyways. i did good. he LOVES his tamagotchi. this is his first virtual pet toy and it's kept him entertained all week. to the point that my new threat is that i'll take it away for a day if he doesn't behave! haha! he had a lanyard leftover from a VBS he attended 2 years ago that he now uses to hang it around his neck. it even matches. blue. cool.


pomegranate mind blogging

do you ever mind blog? by "mind blog" i'm referring to the process of composing blog posts in your head when away from one's computer (and usually when said computer is turned off). i only ask because i find myself doing this a lot and am curious if it's anomalous to myself or if there are others out there with this "problem." it's not much of a problem, really. except that, more often than not, it occurs as i'm attempting to fall asleep at night. i start thinking about my blog and what i'd love to write about here. i come up with all kinds of interesting topics and witty ways of writing about them. this can take a while, and i find that i'm not able to fall asleep as easily when my mind in in "blog mode." eventually i do fall asleep and promptly forget all the fun stuff i would like to write. ah well. leave me a comment and tell me i'm not the only one! *i hope!*

last night, bubba and i enjoyed munching on a few pomegranate seeds after supper. oh yeah, T had a few too. we tried to convince cj to try one, but he's at a stage where he refuses to try any new foods. including tonight's yummy dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup. i really wish he'd at least taste it! (if you look close, you can see bubba's hand in the picture too...waiting for me to hand over the seeds!)
pomegranates are so yummy. and nutritious too. almost every fall/early winter i try to buy at least one. at times, you find an especially good one. like this one. juicy ripeness that is tangy and tart with a hint of sweetness too! half of it's hanging out in the fridge now. i think i'll go eat a couple more pom seeds before i go to bed! the only drawback to eating them is the mess it makes of my fingers. they're still stained from the juices and peel, but i know that won't last long and the fruit is so worth the effort!


my baby can count!

okay, i have to brag a little. cj is only 2 years, 2 months, and 11 days old and he can count to 10! i must have two of the smartest kids around! (for those who don't already know, bubba was reading by age 3 1/2!)

so here's a little video. unfortunately, you'll have to take my word for it that he can go from 1 to 10 on his own. he was a bit distracted at the time i took this, but it's still really cute and he does pretty good anyways!


It's that time of year. Christmas is in the air and the new year is just around the corner. And I, for one, have already started thinking about my New Year's Resolution(s). Of course, there's the usual...I need to exercise regularly to get in shape and lose all the excess weight from around my middle that I've been ignoring for way too long.

But another area of my life that desperately needs a "makeover" is my devotional time. Or, more often than not, lack thereof. So after coming across this website today, I realize that I need to be more deliberate about spending time with God and His Word. And this might just be the tool to help get me back into "spiritual shape!"


100 Things

i've been feeling pretty yucky this week. probably have a sinus infection. at the very least it's a bad head cold. so instead of adding pics that i haven't taken yet, and posting a pattern i haven't written yet, here is a bolded list for your reading enjoyment!

Things I've Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band--i played clarinet in j.h.
4. Visited Hawaii--Maui in March was so much fun...i wanna go back!!!!!
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world--i've been to both!
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch--knitting counts, right?!
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort--lots of 'em when i was a kid
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset--both!
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community--there's an Amish community in WI that i drove past when going to and from college.
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied--our needs are met.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing--once for real the summer i worked at camp. we also had a rock climbing wall that i successfully climbed.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David--in pictures!
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted--by myself! (college painting class)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling--snorkeling in the pacific (Maui trip)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud--yes, as a kid. and also in college--making pottery!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching--yet another thing we did on our Maui trip!
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma--once in college. i have bad veins so i can't do this anymore.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check--completely by accident. i try to keep track of what i've spent!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy--i still have my teddy bear!
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person --when i was little. i don't remember it much.
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper--engagement & wedding announcements
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox--when i was in 2nd grade
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (I don't think so, but I know I've seen it!)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant--at the circus in Baraboo, WI


an update

Megan has been through a lot this week--surgeries, a lot of pain, etc. but praise the Lord, she is doing much better than anticipated. The latest update is that she was able to sit in a chair today, but is mostly just resting. She's still in ICU for now, but will hopefully be moved to a regular room sometime in the next day or so.

As for me, I've been working on a special gift for Megan this week--a prayer shawl. I don't know when I'll be able to give it to her, but it was a way for me to do something for her while I was praying for her. This is the first time I've made a prayer shawl. I've seen a few prayer shawl patterns online and even have heard there is a prayer shawl ministry, but I'd never thought to make one for anyone before. When I decided to do this, I looked at a couple of those patterns, but I really wasn't impressed and decided to use a pattern I came up with on my own and have used before. It's based on a baby blanket pattern that I found a few years ago online and have used many times. With just a few simple alterations, it becomes a lovely triangular shawl. I found while making this shawl for Megan that it is especially cozy using Lion Brand Homespun yarn (which is not my favorite yarn, but I would use it again for another shawl like this).

Well, I'm out of time for today. Maybe next time I post I'll have a picture to show. I'd like to figure out how to "publish" my pattern too. I'm hoping that Ravelry may be able to help me with that.


please pray!

shana posted about 411God on her blog a few days ago. i found 411God on Facebook and have been reading the daily scriptures and thoughts when i can. it was especially good for me today.

i find God's timing to be impeccable. you see, a young woman, megan, whose family goes to our church (in fact, i'm pretty sure T taught her in his high school Sunday school class a few years back) was in a car accident last night. she was badly hurt, has already been through one surgery and probably needs more. please lift up megan and her family in prayer as they go through this. thanks!

Today's 411God
(copied from 411God on Facebook)

Having a bad day? Today, 411God has a little something to cheer you up.

God says: "I am the LORD, and I do not change." (Malachi 3:6)

Because of that, I can trust all God's promises. Promises like:

"I will never fail you." (Hebrews 13:5)

"I will guide you." (Psalm 32:8)

"My gracious favor is all you need." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

"[I] will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)

Everything else in your life can be junk, but God and His promises never change. So, when life is crappy, keep this in mind. Jesus is in you and He promises to be there for you. Always. Unchanged.

isn't that a great reminder? i thought so too. and i really needed that today! thanks, God!



although i've been offline the past few days--including Thanksgiving--i've been thinking a lot about what i'm most thankful for.

1. for the God who made me, who loves me, and has saved me from my sin
2. for loving parents who raised me to know Jesus as my savior
3. for a wonderful husband who's still crazy...in love with me, that is
4. for bubba--child of my womb, firstborn son, "crown prince of our family", and super big brother whose nose is almost always in a good book
5. for cj--child of my heart, my honey boy and sweet baby who likes to wrestle
6. for extended family and time spent together
7. for friends and laughing until i can't breathe anymore

of course, that's just a few of the many things i am thankful for!


sweet cj boy

little cj was very busy this morning. he played, watched tv, played some more, watched more tv, played again, and then handed me a dvd and crawled up into T's chair to watch. when the show was finished, cj was too!

i hate to wake him, so for now am letting him rest, but will have to get him up so we can eat lunch pretty soon. he can take a real nap after we eat.


thanksgiving history

bubba really enjoyed learning more about the first thanksgiving this morning. i can't recall where i saw a link to this website, but i did and i recommend it too.

The First Thanksgiving

as a teacher, i really like how they discuss historical myths and how historians determine what may have happened based on primary source information. there's also a teacher's guide with some nice extras. i think it would be worthwhile to any parent who wants their kids to have a more accurate understanding of the first thanksgiving and what really happened then.


making a list and checking it twice...

mom asked me yesterday to get our christmas lists to her so she has ideas for our gifts. my 8 year old immediately went to his computer and edited his list from last year. unfortunately, that particular computer has neither internet nor printer. thus, i get to type all his requests onto the "master list" anyways. i really wouldn't mind, but now, every 5 minutes or so, he remembers something else he wants!


Happy Veterans' Day!

T has the day off! yay! we're getting as much schoolwork done this morning as we can so we can have time to play games this afternoon.


it's naptime!

woohoo! i could use one too, but for now i'll settle for having both my kids in bed. normally, bubba and i would be doing schoolwork during cj's afternoon nap, but the poor kid looks like he didn't sleep very good last night--he's got dark circles under his eyes--and i'm pretty sure both boys are coming down with a cold. so a little extra sleep today is a good thing.

instead of napping, i "get" to make homemade chicken noodle soup. it's really good and always nice when you've got a cold.
here's my recipe:

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 broiler/fryer chicken cut up (3-4 lbs)
20 cups water
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced (i leave this out 'cuz garlic gives me a tummy-ache! it's good either way.)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, & simmer 1.5 to 2 hours until meat is tender. Remove chicken; cool. Remove and discard skin & bones; chop chicken & set aside. Strain broth.

2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
homemade or store-bought egg noodles (use a double batch of homemade--see recipe below)

Return broth to pan, add carrots & celery. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 10 minutes until veggies are tender. Add noodles and chicken, and salt/pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 10 minutes until noodles are done.
Yield: 12-16 servings

Homemade Egg Noodles
1 beaten egg
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
about 1 cup flour (enough to make a stiff dough)

Mix together ingredients. Roll very thin on floured surface. Let stand at least 20 minutes. Roll up loosely & cut into 1/4 inch wide strips.

i don't always make homemade noodles, but i do like them best for this soup. there are a few kinds of almost-home-made noodle that work well too. of course, regular egg noodles work too, in a pinch, but they really don't taste as good and the texture is completely different. oh yeah, i occasionally make dumplings in this soup too.

i'm getting hungry just writing about it!

i suppose i should mention that this soup is based on a recipe i found in the 2002 Taste of Home Annual Recipes book. i made a few changes to the recipe including doubling it so we have leftovers. and the noodle recipe is one my mom has used ever since i can remember. :-)


sentimental sunday

sorta like flashback friday...

here's one of me and cj when he was only 3 months old.


verses to remember

for my second post this morning, i found a couple Bible verses that i think we should remember now that the election is over.

Exo 22:28 Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people.

Act 23:5 And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

so even if someone doesn't like or agree with either President Bush or President-elect Obama, God tells us NOT to speak badly of them.
...read entire post

is it really friday already?

it's hard to believe i haven't posted since election day. i'm not going to post my opinions of this election. i'm just going to say how thankful i am that it's done now and we can begin praying for Barack Obama as our new president-elect.

it's been a rather busy week around here.

wednesday morning one of my hubby's sisters came over with her youngest daughter. we had a really nice visit and even enjoyed most of a game of Quiddler before lunch. maybe next time we'll get in a whole game! then we did our schoolwork in the afternoon and bubba had Awanas in the evening.

yesterday morning we learned about Old Fort Niagara with our local homeschool group. one of the families had recently visited there and thought it was something the rest of us might want to learn about. it was very interesting. i've never been to Niagara Falls, so i was glad to learn (and have my son learn) about the history of the fort and the historic significance it holds. the family who organized this class did a wonderful job. they had lots of pictures from their visit to the fort displayed on posterboard with descriptions, a model of part of the fort they had made with rocks glued together and toy soldiers, Lincoln Logs for the younger kids to "build a fort" with, and a 30 minute educational video about the fort with a quiz for the kids to see how much they could remember afterward. they gave out a packet to each family with a little book about Old Fort Niagara as well as a copy of the Declaration of Independence and a copy of the Constitution (these had to have been purchased and are a really nice resource that i'm sure we'll use later since we've begun studying american history this year). and they also gave out a few really nice door prizes too! amazingly, our family won first choice. (we rarely win anything!) bubba chose the Lincoln Logs--the same ones they had for the kids to play with...all i can say is woohoo! cuz i know those aren't cheap and my boys will really enjoy them. after the class, we came home, had lunch and then did our regular schoolwork in the afternoon.


election day

i voted today. it will be interesting watching the news this evening as the polls close. i think most will agree with me that it will be nice to be done with this election season. it gets so very old, hearing the same stuff day in and day out from the candidates. i've done what i can and performed my civic duty. all i can do now is pray that God's hand will be on whomever is chosen to lead this country for the next 4 years.


another cute video i couldn't resist!

okay, i know i said i probably wouldn't post any more videos, but these kids are just way too cute! my boys were playing with bubba's lightsabers this afternoon after coming in from playing outside. cj was so into it, that i had to take some pics and video of it.

here's a short clip that i find extremely funny.

maybe cj wants a room of his own...

blog code editing

as you may have noticed, i'm learning a little this morning about blogs and code. i wanted to be able to shorten some of my more wordy blogs so you only have to see the entire post if you want to. i knew it was possible, but had to find the code to do it with. and figure out where to put the code in the html. it took me a few tries, but i think i've got it working. :-) fun!

our weekend

we had a nice weekend...

we checked the theater friday night, but there weren't any movies playing that we'd want to see. instead we spent a quiet evening in. we stayed at a new country inn and suites and got a room with a kingsize bed, a separate cozy "sunroom" with a hot tub and fireplace, and 48" plasma tvs--one in the bedroom and one in the sunroom. we considered staying a second night, but we decided to save the money and sleep in our own bed instead. T and i got a lot of shopping done saturday. of course, we spent more than we should have, but most of it was stuff we need.

we got home around 8pm and after unloading the van, started watching "The Lord of the Rings--The Fellowship of the Ring." we made it a little over half-way through before we were too tired to stay awake anymore, so went to bed and finished watching it the next day.

we had both sets of grandparents over for supper last night too. T made "classy chili"--yummy yum yum! how do you make chili classy? well, T took his basic chili recipe that we like and added some bits of marinated and browned sirloin steak to it. i'm so glad there's leftovers for lunch!

btw, one nice thing about having a couple days away from the kids (besides a good night's sleep) is that you notice the sweet things about your kids more. last night, before putting the boys to bed, i was reading to cj. one of our favorite bedtime books is "Jesus Loves You" which is a read-the-pictures book. anyways, cj was pointing at the pictures as i was reading to him and saying what he saw: "rabbit" "squirrel" "rainbow" were all new words we hadn't heard him say before. his "rabbit" is especially cute...it almost sounds like "wabbit."


getting ready...

...for a weekend away and couple days off!

T and i are going "away" for the weekend. just the 2 of us. thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for watching the boys! we'll have a nice dinner, maybe go see a movie if there's anything worth watching at the theater, and take some time to relax tonight at the hotel. then tomorrow we have a ton of shopping to do. (Sam's Club and Wal-Mart here we come!) we like to stock up on the stuff we use a lot since the closest wal-mart is over an hour away and the closest sam's is 2 hours away. after over 10 years of living at the edge of the world, you think i'd be used to having to drive for good shopping, but the fact is i still wish we lived closer to a wal-mart or target and a mall would be nice once in a while too!

you might be wondering if the boys will dress up and go trick-or-treating since it's halloween. the answer is no. we don't do halloween. when T and i were newlyweds, we watched a special tv program with Carman about halloween and what it really is all about. so before bubba was even born, we had decided our family wouldn't "celebrate" halloween. it was difficult for me at first, because i used to really get into it with decorations and i loved dressing up in costumes. but it honestly really creeps me out now. if my kids want to dress up, there are 364 other days that they can do it on! (and even then we do only "nice" costumes...nothing creepy or scary.)


a comment...

yesterday's post = me on a soapbox. ;-)

i know not everyone will see eye to eye with me. i also know that i have strong feelings when it comes to the education of my children. and i am not ashamed--nor afraid--to share what i think. i only hope that whoever takes the time to read the post (i know it's long) will prayerfully consider the educational choices they make on behalf of their children.

"our children are our future."

blessings on your day!


why homeschool?

T and i watched a 2-dvd set the other night called "The Children of Caesar" with Dr. Voddie Baucham. i highly recommend it. the first disc is about education. the second disc is about what an "orderly" christian home should look like. i will probably blog about that later but for now i'd like to talk a bit about the education issue.

my purpose in writing this is so that other christian parents who might read this may really consider (and maybe re-consider) the educational choices they've made for their kids.

reason #1: we're losing our kids--both mentally AND spiritually
the public school system is teaching christian kids to think like the rest of the secular humanistic world. i'm a public school graduate, so you can't convince me it's not true--i've "been there, done that"--and i know it's only getting worse. one thing Dr. Baucham said was something like "If you send your kids to Caesar for their education, don't be surprised when they come home Romans." isn't that a profound statement? what it means is that when we choose to send our kids to government-run public schools with anti-christian curriculums for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, we are letting THEM "raise" our kids, THEY are the ones indoctrinating our children--not the parents, not the church, and definitely not Jesus. the little time parents have left each week to try and unteach the things we disagree with isn't enough and it doesn't work. it's appalling to me and a bit shocking, but i suppose it should be no wonder that over 75% of kids that grow up in christian homes are no longer following the christian faith by the time they are freshmen in college. we need to reclaim our kids for Christ!

reason #2: i want to know that my child is learning and not struggling in school
it's my opinion that a loving parent can and would do a much better job at teaching their children themselves because we, as the child's parents, naturally want our kids to excel! when you homeschool, you know exactly what your kids are really learning. so if a child is having trouble reading, you know it and you work with them until they can read well and oftentimes they end up liking it too. if they don't understand a math concept, you don't go on to the next concept until that "little lightbulb goes off above their head." plus there's no need for parent-teacher conferences (unless you really like to talk to yourself!) because you are your child's teacher. you know.

reason #3: socialization
i love what Dr. Baucham said about "the socialization question." basically, he says that the socialization that kids get in public schools is unrealistic. (not to mention oftentimes very negative!) once you're in the "real" world, you rarely find ourselves in actual situations where there are 25-30 other people your age like in a public school classroom. in REAL life, we work with a variety of people--not just our "age group." so the social skills (socialization) we learn in a public school classroom really aren't very useful in real life where it's more likely we'll find ourselves in a group (at work, at church, etc.) where some people are older and some are younger than ourselves. that takes different social skills altogether. in fact, he says about the only real social skill that public school teaches kids is how to stand in line. hmmmm...we do that every sunday at church so my kids are well on their way to being standing-in-line pros even though we homeschool! ;-)

reason#4: christian kids should be "salt and light"
one reason many christian parents give for sending their kids to public schools is that they think if all the christian kids were pulled out of public schools and either put in christian schools or homeschooled, there wouldn't be any "salt or light" left in the public school. at what expense? yes, we are called to be salt and light to the world, but the only way to be that is to be DIFFERENT than the world! how is sending our kids to public school any different than anyone else? and can christian kids ever really be different if they are being taught ("brainwashed!") with the same humanistic views as the rest of their peers? it's much more likely that the christian kids will become just like the secular world surrounding them.

i'm glad that T and i made the choice to homeschool our kids from the start. my son's education is oozing with our christian faith. we read Scripture daily and we pray in school. EVERYTHING from science to math to history is taught from a Biblical THEISTIC perspective. can anyone with children in public school say the same? no.
...read entire post


video of cj

i actually slept all night in my own bed last night! woohoo! sleep! hopefully tonight we'll get another night of uninterrupted slumber again.

i've been playing with my still-relatively-new camera, a canon powershot sd1100. i just figured out last night that it not only takes video clips (which i already knew), but it has a feature that allows you to edit (and save) clips from a video. so here's a sample from a video of cj that was originally 4 minutes long. using the camera's edit feature, i cut it down to 47 seconds.

btw, isn't cj just adorable???? "Dr. Seuss' ABC is one of our faves.

today was a pretty good day. bubba and i got done with school a bit earlier than we have been lately. that was really nice. i had my afternoon more or less free, so i decided a little baking was in order. made a batch of soft molasses cookies (yum!) and have a batch of chocolate chip mixed up that i'm going to go bake now.

just had to post to my blog first!

i didn't realize how LONG adding a video would take! my apologies to anyone who may have trouble viewing this on a dial-up connection.


to sleep or not to sleep...

that is the question of the week!

i'm coming down with a cold and my throat's been sore a couple days. i'm wondering if it's somehow been irritated by the strong smell of the new futon. and the fact that i've slept there just as much as my bed this week. why? because our dear little cj doesn't stay asleep at night like he should. he's back to waking up in the middle of the night. (yes, we've been through this many times.) he yells and/or cries until one of us comes in and gets him (and don't even think about laying him back down 'cuz he'll SCREAM really LOUD). that probably wouldn't be so bad if he didn't share a bedroom with his big brother. we've tried putting him in bed with us, but we usually don't get any sleep that way. however, we did learn a while back that if we bring him downstairs and lay him in his pack and play with his blankie, pacifier, etc. he usually seems to settle and will go back to sleep. but then one of us must sleep downstairs with him (lest he feel lonely and/or afraid). i know. he's trained us well. so this week i had the privilege of sofa sleeping tuesday night, T did wednesday night, and so last night was my "turn" again. although the new futon is quite absolutely and most positively a TON better on my back than our old sofa (even without laying it flat), the smell of it is not very nice so i hope it doesn't smell like that forever.

oh, cj, won't you please sleep all night tonight!!!!!!!!


friends, fun, & futon!

here's a pic of thropots with her hubby and my new futon.

we had a really fun visit yesterday (and this morning) with them. it was a rather short visit, but a good one nonetheless. we, that is, mostly i, did a lot of laughing while they were here, but that's what i love about them. it is rather easy to make me laugh. i believe there were more than a few moments last night when i was laughing so hard that i stopped breathing! it was so much fun catching up with them, hanging out and playing Quiddler and Turnabout until it was way past our bedtime.

thank you, dear friends, for coming to see me and my family. i miss you guys already. i think i maybe even lost a pound or two from all that laughter! *tee hee!* come back again SOON!

let's see. picture of futon--posted. picture of friends visiting--posted. i think that was everything for now.


so tired.

my house is basically clean now. miracles do happen. about once every 3 years or so, i think. at least that's about how often my house is ever this clean. *wink*

the futon is set up and ready to use. (sorry i don't have a picture of it to post. will try to take one tomorrow if i remember.) it's really nice. mocha color mattress. mission style arms w/magazine racks tucked inside. and it has little tray tables you can put on each arm if you want.

i am very happy to have company coming tomorrow, but am very, very tired. so as soon as the kitchen floor is dry, i'm getting ready for bed.

'night y'all!


where has the week gone?

i can't believe it's friday already. only 2 days 'til thropots comes to visit me! yay!

housecleaning is still underway. futon is still in boxes. hopefully we can will get it put together and figure out where it's going to go by tomorrow.

here's a pic of a mug cozy i made in my "spare" time this week. it was a fun little project...like making a sweater for my mug!


i've succumbed!

...and finally joined the world of facebook. thank you, annie, for your continued encouragement to get on there. T, on the other hand, isn't too happy that i have yet another computer-related addiction! ;-)


it's here!

my futon has arrived! yay! it's still in need of assembly, but we have it now! T hopes to find time tomorrow or the next night to put it together. in the mean time, i must continue my house decluttering and cleaning, AND bubba and i have to get some schoolwork done too!

i threw out 4 big bags of junk yesterday from the "junk room" along with two old infant car seats (if and when we have another child we'll get a new one) and a suitcase that had it's zipper pulls removed by airline security on our trip home from orlando 2.5 years ago. argh! i hope to never check luggage when traveling again! there's still a lot of stuff in our old junk room, but it's a LOT better than before. you can walk through without stepping on or tripping over something. and we now have a place to keep our huge telescope where the kids won't damage it. it's a lovely telescope. unfortunately, the really neat motorized feature that's supposed to allow you to punch in a specific star or planet to view has never worked. it doesn't rotate like it should. yet another project T hasn't had time or energy (or money!) to deal with. maybe when bubba's a teenager he'll want to use it and fix it for us! LOL!

time to do some schoolwork with bubba while cj's still napping.


attack of the junk room

maybe i should have titled this post "attacking the junk room" instead.

so is it just me? or is the phrase "junk room" just plain scary? it's even scarier having to admit that we have an entire room being used to store stuff that includes so much junk. this particular room that is currently overrun with junk was at one time a sort of exercise room since T's weight-lifting machine is in there. which is literally buried at the moment. it was also a good place to store the kids' extra toys, our suitcases, extra pillows, sleeping bags, etc. unfortunately, the "etc." has taken over the room.

so this morning i'm tackling our junk room. i already have one large black garbage bag full of stuff i'm throwing away. and i've barely begun.

yikes. this could take me longer than i thought it would.


lazy saturday afternoon

today's title about sums it up. i'm feeling extremely lazy today. it's raining and cold, so no way do i want to go outside. it's the kind of day for curling up with a good book in front of a fire (if only we had a fireplace!). or watching a movie (while knitting, of course!). T had some not-work-related work to do at his office today, but it's extra income so i'm not complaining too loudly. hey, it's helping to pay for my new futon which is scheduled to be here next tuesday! yay! i can't wait! hopefully it won't be too terribly hard to set up either. yet another job for T to tackle. in the meantime, i'm enjoying having two clean rooms (amazingly they've stayed that way for more than two days! LOL!) this week i get to tackle the rest of the house. i plan to have the majority of my home cleaned up before thropots comes to visit.

but for now, i have to go help bubba with his art project. he's complaining that he just "ruined" it. gotta scoot!


happy birthday to me!

it's my birthday. another year added to my age.

happy birthday to me.
happy birthday to me.
happy birthday to mee-ee.
happy birthday to me.

okay, that's enough celebrating.
now to get the boys some breakfast and get on with our day...


cj's bday and other pictures

i was planning on posting a picture from cj's birthday celebration and realized that bubba still had a black eye in those pics. so i figured i'd better tell that story first.

the boys spent the weekend at grandma's and bubba was out riding his bike and was turning too quickly and wiped out. it must've happened so fast that he didn't really even react and although he was wearing a helmet (and thankfully we had no skull fractures!) he did manage to hit his eye/brow on the pavement and it swelled shut.

this is how it looked 2 days later.

and a few days later...

so that by cj's celebration on the 28th, it was better, but not completely gone yet.

now isn't that a cute pic? i love cj's expressions. he got a kick out of us helping him blow out his candles. you might have noticed that we had a sort of "blue's clues" theme going on. cj loves his blue's clues dvds, videos and books. and he's so funny when he runs through the house shouting "a kwoo! a kwoo!"


pics from my mother

mom says i can post some of her pics on my blog so here goes.

me and my boys at the mennonite heritage museum in steinbach, mb. went up for "fall on the farm" and they had a little petting zoo with farm animals. cj had fun chasing the poor little bunny rabbit around the pen!

here's bubba pretending to be a preacher in one of the old churches at the mennonite museum. now if he'd just memorize a sermon or two, he'd could fill in at our church!

that's all for mom's pics for now. i used one of hers for my profile pic too. funny that i don't have more pics of myself. must be that i'm often the one taking the pics! lol!

of reading and racing

it was getting late last night, so i didn't get any more pics posted. we went to church and s.s. this morning as usual, and are spending this afternoon at my mom and dad's. mom made a yummy lunch with cheesy potatoes--one of my faves.

i had trouble falling asleep last night. i think i was so excited to have a new blog and my mind went into overdrive about all the things i could write about! LOL! of course, today i'm so tired i can't think of any of the great ideas i had.

and T finished reading our book to me last night before bed even though he was getting really tired. we're reading a series by karen hancock--The Guardian King series. we'll be on the fourth and last book next. it's been an exciting tale so far. i can't wait to find out how it all ends!

that's one of the fun things about books. and probably why i read as much as i do! a good story gives me something to think about when i'm doing housework or yardwork. i love trying to think like the author might, imagining what i'd have the characters do or how some problem should be resolved. then to read how the author actually did so is even more fun--especially when it's completely unlike my ideas!

T and dad are watching the nascar race right now. i find i have to be in the mood to watch a race, otherwise i'll just watch the last 25 laps or so and am good. my favorite driver is probably carl edwards because i get a kick out of his backflips he does when he wins. dad and T like to watch mark martin. T cheers for a bunch of other drivers too depending on the race. on the other hand, there are definitely drivers we don't like. but i won't name any names. it does make for okay background noise when knitting, but isn't nearly as interesting as a good book or movie. speaking of knitting i want to finish the baby sweater i'm working on today if i can. it's my first ever attempt at making a sweater, but i'm finding it's not as complicated as i thought it would be especially since i'm doing the sleeves in the round with picked up stitches so i won't have to sew them on later.



my new blog! yay! i decided it's about time i started a real blog. so here it is.

i decided on the title knitwit at whit's end because i love knitting (and crocheting) and seem to always have one or more yarnish projects started, thus making me a knit-wit as opposed to nitwit which some might consider me to be as well. whit's end refers to the soda shop run by john avery whitaker in adventures in odyssey which has become a family listening staple in the past year or so (we're gradually building our aio cd collection) and the fact that i quite often feel i'm at my wit's end.

my boys are my life--all three of them:
#1] dear hubby T, who works hard so i can stay home with the kids and still has time to read to me before bed (while i knit).
#2] bubba, who is our #1 son, age 8 (9 in dec.), reader extraordinaire, and mostly good kid.
#3] cj, who is our sweet baby boy, the baby who grew not under my heart but in it, and just turned 2 this week!

i homeschool because i want to and i can. bubba and i are using sonlight's core 3 this year which is the first year of american history. i'm already learning things that i either never knew or forgot. as a believer in christ and the bible, i like being able to incorporate scripture, bible reading, and christian literature in our everyday school work. this is our fourth year of actual schoolwork homeschooling, however actual learning, of course, begins in infancy. bubba was an early reader--age 3.5--and no i didn't do it so don't ask me how to teach your 3 year old to read because i have no idea. anyways, this is just one reason i have chosen and why i love sonlight curriculum. tons of books: books for him to read himself, books for me to read to him, books books books!! yay! books make us happy. hee hee. i'm getting giddy just thinking about it.

so that's my little intro. i suppose i could mention that my b-day is in 3 days. another year. whatever. i'm getting a new futon sofa. it's my christmas and any other holiday gift for something like the next 2 or 3 years. (and T thought he took care of that when we went to Maui in March! ha!) we really need it though and i'm even a LOT excited to get it. my only prob will be figuring out where to put it. might have to try and sell our current sofa to make room. we'll wait and see.

i think i'll see if i can post a pic or two of cj since he just had his 2nd birthday.