Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

If you feel as clueless as Patrick does, be sure to read the last paragraph on this post. I'm so glad he has a GOOD sense of humor!!


Josh: Mom, am I 5 now?

Mom (stifling a laugh): No.

Josh: But this is tomorrow, and next is Sunday, and...

Mom (interrupting): You won't be 5 until next year. It's a long time.

Josh: But Mom, this IS a long time!

Thinking for a minute.

Josh: Mom, when it is Christmas again will I be 5?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Easing back into it

We are easing back into schoolwork. Mitch's next foot appointment is on Thursday. Pray that the fracture is completely healed and that he will be permitted to walk on it again. Having him able to help chase kids around and do things requiring mobility will help a ton. His ankle is very stiff and he has very little range of motion. For example, when he sits with both legs straight out and points his toes, he can hardly get the hurt ankle to move. Not being a doctor, I would say he can move it about 10% compared to how he moves the other ankle. I predict physical therapy in his future.

Oh well, so now I'm trying to figure out where we left off...can't believe it was only a little over a week ago that we packed up the books and put them away. Today the kids pulled out their arithmetic and I am doing school with Zeke. The short break was sooooo nice and *I'm* having trouble getting motivated.

I forgot to mention that during our school break I have been potty-training Malachi. So far he is doing better than I ever expected. Some days he stays completely dry all day. He gets confused when we switch to a diaper for nap time and bed time or for going out. He also gets confused if I put him in the training underwear I made (because they are so similar to a diaper). Otherwise, he does best when either naked or just in shorts. :)

Since the weather has turned colder, Patrick asked us to help him find a long-sleeve shirt for soccer practice. I asked if he'd rather have white or black. He said green with polka-dots. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scam to be on the lookout for

Mitch recieved a call yesterday from his grandma. He hasn't talked to her in a long time, but as he said, you don't forget your grandmother's voice. He greeted her excitedly. She sounded confused, "Mitch?" Apparently she had received a call from "Mitch" earlier Saturday. He claimed he was in Ontario, in a rental car, on his way to visit a friend. He said his car had a blown out tire and he needed money right away. He needed a LARGE sum of money (large by my standards...can think of a few things I'd like to buy with that much money) wired to him immediately. Couldn't take a debit card, needed cash.

Thankfully our story has a happy ending. I think it is incredibly unfortunate that it happened at all, and who can measure what kind of stress that put Mitch's grandma through? We are so grateful for her willingness to help Mitch. That lets us know just how much she cares for us, even though we haven't kept in touch like we should. :)

We are unsure at this point whose information has been stolen (Mitch's or his grandma's).

This is just a good reminder that it only takes a couple extra minutes to verify information. What would have happened if Mitch's grandma hadn't called our house? If you were to receive a similar call, what would you do? Hopefully it will be someone you recognize immediately. Otherwise, it's a good idea to double check.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mary Rice Hopkins

Eden & Caleb got to go to a concert today performed by Mary Rice Hopkins. Not only that, but they got to be part of the show! It was a lot of fun, but they were both so shy. They have been writing their own songs and Caleb shared one with Mrs. Hopkins. Hopefully we will be able to share it here soon. :)

{Caleb is in red beside Mary, and Eden is sitting on the far left, in yellow}

{Mary got some grandpas from our church on stage to sing the Matilda the gorilla song. It was way too cute.}

{The kids really got into this song!}

Thursday, September 24, 2009

School This Week

We are taking a slight break from school this week. Last week just nearly killed me trying to do everything. So this week we thought it would be fine to break from our normal curriculum and have Mitch spend time doing some fun school projects with the kids. Yesterday they studied engines and this morning Caleb prepared a presentation for us, using his fantastic imagination. :) Here it is, my very first ever youtube video!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

{Silly boys!}

See what I have to put up with?


Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Bench

When our church built a new sanctuary, they installed stadium-type seating (which is incredibly comfortable I should add). We heard it through Kristin that they were giving away the old pews. Mitch jumped in and requested 2 of them. We thought they would be perfect for our dining room table, for squeezing in more people. :) The one "problem" is that the benches are 12 ft long, and 8 ft would be a little more appropriate. So we figured we would cut them down and make 4 benches out of 2. This weekend we were able to tackle the first bench with Paul's help.

{One bench waiting in the garage still, the other on horses ready to go. Everyone was helping.}


{Just before I took the picture below, Paul looked at me and other words...if he would be condemned for doing this, LOL}

{We were able to snag some "extra" pew ends from another project. So we can use the 4 ft piece to make another bench. All we have to do is glue the end on.}

{Almost done! We had another Bible holder that we screwed on the back of this bench.}

{Moving the bench in our house meant rearranging the furniture *again*. It also means that we need new assigned seating. We are trying different things to get a feel for what works best. It's hard when the kids have different ideas than their parents. This was our first meal at the table, and it's going much better since then.}

{Notice Caleb's hair in the picture above. He was way past due for a hair cut. He convinced me to shave it (I didn't want to). Crazy boy.}

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Past Week

Where do I start? This week was easily the hardest week I've had since Mitch went to Texas 2 years ago. I guess to tell this story I have to back up a little.

On July 18th, Mitch went to play basketball. He was enjoying it, however at one point in the game he rolled his ankle both ways and suffered a pretty bad sprain. He's done it before, so he chose not to go to the doctor. He did complain considerably and try to stay off it the next week (although he really wanted to try to go play ball again the following evening). Finally a week later, after not being able to walk well on it without excruciating pain, he went to urgent care. He was x-rayed, admonished for not coming in the DAY it happened, and given a boot to wear.

{Picture above: Mitch's self-portrait to put on Facebook
Picture below: kid's portrait that shows his "boot."}

He was told to return to the doctor for follow up. He didn't take orders too seriously. He didn't wear his boot as often as he was told. And he didn't follow up with the doctor until after a month, his leg still was in a good deal of pain, and very stiff with no range of motion in his ankle. The doctor took x-rays again and sent them to a specialist to follow up. This time they examined a little higher up on his leg and noticed a fracture. Seriously??

He still didn't wear his boot as often as he was told. In fact, when we went camping he didn't wear it at all, and we did a lot of walking! On September 10th, nearly 2 months after the original injury, he went to see a specialist who told him he must NEVER take the boot off (except for showers), especially at night, and he MUST stay off his foot for 3 weeks--no weight on it at all.

All of a sudden my guy has a good dose of reality and decides to take this seriously. ;) So he is completely off his foot, and I am busy!! So while we were used to operating our daycare together, and there are certainly things he can do even while sitting on his bum, it was a tough week and I carried much more work than normal. He is not sleeping well at night with the boot on, which also complicates things. The end result means that, well, I didn't get much free time this week! I'm physically exhausted...thank goodness there's only 2 weeks to go, and I'm praying it will be completely healed!

Someone else at our house is exhausted. :) Patrick has been working hard at school and Soccer, and he is drained. We celebrated his 17th birthday on Monday. This was our attempt at a German birthday wish. :)

For a birthday present, we made a fleece tie blanket with him. We told him that come winter he will need it. ;)

It has been really warm and beautiful out this week. We enjoyed a wonderful September sunset on Patrick's birthday.

Last night Papa (Mitch's dad) took me, Josh, Selena (Hope's daughter), and Patrick fishing on the Mississippi river. I didn't tell Paul, but I am SO afraid of being on a boat on the river. He took us right down by the dam. I did well in spite of my fear. We went late in the day, when the sun was at it's best, and I took lots of pictures. I have heard it called the "magic hour." I'll tell you what, it was the perfect end to a long, hard week. Mitch kept Tirzah, and for the first time I did not feel guilty about leaving her, only relieved to be getting out without her.

{Patrick and Josh}

{Papa, Selena and Josh with the "Cloud Maker" (as my dad called it so many years ago) in the background}

Ok, funny story. My dad visited Minnesota when Micah was a newborn baby. We lived just up the hill from the river. That is when, for a reason I can't remember now, he knick-named the paper mill the "Cloud Maker." I loved the name and it stuck. All of our kids have called it that. Last night as we drove to the dock Josh exclaimed, "What is that?" I told him of course. He was fascinated and TOTALLY believed me. What was so fun later was to hear him telling Papa all about what it was. ;) I wish I had my video on. He was SO serious.

{The leaves are starting to turn}

{I caught the only fish--a small rock bass. Josh was pretty impressed. He kissed it before we threw it back in the water.}

{Patrick on the Mississippi}

{This photo needs a good de-motivational title. Got it totally on accident.}

We took our boat back in soon after the photo above. There were lots of fish at times showing up on the Sonar (and Josh wondered why we couldn't just catch *that one*). They just weren't interested in biting. The water temp was 75F. Maybe it's just too warm. What do I know? I just overheard Paul say it. :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Catching My Breath

Wow, we've been so busy lately it's hard to even catch a breath, much less write on my blog! :)

This past weekend we went camping and I would like to share some photos.

We pitched two tents--the older boys (Zeke up through Patrick) slept in the purple tent, and the rest of us got the jeep tent (which is SOOO much fun from a "playing house" point of view). We were gone for 2 nights/3 days. We did some hiking, swimming, fishing, and just sitting around the campfire. I read Chris Fabry's new book, June Bug. It's a good read (I highly recommend it to those West Virginia readers, LOL). No ticks, lots of mosquito bites, and my hair STILL smells like smoke even though I've washed it 3 times. Yep, that's camping!

On Saturday evening we went to an impromtu gathering for host families and their exchange students. We had fun connecting with other families.

Tirzah is so talented. Look how flexible she is! She can suck on her toes. :)

Joshua says this is his Han Solo face. I love the dirt on the knees. SO typical Josh. This one is worth clicking on to see it larger!
Hiking just wears us little people out.

We were at a rustic camp site with only pit toilets...quite the hike away. Ahem. The boys enjoyed watering the trees. At least that worked out well for THEM.

We got back and Patrick headed off to his first day of school. Tuesday was just orientation, and today was his first FULL day. He is playing soccer, which is right after school. That means we don't get to see him much--he left at 7:40 am and won't be back home until after 6 pm. The kids are bumming. He seems to enjoy soccer, but says it makes him tired. :) We went to his first game last night and he got to play even though he'd only been to two practices. I can't wait to hear how his first day went...understanding all the language is probably the hardest--I have NO doubts whatsoever about his academic abilities. :) He is in pre-calculus, chemistry, and physics!

Our kids are into their 3rd week of homeschool. So far, so good. This year is off to a good start, probably easier than the previous years, but I do feel a little like a chicken with my head cut off. There was a moment today when I wished I could run away. Hmm...maybe 3 moments. Oh boy. :) I need God's grace to get me through!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Josh is 4 years old!

Josh, at 4 years old you

~are very, very sweet {for a boy}

~love to follow your brothers around
~love your clothes
~wear the same outfit for 3 days
~change your clothes 3 times when I put away clean ones (because you are finding your favorites)
~seem so small to me
~look like someone could just squash you

~do not like to snuggle with me very often
~fight the most with Malachi
~get along with Zeke really well {most of the time}
~let Zeke sleep in your {toddler} bed with you

~think everyone {including Patrick} knows or should know Spanish
~repeat yourself often to the point of being ridiculous

~love to play most with Legos
~carry your new Lego book Patrick & his family made for you around everywhere

~can recognize almost all your letters, capital and lowercase
~are smart enough to start kindergarten right now {if I had time}
~love to jump on my furniture, climb on everything, and do headstands
~love to play outside and ride bikes
~were scared of getting your whole body in the water at Mrs. Oistad's pool
~played happily on the steps just barely in the water for 3 hours instead
~love your Aunt Holly and think she should always take you on "trips"
~some days take a nap and some days do not need one
~like hot dogs not hamburgers
~can eat almost as much as mommy when we are having sloppy joes
~like to eat fruits and vegetables

We love you, buddy!!