Thursday, February 25, 2010

Travel crazy

Do your kids go nutso before a trip or some other wonderful thing that they are anticipating? Mine do and it is making me wish we had just sprung the whole thing on them. However, anticipation is half (well, maybe one fourth) of the fun and we (dh and I) just couldn't keep it to ourselves. So now I am dealing with cranky kids shouting that they want new underwear...because someone else got new underwear, of course and not being able to focus on their multiplication facts and wanting to help pack by throwing 6 stuffed animals, an old sock, a dog toy and a piece of apple into the suitcase.... I will survive and we will soon be on the road singing fun road ballads and playing I spy the yellow car and stuffing ourselves with french fries (candid admission).


We had a few winners last night...Alicia's car (log ride) won first place for speed and second place for design in the TnT category and Thomas's car (alligator) won second place for design in the cubbys category. It was a fun night. Thomas did great putting his car on the track and everyone had a great time. On a sad note, after Alicia's triumphant evening she awoke in the night throwing up and with a fever. So she is resting today and hopefully will recover before we leave on Sat.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Awana cars..

Here are the finished products...tons of work went into these cute creations. Jesse did all the shaping and the kids did most of the painting and decorating. I won't say how much it all cost, but it does add up to make these little masterpieces. The artists are 1. Katie (pig) 2. Thomas (alligator) 3. Garrett (monorail-minivan) 4. Alicia (Splash Mountain flume car) 5. Colton (bronze race car) 6. Julia (fancy jeweled car) 7. Carlina (owl)

We are leaving..

on Saturday. Taking the camper and heading down south for some sun and fun and won't be back until March 8th. I will be back then with an (hopefully) awesome update about all of our great adventures. Until then, we would appreciate your prayers for safe travels and good health for us all.

Help bring Laura and Bethany home!

One Thing

The Parker family is in the process of adopting two gorgeous little girls and needs our help to bring them home.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anna is better..

thank you God! We were so worried about her. I can't imagine having a chronically ill child, I don't know how parents do it.

We have a beautiful sunny day. We have definitely not experienced a winter thaw yet and it doesn't look like it will happen. It is starting to smell a little bit like spring. I can't explain it...lots of snow and ice on the ground but the air smells different. We are almost through Feb and one more month before we can really hope for a weather change. Exciting!!

We are getting ready for our trip to Florida. Cleaning the camper and starting to pack. It will be such a blessing to get a taste of warmth and see green!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


from the ER. We took Anna up this morning. She was looking so pale and acting very lethargic. They did 2 hours of iv fluids and a finger poke which showed that she has a virus. The fluid put a little color in her cheeks and she hasn't thrown up since this morning. Prayers for her would be greatly appreciated!!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am thankful for the weekend!

We did the first half of our IBS tests today. I was with the 2nd graders (2 of them) and had fun reading test questions and timing the tests. We will finish up next Friday. The tests are required by the school district due to the Home School Assistance Program in which I am enrolled. We used our church's basement and broke up into 6 groups. Carlina was the only highschooler since Colton is not required to test this year and the other girl was sick.

Anna has been sick all day...Grandpa and Grandma came over in the morning and watched the 3 younger kiddos while I helped with testing (required for me to be there). She was fussy for them and I hated to leave. She has had a tummy flu and cannot keep much down. It is so sad to see her quiet and lethargic as she is normally such a wild child.

We have cousin A spending the night. A is good friends with Alicia..they have lots of fun together. I never grew up with cousins in close proximity so it is fun to have my kids be near (some of) theirs. I am sad that my sister's kids live so far away!

I hope to rest tomorrow. Next week we will be busy getting ready to go on a trip to Florida. I am so psyched about leaving winter least for a few days...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

America's debt and the sovereignty of Greece

Read this commentary and shake in your boots:

Bible Prophecy Today

Pine Car Derby..

It's that time of year again. Jesse takes 7 blocks of wood and magically transforms them into cute little racing cars for our AWANA Pine Car Derby. He is working diligently right now. Garrett is sitting right next to Daddy with his safety glasses and little ear plugs taking it all in. Garrett has requested a minivan while Thomas wants Lightning McQueen. Katie wants a doggy mobile. It will be interesting to see how they all turn out.

I just found out that a girl I went to High School with died this week from complications after a surgery. It is so shocking to hear about someone so young (39) dying. She left behind a husband and 2 children. Please pray for the Barton family, that they are comforted in their grief.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Do you make weekly menus? Monthly menus? Where do you get your recipes?

It is a big deal to me and sometimes a chore, but worth it to be organized. Not only for my sanity but for my pocketbook as well. I type up a menu at the beginning of each week (or end...on Sunday eve) and post it, so the kids can see it and not have to ask me what we are having. I list breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner & snack. I then also type up a grocery list for the week. I try to use my local grocery store flyer if I am going to shop there. Otherwise, I get most of my stuff at Walmart (where I go every couple of weeks). Walmart is an 85 mile round trip for me, so I need to be prepared when I go. To simplify things I have certain days of the week where we have the same thing. We have "taco Tuesdays" and "Spaghetti Wednesdays". We usually have popcorn and soda for a treat on Friday nights. We do alot of baking, so I like to stock up on baking supplies. Yesterday we made homemade cinnamon rolls for a snack and they were delightful. I have found planning ahead to really save me lots of headaches. When I don't get it done it is very stressful!

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 more sickies...

Garrett got sick yesterday afternoon and Anna woke up sick this morning. Jesse had a hard time getting home last night...the roads were bad, lots of wind mixed with the blowing snow. He is home today and working with Katie, doing multiplication flash cards. We are reading the Bible through, together and read Genesis 27-29 today. It is good practice to read aloud. We have Iowa Basic Skills tests on Friday. This is the second year we have had to do achievement tests. In Florida, it was not required. We met with a Homeschool evaluator, instead. The evaluator was a homeschool mom and she would interview the kids (informally) and look at their portfolio of work...very laid back. Here in Iowa we are in a Homeschool Assistance Program. We have a supervising teacher (homeschool mom in our church), do the annual testing and have to fill out extensive paperwork with the school district each year. We do receive some curriculum assistance, but it has to be from non-Christian publishers. I have gotten Wordly Wise, Teaching Textbooks, Writing Strands, Handwriting without Tears, Rosetta Stone to name a few, from the school.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Free shipping...

I will put in a plug for one of my favorite companies...

Lands End has free shipping (no minimum order!!) until Feb 16th. Use promotion code COLORFUL and pin 9516.

I love their clothes. They are so durable. I have passed dresses down through 4 girls (without them even appearing worn) and I absolutely love their swimsuits for the girls.


Today, I am home. Staring out the window at the fluffy flakes coming down..the wind whipping them into a frenzy. Jesse is working today, as is Colton, and I didn't have a car to drive to church. Colton had to take mine as his is out of sorts. Julia and Alicia decided to replicate a page out of Little House on the Prairie by walking to church in the blizzard. Well, it isn't exactly a blizzard but not great walking conditions. We canceled our Valentine's Day lunch with Gram and Gramps...not great driving conditions, either. So I am home with the kids and one extra, cousin J (age 7) who spent the night. The roast is starting to smell succulent and the kids are getting hungry.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

If you haven't

checked out my daughter's blog is the link:

The Next Chapter

She is an aspiring author and artist and has tons of fun musings.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why I love WDW

DH and I have loved that wonderful Florida kingdom ever since we first visited together in 1992. I had been a couple of times before...once as a small child and later in 1984 with my parents and sister. We took the kids (3 at the time ) in early 1997 and again (now 4) in 1998. Jesse and I went by ourselves in November 1999. We spent 2 weeks there in the summer of 2000 (we found out we were just expecting #5). Can you tell we love the place? When we moved to Orlando in 2004 we bought annual passes the first year. It was so fun to uncover the magic slowly. We didn't have to see it all in one day, because we could come back the next if we wanted to. We lived about 35 minutes from DW...a pleasant drive on the expressway.

I am a meandering person. I love to walk slowly and enjoy the gorgeous flowers and plants, admire the buildings and sit and eat the good food. I don't have to ride all the rides, although I enjoy that, as well.

Well, more later on the topic...I must hit the hay!

Ice Age...

You may think that wherever you live is deeply entrenched in an ice age...but what about the one that happened right after the flood? Here is an interesting article from Answers in Genesis:

Did the Flood Trigger the Ice Age?

If uniformitarian scientists have severe difficulties accounting for ice ages, how would creationists explain an ice age or multiple ice ages? Let’s start with the recent ice age.

When attempting to account for ice ages, the uniformitarian scientists do not consider one key element—the Genesis Flood. What if there truly were a worldwide Flood? How would it have affected the climate? A worldwide Flood would have caused major changes in the earth’s crust, as well as earth movements and tremendous volcanism. It would have also greatly disturbed the climate.

A shroud of volcanic dust and aerosols (very small particles) would have been trapped in the stratosphere for several years following the Flood. These volcanic effluents would have then reflected some of the sunlight back to space and caused cooler summers, mainly over large landmasses of the mid and high latitudes. Volcanoes would have also been active during the Ice Age and gradually declined as the earth settled down. Abundant evidence shows substantial Ice Age volcanism, which would have replenished the dust and aerosols in the stratosphere.7 The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets also show abundant volcanic particles and acids in the Ice Age portion of the ice cores.8

An ice age also requires huge amounts of precipitation. The Genesis account records the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth during the Flood. Crustal movements would have released hot water from the earth’s crust along with volcanism and large underwater lava flows, which would have added heat to the ocean. Earth movement and rapid Flood currents would have then mixed the warm water, so that after the Flood the oceans would be warm from pole to pole. There would be no sea ice. A warm ocean would have had much higher evaporation than the present cool ocean surface. Most of this evaporation would have occurred at mid and high latitudes, close to the developing ice sheets, dropping the moisture on the cold continent. This is a recipe for powerful and continuous snowstorms that can be estimated using basic meteorology.9 Therefore, to cause an ice age, rare conditions are required—warm oceans for high precipitation, and cool summers for lack of melting the snow. Only then can it accumulate into an ice sheet.

The principles of atmospheric science can also estimate areas of high oceanic evaporation, the eventual depth of the ice, and even the timing of the Ice Age. Numerical simulations of precipitation in the polar regions using conventional climate models with warm sea surface temperatures have demonstrated that ice sheets thousands of feet thick could have accumulated in less than 500 years.10

A Rapid Ice Age

Most creationists agree that there was one major Ice Age following the Flood. The timing of the Ice Age is quite significant, since uniformitarians claim that each ice age over the past 800,000 years lasted about 100,000 years. To estimate the time for a post-Flood Ice Age, we need to know how long the volcanism lasted and the cooling time of the oceans. Once these two mechanisms for the Ice Age wane, the ice sheets will reach a maximum and then begin to melt. So, an estimate of the time for the Ice Age can be worked out based on the available moisture for snow and the cooling time of the ocean (the primary mechanism) in a cool post-Flood climate.

I used budget equations for the cooling of the ocean and atmosphere, which are simply based on heat inputs minus heat outputs—the difference causing the change in temperatures. Since there is no way to be precise, I used minimums and maximums for the variables in the equations in order to bracket the time. The best estimate is about 500 years after the Flood to reach glacial maximum with an average ice and snow depth of about 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Northern Hemisphere and 4,000 feet (1,220 m) on Antarctica.11

Once the conditions for the Ice Age ended, those ice sheets in unfavorable areas melted rapidly. Antarctica and Greenland, possessing a favorable latitude and altitude, would continue to grow during deglaciation and afterward. To calculate the melting rate for the ice sheets over North America and Eurasia, I used the energy balance over a snow cover, which gives a faster rate than the uniformitarians propose based on their models.

An energy balance equation is a straightforward and more physical method of calculating the melt rate. Using maximum and minimum values for the variable in the melt equation, I obtained a best estimate of the average melt rate along the periphery (a 400-mile [645-km] long strip) of the ice sheet in North America at about 33 feet/year (10 m/year). Such a melting rate compares favorably with current melt rates for the melting zones of Alaskan, Icelandic, and Norwegian glaciers today. At this rate, the periphery of the ice sheets melts in less than 100 years. Interior areas of ice sheets would melt more slowly, but the ice would be gone in about 200 years. The ice sheets melt so fast, catastrophic flooding would be expected, such as with the bursting of glacial Lake Missoula described later in this chapter.

Therefore, the total length of time for a post-Flood Ice Age is about 700 years. It was indeed a rapid Ice Age. This is an example of bringing back the Flood into earth history. As a result, processes that seem too slow at today’s rates were much faster in the past. The Flood was never disproved; it was arbitrarily rejected in the 1700s and 1800s by secular intellectuals in favor of slow processes over millions of years.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In honor of Valentine's Day...

A picture of my sweetie!!! God has blessed me with such a wonderful husband and father to our children! I am very thankful!!!!

Valentine's Weekend...

Do you have special plans? Our church has an annual Agape Banquet on Valentine's Weekend. It is held at a local restaurant. We play a game, eat a delicious dinner and the Pastor gives a short talk. Lots of fun! This year we are going to a steak house called the AK Corral.

Jesse actually works both Saturday (the day of the banquet) and Sunday (Valentines Day). He is taking some PTO to come to the banquet. Then on Valentine's Day, I invited Grandpa and Grandma to come over after church for lunch. Roast and potatoes, plus Julia will make a cake:)

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Awesome Homeschooling post...

from Large Family Mothering.

Homeschooling has been such a blessing to our family and this post really is encouraging.

February brings..

sickness...We made it through December and January unscathed and I am so thankful for that. Last night Thomas began to complain of a tummy ache. He woke up in the night with a high fever and vomited. Poor little guy still has quite the fever this morning. We will see if it races through the ranks. I am hoping we get through this quickly as we have plans to take a little vacation at the beginning of March.

I remember 12 years ago when the kids were going through Chicken Pox about this time. Colton first, then Carlina and finally Julia. Alicia did not get it because she had received the new (at that time) vaccine. We took a trip to Disney when the kids had recovered but they are covered in spots in all of the pictures.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cold day...

Are you tired of hearing about my winter yet? It was frigid today...3 degrees with wind. Yuck! We had a homey dinner: tuna casserole, biscuits and a salad. I am happy to be inside and not have to go anywhere. Tomorrow Anna has her appointment and I am not looking forward to the immunizations...poor baby. I have put them off for a while though. I won the Super Bowl bet with Jesse. My team perservered so he will have to pay up with a box of chocolates...yum! My dad was a Saints fan and would have been thrilled to see them win the Super Bowl. He endured during the seasons where fans wore bags over their heads.

We just finished Living by the Book (our church bible study) and I really enjoyed it. It is a helpful tool for learning how to study the Bible. I am going to go through it again on my own.


Leah you are the winner of my blog drawing! Thomas picked your name out of a hat this morning. Something cute and snowy will be heading your way soon. Since there were only 2 entries...something Fallish will be coming to you as well, Melissa!!

I have known Melissa since 4th grade in Gladewater, Texas and I met Leah in Big Sandy, Texas as college freshmen...2 of my oldest and dearest you both!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What does the week hold?

Besides more snow? It was coming down this evening..beautiful fluffy flakes. This made for a very slippery road as we went on our way to some friends house to watch the last half of the super bowl. (We watched the first half with Gram and Gramps and ate ourselves silly.) As we drove the gravel road we attempted to round a corner and slid into a snow bank...ooouuuf! I am so thankful for our 4WD suburban which neatly made its way out of the snow and back onto the road...quite a ride!

Jesse is taking his dad to the doctor's office permitting. Carlina gets her permanent bridge in and Anna gets her 15 month check-up...a bit late. I am thankful that both the dentist and doctor are right in town. That saves so much time. The orthodontist is the only practitioner that is out of town...about 40 miles away.

Otherwise, we will attempt to have successful school days...we have Iowa Basic Skills tests coming up in 2 weeks!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More fotos..

We got more snow yesterday and today....this is the snowiest winter that I have ever seen in my 15 years in Iowa. The kids had a blast building a cool snow guy.

Seasonal Give-away

For the one (or 2) people who read my blog (hey, mom!)...I wanted to celebrate the seasons with ya'll (reverting back to my Texas roots). Post about which season you love best and I will send you a little decoration to match courtesy of Terry's Village. Do you revel in winter's coziness? How about the green glory of Spring? Is summer close to your heart? Do Autumnal trees make you swoon? I will randomly choose someone and then contact you (don't forget your info) to get your address. If no one enters, I guess I win haha. So for those of you who read but never is the time!!!! I will pick the name on Monday Feb 8th.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010


As much as I love watermelon, I don't think I could eat this....a work of art!

Poor dh...

If it wasn't enough to work all night in the bitter cold, he also had to be picked up at work by yours truly, go get groceries (Super Walmart at 7am) and get our taxes completed. He was the walking dead when we were done. Killing 2 birds with one stone was awesome....groceries (put away neatly in the kitchen) and taxes (all done!). It was a snowy, rainy mess coming home. February looks to be a very wintry month thanks to good ole Puxy Phil in PA.

The kids have a Homeschool Presentation Fair in the Spring. Last year their topic was American Presidents. This year it is Christian Missionaries. All have chosen one and now to begin working on the presentation. Katie wants to wear a white beard made of cotton balls to look like her Missionary. They will be writing on Billy Sunday (Colton), Clara Barton (Carlina), Jonathan Goforth (Julia), Sojourner Truth (Alicia) and Lott Carey (Katie). Garrett will have to give a presentation next year as Kindergartners are not required (thank goodness!!).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Large Family Vehicles...

What do we drive? Currently we have a 1999 8-passenger Suburban with an extra seat in the rear. This will hold 2 it does fit all of us. It would be wonderful to have a 12 or 15 passenger van, but that is not in the budget right now..or ever??!!:) My husband drives a 1991 olds to work. It is basically on its last leg, so we are hoping to get the Suburban paid off with our tax money in case we need to buy something else for him. Colton has a 1993 Plymouth Colt. It is a perfect car for him and has been running dandy. We bought the Olds for $300 and the Colt was given to us, so we have really been blessed with vehicles. I miss the Sprinter that I had in Florida, but it would be useless on winter roads. I did love the room and the rubber floors:) It had rear air but not rear heat, so also useless in Iowa. Can you imagine taking a family of 10 across the prairie and over the mountains in a covered wagon? The pioneers could not even imagine what comfort and speed awaited modern families.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daily Snapshot:

Anna has been teething lately and not sleeping very well. Her little tooth finally broke through today and hopefully she will start to have some slumber bliss (and so will I). I am trying to get up earlier to get a head start on the day and it has been hard!

Julia re-arranged her room and put the beds back to bunk beds. She also took Colton's desk and he got the desk from the kitchen. It is always nice to have a change.

My food plan has been going okay. We had tacos for dinner and they were so tasty. Savory ground beef and chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, sour cream and refried beans....yum! The kids seem to be willing to stick to the plan, although the little ones do cheat sometimes.

Well, sweet dreams!