Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sebastian is 4 years old today!

We have a whole family Diego party planned for tonight. Well, technically, it is a Diego and Puppies party since we are celebrating both Savannah and Sebastian's birthdays tonight. I will post pictures of that at some point. On one hand, I can't believe he is 4 years old already. On the other hand, I feel like he has really been here for 4 years. It is hard to explain I guess. He is my busy guy. He keeps me on my toes - always. Never a dull moment, that is for sure. Today, we are painting his pinata and getting it ready for his party. We have a busy day ahead of us, but I wanted to post this picture and send the post off to Timmy. On Sunday, Sebastian was out riding his scooter with Tim. He wanted to "pretend" to crash because crashing is just so cool. Well... the thing is that he really did crash! Silly boy! Tim brought him in about 10 minutes before Savannah's birthday party was going to start. The bump on his head was HUGE! I felt like I may faint. I am not kidding. I don't do well with these things. Where the heck was Timmy when I needed him. He is my medical trauma person. Daddy did just fine though. Sebastian wanted me to KISS his bump! Oh Lord... that was a tough one for me! No need to fear that he is terrified of his scooter now. Nope... he wants to try that whole crash again - his words - not mine! All boy! My dear 4 year old... here is to another year of twists and turns and ups and downs and a wonderful and exciting adventures with you! Happy Birthday to my busy, little guy!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Does anyone know how much the average preschooler talks in a day? I didn't google to see if there was actually information on this one. Maybe I should. Sebastian is going to be 4 on Tuesday. I took him off of his nap schedule about 2 months ago. We got rid of his pacifier. He is now awake from about 7:30 to 8pm each day. I am with him about 12 hours out of that 12.5 hours. He is busy and busy and did I say busy? I really LOVE that he now goes to bed around 8pm if I can get myself in gear to get him there. I like that he pretty much just goes to sleep and doesn't make me walk up the stairs 300 times to get him just one more thing. So... what is this post about? I seriously think that this child wakes up in the morning and just starts talking and talking and talking ALL. DAY. LONG. I don't know how many times a day I say shhhh... I was writing a letter to Timmy. Sebastian was standing right next to me as in he kept stepping on my feet - he was so close. He HAD. TO. KNOW. WHAT. I. WAS. TYPING. He talked nonstop. I don't know if you are like this, but I will type what I hear or what I am saying if I happen to be talking at the same time. At some point during this time, I found that I had completely blocked out what he was saying. I could hear the noise, but not the actual words. That reminded me of a time when my sister-in-law, Jessica, was living with us. She was in the car with me once and she mentioned that I only listen to half of everything people say. I stopped and thought about it for a minute. I told her that was very, very true. Then I explained to her that my children (Timmy and Savannah at the time) talked to me ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. They wake up in the morning and they start talking. They eat breakfast and they talk between bites. They do their school with me and that requires talking. They ask me what they can eat for lunch and they keep talking. We do stuff in the afternoon and they are talking. They help me make dinner and they are talking. We sit down to watch a tv show and they are talking. I tell them to go take a shower and they tell me they just took a shower 2 weeks ago. They keep talking about the reasons they don't need a shower. I tell them to brush their teeth and they tell me why they no longer like the toothpaste that they were rolling around the aisle in the store - begging for. I tell them it is time for bed and they continue to TALK about anything they can possibly think of to maybe stall their bedtime. Please don't think I am complaining. Okay, maybe I am a little. I love my kids. I love what I do. I love that I am the person they talk to during breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love that I have the opportunity to teach them school and skills and so many other things. Even though I love this, sometimes, my brain just has to NOT. LISTEN. TO. HALF. OF. EVERYTHING. THEY. SAY. I just don't think my brain could take it all in and not explode. Again, I know I am beyond blessed that my children are healthy and can express themselves. I thank God for them all the time. I also pray to God that he will give me just 5 minutes of quiet time each day or I may run away screaming! BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Museum Field Trip

We went on a field trip to the museum yesterday. I was debating on going or not. There were three homeschool things that we could attend this week and I was trying to decide which one would be worth the time, effort, etc. The first was this field trip. The second was a park day with some new homeschoolers we have not met yet. The third was another sort of park day with petting zoo with those same new homeschoolers. I was torn between going to the field trip where I was pretty sure there would be some people we already knew at least a little bit or going out to meet some new people. Ultimately, I asked my niece, Karís what she thought of a previous field trip she had been on. She had been to this particular museum before and done candle making. She told me she LOVED that field trip and had a lot of fun. That convinced me to stick with the field trip and try to catch the other homeschoolers next week. The field trip was a 2 hour program about Native Americans. We had a pretty good turn out of kids and Savannah did know some of them. She was very happy she got to spend the afternoon with them. As it turned out, we had just studied some Native American history that morning. It was fun to see some of the items we had just read about. Savannah and Karís had gotten to the part in their Meet Kirsten book that was talking about Native American children. One of the things they learned was that the Native Americans believed that a baby had three mothers - Mother Earth, their biological mother and the cradle board that they spent most of their first year in. When we got to the museum, we got to see a cradle board. Savannah thought that was pretty cool. One of the guides showed them all sorts of animal skins and talked about tracks, uses for the animal, etc. The woman guide showed us musical instruments and played traditional games with them. They also got to dance around playing the instruments. All it all, it was a good field trip and I am very glad we went. I think I would like to plan another one for a different program they offer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Applesauce the pioneer way...

Savannah and Karís are still studying Kirsten, an American Girl. She is about 10 years old in 1854. One of the things they did was learn to make applesauce. They learned about how they also dried apples rings by hanging them all over the sides of their houses. The girls peeled and peeled and peeled apples. My hands hurt watching them! I would have used a paring knife, but they used peelers. Then we just sliced them up with the apple corer slicer thingy - my very technical term for it. You just add some water and cook. So simple. Then you add a touch of cinnamon. I had no idea that it was that simple to make applesauce! I think this was a big success with them. I am really glad they are learning so much and having fun at the same time!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Simple pleasures...

Watching the tow truck!
Being silly!
The wonderful spool table!

Earlier this week, we were going about a pretty typical day. I was cleaning up the house, Savannah was working on school. Well, okay, she really was working on her writing assignment. She just happened to be sitting in a chair out in the front yard because the weather was cool. She HAD to get outside - so I sent her out to do her writing. She was in pure bliss! Sebastian was playing Starfall on the computer. Tim called my cell phone. He asked if I was busy. Well... yes and no. We were all occupied doing some particular thing. Nothing that couldn't be dropped at a moment's notice though. He said that the other guys had gone out to lunch and he had volunteered to stay behind to watch the office. He wanted me to bring the kids down and have lunch with him. HOORAY! Our kids love going out to see daddy! At first, I thought I would grab them Burger King. It is almost right next door to his work. Then I remembered that I was trying really hard to not spend extra $$$ on fast food. I quick made some sandwiches for us and grabbed a bag of chips. We got to his work and I am not kidding you - Sebastian's eyes were just scanning the shop. I mean he was just taking it all in. As if he had never been there before. He has been there - just not for a whole lot of time. As I said earlier, it was actually cool out! We decided to eat outside on what is now considered a super awesome spool table. Ummm... it is just a rickety, old construction spool. I am amazed at what my kids find to be such a treat. Eating out back of a mechanic shop, on an old wooden spool, with broken down chairs was such a treat. Daddy got them orange soda - another super delight! That is not all though... a tow truck came to tow off a car. Sebastian was very serious about watching this. "What is the truck saying?" That is his new question to any sound. I keep telling him that I don't know because I don't speak truck, dog, bird, etc. Anyway, when I started my blog, I wanted to write about these kinds of things. Simple, crazy everyday blessings. This lunch on a September afternoon falled into that. As much as there are problems here, problems with Tim's shop being busy and providing work, we are very blessed that he is just 3 miles from home. We are very blessed that he has a very kind boss that doesn't mind when he shows up and sees us all eating out back. We are very blessed that we have the opportunity to drop schoolwork and housekeeping to go meet daddy on a whim. The only thing missing was Timmy. Not that he would have been around to go with us, but I still missed him while I was sitting there. I hope you find simple blessings in your day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Meals and Power Rangers

My list has been long these last couple of weeks. I am busy - there is no doubt about that. I still try to think of what to blog about as I run around in a crazy frenzy on most days. Two weekends ago, Tim and I took the kids to Burger King. We didn't really have a point of our day. It was on Sunday and we just sorta needed to "get out". We went to BK because they have an awesome playground. We gathered up our books on planting fruit trees. The idea was that the kids could play and we could discuss all the wonderful trees we hope to plant. Sebastian doesn't really eat a kids meal. The child has NEVER eaten a hamburger! Unless you are a vegetarian - this is pretty odd. Generally, I don't want to buy him a WHOLE kids meal just for a toy. Savannah usually ends up being the big sister and just letting him have her toy. On this particular day, I had coupons for kids meals. They were 99 cents and for that price it was worth just getting him one for for fries, drink and toy. When we walked in the kids ran to the display. They are giving out Neopets. I have to admit they are pretty darn cute. Yes, I will say this... I really like some of the fast food toys. Some are just dumb, but some are cute and worth playing with. I actually have 2 or 3 clear storage bins that are separated into various kids meal toys. Remember the Lilo and Stitch toys or the Tigger and Pooh bear ones? We have several different varieties. My only requirement is that they actually play with them otherwise they get tossed out at some point. Anyway, where was I going with this... Oh... so Sebastian and Savannah were opening their toys and they were so thrilled. All of a sudden my mind was SUCKED back to Timmy being little. This boy LOVED Power Rangers with all of his being. He lived and breathed them. (As a side note... Sebastian has never seen a Power Ranger. Sometimes you learn as a parent!) Tim and I went down to Fort Myers for our 5 year anniversary. We arrived a little after 9pm. We checked into our hotel on the beach. We decided to go down and walk around a bit. We found a McDonald's right by the hotel. When we went inside we saw the display with Power Ranger toys. At this point, I was already missing Timmy and we had only been gone for about 3.5 hours. Tim and I began this crazy quest to purchase ALL of the toys for Timmy. The guy behind the counter thought we were nuts. At that time, you could buy the toys without the meal for about a $1 each. We made the guy sort through the boxes and find one of each. Then we took our stash and happily ate our cheeseburgers. We enjoyed the rest of our weekend and headed home. I was so excited to share these toys with Timmy. I don't think there was any Fort Myers souvenir he would have loved more. Anyway, I don't really know what the point was of all this. I guess just to share what is going on in my mind. I was just sitting there in Burger King watching my two younger kids be thrilled with a little stuffed penguin. I could see Timmy's little face being thrilled with a Power Ranger. It made me, once again, realize just how quickly my little ones will grow up. Time... it just goes so very fast.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We remember...

I still remember very clearly where I was and what I was doing when I saw the planes hit. I had woken up a little later that morning because I didn't have to go straight to work. I had to take my sister, Michelle, the catch her flight to Chicago. I woke up and turned on The Today Show as I was going to go jump in the shower. I was in the bathroom and could tell something was wrong with the way the anchors were talking. I came back out to my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed. I watched and with horror saw the tower get hit. My stomach felt ill. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was like all the sound had been sucked from the room. I just sat there and watched and then I cried. I went to the phone and called my mom. I told her that Michelle couldn't get on a plane to Chicago. She was watching too. We were quiet. I spent the next couple of hours just watching and waiting. I finally got myself together as much as I could and I went to work. The place had an odd silence with hushed voices here and there. I went to my very good friend and boss. She told me to go home and be with my kids. I told her I needed to stay for awhile. I needed some quiet time to process what had happened. My kids were 12 and 2 at the time. Savannah had no idea what was happening. Timmy knew, but I don't know how much he processed. During the next few months and into the next year, I knew that the war was coming. I wanted it to come. HOW DARE THEY ATTACK US!!! I was angry, but I had fear. I knew that people would die. I knew that people were sending their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and grandchildren. I remember thinking I was glad Timmy was only 12 years old. Too young to go to war. I could keep them safe in our home. I was mopping the floor the day they announced the air strikes had started. I sat down and prayed. I prayed for safety for our military and knowledge for our leaders. I prayed for this to come to a swift end. Here we are 7 years later and it is far from ending. Now my little boy is old enough to go to war. He is training right this very minute to go to war. My fear is immense. My emotions are high. I had respect for those families back then, but now that I begin my walk in their shoes... my respect has grown. I am at the very beginning of this journey. They have walked it for so much longer than I. Today, I am remembering the lost and the people that give so much for my freedom. My freedom to teach creation science around my kitchen table. My freedom to wear my Happy Halloween shirt today. My freedom to go out to lunch with my mom, sister and kids. My freedom to make choices. My son's freedom to choose to be a soldier. My son's freedom to be a soldier. Today, I remember and continue to pray for the military and their families.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

St. Lucia Rolls

The girls chose several recipe's from Kirsten's cookbook. Kirsten is a 10 year old girl growing up in Minnesota in 1854. She is a pioneer from Sweden. One of the things they learned about was the Swedish tradition of St. Lucia Day. They are celebrating the shortest day of winter. The oldest daughter would wake up in the middle of the night and make these St. Lucia rolls. Then she would put on a special outfit and a crown of candles on her head. She would go from room to room with a tray of rolls and coffee waking everyone up to celebrate. Lucia means light and the idea was that she was bring light to the darkest day. They still celebrate this in Sweden, but they don't use real candles anymore. The funny thing is that Savannah and Karis wanted to tape flashlights to their heads to deliver these. Apparently they do something similar to that now - without the tape - I would imagine! They had a great time learning about this and making these rolls. I think we will be making applesauce next week!
Finished product!

They are rolling oil around their bowls to coat the surface.

St. Lucia baker number 1.

St. Lucia baker number 2.

Friday, September 05, 2008

American Girl Study Week 2

A month or so ago, I decided to toss what I had planned for Social Studies this year. We were scheduled to resume Winter Promise's Sea and Sky. As much as I like Winter Promise, I felt this program was geared to boys. I may do it down the road with Sebastian. I have a friend in Florida (Susie) that mentioned she was doing an American Girl co-op class. Then a friend here in SC said she was doing a class on American Girl with her two daughters. That got my mind thinking. Savannah is going to be 10 next month. My time to do little girl things with her is probably limited in some ways. I do think what we are learning is great for somewhat older kids too. I just decided that I wanted to do the "fun stuff" with Savannah before she hits middle school. I say she is a 5th grader, but technically by her age, she would be in 4th grade. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have put her the year ahead. Not because she is not ready for 5th grade, but because her childhood is short enough without advancing her grade. Anyway, that is a whole 'nuther post. So, I figured out I wanted to do "something" with American Girl. The question was what. There is a prepared curriculum for American Girl, but I really didn't want to spend the $$$ on it. I decided to check out 3 books on each American Girl from the library. For instance - we are studying Kirsten. I got Welcome to Kirsten's World, Kirsten's Cookbook and Kirsten's Craft Book. The Welcome book reminds me of a DK book with lots of pictures explaining different things that happened in that time. Then the cookbook and craft book have projects that were from her time period. I decided to let them choose some recipes and a couple of crafts. Basically we read several sections of the Welcome To book and then work on a craft or recipe. I also want to incorporate lapbooking into this. My friend, Susie, sent me this site that has free American Girl lapbook templates. I haven't quite got this all worked out in my head, but I know it will come together. I know we are going to use the recipe pockets, types of house, and compare and contrast templates. I need to figure out what else we will add to the lapbook. Savannah is also reading the 6 book series on each girl as her reading assignments. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I can tell you that so far - I think this is working out great! We are having so much fun and they are learning. When they finished the rolls last night, they told Tim all the details of what they learned. Then they headed over to Aunt Karen and Aunt Jennifer and went through it all again. Finally, they went over to Keith and Crystal and the kids. I was so proud of them! They retained so much of the information... way more than I expected! I am so excited about this year, that I am already thinking about next year. I would love to do a geography study in a similar way with recipes and crafts. I think it would be so fun to learn about different cultures that way! Oh and if you are reading this and you have a boy... I think this would still work well for boys. You may have to take the recipes and crafts OUT of the book, so they didn't see the cover. The basics of cooking and handy work are really still a great way for boys to learn. The Welcome to Kirsten's World book does not really focus on her as a girl. It just focuses on the way life was lived back then. Obviously, they would not want to read the readers, but they could still learn plenty without them. Karis is doing a different reading program and still getting a lot out of this. I don't know where the future will lead me, but I can see myself doing this study with Sebastian. Timmy loved to cook and make things, so I hope Sebastian will be similar in some way. It is so much fun! Next up, I will post about their St. Lucia rolls and what they learned about them.

This wasn't in the craft book, but I found these foam log cabin kits. They were actually for a fishing cabin, but we just didn't put the "Gone Fishing" sign on them!
Too cute!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pictures for Timmy

We grabbed him for a picture before he went back to work.

I forgot to share this funny that he said a few weeks ago at VBS...
A teacher asked him if he went by Sebi for short or was it just Sebastian...
He replied, "Mr. Sebastian." Now he really has the look!

Timmy asked for some pictures, so we did a mini family photo shoot. I know I said I would try to post more since I would be mailing the them to Timmy. I am just amazed at how busy life seems to be at the moment. I have so many things I want to do and not enough hours in the day. I talked to Timmy on Monday night and he was pretty sick with a lung infection. I have been stressing since Monday. I knew something was wrong all day. I am really starting to miss him a lot. I think the first couple of weeks, it was like he was on vacation. Now, I finished cleaning up his room and it seems like he is so not here! I don't like it! I will post pictures of his room - not that it is anything special, but I gotta write about something right? You will notice in the pictures that Sebastian got his hair cut short - short! Now, I keep calling him Timmy. I think the hair reminds me of him as a little boy and I think he is just so heavy on my mind. Sebastian keeps telling me he looks just like Timmy too!