Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Quiet Christmas Season

Every year we talk about toning down Christmas.  The rush of the season always seems to get away from us, and we rush around like crazy people, getting gifts, wrapping presents, going to parties, celebrating just about everything about Christmas including the birth of Jesus at different Church programs, musicals, cooking baking, jumping from different family members homes all the haste of celebrating the season.  The things we do aren't bad, and while they are very fun individually, as a whole, they leave us feeling exhausted and frazzled.

Maybe it was the transition of moving and being in a new place this Christmas. Maybe it was beginning the season with the threat of a tummy bug looming all over town.  Maybe it was the fact that we just got back in town after Thanksgiving from a long trip.  Or maybe it was the fact that there aren't programs on such a grand scale here in our new state like there are in the south.  I don't know what caused it, but this year, we finally toned down the Christmas season.  We took a big time rest at our house since Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful!

We did have a Christmas party, we tried to go to our church Christmas program (5 minutes into little bit tossed her cookies - or as her daddy would say here PB&B, and he can say what he wants b/c it got all over him).  We even checked out a couple other church Christmas programs.  We went light looking, we enjoyed the company of friends.  We got some (very minimal presents - well, Santa did).  We decorated the inside of our house.  We home-made every one of our 125 Christmas cards (and somehow we still didn't get cards to all the people who are so precious to us).  We celebrated my son's big 8th birthday (though we haven't had an official party yet).  We even drove to visit with family on Christmas day, but in general, we just took it very easy.

I'm pretty sure I'm able to speak for my whole family when I say it was the best Christmas ever!  Oh...and the most magical part may have been that we actually experienced our first white Christmas ever sitting in the luxury of our own home.  It was beautiful.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful extra Merry Christmas this year.  May you have a very blessed New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Counting My Blessings

I have been thinking about life and how it has so drastically changed for me in this past year.  The most obvious change has been moving from the Sunshine state of Florida to the New England.  I could go into all the differences that transition alone has taken us through, but I just want to share one of my favorite changes of all...the blessing of our new church.

Our church fellowship here is so unique.  The people up here are so lovely.  I've never met a group of people who resonate the aroma of Christ quite like this group does.  They truly know how to unconditionally love.  I can't name the times where someone in my church has helped me, encouraged me, or just loved on my family.  It's quite different from any church we've ever gone to, and there is something so beautiful there. 

I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall.  I've been so hurt by friends and people in the church, and I find myself expecting to happen here too.  However, I really believe that the people here are genuine in that they just love people.  No expectations, no requirements, no need to be perfect...they love me just the way I am.

If you are in Connecticut, and you are looking for a church or even if you're just looking for someone to love you back, this is the place to be...Christ Community Church in West Hartford.  I'm sure you'll find it to be the beautiful place that my family has found it to be.

As this year comes to an end, I find myself counting my blessings.  It's been a good year...likely the best yet!  I'm thankful that we get to stick around here...even if it is REALLY COLD!

Rainy Monday

It's funny how your perspective can change.  Last week at this time, we were waking up late after being up with a little girl who had the tummy bug.  Mat was swollen with eczema, and Andrew and I were helping out wherever we could...and praying that we didn't get sick! 

Today, Mat left early for his men's Bible study (and he still made breakfast and had it waiting on the kitchen table for them - that's my awesome husband), but the kids and I rolled out of bed super late.  I couldn't believe it when Elizabeth slept until 8:45...that NEVER happens!  Even my boy (who is in the final countdown for his big day on Thursday), slept until 8 something.

Last week, I wasn't allowed to get out for fear of spreading our nasty germs, and it was killing me to quarantine our family.  Today, I don't want to go anywhere.  I think I'll just stay in my pj's today :)  It's pretty dreary outside, and while the temperature isn't that cold, there is a coldness that I'd rather just avoid all together.

I hope you are enjoying a low key day filled with your own sweet kiddos.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Couple More Things

My favorite saying of the day:

The mailman came to deliver the mail.  Andrew was anxious for any excuse to stop working on school so he checked out the mail.  He came running to me shouting "that is so wrong!"  He handed me a coupon book that Publix mailed to us in Connecticut...very far away from our favorite grocery store.  I love that kid!

Did you know you have to water plants?  I nearly killed my poinsettias (at least I hope they revive) which prior to today were my mantle decor.

I'm totally rocking the baby powder in my hair look today. In my effort to de-grease-i-fy my hair, I've stopped washing it daily.  It is gross and itchy and smelly.  The baby powder helped all of those little problems today, and I proudly even hid the powder in my hair. I headed out for piano lessons, got home, and checked myself out in the mirror while washing my hands.  Much to my horror, the copious amounts of baby powder were showing in a clumpy dandruff like fashion.  Ahh...I was so excited about my find too.  If you see me, and it looks like I have dandruff, no worries, it's just baby powder.

A Crazy Start to the Christmas Season

Ahhh...it's so peaceful right now.  I'm sitting in a chair with a nice hot mug of chai tea with my computer in my lap right beside the Christmas tree in complete silence.  It's pretty perfect here right now, but I feel like I deserve it with all the crazy shenanigans that have been happening around here lately.

It all started last week at our once a week homeschool group.  The tummy bug hit...and it hit hard.  I wasn't directly affected, but I did hold back some hair back.  I mean...who likes to be sick alone?  Not me!  I'm not typically an alone kind of person (except for times like right now).  My kids weren't even around the one who got sick - yay!  The following evening, we went to a country dance with that same homeschool group.  Attendance was lower than expected due to the lovely norovirus (I'm probably spelling that wrong).  The following day, I took Lizzy to a birthday party, and that night, I heard that about half of our community was down with the bug.  Almost every single family from our school was hit (some families were wiped out entirely) by the tummy bug.  While we were still feeling great, I decided to keep my family home from church, and I went alone to teach Sunday School.  I thought I'd keep the kids away from other humans for 24 hours to make sure they were safe and didn't get further germs, but unfortunately, 24 hours wasn't long enough.

We got all dressed up for an special evening Christmas service.  We were all of 5 minutes into the program when Lizzy lost her dinner.  Yep, right there in front of everyone.  We quickly tried to get cleaned up and out of there, but I'm sure it was much too long for those who had to smell it.  I'm also sure they thought I had brought a sick child to church as I had my trusty big green bowl safely tucked away in a bag with me.  I had taken that bowl with me everywhere since Friday night after hearing that so many had been sick.  I figured that it would do one of two things: insure that no one would get sick or come in handy if someone did.

We got Lizzy home (both kids were crying about having to leave the service as they wanted to sing Christmas songs badly).  Andrew still has his bulletin on the piano, and he's been trying to pluck out the songs on his own while singing the songs.  I felt horrible for him.  I would love to hear of other programs happening in our area so if you are a Connecticut friend reading this, please let me know of any!

Lizzy felt pretty awful, and her fever spiked for a few hours.  We ended up with a very mild version of the bug.  We've been waiting for it to hit someone else in our household, but I think we're in the clear...knock on wood!

Mat woke up Monday morning extremely swollen.  His eczema was completely out of control, and currently steroids are the only thing that can get him back to a manageable state.  I've never seen him so puffed up and swollen, and I nearly sent him to the hospital.  Thankfully, my doc took him in right away, and got him on a something to help.  He had to get a better permanent plan, but we have to find a dermatologist for that.

My neck is stuck...and quite painful.  I can't move or sleep without excruciating pain.  It's been like that on and off for 1 and a half years.  I also saw a doc, and I finally have someone willing to at least start the process of helping me.  I'm very thankful for that.

So after a week of staying home and keeping to ourselves, the kids are at each others throats.  The final straw for them was hearing this morning that our weekly homeschool class has been cancelled for tomorrow b/c so many people in the group are still sick or afraid they are going to get sick (wise move, but so sad).  The kids started hitting and fighting about everything.  The final straw was when Andrew bullied his little sister and took all her toys after his piano lesson today.

His punishment is that he is grounded in his room, AND he has to do school work until dinner.  I'm thinking we will have a later dinner tonight...haha!  Just kidding.  Do you know how many times a boy needs to go potty when he is grounded?  I quit keeping track.  Lizzy is also grounded, but I'm pretty sure she fell asleep.  So it's just me and the dog (who is also sleeping).

I've gotten so much done this afternoon.  I even got our Advent activities finished so we can start our scripture reading.  I also do a little fun activity each day with the kids.  I put a plea out for help on Facebook, and I got some really creative feedback.  A couple ideas include wrapping the kids in gift wrap followed by a photo session and wrapping the kids in toilet paper so they look like little snowmen.  Love it!  I'll post pics on Facebook of some of those activities...if they ever get to come out of their rooms!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Day

This isn't going about who I chose or why I chose them.  I'm not a fan of politics.  I don't enjoy discussing politics at all b/c so many people get huffy about their choices.  I don't like people to be upset or hurt by things I say so I often chose to leave politics to others.  I don't mind talking about candidates and their stances, but I hate the political side of things.  That being said, I always vote, and today was no different.

I find the voting process in each state to be so very unique.  Honestly, Atlanta, being the big thriving city had those awesome electronic machines.  Then we went back in time a little to Florida where you punched the hole in the ancient machines, and voters were treated to snacks and nearly walked in with someone holding your hand to guide you through the process (at least at our poll which happened to be at our church).

Today, in Connecticut, was the most unique experience by far.  First off, the parking lot was a disaster FILLED with people, and the lot was nearly full with people parking all the way down the street causing the road to only be one lane.  I lucked out and got a front row spot from someone who just left, and I was glad b/c while it wasn't raining, it was in the 20's when I voted!  We walked inside and found the longest line ever with people leaving without voting b/c the line was that long.  It turns out that there were 2 lines: one for people living on streets starting A-N and another with people living on streets starting with M-Z.  Fortunately, I live on a street starting with a W along with all 50 other people who live on my same street, but the rest of my area lives on a road starting with A-N.  I have no idea why they divided it that way, but it caused me to get in an out of the polls in 5 minutes and from my door, through the polls and back to my door in less than 15 minutes.  The people in the A-N line were NOT happy, and out of the fairness of my heart, I felt awful to walk in and out when others had been there for hours.  Oh...and the ballots were on card stock paper, and you just have to fill in a bubble.  There is no fancy machine or old school machine where you have to vote.  They just have dividers for privacy purposes, and then you stick your ballot in a box.  I'm pretty sure that our votes won't be counted until the next 2 weeks so likely we will not have a winner until December.

But anyway, I voted.  I'm not excited about this election at all.  My little boy has asked to take a nap today so he can stay up late tonight watching the results.  I'm excited that he is interested, and I'm willing to sacrifice his sleep for something he is so excited about (plus we are those crazy homeschool people who can sleep in the following day).  We even have a printed map to color blue/red and a paper on which to tally the electoral college votes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Crazy Diet

At the end of the summer, our family embarked on a food adventure of epic proportion.  Our family as a whole, went off carbs almost entirely.  We followed a ketosis diet which allows us to eat up to 50 carbs daily.  Before, I go any further in describing the diet, I will let you in on a little secret...we even put our children on this diet.

We haven't really announced that as there are so many people out there who criticize us for how we raise our children and now how we feed our children.  I will share that there were MANY reasons we included our children on this journey: they were constantly hungry, they both have eczema badly, one of our children was storing fat in a strange way on his belly, we felt like our children needed to go completely off sugar (yep, including fruit) to learn how to eat better without the option of a carb, and b/c you were just dying to know, one of our children has issued going #2.  Our pediatrician suggested that we try the diet with them for the eczema alone, and she was fully on board with This Crazy Diet.

How did it go for them?  Fantastic!  They are no longer constantly hungry, and therefore, they don't beg for food every 10 to 30 minutes.  Their eczema cleared up entirely without the introduction of carbs in their diet.  The child who was storing fat in strange ways, lost those fat pockets, and 0ur child with the #2 issue has now become regular.  They both have learned that carrots and celery are delicious as are nuts, cheese sticks and bell peppers especially when dipped in a delicious ranch or blue cheese dip.

Another tidbit of info you need to know is that we introduced fat into our diet.  We eat the good stuff like cream cheese, heavy cream, and ranch and blue cheese dressings.  We eat avocado like it's going out of style, and we cook with butter and cocoanut oil.  We also limit our protein into normal portions without going crazy filling up with protein where the carbs are lacking.  We also eat tons of veggies both raw and cooked.  And we eat cheese and more cheese and then some more!  Oh, and did I mention that BACON is on this diet?!  Yum!

I went into This Crazy Diet kinda kicking and screaming.  I have high cholesterol, and we were trying to do something drastic to see if my cholesterol would change so I didn't have to be on meds (which make me feel like I'm having a heart attack).  I also wanted to lose weight which is a struggle with my injuries from a car accident.  Knowing I wanted drastic results, I took these drastic measures.

My hubby, who is leading us in This Crazy Diet, is doing very well.  He's so skinny that we had to get him a whole new wardrobe (well, we're still working on that).  On the other hand, I am still struggling.  I was tired for a while so Mat tweaked my vitamins (of which I take a lot), and I'm totally normal now with feeling just.  We also found that salt had to be added to our diet, and that into of salt somehow makes us feel awake like an energy drink.  Strange...right?  We don't have carb crashes even after a good workout.  I have also lost enough weight that everyone is telling me that I look very thin.  I've lost several inches and my pants are just hanging on me.  Oddly enough, I only dropped about 5 pounds, but even my belly fat started to disappear.

I really miss carbs, and I've kinda had a couple weeks of adjusting my carb intake to play around a bit (and to celebrate my birthday and fall).  Amazingly enough, I lost another 3 pounds while I was in-taking a few more carbs (maybe around 75 per day some days), and I'm still in ketosis (as tested by those strips you can get at the drugstore).  Those 75 carbs seem to make a lot of difference in my carb cravings too.  I still miss eating pizza and many of my favorite Mexican foods.  I also miss my Breyers half the fat chocolate chip ice cream!

Are we going to stay on this diet forever?  I am not sure where we'll land.  I would like to see where this thing takes me on my health journey.  I want to give it a few more months.  I've gradually started adding carbs back into the kids diet.  I have found that with just adding a few into my girls diet, that she has eczema really badly again.  My son is thriving on th

e food he's eating, and he's doing fine with just the few added carbs - just not much (none if I can help it) real sugar.  We give them fruit again, and they still enjoy eating peppers and celery.  I'm not sure where I'll land with the kids. 

I know I've given a lot of information, but I'll add a bit more.  My hubby has also created a blog where he describes the diet in a lot more detail in his engineering way.  It's www.ThisCrazyDiet.blogspot.com.  I think he also gives links to the blogs where we've gotten several of our recipes.  It's an adventure, and it is most certainly crazy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Viruses and Bloodwork - Fun!

We have had so much fun exploring our new home and spending time with awesome friends that I wore myself out and got sick.  Early Monday morning, I woke up with the chills, and I felt like I was dying.  No fever, just felt yucky.  Mat took good care of me in the middle of the night in spite of getting a late start to getting some much needed Z's after having to clean up Lizzy who wet her bed - something that never happens.  However, right after I fell back to sleep, Lizzy came up to me and started to whisper, "Mommy."  Mat quickly stepped in and called her to him.  I heard the most adorable whispering going on between the two of them...

Lizzy: said in a cute whisper voice "Daddy, um, I went to sleep in my bed, and then I disappeared and reappeared in Andrew's bed."
Mat: after a little laughing "Baby, you wet your bed so I moved you into Andrew's room.  You didn't disappear."
Lizzy: "oh" ran back to Andrew's room, but quickly came back "Daddy, can I snuggle with you for just a little bit."

I think it really freaked her out when she woke up in a different location.  Poor thing!  Isn't she just the cutest!  Had I not been feeling so awful I would have stolen those snuggles from Mat.

A sweet friend found out I was so sick, and she took my kiddos for the afternoon until my hubby could pick them up.  I'm pretty sure I was near deaths door for a little while there even though my fever was next to nothing.  I'm feeling more like I'm walking with the living again today, and I'm so thankful that the bug wasn't long lasting (and praying that I'm the only one who gets to enjoy it).  My little boy has been an excellent care taker while Daddy attends a mandatory class at work.

I also figured that it was time to take my little allergy ridden daughter to the ped to see if there was something I could do to help her little snotty face and hacking up a hairball problem that she's had since the weather changed.  The ped (and I) are fully sure that she simply has allergies so the doc sent little Lizzy to get blood work to see if we could target the stuff causing all these allergies.  I didn't think it would be a big deal, and Lizzy is so brave...but then the nurse couldn't find a vein...and she dug around in Lizzy's arm until I thought I would lose my lunch.  My daughter is a superhero...I'm sure of it after watching her endure that torture.  She did start crying for her Daddy (which who can blame a girl for wanting her Daddy to protect her from all that?).  It broke my heart!

So here's wishing all of you the best of health.  I am so glad all that is behind us!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Enjoying a Simple Day

My house is a very fun place to be today.  I am thoroughly enjoying my kids.  We had a weird morning as I had a doc appt.  The kids were rock stars and behaved very well.  I think they were anticipating Mommy torture so that prompted them to get ready and out the door without me having to yell hurry a million times too - which helped me since I was extremely stressed about the appt I had.  While I was waiting for the doc, I realized that I had scheduled 3 of the worst appts you could possibly schedule all in one week.  Fortunately, the first of the 3 doc visits went better than I could have imagined so I'm hopeful that the other 2 doc visits are as easy.

My little girl has done a fantastic job learning and doing school today!  She sat beside me for nearly an hour working on something that usually causes much grief...and she did it with joy today.  In addition to that, she counted to 39.  I was skeptical that anything I was teaching her was actually being absorbed!

After the more formal school was done for the day, we watched a Netflix program called TED for Kids.  We watched a math-a-magician do some hard core math problems in his head.  The program only lasted 17 minutes so we watched some dancers (if you could call them that) move like robots, and the kids enjoyed mimicking them...until Lizzy got a little too carried away.  She was showing us her "moves like Jagger" when she fell and clocked her head on the floor.  Sadly, she started crying for her Daddy (what's up with that?), and a nice egg shaped bruised formed on her head immediately.  Maybe we should just stick to Wii Dance for now.

Anyway, we gotta run to swimming and gymnastics, but I think I have just enough time to swing by Kohl's...and I have $10 in Kohl's cash burning a hole through my pocket!

Ta ta for now...and I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Fall day as much as we are!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Fall Ya'll

This month has been filled with activity after activity...and I love every second of it - well, almost. I wish I could paint a picture of the scenery here. I think where we live is pretty perfect b/c it amplifies my love of Fall. There is a magnificent tree in my front yard. I think it's a maple tree, but I don't really know what it is. What I do know, is that it's got the most brilliant colors, and people come from all over the neighborhood to collect the leaves that fall from our tree. We've got pictures to share as some very special visitors came all the way from the sunshine state to visit, and we took pictures in piles of leaves right in my front yard! I enjoyed being a tourist in my own state this past week as we went to museum after museum enjoying learning about Yale, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Dinosaurs, and lots about the state of Connecticut including the Mystic Seaport. Our visitors stayed in our home and drove us to all these wonderful places, and we were so thankful to have them. There has already been talk of making it an annual adventure...we
know how to treat a guest so if you're pondering a visit to the Northeast, give us a call. We'd love to have you! After our guests left, we packed up and headed further north to camp with some church friends in Northwestern Massachusetts. It was downright COLD, but all of us enjoyed a great time in the wilderness including the dog. And while we all had fun, I can't decide if Elizabeth or Sydney enjoyed camping the most. Our kids can't stop talking about their adventure in the frozen (did I mention that it was 27 degrees) mountains nor can they wait to do it again. I would much more appreciate camping in warmer weather, but I'd do it again if I was really honest. I've got pictures of that too! Now that we're back and the house in empty, you wouldn't believe the disaster this house is in. I just need to reflect on all the fun we had while I clean it up...to make the work more enjoyable. Happy Fall, Ya'll! I hope you're enjoying it as much as we are!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Walking Disasters

I love my children, but they are little walking disasters. Today, I woke up later than usual. Mat was up sick last night so we slept in today. The kids did NOT sleep in so they were up earlier than us creating messes...the kind only an adult can clean up. Just to give you a picture of some of the messes that already lay in waiting for me to clean...a rainstorm earlier in the week minorly flooded my daughter's room. The rug was soaked, the boxes under her window that were filled with lots of tiny pieces of toys were soaked, and that left lots of wet toys inside of the boxes. In the middle of the night while the power was out, my best idea was to dump all the toys out of her boxes all over the rest of her room so they could dry out. We haven't had much time at home lately so her room is still a disaster. My son's room is also a wreck. He's been creating little Lego master pieces that he believes need to be on display all around his room. Since their rooms aren't any fun anymore b/c they are too messy, they have moved on to the school room and the living room. The biggest mess this morning had more to do with all the craft projects they started (mainly the girl). There are craft projects sprawled out all over the school room. It's stressful to start school with the house a wreck, and even more difficult to sit there teaching my children when on the inside my heart feels as cluttered as my house. We started with Bible, so while I don't feel like I'm a spiritual mess...just a stress kind of mess! I'd love suggestions or advice from other moms in this same stage of life. How do you cope with the stress of the mess? Do you start school in spite of the mess? Honestly, little minds here are fresh in the morning. If we don't start school first thing, the day seems to last forever. By evening, I'm so tired that I don't have enough left in me to put things away. And if there is a friend out there who just loves to organize, I'd love some help. I'm not doing the whole organizing thing very well...and somehow that causes my stress level to stay on high all the time so when little additional stresses come along, I fall apart. I love my babies. I love their little works of art whether it's in Lego form or made with glitter glue or markers. I love the little gifts they make for me and for friends. I love teaching them and staying home with them. I love the fun times we share together throughout the day. This whole cleaning up thing is such a bother! Where is that cleaning lady when I need her?...or better yet, why can't I seem to part with some of this junk so my life will just be simple?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September and the beginning of Fall

It has been the busy-est month every. I don't know how everything gets done to be honest. I will say that I'm having a hard time coping with the stress of the busy days and even little things set my insides into crazy mode. However, being busy and stressed out doesn't meant that we haven't been having a blast here! We LOVE Connecticut! We love our new friends! We love the things that fill our days! We love the weather even though some days I struggle to get out from under the warm sheets, and I've realized that I only like cold sheets when it's hot outside! God has blessed us abundantly, and we are so thankful to be in Connecticut...and right in the center of God's will!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

King David

Our last year in Florida, we attended a church that had Awana. Andrew loved it. He devoured the verses and loved hiding those scriptures in his heart. He also became fascinated with King David so we started reading 1 Samuel together. We've been slowly studying David's life, and I've learned so much in the process. Today we read 1 Samuel 24. You should really check that out, but I'll give you a brief description. Saul was trying to kill David, and David (who also had a group of followers) was hiding out in the wilderness. This one particular day the scripture says that David was hiding in a cave when Saul entered that very cave to "relieve" himself. Andrew and I giggled at the thoughts that must have been going through David's mind as Saul went to the bathroom right there in front of his troops. It says that David's men were encouraging him to kill Saul...but you know what David did...he went and cut off the hem of Saul's cloak. Remembering that David was human, we laughed about the possibility that may have gone through David's mind to cut off more than just the hem and then laugh as Saul went and exposed his behind (quite literally although he figuratively did that also) to the rest of his soldiers. After we got a good laugh, the scripture became more serious, and it turned out to be a loving story about forgiveness. David honored Saul as the king that the Lord had appointed, and Saul's heart was softened. I find myself more antsy to continue reading the story to find out what happens next. I have such a bad memory that I'm always relearning the story as if it were the first time I ever read it. Keeps the Bible really interesting...that's for sure!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am so frustrated with myself. I had it all together today. Things were rolling along smoothly. The kids even liked their lunches – which is a first since we took away all their little sugary snacks and sugar during their meals…oh and gluten. I was kinda feeling like a super hero when we left to embark on our walk to an appointment in the center of town. I was giddy about being a few minutes early – 10 to be exact. I opened the door to a room filled with people, and the lady at the front called my name. She started to tell me that I wasn’t 10 minutes early…”you’re appointment was 20 minutes ago, and this room is full of people for the 2:30 appointment.” Ugh! To top it off, both children started screaming in the very full room while the lady was telling me I was late, and totally shattered my happy bubble that I had been living in all day and just a few seconds before. The staff apologized to me, and I was “sure” that they were incorrect. I walked home upset and more anxious to see what time the appointment sheet said. With each step, I scolded myself knowing full well that out of all that had been going so well, I’m not good with the tiny details like noticing a slight difference to my normal appointment (which was normally 2:30 & supposedly 2:00 today). Sure enough, the appointment for this one day only read 2:00. I’ve sent the kids to their rooms for a little while so I could vent my frustration here rather than on their sweet little bottoms. I know it’s the little things that Satan uses to tear me down. He was successful for the walk home, but I’m not gonna let him steal the joy from the remainder of my day. Now, I’m off to go teach my children that even Momma makes mistakes. However, they have to learn to control themselves as I have to control myself when I mess up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Preschool Activities (also some for young elementary students)

I now have two little learners in my house. I guess I’ve had 2 learners for a few years now, but one of them hasn’t been all that interested in learning until about a month ago when her switch flipped on. I literally saw the lightbulb flicker on, and now you can’t slow her down. She has a passion to learn like I didn’t expect from her. So when we started “school” officially 3 Mondays ago, you can imagine how hard my day was to teach 2 little ones especially with this preschooler who had so much zeal for learning. I couldn’t keep her occupied. She would finish an activity and then immediately say “what are we gonna learn next Momma?” into the wee hours of the night. And that’s how it’s been with her for 2 ½ weeks now. That first Monday, I knew I had to do something to make my life easier so I hopped on Pinterest and found some hands on center type activities that I could hand her to do independently. Here’s some of the things I found: http://sewfantastic.blogspot.ca/2012/05/rainy-day-fun.html pom pom games I printed out and laminated many of these math center activities http://www.geocities.com/thetoddlerhouse824/mathcenters.html I love this site http://first-grade-garden.blogspot.com/2011/09/math-stations-set-1.html I printed off a bunch of my favorite ones of these and put them in page protectors so I could use dry erase marker/crayon on the page protectors (and I didn’t want to use all of my laminate) Both Andrew and Eliz use this: http://mathwire.com/numbersense/domparklot.pdf I printed all of these out for Eliz: http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2010/05/prek-numbers-shapes-colors-review.html Lizzy likes to do this with a friend: http://www.kidscount1234.com/shapefill.pdf Math: http://www.kidscount1234.com/onemore.pdf http://www.kidscount1234.com/moreorless.pdf both A & E http://www.kidscount1234.com/countcolor.pdf Kindergarten yatzee http://www.kidscount1234.com/yahtzee.pdf Both A & E give A two dice for addition and E gets a dice with 12 numbers on it http://www.kidscount1234.com/clear.pdf Money exchange http://www.kidscount1234.com/coinex.pdf Race to trace http://www.kidscount1234.com/racetotrace.pdf http://www.thestay-at-home-momsurvivalguide.blogspot.com/p/preschool-activities.html I didn’t print anything off, but I loved some of the activities on this page. We have since started a hand painted ABC book in addition to a craft with a different medium (like I let her tear up a piece of construction paper and use glue stick to place the glue on another piece of paper in the shape of letters for A, and for B, I gave her a toilet paper roll and washable paint and let her paint a B out of bubbles) This http://finallyinfirst.blogspot.com/2011/11/sight-word-fluency-romance-ruined.html is a super cute way to help your child learn to read the sight words. We’re not there yet with Eliz, but my Andrew will love this for the bigger words This is also another great idea for learning spelling, sight words, or even letters and numbers: http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2011/10/sight-word-parking-lot.html?showComment=1319571243034#c5501857452008954589 I love the greater or less than game on this page and the number word match up with dots and the number under the greater and less than game: http://firstgradeschoolbox.blogspot.ca/search/label/Number%20Sense Number game where you put beads on a pipe cleaner: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/preschool-math-with-beads/ I use #2 and #12 from here: http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html I also found a great website where you can find additional worksheets to make sure your child has mastered a concept for any age: www.superteacherworksheets.com/ I love Mark Kistler: http://www.mkisdraw3d.com/public/p_mmval/ . He is an art teacher who gives you step by step tutorials on how to draw. He has lots of free things you can draw on his website, and both A and E LOVE to do this. You can also find a group deal to buy all access to his site through homeschool buy for $40 (instead of the $100) if you find that your kids really love this art program. We do, but I can’t currently justify the additional $40 after buying BrainPop and AtoZ learning group buys this year too. Maybe next year. Hope this post helps someone looking for fun activities for their young little homeschoolers. We have fun with all of this at our house.

Fall...How I Have Missed Thee

Sunday morning, we woke up to a breezy beautiful day...Fall was definitely in the air(although we started singing "It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" since the coolest days in Florida that even slightly resembled that feeling we felt on Sunday morning make us think it's Christmas - er at least that's how the kids feel). I, on the other hand, remember Fall quite well, and Oh how I have missed my favorite season! The cool breeze that brings with it a wonderful aroma. If I could make a candle that smelled like that, I'd be in heaven. There is nothing else on earth that resembles the smell of fall...only God can do that! The leaves are already starting to change colors here, and while I haven't seen any start falling yet, I'm sure that will happen soon enough. I can't wait to visit a corn maze and see the beautiful colors on the trees in the mountains. I think a trip to the Adirondacks is in order for my first Northern Fall. I'm most excited about my children learning about this most wonderful season. Ohh...I can't wait!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another Summer...Long Gone

Maybe living in a box would be easier? This summer has come at us hard and fast! Of course, when you move from one end of the country to the other, there will be challenges. We are settling in quite well, we've found great doctors, met great friends, have a great homeschool group, we found a wonderful church, we've unpacked (and it's *mostly* organized - though the clutter around this place still drives me crazy), and life is trucking along. School started for us last week. We enjoyed a nice long break that started with our move, and so it was some much needed routine to add to our daily life. I think we all needed that! Andrew is doing great. I've actually made real life lesson plans for him, and he enjoys checking off the completed work. I'm surprised that we didn't lose any ground with being out of school for several weeks...go Andrew! I'd love to figure out a way to get it all done faster so we can have more time for fun, but we'll get the kinks works out! Lizzy has flipped a switch, and all she wants to do is learn. She's really the one who started this fire for learning and pushed our start date up. She can now write most of her letters (with a smidge of prompting), and she loves to write the name of her new friend...over and over). She is also working on her numbers, but she isn't as excited about those pesky little details as she is about writing her friend's notes with real letters! She is such a girl! We're dealing with some issues recently that are no fun at all. There's no drama there - just a lot of unwanted responsibility that has surmounted into a great big ball of stress on our shoulders. Nothing that can't be cared for with a little bit of good ole fashioned hard work. It doesn't help that school started along with our crazy diet all at the same time. I really should have done a better job planning all this so it wouldn't come at once, but some of it really couldn't be scheduled. It's always the surprises that really add the stress anyway. So off to physical therapy I go to work on one of those issues right now! So that's why I think living in a box would be easier. There wouldn't be a need to worry about money, cleaning, or moving. It would just simplify so much. I'll try to post pics soon of my cutie pies learnin away! I'm so proud of those babies...who keep growing even though I've demanded that they stop :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Momma is Sick

Many of you know that my mom has cancer. She had breast cancer 19 years ago, and after that long, the cancer returned. She had surgery a few months ago, and now she's going through chemo. It's really taking a toll on her, and she is in pretty rough shape. I could go into the details (and I'll be happy to if you want to message me privately or call me or my family), but it's not fun. She's recently had a more difficult experience where she had to spend time in the hospital, and we weren't sure if she would be with us any longer. She is home now, and she's very ill. They are trying to arrange home nurse care for her. I'm writing, first of all, to ask you to pray for her. She doesn't want to finish chemo, she is very ill, and she needs encouragement. If you want to send her a card (rather than call - she is in a lot of pain), please message me for her address. I know I have lots of friends out there that may or may not know her directly, but it would be awesome if you would write her a note to encourage her...even if you want your child to make a card. I'm sure she would love that!!! Second of all, I'm writing to ask for some of you to help if you can. I know that I have friends all over the country (and even abroad), and for some of you, just praying or sending a card of encouragement will be enough. There are lots of other ways people can help. I also know that if I don't ask for help, people won't know the needs. So here goes: They have arranged a Care Calendar for meals. If you go to www.carecalendar.org, you can see that Stephanie (a close family friend) has arranged a way for friends to sign up to take meals to the Hagood house. You'll need to use the Calendar ID: 106493 and Security Code: 2453 to find my mom's name, Debbie Hagood. At the beginning, it's my understanding that lots of people were willing to help with meals, but since this hasn't been a short term illness, help has fallen by the wayside as the sickness continues. Their address is listed on the care calendar so if you want to call in for some sort of take out delivery, you can even do that. Mom could also use friends to help sit quietly by her side during the day while the rest of the family is at work. I've heard she needs a steady hand to help her to the restroom, and she needs encouragement to drink liquid and take her meds. She gets tired very easily so if you have a little extra time and would like to take your computer or a good book to their house for the day, I'm sure they would welcome that kind of help. The environment has to be sterile so if you have a passion for cleaning or feel led to help in this way, that is another need. That's not a fun thing to ask someone to do, but I want to be honest with the needs so that you can help as the Lord directs you. Finally, my mom has been the care taker for my precious grandfather. Recently, his health deteriorated beyond the point where he could live alone, and he was moved into a nursing home type care facility. My father is currently trying to get my grandfather's house ready to put on the market for sale. My dad has done a lot of work over there already (the house is in Lilburn just 2 miles from where my parents live), but there is still a lot of work to be done. So if any of you are handy, I'm sure he would love to have even a little help. He's quite overwhelmed with all the things going on at once, and he (my dad) has Parkinson's disease and isn't fully well himself. We are trying to figure out details and make arrangements to get to Atlanta for a little bit too. It's very expensive to travel to and from Atlanta to Connecticut so we're just working on all that. Hopefully, we can get there to spend some time with them. So there are the needs for which you can pray or help as you feel led. The power of prayer is amazing in itself, and I can't wait to share the amazing way our prayers are answered.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Taste Buds

We've met some really great people in our new home...lots of really great people. One of these families has kids the same ages and genders as my kiddos. They get along great, make mischief together, and they adore each other...I think the feeling is mutual. All of us get along really. So when these new friends went out of town for 10 days, it was hard for my kids to manage. Now we still had fun, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't a day that passed without mention of these new friends. They got home, and invited us to come over and play their first day back. I told my kids the plans for our day, and they shouted and shrieked with excitement like we were heading to Disney World. Now I don't know if living in Orlando desensitized them to the awesomeness of Disney World or if they just love these friends so much (I think it's the latter). We had a great day, and I found out about a couple of VBSsssss in the area. I asked Andrew if he wanted to go to them (after I already had signed him up knowing he would be super excited to go), and he said is my friend going??? I told him he was, and he said, I already knew that because we have the same taste buds. Hahahahahahaha! I couldn't help but laugh right in his face, but I managed to make him think I thought that was pretty cool instead of letting him know that I was really making fun of him. He still says the cutest things, and I wanna keep it that way as long as I can. On another note, Mat got to talk to his man-crush, Tony Horton, today. Tony remembered Mat from their workout in Orlando, and Mat got to workout with him again today...he was stoked! Today happened to be Tony's birthday, and Mat was proud to celebrate his special day with him. I tease Mat relentlessly about his obsession with this renow, P90X superstar, but in all honesty, I'm super proud of him for all the hard work he's put in. Not everyone can work out with Tony Horton and keep up with him. Mat would claim that he didn't keep up, but I know my overachieving hubby. I'm sure he rocked out the workout!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fly(s)

OK ya'll. My husband has an obsession with flies. He HATES them. You can see him start sweating at just the mention of a fly. Usually he grabs a towel and kills them by snapping the towel in the air, but he's been known to kill flies when they land on his beloved family members too (and that towel snapping on us just plain hurts - bad). There have been many arguments in our house about flies, and even the kids know to get the heck outta dodge when a fly is around. My favorite was when Mat was using the vacuum cleaner attachment thingy when a fly passed by, and he sucked it up into the vacuum. The man is nuts about flies! So just a few minutes ago he came into the living room with a bloody knuckle. He hit his hand on the edge of the counter in pursuit of a fly. His knuckle is swollen, and he currently has ice on it. I'm trying not to laugh about it...serves him right for being so obsessed. The best part was that about 5 minutes after sitting down with ice on his hand, a fly landed smack dab in the middle of the TV (which we were watching), and Mat spotted it immediately. Sweat started rolling down his face and he jumped up saying "oh no he didn't." I was just sure that he was gonna break the TV screen. Fortunately, the fly got away before Mat got to him.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Whole Lot of Crazy...

We love our new home! We got moved in just in time for me to make a quick trip back to Florida to get my braces adjusted. I am supposed to get them OFF next month...yippee! Then I got back home and attended a 3 day homeschool convention and now Mat's mom is in town for Mat's birthday. We took a weekend trip to NYC to see the city and take Mat back to his birthplace in Smithtown, NY. In between all the craziness, we've had time to unpack boxes...mostly in a desperate attempt to find things. The first feverish unpacking happened in order to find the shower curtain which was buried in the bottom of a clothing box with clothes that were no where near the shower curtain to begin with??? Last night, Mat's birthday, the last of the boxes were torn open in search of our car tags. Who's great idea was it to make tags expire on your birthday. Happy birthday, Mat, let's spend a fortune buying tags! After a good hour of searching high and low for the missing files, lots of prayers, and a little panicking, we found the last 2 files including the car titles in a box marked Playstation...who would have ever thunk??? There was lots of rejoicing at our house last night at 10pm when we finally found them! At $85 a pop, reordering car titles stressed me out! Mat's been sitting at the tag office for 3 hours awaitin his turn to pay a lot of money for tags, but on a good note, we saved $2000 on car insurance just by moving out of the crazy state of Florida! Everyone told us that tags would cost a fortune, but nobody mentioned that car insurance is so cheap here - yay! This week, we plan to find a spot to pick blueberries...if I can ever get my neck unstuck. I guess all that lifting strained a muscle or something??? Ouch!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Little Comedian

Andrew woke up as a comedian this morning. He is so excited about going to his good friends Star Wars birthday party today that I think it's overflowing. He's had us in stitches with his fun personality. Most of his funnies have been his tone and regular every day observances with huge eye expression and all, but the funniest has to do with our trip to the doctor. Elizabeth has struggled with some weird stuff that led us to the doc, the asthma/allergy specialist, and finally the ENT. All of our docs are close by b/c our house is very centrally located to everything. I love that. So we went to the ENT, and Lizzy had to get some wax out of her ear with a special knitting needle looking gadget. I commented that she must be able to hear much better after getting all that gook out of her ear, and the doc said they would take another hearing test in 3 months. Without missing a beat, Andrew piped in that "I don't really think she can hear very well b/c when I tell her to get out of my room she does this"...and he demonstrated her sitting there doing nothing. That boy is so funny! The doc is sending Eliz for a sleep study, and after that, she said we will visit her again to see what steps are next including removing the pesky little tube that won't seem to fall out. Pray that it will come out without surgery!!! We also went to the grocery store (have I mentioned that it is STRESSFUL to shop in the tiny little isles of the grocery here). No large spacious Publix isles. All the markets are tight and busy. I'm pretty sure we went down every isle 3 times trying to find our groceries, but the kids were super helpful. Lizzy kept reminding me what I needed to buy, while Andrew would find the items and sing an "ah-ha" song when he found them. It was really sweet. I found lots of people smiling at my children through the store. Maybe it was that they are the ONLY children with blonde curls around here, but I think it was that they saw Andrew's flamboyant personality charming. I'm off to make a mean PB&J for lunch, and then I need to dig my way out of some boxes...ugh...they are never ending!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Aroma of Christ

For years, Mat has dreamed of moving to Connecticut. His dream became mine, and that dream has become a reality. I can say I came willingly, but I had some reservations... will it be freezing? are we ever going to see sunshine again? will we find a church family? i heard that yankees are rude? can we even afford to live in the expensive North? will we have friends? but I don't wanna leave my Florida friends! will I fit in? and the list goes on. I can honestly say that a month into this journey, I love it here. It's not just that he weather has been wonderful since we arrived b/c I know that the weather will fluctuate with the seasons. It's the people. The people that we've met here truly exemplify Christ, and their desire to serve him reminds me so much of the verse in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 which says: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession of Christ and through us spreads the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. The ladies I have met have so warmly embraced me and my family. We have been invited to join into their lives just like we've been long lost friends. I've seen such great acts of kindness. One lady even offered to change a dirty diaper for another mother even though she herself is sleep deprived and worn out as a mother herself. Several of these same ladies (and some gentlemen from our new church family) have been cleaning my house the past couple of days, and by cleaning, I don't mean simply mopping the floor. I'm talking about being down on your knees scrubbing or arm deep in cleaner as we scrub down walls and filthy grease covered drawers and cabinets. It's gross work, but they have helped with joy...even with their own kids and my kids underfoot. I love it! It makes me want to be a better person, and it spiritually makes me desire to have a deeper walk with Christ. It literally gives of such a divine aroma of Christ. It's lovely, and I'm so thankful to be a part of this service to the Lord as we continue to deep clean our new house. Being part of the body of Christ is a beautiful thing! And if you are one of the sweet new friends who has been scrubbing my house, THANK YOU so MUCH!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Children and Chewing Gum

Children + chewing gum = Disgusting! I had the brilliant idea to give Andrew chewing gum in a desperate attempt to keep him from whistling. It caused such a riot that I had to give some to Lizzy too. So far both kids have swallowed their gum (as I expected from Lizzy but not Andrew). Eliz says her gum got stuck to her back tooth and made her do it. Andrew tripped and swallowed his gum in the process - too funny! I didn't consider the gum falling out of their mouths only to be put right back in. Nor did I consider the pulling on the gum and taking it out of their mouths to inspect it. I didn't consider the amount of gum that would end up on their face either. However, despite the challenges, the whistling has decreased (yep, just decreased b/c he still has managed to find a way with the gum in his mouth to squeak out a whistle every few minutes), and for that, I am so thankful. My sanity has been found...for a while at least! I'm back from a little time of running errands. The kids have been saving bottles b/c they earn $.05 for every bottle they recycle. They begged me to take them to Price Chopper (a local grocery store that has a machine where you can return bottles) so they could get return the bottles. I needed to go to the Dollar Tree to get some things, and the kids who each got $1.00 for the bottles were able to pick out one toy. They both still had their gum upon entering the Dollar Tree, but Lizzy didn't have it one the way out of the store. Turns out, she had tried out a toy that you blow into, and the chewing gum got stuck inside the toy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


My son whistles. ALL. The. Time. It's gotten so bad that he's started doing it even in his sleep. Mostly he whistles random sounds, but his favorite is that wootwoo...you know the one that you make when you see something/one pretty. He's gotten into lots of trouble making that sound, and we've done the best we can to encourage him to STOP! So we were walking in the mall today when along came a rather scantily clad girl in her 20's, and just so you can get the full picture of my mortification, her top was nearly completely exposed. Fortunately, my sweet little innocent children did NOT see this young girl or notice her appearance. It was at the exact moment that this girl passed us when Andrew whistled none other than his wootwoo. I turned toward him in horror as though he knew what he had done, but there he was just staring at the floor none the wiser for what he had just done. I turned my head to see who all had heard, and it was clear that the girl noticed as well as several other people around us in the mall...people who were probably all thinking the very thing that had just come out of Andrew's innocent mouth. They were giggling, and I *hope* that girl was significantly embarrassed. I wanted to shrink into the floor or hide and pretend that I didn't know my little boy. Instead, not wanting to draw attention to the girl (I noticed that neither of my children were privy to the scene around them) I just strolled along. I didn't giggle, I didn't chastise Andrew for whistling, I just walked *quickly* away. And yes, later, I did give Andrew a reminder not to use the wootwoo b/c it was inappropriate. I didn't tell him about the situation he created earlier though. I think I need some duct tape unless anyone else has any ideas as to how to stop his whistler!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

But We Don't Live There Anymore

My children are at great ages. I wish I could freeze them right where they are. The years are going by too quickly. They are the best of friends right now, and of course, often nag each other to death in the same breath. Elizabeth keeps us in stitches. She loves to make up stories and talking. All. The. Time. Lately, she's been telling lots of stories about things we used to do in our old house, and after each story, she says, "but that is not our house anymore" or "but we don't live there anymore." I wish I could put the inflection she uses in writing. It's just the cutest thing. She's also started telling some doozies like how if something happens that's unexplainable, she says, the birds came in and did it. I think she has it out for the birds ever since that one bird stole her french fry right out of her hand. Andrew is at the perfect age to be the best at competing in games of all kinds. We've been playing Uno together (which Elizabeth can even competitively join us on that game), we've played lots of Skipbo, but we've also added Phase 10, Sequence and even Settlers into our game repertoire. I managed to remember to pack those games to bring with us to the hotel, and we've shared countless hours in competition with one another. I love it, and I especially love that he shares my passion for both game playing and good ole competition! We've enjoyed a little bit of a slower pace here, and it's a pace I could certainly get accustomed to. While our pace has slowed down, our social life has not. We have had several play dates already with new friends and friends from our past. The kids have enjoyed meeting and playing with friends, and it's done our heart good to be so readily accepted by everyone. I feel like we didn't even skip a beat when we moved here, but I'm sure it's all part of God's plan for our family. It's so great to be right in the center of His will. It makes even a 1225 mile move go smoothly!
She can't let big brother go anywhere without tagging behind. Even if she has to run double time to keep up. Here is Lizzy "reading" a story to Andrew. She uses a lot of inflection when she reads.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Easter 2012

Easter came, and we had the awesome privilege of visiting a nearby church so we could see our sweet friend Megan get baptised. She was just so sweet. We have pics on the big camera of the grand event & I will have to upload those pics later...when that camera has been uncovered :) We ate lunch with our small group family, and it was yummy. It was special to get to celebrate Easter with these special people. The kids and I came home and had an Easter egg hunt while Mat rushed off to Connecticut to have Rooky Camp.

Sharing a Room

I was a little concerned about how it would work out with Andrew and Elizabeth not only sharing a room but sharing a bed as well during out time living in a hotel. I hasn't been bad at all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I don't like being stuck at home. It usually feels a little suffocating to be stuck. Today is a bit different. All of us are so tired. Maybe it's the move that has taken it out of us. Maybe it's the weather change. Maybe it's the different allergens here or maybe it's the bugs we've shared. Whatever it is, today I find it nice to be stuck in the hotel. Right now, both of my babies (yep, even the big one) are sound asleep in their room. Elizabeth has been taking a nap every day since we've been here...with no complaints. She actually been asking to take a nap. Andrew has a virus, and he didn't complain much when I told them to lay down. I'm pretty drowsy myself so maybe I should take this opportunity to nap too. I haven't done that in a long time! Sadly, the sickness kept us away from a much anticipated activity with our new CC group, but there will be other adventures with these new friends.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Asthmatic Daughter

Shewee...we have had some issues with Lizzy since our arrival in our new state. Right before we moved, she had her first asthma attack. She's had 2 more since we got to Connecticut. Talk about scary stuff! She's been sleepy, had fever off and on, and she's had leg pain. It's been hard to watch her suffer. We got her checked out at our new pediatricians office today, and they are sending us to an asthma and allergy specialist to see if we can figure out this mystery. I am thankful for docs! I am also thankful for caring and praying friends who have fervently prayed for my sweet daughter.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I do believe we've just moved to Mayberry. I heard tales of the harsh, uncaring, unfriendly, people we would meet here, but our experience has been quite the opposite. Everyone has been very kind, warm and loving. We've already had a play date. The kids and I met up with Susan, a dear friend I know from Georgia, and her 2 cutie pies. We had a fun time playing in the library...and by library, I mean indoor amusement park for preschoolers! Wow...that place is amazing. There aren't any roller coasters in there or anything, but they have a large kitchen fully equipped with lots of food and baking needs for pretend play. They have at least 3 doll houses with furniture. They have a puppet show and stage area with a large seating area for an audience. They have a bank with cash register, atm, and play money inside of a child size bank building. There is a large train table and tons of legos. I can't even remember all the things b/c the place was really. That place is amazing!...and conveniently located walking distance from our new rental house in West Hartford! We stuck pretty close to the hotel for most of the week b/c Elizabeth had a really bad bug that (we think) is what caused a very scary asthma attack. It seemed almost like she had a seizure b/c her eyes rolled back in her hear, and she got pretty lethargic. We've noticed this bug has really drained her. She's had a fever for days, and we ended up taking her to the Children's hospital here. After 3 days of sleeping and being feverish, she is finally starting to act normal. She's still tired, but she is fever free and eating well today. The sweet ladies at the front desk purchased gifts for the kids, and they were in our room when we got back from the hospital. They go over and beyond at this Residence Inn. It's a great place to "live" if you have to live in a hotel! I was invited to a Homeschool Used Curriculum sale in a nearby town. A sweet new friend (who was introduced to me by Susan and is also the director of our homeschool co-op CC group) picked me up so we could go to the sale together. We had a great morning, and we both found some great deals. I bought 25 books and only paid $22. Most of the books were chapter books for Andrew, but I scored a few for myself too. I also found a book that I've been wanting to look at in person - Shurley Englist. Wow...that is some good stuff. It was free and a 3rd grade edition, but I know that I for sure want to check that out at the Homeschool Conference in June. I met so many friendly people and fellow homeschoolers at the sale. Earlier in the week, I was researching Dairy Farms to visit, and I found a really unique store that sells Boar's Head deli meat for $5.99 a pound. It was a strange looking place online, and I had to go check it out in person. We got there to find that it's a convenience store that sells all this deli meat, cheese and other stuff including some fantastic potato salad. We got a little bit of each item...and I will be going back there to save some $$$. Everything is super expensive up here, and I hope to find lots of little treasures like this store to pinch some pennies! My sister and I area planning to share Mother's Day together - yay for being close enough to some family again to be able to do this! Our cars arrived and were delivered to our hotel today so it's seeming a little less like a vacation now and a little more like reality. I kinda like that. I'm ready to settle down into our cute little rental house in West Hartford, but I'm thankful in some ways for the transition. We're heading to this new store called Bob's today. It's supposed to be like Kohl's or a very nice Walmart. I don't know how the 2 go together, but I'm excited to find out. I hope to find some cute little warm dresses or fancy long sleeved shirts for ME. I've done so much shopping for the kids that I've honestly not purchased much for myself in a very long time!

Friday, May 4, 2012


I love looking back over the past blog posts, and I love reading old posts and looking at old pictures with the children as we remember the past. I want to share a little about our last few very crazy weeks, and I'll have to add pictures later. I'm still very unsure about how to load pictures from our new camera onto our new hard drive and then get them on Facebook or Blogger. I feel quite overwhelmed by technology, and Mat will have to patiently try to teach me (for the 3rd time). Our family had a great very special last month in Florida. Classical Conversations ended at the beginning of April. We were sad to say goodbye to so many dear friends there. I really feel so blessed to have been a part of the CC group in Winter Garden. There is a very special group of women and children there unlike I have experienced anywhere else. We loved the content of what we learned there, but more than that, we loved the special friends we made. One family who was especially dear to us there invited us over for a Norwegian pancake breakfast (where their dad is from) and to dye Easter eggs together. All 4 of us bonded with each member of their family, and we were so sad that this new relationship was blossoming as we were moving away. This same family planned a going away play date for us at DeLeon Springs. We enjoyed a day playing in a natural spring, getting a final day out in the sunshine, and just spending time in fellowship. There is a pancake house (hmmm...I'm sensing a theme with this family) there where you make your own pancakes on a grittle right there in the middle of the table. It was a perfect day, and the kids thought it was even better when they found an alligator just a few yards away from where they had been swimming all day. CC ended with an awards ceremony/coverdish event that we were able to attend right before the big move. Andrew learned so much with CC. We have already joined a new CC group in CT. We also met some other pretty awesome friends at the homeschool convention in Florida, and they also had us over to their house for a final play date.
Our Bible study group (we found just a the beginning of this year) has been so special. We made some forever friends in that group...all of which have children they homeschool too. The ladies in the group all got to go out together the last week we were in Florida. We went to Wolfgang Puck Express (my favorite) at Downtown Disney for dinner FREE from kiddos!!! It was bittersweet to say goodbye to these sweet friends...so much so that we decided to get together again the following night with the kids at our favorite park, Chapin Station. We played there while the Dad's all got together for dinner. We had so much fun that we continued our little party past dusk at Chick-fil-a. The kids had a blast, and they got to say their goodbyes until July when we plan to return for a little vacation to Disney while Mat works on a project there. It's nice to know we will be seeing these sweet friends again so soon. We took lots of pics of the 7 kids...can't wait to upload those!
Mat and I have been helping in Awana at our church, Harvest Bible Chapel. It has been such an amazing experience to see those little children absorb God's word and grow in their knowledge of Christ. There are a few that we are especially going to miss. I am so thankful for Facebook so we can keep in touch and even share pictures easily! We made some very special friends through Awana, and I was able to have get togethers with some of them. We especially enjoyed going (being treated to) T-Rex with the Mathemeier family and then we ate an Earthquake at Ghiradelli....wow...what an experience. Andrew ate so much that he made himself sick. It was an experience for sure, and we loved spending time with that sweet family!
I think my most difficult good bye (although all of them were hard on me) was with Andrew's piano teacher and her family. They are so dear to us. They have loved us, helped us in the middle of the night when we had the wreck, were instrumental in our homeschool adventure, and are just plain cool people. We got to enjoy our last Twisty Treat with them.
Much of the last week was spent organizing and purging. We had a yard sale at our house the Saturday before the movers arrived. A friend came over and helped me get ready for the sale, and while we were working, the kids were inside playing dress up. A couple of friends joined us to sell some of their things too, and it made for a very fun sale. There wasn't too much traffic, but we ended up selling many of the bulky items that we didn't want to take North as were were packing up the sale around 2pm. The forecast was 80% chance of rain for the sale, but we all prayed hard. The rain held off until we were all packed up in the garage around 4! Go God!
Elizabeth had a major asthma attack on Tuesday (her first ever). I was so thankful that we had the nebulizer out and ready to help her. One more day, and it would have been packed up! Again...Go God! Wednesday, the movers arrived with the giant 18 wheeler truck. They (3 guys) packed up nearly the entire house in one day. They were great! The whole move was relatively easy. The only drama came from some new neighbors (whom you may have read about on Facebook). They are old and crochety and didn't enjoy a big truck in front of their house. They called the police, and the police asked if the movers would move the truck until they were actively packing the truck. Mat called a buddy at church who offered to just let them put the truck in the church parking lot right up the street. That night, the crochety only 2 week long neighbors went to the neighbors and asked everyone to park in the street to prevent the moving truck from getting to our house. Our sweet neighbors didn't give the crochety old folks the time of day so the new neighbors were the only ones to park on the street. It was quite ridiculous.
Bye bye Florida house! By Thursday, the movers had packed nearly everything in the truck so Friday morning, it only took them a couple hours to finish up. We spend Friday and Saturday wrapping things up, cleaning the house and cleaning our the fridge. We stayed at a hotel Friday and Saturday, and we were able to go to Disney for a couple of hours Saturday night once everything was wrapped up. We even ran into friends at Disney randomly! We didn't get to do much, and really none of us were sad to leave Disney. It's a great place, and we've enjoyed unlimited access these past 2 years. However, we think it will be more exciting and magical to have Disney as a vacation spot again. We already have a trip planned in July!
Sunday morning came all too quickly. We had to put Sydney on a separate flight b/c the airline we flew didn't accept large dogs in the cargo. We spent an hour trying to find WHERE to drop Sydney off, and finally, after being redirected several times and starting to feel the stress, we found it. She had to make a stop on the way there so she got to enjoy 2 flights, and by the time we got to Connecticut, we still had to wait for her to arrive. We were safely in our 2 bedroom hotel suite by 8pm...home sweet hotel.
The weather is war enough that we just need a light jacket or long sleeves. We really like it here so far!