Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Called in Sick.

On Thursday I woke up with a huge headache. Borderline migraine. I stumbled into the kitchen where Joel and Ben were eating breakfast. As I leaned against the wall and shaded my eyes from the light I asked in the most pitiful voice possible, "Can you work from home today?" The thought of making it through the day with my three children, no t.v. (go here if you haven't heard about that), and no backyard for the boys to play in (they knocked over a rotten section of the fence earlier in the week) was more than I could bear.

Unfortunately for me, Joel's boss had declared a halt to last-minute work from home just the day before. But fortunately for me, Joel is in REALLY good with his boss. Basically, he doesn't take advantage of her good nature. Let me tell you, it's good for your husband to have an excellent reputation and relationship with his boss.

After I stumbled back to bed almost in tears thinking Joel would be leaving soon, he took pity on me and called his boss. I know it wasn't easy for him to do. She agreed the timing was bad but he could work from home. Yippeee for Stephanie! I pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep.

A couple of hours later my bladder drove me from my sick bed. My bladder and the stomping of little boys wearing their work boots. As I approached the bathroom Ben saw me and declared, "We cwean owt de gawage!" Joel explained that the boys kept pestering him so he decided to use a sick day and play with them. For some reason, that remains unknown to me, they had gone into the garage. Joel found his hammer in the garage had been munched on by a critter. The bottom of the rubber coated handle had been nibbled on pretty good.

And so Joel decided he should spend the day cleaning out the garage. Thus the boys in their work boots. I confess cleaning out the garage is something I have hoped for. The chaos in the garage has gotten so bad I only go about 3 feet inside the back door. God used a mouse to motivate Joel to clean out the garage. No nagging from me was necessary.

The boys (dressed only in shorts and their matching yellow work boots like Daddy's) and Daddy worked on the garage all day. That freed me to nap and have an extended quiet time.

By the end of the day I felt much better. Not only was my headache gone but I felt very loved and valued. My husband took a sick day, cared for 3 children ALL day long, and cleaned out the garage. It wasn't what he planned to do that day and I know it wasn't easy for him to do. But he put my needs ahead of his own comfort and plans. Ladies, that is a good man.

Sweet, I appreciate what you did more than words can say. Thank you for letting me take a sick day. I felt very loved and cared for. You are an excellent husband. I love you.

A Chef in the Making.

Here are the pictures of me and Will making our apple pie. Once the excitement wore off he moved on to other activities which is why the pictures don't show each step. He enjoyed eating the fruit of his labors after supper.

The Apple of My Eye

Will & I made an apple pie on the 21st while the other two were napping. Ellie woke up early. Naturally, she had to "help," also. Here is her version of helping. I think she nibbled on 4-6 apples in the process of us making the pie.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Last Weekend's Conference

Last weekend Joel and I attended a conference together. He's already blogged about it some here. I already linked to it once but for those who didn't read it then and want a man's perspective click on over.

The conference title was "Encouragement for the Homeschool Family Conference." It was given by Steve & Teri Maxwell and family. Go here to see a copy of the schedule and their description of each session.

I found their family website, over 6 months ago. Imagine my surprise to see they would be in Rhode Island! No one EVER comes to Rhode Island. (Now within one month a homeschool conference AND Beth Moore! Let's just say Praise the Lord!) I decided I really wanted to go. Joel was less enthusiastic but he went along because he loves me.

Friday night the babysitter arrived and we headed off to Barrington. That's on the other side of the Bay. And for those who aren't from around here. Crossing to the other side of Narragansett Bay is a BIG deal for Rhode Islanders.

We arrived, took our seats and my dull headache became a pounding headache. I'm afraid I don't remember much of the first two sessions because all I could think was "my head hurts. Oh, my aching head. Stay awake. Stay awake. Oh, my head hurts." I wanted to leave but I really sensed God was speaking to Joel and I didn't want to make him leave.

Saturday morning I awoke with no headache. Thank you, Jesus! The result of Saturday's four sessions is 23 pages of notes! And the purchase of 3 books. One for each of us and one together. Challenged and convicted does not begin to describe this conference.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear the Maxwells speak, GO! If you aren't homeschoolers, don't be put off by the homeschool title. They talked very little about the how-to of home school. Really, it was more about marriage and family life. What should a God-centered marriage and family look like. They didn't just tell their opinions. They backed it up with scripture. And they didn't pull scripture out of context either.

Honestly, I didn't go into this thinking God was going to change our lives. I thought we'd pick up a couple of pointers on how to be better parents. I hoped and prayed Joel would come away encouraged and motivated to take a more active role in our home school efforts.

And then God showed up. Have you ever noticed when God shows up you aren't the same afterward?

For the sake of not making this post 23 pages long, let me summarize some of the ways I'm not the same.

1. Joel & I have committed to pray together every night we possibly can. It's amazing how 5-10 minutes praying together can have such a huge impact on my attitude towards him.

2. I am believing that I have a "meek and quiet spirit." For those who know me in real life, you know those words don't describe me very well. I believe the word Julia used at the Beth Conference was "aggressive." But Beth pointed out in 2 Peter 1 that God has given me EVERYTHING I need for life and godliness.

3. The only way for me to accomplish a "meek and quiet spirit" is to spend time daily with Jesus. This is something I've always struggled with and even more so now that I have children. Let me tell you that a week of regular time with my Lord has helped lower my frustration and anger level tremedously. I still have a LONG way to go but He'll get me where He wants me to be.

4. Finally, I am committed to submitting to Joel. Teri told a story about watching a husband and wife pick out seats at a conference once. Everytime the husband chose a group of seats for his family the wife found something wrong with them. Teri said she wanted to ask her if it really mattered. She wanted to say, "Oh, Mrs. George, can you let your husband be a leader?" I can't begin to tell you how much this story hit home with me! She also asked, "Are you a helpmeet or do you expect your husband to be your helper?" I'll just say "ouch" and leave it at that.

If you can't attend one of the Maxwell's conferences please consider buying their books. I'm about halfway through this one and can't do it justice in a blog. Again, if you aren't homeschooling or don't plan to homeschool, don't be put off by their use of it in titles. Mainly homeschooling is used in their examples but the principles apply to everyone.

***Could I have possibly put any more links in this post? = )

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

When school started this month I realized that William, my little 6 pound, 8 ounce firstborn, will be starting kindergarten next year. How can this be?!

Our plan is to home school. So I am always on the look out for anything that will help me with that goal. A few weeks ago I picked up the fall brochure for story time at the library. Included was a listing for "Getting Ready for Kindergarten." Basically an evening story/activity time just for 4 year-olds entering Kindergarten next fall. The brochure promised ideas for activities to do at home.

Joel & I agreed that a little individual time with Will would be a good thing. The only problem was the meeting occurred the same day we went apple picking. My momma intuition told me this could be a problem. Spend all morning and afternoon picking apples and playing with friends, THEN go out again in the evening? Could be trouble...

It was. Will had a huge meltdown and did not want to go. In retrospect, I think his issue centered on missing time with Daddy. But since we had registered for the event, we persevered and drove to the library. Ordinarily we would have stayed home but I did not want him to think all he has to do is throw a tantrum to get out of something. No, sir. That kind of behavior will get you no where in this house.

Once we got to the library he calmed down. I knew he would. He enjoys the library. The librarian read a story to us (2 other families were present). We colored and played with stickers. We even made a little snack, which was good since Will refused to eat supper.

AND they gave us a really cool calendar. For FREE! "In creating this calendar, we have used the eight areas of learning from the Rhode Island Early Learning Standards for four-year-olds... Every month has eight activities, one for each area of learning... The activities are designed to encourage your child's curiosity and exploration..." -Rhode Island Transition to Kindergarten Calendar Team. Each month also includes a list of recommended books to read with your child.

That quote sounds pretty academic but the calendar isn't. Here's an example. For October one of the books is The Little Engine that Could. One of the activities reads: "Does your child have a favorite color? Have him cut examples out of magazines and scrap paper. Glue them to white paper and label 'my favorite color". Pretty simple for mom and fun for Will.

I'm excited about the calendar. Will is, too. I've hung it up in his bedroom where he can look at it when he wants to. I plan to do the recommended activities with him while the other two are sleeping. Every couple of days he'll ask me about something on the calendar. He looks forward to the activities.

Hopefully this story time is going to become a monthly activity for Will and Daddy. I think Will is going to enjoy the time at the library as well as time alone with Daddy. At least that's my plan.

Friday, September 28, 2007

More excitement than we bargained for.

Will is fascinated right now with camping out. He talks about campfires and tents fairly often. So Joel decided to set up our tent tonight and camp out in the backyard.

It's a small 2 person tent we received from his company in recognition of 5 years of service. At least I think it was 5 years. We used the tent once for a trip to the NY State Fair (?) and then to Niagara Falls. You can understand that was before we had children.

Back to tonight. As soon as supper was over Joel took all the supplies outside. It started getting dark around 6:30 pm tonight so he had to work fast. A campfire was made and s'mores were cooked. The boys love s'mores!!

About an hour later they came inside, brushed teeth and changed into their pajamas - thick fleece ones for the boys and warm sweats for daddy. Joel mentioned taking one of our phones out to the tent with them. (We have 3 phones that all work off of one base and can act as an intercom.) He had visions of me bringing out snacks to him later tonight. Ha!

I decided the phone idea was a good one and carried it out to the tent. The three men in my family were cozy inside the tent reading library books with the aide of a flashlight. The closer I walked to the tent (in the dark) the more I heard critter noises in the bushes about 10 feet from the tent. I told Joel there was a critter in the yard!

A critter is not surprising. We once had a huge dead possum in our backyard. We also have lots of cats that prowl the neighborhood. And skunks. That's the one I was afraid of. I grabbed Joel's flashlight and shown it on the bushes. Sure enough. A SKUNK!! I practically threw the flashlight back to Joel, who promptly zipped the tent door, then I bent a path back into the house!

I turned on the floodlight for the backyard so I could see where the skunk had gone. From the safety of my window I told Joel where the skunk was in the yard. Then Joel prayed that God would make the skunk go away and that they wouldn't get sprayed! Praise the Lord the skunk made his way under the fence and into the neighbor's yard.

Whew! Such excitement for a little backyard camp out in the suburbs! Head over to Joel's blog, that's Rambling Bits & Bytes on my sidebar, tomorrow to read more about their adventure. He's taken pictures and intends to blog tomorrow. I'm thinking that will happen after his nap. 'Cause I don't think he's going to sleep much tonight for thinking about that skunk, not to mention his two VERY squirmy bed mates.

Because he said it so well there's no point in me repeating it.

Head over to my hubby's blog to see what sweet things my boys are doing in the realm of prayer and Bible study.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2 words you don't want to hear.

Occasionally Joel puts on his swimsuit and gives all 3 children a shower together. Tonight was one of those nights. Grubby doesn't begin to describe them. And they didn't even play outside today.

Everyone had been scrubbed and they were just playing in the water when I heared Ben say, "I poop-ted." Very matter-of-fact about it. Needless to say shower time was over.

I'm just glad it was a shower. I've been-there-done-that with a bath and it ain't fun!

Wow! What more can you say?

Joel sent me this link today. It's a story about a woman in Siberia giving birth to a baby girl. The baby weighed 17 pounds, one ounce!!! Can you even imagine?! Ben was my biggest baby at 9 pounds, 9 ounces. I don't even want to think about how big I would be carrying a baby almost twice his size!
Go take a look at the story. There is even a picture of the baby.

Apple Pickin'

It's fall. In Rhode Island that means it's apple pickin' time. So last week we met "Auntie G," Miss Pat, Julia & Emma, Amy & Micah & Mia at Steere Farm.

This was not our first apple picking adventure together at Steere Farm. 3 years ago when there was only Will, Emma & Micah we all went apple picking together. Will & Emma were just over one year old and Micah wasn't quite a year yet. Three years have brought a lot of changes.

But somethings stay the same. Like Auntie G.'s love for our children. And her love for Steere Farm. She's been going there for years. But I don't think my troop will be going back to Steere Farm.

Sadly, we brought home more than apples. I knew it was going to happen when we were only a few feet from the trees and Auntie G. said, "I hope no one's allergic to poison ivy." The evil plant grew EVERYWHERE under the trees and even up the trees! Clearly Auntie G. does not read this blog or she would have known that Ben & I are allergic.

I'm positive I didn't touch any of the leaves myself. But I have itchy spots on my right forearm and inner elbow. This leads me to believe little people spread the fun! Poor Ben's arms are covered again. Even Ellie and Will have a few random bumps, but nothing like Ben's.

As for the actual picking, mostly Auntie G. did the apple picking for our bags to take home. My boys would pick an apple. Eat a few bites. Throw the apple down. Run to another tree. And begin the process again. Very cute but they didn't fill our bag. And they weren't terribly hungry for lunch afterward either.

Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure: Ben; Ben & Mia; Will, Micah & Mia; The Whole Gang with Auntie G.

Fall into Reading 2007 - My List

Here's my list. I don't know that I'll get all these read by Christmas. I'm gonna try!

* The Mom I Want to Be by T. Suzanne Eller
* She's Gonna Blow. Real help for moms dealing with anger
by Julie Ann Barnhill
* You can't make me (but I can be persuaded) by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
* A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on
The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola

* A Chance to Die (Amy Carmichael) by Elisabeth Elliot
* Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias
* No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot

Other Non-Fiction
* Set Your House in Order available at Crown Finacial Ministries
* Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not enough time in my days.

I did not intend to go this long without posting. It's already 10:30 pm so I'm not likely to write a real post tonight either. My days are zipping by full of laundry, housework, and children. Hopefully I'll find a few minutes to do some blogging soon cause I have some really cute pictures from the apple orchard to share.

In the meantime. Head over to my hubby's blog and read his perspective of the home school conference we attended over the weekend. If you feel the need to leave a comment of disagreement please come back here to do that and NOT on his blog. Thanks.

Hopefully I'll be back in a few days with pictures!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Excuses for no future posts.

The next few days are going to be fairly busy around here.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we are meeting Amy (with Micah & Mia), Julia (with Emma), Miss Pat and Auntie G. at an orchard to pick apples. And we are ALL very excited about it! Afterwards we will eat a delicious lunch at Auntie G's house. I know at least 2 of my 3 will sleep in the van on the way home, which of course means no naps once we arrive home.

Then after supper Will and I are planning to attend "Getting Ready for Kindergarten" class at the library. I think we'll both enjoy the one-on-one time and we'll be at the library. What's not to like?!

Friday at the insane hour of 7 AM, that's MORNING!, someone is coming to inspect the maintenance work that was done on our AC unit at the beginning of the summer. For the life of me I don't know how they can tell if the poor guy did his job right considering that was 3 months ago and we've run the AC since then. And for some reason they could only come at that ridiculous hour.

Then after supper Joel and I will be racing to the other side of the Bay to attend a parenting conference. I'm pretty excited about it. It's a small family-run conference in a church. But I'm hoping for some good ideas. We'll go back again for most of the day on Saturday. Even if we don't get any ideas to improve our parenting, that's 2 days in an adult setting. And you know we got a babysitter! Yippeee!!!

All that to say if things are a little quiet around here until about Sunday, you now know why.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Worship Leader in the Making.

William loves music. He likes to sing, pluck on his child's guitar, pound on the keys of our piano, and dance. Boy does he like to dance!

Many times this summer his voice drifted through my open windows as he sang, at the top of his lungs, while playing in the backyard. I've wondered what our neighbors think. Not just because he's so LOUD but because spiritual songs comprise most of his repertoire . A couple of snippets from hymns. A few choruses of praise songs. A WHOLE lot of Psalty the Singing Song Book. And the occasional VeggieTales (you know "Where is My Hairbrush" is a highly spiritual song!).

Last December, Will and his friend, Micah, began attending the music portion of our church service. The boys come into the worship service with us, participate in the music and then, following the offering, join the other children in the childcare room for Sunday School time. (It may help to understand that our church is fairly small and has only been around about 7 years. We meet in 2 conference rooms in a hotel. Our children's department has 7 children in it, three are mine.)

Most of the time Will stands quietly or Joel holds him. He seldom sings or acknowledges the music. For a while I wondered if he was learning anything. But during the summer I discovered he is listening and learning.

One day as we drove to the store a song came on the radio. (There is only so much kid music a momma can take! So I try to sneak in KLOVE when possible.) Will announced, "MR. JAMES SINGS THAT SONG IN CHURCH!" And then he began to sing the song. This happened several times during the summer with different songs. I have to tell you, it brings tears to my eyes every time 'cause I can see God's love growing in his little four-year-old heart.

We told Mr. James about Will singing at home. Complete with guitar just like Mr. James. And sometimes a stuffed animal audience to sing with him. (Side note: one day he came inside and informed me he had been preaching outside! Grandpa, Granddaddy, I think you 3 might have a revival team in the making!) Mr. James & Mr. Lou suggested that Will help them lead the music one day.

Today was the day. Will practiced his song. Dressed up. And gathered his music "shaker." He wanted to take his guitar but I persuaded him the shaker would be better. Off we went to church. His song was up first.

They gave him his own microphone and only sang the chorus since he doesn't know the words to the verses. He looked so cute; a little nervous, but so, so cute. He managed to sing some of the words, not NEARLY as loud as at home but I credit the nervousness for that. And no dancing. Since we attend a Southern Baptist church that might be a good thing.

The song? Matt Redman's You Never Let Go. The chorus reads "Oh no, You never let go. Through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let go. In every high and every low. Oh no, You never let go Lord, You never let go of me."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Survivor: Family Season

Joel & I used to be loyal Survivor fans. I say "used to be" because our interest in the show died about 5 seasons ago. The contestants just tend to be too strange or ridiculous to hold our attention. Not to mention almost naked most of the time.

So I was thinking, why not have a "Family Edition." Kind of like what The Amazing Race did. We absolutely love that show, by the way. I think we're ready for Survivor: Family.

My kids run around mostly naked every day. In fact, I fully dress all 3 in the morning but somehow by supper time Will is only wearing pants and the other 2 only have on diapers. I'm not sure how that happens.

Eating strange things? No problem. Last night at supper Will announced, "I ate a leaf." What? One of the leaves off the Oak tree? "Only half a leaf." What was the leaf from? "Half a leaf. From the plant in the corner of the yard."

Then today I came upon Ellie just chewing away on something. After fishing the mysterious item out of her mouth I examined it. A piece of twig.

Ben is more discerning in his extracurricular crunchings & munchings. He forages for real food. He currently prefers the tomatoes of my pitiful tomato plants. So far I've eaten ONE tomato. Not because the plants aren't producing. Because he plucks them off just before they are truly ripe. I'm not sure if he actually tastes them but an intuition of what is edible could be useful on Survivor.

We'll have to work with him about bugs, though. Not eating them. Being afraid of them. Yesterday I heard "I yee a buwg!" coming from the basement. I investigated and found Ben perched on top of the children's table staring at a cricket crawling around on the bean bag. He kept repeating "I yee a buwg!" Why are you on the table, son? "Cause I fwaid of du buwg." I dutifully captured the cricket and carried it outside.

Now that I think of it, those Survivor locations are always in bug infested locations. Maybe we should take my dad instead of Ben. He keeps talking about wanting to apply. He's not afraid of bugs. And he's willing to eat just about anything... I don't know... They usually vote the "take charge" AARP members off pretty quick.

Hmm.. maybe our family isn't ready for Survivor after all. Maybe we're more of a Fear Factor kind of family. Clearly fear is not a factor for some of us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now.

One last post regarding our trip to Edaville. Who knew one day could provide so much blog fodder?!

As I've mentioned before the trip from Edaville to our house takes a little over an hour. That means we hit the bathrooms before we left the amusement park. Unfortunately it was more like an hour and 45 minutes from the time of our potty break until we got home. There was one last ride on the way out of the park (see the airplane picture). Then we stopped at a quick mart to buy drinks since we were all parched from the day in the sun.

We were about 10 minutes from home, on Interstate 95, when Will pipes up from the back, "I have peepee in my tummy." Oh, baby. Hold it. There is no place to pull over here and we are almost home.

Poor guy. At four years-old he seldom has accidents during the day. Unless he's involved in play and can't be bothered to go in the house. When he does have an accident he starts stripping off clothes because he hates to be wet from pee.

We made it about 4 blocks from the house when Will piped up, "The peepee's coming out. I can't hold it in." Fortunately we had made it to an open area. Joel whipped the van onto a side street and pulled into an empty lot. I hit the unlock button and opened the side door of the van to find Will already standing at the door. I grabbed him under the arms and ran to the front of the van. I'll spare you the rest of the details. Just know that the grass was well watered.

We climbed back in the van and proceeded the rest of the way home. And for our listening pleasure from the back seat came the whines and cries of a two-year-old boy who believes he must do everything Brother does. Including peeing outside on the grass.

Last week Ben started wearing "big boy" underwear, with the exception of a couple of poopy accidents he's done really well. But I'm no fool. The boy wore Pull-Ups to the amusement park!! So I told him to go ahead and pee in his diaper. Have you ever tried to reason with a tired, cranky two-year-old? It's pretty pointless.

So as soon as we pulled into our driveway I rushed to open the van door just as I had for Will. I grabbed Ben out of his seat and hurried him to a secluded corner of our house and dropped his drawers. He, too, watered the grass. What is it about boys and peeing outside that makes them so happy?

After I snapped Ben's pants I turned around. My eyes glanced across the street to the only house with a view of us. And what did I see? My neighbor sitting on his front steps. Thank goodness he has a son and he knows my sons. So he was not shocked by the peeing in the front yard. I'm pretty confident he, and later his wife, had a good chuckle at our expense. I'm sure it's not their first chuckle and it won't be their last!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Need a laugh?

Then watch this.

Or if you want something a little more masculine watch this.

Thanks goes to Christie for the first one and Jennifer for the second one.

I know she did NOT shake her head about me!

To the woman who shook her head in smug contempt at me at the Day Out with Thomas,

Please allow me to explain why I preferred my boys NOT play in the sandbox Edaville so kindly provided.

First of all, we have a sandbox at home. I did not drive an hour, and pay $16 each, for my guys to play with something we have at home. That they play with anytime they want and for free. Between the trains, carnival rides, teeter totters, Ferris Wheel, and assorted other activities, that we DON'T have at home, there was plenty for them to experience.

Secondly, after walking in the sun all day my guys were sweaty. And they had on jeans with tennis shoes. Had they played in the sandbox they would have looked like catfish fillets ready to be deep fried. And all that lovely sand would have been hauled into my van for the HOUR long ride back home. Then I would have had the pleasure of vacuuming the sand out of my van. A pleasure, I assure you, I am willing to fore go.

Lest you think my boys are leading a deprived life. Let me inform you that they spend most of their days outside. Barefoot. And shirtless. Playing in the dirt. Leaves. Grass clippings. And water. Believe me. They are in no way deprived of creative and dirty fun.

Thank you for letting me explain myself. In the future, if you feel the need for head shaking, please do it out of sight. The mama that time may not take your head shaking as politely as I did.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A challenge I can really get into.

I love reading. I can't remember a time when I didn't know how to read. I started kindergarten knowing how to read. My mom gets credit for that not me.

My mom also introduced me to the public library. We visited the library weekly during the summer months. I can remember having my own library card at the age of 9. Boy, did I feel proud and grown-up! I used my card to check out huge stacks (8-10!) of real chapter books. Just for me. I devoured those books in a week.

I always earned the personal pan pizzas offered as incentive for my school's Book It! program. Do they still have that program, I wonder? I loved eating that pizza. I felt so special to have my own pizza that I didn't have to share.

I also read enough to earn all the prizes for the library's summer reading program but I was usually too bashful to claim more than a couple of them. (Julia, I know you find it hard to believe but I was not always the "assertive" girl I am today.)

Given my love of reading, when I read about this reading challenge at Callapidder Days I got very excited. I plan to participate and have been thinking about my list all afternoon. I've also realized something. I'm in a reading rut. I read non-fiction. Mainly parenting, mothering or marriage books. I've gotten a lot of great ideas and learned a lot from those books but I think I need to branch out a little.

I wonder if you can help me out of my rut. Do you know of any great Classic fiction novel I should read? What about biographies? Histories? I'll even take non-fiction suggestions. Also suggestions for reading with my boys. Just leave a comment with your recommendations. I'll be very grateful.

Planes, Trains and a Turtle?

I think we can fly this baby home! Are you with me?

You stand here and look cute. I'll get this puppy moving.
We'll be outta here before they know what happened.
What are they plotting up there?

I better hold on tight. This turtle is really flying.

Finally! Something I can do that Brother can't!

The Hazards of Parenting

Go here to see the beautiful shiner my husband has. No, I didn't do it. The picture doesn't do justice to it, either.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sugar and Spice...

"What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and all that's nice; That's what little girls are made of."

Friday, September 7, 2007

All Aboard!

"Little engines, little engines, little engines can do the biggest things
Little engines, little engines, little engines can do most anything"

Can anyone name the television show that goes with this little song? If you have a child at home under the age of 5 I bet you can!! Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.

Thomas, and Percy, and Gordon, and Toby and all the other friends are favorites around our house. To date we own 2 DVDs, 1 video, 2 plastic Thomas toy sets, a wooden track with various train cars, and several Thomas books. See. I wasn't kidding when I said Thomas is a favorite.

Because the boys enjoy Thomas so much Joel and I have wanted to take them on a real train ride. We heard about a place in Massachusetts that has a real train & carnival type rides for kids. About 2 weeks ago I researched the place, Edaville USA, on-line. This is what I found.

So today Joel took the day off work and we drove about an hour to Edaville USA. Where we met Sir Topham Hatt. And rode on a real train pulled by Thomas (see below). And rode a Ferris Wheel. And ate overpriced food. And had a blast!
The day could not have been better. All the schools in our area are in full swing so there were no kids over the age of 6 to be seen!! Not that I have anything against big kids. It's just that my little guys have a hard time seeing and playing with exhibits when they are around.

Will is already talking about going back and taking his friend, Micah. Oh, the fun those two could have!! If you are ever in the Boston, Providence or Cape Cod areas I recommend adding Edaville to your trip. Admission price is reasonable and concessions/souveniours are no more expensive than other amusement parks. Also, check out this link to see if Thomas is coming to a railroad near you this fall (for those in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Austin he's headed your way!). I highly recommend going on a weekday!

Day Out with Thomas

Waiting for our train ride to begin.
Inside our train car.
Momma & Ellie on the train ride.
Thomas pulled our train car.
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