Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Book List to accomplish my reading goals or resolution for January 2009.

I love books. Until my children came along I devoured books on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as the number of children in my home has increased my reading has decreased.

I realized recently that I miss reading.

Oh, don't misunderstand! I still read. I read blogs. I read children's books. And I read emails. But I rarely read a book just for me. I've decided that must change.

So, I signed up to review books for Thomas Nelson. If you have a blog you can do this, too. Just fill out their form. They'll review your blog and email you. Then you pick out the book you want from their list. I'm currently reading my first book which I hope to review soon.

As excited as I am to review books for Thomas Nelson Publishing, I think most of what I request from them will probably be children's books. Which doesn't really solve the lack of reading books that interest me.

So, I'm participating in Simple Mom's Book Club. Click on the button below or in the sidebar to visit her post describing the Club and the books she's chosen. I've previously read one of the books but the rest are new to me and not necessarily what I would normally choose to read. I think this is a good thing.

simple mom book club

Another way I hope to increase my grown up reading is by participating in the Classics Book Club at 5 Minutes for Books. Each month you read the chosen classic and then post a review on the first Tuesday of the month. Participants will be posting about Hamlet on January 6.

No way could I have read Hamlet this month but I do plan to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou for February. I've already requested it from the library. Wish me luck!

Classics Bookclub

Last, but certainly not least, I will be participating in the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie at Reading to Know. In case you don't recognize the name I'll give you a hint. Ann-with-an-E. Now do you recognize the author?

I have read all the Anne books and watched all the movies. I'm looking forward to the day I can introduce Ellie to that imaginative red head. For this Challenge I'm planning to read a non-Anne book that Montgomery wrote.

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

Does that sound like a lot of reading to you? It sure does to me! If I'm not around here much for January it's because I'm busy reading one of these books:

* For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope by Max Lucado (for Thomas Nelson);
* Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (for SimpleMom);
* I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (for 5MFB);
* The Doctor's Sweetheart and Other Stories by L.M. Montgomery (for Reading to Know).

Do you have a hard time reading books for yourself? Are you participating in a book club in 2009? Do you have a to-read book list? If so, tell us about it!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Card Bloopers Carnival

Sara at Real Life is hosting a Christmas Card Bloopers Carnival today.

I had a really hard time choosing the picture for this post. I have plenty of material to pick from, including several "blackmail" pictures of the boys {insert evil laugh}.

I settled on this picture because it really shows the personalities of my guys. It didn't make our Christmas card this year (only used the sweet angelic pictures for that one) but it did make the blog earlier in the year. You can go here to read the story behind the picture.

Do you have any pictures that didn't make this year's Christmas card? I'd love to see them or about them!

For more Christmas Card Blooper Pictures go visit Sarah at Real Life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Review: Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular

Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular
Published by Thomas Nelson, 2008.
ISBN 978-1-4003-1345-7
Reading Level ages 9-12

Boomtown tells the story of Reverend Arthur Button and his family as they settle into life in Boomtown, Washington. A life that Rev. Button was NOT prepared for! But one he's determined to keep after hearing that all 24 of his predecessors at Boomtown Church have died in bizarre mishaps.

I read this book aloud with my 5 year old son expecting lots or word play, puns, adventures and wacky characters. Our expectations were not disappointed. Only in Boomtown will you find a sheriff named Burton Ernie, fireworks at every holiday, and townspeople filled with grace and forgiveness.

My son has thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Rev. Button and his family. I think boys of all ages, especially tweens, will enjoy the fun spirit of Boomtown's residents.

[Spoiler Alert] Before handing this book to your tween son you should be aware that one chapter deals with a baby, born to young unmarried parents, who is left on the Buttons' doorstep. I was unprepared for this subplot in a book about exploding hen grenades and rocket Santas. The author handles the topic with grace but the resulting conversation I had with my son about adoption was not one I had expected when I started the book. Also, the baby's parents are of different races (in a book set in 1950 when such a thing was a big deal) which went unnoticed by my five year old but could raise questions with a tween.

Overall Boomtown is a fun and interesting story best read as a family with an awareness of potential for deeper parent-child discussions.

*** For more Boomtown reviews visit Stephanie at Olive Tree and Alicia at Experiencing Each Moment.

Links for your enjoyment, 12.28.08

Christmas Card Bloopers Carnival by Sarah at Real Life. (Should be funny!)

Podcast with Amy Roloff from Little People, Big World Part 1 at 5 Minutes for Mom. (I haven't listened yet but I hope to.)

Podcast with Jon Gosselin from Jon & Kate + 8 at 5 Minutes for Mom. (I haven't listened yet but I hope to.)

12 Days of Blissmas Cookies Day 10: Scrumptious Shortbread Cookies at Blissfully Domestic. (I hope to try these soon.)

Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge by Carrie at Reading to Know. (Who doesn't love Anne?!)

I've included 2 carnivals this week. Even if you don't blog you can stop by these and read what others have posted.

Do you enjoy these weekly links? Have they been helpful or enjoyable to you? I read a wide variety of blogs, is there a topic you'd like me to link to more often?

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I am the man
who took the woman’s shame
upon myself, defied
those who murmured whispers
counting months
and sheltered her with my name.

I am the man
who trod hard roads
beside her, held her, swaying
bowing on the donkey
with the Life-Spring
of the universe
kicking in her swollen womb.

Long the hours
we journeyed on,
panted in the small shade
whispered to the waiting Majesty
prayed Him stay His coming
a little while yet.

Rough and awkward
I am the man
who was midwife
at the birth of the Eternal One,
and held Divinity
squalling, bloody in my hands
while the Prophets’ voices
thundered in my ears

and high above the stable roof
a new born star
burst into incandescent life.

-written by Lara O. at Singing New Songs

*** Reprinted here with permission.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Carnival: What's on your nightstand? December 2008

This month I'm reading a variety of books - mostly children's Christmas books with a few grown-up books on the side.

First, the children's books:

One Wintry Night written by Ruth Bell Graham and illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson is excellent for telling the Christmas story from beginning (Genesis) to end (The Resurrection). It's a cross between a picture book and a chapter book. With 11 chapters this would make a good book to use with, or even instead of, a Jesse Tree or Advent calendar.

The Legend of the Candy Cane written by Lori Walburg and illustrated by James Bernardin is another great Christmas picture book. Last year I reviewed a copy from the library and enjoyed it so much I bought the book this year.
The Visit of the Three Wise Men is an excellent picture book. Written by Martha Jander and illustrated by Lin Wang the book as a Middle East meets illustrated manuscripts feel to it.

Last but not least in the picture book category, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. My boys love reading about "Mr. Grinch."

As a family we are reading through A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Admittedly, it's over the heads of my little guys but we think it's a fun tradition for our family. This year we will add to the tradition by watching The Muppets Christmas Carol (reviewed here by my college friend, Alicia from Experiencing Each Moment).

Will and I have been making our way through Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular. I hope to finish before the end of the month and post a review. In the meantime, you can visit Alicia for her take on the book.

Finally, I'm reading Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This is the January/February pick for SimpleMom's book club. I thought it would be fun to join the book club, as well as focus on finances for the month of January. So far all I've read is theory/philosophy of money. I can't say I've learned anything but I have done some thinking about how I view money.

That's what's on my nightstand. What about yours? What have you read this month? Currently reading? Plan to read next month?

Monday, December 22, 2008

About Stephanie's Mommy Brain

I started this blog in July of 2007 with the goal of sharing the stories of our daily life and pictures with my family and friends who are spread around the world. This is officially my 400th post. I think I've done a lot of sharing!

The title, "Stephanie's Mommy Brain," is meant to be a joke. I often claim to have "mommy brain," meaning I'm forgetful. If it isn't written down I won't remember it! The blog is my way of remembering the funny sayings and crazy antics of my four children.

But it has become more than just a journal of life in my home. It's also given me a place to express my thoughts and opinions (of which there are many! Just ask my husband!).

Most of those thoughts and opinions deal with managing my home. That's because I am passionate about my job as a stay-at-home mom, homemaker, housewife, whatever you want to call me. I can't imagine doing anything else!

As I look toward the future for "Stephanie's Mommy Brain" in 2009, I plan to continue sharing the funny sayings of my children (peanut butter, anyone?), their wild ideas (Brothers are NOT for sale!), and their cute faces.

I also plan to share more of my ideas for Home Management. These will fall into several broad categories: Feed the Family, Organization and Cleaning, and Finances. My goal is that you will be inspired and motivated after reading about my successes (and failures).

I hope you will share your ideas, tips, and successes with me in the "comments" or "Shared Thoughts" section. By NO MEANS do I claim to know all there is about being a home maker. I still have a lot to learn and hope to learn from you.

Feel free to also use the "Shared Thoughts" section to tell me how cute my kids are. I never get tired of hearing that! = )

The last 400 posts have been a lot of fun. I have loved "meeting" new people, as well as, reconnecting with old friends. You are what makes blogging fun. Will you join me for another 400 posts? There's no telling what I'll have to write about next!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Links for your enjoyment, 12.21.08

Sweets for the Season 2008: Simple Peanut Butter Fudge by Heather at Home Ec 101. (I MUST make some of this!)

Free Coloring Pages for Kids by Katie at Blissfully Domestic. (Free! Need I say more?)

Buggy Tic-Tac-Toe by Suzanne at Heart of the Matter Online. (You must look at this simple to make game!)

January 2oth one month from today by Alicia at Experiencing Each Moment. (She shares her experience of seeing President Bush Sr, President G. W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush at her "little" brother's graduation from Texas A & M. Great pictures, quotes and video!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

What will happen if your vacuum cleaner bag fills up but you don't change it?

Funny you should ask. I know the answer!

The bag will explode with such force that the zipper down the side will open. The explosion will leave a hole running the entire length of the bag. And your five year old (who's job it is to vacuum the hallway) will be enveloped in a cloud of smoke-like dust.

Once the dust settles the carpet will be covered with dust bunnies and particles that you have spent the last weeks months year vacuuming up.

Naturally there is no extra bag in the house. (That's why the bag hasn't been changed in the first place.) So you will need to sweep the carpet vigorously in order to remove the dirt.

Now you know what will happen if you don't change the bag inside the vacuum cleaner.

Has anyone else ever had this happen?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I was inspired by the Boomama Tour of Homes...

Can you tell he's missing his nose?

The Tree

Our first Family of Six picture!

*** Ps. This isn't really my tree. In fact these are two different trees. Neither of them are in my home. Our church meets in a hotel conference room and they always decorate for Christmas. I like to take advantage of their beautiful decorations and willing hands in order to have a picture of our entire family.

Did I fool you? Did you really think I got busy and decorated a tree?

Tomboy or Princess? How about both?!

You know a girl has big brothers when...

1. She sticks her feet in the air and says, "Smell my feet!" And laughs and laughs.
2. She uses the word "p@n!s" freely.
3. She bites off parts of a slice of cheese, points what's left and says, "pow!pow!"
4. She plays with toy cars more than she plays with dolls.
5. She would rather wrestle with Daddy than have a tea party with him.

You have hope your girl may not be all tomboy when...
1. She gently covers her baby brother with a blanket.
2. She wants to comb and cut (!) your hair. Then put in bows.
3. She wears black patent dress shoes while playing in the back yard.
4. She hasn't seen a pair of boots she didn't like.
5. She wants you to paint her toenails when you paint yours.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes

For those on the BooMamaChristmasTour Welcome!

Let's move into the living room for a cozy chat and hot chocolate.

You noticed our little tree on the end table? I picked that up on clearance last year for $3. My intention was to use it in the living room for just our Jesse Tree ornaments this year.

We have a playroom in the basement so I had planned to put the big tree downstairs but having a newborn and minor surgery in October and December has caused me to scale back plans big time.

Plan B is working well though - a small tree decorated with only religious and Jesse Tree ornaments.

You might wonder about the candy cane as a religious ornament. In that case I'll just point you to The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. It's filled with ideas for Christmas activities with children.

If your are interested in the books on the table, I wrote a review last year of Lisa's book, The Twelve Teas of Christmas by Emilie Barnes and Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada. I also have a review of a few children's Christmas books. I guess you could say we enjoy books around here.

How do you like my storage solution for our two kid-friendly Nativity Sets? I highly recommend the Little People set. My kids have played with them every day since we unpacked the boxes. The best part is that I don't have to worry about any pieces getting broken.

That can't be said of ceramic Nativity set sitting on top of the piano. My in-laws gave it to me after hauling it all the way from Thailand. This picture doesn't do justice to the beauty of the set. My favorite thing is that all the people have an Asian look to them. No Caucasians in this display.

Well, this has been fun. I've enjoyed showing you my small attempts at Christmas decorating. I hope you've had a good time.

Merry Christmas! (Don't forget to sign the "guest book" before you leave!)

*** For more Christmas home tours go visit Boomama.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bible as William Draws It

Shepherd, Sheep, Shepherd, Sheep with Angel

Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Star and Wise Man

The First Commandment - William Style (No Other Gods)

Jesus on a Donkey, Before Pilate, The Cross, Jesus Risen

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have you ever... ?

The things I've done are in bold.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (disclaimer- NOT on purpose! Employer didn't change automatic deposit)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
Thanks, Stephanie. This was fun! My life has been much more exciting than I realized. Anyone else want to play along? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Guess what finally happened here Sunday!

Yep! SNOW!!! Our first snow of the season!

Enough to cover the ground and make a few snowballs.

At least that's what I observed from the window. Joel experienced the snowballs first hand.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: Children's Books - Christmas 2008

Edited to add: This post originally published December 20, 2007. Because of the baby and my other surgery I haven't made it to the library for new books this year. I ordered several books from CBD this weekend but they won't arrive for a few more days. I hope this post gives you some ideas in your own hunt for children's Christmas books. For more ideas check out 5 Minutes for Books Children's Classics Carnival.
Children's Classics


This year I've been on the look-out for quality Christmas books. After four years of collecting children's books we've managed to add ZERO Christmas ones to our collection. I'm not sure how that's happened. I totally intend to remedy the situation during the after-Christmas bargain sales.

In the meantime, I stumbled across the holiday section in our children's library. Who knew they had pulled ALL the books about the various holidays from the picture book section and placed them on shelves behind the juvenile fiction area?! I certainly didn't! Not having children old enough to read "chapter books" I seldom go in that area. But now I know.

I spent a good deal of time sorting through and reading the books to make sure I approved of their message before bringing them home. Here are three books I checked out and have enjoyed reading to the boys this month.

Good King Wenceslas verses by J.M. Neale, illustrated by Jamichael Henterly. Published by E.P. Dutton, 1988. If you are familiar with the Christmas song then you already know the words of this book. The complete verses and simple score (am I using that correctly?) are included on the final page.

The vocabulary used in the song is a bit advanced for my guys but I don't think that is a bad thing. The illustrations are telling the story of the song so the reader can easily explain new words by pointing to the pictures. The illustrations are also realistic rather than cartoon-ish and are set in the time period of King Wenceslas. Furnishings, food, and clothing give the reader a feel for the historic time period.

My only words of caution is the reference to "Saint Agnes" and illustration of a statue of the saint. I caution for that because we are Baptist and don't "do Saints." But we live in a part of the country where a Catholic church is on every corner and statues of Saints sit in lots of yards. If you have older children this could be a good jumping off point to research Saint Agnes. My other caution is the reference to wine and illustrated wine barrels. We have chosen not to drink alcoholic beverages so if your children, like mine, are unaccustomed to such references it could raise questions.

I think this book is worth owning. The rich colorful illustrations bring a classic song to life. As usual, I think my children will "grow into" this book.

I found another illustrated Christmas song during my library search. The Little Drummer Boy, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, published by Macmillan, 1968. Once again lyrics and simple music score are included in the back of the book.
The illustrations have a definite middle eastern feel to them, which I enjoy given the Caucasian leanings of most children's picture books. I have no idea what to call the technique Mr. Keats used. Rich colors and varied patterns are chosen over intricate details. The pictures are not realistic but I wouldn't say they are abstract either.

My favorite page has the words "Baby Jesus, (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)" and shows part of a cradle with just the arm and hand of Jesus reaching up. I've seen my own children reach out exactly like that countless times. The illustration reminds me of the Messiah's ordinary infancy.

I think this is a quality book for bringing another classic song to life.

Not all the books I chose are songs. You may have seen The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg around for awhile. I even saw a DVD of the book in a CBD catalog. I have mixed feelings about this book. I like the telling of the story of the candy cane. Every time my guys see a candy cane they say "J is for Jesus." I also appreciate how the Crucifixion isn't "candy coated." (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

What makes me uncertain is that, to me, it feels like two different stories that have been put into one book: the story of Mr. Sonneman setting up his candy shop and the legend of the candy cane. The combination of the two stories doesn't completely work for me but my husband and sons really like the book. So I plan on searching for this book to own, though, of the three books, I am least enthusiastic about this one.

What children's Christmas books do you recommend I add to my collection?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Links for your enjoyment, 12.7.08

Radical Womanhood, by Carolyn McCulley at Reading to Know. (I've seen this book reviewed in a couple of places. I'm intrigued and putting it on my reading list for '09. The author of the book also has a blog, Radical Womanhood.)

There are endless ways to ... by No Time for Flashcards. (She has many cute and clever ideas for activities with toddlers/preschoolers.)

My Interview Story by The Bargain Shopper Lady. (Encouraging story about asking God for your dreams.)

Freezer Cooking Links by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. (I've dabbled in freezer cooking or once-a-month cooking. It's a great way to save money, time and energy. I'm hoping to do more freezer cooking.)

The Bathroom Door Letter by Alicia at Experiencing Each Moment. (Hilarious!)

Friday, December 5, 2008


I won a Daniel Renstrom CD Adore and Tremble at BooMama's!! The really fun thing is she closed comments for the drawing on my birthday.
Happy Birthday to me!


I won a copy of Bake It Up at Reading to Know. You can read Carrie's review of the series of children's cookbooks at 5 Minutes for Books. Thanks again, Carrie!


Thanks are due to my sweet friend, Alicia at Experiencing Each Moment who nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Award.

Here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. The winner must link to the person from whom they received their award.
3. The winner must nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award.
4. The winner must place links to those blogs on their own blog.
5. The winner must leave a message on the blogs of the people they’ve nominated.

I nominate The Flamingo Mama. (I know I'm breaking the rules. It's the rebel in me.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post Op. Update

Thank you all for your prayers and sweet comments of concern. My surgery on Tuesday went off without a hitch.

The first doctor removed all of the cancer cells, cauterized the edge of the quarter-sized hole she left in my forehead and sent us off to the hospital.

At the hospital a lovely intravenous drug put me to sleep. I kept telling them to leave me alone in a quiet, semi-dark room for 5 minutes and I would be sound asleep without drugs, but they insisted on the i.v.

As I predicted, following the surgery I couldn't keep any food or drink down. Why won't medical staff listen to me before a surgery? I told them I get sick after any anesthesia but everyone thinks their time with me will be different. It never is. While I tried to clear the fog in my head, all the nurses oohed and aahed over Samuel.

I finally felt well enough for the 20 minute drive home. Once home I stopped in the bathroom to be sick and then fell into bed to sleep off the effects of the medication.

And sleep I did!! From about 4 pm until about 9 pm. Blessed wonderful sleep! My sweet husband bottle-fed Sam each feeding until 2 am so I could sleep. And then he took Wednesday morning off work so I could sleep a little more.

I confess this surgery hit me a little harder than I expected. Probably because I hadn't slept for 6 weeks. Today (Thursday) I'm starting to feel a little more normal. Hopefully after the weekend (when I'll get more sleep!) I'll get back into the swing of things around here.

Let me clarify that I'm talking about the 6+ week postpartum normal. Not the clean house, cooking supper every night, home schooling normal. That's my goal for mid-January. We'll see if it becomes reality.

*** BTW, there are no pictures of my Bride of Frankenstein self. I'm currently sporting a cross shaped incision held together by some ugly stitches. I don't want to gross anyone out so we'll hold off on picture taking for a while.

Free Christmas movies at National Amusements Cinemas

Are you looking for a fun and FREE family activity this month? Check this out!!
National Amusements presents Holiday Classics, a four-week holiday program offering moviegoers FREE admission to a classic holiday film with a donation at a participating theatre box office of a non-perishable food item to benefit local food banks. The series runs every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. from November 29th to December 20th.

Film schedule:
November 29 - It's a Wonderful Life
December 6 - Home Alone
December 13 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 20 - White Christmas
Be sure to click the link to see if there is a participating cinema in your area. For those in Rhode Island, both Warwick Cinemas are participating.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Going's on at my house: furnace, graffiti, Reese's, and Moh's.

We quietly celebrated Thanksgiving at our house last week. Usually we host folks from our church who are far from family like us. I didn't feel up to hosting this year so we ate a quiet turkey dinner in the evening after Joel and the kids raked our backyard.

I've been composing several posts in my head of recent events at our home. I don't seem to be getting them down into the computer so I'm doing a list now.

A couple of weeks ago our furnace went out. As in 30 degrees outside and 65 degrees in my house - in the middle of the house - in the afternoon. After 2 full days with no furnace (but 2 space heaters from the repair company) the replacement piece finally arrived and was installed. All for the low price of $685! After a coupon! It's a good thing we have an emergency fund and a Christmas fund or nobody would be getting gifts from us this year!

One morning shortly after the furnace incident Joel got out of the shower to see that. Wall murals courtesy of Ellie and Ben (and this picture only shows part of it!). Ben then spent the rest of the day scrubbing the wall with a Magic Eraser. Those things are amazing! The other part of their discipline is that they have been banned from crayons for a couple of weeks. It doesn't seem to have fazed them much.

On Thanksgiving morning Joel got up first and joined the boys in the kitchen. Only to find chocolate on their mouths and a pile of Reese's wrappers in the trashcan. I received four bags of the candy for my birthday so we have lots around but they know it's off limits. Will and Ben weren't very happy to hear that was their only breakfast. Let's just say they ate well at lunch!

Last but not least, I'm having an outpatient surgery on Tuesday, December 2nd to remove a basal cell carcinoma from my forehead. In simple terms this is a low level skin cancer that spreads across the top of the skin. I'm having Moh's surgery at 8:30 AM. The doctor will cut out the visible cancer, then take a little more. The little more will be looked at under a microscope. If no cancer cells are visible then she'll be done. If not she'll remove more of my forehead. We'll keep doing this until she has it all. She'll be working with a local anesthesia.

When she's finished she'll bandage me up and send me across town where a plastic surgeon will perform "reconstructive surgery" on my forehead/hairline. The technical terms make it sound much scarier and worse than it is. Basically she'll sew me up all pretty. But she'll use general anesthesia. I'll get to sleep!! The downside is that I have to "pump and dump" a couple of times afterward.

A week later the plastic surgeon will remove the stitches from my forehead. A week after that she'll remove the stitches from my scalp. And the following week, on Christmas Eve, I'll take Sam for his 2 month pediatrician appointment.

That means in the course of 6 weeks I will have been in a doctor/medical office 8 times!! (Last week I had a consultation, Sam's pedi., and my 6 week ob/gyn). I cannot tell you how tired I am of going to the doctor!!!!!

BTW, Sam weighed in at 9 pounds 10 ounces last week. That's 2 pounds gained in one month. I'm sure he's over 10 pounds now. The boy can eat!

What's been going on at your house?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Links for your enjoyment, 11.30.08

Thanksgiving Rightly Addressed by Dawn at The Homeschool Post. (Who did you thank on Thursday?)

Are you kidding me?? at Starry Sky Ranch. (I couldn't agree with her more.)

Why Do I Homeschool? by Stephanie at Heart of the Matter. (She beautifully articulates our reasons for home schooling.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

This little piggy was snoring?!

The following conversation took place at breakfast on Saturday before Samuel was born.

Will: I came into your room this morning while you were still asleep.
Joel: What did we look like?
Will: (Sort of closes his eyes.)
Me: What did Daddy sound like?
Will: A pig.

I've been telling Joel he snores badly! Now someone else agrees with me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This makes raking worth the all the work.

We have one mature oak tree in our backyard. It dropped most of its leaves in one weekend resulting in a yard full of leaves. Joel had the foresight to buy 3 small rakes the week before. Here is the result of an afternoon or two of work.

No fair! He's got a bigger rake!
Again with the horseplay!
You know what's coming next, don't you?
Where's Ben? Look close!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blogging - A family affair.

Blogging has become a family affair around here. First, Joel's sister starting posting.

Then my brother's wife and Addi's momma joined the blogging world.

Now my cousin and the momma to Abby and Madison has started posting.

By the way, that's Addi in the middle. I haven't met Abby or Addi, yet. Can you imagine how fun our family get togethers are going to be with Madison, Ellie, Abby, and Addi(son)? Whew! Say that 3 times fast!!!

If my counting is correct, I've inspired at least 8 of the bloggers on my sidebar under "Real Life Friends." To bad Blogger doesn't given me a commission. = )

Monday, November 24, 2008

Inspector Hector, the Plaque Detector helps train William to brush his teeth.

We have been trying to train William to brush his own teeth. He's five. It's time. He claimed he brushed but mainly it was chewing on the toothbrush.

Somewhere I heard about a product that kids use like mouthwash and it shows the areas that need cleaning. Sort of like those red tablets we received in elementary school when someone came and spoke about dental care. (Am I the only one who remembers those?)

I found a couple of brands at Wal*Mart that sounded promising. Naturally I bought the cheapest one - Inspector Hector, Plaque Detector. I bought the blue version rather than the pink, mainly because I thought it would show up better in Will's mouth.

He squeezes the bottle to fill the little cup at the top.

Then he swishes the liquid in his mouth (we're still working on the swishing skill!).
After spitting it out in the sink he inspects his teeth in the mirror for blue areas.

Then he brushes. When he thinks he's done he checks to see if all the blue is gone.
Sometimes Daddy helps get the rest of the blue.
The blue isn't as strong as I had hoped but it has motivated him to brush better. I tried to get pictures of his blue teeth but he only wanted to play. If you are trying to train a child to brush his teeth check out Inspector Hector. It's recommended for 6 years and older (Will's 5.5), probably because you don't swallow it. Will thinks it's fun and Ben can't wait until he's old enough to use it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Links for your enjoyment. 11.23.08

Our (Long) Toy Story... by Susan L at High Desert Home. (A timely post by a grandma about the toys she used/uses in her home. Quality over quantity.)

I need a t-shirt... by Melissa at 320 Sycamore. (A list of comments moms of 3 or more hear often!)

Introducing Twaddle-Free Books... for Moms! by Simple Mom. (She's starting a book club. 6 books in 2009. This fits well with one of the goals I'm considering for next year. More on that in a few weeks.)

Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Lisa at 5 Minutes for Books. (This looks like an interesting and thought provoking book. I'm putting it on my 2009 Reading List.)

I'm in limbo and I'm not very limber... by Meredith at Life at 7000 Feet. (I don't think I'm limber either.)

Loneliness--a curse or a gift? by Sally at I Take Joy. (She writes about feeling lonely without support systems. Boy, can I relate!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three couples. Ten+ years of friendship. Blessings of God to numerous to list.

In November 2003 my husband along with his two cohorts planned a surprise outing to a local spa for myself and the other two wives. Following our massages/pedicure we ladies returned to my home where we dolled ourselves up for a REAL TRIPLE DATE! Then we drove to Amy's home where the men cooked and served us a delicious dinner (Joel is still famous for his apple pie!).

At the time Will was 6 months old, Amy was weeks away from delivering Micah, and Dawn still lived in Rhode Island. We had so much fun that night it became an annual tradition for us to hire a sitter and have a night out together.

And then Mike and Dawn moved to Kentucky {sniff.sniff.}. Last year our tradition faultered because Dawn gave birth to Little Miss Emily in October. Understandably they didn't make it back to RI for Christmas.

But this year, THEY'RE BACK!! Only it's in November. And don't you know one of the few dates we could all get together just happens to be my birthday?! How fantastic is that?! I haven't had a birthday party in 13 years. Ack! That just made me feel old... moving on... to fun pictures.
Here we all are in 2003.
Awww... aren't they cute?
One more cute couple.
Back when Joel paid for haircuts.

Tonight we will all meet at my home for take out pizza, laughter and fun. There will be no babysitters. Which means we'll visit around the chaos made by a 5, 4, 3, 3, 2, and 1 year old and a 4 week old. Yes, that's SEVEN children between the 3 couples (half of which are mine!). Oh wait! Once again Amy is due to deliver in a few weeks so make that (almost) EIGHT children.

Hmm.. I wonder if I could squeeze in a massage this week. I know Amy would like a pedicure. Then it really would be like old times.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good friends are a blessing from God.

I am thankful for good friends!

11+ years ago we moved from Arkansas to Rhode Island. Newly married and recently graduated from college. Let's just say that first year was plain hard and leave it at that.

The next year another couple, Amy and Andy, moved to Rhode Island. Newly married and recently graduated from college. Their first Sunday at our church we invited them to our home for lunch. Who knew that a decade long friendship would result?

Within a couple of years our little group had grown to 5 couples. Amy & Andy, ourselves and another couple intended to only live in Rhode Island for 2 years. The 4th and 5th couples were intending to be here forever. God had other plans.

Now they have all moved away - except us and A2. The ones who thought they'd only be here a couple of years. Not a decade. Doesn't God have a sense of humor?

We are so thankful God has given us great friends!! Both the near-by ones, the far away ones and the far far away ones.

The A2M2 Family (soon-to-be M3) plus Andy's Dad.
These 5 (soon-to-be 7!!!) are the best of friends.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apple Pie Making with Grandma

My mom arrived from Arkansas the Saturday before Samuel was born. I thought a fun activity would be for us to all make an apple pie together. I had to do something with those 20 pounds of apples! Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the actual pie. But peeling the apples sure was fun!

My fellow chefs.
Eating the apple peel is half the fun!
Wow! That's one long piece of peel!!
Ben enjoyed some as well.
The peel was longer than they are tall!
Ben intent on peeling the apple.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...