private school is ON

God is good! And faithful!

We heard today that our girls are accepted to the private school and we are receiving some financial aid. And thanks to our work with the Dave Ramsey program for the last year, we will be able to finance the difference. We are sacrificing paying off our debt sooner and saving for a house, but it is totally worth it.

Every single day we hear another reason we need to pull the girls out of school. Every single day. Today Anna told me that another boy said the F word to her repeatedly at recess and that kids are flipping each other off in class all the time. I said, "You know what the F word is?!" She explained that someone had told her so she would know when the other kids were using it. Okay - she's 9! Not 15. It breaks my heart that she has to be exposed to this garbage at this point in life. And the recess monitors do NOTHING. They might threaten some kind of punishment but they don't do anything and they do not report to the teachers or principals either. They are unknown persons - I don't know who they are or where they come from.

All this works together for good - Anna doesn't want to go back. She has totally detached herself from this negative environment. Claire is starting to understand what good behavior looks like. But, she is in a relatively safe place so it will be harder for her to leave.

We so appreciate all the prayers and support. God has provided and will continue to work through all the little details.

Merry Christmas!


The SPA birthday party report

The setting: My home. We cleared out the baby toys and set up our house to be the salon/spa. Matt created a very elaborate computerized display describing the SalonAnnabelle. It was a place to relax, play some fun games and eat cake. The girls all had such a good time.

This picture shows the facial station. We also had a foot bath station for 2 on the couch and a nailpolish station at the table.

How cute it that?! She was hilarious and really had such a fun time helping with all the planning details including shopping and picking out nailpolish colors and then helping with the cleaning and rearranging on the day of. Anna is a born party planner and she and I had a great time doing it together.

She's a Yellow Belt!

Anna worked hard and learned her first pattern in Taekwon-Do. She tested and earned her yellow belt. We are so proud of her and it's great to see her learn something that requires calm and control.

Way to go!


Day off

It's a day off and surprisingly the two kids having the most fun together are Katherine and Anna. Katherine is "Mommy" and Anna is baby Samantha. It's cute; they are outside (it's warm today!) pushing baby strollers around together. And Claire sits playing Doodle-jump on the ipod. Probably getting the high score again!

I love that my almost 9 year old is having fun playing with my 3 year old. :) Of course it is only 9AM, we'll see what the day holds...


warm and sunny but tired

A low energy day.

Katherine is suffering the most. She senses I have less to give, less energy to play and wants more, more and more...

Praying for God's grace for my physical limitations today.

Katherine is back in pullups - she must choose to use the potty, she certainly knows how. So today we start a sticker chart and there is a prize at the end. She wants the prize (Furry Frenzy) but I think is scared that she can't succeed. I know she can do it. There aren't that many stickers to do, but it seems huge to her. First she said she'd start on Saturday in a very grumpy voice. Then, she did use the potty once later and she was quite proud of herself. She needs a big success (read poop!) to encourage her to keep doing it. Her stomach is hurting too from holding it in for so long. I'm hoping to avoid a doctor trip and more unpleasantness.

It's Tuesday - which is good, both the girls have after school activities, I can do it.

Oh - our car got keyed. And we are just getting ready to sell it. Why does it happen that way?

Tomorrow will be better, that I know.



Things I learned today

1. If you have dry stuffing mix that has been sitting in the bag, opened, probably since last Thanksgiving - don't try to make it. It tastes like stale dog food.

2. If you put enough cheese on previously mentioned stuffing, kids will eat it.

3. First graders spell "sexy", "sexsee". Just another thing to mention in my meeting with the principal tomorrow.

4. First graders who call their classmates sexy and point to their genitals need to be removed from my daughter's school.

5. Since those previously mentioned first graders probably won't be removed, I would like to remove my child from this place.

6. Humor seems to fade when the Momma cougar unsheaths her claws at the quality of her children's education.

7. Not only does humor fade, but tears come at the thought of my kids being exposed to the world's garbage way too early. And for the kids who don't even understand the things they say, and don't learn how to love and behave because they have no model at home or anywhere.

8. I should not start lists funny and end them sad. Sorry! It's been that kindof day. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.


school troubles

We have had quite a few issues with the school this year. We realize that God is bigger than any of this, and He will protect and be with them wherever they are. We are particularly thankful for this right now as they both are facing challenges. The issues cover all different parts of their education and personal well being.

After much prayer, waiting and discussion, Matt and I decided to apply at an outstanding private Christian school for this year. The school costs about twice as much as schools in Colorado, but half as much as the other private schools in our area. We are being challenged to live by faith and not of ourselves. Only God could provide the resources for them to go there. We await "open doors" in order for this to happen. Our faith is strengthened by the doors that have already been opened.

The girls know that we are waiting on God and not trusting in ourselves or our resources. It is such a good example to them. And not only are we praying through this but they are too.

So, if all the doors open and they are able to attend in the spring, they can be confident that God is in control and has guided them to this new place. It will mean a lot of sacrifices and loss for both of them but they are strangely at peace - even Anna, who really struggles with these big changes. Only God can give her that peace. I am challenged to be more like Anna - trusting, believing and confident in God's plan.

I'm so thankful that Matt & I are united both as a couple and through God as we go through this process. We can see how God has led us to this, by bringing us financial unity and resolve for the first time in our marriage, by our spiritual growth in the last year and by our trust in Him for all our needs. What a change from just a few years ago. God is good!

Halloween 2010

Halloween was a hit this year! I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

The only snag was that no one knew who Anna was. But, she looked awesome! She was dressed as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender - Seasons 1 and 2. (why yes.... I did make that costume.)

Claire was a princess. Beautiful as always.

Katherine was the cutest bumblebee ever.


Hot Cocoa - it's windy and cold here!

Maybe it's just me.

But, did you know that hot cocoa can be made with equal portions of cocoa and sugar? That means that it really isn't easier to buy a packet/mix. Warm up some milk in the microwave, add 1T of each and drink.

The only thing that's missing is: corn syrup solids, dairy product solids, vegetable oil, calcium carbonate and less than 2% of a lot of things that aren't on the food pyramid.


this is not a joke - Claire grows up.

Claire has decided to stop wearing skirts and dresses. At least on weekdays. She has explained to me very detailed and carefully why it is easier to wear pants to school.

It's funny to us that this is the same age that Anna decided to stop wearing dresses and skirts to school - but she was less precise about when she would or wouldn't be wearing anything. Claire is now committed to wearing jeans on school days. It just started this week and I found myself scrambling to find all the jeans I had packed away and put in the Salvation Army bag! Luckily I found them and we are determining which ones fit just right for her to be comfortable. She's not used to a defined waistline.

And she is so cute!!


Wedding Day Beauties

We are so proud to have 3 gorgeous, charming, unique and lovely girls.

And Congratulations to Abbe & Ryan! What a unique and beautiful and FUN wedding!


They are just 2 months apart in age and they had so much fun together!

We stayed in the same hotel and our rooms were across the hall. We propped the doors and let them run back and forth from room to room.

We discovered that not all parents let their 2/3 year old jump on the bed. Sorry guys - but he's just fine!

Missing that little guy already!


A good punishment

Yes, this is a photo of the girls' punishment.

They were bickering and fighting so they had to hold each others hands for 20 minutes. They ended up giggling and having a great time. Anna is standing in the photo because she really wanted me to get a picture of her behind. I managed to get her before she twirled around.

We had a great time at the Botanic Gardens. We enjoyed seeing the end of the season beauty this time with most of the plants in full size and bloom. It was lovely!


can I go over to my friend's house?

I've been struggling with what to do when the girls ask to have playdates at houses of kids I don't know. I don't want to let them into someone's home whom I've never met. My parents were really careful about that I still ended up in some strange situations. Thankfully God always protected me and I know that my parents were always praying for my safety.

So, I should not worry too much and I usually do trust my instincts.

Anna was playing with a little girl yesterday and asked me repeatedly about going to her house. I don't know anything about her but I have a rough idea of who her mom is. So, I was considering it.

Then, I was picking the girls up for school today and I saw her mom - completely unsteady and looking a bit delirious. I've seen her before at school and she usually seems fine. I asked another mom what she thought and she said the mom looked completely drunk. As I watched she nearly fell over twice while waiting to pick up her daughter from school. She was unable to walk even nearly straight as they headed towards their car. (!!)

So - I'm sticking with my instincts and I'm grateful that God provided me with a clear answer on this one. And I'm praying for her now. You never know what people are struggling with in their day to day lives.


Last week -

Thanks to all for wonderful gifts and notes and phone calls. I had a wonderful day! I'm loving my 30's!

Apple Orchard

We made it up to the Orchard early this year and picked some fabulous Gala & Jonamac apples. I think we may have got a few too many but we had such a blast!


first day of school Aug. 30th 2010

Ah yes - it has come (and gone now). Everyone got there without a hitch. And Daddy was along too! Did I mention how much we love having him work at home?

And check out my "new" wheels!! I love this stroller.


Our "new little boy" and school starts

I joke that I'm borrowing a boy since we didn't have one. I'm noticing that boys don't seem to cry so much. At least this little guy is just happy. I think we've sorted out the feeding issues and he is doing great now. And today I think I got his naps worked out, I think.

Mostly I'm really enjoying it. It's hard to be back to 2 naps at home a day again and fitting in feedings, etc. But, it is just so much fun to have him here. It has given my day some structure and schedule which makes me much happier really. And Katherine is enjoying him as a playmate. She is so cute playing with him!

Now we are halfway through the first week of school. There are always emotional issues around here associated with schedule changes. Turns out I'm so mean, I'm not fair and sometimes I am the hated one. Mostly I can handle it - the worst days involve lots of prayer and counting to 200 or more. I think that perhaps Katherine is struggling the most. Having A. is kindof like having a new baby (except he's older) and then her sisters are gone. I've been playing with her a lot more but she's still struggling with attention and is whining and grunting a lot.

I have pictures from the first day of school - they are coming soon!

The end of summer

We had such a splendid August. Our finances and my new job did not allow us to travel at all. So mostly the girls spent it with the neighbors.

Did I mention what fabulous neighbors we have? The kids are nice, easy to play with and often end up at our house.

We set up an impromptu tea party one day. There was just enough warning to allow everyone time to dress up and for me to pull together some snacks. It was all enjoyed on our back porch.

Katherine wore that dress for 3 days straight.

Another day some kids came over and enjoyed Rocky & Bullwinkle episodes with my kids. It was just too hot to be outside anymore that day. After a little bit of that they all headed outside to play in the sprinkler.

Love it!


A boy friend

Katherine has found a new friend.

The neighbor boy is going into 5th grade and has been trying to get her to play with him for a while. Today she decided that all this attention was nice and she would talk to him and play with him.

I just watched him walk her across the street, holding hands for safety, to go play at his house with his little sister and my girls. It was so precious and he was just thrilled. It's her first time allowed over there without me. I've been waiting until she was well enough potty trained. She informed me that if she pooped she would have to come back home.

Katherine has a wonderful gift of laughter, cuteness and language beyond her years. Everyone who meets her just falls in love with that. She keeps us all laughing and smiling around here.

The new schedule begins

Day 1 Watching the baby.

So - I thought he was about 7 months, turns out he's nearly 9.

I'm not sure how to handle the feeding. He does not like to eat. His mom said this is an ongoing issue. He's pretty skinny too. So - he needs to eat. But, he's just not interested. It's like force feeding, which I'm totally not comfortable with.

My kids all loved to eat, they didn't love all the options but they did usually want to eat when they were hungry. I'm hoping his aversion to food is just related to the new surroundings but it is a bit discouraging and I'm insecure enough about my ability to do this anyways.

I'm praying he guzzles his bottle after nap, but I know that breastfed babies really struggle with bottles so... He is happy though and takes great naps. He is a cute little guy and the girls just adore having him here.

I'm sure it will get easier as the days go by.


Katherine's Party

Katherine loves being with other kids. She is so cute that everyone likes her. She has made friends with all the kids in the neighborhood and they really take care of her. So, I didn't really have any kids her own age to invite to her party but it was just perfect for her. We got a "jump-o-lene" and everyone took turns jumping in it with her.

The heat was intense, the mosquitos were fierce but everyone had a ton of fun.

Katherine's Birthday Day 1

We had to split Katherine's birthday up this year due to Anna & Claire being so sick on the actual day plus pouring rain all day.

But, Katherine still had a great day and was ecstatic about all the decorations and special treatment that day. She loved to hear us sing Happy Birthday. We sang it many many times that day including before cake and after.

We had planned strawberry cupcakes but we had to move the party to Friday so we took her out to the local bakery and let her pick out a little cake to have on Wednesday. Anna and Claire were well enough for the dinner hour to sing and share cake with her.


school over the summer

Why is it when I sit down to do school work with the kids they whine, cry and throw things? (Okay, just one of them does *all* of that.)

When Matt sits down with them they just love it. They enjoy doing the school work, they work hard and do a great job.

Go Dad!


lots of rain

and it's beautiful around here.

and humid.

and warm.

and there are a gazillion bugs. I get a new mosquito bite every time I go outside.

But today the kids had a great time outside with water from the hose, some chalk and some crazy fun neighbor kids.

And the only treatment for grumpluenza that I know of is takeout.

The "medicine" is on its way.

Mom would like a day off

So I'm not sick. Not really. I am seriously living on the wrong side of the bed today though. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings (yes, that happens a lot around here) so... could I just have a day off?

A friend suggested wearing an "Out of Order" sign on these kind of days. Anytime someone comes to me with a whine, problem, fight or question I could refer to the sign.

I suppose it really is like being sick. It's an emotion kind of sickness. Grumpluenza.


VBS, the end

Okay. A long week. A fun week.

Katherine was very sick for a few days and stayed home (thanks Matt). Those happened to be my days teaching.

I enjoyed the week. I loved getting to know other moms/teachers and seeing these kids learn about God.

The concluding show is tonight. I always get tears in my eyes watching these little ones sing. As mine get older I see things differently. I now KNOW that they don't stay little forever. It's no longer just a cute saying.

Oh - and I'm glad the week is over. The kids and I are exhausted!


VBS, what the teacher thinks

Vacation Bible School.

Remember that? Lots of kids running around singing about Jesus?

This year I'm helping in a classroom again. And this year I care about the kids more than ever. I've always just sort of put up with the kids, tried to keep them calm and really found myself intimidated by them.

God has changed me. I care about them. I care about their hearts, their futures, and who they are as people.

I want to encourage them and teach them. These are new feelings for me with a group of kids I don't know. I've always felt that way about my own kids but usually I don't care much for other people's kids. I mean, they are cute and fine but I wasn't really compassionate towards them.

So - for the first time I find VBS to be fun. I want to have fun with them and impact their lives. Wow God. He gets all the praise on this.

Note: it is day 2. check back in at the end. :)

Dad Post: Slowing my pace for the little sick kiddo

Nothing is a better reminder of the franticness of life than a morning with a sick child. Katherine is sick, and Angie and the girls are out this morning. So I'm home taking care of her. My mind keeps running through the checklist of "real work" that I need to get done, but the little one sleeping on the couch is a living plea to slow things down for the day.

She feels yucky. She's running a moderate fever, and has thrown up once this morning already. She is so under the weather that she doesn't even want to watch Dora the Explorer (and TV is a rare treat around here.)

Angie's parting advice this morning was to just coddle Katherine. So I sat with her on the couch for three-quarters of an hour and watched her drift off to sleep, a forced slowing of my usual frantic morning routine.

For several minutes she tossed about. Then the tossing slowed and she settled into one position and stared at the ceiling. Her feet swayed back and forth for a while, then they, too seemed to find a comfortable position. Like little butterflies, her eyelids fluttered open and closed -- rapidly at first, but as the minutes ticked by, they remained closed longer than they remained open. Her fingers twisted and untwisted the corners of her "special blankie," the now-tattered crocheted blanket hand made by her Grammy. When the busy hands finally went limp, I knew Katherine was asleep.

After carefully extracting myself from the couch, I did my best to silently accomplish a few chores. Only with a slow and deliberate pace could I get these done without waking Katherine. With only a few things done I sat down to write this. Now, as I glance up mid-paragraph, I'm noticing Katherine is not asleep anymore. She's staring at me across the room. I'm giving her little smiles, which she is weakly returning. It's time for me to head back over to the couch and watch the minute hand tick away as I absorb what it means to be a father.


trojan eats my pc

got a virus.

first ever.


Luckily I'm married to a computer guy and I'm a recovering computer girl. So, it's all fixed.

And I got a mac.

no more viruses for me.

To pee and not to poop

I imagine that all my readers (yes - you 3 know who you are) are checking here daily to hear more about potty training. TV can wait, crying kids can wait, how is that girl managing with the potty anyways?!

So, it is interesting. Katherine is not one to do things my way. She decided that going pee in the potty was a good idea. (She has been slightly motivated with Swedish Fish) So, she goes. She has not had any accidents since she decided that. Now pooping is something different. She thinks that if she holds it long enough it'll just go away. And if she has a little she can just wipe it off and no one will notice.

Not notice?! On your dress? On the floor? On yourself??

I'll just say that I have managed to hold it together. Matt has managed to hold it together (he is way more squeamish than me). And Katherine has managed to let it out once a week.

We are just a few weeks away from Miralax. I am a bit nervous about what that'll do though.

There, you've been updated. Hooray.


a stay at home job

I have prayed all year for a way to help get us out of debt.

I have also pleaded with God that it please not involve me leaving my kids with someone else.

I may complain at times about my girls - but my heart is here, my purpose is here. I am fulfilled being a mom.

God answered.

We'll be welcoming a baby into our home. Not ours, but someone elses. A little boy, 7 months, cute and extremely active (think crawling at 5 months, pulling up and standing by 6).

I am scared but excited. Here is a perfect answer to my prayer. The way I connected with this family could only be a God-thing. I am full of doubts, but God says I'll do great, that he has planned this out for me.

Now I pray for strength and patience.


you can't make me

Yes, she's nearly 3 years old. Just a few more weeks really.

She knows how to use the potty. But, she will only do it if she wants to.

The last few weeks have been a test. What will Mommy do if I don't use the potty, will she be mad or not?

I've not been mad. I've been sweet, literally. Sweets are awarded for success and nothing happens for going on the floor, or on the rug, or in your shoes, or on the front porch.

And tonight she actually woke up to go pee. This is a big step for us.

Could we be nearly done? I won't hold my breath.

I've got to go wash the days "spoils".

A new start - again. :)

3 months off.

Every so often I have things I want to say - we'll see how it goes to drop them here again.


moving on

A note to say, you won't find me here much.

I feel the need to keep to myself, for my own health and sanity.

I hope to connect with those who matter the most in other ways - hopefully face to face, but if not that then email or phone.

I think I'll leave the blog here for a while.


Claire is 6! (party pictures)

Claire is a gem, a true sweetheart and has blossomed so much the last few months. She had her biggest party yet (7 friends) and had such a wonderful time. She was just glowing the whole time and was fine with being in charge too!
She picked to have a "Dress Up Party". So, we had jewelry, clothes, a little makeup, colored hair extension and the never-to-be-forgotten Feather Boas!

The girls are getting ready. We are putting in the hair, choosing outfits (if needed) and so on. The little girl in pants and a shirt just was not a girly girl at all - I felt kindof bad for her...

They are laughing at something funny Anna said. The only fighting we had at the party was during lunch - they fought about who could tell their story.
I just loved these girls.

He not only presented Claire with the cake, he decorated it! Thanks to his parents for all those calligraphy lessons. Way to go Daddy!

Claire led a game of freeze dance. This has always been the girl's favorite party game. Which is good because I never plan any games! I had one craft for them to do and that was plenty.

Claire received a beautiful handmade apron and hat. She just loves it! And she has been sharing all her birthday presents so well. She has such a generous heart.

And then we have the cleanup. The whole house looked just like this rug. It took hours to vacuum them all up. I will be finding these feathers for years I'm sure. But, they were so much fun!! And each girl got to take one home. I am officially recommending Shindigz.com for party supplies.

Posted by Picasa