Thursday, April 30, 2009

Funny Sam

As you know, we spent last weekend in Nashville, and both nights we stayed in a hotel. Small children (and large children too!) are fascinated and easily entertained in a hotel! Riding the elevator and pushing its buttons top the list of hotel fun. Sam and Leah patiently (no reluctantly!) took turns being the "button pusher" throughout the weekend.
Last night after church we had to take Jimmy by the hospital to check on a patient. As we approached the parking garage, Sam excitedly yelled, "I see a hotel! Can we stay in it?" Jimmy told him that it was not actually a hotel, and no we could not stay in a hotel tonight. We were going to our own house. Sam replied, "Please can we stay in a hotel?" Jimmy told him that it costs a lot of money to stay in a hotel and asked him if he had any money?......Sam very calmly stated, "You don't need money to stay in a hotel, you just push a button!" We all just laughed and laughed!

Recently when I was hugging Sam and kissing him all over his sweet little face, I pointed out that he had such pretty lips. Sam looked at me and said, "I don't have lips. Only girls have lips!" I realized that he was confusing lips with lipstick. So I touched his lips and told him that those were his lips. That everyone had lips.......he responded, "No, that is my chin!" So then I touched his chin and said, "This is your chin, and these are your lips." Next, he touched his chin and said, "This in not my chin.....this is my beak! Ha! Ha! Ha! We have been laughing about Sam's beak all week long!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Homeschool Writing Assignments

As the close of the school year rapidly approaches, we all get a little bit of spring fever. Suddenly all of those subjects and assignments that we have been diligently working on since August become dreary and even tedious. Writing was one of our subjects that seemed to suffer the most. We use the writing curriculum Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), and while I do love this writing program, the children were weary of the same type of writing assignments week after week.

So I had a great idea! We ditched the last six week's IEW assignments, and I assigned them letter writing instead. Now, Olivia and Julie already write letters to friends and some family members a couple of times a week, and Clay will compose the occasional letter, but I am requiring more than this. I made a list of family members and church members who would enjoy receiving a letter or who could use some encouragement. I typed the names and addresses for the children. They are required to write a at least two quality letters (meaning more than three or four sentences) a week and include an illustration if desired. I am encouraging them to use some of the writing techniques learned from IEW, but I am not giving them a checklist of required elements.

This is working for us!

To read about other great ideas visit We Are That Family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Monday

Sausage and cheese muffins
Banana sauce muffins

Frozen raviolis and sauce

Steak shish-ka-bobs, salad, baked potatoes
Mexican baked chicken breasts, salsa lentils, corn on cob
BBQ chicken salad, rolls
Chicken packets, green beans, salad
French bread pizza, salad

Please visit for more delicious menus.

Marathon Recap

Please visit Olivia's blog for her recap of this monumental occasion. I must say again, I am so very proud of both Olivia and Jimmy. I still tear up when I think about Jimmy crossing that finish line.

Country Music Marathon

Congratulations to Jimmy and Olivia!!
In Nashville on Saturday, Jimmy completed his first full marathon, and Olivia completed her second half-marathon. I am so proud of both of them!

Jimmy and Olivia BEFORE the marathon/half marathon
Olivia and Jimmy AFTER their races!

Our whole family traveled to Nashville for the weekend to give support to Jimmy and Olivia.
Julie, Clay, Leah, Sam, and I were onhand to cheer Olivia as she approached her finish line--well, I actually DID NOT see her! She was running with so many people (22,749 runners), that I missed seeing her! Clay and Julie were on the opposite side of the street, and they saw her, and Olivia said that she saw me with my camera in my hand, but I did not see her, and so I do not have a picture of her during the race.
Olivia with her half marathon medal. She finished 5th place in her age group!!
We found her soon after she finished, and she was exhausted! The temperature was very hot for a race---it got up to at least 85! In addition to the heat, the race course was tough because of the many hills. Olivia reported that very little of the course was flat; it was either uphill or down. After she had rested a little while in the shade, we all moved to the marathon finish line area and began waiting for Jimmy. By this time Sam was asleep in my arms, so I gave the camera to Julie. We all watched for Jimmy, and we made friends with a couple of ladies standing beside us. They helped us watch for him. There were 3900 marathon runners, so it wasn't quite as difficult to find Jimmy.
All of our hearts just burst with pride and tears were shed as we spotted Jimmy, rounding the curve just a tenth of a mile from the finish line! 26.2 miles!! Wow!! What an enormous accomplishment! Jimmy trained many, many miles and many, many hours for this goal. I am so proud of him and his dedication and determination.
Way to go Jimmy!

Here are some pictures from the weekend.....
Sam, fishing in the grass! Jimmy bought Sam this CARS fishing pole the day before we left for Nashville. He carried it around and "fished" everywhere we went all weekend long!
patiently waiting for Olivia to cross the finish line
Crossing the bride over the Cumberland River to get to the finish line at LP Field

Posing with the "Y" from a YCMA booth at the expo the day before the race. Runners must attend the expo to pick up their race packet which includes their race number, chip for their shoe, a race t shirt, and various coupons and other items.

eating breakfast before going to the race.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Tough Run

Yesterday Julie and I ran 8 miles around noon. It was HOT! It truly was a miserable run. It is just April! I don't even want to think about running in July and August. Usually when I run I feel great, like I really could just keep on running forever. But not today!

The first couple of miles were ok.....we were going pretty slowly, but by mile 4, I was dying for a break! We stopped at 4.3, and drank water and ate some GU. I really wanted to just get in the car and go home! But 8 miles was the plan, so we began to run again. Between miles 4.3 and 6, I really didn't think I was going to make it! My head hurt, my knee hurt, my side hurt, and I felt like I was going to throw up! I racked my brain trying to figure out what was wrong. I ran 8 miles last week with no problem. Did I drink too much cofffee this morning? Not enough coffee? Too much breakfast? Not enough? Was I already tired from running 6 miles on both Monday and Tuesday? I guess it was the heat. This was really our first hot day, and here we were running in the glaring sunshine at noon!

I perked up a little bit at mile 6. The GU must have kicked in.....but by 6.5, I was wilting again. Not even Adam Lambert singing Play That Funky Music White Boy (downloaded on my iPod) could inspire me! (Yes, my favorite idols this year are Adam, Danny, and Kris....yes I have their some of their songs on my iPod, and yes I vote for them each week!)
The rest of the run had me glancing at my watch every tenth of a mile, wondering when the misery would end!

Finally! We saw the car when we were at 8.2, and mercifully we walked the rest of the way.
I felt somewhat better when we stopped, and Julie said, "That was a tough run!" So, it wasn't just me! It must have been the heat.

I am sharing this experience in the hopes of encouraging my friends who have recently begun running. Some days are great, some days are ok, and some are just plain miserable! Don't give up!

I am resting until Monday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Storage Room

I finally did it!!! I cleaned out the dreaded storage room yesterday! Last weekend, when my mother was here she needed to use the sewing machine (she was fixing a curtain for our playroom), and I was appalled that she had to go in the storage room. You literally couldn't see the floor. I was afraid that she would fall! Since this room had gotten so messy, we had just started throwing things in there instead of taking the time to put each item in its correct place.

Here are some before pictures.

This is my gift wrapping and scrapbooking table. The scrapbooking supplies are stored behind this table. The wrapping paper is to the right. The ribbon is stored across the room.

Here is a pile of junk!

A view of stuff just thrown in the floor. I had cleaned out the children's closets earlier this year and just put the bags and boxes of give away stuff in the floor.

Another view of piled up stuff.

As you can see, you can't really get to the I had been going through the hand me downs, and I had gotten distracted before finishing the job.

Now for the after pictures!

The table is cleared and ready for working. The scrapbooking supplies are all neatly organized and stored.

A view of the empty floor.

Now you can get to the ribbon! I still need to paint a square with chalkboard paint on the front of these storage boxes. The labels with numbers are falling off. I have a master list with the number of each box and its contents hanging on the side of the shelf.

The sewing and computer corner

Shelves of miscellaneous items...mostly kitchen and food serving type things...items I use coolers, seasonal items, lunch boxes, ice buckets, etc.

A view of the "junk pile"---now you can see the floor and actually walk around!

All of this actually only took about 3 hours. I am so happy with the results. I just want to keep walking down there and look at it!

Please visit OrgJunkie for more cabinet and closet makeovers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Contenders Campout

Last Friday Clay attended the biannual Contenders of the Faith Father and Son Campout. Clay eagerly anticipates this event every April and October. It is his chance to spend a couple of days surrounded by little boys and their daddies. Since Jimmy's schedule is so unpredictable, my daddy has happily agreed to accompany Clay on the last three campouts. If Jimmy is not on call, he is able to join them later on in the campout.
The mothers spend a lot of time preparing the men yummy camping food. They have a feast! Their camping supplies usually take up the whole back of the pick up truck.
This latest camping trip was a little different than the previous ones.....instead of camping on the ground in tents, the boys camped out on a houseboat! The older men slept inside the boat, and the young men slept up top on the deck.

Clay on the camping boat
Levi and Clay
Pops (my daddy) grilling their supper
Clay enjoying his supper
Clay and Pops--notice that Clay is wearing a bathing suit and has wet hair. He and the other boys had been swimming and fishing in the very cold water! The grown-ups were wisely dressed in long pants and jackets!
When Clay and Pops left Friday afternoon for the campout, Sam just cried and cried! He wanted to go so badly. I just couldn't let him go overnight on a boat. I do plan to let him go with the boys next fall. Happily, Saturday morning after the race Jimmy took Sam out to the houseboat for the day. Sam was estatic! When Jimmy told him it was time to go camping, he promptly handed me his pacifier and said, "Bye Mama!"
ready to go!
Jared and Sam
Jimmy said that Pops spent most of the day Saturday chasing Sam all around the boat. I heard that Sam was nonstop the entire time!
Here are some pictures of Sam and Pops:
Here is Sam helping Kelly drive the boat.

Brave little boys fishing in the cold water
Clay and Sam both had such a wonderful time with their daddy and Pops! Thank you to both of these very special men for providing them with such special memories! Sam has not stopped talking about going camping with Pops since he got home!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Keepers At Home Tea Party

Last Monday night at our Keepers at Home monthly meeting, all three of the girls' groups joined together and had a tea party. The mothers brought fancy finger foods, pretty plates, napkins, and cups, and provided a vase of fresh flowers for each table. The girls enjoyed their delicious goodies and hot tea served to them by the mothers.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Olivia's 14th Birthday

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Olivia celebrated her 14th birthday today. Since it was Sunday, we had to wake up earlier than usual for Olivia to open her presents and celebrate with a special birthday breakfast.

Sleepy birthday girl with her presents

fun glass beads.....just what a creative girl needs!

the decorated table

waiting to be served Monkey Bread for the birthday breakfast

After our church service, we came home for a birthday lunch. Olivia had requested Chicken Pesto Pasta which I served with salad.
Olivia had a relaxing day reading her new books and watching her new movie, Fireproof, with the family (minus Sam and me......Sam was not interested in that movie!).
After our evening church service, we took Olivia out for a birthday supper. We ate at Newk's, one of Olivia's favorite restaurants.
We ended the day by singing Happy Birthday to Olivia, and then she blew out the 14 candles on her cookie cake.

It was a nice day!

Happy Birthday Olivia!

It was 14 years ago that I began the most precious role of my life.....I became a mother. Olivia has been pure joy, and truly is a blessing from God.