Friday, November 30, 2007

We are Adopting!!

I mentioned a few posts back we were looking into adopting again. Well, it looks as though it is going to happen. Adoption is always risky and there are lots of hurdles to jump, but we are moving forward. The baby is not due until the end of February. Please pray for our birth mother. For me it is always bittersweet. While we are beyond ecstatic, as a mother I can not shake what the birth mother must be going through. So, if you think of it please remember her.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

That Thing

"Can you get that thingy on the thing behind that thing?"

That is the question Zach asked me today. He then had the nerve to be upset with me because I did not know what he was talking about!:)


I have been busy this week planning our Advent season. In the past we knew this would be a busy season and just took it as it came. A few years ago we decided to try and control the insanity a little. We have a box with 25 smaller boxes and I will put a treat and note in each one. The notes will be some sort of Christmas activity for the day. They range from decorate the tree, bake cookies, wrap a siblings present, to eat a candy cane. I will put them in the night before so I can be more realistic about these activities actually taking place. The kids LOVE this tradition and it does make the entire month seem festive. I will make and Advent wreath which we will light at our Sabbath dinners. We will start with one and add one each week. Do you have any Advent traditions?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Zach!!

Today Zachary is 4 years old. Everything you have ever heard about being a boy is wrapped up in Zachary. He is tiring, but so much fun. Zachary and I had a little extra time to bond when he was a baby. He had to have surgery at 5 weeks old and was in the hospital with RSV for a week when he was 11 weeks old. He has always been my sweet, but VERY active and athletic boy. His birthday menu is hilarious. We always let them pick a junk cereal for their birthday. Zach's pick was Raisin Bran. His siblings are so disappointed. They were really looking forward to a treat. His dinner choice is chicken nuggets and Doritos. Now we are off to Chocolate World in Hershey to celebrate. Happy Birthday Zachary!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Shopping

The outlets here opened at midnight last night. I debated most all day as to if I should go or not. I decided not to. I am not really a shopper and staying up all night did not appeal to me. I did, however, go out this morning. My first stop was Target. I told my husband I was not going to wait for a parking spot. If it was that busy, than I would just come home. Well, I found one right away! I had so much success at Target that I decide to go across the street to the outlets. Again, I am not a shopper so when I say go to the outlets I really am saying I will be going to one or two of my favorite stores. After my first stop there I had spent all of my Christmas budget for the week. Now I am trying to decide of it was really that big of a deal to go out today. I do not think so. I think you have to be one of the midnighters to really get the deals. But hey, at least I can say I crossed a few more names off of the shopping list. Which brings to mind a question. Are you a last minute shopper or are you all ready done?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We have been busy today with Thanksgiving preparations. The maple pecan pie has just been pulled from the oven and the sweet potatoes are in. The gingerbread pumpkin trifle just has to be put together now. I am trying to prepare everything to the point of just having to put it in the oven to cook tomorrow. The turkey will be smoked to save room in the oven. I am excited about my turkey. I am trying a new way to season it. I'll let you know how it turns out. I am hoping by preparing early there will be time for lots of parade and football watching.

I wanted to wish you all a truly blessed Thanksgiving. I pray you will have a time of thanksgiving with those that you love. Cherish what God has given you and savor the precious time you have with friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

5 Things I love About the Fall

One thing we have really enjoyed about Veritas Academy are the great feasts and celebrations in each grade. It has inspired me to be more creative in our homeschool celebrations. The first grade does and Indian Feast. Sarah was soooo excited. I love all of the fun Thanksgiving activities to do with the children. This coming week will be full of them.

The first fire of the season is always fun. This is the first place we have lived where we had a fireplace.

The foliage is absolutely beautiful!

I look forward every year to our trip to the pumpkin patch. My one and only rule for picking pumpkins: You have to be able to carry your own pumpkin.

I love the fall and spring here because the Amish are always out working in the fields. Everywhere you look they are harvesting their crops.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


For the first time we have decided not to travel this Thanksgiving and stay home to do our own thing. I was just home for a week in October with the kids and we will spend time with both families the week after Christmas. Not to mention the price of gas. Part of me is so happy to prepare the meal. The other part is thinking how fun can this be? To fix this huge feast and then sit down to a table full of children who would more than likely rather have chicken nuggets and potato chips. Regardless, I will "do it up big." I just like to. One day they will love the tradition and appreciate the work. I will think of ways to include them each in the preparations. We will have turkey, of course. I am thinking of smoking it to keep my oven free for side dishes. For the potatoes I will do parmesan mashed potatoes. I love this recipe because you can make it up to three days prior to serving it and it still tastes great with gravy. I just found this recipe for my cranberry sauce. I think I will try it. I am undecided on the italian stuffing with sausage I usually do or a mushroom stuffing I found in a magazine. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without my mom's corn pudding or Bruce's mom's green beans. There will be sweet potato casserole and rolls with honey butter. For dessert I will have Bruce choose between this Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle or a Maple Pecan Pie. I would do both, but with my kids being so little it would never all be eaten. I am up for changing any of my dishes if yours looks better. So, what are you planning?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This Week's Feast

This weekend we will feast on Sunday. Bruce is taking the older two to a symphony performance Saturday night. It's a violin concert. His hope is to encourage them to practice, practice, practice so they can one-day play like her. I am going to predict the reactions. Sarah will be in awe and come home to practice constantly for a few weeks. Isaac will shrug his shoulders in a good for her , but not for me, kind of way. He's not there. Dad says he has to stay in it until he can read music well enough to play when and what he wants. What he doesn't realize is that if he would just work at it he would be there very soon. Anyway, back to feasting. When we feast on Sunday I usually do a brunch after church. We are out at 10:30. We will have a bacon and cheese quiche, a fruit salad, something I do with sausage, cheese, and party bread, and some pumpkin bread. So, that is our plan. What is yours?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Start the Tradition Now

Nancy Wilson posted on Sabbath feasting a few days ago. She had a lot of good things to say. Like her, I have heard so many people say it is not for them now. They will wait until their children are older. I cannot stress to you how important it is to start when they are young. I have also heard those with older children say I wish I had started when they were younger. It just seems awkward to them now. Starting traditions when they are younger is definitely easier. I know it is hard to get a nice meal on the table with little ones all around. Believe me I know!! Enlist your husbands help. Put something in the crock pot or a piece of meat in the oven that you do not have to think about until it is done. Ham, whole chickens, and turkeys are good for this. Put a couple of extras in a bag salad and you are on your way to a great meal. Frozen rolls are a huge hit in my house. You only have to put them out a few hours ahead to make sure the thaw and rise and they taste homemade. In my home we only do dessert for our Sabbath feast, so anything is great. I do not have to slave over it. Sometimes it is just ice cream sundaes. Do not make it more stressful than it has to be. Do anything you can ahead of time. If you have a separate dining room, then you can set the table on Friday. If you cannot swing the meal quite yet, at least make sure your children know the specialness of the Sabbath. It is a tradition they will never forget.

Getting it All In

The most difficult part of homeschooling for me has been getting in all of the extras. The reference books, the memory work, art projects, extra reading, etc. I feel like I have two options. 1. Finding creative ways which do not fit in the 8 to 3 school model. 2. Lowering the standard and make myself believe that the extras do not matter. 2 is not an option for us. First my husband believes in raising the bar it would never do to lower it. Second I am just an extras kind of person. The messier the work the better. I cannot stand the thought of a beautiful book sitting on my shelf and the children never seeing it because I did not take the time. So, looks like we are looking for creative ways to fit it in. It takes us 5 to 6 hours a day to do the everyday work. This is if we do not do co-op or anything else during the day. I decided some of the extras would have to happen at night and on the weekends. Doing art together as a family on Sunday afternoon has been fun. It helps that Dad is home to keep Jack away. Reading some of the historical fiction as the family read aloud has been successful. We are working on a lap book now. I knew there would never be time to just sit down and do it. We are doing one thing a day and then putting it in a zip lock. When it is all done we will assemble the book. I am looking for more ideas. How do you get it all in?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sabbath Feast

I am late planning our feast for this weekend. Because I am behind and have not done any shopping, I am going to rely on what I already have. We will be having London Broil in an oriental marinade, broccoli casserole, and garlic smashed potatoes. You can find the recipes for these dishes at Feasting Fun, but I will post them here later. With all of the candy we have right now I am skipping desert. Anyone else feasting this week?

Please Pray

I usually do not use this as a forum for prayer requests, but I have two heartbreaking requests. Last Saturday we received word of two separate families whose babies died. One was a three year old who had suffered from cancer for the past two years. Her mother is one of Bruce's former students. She and her husband are so young to go through such heartache. Please pray for them. The other were a set of twins who had a tragic accident. It was a freak accident that could happen to anyone. I cannot imagine losing them both this way. So, please hug your babies and pray for these families.

Potty Training, Again!!

You read the title and thought I was talking about one of my children, right? If I were only so lucky! When I went to the SPCA I said I would only consider a dog who was house broken. The paper said Rusty was. Well, they lied and I can't complain because I begged for the dog. Actually, he shows signs of being trained but I think being in the shelter threw him off. I heard dogs would not relieve themselves in the place they are living. That seemed to be true because he goes to Sarah's room to do his business. Since this is only a problem at night, I decided to put him in the bathroom. If he is locked in there I am thinking he will hold it until morning. Well,he barked and barked. Bruce decides to sleep upstairs with the children and leave the dog to me. I think okay, he will not relieve himself in the bed(I hope) so I will put him in the bed with me and not let him get out. So long story short, after a night of not sleeping to make sure he did not leave my bed, we got out of bed to the absence of a dog mess!! Woohoo!!