Every Day Life – Spring Pictures

 So, you can tell it’s been busy here since I go into blogging hibernation.  :)  Honestly, after Luke 14 is over, I end up in this overwhelmed funk and it takes my brain a few weeks to recover and feel like I have anything creative to give.  This year was better than before, except that I committed to teach at a Disability Ministry Conference a month later.  I know a month is a long time in between, but add a few things out of my control in there and it’s just been crazy for too long!  So anyway, here are two posts with some pictures of this spring.
 My boy turned 9!!  It’s so hard to believe.  Some days he just still seems like he still needs so much direction, and then on other days I send him to ride his bike or walk the dog around the block alone and he seems so big! 

He is teaching me so much… about myself, about my relationship with the Lord, about life.  He is so much like I was as a kid, like I am now.  He helps me understand myself, really.  But that helps me understand him too.  For that I’m thankful!


My parents came down for Luke 14 and Jacob’s birthday.  I am trying really hard to take pictures of every day things so I don’t find out I’ve missed my chance.  I don’t have enough pictures of my kids with their grandparents.
 
Mattie and our neighbor getting a few quiet minutes without the older boys in the mix.
Mattie moving her stumps (home of several imaginary friends) to a safer place in the yard) with Daddy’s help.  (I could watch my man work on big boy toys all day long!) 
These precious feet I struggle to keep clean in the warmer months.  My barefoot girl who loves to wear dresses and dig for worms…
Enjoying a good read like Mommy… 
 Chatting on her phone like Mommy…
 
Dancing… totally not like Mommy! 

Happy Birthday, Mattie!

My little girl turned FIVE yesterday!  I just can’t believe it.  In some ways she is still so little… She still loves to snuggle, she still requires so much involvement in so many ways, she still wants to be carried around for Pete’s sake!  She is still very attached to her mama – no bonding issues there!  But then she seems so big at other times… she wants to do as much by herself as possible (or more).  She wants to do everything Jacob does.  She wants to do everything everyone does, for that matter.  And there is more opinion, sass, and drama in her thirty-eight pounds and forty-two inches than I would have thought humanly possible.  For real.  I have often said about her that “I have to wake up ready to face her” every day, and that about sums it up.  I have hope that there will be a time where there are fewer battles.  (If there won’t be, don’t tell me anytime soon.)  I also know that the spunk and stubbornness will glorify God one day… He has given her the strength to move mountains when the whole world is against her!
As challenging as Mattie is, she is also full of life.  She makes us laugh more than all the rest of us put together.  She is spunky, resilient, thoughtful, complimentary, forgiving, daring and helpful.  She does want to do the right thing, even though it often eludes her initially!  She is very creative and seems to have dancing in her bones.  Dancing truly seems to be her heartbeat.
She is also all about sparkles and glitter… the sparkly-er the better, as far as she’s concerned.  Here she is opening a pair of silver glitter shoes I got for her in a moment of insanity.  I got them because I know that she‘d love them.  I, however, think they are incredibly tacky!  But I’m fairly certain I’m going to see a lot of tacky in the days ahead, so I might as well get used to it.  It’s a battle I’m (often) willing to skip.
I fear we’ll see them every day.  (And I did not make her pose like that.  She still loves to dance!)  She is also very excited of late about all of the new hairstyles available now that her hair is longer.  (And now that I think about it, is complaining less about it not being blonde and straight.) 
She received her long awaited pillow-pet. The gift that has brought the most laughter thus far, though, is the whoopie cushion Jacob bought with his own money.  :)  He bought her that and some bubble bath, because he knows she keeps using up all of our shampoo in the tub when she’s not supposed to.
She wanted chocolate cake with pink icing.  We made the buttercream icing pink by cooking down raspberries and using the liquid to replace the milk in the recipe.  She was very pleased with it!  And I was excited to have a cake for her that she could eat until her heart’s content (because it was totally safe).

She also decided she wanted to decorate the cake herself!  Many of you know I am a woman who will never, ever fight someone over a job that involves anything in the kitchen (especially one as stressful as a birthday cake) so I was more than happy to pass this on to her!  No pressure for me and incredible pleasure for her!  She chose the toy set (we don’t buy cake toppers anymore, just small toy sets), frosted the cake and sprinkled it exactly how she wanted it.  She has also played hours with Rapunzel et al since she licked the icing off their feet.  :)

Happy FIFTH Birthday, Mattison Joy!!  I can’t imagine life without you in it, my girl who loves to wear princess dresses and dig for worms.  I’m so thankful God gave you to us!

We love you, Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day to Robert!
The kids were really excited to celebrate Father’s Day this year, and I was proud of myself for actually completing two creative projects!  Robert is a great father and worthy of celebration.  :)
Superheroes are a part of every day life here right now, so I used this idea for a Superhero Survival Kit.  The kids were so excited about this one and loved helping with it.  I was pretty impressed both of them kept a secret!

Here are some pics we took dressed up in all things Daddy.  I’ve wanted to do this in years past, and knew that Jacob’s almost old enough that it wouldn’t be cute anymore.  I made a framed collage for him to put on his dresser, and the kids had photo frames they made at Lowe’s to fill.
Silliness in Robert’s big white undershirts.
White button ups.

Robert’s hobby gear.
Trying really hard not to smile in the hats he wears every day.
We love you, Daddy!  You’re the best!

Eleven years ago today…

Eleven years ago today, I married my best friend.  
 Our first nine years were relatively uneventful regarding disagreements, but the last two years have brought a good dose of challenges.  Moving, extended family situations, depression and other health issues in addition to our every day life have taxed us and stretched our relationship a bit more than I would have liked!  But those waves that have been made create a bond that was stronger than before we had to hold tight together.  It was a good day to celebrate what we have after all is said and done.  
I was so excited when we got married.  I can still remember how fun it was to have “boy things” in my closet as we settled in together… his camo coat, dirty socks, guns and huge boots!  I am endeared to the play in the dirt kind of boys, and Robert was definitely that!  I said then that getting married was the beginning of a lifelong slumber party with my best friend.  And while the last two years brought a set of challenges that weren’t so slumber party-ish, we’re back to the fun slumber party again.  And I’m enjoying the laughter and rest!
We are so much more comfortable in our own skin now after eleven years, the “skin” that we’ve found together.  We’re brave enough to make waves, and we’re learning to help each other swim.  We’re trusting enough to try and look for each other’s heart on issues.  We’re in deep enough to be real and appreciate it from one another.  And thankfully, we can handle knowing that we’ve blown it and are usually willing to get through to the other side, though sometimes that takes a while!  (We still have a long way to go!)
God is good to hang in there with us.  This gift of marriage still blows me away when I think about it, really.  A relationship like we have with no. one. else. on the planet!  How cool is that?
And if it was my choice all over again?  I’d choose the same man to have as my other half.  I can’t wait to see how much better it gets.

EIGHT!

So he turned eight six weeks ago.  Better late than never!

I just can’t believe eight years have really passed since I became a mom!  
Jacob is definitely growing up in a lot of ways.  He is still a perfectionist who hates to let someone down.  He is very tenderhearted with people for whom he cares deeply.  He is, however, still ALL BOY.  By that I mean Jacob prefers to build forts and play all day, rather than do any sort of school.  He antagonizes his sister at every opportunity that avails itself.  He makes a gun or sword out of everything that touches his fingers, and proceeds to shoot anything in the general direction.  Jacob loves to build and create things, Hot Wheels tracks and Legos being the latest favorites.  He loves to read, but much more so if the book is non-fiction or involves fighting of any sort.  And he is spunky enough to actually run up to his daddy and pick a fight.
Here is a recent track he drew and used for a couple of weeks.  It’s 8 feet long!
Here are some pictures of his birthday (spent with family) and party (we had with friends two weeks later).
Notice the grin upon opening the Hot Wheels gift.
~~~~~

He was so excited to have a pool party with all of his friends this year!

And I have to say, while he’s a big eight year old, he still loves to sleep in his mommy and daddy’s bed whenever he gets a chance.  He is still a snuggler at heart.

Easter Schooling Plans

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any of our school plans.  I’d like to make posts on what we’ve done for our Around the World study to share.  One of these days maybe I will!

For Easter this year we’re going to do this Easter Unit Study by Amanda Bennett.  This will be our first time using one of her unit studies, and I’m really excited.  I downloaded it today, and it looks perfect for Jacob!

We’re also going to do this FREE lapbook from Home School Share.  We’ve done one or two lapbooks before, and they really just don’t seem to be the way Jacob learns well.  But this one is designed specifically for the unit study above and looks like it’s just right!

Jacob is also reading Journey to the Cross to me each day.  We’ve not read this one before, but it’s good.  Jacob really seems to be enjoying it.  One thing I really like about it is that it gives you real life snippets of that time with each daily biblical story reading.

One exciting this for this year is that we’ll be able to make Resurrection Cookies!  These are made with eggs, so we’ve never been able to do them before with Jacob’s allergy to eggs.  But Jacob is doing well with eggs now, so we can make them!!  Well, we could have made them before, but who really wants to make cookies you can’t eat?

We’re also doing a countdown calendar, I called it our Journey to the Empty Tomb, for the first time.  (This actually started as a calendar for Lent which I copied from my sil (thanks, Candace!), but Lent hasn’t proven to be a major theme in our home, other than my fasting from coffee, facebook, and the Five in a Row message board M-S.)  The kids are enjoying this and it adds anticipation which I like doing for Easter!  I like that we’re thinking about this a month in advance like we do Christmas.   (As a side note, this calendar is much nicer than the paper rings we’ve traditionally done for Christmas, because the dates are right there so we don’t have to count them every day if we can’t remember if we tore a ring off!)

I’m trying to find a few things that Mattie can enjoy with us, as she’s wanting to do quite a bit more “school.”  I’ve gotten quite a few books from our church and local libraries just to read, but I need to find her some more fun stuff.  I’m going to Lifeway on Tuesday, maybe I’ll find something there.

I’d also like to look into to participating in or watching a Passover Seder.  It’s always a trick when it involves food, but I’d like to try.  If we don’t get to it, there’s always next year.  If there isn’t next year, we’ll be with Him so we won’t miss it!

All of this together will fill our next few weeks for sure, after visiting Central America this week for a brief overview.  I tend to be a December failure, in that I start too many things that are made for 4 weeks of school and I NEVER finish!  I really want to have a manageable amount of plans so that we can finish what we start, on time.

Twenty-eight days 
till Resurrection Day!