Maybe God wishes to teach me a thousand new things, move me from being in a thousand different directions to just ONE, and show me a thousand reasons to BLESS his name. Maybe that is why He moved me 1,000 miles away.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weather Alert. Maria, don't read this while drinking -- you'll likely spew the computer.



Things are already closing, even though the chance of snow is only 40% and the storm could easily shift directions and we only get a dusting like all the "storms" since we moved here.
Time will tell...but by my experience at the grocery store tonight I think the entire Lehigh Valley expects to be snowed in for the next 4 days.
The one thing I like about snow days is that when I head out on the streets I get the pleasure of being one of only a few  sparse vehicles driving though the beautiful swirling snow -- seeing the beauty of it before it is tainted by plows, salt, exaust and sludge.
Can't wait to see  it come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Here is a sign your NOT in the city anymore...

Sign read on the way to the hockey rink this morning:

Baked Cow Tongue  $5.29 a pound

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend, please give me one more day!

Roy and Jackson were gone the past 5 days in Chicago for a hockey tournament.  I don't know why this is, but whenever Roy is out of town I get the urge to do big jobs.  This logically doesn't make sense, because one would think that having an extra adult around would make it easier to do things -- but not so in my family.  Ah, now don't rush to judgement that I'm making an implicating's just the facts.

So, I spent most of my weekend being productive.  One thing that was not accomplished that was sorely needed was cleaning my master bathroom and bedroom.  The other thing.......planning out the week with learning goals, or prepping for teaching highschool history.  The other thing not even attempted was menu planning. Therefore, I am just NOT ready for Monday.
Highlights of the weekend~

Family room accent wall painted.  Audrey loves the new paint color  -- she says it makes her think of chocolate.  She may be equal to me in my love and appreciation of chocolate.
Upstairs hallways and the stairwell also were painted and finished this weekend.
Chloe had a friend over and was able to snack on a yummy variation of caramel crunch chex mix.
I reigned one more weekend as champion of Sequence and we learned how to play Bananagrams.
Played trains, cars, and a creative game of Calico Critters.
Got in a little jumping on the trampoline.
Went for a walk at Trexler Park and let Benjamin walk most of the way (1 mile is a long way for a toddler who must stop and play in every patch of mud).
Exercised each day.
Watched Muppets from Space.  I don't recommend it.  I nearly fell asleep. It was worth it, though because Audrey's laugh can make the most dull moment joyful.
Of course, there are those constant things like laundry and cooking and sweeping that can't be ignored...but even though it seems like I did some important tasks, I am just not at all ready for the week to come. Looking back, I can't say that I should have spent my time any other way, however.  And so, Monday will come and although I am unprepared,  I'll lean on God to direct me to run the day in the direction He wants it to go. 
Have a great Monday, everyone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quick poem reflecting 5 minutes in the life of Benjamin.

Toddler on the table and plates on the floor. 
Rattle rattle bang means he learned to open the door.
Stomp, stomp scream means there isn't anymore
 Live Boxelder bugs on the kitchen floor.

Take away, take away get it from his hand.
Hurry clear the spot where his tantrum will land.
squirm, screech, screeeech means this one will be grand.
Spanky spanky time on his pudgy, naughty hand.

What did he say? Does he want a cracker too?
Time to go bye bye Toddler just brought over a shoe.
Quick hug, trains in hand, I think that word was new!
All forgotten, happy boy, a smile and laugh now, too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The kids have been stealing my camera

After this picture, I promptly took Benjamin to get his hair cut!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have I ever mentioned that I love homeschooling?

It's a pure blessing to accomplish things of eternal value every day. 
Everytime kids are bickering I have the opportunity to steer them toward Christ -- helping them see the sinful nature we all have and our need for forgiveness and grace.
When the kids are learning about natural things in science I can help lead them to see God's glory.Or when we are reading the stories of human triumph as well as terror and tyranny I can guide them toward seeing God's threads of grace woven through all of time as he sovereignly lays out the plan he has for his creation.
There are an unquantifiable amount of opportunities for me to learn more patience, more caution, and more prudence.....and even more lessons to learn in being more merciful, longsuffering, and less self-centered.

I'm a forgetful person, so now I have this post to look back at when I need it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Do a bad job of it.

I don't think I clearly realize how true this is....and I may deny it to myself when the clarity does strike.....but I frequently DON'T do what I want to do simply because I believe I don't have the time to do a great job at it.

So this week, I am going to do stuff -- and do a bad job of it. I'll do it to my best, but be okay with it turning out...well....bad!

Here is what I will do a bad job of this week and be okay about:

1. Write a bad post on blog (hey! I accomplished that already).

2. Exercise for less time than planned and with less intensity than I'd like to.

3. Read to Audrey when I'm too tired to make fun voices for all the characters.

4. Kindof clean the bathrooms.

5. Finally finish the video montage' from our summer visit to MN.

The all or nothing approach is a form of perfectionism (ick! I'm a perfectionist?) and perfectionism is one of the results of pride. So, time for some humility and no more putting off a job until I can do it just right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Song.

Take me away on a Vespa on the windy road between country and suburb. It's not a long drive, but it's a sweet ride, and all I need to keep me sane.

I'm not complaining, but it's been a hard day. I've got a toddler and a teenage daughter. So pardon my shortfalls and lack of patience, but Vespa come take me away.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Birthdays are best when...

  • a seven year old girl tries to wake up earlier than mom to suprise her with breakfast
  • enormous cards filled with loving words are presented
  • home-made gifts are given along with hugs and warm smiles
  • strange birthday song traditions live on for yet another year
  • lunch is eaten at a delicious italian kids...and it's pouring rain outside
  • you know that this is the last year left in your 30's
  • baby takes a nice, long nap.

    It was a good birthday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Deep in the woods-- Lost.

On the way home from MN we spontaneously visited Cook Forest State Park. It gets almost as close as one can get to visiting "ancient" trees in North America. Very beautiful! This picture was taken while I was still enjoying myself. About 30 minutes later I had a melt down because we still hadn't found Roy and Benjamin -- who had hiked a little ahead of us and we weren't exactly sure which trail they went on.
We never did find them on the hike until we all met back up at the car. We ended up getting back from our MN trip about 4 hours off our schedule due to the mishap in the woods as well as some unexpected traffic on 80.
Ah, well.....It will make for a good story in a couple years.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do you read this?

Should I re-surface this blog?
Been thinking about it. I enjoy reading the couple people who still blog the little things in their day and wonder if I should start this one up again.
Perhaps no one comes by to look anymore...being abandoned for quite some time now.

But, if by chance you see this and find my posts entertaining....let me know.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I call this: Dirt, Cookies, and Drool
Basically this is what Benjamin looks like most of the time. Why fight it? This picture was taken after we spent the morning at the Rose Gardens in Allentown. He loves flowers, but this day he loved the dirt more. It was much, much worse, but I think the little leftovers looks cute.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1.5 months left

I'm hitting the part of homeschooling where I struggle to go that last mile. Kindof like in a marathon -- there are a small, very small, few who are still striding galiantly toward the finish line. The largest group of the pack are walking and limping the last 3 miles. There are some who already quit due to injury or maybe poor training. Then there is the group that is plodding along simply concentrating on moving their feet to a rhythmic pattern...left, right, left right...focusing on just getting there. They are afraid that if they shift their speed by either slowing down or speeding up they will thwart any chance of making it.

I'm hoping I can end these last one and a half months with enthusiasm and creativity -- but I'll also be happy with the steady plodding....getting done what needs to get done. Today I am taking time to map out these last weeks and take some time to pray. I'm hoping that I end with the excitement of the beginning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I don't homeschool because...

I don't homeschool because...

I'm hiding from the authorities.
I'm trying to keep my kids from learning as much as the public school kids.
I have a fear of other people's kids.
I'm a control freak.
I was picked on as a child.
I have genius kids who would be bored in any other setting.
I don't know what else to do with all my saintly qualities like "patience".

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Benjamin is clapping for himself because he worked very hard at getting out baseballs from Jackson's baseball bucket and throwing them onto the floor. We clapped for him and so he clapped for himself and had a great time.

Now he claps everytime he stands up all by himself and throws anything. Audrey was disgusted with this "show off" brother of hers and thought he should be more humble and not be praising himself so much. I told her that he is just clapping after doing the things that we clap for -- to copy us, not praise himself. She felt better. I'm not sure if what I said was true or not, however, because who knows the inner workings of a 12 month old.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A special day with my daughter

Audrey and I held hands and felt the delightful freedom -- no big kids or baby interrupting our conversations. This day was just our own!

We walked hand in hand down the street to the Ice House. Converted into a small theatre, it was hosting a play by the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre called, "Charlottes Web". The building was still genuine enough to realize that it did indeed once hold ice harvested from the spring it was situated against.

Snuggles, laughs, smiles, side glances...all were shared together as we watched the production.
Afterwards we played together at the park beside the Ice House and walked a bit on the trail.

Without her brothers and sister to help chase her around the playground, we ran out of fun in about an hour so we headed to our favorite toy store on Main Street.

A cute baby chipmunk calico critter joined us as we left -- something to add to her collection and remind her of a day which was long over due...a day just for us two!

Monday, February 23, 2009

There are no short cuts to good parenting

I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some necessary staples. I brought Benjamin with and he was not in the mood. As he kept lunging for different things, I let him play with a candy bar. I figured I'd buy it and in a moment of weakness I'd eat it, or put it in my "prize stash" for the kids. Benjamin was so happy, I knew I couldn't take away that shiny metalic wrapper yet. So, I put him in the car seat and away we drove.

Very strange noises were coming from the back seat. Benjamin sounded so elated -- it was a euphoric sound I have NEVER heard before. I checked him in the rear view mirror. The noises continued so I checked him again. It was then I noticed that somehow the wrapper completely unwrapped and he was munching on the chocolate and caramel coated cookie goodness. My arm never snatched anything away so quickly before, and Benjamin never howled so loudly before.

Chloe was suprised when we entered the house: Benjamin's face was covered in chocolate and as Chloe stated, "He smells just like Hershey's Chocolate World."

Ah, well...he survived.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Niagre Falls in the Winter

We couldn't believe how powerful the water was, even in the winter. Chunks of ice whirled and crashed over eddys and swirled around rocks. It was breathtaking in the winter. I'm so glad we made the drive and braved the cold, icy wind to see the falls. My favorite part was how amazing the trees looked, covered in a frosty layer of ice. The terrain under our feet was a thick layer of ice and we tromped on top as if we had snowshoes on. It was soooo cold, we didn't stay long. However, it was well worth the drive.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Favorite Pictures from December

Right before we left for MN, we had a lovely and rare December snow accumilation, and a not so rare but important visit to Chik Fil A. We knew that it would be our last visit with the cow and his tender chicken until our return.
We had a great time with friends and family. It wasn't long enough and we never had any days off school in our own home so we have extended school break this week so that we can get ourselves organized and geared up for the long stint of homeschooling that all moms approach with dread....the stretch of Jan-Feb-March.
This week I'll do some painting, organizing, pitching old stuff, cleaning rooms, and figuring out the homeschool plan for the second half of the year. Go Goodmans, Go!