Monday, July 28, 2008


Just wanted to let everyone know I will be back in about a week. We are leaving tomorrow for South Dakota to visit family and Jay's cousin is getting married. Please pray for us we are flying with all 5 kids and I have to get everything packed today! I do have a back pack for each kid and am packing it tonight with goodies and activities and they can't open it till they are on the plane tomorrow. They are all so excited. It should be a lot of fun.

See you all in a week!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Another Birthday

Alexa is 2 today!!

We celebrated Alexa's birthday by having a luau party over at Aunt Brandy and Uncle Sean's. Alexa was so excited all day she kept saying... Birthday cake, candles blow out, aunt Brandy's swimming

She has definetly hit the terrific two's as I prefer to say. Alexa has grown so much this year and has to always try to keep up with her brother and sisters. She definetly loves being spoiled by Anastasia and Joshua and Savannah are her best playmates. She is definetly our determined one and wants to do everything on her own. She can aleady climb out of her crib!! Alexa is very independent and knows what she wants when she wants it. Alexa has taken on the role of big sister with pride and likes to help Tasha (sometimes a little too much). Alexa's favorites right now are cereal and milk, Pat the Bunny book, Praise Baby movies and any type of snack food or candy. You can always count on Alexa for a silly face and a smile!

Happy Birthday Alexa!!!! We Love you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Our Fall Schedule

Several people have asked me to post our fall schedule and lessons that I have made.  So here they are.  As I mentioned before, I like using Manager's of their Home by the Maxwell's to help with scheduling.  This is a general daily schedule but on Monday's we will have Co-op and Tuesday's is PE.  I also print a schedule just for Anastasia to keep in her notebook.

Here is one but I am having a hard time pasting them in here.  I am not sure if there is a better way.  Every time I save it it cuts it off at 4:00pm when I went to 9:00pm.

Our Family Schedule

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What We Have Been Up to this week

I have to start by saying I actually created the above little picture. I love putting images at the start of my blogs and I usually google for them but I try to be careful and I am not sure how the copywrite laws apply to that so anyways I got creative and made my own for today and am quite tickled with myself!

I head up a homeschool group of about 27 families and they are a wonderful group of ladies. This past Tuesday was our monthly Mom's night Out and we went to Paradise Bakery (Yum, Yum). This was an awesome mom's night out as there were at least 12 of us and we shut the place down (not hard to do when they close at 9:00. It was a great time of food, fellowship and fun, fun, fun. We actually even got some planning done for this up coming school year. We do field trips, park days and holiday parties together. We all shared ideas and now I am going to start planning and putting them on the calendar. I love mom's night out and just getting together with these ladies and talking about anything and everything! It was a great night!

Then Wednesday afternoon several of us took our kiddos and went to the new pool. The new aquatic center opened up near us and it is awesome. We went here yesterday with several of our friends and it is as much fun as the local water slide park and because this is a city pool it is only .50cents for kids and $1.50 for adults!!! Okay I remember going to the local city pool as a kid and we were lucky if there was a diving board!!! There is the zero depth entry and shallow play area you see in the front picture with the giant play structure. It also has two water slides, lazy river with tubes, a vortex and a seperate pool for lane swimming and diving boards. Also there is a spray pad play area. Needless to say we had fun in the sun. I love swimming with the kids, they really enjoy it and it wears them out! I feel like we are finally enjoying summer days. We even came home and had homemade juice popsicles.

This morning Joshua had to get his spacer put back in and the dentist gave him a kiddie cocktail so we are at home resting the rest of the day. Tomorrow we will be busy getting ready for Alexa's birthday on Saturday. We are going to Aunt Brandy and Uncle Sean's to go swimming and have a luau party!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My friend Kymberly shared Gratituesday on her blog and you can join in and visit

This week I am sharing how greatfull I am for my husband.  I don't think I verbalize enough at how truly greatfull I am for him and his sacrifices.  This year has been extrememly tough on him with our move, a new job and going back to school.  He has never been a morning person and yet he gets up now at 4:30 every morning so he can get to work by 5:30 and off by 2:30 so that he can be home earlier to spend more time with us.  When he first started working at UOP he worked the 8-5 shift and was barely home by 7:00pm.  We had no family life for a while except to try and make up for it on the weekend.  So he switched to 5:30-2:30 and now the kids and I get more time with him and he makes up his sleep on the weekends

Jay is trying to get through school and doing very well I might add with a 3.96GPA. He then wants to go into ministry and or counseling that is where his heart is not in this job (while we don't want to complain and are very greatful for it) of sitting in a cubicle all day talking on the phone.

So I just wanted to share how greatfull I am that he is a wonderful man of God, husband, dad and provider.

What are you greatfull for this Gratituesday?  

This is funny

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY July 21, 2008

Outside My Window...

It is a beautiful clear blue sky

I am thinking...

how I love snuggling with Alexa in the mornings. She is always the first to wake up.

I am thankful for...

my husband who got up and left for work by 4:30 this morning after a busy weekend

From the kitchen...

it is clean and ready for me to go start breakfast (eggs and grits today)

I am wearing...

a white shirt and jean capris. I still need to brush my hair from after my shower.

I am creating...

ideas of fun things to put in my kids backpacks for our trip next week.

I am going...

plan lessons today and start making a list of what we need to bring on our trip.

I am reading...

Women of the Bible devotional

I am hoping...

to put into practice several of the things we learned at the homeschool convention this past weekend.

I am hearing...

Alexa sitting on my bed putting away her cards.

Around the house...

It is peaceful and quiet right now everyone is still sleeping except Alexa and me.

One of my favorite things...

the smell of a clean house...scented candles

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

swimming with friends and Joshua has to get his spacer put back in. I am not looking forward to that!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Alexa turns 2 next week and is no longer the baby!!

If you would like to participate in "The Simple Woman also please visit Peggy's blog:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Homeschool Convention

I absolutely love our annual homeschool convention. It is held in July each year in downtown Phoenix. It is just awesome to gather with thousands of other Christian homeschoolers and get rejuvenated for the year. Jay and I go both Friday and Saturday all day. This year I am just praising God that we were able to go because we had to find a babysitter last minute. Next year our plan is to stay at a hotel right there and make a weekend of it. A lot of couples do this and how great that would be.

They had wonderful speakers again this year; Mary Schofield, Theresa Moon and Marcia Somerville were my favorites. Listening to them just helps us refocus and stay focused on our goals of why we are homeschooling in the first place. Then there of course is the curriculum hall which I love to look around in and could spend hours in there. The good thing is I don't get overwhelmed in there anymore. I was really good this year and came with my list and stuck to it.

While there these two days we of course ran into a lot of people we know but I also ran into someone I went to high school with and another person I went to college with. It was funny because when I ran into the lady I had went to high school with I kept thinking back to high school and picturing her there. Now mind you there was nothing wrong with her but of course she has aged since high school obviously and you don't always realize that in yourself till you see someone else.

We were exhausted after 2 days of go go go. I actually played hookey from church. Jay took all the kids and I stayed home with the baby. She had been wanting to nurse every hour and half during the convention and had an upset tummy so I didn't want to take her to church just to nurse constantly and change diapers. It was so quiet at home!!! I was able to get some things done amongst the nursing and 5 diapers I changed in 3 hours. We all just had a relaxing rest of the day and I was able to finally make up our fall daily schedule and start August-October lesson plans. That was really nice.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We finally went swimming

I had my 6 week post partum exam on Wednesday and everything looks great so off to the pool we went Thursday morning. Oh and let me get side tracked as that was a story in itself.....My entire pregnancy I never had to wait more than 10 minutes in the waiting room at the dr. office. So my last appt on Wednesday I just figured I would take all the kids with me by myself. We brought coloring things and they like to look at the magazines. We get there and my dr. is running behind and we had to wait over 45 minutes in the waiting room. Did I mention I had brought all five kids?! Well by time we were called no one wanted to stay in the waiting room they all wanted to come with me. (The original plan was for 2 to stay with Anastasia in the waiting room) I brought them all in with me. Then the nurse said I had to be examined if you know what I mean. (I don't know how I forgot this after having 5 kids but anyways.....) So I sent them all (except the baby)back to the waiting room. I got a sucker for each of them and told Anastasia just to appease them. I was in there at least another 15-20 min. and I just prayed they were all behaving because it wasn't like I could just run out there to check on them. I have good kids but over an hour in a waiting room is really pushing it!!!!! I was never so glad to get out of there and get home!!

Now back to Thursday...It is too hot for Tasha to be outside in the middle of the day so Grandma Donna watched her for us. At least 6 other moms in our group showed up and we all had a great time. I really like this pool because there is an entire zero depth and shallow play area with climbing slide and things so I can sit in that area with the moms and watch the kids. Joshua was tall enough to do the water slides this year and he loved them.

I didn't realize how nice it was to get out of the house and just talk with my friends. It has been awhile so it was good for all of us. When we left the girls were asleep before we even got out of the parking lot.

Joshua coming down the big water slides.

We bring our lunches with to eat there and they know how to work up an appetite.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We've been in Hawaii this week

Did my title catch your attention??? Well we have been visiting Hawaii vicariously through our VBS. It has been exciting, fun, trying and exhausting all at the same time. We met Sunday morning and then Sun-Wed each night from 6:00-9:00pm. Jay and I taught the first and second graders. They were a great group of kids and we had a lot of fun island hopping with them learning all about God's unshakeable truth! I loved the music each night and I actually found it to start my playlist of music. It is very catchy and the "Wiki Wiki" song was my favorite. It covered the ABC's of Christianity.

Anastasia got called up on stage one evening to do the motions to the songs. She did awesome!!

Joshua with one of his dollars. Each evening the kids could earn dollars that they then put in a box to be drawn for a prize on family night.

Our mascot. She stayed with Jay and I kind of anyways when the other leaders weren't stealing her to hold.

Tonight was family night. We all met at a local park and our church hosted a cookout with two inflatable waterslide bouncers. The kids had a great time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two of a kind

Two of a kind

Two names I go by:

  1. Laura

  2. Lori

Two things I’m wearing right now:

  1. comfy grey shirt

  2. Pajama bottom shorts

Two of my favorite things today:

  1. Playing Go Fish with Joshua

  2. Teaching Vacation Bible School

Two things I want at the moment:

  1. At this moment some popcorn would be nice. I love to snack on it in the evening but we are all out right now.

  2. The laundry fairy to come so I don't have to do it tomorrow!

Two favorite pets I have had:

  1. Mary Lou- a black lab I had as a kid growing up

  2. Kasey–our dog now who we have had for 6 years.

Two people I hope will fill this out:

  1. Tina

  2. Kelly

Two things I did last night:

  1. Taugh at Vacation Bible School

  2. Watched Army Wives (one of my favorite shows)

Two things I ate last night:

  1. Chicken Sandwich from Burger King

  2. An Oreo Blizzard also from BK Yum Yum.

Two people I last talked to:

  1. Donna

  2. My mom

Two things I am doing tomorrow:

  1. Get caught up on Laundry. Doesn't that sound like fun!

  2. Go to VBS

Two farthest trips I have taken in the last 5 years:

  1. July 2004 we flew to North Carolina for Jay's grandma's funeral.

  2. August 2004 we flew to Washington D.C. It was our first time there and we took in as much as we could. It was a fun trip. We haven't flown anywhere since then, too busy having babies. LOL!

Two favorite holidays:

  1. Christmas

  2. Valentines Day

Two favorite beverages:

  1. Peach Ice Tea

  2. Coffee

Feel free to copy it to your blog and insert your answers. Let me know if you take part. I’d love to read your responses.

Many thanks to Heart of the Prairie for providing this meme.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY July 14, 2008
Outside My Window...

The clouds actually make it look cold outside. Don't I wish!

I am thinking...

of what a busy but fun week this is going to be.

I am thankful for...

my father-in-law who suprised us and the kids and showed up just to take them to ice cream! What a nice treat.

From the kitchen...

it is clean and quiet.

I am wearing...

my pj's still as soon as I am done typing it is time to go get ready for the day.

I am creating...

the activities for VBS this week. We just started yesterday and it is a lot of fun.

I am going...

to finish cleaning the school table today and get laundry cleaned up.

I am reading...

still...The well-Adjusted Child The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole

I am hoping...

my husband doesn't get too exhausted this week between work, school, helping at VBS and then the homeschool Convention this weekend.

I am hearing...

Joshua aggrevate his sisters.

Around the house...

It is just going to be a quiet catch up day from the busy weekend

One of my favorite things...

this week will getting to finally go swimming this summer!!!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

VBS, Dr. appt, swimming and the homeschool convention

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If you would like to participate in "The Simple Woman also please visit Peggy's blog:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Everyday Happenings

Let's just say there is never a dull moment around here. You all probably wonder how I have time to blog the secret is early in the morning or late at night. This is my outlet. My first love is scrapbooking and I am trying to get back to it but in the meantime this is quick, easy, so much fun and my kids can't get into it and mess it up or use up all my stuff. I am even getting some of my friends to do it. Hee Hee!

Here are some funny pictures from the last week or so that I just had to share:

This is Spider Pig. Don't know why she called it this but we have ran with it! She wanted to wear Joshua's spiderman costume and will roll around on the floor and do summersaults while daddy sings: "SpiderPig, SpiderPig, does whatever a SpiderPig does" it is quite hilarious we need to video tape it.

Next we have mighty warrior Joshua, protector of his sisters and all that is good and right. Or should I say protector of his sisters when he actually isn't trying to light saber one of them. This is how he dresses all the time though to play with this stuff. He has to put it all on!

This picture is why we always check on our kids one last time before we go to bed each night!!!! Jay went to check on Joshua and this is how he found him, sleeping inside his hamper! And Jay was the one who actually said, Hurry go grab the camera first.

Gotta Love 'em!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What's For Dinner Wednesday's??

Here is this week's recipe. We just had our OAMC swap and my freezer is stocked again!! Yipee!!! One of the ladies made Ravioli Soup. Every thing looks so good. We each did two dinner meals and one breakfast meal this month.

Ravioli Soup

1 pound lean ground beef (2 1/2 cups browned meat)

1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

14 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 tsp onion salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion ( I usually omit this for picky kids)

1 28-ounce can Italian-style or plain crushed tomatoes in puree

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 14 1/2 ounce can beef broth or bouillon

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 12 ounce package plain ravioli without sauce (located in the frozen or refrigerated section)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Brown the ground beef in a large pot, combine remaining ingredients except fro frozen ravioli and additional Parmesan cheese. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Thaw and cook ravioli according to package directions until just tender. Drain ravioli; add to soup. Salt to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes six generous serving

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

School Supplies are my weakness!!!

Have I ever mentioned that I absoultely LOVE school supplies. I am a school supply junkie. If I ever got a job again I would love to work at Staples or Office Max! I don't know what it is maybe that I used to play school all the time growing up or from my few years as a teacher and now homeschooling but maybe I need a support group. I know my friend Tina would join with me!!!

Another mom in our homeschool group works at Wal-Mart and told us yesterday that school supplies were already on sale and there were noteboooks for .05 can you believe it?!? (A lot of schools here go year round and start back up the end of July that is why they are out already). So needless to say after Tastee Freeze yesterday, which was a lot of fun and I think our large group might have overwhelmed the guy a bit, Tina and I met up and went to Wal-mart.

I of course went home first and dropped my kiddos off (except for Tasha) because daddy was home and right after Tastee Freeze I had to take all of them with me to the grocery store for just a quick trip but it reaffirmed for me why I don't take all of them at one time to the store with me!! No, that is not my idea of fun espically after them just having ice cream. What was I thinking?? Actually I was having to think of my gas tank and the fact that we were right across the street from the grocery store. Wal-Mart however is less than 3 minutes from my house.

OK back to the school supplies....We met at Wal-mart and of course the notebooks were all sold out but they have crayola brand crayons 24 ct. for .20 and markers for .88, pencil boxes, rulers, and glue oh my!!! Do I need all of this stuff? Probably not but how can you turn down crayons for .20. I am actually going to suprise the kids with their stuff because I need to get back packs for them for our trip at the end of the month and I will fill them with stuff to do on the airplane and in the car. And Joshua officially starts Kindergarten this year so he needs supplies. LOL and if I get stuff for him the girls are going to want some things as well. Hey maybe I should write one of those books "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" just have it be about school supplies.

On another note one thing I do do with all these school supplies and I can stock up guilt free (well mostly) is I buy while they are on sale because then in November we always participte in Operation Christmas Child. It is a ministry through Samaritans Purse. You fill a shoe box for a child and they are sent all over the world. It is great to put in crayons and paper (no glue though) and pencils and then of course little toys and such. So that is another main reason I stock up now then we have these items practically for pennies to put in these boxes. If you have never participted in this ministry before check it out it is easy and wonderful to do with your kids.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Praying for Our Children

A while ago I mentioned a book I was reading ...The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.  Well I just came across a  blog  that another lady created based from this book and specifically sets prayers for our children.  It was really uplifting and gives specific daily prayers.  I encourage you to take a look. 

"The battle for our children's lives is waged on our knees. When we don't pray, it's like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we're in the battle alongside them, appropriating God's power on their behalf."               (Stormie Ormartian)

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY July 7, 2008

Outside My Window...

It is actually a little cloudy out today. The Monsoon season is here.

I am thinking...

of the many projects I need to complete today and what a wonderful relaxing weekend we had.

I am thankful for...

Christ's sacrifice in giving us the ultimate freedom

From the kitchen...

I can't wait to smell the banana bread I need to bake today. I love that smell.

I am wearing...

my pj's still as soon as I am done typing it is time to go get ready for the day.

I am creating...

schedules and lists for our upcoming trip to South Dakota and for starting school when we get back. I am also working on VBS stuff it starts next week and Jay and I are teaching the 1st and 2nd graders.

I am going...

to the new Tastee Freeze that just opened up close by. Several of our friends are going to meet us there.

I am reading...

The well-Adjusted Child The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole

I am hoping...

actually praying that gas prices will not continue to skyrocket. We own a suburban and with our growing family it is not feasable to downsize only cut back on driving which we have been doing.

I am hearing...

my girls having a "girl party" which consists of playing baby dolls and doing hair and painting finger nails.

Around the house...

There are several things that need to be cleaned up!

One of my favorite things...

3 day weekends with my hubby home!!!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

going to Taste Freeze, dr appt for Tasha and Savannah, story time at the library and lesson planning

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If you would like to participate in "The Simple Woman also please visit Peggy's blog:

Homeschool Freebie of the Day


Here is an awesome site that you can sign up for and receive a different  homeschool freebie each day.  I just started and each item they give away is only avaiable for one day so be sure and sign up for the weekly newsletter that will give you a heads up for the week.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Celebrations

Happy 4th of July!!!

We have been doing craft activities all week. Not that we have done that many. It has just taken us this long to complete them. I really want the kids to start learning some of our basic patriotic songs such as My Country Tis' of Thee, America the Beautiful, This Land is My Land, and of course the National Anthem. I was so excited I found a cd in the dollar section at Target and it has 12 patriotic songs on it. But when I got it home it is just instrumental and no words. Oh well it is still nice to listen too and you can't beat $1.00. I don't know if they still teach these songs in school but I can still remember sitting in music class as a young kid learning these songs. I think it is important and helps keep pride in our country.

Monday we painted and made a wreath and it turned out pretty cute. You can find the directions for it here.

The rest of the week they colored pages, Anastasia worked on a 4th of July Lapbook that we still need to put together. I will post pictures later this week. We got this one free from this Lapbook site. We also made patriotic sugar cookies.

Eating the raw cookie dough of course was the best part

Are we frosting ourselves or the cookies??? Let's just say their poop was very colorful the next day!!!!

Anastasia created these ones. She made an original flag of the 13 colonies and a current one of today. We also decorated the USA and the Liberty Bell.

Anastasia wanted a red,white and blue breakfast so she made us all blue pancakes with strawberries and we drank milk. (They actually tasted better than they look.)

How do you celebrate when it is 114' outside and you don't have a swimming pool? With an indoor grill of course. We had hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, chips and red white and blue popsicles.

It turned out to be a beautiful evening. It cooled off and a nice breeze came up. We went to Schnepf's Farm to watch the fireworks. We got there about 7:30 and the kids ran around for about an hour and half till the fire works. Everyone had one of those glow necklaces so that kept the kids busy for awhile. They ooohed and ahhhed over the fireworks.

My first 4th of July.

She slept right through all the excitement.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Jutem and Natasha

July 3rd, 2008 Happy Birthday!!!

Today is Aunt Jutem's and Natasha's birthday. Natasha is one month old already and we will just say Aunt Jutem is 29 and holding! We got to call Aunt Jutem and sing happy birthday we wish we were in San Diego with her right now celebrating. I am sure it is a lot cooler there. We will get to see her at the end of the month when we all go to South Dakota. We are eagerly awaiting a phone call from her on the 7th of this month when we will find out if we are having a niece or a nephew in December.

I can't believe Tasha is already a month old!!! It seemed like the last few weeks of my pregnancy were crawling and now here she is one month old. Tasha is doing great and getting bigger by the day. She is very easy going and is still the delight of her brother and sisters.