Friday, July 31, 2009

The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad

A couple of weeks ago Jay started reading to the kids each night before bed.  We all gather in our room and they each pick a quiet spot to lay with their blanket and pillow.  Jay reads one or two chapters a night.  This has been a great thing for us o share.  But let me say it didn't start out this way, especially with a two year old.  Tasha is in bed before we begin.  The first couple of nights was hard and we were almost ready to give up but now they are so into it and love hearing the story (and all of daddy's different voices)  Then after the reading we each take turns praying together and that has been awesome. 

The first two stories we read were from Fireside Readings for families.  Now we have been reading "The famous Bedtime story books" by Thornton W. Burgess.  We first read The Adventures of Buster Bear and now we have just started The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad.  These books were Jay's mom's and Jay's grandma used to read them to him.

One night after reading Jay went outside to spray some bug spray (we have had a terrible time with crickets) before he started spraying he looked down and low and behold there was "Old Mr. Toad"  Jay called me out then I called the kids out of bed to come see him.  It was a surprise we haven't seen any toads in a long time.  We got some pictures before we let him hop off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Count Down is On...

The countdown is on,  not for the baby yet but for Disneyland.  You can see I put a ticker at the top of my blog.  We are all getting so excited.  I am not sure who more Jay and I or the kids.  As everyone is gearing up for school to start back and several schools have already started around here we are gearing up for the "happiest place on earth".  The kids have been diligently doing school 3 days a week this summer and it has worked out really well.  I think we might keep this scheudle even when not expecting a baby.  It is so hot here during the summer and this way we are going to take the month of December off to enjoy Christmas activities and the outdoors.

So anyways the picture above is of the chain they made to count down the days till we leave.  It is hard to see on the white wall but the chain drapes down both sides.  We used to go quite often to Disneyland but now we haven't been in four years.  Anastasia remembers but the others don't.  They keep asking if it is better than Chuckie Cheese or Amazing Jakes.  LOL

We are going for 5 days and then going to San Diego for a couple of days to visit Uncle Brian, Aunt Jutem and cousins.  In order to get ready for a great vacation what does a homeschool family do?  A project of course!  In school the weeks before we go we will be doing a study on the Ocean and  a lapbook on Disneyland!

I will post pictures of them when complete.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Alexa is Three!!

Girly Comments & Graphics

Our little Tinker Bell

Alexa turned 3 today!!!  Yea!  On with the terrific three's and out with the terrible,  challenging, tiring wonderful twos.  A lot of moms say they have trouble with the threes but in our house it is the two's.

Anyways our little tinker bell was so excited to go to sleep last night knowing she was going to wake up as a three year old.  In the morning we had church so she got to pick which dress she wanted to wear and put on the birthday princess ribbon.  At church daddy had everyone sing "happy birthday" to her.  I guess that is a little perk if your dad is the worship pastor. 

 Eating her bagel before church.  She always has to make a silly face for the camera.

After church when daddy got home we had lunch then papa and grandma came over for cake.  We are going to try and plan a pool party later in the week but everytime it gets mentioned she says she already had her party.  I guess we are a party in ourself with 7 soon to be 8 of us!  So she is good!

Anastasia made the cake, it looked beautiful and tasted delicious.

Until September the ages are 11, 5, 4, 3, 1  We had fun calling them our "little rocket ship" when Alexa had turned was 3,2,1 blast off!

Grandma and Papa

Blowing out the candles

Time for gifts.  It was so loving..they each wanted to give Alexa their own gift that they made.  Joshua drew her some pictures and even put princess stickers on them.

Savannah made her a necklace

Aren't they cute!!

Anastasia crocheted her a green and purple purse.  She put a pack of gum in it and a little tinker bell doll.

Daddy, Mommy, Natasha and baby Jadon got Alexa some Tinker Bell dress up clothes.  There were two outfits in there and she was so excited to put them on and share with Savannah.

Papa and Grandma got her some pony tail holders and a cute backpack she can take to co-op school.

Happy Birthday my dear Alexa Bexa!  It was great celebrating this special day with you.  We love how you bring a smile to everyone's face with your jokes and teasing.  I love how you come snuggle with me everymorning and greet me with kisses and hugs.  You are a very special girl!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

One Of My Favorite Times of the Year!!

I absolutely love our annual homeschool convention.  It is always over a Friday and Saturday each year in July and it is sponsered by AFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education)  Jay and I have gone every year since Anastasia has turned two!  I can't believe we have been attending for 10 years now. It is such a time of renewal and refreshness (is that a word?)  I didn't hear a final count this year of attendees but it has grown so much and there were thousands of people in the main speaking room each morning.  We love to go for a multitude of reasons....listening to great speakers, workshops, the curriculum hall, catching up with friends, time with just the two of us to recommit to what God has called us to, did I mention the curriculum hall 

This year's speaker was Voddie Baucham.  He was incredible.  I encourage you to check him out he has various sites and you can just google his name.  Jay and I so share his vision and others that we have heard at previous conventions of creating a multigenerational family based on a Bibical world view not a secular humanism view.  I am about to get on my soap box here so watch out.  LOL  I am getting copies of his talks on cds from the convention and we can't wait to listen to them again.  He shared some fabulous and yet scary quotes from some of the founding fathers of government education.  Too many people believe that education can be neutral and that is just not so.  The Bible says give to Caesar what is Caesar's.  Well my children are gifts from God not Caesar so I am not going to send them to "Caesar's Indoctrination Camps"  Whoa!  Those are probably fighting words. I have always heard them refered to as public schools, gov't schools and Caesar's schools but when Voddie called them Caesar's Indoctrination Camps I thought he was right on but don't think that I could get away with calling them that!

So moving on; Voddie shared about his family and his commitment to family disciple ship and the call for parents to take back their biblical responsibilities as the primary spiritual mentors and shepherds of their children.  It is not the church nor youth pastors responsibility.  We bought his book Family Driven Faith subtitled Doing What it Takes To Raise Sons and Daughters Who Will Walk With God.  It is an excellent book.  We listened to all 5 of his talks and didn't really go to anyone else this year.

I was really good in the curriculum hall.  I brought my list and stuck to it.  I would really like one year to have an extra $200.00 to spend on books and "stuff"!  Wouldn't we all!!!  I bought Anastasia and Joshua's math books, a spelling book for Joshua and a vocabulary book for Anastasia.  I have the year planned out for our unit studies and I will share that in another post.

I will end with this.  If you are homeschooling or considering homeschooling and have never been to a convention I strongly encourage you to go.  You will not be disappointed.   It has been such a blessing to Jay and I each year and next year we will take Anastasia with us.  They have a teen track for those 12 and older so she will finally get to participate in that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

What a night!! Jay's sister drove in Wednesday to suprise Jay for his graduation. Well Thursday night a classmate of his drove in from Northern CA for the graduation as well. Jay wanted to meet her and her husband. He has been in on line classes with her and they have worked in groups together for over a year now and they have talked on the phone and thru email but never met.

So Thursday night Jay, Jutem and I went to meet up with them. We left Anastasia and Chance in charge (two very capable girls) we made sure the babies were already in bed and off we went. Just to Chili's mind you. We checked in a couple of time with the girls and everything was fine all the kids were sleeping. Well when we were just about 5 minutes from the house (it was around midnight) Anastasia called to tell us and we could hear all the smoke alarms in the house were going off but there was no fire. We flew the rest of the way home (literally I think). I got freaked out because as we got out of the car I could smell smoke but there was nothing coming from the house. (Found out later someone was burning something in the area). We go in the house and some kids were up others were sleeping right thru it!! That was scary because they were loud. I decided to call non-emergency fire while Jay went around and unplugged all the alarms. We decided to get all the kids up and downstairs just to be safe. (We had our five plus Jutem's 3) The fire truck showed up with about 5 firemen and the kids thought that was really cool. The truck had the flashing lights and everything. They came in and inspected all the outlets and such and couldn't find anything wrong. They put back in all the alarms (they weren't thrilled that Jay took them all down). They all went off because they are hard wired together so when one goes off they all do. As they put them back up two started chirping and they said that could be the cause. BUT THEY HAD NOT BEEN CHIRPING PREVIOUSLY!

During all this we were having all sorts of conversations of reassuring the kids that our house was okay to Joshua wanting me to write everything down so he could share it with his friends at co-op to realizing that we need a safety plan for our family in case of a real fire.

By 1:30 am the firemen were ready to leave and Joshua and Savannah wanted to ride in the truck. I told them maybe another time. The fireman gave them all stickers and we finally made it to bed. Joshua and Alexa slept in our bed with us and Savannah slept with the big girls. Have I mentioned what wiggle worms they are and that Jay and I had to be up by 6:00 to get ready to go to the homeschool convention the next day!! I will write more about that in another post.

No pictures of our exciting event. I was tempted though! LOL

Jay's Graduation


Jay graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  It was a long two years for all of us.  Especially these last 8 months when he was working two full time jobs, going to school and we moved!   WOW!  Friday night was the big night.  The graduation was held at the University of Phoenix stadium (where the cardinals play).  There were a lot of graduates.  The kids were excited to see their daddy graduate but it was also hard keeping their attention thru the whole thing.  It was even hard to keep my attention.   My mom and dad came, Jay's dad and Donna, Jutem and her three kids and Pastor Don and Christina were all there.

As exciting as it was the speakers were kind of a let down as we had just spent the day at our homeschool convention listening to Vodie Baucham ( I will write more about the convention in another post).  Jay kept texting me while he was sitting down below talking about what a bunch of secular humanism it all was.  LOL

We are so proud of him and glad he is done.  At least for awhile.



Jutem and Chance

The Ceremony



Our family

Jay and Leah they worked on line together for over a year and finally got to meet one another.

Jay and his sis

Jay and his Dad

Proud Daddy and daughter

The family and cousins

Jay and I



The two graduates!  Joshua will graduate kindergarten (as soon as he finishes his math book) I wanted a picture of the two of them together in their cap and gowns.  Aren't they handsome!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Five Senses

Along with our workboxes the little ones have been working on a lap book about their five senses.  We just started this week and after our first experiment even Alexa knows all five.

I gathered them around the table and showed them two plates.  Each plate had white crystals on it.  (Before we started we of course talked about how they could only do this with mommy or daddy and they never touch or taste anything when they don't know what it is).  One plate had sugar the other salt but they did not know this.  We went thru all the senses; what does it look like, sound like, feel like, smell like and last what does it taste like.  I had them each lick their finger to get it wet and then rub it on the plate.  They all tasted at the same time.  Joshua got a mouth full !!  See picture below:

He immediately ran to the sink!  The girls were a bit more careful but not much. They were all leary to taste the sugar.  LOL

The next day our activity focused on our nose and sense of smell.  It tied in nicely with our reading of Homer Price and his pet skunk named Aroma.

This activity was really cool.  We made scratch n sniff paint from kool-aid.  I bought lemon, cherry, grape and strawberry kool-aid so I printed off a lemon, strawberry, grapes, and cherry pie (I just googled black and white clip art).  To make the paint you dump the packet of kool-aid into a bowl and just at a tiny bit of water maybe 1-2tbsp.  You don't want it too watery.  Then they paint the picture.  Some stayed really sticky but smelled great!!!  When I cut them out to put in a booklet for thier lapbooks I covered the pictures with saran wrap.  They can lift up to smell and the pages won't stick together.

I got this idea from check them out for lots of great ideas. 

This next week we are going to make the following.  I will let you know how it turns out.

KOOL AID PLAY DOH --Smells Yummy - Tastes Yucky :/


2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

2 (1/4 ounce) packages Kool-Aid

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups boiling water

3 tablespoons oil


1-Mix the dry ingredients, then add the boiling water and oil. Be careful-this is HOT!

2-Stir until it thickens, then knead until smooth.

3-This smells so good!

***I blend all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl & add the boiling water and oil in a and use my pastry cutter to blend. It is our fave play doh recipe. We store in fridge.