Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Changes Are Coming...

I sometimes feel spread way too thin.  It is definitely my fault.  I take on way too many projects at one time.  I am homeschooling, I am trying to read at least 25 books this year, I also have a ton of scrapbooking to do, I am trying to start freezer cooking with a friend of mine, there's housework that never seems to end, menu planning, grocery shopping, budgeting, the list could probably go on forever.  I am finally starting the process of simplifying things.

I am going to keep these short & sweet so if you have a question or want to know more then leave me a comment, email me, message me on FB, or call me if you want.

First off, for those of you who are friends with me on FB: I am simplifying the way that I post pictures by not posting so many.  I have an app on my phone/iPad/computer that will let me create collages & post them directly to FB.  If you want to see individual pictures or just more pictures than what I post, they will be on our shutter fly site.

I have created a new homeschooling blog where I will be posting daily about our educational adventures. Click here to check it out.  I am keeping it a little more private by not using the kids' real names or revealing too much about our specific location.

Finally this site will be going away some time in the near future.  I am moving all the information over to our Shutterfly site.  This will keep me from having to post pictures & videos twice & make it easier for me to update more often.  There are a lot of really cool features that I am excited about.

I will be moving posts over starting with the earliest posts first then working my way forward.  There is not likely to be any more posts on this site.  Old posts will remain until they get moved over to the new site.

One of my favorite features of the Shutterfly share sites is that I can make it private without requiring readers to jump through a bunch of hoops to view it.  If you have the direct link & the site's password, then you should have no problems viewing it.  I will send an email out with the password sometime in the near future.  You can also choose to become a member & you will receive emails about when things are updated.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Expanding Vocabulary

We didn't teach either of our kids sign language. Libby will rub her belly when she's hungry. She knows the official sign for all done but only uses it when prompted. She will bring me a diaper & lay down in front of me when she needs a diaper change or she will bring me clothes when she wants to get dressed. That's the extent of her nonverbal communicating. Thankfully she is starting to learn more & more words so communicating with her is getting easier. Here's a list of words she regularly uses correctly without any prompting:
Mama
Da-dee!
Bubba (aka Graham)
Baby (this can mean herself or a baby doll)
eat
snack
cookie
outside
bye bye
Hi!
night night (she really does tell me when she needs a nap)
thank you
play
shoes
uh-oh

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kidversations, Vol. 1

The things my son says keeps me laughing. He is absolutely hilarious!

He has really become quite good at playing Kinnect Adventures on the XBox. Ben had taught him how to play so that he can do it completely by himself. Yesterday, when he was playing, he just blurted out "I so smart!"

This morning, after breakfast, he came running into my bedroom & said, "Mama look at my tummy! I had a good breakfast. It's so very full." it was so random & made me laugh.

Libby's vocabulary is still kind of limited but she's starting to say random words. She's known ma-ma, da-da & bubba for a while but she still communicates with actions more than words.

When she needs a diaper change, she will go get a diaper (or sometimes a pair of Graham's underwear) & come lay down in front of you. I am hoping this is a sign that potty training her will be easy.

She is also very good about letting you know when she is ready for bed & it is always before her set bedtime. She will just say "night-night" & crawl upstairs to bed. Sometimes we prompt her by asking if she's ready to go night-night.

She will also rub her tummy when she is hungry. That is the only bit of "sign language" that we taught her.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Grahamversations, Vol. 2

A conversation we had at lunch today.

Graham: "Mama, can I have your attention please?"

Me: Sure. Do you have something to tell me or do you just want me to look at you?

Graham: "Just look at me."

Me: "Why do I need to look at you?"

Graham: "'Cause I'm cute."

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Libversations, Vol. 1

Do you remember a while back when I said I was starting a series about all the crazy things Graham says? Well now Libby has started talking more now (other than MaMa, DaDa & Bubba).

The first time I realized this, she was having a conversation with the dog.
"Ink!" (translation, Pink)
"It!" (sit)
"Gu grl!" (good girl)

Today, I noticed that anytime I was takin pictures she would say "eese"!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yet Another Long Overdue Update

One of these days, I am going to get back to posting regularly & not have to take three days to write one really long update.  If you follow me on Twitter or we are friends on Facebook then you probably know the highlights of what we've been up to since October.  First of all, I can't believe that my last post was October 9, 2011!  Hopefully, I have been missed.  There really has been a lot going on for us & I hope that I can remember it all.

At the time of my last update, Ben's parents were visiting & we had some fabulous weather.  We took the kids to an animal exhibit here locally (I have forgotten what it was or where it was).  Graham loves animals & has no fear of petting them at all.


There are more pictures from our adventures that day in the photo gallery.  I think my favorite has to be the ones of the kids riding horses.  It was Graham's favorite thing of the day too.


We were still able to enjoy the park.  The kids had a great time playing outside.  Looking at these pictures makes me really long for summer to get here.



Graham had a bout with Pink Eye that, fortunately, never got too bad.  He was just mopey for a few days but he quickly bounced back to his old self.


Graham & Ben went to see their first movie together (October 15).  Our local theater does free children's movies some Saturday mornings so it was worth trying it out.  Graham did great & they've been to see more than one but we haven't been brave enough to take him to a new release & pay for it yet.


For Halloween, Libby was a princess & Graham was Thomas.  We took them to Ben's work to trick or treat but we didn't take them around the neighborhood this year.


Graham was very good about making sure that he picked out candy for his sister & making sure she got some.  We prompted him the first couple of times but it didn't take long for him to start doing it on his own.  "One for me & I need to make sure my sister Libby gets one," he would say.


Graham has really taken to dressing himself.  Most days, his clothes are backwards, inside out & mismatched.  I try to encourage him to wear them the "right way" but I don't make too big of a deal out of it.  Most days he just walks around in backwards, inside out, mismatched clothes.


Graham & Libby's relationship has really taken off lately.  I love to watch the two of them together.  Sometimes he'll take time with her & sometimes he won't but she follows him around & tries to do everything that he is doing.  And, for the record, that is not always a good thing.


One of Graham's favorite things to do is make his own pizza.  You can read all about that here.

This year for Thanksgiving we had four generations together at my house.  You can read all about that here.

We celebrated Graham's 3rd birthday & you can read all about that here.

We also had family pictures taken while all of us were together.  There are way too many good ones to post them all, so you'll have to check the photo gallery for more.


Graham really likes playing games.  Hungry Hippo was his first.

We tried to do some of Amanda White's Truth in the Tinsel for Advent this year.  We did a few of the ornaments & Graham was really interested.  Libby was not able to do much of them & I was ill-prepared this year.  I think that we will try again next year & I will plan it so it goes more smoothly.  Here's a picture of Graham from Day 1.


I put Ben's artistic abilities to use & had him draw a Christmas tree for our wall that Graham & I painted.

We hosted the Kid's Quest Christmas party this year.  I love having a house full of people & I hope that we can continue to do more things with our local church family.

In the beginning of November we pulled Graham out of preschool & decided that it might be best to homeschool.  We took the holidays off & started at the beginning of January.  Things gave been going really well.  I hope to get more posted on this at a later date.

Because we have decided to homeschool, I knew that our book collection was not adequate.  Fortunately, we have a fabulous library system here in Champaign.  We finally took the kids & got library cards on December 17.

For Christmas, my aunt came to visit us for a few days.  For more on our Christmas celebration, read this.

Libby got to play in the snow for the first time this winter.  It has been such a mild winter that this was the only time the kids really got to go out & play in it.




On December 28, Graham had his tonsils taken out.  You can read more about that here.

On New Year's Eve we discovered that Libby had chicken pox.  Fortunately it did not get too bad at all & she wasn't really affected by it.  Her spots mostly stayed contained on her legs & I don't think she ever scratched any of it.

We started homeschool with Graham in January.  He did really good with Erica's Letter of the Week curriculum for the first two weeks.  We had to make some adaptations so that he would stay interested & I really hope to post more about that soon.  In the meantime, here are a few of his school pictures:







We still enjoy having Muffin Tin Meals but I rarely take pictures of them anymore.  This is one of the easiest things to do & the kids think it's great to not be eating from a regular plate.

The kids love to play with balls in the basement.  For now, we just play "fetch" because neither of them can catch a ball yet.  They have so much fun running after them & bringing them back to me.

The kids also love to play "Nap Time."  This game makes me laugh so much.  Mostly because at nap time, they never want to sleep.


Libby is still very interested in playing with the clothes pins & carafe.  This "toy" gets a daily workout with her.  (And yes, she is wearing her brother's pajamas.)

Libby has developed a fascination with shoes.  So if you come to our house, don't leave your shoes out or they'll end up on Libby's feet.

February 1, we had some uncharacteristically warm weather so I took the kids to the park to play.  It was Libby's first time at the park since she started walking.  Graham really enjoyed the walk & pulling his sister in the wagon.


Remember when I said that it isn't always good things that Graham teaches his sister.  He taught her how to pick her nose & to spit.  Some days I wonder how I became a girl who is hardly bothered by messy, gross things anymore.  Twenty years ago, no one would have believed it.

Our latest addition is this HUGE gorilla that still has no name.  I got him for the kids the day after Valentine's Day.  I really wanted one when I saw them for $40 at Walmart but I waited.  Then I found them at Walgreens for $30 but I still decided to wait until after Valentine's Day.  I bought him for 50% off plus used an $8 off coupon that I had totally making me feel like a super shopper.

Libby's climbing has reached new heights.  I often find her crying because she got herself stuck somewhere.  I'm just hoping she doesn't crawl out of her crib anytime soon.

 

These kids are growing up so fast & into everything that I can hardly keep up with them.  I am exhausted at the end of the day but I find that many times through out the day smiling at just how blessed I really am.

And now that I've filled you in on everything the kids have been up to, here's a little about what I've been doing & will be doing in the next month:

My women's group finished our study on the life of Jesus.  It was great to dig deeper into His life on earth but it was a very educational study for me.  I learned a lot & discovered some things that I had never realized before but there was no life-changing breakthrough for me.  This summer, we will be doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free & I am very excited to revisit a study that I did 4&1/2 years ago.

The women of our church got together for a retreat two weekends ago & did Lysa Terkeurst's When Women Say Yes to God.  It was the first time that I had left my babies overnight & was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  They stayed home with Ben & had a great time with him.

In planning for this retreat, I was able to preview the videos.  While I was doing this, I really felt like God was calling me to give up watching television... at least for this season of life.  I was in the habit of using the kid's nap time to watch TV when I should have been using it to study my Bible, read & rest.  I have no idea when I will feel OK to watch TV again.  There are some shows that I miss watching but it has mostly been pretty easy.  I haven't watched TV since January 21.

Finally last week I went to the dentist.  I had been having some pain in my left teeth but I thought it was just sinus pressure because f the crazy weather we've been having.  Turns out that I had impacted wisdom teeth that needed to be removed so on Friday, I had my two left wisdom teeth taken out.  You can read more about that here.  Apparently, I asked one of the nurses (or the DR) to take a picture for me.  Here is my post op picture that I have no recollection of asking for or posing for:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tonsillectomy for Graham

We found out that Graham was going to have to have his tonsils & adenoids removed earlier this month.  He hasn't been sick or anything like that.  I called the DR because he was snoring horribly, he wasn't sleeping well & he was complaining of being tired all the time.  It reminded me a lot of how Ben said he felt before he started sleeping with a C-PAP machine so I called about having him checked for sleep apnea.  The DR confirmed that it was enlarged tonsils & adenoids that were causing the problem so we met with an ENT to have them removed.  His surgery was this morning.  It was very routine & he did great but I have to admit that this is probably the worst thing I've gone through as a mother.

Ben & I took Graham to the hospital early this morning while Libby stayed home with the babysitter.


We were given a number & Graham's progress was displayed in the waiting room through out the entire process.  This was extremely reassuring to me.


Graham entertained himself with my iPad while we waited.


Getting ready to go back to surgery.  They let him keep his blanket & tiger with him which was a huge comfort to him.

Exhausted & getting some much needed rest after coming home.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!



We had a great Christmas celebration this year.  We decided to stay in Illinois this year & while we missed being with our family, it was nice to just spend the day doing whatever the kids decided they wanted to do.

My aunt came to visit for the weekend & the kids had a great time with her.  They made a gingerbread house on Christmas Eve.


The kids sang at our church's Christmas Eve service.  Here's a video of one of the songs they sang.


We continued our tradition of Christmas jammies.

Much to the disappointment of my family, I will not be continuing the tradition of oyster stew for breakfast on Christmas morning.  We had cinnamon rolls & bananas instead.

We spent the day just letting the kids open presents & play together.  It was really fun to just follow their lead & do whatever they wanted.

While the kids were napping, we adults even had a little bit of fun putting together a puzzle.

I hope that your holiday was fabulous & I wish nothing but good things for you in the new year.