Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Since Erin commented that Zachary is growing up, he demanded that we show you the difference. So...

Zachary at Erin's wedding (2 years ago).

Zachary at Betsey's wedding (9 months ago).

Zachary today in three stages!

Daddy's "little" boy...

Getting ready to drop him...

You can also see the difference in Elyse's height. How dare they grow up?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We just got the call - we close on the house April 8th. Hopefully, nothing will go wrong! We plan on celebrating really big!!!!!

No more pictures in front of this window.

All house pictures, for the near future, will be at this house.

Thanks to all who prayed for a whole year with us. Praise the Lord with us that this ordeal will finally be over.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Zachary has to keep up with the "Joneses" (or Elyse in this case). I bought the "Mexican Train" domino set. Zachary, however, doesn't want to play the game, he wants to do other things with it. So, here is his project.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Yesterday, three families went to the Children's Museum. It was free for the children, the adults paid $2. It was only worth $2 - maybe not even that. If I had paid regular price, $6 adults, $3 for children - I would have really been mad. Most of the exhibits were reading plaques - not exactly hands on for children.

Four girls having a "picnic" with play food in a rocking boat:

Elyse enjoying her picnic lunch:

The tunnel started in a garbage can and ended up as "U.S. Mail." Would anyone like this package that was delivered today?

Paul Bunyan was there with Babe, the big blue ox. From left to right: Elyse, Chloe, Emma & Grace. When Elyse saw Grace that morning, she said to me: "Mom, I have a shirt just like that." I said, "No, you don't." After several times saying that, I said, "That IS your shirt." I had handed down a bag of clothes to them and Grace happened to wear Elyse's favorite shirt to the museum.

Emma & Elyse found their favorite corner. A "bedroom" with lots of books.

A slide a little too small for the girls, but they made it fun anyway.

The play room: Lawson is sticking out of the top. The girls are playing inside.

Mrs. Morrow pondering our next move. Her daughter, Megan, taking a picture.

Emma & Elyse's finished tee-pee.

I just realized that I didn't get a picture of the "big" boys, Zachary & Chatham. They were there though. After we entered the museum, we never saw them until we were ready to leave. Don't know what they did or saw, but they had a great day.

What Dad does while we are gone: Study!

After the museum, we headed to Ben & Jerry's for FREE ice cream. Our Ben & Jerry's is closing today (3/24), as you can tell by the sign on the window. The free ice cream wasn't just for our store though. We stopped by the house to pick up Tim - he needs free ice cream too.

It was a gorgeous day - about 55 degrees. The wind was a little cold, but we enjoyed eating ice cream outside anyway (especially at that price).

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Saturday afternoon, Elyse and I had our first tea party. Our new church puts pictures up of each child from our church. Adults take their picture home and pray for them until Easter. It is up to the adult, but they can send letters, emails, gifts or have them over for lunch, etc. Ilene chose Elyse and invited us over for tea. She also invited another mother and daughter, plus her sister (who is the Pastor's wife). That makes six of us at the tea.

Starting at the left, is Emma (Elyse's friend that is one month older than her), Elyse, Ilene (Elyse's prayer person), Pamela (Emma's mother and my new friend) and yours truly. Susan, the Pastor's wife, is our photographer.

The table setting and some of the food we ate. Each of the three courses was met with a different kind of hot tea. We also had ice tea in the tall glasses with raspberries in the cup. Ilene made five different finger sandwiches. They were amazing. The parfait cup had fresh raspberries, blackberries, a strawberry and topping (sour cream, honey and whipped cream). We used Susan's tea collection. One of them was from England. Our first course was scones. Ilene had two homemade jellies to go on them, whipped cream and lemon curd. All to die for. I am going to make the lemon curd for us soon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Here is the dessert I tried to describe in my email. It was a homemade cupcake, with icing made to look like flower petals, with a bee on top. The bee was a peanut M & M, the brown stripes were tootsie rolls rolled like a snake and wrapped around the M & M, and the wings of the bee were rolled out gum drops and cut out in the shape of wings.

It was a great time. We happened to look at the clock once and it was 8:00 - that means we were there four hours and it seemed like minutes.

I forgot to mention the rose flower in the little white cup. It is actually soap. You take one petal and wash your hands with it. It smells like a real rose.

Zachary has a prayer partner too, but we don't know who it is because they haven't contacted us yet. But, at least he is getting prayed for.

Pastor & Susan are coming over for lunch on Thursday. Dad wants to know how we can serve in this church. They will tell us where we are needed on Thursday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


A week of sunshine, wind and highs in the upper 60's. This morning, we get 31 degrees and this:

Three inches so far - and still snowing like a blizzard.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Zachary was doing math today and he needed to figure out the percent of decrease from 75 to 65. This is how ABeka says to do it:

This is how my "moron" son does it:

He didn't get the right answer, but it was close. The actual correct answer was 13.3. Not bad, huh?

BTW, he dictated the above sentences. I want it noted that I did NOT type him as a "moron."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This time, see if you can name the most children. We have nine of them down - can you name the others? There are three very cute girls that you should name without problems. See if you can beat our nine!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Isn't this a hoot? Notice Ashley Courtney in the background. Mom's hair is quite the "bozo" look. We got a kick out of this, hope you do too!

Dad says to make it a guessing game - when do you think this picture was taken? See who comes the closest.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Elyse decided that drawing would be a good activity for the afternoon. She is very busy at work:

Her finished picture:

Then she decided to keep drawing, another finished product:

The other two artists in the family, made this yummy pizza. Dad made the crust, I put on the toppings. Isn't it the most beautiful thing you ever saw? It tasted great, too.

Another fun snack is s'mores. We dipped a big marshmallow into melted chocolate (from Betsey's wedding) and the stick was a pretzel. To cool the treat and harden the chocolate, put it on a small piece of graham cracker. I wish I had a picture of it - it was very tasty. We got the idea from church. It was a snack offered to anyone after church. They didn't charge for the treat, just put out a "tip" jar. They also had trail mix the next Sunday. The tip jars received over $1100. The money goes to scholarships for campers from our church. Z & E don't want to go to camp this year, maybe next year.

Hope this finds you doing well and enjoying your day. It would be nice to hear from you who read this babbling. Care to comment? Something?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Just got back from the maple syrup demonstration. It was very informative. Learned alot about maple trees and making syrup. Zachary just finished taking his turn drilling the tree for sap.

Elyse taking a turn drilling.

We met up with other homeschoolers. Serena's family was supposed to go with us, but they forgot to register until it was too late. We did meet up with them for lunch. Kaitlyn took a turn too (her little brother is in the navy hat to the right).

We tasted the sap and the finished maple syrup. We liked the syrup but not the sap. Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. No wonder Aunt Jemima uses corn syrup.

Nicolas is normally a very shy boy. Today, he talked up a storm. He told stories and asked questions. It was so funny! He has the cutest laugh...

One little boy kept falling down. Everyone kept asking him if he was all right. After awhile, we just chalked it up to being a boy and enjoying being on the ground.

One more highlight of the trip was McD's shakes on the way home. One vanilla, two chocolate and one Shamrock shake to go, please. We picked up Dad at Trinity on the way home. It was a good day.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Friday night, Elyse went to "Mr. Wrinkles" party at church. The theme was all about penguins. Some of the children at VCL.

Each child made his own "ice cream." Several of the children's bags leaked (Elyse's was one of them). At the end of the night, one boys whole outfit was still soaked. His parents said, "Typical." See how much fun making ice cream can be (even if it leaks).

Each child made their own "penguin" pillow. They used the pillows to make listening to the story more comfortable. Elyse loves stories!

Fun was had by all. The penguin pillow is our new best friend. We take it everywhere while we read our books. We love our new church!

Tomorrow we are going to see maple syrup being made and eating lunch at McD's. I will try to remember to take the camera.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Actually, this is a "new" nightly tradition. After dinner, we spend 30 minutes together as a family. Each night a different person chooses an activity. It can't be electronic (no t.v., game cube, computer, etc.).

Wednesday night, we "tried" to put together the stable/barn set someone gave us. It is HUGE, btw, in case you didn't already know that. Here is the stable/barn in the process:

After 30 minutes, we gave up putting it together. There were tons of extra pieces that didn't seem to fit anywhere. We do have three buildings that can be used for all the horses the older girls left for Zachary & Elyse to play with.

Thursday night (tonight) Zachary chose for us to build things with Legos. The Legos were left here by Luke, so we have put them to good use.

You wonder why I am not involved in building either the barn or the Legos? I am the supervisor and the photographer. I can't do everything.

One finished project: A duplex!

Another finished project: A house w/windows and a door.

Tonight for dinner we had Italian Orzo. We made it once when we were staying with Dan & Emily. Dad rated it a 3.5, while at Emily's we rated it a strong 4. I also made the Nutella Crescent Rolls without the candy. They were pretty good. The Italian Orzo is supposed to feed six people. Since Zachary is a growing boy, it will only serve 4 or 5 people. Lunch leftovers is where we will see it again.

Dad is leaving to tutor. Elyse & Zachary are going to watch the Rifleman. I will enjoy a peaceful nap. Have a great day, readers!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Elyse has been complaining that she can't read the words on the power point at church. Therefore, she can't sing with the congregation (which she loves to do). After coming home from Emily's house, we went to get her new glasses. How does she look?

But wait, it isn't over! Zachary too can't see the words for the songs. He can't read the street signs. He can't see what I am showing him in school. Yep, we took him for an eye exam too. Does he look studious to you? He says they feel funny! Welcome to the "blind club."

Zachary is so thrilled he can read the street signs. He says he can even read the ones that aren't there!