April 29, 2008

Micah takes his sisters for an late afternoon stroll...

Soon he'll be running independently; until then it's fun to watch him toddle between his big sisters, who provide the perfect balance, don't you think?

By the way, he's 11 months old today. I guess I should start planning a where-did-the-first-year-go? birthday party soon. :)

April 28, 2008

He can't walk, but he can CLIMB!

This very joyful baby, full of surprises and determination, amazes me. You'd think with four kiddos I wouldn't be shocked too much; not with this boy--you never know what he'll do next.

Here he is doing what babies do: wanting to play with train pieces while chewing on their mother's circa-1970ish little people. And wondering how many tries it would take to sit on the scuffed, full of his sisters' scribbles, hand-me-down train table, instead of just standing there.

(Disclaimer: while you are looking at his progress, please ignore his sloppy attire. He wore this outfit to church yesterday and then came home and played so hard (while plotting his climb today, I'm sure) that he fell asleep in his crib while waiting for his nighttime bottle. I didn't have the heart to wake him up and put on his jammies. When he got up this morning, I couldn't keep this squirmy tike still long enough to snap all 150 (at least) snaps, so I just snapped two together on his backside to keep the overalls out of his way. So he looks a bit goofy...but, hey, it's just real life around here.)

One foot in...(what do you think he's thinking here? If only I had words for this expression...)
Oh, frustration!
That was just a momentary blimp... now two feet in:
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
Up and almost over...

He did it! (Yeah!--I think...)

What do you think he'll tackle next? The bookcases and dressers are being bolted TODAY!

And when he finally learns to walk, we'll just stay out of his way. Because if he can't get around you, he might just walk over you! :)

April 25, 2008

April 24, 2008

Little known facts and an ear infection

My baby never falls asleep in the highchair. He's always too eager to gulp down any food put in his path. But he's gummy-zwieback-cute nonetheless.

He fell asleep because he has an ear infection. Poor kid! He's had for a few days, but I was completely oblivious. He never pulled on his ears. He never had a fever. He wasn't all that fussy--even though his top teeth were breaking through. But his gunky and gross nose was constant. We even started calling him Snotty Scotty (not that Scott is even part of his name...it just rhymed...but don't you think he looks like a Scott?). And when we emptied a small bottle of infants' Pediacare, I knew it was time to bring in the big guy with a white coat. Sure enough, the ear was infected.

He's on the mend thanks to the amoxacillin and his nose didn't drip at all last night. Now that I've given you a little TMI, I thought I fill the rest of this entry with other trivial tidbits from this almost-11-months-old's life:

Micah will only fall asleep to the voice of Alan Jackson. Neither his Granny, nor I, can sing him to sleep. Mozart, Bach and Randy Travis don't cut it either. Only his crib, his blue crocheted blanket and AJ can soothe this boy straight into Dreamland.

For playtime, however, he expands his musical interests to include a variety of baby praise and classical orchestra CDs, even a little bit of leftover Sesame Street, and--prepare yourselves here--Big Bad VooDoo Daddies. This swingin' jazz group has the best baton twirling music so Micah gets a daily earful from his dancing sisters.

He only--as in no other way--drinks his formula mixed with 2 scoops of chocolate Nesquik. You think we're spoiling him? Probably--he's a tried and true Mama's Boy...because I have a glass with him. :)

He asks for bananas by name. Seriously, if a banana is on your counter, he morphs into a hyperactive monkey anticipating a feeding frenzy at the zoo as he screeches and grunts over that 'naaaannnnnaaaaa.

He's the great Houdini of pacifiers. His growing collection could be tied down to his crib or his hand or his clothes but somehow, someway they mysteriously disappear into the bottomless Paci Pit underneath his crib, not to be found until he magically retrieves them himself. This is very inconvenient for a groggy mama at 3am.

His favorite toys are a plastic spoon and an unopened container of M&M minis. He's so easy to please and keep entertained.

Any day now he'll take his first step. He's ready to run...I'll keep you posted.

April 23, 2008

Country girls set the table...

A few weeks ago, the girls at our church learned--from a bonafide etiquette expert--how to correctly set a table and use proper manners while eating. They made placemats to remind them where everything goes:
Inspired by my new spiffy tablecloth (from Target, where else?) they gave their newfound knowledge some practice using silverware and our finest white china:
They even added a lovely weed flower bouquet, fresh from the yard!
Not bad for my country bumpkins! Now if their mama could only conjure up a meal worthy of true place settings...

April 22, 2008

Grocery Cart Math (aka it's time to do math but we're hungry!)

I hadn't been to the grocery store this week, so the food supply was famishly low. With nothing desirable to eat, I made a quick list. If I have to take all the kids to the grocery store, I prefer to do it in the morning when everyone has plenty of energy. So we would maximize our time, I gave each kid the list and told them to write down each price. This kept them focused and their little hands busy and out of tempting displays of candy, cookies and fruit drinks.

When we came home, we added up our items. I had broken the list into breakfast, lunch and dinner foods. We tallied each category to see where we spend the most money. We also talked about the most expensive item (gallon of milk) and the cheapest (can of black beans).

Next time we do this, I'll give each girl a list of ingredients for a particular recipe and let them add up what that meal costs this family of six. Another time I want to do a list of foods and compare store brand prices with national brands. (Most of my ideas come from this book. I'm not this creative with math!)

Of course, after all this shopping, we had to treat ourselves...so, lucky us!, we found these at the checkout:



April 18, 2008

A few random, trivial bits from our life this week...and goober peas

Many of you have asked what Micah does while the girls are working on whatever school project they have going. Typically I put him in his walker, hand him a zwieback and send him on his merry little way to patrol the living room and kitchen areas. One day, though, I couldn't find him. Now how exactly do you lose a baby in a large walker? Easily...if you don't look around at his eye level. We finally found him under the table! Since then we find him there quite often...

And then there's our faithful dog, BB, who hangs out with CG while she finishes her math. She sits in her chair and looks over CG's page, content to listen to CG skip-count her mulitplication facts until she glances out the window and sees a squirrel climbing up to the bird feeders...then she's outta there for some fun with those hairy beasts.

My patriotic child, M, drew this fun picture in her Bible notebook today. Can you tell we are also discussing American history? We started the day with a few stories of the American Revolution (I love The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong for the young elementary ages!) and finished our morning writing about Joshua and the battle of Jericho the American Revolution. The waving American flags sure add a finishing touch!

Speaking of American history, we listen to Wee Sing America in the car these days and one of the kids' favorite songs in "Goober Peas." Just this week we discovered a goober pea is really a peanut. I had no idea! I'd never really thought about it, even though the song is a bit catchy. (If you're in the dark too, you can preview Burl Ives' rendition of this popular song from the Civil War era.) Speaking of peanuts, did you know they aren't really nuts? They are closely related to the family of beans and legumes. Who knew?

April 16, 2008

I'm tired! *yawn*

About 6 weeks ago my baby decided to sleep completely through the night; honestly, I've gotten quite used to it. Yesterday he had a cold that caused his restless night that led to me getting out of bed 3 times last night. Then this morning he awoke for good as the sun was coming up. And in my house, getting me out of bed before 7am is heavily frowned upon (especially since my coffee maker died).

But I was able to snap this photo as he sat on my bed and looked out the window:
At least the sunrise looks good on him!

Now I pretty much always have my camera nearby, and glad I do for opportunities like this. I wouldn't call myself a photographer, but I do like to take pictures. So does a contributor to John Piper's blog...and he has 9 reasons to be a photographer.

So the moral of this story...give the baby a strong dose of benedryl ;) and when all else fails, have your camera ready. :)

April 13, 2008

Sissy Soccer Girls

K has decided that she'd like to pursue soccer instead of dance next year. So I thought I'd with all my non-athletic ability I'd buy her a soccer ball and let her begin kicking it around and develop her eye-hand-foot coordination skills.

She's loving having her ball so much that she named it.

She calls her Ruby. She even sleeps with Ruby and takes Ruby to my parents' house and the grocery store.

Here's Ruby and K in K's flowery dress--as K said, "It matches, mom!" Check out the pink soccer shoes:)

And when Ruby gets dirty, she even carefully bathes Ruby to wash off all the dirt and grime from a day's worth of soccer practice.
I'm not sure how long the soccer interest will last, but Ruby has a friend (who hasn't been named yet), a bright blue and white softball.

All weekend the girls rotated between soccer and softball.
And here's Twirl Girl with a baseball bat:
I suspect she won't be trading her baton for a bat anytime soon.

April 11, 2008

Gardening update

Because of this:
we had to try and plant our tomato seedlings again. This time will keep them out of BB's jaws.

I actually was contemplating whether or not to start another batch of seedlings. We didn't have a spare packet of seeds laying around the house and loading up the kids to go buy a handful of tomato seeds brought no excitment to my day. I did find myself at Target late yesterday, and while looking at soccer balls, I saw a rack of seeds in the distance. Lucky day! I didn't have to go to Lowes afterall! So I suppose if Target has tomato seeds, I might as well plant them.

So this morning we re-fertilized our garden plot and planted cucumbers, carrots, watermelon and canteloupe. Since I'm not a gardener, I'm hoping it will all grow. We followed all the advice on the back of the seed packets, but we didn't have as much ground as we needed and had to plant the seeds closer together. So if their roots intertwine, we might have cantemelons or carrotcumbers. :)

April 8, 2008

All the world's a stage...

Yep, I've got some country girls! They love the outdoors and have even carved out a dreamy little cove in the woods that they simply call "Our Secret Hideout." It's not all the secret--it's only a feet from the front driveway. And not's really a hideout because it's walls are trees and tossed-around branches; the door is the open sky.

But doesn't it make you wish you were a kid again?

April 7, 2008


If you've met my kids in real life, you know that two of them are particulary easily distracted. Their creative minds seem to aimlessly wander towards anywhere or anything than the current task at hand. Work on a math page takes 30-40 minutes, but could be completed in 15 minutes with the right focus. Of course, if you know any 6-year-old, you know how hard it is any child that age to complete a simple (boring) task, especially when the child would rather be outside catching lizards and butterflies.

At our home, distractions are quite frequent and I pro-actively allot for them. Heading into our morning schedule I know that it will take at least:

7 full minutes (really, I counted) to get organized, find a pencil, sharpen it, locate an eraser, drop the pencil by letting it roll across the table, resharpen the broken led, decide to use a mechanical pencil, find the right color (apparently one can't do math with an orange pencil), beg to use a pen instead, agree that the orange color really is the same color as the sun or a canteloupe or anything other than a Clemson tiger ;), sit in the seat, find the correct page, complain about how hard it is, and s l o w l y begin.

5 minutes to see who has the least amount of bird seed in the feeders, loudly wonder why (again) house sparrows eat off the ground and from the feeders, ask if we'll see yesterday's cardinal again...all while investigating what the dog is currently chewing from the turned over garbage can (gotta love doing math by a large window)

2 intense minutes discussing why big sister knows more math, who is smarter (mommy of course!), and how many more days it will take to finish the current math book

and then today...4 minutes (at least) demonstrating that the number 12 can become an R if you write the 1 and the 2 very close together

Most of the time I can firmly corral the chatter (yes, sometimes I use bribery), but today was an interesting exception. K made it through 1/2 her math lesson quietly, when she looked up at me with the light of excitement in her eyes: "Mom, I've got to show you something!" As she ran to her room, I figured she had discovered a creative way to solve all the subtraction problems on her page.

But, oh, no she found a picture of a leopard in the National Geographic magazine she hid under her covers last night. I'm not sure how what a safari animal had to do with triple digit additon but she wanted to know all about leopards right then, right there! With her contagious excitement, I gave in and read the article to her.

She listened intensely, asked lots of questions...and calmly returned to her math. She quietly completed the rest of the page, content with her newfound love of African animals.

And I'm so glad I allowed this particular interruption. Just to see her delight was enough to inspire me to plan more units on animals.

Because if wild animals can lead to tame math, then I'm all for it!

April 2, 2008

I'M MAD! (and very embarassed!)

Apparently, some crazy e-terrorist hijacked my hotmail account and sent many of you a poorly written email from me that promotes someone else's phone/web business. I don't know all the details, but I do offer each of you an apology who received this. I'm very sorry. :(

Maybe a bit jealous?

This picture is purely for future blackmail purposes :) ...

This child can't seem to stay off her baby brother's toys. She's even pretending to eat a biter biscuit! If you look closely, K is behind her in Micah's exersaucer. Truthfully there is never a dull moment around here! :)

And they really do have normal girlie toys...
I just hope baby bro doesn't decide to play with the dolls when he's older...his daddy may not like that!