Friday, December 24, 2010

Two "Peas" in a Pod

The Twins at almost 12 weeks:

Well, this is the first post about the twins, so I will give a little background for posterity's sake! ;-) A couple of months ago was our 12-year anniversary, and even though I had been charting my cycles to avoid "risky" times, we were not careful enough and I found out a few weeks later that I was unexpectedly expecting! According to my O.B. I was measuring fairly large for the dates I gave her, so she sent me in for an ultrasound, and we discovered that there were two babies! The ultrasound doctor said that he could tell that they were "monochorionic"...identical twins! This was a big shock, but obviously God was at work in the situation! Even though I am still on my epilepsy medication, my doctors have reassured me that the newer medications are much safer during pregnancy than the older ones. My O.B. has delivered 3 babies whose mothers were all on the same medication that I am on, and all the babies have been perfectly healthy! Also, I've had two ultrasounds, and everything looks great! We were a little concerned because the first ultrasound didn't show a membrane separating the babies, but the second ultrasound showed that it was there. So, the babies will be "protected" from getting tangled up in each other's umbilical cords by the membrane. This took me from a "high risk" to a "medium risk" category for my pregnancy. We have decided that, after this delivery, we are permanently done...I am making sure of that before I leave the hospital! Eric originally wanted six kids, and that's what we'll have!:-) Well, there is the summary of our newest news! We appreciate all prayers and thoughts sent our way!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daniel's Birthday!

Sam let Dan use his big Tonka truck to load up his birthday presents and move them to the "gift opening area"! ;-) Our party was shorter than we had planned, since today was the only day I could schedule Sam and Dan's well-child check-ups at the clinic, so Dan got shots for his birthday...yay! Then, we had to go to the grocery store, so we got home later than expected. Eric is working 12 hour nights this week, so I had planned on having Dan's party after we got home, but before Eric left for work. However, we got back too late, and then Dan fell asleep while I was making preparations. I don't know if he was just tired from our outing or the shots or what, but he slept through until this evening! When he woke up, we helped him open his gifts, and he had fun playing for a little bit, and now it is time to get ready for bed! Things didn't really go as planned, but I guess it could have been worse! ;-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sam's Birthday!

We had a great time celebrating Sam's birthday! We went to Chuck E. Cheese, and also had a small party at home with the family. We had hoped to have Ryan, Julie, and Sam's cousins share in the festivities, but they caught a bug and couldn't make it. He really loves all his gifts, and he is still playing with everything today. I send my thanks to all our family who sent him something. I still can't believe that Sam is 3 already! Where does the time go?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Becca' Birthday Outfit

I just had to post this picture...isn't Becca cute in her new sweater dress? She is my girly girl, my princess, and prefers dresses and anything pink. Christy isn't so "girly" or "princessy", but I still love her for who she is! God made each of us unique, and we all have something that only we can give to the world.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Becca's Birthday!

We all had a great time celebrating Becca's birthday yesterday! Eric had to work a standard workday, but I let Becca take a day off of school, and we baked cupcakes, decorated the cupcakes (and the house! ;-), and had fun playing games. When Eric got home, Becca opened her gifts and loved everything that she got! Thanks to all the family for sending her gifts! Then, we decided to use the money that Becca's TX Grandparents had sent to buy a membership to "Underwater Adventures" at the Mall of America! She has been wanting to go for a long time, and now we can go as often as we please for a whole year! It was a fun evening of exploring and playing!

Becca is my special treasure that reminds me of how precious life is!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Dresses

My TX Parents send money every year for Christmas gifts and dresses, so here is a picture of the girls in their new dresses! Aren't they cute? The dresses have many similarities, but also some subtle differences that make them unique and special...just like my girls! ;-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Haircuts and Camo

Eric took Sam to Kids' Hair last night to get his hair cut, and asked for a "military cut". He looked a year older when he came home! Eric also cut Daniel's hair at home, and he did a great job! They just happened to be in camouflage this morning, so I thought it was a fitting combination for a blog post. They are both growing up so fast!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sharing is Sweet

Sam was eating some yogurt this morning, and decided to share some with his little brother who was playing with the pots and pans in the kitchen. I didn't even ask him to do it...he thought of it all on his own! My heart sings when I see my children being kind to each other. Thankfully, they are kind more often than not! ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snowy Sunrise

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness!" -Lam 3:22,23

This was sunrise at our house today! It reminds me of the fresh, new, clean start that we get every morning! ;-)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let it Snow!

Well, here it is...the first "real" snow of the season! It is still coming down, and WeatherBug is predicting 4-7" of the fun stuff. The kids are so excited, and they are looking forward to making snow angels, snowmen, forts, etc. I'm looking forward to all of the good old-fashioned exercise they will get playing out there, sloshing through the snow and burning up some of that little kid energy! I only let them play on the deck unless Eric goes out with them, then they have almost an acre of yard to play in, since our neighbor sold and moved his house out. We are almost all by ourselves out here! ;-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Cute Kids

I just had to share this picture...they are all smiling and looking at the camera at the same time, yay! Although, Sam has his "shy smile" going...which is NOT typical for him. ;-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Too Much Fun

It was quiet...too quiet. I could sense that somewhere, someone was having too much fun. So, after a diligent search of all the usual "trouble" spots, I found my youngest son enjoying his favorite pastime...toilet paper tugging. Honestly, I don't know how to get him to stop doing it. At least now I have an answer when Eric asks me at the end of every week: "It's time to buy another pack of toilet paper AGAIN?!" ;-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

12 Years!

Yesterday, Eric and I celebrated 12 years of being together in holy matrimony! Even though Eric had to work, and I did school with the kids, we had a nice evening together. Eric brought home dinner, flowers, and a little bag of my favorite caramel chocolates! He is so thoughtful and kind, and he also cleaned out our kitchen pantry as an extra gift for me! He is taking the next few days off of work so that I can catch up on housework, and perform the annual "switching of the clothes" from Summer wardrobe to Winter wardrobe for everyone. It used to take me only a day, but now it takes about 3 days, as we have added more little people to our family. ;-)

I am so thankful for Eric, and I can honestly say that I am more in love with him now than when we first met! ;-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sciota Schoolhouse

We were out driving around the countryside by our house, when I spotted this old town hall that used to be the schoolhouse for the Lewiston School District...way back in the 1860's. The building is still in really good shape, and I'm thinking about submitting the photo to "The Old Schoolhouse" magazine, since they use these kind of images for the front cover of their homeschool publication. I'll have to dig up some history about the area and the building before I submit the information. It will be fun, if I can find the spare time! ;-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Construction Paper and Glue Sticks

Here are some fun pages that the girls created for their "Science Portfolios":

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day Craft

Today is Columbus Day, so we read "COLUMBUS" by Ingri & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. It was a wonderful story! I love these books so much, and I really appreciate the fact that the lessons include a time of "narration" from my children so that I can know for certain that they understand what we are learning. The books help to stimulate deeper thinking, and we can reflect on each character's strengths and weaknesses. Of course, we end the lesson by tying all that we have learned to what God did through that person to shape the beginnings of our great nation! I am eagerly anticipating the next set of books to guide us through America's Providential History!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn's Touch

Cooler weather is starting to reach our "neck of the woods" now, and here is a picture of my favorite tree in our side yard:

Here is the same tree, a few days later:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Happy Home

The picture above is sunrise as seen from our huge living room window at our house! I always love being able to look out my window and see the expansive farm field and the various colors that God paints for us in the morning! This sunrise was actually more dramatic and beautiful earlier, but I didn't think about getting my camera out until most of the colors had faded away. However, it made me think of how thankful I am for my wonderful home! It was new when we bought it, and it is still so nice and just the right size for our family! We have a lot of yard space to play in, and a huge deck that we put a safety gate on so that the boys can play safely. Even though we don't have a fence around the yard, the girls are old enough to know to stay away from the street. Not that the street is a problem, because we get only a few cars a day back here in the "boonies"! We only have three neighbors close to us, and they are very nice. Our neighborhood is very nice as well, and we feel safe and happy here. This Summer, we thought about moving, but decided that it just isn't worth it. We love our home, our location, our neighborhood, and the fact that we can homeschool and live off of Eric's income without having to stretch our dollars too thin. It would take a major change in circumstances to make us move, and I have "peace like a river" when I think about staying here and enjoying life with my wonderful family!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Potty Peril

Sam's potty training is going GREAT! I'm so pleased with how well he is doing, and I'm especially pleased that he will go on his own, without being told! No timers, no reminders, nothing...he just GOES! However, the key to all of this potty training bliss is that he has to have HIS own potty chair, in HIS own little room (the laundry room), and it has to be easily accessible 24/7. He will go, on his own, and now he's to the point that he won't even announce it anymore. You would think that this is a good thing, but I have a very mobile and curious 9-month-old who seems to have a knack for knowing when his older brother just "went". He has really been keeping me on my toes, and we've had a few close calls. Easily accessible potty chair and silent stealth-like baby = an accident waiting to happen!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hands-on Science

We have been using the "God's Design for Science" curriculum from Answers in Genesis, and it has been great! This week, we have been learning about how to tell if something is alive, how living things are classified, and the different characteristics between plants and animals. We took a trip to the Minnesota Zoo (that is a membership worth having!) for more in-depth studies. We also made a game on poster board with "clue cards" describing a characteristic of a living thing, and the kids had to decide if the card belonged under the plant, animal or "both" category. It has been great fun, and we are all learning so much! :-)

Becca and Sam loved this new "Tropics" exhibit!

Christy really liked these black-and-white monkeys, but I thought they were skunks at first glance! ;-)

A diver was cleaning the rocks in the aquarium, and that was fun to watch!

Here is Daniel...happy in his swing while we set up the game!

Here is a close-up of the books we are using this year:

Some of the clue cards for the "plant" category were: Chlorophyll, photosynthesis, needs sun, cannot move around, needs carbon dioxide, created on the 3rd day of creation, etc.

Some of the clue cards for the "animal" category were: Moves around, cannot make food, carbon dioxide is a waste product, no chlorophyll, etc. Some of the clue cards for the "both" category were: Alive, cells, reproduces same kind, needs oxygen, designed by God, eaten by animals, etc.

All done!