This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year in Review

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Wow, What a year it has been. I can't believe today is the last day of 2009. Feels like we just started. We had a great year filled with lots of memories.


January brought on some good news and some bad news. We finally would be moving East to Virginia after being in WA for 11 years. Mike PCs'd (permanent change of station for you non-military folks) to VA. We have been wanting to get stationed on the East coast for a few years and now it was really happening. We were all sad when he left but knew God had a plan to reunite us sooner than we thought. We also found out we were pregnant with our 5th child, who was to be born in October.


The bad was that Mike was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer one week before leaving and needed surgery to remove the cancerous tissue ASAP. He had to make the trip to VA regardless and his surgery was scheduled in late January at the Naval Hospital. I felt horrible as he lay in his bachelor housing room recovering all by himself. He is now cancer free, Praise The Lord!


Marie turned 12 in March and got her hair cut. Yikes! That means she'll officially be a teenager in 3 months! Where did the time go? The pregnancy and stress was taking a toll on my body. I was SO tired. Wait!!! Tired doesn't do justice to how I was feeling. After much thought and prayer I decided that it was time to close my daycare business.


I spent much of May getting the house prepared to be put on the rental market. We spent time catching up with friends and preparing for the move East.


June brought the nightmare 16 hour pack out of our household goods and ended with us leaving WA and arriving to VA.


In July I closed on our 3rd new house with God's grace seeing me through the entire time. Never again will I rent a house, fly across country, and buy a house while being 7 months pregnant and 4 children in tow. (well, I shouldn't say never, we may have to do it again someday). It was a challenge but we survived!

In August I was put on bed rest when the OB doctor discovered I had too much amniotic fluid and went from measuring 32 weeks pregnant to full term within a few days. Montana became a big sister when little McKenzie made her grand entrance to the world on August 28th at 4 lbs 13 oz.

September brought Grandma out to visit us for over 3 weeks. It was so good to see her. We all had a blast and really enjoyed her help. Mike and Montana both had birthdays, 35 &3. McKenzie was released from the hospital on Mike's 35th birthday, what a special gift!


The rest of the year kind of flew past. We had Candy day and then Mike left for a 3 1/2 week deployment. We had our very first Nor'easter. I saw my big-little sister Allie for the first time in 5 years. The girls and I decorated the house for The Nester's Christmas home tour. Mikayla lost her first tooth, and then another one the next day. We spent Christmas up at Aunt Joyce's and saw family and friends from all around.


Now, as I sit here writing this I am preparing to send my hubby on his 4th deployment in 4 years. Wow, kind of brings it into perspective when you say it like that. Tomorrow, January 1, 2010 he will officially be a Naval Lieutenant, and I couldn't be any prouder. It's been a long road to this point in his career, with many years to come with God's blessings. I know God has big plans for him, for us, as we continue on in our Naval career and life.


I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in 2010; all 365 days (hehe AJ).



I am linking up with Melissa from A Familiar Path, click on over and link up your year in review.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy 4 months

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Where has the time gone! My baby girl is 4 months already. McKenzie weighed in at 9 lbs 9 ozs this morning and a whopping 22 inches long. She is just shy of the 50th percentile on the preemie growth chart. We are just now starting to wear 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers. Kenzie is quite the talker, she must get that from her Aunties :-) The doctor gave the go ahead to start cereal for the next few months. We will wait until after the New Year and her appointment with the gastrologist to try that out. Way to grow Kenzie bug!

Chat later!

Injured

Aaah... my back hurts. I had a back spasm on Saturday evening after sitting on my Dad's couch. I sat in the corner seat, which according to my big-little sister, Allie was the sweet spot. Maybe if I was a few inches taller it would have been the sweet spot.

Whew, what a busy last few days! We traveled up North to Aunt Joyce's for Christmas and then stopped over at my Dads on Saturday for a bit. My cousins Larry and Burl were home for Christmas and it was great seeing them. I have lots of pictures to post but sitting in a chair is not too fun right now.

Guess what!?! My baby girl is 4 months old! WOW, time is going so fast! She goes to to doctor's at 915am this morning, so I will make sure to get her picture BEFORE we leave since she will be getting more shots. Okay, I better get up and get moving, lots to do today.

Chat later!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why did I start blogging?

Because my Aunt made me!
Just joking, really!!!
Today is the day, the day that started it all. The day I wrote my first blog post as I sat in the living room in our Marysville WA house snowed in. Wow! A whole year has past. It's been a great year at that. The girls and I moved across country to VA, Mike returned from deployment safely, our precious McKenzie entered into the world, albeit a little bit early, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. We started our homeschooling journey, what a great journey it has been so far!
I get a lot of comments from fellow bloggers on my girls' names. I must confess that those are not their real first names. GASP! I know shocking, right? I am going to let you in on a little secret, just this once, I am going to tell you the girls' real names. But I am only going to leave it up until 10:00PM TONIGHT. Are you ready? Are you? Okay, here it is...
SORRY DELETED THE GIRLS NAMES
So, do you have anything you want to ask me? What do you want to know? I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for our family, I hope you will continue to follow along on our journey.
I am going to take a few days off of blogging.. I still have presents to wrap and buy, yikes! I know this procrastination thing has got to stop in 2010. But, I will be back Christmas Day sometime.
Chat later!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Guest Post: Read the Bible in 90 Days

***The following is a guest post from Amy, from Mom’s Toolbox. If you’re looking for a great way to start off your New Year keep on reading.***
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Have you ever thought about reading the Bible... the whole thing, from start to finish?I thought about it for years, and even attempted a few times on my own,
before I discovered Bible in 90 Days, joined a group at my church and read the whole thing without stopping, cover to cover.
I was so blown away by the experience that I offered to facilitate it at my next church and have since facilitated several more times, trained facilitators and now plan to host an online community via my blog, MomsToolbox.
If you have ever considered reading the whole Bible, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you join me January 1- March 31, 2010, as I read and blog through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, bit by bit, in order, every day.

If you would like to join our online community, here’s what you’ll need to do:
• Plan to set aside about an hour each day from January 1- March 31 for an incredibly enriching experience.
• Get your hands on a Bible in 90 Days Bible from www.Biblein90Days.org, or your local Christian bookstore.
• Consider also purchasing the Bible in 90 Days Participant’s Guide which offers weekly questions for you ponder to gain more insight from your reading. (I’ll be using these questions for our weekly Twitter meet-ups.)
• Consider purchasing the Bible in 90 Days Essential Bible Companion, which offers a snapshot of information to help you make it through each week’s reading without getting distracted by researching on the internet.
• Bookmark my site, http://www.blogger.com/www.MomsToolbox.com, and plan to visit January 1- March 31 after you have completed each day’s reading to see what I learned and report in that you have read for the day.
• Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/momstoolbox) and plan to be on Twitter every Monday night of the program from 9-10 CST (much like a study meeting—just online!) when we can ask and answer each other’s questions. Use and look for the #B90Days hashtag for our group discussion.

I would bet some of you are asking “Why this particular Bible?” Here’s why:
The official Bible in 90 Days Bible is an NIV Bible, so it is an easy-to-read direct translation. This edition has large type, minimal footnotes and indicates where you should start and stop reading each day. Sure, you could accomplish this goal using your own Bible, but the statistics point to a huge success ratio for those using this official Bible... and not so much success for those who choose to use a different one. And don’t you want to succeed this time?

Although we won’t be meeting in person, my prayer is that via almost-daily online communication on my blog, as well as on Twitter we can still hold each other accountable, helping each other to accomplish our goal to read every word of the Bible attentively in 90 days.
I’d love to encourage you in this endeavor. It has been life-changing for me.
I cannot express how much reading the bible in 90 days has helped me with every study I have participated in and every sermon I have heard since then. I now know the context of the stories. I know where to find them... and I can clearly see how they are related. And to read about Christ and the fulfillment of countless prophesies just after you’ve read about those prophesies is amazing!
If you’re up for the challenge, I’m up for encouraging you every step of the way.
Pray about it. Think about it… And click on over to MomsToolbox.com to let me know if you’d like to join in the challenge and to learn more. But do it soon so you’ll be ready to start 2010 in His Word… all of it!
Hope to see you there!

** If you still have questions, plan to follow me on Twitter and join me for our first Twitter chat this Monday, December 21 from 9-10 CST. I’ll be there ready to chat about the program and would love to answer any questions you may have.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've already told Amy I'm in! Are you?


chat later!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A new scene

Did you notice? There are some changes going on around here. It's not quite finished yet, but I LOVE it! Merry Christmas and Happy Blogoversary to me!

We are expecting snow here for the first time this winter. The girls are so excited. They have visions of our last winter in WA where it snowed for 2 weeks. Aah the memories...You can see our WA snow pics here.


On another note, one year ago today my sweet Mikayla joined the family gallbladder club. Yep, she had it removed at the tender age of 5 years old. Oh, what an ordeal it was just to have it diagonosed as gallbladder inflamation, but in the end everything turned out great! A mother's instinct is always right. She has occassional stomach aches when she eats something too oily or spicy. Chuck E. Cheese pizza a NO go, EVER! I have memories, BAD memories of the both of us being sick as dogs after eating pizza there. I don't think I have gone back either, even though the girls want to. Yeah, it was that bad.


Chat later!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zhu Zhu winner




And the winner is.....


Amy!!!


Congratulations you are the winner of the Zhu Zhu pet Num Nums! Stop on by Amy's site and spread the comment love.

Chat later!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

not so sure about this guy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An apology with an explanation is an excuse

Love that title! I gleaned that from church this past Sunday. Wow, what a wonderful last few days, squadron Christmas party, finding a new church home on Sunday, and to top it off The Nester's holiday tour.

I am SO excited about the church we found this weekend. It was raining cats and dogs that morning but I was determined to not let anyone or thing stop us from going and I am so glad we did. As soon as we arrived I felt this calmness sweep over me. I am usually a shy person and new situations make me nervous, R-E-A-L nervous, but not Sunday. I got the girls settled into their perspective Sunday school classes and was shown to the sanctuary and immediately felt that this is where I belonged. A place where I can continue to grow, flourish in my Christian walk. I sat in the back just in case little miss Kenzie bug decided she wanted to be heard and I could make a quick getaway out the back. But she slept peacefully the entire time without a peep. After the first two songs of praise were through, the Pastor asked everyone to greet a familiar face. I had literally 20+ people come up to me and greet me with a hearty Merry Christmas, Welcome to WBCC. I can't wait for Sunday, I want more!

On Saturday we took the girls to Mike's squadron Christmas party. They came away with way too many goodies, including winning the raffle door prize bag. The big man made his appearance about halfway through and Montana hunted him down to tell him that she would like a phone this year. Santa just gave us this look... a phone, you're 3!!! We will see what Santa can do. Other than that it was a fun time. I met some of the other spouses, including seeing the XO's wife and their new baby boy who was born 2 days before McKenzie.


I so much enjoyed the Christmas home tour hosted by The Nester. I think I commented on well over 100, yes you read that right one hundred, blogs. There were some great homes out there and beautiful tall trees. I told hubby I want to upgrade our tree to a 9 ft or greater tree. He just laughed. I would love to read and comment on all the posts, but I think I would need the whole month of January. If I didn't get to yours tell me what link you are and I'll hop on over and check out your home.

It's late here, I should get ready for bed while Kenzie is still sleeping. Don't forget to enter the Zhu Zhu pet giveaway. The drawing ends tomorrow evening, so there is still time to join.
Chat later!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas tour 2009





Thanks for stopping by, welcome to my home. If you like peeking into others houses then you need to hop. skip. jump. FLY if you have too, on over to The Nesting Place and peek inside other blogger's home!



entry foyer




formal dining



all 7 stocking hung with care



I didn't get that wall painted as planned





Main tree






secret Santa tree



Advent calendar



Secret Ornament exchange partner Barbara from Dogmom Diva sent me these cuties







Leaving so soon... I hope your enjoyed your tour!





Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bench repurpose ~Christmas card preview

I finally got around to re-purposing this old IKEA bench. We purchased this on our very first trip to IKEA Seattle, way back in 2003. I would show you a picture in it's brand new glory, but our printer has been on the fritz since the move and won't scan. The said bench lived a wonderful life in each of our three homes and was on the brink of being disposed of (several times) at the Hubster's favorite place, The Dump. I am SOOOO glad I saved her! She will now grace the entry foyer with her simple yet elegant beauty. Amazing what a can of spray paint can do! Now if I can just get motivated and get the wall painted and the shelf on the wall we would be in business. I am running out of time, the Christmas tour is Monday! Once again, I procrastinated, but it shall be painted along with the wall in the family room by tomorrow evening,

I. Hope.

* in the garage, waiting to be saved*



*entry foyer*





Here's the Christmas photo I said I would share. This is not the one that will grace the card this year, you'll have to wait for your Christmas card for that one, or for the blogging friends until I mail the cards out.





chat later!







Friday, December 11, 2009

365 project


One of my 2010 New Year's resolutions is to learn how to use my camera and take better pictures. To help me on this journey I am going to participate in the 2010 Mommytography 365 Project! For this year long project I will be posting an image a day, to get me out shooting, using my camera and learning new things with it daily. Anyone interested in photography can join, no need to be a Mommytographer. We have teens to adults, male and female, as well as people from all over the world. Come join the fun!

And the WINNER is...



Congratulations you are the winner of the Mr. Sebastian snowman! Stop on by Ally's site and spread the comment love.


***be sure to check out my Zhu Zhu Pet giveaway here***

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pet GIVEAWAY




Do you need a Zhu Zhu pet for that special little someone in your life? I was able to secure a set of the four Zhu Zhu's in early November for a reasonable price. Now they will cost you your arm and a leg on the Internet. Have no fear, one of you lucky readers will be able to secure this years hottest toy.


To enter the GIVEAWAY leave a comment telling me what's on your Christmas list this year (mandatory for one {1} entry).
For extra entries do the following:


~follow my blog by clicking the follow button to the left. If you already follow, GREAT! (three {3}extra entries) *leave a separate comment saying you follow*

~blog about the GIVEAWAY on your blog and be sure to link to this post. (two {2} extra entries) * Leave your link in a separate comment*


~post a message on Facebook and leave the link here in a separate comment. ( one {1} extra entry)

Don't have a blog? Leave your email instead.

Don't have a blog? No problem, just leave your email in the comment box with each entry.


GIVEAWAY ends on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 @ 8:00 PM. US and Canada entries only. Winner will be announced on Thursday morning. Winner will have until 8:00 PM on Dec. 18th to contact me with there address. Package will be mailed off ASAP to ensure delivery by Dec. 24th. Please leave your email if you don't have a blog profile with your email listed. Winner will be picked randomly.

Chat later!

Christmas Door Tour


It's time for the 2nd annual Christmas Door Tour hosted by Lianna at Growing our own Garden. The front door is the first impression of your house. What does yours say during the Christmas season?











The door's open, c'mon in!





chat later!





Mama's Holiday Wish list



TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you. Head on over to TodaysMama and enter for your chance to win. On second thought, DON'T. That just means I have a better shot at winning, but I am a great sharer. No, seriously, GO. Enter.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
  • double jogging stroller
  • Cuisinart food processor
  • Photoshop
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Pioneer Woman's cookbook


2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?

A Christmas tree skirt that my Aunt made us years ago. It goes under our main tree each year.


3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?

I would love to make a huge scrapbook for my Grandma of all her kids, grandkids, and great-grandbabies.


4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?

My Cricket and Cabbage Patch Dolls.


5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?

Marie~ Adobe design premium, dress form

Madison~ Zhu Zhu pet, camera

Mikayla~Pillow pet, new bike

Montana~a gold cell phone *she's 3, and she already knows what she likes*

McKenzie~ a Merry 1st Christmas

6. What is your favorite holiday food?

Mashed potatoes, you can enjoy them year round.


7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?

Can't say, some of my readers are the recipients of the gifts.


8. What is your favorite holiday movie?

The Polar Express


9. Favorite holiday song?

O Holy Night, Point of Grace's rendition


10. Favorite holiday pastime?

Baking, enjoying time with family and friends and helping the girls see the true meaning of Christmas.

Entering this contest is easy and fun. Just answer and post the meme below on your blog and send the link to info@todaysmama.com with “Wish List Meme” in the subject line. (Don’t have a blog, no problem! You can post this as a note in Facebook and send the link too.) So what are you waiting for, you can't win if you don't enter!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas!!!

It's "Merry SITSmas 2009" over at SITS. Don't know what that is? Neither did I until I read the post on the blog. Women bloggers encourage each others blogging through comments. It's a great place to make friends and real blogosphere connections. Today we were asked to post a family photo or Christmas Card along with our hopes for the very swiftly approaching new year. Good thing I already had snapped these photos before dinner. Go. Quickly. Go check it out already!


Here are our preliminary practice pictures. The real deal will happen on Friday afternoon.





Monday, December 7, 2009

Movie Party~ Now showing: Santa Buddies

I am putting the party pictures in a slide show because there are just too many to post. (If you see one you like, let me know and I can email it to you. ) The girls had a blast with their friends. We had a concession stand and each girl ordered their popcorn and treats. Homemade pizza's and they frosted their own mini cakes. Fun was had by all!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Can't go to sleep

without posting my picture for the day.


This JOY sign will grace



this wall, once it is painted



similar to this wall in our WA house.



stay tuned this week, it shall be done.

(oh how I miss those floors, I do not like carpet)


I am off to bed for real now, chat later!