Friday, April 30, 2010

8 teeth at one time!

Rosalie is cutting her 4 eye teeth and her 4 molars all at one time. It's painful just to look at her swollen gums. I can't imagine how much it must hurt. One of the eye teeth has cut through, and I am hoping the other 7 will cut through soon. Poor baby! She happens to be holding some homeopathic teething drops in her hand in these pictures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jonathan - Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

He was gathering walnuts - he thought that it would be fun to have "nut" fight and use the nuts as bombs.

My Jonathan. He is ALL boy. You have all heard that statement before. Jonathan defines that statement. He is snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. You can give Jonathan a pile of dirt and some rocks and it will keep him busy for hours. If he comes upon some bugs while he's playing . . . he will scoop them up and cut off their heads. . . then he will come shouting to me with as much enthusiasm as he can muster about his accomplishment of the poor bug's demise. That is my Jonathan. He is strong-willed, stubborn, and so full of joy that you can hardly hold him back!
The other day, he asked Aaron, "why are you staring at me?" Aaron said, "because you are so cute!" Jonathan said, "I'm NOT CUTE! I am not a baby, I am a boy! I am going to cut all your heads off!" That is just Jonathan. And we did all laugh our heads off when he said it. Maybe we shouldn't have, but I suppose that if you saw Jonathan's face when he said it, you might have laughed too. There's something fantastic about laughing with your children until tears start falling. We do that alot.
(oh - and just in case I left you wondering - Jonathan won't really cut anyone's head off . . . unless you are a bug - and I am okay with him cutting heads off of bugs)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I changed my mind!

I thought I wanted to wear this . . . but I changed my mind! HELP!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Martin at the park

We go to this park often and love it! It great walking/bike trails and fun old buildings for play! We often take a picnic lunch and meet friends there. Here are some pictures I took of Martin.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Aaron and girls

Aaron is only 5. However, he sometimes acts as though he is a teenager. He certainly thinks on a level that constantly amazes us. It's quite common for Aaron to find a girl to follow around everytime we go to a park to play. He's only 5. I said that already, I know. We recently met some friends at the park, and Aaron left in tears. Why? Because he loves his friend, *****, but she doesn't love him back. Hmmm, really? So, I tried very hard to be sensitive while not trying to encourage the behavior. I asked him how he knew it, and he told me that he was pretty sure that another boy asked her to be his boyfriend and that she said yes. Again, really? Have I mentioned that he's only 5?
So, we leave the park, and Aaron is in the back of the van crying. He says, "my life is ruined." (at this point, I'll admit that I had a very difficult time not laughing . . . if that makes me a bad mom . . . well, you just try to hear that coming out of your 5 year old boy and try not to laugh . . . then get back to me) We get home, and everyone piles out of the van, and Aaron collapses in my arms and says, "this is the worst day ever!" (DRAMA!) So, I hugged him and moved on.
I really felt the need to put this all in writing, because it's just one of those things that I'd like to tell him about later.
On a side note, Aaron can't believe that Martin only wants to invite boys to his birthday party. I overheard them talking about it, and Aaron said, "are you kidding? why wouldn't you want to invite any girls?" And then he proceeded to list all the girls that he'd invite if it was his party.
I am in trouble.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Awana - end of the year ceremony

Getting ready to leave for the ceremony

Jonathan and his Puggle friend, Ethan

The sweet Puggle group!

Aaron on stage with the Cubbies - Aaron finished his workbook and completed an extra book along with it. Aaron is going to miss Cubbies, but is excited about moving into Sparks.

Martin on stage with his friend Caleb - these two boys were getting awards for going above and beyond. They both finished their Climber book and extra credit workbook, and they both went on to complete another extra credit book. These two boys memorized ALOT of scripture this year!
We are always sad for the Awana year to come to an end. Martin just finished up his last year of Sparks. Aaron finished his last year of Cubbies, and Jonathan finished Puggles!
Next year Martin will move into Truth and Training. Aaron will move up to Sparks, and Jonathan will be a Cubbie! Even harder to believe ... in only 1 more year, I will have all four of my children in Awana! When Rosalie is 2, she will get to do Puggles!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our day at Soccer

Martin plays in his game ... (he's #4)

And while Martin plays his game ...

Rosalie sleeps ...

Aaron and Jonathan play in the dirt ...
Jonathan loves the dirt!

I think they were building volcanoes ... and trying to bomb each other's volcanoes.

Rosalie woke up and joined us

Aaron plays in his instructional league
I love how much my boys are enjoying soccer. Martin and Aaron both are thoroughly enjoying their experience. However, that said, I probably wouldn't have signed them up this Spring if I had known how hard it would be to manage it on my end. When I signed them up, I had no idea that Rich would be so involved with the Huffman campaign. I assumed that he would be able to help me either to watch the two little ones or take the older ones. Instead, I have had to get the two older ones where they needed to be while also managing the younger two. Saturdays can be pretty stressful! Martin has practice every Monday in addition to Sat. games, so I have been having to juggle the 4 children for those practices as well. Martin's games are either at 8AM, 9AM, 10AM each Sat., and Aaron has his instructional league each Sat. at 11AM. So, there are times we have to go and be there for a couple hours or we have to go and then come home and then go back out there. Wow. As much as I am enjoying their joy and excitement over it - I will not be sad to see this craziness end. Trying to keep the other 3 children occupied while 1 is playing soccer for an hour isn't the most fun I have ever had, but certainly worth it in the end. The pictures above describe what we do on Sat. mornings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fascinated with a doll

So. . . it's been pretty interesting for me to watch "girly" things like this after 3 boys. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010


We had the privilege and honor of attending my uncle's burial at Arlington Cemetary at the end of March. My uncle served in the United States Air Force for 16 years until retirement in the early 1990s. My Dad and my Uncle Chuck served in the US military at the same time. When we lived in Iceland my Aunt Sharon, Uncle Chuck, and cousins Stephanie and Stephen lived in Holland. One of my most vivid memories of childhood was being able to visit them when they lived in Holland. Uncle Chuck left this world at a young age and he will be terribly missed. We are all saddened by this great loss. My Aunt Sharon is very special to me. She is my Dad's sister and she and I share the same passion about health and nutrition. When we chat on the phone, it's quite common to talk for hours. I often wish that we could live closer and see each other more often than we do. Her daughter, my cousin, Stephanie died tragically young only two years ago. Now, she has lost her husband. Her faith and strength simply amaze me. She is very blessed to have a son who has taken very good care of her through all of this. My cousin, Stephen lives near D.C., and we actually met at his home before going on to Arlington. I was so thankful to see both of them at the end of March, but did wish it was under very different circumstances. My Aunt Sharon lives near her two grandsons and is a very present figure in their lives.
I have spent most of my life away from family. While growing up we lived far from our Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and cousins. Now, I am raising my own family away from our extended family. It is at times like this it makes me really long to be near them all.
Aunt Sharon if you happen to read this I just want you to know how much I love you and pray for you each day. I miss you and wish that we could be near you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today - 1 year

I started this blog 1 year ago today. I have enjoyed keeping up with this blog and journaling about our everyday happenings. I love that I have an account complete with pictures to help in remembering all the things that we are doing - even the mundane things.
I can't believe that we've lived in this house for almost a year. I am thinking that I might just put some pictures on the wall soon. Yes, I am that person. The one who has pictures sitting in piles here and there waiting to get them on the walls. But in my defense. . . when we moved in to this house, I really didn't think we'd be here for long. (I have got to stop thinking that way!) I decided not to put the pictures on the wall because there was a small chance that we might move again, so why bother? Well, maybe I should just go ahead and put them on the wall. Surely if I do, that will be the time we get word that it's time to move. The other problem I have is that I don't really know how to put pictures on the wall. I know, I know . . . sad, but true. I just don't have an eye for such things. I know when things look nice, I just don't know how to make it look nice. I am definitely not girly in that way.
I am really longing to lay down roots. Rich and I have both had those longings for sometime now. We've been living in this town for 7 years now, and still don't call it home. I could call it home. But in order to do that I need to know that it is home. How do you call a place "home" if you are in the mindset that you could possibly have to move away? I would love to move back to Virginia - but Rich and I both laugh about that. I have never actually lived in the part of Virginia where I want move. But even still, Virginia, (all of it) even the parts where I haven't lived seems like home.
At this point, I'd settle for calling most anyplace home. Yes, I know that my family is home. But, for all of you who have been transient . . . you know what I mean! I spent my entire childhood moving from one place to another, never really having a home base until we moved to Virginia. Virginia became home to us. Virginia still seems like home to me.
I think that where I live now could be home too. I am not sure why this has been on my mind so much lately. I guess as I get closer to 40 . . . the more I just want to be somewhere and stay there. Rich feels the same way. I suppose that for now, just as the past 7 years, we just need to be content where we are and wait patiently for the next step to be revealed. I am a pretty low maintenance kind of a person. I don't need much to be happy. So, for now, I am just praying that this "on edge" and "tired of waiting for the next step" feeling will be replaced by joy and peace.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A day at the park with friends

A picture of the children on a swing - my 4 children along with Ethan and Elizabeth

Elizabeth takes a water break

Rosalie walking around

After walking quite a long way, I discovered that Rosalie had dropped her sippy cup somewhere along the way. So, I sent Martin back to retrieve it. (In the picture above he is in the distance behind the stop sign) He had to travel pretty far to get it - much easier than taking everyone all the way back there!

He's getting closer

He's almost back. . . and with success!

He was so proud that I gave him this responsibility and that he was able to come through! He was the hero of the day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Outside Play at Mamaw and Papaw's House

Rosalie playing on Jonathan's tricycle

GraceAnn's silly look

Too cool in the sunglasses!

Mamaw and Rosalie

Aaron in his batman attire - including his cool batman sunglasses!
I took all of their bikes with me to Virginia this past time because I knew the weather would be just perfect for bike riding. My mom also lives near a beautiful park that has a huge riding trail! So, Martin, Aaron and I rode bikes (I borrowed my Mom's) to that park and then rode the trail. It was so much fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I left my camera cord in Virginia

I am looking forward to getting my camera cord back today. I have two weeks of pictures to upload. Hopefully, I will have time this weekend to get my blog updated.

We took a 3 week Spring Break. At the beginning of March, I realized that we were two weeks ahead - great problem to have! I was planning to end our school year the weekend before memorial day. I was already planning a 2 week break, but took a 3 week break instead. We will still be ending a week earlier than planned. We started back to school this past week and we've had a great week. I am always so ready to get back into our school routine after a break. We've had a really great week. I love structure and routine so much, that I don't think I really want to take a summer break - but my children really want it. I think that I might start homeschooling on a year round basis and just take more frequent breaks all throughout the year - instead of 9-10 weeks off in the summer. 9-10 weeks off is a really long time - and last summer, the lack of structure each day really bothered me. I either need to do school year round or come up with something else to do during our break. Any ideas? (Marsha???)

I am having Martin tested tomorrow for the first time. Here in NC we don't have to register our school until our child is 7. Since Martin only turned 7 last May, this is the first year he will be tested. I admit it. I am nervous. I am confident that Martin is right where he should be. I just don't have a clue at how he will test. He tends to clam up under pressure. (alot like his mom) I'll let you know next week how he did.

About mid-year with Aaron, I decided to slow him down quite a bit and only do Kindergarten at half speed. He was doing really well with all of the information, but was really lazy about it. Of all my children, Aaron is my lazy one. When it comes time to clean up toys, he's the one that has to be nagged the most. It's pretty common for Aaron to start moaning about something on his body hurting right around the same time that I tell everyone to clean up. Since Aaron is still a bit young, I didn't want to push it. So, we slowed down alot, and I decided to continue with Kindergarten into the fall semester. I plan to start 1st grade with him in January of 2011. (he will turn 6 in December) So, Aaron's school schedule will look a little different, but I think that is what is going to work best for him. Reason #146 to homeschool - You can tailor school to the specific child and their needs. Aaron is an excellent reader. His ability to read amazes me. I have discovered that Aaron is a context reader. He knows some of the rules of phonics, but not all of them. However, he figures out the text of whatever he's reading based on the context of the story. It's amazing how different Aaron and Martin are when it comes to learning. Martin was also an excellent reader - and still is. Martin was a strong reader because he is a memorizer and quickly learned all the rules of phonics, retained them, and applied them.
I love this journey of homeschooling and am so thankful for the opportunity to discover how my children learn, how to meet their needs, and be the first one to watch them discover new things. What a privilege that is!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Daddy and Daugter

Many people said that our daughter would have Rich wrapped around her little finger.
I would always respond the same way - Rich isn't wrappable. (not sure if that is a word or if I even spelled it correctly)
However, I suspect that I may have been wrong.
If she doesn't have him completely wrapped around her finger . . . I'd say she at least has him started.
I may have to do some damage control with her, so that she doesn't develop princess syndrome.

Photo by Caroline.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This is what they were doing...

Digging a very large ditch, filling it with water, and getting very muddy in the process.
(and making a memory - probably one that they will always remember!)

I'll be sharing a close up of the ditch later this week. We were all impressed with their handy work!
This kind of outside play requires careful clean up - but worth it for all the fun they had!

The digging crew from left to right:
Caleb, Emily, Jonathan, Aaron, and Martin
I am so thankful for good friends!

All pictures taken by Caroline.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visit with the Ingraldi Family

This past week we spent the week in Virginia. We were able to spend one of those days with our dear friends, the Ingraldi's. Rich and Tony thought it would be fun to dress alike. (cooincidence) All of the pictures posted today were taken by their oldest daughter, Caroline. Her website is:
In all the rush to take pictures of Rich and Tony, we realized that Colleen and I were dressed alike too. . . another photo moment.

The children immediately rushed off to play - and they played - and they played - and came out occasionally for food.
Aaron protects the fair princess Emily from the "bad guy", Jonathan.

Aaron is serious about pretend play!!

After lunch we headed outside for the afternoon. The children stayed very busy outside. They were so busy, in fact, that we were able to sit in a swing and have some very enjoyable and quiet conversation. The two younger children even took great naps! The Ingraldi men, Tony and Sam hooked up a pretty sophisticated video surveillance system, so that I would know when the baby woke up. (I have pictures of that to share - but haven't been able to upload them yet to my computer)

I'll just leave you with a picture of my sweet girl, Rosalie.
And just to keep you in suspense. . . tomorrow I will post about what the children were doing outside to keep them so busy.