Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Day

our friend Steve is gonna kill me for posting this
we were being silly
this looks like Po in Kung Fu Panda as
Mantis does the acupuncture and pokes his facial nerve

perhaps you can see some similarities...

still waiting for turkey....
standing on her daddy: on top of the world
watching charades: don't they look like they're having fun?
more charades
Their cat black bear wanted to go for a drive.
let's just say he was disappointed.

So what do you do on thanksgiving?
Pictionary anyone?

this is just a too cute picture of Micah with his daddy

some of the boys waiting patiently to eat

It was not only thanksgiving,
it was this special young lady's 8th Birthday

friends side by side

after a long day
best buddies cuddle and share the days stories

smiles as we hung out

those of you who knew me would never believe this is something I absolutely enjoy

but here was out day of thanks celebration

We have good friends that have almost become our family out here. Being military the holidays can be so lonesome but not with friends like these. They are a terrific homeschooling family with 8 children. what is so neat about our families it that they get along and share tons of the same ideals. They built most of their own home- intially it was just a simple cabin- and they have been turning it into the neatest house around. They live 'off the grid' (and for those of you that dont know that term- it means they generate their own electric with solar power and don't rely on the power company). Since the blog started these kids have been in many of our blog photos. But today I would just like to say how very thankful I am for each and every one of them. I cannot imagine my life without them, and our lives are so much richer with them in it, and no, I didn't just say all that 'cuz they fed us turkey yesterday! When family is 3000 miles away it is comforting to know that God provides 'family' wherever we are.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

kids coloring (thanksgiving theme)

Over the river and through the woods
to our good friends house we go
they horse doesn't know the way
so we took the truck instead
up to the mountain we go...oooh!

The cool mountain air
the fellowship there
and pumpkin pie to eat

so if we're away
and cannot say
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Here is a note
to tell you you're missed
and wish you a thankful turkey day!!!
Micah was thanking God not only for our family but also for 2 other special families we know and love who both happen to have 8 children each!!!! Daddy looked at it and asked,
"Is this how many children he wants in our family?"

Hezekiah colored this scripture
Arianna did a terrific job coloring these praying pilgrims
{I stand corrected... Arianna said "Justyn colored THAT one!"}
Justyn got creative and gave this turkey a 3D beak & gobbler
A cross by Hezekiah

Am I thankful?

I woke up this morning considering a thankful post, like so many people will write, but as I was thinking about it I stopped and wondered 'Am I really thankful at all?' or Do I take so much of it for granted?

Am I thankful this morning for the breath I have or do I take that for granted? Am I thankful for the life out here in the desert or do I long for other places? Am I thankful for the warm little people snuggled close in my bed even though it means I woke up with a stiff neck? Am I thankful for the house that I have even though it it modest and has flaws? Am I thankful for the warm water running to take a shower with or do I complain that the bathroom in which the warm water runs is cold? Am I thankful for the clothes I have or do I want more? AM I thankful for my husband ALL the time or do I concentrate on his flaws? Am I thankful for my 5 beautiful children all the time, even when they are on my nerves? Do I always see them as God does? Am I thankful for my friends or do I sometimes feel unloved? Am I thankful for the church family I have rather than for those we have had to leave behind? Am I thankful for our 'ranch' or do I often see it as more of a burden? Am I truly thankful at all?

Sometimes I really am not. I am guilty all too often of seeing the glass half empty rather than half full. I can see the flaws in my life much more easily than the blessings.

We are supposed to share Thanksgiving with friends, but I have 2 kids under the weather(and more beginning to sneeze today)... and my dear friend graciously said 'come anyway'. I know she means it, but she did have some valid points. When we go to her house the temperature drops an average of 15 degrees. So if it's cold and rainy at my house this morning, you can bet it will be snowing at hers. She is concerned they could feel worse out there because as they go in and out and play in the cold...well, ya know...
so as I am pondering what to do, I am sitting here wondering
"Will I be thankful just to stay home?.... alone... and enjoy my own family...tomorrow?"Hezekiah made this turkey

Whatever your plans tomorrow, May you count it all joy. May you see God's blessing in it all. may you see the abundance in your lives. May you hold fast to the promise that this world is not our true home and may you stop and bless those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ as you go about your thanksgiving busyness rather than simply pass them by.

Justyn's turkey

MaryRachael created this 'turkey'
and colored this one

I hope to post a few more photos of what the kids have colored.
To see something Arianna did go here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kiah tales and packages

Late last week we received a package for no particular reason- and like any other family -mine loves to get packages, especially from grandma and grandpa. This one was unexpected though, no-one(including daddy) seemed to know it was coming. And after receiving the box of fun Italian clothes (Frank's dad had just gone to Italy in Oct) only a week before it was an unexpected surprise... the photos tell a better "story" than I can....

after waiting all day for daddy to get home from work on Thursday, when he finally arrives everyone wants a hand in opening the mystery box
mmmmmm... a pannettone - an italian sweet bread
and then Justyn got silly with some salami & cheese
(I think he watched a little too much KungFu Panda)

cheese from Italy
obviously Maryrachael is more interested in a the bread!

And what do you do with salami?
MaryRachael says "You eat it!"
and she LOVES it!

and the cheese? well when it's imported from Italy...for the first few days... you sniff it.

And then there is a cute Kiah story (there is always a cute Kiah story) so , yesterday as we were cleaning up from Sunday dinner- Kiah comes running in. He says "mom, come quick Mantis is outside and we have to go get his autograph". My kids just saw Kung Fu Panda for the first time and for those of you who don't know Mantis is one of the characters in the movie. But Kiah was just sooooooo cute! And although it wasn't really mantis from the movie, there was no convincing him otherwise.

the secret life of a mantis: "I know KungFu"

The Italian princess wearing the cute outfit from italy Grandpa Joe sent

Friday, November 21, 2008

how do you get a mama bear to growl?

You say something like this on The View on TV.

I am not ashamed. I homeschool. I have homeschooled for 10 years now. I have a complete class.

My eldest is a shyer student, but as she has grown older I have encouraged her to blossom. She now volunteers at the local library and serves in the church nursery.She calls the local Christian radio station and recites scriptures. She has friends but chooses them wisely. She reaches out to many around her. She has a beautiful quiet spirit.... unless you are tickling her.

My firstborn son is the class clown. He is always the one with a joke. He has a hard time remaining seated for long periods of time. The public school system would have labeled him something by now- but at home he just is who he is. He is not shy, he is articulate, he is smart and memorizes and learns easily. He can almost hold an "adultlike" conversation with you.

My second born son is a thinker. He loves to learn. He loves to try new things. He plays the violin and wants a camera to learn photography. (he is 7) He still loves to play normal games with other children his age. He speaks well - sometimes beyond his years.

My thirdborn son is my snuggler. Sweetest disposition. He is just beginning to learn reading and writing but can certainly count and say his ABC's (for more than a year now!). He memorizes scripture and tells stories and sings me song after song. He is such a joy in this house and in our "class".

My littlest daughter is the class bully - and just for the record we are discouraging that quality- She is very opinionated, talks up a storm and knows what she wants when she wants it. She has a free spirit and has not a shy bone in her body. Keep in mind she is only 2!

I don't watch the View, in fact I found this info on a fellow homeschooler's blog
I found it bothersome. Heather suggested that we write to ABC as homeschoolers to debunk what Joy said during this broadcast. She actually called homeschooled kids "demented" c'mon, really? Just for the record as a homeschool mom I don't watch much tv at all as I am investing my time in my children's education.

Now am I saying that all homeschoolers are committed? Certainly there are those who do give homeschooling a bad name. But all the homeschoolers I know personally invest time, energy, and education into their children because our children are worth it. We don't sit around watching cartoons all day. We serve and volunteer at the church and the library we play games with friends at the park day on Friday, we do organized sports when it suits us, we take music lessons and learn. We enter art shows. We speak with other people.

I understand that homeschooling is not for everyone. I do not suggest everyone homeschool. I believe it is a personal choice. I think that if you believe sending your kids to public school or even private school is the answer that is ok. But for the millions of committed homeschoolers I don't think it's fair that Joy (on the view) can get up before America and call our children "demented".

(just for the record I went to public school through 8th grade & was private school from 9-12th grade- this doesnt change the stance I have on homeschooling today)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So what have we been up to?

Well November has proven to be a busy and very challenging month for us...we have had two big birthday celebrations, a USMC Birthday Ball, Church activities, our normal ranch type projects, a flurry of schoolwork, and visits from a former horse owner, followed by visits from animal control because that former owner has made our life miserable concerning our horses(she's telling people that the "horses are so thin their organs are shutting down"), a court date that leads to another court date on December 19th, and then thanksgiving projects on thankfulness at a time when we needed it's probably a good thing that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is still on His throne... but without further ado here are some photos of the first few weeks of our month. (they are not in any sort of order)