Sunday, August 31, 2008


The house is quiet....I am the only one here tonight, no kids, no husband - just me, the clicking of keys, the hum of the a/c....*sigh*

I miss my family....but what wonderful sleep I will get tonight. I will be on my own schedule, my internal clock time - late night and late morning, late breakfast and whatever I want in between. I don't think at this point in my life I could ask for a nicer gift than just being in my house all by myself.

Where is everyone, you ask? Don't worry....nothing sinister happened to them. Since tomorrow is a holiday, Steven took the boys to his folks house to camp in their yard...Grandma Gloria wanted to spend sometime with sweet Lillie too so she is "camping" out in grandma's pack -n- play. And me? I will hook up with everyone tomorrow....after I wake up and have my late breakfast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh my...

I'm tired. I can't think of anything too terribly exciting to tell you and I am too tired to write it out. Hopefully a burst of energy will come my way soon...but here's at least is a short summary of what the kids are doing.

Isaiah loves reading now. He asks to do his school work at this point in time which always makes things easier. Everything is clicking together for him and he is beginning to read simple chapter books independently - and isn't getting discouraged with them. He lost a third tooth last week and just is overall growing up too fast.

Huston is getting more comfortable in the water through his swimming lessons. He makes friends really easily and has a good buddy in sunday school and even made a new friend while swimming the other day. Kids are drawn to him and he seems to naturally know how to treat them sweetly.

Avery is turning 3 soon...the toughest age in my book. I can handle 2 year olds all day, 3 year olds make me tired. He is asserting his "independence" and telling people off when they do him wrong (or beating them up). He is learning the finer arts of sharing, obedience, kindness, gentleness and all that good important stuff all at once - and while sometimes the fruits of our labor shine through, a lot of times right now it is just a battle. He is still a nut and still makes us all laugh so that helps.

Lillie is an eater right now - she loves to eat table food. Hasn't turned anything down yet. The other day at a mexican restaurant she became jealous of all the eating people and fussed that the beans and rice were not coming to her fast enough. She is finally finding that thumb to satisfy her - she usually chews on a rag and would never take a pacifier. She has experimented with different combinations of fingers and never could find that thumb. But just within the last day or two I have caught her sucking on it several times. I don't know if this is something to necessarily celebrate or not, but at this moment in time, if it will help her to not fuss I am all for it. She is also full out giggling. Huston makes her giggle a lot. So I will leave you with a clip of her giggly self.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Soooo Much...

It has been a busy couple of days! I will have lots of pictures to post. I will start with cousin Zack's birthday party. One of my brother's foster kiddos is turning 4 this week and they threw a big party for him Saturday. So we traveled a bit and met them at a really nice park - not too far from their house.

I debated all day as to what to dress the boys in. It was a pretty overcast, rainy looking and kind of coolish here at home before we headed out - I had no idea what our destination had for weather. I should have called someone and asked for a forecast :o) I went with the pants, cause I thought it would be bug protection as well...Steven agreed but told me to throw shorts in the van too just in case - well I threw in pjs, but forgot the shorts and we drove into sunny skies and high temps...poor boys - Isaiah especially pretty much overheated...but there was relief in sight - enjoy the photos and I'll give little explanations along the way if needed.

The playground fun...
The solution to the overheating - spray grounds...hey, we packed pjs to change into, so why not?

The birthday boy...

Avery wants cake...

Random pictures...

We had tons of birthday fun - between all these kids, I think we pretty much have one or a few birthdays a month until get used to birthday party pics! :o)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Boys...

A boy only post today -I'll make it up to Lillie another day.

The older boys started their swim lessons yesterday...they were excited, can you tell?

They did really well, this little gal has a way of getting Huston to do things that the other gal didn' he never floated on a pool noodle without also having a death grip on the instructor - so this was huge...she still has him but he isn't the one in control. He's making progress. (So is Isaiah I just couldn't snap a good picture of him.)

Avery was a bit goofy last night...he spent time drawing ghosts...

Playing detective...

And singing...check this out...I had to clip the end because he totally made up the last line of this classic tune and I couldn't hold it in any longer and burst out laughing - so I spared you that...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Its The Middle of August...

and look how my boys dressed to go outside this morning. Maybe a bit over reactive? (and they wouldn't smile - I don't think they were quite awake - I know I wasn't)

It has been kind of cool in the mornings - so unlike August weather. It was 58 degrees according to the time and temp when I took this picture of you can see they are anticipating warmer temps for later...they have their jackets, but they have shorts too. (and here they finally couldn't hold it in any longer, the smiles slipped out)

It's the middle of August - and that means someone turns 5 mos. old...this is a shot I snapped this morning on her "birthday" in her "birthday suit"....

She likes mommy's kisses and she likes to try to tell me what to do too...

She likes her mommy, but she LOVES her daddy...too cute to see them together.

We are starting over with Isaiah and Huston's swim lessons on Wed. I had signed them up for 6 private lessons and they accomplished 3 of the 6 before their instructor just decided to not show up for the rest. So I talked with a new instructor this morning and they will start all over again with the full session of 6 lessons. She sounds like a nice gal. Another college student, but hopefully a bit more reliable than the last instructor. She is on the swim team...what swim team, where? I don't know. I told her about timid Huston and how I just want him to get comfortable in the water. The instructor's supervisor gal that I talked to earlier assured me this new gal is very patient. I don't know if that is what scared off the last gal or probably wasn't anything about the kids...she just decided she didn't care to come anymore.

Avery is the biggest nut I have ever encountered. I really don't know how to handle him at times cause he is so stubborn and belligerent and yet so incredibly funny at the same time. It is often hard to discipline him cause you can't keep a straight face. Although, trust me, it does reach a point where it is no longer funny. I can't describe it, it's a personality that must be experienced. Anyway, I promise a goofy shot of him next time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bunch of Nothing - but fun...

I got this in an email and thought it would be kind of fun to post...its alway interesting to see other peoples answers so if you decide to do it let me know...and I'll go read about you.

1. What time did you get up this morning? which time...12, 2:15, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:00 - no joke...I wouldn't joke about something so serious as sleep.

2. Diamonds or pearls? been more of a pearls gal in the past, but diamonds are growing on me :o)

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I can't even remember - how sad is that...

4. What is your favorite TV show? Hell's Kitchen...that chef needs anger management classes

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? an english muffin

6. What is your middle name? Erin

7. What food do you dislike? cantaloupe - don't even like the smell of them

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Seeds Music, Seeds of Encouragement - I know its a kids cd but its good.

9. Favorite sandwich? a club

10. What characteristic do you despise? pride

11. Favorite item of clothing? pjs

12. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Italy

13. Where would you retire to? I have no idea - its too far away to even consider it a possibility, plus I really have no job to retire from currently...

14. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I guess last year cause it was the 30th.

15. When is your birthday? Sept 6

16. What is your shoe size? 6 1/2

17. Pets? are you kidding, I've got kids to clean up after...why add to the fun?

18. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? what are you implying?

19. What did you want to be when you were little? a photographer for Nat'l geographic

20. How are you today? Tired and weary

21. Favorite flowers? mums - I'm serious, cause they are the last bit of color before winter.

22. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Sept 28th cause Steven leaves on a week long business trip and I plan to purge my house of stuff...have to do it while Steven is gone cause he will dig it back out of the trash

23. What are you listening to right now? Huston and Isaiah playing army men

24. Hair color? boring, blah brown

25. What was your favorite toy as a child? I didn't have favorites...I loved the neighbors pool in
the summertime

26. Summer or winter? neither - too extreme on both ends of the spectrum

27. Chocolate or Vanilla? vanilla cause you can add so many things to make it even more yummy

28. Coffee or tea? tea - iced though, not hot - that's just not right

29. Do you want your friends to email you back? no never, I don't need adult conversation,
really...I'm fine.

30. When was the last time you cried? Friday cause my husband was a mean guy.

31. What is under your bed? lots and lots of dirt I'm sure.

32. What did you do last night? went to my folks house to watch olympics and then really nobody ended up watching...

33. What are you afraid of? what this world will be like when my kids are living in it as adults

34. Salty or sweet? salty usually

35. How many keys on your key ring? one - unless your talking my church key ring then its 6

36. How many years at your current job? almost 7 at being a mom and almost 4 at the church? maybe...I've lost track

37. Do you make friends easily? I make acquaintances easily, friends - no.

38. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? Yes, its dirt that I can store away and use against them later :o)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Back to Reality

I think summer is officially over. Steven's mom, Gloria, heads back to school for meetings today - so there is no longer the grandma factor - she loves having a few of the kids with her on her days off - when she can - we usually swap them in and out so that they all have a chance to be with grandma. So no more vacations from home for the boys...and everyone was in their own bed last night...(and yes, that's the best picture I could get of Huston, he just wasn't cooperating.) I was ready for them to be home, I missed the crew being together.

The end of the "vacations" means the beginning of routine again. We have been out of it for about a month now - on and off - and I am ready to get back into a bit of predictability. We will have to transition into it a bit though - both Huston and Avery are slightly under the weather. Avery was in bed for his nap by 10:00 which is quite unusual. I think they are fighting a cold - or it just might be allergies, who knows for sure?

Isaiah was with grandma the longest so he kind of has to get used to having siblings again. He reacquainted himself with his sister this morning. Lillie has be hopping around in her jumper this morning and she enjoys it quite a bit...she enjoys it even more if someone gets down there with her and swings the thing around!

Here she is jumping out of the camera's frame....

The final thing we will have to get back on track are the boys' rooms. We started off this mini vacation with me going out of town and the boys staying with a babysitter, and it seems all the house rules that involve the toys went right out the door with is what I came home too...

And while these pictures do may not show "terrible" messes - the room has now reached that point. Looks like a small army invaded and blew up a castle scattering little tiny pieces of toy rubble everywhere...still have not motivated myself into getting up there with the children to sort through the debris yet - but it will have to be done soon - tiny pieces are being lost forever the longer I wait...why must toy companies create such small toys with even smaller pieces that can be removed and lost the moment your child plays with it? I know, job security...but I'm not falling for it - I'm ready to just throw them all away and give the boys a stick to play with.

So we will see how well the routines return, probably will depend on how much of my sanity gets lost with the castle pieces...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not Many Pictures

We have been busy the last few days - summer time will do that I guess - but I don't have many pictures to chronicle our times....maybe I'll post some tomorrow.

Isaiah has really taken off with his reading. He is almost to the point of being able to figure words out (you know the tricky ones too) without needing me to decipher it for him. But he is still at that really slow, laborious reading pace - so reading is not quite "fun" for him yet. He does do well on the little books and enjoys reading them to his brothers. A gal from our church just got a job as a reading recovery teacher for a neighboring school district and has been given the assignment of administering the reading test to in-coming 1st graders for practice. So she asked if she could use Isaiah as a guinea pig and I said come on over. This will help me as much as it will help her. It will be nice to get her opinions. My goal in homeschooling is not to get Isaiah to learn as much as he can in the shortest amount of time. I want him to stay with his peers academically. I have been pushing the reading lately cause selfishly it would be so much easier for me if he could read independently before Huston starts kindergarten. Then I would be able to manage homeschooling two kiddos a lot easier.

Friday I was out of town all day for a meeting. The other children's minister Katelyn and myself went to Quincy, IL to observe her home church. They are larger and are doing many of the things (as far as curriculum and format) that our church will be attempting to implement shortly. So its nice to go and talk to people that have been there and done that. I took my camera but didn't pick it up once, and I should have. The meeting was in the morning, so after we were done we stopped through Hannibal, MO and shopped their downtown strip for a bit and we also hit some sidewalk sales and a great restaurant in Quincy too. It was a fun day and it was a great time for me to get to know Katelyn a bit better. She's a fun gal to work with, which helps a whole lot. The meeting has given us big ideas that will take time and money to implement - so it looks like some more projects to tackle now - but that's really never-ending.

Saturday it was old home weekend. Steven had guys he has been buddies with since jr. high come out for a visit. Mark now lives in St. Louis and has a little girl, so they don't get back this way as often as they used to - its just a long day of travel when there are little ones involved. Matt lives here in town with us, in fact less than a mile up the hill from us, but we just don't cross paths as much any more. Steven is married with 4 kids and a such and Matt is single and going to school, plus he likes to run and train for marathons in his spare time...(crazy guy). So it was fun visiting with them - a nice afternoon of laughter. I love laughing.

The boys are doing great with their swimming lessons. Isaiah is really getting the hang of his front stroke - he just needs to float a bit higher in the water. Huston went under the water the last practice - which is huge for my steps-of-the-pool-clinging "swimmer" but he still has a lot of timidity to get over still. He hangs on to the instructor for a lot of the exercises.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday - it was pretty low key, Steven's family was a bit out of pocket last week so we couldn't really plan any sort of "party" for her day. So I just made her some dinner and we crashed over there to eat and watch the olympics. She tried to go get a manicure and pedicure for her day, but the place was closed with a sign that read "We open late today." So no pretty nails, but she'll have to try "later."

So anyway that's what has been going on. I have other things floating in my head to share, but no time to sit down and do it right now. Hope to get some pictures of everyone posted soon too. Hope you are enjoying your summer months!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Four Stages of Huston

Once again, Huston became upset at something one of his brother's did or said (can you say "middle-child"...hmmm?). I had my camera in my hand so I started snapping pictures. At first he objected, then he was fighting back a smile, then he was trying to give me a mean face, then he couldn't help it anymore and became silly Huston again - he just can't fight his true nature...thus the 4 stages of coping with adversity for Huston.