Friday, November 30, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A Morning at the Theater, Toast Gadgets, & Produce!

The younger 6 children and I headed to the local university to enjoy a production of Narnia. The cast did a wonderful job. It was 2 ½ hours long and Zander sat through the whole thing. Stacia provided a bit of distraction from time to time, but all in all, I thought she did well. We even got a nice walk as I wasn’t aware that we were allowed to park in permit parking areas for the performance.
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I made a few phone calls back at home.

I picked up our co-op’s produce order. We had produce co-op from 4 – 6 p.m.

I received a package from afar. What could it be? It was from Pre-loved Books. I didn’t remember ordering any books. There was a custom slip on the back….hmmmm….Dorothy is from England. I opened it to find this!
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It’s my very own toast rack. I’ve listened to these being discussed for years on SHS and now I own my very own! I think the idea is to keep your toast from being soggy when you slather it with butter. THANK YOU, DOROTHY! I’ll think of you every time I use it, really I will.

We opted to grill some steaks tonight. EVERYONE planned to be home at dinner time, though Mike ended up not making it home for dinner. I quickly toasted some bread to try out the new gadget.

Does it go this way?
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Nah, this seems to work.
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Stacia thinks it’s her own personal toast buffet.
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Mike was home late and didn’t have the benefit of “context” as he tried to figure out what the new gadget was for.
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We enjoyed general merriment with the older boys HOME.
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We discovered anew that Stacia is allergic to something in the store bought ranch dressing - could be MSG? This is her seconds after I gave in and let her have a "little" ranch dressing. We threw the bottle out and I WILL make homemade before our next meal.
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We popped some popcorn and watched Jingle All the Way from netflix and then the Red Green Christmas Special (which we’d ordered as a surprise for Mike – a die hard Red Green fan).
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Outlaw Update and Such

My little outlaw (see below) has told me that he's decided to stay one more day if I will "please never laugh in this house again." Oy vey!

I was happily making an ornament and broke it.

I'm obsessing over making it on time to the theater tomorrow a.m. for a private school showing of Narnia.

I spent hours and hours last night looking through a make a mix book and wondering if the mixes would work with fresh ground grain and coconut oil instead of shortening - kept in the fridge....and then I wondered how much of the nutrition would be GONE if I don't use the flour right away and how I balance that with the convenience of having pancake mix, hot roll mix, brownie mix and cake mixes ready to go.....

Such is life tonight. Mike and Jared are still on base (work and CAP). Jamin is out running - easy to do with the Christmas lights all around. Josiah is working.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bumfuddled

Every once in a while we have a day that causes me to remember that we were told Zander was an alphabet child – and he is. Most days we sort of sail along and I forget. Earlier in the week I read on Dorothy’s blog about research she has done and her experience with her daughter in regards to social humor. Dorothy shares the classic “Triad of Impairments” of Austism/Asperger’s Syndrome is:

*Difficulty with social communication
*Difficulty with social interaction
*Difficulty with social imagination

I read it and thought to myself that I could see Zander in a couple of those bullets. Sometimes stronger than others. I also thought that most of us could probably see ourselves in the bullet statements from time to time...but really Zander does consistently have a harder time in social settings than he does at home or with folks that he really knows well.

Mike and I have wondered at times what sets Zander off. He reaches a point where he simply explodes and runs off to his room…..often when we’re having FUN and laughing. Today I accidentally buried him under a load of laundry taken fresh from the dryer. I didn’t see him on the couch and dumped the laundry on him. Nolan and I laughed.

Zander had a giant melt down. He fixated on this one event for most of the day. He told me that I had driven him to run away. He told me that no one in this family liked him much. At lunch he burst into tears and told me that he was “eating his last meal here and then he’d hit the outlaw trail.” He informed me that he was no longer “Alex the little boy” but was going to forever be “Alex the Outlaw.”

I quickly went back to Dorothy’s blog and printed the entry “A Reluctant Tourist in the Land of Laughter”. She shares how she and her family have taught her daughter humor….and it encouraged me.

I prayed.

I was encouraged when Trish wrote me and told me basically “you’re going to make it, you’re looking for the answers for Zander and God will show them to you”. She also reminded me of all that Zander has had to deal with this week. She mused as to what might be causing him to overreact….I wonder if the noise of our laughter just sets him off….sudden laughing really. Anyway, I was encouraged.

I distracted him by turning on Play Station. I now realize that he is NOT talking about the “stupid fake tooth” since being buried alive in laundry…so all in all it is good it happened. ::snort::

….but it’s been an exhausting day.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket What IS Today?

It was poor planning to schedule a doctor visit for every day of the week. I thought I had an optometry appointment today; but it was an annual gyn appointment. ::snort:: ::gasp:: At this appointment, I was given a referral for a mammogram and told I HAD to go get one. I told her I called less than two weeks ago and she said THEN that I didn’t need one. She realized, today, that I have a family history – I told her that two weeks ago, honest Mom, I did. She also told me that contrary to the new young doc’s opinion, I am not likely in menopause.

A friend, Debbie, works at the pharmacy on base, and so she and I went out for lunch. I had an hour between my appointment and her lunch break so I headed downtown and bought a couple of gifts that were to be had no where else. I also went to the “big” library.

After lunch I visited the base library. I went to see Debbie M at the Heath and Wellness Center (HAWC). I took back her 3 mile Leslie Sansone tape – I purchased the 4 fast miles. Debbie gave me a big exercise band to play with….looks like that stuff dentists put in your mouth…..

I ran to the Commissary.

I came home, made dinner, waited for Mike to show up……he had talked to one of our deployed spouses today and she needed him to go take a look at her water heater. What FUN for me. I got to go along and visit with Gwen and play with the babies (she has a 3 and 2 yo).

It is now 9:16 and I need to bring the day to a close….For the first time in 9 days I did not do a 45 minute workout….but I did NOT gain any weight over the Holiday weekend….I think I lost a pound.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Christmas Helps

Some offerings from my cyber friends.....

Jen has a wonderful list of internet links for all things Advent. You'll find planners, devotionals, worksheets, coloring books.... And here she shares a darling Christmas craft that I can't wait to try.

I have been planning to post a list of all the Christmas books we've collected through the years. This would serve two purposes - 1. share and 2. be a LIST so I could remember what we have after we pack the books away. ::snort:: Dorothy has done a visual list of her favorite Christmas books.

Kathy has composed an impressive list of links as well. You'll find the link to our favorite Advent study, lists of "safe" toys, Christmas books, gift guides, and even a christmas carnival.

I'll write an entire entry about this next one, but I LOVE Beth's idea for making service at Christmas fun. Check out her 30 days of Joy.

I had to dig a bit for this one but Lisa decorated some darling paint cans last year - if you're looking for a unique gift visit her post.

I've debated about posting this. I'm positive that as SOON as I post, I'll find another list of links or site that must be shared...but for now....look at my talented friends. Aren't they grand? I'm sure you'll enjoy their blogs when you visit.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Homeschool Blog Awards

I've been nominated for a HSBA in the "Live What You Believe" category. Thank you to the readers who thought of me. Thanks also to God for using my silly words in the lives of others.

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The voting will begin 3 Dec. In the meantime you can click here to check out the nominees in all the categories. There are some great blogs listed. I've found the winner and nominee list from past years to be a good place to begin surfing. ::snort::
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Jesus' Stocking

During a rough Christmas Season last year (Mike was gone from Sept 5 - Mid March), Debbie gave me this stocking ornament. She said she thought of me when she saw it in the store. I immediately KNEW I wanted to create a new family tradition based on this idea. I wanted to find a Christmas stocking for Jesus.

I had a year to look. I found one on sale yesterday. (OK - so really Christmas Stockings aren't AROUND during the year, I didn't just procrastinate. ) I love the stocking. It didn't have a name and so Arielle and I looked all over town for ideas on how to make a name for the stocking.

Finally, at the Christian Bookstore (duh) we saw some of these rhinestone words - and here you have it.

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I plan to center a family devotion or morning circle time around the theme of Christ's Character. We can go through His names, talk about Phil 2, I Cor 13, maybe use the Adorenaments....and then throughout the rest of the Advent season we'll catch each other being Christlike. When we do, we'll write the instance down on a slip of paper and put it in the stocking.

I'm not sure when Mike will want to do it - either Christmas Eve or maybe Christmas Morning, or maybe a different time (New Years?) we'll read all the gifts to Jesus that are in the stocking. I really like this idea (still haven't taken the Thankful Tree down - but I like this idea too.)
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Countdown Candle

(This would be a good time to mention that I linked a few things some of us have written about Christmas in the sidebar this weekend. I'll link more. If you've heard why we celebrate Christmas before, you don't have to read it again. If you wonder - you can check. etc They are under the little "Jesus is the Reason" sign to the right).

This is one of our fun family traditions. I look for a special candle each year. The very first year we used some really intricately carved candles that my Mother in Law had given me. I loved them. Some years all we can afford is a plain 9 inch taper.

We wanted to find something SPECIAL this year. Arielle and I found this one at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

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The photo doesn't do it justice. It is sort of glittery and the young ones love it. We'll make 25 marks on this candle. We'll burn a "mark a night" during our family circle. This will be a visual aid for the little ones. IF I count right the candle will burn out on Christmas Eve. Often we have to burn it several hours on the 23rd to make this work. ::snort:: I figure it will be easy to mark this one as there are 5 squares on it with the letters P E A C E. I may let Mike mark it off. ::snort::
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Fisher Price Nativity

I'm in need of two of the FP Little People Nativities. I bought one last year WITH the shepherd add on for around $30. This year they are out of stock at Walmart and Walmart online. They are out of stock at my favorite online stores. Amazon has two sets left for $89.00 - without the shepherds! If any of you happen to know of local stores in your area that have them, please leave a comment below. I'm on the hunt today for these. I'd like to find them for $30 or less. I may order direct from FP and pray they get here "soon" and aren't backordered. What do you all think? Would you take the chance that they'd arrive before 1 Jan?
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Memory Making Monday

The big memory of the day was Zander’s dental adventure. You can read more about that below. He did wonderful. Currently, he’s still fussing about having “fake teeth” and is not open to the idea of another one at all.

Mike and I managed to fit a date in at lunch time. That’s fairly amazing and certainly memorable. We had some great salads at Cheddars (the honey covered croissant wasn’t half bad either). ::snort::

Nolan and I raced to speech. Nolan is working very hard on the last few sounds and combinations that give him trouble. We are all concentrating on his sequential difficulties.

We received a call as we left speech asking us to pick up some C7 bulbs, and a couple of piggy backs. We also decided to see if we could pick up an item that was on sale for Circuit City – a gift for my parents. ARGH. This town is worse than ALASKA for shopping. ::snort:: I knew Best Buy does this but it seems that they get 1 – 3 items of sale items. This was in Sunday’s ad and sold out an hour after the store opened. I simply can’t wait at stores at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Striking out at Circuit City, we headed to Sam’s club (struck out for parents but Nolan found a gift he wanted for Arielle), then Wal-Mart. Ah – the mecca of all things cheap and Christmas. ::snort:: We found the bulbs, more wreath hangers, and such.

Back at home the crew had begun putting up outside decorations. They have lots of lights up. Jared had designed of diagram of his vision. Ah, another list thing… I guess that’s why things weren’t “quite right” in our decorating last year. ::snort:: Here are a few photos. There aren’t many as I was asked to keep the younger two inside.

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Jamin was able to help for an hour or so before heading to work.
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Ah, they love making memories, these two. ::snort:: Evidently, being headless is genetic.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I put these little candle/lights in the younger kids' room for nightlights...Stacia has been running around singing "my light, my light".

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I tackled the MOUNTAIN of laundry that had erupted since we didn’t do much laundry on Thanksgiving and the days following.

At 7 p.m. I was sitting in my pj’s when I realized it was MOM’S NIGHT OUT. Mike told me to go ahead and change. He didn’t think it would matter if I was a bit late. I’m glad I went….I get to see several there that I see no other time of the month.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketZander's Appointment

We’re home. Zander has a new silver tooth. Dr. S is AMAZING!

Zander is trying to pull his new silver tooth out, please do pray that he is able to relax about the sensation. He’s been in tears since we left the office telling one and all that he HATES silver teeth and they need to take it out of his mouth.

He has the second root canal next Monday unless we think he needs bit more time. I forgot the camera.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Prayer Request for Zander

Zander has his first root canal Monday at 10:30 our time (CST).
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