Monday, September 10, 2007

Summer Reading Challenge Concludes
It's over. I finally have to admit that summer is over for our family. I hope that the Summer Reading Challenge was fun and beneficial (for something other than keeping you from needed housework ::wink::).

The randomly selected Winner of a $10 gift certificate from Amazon goes to Gilda. Thanks for the fun ladies.

Katrina will begin her Fall Into Reading 2007 challenge on September 23rd. She's already got info up if you'd like to hop on over to her blog for details.

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Now I feel better..... ::snort:: Thanks to Debbie and Kristine for having this cute little test on their blogs.
Monday Madness
Quote of the day:
Me: "What's a Mummy?"
Zander: "A wombman that's a mom! A wombman is a girl, and you're a girl, sooo you're a mummy!"
Me: "I often feel like a mummy!"
Zander: "Yep, you are!"

We've begun another week of school. We're still in the tweaking process. 1. I am going to have to say NO to errands on school days, 2. I'm going to have to spend a good chunk somewhere during the weekend preparing for the next school week, 3. I need to sit down with the older boys and make sure they understand their work before Monday a.m. and 4. I shouldn't even dream of doing hands on projects on a Monday.
Our school day!
I blew it and got stern with Zander for wiggling so much in school. I told him to just go off and wiggle...and then as he walked away crestfallen, I was convicted. He made it across the room, when I called him back. We played Simon Says, got the wiggles out, and then went on with our reading. I must remember to work with the wiggle and not cram him into my mold of education etc.

School took us right up to 4:30 p.m. (NOT with Zander - but with the little pieces for all). It was at that point that the awful truth hit, I hadn't planned a thing for dinner. I thought, "If I were in AK, it'd be cold or raining and I'd make soup." I can make killer soup - trouble is I usually don't use a recipe so it is never quite the same from time to time. I looked out the window and it was raining. I consider that a blessing from God. I used a quart bag of spaghetti sauce I had in the freezer for a base, added beef broth, sauteed onions and garlic, added Italian spices, carrots, potatoes, corn, lentils...and YUM. I think it quit raining before I even got the corn shucked - but I was on a roll. ::snort::

This was a RARE night when every one's schedule coincided and we were all home for dinner. Briefly. I had to run Jamin to work at 5:45. Before I got back, Mike had been called back to the office. Not sure what is up. BUT WE HAD DINNER TOGETHER AND.....
opened this package. We were SHOCKED today to receive this package from Krista. She'd sent it weeks and weeks ago - a month. We received a cell phone that was supposed to be in the package about 3 1/2 weeks this showed up. Note the duct tape wrapping, Mom. Nicholas said that was Krista's idea. ::snort:: I think she's making fun of our family propensity to use duct tape for nearly everything (though it didn't work well on that pipe I tried to fix last winter). Anyway, the box was ripped on two sides. In talking with Nicholas tonight I confirmed that all is not in the box...maybe we'll be getting things in bits and pieces all winter.

I guess I'll go read to the ones that are home, maybe play a game and then put all down early.....

Tomorrow will be another busy day.
Weekend Recap

Yes, there is life - abundant life - without electronic toys. We had a great time. This was our first trip with only the younger 5 children. That was a bit strange the first day - but really turned out to be a good time of focusing on how much we have left to do as parents. Not sure that is coming out right. With the older ones starting to leave home, it's easy to begin to think we're in the "cruise to the finish line" stage of parenting.....but we still have lots of shepherding, mentoring, parenting left to do with the younger set. LOL

We fished. We geocached. We went to the zoo. We had two fires. We had s'mores once. We hiked. We fished. We read McManus. We played games. We caught grasshoppers and frogs. We talked.

Josiah and Jamin drove up on Sunday. What a treat. A great weekend.

This river ran behind our campsite. I called it the "brown river" after the Yellow River....the kids named it the Chocolate River - are they my kids or WHAT? They spent lots of time catching frogs and grasshoppers and throwing stones at this spot. Everyone helps set up camp...Combat fishing at it's best. Michael deserves an award. I took one look at this and jumped ship. I took this photo from safety.

The Grasshopper Trap - by Patrick McManusGeocaching - We found 5 out of 6...There had been recent floods...and most of the caches were IN the brush! Several times we let Michael go INTO the undergrowth and bring the cache out in order to avoid snakes. Yes, Arielle SAW a snake so we know they really do exist.

Doesn't this scream SNAKES???? What does this say about me that I said, "Zander, I found it - want to get it? " ::snort::It says that I wouldn't want to rob my child of THIS sense of accomplishment. ::snort::

Somewhere on the long caching trek, Stacia discovered her BUTTONS...and spent quite a bit of time the rest of the day buttoning an unbuttoning her outfit. And then the camera died.....I do have a video of Stacia feeding the giraffes that I'll try to load later...and there are a zillion other photos, but I'm at 87% of my limit on blogger.

The weekend was wonderful. We missed the four older children, but we had a great time connecting with the younger five. I am refreshed! I needed to get away from all the "to do" lists, that I can't possibly keep up with, and simply BE A FAMILY. That is tough to do when you are a pastor's family....a bit easier when he was a junior chaplain and tougher again now that he has more responsibility at work. I'm so very glad that Michael wanted to buy a certainly made camping in HOT TEMPS much more bearable....because we may have gone without electronic TOYS but you can bet your bippy I was running the AC and the freezer.

Lunch break is over...More later.