Recorder…..Homeschool Co-op

21 01 2011

This year we are in a home school co-op and I have to say…WE LOVE IT!!!!  We all go on Thursdays from 9:30 until 2 pm.  The kids each have 5 classes, lunch and chapel.  There are 65 families and they are all amazing. 🙂  The kids are learning so much and have enjoyed being with other children. 🙂

One class I am very happy with is Recorder class.  Isaac is learning music theory and how to play the recorder.  He is doing so well and I am very happy with the instruction that is being given to him.  This past month he played on stage for us during chapel and for the Showcase.  Here are some pics of my sweet boy. (Yes, he is that big already….if anyone knows how to slow this stage down, please let me know).  🙂

Isaac playing Hot Cross Buns on stage during chapel time.  Next to him on right is his friend Caleb.

Here Isaac is playing Mary Had a Little Lamb for showcase night. 🙂

Gracelyn is 5!!!!

1 06 2010

Wow!!!  Really can this be, can I really be a mama to a 5 year old little girl. 🙂 She is fun and crazy too. She is such a great little girl, but boy can she add drama to almost any situation. 🙂

She did the K level of Sonlight this year and really enjoyed it.  She is an artist let me tell you!!!  She amazes me everyday with the creative things she can do with everyday objects, her perspective in her drawings is great.  Now I am looking into home school art curr. for next year for her.  I believe she is very talented! 🙂

She is almost swimming (she can go a good distance, but doesn’t have the confidence yet).  She loves the water, art, cooking, playing with dolls and in her kitchen. She knows all the Star Wars movies (the ones we allow) by heart and is always given the role of Princess Leila when playing with the boys. LOL .  She is a girly girl!  She loves to do her hair, wants to wear makeup etc.  She would wear a dress everyday if we had enough. 🙂

We praise God for her and all that He has done and is going to do in her life!  Here are some pictures from her birthday lunch. (Her birthday party is a few weeks away, and she is having a Strawberry Shortcake one).

Grace with her gum (We don't allow gum until they are 5, so this is a very big deal)


Mommy and Grace

 Here is a little on her birth.

Life….Mother’s Day

7 05 2010

LIfe… isn’t always easy….it isn’t always fun…….it sometimes the most amazing thing…..sometimes you are at a loss for words…..sometimes you just don’t know what to do….sometimes everything just comes so easy…..sometimes life is just plain HARD.

Yes, it is Mother’s Day weekend!  Now, why would I start a post off like this on Mother’s Day?  Well, that is how I am feeling.  It has only been about 2 weeks sence Brigette was buried.  Her life is so fresh in my mind.  Her children’s faces are still etched in my mind.  Holding sweet Maryland is so fresh in my mind, she is such a sweet baby let me tell you.  It was looking in Brigette’s face!  Oh, what a joy that was.

Life….is well, life.  There will be some very hard days, weeks and years at times.   This year is one of those.  Tears flow from my face as I write this.  Brigette’s death will be a moment in my life…it will be a sad time for me.  But for her children it will shape who they will be!  It will become an event that will mark everything they ever do!  They will always wonder what she was like, her smile, her laugh, her joy.  This Mother’s Day I can only think about what it must be like for them.

This moment in my life is pushing me to be a better mommy.  Brigette’s memory is living on in my children as well.  She was one of the most amazing mamas I have ever known.  She loved her children more and did soooo much with her little ones.  She was kind and gentle.  She was sweet and loving.  She was fun and creative.  She loved being a mommy!   This makes me wonder about myself as a mommy.  Do I show how much I love it to my children?  or do I complain about the laundry or the chores?  I want my children to know they are the most amazing gifts from God. I want them to know that I love them, that I care of them ( not because I have to, but because I love doing this job called mommy!).

I wanted to post some pictures I took at Brigette’s funeral.  I wanted her children to see how many people loved their mommy, who still love her so much.

HEre is sweet Georgia and her papa.  25 pink balloons were released, one for each year of her life.

Montana, an awesome young man!  Brigette’s oldest.

I love this picture of Georgia.  She is skipping at the burial site with a flower from her mama’s casket, an angel from the casket and a ribbon that said “mommy” on it.  What a picture of innocence.

Sweet baby Maryland with 2 flowers from her mama’s casket.

Life is so hard.  But let me tell you something….my God is great.  My God is faithful.  My God is good.  My God is comfort.  My God is a healer.  My God is amazing.  My God is the father to the fatherless (or motherless).  My God will take care of His children.  My God will provide.

Some new pics….Hope you enjoy

23 03 2010

With a crazy last few weeks I thought I would post some new pics.  Enjoy 🙂

I love this one...look every 3 and 4 year old is doing something different 🙂

Grace in Ballet


Grace while playing in the snow

Owen playing in the snow

Owen loves to play tee ball

Owen playing the guitar

Our Ethan at 6 months

Ethan on the big boy swing for the first time

Ethan and his great grandma

Isaac playing in the snow

Isaac playing the guitar

Getting ready....

I baptize you my brother, In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Buried with him in baptism raised to walk in newness of life.

I cried. Watching him take this step of obedience was amazing.

2009…Is it really almost over?

7 12 2009

Can it really be almost 2010?  WOW!  This year has been amazing in so many ways.  God has truly blessed our family and taught us so much.  This past year we have sold our home, miscarried a child, moved out of state, conceived another child, had a separation for 7 months (my husband was working out of state, while I had 3 children at home and pregnant at the same time), started a new job,  gave birth to our 4th child and started our first “real” year of homeschooling.  God has been so faithful to us and has taught me many things….

1. That His ways are best all the time!

2.  Patience.

3. That when you think things are tough you need to look at what God is doing in His time and that one day we will understand it all, even if that day is in Glory.

4. That He loves my children more than I will ever love them. (I think of the birth of our 4th child and how He protected me and Ethan).

5. He is my best friend!

6. Schooling can be very hard on a family….expcially with 3 little ones under foot, but He will give the patience and guidance needed everyday.

7. That when a marriage has troubles (ours had a VERY hard time while he was gone for 7 months) He will help you work it out. 🙂

God has taught me so much about friends, faithfulness and providence over this past year.   I am not sure how we survived except for HIM who carried us through.  We praise HIM who cares and loves us.  There will be years in your life that are just plain HARD.  This was one of those years for us.  Plain hard, but loving and praising Him has been a lesson learned.  He is God and we are not, His ways are best and mine are not.  I pray that none of you have to go through a year like ours, but if you do I will pray that God will bring you though it like he did for us.  We are more trusting and more faithful because of it.  God is good, good all the time!

Potty Training Questions Answered….

10 06 2009

I have gotten a few questions about potty training so I thought I would answer them here.

Our plastic pants leak….any ideas? 

First, let me say that plastic pants will leak.  They are just to help hold in a little pee (like when a child starts to go then stops themselves etc.).  To help with this problem make sure they are snug around the legs.  Sew them if you have to to make the legs tighter.  Use the Gerber training underwear with them.  This will help TONS!  They have a little more fabric to help hold in an accident.

What about going out?  Can you use pull-ups? Do you use them?

I am not anti pull ups.  I think they are great for lots of times when a child will not have a potty near by or when a child is still learning to give you a few minutes warning when they have to go.  After my children have been in underwear for a few weeks and know how to go, when they should go etc. we will use a pull up.  I use them on long car trips, when a potty may not be near, we use them at the grocery store (they always have to go when I am 10 mins. from the nearest potty).  I still take them to the potty, I just understand that developmentally they don’t understand that they need to tell me WAY in advance in these situations to make it on time.

I make sure I take them before we start a trip at the store and I take them again if I am near one.  I don’t wait for them to tell me. I also don’t ask, “Do you need to go pee pee?”  I say, ” Owen, we are going pee pee in the potty now, let’s go”.  This way they don’t have an opportunity to have a choice in the matter.

I use a portable potty seat.  This is amazing and I think all mommies need one!  I got ours at babies r us and have used it for many children and still use it for Grace because she doesn’t stand like Isaac does.  🙂  Ours is just a plain one, but I couldnt’ find a picture of it on-line so the link goes to a character one.

Also, my boys sometimes go on the side of the road if we need them to etc.  They are able to stand and go so we go in the grass if we really need to.  With a girl that is more tricky.

Potty Training…..

5 06 2009

I have been asked by many people to write about how we potty train in our home.  First let me say this is not for everyone.  You need to understand our parenting philosophy before I can write on this topic.  Our home is not a child centered home.  Our children do not pick their bedtimes, what they will eat, what their schedules will be etc.  We are currently moving towards a large family and feel that  a child centered home would not work for us etc.  We also have other reasons why, but that isn’t for this post. 

With that being said….our children don’t tell us when they are ready to potty train, we tell them.  Now, this is the complete opposite of the current worldview on potty training….they say….wait until your child can do these things etc., when your child is ready they will do it etc.  The more and more I see this happen the more and more I see very upset parents!  They don’t understand why potty training is taking weeks or even months, why they still can’t go out in public in underwear at sometimes 3 years of age etc….even older at times.  I feel that a young child that has too many choices will milk it for all it is worth….and this includes potty training.

Now, these are just my options, you may feel different on them and that is fine.  This has worked for us so we will continue with it.  Isaac ( now age 5) was potty trained at 22.5 months, Grace (now 4) was trained at 18.5 months, Owen (now 23 months) was trained 2 days ago.  Each child took between 2-7 days to train.  Isaac took a whole week, but I think it was because he didn’t have older siblings to watch.

We always start training before 24 months of age.  We do it when the child is capable of talking or signing and understands treats.  (which doesn’t take long now a days).  We have some simple rules….NO DIAPERS, NO PULL -UPS and NO GIVING UP for at least 4 days! 

The schedule is simple.  On day 1 you are teaching the child that pee and poo come out of them and that they control it.  On day 2 you are teaching them that it is to go in the potty (or whatever term you use).  On day 3 you are putting it all together to hopefully have a fully trained kid.

DAY 1.

Put your child in underwear (yes you read that right, no pull ups) and rubber pants if you would like.  I highly recommend these for the first few days and for outings after that until no longer needed etc.

Fill your child with as much fluid as you possibly can. (water, juice, milk etc.)

Take your child to the bathroom to pee every 8-10 mins.  Yup, that is right, you won’t being doing much else that day.  Set a timer and every time it goes off take your child.  Have them sit for a short story or song.  Your goal is to “catch” the pee coming out.  Once you catch the pee give them a treat.  A sticker, candy etc.  Make it small because you will be giving out lots over the next few days.  After about the 3rd catch of pee your child will start to realize what muscles it takes to get that pee out.

Now, we do this at a young age, so our children still nap.  At nap-time we lay them in their bed and put on a diaper. (This is the only time they are to wear one).  Once they awake from their nap you need to take that diaper off before leaving the bed and put on underwear right away).

Continue with every 8-10 mins. until dinner time.

DAY 2:

Now day 2 is almost the same as day 1 except you will take them about every 12-15 mins. all day long.  Remember to keep filling them with fluids!!!!  You want them peeing all day long…..this helps them learn the muscles that control their bladder and bowels.  Give a treat for each victory!  Have them call an adult they love etc. Make it lots of fun with lots of smiles!!!!

Day 3

Day 3 is the trial day.  Try to let the child tell you when they need to go, if they haven’t go in about 20-25 mins. then take them.  If they are telling you and having mostly victories then you can start to back off and taking them so much.  If they start to have accidents then take them!    Some children need an extra day or two to learn that muscle.

Day 4-7. 

Slowly start to back off on treats and back off on controlling when they go.  Let them try to tell you. 


You need to have definitions for this.  You can’t call a pen*s a pee pee and them tell them to pee pee in the potty.   You need one word per thing you are talking about….keep it simple.  Example: Isaac go pee pee in the potty.  Good job Isaac.  Etc.

Do not use pull ups even when out and about.  Use the old fashion rubber pants. (We bought Gerber ones).  This will save you the hassle from bring so many extra clothes, but allows your child to feel themselves get wet.

Only use diapers at bedtime.

Do not give up if your child doesn’t get it by day 1.  The first day is LONG and hard on everyone doing this.  But when you catch a few victories they will start to LOVE it!!!!

Involve older siblings if you have them.  In our home if an older child is helping (reading stories while they sit on the potty, reminding them to go, setting the timer, cheering when they go etc) they also get a treat!  This gives mom some extra hands in potty training!  Use those older siblings to your advantage.

Count the victories not the accidents.  Everyday the victory count will go up and the accident count will go down.  Don’t discourage yourself when at the end of day 1 you have 3 victories and 12 accidents.  Just count the victories!  It will make everyone happier.

Follow every step and start between 19-24 months.  We have found that 23 months is almost the perfect age for this!


I have had many parents follow this and many have had great success.  The ones that didn’t have success usually didn’t follow every step.  They picked and choose which step they wanted to do.  That won’t work with this way of potty training.