Ok, I admit it: I am backdating this post to squeak in my 30 posts in 30 days.  My wonderful hubby whisked me out on a date last night, and so instead of catching up with you, Dear Readers, I spent some quality time with Jay – we chatted for hours over a leisurely supper of prime rib. So fun.  As we sat and talked and sipped our wine, it struck me: what a blessing it is after 14 1/2 years of marriage that we can have so much fun together just talking and hanging out.  I don’t ever want to take this for granted…I am so in love with and so thankful for my husband.

Last night was actually my second date of the day as I also got to spend some lovely one-on-one time with the youngest little man in my life during the afternoon.  Josiah and I dropped the older three children off to try out an art class here, and then the two of us walked and talked all up and down Snider Plaza, his little hand in mine almost all of the hour and a half we spent together. We stopped by a toy store (to his delight!) and a book store (where he had a blast finding all the “Bativities” on display), had a coffee/hot chocolate break outside on a park bench, and truly enjoyed time together.

Homeschooling right now means that I don’t always spend a ton of Mommy time with just Josiah, so I cherish these little moments with him.  It was a great afternoon.

And as for the other 3, they loved their first time with “Miss Casey” at A Little Artsy…which came very highly recommended, and we were not disappointed. What a welcoming and happy little studio, and Casey and her staff are sweet, talented, and wonderful with children. If you live in the Dallas area and are looking for a nurturing and unique art experience for you and/or your kiddos, give Casey a call!

Thoughtful Thursday: Kids ‘n’ Chores!

Tonight I did something in the kitchen that I haven’t done in a very long, long time. In fact I cannot even remember the last time…

All by myself, after supper, while the kids were taking baths/showers, I emptied the dishwasher!

Why don’t I ever empty the dishwasher anymore?? Because these days I have a host of little people around the house who are absolutely capable of accomplishing this task, and each day they take care of it for me, the sweet things. Only the 10 and 8 year old deal in breakables; the 7 year old empties “non-breakables” and the 4 year old helps at random, very enthusiastically, but definitely still learning.  He started trying to help with the dishwasher because he watched his big siblings work at it, and wanted to help too.

Earlier this week, the 4 year old began making his bed all by himself, and not because I taught him. He has watched his big brothers, whom he shares a room with, and he hears me each day praise their efforts.  Monday morning he proudly called me to his room where he pointed triumphantly to a very well made-up bed, especially for a 4 year old’s first effort. And I was delighted!!  To think: after all these years of teaching the older ones how to do chores, they now not only complete their own work, they are training the baby of the family too…what a deal!

Of course there are days when chores are not done cheerfully, and Mommy must urge and nudge and yes, even perhaps threaten…but on the whole I am blessed with sweet help from my children.

So, all this talk of dishes and bed-making prompts me to ask you, Dear Reader: what do you do around your house about Kids’n’Chores??  Do your kids do any? Do they do none? Do they do it all while you lounge on the couch and pop Godiva chocolates into your mouth one by one??

If your children help around the house, how do you organize chores for each one, and if they attend traditional school (as opposed to home-schooling), when do they usually accomplish their chores?? Do you pay allowances for helping, or not??  How do you deal with bad attitudes toward helping around the house?

Please do chime in with your two cents on this topic; it is always great to hear ideas from other parents!  I have heard many a parent groan that it is just easier to do the housework themselves rather than go through the agony of trying to teach their children to take responsibility and ownership of chores, but I think I am finding out that once the kids learn, the entire family reaps the benefit of everyone pitching in to help as they are able.

So, pull up your favorite comfy chair, enjoy a warm cup of coffee (I will bring the Godiva chocolates!) and let’s chat chores!

Someone Remind Me How the Rules Work….

So…like…if I post twice in one day, does that let me off the hook for tomorrow? Hmmmm??

I haven’t even looked in, let alone touched my closet. Darn that gremlin.

But I did finish three loads of laundry. Not bad considering what all else was on my plate today.

And the inbox has been whittled from 424 emails down to a mere 136. Progress, yes?

So, not too long before the children and I headed downtown to drop Abigail off at her choir practice, I got a wild hare to do some furniture rearranging. All four kids helped me roll up our big 9 x 12 wool rug, then the children shook the rug pad outside for me while I vaccuummed under where it has been resting for over a year.

We pulled the rug further out into the center of the room so I could add two wing chairs from the front room on either side of the fireplace.


I then effectively pushed the rest of our seating out into the middle of the room so that it looks like this:


and this:


Now, we certainly could use a table or two here and there, but overall, I am pleased to know we can fit a good amount of furniture in here. It will be fun to have more chairs available when friends and family visit.


Or, on a more important note (so the children say), it is now possible to hop around the entire perimeter of the room, never touching the floor merely by bouncing from furniture piece to furniture piece.  Heh.

Monday Madness!

This Monday, it sorta’ does feel like madness…there will be no quick-fix-it meals tonight; we’ll enjoy leftovers!

A gremlin appears to have ransacked my clothes closet, because I can hardly set foot in there this afternoon.

Also, while my back was turned, a few neighborhood kids must’ve snuck over to our house, and dumped their dirty laundry into my various baskets because there is a whole lot more clothing needing to be washed than certainly just my children could have worn in the last week!!

And how in the world did I get 424 emails piled up in my inbox??

Off to try to conquer some of the mess! Till tomorrow, then, dear Readers!

Hair Cuts Again!

Several years back, Jay started cutting our boys’ hair at home in order to save some buckos.


He even cuts his own now, what a cool guy!

A year and a half ago, I featured Josiah’s first haircut with the flobee….remember this entry??


Eighteen months later, the poor boy has very little additional hair, but yesterday after Jay finished cuts on both Josiah and Jonathan it struck me that they look a lot alike with their twinkie haircuts…

Here they are post early-morning hair cuts:




I got nothin’. A big fat nothin’ for you tonight, so sorry, Dear Readers!  I feel the lamest blog post I’ve ever written coming on right about now.

I know that I promised more Halloween photos…but it’s late, and I am too lazy to choose from among the bazillion shots we have of our cherubs in their Star Wars garb. Maybe tomorrow.

I cooked tonight, and the food was fine, but there were no recipes worth sharing.

Our boys tested in front of a panel of judges for yellow belts in Tae Kwon Do today.They did very well, and we are super proud of them.  I’d love to show you the awesome video of the event, but once again…don’t feel like downloading the video to share with you just now. Actually, wait….that’s a lie; I can’t download the video without the help of my Super Techie Guy and he’s too into his new book to break concentration just now.

I am planning to try making my own homemade yogurt this week…but I don’t often blog about what is going to happen; I chronicle what has happened. So I can’t really write about that, now can I?

Well, I guess I could point out the very positive observation that in 14 consecutive days of posts, this is the first one that felt like a throw-away (to me) so that is something.

So, before I ramble any longer, I choose instead to bid you goodnight, and hope you that you enjoy a blessed and worshipful Lord’s Day tomorrow!!

It’s Late…

but I hope to have more pics of this little guy


and all his friends up for your viewing pleasure tomorrow! Sweet Dreams!

Cave Paintings! or….The Differences Between Girls and Boys!

This year we are learning Ancient History from Story of the World


with a supplemental text for Abigail to study in addition,


plus a good variety of library reads and historical literature thrown in.

Unfortunately our six weeks of sickness have slowed our progress in this subject considerably. Though we are way past early man and well into Ancient Egypt, I have put off most of our hands-on projects this past month, and we are only now getting around to enjoying some of these fun activities.

Yesterday afternoon to the children’s delight, I promised them that we would create “cave paintings” !   We spent some time looking at several examples of actual paintings that have been discovered in well-preserved form:

This one is from a place in France called Lascaux:


and one from Altamira, Spain:


and another from Ancient France:


and finally another from Spain:


We did our best to note special characteristics of this early art form. Then we spent about an hour making some paintings of our own…and each child put their own special touches on their masterpieces.

Here they are, hard at work:


I bet if you look at the pictures below you can figure out which painting is the one our girlie drew, and which ones the boys drew.  When Abigail thinks of the Ancients, she envisions happy, peaceful animals in a calm, pastoral setting. The boys are clearly more interested in warfare and hunts. Even the 4 year old insists that there is a dead guy, arrows, and several hideous beasts depicted in his masterpiece.

Abigail drew some serene-looking horses: in the middle is the mother horse, there are cliffs either side; there is a cloud in the sky, and the mother’s colt runs below.


Jonathan’s painting depicts a bull, a stag, and a boar being hunted by5 cavemen. Two of the three animals are already dripping with blood…their deaths are imminent.


Nicolas’ drawing shows a buck being shot with arrows (notice the gory blood spurting from its neck), by a hunting party, and one poor soul who was done in by the buck before the animal was hit.  He’s the dude on the ground with x’s for eyes, in case you couldn’t tell.


Here is Josiah’s word-for-word description of his “cave painting”


“There is a dead person and it’s Indiana Jones’ dad, and then Indy went into the big deadly cave and only he survived it. And fire burned all the persons that were not brave and they got dead, and only Indiana Jones survived the cave.  And the dead person was alive again, and Indiana Jones went back home by “hisself”. Also his dad was going hunting. But then his dad was too tired, and so Indy was making some soup for his dad.  Then Indiana Jones’ dad quickly went back home, and he had some of the soup.”

Once again we smile at the innate differences God created in men and women and how they show up so clearly at such a young age!