Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
-
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday Shopping/Date Night

Sunday was the last day of our local consignment event by WeePeats. I would have liked to attend on Friday or Saturday so I could choose from a much larger selection of clothing, toys, baby items, etc. However, most things were 50% off on the last day, so I did spend less money....which is always good. Most of what I purchased was for Emma. There's always A LOT to choose from for the babies. I didn't find anything for Hailey except a couple of books, only a dress shirt for Logan, and a NY Yankees pants/jacket for Corbin. Oh, and a HUGE sword for Corbin because he didn't have one of his own. I think my grand total was $76.60 for about 30 items. Not too shabby.....We may have to do some more shopping for the older 3 but I can go to the Goodwill stores...there are usually some nice name brand pants and shirts to be found there for just a few dollars. I cannot stand to pay full price for Gap, Old Navy, or Levi jeans that the kids will grow out of or tear the knees out of but I do love those brands, so that's my plan! There's actually a new Goodwill store in our neighborhood which will be convenient.

Sunday evening Karl and I went out to dinner and to a movie. We ate at Biaggi's, a really good Italian restaurant in a local mall. It's actually the same one that Emma caused us to have to leave when she was just 2-3 months old because she wouldn't stop crying....yes, we dared to show our faces there again! We both had delicious salads and pasta dishes, and shared a piece of banana chocolate chip cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate shavings on top. After dinner, we were going to walk around the mall. Alas, it was closed because it was Sunday, so we went back into the restaurant to have a drink while we waited until our show time. It was nice to just sit and talk over drinks. The movie we ended up seeing was Surrogates, with Bruce Willis. It's so funny to think about his Moonlighting days...and now he's in all the action movies. He's not a bad actor. The movie was pretty good, if a bit strange to think about. It was a nice way to end the weekend, spending some alone time with my sweetie.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Naples Grape Festival

Today was the day. We've been planning for weeks(actually months) to attend the Naples Grape Festival this fall, and the day finally arrived. We left here somewhere around 10:30 this morning to make the hour drive to Naples, NY. We enjoyed the scenery on the way there-lots of fall foliage, a beautiful meadow, and Lake Canandaigua. Once we got there, we decided to just park kind of far away and walk most of the way into town because we did not want to sit in the traffic. I don't know if it took less time but it was definitely more fun! And it was way more beneficial for Hailey and Corbin. Along the way, before arriving in town, there are homes and churches and many of them have yard sales or sell grapes and pies, etc. to those passing by. Many also set up parking in their yards and charge $5 per car, so make a good chunk of change. We stopped at a church bazaar...they were selling many different things, from snow boards, to tableware, to stuffed animals, to baby toys. You name it, they had it. Hailey spotted something right away that she wanted. She's been saving her money for roller blades for quite some time now, but she hasn't scraped together enough to buy the ones she saw for $40 at Wal-mart. Lo and behold, this church sale had a pair. She asked me to come over and confirm the price for her...yep, $2! She tried them on and they fit perfectly. There was also a pair for Corbin for $5, so we have 2 pair of roller blades and hours of physical activity for both of them for just $7. I am thrilled with the savings. And even better, Daddy paid for them, so Hailey and Corbin can keep their money for something else! There was a pair there that might have fit Logan but he wasn't interested. I have a feeling he's going to miss out on lots of fun.

It took us a while to get all the way into town to where the craft and food booths were. We decided to grab a bloomin' onion (it really was not very good...a waste of our precious money at $7!). The kids had a hamburger and 2 corn dogs, Karl had a sausage dog, I had a Philly cheese steak sandwich, and Karl bought the kids a caramel apple each for dessert. We were sitting at the table while they ate them....when Corbin says, "My tooth fell out." (We just discovered that he has 4 loose teeth this week, the bottom 2 more loose than the top 2.) All it took was a bite of caramel apple to do the trick. Karl said he can't think of a better way to lose one. ;) I guess we know who will be getting a visit from the tooth fairy tonight...and probably at least one more night very soon from the looks of his other tooth! I'm sure Karl will post a picture as soon as he can, so check back for that.

After lunch we looked around at the craft tables a bit, but didn't find anything we had to have. We noticed pretty shortly that it was beginning to get cloudy and colder, so we headed back to the truck. The kids did great most of the time, especially considering how crowded it was and how long the walk was. The rain held off long enough for Hailey and Corbin to get in a good practice session with Karl and their 'new' roller blades. Then we ate pizza and popcorn, and watched college football.

Emma is already in bed. She didn't really nap while we were out but behaved really well. She was extra fussy tonight though, so I put her to bed earlier than usual. Now, I'm heading up to tuck in the middle two kids. It's been a long, but fun day for everyone. I think we'll just stick around home tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun on the Erie Canal and an Emma Update

Yesterday afternoon we all went out to a local ice cream shop. We knew it would be closing soon...most around here are closed from about November 1 through May 1. This is one we always walked to when we lived in our rental house. We wanted to get one last visit in before it's too late. This particular shop happens to be right on the Erie Canal. There are several gift shops and the like in that area too, so there's often a lot of foot traffic. Yesterday was no exception. We went and each got our cones and took them out to the pavilion so we could sit and watch the ducks, kayaks, boats, and people. When we had finished we took a walk down the path. There's a bike shop there that Karl wanted to visit, so we headed that direction. On the way we passed a shop that sells dry corn that you can feed to the ducks. Hailey wanted to get some, so we payed a dollar for one bag and shared it. Who could have known what a success our feeding would be. Each of our kids got to feed a couple of ducks right out of their hands! They were so excited and amazed. I got some good pictures with my phone, so if you're a Facebook user you can view them on my page. I'm going to try to figure out how to upload them here too, but I'm not sure if I can. We all had a blast. I'm so glad we went and the kids all said what fun it was. We'll have to do that again. It was definitely worth the money just to see the joy on their faces.

Emma is learning to sit up. I've been practicing with her a bit and she could only sit for a few seconds at a time even last Friday. She's really improved since then, sitting for several minutes at a time with only a few wobbles. She does still fall backwards and sideways but she handles it well. She's not good enough at it yet that I can leave her sitting there, but it won't be long. Then I'll have to set up the play yard so she can't crawl away. She isn't crawling yet, but it's only a matter of time until she figures it out! We've begun to give her a few more things to eat, like rice (which she seems to love), tiny chunks of pear (thanks Karen), and homemade sweet potatoes. I decided to start making my own baby food, just a bit at a time. I tried spinach and pears and she loved it, so I'll have to make that one again. I don't think I ever fed my other kids spinach....I should have. ;) The nursing continues to go well, though she is a bit fussy with her last feeding of the evening. I'm not sure what that's about but it hasn't affected her sleep schedule so I guess things are okay. Emma still loves to suck her fingers, though I've noticed they're not in her mouth quite as often as before. It has been great though, because she can help comfort herself and we don't need to keep fumbling with a pacifier. We still don't have any pictures printed up. I'm so sorry! I know many you who would really like to have one. Actually, I would too. Karl has just been so busy, and I depend on him to do those things because he does such a great job with it. Plus, we're out of ink and I haven't been able to find the right kind anywhere. I really appreciate the patience everyone has displayed. It will be just a bit longer, but we do plan to get some out to family very soon.

That's all I can think of for now. Hope everything is going well for everyone.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Preparations

Today is our first day of co-op....a group of homeschooling parents cooperating together to provide classes for one another's children. I spent last night getting ready for my classes, and with a bit of help from Karl. I am teaching a Sea Creatures class for 3-5 year olds. I will read a book about a sea creature each week....crabs, sea turtles, etc...then we will make a craft or prepare/eat a related food item. This week we're making a hermit crab craft and I needed to cut out all the pieces. Karl helped me, though he said he wouldn't want to do it very often. Thank you! I promised I would have things ready earlier from now on! ;)Now I can go in there ready to begin, not worrying about which child will have a hard time cutting.

I am also teaching (facilitating) an organization class for women. I am looking forward to this because I am sure these ladies will have some excellent ideas! I've never been the 'teacher' of a class before, so I'm a bit nervous. I'm sure it will be fine, though.

We've completed our 2nd week of school and things are going okay. We really need to finish our schedule. Right now I'm deciding each day what we'll cover and I don't like that. I need a plan! See our other blog to read about what we've been doing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just a bit of news...

I wanted to come on briefly to add a link to our other blog that I've just updated. There's new school info. for those who are interested.

Also, Emma has been teething for several months now and over the weekend two teeth finally popped through her tiny little gums. Hurray! They are just tiny white buds, but so cute. I can't believe she's reached that milestone already. We had some friends over for dinner Monday evening who just had their 3rd child....about a week and a half ago. I found out he weighed the same as Emma did when she was born (7lb. 12 oz.) and it just seems so strange. Even though she's only 6 months old I can't remember her being that small. He looks so tiny! They grow so quickly, and she is no exception. I'm trying to cherish every moment.

We start co-op soon, in just over a week. The kids are excited to get into some new classes, but mostly to get to see their friends every Friday. I will be teaching (facilitating) two classes and taking a class, so that should be fun for me. I'm praying that Emma will do well as it will be kind of a long day for her. She's done okay on our recent excursions so I think one day off her schedule will not hurt us too much.

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. It' doesn't seem like it's been that long, but it some ways it seems like we've been together so much longer. We dated for 5 years before we got married so we've actually been together for 19 years.....longer than we were apart. I'm so glad to have Karl in my life. God has blessed me so much despite my failings. I am honored to be married to a man that is committed to his family. I love him with all my heart. Happy Anniversary darlin'!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guess What...

One of the most entertaing aspects of parenthood comes in the form of opportunities we get to see the world through our children's eyes. I had one such opportunity today.

When we went to the NY state fair this weekend, I let Logan bring one of my old cameras to use as he wanted. Interestingly, many of the things that I found picture-worthy seemed to capture his attention as well. As I downloaded pictures from each of our cameras onto the computer for review and filing, I found that we had taken pictures of many of the same things, whether it be livestock, chickens, or rides. But what I found most amusing was how much different things look from his perspective. This was not an intelectual difference in perspective, but rather a physical one. For those of you that have young children, take an hour or so to get down to their level and play with them. while you're there, take some time to look around at things you see every day, just to see how the world looks from your little one's point of view.

At 6 feet tall, I am of average height, but still quite a bit taller than my 11 year old son. While strolling through the poultry cages, we were both caught by the sight of this silly looking long legged chicken. I just had to take this picture. While snapping the shot, I couldn't help but laugh at the thought of this chicken, that appeared to be asking me: "Do these feathers make my butt look big?"

What I didn't notice was that Logan was taking a picture of the same bird at the same time. I'm thinking the caption on his photo might read a little differently....


So now you know what. :)
.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crisp Rice Treats

Yesterday, while cruising through Facebook, I noticed some one's post mentioned making Rice Krispy Treats. I decided right then that I would have to make some today, they sounded so good! So during my grocery store run this morning, with Corbin in tow, I picked up some Tops Crisp Rice. (I don't pay for name brand items if store brand will do the trick.) This box of cereal was cheaper than Rice Krispies, and I'm all about saving money if possible. After our afternoon walk, Corbin and I headed into the kitchen to make the treats. The back of the box listed some additions you could make to your treats. We just happened to have some chocolate chips, so I decided to throw them in the mix. I was a bit concerned that the chocolate would melt, but I figured it wouldn't matter, they'd taste good anyway. So we mixed it all up and pressed them into the pans. (we had to use two smaller square pans because my 9x13x2 casserole dish perished in a tragic dish washing accident) Of course, the treats did turn out brown because the chocolate melted just as I suspected. However, as we were discussing this fact, something dawned on us....we could have used Cocoa Pebbles (or the store brand equivalent) to make these. Even better (in mom's opinion), next time let's use Fruity Pebbles!! So we have another 'treat' day in our future. Experimenting is fun! But right now we have several treats left to sample at our leisure. I think the general consensus amongst our family members was "Yumm-o!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Fair

I wrote all about our day at the fair on my home school blog, since it counts as a field trip for school. Click here to read all about it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Emma is 6 months old

Tuesday marked 6 months since Emma was born. I just can't believe it! Yesterday we took her in for her 6-month check-up. She was wonderful....weighing in at 15 lbs. 12 oz. She is 26.5 inches long, a tall girl for her age. While we were there the doctor commented several times on her beautiful smile and about how content she seemed. She is a very content baby, almost all the time. I am not just bragging on her because she's my baby and of course I'm gonna brag about her....she really is that content. She had to have more shots and cried of course, but she calmed down quickly. She got her first dose of the flu vaccine. We go back in a month for her 2nd dose and the other kids will get theirs then, too. I just can't believe it's been that long. Boy, does time fly!

I am so very blessed, sometimes I just cannot believe the life I live! God has revealed His great love for me, to me, through my husband and my children. It's been a growing experience and sometimes extremely painful, as He shows me my faults through them, but many times so joy-filled. I am at a loss for how to describe how it feels to know He has blessed me because He loves me and that His hand is in all of it, even when I can't see it. There have been times for us that have seemed very dark, when we've thought "There's no way God could be in this!" but He always was and He still is. I'm so thankful that He has kept His promise and has never forsaken me, even when I've railed against Him, disobeyed Him, and plain ignored Him. He still chooses me and I am amazed by that! Every day I'm learning, and sometimes (ha, many times) I fail, but I will keep trying to serve Him, love Him, and obey Him with all of me. I'm thankful for my family and friends. Thank you Lord for your many blessings.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hailey's eye appointment

Today Hailey had another eye appointment. We take her about every 3-4 months to have a check up, and every other visit (or there abouts) they dilate her eyes to check her prescription. We have been patching Hailey's right eye 2-3 hours a day in order to try and increase the strength of her left eye, which is the one with the problem. She does not like to wear the patch, and I really can't blame her. It means she can only see with her left eye for that period of time and it significantly limits her sight. She does try to read sometimes, and does okay with it, but it's not a fun time for her. I keep encouraging her that even though it limits her sight in the short-term, in the long run it is supposed to be helping her sight. Today we got some confirmation of that. Her sight is slowly improving. I think the doctor is waiting for her to plateau at some point and then we can stop using the patch (maybe). He has also mentioned more than once that when she's older and can handle it she may get a little more improvement with contacts instead of glasses. So we'll look into that when the time comes.

Despite the handicap her weaker vision can be to her, Hailey does amazingly well at detail-type things. She often spots items or details that no one else sees. She has come a very long way in her reading and writing. Both were difficult for her at first. Hailey is also a self-taught artist...she is excellent at drawing animals. We have many, many works she's done. We've tried to make sure she writes her name and the date on each of them so future generations will know who drew them and when. She has also had to re-learn some things along the way, but I feel very blessed that she is still able to see so well. God made her just as she is, and though we may not understand why, I know He has a plan for her.

I'm enjoying watching her blossom into a beautiful young lady and I am very excited to watch His plan play out in her life!


Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Weekend Adventures

Please refer to this link to read about our weekend adventures.