Saturday, December 22, 2007

Some Things Get Better With Age

Friday, December 21st was Shannon's 38th birthday. We made Shannon a pink champagne cake for his birthday. He wasn't wild about having a pink cake, but he liked the way it tasted.

I have included a picture of Shannon and I from October 1988, taken at my grandparent's 50th Anniversary party.

Twenty years have brought a multitude of changes to our lives. Gone are those carefree college days. I am at the point in my life where I can say I am truly thankful for all of the trials and tribulations we have gone through, simply because we traveled the road together. God has lead us and taught us many lessons, most importantly to trust completely in Him. He took two stubborn, strong-willed people and brought us to our knees before Him.

Shannon, Happy Birthday. I could not ask for a better husband. You are a strong leader in our family, and an excellent father. I admire you and love you more and more as time goes by. Thank you for all you do for me and our children.

"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him." Proverbs 23:24

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

School Daze

I think we are all in a funk around here about school. I was just whining to a friend and fellow homeschooler (Hi Mary!) about the shortcomings and supposed failures of subjecting ourselves and our children to this lifestyle. She emailed me back an encouraging note reminding me just why we have chosen this path. We may not do everything "by the book", the same way the public school does things, but that is part of WHY we homeschool. God likes our children home with us, and has entrusted them to Shannon and I to raise to the best of our ability--with an abundance of His help, guidance, and stamina.

Because we were all inclined to not open too many text books today (we did our Bible time this morning), I have determined to make the "non school" things we do "schoolish". For example, Chase decided to bake a cake this afternoon. It was a plain old French Vanilla box mix. We decided to spice it up a little with some food coloring. He applied the drops of color, then mixed them up to make a rainbow. Just think of all the school we did, just in baking a cake. We did Math (measuring), Home Ec (cooking), Art, Graphic Design, Science, Photography, Language Arts, Reading. Boy, that sounds like a lot of school work. I'm exhausted. I think we'll be done for today!

"Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth." Proverbs 4:5

The Bruiser

Hudson is learning to walk. Along with that comes a myriad of bumps and bruises as he crashes to the floor. Saturday morning he fell into the computer table, giving himself a beauty of a black eye. It's at the stage where it has almost every color of the rainbow. It was quite swollen the first day, but the puffiness has gone away now.

It hasn't slowed him down, though. All of the kids are anxious for him to start walking everywhere. They are constantly working with him. Yesterday he walked all the way across the living room without assistance. The big kids clap for him, and then he starts clapping too, and loses his balance. Too funny.

"He who walks with integrity walks securely..." Proverbs 10:9

Go Out For the Pass

For years Shannon has been known for carrying his babies around under his arm like a football. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Hudson adores Alex, and his whole face lights up when Alex walks in the room. This picture shows Alex holding Hudson when he was only one day old.

This one shows Alex playing football with Hudson after church on Sunday.
They're best buddies.

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Tree 2007

The search for our annual Christmas tree began on Saturday. We loaded up the kids in two vehicles (we still had Papa Joe's truck) and headed north to Holly Berry Farms. Upon arrival, we all piled into the truck and headed up the snow covered path to pick out a tree. With a little slipping and sliding, we were reluctant to veer too far from the beaten path. We cruised around a bit scoping out some trees, and finally decided on a nice, full Scotch pine.

This particular tree was smaller than those we normally pick out, but I was able to convince everyone that once it was inside it would look much bigger. I am notorious for being a bit of a Scrooge, and lobby every year to keep the tree out on the front deck rather than in the house. So far I have been vetoed. The tree wasn't much of a challenge to saw down, and each of the boys got a turn helping.

We decorated the tree in record time, and it was quite beautiful, until Colton decided to add some more of their homemade ornaments. The girls have been busily redecorating ever since we put the tree up. Amazingly, Hudson has left the tree alone.

"But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Proverbs 1:33

Super Chase!

Out of eight children, we were bound to have at least of them turn out to be a super hero--especially with Shannon's gene's! Here are some pics of Chase after recycling the foil we used for our Christmas baking last week.

"He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoeer trusts in the Lord, happy is he." Proverbs 16: 20

Miscellaneous Pictures

This is a picture of Naomi's pretty curls.

This is an example of why I don't like to feed the children Oreos or Cheetos.

This is just a picture of Katie being pretty.

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding." Proverbs 3:13

Lemon Face

Papa Joe took us out to eat the night before he flew out to Virginia to visit Shannon's brother John. This picture shows Hudson's first experience tasting a lemon. The funny part was, he would stick it in his mouth, get the classic "lemon face", then smile and do it all over again.

Chase was being photographer for the evening, and Katie gave him the classic "LOSER" sign while he snapped this one. Where do they learn these things?

"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance..." Proverbs 15:13

The old shall be made new

This chair once belonged to my grandparents. Much like the majority of the furniture in our home, it is older than I am. The reality is that having eight children is not conducive to new furniture. Besides, they don't make 'em like they used to. I have recovered this chair several times. Since the chair is going to be in Colton and Bryce's room now, we decided to do something a bit unconventional with it.

It is now very soft and cuddly, and the kids love snuggling in it. I think Colton has spent more nights sleeping in it than in his bed since it has been finished. I can only imagine what Grandma would think of it now!

"In the house of the righteous there is much treasure..." Proverbs 15:6

It was bound to happen eventually...

Naomi has added her name to the list of those in our family who have gotten stitches. She fell and bonked her head on the fireplace, splitting her forehead open near the hair line. Now, if she had been a boy, we would have pulled out the super glue and fixed her right up. But as it were, we felt the need to take her to the ER. In all of our experience with children and stitches, we have yet to have a child hurt him/herself during office hours. Naomi was a brave little girl (really, she was just clueless about what was going to happen) while the doctor stitched her, and only shed a tear when she was wrapped up on the papoose board. She received two little stitches, and is now as good as new.
For the record, we still have three children who have not required stitches.

"Ponder the path of your feet, and let your ways be established." Proverbs 4:26

Thanksgiving 2007

This year we hosted Thanksgiving at our home. Our guests included my parents and my Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Jerry. Katie and I started our preparations early in the week by chopping onions, celery and carrots. This was Katie's first experience with onions making her cry. The tears are kind of hard to find in the picture, but they're there. Colton came in the room while we were chopping and found both of us "crying". He was very concerned about what had made both of us cry.

This is a picture of the first turkey I have ever attempted to make. Shannon has always handled that chore in the past. He did help me out at times this year. For example, it was his job to take the bag of innards out of the bird and dispose of it. My recipe stated I had to add the turkey neck to a pot of water with celery, onions and carrots to make some turkey broth for the dressing. After taking a look at the turkey neck, I decided it could be Shannon's job to put it in the pot. ICK! After the broth had been simmering for several hours, Alex walked into the kitchen to find out what smelled so good and see if could have some. I told him to help himself. You should have seen the look on his face when he saw that big ol' turkey neck floating in the pot. Priceless! Shannon also was assigned the job of rubbing the butter up under the turkey's skin, because I certainly didn't want turkey slime under MY fingernails. I put the 20 pound bird in the oven way before sunrise on Thursday morning, expecting it to be done around 11:00. It was done at 10:00, instead. Shannon took it out of the oven. I guess overall, Shannon did a lot more to prepare this turkey than I did, but I was the one telling him what to do, so I should get SOME credit. All of the food made it to the table on time, and the only casualties were the yeast rolls I attempted to make. I had made them 4 times in the past two weeks with no problems, but this time they did not rise. I guess it really does matter what temperature the water is when dissolving the yeast.

We had a nice day of family and fellowship, reflecting on all of the blessings God has given us. We truly do have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for.

"She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household..." Proverbs 31:15

Fun and Games

One of the neatest things about living in a big family is that there is never a lack of playmates. This is a picture of the boys playing a game of Risk. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon on a Fall day.

"A friend loves at all times, but a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

Pancake Day

Chase's favorite meal is pancakes. When we make pancakes, we make A LOT of pancakes. I usually mix up about 4-6 batches of Betty Crocker's recipe at a time, and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers for breakfast the rest of the week. Rarely do we make pancakes in the morning. We usually do them for lunch. I'm able to cook 8 of them at a time on my griddle, which is barely fast enough to keep up with the demand. We buy syrup by the gallon.

This is a picture of the leftovers from one of our pancake days. The kids LOVE it when I agree to make them chocolate chip pancakes. We also made some Harvest pancakes recently, which they enjoyed.

"A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth..." Proverbs 13:2

Alex's 15th Birthday

Alex turned 15 on November 17th. He celebrated by inviting some of his friends from church over for cake, ice cream, and fun.

What more can we say about Alex. This picture says it all.


"Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many." Proverbs 4:10