Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas So far...

This year has been a little different for our family during this Christmas season.  We don't always know why things happen when they do, but that doesn't matter cause God does and we count only in Him.  A week ago today, Amanda got a phone call from her dad letting her know that her Uncle had passed away.  Immediately, we bought a airline ticket and AJ and Amanda flew out the next day.  Please pray for Amanda and her family with the loss of a family member this close to the holiday season.  I know that they will appreciate it.  

With Amanda and AJ in OK, that left me with just the boys.  I have loved my time with them as we don't get to hang out as much as I know we should.  We have done lots of things together, like gone to McDonald's and again went to McDonalds, and then we actually had mexican, then it was back to McDonalds.  :)  I probably let the boys get away with more than usual, like staying up late, camping out in my bedroom, and having coke and chocolate cake right before bedtime.  But hey, it is not like we do that all the time right?  They are finally flying back to home tonight and we are very anxious to get them home. 

As for other things, I have greatly realized that my wife does so much for this family.  As husbands, we know that our wives do a lot, but it is when we are put in their shoes that we realize we take it for granted sometimes.  My wife is the best and I want everyone to know that I love her so much.  I realized these things while she was gone, while I had to do all the baths for the boys, laundry, cook (a little) do all the Christmas Cards (probably forgot some) and bake 100 cookies for all the SS. teachers at church.  Usually she would have done most of that, but when I had to do it all, it gave me a greater appreciation for my wife.  Husbands, if you are reading this, remember what your wife has done and thank her for all she still does for your family.  They are precious gifts that God has given to us. 

As for Christmas ideas for family this year, we made a DVD of our family, so I thought I would put it on our blog.  Just photos mainly of the kids over the years.  Hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas to ya'll!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Shopping and Other Busy Things













This past weekend we took the whole family Christmas shopping. It was fun to be out with everyone but it was also pretty tiring. We all went on the Christmas train ride in the mall so that was the boy's highlight. Baby girl is really growing up fast. She is talking all the time now it's really cute. Her favorite thing is phones. She loves to pretend she's on the phone and walk around the house (I think she's imitating daddy).

On a separate note, our long awaited neurologist appointment for Zeke is finally here. We are really praying for a doctor that we can talk to and will answer our questions. He's been doing pretty good lately but still occasionally has issues. Please, please, please pray for him this week. Our appointment is on Wednesday. We appreciate all the prayers and support we've had thus far.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Little Indians



This week in school we learned a little about the Native American Indians. The boys made little Indian feathers to wear on their heads and painted symbols the way the Indians did to tell stories.
The boys have been doing really good in school, I am very proud of them. They both work really hard and most of the time they are pretty good. Next year we'll be starting Bryson on First Grade material since he's doing so well in reading. The program I have does cursive handwriting, so I'm a little nervous about doing that. I guess we'll just see how it goes. I'm not going to push it too hard if he's not ready. Zeke is very close to reading more fluently. He can read now but sounds out each sound. He's starting to blend the words together in his mind and then read them. It has been such a blessing to see each of them learn to read....God is good!

And then there is our sweet baby girl...she's been growing up fast. She's got quite the personality and has been talking a lot. Her most frequent words are "cookie," "juice," "night-night," "stinky." Pretty much her day...eat, sleep, poop :).

Here's also some pictures of AJ waking up from her nap.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's Your Learning Style?

I thought this quiz was really helpful for those with young children. Since I home school, I think it's really important for me to know what the learning styles are for my boys. I've especially been thinking about this lately since Zeke is starting to read but doesn't learn the same way Bryson does. He is very bright and capable (and only 4). This quiz revealed that Bryson is an auditory learner, that's probably why he likes books so much and Zeke is a visual learner. Zeke will study all the details of the illustrations in books and learned most of his letter sounds through the LeapFrog letter factory video.

Anyway, here is the link, hope it helps someone else like it did me :)!

http://parenting.quiz.kaboose.com/25-what-s-your-child-s-learning-style

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tis the Season to be Busy

Our poor blog hasn't gotten updated in awhile so I just thought I'd write something. We are quickly approaching the holiday season and are already bracing for a very busy season. Every weekend pretty much until Christmas is filled not to mention all the Christmas parties in between. In a way I dread how busy it is because it really is one of my favorite times of the year. I know it's not Thanksgiving yet but we already have the Christmas music playing (the new Casting Crowns Christmas CD is really awesome). The boys of course are really excited about Christmas. They, like the rest of us, like all the presents. I'm praying the Lord will help our family really focus on Him this year. I know that there is nothing we could give God that could ever compare to what He has given us. But since it is the celebration of His birthday, I would like to honor Him as such. If you have any ideas of what your family does to help remember what Christmas is all about, I'd love to hear them. I know we can read the Christmas story and I thought about getting the new Nativity movie that just came out (it is really good too).

Anyway, that's pretty much it from our little part of the world. I'll hopefully post some pictures and stuff soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Time in Michigan





Well, for those that didn't know, we are here in Midland MI right now as we are here for my mom's brain surgery that she will be having tomorrow.  We have been up here for a week enjoying the time before my mom has to recover from her surgery.  While we have been here, we have seen friends and family we haven't seen for a while and done some fall things that we miss here in Michigan.  We have gone to the pumpkin patch, and of course our favorite, Baynes in Freeland.  There we ate Cider Donuts and had warm apple cider.  I sure miss the season up here even though it is really cold.  It has hailed a couple times since we have been here but you can just smell the fall time in the air.  I miss that.  Here are just a few pics of some of the fun we have had up here.  Thanks for all the prayers for my mom as she has her surgery tomorrow and her quick recovery.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bryson's Science Project

We finally finished up Bryson's science project for a science fair I signed him up for in November. He made sugar crystals and then watched them grow. One was "seeded" meaning had been soaked in water and rolled in sugar and the other one was not. Now we just have to learn all the science type stuff of why that happened and so forth and then put the presentation together. I think he had fun with it.

The only other thing going on really is getting ready to leave for Michigan. We got all the sweaters and winter stuff down from the basement. We even had to go buy baby girl a new coat. We are looking forward to seeing everyone. I've been getting a bunch of car stuff together so we can have an unconventional school in the car ont he way there. We might as well since we'll just be sitting for two days :). It will be good to get away for a bit and the fall is my favorite time of year in Michigan.

Keep praying about our house selling. We've had it now for two years and we'll be putting it back up on the market in March since we have renters in it right now. We've had quite the ordeal with our home insurance company so we have to go up and make a few repairs to get it insurance qualified. It seems to be such a burden but everything in life we can learn from. The thing I've learned the most is that God is in control of every situation...He knows our needs and is faithful to supply our needs. I'm so thankful for that today and have to remind myself of that truth as I trust Him for our future.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Backyard Fun!





A few years ago we bought the boys this Power Wheels Monster truck and it is still going.  I had to do a little fixing on it this weekend and it now only goes forward, not backwards, but the boys still love playing with it.  The back of it is just big enough for AJ to fit in it so she just sat in it and let the boys drive her around the yard.  It was really fun to sit back and watch them play.  The weather is getting actually nice enough to go outside without having to drip with sweat.  The nights are really getting nice.  Pretty much everyday now, the boys want to go play in the backyard, which is good for us cause they need to get outside and burn some energy.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bryson's New Haircut


Bryson finally got his haircut today. It looks really cool...however the only way we can duplicate it is to put gel in it and blow dry it every time. I never thought about blow drying my boy's hair but I guess that's the cost of fashion!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update on Zeke

Many of you already know what is going on with Zeke but I thought I'd put an update on the blog anyway. We had his appointment last Thursday to find out the results from the 8 hour EEG test he had done about 2 weeks ago. The doctor indicated that he did not have any seizures during that test but did notice some unusual readings when he is trying to transition from sleep stage 1 to sleep stage 2. So she prescribed him some medication for migraines.

After the appointment both Nick and I had very mixed feelings. To make a long story short, we are seeking a second opinion. I found out on Friday that our insurance WILL cover it (thank-you Lord!) and we have to get it going through the Primary Care Physician. As the advocates for Zeke's health, and as young as he is, we just don't feel right putting him on any other medication until we have more confidence in his diagnosis.

All those prayer warriors out there, please pray. I am praying specifically for a doctor who will take the time and will explain to us in layman's terms so we can better understand what exactly Zeke has. I know God has been teaching me through this whole circumstance. I told Nick the other day that it would be better if it were me going through something, but when it's your child it is really hard. Especially when they are so young and can't explain what is wrong with them. I guess this is just a fraction of a glimpse of what God felt when His only son suffered for ungrateful wicked people such as me.

As a mom I try not to worry and am constantly repeating the verse, "Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6

Will you pray with me? I will be forever grateful!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Memories

Like life isn't busy enough but this year I decided to coach Bryson's under 6 soccer team.  We are the "Thunderbolts" and we have 7 kids on our team.  I have really enjoyed coaching these little kids as I am a soccer lover myself.  Especially with being Bryson's coach, I hope these are times he never forgets.  I love my children so much and thank God for them all the time.  I love this picture of Bryson and I before our first soccer game of the season tonight.  

Monday, September 15, 2008

Future Neurologist!!!

This morning in the waiting room Zeke told me that he wanted to be a brain doctor when he grows up.  I thought it was nice of him to say that and hey, who knows, one day he may be.  He is such a trooper with all these tests and all.  As you are reading this, I took this picture and put it on the blog while we were in the room for his test.  (nice feature of the MACBOOK) He is really tired and he put a little fuss when they started putting the wires on his head, but it is just cause he is tired.  We will be in this room for pretty much the rest of the day.  They want to record about 8 hours worth of brain activity.  Dr's are still unsure what is going on with him and we are pretty much starting over again and just making sure we are getting this right.  Please continue to pray for him as he undergoes these tests.  I am very thankful that my mom is here right now to take care of the other kids during this time.  Plus she really missed everyone so she flew in for a couple weeks.  (Thanks mom)  Thanks for all the prayers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Princess turns 1

We can't believe it, AJ turned 1 yesterday! It is exciting but yet sad. They grow up so fast...but she is doing so well. I love watching her grow everyday and the things that she does is so precious. We just had a day together as a family and Bryson and I (dad) made her a cake during the afternoon. After we were done with dinner we let her dig in and if was so much fun to watch. Meme and Papa sent her some gifts and then we let her open our last night. She had a blast! Here is a slideshow that we put together of the different photos fromt he past few days.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What a Concert!!!

Last night I had the opportunity to take 5 of my girls from the youth group to a concert.  We went and saw Building 429.  They were awesome!  We were one of the first ones there and so we sat, (or should I say stood) 2 rows from the front stage.  Literally we were like 10ft from them if that.  Plus we sat right in front of the speakers.  It was so fun and the girls had such an awesome time.  I was glad I got to take them.  They really did a good job and even though they were entertaining at times, the thing I like about them is that they truly are real about their faith in Christ.  Every song reflects it.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but I believe the Lord blesses us so we can bless others.  So, last night our family sponsored a girl named Steffany from Costa Rica.  We will be hearing from her I am sure here soon, but Worldvision does such a great thing for poverty and our family will have faith that God will help us support this little girl. Soon as I get another picture of her, I will post it.  Anyways, good job Building 429 and keep serving Christ.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Marines


This morning was a very special morning for one of my former Youth Members.  Not only did he just graduate high school this past school year, but today marked the beginning of another new journey for David Thomas as he graduated as a Marine from Parris Island boot camp.  I have never been to one of these ceremony's but it was very respectful and very proud.  America does a great job of turning out fine Marines.  David is a great guy and I am very honored that I had a part of being in his life.  David now will go on into Aviation for more training and as of now will soon be headed to Pensacola FL.  GOOD JOB DAVID!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Soccer Has Started!

Bryson's first soccer practice was yesterday. He and "coach daddy" had a great time even though Nick was a little nervous since he's never coached before. I think he's gonna have a fun time. It's so sad to see him grow up but it's neat at the same time. He's such a great kid!






























I also thought I'd put a video on here I shot of the kids playing in AJ's room. Sometimes I have the boys play with AJ to keep an eye on her while I take a bath or something. I heard them all yelling and playing Star Wars....even AJ. Apparently she was the bad guy (why is the littlest always the bad guy?). Anyway, I tried to capture it on video but I got AJ taking all the wipes out of her wipe container instead and trying to be one of the big kids like her brothers. Her bottom is wet from all the wipes and then she got a little sleepy and found her beloved blanket and thumb :)!


video

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Feeding Ducks in the Georgia Heat















About two weeks ago Bryson and I were doing some lessons that revolved around the book "The Story About Ping." So on the last day of the lessons (Friday) we went to the park with the pond (and alligators!) and fed the ducks. Well, the boys of course remembered that and really wanted to go this past Friday and feed the ducks again. The boys had a really good time feeding the ducks but some of them can get a little vicious, especially the big fat males! Bryson also brought his scooter and rode it around a little and they played on the park. It was a fun time.

Right now it is rainy season but luckily it didn't rain. However, it was VERY humid and sticky. We still had fun but needless to say we were all drenched in sweat by the time we got home. I didn't really get that much of a fuss when it was time to go home. Oh well, I guess that's part of the "joy" of living in Georgia :).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun at School















I think the boys had a fun day at school today. On Thursdays I try to do some type of art project so today we broke out the new paints and had fun painting. Zeke's creative picture is of Noah's ark during the flood and it's storming. He's a very imaginative little boy. He even manages to name all of the vowels - but not by their real name, by the "good guy" name he gives them (he knows the proper one too). He then takes out his light saber (a white board marker) and defeats them when I say a word that uses their sound. He usually keeps them the same name and he wants them to be the good guys 'cause he is the bad guy. Funny little boy! He's been doing really well since we started school. His teachers at church even noticed he was listening really well.

Bryson was in a dress up mood and so he dressed up as a SWAT Policeman today. He thought it was pretty cool. He wanted to go to "www.SWATpolicemathgames.com" which of course doesn't exist but he thinks everything has a ".com". He had a faithful sidekick with him today, AJ, who helped him get all the bad guys and take them down. I thought he'd enjoy spelling a little more today if we pretended a ball was a grenade and when he spelled a word right he could throw it at me (spelling can get pretty boring, ya know??!!). Anyway, those were the exciting things we did at our "Church Academy." If I was a paid teacher at a job I probably would of called in sick but I guess there isn't a substitute that can come in for me, huh? Oh well, I survived by the grace of God (literally).





















One of Zeke's favorite parts of school is his computer time. He loves listening to the silly songs they sing on a "Jump Start Science" computer game. We do it at the end after lunch as a special reward for doing a good job at school. I love to hear him laughing at the funny songs and playing them over and over while learning at the same time.















God has been so good to me and helping me with all my insecurities about homeschooling. He's made it clear this is what He wants me to do but I sometimes struggle with what others think of my life and is it very meaningful in their eyes. I know that it doesn't matter but God gently reminded me through his Word and through the mouths of my own children. I believe God used Bryson to show me that my efforts for Him are not in vain. Yesterday he was extremely interested in learning all there was to know about the Bible and said he wanted to praise the Lord and serve Him. Although he hasn't come to understand completely what it means to ask Christ to save you or anything, seeds are being planted and I'm so excited to see him excited about God.

On a separate note, please remember to pray for Zeke. He is pretty much being reevaluated from the beginning and in more detail. We are slowly weaning him off the Depakote and he is no longer on any vitamin or mineral supplements. For those of you who don't know, the medicine that he was on was not working and his headaches/eye pain are continuing and getting more frequent. We are supposed to be taking back to the Ophthalmologist to reevaluate his eye and then he has another sleep deprived EEG scheduled for Sept. 15th but this one is 6 hours long. My sister explained to me why they sleep deprive him. Since they are looking to capture his seizures they need him to be in a state that is most likely to produce seizures, sleep deprivation. Normal people do not have seizures even if they are sleep deprived. If we just took him without him being sleep deprived than he may not have a seizure since he may not have them every time he sleeps. Anyway, prayers are appreciated as we go through this process again. I'm thankful we at least have a doctor who is willing to say she doesn't really know what's going on and willing to retest or whatever to get to the bottom of what is going on with him.

Have You Ever Wondered?

I started this funny video series of "Have You Ever Wondered?" in our youth  group the other night.  I thought I would put our first video on our blog so you can see what we are doing.  The teens thought it was pretty good and now they are coming up with ideas for our future videos.  When we do them, I will post them.   I am excited about tonight cause we signed Bryson up this year to play soccer and he is really excited.  Tonight is our first meeting and we will find out games and practices and all.  I was called the other day to see if I would coach and of course playing soccer my whole life, I said sure.  I get to coach Bryson's team and another kid from our church.  I am excited.  Well, have fun watching the video.  If you have an idea's let me know.



video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School is Back in Session

























Well, we've started our second week of school now and the boys seem to be doing pretty good
(jury's still out on the teacher though). We've been talking about creation in our Bible part of school. So, as a fun little treat we made our very own "creation concoction." Here is all the yummy things that were inside:
  • cool whip and chocolate chips (day one - God created the night and the day)
  • marshmallows (day two - God created the air and the sky)
  • vanilla wafers (day three - God created the land and the sea)
  • sprinkles (day four - God created the sun, moon and stars)
  • Jujy Fruits - fishes (day five - God created the fish and the birds)
  • animal crackers and sour patch kids (I tried to find gingerbread men but it's the wrong season; day six - God created the animals and Adam & Eve)
And of course on day seven God rested so in honor of that they ate their wonderfully delicious "concoction." I found this idea from a website I use a lot for teaching children Bible stories - here.





Of course we had to put a picture of AJ in here too....we let her walk around in her cute little robe for a little while last night after her bath. It's getting a little small but she is still so cute!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary...

Well, we have had some things happen over the past few weeks and so now we h
ave a new blog site.  We hope you find this some how cause we lost most everything on our other one.  Anyways, Family here is doing great.  Last weekend was our Anniversary and so Amanda and I hired some babysitters and went away for the weekend.  We had a great time...living near Savannah we have never really done much of the tourist stuff, so that is what we did.  We stayed at the Hyatt on River street with a beautiful view from our room, ate and a wonderful restaurant called the "Boars Head," and then ended the night with a Ghost Tour of Savannah.  It was really fun.  I appreciate and love my wife so much and thank God for her everyday.