Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kaedra prayers

Kaedra has a sore on her back (not related to surgery) that has become infected. We talked to the Dr today and they want her back up in Kansas City. Michael, Kevin and Kaedra are headed back up there tomorrow morning. Please keep them all in your prayers but especially Kaedra. We believe that the infection will be healed very quickly and that no surgery will be necessary!

Thirteen Reasons we homeschool

I'm going to do this one upside down:

13. First and foremost because God told us to. All other reasons hinge on this, of course.
12. To be able to see my children grow and not miss any special moments in their development.
11. To be able to choose who we (and our children) socialize with
10. To be able to take time off from Thanksgiving until after New Year's and really enjoy the Christmas season.
9. To be able to take days off according to our needs/wants instead of someone else's schedule.
8. To allow the kids to spend time together and grow up together as a whole cohesive unit rather than little people each with their own lives and agendas (which they will of course have when they get older, but, for now, they can learn about socialization from their siblings!)
7. To be able to educate rather than just prepare them for tests.
6. To be able to teach the values that we think are important.
5. To be able to individualize what each child wants to study (especially in high school)
4. To be able to go at each child's own speed in each subject
3. To be able to decide when to present certain topics to our children.
2. To be able to offer them exciting real-life experiences daily, instead of learning about life from a book

and the number one reason we homeschool is:
To shape, shelter and encourage the souls of our children.
(I didn't come up with that myself, but it has been part of our motto for 7 years. I originally read it in The Homeschool Journey by Susan and Michael Card)

To see other TT'ers, click here.

New (homeschool) Blog

I am working on a new blog about our homeschooling. I don't write about it much here but I have been wanting to keep more of a journal and write down some of my thoughts about homeschooling. If you are interested, feel free to check it out! I just got started on the blog, so don't expect much and come back later to see improvements!

Thankful Thursday

Wow. I really have even more to be thankful for this week. The Lord is so good. He keeps blessing and blessing and blessing. The blessings are overtaking me at every step!

First of all, I am so very thankful for the visit that we just had with my parents. The visits with my parents have not always gone well and some have been downright awful. (and they would attest to that) However, this trip was very different. It was fun, relaxing, and we definitely made some good memories. I honestly enjoyed being with my parents and spending the time with them. I had a very good time with my mom and had good talks with her and lots of laughs. I was very sad when they left and I have missed them the last two days. I am so thankful that everything went so well, that there were no arguments or problems, that we had good weather for the zoo, that both birthdays went well, that my mom enjoyed her birthday and that we are building a stronger foundation now, then we have ever had.

Secondly, I am thankful for results of my friend's gestational diabetes test. She was very worried about it and I am so thankful that it all came out well. Thank You God for always providing!

And lastly I am thankful for the knowledge the Bible gives us about God's kingdom so I can improve my life and make it the best life possible. I am thankful that I can help meet the needs of other people in my life and I can do God's work in whatever he needs me to do.

Oh!! Oh!! And as a purely selfish thing, I am thankful that I won a contest! That's right!! I won Chocolatherapy from 5 Minutes for Mom! Thank you guys so much!!

To see other Thankful Thursdays, click here

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One month to go

Well we have one month to go for school. Although we usually school all summer long, because of Brittany's mission trip we are taking the month of July off. We are also taking the first few weeks of August off, so we will actually have about 6 weeks of vacation!

I won't know what to do with myself.
I'm serious.

I do so much better when we are doing school because I have a schedule to follow every day! I am already starting my "to do" list for while we are off school. It mostly consists of planning for next year! LOL. I know it. I am a homeschool addict. I just can't put the books away...

This last month we are finishing up Oklahoma History. Most of the girls' other books we won't finish up "on time" but I am scheduling the school year around their history. Next year we will be doing Ancient History again. We are using From Ancient History: Adam to the Messiah by Robin Sampson of Heart of Wisdom. We started using it last year and I loved it. The books she uses as sources are amazing. I can't wait to start!

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog

I'm baaaaack! Didja miss me??

My parents left yesterday after a wonderful visit. Ethan has been fussy the last two days and I have not been able to get online hardly at all! He is asleep in his carseat (fell asleep on the way home from church) so I thought I'd blog a little while I have the chance. Here are some pics from my parents' trip.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I know I said I wasn't posting for awhile, but we are all ready for my parents and they aren't here yet so what better pastime than to blog??

Here are some pics from this weekend:


My neice is funny.

Thankful Thursday

Another week with tremendous blessings and many things to be thankful for.

First and foremost, Kaedra's surgery went very well and she came home with no complications at all. Her nurse in KC was a young woman named Shekinah who was filled with God's Spirit. She and Michael had good talks about God's love and the power of prayer. Kaedra kept the nurses busy with her fun shenanigans. I am thankful that she is doing so well that no one understands why she is put in ICU.

I am so thankful that the trip to Kansas City and back was protected by angels - evident from some of the stories they shared. I am so very thankful for Apria who supplied Michael with some equipment for Kaedra's ride home at no charge. (Michael had misplaced some of her equipment and couldn't travel home without it)

I am thankful for getting nursing back. (it started again Tuesday night. We have it for 5 nights a week so far) I am thankful for our new nurse, Miss Debby, who is a wonderful spirit-filled woman.

I am thankful for my parents coming this week. I am thankful they are staying in a hotel, too, because it takes some of the pressure off the visit. I am thankful to have a chance to help my mom and dad celebrate their birthdays.

I am thankful for my niece Sherria, as always. She is so much fun and helps me out at the same time. This week we worked on the pool a lot and it wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining without her.

I am thankful for being blessed exceedingly beyond what we could even hope for. We are so blessed to have all that we do, especially on one income.

I am thankful that Ethan went off his nursing strike yesterday. It was a hard day full of screaming (Ethan) and crying (me). I am thankful for Brittany being such a comfort to us both (he seemed to like her better yesterday) and Michael being home to help.

I am thankful to the refreshment, encouragement and inspiration I get from some blogs. I found a new blog this week that does all of those things - go check out Alycia's blog, For Where Your Treasure Is. I am also thankful to some new friendships that I have found through blogging.

I am thankful for Brandi, who always is there to listen, give advice, pray with me and just be an absolute God-send of a friend.

And I am thankful for another week to be thankful! Have a blessed week!!

To see other Thankful Thursdays, click here

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blogging Vacation and prayer request

If it seems like I have fallen off the end of the earth in the next few days, it is because my parents are coming to visit and I will be busy having fun with them! I may have a chance to be around a little, but I don't know how much. I will see y'all next week!

oh, and as a side note, please keep us in your prayers. Ethan has been on a nursing strike for over 12 hours and has been screaming/crying about half of it. We are all frazzled, me especially, because I am also in pain from not nursing. Thanks!!

This is the verse I am standing on:
"For you will nurse and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance."
Isaiah 66:11-12

update: about 5 minutes after posting this, he began eating and has been in a better mood all night! Thank you all!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Littlest Outlaws

In the midst of studying Oklahoma history, we researched some outlaws. Here were our favorites:

Another Kaedra surgery update

Talked to the hospital about two hours ago and Kaedy-bug had a good night. She slept all night and was just waking up. They were having fun with her in the PICU because they are not used to babies who feel as good as she does. LOL. Hopefully they will be on their way home soon, I will keep you updated!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kaedra's surgery 5/21/07

(aka Musings of a Mother who got hardly any sleep last night and wishes she was with her little girl 4 hours north of her present location)

Well they are on their way to pre-op right now. I will keep y'all updated. It should be all over in about 2 hours, if they stay on schedule (the actual surgery is very short!) and hopefully they will be set free, and on their way home, 24 hours from now.

Explanation of the surgery: Kaedra has vertical expanding prosthetic titanium ribs. (aka VEPTR or titanium ribs) Here is an idea of what they look like:

(however Kaedra does not have as many natural ribs as the picture) She has two of the VEPTR devices (just like the pic). Approximately every six months she has to have them extended vertically so she can keep growing. She will grow in between 1-2cm this expansion and then she will also have some growing room until the next surgery. The surgery for the expansions is laproscopic and fairly quick. The longest part of the procedure has more to do with ventilating her, rather than working on the "ribs." She has to be switched to a different trach and put on their ventilator before they will begin the surgery. Every few years, they have to change out the VEPTR devices and put in a larger one (until she hits around 13 and her trunk is considered fully grown). Those surgeries are far more complicated and are much longer. The "expansions" are really fairly easy and relatively painless, from what we can tell. She usually does not stay on pain meds for more than 4 hours post op.

Another note:
Kaedra's Respiratory Therapist, Kent, came out the other day to give her a lung volume test. When he hooked the device up to her trach, the device would not pick up any breaths. (I could have told him that she barely uses her trach to breathe!) He said it would be "no problem" to decannulate her. (decannulate = get her trach out) HALLELUJAH! Another answered prayer. I believe that as soon as we can get her off of her vent 24 hours a day, we can take that trach out. HALLELUJAH! (I am REALLY excited! God is SOOO Good!! He's a mighty working God!) We are very close to getting her off of the vent 24 hours. She is ABLE to do it now (and has done it on occassion), however she might be tiring herself out a little while doing it. We are still weaning her off of the vent slowly to get her body used to it. Right now she is only on it 5 hours a night. If we do 1 hour a week, after giving her time to recover from surgery, we could have her off of it by the end of summer and decannulated by her birthday!

God has big plans for this little girl and the enemy will not rob her of them! I thank everyone for your prayers! God is working through them and Kaedra is the evidence of it all! HALLELUJAH! Thank you Almighty Father!

update 8:00am. They just took her to surgery. There was some concern over rattling in her lungs and whether or not they would do the surgery but they did decide to go ahead.

update 10:00am. She is out of surgery and all went well. Michael will see her when she gets to ICU. She will be there until they let her go tomorrow morning. The only thing they are concerned about is how skinny she is. They only did an expansion on one of the rods. They weren't pleased with the look of the skin over the other one. They are hoping we can "fatten her up" a bit before the next surgery. They are going to send a dietician in to talk to Michael about her nutrition. Maybe the dietician will have an idea about how to get her to eat, as well!

Welcome to my Homeschool Blog

I thought I'd start a blog just for my homeschooling stuff. I think it would be fun to have place to put some of our favorite books and resources. I will be working on this on and off this summer, so keep checking back!

Eight Random Facts

I was tagged to do this by Thoughtful Mom (and I had also told Susan I would do it) but it has been difficult to figure out 8 things I haven't already said on this blog!!

1. My hubby calls me "Ed." He got this from my middle name which is Edra. My mother made that up to honor my grandfather whose name was Edgar. Hubby calls me Ed because I used to not like my name very much and because I liked that it paid homage to the grandfather who I am very fond of, although I never knew. Michael's best friend Steve used to call me Ed on and off too. I once got Michael a keychain that said "I love Ed." He wouldn't use it for some reason.

2. I love Hot Salt. I put it on everything. From my breakfast bagel with cream cheese, to my salad at lunch, to my main dish at dinner, to my popcorn snacks....I love my Hot Salt. It tastes really good mixed with sour cream and used as a veggie or chip dip, too. When I lived in NM I put green chile on everything. (see my ode to green chile here....and yes the Susan in the post is the one and only Penless writer, before she was blogging) As you can tell, I really like my food with a bit of a kick.

3. My hubby and I are big X-Files fans. That might surprise those of you who know I feel about TV, but we have the whole series on DVD so I can now consider it a movie! LOL. (More on my TV issue later.) We just started watching the series over again this weekend. We are on Season 1, number 2. We have a looooong way to go.

4. I don't like having an addiction to anything. If I start noticing that anything is taking me away from my priorities (God, hubby, kids, etc) or anything is consuming my thinking or anything is necessary for me to have a good day, I get rid of it. Just chop it right off. The whole "And if your eye is causing you to fall into sin, tear it out and away with it..." deal. Sometimes I just get rid of something for awhile, until I have control over it, sometimes it has to go for good. Some of the things I have gotten rid of: Dr.Pepper, TV, any non-Christian fiction books, certain friends, certain medications, Mint Oreos, Chunky Chips Ahoy, Pringles new Rice Szechuan Barbecue chips, Freecell. I am fairly un-sentimental about getting rid of them, too. My hubby thinks it's weird that I can just quit cold turkey, but that's the only way it works for me. I think that the enemy would have me believe I have an "addictive personality" but I know better. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

4. I hate TV. My kids think "hate" is a bad word but I am going to use it here because I need to express my EXTREME dislike for TV. (And just so you understand, I mean actual TV programming, not the TV screen. I LOVE movies, just not TV) I have two problems with TV.
a) I think most of the stuff on it is mindless drivel that starts to consume normally smart, Christ-centered people and turn them into fanatics for something that has nothing to do with furthering the kingdom. I don't think most of it is "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy" so I don't know why people are thinking of such things! I could go on, but you get my idea.

b) The second reason I dislike it is because I get sucked up into it! yup, back to #3 up there. I don't want to get addicted to it. I haven't had a problem like that in a few years, but it used to be an issue. When I would find a good show, I really wanted to watch it and I would try to schedule my whole day around it. I would get grumpy if the phone rang or the kids needed me. That's just silly! What had TV done for me lately???

5. I am fairly fearless. I will do most anything that needs to be done. Whether for fun or in need, I don't usually back down from anything. Case in point...Hubby and I were working on our swamp pool this weekend and it is extremely a little green. We almost dropped the hose in there and I told him, "don't drop that in there because I won't get it." He looked at me knowingly and said "yes you would." Okay, I would (and then I'd run after him and give him a GREAT BIG HUG!) MUWHAHAHAHAHA

6. I am writing a book. I am working on several in my head, but I am actually physically writing one. It is a fiction book and God gave me the whole plot in a few minutes while praying one night. It is taking me years to write, but I think He's okay with that.

7. I don't have much use for it here, but I can execute a perfect parallel park in no time at all. :-) I might have nearly failed the driving-backwards part of driving school, but I aced the parallel parking!

8. I am a prankster. I love pulling pranks on my kids (especially involving water). Britty is starting to take after me, too, so we are always on our toes around here!

Okay, I tag: (trying to think of who hasn't done this yet and who isn't trying to stay off the computer at the moment...) Brandi, Jennifer, Sherria and Kim.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday 5/19/07

WOW! Is this week over? NO WAY! I don't even remember it going by!!

As far as my habits...I did good on my established ones. I COMPLETELY FORGOT to walk! I mean COMPLETELY FORGOT. It NEVER crossed my mind! ACK!! Okay, going to work on that one again.

Here is a recap of my goals:
wk 1: praying and bible reading yes
wk 2: referring to planner everyday yes
wk 3: get off computer at 9am and off for rest of day some days I did good on this, others not so much
wk 4: new laundry schedule and laundry put away every day mostly
wk 5: stopped caffeine --habit
wk 6: added fruit to breakfast --habit
wk 7: added veggie to lunch --habit
wk 8: portion sizes --habit
wk 9: writing down what I eat every day --didn't do at all, not even sure I want to
wk 10: walking every day FORGOT
wk 11: re-working on everything
wk 12: getting Kaedy bug fed on time mostly!
wk 12: making a schedule and sticking to it didn't even work on it!
wk 13: no TV during day for kids a little better this week

I can do this! In fact, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)

If you are interested in seeing more people's SHS check out Lazy Organizer's site. Feel free to jump in and join us at any point!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I have so many things to be thankful for! Isn't God great??

1. That Kaedra and Michael got home safe from KC this week.

2. That Kevin was able to go with them and help.

3. That all of Kaedra's appointments went well and everyone was impressed with her progress.

4. That I have more energy now than I have in the past few years.

5. Because of that, my house is getting into shape! :-)

6. That Ethan is getting bigger and able to play and squeal now.

7. That my parents are still with me and I have the chance to make good memories with them.

8. For my dad giving me the knowledge and gumption to do some home improvement projects.

9. That my toilet got fixed for free this week. (our newly installed toilet fell over this weekend!! But the man that newly installed it came and fixed it for free)

10. That we may have nursing starting next Tuesday night!! (I will tell more when I know it)

11. For a box full of chocolates sent in the mail by one of my favoritest people. You know who you are. ;-) (I am protecting her name so she does not get inundated with requests for boxes full of chocolate)

To see other Thankful Thursday, click here

They are back!

Michael, Kaedra, and Kevin (Sherria's dad and Michael's brother)got back a bit after 9 last night. All the appointments went well. Kaedra's surgery is the only surgery on Monday, so it will be at 7am. They have to be in pre-op at 6am. Obviously, they are going to travel up to Kansas City the night before and stay the night. Looks like the Ronald McDonald house is full this time so they will probably be finding a hotel.

For those of you who don't know, Kaedra has Vertical Expanding Prosthetic Titanium Ribs (aka VEPTRs) which have to be expanded about every 6 months so she can keep growing. (she was born without most of her ribs on her left side. To see the rest of her story, you can click here)

Thanks for all the prayers! I will keep you updated on their trip up this weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

WFMW - Peer Flix

Do you have any DVDs you are ready to part with? Peerflix makes it easy to get rid of the ones you are tired of and get new ones.

I make a list of the movies I want to sell and another list of the movies I want to buy. When Peerflix sees someone wants to buy one of my movies, they send me an email. I print out a mailing envelope (just a piece of paper that has lines where to fold it) with prepaid postage and pop it into the mail. I earn dollars for each one I sell. Then Peerflix sees what I want to buy and someone else does the same for me. It works for me!

If you'd like to see other great ideas, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

On their way again

Well here is Part 2, subpart A of Kaedra's upcoming surgery.

Remember what happened last time?

Well this time they are on their way to Kansas City and I am fairly emotion-less. Maybe because they are just going for pre-op today and not the actual operation (which will be on Monday). They should be home this evening and then they will leave Sunday afternoon or early Monday depending on what time her surgery is slated.

Waving bye bye

Blowing kisses

Bye Bye Mommy!

(yes I know her hair is wild, I just figured it wouldn't look much better after a 4 hour car trip, so I will let Michael fix it when he gets there!)

Ethan Montage

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring Mememememememe

I was tagged by Comfy Denim to write 10 things I like about spring and 10 things I don't.

I am not re-reading her list (or any other lists) because then I will feel the pressure to not have any repeats! And we seem so similar, that might be impossible. I will try my best to be unique.

10 things I love about spring
1. playing "spring detective" with my kids and seeing who can find signs of spring first
2. opening windows
3. cascading phlox under my mailbox
4. opening our pool
5. changing our clothes out
6. longer days
7. pruning shrubbery and trees
8. rabbits and birds in our yard
9. fresh produce
10. thunderstorms

10 things I don't like about spring
1. clothes shopping
2. pot holes
3. the "allergy fog"
4. weeds
5. mosquitoes
6. ANTS everywhere!
7. rain, rain and more rain
8. cleaning our pool, upon opening
9. poison ivy
10. turtle dodging

Okay, I tag Brandi, Sherria, Heather, Tarry, Brittany and anyone else who wants to play!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Memory Monday #3 - DC with Gram

This is a memory of a non-memory...
Let me explain.

I went to Washington DC with my Grandma when I was 11.

The only reason I know this is that I have pictures. I don't have one REAL memory. Just the pictures and the stories.


How weird is that? Nothing traumatic happened and from what I have heard it was a great trip! The pictures look great. We saw all the sites in DC and we went to Monticello, Arlington and a few other places nearby. We stayed with a friend of hers. I remember the pictures. Not taking the pictures, just seeing the pictures. I don't remember the trip at all!

Do any of you have anything like that?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday 5/12/07

This week went really well with my habits. I read the bible and prayed everyday. I also managed to give Kaedra her feeds at the times we are aiming for AND I managed to look at my planner everyday as well, which was just a bonus, since I wasn't working on it this week. Laundry also went well and I continued to do well on the habits I had been doing regularly. I've also gotten some routines in place since having Ethan which have really helped us out a lot. Everyday at 4:30 I make Kaedra's food for the next 24 hours and then I make dinner. I have been getting dinner consistently on the table by 6 every night, which used to be a struggle. Once again, SHS has been a wonderful thing in my life, even for the habits I am working on but don't post.

This week I want to work on walking again. It has rained so much in the last 3 weeks that walking has been hit and miss. I want to try to make it at least 5 times this week. It's not only important to me, but also for the girls. This is their PE at least until we open the pool. My friend, Susan, is lending us a video for walking inside the house, too, on those rainy days.

Here is a recap of my goals:
wk 1: praying and bible reading yes
wk 2: referring to planner everyday yes
wk 3: get off computer at 9am and off for rest of day some days I did good on this, others not so much
wk 4: new laundry schedule and laundry put away every day yes
wk 5: stopped caffeine --habit
wk 6: added fruit to breakfast --habit
wk 7: added veggie to lunch --habit
wk 8: portion sizes --habit
wk 9: writing down what I eat every day --didn't do at all, not even sure I want to
wk 10: walking every day nope
wk 11: re-working on everything
wk 12: getting Kaedy bug fed on time yes!
wk 12: making a schedule and sticking to it didn't even work on it!
wk 13: no TV during day for kids worked on just a little

I can do this! In fact, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)

If you are interested in seeing more people's SHS check out Lazy Organizer's site. Feel free to jump in and join us at any point!

We don't charge as much for dinner....

Every spring our oak tree scatters it's seeds here and there. And every spring, we get baby trees in our gutters.

Some people might consider it a problem, but we just think it is the "Carraba's Look"

Rooster Day's Parade Photos

Michael and the big girls (and one of Brittany's friends who stayed overnight) were in the Rooster Day's Parade today. Kaedra, Ethan and I went and watched it with some other friends. Here are our photos! Enjoy!
(sorry about all the Hummer pics, Brittany loves Hummers, so I told her I'd take pics of them all! LOL)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Show and Tell Friday

This is my first time contributing to Show and Tell Friday although I have been reading people's posts for a few weeks and I started writing this post last week!

This clock used to hang in my grandma's bedroom.

When I was growing up, I would visit her in Chatham, New Jersey during the summers. I would stay in her bedroom with her since she had two single beds. The clock hung on the wall to the side of the beds and I would go to sleep and wake up looking at it.

It is hard to tell from the pics, but she cross stitched the face of the clock. The clock was a kit she put together to showcase her needlepoint.

Although my grandmother had many beautiful and special things, this is the one thing that reminds me most of her. When she died, this is the ONE thing I wanted. My mother has brought me carloads of my grandmother's things, but this one clock means the most to me. It reminds me of sleepovers at her house, how she taught me to do needlepoint and cross stitch, how she was very crafty, and fills me with the warmth of her love.

It hangs in my living room now so I can see it as soon as I come down the stairs in the morning and right before I go to bed at night.

If you'd like to see other people's show and tell Friday, check out Kelli's page.

Glory Revealed

I got a new CD today! I had a CD I didn't want and I was REALLY wanting this CD so I went to Mardel's and traded them.

I first read about it on Boomama's blog and thought it sounded wonderful....some of my favorite artists singing The Word. (Lately I have stopped listening to a lot of my favorite Christian groups because, although they are Christian, they don't sing The Word.) Anyway, I excitedly got it today and popped it in my CD player and when the first notes came out, I wondered what the heck I had gotten into... It wasn't at all what I expected!

However, by the time the second notes came out, I loved it! It is very bluegrassy and country-ish and full of The Word! I wasn't sure how Britty would like it, but she loves it too!

If you go to the Glory Revealed Site you can download a free song and get a $5 coupon.

Here is a little snippet from their site: (which if I had bothered to read earlier, I would have known it had a "rootsy, Americana style with a sweet Southern flavor")
The vision for the project began with Nasser, an Iranian born speaker/author, who, together with Powell, decided to produce a collection of songs taken directly from scripture.

Hallelujah! That's my kind of collection!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thankful Thursday

This is my first Thankful Thursday. I am really happy to be participating. I love writing about God's goodness.

1.Since this is my first one, I have to start with the most important: I am thankful for a LIVING, REAL God who hears us and wants the best for us (an Abundant Life) at all times.

2. I am thankful for my husband who has turned into my best friend and a wonderful father.

3. I am thankful for each and every one of my children. They are all a blessing to me.

4. I am thankful to my neice, Sherria. She is a light in my life and a treasure to our whole family.

5. I am thankful for my wonderful church and pastor. I believe that Kaedra is here with us today because of what I have been taught at this church.

6. I am thankful for my friends. After I lost Jacob, Michael and I went to counselling. The counselor told us that we each needed to have a minimum of 8 good friends that we could rely on. She said each friend would meet different needs and you would meet different needs in each of their lives. I thought, at the time, that would be impossible. I have never been one to have a lot of friends, much less good ones. I can honestly say at this time in my life I have more friends than ever before and I am truly surrounded by good people. And, yes, I mean YOU!

7. I am thankful Kaedra is off of oxygen. She has been off since Saturday morning. HALLELUJAH!

8. I am thankful for a fun day out with the ladies in my family.

9. I am thankful for the right to homeschool my children and the ability to be able to stay home with them.

10. I am thankful that God meets all of our needs out His riches in Glory! HALLELUJAH!

To see other Thankful Thursdays, please go to Sing in My Heart.


I've been meaning to write these out for Comfy Denim who wrote about being Peculiar, also.

Peculiar by David Ingles

The further I go walking in the Word,
The things I say the world thinks absurd;
Confessing the best is mine is my routine
Schooling the man inside, the brand new me.

I'm peculiar,
and gettin more peculiar
Walkin round talkin prosperity,
livin in health with my spirit free;
Peculiar, and gettin more peculiar,
And when society doesn't agree,
that's a good indication to me!

Religious folk sometimes,
they get upset
Hearing that we have what we confess;
Green with envy,
watching me succeed
Watching my God supply my ev'ry need


Though we're in it,
we're not of this world,
The Light has come
and the Word's unveiled;
No way natural thinking can agree
Peculiar are the ways of God's new breed.


And here is another one:

For we are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation
a peculiar people
who have shown forth the praises of Him
who has called you out of darkness, out of darkness, out of darkness
into His marvelous light, into His marvelous light.
And I will sing Hallelujah,
Praise to the King
And I will sing Hallelujah
and show forth the praises of Him
who has called you out of darkness, out of darkness, out of darkness
into His marvelous light, into His marvelous light.

(I couldn't find these words in my David Ingles songbook. Susan, did I get them all right?)

Of course the songs would sound better if you could hear them, but I wanted to share the lyrics with y'all because they are special to me!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My new music

I just put music back on my page. I couldn't help myself! I know some people don't like music on blogs, but I had to share this wonderful music with everyone.

If you know me, or if you ever were here when I had music before, you know this is not my usual type of music.'s special!

It is written by David Ingles (a local pastor). This is what he says about his music:
"The Lord spoke to me and He told me some things. He said, "You'll begin to write with a new anointing and through the music and through the singing as you minister forth, that anointing will flow out from you. And if the people will believe it and receive that anointing, they'll be healed in their body-financial needs will be met, harmony will come to the home, the yoke of bondage will be broken, because it's the anointing that breaks the yoke."

His songs are straight from the Bible and don't leave any pages out of the bible. :-) Our church sings mostly David Ingles music for our worship and I listen to David Ingles everyday. If you have been to Susan's (Penless Writer) page, she has quoted his songs here and here.

My favorite of his songs is "Peculiar" (of course) but, unfortunately, I couldn't find that one for my music. He has so many good ones (they are ALL good and it is hard to pick favorites) but I did get one of my other ones..."Garment Of Praise."

I hope you are blessed by the music. Be sure to listen to the lyrics....they can change your life!

13 great programs for your PDA

These 13 programs help me do my job. (which is, of course, taking care of my hubby, kids and house)

1. Documents to Go, which came free with my palm pilot (and is available for many different mobile platforms), has been a life-send since having Ethan. I can produce or edit Word and Excel documents wherever I am. This has allowed me to blog, write schedules, make chore lists and plan schooldays, even while nursing in bed. Since my palm pilot goes with me everywhere, I can also work on those things while at the doctor, while in line at the bank, or anywhere else I have extra time. Once I get back to my computer, I sync the two devices together and I am able to finish editing (if needed) then print or publish to my blog.

2. SplashShopper- There are a lot of shopping programs out there and I demo'd a lot of them. SplashShopper has so many features I love; here are some of them:
a. you can make any amount of lists you want and customize them in myriads of ways. Truly your imagination and creativity are your only limits.
b. The lists don't have to be shopping lists. You can have library book lists, video lists, to dos, thank yous, routines (I have all my daily routines in this program), take out menus, Christmas and gift lists, Lists of places where things are stored, travel lists, curriculum ideas, future Thursday Thirteen get the idea.
c. Within each list you have 4-6 (depending again on your creativity in customizing it) categories you can put each item in. For instance in shopping I have: store, category, aisle and price; while for my morning routine I have: day of the week and upstairs or downstairs.
d. You can sort by any category. I sort my grocery list by aisle and my routines by what floor I am on.
e. It has a desktop companion. This is wonderful especially for first getting the lists set up.
f. If you chose, you can put the prices of items in there and check your budget as you make your list.
g. You can make "quicklists" which are saved, mini lists you can use time and again. If you use a rotating menu, like I do, you can just click on 'week 1' and all my items for that week's menu are added to my list. This would also be handy for seasonal chores or certain people's favorite items off of a menu.
h. I'm sure I'm missing some great features, but you get the idea. SplashShopper does cost ---- but it is worth every cent.

3. PDA cookbook- This cookbook is a nice, easy to use program. It also has a desktop interface which makes it easier to enter recipes. You can create a menu plan with it and it even syncs with SplashShopper to make your shopping list!

4. WWCalc- A Weight Watcher point calculator. It's a little hard to find, and only available for Palm OS but it is awesome. It has lists of food and their points, an activity calculator, ability to bank points, checkboxes for vitamins, counters for water, veggies and milk, etc. And this one is FREE! All you have to do is actually lose the weight. ;-)

5. NFP- If you use Natural Family Planning, this handy little freeware program is very useful.

6. Avant Go- Brings web content to your PDA when you don't have wifi. Each time you sync with your computer, it uploads the current pages you have selected to your PDA. You can choose from their channels, sites they have categorized for you, or you can add your own sites. You can even download maps from Mapquest which I have found to be one of the most useful features. Avant Go is also freeware.

7. Olivetree Bible Program- Olivetree has a great program with many available add ins. The program is free, as are several bibles and texts, but they have many items you can add in for various costs. I have stuck with strictly the free items for many years and been very happy. It is great for looking up verses or keywords on the go and you can add bookmarks and notes to any of the texts.

8. Palmreader- Palmreader came with my PDA but there are also other freeware e-reader programs out there. These programs allow you to read ebooks from your palm. Many, many books are now being published in this fashion and you can find everything from free classics to best sellers with hardback book prices. One of the uses I have found for this is downloading children's stories and reading them to my kids while waiting at the dr.

9. Big Clock- An easy alarm or timer program with 4 alarms you can set. It's freeware and much better than all of the pricey alarms I demo'd.

10. Moviementor- great program if you really like movies. It lists new movies (theaters and videos) and hundreds of old movies. You can make lists of movies you own, you'd like to see, favorites and seen. You can also give ratings to movies which are uploaded to the site when you sync. Another cool feature is the search mechanism. When I first got this program, I stayed up many nights just reading their synopses and reviews. It seems to list quite a few Bollywood movies and is missing some that I consider classics, but I think it is definitely worth the price of 17.95.

Okay, enough of the serious stuff, let's get to the games!

11. Pocketbo- the PDA version of Skipbo. I actually played it on my palm before playing it in real life but I love it both ways now. You can play against the computer or against another person. Lots of fun and free!

12. Patience- freeware solitaire suite. This package has a ton of solitaire games. I have been using it for years and I really enjoy it.

13. SuLite- Suduko. There are many freeware, shareware and software versions of Suduko out there. I will readily admit I have not tried them all. I tried three and really liked this one so this is the one I use. This one is freeware.

So, there you have it....the programs that I added to my regular palm suite to make my life easier (minus the one that figures out how long a tank of oxygen will last which I figured didn't have a lot of call for it...if you want info on it, let me know, lol)

If you'd like to see more Thursday Thirteen entries, click here.

Works for Me Wednesday - Munchkin

When I was pregnant with Ethan, we knew he would be staying in our room for quite awhile. We already have another crib and lots of medical equipment of Kaedra's so we were not going to have room for a whole dresser to keep Ethan's things in. While registering online at Target, I found this:

It's called a "Munchkin Deluxe Baby Cart" but around the house it is just "the munchkin." I got it for my shower and we put it together the next day. It was very easy to put together. It didn't seem extremely sturdy, but as long as you can keep your "real" munchkins from jumping on it, it should serve your purposes fine. I mean, how much can some diapers and onesies weigh?? We use it for all of Ethan's clothing and blankets. It is the perfect size, tucks out of the way, and is perfect for our needs! It really works for us!

If you'd like to see other great ideas, check out Rocks in my Dryer.


We've had a nice few days. Sunday my neice, Sherria, took her grandma, her mom and me out for lunch at Applebees and then got us all manicures and pedicures. Can you say SPOILED? She made us all feel like princesses. It was her Mother's Day present for us and I really enjoyed the afternoon! Thank you, Ria!!

Tonight we had our homeschool "business" meeting. I haven't been to one since the beginning of the year so I really enjoyed seeing everyone again and meeting the newer people. It was fun and very relaxing; I am sorry it's the last for the year.

Brittany has been studying OK history for the past few months. I love the curriculum we are using. Cindy Downes, a local lady, wrote it and publishes it online. It is a very reasonable price and is chock full of great information. I am learning far more about OK history than I EVER knew about NM history! Brittany is finishing up the Plains Indians this week and we will move on to Railroads, Cattledrives, Cowboys and Outlaws next week.

Since we school year round, we are not nearing the end of our year as quickly as everyone else. We will finish up this school year the last week in July. The funny thing is our homeschool group has a wonderful year end program that we attend almost every year. The date of the program does not actually coincide with our year, so the girls get to "pretend" they are graduating a little early. Emily will even be wearing a cap and gown as she graduates from Kindergarten to 1st grade. It is always put on so beautifully and is so nice. It is one of my favorite things the group has.

Speaking of Emily, she is learning to tell time this week. What an exciting thing to learn! I think it is a big step in development. Before being able to tell time, things just happen at seemingly random intervals. Once you are able to tell time you are able to understand the structure of your day and even impose some kind of schedule of your own. That's a huge step! I think it is akin to potty training and reading.

Kaedra has been off her oxygen for 3 straight days. That's the longest she's been off since she got sick when Ethan was born. HALLELUJAH! She sucked on a some cheese puffs and a lollipop the other day, too. Baby steps, but we'll take them! She prays over all her own food. When you give her some she will speak gibberish over it and then say "Amen." She is such a little ham. She likes to keep us all laughing.

Ethan is really getting big. He has a pleasant disposition most of the time. He is very laid back. It's fascinating how even as babies, each child has their own personality. It seems their earliest personalities shed some light on what they will eventually be like. He loves to squeal and laugh. We frequently get sidetracked playing with him. Oh, but what a distraction! This time in his life will only happen once - I encourage the kids and Michael to play as long as he is willing. You will frequently find us in a circle around him trying to make him do a big belly laugh. He seems like he grew overnight. Literally one day his size 1 diapers fit, the next day he needed the bigger size! Same with his clothes.

Well, that's what's new in our life!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Me Interviewed

Trella answered an interview and asked if anyone else wanted to participate. I love answering questions so I volunteered and here are the questions she chose (she said I needed to answer at least 5 of the 6) Thanks Trella!

1) What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? each of my newborn children. It is amazing how they still and listen when they hear Mommy's voice and how they immediately go to nursing. I think it is stunningly beautiful each and every time.

2) What do people like best about you? I try to show the joy of the Lord that is inside me. I am very optimistic and love life!

3) What person has influenced your life the most? why? Probably my mom. I seek to be like her in some ways and seek to be different than her in others. In both positive and negative ways, my mom has had the most influence over me.

4) If you could choose to be an animal, what animal would you choose to be? why? I think Wolf. I like that they have family units and that they stay mated for life.

5) What would your family say you're like first thing in the morning? Sunshiney! I wake up in a great mood (about 98% of the time) and praise God for a new day.

6)Share a quirky habit you have. How long have you had it? hmmm this is the hardest question. I can't think of any quirky habits. think think think..... hmmmm..... Right now my hubby would say my quirkiest habit is blogging from bed at night while nursing Ethan.

If you are interested in being interviewed, let me know in the comments and I will pick 5 questions for you!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who responded this weekend, called me, thought of me, blogged about Jacob. You all are wonderful and I really felt your love this weekend. Thank you again and again.

Emily's B'day photos

Here are pics from Emily's Birthday dinner. We had Michael's mom, brother, sister in law and nieces over to celebrate. Emily loved her presents and her cake. Thanks Tarry for the cake idea!! (look familiar?)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Memory Monday #2 - Martha's Vineyard

This is my second Memory Monday (a vehicle of my own creation to help me remember and record my good memories before I forget them!)

When I was growing up, we used to go see my mom's aunt and uncle on Martha's Vineyard. We called them "Dop" and "Pop" and they were quite a pair! Dop was the more no-nonsense of the two, while Pop was quite sentimental and LOVED a good game of Scrabble. I remember eating cinnamon raisin bread there and that smell always reminds me of their house.

This is a picture of their house with me taking their flag down for them. They lived on a hill called "Heather Hill" and they overlooked a bay. I could run down the hill, across the highway and into the water in less than 2 minutes. And I did, frequently! :-) There was a lot of seaweed off the dock, which scared me at first, but after I got used to it against my legs, I didn't mind at all. We had to wear our shoes in the water, anyway, so I would float with my sneakers peeking out of the water. Pop loved to take pictures of that!

Every visit, we would get fresh lobster and have lobster races before boiling them. As I said, my great aunt was very no nonsense, so I had to put my own lobster in whether I was upset by boiling my "pet" or not.

They lived very near Jackie Onassis' estate. My mom and I once kayaked over to that area and accidentally landed on her beach. We were very quickly escorted off the beach by men in suits. I will never forget the men with the suits and sunglasses on the beach in early morning. It was very eery.

I loved going to the dump with Pop. We would sing "to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump, to the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump" the WHOOOOLE way and I thought it was the best. It was also the kind of dump where you could actually FIND cool stuff. We would go there and bum around finding cool "treasures" to take home.

In my first three years of school, we lived in Denver. My best friend was a girl named Karyn. We stayed in touch through college. When I was in my teens, her family moved to Cape Cod. She would come over from Cape Cod to the Vineyard and we would get to spend time together. Her family had a beach house on Chappaquidick, too, which was fun to visit. She and I went snorkelling quite a bit and our favorite beach at which to snorkel was the one where they filmed many of the scenes from "Jaws."

It was a lot of fun getting to the Vineyard from the mainland. There were two options: the ferry or the extremely small plane. I enjoyed both of them although I think I liked the ferry better. I have always had a real liking for boats and a boat that you could drive cars on fascinated me.

Dop died first and Pop died more recently. They left their house to their three daughters who sold it and split the assets. One of the daughters very kindly sent me a silver tea set from their estate, knowing how much I enjoyed my time there. Pop gave me my love of Scrabble and Dop my appreciation for no-nonsense people. There's something to be said for Yankees... you always knowing where you stand with them.