It's funny that I used to think that I could handle 5 or 6 kids at once, no problem. In fact I figured a whole day care to manage would be easy peasy. Goodness, I taught a room full of 1st and 2nd graders and didn't even stress about it. At the end of the day I could shop, play volley ball, or stay up all hours of the night talking to my boy friend; and I would STILL be good to go in the morning! Snacks? got it. Recess? no problem. Art? So fun.

It's funny because now with only two kids, my first thoughts this morning before I dragged myself out of bed were "I'm exhausted"! :) I looked in the mirror and saw these blood shot eyes staring back. Have mercy...my day had not even started.
It's funny that Jeff doesn't think he's so great in the kitchen. But look at those teddy bear pancakes. Totally his own idea for the girls. :) And the other morning, he made such GOOD scrambled eggs, better than the ones I whip up. Yup, gotta say he rocks that kitchen whether he thinks so or not.

It's funny hearing the kids with their make believe games. The other day they were talking in funny, sing-song voices with accents. When I asked, Kenzie said they were from France...or like she said it, 'FRO-nce'.

Well, turns out I gotta go... when all is too quiet my kids notice and then come bug me in my office (on my bed) by climbing on me or next to me and yelling in my ear. :)
 
  School is going so good this year. Madison is older and enjoys it so much better than last year. We have been doing art projects like crazy. In fact, we have art (creative kid mess) pretty much every day. We make everything from exciting volcanoes to just plain ol' cards with markers and stickers. :) One of the their favorite art projects so far, is this gooey stuff pictured below. 
 
Picture
Ooblek, slime, gak, or goo. Whatever you want to call it, kids think this stuff is fun to make and fun to play with! It's not quite like play dough, not quite like silly puddy. It has a texture all it's own. I just searched until I found a recipe online. Ingredients are BORAX, GLUE, WATER, and food coloring. Try it! :)

In other news we had a wonderful weekend in MO. with friends. There was a beautiful wedding to attend and then we just kicked back and RELAXED in a condo in Branson. It was just what this family of four needed. :) The kids got along so well, and us adults just laughed until we almost cried. I haven't done that in forever. Michelle and I got a little shopping done and a pedicure too. That's always nice. 
  Seriously, for those of you that don't know Michelle: I have NEVER met a sweeter person. I am so blessed to have her for a friend. She is so fun to be with and to talk to. Love her!
  A funny, little crazy man in the salon, took this picture of us. :)
Picture
  Shawn and Kenzie getting their groove on.
  They played none stop from the minute they would wake up to the minute we put them back in their beds.

Picture
  I can't believe summer is pretty much over and I made my 1st ice coffees with the Keurig just last week. They were A-MAZING! I shall just enjoy them, despite the cooler weather.
 
Well, I really do need to bring this to the end here. I still got three more pies to make. So far I have made 1 apple crumb pie, 2 peanut butter, 2 coconut cream, and 2 pumpkin pies. Go me! Actually, Crazy me! But they are for a 'thing' .... a 'fertilizer thing'. If you show up tomorrow, you get a free hat that says Quality Soil Nutrition. ;) And if you can look as hot as Jeff does in it, I suggest you do show up. haha.

Not bad, for a Certified Crop Adviser. :)
 
Yesterday. So busy. So hectic.

School. Art. Lunch for kids, lunch for men. Eye appointment. Errands. Piano practice. Laundry. As the day grew longer, so did my list. :) I was very pleased when Kenzie vacuumed the car out for me and I could [mentally] cross that off my list.

But finally, 7 o'clock! The kids were bathed and combed. I had told them (and Regina, Jeff's D.S. aunt) that they could watch Laura Ingalls wilder movies and I would pop them popcorn. They were happy and I got a few things done downstairs while the movie started.

Towards the end of this particular story on LIW, it was talking of little Carrie and how she had a dream about heaven. She even saw Jack (their dog of long ago) up there.

I'm not sure if this story was still very much impressed on Madison's mind, but after the girls were tucked in and I was heading to my room...Madison calls out. "PRAY I GO TO HEAVEN." I called something back like, You can, as long as you have Jesus in your heart! "OK, I WILL KEEP JESUS IN MY HEART" she replied.

This coming from the girl that scratched a bright pink line across Kenzie's nose? And it is not uncommon to hear the word HATE (such as, 'I hate you') come out of her mouth. My heart melted and I stepped back into her room.

Shall we pray that Jesus lives in all our hearts? Madison nodded and grinned. So we did. We prayed that Jesus lives in Daddy, Mommy, Kenzie, and even little Madison's heart.

And then like Madison does, she added her favorite Aunt 'Betsy' to the list. [Betsy is a name of endearment for Elizabeth that only her nieces lovingly call her]

And then after we were all done, she looked at me and said, "Mom, All the people". So we closed our eyes again and prayed that 'all the people' that we know and love would have Jesus in their hearts.

I KNOW that this is just what it is: a story of a kid and the cute things kids do and say. But it impressed on me the LOVE of a child. Seriously their forgiveness is phenomenal. The passion. The wanting to let 'all the people' in on the very best of what they have. The trust. The belief... no doubts, just faith in JESUS.
In this, I want to be like a child.

But now,
Time to get back to hectic! The kids were already building cereal box houses this morning and spilling apple juice. :)

And I'm pretty sure the bread dough is a major flop. I ran out of flour and so i added rolled oats and coconut flour. Sigh.

Cheers to a happy, hectic Tuesday!



 
I have come to the conclusion that there is no 'good' time or 'best' time to blog anymore. It used to be, a few years back,  that I could sit down (put the baby to bed or whatever) and just write whenever I felt like it... guilt free. Well, it's not so much that way, these days. The times I do feel like writing pass by rather quickly because there are always things/kids calling my name. There is always a house to clean and laundry to fold....dinner to fix. And then... when I finally get a minute, I just relax and catch my breath, instead of blogging. It's much more relaxing that way. :)

School has started with a bang this year... for me and the kids. We played hard all summer...putting school as far away from our minds as possible. All of a sudden I realized I MUST order school books or school would not even be happening for my little second grader at all. I was relieved to see the books arrive quickly and safely in the mail...Kenzie, not so much. :)

This week so far has gone wonderfully well. Altho if you ask the rest of my house, I am pretty much MIA from 9-noon. You will find me upstairs with the girls saying abc's and teaching math. I am surprisingly enjoying it. 

I of course, am kidding when I say this, but Sometimes I wonder if a kid even needs schooling with google around. I did not even realize this until tonight, but Kenzie has learned a crazy amount about animals just by googling facts with her kindle. Did you know that 7 out of like 10 deadliest snakes live in Australia? I don't know, just google it. (please don't google it, because I'm not even sure that I got the facts straight on what SHE said, but i'm too tired and lazy to look.) hahaha.

I learned a new trick that I hadn't tried before. Give the kids a job when they are fighting. Obviously it was a 'new' punishment because it worked awesome. My kids got along SO SO WELL this evening when they figured out that every time I caught them arguing  they got handed a job. :)

Well I am kinda just rambling here. Jeff is cozied up next to me, sleeping away. And I am just putting off going to sleep. (If I go to sleep the morning comes to quickly, of course!)

So many things a lady/wife/mother could be doing to keep peace, love and happiness in the home. May God help us.... everyone. Blessings to you this week!

p.s. here are a few pics from last weekend.
  ~kite festival~
 
Picture
CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION.

While situations, encounters, or events may seem intrinsically "stressful," it is truly how an individual perceives and reacts to an event that determines whether or not the stress response is activated. - Charles W. Mayo, M.D.

Picture
Today is a lovely, rainy day. This morning my 2 sisters and me, (along with MacKenzie and Madison) did a little shopping. We bought wedding gifts for my 'other' sister....the one whom I already told you-- is getting married SOON! yay! :) It was fun. Hanging out with sisters is so FUN and yet relaxing at the same time.

Picture
This afternoon, Madison helped me pick lilacs. I put them in the kitchen, dining room, and in my bedroom. They smell SO good, and they are beautiful. It's amazing what God created for us to enjoy.  And enjoy them, I will!

I wanted to apologize for my out burst on my last post. :) Even if I don't understand certain situations that go on, and certain people.... I can still be a little bit more loving and forgiving. Satan is busy...but so is God! Thank you for your sympathy --- it made me feel better. Just want to say I am blessed and I know it! God has been good.

I made it to MO and back....the pictures turned out nice...but I missed 2 whole nights of sleep!! I was one tired girl when I got home. :)

Picture
Asparagus.
Who knew it could be so good? Baked to perfection with just the right amount of butter and salt. Healthy and good.

Well.... If you saw how much wash that I need to fold yet today, you would be HORRIFIED.
So, I must get to that!
bye.

 
Well, seriously, I CANNOT sleep. And this is especially serious, since I will be getting up in literally 2 hours. Yes, I am driving (with my bro and sis) to MO to a wedding. Call me crazy. Jeff and the girls are NOT going. (I am helping my bro with the photography.) Please pray for me--- the driving/ the photography (thanking God for my bro).

Really, just pray about anything and everything! .If you got a quick minute. :)

'Cause, I need prayer in more ways than 1! Jeff and I are going thro some tough things. (Not with each other, Thank God!) Just a bit discouraged with stuff...wanting to hear God's direction...confused.

You've all been there, this I know!
Life is not perfect. I know this too. It's just sometimes too hard, or harder than I want it to be.. But thank God for friends that lift us up in prayer. :) And that Jesus is there interceding.

I read this tonight: http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/dented-and-damaged-2013-05/#.UZ74LfxuLUI.facebook   
 I cried. You should read it too.
It was just so perfect for me tonight. So thankful God loves me.

And you know what....I'll be a little honest here....since it is so late and all. :) Someone from church told me tonight that I should be a proverbs 31 wife. I took it like a slap in the face. I thought i WAS! No wonder I can't sleep, right?. It hurt.

Truth hurts, i'm sure you are thinking. :) Well, it did. This person said more things...things we are processing still.... And with God's help make us better people for HIM.

But, I am trying my best. At least Jeff loves me, proverbs 31 or not.

And I can always try harder.

In other news--- since i'm still so wide awake! I spring cleaned my bedroom today. (I really should have been packing, since I STILL have to do that yet!) Oh, the stuff I found under the bed!! :)
See the 'J'? My dad cut the book into the letter J. I am SO pleased. :)
It feels good to have a clean room! :)

I better go pack now, huh??
 
Sundays have always been the highlight of the week for the girls and I. For one thing, we get to hang out with Jeff - all.day.long. We usually think of something fun to do all together...even in the winter time. We do normal things like movies and popcorn or games at my parents - and we do things not quite so normal, like the indoor water park or a trip to the mall (they have an awesome play area for kids). But ever since it has warmed up enough to hang out together out doors, we have welcomed the new activities with gusto. So far we have done lots of biking and walking. We also went to Irvine park... the park with monkeys, tigers and bears. :) 
(Lots of pictures coming up...these were taken on my trusty phone)
Jeff or I would usually end up carrying the 3 year old's bike when she got tired out....  we looked something like this:
So he made a bike handle that looks like this:
(We can take it off or put it on quickly and easily; AND it works great! Madison can rest her legs on the go! Everybody's happy.)
Looking through the fence at Irvine Park. ^^^
Below: Kenzie hiding her smile. :)
Well, I really should stop posting pictures of Sundays .... I have too many! :)

I am enjoying this weather, that is for sure! We got a few huge rain storms in the last couple of days. Loving the rain here but am praying for the ones who went through that devastating tornado in Oklahoma. :(
Last week, I went to the little country greenhouse and bought flowers.  I want to go back sometime to buy peppers and tomato plants...but for now I will just enjoy the flowers. I think they are bringing the humming birds to our front porch... and I am happy about that....I just need to fill their feeder. :)
One of Kenzie's fat fuzzy cats  enjoying a nap.

Bye until later! Have a happy Tuesday!
 
School is out, school is out! I think I am every bit as excited about this as MacKenzie is. :) It was a good school year, but I am so ready to have a break! Hopefully we'll both be ready to hit the books again in September.

Last week week we were telling Kenzie's Aunts and Grandma that her school days would soon be ending...and they started planning a field trip for the girls. :) Kenzie was beyond excited. And today was the day!  (Whoever had  'free' time went along -- this consisted my bro. Ben, 3 of my sisters, my mom, and my girls and I!) We ate our breakfast. Combed our hair. And away we went... 

WILDERNESS WALK -- A ZOO FOR KIDS.
We all really enjoyed it. A day to be remembered for sure.

*We took SO many pictures... more than what I will put on here, of course.
*We laughed until we almost cried. My stomach muscles hurt.
*Walked a lot.
*Ate hot dogs and brats
*Spent WAY too much money on souvenirs. (yes, I spelled souvenir right...I double and triple checked). :)


Kenzie with my sister Kathy....She is getting MARRIED next month!!! Yay, we are ALL super excited!! :)
And then we went to the candy store. Just one word... Wow.
Picture
Note: If you ever have a fun day like this or even a VACATION with just family or a weekend with lots of friends. Make sure to SCRAPBOOK the memories and pictures. You can do NEAT little books online. I scrapbooked our Florida Vacation 2012. And also another book on our time at the ZOO one day last spring.  The girls love looking thro these fun pages....and I do too. 

Well, since it was just Mother's Day yesterday.... I want to give a shout out to all Moms out there! Here is a picture of the girls that call me MOM. :)
 
I suppose we have all written a journal... sometime or other in our life. Maybe as a teen we would write to sort our thoughts. Maybe as a mother we would scratch down things in a baby book or on paper so we wouldn't forget the cute things are child did or said. I would even say scrapbooking is a kind of a journal.
Perhaps that is why some of us blog. We like to write, we like to keep record of certain things and certain dates.

I am/was in a blogging funk. For an half a year or more I did not know why I blog. Could not even think what to write. What was the point of writing, of sharing. It all kind of depressed me.

And in my case, I did not even know WHERE to write. Yes, I have a blog here AND also on Xanga. So I find myself hopping back and fourth writing a little here and a little there. Confusing? A little.

Yesterday I was reading a little from those writings/blogs of the past...and I realized again why it's SO good to record. I forget SO EASILY those good things. In the busy-ness of life, and in the harder more stressful times we forget that EVERY day has blessings. Small things and sometimes even BIG things happen to us in the middle of the day...things to take note of and be ever so thankful for in our hearts.

When I was 'back' reading, I was like -
OH yeah, that DID happen, didn't it? And WOW... my girls have changed so much. And the kitchen used to be that color? And so on and so on! :) And then I KNEW that I wanted to 'journal' again and record life. Sometimes the good comes with the bad...such is life. But I want to look back and REMEMBER. I want to live fully and write about it... thus making a way to help me remember!

So here is to my journaling! I am not a 'professional blogger' and sometimes I can hardly get my thoughts out on paper and formed into words...but with God's grace I will try to record the blessings that He has given me...the things (and people) that He has meant for me to enjoy.
 
Here is my little 1st grader. She is great. :) Homeschooling is going ok. One thing tho' that is tough for me (to help kenzie with learning) is making sure she gets 'drilled' like i did in school. Remember flashcards? Timing your word/reading? All that is 'extra' and i can see that it could easily get pushed aside.... so i'll have to work on that.

We have a little school corner upstairs. I seriously was going to just have school at the table downstairs...but after talking to some of my friends...i decided to have a 'real' place for school. I am so glad i did that! (Thanks to Sylvia and Jenny Z.) :)
This little girl, madison, is a real 'trip' in the class room. we survive (try). Chalk boards or markers entertain her for a bit.... but not long enough. She usually ends up with a movie.
Here is kenzie's 100s chart? The little tiny monkeys climb each knot into the tree. It might be lame, but it's what she has right now. :) Each time she reaches the top, she gets a prize.
So that is our life right now. I am thankful for this extra one on one time with kenzie. I am thankful she is still home with me. BUT, sometimes i am jealous that i can't just send her off to school and let someone else deal with it all! :) I guess the lesson here is to embrace whatever school situation you are in -- there are blessings in everything! 

Incase you scroll down and read old posts. I was 2 yrs younger. Seriously. Excuse me for some of it. I read somewhere that jeff and i got up early and still smiled happily at eachother over coffee!! It was just soo, i don't know, gay? I'm scared to read any further. :)

Have a happy friday ~ Jennie