Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Elizabeth is loving her Apologia Astronomy science book. She's read through all of it, though we still read and do activities at a slower pace together for school. But she heard about a lunar eclipse coming up and was thrilled. She read about it and explained to me what it was. It's when the earth passes between the sun and the moon so that the earth's shadow is cast upon the moon. It gives the moon a reddish glow. This is the first time since 1638 that a total lunar eclipse happened on the winter solstice (shortest day of the year). The next one to happen on a winter solstice will be 2094. I set my alarm for 3 am and Liz and I went outside to see a cool total eclipse of the moon. We stayed about 2 minutes and then went back to bed. It was cold. It would have been cool to see all the phases but that would have taken several hours and we're not THAT into it. :-)

Photo from

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Last year we received a book called "Gingerbread from the Heart" for Christmas. It was illustrated by a family friend, so it's kind of neat to read it to the kids. Ever since we received it, the kids have been talking about making gingerbread houses for Christmas! Which means they've been talking about it all year. So I blocked out two days on the calendar to do just that. No school, just gingerbread houses.

A photo really minimizes the mess. There was nothing minimal about it! I don't think this will be a yearly tradition. Worth it and fun, but not every year.

And a picture of Harrison thrown in. This was taken a few days back when it was truly cold enough to wear a sweater. Today it was quite warm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Which Elizabeth Turns Nine

This party was much easier than the last "friend" party she had. Of course she was 6 last time and there were 8 or so girls there. The girls this year mainly wanted to play house upstairs. They were all in their 20's except for Phoebe who was 6. Blue and white were the colors for everything because it was a winter theme. And Liz wanted a jello cake which was 4 layers of jello (blue and purple alternating) and cool whip for the frosting. The girls pronounced it surprisingly yummy.

How We Take Our Coffee

Every morning this helps us get out of bed.

Phillip takes two sugars and two creams (French Vanilla).
Lanaya takes one sugar and 5 or 6 creams. And sometimes some cinnamon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Practicing Holding Harrison

For some reason, the only pictures I've taken this week are of Phoebe holding Harrison. She calls it her "school" to practice holding Harrison. He takes it pretty well really.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Lesson in Trust

My oldest son is teaching me a lesson in trusting God. He is a worry-wart of the utmost kind. If the girls are running ahead at the store or outside or at church, he badgers me about it: "Phoebe is too far ahead! What if she gets lost?! PHOEBE! Come back! MOM!!....." If Phillip and I go for a walk outside in front of our house, so that we can always see the house and the kids can run outside and get us if needed, we are sure to see him in the front yard trying to spy us out because he wants to make sure we don't go too far. If there is a plan, he will continually check to make sure we are on schedule, "Are you going to finish cleaning up so we can watch our movie? You said we could watch it when you were done. Will you be done by 2 like you said?" Etc, etc.

I've come to realize that he worries so much because he actually doesn't trust his parents to take care of things. He feels the burden is on him to make sure his sisters don't get lost or that our schedule gets done on time. It's good that he is taking some responsibility, but he takes on many burdens that are not his to take and are not even in his power to accomplish.

I very much see myself in him when I don't trust my Father in heaven. I take on responsibilities that I can't even accomplish and then worry about them as if I have any control over the situation whatsoever. When I do this, I don't actually believe God can or will take care of me. I'm trying to take care of it on my own, because I feel more in control, I guess. But now I see how annoying it is to God! And how useless it is for me. He's big enough. He will make sure "Phoebe doesn't get too far" or "the schedule is accomplished" or whatever my worries are. I can trust Him. He'll even make sure the best thing will happen for me; which is not necessarily what I want from Him. "Which of you, if his son asks for bead, will give him a stone?" Sometimes I'm really wanting stones thinking they are bread, but God knows what is bread and what is stone and He will give me bread. I can trust Him.

"...and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6: 32-34

I will trust Him. And pray that my son will grow to trust as well. :-)

Thanksgiving 2010

I wasn't thinking about pictures, but thankfully Elizabeth was. She took these. At least we know half the family was present!

On this day, I was thankful for talking to family, walking outside into warm sunshine while talking to family who were driving on ice and snow, plenty of food, Christmas music on the radio, separating Legos with my son (each color in its own Ziplock bag!), my husband who read a Psalm and a chapter about the 1st Thanksgiving from Limbaugh's book and gave our kids a wonderful Thanksgiving lesson, a relaxing day of staying home, freedom to worship and read the Bible. In history, Elizabeth has been reading about those who were killed for trying to translate the Bible into English. Can you imagine not having the Bible in your own language to read? Having to rely on someone else to tell you what it says, yet wondering if they are telling the truth? I can count probably 10 Bibles we have in our home right now. Not including kids Bible story books. That is richness right there. And I am thankful to God for it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Four Peas in a Pod

A fellow mother gave me this necklace after I had Harrison. I probably wouldn't have guess what it represented if Phillip hadn't immediately exclaimed, "Cool! Four peas in a pod." I love it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Outdoorsy Day

The kids were with friends today, so Phillip and I had a most wonderful day together! We relaxed in the morning and then went to The Western Store to buy a cowboy shirt for Phoebe for Christmas. Then we headed to some barbecue! There's an older man who barbecues on the side of the road (well, it's an empty parking lot near a gas station) only on Saturdays. I've seen him there every time I head home after Walmart shopping; but I'm too in a hurry to stop and see what's up. So we ordered up a chicken dinner to share. He gave us half a chicken! With some coleslaw and baked beans. There was no place to sit, so we ate off the back of the car while Harrison sat in his stroller and watched. We really needed a truck with a tailgate to sit on. But as my dear husband reminded me: we've got a fourth kid instead!

Then some friends from church who are wanting to have some "baby experience" (they've been married a year with no children yet), took Harrison for two hours while we went hiking! Hiking! This was Phillip's idea and I loved it. There's a 6 mile trail just down the road from our house. We hiked about 2 miles then drove around with Doritos and Mountain Dew until our two hours were up. Harrison was wonderful for the couple ~ though they were a little upset that he mostly slept. :-) They also offered us some freshly baked quiche, which I accepted. Delicious!

Then home for a little while. Cheap Tony's pizza for supper, coffee shop, then home again just in time to welcome the kids in the door and get them to bed.

I loved the day with my husband! We're very blessed indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My first try at a favorite Cajun dish: jambalaya! Mrs. Faye shared the recipe (via my Mom); I had to call her afterward to get some things straight. But it still tasted good and familiar and I can't wait to try it again!

Carmelize some sugar in some oil (I used butter, which was one of my problems).

Brown the boneless pork ribs (I cut off the fat, another problem). Add some water and cook it down to tenderize the pork. Brown it some more.

Add the sausage and cook a little more. Then add garlic and onion and saute. Add the salt and black and red pepper now? I can't remember what Mrs. Faye said. I didn't add ~ totally forgot till the end! And I didn't add enough, it was a little bland.

Add the water (3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice). Bring to a boil, then add the rice. Lower the temperature to medium and cook about 20 minutes. Cover, lower the temp some more and cook till rice is tender. Stir several times so rice doesn't stick to the bottom.

Even with all the mistakes, I still enjoyed it! I think I'll have some more of it for supper. Another favorite I recently discovered at Walmart: boudin'! It was not as good as some I've had, but it wasn't horrible either. I'll get it again when I'm homesick for Cajun cooking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Whom There is No Guile

I love the honesty and innocence of children. From the middle two recently:

We were teasing Jonathan about who he was going to marry one day. We named several girls, saying, "Why don't you marry them? They're a good friend." He came back with, "I don't even know what they'll look like when they grow up!" We did not teach him that.

Phoebe seems the most oblivious concerning appropriate boundaries in speaking. At a restaurant she loudly proclaimed how fat a guy was. We all quickly told her, "That's not nice, you can't say things like that about people, they wouldn't like it, they would find it mean, etc." She continues, "Well, can I say, 'You ate a lot of food.'?" "No, that's not appropriate either." Later Jonathan mentioned about a new party seated close to us: "That's a lot of people!". Phoebe immediately started in, "You can't say that, Jon! That's mean! You can't say that about people!" Okay, so she just doesn't get it. Soon after I hear from her, "Those people are old!"
She's technically not wrong about her observations.


Elizabeth practiced cake decorating for Handicraft. She had written a poem for Copywork a month ago, and decided to put the first line of her poem on her cake. We had a lot of trouble getting the frosting right, so it was hard for her to make the flowers. But she had several weeks of practice. She baked this cake, tinted the frosting, frosted and decorated it, and served it to the family. I am glad this handicraft is finished! We'll do some more practice in another year or so when she's older. Her poem and cake follow:


I walk in the grass
soft and green.
I walk in the sun
a sunbeam.
Flowers bloom
left and right.
If I didn't know better
I'd think I was right:
Spring was here.

by elizabeth gore

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet Baby of Mine

Oh, the disgustingness of this much candy!

This time of year brings a ton of sweet gooey sugary candy into our home. So what we do with it is this: The kids get one week with their candy. They can sort through it, trade it, give it away (they usually give Dad chocolate and Mom sour candy), etc. This year they also put a gallon-size bag into the cabinet of select candies they want for their gingerbread houses they are sure to make for Christmas. We've been letting them have two pieces a day: one after lunch and one later in the day. After a week, we put all candy together into a big bowl. Dad and I can eat what we want then and they can keep choosing one or two pieces a day for a treat. We also throw about a handful of candy away a day. That way it eventually goes away. Until next year. When it invades again.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

South Carolina

We had a nice little weekend away visiting some friends who recently moved to South Carolina. They have a beautiful new home, the weather was just nippy enough to feel like fall, and we all (including the kids) had a great time together.

The kids dressed up to go to a Zoo Trick-or-Treat Thingy. We had two cowboys (well, one of those was a "cowboy girl" as Phoebe puts it), a beautiful Indian princess, a beautiful Snow princess, and some kind of Jedi Venom Spiderman.

The kids also went to a Children's Museum the next day. These are the only non-blurry pictures I got. They spent a good 2 1/2 hours there with no complaining, and we didn't even make it to all the displays! They got along so well; makes parents happy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mom Home Alone

Dad took the kids to get ice cream at Target and look at toys. I am home alone with Harrison who is sleeping. I'm baking a new custard cake recipe and watching The Duggars: 17 Kids and Counting. I caught some of it when I was held hostage in the hospital with Harrison's birth. (okay, it felt that way. A new mom has many emotions; you'd better not mess with her!) I was fascinated with their family, so I checked out their book from the library and now have Netflixed their show. Very interesting.....


We tried out the circus a few weeks ago. The albino tigers were cool. The family that did flips and things was cool. The clowns weren't funny. And every other act was done by women dressed in just about nothing. Elizabeth wouldn't even look and we kept trying to distract the other two, so we finally left. So anyway, I got pictures of us!

And then we headed to McDonalds and the Town Center for some ice cream and a little fish-pond time.