Sunday, September 30, 2012

Up close and personal

I took this picture yesterday to send to my cousin to show her how beautiful her birthday gift to me looked on my lips. (Her gift was Burt's Bees lip gloss in two different colors. She has good taste. )
When we were talking on the phone later on, we started laughing about it and commenting on how large my nostrils looked from that angle. Then I noticed how prominent my deviated septum is, too. I knew my nostrils were crooked, but look at the difference in size! No wonder if I move my nose slightly to the left, I can suck twice the amount of air in without even trying. It evens things out. Maybe I should consider that surgery to get it fixed. What do you think? Would it be worth it just to breathe easier? I'm so used to the way I breathe now that I don't think about it, but there is a definite difference when I move my nose.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nature Center

We went to the Nature Center on Elaina's birthday to make the day a little more than ordinary.
It was a beautiful day and we made the most of it. We saw a white mouse, a very large and scary black snake that looked like it wanted to eat Elaina and there was an armadillo hanging out right in the middle of our pathway during our hike. Then all the girls played and splashed in the water and Nora even sat right down, clothing and all. Elaina said it was the best day she's ever had. Success.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Night Lights

My Brother-in-law coaches the football team that's playing our town's team tonight. So, in a moment of brilliance, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to have a quick, but still fun and exciting, joint party for Elaina and Claire. We do big birthdays at 5 and 10 (and more but I haven't thought that far yet) and the girls are turning 6 and 7. Seven?!! Are you kidding me?! The plan is to eat supper, sing Happy Birthday, open a few presents and then eat a brownie cake. Then most of the crowd will head to the football game while the rest of us weenies stay here at the house. Babies + football games = no fun for Mamas. I'm sure I'll take pictures so be looking for a follow-up post soon.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good Morning! This is one of those mornings that would be wonderful to curl up on the couch with a blanket and sleep for a couple of hours, but it's also the kind of morning that inspires organization and cleaning. I have all the windows open and the fans on and the smell of fresh, clean air is blowing about the house. I love it. It's my favorite.
It's sort of Birthday Week at our house. This year the birthdays fall on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday so technically it's two different weeks but...oh well. I still like to call it Birthday Week. I need to get busy on Claire and Elaina's birthday videos. Any good song suggestions other than the obvious (I already used it) tunes? I have a couple in mind but I'm not sold on them. Because our desktop is so slow, I always put off making the videos until the last second but it's really much better to do it earlier. If I have a good song I'm more inspired to sit in the computer chair for a couple of hours.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mail time!

I LOVE checking the mail. I find it exciting even if all we get is bills and junk mail.
Well, let me tell you about today's mail. It was The Best. I got a Boden catalogue, Jason got an acceptance letter into a pretty big show, the three older girls got their new backpacks for Wednesday School, I got a free sample from Costo containing two diapers, and best of all, this came.

It had nothing with it to tell me who it's from but I have a suspicion or two. I can only imagine that whoever sent it reads this blog so to You, thank you so much. I am so, so excited. This is one of those presents that I literally hold against my heart every now and then in excitement. I am very grateful and SO EXCITED!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Just a quick hello from me to you. How are you this Monday? Are you embracing the new week with lots of vim and vigor or are you hosting a set of the Monday grumpies? I found out yesterday afternoon that we have a young couple coming to look at the house this evening. They have two children and family that lives on the next street over. It sounds like there's good potential for them to like the place! My lovely family split up the four girls and took them so that I would have the day to make this house shine like never before. Our electricity went out during the night but thankfully came back on later this morning. I forgot what it was like to clean without little one's underfoot. It's rather amazing, to tell the truth. But I miss them and their little voices so while the cleaning is fun and fulfilling, I'll be glad when they are all back home. Hopefully I'll have some good news to report later on this week.

Happy Monday!

(Big kiss, big hug, big kiss, big hug, little kiss, little kiss)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Every once in a while, there will be a pin on Pinterest that actually makes me laugh out loud. If it does, I pin it to my funnies board and go back and view it for a good chortle every now and again. Well today, there was one that not only made me laugh out loud, but made me cackle for a full minute or two. It probably won't strike you as that funny, but it's worth sharing, non-the-less.

August in Pictures

Today I asked Rachel if my blog has been a little boring lately. She said no, but it was rather wordsy. I knew it was true and decided right then and there that a post of pictures was just what this ol' thing needed for a pick-me-up.

Enjoy our August!

Claire stared down the person behind the camera.

Nora glowed. 
She also ate chocolate. 
Jason went to Colorado. (Although, I think this was taken in Arkansas.)
We took a self portrait. 
All four girls colored outside on a nice fall day. 
Jason tripped on his flip flop and fell out of the car. (snicker)
p.s. His jaw line is awesome in this picture.) 
This happened. (More details later.)
 Claire got glasses and Nora promptly broke them.
Eily became sick and spent the day with Daddy at the studio. 
Grandma Green covered herself with great grand babies.
(For future reference, that's Elsie and Charolotte.)
Brown Bear got a boo-boo. 
But it's ok because Mama gave him a patch.
(Sorry about the devil-eyed child. Blogger refuses to acknowledge my correction.)
Claire wanted pointe shoes, didn't have any and so just made some for herself out of a ballet flat and a purple tea cup.
She also made Nora some...never mind.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shabby Apple

Remember when I told you about the clothing shop, Shabby Apple? Well, they recently released their new line which caused me to spend a little time browsing their site. Today I received an email listing their six top selling dresses.

1. Alice
2. The Red Queen
3. I'm Late! I'm Late!
4. Ingrid
5. El Capitan
6. Elizabeth Islands

They've got some really pretty things in their sale section right now, too. I love this 2300 and 38 inches dress and this Professorial dress. Right now they have a 10% off site-wide discount going on in their store. Use the code favorite10 at checkout and don't forget that this sale ends on September 14, 2012.
Happy Shopping!
Dresses from Shabby Apple

This is an affiliate link.

Alt Summit Blog

I've been meaning to share this blog with you for a few weeks. I recently discovered it through Design Mom and it has become one of my favorite daily reads. I enjoy my blog and writing posts for you all to read, but I often feel there is more I could do with it. Since I have started reading the Alt Summit blog there have been a few changes made behind the scenes. So stay tuned for new and exciting things!! For blogging inspiration and business advice check out the new Alt blog. Some of my favorite posts (so far) include:

12 Striking Tendencies of  Creative People
8 Tips for Great Blogging
Choosing Image File Formats for Your Blog
Creating a Mentor Relationship that Works
Finding a Mentor


Monday, September 10, 2012

Home Education Part 4

Today has been interesting. It's been a test of seeing just how far I could push myself. I wanted to quit so many times. I was tired, exhausted, drained, worn out, depressed and just generally ho-humish. But every time I started to think about sitting down, I would press on with my mental list of things to do. It took all day but I did manage to get the house picked up and the laundry finished. I didn't deep clean the bathrooms (and have no plan to do so today, at this point) but that's ok. I substituted that for mowing the front and back yards and taking a shower. Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll clean the bathrooms and it will be much easier to get that accomplished with a house that's starting out picked up and a day that will only require one load of laundry. There are some really neat things that I want to show you but my back can only hold out for one post tonight. And Part 4 takes first place.

Home Education Part 4

" The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children."

It seems too daunting to think of all the habits that my four children need to form. One child, perhaps, seems doable, but four?!! Miss Mason reassures the reader not to feel overwhelmed. "Here again, is an illustration of that fable of the anxious pendulum, overwhelmed with the thought of the number of ticks it must tick. But the ticks are to be delivered tick by tick, and there will always be a second of time to tick it in." So, everyday I will press forward, making mistakes no doubt, but pressing forward non-the-less, ticking my ticks.

Miss Mason starts the chapter with the habit of attention. For me, focusing on one habit at a time is very hard. There are so many things that need attention and I want to get to them all, right now! (Maybe I should work on the habit of patience first, huh?)  But- one tick at a time.

Habit of Attention:

Even infants can (and ought!) to be taught the habit of attention. As they are playing, they tend to flit from one toy to another. The parent should pick up the item they just threw aside and draw their attention back and talk about the item, keeping their attention for a full minute or two. Miss Mason gives an example of this using a discarded daisy. The mother picks it up and shows it again to her daughter while talking about its color and shape and then tells a delightful little story about why the flower has the name, "daisy". It just takes a minute or two, but at the end of the discussion, the child holdsthe flower closer, perhaps giving it a little kiss (Eily would do something like that) and then goes about with her playing.
Next comes the transition of habit of attention from things to words. This starts in the schoolroom. Miss Mason admonishes us not to let the child dawdle or moon over a lesson. Immediately put it away and do a lesson that is completely unlike the one before. If course, you eventually have to go back and finish the lesson, but do it with a " bright and fresh mind."
What is attention exactly? "Attention is hardly even an operation of the mind, but is simply the act by which the whole mental force is applied to the subject at hand."
The parent may help form this habit by means of a sufficient motive so that as they are older, the child is "brought to bring his own will to bear; to make himself attend in spite of the most inviting suggestions from without."

"It is impossible to overstate the importance of this habit of attention. It is, to quote words of weight, within the reach of every one and should be made the primary object of all mental discipline; for whatever the natural gifts of the child, it is only in so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in him that he is able to make use of them."

-concerning overpressure-

" is not the things we do, but the things we fail to do, which fatigue us..."

Wow. That really hit home. It reminded me of a story I heard once. A man was going through the handshake line at a church and said to the preacher, " That was a good sermon, preacher. You really stepped on my toes." The preacher replied, "Then move them."  My days flow with such ease and calmness if I give proper attention to the first things on my "to do" list and get those items done correctly on the first attempt. If I don't, I always feel pressured and rushed in my other tasks and complete them hurriedly and sloppily so that I can get back to the uncompleted tasks. 
The above quote can easily be applied to the student, If they have ten minutes to write six perfect "c's"and they dawdle and don't get it done in time, they will feel rushed in other tasks to get back to finishing that task.

Miss Mason goes on to talk about the habits of application, thinking, imagining, remembering and perfect execution. She also talks about the habits of obedience and truthfulness.

"First, and infinitely the most important, is the habit of obedience. Indeed, obedience is the whole duty of the child, and for this reason- every other duty of the child is fulfilled as a matter of obedience to his parents."

She says to train the child to obedience not with the motive being - to do this because I said so-and-so or because this will happen, but because the Bible says, "Obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." This is no small feat. Nine times out of ten, I say" Obey me or..." and then name a punishment. I am training them to obey, yes, but I am training them to obey with the wrong motive.
"...the poor children are simply bullied into submission to the will, that is the willfulness, of another; not at all 'for it is right'; only because it is convenient."  Ouch!

"To secure this habit of obedience, the mother must exercise great self-restraint; she must never give a command which she does not intend to see carried out to the full. And she must not lay upon her children burdens, grievous to be borne, of command heaped upon command."

There are so many more wonderful quotes I could add and thoughts I could try to express but I will just encourage you to read the book for yourself. It will not be time wasted.

Dont forget to visit Jamie's blog and read her post about Part 4.


We had a very full weekend attending our church meeting. It's always wonderful to have these meetings and it's always hard to bounce back from them. For some reason, the days we leave the house early in the morning and stay gone all day are the days the house is at its messiest. This morning's agenda consists of school, babysitting, lots of laundry, lots of picking up and deep cleaning the bathrooms. I'm trying to stay un-scheduled with all these chores so that I don't start to panic because of the mess and the fact that the chores seem to be getting accomplished at a snail's pace. My goal is to get them done by the end of the day. I can do it, I think. With children, it's always one step forward, two steps backwards but I'll just keep stepping and by george, I'll make some headway. :) I'm thankful the older three are good helpers and babysitters.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Home Education Part 3

My sister, Sarah, asked if she could have the older three girls for the afternoon and of course I said yes, and so I waved them off about an hour ago. Nora and Jager are asleep and should be for the next few hours. My original plan was to clean like a fiend so that the house will be ready for company this weekend but the longer I sit and do nothing, the more I want to sit and do nothing. But that would be a ridiculous waste of time so instead I am going to write a post, read a bit and maybe rest my head for ten minutes. Then I'll clean a bit and tend to the babies that should be up by that time. I have been meaning to post about Part 3 of Home Education for quite a while and I just kept putting it off for various reasons. Jamie and I are reading through the book together and today I read her post on Part 4. Yikes! I'd better get my self moving before I fall so far behind that it will seem impossible to catch up with her.
So here I go. Prepare yourself to be very under-impressed. Go here and scroll down a bit to read Jamie's post on Part 3. I guarantee you it's better that what I'm about to type. (Except for the quotes. The quotes are marvelous.)

Home Education Part 3.

"Habit is ten natures." It took me a while to understand this sentence. Nature is a strong force but habit is as strong as ten natures! Why it took me so long to realize that that was the meaning of that sentence, I'll never know. You can instill a good habit to counteract bad nature, but habit runs on the line of nature.
"Habit runs on the line of nature. The cowardly child habitually lies that he may escape the blame, the loving child has a hundred endearing habits, the good-natured child has a habit of giving, the selfish child, a habit of keeping. Habit, working thus according to nature, is simply nature in action, growing by strong exercise."

"... it rests with parents and teachers to lay down lines of habit on which the life of the child may run henceforth with little jolting or miscarriage, and may advance in the right direction with the minimum of effort."

"The girl who has been carefully trained to speak the exact truth simply does not think of a lie as a ready mean of getting out of a scrape, coward as she may be. is unmanageably true that the child who is not being constantly raised to a higher and higher platform will sink to a lower and lower. Wherefore, it is much the parent's duty to educate his child into moral strength and purpose and intellectual activity as it is to feed him and clothe him; and that in spite of his nature, if it must be so."

"Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend."

I could wax eloquent (except really, I couldn't because I just haven't practiced good writing in many years) about all the thoughts I had from this chapter but instead I'll sum them up in a few sentences.

This chapter really hit home for me. I know habit formation is important. I even have it scheduled in my morning time for a daily reminder of which habit we are working on instilling in our little minds. But I had forgotten just how important, how necessary it truly is. More than anything, I was convicted about my own habits. Too many bad ones, not enough good ones.
I really wish I could figure out how to get all my thoughts in an essay form. I'm a little frustrated at the moment.

My father, upon request, wrote some thoughts out for his children and one of them fits quite nicely with this chapter.

we call them Pappy's Practical Parenting Points

        My experience is that the patterns of children's lives are formed, to a large extent, very early in life. While this is not a hard and fast rule, no doubt the strength of early impressions upon children's personalities and characters go a long way toward influencing their future behavior. That means that there is a lot of hard work to be done early on in raising children. By that I am not referring to the physically exhausting aspects, such as sleepless nights, but to the persistence that is needed to reinforce good behavior and punish bad behavior time after time after time. That's the bad news. The good news is that the hard work done early will pay tremendous dividends on down the line.
        Children rarely will remember much of anything before the age of four, but it is amazing how much the training done before that age will affect them. Since most of their behavior necessarily cannot be calculated because of their mental limitations, your training will not be with situations where they can think through what they ought to have done. It will be done at another level. That is why repetition will play such an important part. Over and over and over again you must insist upon the proper behavior, until it becomes something that they do not have to think about. Train them to react correctly, and when they are older, they will be more likely to reason correctly.
        So often we tend to think of this early training being in the realm of discipline, but there is more involved than that. From the very earliest days, a child is brought into a realm of either love, compassion and good order, or into a chaotic world where proper behavior is ignored or even discouraged. Touching means so much to a child, and so the more snuggling and sitting in laps children can do, the more secure they will feel, and security is of utmost importance. Since children cannot reason through the logic of morals, how they see their world at the age of two is likely to be accepted to them as how they world ought to be. Therefore you want their world to be the right world.