Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Academics Fair

Collasped farm



Zach - Walt Disney w/ Walt's 1st Mickey cartoons playing
Jord - Dolphins w/ our Discovery Cove DVD playing
Rach - Insects w/an ant farm
Abby - Seasons

At the very end of the fair as we were cleaning up, Abby had picked up the ant farm and then proceeded to drop it, spilling dirt and ants everywhere. We managed to round up all but one ant, who died in the mayhem. A vacuum was brought in to clean up the dirt. Some of the ants became trapped in the tunnels, but have amazingly tunneled their way back out in the past 24 hours!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring cleaning & Academic projects

Spring brings such a desire to clean and wipe away the dust and dirt of winter. The bare trees are now full of bright green color and the birds who were so quiet are now sometimes so loud that we stop what we are doing to watch them build their nests as they sing. They are such happy workers. We are trying to take the same approach and be happy, singing workers around here as we clean, sort, organize and do school.

My parents were here this past weekend and enjoyed our time with them. Nana and I took the girls to lunch at Taco Bell and shopping.....Old Navy, Kohl's & fun! The boys also went out to get food for a cookout. In the 2 hours they were gone they made a stop at Tim Horton's for donuts and then before heading home they stopped at Skyline for some coney's. We all went to Skyline one more time the next day before Nana and Pappy headed home.

We started some of our cleaning out of closets and changing over the clothes a few weeks ago and it has been a slow process. It is now time to pick up the pace as we may have company coming the first of May. Our dear friends, the Hutsells, may be coming back our way to stay with us for a while. Just the motivation I need to get the spring cleaning and organizing accomplished. I have started in the is such a catch-all all year long for everything....clothes, coats, toys, seasonal decorations, games, shoes, homeschool supplies, MWAS files, books, keepsakes and the list goes on and on......I go through basement every spring and the organization falls apart as the year goes. It's my own fault......I gather things from upstairs and then tell the kids, "take this downstairs and just sit in the back room or put it along the wall somewhere......" Not sure if I will ever be totally organized for much longer than a few weeks!

Our co-ops Academics Fair is next week and the kids are busy writing reports and working on display boards. Zach is doing a Biography report on Walt Disney, Jordan is doing Dolphins, Rachel - insects and Abby is doing a report on the 4 seasons. I'll post pictures of the final reports next week.

Better get off here and get back to my cleaning and organizing......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Happy Birthday to the best husband ever ~ love you more and more everyday! Here he is with his new birthday grill! He has enjoyed handmade posters taped up all over the house, a "professional" backscratch from the girls at the Backscratch Company and a mid-day shake from Steak-n-Shake. A Hershey Chocolate cake just came out of the oven and will be iced soon and we have dinner plans for Max & Erma's (kids eat free on Tues)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spelling Bee

Jordy and Rachy participated in a Spelling Bee hosted by our co-op. They had studied their word lists and were ready for the "competition". Although, it was not as fierce as "Akela and the Bee", it was however scary for all eyes to be on you as you spell out words one letter at a time. The girls did great, sweating a few words here and there, but managed to be the winners in their age groups. Proud of you girls for your courage!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary to All of My Parents!

My parents are celebrating their 39th today and Kevin's parents are celebrating their 50th. Married on the same day, 11 years apart! They have been such a wonderful influence on our lives. We appreciate the example they are set before us and the life lessons that we have learned from them. Love you all!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nana & Pappy are the Best

So, this is what Rachy said to me the other night as she went to bed! The kids enjoyed a weekend with my mom and dad, while Kevin and I went to Berlin, Ohio to an HNI conference. We enjoy going to the "Amish country" of Ohio. First of all, the food is great.....pot roast, mashed potatoes, pies, oh it was all so good. The pace is much slower, the people are really friendly and the scenery is beautiful! We had a great time of fellowship with other pastors from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois as well as some relaxing time for us!

Now back to the kids......they enjoyed Build-a-Bear, Chick-fil-a, movies, candy & sweets, puzzles and other presents during their weekend. I do not think I need to buy anything for "Easter baskets"...we have plenty here! My mom brought all the supplies to make "candy creations" pictured above. So far, the only thing that we have eaten has been the jelly beans in the fish bowl!

Today the kids are enjoying putting puzzles together....they are spread out all over the kitchen table, island and floor! Rach, Abby and their "stuffed" friends are enjoying a roller coaster in the living room.

Thanks mom and dad for staying with the kids and treating to them to such a fun time! Love you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Making Changes

I had promised that I would post the changes that we are trying to make to our diet and lives to stay healthy. Some of the choices I am not sure will stick and some are sticking, so they will probably stay.
  • We are taking a daily supplement of Tumeric/Curcumin (you can google for an explanation of benefits)
  • We have cut out Nitrates by purchasing Hormel's all natural deli meats ~ found with the packaged deli meats in a cardboard container (Meijer - $2.79)
  • We have yet to try the nitrate free hot dogs, but I am planning a trip to Trader Joe's to purchase a pack to see if we like them
  • We are "trying" to eliminate high fructose corn syrup~ which is in everything that my kids love. Kroger has a "Mom's Best" brand of cereal in their organic section that runs about $2.00 a box. The cereal is sweetened with cane juice and not too bad. We have successfully replaced Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cherrios.
  • Trying to go as hormone free as we can. Organic milk is so expensive, but we have switched to organic yogurt and butter.
  • Trying to eliminate any foods that are hydrogenated

I have read through most of Suzanne Sommer's books Breakthrough and Knockout. It's amazing what natural alternatives are out there that have never been allowed to made public because of the FDA. I am convinced that God has placed everything we need to be healthy on the earth, we just have to find it and stay away from as many man-made drugs and processed foods. I'm just beginning this journey and I am striving to find a balance of what will work for my family and not have me driving all over the city to get what I need. I was pleased to find many organic/natural Meijer brand products at a reasonable price. Here's what I found:

  • All Natural Cheese Puffs (very good) $2.50
  • Organic Spaghettios (very good) $1.39
  • Organic Salsa (tasty) $2.00
  • Organic Pasta/All Natural Sauce & Pizza Sauce (pasta's are good, haven't tried the sauces yet) $1.50-2.50
  • Organic Pizza crusts ~ 2 for $4.00
  • Organic Peanut butter - ( haven't tried yet and am not sure how the kids will like it) $2.29

I'm not cutting out the trips to Wendy's/McDonalds /Happy Hour @ Steak n Shake and the occasional ice cream, but if I can do better then I'm going to try. Hope you might find some of this helpful......I'm still trying to figure out what will work for us! My plan is to never deal with cancer or any other disease on a personal level. Kevin's dad has chosen to go with natural alternatives to treat his cancer and we have all thrown our support behind him. The more I research and read ~ the more convinced I am that he made the right choice. Chemotheraphy treatments may take care of or shrink a tumor but it almost always returns and the body has been so depleated by the chemo/radiation that it has no defense against it the 2nd time around.

Please continue to pray as we search out the natural alternatives and believe God for healing!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I hate that word and I hate that we say it everyday around here as my father in law has been diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. There have been a whirlwind of tests and doctor appointments as well as research on nutrition and alternative treatments. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world of doctors, money & drug companies. But the good news is that my eyes have also been opened to nutrition ~ real nutrition and a body that God created to heal itself if we put the right foods into it.

At this time Richard (FIL) has decided to not go down the chemotherapy path, but put his faith in God and nutrition.....they have contacted alternative therapy doctors and are pursuing natural treatments rather than the harsh reality of chemo & radiation. We are completely supportive with routine visits to their apartment, daily prayer and building up of our own faith in a God that heals!

We are changing some of our own eating habits and trying to make sure that this cancer will NOT visit us (as the doctors have warned that it is hereditary).....the kids haven't been receptive to everything, but we are changing what we can. In another post I will list some of the changes that we have made and ones we are working on......need to get off here and do other things now.

Please pray for Richard's healing and the Lord's guidance, peace for the family knowing that God is in control and He is a good God.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Florida Vacation 2010 - Cinderella Dinner

We stopped by the Grand Floridian hotel at Disney World to have a magical dinner with Cinderella and Prince charming. The girls were even asked to dance with them!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Florida Vacation 2010 - Character Breakfast

We woke up Sunday morning and headed to Disney World to have breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto & Goofy! We had a great time ~ sporting our new t-shirts from Wal-mart! My mom and dad treated us to this wonderful breakfast buffet. The food was delicious and they make every effort to see each child at each table! A great way to start our vacation!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Hopes and Dreams

I welcome 2010 with alot of hopes and dreams of what I could accomplish this year and ways that I can do things better. I would love to be a more consistent blogger this year, if for no one else, but my own enjoyment and benefit. I would love to look back one day and have all of the family memories written so that I can easily remember (my brain seems to hold less and less of those wonderful memories as time goes by).

The kids have been passing around a fever - comes with a headache and sore throat. This kept us from going to Indiana for New Years, but we have been busy taking down the decorations and cleaning up clutter here and there.

Business is still booming for us and a goal for this year would be to keep expanding into more cities so that more of our income is coming from the orders that we pass on to others, thus freeing up Kev's time for more ministry.

Zach is learning the acoustic guitar and the goal for him is to be able to play for me and girls when needed. Sometimes I need a guitar player help me sing with the kids at church ( a piano is not that portable) and the girls would like to be able to sing at the nursing home, when we work with the homeless, church and any other opportunity that would come up.

I need to start doing piano lessons with Jord and Rach again - not sure why, but it is always hard to find the time to teach them something that I already know how to do......But I am determined to set a time and stick with it. The girls and I have also been working on learning songs that they can do - just to have a repertoire to pull might have guessed that my living room has turned back into a music studio with drums, piano, guitar, microphones and a sound system. Hopefully with it being so cold outside and neighbors having their windows shut and not being out as much we won't bother anyone.

We are planning a trip to Florida (end of Jan/1st of Feb) with my mom and dad. We will be staying with them in their condo and doing the Disney, Discovery Cove and Seaworld parks. Our plan is to drive - Lord help us! My mom and dad go every year and we are always welcome but we haven't been able to go for 6 years now so this will be a wonderful experience for the 2 little girls who will get to visit Cinderellas castle and possibly have dinner with her and Prince Charming (haven't got those tickets yet) and the older ones are going to have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins @ Discovery Cove. We have found some wonderful discounts for Discovery Cove and Seaworld and Kevin has a family friend that works for hopefully we won't blow the budget too much!

The kids are signed up to start Swim, Gym and Art and the YMCA for homeschoolers this week in hopes that some swim lessons will benefit our trip to Florida and also get out some energy that is exploding in our house. We are still taking classes with UACH - this semester Zach will have a 2 hour Art class, Jord will take Astronomy and US Geography, Rach will take Gym and Plants and Abby's class is doing a Safety Town with special visits from Firemen, Policemen, the Red Cross and others. We are a few weeks behind where I would like to be in our curriculum, but.........anyways we keep pressing on!

Kevin and I have dreams for this year......we look forward to seeing God open the doors and hopefully we will be sharing with you the ministry that this dream will bring about (I call it a dream because I find myself daydreaming about it - Kevin would call it a vision because that's what a guy would call it).

May God Bless You as you begin your 2010 Adventure!