Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Addition

Today we took the monumental step of adding a dog to our family. Annie the Basset Hound joined us and seems to be the quietest and calmest of us all. As you can see from the photos, Annie required a bath before coming inside. She did well, all things considered.

Introducing the dog to our housecat, Lewis, was a nonevent. Both parties were supremely disinterested in one another. We regard this as a blessing. I'm sure I'll soon regale my readers with tales of the trials and joys of having Annie in our family, but for now....

Later Days!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

K.'s birthday!

Yesterday was K.'s 8th birthday--one of them, anyway. Of course, she only has one actual date-of-birth, but since we live away from family, the celebration will go on until everybody has had a chance to celebrate with her :).

We started off the day with present--a new American Girl doll (Gwen, if you're interested), a Princess Peach accessory kit for her Nintendo DS, and some new video games for her DS and the Wii system. Some of these things were from us (parents & siblings) and some from grandparents who came for a visit. Mimi and Papa arrived early on K.'s actual birthday and Nana and Gdad came today (Sat.).

Next, per K.'s wishes, we went to the State Museum. We had a great time wandering around the exhibits at a leisurely pace. Some church friends gave us family passes for the museum, so we can go frequently and not worry about cramming everything in during one visit. The dinosaur exhibit is our favorite, though we disagree with nearly all the posted information! We are firm believers in a literal, 7-day Creation--no billions of years of evolution for us. Attending exhibits like this don't threaten our worldview, they just give us a great starting point for discussions about our faith.

For lunch, K. wanted to go to our local Mexican restaurant, as anyone who knows us could have guessed :). The waiters brought her a special dessert and sang to her in Spanish--this thrilled K. but embarrassed E.

We enjoyed K.'s cake afterward; it had a picture of Princess Peach, a character from the Mario Brothers video games.

We had a terrific time celebrating K.'s birthday and having all the grandparents visit! We're already looking forward to the next time we'll all be together.

Later Days!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

M. sleeping & update

It's been some time since I've snapped a photo of M. sleeping in an unusual place. He still does it, of course, I just usually don't get a picture. This afternoon he crawled under my "desk" (which is really a card catalog from a defunct library), chasing a small rubber ball. Apparently, the search wore him out :).

Update on water disaster: The water extraction machines are staying for the weekend. In fact, parts of the bathroom floor are wetter now than they were when the process started, so there's still a leak to be isolated. You can bet that next week's posts will involve water extraction, plumbing, and flooring.

Update on sciatica: After a few days of hobbling about with a painful back, I finally went to the doctor yesterday (Fri.). I'm now on 3 medicines, including anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxants. I'm not sure whether my condition has improved at all or if I just don't care as much :).

Hope everyone has a wonderful Lord's Day!
Later Days!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Family Fun

As promised a few photos from our day out on the town with Hubby's brother and his family. We ate a very good lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (love that name) and then went to the State House (there are perks to living near the state capitol). Hubby made a phone call and we found out that our favorite state senator, Thomas Alexander, was in a Finance Committee meeting, but would be glad to step out and see us!

Though our family had visited the State House before, it never fails to awe us with its beauty. One of Senator Alexander's Aides gave us a behind-the-scenes tour that was great. Everyone we encountered treated us as if we were something special :). Lest you think I'm bragging, Senator Alexander has given a standing order that he is to be called when any of his constituents from "Back Home" visit, since they travel so far to see him. We have known him for years and can attest that he is a wonderful Christian man and wants to govern according to biblical principles.

Afterward, back to our house to relax, play Wii games, and wait for Water Extraction guy to make today's evaluation. Turns out, we need the machinery going another night! I can't imagine what our water bill and electric bill are going to be this month!

Later Days!

What's going on around here....

I hope everyone had a great Easter! Mine was a bit different this year, since we moved away from family, but still good. The kids and I traveled Back Home on Friday so we could see family and have a little Easter Egg Hunt (which normally would have happened after church on Easter Sunday). The trip was only slightly marred by the presence of tornadoes :).

Arising on Easter Sunday morning, we found that the carpet in the master bedroom closet was soaked...NOT a normal occurrence for us. The unseen leak grew in magnitude, unfortunately, and we had to call a plumber to come out on Monday. Turns out, the faucet in the tub of the master bath had been leaking behind the wall, puddling on the subfloor, and our closet was just an inconvenient place for it to show up. Plumber came, replaced part, problem solved. Or not.

Enter the Water Extraction Team. These are the folks that clean up after disasters, y'all. These guys cleared our closet, pulled up the carpet and padding, and set up humongous driers, fans, and dehumidifiers in the bedroom, rendering it uninhabitable for the last few days. Hubby and I found out that "sleeper sofa" is a complete misnomer.

Yesterday, Water Extraction Guy returned to check the level of moisture remaining in our tropic-like bedroom. Closet carpet passed inspection...unfortunately, bathroom flooring needed to be ripped up. All driers,fans,and dehumidifiers were moved into a bathroom devoid of flooring and way too small for all this equipment. At least we were given permission to sleep in our bed last night. Which we did, though the wind-tunnel effect and the humidity and the high temperature made it like trying to sleep...where?...I can't even think of a comparison. Must be lack of sleep making my brain fuzzy.

Anyway, to conclude: We are very hopeful that Water Extraction Guy will take away all his noisy machines today when he checks the house again. Hubby's brother & his family are coming to visit us for the first time in this house and we're looking forward to spending the day with them. I'll try not to bore them with tales about our house problems, promise. I'll even try to post photos (Mimi, I found my camera).

Later Days!

p.s. Coming up soon...the Flooring Guy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Weekend

Greetings! I must warn you that I won't be posting many photos until I can find my camera...it's been missing since my parents were here & I'm beginning to wonder if there's some connection....Kidding, of course.

We had a wonderful worship service last night, in which the pastor (my hubby), dressed in Bible garb and explained the elements of the Passover supper to us. It's wonderful to know that each aspect of God's instructions to the Israelites regarding this observance foreshadowed the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.

Praise God that Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross paid for my sins! Praise God that Jesus rose again! May you all truly celebrate Easter this year, remembering that risen Savior :).

Later Days!

P.S. I'll be out of town for a little while--the kids and I are going Back Home to see the grandparents and hunt for Easter eggs :). Never fear, we'll be back to attend services at Green Hill Baptist on Sunday.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy b-day E.!

Today we celebrated our eldest child's 15th birthday. I'm so happy she felt well enough to really enjoy the day. Mimi and Papa and my niece, C., are visiting us so our day included a Girls Only shopping trip, ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, some outdoor fun, and general silliness. E. received well-wishes from lots of folks via phone calls and Facebook.

She enjoyed her gifts, including an IPod, books, a Breyer horse, money, and a few other things. She even appreciated the pencils and pencil sharpener from Mom--being a homeschooler, she's always in search of pencils!

We're very thankful to have her in our family. She has brought us so much joy and taught us alot (she's been our guinea pig as parents). I've looked at her baby pictures and marveled at the changes 15 years have brought. She's taller than I am (though that's not saying much) and certainly more talented in many things, such as anything artistic. I can't wait to see what the next few years bring in this godly young woman's life!

Later Days!

P.S. K. wants me to mention that she got E.'s old mp3 player and she's very happy about it!

P.P.S. C. is sitting next to me critiquing everything I write and making fun of my typos. Thanks, C.

P.P.P.S. Big Bro--you've rubbed off on your daughter! Thanks, B.

Palm Sunday

Our services yesterday were wonderful! During the Children's Sermon, the kids were given palm branches and proclaimed "Hosanna!" and "Jesus is coming!" to the congregation. Then, the children shared some special songs of rejoicing with us. How I love to hear those sweet voices...and I know God loves it, too :). The photo above shows the portion of the children's choir that has my K. in it.

After the service, we had the unusual experience of petting a squirrel. Well, that's unusual for me, anyway. A couple in our church handle "rescue" animals and had to bring a 7 week old squirrel with them in a carrier...the young animals have to be bottle-fed and kept warm at all times. We were told that its mother had been killed by a dog and that it had only opened its eyes last week. M. was fascinated with it and thrilled to pet it.

Later Days!

Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 4, was our church's Easter egg hunt. God granted us a gorgeous day and many excited children :). It's so much fun to watch the children excitedly scampering around finding the eggs. Eggs for M.'s age were just scattered openly so that each child could fill up a basket...M. then had to open each egg looking for baby birds! K. had a great time chattering, hunting for eggs, and playing games with her friends (and 7 year old girls have lots of friends).

I'm so grateful to those who devote their time and energy to making an event like this possible for our children...thanks Mandy and Susan (and any others I don't know about)!

Later Days!

Our budding artist?

K. and M. have thoroughly enjoyed using watercolor paints this week! Every flat surface in the kitchen and dining room is covered with drying works of art :). We're still working on the art of cleaning up after oneself....

More sickness!?!

Can you believe it...we've had more plague in the house! Youngest and oldest both had another virus that is, thankfully, leaving us. I've got photos from several days' worth of "blog-worthy" events, so please be patient as I try to get them on the blog with explanations :). The last weekend in March, we went Back Home for a combined celebration of Nana's and E.'s birthdays. It didn't turn out to be the party we expected, as we ended up taking N. and K. to Urgent Care for fevers and vomiting. Nevertheless, since we had traveled to be with the grandparents (who had already been exposed to the virus, courtesy of our children spending the night with them) AND brought with us the Lord of the Rings cake that E. had chosen for her b-day, we met with all four grandparents for breakfast (and cake) before heading home.

I wanted to show you just how creepy a birthday cake can be! E. is a huge fan of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, books and movies, and chose this cake out of the "Cake Book" at a local grocery store's bakery. Yes, it has Gollum crouching on it and is iced in particularly unappetizing colors. Yummmm :). And, it had Sam & Frodo the hobbits on it...And, a "Lord of the Ring" ring (not to be confused with the "One ring to rule them all"). Anyway, we were not put off by appearances...we enjoyed it very much but left the corner with Gollum for E.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

100th post (or close enough)

To celebrate my 100th post, I'm going to do the traditional "100 Things About Me" post, whether they are interesting things or not! Be aware that the following facts are not in any particular order--just the order in which they came to me :).

1. I just got my new power cord from Dell and my computer is working again!
2. I call my laptop "Rosie" because she's red and she's a member of the family :).
3. I am addicted to Facebook and the internet in general, so it's been tough to go (almost) cold turkey the last few days.
4. I've been married for 18 years (and a few months) to a wonderful man who "wears many hats"; he's my best friend, a terrific father, and a wonderful pastor, just to name a few...
5. We have four precious children, one of whom is turning 15 in a few days! The others are 12, 7, and 3.
6. I homeschool the aforementioned children; 9th grade, 6th grade, 2nd grade, and preschool?
7. The 3 year old is by far the most difficult to homeschool! While not doing formal schooling with him, he has to be kept busy and safe while I work with the others.
8. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Furman University.
9 I will soon complete my Master's Degree in Religious Education from Covington Theological Seminary.
10. I am presently working on an Educational Administration course.
11. Math is the toughest subject for me to teach the children.
12. History and literature are the easiest b/c I love those subjects.
13. Teaching a child to read is the most wonderful feeling :).
14. Watching my three oldest carry books everywhere with them and read constantly is also a wonderful feeling!
15. Watching the 3 yo pretend to read and ask to be read to is a joy.
16. I am not gifted in organization skills.
17. The disorganization of our homeschool is something I constantly am trying to improve upon.
18. I have Spring Fever and truthfully, would love to take a break from MY school and THEIR school for a few days.
19. I love going to church and am thrilled that my children feel that way, too.
20. I have been a Christian since I was 9...that makes 30 years!
21. I should be much more godly having been a Christian for 30 years...a fact which grieves me.
22. I read through the Bible each year, using a different "plan" and have done this for several years in a row.
23. I should be much more knowledgeable about the Bible than I am...but I'm working on it!
24. My 3 older children are all Christians--hallelujah!
25. My husband had the honor of baptizing all of them :).
26. I have had several surgeries: 4 impacted wisdom teeth extracted, 2 procedures after miscarriages, 2 c-sections, and gallbladder removal.
27. I don't want any more surgery.
28. I have a "double bellybutton" following the gallbladder surgery: a slight umbilical hernia makes it look like I have both an "innie" and an "outie."
29. No, you may not see it!
30. Don't ask again!
31. Two of the kids have had stitches: N (12 yo) got stitches in his chin the day before his 2nd b-day and E (almost 15) got stitches in her thumb several years ago.
32. E won a huge jar of candy corn at our church's Fall Festival by making the closest guess of how many candies were in it; she dropped the jar and it shattered. She began picking up pieces and cut an artery in her thumb. We spent several hours in the Emergency Room on Halloween night.
33. You meet interesting people in the ER on Halloween.
34. I love to read and usually have several books in progress. Which one I pick up depends on my mood and how much I need to concentrate.
35. I can ride a unicycle. Well...I used to ride. Last time I tried, several months ago, I had a rough dismount and injured my ankle and foot. I was on crutches for a couple of days and had to wear a brace for awhile.
36. My other ankle is also weak b/c I injured it stepping off a sidewalk into a storm drain about 2 years ago.
37. Why, yes, I DO seem to be clumsy, don't I?
38. I can play the clarinet. Well, I used to play the clarinet :). I need to practice so I can be in our church's ensemble....
39. My favorite color is red.
40. My favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk, but I'll take anything, thank you.
41. I love dark chocolate and eat far too much of it. But it's the healthy kind, right?
42. I love to go to the beach with my extended family!
43. I enjoy visiting museums and battlefields, too.
44. I would love for someone knowledgeable to take me shopping for clothes and say "This suits you."
45. I would love to build an entire wardrobe of clothes that suit me and make me feel good about myself.
46. I'd like to lose about 20 pounds before buying this entire wardrobe :).
47. Hubby and I are planning to go to England to celebrate our 20th anniversary...or 25th? Maybe I'll have that new wardrobe by then :).
48. My eldest and I are able to share some clothes (which means most of my jeans are NOT "mom" jeans).
49. I enjoy many kinds of music. My ipod playlist includes: ABBA, Michael Buble, Christian Contemporary, Show Tunes, and children's songs.
50. I never thought I'd have an ipod, a laptop, or a blackberry but I now have all 3.
51. I've even been known to send a text message or two!
52. I was an honors student in high school but a mediocre student in college. I'm trying to be an honors student again for my postgrad.
53. I'll be turning 40 in another month. I find this strangely disturbing....
54. I'm a fan of the tv show Monk--too bad it's in its last season :(.
55. I was a fan of the tv show The West Wing--I killed it, too.
56. I almost always disagreed with the political viewpoints expressed on TWW but loved the characters.
57. I almost always disagree with the political viewpoints of our current government but pray for our leaders, anyway.
58. I am passionately pro-life/anti-abortion!
59. That means I'm basically a one-issue voter--what the candidate thinks about the sanctity of life is the single most important factor to me.
60. I believe that the two babies I miscarried were already babies, not fetuses, and that I'll meet them one day in heaven.
61. I believe that we are living in the last days and that Jesus' return is coming soon!
62. I also believe that the Bible is inerrant and literal--the Earth was created in 6 days by God and man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. The Earth is not billions of years old and evolution is a fallacy, concocted by people who don't want to be held responsible for their actions by our Creator. If science disagrees on any point, Science is wrong!
63. Evolution requires just as much faith as Christianity but you won't get an evolutionist to admit it :).
64. If you've read this far, you know I'm pretty passionate about the subject.
65. I love to read books on dinosaurs and other early history, written from a Creationist viewpoint. I also love to read books written by those with other viewpoints but I judge them in light of God's Word.
66. I haven't had paying job since shortly after our eldest was born. I went back to my job as a Library Technical Assistant at Clemson University after my maternity leave was up but hating leaving my baby every day.
67. We bought a computer and I quit my job to stay home and do typesetting for the newspaper my husband worked for at the time.
68. I don't miss typesetting.
69. I've never regretted staying home with my children, though it has meant making different choices than dual-career couples.
70. My children have expressed that they never want to be put into school--though they complain sometimes about having to do schoolwork, they would much rather do it at home than at a school.
71. My children are some of the smartest, friendliest, best kids in the world! Just ask their grandparents :).
72. I am proud of how my children are able to interact with people of all ages. What socialization problem?
73. Fall is my favorite time of the year...leaves changing colors, a little chill in the air, and holidays around the corner....
74. Spring is my next favorite...new leaves and flowers, warmer weather, my girls' birthdays, and Easter!
75. Spring, unfortunately, brings allergies with it :(.
76. Summers in SC are steamy!
77. I love to change gears in our new car (when I get to drive it instead of the minivan)!
78. I have one older brother, who is married and has 2 children. We get along much better now that we're grown :).
79. Hubby has one older brother, who is married and has 2 children. I think they probably get along much better now that they're grown :).
80. Hubby and I first met as seniors in high school, when his family moved to SC from NC. We didn't date then but were "re-introduced" our sophomore years in college when his brother began dating a close friend of mine. They married in June of 1990 and we married in December of 1990!
81. I can't imagine finding a better husband! God is so good :).
82. He surprised me with this laptop last year for Mother's Day/my birthday! Wonder what he'll get me this year? Kidding.
83. My parents and in-laws are terrific parents and grandparents!
84. My hubby has travelled around the world on mission trips but I've only left the country once...our honeymoon to Cancun 18 years ago.
85. That will probably change this year...with mission trips planned to India and Nova Scotia.
86. Providing the funds for these trips is a God-sized task!
87. I am prone to worrying about things rather than leaving them to God :(.
88.Yes, I know he says not to do that.
89. I suffer from insomnia (see #87).
90. When my eldest is beginning her freshman year of college, my youngest will be beginning 1st grade!
91. We presently only have one pet, a cat named Lewis John. He is part Maine Coon Cat and is very large and docile. He was called Lucy for several years b/c of a gender mixup.
92. We have owned goats, cows, chickens, and rabbits.
93. I learned to herd, catch, vaccinate, and assist in birthing the goats. In the process, I learned to dislike goats...kidding...sort of.
94. Our family is investigating different dog breeds with a view towards getting the "perfect" dog for our family. This is totally instigated by our eldest, who is passionately interested in dogs.
95. I have no interest in house training a dog, being still in the midst of house-training our 3 yo.
96. My favorite type of cuisine is Mexican, but it is a treat to eat anything fixed by someone else.
97. I like magazines b/c they don't require much time or concentration--2 commodities that I don't have to spare.
98. I love to escape to my jacuzzi tub for a loooong bubble bath, and read a book or magazine.
99. I like to watch America's Funniest Home Videos with my kids and listen to them laugh.
100. I hope to be blogging long enough to do a 200th post...but I don't think I'll ever try to think up facts about me again!

Thanks for reading and Later Days!