Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The best science lessons are free . . .

We had one of the best science lessons in our front flower bed.  The boys had the opportunity to observe a praying mantis.  We spent part of the afternoon watching him.  It thrilled the boys to see him in action.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A First Day of School to Remember!

Working back into the routine of school is always a challenge.  Not only do the boys have to adjust, Mommy (that'd be me) has to adjust.  This year was no different.  We went through the routine of remembering how a school day runs for us.  After a long (long by our standards) day, the boys needed to blow off some steam outside.

They ran off to play wiffle ball in the front yard.  I hustled off to make biscuits to accompany our soup and salad dinner.  That's when the screaming came.  In the front door came some very upset children . . . one holding his bloody eyebrow.  Yes, nothing like blood spilling out from under a child's hand to send terrors up a mamma's spine.

After a few phone calls, a trip to the ER a, few stitches, and a very late dinner, all is well.  We are very blessed that Big Brother's cut was minor.  When he tells the story, he emphasizes that he "CAUGHT THE BALL!!!".  It was just the PVC pipe that got in his way that caused the problem.  We are very blessed.  We will also remember this years' "first day of school" for many years to come!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Blooms - Fun Before Work Edition!

This beautiful scene greeted us at the local amusement park last week. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun before the Work - Part III

The topper of our last week before school was a very special treat.  Momaw and Popaw went camping at a campground nearby.  It was wonderful to spend extra special time with them. 

While we were there, we caught something spectacular on film.  Brother in the Middle was riding his bike.  He had started to learn at the beginning of the summer, but the heat discouraged his efforts (the helmet makes it so much hotter).  The beautiful weekend and the paved road provided a great learning experience for him. 

He even had his own cheering section from the campsite down the street.  They encouraged him every time he fell and cheered for him when he made it all the way around the circle.  Big Brother did his best to encourage him too.  Brother in the Middle was really cruising by the time we had to head home.  What a great end to a fantastic summer!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday - Seasons

To everything there is a season
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
  And a time to die;
A time to plant,
  And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
  And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
  And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
  And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
  And a time to dance;
A time to cast stones,
  And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
  And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
  And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
 And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
  And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
  And a time to speak;
A time to love,
  And a time to hate;
A time of war,
  And a m of peace.

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 NKJV

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fun before the Work - Part II

Our second trip included shopping . . . and fish.  But, we weren't shopping for fish!!!!

Hey, Little Man, what do you see????

The boys think that this is the best store ever - fish tanks and candy (for the boys, not the fish).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun before the Work!

We decided to have the fun come before the work.  By that, I mean that we planned some fun activities the weekend before school started.  I'll be posting throughout this week to remember what fun we had.

Our first activity included bashing into one another,

And lots of pretty horses.

We got to ride the pretty horses.

And then bash into each other some more.

I think Snoopy is waving good-bye to summer for us!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Praise - Everything that has breath!

This is my very favorite Psalm.

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

If you have a moment, go enjoy this version from Steve Green!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When bribery is a good thing . . .

"Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty."

~Courtesy of Wikipedia

Bribery is not know as a good thing.  It can cause good people to do bad things.  But are there times when bribery can be good?  I think so.  Take for instance, this scene:

This does not appear to be a deep, dark scene of corruption.  It is, on the other hand, a small form of bribery.  This is the scene that welcomed me when I went to take care of my parents' cats last weekend.  These offerings were greatly appreciated. 

Well, now that I look at the definition of bribery which says that the, "gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient", I have to reconsider.  Was this bribery . . .  or incentive??????  Upon reflection, I didn't know about the offerings until I went to take care of the cats, so was it a bribe?   But those cats WERE taken care of a little more often than if there were no offerings to speak of!!!! So, what do you say . . . bribery or incentive????  When can bribery be a good thing?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Blooms - Surprise!!!!

These leaves of these flowers come up in the spring and then die away in the early summer.  I forget about them every year after the leaves disappear.  Then, in August . . . SURPRISE . . . I have beautiful pink flowers in my garden.  It is so nice to see them smiling at me when so much of the garden is starting to fade. I love flowers.  I wonder what I'm going to write about when they've all gone away for the winter?????

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Imagintion . . .

While this may look like any old mess, it has a story to tell . . .

One child was absent for the day, so the others went looking for something to do.

What they found was the boxes that hold the toys.

The boxes became a hideout from enemies.

They became a train.

They became turtle shells, boats and so much more.

And the fun that was had was all from the imagination of small children!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday -

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School days, school days!

After one long, lazy, hot summer, we are staring down the barrel of  the last week of summer break.  At the end of it, we will be catapulted into the fast pace of school days.  Monday morning, we will open the books and get to learning.

The excitement is building.  Yesterday, we cleaned the office . . . also know here as the school room.  We then opened the boxes of books that have sat in the entry way of our house for two weeks.  Until yesterday, I was not able to face the fact that summer break was ending soon. 

I had avoided the office/school room like it carried some terrible disease.  The disease that it carried (other than the dust from being ignored so long) was responsibility.   I was not ready to face it.  Every year, at the end of the school year, I have a terrible case of burn out.  It takes me the whole summer to get over it. 

While opening those boxes of books and organizing the shelves for each of the boys, I realized something . . .  I am getting excited about school again!  It is always nice to WANT to go back to your (other) full time job.  I know that homeschooling is my choice, but let me tell you, it is the hardest job I have ever taken on.  Between taking care of the kids, the house and schooling, I am busy, busy, busy. 

The summer has prepared me for the task at hand.  I  am ready for the challenge ahead.  The boys are ready for the task at hand.  Brother in the Middle is thrilled to be starting Kindergarden.  So, as we prepare this week for the start of school and the time of rest is coming to a close, I know we are ready. 

"School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
'Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick."

~Words and Lyrics by Cobbs & Edwards

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Blooms - Little Boy Hiding in the Garden

This little boy is hiding in my garden.  He sits among the inpatients on his bench with his puppy at his feet. 

When I took this picture, his bench and feet were hiding.  Today, his entire head is hiding under the flowers.  What a silly boy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday - Starting at the very beginning

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
~ Genesis 1:1

"Let's start at the very beginning.
A very good place to start.
When you read you begin with . . .
 A, B, C."

With the Lord you begin with . . .
He made me.

That's right . . . creation.  This week we are at Vacation Bible School.  I am in the nursery with Little Man and a handful of other children ranging from 4 months to almost three years old.  The lessons this week are not out of a curriculum, but are based on the first verse of the Bible.  Monday, we shared that God made me.  Tuesday, we talked about that God made the fish (the class mascots for the week are goldfish).  Today we learned that God made the flowers.  Thursday, we will learn that God made the doggies and then Friday we will wrap up with God made the fruits and vegetables.  We are learning one of the most basic of all lessons.  God made me.  From that, we will share that God loves me.  This, the most basic of principles from the Bible, is what I want these young children to grasp this week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lovely Lunch With My Three Sons

Last Thursday, my boys gave me a treat.  They decided that they wanted to take me to lunch.  They even wanted to pay for the lunch out of their own money.  So, off we went to our favorite dollar menu restaurant.  I was treated with smiles and sweetness and a lovely lunch. 

They took great pride in providing that simple meal.  I think that deep inside all people, even children, have the need to feel important and needed.  It builds up a man's self-worth to provide well for his family, and even my young boys have that need to provide. 

We talked about a few important issues and even fun subjects like the yummy ice cream that we were sharing for dessert.  The boys showed their best manners so well that it was noticeable to others around us.  One lady gave them a great compliment on her way out.  She stopped to compliment them on their good behavior, and in doing so made this mamma's heart swell with pride.  I am so blessed to have such sweet and thoughtful boys!

Oil on Canvas by
"Deutsch: Stilleben"
~Courtesy of Wikipedia


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Morning Praise

Blessed Be The Name
Blessed be the name!  Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name! Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
~Ralph E. Hudson

Heard a very powerful message about suffering this Sunday morning.  Job's response to one earth shattering personal disaster to another and then another was to turn, worship and say, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." ~Job 1:21  What an example for me.  I am humbled, knowing that I react much worse to much less.  

~ Word courtesy of

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birthday For My Guy

Today is a special day.  My guy's birthday is today, so we are celebrating with him.  For my guy, my hubby, the love of my life . . .  

~Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Blooms

These flowers do for the end of summer what daisies do for the beginning of summer.  Their yellow faces look up with a smile and greet all that pass by as if to say, "I'm so glad that it's still summer!"  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday -

This verse has been on my mind all week:

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28-30

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Hunter-Warriors

I have two little hunter-warriors.  Every day, they step out into the garden prepared for battle.  They go to the Mexican Hyssop where the June Bugs like to gather and hunt down their prey.  When they find them, they like to show off their catch.

Brother in the Middle was proud to display this one for the camera.

Big Brother is quick on the draw when it comes to these little villains.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Fingerprints

Why is it that this little guy is allowed to climb up on the window ledge?  Why is it that I don't get upset when there are (always) fingerprints all over this window?  There is a simple reason.  This is the "Daddy cam" window.  The boys have always used this window to watch for the nightly return of Daddy.  Recently, I decided that I would help them out and give them a bench under the window.  This particular day, Daddy was mowing the lawn.  Little man climbed up onto the bench and then onto the window sill.  He then spent the entire time watching, pointing, waving and saying "Daddy" every time the mower went by.  Those happy finger prints remind me every day of how blessed we are.