Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Isaiah!


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(yesterday)
Dear baby boy,
You're definitely not a baby anymore! You have a great sense of humor, always laughing at funny things your brothers do. You are a social butterfly. Everyone you meet is your friend; you talk to them immediately and tell them that you have two brothers- Elijah and Micah. Every fiber of your being wants to be bigger than you really are. You are frustrated by all of the times that your brothers prove themselves to be bigger, stronger, faster or smarter than you. But you don't let it get you down for long- you just work harder to beat them next time.

You love wearing boxers and a muscle shirt to bed at night instead of PJs with cartoon characters on them. You play alone just as well as you play with other kids, and you're interests are varied at this point. One day you'll be content to paint and color and the next day you want to run, jump and ride your bike all day. After the busy play though, you're never to busy to curl up on the couch beside me in a big fuzzy blanket and snuggle in close. Your strong will and temper are never far beneath the surface, but no one can stay annoyed at you for long. One big smile and kiss blown my way and you're completely forgiven.

We love having you as a part of this family littlest one. We can't imagine our lives without you. Thank you for the joy, smiles and warmth you bring to us every day.
Happy 4th birthday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Reading Boys

Elijah has started reading to his brothers.  on Twitpic

Mom, do you see what book Elijah is reading to his brothers? It's the one, the only Sylvester and Tweety book.

My mom hid this book when I was a kid because I requested it so often. Then she passed it along to me. Thanks mom! Luckily, none of our boys were quite as addicted to it as I was, but Elijah can read it to his brothers now anyway, so I'm off the hook.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Laundry soap



Thanks to a great SFM event a few weeks ago, I made our own laundry soap last weekend for a fraction of the cost of the store bought stuff, and it's better for the environment. Here is the recipe
12 cups of Borax
8 cups of Super Washing Soda
8 cups of baking soda
9 bars of Ivory soap grated- freeze them, cut into chunks and pureed in the food processor.
The total cost was about $30 and it will last for 280 loads of laundry. You only use 2-3 tablespoons in each load. It smells great, works well, is eco-friendly and economical- what more could you ask for?

I mixed it by pouring in about half of each ingredient at a time, mixing, then pouring in the next portion and mixing some more. The 5 gallon bucket was perfect for mixing, but I'm storing it in 2 large plastic ice cream containers- the kind with the handle.

I bought most of the ingredients from drugstore.com but bought the baking soda at Meijer for 0.60 a box and had $0.50 coupons so they were only 0.10 a box. We've used it on several loads of laundry and so far it has worked as well on stains and smells as any other soap. I felt very Little House on the Prairie making my own soap too. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our New Addition







The sandbox! As soon as the rain stops and the temperatures rise past 60, I'm sure it will be a source of endless entertainment. The boys have tried playing in it numerous times only to come back inside with very cold red fingers and wet pants. These pictures were from the day we brought the sand home, and it's been chilly ever since. You'll notice the tarps we use to cover the sand, protecting it from use as a litter box- one under the sand and one over it. The end of the covering tarp is nailed to the playset so we just pull it up like a blanket and put a board on one end to keep it down. So far, our tarp covering system has worked great! The sand for the box was funded by some leftover boys' birthday money from various relatives, so on their behalf, we thank you!






Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Change

Wow have our lives changed. After 7 years of having small children, we have moved on to new territory:
- Everyone picks out their own clothes and gets themselves dressed
- Elijah can make breakfast for everyone and enjoys doing it
- Everyone goes to the bathroom on his own and 2 out of 3 can wipe (well).
- Everyone gets their own drinks most of the time
- Everyone buckles his own carseat
- Elijah can watch his brothers while I mow the grass, take the dog for a short walk around the court, run over to the neighbor's for a minute etc.
- They can clean their own room really well at the end of a day
- They can play a game together with almost no adult help
- Everyone knows his alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and basic Bible stories

It is a strange feeling to switch for child-care kinds of parenting to child-enrichment kinds of parenting. Now that so much of our energy isn't consumed by simply keeping them alive and healthy, there are all sorts of other things to think about. It is an interesting change and one I'm not wholly ready for, but who is ever ready for anything really.

Also, I've been trying lots of vegetable purees in foods that the kids like as a way to sneak more vegetables into their diets. I made up this recipe last night and they ate every bite- even Isaiah.

2 cups dry penne pasta cooked to package directions
While it's cooking make the sauce.
3/4 cup of carrot puree (I make these purees all at once and put them in the freezer then chop off blocks of veggie for almost everything we make- it's steamed carrots pureed really fine)
1/4 cup parm. cheese
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk it all together
Drain the pasta and return to stove on low
Stir in the sauce and a little olive oil or margerine. Heat through and stir until thick (so the eggs will be cooked)
Makes 4 small servings. The 3 boys ate all of it and thought they were eating mac and cheese with new shaped noodles.

We enjoyed Easter with the Crisp/Ledbetter clan in Indiana. thanks for a wonderful weekend family! We love you all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wrestling Match







stargazers


There is just something wonderful about the return of warm weather after a few months of cold. We appreciate things like taking walks, going for bike rides, playing outside after dinner until bedtime and laying on our backs on the sidewalk, looking up at the stars. If there was never this season of cold to make me long for the warm, would I appreciate it? And these 3 little boys we're blessed with, they are constant reminders to slow down and appreciate it. They rarely sense any of the urgency about doing daily tasks. They notice things and stop to enjoy them. I love that about them!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

No training wheels for Micah!

video

Hocking Hills
















I think this would count as our first family vacation with just the 5 of us, and we had a fantastic weekend. It was just 2 days, Saturday morning to Sunday evening, but the weather was perfect and the kids had a blast. Hocking Hills state park is in Ohio, and it is beautiful! I highly recommend it. On the way there, you drive through hills and forests, and at one point Elijah said, "I love Ohio!" I asked him why and he said, "Because there are more trees than houses!" That says it all for Elijah. He was in heaven!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Introduction to Poetry- Billy Collins

(or why I couldn't stand teaching poetry with a textbook)

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.