About Me

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Wife to the most amazing and loving husband, mother of four of the most beautiful children, child of a loving and gracious God.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Cutest little super hero ever..
Too bad you can't see Toto in his basket.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was in a minor accident that left me without my van (Michael will say it wasn't minor but the good thing was no one was hurt), our insurance company allows us a rental car and because they had no vans this is what they rented us a Ford Expedition EL (meaning extended length). I don't know if you know this but I'm only 5'1" maybe 5'2" so driving this humongous car is a bit daunting, but it was the only thing they had left that could fit the 6 of us. Apparently they get more requests for smaller cars, who knew. I drove it as little as possible, it was kind of good we were all sick and couldn't go anywhere, and I'm so glad after 2 weeks I have my van back.

Finally Pictures

We haven't taken too many pictures lately because....really who wants to see sick people, but we managed to squeeze in some with pumpkins, carving painting. More with costumes, later.

Unfortunately this was the only picture I got of them carving the pumpkin, I was too sick to be doing much else, and now that I look at it WOW that's a really big knife.
She just loves him so much, she's such a big help.
Instead of our Art Friday (we didn't want to get our friends sick..we just painted our pumpkins).
Yes even he got to paint one, he was so excited.
My wild child lots of discipline over the last several weeks, trying desperately to be consistent with her, so hard when you love them so much and they make you so crazy.
Love that smile.
Working very intently. -Always has to have pink..
Final product, our painted pumpkins and our, crying toddler (its a representation of the crying that goes on in our house at 5:30 during the week..HAHA).

Friday, October 30, 2009

1 Sam 16:7

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7

The Lord has been pressing this verse into my heart all week, I think it's one of the reasons I am sick so I can really see the chaos going on our life right now, some days not liking some of the things in my heart this week, mostly because I'm sick, so I'm focused only on me, not that I shouldn't be, but then I think about the past weeks and sometimes it hasn't been so pretty so it's good for me to remember my last post, so at least I can try to fit a little more in for the heart stuff, not just getting the order and jobs done. So I'm going to try and love on my husband and kids more and more every day so they can see that they are the priority and not me or the house or the schooling. Just God and them, the rest will get done.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MOM Questions - Did I

Took this from a blog I like to read from time to time and it was like being hit with a 2x4 because some days I fail them miserably when I get caught up in the minutiae of life, it's a to do list for my kids.

Did I hug them?
Did I kiss them?
Did I tell them that I love them?
Did we talk about Jesus?
Did we pray together?
Did we PLAY together?
Did I give them undivided attention?
Did I do something special for them?
Did I feed them?
Did we laugh together?
Did I console them?
Did we share a secret?
Did I encourage good habits?
Did I help them feel valued?
Did I show them something new?
Did we talk about the day?
Did I take care of some need?
Did I take CARE of them?
Did I make them feel precious?
Did I make them feel loved?
Did we make a good memory?
Did we read together?

Because some days, even lately, I'm trying to cut myself some slack because I'm sick and we are still trying to figure out our home school schedule, but at least I can say yes, I feed them, and yes every day I tell them several times that I LOVE THEM no matter what!

Baby Grace Santana

Our wonderful friends who just moved back to the area after 11 years (they were the first friends we had in VA - although Michael has known them since college)Just had their third beautiful daughter. Grace Mackenzie Santana was born on Oct. 22nd, she joins her two big sister Megan and Isabella. They are so beautiful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So it looks like the FLU

Finally got a dr.'s appt today and it looks like I have the flu. Never had the flu before, had bronchitis, pneumonia and multiple upper respiratory infections, but never the flu. Gotta tell you, it's not feeling so much different from the other illness, I have a headache, body aches,feverish, coughing and I'm exhausted. So glad Michael was able to come home early the last few days to take care of things and my friend Donna took the girls to gymnastics today (they are doing so much better), and me I have enough medication to hopefully clear me up by Friday. They took a blood test just to see if it was H1N1, can't possibly imagine where I would have caught that from, but you never know. However, after I am well, I will find a place that is offering FLU shots because this is the first time I have gotten so sick so early, does not set a good president for the rest of fall and winter. Jordan and Kaleigh are schedule to get the H1N1 flu shot tomorrow afternoon, I'm not 100% sold on the idea, but with their illnesses over the winter, better to be safe than sorry. Pray Michael doesn't come down with this too, it's so hard being a single parent and taking care of your sick spouse.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It was inevitable

Well the inevitable happened, now that the kids are getting better, Jordan is the only one still coughing, it's my turn to be sick and I can tell Michael is coming down with it too, hopefully this will pass quickly, and we can get on with our "normal life." Whatever that is..

Friday, October 23, 2009

Disinfecting the House

OK so four sick children, three with flu like symptoms on Tamaful and one with a sinus infection on antibiotics, two really exhausted parents of children with high fevers in the middle of the night, lots of runny noses, but I refuse to get sick...I'm disinfecting every crevice of my house! Does it count as exercise if you are pushing the 30lb floor mate to scrub the floors while holding your 17lb baby? I certainly hope so because I'm sweating up a storm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

15 months- a little late

OK so I'm a little late with Jaden's 15 months stats (gotta keep record of this stuff or I won't remember).

He is so cute.

OK he is a peanut, a little string bean. He weighs 17.45lbs, while he's gaining weight (which is great) and maintaining his own growth chart, he'll still be in a rear facing car seat. Oh well at least he has his sisters to make him laugh. He is on the chart for his height, albeit only at the 10th percentile but he's on at 29 1/2". Is he sleeping through the night (sort of) he still wakes some nights around 4:30 or 5:00 and will drain a 6oz bottle if given the option. The boy however eats, he eats breakfast with us, fruit, snacks then lunch, nap, more snacks, dinner from whatever we are eating and STILL has jar food at 7:00 before getting ready for bed. In between meals he has 6oz bottles of what they call NEXT step it's a cross between formula and milk (he really needs the calories) and juice and water.

He loves fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt and anything sweet of course. He's not a big meat person unless you consider a ham and cheese sandwich real meat. He loves pasta with lots of butter, sauce and cheese. He really likes macaroni and cheese, mash potatoes and his all time favorite thing...guacamole...That he really enjoys, especially the way Michael makes it, no chip needed, just eats it by the spoonful (well quite frankly everyone in our house like it).

He has given up morning naps (good and bad) and now takes a 2/12 hour to 3 hour nap in the afternoon, he goes to bed around 8:00 and sleeps until he wakes up to eat (whatever middle of the night time that is) and then goes right back to sleep until about 8:30 or so, sometimes earlier if the girls are really loud when they wake up and of course on CO-OP days, we have to leave the house by 8:30.

He has 6 teeth and last week alone he cut 3 molars (yes last week was rough sleeping for him).

He is such a cutie, he walks around hugging everyone, sometimes you're not even expecting it and he just comes and hugs your legs and then gives you his kiss a MUWA (I don't even know how to spell the sound he makes). If you are sitting on the floor he promptly plops himself right into your lap, and if someone is already there he will lean on them to push them out of the way or squeeze in between (he will not be left behind).

He has an incredible vocabulary as well, it's pretty wild, he reminds me a lot of Kaleigh which is a little scary because Kaleigh never takes a breath when she talks and she started saying full sentences by 18 months, he's headed that direction. He can say UP, PLEASE (sounds like peas), CHEESE (sound a little like pease but you can here the ch sound), AMEN, (which sounds like AAAYYYYmen - it's hysterical), MORE (sounds like mo but he uses sign language t0 indicate) BALL (sounds like Bbbaaaa), his word for bottle is BA, not to be confused with ball, I'm missing some..but can't remember them all...he also says mama and charges for the door screaming dada when Michael walks in the door. Oh yeah and today I asked him if he wanted juice and he actually said YEAH while nodding. Normally he just nods yes or no but today he said YEAH.. Too funny. He knows when we go out he has to get his shoes so he tries to say soouz and he sits so you can put them on points to his feet and says fee for feet, then runs to where the jackets are so you can get it, points to his head and says AT for hat. I love this age, its so much fun.

He climbs on anything given the chances and loves to tackle the girls, he thinks its funny, and is trying to run. I have to laugh because he can barely get 3 steps before he falls because he's going too fast. He really is just a love. It's hard to ever remember life before he got here, he just makes everything better. Everyone in this house adores him (even his closest rival Madison) they constantly just want to play with him, he's so much fun.

Michael looks like a giant next to him.

OH the sadness when you have a shorter nap then you should have...(laugh out loud).

Our Weekend

So our weekend turned out to be a little rough, after a minor fender bender on Saturday (thank goodness everyone is OK but my car is not) and trying to get anything done after you have an accident never amounts to anything, so best just to let it go and try to relax the rest of the day.

Well we sort of did that, after the girls and I (since we were the only ones in the car) got home we kind of just vegged out and Michael went to the library for us to return our books that were due that day and then proceeded to call and email friends to let them know that we would not be attending the dedication that most of our shepherd group was participating. I was a little depressed about the situation really, but would you know one of them called and asked we wanted to use their extra car so we could go to church and witness the event. My heart was over come, that they were so generous.

We really love the people in our shepherd group, some of us have been together for at least 6 years and some of us have just gotten together but they all feel like family. It's hard when you don't have any family in the area, and you really miss them, so you hope to make those family connections with people and when you do it really is special. So we are ever so grateful for the people in this group who not only support us, but love us as well, and what treasure it was for us to be there as they dedicated their children and pledge to raise them in God's ways.

By the way, had it not been so close to Kaleigh's birthday (the previous weekend) we probably would have participated and had Jaden dedicated as well, but we'll just have to wait and do it the next time the church does a dedication.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Update to my last Post

OK so I related the "realities" of homeschooling in my last post, now let me just list some of the benefits of our experience.


Jordan has slowly gained a level of confidence I have not ever seen from this child. She LOVES being home schooled, even on the days she fights that something is hard I ask her if she wants to go to a school and learn from a teacher...her answer and unequivocal "NO." She is reading and starting to read well, she is willing to do and try things she never would have before, hence the bicycle riding. She is learning to write cursive and my fighting to get her to write in manuscript has changed since she is learning to write cursive. She can't wait to write her name. This past week the girls and I had to do a presentation in front of all of our co-op families on Roman Architecture, Julius Cesar, Cesar Augustus and the birth of Jesus Christ (you can imagine condensing some of this information). Both girls did a great job, they had to act out some of the different characters and say some lines Jordan loved it, and because we were so busy with our presentation, we did not get to prepare for her show and tell, didn't matter she got up in front of her class and spoke randomly about the gymnastics class she and Kaleigh are taking. She is blossoming into a really sweet little girl. She is so happy, she is walking around hugging me all the time and telling me she loves me. Quite the difference from the girl who came home fighting to do homework every day last spring. She can tell you about Ancient History, she is learning Latin, she can tell you about the last book she read including almost all the details and why she liked it, she can tell you the noun, verb and pronoun in any sentence and she can skip count using songs by 2's, 3's, 4''s, 5's, 9's, 10's, and I think 11's. We are still working on 6, 7, 8 and 12's. She is learning to tell time to the minute and slowly learning time lapse. I am hoping to teach her how dissect a story, the main theme and then all the details, so she can learn to write her own. Will see how that goes, some days it's harder than others, but the joy I see when she gets something just fills me and lets me know we did the right thing for her.


What can I say about this child, she is an open gate to learning, she is amazing. She is a sponge! Where Jordan will fight me on things, Kaleigh can't get enough, she flies through her worksheets and wants to just keep learning. We went to her 6 year old check up and the doctor was really impressed at what she knew. She can read pretty well, she can skip count 2's, 5's and 10's. Can tell time to the 5 minute and wants to learn to write a story. She's a hoot. She was in her element doing our presentation, she's very social, loves CO-OP and really loves when Michael does science with them. She can also tell you about Ancient History like Jorda she was Julius Cesar and yes she did say "Et tu Brute?" when Jordan stabbed her. (I wish I could have gotten pictures of this). Will see what she will do with all this brain God has given her. She does make it easy to teach (so far).


She can tell you the colors, yellow, red, pink, purple, green and red. She can count to almost 10 and can tell you when she has only one in her hand that she wants 2 or 3. She loves singing the songs the girls sing for Co-op even if she doesn't know what it means. She loves singing the 10 commandments, it's one of the songs, it's her favorite. She loves playing with Jordan and Kaleigh and getting to do science with Michael as well.

What I love about homeschooling, other than being with my kids and seeing the confidence that comes from them, is the love they are really growing for each other and for me. They always want to sit on my lap (all of them) they fight to see who can sit on my lap first. Even Jaden will try to push them off if he wants them to (he's hysterical) he refuses to be pushed aside because he's the baby. If he can't get them to move, he'll resort to screaming, that usually works. I am learning new things every day, and new ways to teach things. It's fun and I'm so glad that God has led me to this place. Even though I may not have hours to myself any more, or I get frustrated that my house is sometimes a disaster, it is TOTALLY worth it.

Although these pictures have nothing to do with this post, it was too cute not to put up. Since it's been so cold her lately we had to get hats and winter coats for the kids, this one was to cute to pass up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NO Pics - Just an Observation

OK So all the home school mom's I've talked to have prepared me for the chaos your house will become when you home school.

1. Your house will never be as clean as when your children are not there all day.
2. You will have to work hard at finding time to do your errands other than the middle of the day when you kids are at school.
3. You have to try and find a little time to yourself, even if it's only 1/2 an hour a day, so you don't go crazy.
4. You will be so busy making sure your kids have enough social activities, (after all part of going to a regular school is the socialization) that you will find it hard to get in all of your school work.
Finally, it is super hard to get any type of schooling routine done with little ones around (they have no idea how hard).

So while we have experienced all of these things....

I have let my house go to some degree, after all I can't live in a pigsty so I have to make sure things are picked up at least by 5:00.

I try to do errands on Sat mornings, or when Michael comes home from work depending on how bad that errand needs to be done.

I usually stop doing school around 3:00 or so and the smaller children are still sleeping so I usually have about an hour to myself until they wake up, and Jordan and Kaleigh are either watching TV or playing on the computer, or playing with their friends once they come off the bus.

We are starting to get a little too social with our calendar, although they love it and we do school in the afternoon and that's fine, but figuring out how much school work can get done and still be social is still the balance.

Finally figuring out how to entertain Madison and Jaden while doing school is a HUGE challenge but, we found some good activities to do for them, small things that seems to be really working and doing school with Madison is working great. She gets 15-20 minutes of my day first and she loves it and can now name up to 5 colors and is working on recognizing the letters A and M. So cute.

What I was not expecting was how much my laundry would suffer. If I have to have it piled up clean in laundry baskets that's one thing but some days I can't get a load in until it's too late. If I skip a day or two of laundry, I'm in big trouble...I guess I just need a bigger washing machine so I CAN get more laundry done in shorter amount of time. Guess I know what we will be saving up for this year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Almost Caught Up

As usual we have been extremely busy, life of a home school mom is crazy. My blogging is definitely taking a back seat. After the craziness of a busy couple of weeks.....Michael traveling...and a few birthday's I am catching up. Jaden is 15 month (I'll have to post on that later)....and Kaleigh is 6... Jordan is riding her bike by herself and just some good old fashion family time together. So after a week of insanity and a very busy weekend. Michael took the kids for an hour long bike ride today, so I could have a little peace and quiet. Jaden and especially Madison loved to ride in the trailer and the big girls can ride on their own. He took to a park and kicked the ball around and just had a good time with them....and I got to rest....I Love My Husband.

Happy Birthday Mom

October is a busy month for birthdays in our family we have 4 birthday's before the end of the month. This year we were blessed to celebrate my mom's birthday with all the grand kids, the only one missing was my sister :(

My brother came with my niece and nephew for a visit for Kaleigh's birthday and I love when they come. Not only do I miss them when they are not here, but my kids just love playing with them. We took them to an open house at the local firestation. All of Fairfax County was having open houses to promote fire safety, (thanks Sarah for letting us know) and so we took the kids to give them something else to do. They had so much fun, and got to enjoy just being together.

Happy Birthday Kaleigh

We celebrated Kaleigh's birthday this weekend. I can't believe she has turned 6. I don't understand how quick that went by. She is amazingly smart and athletic and just so much fun. Some days you just want to say WOW... where did you come from...We went to the germ factory called Chuck-E-Cheese, she loved it, having all of her friends there was great and I didn't have to do much clean up or preparation, that was a bonus..

Not sure how you can sleep at Chuck-E-Cheese but apparently you can.
Jordan's best friend Brady, he really likes hanging out with our girls.

Fall for Fairfax

We went to the Fall for Fairfax fair this year. It is a free fair that they always hold in October, the kids have fun, we usually make a scarecrow and and take the train ride and eat lots of food, but this year we decided to just do the train ride and some of the free booths. The kids had as much fun as always and we didn't have to hear...."This straw is itchy..when are we going to be done with this scarecrow?"

Recycling toss, he loves to walk now, it's all he wants to do.
Train ride, kids paid and the parents ride for free for each paying child.
They thought the painting was great, and I did too for a minute then, I realized...huh...we are outside with a little tiny sink to wash away all this paint...maybe not the smartest idea...good thing we didn't wear any good clothes.
The only time they get to sit on a public bus.

Art Day

Friday has become Art Day in our house, after a week of working hard at school, Friday is our fun day, we have been doing some school but mostly the fun stuff. So lately we have done art day, one day we did a study on plants and the changing leaves and painted with apples. The next Friday we did Art Day with friends and made paper pumpkins. The kids really enjoyed themselves, not only painting, but spending time with friends and my kids got to be big helpers being the big kids. It was great.