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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jacob's birthday party

Ah...it's over. And it was a resounding success (if we do say so ourselves :D). The kids all had a great time, and I think the adults did, too. Of course, my little humility-saver (AKA Jacob) was in full force today. As soon as Bonnie and Kaili arrived, Jacob informed them, "Do NOT go into Mommy and Daddy's room because that's where they put everything and it's a MESS!!" Thanks, buddy. Keeping my pride in check!

Thankfully, the weather was beautiful. We couldn't have had a more perfect day for an outdoor party. When I woke up this morning and saw the bright sky, I was SO relieved. When the kids first go there, they played on the swingset in the back yard and ran around.



Then, we played "Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin". We had a few technical difficulties...

101_2720...like the board falling over!...

101_2724And the fact that we couldn't keep the blindfold over the kids' eyes...

101_2726Problem solved! (stocking hat over face)


Poor pumpkin never did get a nose! Well, later one of the boys moved his nose to the right spot. :D

Next, we cooked hot dogs over the fires.


...and then ate.


After eating, the kids ran off to play some more, but the swing got a little dangerous as it got darker. Instead of cake, we decorated sugar cookies that I baked earlier.




We had some beautiful creations, let me tell you! After the cookies, Jacob got to open his presents.




You think maybe he had fun? Look at that smile! And now, Jeff and I are going to put him to bed and CRASH and relax. (Although, I'm sure Jacob would remind us that, before we go to bed, we're going to clear off all the junk we left on it!! :D Haha...oh, well...it was worth it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween craziness

Every year we have a big Halloween party, and every year it's a big stressful thing because I make most of our costumes myself, and every year I swear next year I'm starting earlier, and every year I am still sewing as people come to the door. And this year we are having TWO Halloween parties!! Aaaaaaaa!!!

Jacob loves Halloween. Llloooooovvvvveeessss it. The costumes, the decorating, the music (the child listens to Werewolf of London, Monster Mash, and Purple People Eater as he sleeps!)...everything. So, for his fifth birthday (which isn't actually until November), his "friend party" is going to be a Halloween costume party. This Saturday. Hoooo boy. Then, the big family Halloween party is actually Nov. 1. Because that's the first free Saturday we all had.

So, the next couple of weeks will be pretty crazy, what with the last football game, the party, the Rams game (that's the newly resurgent Rams to you! :D), a birthday party, a going away party, and a carnival at church...and that's just this weekend!! Yikes. It's going to be great, though, and my challenge is to enjoy and make the most of this time rather than spending it stressing out and hating everybody around me. Let's hope I'm up to that challenge. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dance fever

We went to my cousin's weding tonight. While we were sitting at the reception waiting for the dancing to begin, Jacob told me, "I wish there was another little person here who's a girl so we could pretend to be married and dance together."

He did his share of dancing with me, which got Jeff off the hook (for which I'm sure he was profoundly grateful). He also danced with my niece, Kelsea, and with my mom. Of course, "dancing" mostly meant twirling your arms up and then spinning back around with a few break dancing moves thrown in (by Jacob...the rest of us were able to restrain ourselves, lol). He was quickly commandeered by a little girl at the reception, though, and they were hilarious to watch.

He was all about the dancing. And the girls. Looks like we might have a little Romeo on our hands! (ugh)

Because I like for my posts to be a multi-media extravaganza (ha ha), we also have a video for you. Unfortunately, our digital camera doesn't film well in the dark, so it's a little hard to make out what's going on. As your eyes get accustomed to the dark, though, you can definitely see that the little girl is in the lead!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jacob's pumpkin farm field trip (as narrated by him)

Playing around with the "Photo Story" feature of our family website. It's kind of cool. The narration is a little painful, but hey...he's four!

Book review: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book has it all. History, architecture, mystery, characters you care about, an interesting plot, and characters you love to hate! And, in almost 1,000 pages, Ken Follett has plenty of space to develop all of the above.

Pillars of the Earth is a sweeping epic, covering decades of English history as it follows several characters and their efforts to build--or stop the building of--a church at Kingsbridge Priory, a monastary in England during the Civil Wars of the 1100s. It's an interesting look at why and how great churches were build in those times, a peek into ways of life very different from most of ours (a monastary, the poor family of a master builder, a king fighting to keep his throne, and a nobleman who'll do anything to increase his power and standing), and a frightening glimpse at what life could be like for ordinary citizens when the powerful people around them were limited only by their own consciences (or, often, lack thereof).

The book may be long, but it is very readable...and you won't want to put it down until you get to the resolution.

View all my reviews.

Pumpkin farm

Went to Relleke Farms with Jacob's day care today. And remembered the camera. Yea! The kids got to do a lot for the $6.50 the field trip cost. Check it out!

First, the kids got to play in an area with a straw pyramid and a climbing area. The first picture shows the pyramid (and Jacob, in line in the red and blue jacket). The second picture shows Jacob at the top of the pyramid.


101_2395"I'm the king of the world!!!!

Next, they did pony rides. Jacob waited very patiently until his turn.


He enjoyed his ride. Wasn't a bit scared. I think this might be his first pony ride without one of us standing next to him. (And I made it through just fine, thanks. :D)


They got to feed the goats and see geese, pigs, a llama, a cow, and rabbits.


Of course, a trip to the pumpkin farm wouldn't be complete without a hayride!


Jacob and his friend Emma covered me in hay, which was so fun. Or not. Good thing I'm not allergic to hay.

After the hayride, the kids got to go through a small corn maze on their own and then a much bigger one with the grown-ups. Jacob was having a great time being the (self-appointed) leader when one of his friends decided to take a turn at the head of the pack and led the group the rest of the way out. That didn't go over well. :)


I'm not sure, but I think something might be bothering him here. Haha. Oh, the trials of being four! Then, in solidarity with their crabby friend, the rest of the kids turned around and refused to have their pictuers taken!


Right before going home, all of the kids got to pick out their own pumpkin.


Um, not that one, boys!!

It was a great day! Even felt like fall, especially to those who had forgotten our jackets. :O

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My babies are growing up

Last week, Nathan went to Homecoming with his girlfriend. This weekend, Daniel went to our Homecoming. AAAAAA!!!!! How did they get so grown up??

Football and homecoming 363Daniel and Leona

101_1773Nathan and Jenny

They sure do clean up well, though, don't they? :)

Friday, October 10, 2008


At my small group at church on Wednesday, for some reason God's favor came up. One of the girls was talking about getting her job, a good job that she was in no way qualified for (but has done very well at). It made me get to thinking about when I got my job.

I am definitely qualified for my job, and I'm good at what I do; however, the job I was initially hired for wasn't one I wanted at all...and I told them that. I interviewed with the principal and the special ed coordinator for a job teaching 7th grade special ed, but I really wanted to teach at the primary level. I was very upfront about this, even on the phone initially, but I told them I'd be glad to talk to them about the job.

I was interested in the way that they were structuring the special ed program, and after interviewing they asked if I would be interested in the position. I told them that I would only be interested if I could teach language arts and social studies and that I understood if they weren't able to say that at the time and knew of someone who wanted to teach at the middle school level and would do a great job for them. And they still called me and offered me the job!!!

I really didn't enjoy that year, nor was I all that good at the job, but towards the end of the year the special ed K-1 teacher's husband received notice of a military transfer...and I was on the phone immediately with the special ed coordinator: "Remember how I wanted to work at the primary level??" This is my sixth year teaching K/1 (now just 1), and I love it!

My point in all of this is that there was really no big reason for them to hire me. I had interviewed at three other schools and not been offered a position, so I'm obviously not absolutely stellar in an interview. And I told them I didn't really want the job. Looking back, I see the hand of God all over that hiring process...and I am so blessed by His actions on my behalf. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kids say funny things...


We were out hiking yesterday afternoon with Jacob. Beautiful day!! He had already jumped on me once for saying something that he was going to say before HE said it (the nerve! "Great minds think alike" was no consolation). Well, while hiking he said something I had been about to say, so I said, "Oh, I was thinking the same thing!" (You know, modelling that it really is OK and no reason to rip someone's head off)

"You must have been reading my mind!" he said.

"Maybe you were reading my mind," I replied.

"Mommy!" he responded, "I wasn't even looking at your head!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Answered prayers

This is a quickie because I'm dead tired and headed to bed. Couple of things I wanted to note first, though.

1. I was really disappointed last month when Jeff and I were unable to pull together a volleyball team for a local league. I had really been hoping to keep playing this fall. When it didn't happen, I was pretty upset for a day or two and then just accepted it with the attitude that "if I'm supposed to get to play, it'll happen" and just put it into God's hands.

2. At school, I'm having a wonderful year so far, as I've noted before. Of course, there are always challenges. I pray almost daily for creativity and patience and for God to help me do the best possible job in my classroom. On Wednesday in my small group at church, my prayer intention was for God to help me reach two students who have some particular problems that I haven't been able to address very successfully.

3. Jacob has been dying to go to Six Flags for Fright Nights (Halloween stuff, which he and his daddy LOVE), but we have NOT had the money to go.

So....why am I writing about this now?

1. A couple we know from volleyball called last night and asked us to play on their volleyball team. :) !!

2. I'm not sure exactely how it happened, but K. (one of the students who was my Wednesday intention) seemed to make a real breakthrough with her counting, which is a HUGE difficulty for her. I had said a couple of things to her in the process of doing some counting, but I'm sure it was nothing she hasn't heard before. Anyway, we'll see how she does next week, but something just seemed to click. She normally can't count past 3 or 4 with 1:1 correspondence (that is, she can count to whatever, but she can't correctly count how many in a set of, say 7 objects...except that today she could), but today she counted sets of 7 and 8 correctly.

3. My sister-in-law invited us to go to Six Flags with them tonight. They had free passes, so all it cost us was parking and gas to get there.

I am definitely seeing God's hand at work here, and I am SO thankful to Him...both for these blessings AND for allowing me to SEE and RECOGNIZE Him working in my life.