Monday, December 5, 2011

Picking Out a Christmas Tree!

It's been a fun weekend, minus being sick. Friday we went to a Christmas tree nursery. Samantha picked the tree and Derrick and Bailey cut it down. We drank some apple cider and the kids ate candy canes. I love getting a real tree and the smell of them! We came back home and decorated it. I went to rent a movie and found that Reasor's video was closing down and they were selling everything. So, I bought The Nativity for $1.99. I also bought a bunch of other favorites, like The Ultimate Gift,Saving Sarah Cain, Flywheel, and some others for $1.99. We watched The Nativity that night. Saturday Derrick left and went to Dallas to run in the Dallas Marathon on Sunday! He did very well. He ran a 4:10, though his goal every year is to break 4:00. His best time is 4:01. We stayed home this time. That was a very lazy Saturday and Isabella and I were just beginning to feel the sickness Samantha had passed on to us. We didn't get hardly a thing done except watch a movie, eat, and Christmas shop online. So, that was fun. On Sunday we were unable to go to church but we did later in the day eat lunch at grandmas and let Bella nap while we went and grabbed more lights and ornaments. Derrick had said we should get more decorations and lights so the kids wanted to make everything look different for when Derrick came home. We put some lights on the porch outside and the kids hung a whole bunch of different colored birds they had picked out for the tree. Gigi got them some and I got them some.
My mom usually liked our Christmas tree to be decorated all red or all blue and it was really pretty. For instance, she would have all red lights, all red sparkly boots ornaments, all red beads...I loved it when we would get a real tree and she would spray frost on it. I love the story decorations on a tree can tell. Already I have so many stories. The kids have made some of the decorations, some ornaments have been given as gifts, I have some ornaments with their baby pictures, I show the kids which ornament was the first one I bought for them, one says, "Joy" which is Olivia's middle name...
I thought that I arranged the pictures to go in order from top to bottom but I did it backwards. If you want to see the pictures in order you can scroll to the bottom and go up.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Sweet Veteran's Day

Today was a very busy but very blessed day. It was Town Day (I have been learning how to schedule and organize better by reading Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. Love it!) and very full. Instead of going to co-op we were in the Veteran's Day parade! The kids didn't know what to think about that! When we got home Samantha said, "When I was in the parade I forgot about my whole life! It was like...I was always in a parade." I think I know what feeling she meant but I loved the way she articulated it. ;) Bailey carried a sign with a picture of Derrick that said, "My dad serves in the Air National Guard." We brought candy to throw but learned that we were not allowed to throw it because it would be dangerous if the children ran out in the street to get it. It was really neat. We were in line with the Homeschool Fellowship group from Tulsa Bible Church.

After the parade we ran home for a bit. Then we were off to take Samantha to piano lessons, a quick run by the store, and a trip to the doctor! Livi had her 18-month "Well-child check." She is in the 90th percentile for height! Wow! None of our other children have ever been even close to that. She is 25th percentile for weight. She has gained 2 and a half pounds in the past 3 months. She eats very, very well. ;)

After dinner tonight Derrick and I were invited by the kids to a "meeting." Bailey said he was "the mayor." It was so sweet and really blessed my heart. They basically put on a church service. Isabella sang "Jesus Loves Me." Samantha had some hymn sheets that she saves from church that she used when she performed on "the stage" for us. She sang, "I Will Rise." Bailey gave us all Bibles and had us read aloud scripture. Then Bailey announced that we were going to give testimonies about "How we became Christians." Derrick and I gave our testimonies "on the stage." Such sweet family time. I hope they invite us to another. ;)

Now Bailey and Samantha are going to help me make a cake for Isabella's Birthday Tea Party tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

At the Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch with Papa Mitchell, Grandma Bobber, Cousin Aaron, Uncle Jaared, Aunt Stephanie, & baby Sophie. It was fun and so nice outside. Derrick said if they could pick it up they could have it! ;)I think they surprised us all with how strong they were! It was really funny to see Bay's face turn red and distressed when he picked one up with all his might.Livi got a little teensy one that she bit a couple of times at first. They went on a really nice hay ride that was pulled by two fancy horses. Someone got away with our wagon of pumpkins that Derrick had already bought (except for Liv's) so they had to pick one out twice. It was a fun fall break and we had gone to the zoo the day before. It was also a really nice day outside.

When we got home from the pumpkin patch we enjoyed watching quite a storm with the most hail I have ever seen accumulated on our back porch. It almost looked like a sheet of snow. I will try to remember to put pictures of it on here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Original Nilla Banana Pudding

I have not had this since I was a child and at Omie and Papa's house. Omie made it a lot! Grandpa called it "Chitlins." The kids and I call it "Opossum Stew" ( From the Berenstein Bear's Love Their Neighbors). I put this on here for Dana because I was telling her how yummy it was. Licking the bowl from the custard alone was such a treat! They don't have Nilla wafers in France but I am sure Dana will find a yummy substitute. The trouble for me is I am having a hard time making the meringue and I know it would taste all the better if I could get it to whip up. Let me know if you know any tricks to making good meringue!

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup flour
dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
45 Nilla wafers (Being Gluten-free I had to substitute with Gluten-free graham crackers and it was really yummy!)
5 medium ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup of the sugar,flour, and salt in top of double broiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water 10-12 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Reserve 12 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1-1/2 qt. baking dish; cover with layer of 1/3 each of the remaining wafers and sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of the remaining custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

Beat egg whites on high with electric mixer until soft peaks from. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks from. Spoon over custard; spread evenly to cover entire surface of custard and sealing well to edge.

Bake 15-20 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Top with reserved 12 wafers just before serving.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A loooong 6 months!

So here we were; it was just us for the loooongest time! Derrick was on a 6 month deployment to Cuba. There were so many happenings! The first 3 months were really hard. An ice storm caused a lot of damage and we had to have our wall and kitchen floor ripped out and redone. I've written a little about that already. Oh, how much more I appreciate Derrick and all the things he does. I had no idea how hard he worked outside of work taking care of things for us. He didn't say anything about certain things he does and I had to take care of a lot of things so I got to see it.
We skyped with Derrick a lot. He came home at the end of July, the day after Bailey's birthday. We were so thankful to have him back and had such a great time with him as he had over a month off from work. That was SO much fun! Now Derrick is back at work and the kids and I back to our lessons. We are planning and preparing to go visit "The Cousins" in France in December and are really excited about that! The plan is to go on a double date with Ryan and Dana to the Eiffel Tower!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teaching Roman Numerals

I'm just cutting and pasting this here so I don't forget...

Okay - here is a great little way to teach Roman Numerals, my kids got it in one lesson with just minor review.

(this idea comes from Waldorf stories - and from Serendipity site)
Tell whatever story you want - Waldorf uses gnomes, but you could use animals, children whatever.

The gnomes wanted to count their gems - (squirrels/acorns, birds/seeds, etc). To keep track, they lined sticks up. One gem - one stick, two gems, two sticks, 3 gems, 3 sticks - but then they realized they were going to need a lot of sticks. So one of the gnomes took two sticks and formed a V - this will stand for 5 - see when I hold out my hand and 5 fingers, I make a V (thumb and pointer finger make a V). And one before 5 is four (one stick before a V). Then they continue counting - adding sticks to the five until they get to 8. Again they decide this is too many sticks, so one of the gnomes says - hey, let's cross two sticks to make an X - when I cross my hands across my chest, I have 10 fingers. and of course, one before 10 is nine.

This is a very brief way to introduce the basic concept of Roman Numerals, and to get you started. If you introduce the numbers this way, they love it, and it really is easy to learn quickly. I think it is a necessary skill, but not one you need to spend lots of lessons on. Teach it and move on - it will come up again in other situations (outlining, studying the Romans etc.)

Serendipity Gnomes and Gnumbers lessons (


Saturday, July 2, 2011

California Day 3

It has taken me so long to post all of California that I have kind of forgotten the order of events! I'm going to try to go in order as best as I can and post more pictures! ;) I think it was the 3rd day that we drove to John MacArthur's church! I was really excited about that. We had stopped by the beach to play first and got lost on this looooong, twisty, crazy, and very hilly road and were almost dead empty on gas! Thankfully we made it to a gas station but we were having flashes of us being stranded running through our minds. We went back and forth between being scared and being delirious and making jokes about it until we found our way to the city. We prayed that the car would make it! I think? this was the day we made it to our hotel, The Annabella, right across the street from Disneyland. The hotel was really nice. Then the next morning we went to Disneyland in the morning. Then we we went to the beach and ate grilled chicken, tortillas, homemade pico, beans, cheese...So yummy! Then we went back to Disneyland for the night. We wished we had spent 2 days there now.

"Toad's Wild Ride" was our favorite ride and we road it atleast 3 times I think. I couldn't believe for so many of the rides they would just let you take your baby right along with you so I got to ride a lot too! The next morning I went and had coffee with my friends, Tom and Kisha, who live in California! Then we had breakfast at the Annabella and got back on the road.