Friday, August 27, 2010


There is no better team than Team Family! You can encourage team building activities by engaging your family in a goal to accomplish together.

Clint and Brandon getting the poles for the teepee. Emily and Hannah rode in the truck to watch the choosing, cutting and then the moving of the poles.

The middles enjoyed trimming the limbs.
Six year old Bethany did an entire tree by herself!
The boys really got into it! After the limbs were off, they chopped through two trees!

Clint deciding which parts he'll use for the 16' lengths. After he cut them, he had us help him put all of the poles on top of each other. Then, because we were concerned the teepee would fall on our children, he drilled holes and threaded them together with a cable. We wrapped wire around the outside for additional support.

While we kept everyone else at a safe distance, it took the two teens and us parents to raise the poles and then maneuver them into place. Clint further braced the frame with some extra wood we had around. That made it much stronger and safer for our rough and tumble children. We wrapped it with two brown 20x18 tarps and plan to let each person paint Native American symbols on it.

This project cost us only $30 for the two tarps, $5 for the rope we attached the tarps with and one afternoon of family time. In return, we had another opportunity to work and play together by accomplishing a goal with lasting benefits. Every time the children see the teepee in the yard, they will think about how we accomplished it by working together.

We designed our own teepee, but there are plenty of plans on the internet you can use in constructing your own. You can also develop a lesson plan to go along with the design and construction, but our family built ours just for fun.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anniversary Surprise

On Tuesday, Clint and I celebrated 22 years of marriage and 25 years since we started dating!
For most of our anniversaries, I have been expecting or nursing a baby and not able to do much. This year, Clint surprised me with a fairy tale like day!

First, I was able to sleep late!
Then, he came walking into the room!
I thought he had lost his job!! He was smiling though, so I knew that wasn't right!
As he handed me gifts, he told me he had the entire day planned out and to get my shower so we could go!

My gifts were: roses, a beautiful card where he wrote the sentiment, a figurine for my collection, Lady Godiva chocolates and a mystery novel.

Then he took me to breakfast!

After that, we spent time touring the ruins and learning the history of Rosewell, something I have always wanted to do.

Then we spent some time alone on a private beach.

Posted by Picasa

Anniversary Surprise #2

Then we toured Williamsburg Winery and enjoyed a wine tasting.

16th Century Spanish Coat of Arms
Posted by Picasa

Anniversary Surprise #3

Then we reserved our tour aboard the Schooner Alliance.

It was the perfect day to enjoy Yorktown's Riverwalk.

USAF Heritage of America Concert Band
Posted by Picasa

Anniversary Surprise #4

We so enjoyed our time aboard the schooner. Captain Greg, his wife Laura and their employee John were excellent hosts. They made us feel relaxed and welcomed.

John is an employee aboard the Alliance. He is a charismatic and enthusiastic person and made the trip more enjoyable. He and I were the only ones barefoot!

As we sailed down the river, it was nice to point to where our home rests along the shores of the beautiful York River to the visitors who fell in love with our area.

Clint and I enjoyed raising a sail together. You can participate as much or as little as you choose. Greg, John and Laura also fired a canon in honor of our anniversary!

After sailing for two hours, we enjoyed a late dinner and finally made it home around 11:30 p.m.

It was a perfect day and we were sad to see it end!

Thank you to everyone who made our day more special by sending well wishes :-)!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't Let the Cute Fool Ya!

Em "posing" for the camera! :-)
This was taken BEFORE she lopped her lovely locks.

Hannah sleepy from nursing.

Don't let the cute fool ya! This energetic duo keeps me hopping and makes more mess than a tornado.
Although they often have me pleading with the Almighty for more patience and energy, I love every minute I have with them.
Posted by Picasa

Bethany's Game

Bethany's choice of an activity to do with Clint and I was to show us the progress on her favorite video game Littlest Pet Shop.

All of Bethany's character's names rhyme with her name. :-)
Finger smudges are courtesy of Emily and Hannah.
Posted by Picasa

Emily and the Potty

Emily fell asleep waiting for things to happen.
The artwork on the side of the potty is hers.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Miss Em Rocking the Toddler Hair Cut

Cutting hair while one is a toddler seems to be a rite of passage!
Emily sure didn't want to miss out on the event each of her siblings has visited.
She climbed over two baby gates and got into the safety scissors in the middle children's art cabinet.
Our sweet friend Lisa gave us a tip to make it look a little better until it grows out.
Thank you Lisa!!
We have so enjoyed your stories of children's experiments in cutting hair.
The most horrifying are also the most hilarious!
Amanda bought the shirt in the bottom picture to go with the bad hair cut.
I think I'll buy a headband and see if wearing that conceals the worst of it.
I guess Hannah will be next? :-)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


A kind lady named Cynthia gave us some tadpoles for our homeschool.
Brandon and Amanda have raised them a few times, but the middles were too little to remember it.
Cynthia was a gracious host to our family. She took her time and showed us her pond, fish, frogs and tadpoles. She let the children feed the fish from their fingers. She was patient with Emily. Cynthia also printed us some materials for our homeschool. She was a very sweet to us!

After that, we dined on KFC's buffet. While there, a man and his wife stopped by our table and told us we had a nice family, well behaved children and everyone seemed "so cheerful." It was a nice compliment!

Right as we were cleaning up to leave, a lady stopped by and introduced herself. She was one of nine children. She said our family reminded her so much of her younger days. She was there eating with her father and grandparents. She complimented us on the children's behavior. Then, she paid for our meal and shared her faith with us. She was delighted to hear we are Christians also. We had a wonderful time of fellowship!

We've had a rough few weeks. We've had to meet several deadlines while keeping homeschool for five going so we can meet our goals of taking time off in September, November and December. I've had to make the children homeschool when they didn't want to do it. That's not been fun for them or me. We've fell behind on the outdoor work. Appliances have given us a fit and one had to be replaced. Brandon's car blew a fuse and he's been taking my truck. We've had plumbing leaks. A family pet died. The entire family came down with illness after VBS and that took two weeks to go through all of us. As if that wasn't enough...

We took in two dogs that needed a home last week. Only, one of them took off like its tail was on fire after thunder scared it Friday night. The former owners are good friends of ours. While they are understanding, we feel terrible the dog ran off. We have put up over 25 fliers in our neighborhood, drove around for hours, called agencies, put her on many different lost pet lists, advertised in print and online, looked high and low on our place for her, etc. We know she has not been back since Friday because there weren't any tracks left Saturday or Sunday. (We have "track traps" in several areas of our place.) Due to the late nights, my illness relapsed and I was exhausted on Sunday.

I had promised the children a nice, quiet, uninterrupted family time for weeks. It kept getting put off and once we were all well, I promised to do it on Sunday. Sunday came and we were still looking for the dog. After searching the roads and local paths that morning, I told the children there would be no more interruptions due to the dog. It was time to settle in and just be together. The power went out for 5-6 hours ruining our plans for a family movie and homemade Blizzards.

After all of normal craziness in this life, God is still there. He's watching over us and cares about the things we have to deal with each day. I really like it when He sends people our way to remind us of that! Between Cynthia's kindness and the two strangers at KFC, we feel like God came down and gave us a hug today!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 05, 2010