Today the kids and I decided to make our own playdough. We had fun! And much to my surprise it actually turned out.
Madelyn explains, " We made playdough. We used flour,salt and water. My mom added lemon so it would smell good. I helped stir it. We thought we had messed up because it was gooey and lumpy and stinky. We took it off the stove then we grinded it. It got better. Then we played with it."
Today Madelyn was helping me make bread and she asked me,"What is this?" I answered, "That is yeast." Her eyes got big and she replied, "Ohhh, just like a yeast infection!" Umm, how do you know about those. And she said she heard about them on tv. UH OH!
Sorry for the ranting yesterday. Thanks for not holding it against me!
Today our sweet Madelyn accepted Jesus into her heart!!!! It was the sweetest thing. We were reading books and she blurted out that a girl in her VBS class had to go talk to Mr. Kolby's wife (He is our children's paster) because she asked Jesus into her heart. So I told her, like I have many times before, that when she is ready to talk about that just tell mommy or daddy. She said she was ready so I talked to her and she said she needed Jesus in heart because of her sins. Jarrett took a half day off today because we were speaking at the Crisis Pregnancy Outreach workshop. So he came in the room and we walked her through some illustrations and she said she was ready. Nathan helped talk to Madelyn about Christ as well. It was precious. He could tell her things so she could understand. Sometimes us adults just try to make things way to complicated. We all got on our knees and Daddy led her in a prayer. We realized that it was exactly a year ago today that Nathan asked Jesus into his heart! She was so excited! She called her grandparents and told my parents in person when we got there this afternoon!! We are going to have both kids talk with Kolby and then schedule Baptism.
As a parent this was one of the best days of my life. I know she is young but I think her child like faith is amazing. She isn't jaded!
I have been in a bad mood since I returned from vacation. I don't really know why, maybe post vacation blues... I have never had that before though. Maybe it has something to do with the fact we had a 17 hour drive home that we did in one day. We were going to sleep in the next day but our kids woke us up at 6:30 am. So much for sleeping. I think we had gotten to bed sometime after 1:00 am. Then it was yard mowing, grocery shopping, unpacking, laundry, and going through the mail time. We spent several hours that day at urgent care because Nathan's ear was draining puss and blood and he felt terrible. The next morning VBS started so I had to get there early to set up my room and get the crafts ready. The dog ate Nathan's peanut butter tortilla and barfed on my new carpet, Madelyn left gum in her pocket and it got all over my dryer, milk has been spilled, two sets of sheets have been peed on, so that is why I wish I was back in Florida. I am whiny and complainy and I know I need to put things in perspective. Maybe it is just PMS!
Yesterday we hung out with Jarrett's sister and her 2 kiddos that just so happened to be vacationing a few miles down the beach. We had fun swimming and hanging out with them. We got to go to Water Color and see their house and let me just say it was GORGEOUS! We needed a break from the sun so we headed to the outlet mall in Destin then to San Destin to visit Baytowne Wharf. It was the coolest place. There were some unique shops and restaurants that are along the bay side of the Gulf of Mexico. We ate at this cool Oyster restaurant. We had some great seafood, ok, well I got a hamburger, but it was a really good hamburger. After that we went to Seaside, which is the town that the movie, "The Truman Show" was filmed in and just looked around. The kids have been exhausted at night so there is no trouble getting them to bed.
Today we went to the beach early but had to leave because of a thunderstorm but it quickly passed. We also celebrated our friend Chris's birthday today. He and Lisa are out on a birthday date right now. Nathan started having a stuffy nose yesterday and now he has an ear infection. Thankfully we packed a pharmacy with us and in it there were some antibiotic ear drops from his last one. Tomorrow we are going to Shell Island on a catamaran. We are surprising the kids with this first thing in the morning. We are hoping for good weather.
Just a funny: Last night Madelyn asked if we could eat cow utters. Where do they come up with this stuff??
I love vacation! We are all feeling so relaxed and rested and definitely well fed. I have really enjoyed watching my kids swim, collecting shells, play in the sand and just hanging out. I know I am with them all the time but they are just different on vacation. I love this type of vacation because there is no schedule, no time tables, no rushing. We can just do whatever we feel like and spend fun time together. Jarrett is actually reading a book and I am on my second. Our house has a deck off the kitchen that is nice and shaded and has a couple of those Adirondack chairs. That is where I love to read.
Today we had fun building a giant moat in the sand. Madelyn and Nathan boogie boarded again. (For those of you who asked, I did boogie board yesterday but there is no pic of it. The only pics that Jarrett has taken of me are from behind (not nice!), or of Nathan wiping his snot on my boob, or of me eating.) Madelyn was funny at the beach this morning. I started taking pictures of her playing and then she just started posing. It looked like she was at a photo shoot.
Tonight we hung out at Rosemary Beach, ate ice cream at the Sugar Shack, and then let Nathan and Madelyn run through this water park thing. (It is a mini version of the water, lights, and music show that the Beligio has in Vegas.) At 8:00 every night the music starts. It was beautiful. I haven't added a Nathanism in a long time but tonight he said something that was funny. We were outside of the Sugar Shack eating and this kid and his mom walk up and the kid is telling his mom that he wants an ice cream cone, an ice cream sandwich and some candy. Nathan looks up from his ice cream and in the most matter of fact way says, " Hey kid, you shouldn't be so GREEDY." I was mortified. Where is the filter?? Ok, well not much more to report.
< The kids woke us up at 6:30 this morning ready to go! Jarrett made them all pancakes, however there wasn't a griddle so he had to make them one by one on a small skillet. This house doesn't have the well stocked kitchen our last one did. For instance, there is no cheese grater and we need one for several of our meals. So Lisa and I sent the guys out to get one. They came back with a grater that you use for zesting lemons and oranges.
The weather was gorgoues this morning so we walked to the beach. The waves were pretty good so the kids strapped on their boogie boards and headed on out. Nathan ran out of the water crying because he had sand in his pants. Jarrett dragged him out into the water to empty it but that just wouldn't do. So I trekked back with him to the house to get his other swim suit that was a little smaller so the sand couldn't get in. Here is a pic of Nathan trying to get some relief!
Madelyn likes the ocean much better this year. She and Daddy have had a blast boogie boarding.
Well, she loved it until she wiped out and got a face full of sand and salt water.
A little snack made it all better!
Jarrett spent an hour body surfing. He is a bigger kid than Nathan and Madelyn.
The rest of our day was spent between the pool and the beach. Around 5pm a short t-storm passed through while we grilled out hamburgers. We topped the night off with smores and board games. We are a having a great time.
We made it to Seacrest, Florida and it is beautiful. We arrived around 2:30 and couldn't check into our house until 4:00 so we drove around looking for a surf shop. We found one in Panama City at this new shopping area which looked really cool. If it rains we may go there and spend some more time. The kids all picked out new boogie boards then we were on our way to the grocery store. I am glad we had a list and had done some pre-planning. There were a lot of people just walking around saying, "So what do you think we should make this week?" I wish I could operate that way but I just need to be a little more organized than that. We got the last 2 packages of hot dog buns. I guess we aren't the only ones planning on cooking out.
Our house is really nice but the guys aren't too happy that the kitchen is upstairs. They had to lug coolers, groceries and cases of pop up the stairs and that's when the grumbling started. They wished we had rented the one story we did last time. Maybe we will just let them do all the planning next time.
We headed down to the beach before dinner and the kids had a ball. There were pretty good waves and the kids loved jumping in them. We found a blue button jelly fish that was really cool looking. Luckily they don't sting. Our house is right next to the pool so we let the kids take a quick dip before dinner. They are exhausted and looking forward to a day with no car rides and a lot of time for swimming.
Good morning from Hattisburg, MS! We made it here by 6pm last night and we were able to have a nice dinner at Olive Garden. The adults have voted and decided no more Mickey Donalds on this trip. Thank you Jesus! Once was enough. We had a very uneventful drive which we are all thankful for. Especially after our last trip here and all of us developed a case of a nasty stomach virus and I got a sinus infection. It took us forever and a day to make it here last time.
Once we crossed over to MS I started to feel sick. No lie. I have developed another sinus infection. I was like "Are you kidding me?" Why is it every time this happens? I had packed our entire medicine cabinet so I quickly started a regiment of decongestants, steroids, and a nasal spray. I may have to call in a favor from my brother in law who is a family practice doc to get an antibiotic today. It wouldn't be the first time and I am sure not the last. It has become a joke that if you travel with us you need to know where every Walgreen's on your route is. I think I know why this happens. The day before vacation I usually am the one who mows the yard so that Jarrett doesn't have to mess with it then I get sick. I have decided I must never mow again, especially right before vacation.
Ok, we are off to breakfast and then Seacrest, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!
My sweet, precious and adorable children decided they would cool off from the heat by covering each other with mud. Oh, yeah and while they were at it they thought it would be a swell idea to plant a garden in their crocs. (They filled their shoes with wet mud that they had made themselves then pulled out grass from the ground and stuffed it in the shoe) Nice uh?? The slide is no longer yellow, it is totally covered in mud chunks. I will admit that I saw them doing this and I just let them. It kept them busy and productive for over an hour plus I am sure there was something educational or therapuetic about it!
Ok, an explanation is owed on the matching outfits. They are completly an accident! I told the kids to put play clothes on as I was changing and all 3 of us put on old vbs shirts and black shorts. We got a good laugh out of it!!
Have you ever been on the fence about an issue in your life before? I am right now and it is so frustrating. I am pretty much a black and white kind of person so this is tough for me. (Not that this is a moral issue or anything.) People keep asking me what I am going to do about school next year with Madelyn since she will be in kindergarten. I keep saying I am not sure. Jarrett says she is going to school. Honestly, my thoughts on the issue can change from moment to moment. I want to be so sure of our decision and not vacillate back and forth. Once the decision is made I never want to look back, say "what if" or second guess myself. I have been praying and seeking guidance, I just don't feel like God is leading us one way or the other yet. Maybe by writing my thoughts down it will help me sort through stuff.
We have committed to homeschool Nathan next year for 2nd grade. Here is a little background on why we started homeschooling in the first place.
~Nathan was born at 24 weeks and had a major brain bleed. We have been his teachers at home since the beginning. He didn't just learn the simple things on his own like most babies. We could never take for granted the little things like rolling over or holding a spoon or drinking from a bottle, etc. Those skills had to be systematically taught at home and with therapy. Praise God, Nathan was able to reach all his milestones plus accomplish the ones the doctors told us he may never. I won't get into all the details of those preschool years but we quickly figured out that "traditional" school would probably not be a good fit for him. We tried kindergarten at public school and realized that after a few months Nathan's fire and passion for learning had been put out. This child who was eager to read and learn now dreaded going to school. He got a sad face sent home everyday because he couldn't get his name written 10 times in the allotted time or couldn't look the teacher in her eyes. I understand how that can frustrate a teacher who has 20 kids on 20 different levels all coming to school with different backgrounds. Let me just say I have taught kindergarten in public school so I truly understand that it is hard when you have children that don't "fit". I think that a kindergarten teachers job is to help all kids fall in love with learning and with school. That did not happen for my child. I was sad. I loved elementary school and I loved teaching it now I here I sat with a child who didn't "fit". God was calling us to bring Nathan home and I was kicking and screaming. I thought those homeschooling people were weird, had 100 kids each, baked their own bread, sewed their own clothes, live on communes, wore matching outfits, etc . God has a funny way of shattering our stereotypes. I met several homeschooling people at church who were"normal" and picked their brains about homeschooling. I thought I could do this until Nathan would "fit".
We finished kindergarten at home and he blossomed. But still I struggled deciding what to do for first grade. Our goal was to send him to public school at some point. Most people start homeschooling for different reasons than we did. From my perspective, (which is probably not right) it seems the decision to HS is easy for other people.
We prayed and felt like he wasn't ready. He could handle the academics it was all the other stuff you have to handle at school that he wasn't ready for. Plus, I discovered that we could move at his pace. We finished the entire first grade reading curriculum in 2 months. We moved slower in areas he was less interested in or struggled in. Our community has a ton of social opportunities for homeschoolers so he was getting art, PE,history, and library all with other kids his age. We attended several field trips as well. Another HUGE benefit was that I could include God in everything we did. I could instill little lessons all through out the day about what we believe and why. In addition any sinful behaviors or attitudes that were being shown could be dealt with right away. I also have control with who he hangs out with at this point. Jarrett and I want to lay a solid foundation so when he leaves us he will be set apart and be able to stand firm on Biblical truths. We learned that people matter to God and sometimes taking care of people is more important than a math or history lesson. (Mom had a harder time with this than son!) So, I guess my point is, is that I am now homeschooling for more than just the reasons we started with. It is not all about Nathan's special needs anymore. It is so much more!
On the flip side, there are times I fantasize about sending them to school and having me time. I dream about going back to work so I can help save for college, pay for gymnastics and piano lessons and braces. Why does that sound so selfish to me? I tell myself the lie that they would be getting a better education in government schools. I tell myself I am not qualified to be doing this. I tell myself that I am not doing enough with them. Oh, how Satan attacks our minds. I so desperately want to do what is best for my kids, for the children God has entrusted to my care.
Back to Madelyn. So here we are June 1st and I can't tell her where she is going next year because I am on the fence. She is the type of child that would love "traditional" school. She is so outgoing and loved preschool. She was sad the days they didn't have it. She acted better for the teachers than for me. Part of me wants her to go. Why is that? I am a little afraid to be totally responsible for 2 academic educations. I am afraid that I can't give her everything that she "should" have for a great kindergarten experience. I am afraid. I am afraid I will fail her. But I am also scared to send her. I still want to be her primary influence in her life. I want her to love God with all her heart before I send her out into the "world". I want more than a "school" can give her. They will have her for her best hours of the day. I will have her at home when she is tired and grumpy. Ok, I am sorry I am rambling. I have so much more to say, but I will save it for later. Please pray for clarity and peace on this issue.
I am a thirty something stay at home mom who is married to her high school sweet heart and has two great kids. I am a born again Christ Follower who is loving the journey we are on! It's a wild crazy one sometimes!