A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And the winner is.....

Tonight was the Final Four for Awana’s at SMBC. Isaac and Sarah found out last Wednesday night that they were in the Final Four and they have been sooooo excited! Tonight it was a competition between the four teams to see who would be the winners. Every team that was in the Final Four were very good. Two teams had both (two players for each team) sixth graders and the other team had a fourth grader and a fifth grader. The other 3 teams had been to the Final Four before. This has been a double elimination competition so the night started off with the two teams (the blue team and the red team) who had not lost any games. Then up next was the two teams, Isaac and Sarah being one of those teams, who had lost one game (the green team and the yellow team). I was a nervous wreck! Isaac and Sarah (the yellow team) won and that put them into the next bracket. Immediately Isaac and Sarah were back up to play against the team who lost the first round (red team). Again my heart was pounding! Isaac and Sarah won and then would face the blue team. No time for a break for Isaac and Sarah, they were up again to face the winning team. Isaac and Sarah finished first but had a book out of place so the clocks had to start again for them to fix it. They fixed that book and threw their hands up to indicate that they were done and they won that round but since it was a double elimination they would have to face the blue team one more time for a final winner. I was in complete shock that they had made it this far. We had already told them that we were just proud of them for making it to the Final Four and we did not expect them to win. We talked about that it would be nice if they could just win once tonight and come in 3rd. So Isaac and Sarah were up against the blue team one more time. The crowd is going wild!!! With two books left for the blue team Isaac and Sarah are finished and become the winners of the Final Four 2012! WOW! Sarah said on the way home that this was one of the most fun times of her life!
Our kids had told the Awana leader that their dad and mom would play against the winners so now that meant we had to play against them. :) So funny! They beat us by one book!

Nature Walk

Somewhere recently I saw on a families blog that the mother would take her kids on nature walks as part of their school. I thought this would be something my kids would love. Shortly after reading this the kids were outside and made a few nature discoveries which confirmed that nature walks needed to be incorporated in our school. Thought I would share some of the findings from our first nature walks.
These two are always giving loving to each other.A worm that the little boys found while digging in the dirt.Timothy is not afraid to climb! He can climb just like the rest of them. :)Sarah has her own "reading" tree that she likes to climb in.Isaac found this baby tree. Elijah was prepared to dig if we had to. He is the man for the job! :)These two have loved taking nature walks!Thankful that no one got in this!The cows that Isaac has "adopted". :)Flowers in the field next to our house.The vine that has grown around the bobwire fence.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Way to go Elijah!

This is Elijah's school work from the first of school this year. I wanted you to notice his name at the top of the Indian page. I wrote it first and then he wrote it. I know it is not the best picture but can you see his handwriting?This is a paper he did back in January. WOW! I can see such an improvement in his writing. He has done so well in writing his name, his letters and his numbers.The full page so you can see his nubers!Yesterday he drew this picture! I am so proud of this boy! His drawing was all on his own. I told him I would take a picture of it and put it on the blog. Last night as we were getting ready for bed he asked if I had put his picture on the blog. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Final Four

Sarah puts the Old Testament in order.Isaac puts the New Testament in order. Once he is done then he can move over and help Sarah finish up the Old Testament.We are excited to announce that Isaac and Sarah have made it to The Final Four!! Our church will host March Madness this Wednesday night and at March Madness four teams will compete with putting the books of the Bible in order. They have been competeing each Wednesday night to narrow it down to the Final Four. Isaac is the only boy who made it to the Final Four and Sarah is the youngest one this year to make it to the Final Four! We are so proud of them and are excited for them! :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Negative or Positive?

This has been a tough week for us. Monday night I got a stomach virus and as of today we each have had it this week. Joanna was sick Tuesday, Sarah had it on Wednesday, Timothy woke up Thursday morning with it and on Thursday night Elijah came down with it and then today Isaac has been sick. Even Bryan has had it. He left Thursday afternoon going to New Orleans for his Exit Interview (he had to have done so he can graduate in May) and he called me about 4 and said he was SICK! Not only was he away from home and by himself he also ended up with a flat tire. He put on the spare tire and as soon as he got back on the road it went flat. :( It has just been one of those weeks!
I prayed that God would not let my family get sick with this but they did. To be honest I was upset when everyone of us got it. It seemed that God was not listening to me. I lost my focus and began to be only seeing the negatives of the week. This morning God pricked me to think on the positives and write them down. As I began to really see the good things of the week the negatives seemed to not be so big. Wanted to share what those positive things are with you. In no particular order.
1) So thankful that Joanna has only thrown up once and that it wasn't all day.
2) Thankful that the little boys got it out and were done (didn't last all day with them).
3) Thankful that Sarah was so grateful for all I did for her.
4) That no one got REAL sick (dehydration, etc.).
5) That Bryan made it to New Orleans and back safely.
6) That my parents were able to come for a short time and help while Bryan was gone.
7) That Bryan passed his interview, he will graduate in May!
8) That God took care of him and kept him safe while he was fixing his flat tire.
9) That this is not something terminal we are dealing with here.
10) That I am blessed with a hubby who sees my weariness and wants to bless me!
11) Thankful that I serve a God who is with me and will never leave me or forsake me!!!
Praising God that He has showed me this and the next time I am tempted to loose my focus that I will write down the positives. Thankful that God has helped me to think on things that are true, pure, noble, right, etc. (Phil. 4:8). He is so good!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Bargains!

The other weekend I went to a couple of consignment sales that were having their 50% off day. I bought Sarah these pants and they went great with the top I had gotten at another time I went shopping (at a consignment sale). I paid $1.50 for the pants! She loves them. She is such a cute girl! :)Here is a closer up picture of the pants.This dress I had spotted a week earlier but was not willing to pay full price for it. I was so tickled when I went and there it was for 50% off! It looks so pretty on Sarah.Not only were the consignment sales 50% off but the same Saturday was also 50% off everything at the Goodwill. The three Little House on the Prairie books came from a consignment sale ($2 for all 3) and the others came from the Goodwill ($.50 a piece).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Easy Meatloaf

My mother makes the yummiest meatloaf. I remember growing up I would not eat the meatloaf that had “other” stuff in it, but mom could make some that was simple and easy. Now I make this for us to enjoy. Wanted to share. :)The recipe calls for 2 cans of tomato sauce. Recently I found this and it really adds alot of flavor. Bryan doesn't want me to make the meatloaf if I don't put this in it.

Easy Meatloaf

1-2 lbs of hamburger meat (I am not sure how turkey meat would taste or do.)
1 can of seasoned toamto sauce for meatloaf (see picture above)
1 can of regular tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste

Preheat oven to 375. Mix your tomato sauces together. With half of the sauce mixture work it into the (raw) meat (I always use my hands for this). Then mix the tomato paste with the remaining half of sauce mixture. Pour meat mixture into a greased 13x9 casserole dish and even out. Now you will pour the sauce and paste mixture over your meat and spread out. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Because of the meat it will be greasy so be sure you put something under your dish while it cooks so the grease doesn't run out.
Here is what the end result looks like. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A little bit of Joanna

It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:2
On Tuesday Bryan had to run to get a few things for the church and so he decided to take the little boys with him. That left Isaac, Sarah, Joanna and myself here. Isaac and Sarah were busy doing their school and Joanna had gone to the boys room to play. I told myself that I needed to get a few things done while I could. I would do a little bit and then go and check on everybody. When I went to check on Joanna I realized she had been mighty quiet so I figured she was into something she wasn't suppose to be. HA!! When I got to the boys room I found her in Timothy's bed fast asleep. It was the sweetest sight! She loves being able to climb in his bed, she thinks she is big. There she was sound asleep and she had a very good nap! She slept about two hours there in his bed. The picture below is of her asleep in Timothy's bed. Isn't she so sweet! Then last night I made cookies for dessert. Let me inform you that we are BIG sweet eaters around here. We believe that you should have a dessert after lunch and supper. :) Elijah even ask us after breakfast if he can have a dessert! LOL!! I am trying supper hard to be better about desserts. Honestly if they are not here it is much easier to cut back. My goal is if we have a dessert that it will be after lunch OR supper.....not both! I gave Joanna a cookie and she cracked me up. Check out her little facioal expressions! She is a hoot!! Makes us laugh all the time, but then all the kids make us laugh!! Speaking of "If there are no sweets in the house that it is much easier to cut back", my parents came for a visit last week and what do they bring? You guessed it, SWEETS, SWEEETS and more SWEETS! Argh!! So if I get fat I am blaming my dad!!! :) They brought a bag of peanut M&M's, chocolate covered doughnuts (a dozen) and some apple fritters from the Apple Barn (all are my favorites). Either they will have to stop bringing sweets or I need A LOT more will power to resist the sweets!! :) Here are some pictures of Joanna eating her cookie. I could eat HER!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Easter Unit Study (Week 1 & Week 2)

I have never been a huge fan of Unit Studies. We have tried one or two and one went really well (a two week unit study on Cowboys) but the other one did not go so well. I told myself then that we would probably not do any more Unit Studies.

A month or so ago I decided that I wanted to do some Easter things and began to google some suggestions. I came across a Unit Study on Easter by Amanda Bennett. As I searched and looked at reviews on this Unit Study I thought I might give it a try. The day I was going to order they were having a discount on the Easter Unit Study (regularly $10.95, I got it for $6) so another good reason to try it. :)

We are only in week two of the four week study and so far I could not be more pleased! It is a downloadable PDF file that Isaac and Sarah can access on their own. They have four days for each week and each day includes writing out a scripture which is the scripture of the day (writing and I make them write it out in cursive), Words of Wisdom (vocabulary), Interesting People and Places (research) and Read and Discover (answering questions). Then on day 5 there is “Wrap Up” where we discuss the work they have done and what was their favorite things they learned. Isaac and Sarah are able to do the 4 days work independently and each day I make sure they have completed the daily work. The lessons have links to web sites for your study. An example would be under the Words of Wisdom there is a link to a dictionary. Also there is a link to maps under the Interesting People and Places. Isaac and Sarah have really enjoyed looking at the maps!

The Unit Study also has resources for you to consider and use. Those resources are books, movies, activities, music, etc. I chose for the kids to read Ben-Hur and the first day it was assigned Sarah finished it. Just had to laugh! There are some other resources that we will try and do that I think the kids will enjoy. I will post when we finish the study and let you know some other things we did.

I really like that this unit study has a lot of scripture and other biblical approaches. I am a little curious if the other unit studies from Amanda Bennett have as much scripture. My kids are crazy about horses and there is a Unit Study on horses from her that we might just have to try. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Enjoying the Weather

One of my last post was about Joanna's bike ride, well I wanted to share with you some other happenings while we were outside. Isaac was shooting basketball and I wanted to include some pictures of my slam dunker! He got some basketball cards a few months ago and one of the cards was Michael Jordon. He was going through the cards and reading the players names, when he got to Michael Jordon he read it like "Some guy named Michael Jordon" and then moved to the next card. Of coarse Bryan and I were "Michael Jordon! We know who that is", ok so that shows that we are getting OLD! I found a book at the goodwill of a biography of Michael Jordon and got it for Isaac. He has loved reading it and every day he comes to us and tells something new he has learned about him. This is Isaac's "Michael Jordon" picture! HA! :)Sarah loves riding her bike or scooter. She just wants to be outside playing!This little man is a fast one! He has really took off with riding his bike. Timothy loves riding his bike!!And then it is that time again.....grass cutting! Thought I would get a picture of all the kids on the lawn mower! They all love to ride the "tractor". I love the look of a freshly cut lawn!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Make up for Read Day

Last year when we celebrated Read Across America Day our neighbor, Mrs. Sarah, came over and read to the kids (I blogged about that), so this year I wanted her to come one day last week and read. Since we had been sick and I didn't know if our sickness was over I asked her if we could reschedule. We decided to have her come yesterday and she did. Mrs. Sarah brought two books that she had and it was great. She brought The Giving Tree (which we have only read once) and she brought The Lorax (which we have never read) and then my kids pulled out a few of our books for her to read. Mrs. Sarah and her hubby are expecting their first child and we are so tickled! Can't wait to see that little blessing! So thankful that she got to come and read to the kids, they loved it!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Joanna's bike ride!

The weather was very pretty this past weekend and so we got out the bikes and took a ride. This was Joanna's first bike ride with Daddy. All the kids have had their turns in the seat and now Joanna is enjoying it. She loved it and had so much fun riding with the other kids. I have blogged about Timothy's first bike ride and included pictures of the other kids on their first ride (you can take a look at that post under Timothy, wished I knew how to inset a link here for you but I don't :( The date on that post is February 1, 2011). It is sweet to see them all on their bike ride together, Isaac was playing basketball so he was not in the group picture.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Wanted to share another recipe that we have made. It comes from the cookbook that was given to Sarah by Mr. Jim and Mrs. Pat. The same cookbook that the Bacon and Egg cups (see post under recipes) came from.

These are sooo delicious! Just posting about them makes me want one right now! :) The recipe calls for Cream of Wheat and I have never used that before so I was a little worried, but all turned out really good!

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup Cream Of Wheat cinnamon Swirl Instant Hot Cereal

1/2 cup sugar, divided

1 TBSP baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

12 tsp salt

1 cup of milk

1 egg

2 TBSP oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 TBSP apple juice

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 muffin cups. Mix flour, Cream Of Wheat, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl; set aside. Beat egg, oil, milk and vanilla with wire whisk in seperate bowl until well blended. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Gently stir in blueberries. spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan. Brush tops of warm muffins with aple juice; roll in remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Serve Warm.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Read Week (Day 5)

The theme for Day 5 was "Dr. Seuss Day" since it was his birthday. The kids and I read 6 Dr. Seuss books which included: The Foot Book, Green Eggs and Ham, In a People House, Inside Outside Upside Down, Horton Hatches an Egg, and Hop on Pop. They watched two Dr. Seuss beginner book videos that read books to them: Cat in the Hat, Are You My Mother?, Go, Dog, Go, and The Best Nest. Then to top off our "Dr. Seuss" day we had green eggs and ham (a.k.a balogna) with green biscuits for supper. It was too funny to see Elijah's face when I announced that we were having green eggs and ham for supper. He quickly let me know that I didn't know how to make that, boy was he surprised when he came to the table for supper.
Here is a picture of our supper. What a FUN week! Next week we will start an Easter Unit Study that will last for 4 weeks. I am super excited about this and look forward to the kids and I learning about and celebrating Easter! I will try and blog at the end of each week what we have learned and studied that week. So hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner! This year Timothy's birthday falls on Easter!! Fun, Fun and more Fun!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Read Week (Day 4)

I had planned this Read Across America Week a few months back and had really intended to have someone come and read to the children each day and enjoy lunch with us. But because the kids had been sick that didn't happen. :( By Thursday we had been fever free for over 24 hours so the lady that I had asked to come and read on Thursday was able to still come! We were so happy to have Mrs. Jenny come and read to the kids and eat lunch with us! Mrs. Jenny is a lady that we go to church with, she fills in for the office secretaries when they are out and she is Isaac and Sarah's piano teacher. We have just fallen in love with Mrs. Jenny. She is a very special lady and so dear to us! We had chosen for her to read The Little Red Hen, Berenstains' A book and Dr. Seuss's ABC. The theme for Day #4 was ABC's and 123's. We also read Thomas's ABC book, The Berenstain Bears No Girls Allowed, Amelia Bedelia, No Matter What, and Baby's First Book.

We plan on getting the other's that we asked to come and read to come another time. Last year our neighbor came and read, our plans are for her to come next week and read to the kids and have lunch with us. I think it is good for my children to have others to read to them and for my kids to be around other adults.

Read Week (Day 3)

Sorry for the delay! Things get pretty busy around here and with the beautiful weather I just haven't had time to post day 3.

Day 3 of our Read Across America Week theme was "Christian". Most of the books we read (not all) were about Jesus, God or Christian. I chose this theme on Wednesday because it is our mid-week service at church. There are a few small books of the Bible that I felt the bigger kids could read during the day and then 2 of them we read together. Those included Jude, 2 John, Obadiah, and Haggai. Something I discovered as I read Haggai is that sometimes we worry so much about things of this world and we neglect our relationship with the Lord. Such a good "little" book, I encourage you to read it. We also read Ruth: Woman of Courage, My Bible Colors, Poky Little Puppy and The Fire Cat. We have had such a great time with our reading together.

Looking forward to sharing with you guys about our last two days of Read Week!!