July 27, 2007

My latest "Uh oh, where is she?"

I realized it was incredibly quiet and with Mattie, that's never good.

Here she is!

"Oh, I can't reach my applesauce (that I just told Mommy I didn't want). Let's see, here I can open the dishwasher door. And look! Here's a spoon just my size! Aaaaah. That's better. I just wanted to eat it all by myself!"

PS Thankfully, the dishes were clean.


And hereis another shot of her handiwork. She was so helpfully putting the new toilet paper package away. She carried it from the kitchen (12 rolls, mind you), unwrapped it and put the plastic that you're supposed to "keep out of reach of children" in the trash can. And I guess she decided it should all just go there.

She is so cute I can hardly stand it! It's good to laugh at these things after a day like yesterday (when "cute" was not what I was thinking)!

Our Fish Week (Creation Day 5)

We've had a fun week studying fish! We're on day 5 of our creation study now.
We read LOTS of books about ocean animals, painted some fish, painted an ocean scene, made some starfish, and went to the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies today. Jacob's favorite thing he saw today was the barracuda, he said.

Here are the painted fish and sand starfish. And the third from the left is Mattie's first craft!

Here is the starfish Jacob made. (Cover a piece of paper with glue. Smush sand down all over it and let it dry. It actually gets hard and feels similar to a real starfish!)

I love this one! It's Jacob's ocean scene. An octopus (having a bad arm day), several fish, and the coral reef. Jacob loves to paint. I need to remember this and get the paints out more often.

And Mattie girl's first day of painting! (The day she didn't nap.)

Her objection when I wouldn't let her have control of the paint jar...
I couldn't resist sharing this one.

Our group at the aquarium.
Side note: We all rode the Gatlinburg trolley to save on parking today. As we were getting settled on the trolley we overheard the bus driver say to himself, "I hope they're prepared at the Aquarium!" I guess the kiddos were a bit excited!

A few local Five in a Row moms! (ValerieC, Melissa C, Candace C and Kelly TN)
It seems silly to say that when I'm related to two of them!

Jacob reading to me about the fish.

Jacob touching the horseshoe crab. (Last year he wanted nothing to do with this!!)

The sharks in the shark tunnel! (Well, the people tunnel beneath the sharks!)

One cute story before I forget...We were walking through the shark tunnel today and Candace's mom (aka "Nana") said, "See kids, there's a school of fish!" Jacob immediately says, "Yeah! And the shark's their teacher!"

July 26, 2007

I survived

I survived this afternoon, but that's about it! Today will not go down as one of our better days. And our downstairs house-guests (missionaries home for the summer) were probably wondering what in the world I was doing to my kids!

We had a great day until 2 or so. We went to West Knoxville and back by 11:30! This morning I was out of Mattie's rice bread (and have been wanting to try wheat bread again for a few weeks now), so I made her a sandwich from our wheat bread. She ate 3/4 of it on the way home. Well, by 12:45 I was fairly certain she wasn't tolerating it! She never fell asleep, which is very rare for her. So, by 3:00 I was pulling my hair out! Besides being exhausted, refluxing regularly, and being REALLY cranky , she was crying at the drop of a hat. At 4, I finally pinned her down until she fell asleep...for 20 minutes.

When she is cranky like this, she gets to all of us! She is one influential little girl. Jacob gets just as cranky from her crying all the time, and then I get cranky because both of my kids are cranky! is how I was feeling about 5:00 or so.

Unfortunately, it took me until 6:00 to realize what I needed to do to turn this around. I needed to turn my attitude around and try to bring my children along...not waiting until they are content to then become content myself. I am one influential little mommy! So, after that little kick in the tail from the Holy Spirit, I asked God (in the 6 seconds I had available) to help me change my heart and voice and take a few deep breaths. Aaaah, what a breath of fresh air to know what I needed to do!

No, Mattie did not get much more agreeable (until we went to our friends' house for a change of scenery), but I was a lot less stressed about her crankiness. I stopped trying to do anything except mother... no computer, cleaning, or thinking about anything else. I got Mattie's blanket and paci, some books to read with both kids, and we loaded up the blue chair. That focused snuggling time with a mommy of renewed spirit made all the difference! Oh, but why does it take me 4 hours to get there!?!

God is my helper. I need to call on Him first! Not "when all else fails..."

July 25, 2007

Natural Antibiotic

Well, I have a remedy to share...

I woke up Sunday with a nasty sore throat. I thought it was strep and that was confirmed at a walk-in clinic Sunday afternoon. So, she gave me a scrip for an antibiotic. Well, I don't love antibiotics. And I was expecting Mattie to get it as well, and she does not tolerate antibiotics well at all! She gets incredibly cranky and has had rashes with three different ones so far.

Two months ago: I was reading somewhere about oregano oil being used since Biblical times as a natural antibiotic. I'm always looking for homeopathic remedies, so I was excited! Well, this time I actually had the forethought to order it and have it on hand instead of 1) being unprepared and 2) not wanting to drive all over creation to find a bottle, thus 3) taking antibiotics b/c I can get them immediately.

Back to Sunday:
So I started taking the oregano oil (in a sofgel...the liquid is some VERY potent nasty stuff!!!) and giving it to Mattie preventively (she will swallow little pills ). I was going to give it 48 hours. Well, by Sunday night my throat was significantly less swollen. I actually was astonished at the improvement. Not much else to report except continued improvement! So, today is Wednesday and I feel great!!! And Mattie never came down with it!! And no, um, female side effects either! (Actually, it's an anti-fungal as well. It would be a good idea to take acidophilus afterwards just to round out the good bacteria again.) I'm going to take it until it's been 6 days just for good measure.

So, if you want to try this next time, order some and be prepared! Just two thoughts...it gave Robert and me heartburn for the first 48 hours. It comes in enteric coated pills (which I didn't realize) for this reason. Next time, I'll order those. Also, it needs to be the oil, not the herb. If you're not sure about good brands allstarhealth.com and vitacost.com sell quality brands for very reasonable prices. (We order quite a bit at once to take advantage of the flat rate shipping.)

So, next stop: natural childbirth!!!
(Since Mom asked in her comment, no, I'm not pregnant.)

P.S. I realized I should add that I took twice the recommended daily dose because I was sick. The recommended doses are for prevention and maintenance.

July 24, 2007

This is what happens when...

I let Jacob pick out his own clothes!!
So, it's time for some lessons on matching, I guess. He thought it was a great outfit and was proud to show it off!

July 23, 2007

Fountain City Park

Last week after our field trip to the bird store we went to a nearby park for a picnic lunch and some good ole P.E.!

Here are Jacob, Hannah, and Emily enjoying the tire swing.

Mattie mastered the slide...over and over and over again all by herself! She's getting so big!

Jacob venturing to new heights!

The older three playing in the delightful creek!

My water baby grinning after a fall!

Our Bird Week (Creation Day 5)

Well, our bird week has been a complete success! The Lord has been so good to bring us many, many birds to enjoy! We have hummingbirds every few minutes or so, and have also been seeing mourning doves and cardinals regularly as well. Today at one point we had six birds at the feeders at the same time!! We have probably been quite comical, actually. We're kind of like a group of excited old ladies when a new bird comes over to eat.

Mattie has enjoyed it too. Whenever she hears us talking or reading about bird calls, she starts chiming in with a few of her own!

We took a trip to an exotic bird store, which was not the most successful trip of all. Jacob spent the entire time with his hands on his ears because it was so loud. And Mattie hung on for dear life as if I was going to feed her to the birds! So, neither of my kids like loud noises...should have thought of this before we went! Oh well, we did see some birds that talked to us! And we made our final exit when a macaw squawked really loud less than a foot from Mattie's ear and she started wailing!

Here's our bird feeder station on our back porch.

And here's our bird watching chart. What a fun way to learn tally marks!

Here's our day making peanut butter pinecone bird feeders with Hannah, Emily, and Caleb.

What 's peanut butter for anyway?? Bird seed too!

All the kids with their feeders. Boy will I be glad when Jacob gets past this nasty stage...he hates stopping to pose for a picture!!

July 19, 2007

A quick bird update...

The Lord has brought us more birds to see today! We've seen several more ruby-throated hummingbirds, two mourning doves and a male and female cardinal!! The mourning dove was the first today and Jacob squealed and jumped he was so excited!! He's getting all excited about putting tally marks on our window chart.
How good the Lord is to us...

July 18, 2007

My hummingbird gift

If you read a couple of posts ago, you'll remember that we're studying birds this week. We put out bird feeders on Saturday and have yet to see any birds at them. I was surprised, because when we had one of those peanut butter-birdseed-pine cone feeders we saw quite a few blue jays. Anyway, we originally hung all of these feeders in a tree near our front window. Yesterday I decided to try them in the back. I know it's only been 3 full days, but it occurred to me that our dog was probably hurting our chances a little...I hadn't thought about the fact that he's a "bird dog!" So we moved the feeders out to the back porch yesterday.

This morning I was sitting out there reading my Bible and praying amid the cheerful sounds in the high trees that surround our property. (Ah, what a reward to get up before the kids!) I prayed that the Lord would bring us some birds to enjoy firsthand, at our feeders. And I prayed that Jacob would get to hear the morning chirping, thinking, "I should wake him. But if I wake him, the little girl will see me and gone will be our serenity!"

Meanwhile, I was reading Psalm 62:5-8

"My soul, wait in silence for my God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

On God my salvation and my glory rest,

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O [Lissa],

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for [me]."

I was thanking the Lord that He has given me a firm foundation and trust in Him. I
know He holds all things in His hands...our house needing to sell, a local job for Robert, wisdom in raising children who know and desire Him. I don't tend to be a worrier because I know He has a plan that is His best for myself, Robert, Mattie and Jacob. As I was thanking Him for His faithfulness I was looking up at every loud chirp to see if He had brought me a bird! I was expecting Him to do that, knowing that He might have another plan, but hoping He would. The second or third time I looked up, there was a hummingbird at our feeder!! He answered my trivial little prayer!

Interestingly enough, I hadn't even thought I'd see a hummingbird! My mother-in-law had suggested six or seven birds she saw often when she lived here. So I made a chart of birds to watch for, and a hummingbird wasn't included. I just thought we'd hang up a feeder to see what happened. So, He answered my prayer in a completely different way than I was even asking!
And just as I was thinking, "I should go check to see if I hear Mattie chatting in bed," Jacob came out to find me! So we got to sit and enjoy the birds' singing together! We prayed for Daddy in Georgia, for help being brave during swimming lessons, and for more birds for Jacob to see...and we've seen two (edited...five!) more hummingbirds today. Isn't that just like God?

A Cute Joke

A woman went to the doctor's office where she was seen by a young, new doctor.
After about 4 minutes in the examination room, the doctor told her she was pregnant.
She burst out, screaming as she ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was,and she told him her story.
After listening, he had her sit down and relax in another room. The doctor marched down the hallway to the back where the first doctor was and demanded, "What's the matter with you? Mrs. Swain is 59 years old, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?"
The new doctor continued to write on his clipboard and, without looking up, said, "Does she still have the hiccups?"

July 15, 2007

My Chains are Gone!!

We were singing this song in church this morning and I thought I'd share the words that hit home with me this time.
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees

My chains are gone, I've been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me!
And like a flood, His mercy reigns.
Unending love, amazing grace

My chains are gone! I can't even imagine living life with the old chains of sin and bondage.
I've been set free Not...I am free, but I've been set free!! (Someone else did it for me!)
My God, my Savior has ransomed me!!!!!! He proactively paid a price to rescue me!
And like a flood, his mercy reigns. The only reason He hasn't wiped me off this Earth is because of His mercy. He hangs in there with me while my prideful, unfaithful, selfish person rises to the surface every day. What else but a flood of mercy could cover that?
Unending love He'll love me forever, just because He says He will, not because I'm worth it.
Amazing grace Amazing grace.

I'm gonna rest in that all week...

Here's a video if you've not heard this song.
YouTube - Amazing Grace ( My Chains are Gone)

July 12, 2007

Looking forward to our bird week! (Creation Day 5)

We're almost up to day 5 of our creation study! I've been waiting for this week as there's so much fun stuff to do with birds! I've never really gotten into bird watching before, and can't imagine time to sit still and watch birds, but it will be fun to learn anyway!

Here's what I have planned for now...

~I'll have Jacob read aloud from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1: An Owl, The Robin, The Duck and the Hen for an overview. We'll talk about what we read about each kind of bird. We'll choose one bird of which to to draw a picture in the nature journal. Then we'll read What Makes a Bird a Bird? It's a book that explains birds' characteristics really well.

~We'll watch Moody's "The Clown Faced Carpenter," a segment about the Woodpecker.

These next three are the ones I'm really excited about!

~We have an exotic bird store in Knoxville (Thank you, Grandmama, for telling me about this!) we are going to go to. They've been in business for over 20 years and the owner says she has everything! I do think Mattie will freak out, but hopefully we won't permanently scar her.

~Peggy has been feeding birds here for 12 years, and has been sad to leave them. Well, we're going to pick up the slack! I've gotten three different bird feeders to put up! I've had them in the car for a month waiting for our bird week. I think maybe we'll do this Saturday so that by next week we'll have some birds to see. Yay!!

~And we have The Burgess Bird Book for Children. It's a book of fictional stories about the different kinds of birds. The stories are make-believe but are loaded with all kinds of bird facts to learn. I asked Peggy which birds we would see most often so we could read those stories next week in order to introduce us to those birds. (Notice I said "us." I'm pretty clueless other than a cardinal and a blue jay!!) I'm looking forward to this!!

These are the birds we'll be watching for...

Mourning Dove

Tufted Titmouse

American Goldfinch

Black Capped Chickadee

Blue Jay


Indigo Bunting

~And finally, I'll make a chart with these birds' pictures on it. I'll have Jacob put a mark by each bird each time he sees it so we can really see which ones come around the most often! (Thank you, Candace, for this idea!)

I'm really looking forward to next week! I think Jacob will enjoy it too. I think we're both ready to learn about living things again.

Funky Toe Nail

Well, I just thought I'd post something I learned yesterday... A little gross, but Listerine will kill a toenail infection! If you have a toenail with a fungal infection, soak your toe in Listerine for about 5 minutes each day. The lady I read about did it and after two weeks, her infected toenail was pushed out by a new one!
Who'd a thunk?

July 10, 2007

Sun, Moon & Stars (Creation Day 4)

For this week of our creation study, we focused on the solar system. We talked about the sun and moon, but had already visited those in the past, so we just did a bit of review. We reviewed the moon phases with our little cards from Owl Moon. Jacob enjoyed that. We also made a mural for the solar system! It has the sun and all the planets on it, though a couple are hard to see because they're so tiny! (And just so all you old folks know, Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, so we only have 8 planets now.)

Solar System Mural

We went to a museum that had a planetarium which was fun for the first 3 minutes or so. Jacob and I had a good time out just the two of us, but I'm in no rush to go another planetarium show! I'll just buy my own telescope and look off our back porch. He had NO concept of the whole constellation thing- which really is quite hard to see -and just wanted to crawl around on the amphitheater like steps in the pitch black room...with the other two little boys who also didn't care about the nice man's presentation! Other than that, we had a great week!

July 09, 2007

Fabric Softener

Just thought I'd share for you fabric softener lovers...

I found a fabric softener that is free of shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, sesame, wheat, gluten, and corn (company confirmed). It is called Eco-Select, and I found it at my WalMart. They are biodegradable dryer sheets (which I don't like as much as liquid) and are completely natural. They have an unscented version and scented (where the scents are derived from all natural essential oils).

They were as cheap as Bounce's unscented ones and corn free (which is great for us as Downy is not, though we continue to use it).

They are in a light blue boring looking box with all the other dryer sheets.

July 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!!

Happy July 4th!!

We started off our day by having a "Happy Birthday, America!" party with some cousins. (This has been a fun year because Jacob is actually beginning to see the big picture on some things. We've been reading lots of books about our country's founding, the flag, and our pledge of allegiance.) We painted, had a yummy snack, made streamer crafts to wave around while we had a parade, listened to patriotic music, hid/found stars in the yard, and read a book about a little girl's daddy who is deploying in the military. We are also going to send a care package to a soldier this week as part of our celebration.

Here are the cousins ready for our parade!
(What a blessing to have this many cousins in town to school with!!!)

The Ragamuffin Band at its best!

Mattie hard at work painting.

The kids and their red, white, and blue snack.

The kids' fireworks display!

And we ended up our day at our house shooting off fireworks (I think the daddies had the most fun!!) and having homemade red popsicles!