Friday, September 30, 2005

Late Summer Activities

Well, I have gotten behind on my posts - AGAIN! :) I seem to bet pretty good at that... Things have been quite busy around here lately though, I hardly have time to even check my email every day (which gets pretty annoying to find my inbox full of junk by the time I do get to it)! I posted a ton of pictures yesterday but didn't have much time to write about them so I will attempt to do that today.

Bob has been working two jobs for about the last month. He got a new job working at another juvenile detention center here. He isn't thrilled with it because there is a total lack of any structure or discipline - which is completely opposite of what he did in the past. They say they are in the process of implementing a new program but I have yet to hear that it is any type of success. He is also working for the charter bus company on his days off so he stays quite busy. We have really missed him a lot since he started this schedule and it's been especially hard on the kids but I guess we have to do what we have to do. Hopefully it won't last much longer.

We are STILL looking for a house. I am going to look at one today to rent, which we weren't thrilled about to begin with but now we are willing to do about anything to get out of the basement! Especially with winter coming on - it's going to get cold down here! The house I'm looking at today is only 2 bedrooms but it has a full basement that he said would be livable so I'm hopefully optimistic...If that makes sense... :) And the rent is in our price range so...I guess we will see how it goes and go from there.

A friend of ours from Michigan has come to live with us for a while. Her name is Kristin and she is 19. She also came to learn from Pastor Larry. She is excited to be here and we have enjoyed her also. It's nice to have "one of your own" friends for a change. Not that they aren't all my friends but she is from "home"! The kids love her too and she has been a big help with them. She has also been doing pretty good with her job hunting. She had 2 job interviews yesterday and she has another one today.

Ok, now to the pictures...

We have been on a couple of field trips already this year. The first one was a Touch A Truck day in the park. They got to climb through all different kinds of trucks from a cement truck to an ambulance, fire truck, and police car (they both sat in the police car but got out quicker than I could take a picture because they thought they would get in trouble and get taken away!), and also a loader, semi truck, a monster truck (they didn't get to go inside this one but they did get to go in the trailer they transport it in), and a few other trucks. Luke loved it and after we got to the end we had to go back through the other way and do it all over again! :) (Jozie and Luke liked the pictures of Josiah and Hannah at the Fire Station and now Luke wants to spray water from the hose!)

Our second field trip was to County Line Orchard on Tuesday this week. We picked several different kinds of apples - and ended up carrying out about 30 lbs of apples! WAY more than we really wanted but we had fun and took lots of pictures. Sometime next week or the week after that we are going to make and possibly can some applesauce. The kids are looking forward to that and ask daily if we are doing it "today"! :)

Which brings us to our next set of pictures...With all those apples, what are we going to do but make caramel apples! They were wonderful, of course, and I didn't take pictures of ME eating them...Sorry! :) We also made candy apples yesterday, which I haven't posted pictures for yet, but they were also very yummy! I had never had one before and now I wonder where they were all my life! :) We will probably make some apple pie before we are done with the apple experience! I really wish we had an apple press so we could make some cider, but...I think that will have to wait until another year! :)

The first few pictures are of when we made Banana Surprise Cookies last week. Not that making cookies is really eventful, but, we had all 3 kids working together (Luke, Jozie, and Sam, my younger sister) and these cookies were WONDERFUL!!! I was getting sick of banana bread with the amount of bananas that get too ripe to eat in this house so I found the recipe on the internet and they were great! And the best part about them is that I used crisco and they were DAIRY FREE! :) That's hard to come by for a little boy who is allergic to milk!

School Update:

Things are going pretty well. I found a decent attendance record and have been using it. We are just about finished with our third week of work (I think!) and it's going pretty smoothly. Luke has decided though, that school work is not for him. Most days he refuses to do it at all and we sit (with MANY breaks) for hours to do his few pages of PACE work. Jozie usually has all her pages done before Luke has the first one done - that sort of gives you an idea of how easy they are. And don't get me wrong, it's not that Luke CAN'T do the work, it's that he doesn't WANT to do the work. He has no problem doing it when he puts his mind to it, if he would just sit and get it done, he would probably be done BEFORE Jozie. He is now telling me that he wants to wait until next year to work on school work. (I used that as a threat to him a couple of times, hoping for the reverse psychology to work on him, but it has now backfired.) So, I am working with him on different incentives and time tests. He seems to like to see if he can get it done before the buzzer goes off...Or at least see how far he can get after 10 minutes or so. At least we may sit for only one hour instead of 3 or 4 hours of forcing him to get it done! As soon as he is done with these first 6 weeks of work, I told him that he can go as fast as he wants to go, since that's how PACES work, and by hopefully he will like it more when he is only required to do a few pages a day of work in several different subjects instead of several pages a day in one subject (since we are focusing on a reading program right now, it is all word building except for number recognition in math which is only 2 pages a day).

So, that's my Summary of our Late Summer Activities! Stay tuned for more to come! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sibling help...Jozie couldn't seem to keep her fingers out of the better though! :) Posted by Picasa

Kristen has come to live with us!!! Here we are making cookies! (Jozie, Luke, Kristin, and Sami! :) Posted by Picasa

They must have been good! Luke is trying to talk with his mouth full! Posted by Picasa

Jozie and Luke eating carmel apples - Luke chose the biggest one, of course! Posted by Picasa

I don't think they even cared that Mom was there, they were so excited to spend the day with Daddy! :) Posted by Picasa

"Pick that one right there!" Daddy was helping the process along! :) Posted by Picasa

At times we couldn't find Luke for all the apples! :) Posted by Picasa

Here's Luke, with his hat on, ready to pick apples! :) Posted by Picasa

Here's Jozie with her apples! :) Posted by Picasa

Here they are with Amma in the Ambulance at the Touch a Truck day in the park. Posted by Picasa

And, of course, Luke's favorite - Who would have guessed? :) It's Captain USA, they even got to meet the driver and get his autograph! How cool! :) Posted by Picasa

Here was Jozie's favorite truck...her Papa Al drives a truck like this, she even got to blow the air horn! Posted by Picasa

Hannah! Here's Jozie in the Fire Truck! :) She says Hello! :) Posted by Picasa

Look, Josiah! Luke got on the Fire Truck! :)  Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Bob! :)

It's our anniversary today, only 5 years! :) I guess some would say we are still newly-weds (even though we have 5 kids) and at times I feel the same way! I just thought I would post today and say what a wonderful, loving husband I have and I look forward to many more years with him! :) *sigh* He is a great dad and the kids love spending time with him. We are truly blessed!

We aren't doing anything special, he has to work and I am babysitting my step-sister for the weekend so maybe we will get out next weekend.

Thank you, Bob, for being my husband! I love you! :*

Friday, September 09, 2005

Starting Monday...

Well, we finally got our school materials - I thought I would have them a week ago - so we will be starting school on Monday. I've looked it over and it should be good for both of them. It doesn't look to be so hard that Luke won't be able to handle it and Jozie will definitely benefit from the review, though I think she will have the first few weeks pretty easy. I am a bit nervous with the way Luke has been acting the last week or so - if I will be able to handle his behavior and teach him at the same time without going crazy...I guess I will find out soon enough. I am going to have to put some kind of incentive program into affect too, I think that will help him a lot. He is great when he gets praise and rewards for a job well done. I am thinking of a token type of incentive, exchangeable for dimes at the end of the week - up to $2 per week - and then some kind of special token for an extra special job well done or else doing something without being asked (those being exchanged for some other special reward; a movie rental, an hour later for bed time, extra TV time, etc). I am going to have to come up with a chart and goals for the day but that shouldn't be too hard.

I have started getting up early in the morning - around 6:30! (I usually sleep in for as long as I can!) I have prayer time with a couple of my friends in the morning before the one goes to work, that's why it's so early. After that, around 7, my mom and I have started walking. So I am hoping to get in a few minutes quite time before they get up around 8:00 or so. Though lately I have been lucky to have Jozie sleep that long and once she is up, Luke will usually quickly follow...So much for my time in the morning! I plan on having school first thing in the morning after breakfast (in the past I have learned that if I don't get it done right away, it gets put off until the next day and we end up getting behind rather quickly!). That leaves me the rest of the day, basically after lunch, to clean and do whatever other chores are necessary around the house. I'm also going to try and come up with a cleaning schedule so I don't end up a crazy lady one day every 2 weeks trying to scrub the whole house at once!

I guess I have got a lot of stuff cut out for myself starting Monday!

PS Jozie and Luke started AWANA this week and already Luke has gotten most of his Sparks Gate signed. He only has to memorize the AWANA pledge and the AWANA song and he will be able to start in the Skipper book. Jozie is almost done with the Skipper book - we started late last year so that's why she's a little behind but should catch up pretty quickly. She is just finishing with memorizing the books of the New Testament and a couple of other memory verses and she will be done. She asked this morning if they could go to Sparks again tonight. She loves making new friends and has said she already has lots of them there!