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Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just in case you're having a rough day...

...and need something to make you smile. :)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Week 1 Recap

We officially started homeschool last week! We've been doing some school off and on for about a year, but nothing very consistent or organized. I wasn't sure how it was going to work out. I am used to doing a lot of housework in the mornings (with the children helping me), but the schedule that I made out has us doing school from 8:00 to 11:30 or 12:00, which pushes all of the housework into the afternoon. Of course three of our children are not school-aged yet, and I didn't know if they would be too interested in participating.

I'm happy to report that our first week went better than expected! We were done early every day, and for the most part everyone enjoyed it. We had a few frustrating moments, but most of the time things went smoothly and according to plan. Hannah and Esther are very interested and sit with us (willingly) for everything except for math. Noah plays on the floor by my desk until he gets fussy, at which point he goes down for his nap and sleeps until after lunch.

Joshua and Abigail are both in Kindergarten, and we hope and plan to keep them in the same grade all the way through. Abigail is only 4, but she is quick (a bit quicker than Joshua at this point, which I understand is normal for girls) and she is doing great so far!

I'd like to write a whole post about our curriculum choices soon (complete with links, which I won't take the time to add today), but for now I'll just list them. We're doing Scripture memory, Spell to Write and Read, Cursive First, Apologia Science (Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day this year) and Right Start Math. We are using the Principle Approach method, and we have several different resources for our history and geography, based upon that method. More about all of this soon...I hope. :)

Noah hard at work!

Coloring a paper for history.

Hannah wasn't about to be left out...

...and neither was Esther!

Working hard

Learning cursive letters.

Here's an example of Joshua's work...

...and Abigail's work. They're doing great and I'm proud of them!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Lasagna (leftover from Sunday), Broccoli, Bread
Tuesday - Thai Peanut Noodle
Wednesday - Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Oatmeal Pancakes, Eggs, Grits
Sunday - Steak Burritos, Chips and Salsa (lunch); Leftovers (dinner)

For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Worth Sharing

The Pesto Pasta with Chicken that was on my menu plan this week turned out to be wonderful!! It is definitely a keeper and is going into my regular rotation. I've copied the recipe below and noted a few slight changes that I made.

1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I used ground red pepper since I didn't have pepper flakes)
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips (these really add to the recipe and I plan on adding an extra 1/4 cup next time)
1/2 cup pesto sauce (I used homemade pesto, which makes it even better!)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Toss to coat evenly. I also sprinkled a little feta cheese on top, which made it even better! What isn't better with feta? :)

My little kitchen helper. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here are the meals that I plan to make this week. I'm still not great at estimating how many leftovers we will have and how long it will take us to finish them, so a few things got bumped from last week.

Monday - Blackeye Pea Supperdish, Millet Muffins
Tuesday - Pesto Pasta Chicken, Tossed Salad
Wednesday - Leftovers from Monday
Thursday - Leftovers from Tuesday
Friday - Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
Saturday - Linda's Mozzarella Bake, Spinach Salad
Sunday - Slow Cooker Lasagna, Salad, Bread (lunch); Leftovers (dinner)

For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Posts

Kelly at Generation Cedar recently had a wonderful and challenging post about teaching our children self control and gratitude.

Many parents operate from a motivation of comfort. The behavior they seek to bring about in their children is mostly about making life easier rather than shaping the child’s character to conform to the image of Christ (giving him the candy he’s screaming for is easier at the time than cultivating self-control). Such a philosophy will only produce temporary results, and often disastrous ones.

I was thinking today of just one tiny example of this. Every one of us deals with children who whine and complain. We didn’t have to teach them, they do it naturally. What we have to do is equip them to handle disappointment and frustration in a proper way. This one job alone is huge. It takes consistent, patient effort on a parent’s part. It is tedious and challenging.

Here’s the problem…lots of us give in to OUR natural inclinations and do what is most comfortable and convenient for us, failing to see beyond the moment, and as a result, enforcing the sinful natures of our children.

Kelly does a great job of emphasizing how essential it is to teach our children self control (or anything, for that matter) not just by word, but even more importantly by example. Click here to read the full post.

Christine also had a great post this week about the blessing of children and the importance of receiving them as such.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Mountains - Part 2

While we were in the mountains I got the opportunity to meet my sweet blogging friend Emily. We have gotten to know each other through our blogs and through emails, but had never met in person. Emily is an exemplary wife and mother and she leads a simple, Christ-honoring lifestyle that is very encouraging to me. I also got to meet Emily's mother and her daughters, Maggie and Emma, who are delightful little ladies. They are so well-mannered and couldn't possibly be any cuter!

Maggie and Noah :) I stole this picture from Emily's blog. I hope you don't mind, Emily! :)

We had a picnic and the children played together.
Playing in the river.

We went to Vogel State Park and took the short hike to the bottom of the waterfall...

...and around the lake.

Joshua and Abigail stayed up during naptime and played out behind the cabin together.

Taking a break.

I took the children to Helen one morning while Adam studied. We took a picnic to Unicoi State Park and played in the creek. It was great fun until Abigail stepped in a hole, fell over, and got wet up to her neck. Unfortunately I hadn't thought to bring any extra clothes, so she was wet for the next few hours!

Playing in the freshly cut grass. :)

Menu Plan Monday

Okay, I've been lazy for long enough! I'm back to planning meals, eating healthier, and trying to keep the food budget as low as I possibly can. We have been doing some homeschooling on and off for a while now, but we are officially starting full time next Monday and I needed to have my meal planning and prepping ducks in a row before then. I intend to post our weekly menu plans every Monday, and I'll try to post some of the recipes as well. So here's what we've got going this week!

Monday - Lentil Rice Casserole, Tossed Salad, Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls (better known in our house as "Mama Bread" :)
Tuesday - Spaghetti with my Grandmother's sauce recipe, Tossed Salad, Rolls
Wednesday - Dinner at Church
Thursday - Lentil Rice Tacos (using leftover casserole from Monday, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. I just recently thought of doing this and it's a great way to create some variety with the leftovers!)
Friday - Grilled Chicken Salad, Rolls
Saturday - Neighborhood Picnic (dinner provided)
Sunday - Slow Cooker Lasagna, Spinach Salad, Rolls (lunch); Leftovers (dinner)

Grandmom Ruth's Spaghetti Sauce

1 (28oz) can tomato puree
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Put above cans of tomatoes in crock pot or pot on stove. Add water to thin to desired consistency. Cut garlic into 4-5 pieces and add to pot along with sugar, parsley and salt and pepper. Add meatballs and /or sausage and simmer in crock pot or on the stove. Note: I like to add vegetables (onions, squash, zucchini, etc) to mine, and I use ground beef. I almost always try to use ground turkey instead of beef since it is healthier, but I just can't get used to it in the spaghetti sauce.
For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Mountains - Part 1

We spent four days in the north Georgia mountains this past week. Adam had to study most of the time, so I took the children out and about while he stayed at the cabin. We did get to do a few things all together too, which of course was even more fun! We've got a ton of pictures, which I post in installments. :)

We stopped in Atlanta on the way up to visit Great Grandma. Noah had not gotten to meet her yet!

Wait for me!!!

The place where we stayed had horses, walking trails, and trout ponds. Esther liked looking at the horses.

The girls found some pretty ferns.


Fuzzy in the stroller. :)

They found something interesting...I'm not sure what it was.

Apples for the horses.

Feeding the horses.

Chasing Papa. :)

More pictures to come later...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Today is Hannah's 2nd birthday! We did not find out her gender before she was a born (unlike all of our other babies), and I was fully convinced that she was a boy. :) I was definitely surprised, but of course not the least bit disappointed! She is such a fun little girl and she loves to give me snuggles. :)


- is really funny. She keeps us laughing!
- tries to do anything and everything that her older siblings do, which is not always a good thing!
- is almost all the way potty trained.
moved into a big girl bed a few weeks ago, and has yet to fall out!
- loves to color and draw
- loves baby dolls
- is very sensitive
- loves to wear "pretty dresses" and comb her hair herself
- talks in complete sentences and has been for a good long while now
- frequently comes up to me just to say, "Mama...um. I lu loo too". :)

Just one day old...

On her first birthday!
She loves all things girly, though she likes to play with Joshua's guns and cars too.

Trying to grab the camera.

Being a little lady. :)

She asks for "piggy tails" almost every day.

At the park...

She was either scared of her candles or her ice cream tonight....

...must have been the candles! :)

I took her to Red Robin for lunch today by herself. We had a great time, and she talked my ears off! Here she is trying to show me how old she is. She can't quite get the hang of the fingers. :)