Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Baking

Kenna mixing frosting
hehe Cheesy Wyatt
Ebbers final product
Tanner frosting
Everyone working hard decorating
Kayla did these all by herself! mmm
Chocolate chip cookies nad I actually made 3 loaves of Chocolate chip banana bread(its famous round here)
Brownies in the back, sugar cookies in the front
Hey gang! Havin fun?
Serious business
Excuse the messy floor, we were baking!
My pretty baby!

I don't recall taking many pictures of baking, though we do it each year. So, this year I went a lil crazy! Enjoy the pics. We had a blast and then we went and drove them all over town and handed them out to family and friends. It was a fun night.


This big boy is our 2 year old 60lb border collie, Ringo! We got him from the pound. He was an owner surrender from a family who lost their home and had to move into an apartment. He is such a good pup. He loves all the kids and animals and you can tell he is so happy to have found a forever home after what he had been through. He runs until he can't run anymore, then he comes in with Sandy(our small border collie/cocker spaniel mix) and they cuddle up and sleep on their doggie beds together in a doggie pile.

Wyatt Declared it a Christmas Miracle

Maddy waiting for Wyatt
YAY no more cast!

Kenna hangin out while they sawed Wyatt's cast off

Its a long story, but the short of it is; Wyatt wanted his cast off a week before it was due to come off. He premeditated a cast soaking. Well, he succeeded and.....he won! Okay really, he went out that morning and cleaned his whole basketball court. I asked him why he was doing that. His reply was something about his cast coming off in a week. Ok so? That night in the bath he dunked his entire arm and laughed and told me that he cleaned his court off cause he is getting his cast off tomorrow because his arm is wet and they have to. Well, lucky for both of us, his xrays were good and his WAS indeed removed. Lil stinker. Backing up for a second for anyone who missed it, he fell out of their big playset fort onto the wooden edging that keeps wood chips in the play area and landed square on his forearm, which broke it.


Homeschool Group

Only about half our families showed up for the annual group Christmas party. Yea.......that's a LOT of kids! We are blessed to have an awesomely huge homeschool group that is very active.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Little of This and That

You know as a parent that just when you think you had it all figured out, you didnt. We have unschooled the better part of 2009 and the kids have thrived just fine. This past 2 months have been extremely busy though and we haven't been able to pursue many interests in light of the holidays. I feel like my kids had become slaves to TV with all this wintry weather and even on the ocassional nice day, they would decline to go out to play because Hannah Montana was on next. They were CONSTANTLY fist fighting for their preferred shows as well. I knew they all were having some TV addiction, but I realized how bad it was when I took Wyatt to the Dr.s a few weeks back to discover he had gained 12 lbs in one month. I knew they had been inactive, but WOW. Kayla, Everett and Tanner all put on 5-7lbs themselves over the course of 1-2 months so I felt that we had to do something extreme to stop all the laying around. I dont feel Nate and I are preparing them properly for adulthood by entertaining all their fancies to watch television all day long. I have no idea the lasting effects on neural connections that so much TV could cause. So. We stopped TV watching. We have a cable contract until March and we will have it shut off completely then. We plan to replace it with a piano in our front room. For now, we will put the box in the front room once a week or so to watch an hour in the evening to unwind. This is our best effort to "wean" them before March when it is completely gone. We also bought them a trampoline, tons of games and outdoor play equipment to encourage them to do other fun things besides TV which they no longer have. In light of their boredness and some excellently balanced parenting(H. Clay Trumball's Hints on Child Training and Grace Based Discipline by Dr. Kimmel) and homeschooling(Charlotte Mason-own almost every book about her or by her) books I have been reading, I feel that regular school work has finally found a balanced place in our home. We wake up at 7 and I usually read our poem(a new one every few weeks) while everyone is making breakfast. Everyone is dressed and starting school by 7:30 at which time we take up our Bible reading and some days we draw a picture in our Bible Notebook or somedays we just discuss what we read. We are currently in NT, going through the Gospels. After that is reading from The Door in the Wall and Stories From American History(living book about American history). Of those they narrate what we read, ocassionaly writing or dictating for me. We also fill in our Century book timeline with any new readings from history. Next we do a quick, short picture study one day a week and Nature Notebooks another day. Lastly, we try and fit in a story from our fairy tales book and plan to start Plutarch's Lives soon for Hero Admiration. I want my kids to admire the good qualities in Heros from fairy tales, the Bible or real people. Finally we move on to math, reading, copywork from their Lesson Languages for Little ones series by Sandy Queen. After that the boys are done and Kayla finishes her geography also from Sandy Queen(Charlotte mason homeschool book supplier) and her and I are doing a Bible study together called A Virtuous Girl. Its wonderful. The last thing is her spelling, I casually look through her writing and pick a few misspelled words and she will write a silly story with those words spelled correctly or we might do some other fun activity with words that trouble her, but its all very casual as spelling mostly comes with age and lots of reading of good books. Anyhow, though this sounds like a ton, it is not. We usually finish by 9 or 9:30 and we are out the door to the gym as a family. Nate goes with us. We both decided to recommit to going because working out at home is boring us to pieces and its hard because of the littler kids. We hit the gym for about an hour and then we are back home and everyone tidy's up their rooms and goes out to play for a bit until lunch is made. After lunch, we have put a quiet hour in place in our home and we play the best classical music during this 1 hour. The baby and Kenna and even sometimes Tanner and myself nap on the couches while the bigger kids might read or play or do some quiet activity. Somedays they just stare at the walls listening to Beethoven in awe of how he made such beautiful music being deaf. After this quiet hour everyone is up and doing their jurisdiction which rotates weekly. Then its outside to feed animals and then dinner, baths, and bed. Our days are running much smoother and need for training or discipline has really dropped since putting in place a stricter routine. I don't call it training or discipline because I see my children as dogs, I most certainly do not and though I don't love those words, it is important for kids to know there are things he ought to do because he ought to do them and not because he loves them. A child should have a sense of duty for certain things as we adults do. It is our God Given job to raise our children to be dutiful and be trained in a way that others can see them as helpful, God loving spirits. The Bible has told us to "train up our child" so that when they are old, they will not depart from those teachings. Train and teach are virtually interchangable in child rearing. Now discipline has its place too. It is reserved for extreme cases, but children need to know parents are the final authority and certain things can't be tolerated even if it means some form of discipline to help the child stop a certain thing they should not be doing, though we always have to consider the broadest range of age appropriateness in our expectations. Our routine is posted in our home for all to see and they can easily anticipate what will happen next throughout the day. The best thing in our lives lately though is our new church. We found a beautiful, small Bible church 1 mile down the road that we decided to try(not sure why it never struck us before now). Anyhow, we have been going for about 1 month now and we love it. Its small, welcoming, strictly Bible based, aimed for a younger crowd, great worship, WONDERFUL kids program, very active in the community and in fellowship opportunities. We have a lunch brunch once a month for everyone to socialize after church and family night on wednesday nights for everyone to do a potluck style dinner and games and have a message. There are women's, men's and teen Bible study groups. Its really awesome. Christmas Eve service was beautiful and I felt real gratitude for having found it. Anyway, that is about all that is going on around here. Oh wait, did I mention Kenna hasn't nursed, wore daipers or drank from a bottle for 2 days now?? YAY! Okay off to help Nate clean up his horsey, she rolled in the mud and it dried on her:)

*****Its Febuary and I just wanted to update***** HAHA, that didnt last but a week I think. The schooling part that is. I just dont beleive in it. I tried though! The keeping of some basic principles and of course chores has lasted, though my kids still eat what they want and pretty much live in a very democratic home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Update on Genetic Testing

I am so excited! The geneticist called today and told us that Nate and I's genes are perfect. We have absolutely no anomalies to note. That means Wyatt's gene abnormality probably wouldnt carry over to his children and it also means that anymore children we have are likely to have no issues. His genetic coding must have been spontaneous disturbed during the sperm and egg meet up when cells started to divide. I am so greatful to have gotton such good news right before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009!

Kayla 9 years
MaddyMay and Mama
The whole gang
Aw Daddy's and their baby girls totally melts me
My beautiful girls
My one true love
I still totally <3 him after all these years(almost 10 now!)
The Christmas card shot!
My boys are turning into such handsome lil men, just like their Daddy

My sister took all these, she is just starting out as a photographer and I love her work:) We did them all outdoors, 3 miles up the road in the mountains.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Were Singin' Deck the Halls

I love havin a baby around during the holidays hehe
Even the dishwasher got a lil decor

above the kitchen sink
The kids have been busy making artwork and lists
The dining room with our new country Christmas table cloth
I love this guy~!
The bookcase
The stockings
The TV area
The bathroom
Shower curtain
The tree!
MaddyMay's very own first ornament
Deckin the tree while listening to loud Christmas music and fresh baking cookies. Oh the smells that day each year. This is a day every year that we all look forward to and I think its mostly for the smells of pine and chocolate chip cookies! mmmm
Kenna putting the angel on top
All Done! Dinner time

We are truley blessed. A big, beautiful family, overpouring love, a warm home, wonderful animals to share our lives with and enough money to be comfortable! Praise God

Bein' Silly

Scarecrow cake made for our homeschool group Harvest party by the kids and I
My long hair

Kayla and I took one last shot of our long hair before going to the salon that evening chop it!

A Lil Late

Lexi(my neice lf) and MaddyMay(rt)
Kitty Kenna
The whole gang
Their jank-o-lanterns
Carvin pumpkins

Our Halloween was overscheduled which isnt something I normally do. We ended up having an apt in the morning, a birthday party in the afternoon(yes on Halloween, dont get it?) and a big Harvest Festival at church. All in all the kids had fun, but I dropped into bed exhausted hehe.