Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dodging a Bullet

My town is nicknamed "Hurricane Alley" and with good reason. Since 1995 I have been through at least TEN, yes TEN hurricanes. I say at least because after four I quit counting. And this year we got to know Hurricane Irene. Thankfully, we had minimal damage but she was 600 miles wide and lasted over 24 hours. The rain started at 9:30. The NATIONAL weatherman told me the first band would hit Wilmington around 2 but, as usual, they were wrong!! Jim Cantore DOES NOT know everything about hurricanes. He needs to take some lessons from George Elliot. He knows a lot more about them than anyone I know. Anyway, God blessed us. We did not lose power, we did not have damage, and we did not have flooding. Here are some photos from Hurricane Irene:

 This is leaving the doctor's office for the SECOND time. I had to go back for Robert's math book and then go back for my pocketbook. If you look on the sidewalk you can see Canadian geese walking along. I think they figured out the sky wasn't safe but can't find a safe haven.
 Dark and lowering skies!
Yep, Mr. Handsome in the hurricane!! He is such a nut! I love him!! :)

Hurricanes, unfortunately bring creepy creatures out of our little wooded area. They are looking for dry land. We were leaving for AWANA and Mr. Handsome noticed a wiggly THING about nine inches long trying to get in our garage, under the door! It was a copperhead snake. Mr. Handsome got out, opened the garage door, grabbed a shovel, and chopped its head off. The only good copperhead is a dead copperhead!! 

OK, enough of the hurricane. We had a rather busy week last week. Everyone is finally settling into school and they seem to be enjoying it. Beatrice is going to have a rough time - she is not a morning person. She takes after Mr. Handsome. He sets his alarm for 5:20 with a 10 minutes snooze and doesn't awaken until 6:45!!! Thankfully, I wake up at 6:00 so I don't have to hear it too long. We got the chance to go swimming last week and here are couple more photos:

it seems a little strange to be swimming and then stuck in the house from a hurricane, doesn't it? Well, that's how we roll down here on the coast. One day swimming, another day waiting for the storm to pass over! I attempted to use my laundry baskets and it turns out the girls had started a stuffed animal babysitting business. Maddie was the owner/proprietor. She also made cloth diapers for the animals - very green indeed!

And here is what happens when  you skip your son's underwear and sock drawer for four years!! Yes, it's true and I humbly admit that I have neglected to sort through his underwear and socks for that long!! Look what I found:

Needless to say, he won't need anymore socks for awhile!

We have been enjoying the original Dennis the Menace series on netflix for the past week or two. We went to my favorite fabric store - Mill Outlet Village - and Robert bought leather scraps. He asked my friend if he could make holsters (or horsters, as he calls them) and she showed me how to shape them. So, here are his "horsters" :

And today was a big day!! All the girls were promoted in Sunday School. AND it was a rather sentimental day for me because our last, we think, child is leaving the nursery. Beaker moved up to the 3-4's Sunday School class. Beatrice moved up to the K-1st grade class, Lindsay moved up to the 2nd-3rd grade class, and Maddie moved up to the 6th-8th grade class. Robert will move up next year. Since I'm a slacker and didn't get any back to school photos, here is our back to Sunday School photo:

Looking forward to a terrific week!! :) 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Smooth Operator Strikes Again!

Getting back on my Sunday evening posts, here I am three days after my last post! I didn't think I'd have much to write about but we had a rather busy three days. Friday was a fun day - Maddie went to the nursing home with the youth group while we went swimming with my sister-in-law and her children. Here is the proof:

There was hardly anyone at the pool Friday and Lindsay and Robert had a ball making rafts. After the pool, we picked up Maddie from church and headed home. Mr. Handsome and I were going out on a date. We have dear friends who have VOLUNTEERED to babysit our children so we can go out together occasionally. We have had many people "volunteer" to watch our children and we have taken them up on it but it's not for the faint of heart. Oh, it's not because our children are naughty or anything like that, it's a lot of work taking care of five children!! And if they sense you are insecure, they are children. You know, if they see you blink, you're history? Yes, well, that's how they are!! Well, these friends not only know how to handle them, but our children LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! If one friend volunteers, they immediately ask if the other is going to come too; and vice versa!!! Isn't that sweet? How many children look forward to being babysat? AND when we come home everyone is bathed (if needed), fed, and the kitchen AND living room are clean and everyone's quiet!!! I thank the Lord for them. Mr. Handsome and I had a great time at our favorite place to eat: Bento Box. And I even had sushi - novice sushi - nothing uncooked and no eel or octopus or slimy stuff!!

Here is what our children look like after my friends who babysit feed them!! WHAT are they feeding them?????

On Saturday, Mr. Handsome did his new Saturday morning thing: surfing. I am so thankful he does it because he really loves it. This day was not to be like the other days, though. As I was sound asleep he came in and woke me up - nearly scared me to death! - to tell me he had to go to the doctor's. He was hit in the head by his own surfboard. He uses a longboard. It is very heavy and approximately seven feet long. He fell forward and it slammed into the side of his head. He had to get 11 stitiches and had a concussion (I only found out that he actually had a concussion when he was talking to our Preacher on the phone. He called to see how he was feeling.). I thank the Lord he was OK because as he was walking up the beach to his truck, two people were dragging another guy out whom Mr. Handsome thought had broken his neck and had knocked his teeth out. I am praying that that fellow is OK.

So, after that, Mr. Handsome spent the day in bed. He was pretty out of it really. Not in an alarming call 911 sense but just not feeling great. So he rested while we went to FAMILY FUN DAY! at church. We had a really fun time. There was great food and I got to sit around and talk with my friends while our children played with their friends. And they got to use an air shot gun or something like that. I don't know anything about guns but it looked pretty serious. It only shot a metal ball, I guess a BB, so it wasn't too dangerous. Here is everyone playing around with guns:
 Lindsay and her target
 She is NOT one of my children but IS one of my children!! Ha ha ha... She looks happy getting her picture taken doesn't she!! :) She is Maddie's cooking buddy, babysitting mentor, all around pal when she's around!! :)
Beatrice was so cute I had to take a second picture. Look at how she's trying to look through the site!! Or is that sight, or cite? Hmmm.... I think I need my merriam-webster!! :)

And here is our last picture: I do not like to get dirty. Don't act so surprised!!! So my friend decided to have compassion on Beaker and hold her because she was covered with sand from the sand pile!

Today was spent in the usual fashion: church in the morning. Well, except on this particular morning Mr. Handsome was not there to start Sunday School and our pastor was running late because he was having water problems or something. So our music director took over and got everyone where they needed to go and get everything done. I thank the Lord for him and his wife. I will get a picture up of them. They are so sweet and they love, love, love our children. When we go to the nursing home he leads the music there. Anyway, it was a bit of a crazy morning. God got us through it. I taught a friend's Sunday School class and it was great. We learned about Blind Bartimaeus. He wasn't afraid to tell people what the Lord did for him!!! WOW!! If I could be so bold!! God has done so much for us! Hey, He kept Mr. Handsome from ending up in the hospital with no teeth!! 

We went to Smithfield's after church which was lots of fun. We saw a family from church there so we sat near them. They area always amazed at what a great testimony our children are so they were glad for us to sit by them. We sat the children at one table and we sat at another so we had sort of a date I guess!!! Ha! After lunch, we came home, I made another Sunday Afternoon Skirt, then headed back to church. We are getting geared up for AWANA to start next week so I had my meeting with my leaders to get everything ready for our first night. We thought we were all ready but the catalog was wrong and we got the wrong books!! BOO!! Our AWANA order person is going to fix it. I was pretty wigged out. I am not used to orders getting messed up!!! Thankfully it was not O.E. (operator error) this time. Looking forward to a great week this week. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time flies...........

To finish that phrase, When you're having fun!!! The last two weeks have been rahther crazy!! Not that I am complaining because we have had a great deal of fun. I thank the Lord that I have a schedule now. I feel more like myself than I ever have since school ended last spring!! The children had a great summer and with homeschooling, summer continues all year really. We started school last week and while the children have been more resistant to their schedule, they have worked very hard on their schoolwork and their chores. We have also incorporated music lessons this year!! WHAT!! A music teacher teaching their OWN children music???? That's insane, you're probably thinking!! Well, maybe but I have really prayed about this and I know it would be easier for me to pay someone to teach them but, quite frankly, I do not know a better music teacher than myself! So there! I said it: I can teach my children better than someone else who charges $25.00 a HALF hour and in some cases doesn't even have a music degree!!!!! And so after much prayer and deliberation over how to accomplish this feat without losing my mind, Maddie, Robert, and Lindsay have all chosen instruments. Maddie chose the trumpet (oh joy!), Robert chose the recorder, and Lindsay chose the piano. They practice their music right after breakfast. And so far, God has really blessed us even though it's only been two weeks. I wake the gang up at 6:30 and they do their Bible video. Then we eat breakfast, music lessons, AWANA (when it starts), chores, then a few lessons in school. Break til 2:00pm, and school gets finished. Back to music: The little girls and I practice singing. I know that's scary for me since I am such a wonderfully trained singer!! Just kidding - I can not sing my way out of a paper bag; and just recently discovered that our Maddie, who has the voice of an opera singer (not kidding here) has been singing "like" me because she thinks that's how she's "supposed" to sing because it's all she's heard all her life. So we had a little chat and she is back to her crystal clear beautiful singing. Anyway, Beaker, Beatrice, and I sing Bible songs. This is their all time favorite that I finally got the words from a friend:
The devil is a sly old fox,
If I could catch him I'd throw him in a box,
Put him in a box and throw away the key,
So he won't play his tricks on me!
Anyway, I know: More pictures and less chatting. I can't really remember much about last week as it was a lot of school. Robert and Mr. Handsome went camping on Friday through Saturday. They had fun and Robert won a prize for catching the largest fish of the day: a 12 inch bass. He told everyone it was four feet wide!
Here is Lindsay with TWO missing teeth now. I pulled the other one out somewhere last week. It was in our bathroom. She is being silly! Surprise!!
Here she is with said tooth!!
I can't post enough pictures of Little A. He is almost as cute as our children!! :) WE all love him. He never cries for us in the nursery (That's because he loves Mr. Handsome - well, who doesn't??)
 These cupcakes were made for one of Beakers' little friends' birthday parties. It was at the railroad museum. His aunts made them. I think they are waaaaaay better than anything you could actually buy!!! The ladies at our church are so talented. I thank the Lord for them! :)

 In these photos you will see Beatrice trying to be Mommy two brothers from our church. They are so cute and they really do like Bea. She is just a bit smothery!!!! 

 The little fella on the right is one of Beaker's nursery buddies.
 Here's the smothery part!! ha ha ha ha haaa..... Aren't they cute?????  Get me away from this crazy insane kindergartener who's trying to be my Mommy!!!! Well, maybe they're not actually thinking THAT but it appears that way!! 
 What is a birthday party without Little A? Doesn't he look cute with his birthday hat?

 Here is one of my curtains. I think I am going to have to shorten it. I have one panel made for the bay windows. Three more to go. 
 This is what happens when I ask one of my dear friends for bows. She makes them and gave me a bag full!!! Needless to say, Beatrice and Beaker have no self restraint. Bea even wanted them on the back of her head.

 Beaker didn't want her picture taken at all!! She is pushing me away!
 Our only two photos from Jungle Rapids! 

What would life be like without a pez dachsund? 
And just in case you ever wondered what happens when three of your children jump on you in your favorite, beat up, recliner? YES!! It tips over!! Mr. Handsome showing his smooth operatorness!! :)

Some other things we did last week were attend a 50th anniversary party for a couple from our church. They are such a terrific testimony!!! We had a speaker who came to speak on the inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration of the Bible, specifically the King James Bible. He was great. He went through a history of the Bible, too. He is also the son-in-law of my favorite author on the subject, G.A. Riplinger. is her website. She has done exhaustive research on the matter and makes it evident in just a cursory reading of her material that the new "versions" are not accurate and deliberately change what God has said with the intent to deceive. But don't take my word, or Mrs. Riplinger's word: Check for yourself!!! That's how I found out. If I didn't have people in my life who handed me a Bible and said, "You can understand this with the help of the Holy Spirit in your life", I never would have known I don't need Greek and Hebrew or a Ph.D. in Divinity!! If God made salvation accessible to EVERYONE, wouldn't He also make His Word accessible to EVERYONE too? Sure He did!!! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I feel like my one of my children has left the nest

I am going to start with today and work backwards because it was such a bittersweet day. It was sad because we said goodbye in high style to one of our serviceman who is heading out to Afghanistan. He will be there a year I think. We are going to pray for him everyday and hope that God uses him while he's over there. The bittersweet day was saying goodbye to one of my friends' daughters who I have known since she was younger than our Maddie. I was her flute teacher for a number of years and she is probably one of the most talented and intelligent kids I have ever met. She is heading to North Carolina School of Math and Science in Durham. It is only a two hour drive but it feels like it's going to be worlds away. She has been such a blessing to our family. She and her family arrived at  our church I think seven years ago with our newly formed Korean ministry. They are one of the original families and she grew up in our church. I couldn't even play my saxophone during the offering because it was right before it that it hit me that I would not be seeing her every service!! I felt like I was letting one of my children go!! Ha! And her mom is so dear to me. I know she will miss her. But, without further ado, here we are trying to be happy!
Here she is with her Mom!! :)

Here we are acting happy!!

Not sure what Beaker was thinking here but she thought she knew how to use chopsticks!!! Well, she was eating some Korean noodles. I guess that makes sense. 

Yesterday was quite a busy day. We had a birthday party for a dear friend's husband who turned 80!! They are a terrific couple and we think so much of them. In fact, Beatrice thought so much of them, she spent all day finding just the right outfit. With a little help from me, we settled on one that matched her shoes. I know, what was I thinking? MY shoes didn't even match MY outfit today!

Beaker and Beatrice helping open presents!!

Here we are listening to the singing bear. He was very cute!!

Here is our friend opening the presents from the children. Notice the Dollar Tree flip flops under his arm!! And the eraser, which was from me, says "for REALLY BIG mistakes!" ha ha ha ha....

You can just make out Beaker under the blue package. She is shoving the present at our friend. He must be moving too slow for her!!

I love this photo of Beatrice and Beaker helping out. Our friend received a priceless gift; Navy pins from the 1700s given by a friend of his. They were pretty amazing. He was in the Navy many moons ago.

 This is a very important photo! Lindsay made me PULL her tooth out AT the party. Our friends got such a kick out of it, they brought her $.50 this morning at church! My children think that since the mom on "Table for Twelve" pulls her childrens' teeth out, I ought to do it to. I am getting used to it. Thankfully, I have a lot of teeth to pull and the queasiness is going away.
Kristine and Robert relaxing.

The above two photos are Beaker's attempt at abstract art I guess. She used her allowance money to buy playdoh. 

We spent our day Friday shopping for school supplies. We start tomorrow. It was a fun day. It started at 8:30 and we arrived back home at 1:45. Our stops included, but not necessarily in the proper order: Walmart, Kohl's, Used Bookstore, Belk, Staples, Le Target,  Chick-fil-a with our friends, Dollar Tree, and probably a couple others but I can't remember. God blessed us because I was able to get all the children shoes for $53.95 at Kohl's and earn a $10.00 Kohl's bucks giftcard. I was very excited because I don't use their credit card and I got it without using the credit card. We saved $116.00! The rest of the week was spent recovering from minor surgery. I definitely don't like anesthesia. On a good note, I found out after I got home that the Great Oz has  problems with anesthesia so I felt a bit consoled knowing that I inherited it honest. Nothing serious but not very comfortable.

Looking forward to a great week starting school!! The children are very excited to start. I am excited to see how God blesses them this year. We thank the Lord we can homeschool our children. It is a real blessing. I better get my phone ready for first day of school photos.