Spring Break happenings

Well here it is…the last night of our (my) spring break. I started this week with a huge list of stuff I wanted to get done. Some of it got crossed off and some will just have to wait until I have time (ha!). I have to say that I’m thankful I’m working in a place right now where I actually get a spring break and surprisingly enough I only had a handful of calls about work (which is really surprising). However, I could use another week off, but who couldn’t.
Here are some things that I (we) got done this week…

* Revamped (pretty much redone from scratch) the church website. This was a huge undertaking for several reasons…1. I’m not a webdesigner so it’s a huge learning curve 2. There were lots of changes that needed to be made so it took a lot of time. I can totally see why people charge $700-$1000 to design a webpage and then a monthly fee to update it. I spent at least 25-30 hours working on it and there are still things that need “tweaking”.

* Cleaned the storage room. This was another big task. We sorted through boxes and tubs and threw stuff away, packed it better or marked it for sale. This included my huge fabric stash that I’ve moved around with us for the last several years. It was tough, but I parted with a bunch (I still have about 5 tubs left of fabric for my “someday”).

* Caught up on laundry and then got behind again. Eh. This is pretty much never ending so I’ll just keep riding that hamster wheel.

* Went through closets and put away clothes that don’t fit, got out ones that do and got rid of ones that we’ll never wear again.

* Planted the “cold” stuff in our garden. (Actually Kerry did this, but it was a joint to-do list, so this can be a joint to-done list).

* Cleaned the boy’s bathroom (they did this) While it’s a weekly or bi-weekly thing that it gets cleaned…I have 3 boys who use that bathroom and it gets dirty fast. Anytime it gets clean it’s deserving of a yay!

* Attempted to potty train a 2 year old. We made some progress, but not totally there. We’ll see how next week goes.

* I actually finished a quilt, cut and sewed another top and am working on quilting another together. It was so nice to sew again! I miss it. If I have time in the near future I’ll go through my stash again and pull out fabric for some new skirts. I was going to do that when I went through it the first time, but our focus was put away…not get stuff out.

* I spent time with my parents who came to visit this past weekend, which was great!

* I actually took a  nap or two. It was FANTASTIC! I also stayed up late and slept in past 6:30. I never slept through the night, but I am so not a morning person. I would much rather stay up late and sleep in a bit, so it was delightful to do that this week. I’m pretty sure though that tomorrow morning is going to BITE.

* I made 2 pans of really awesome lemon bars with some lemons Grandma sent from California. Seriously…they lasted about 24 hours per pan.

So I guess all in all it was a pretty successful week. I still have part of my list to-do, but it will wait I suppose. For now though I think I’ll spend my last few hours of spring break cuddling with my kiddos and counting down the days until summer break.

Speech Therapy Update

So I promised an update for our speech therapy appointment this week. Here it is in a nutshell, He’s fine.

Here’s the more detailed version…Keep in mind it was only one test, but it does give us some good information.

The test (and I can’t remember the name) measures both expressive (what he says) and receptive (what he understands) speech. The mean score is 100. Normal is considered 15 above or 15 below that 100.

With his expressive speech, which includes his speech sounds, putting 2 or more words together etc. He scored a 90. Still technically in the normal range, but at the low end, which we knew and expected. The receptive score which measures his understanding of language, parts of speech (such as adjectives, verbs, colors, pronouns and shapes). He scored 114. The speech therapist said his was the highest score that she’d ever had on that part of the test and was very impressed with his understanding of language.

The average of his two scores then gives us his overall score which is 102. This means he’s right at the mean for his age. The speech therapist basically said we could do a number of things from here. Our insurance won’t pay for therapy if he tests normal (and even then they don’t pay for things that are termed “developmental delays”). She also said we could try getting therapy through our school system (which would be free), however it could also be difficult to get it through them because he tests normal. She said if we did get therapy she thought we wouldn’t probaby need more than 3 months or so. The other option is to wait and see where he is in a few months. She thinks he’s “on the bubble” and will probably really develop in speech in the next few months. We’re probably going to wait.

She did give us some good hints for how to help him develop his speech more here at home. Basically it’s “be Sesame Street” Narrate our lives (which we kind of thought we already did, but apparently we could do more). Things like “we’re going up up up the stairs. Where are we going? up up up!” Exhausting and silly sounding, but he looks thoroughly entertained.

So basically we have a normal kid who just doesn’t feel like talking. We’ve been reminded several times lately that Einstein didn’t talk until he was 5.


I haven’t been home much it seems like lately. I’ve been working trying to finish up stuff at school as I have two courses coming to an end. I also have some new simulation rotations coming up so I’m trying to get those ready. I hate to be unprepared. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot going on here at home and I HATE that even more. I keep reminding myself…”we have a plan” and “just say no” (working on setting boundaries at work).

That being said…I said YES today to hosting a bridal shower at my house in April. Can I just say that 1. it’s kind of out of my comfort zone to agree to open my house to a group of ladies for a girlie bridal shower (remember…4 boys…not much girlie here). and 2. I’m really excited about it. I’ve always wanted to be one of those hostess type people, but have never quite trusted I could do it. So here I am…stepping outside my box and right now am totally stoked about it. (ask me again as I’m frantically stuffing dirty clothes in the back bedroom the day before…)

I’m also thrilled to start planning the garden. Kerry has been working up the spot for our garden the last few days, the boys have been helping. Our biggest planning issue seems to be how to keep the bunnies out and save our produce. Trapping them (then eating or killing), fencing (which hasn’t proved effective), chili powder (which totatlly didn’t work) or planting melons on the edge (and allowing the buggers to eat them while hopefully leaving everything else alone) are all options that are currently on the table. I am not at all thrilled at the thought of planting a bunch of beans and then having those rascals eat them all before I even get a taste. Seriously. Just thinking of it makes me lean towards the death penalty option, but we’ll see.

We’ve started studying the 10 commandments with the boys during family worship this week. We’re tackling a commandment each day (we’ve done an intro and the first 2). Otto’s reading skills are developed enough that he was able to read the 2nd commandment and the subsequent 3 verses along with it. He was thrilled. Very cool. We’re not quite sure yet how we’ll broach the “adultery” commandment yet…we’ll let you know how it goes.  Tonight while Gabe was reading he said “Daddy look…its says Baby lawn (Babylon), isn’t that funny?” We got a nice little chuckle. Zeke is doing much better at sitting still during worship and prayer time. He LOVES singing time. He’ll sit there and sing his “oooh” as loudly as possible.

I’m really hating this whole time change thing. It makes me feel like I’m running behind and I already felt like that before the clocks moved. I know I can’t do anything about it, but really…it has completely thrown me off and I don’t like it. If I could cross my arms and pout about it a little while I would, but I have to suck it up and deal.

I’m ready for spring break. Period. I’m ready for spring break. I want to spend an entire week at home with my family just hanging. We debated about heading back to Kansas for a quick visit, but I’m afraid with the price of gas it’s just not in the Dave Ramsey budget. But we do miss our family and will be thinking of everyone that week. Maybe we’ll hit the lottery between now and then and we can fund the trip. 🙂 But in case that doesn’t happen, I’ve been working on a to-do list. Including play, sew, play, sew, garden, cook, garden, cook, sleep and nap. We might add sort through storage and school room…I should probably clean out closets too, that doesn’t sound very fun though.

I think that’s most of the “stuff” in my brain. Oh yeah…I’m totally looking forward to having a picnic lunch with our homeschool friends on Friday. We miss them and are excited to spend time together. Yay! For those wondering about our speech therapy appointment last week, it went well but we’re not done. We go back on Thursday for the rest of the eval and then I’ll post an update. Basically it’s nothing we didn’t know before…Zeke is brilliant but not talking. 🙂

Did you know??

Did you know that…

boys make a bathroom really dirty in a very short amount of time?

Legos can be used effectively as booby traps for robbers (and parents) when spread strategically in the doorway and the hallway?

I worry about Zeke who isn’t talking well yet? I worry about where I messed up and what I missed. I worry about our speech therapy appointment this week. I know things could be worse, but it still worries me.

never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be where I am right now?

when I was growing up I thought I would have 4 children…3 girls and 1 boy? (I still thought I could order them back in the day). I am DELIGHTED with the 4 boys I have!

when Kerry and I got married (at 19) we wanted 6-8 children. I still remember Pastor Mark sitting across from us smiling when we told him that during pre-marital counseling.

I would much rather stay up late at night and sleep later in the mornings?

I would much rather freeze at a football game than watch an entire basketball game indoors?

I never ever tire at the miracle of birth. I love seeing babies being born, helping mommies give birth and that new baby smell? It is way amazing, every.single.time.

I miss singing in a choir. I miss 4 part harmony.

I worry sometimes that I’m not doing a good enough job building character in my children. That someday they’ll grow up and people will ask “where were their parents?!?”

my children teach me something new everyday? That their personalities are very different from mine (thank goodness!) and they push me to think about things from a different perspective.

I admire people who can quilt, can vegetables, play piano, garden and in general do all the things I wish I could do well.

Kerry painted my parent’s barn to earn enough money to buy my engagement ring?

I haven’t ever had a pedicure and don’t intend to. People touching my feet freaks me out.

when I type my blog I’m always secretly afraid someone is going to read it and edit it for grammar and proper punctuation. Seriously, I am. I halfway expect someone to send me a copy of my blog with red marks on it.

I made a bucket list in college, before bucket lists were cool. I found it the other day…it had things like “go skydiving”, “go to a Metallica concert” and “hike the entire length of Rainbow trail”. It made me laugh. Skydiving is still on the list though.

I don’t tell those I love them enough, I don’t say “thank you” enough to those who have made a difference in my life.

Teaching reminds me of drama performances in highschool. It’s like standing up in front of a bunch of judges and they tell you (on their anonymous evals each semester) exactly what they thought of your performance. I loved drama, the judging not so much.

sometimes I have a hard time thinking about something non-controversial to write about on my blog so I come up with “did you know…” lists.

God's will

Heavy stuff lately floating around in my brain, I wish I had more time to write during the week, but my evenings have been spent working and playing with the kiddos. So weekends it is for right now.

I have to admit that my view of God’s will has changed lately. A lot of believers hold the same belief that I used to…that God’s will is this mystery that we’re to figure out. It’s this unknown “thing” and that it’s our job as “good Christians” to figure it out and follow it. If we don’t figure out what it is God wants us to do then we’re living outside His will. And for some (myself included) this meant that we had done something wrong. Interpreted some sign wrong and were “doomed” to be living away from what God wanted. Taken even to a more extreme scenario that once you were out of His will, it was going to be pretty tough to get back into His will and there was going to be a lot of pain and suffering in the process.

You know what I’ve learned? God doesn’t roll that way. He isn’t some big mystery, He doesn’t want us to agonize over every decision. His will for our lives is to 1. Love Him! 2. Love your neighbor and 3. He’ll work everything else out for good. The deal is this…If we are continually seeking Him, loving Him with our heart soul and mind, then loving our neighbor as ourselves we’ll be doing His will. That’s what He wants for our lives, He doesn’t want us to be paralyzed with fear that we’ll make the wrong choice and He’s going to be there waiting to thwap us on the head for making a bad decision. He wants us to do something. (That something is to love Him). He wants us to love others. Whatever we decide after that is going to be used for His glory.

That doesn’t mean we’re not going to make some bonehead moves, but as long as we continue to seek His face and love those around us He’ll use those bonehead moves for good. Maybe not right away, but it’ll happen.

An example from our life is our decision to move here to Pueblo and our current situation.  When we moved here, we moved here for a job for me. We weren’t necessarily looking for something for Kerry (and we realize now that our priorities were in the wrong place). You know what though? God has used our bonehead move (to come here with the wrong priorities) to bring about some awesome changes and growth in our family. God used our wrong motives to bring us to a place where we have the right priorities. For example, when we first came here we didn’t really have homeschooling on the radar. We thought public school, maybe a private school, would be okay for our kids. Through a series of events God brought us to the understanding that His desire for our family was for us to homeschool and disciple our children. Through study and prayer we’ve come to feel that this is a Biblical command for believers.

When we first came here we had in mind what we needed and wanted from a church. Gabe was attending a preschool at a local church (which is now our church). We decided to visit one Sunday thinking there would be kids from his class there. (There weren’t) But we found a Bible teaching, meat giving, genuine church. We have a fantastic church family. We’ve found a church that has loved us, prayed for us and accepted us (and eachother) flaws and all. We’ve found a church that challenges us and helps us grow. By the way, Gabe’s preschool closed later that fall and we decided to homeschool. Wanna know something cool? The majority of our church at that time had homeschooled their children (almost all of those kids were teens) and we had an instant support group. We had folks that were willing to help teach us, guide us and support us in our decision to homeschool. Totally a God thing.

Our first year in Pueblo we had some money issues (mostly due to adjusting to a teachers salary). Which lead us to Dave Ramsey. While we’re still not debt free, we’re working really hard in that direction. We know that being debt free is going to be the best for us. It’s helping us live in accordance with God’s plan for the lives of those He loves.

We’ve also felt convicted about God’s plan for our family, which has given us 2 more beautiful boys. Lord willing, we will be blessed with more children as He sees fit. He values children as do we. We’ve come to view children as true blessings and allow God to give us as many as He choses. I realize to some this is a totally foreign concept, even within the church. We’d be happy to tell you more about why we feel so convicted about this and why we feel it’s right for our family.

I have come to realize in the recent past that God doesn’t want us to be paralyzed by fear. He’s not trying to make it hard for us by making us “guess” His will. Sometimes the fear of making the wrong choice keeps us from making any choice, which certainly isn’t His will either.

God had working amazing things our lives and the direction He has taken us. Eventhough we have made mistakes, He has turned those for good because we love Him and love others. He has a plan, we just need to love Him and our neighbor as ourselves. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have hardship or that things don’t go badly for us, but it means that we are in His will, His purpose for our lives is being played out despite ourselves.  And that is a pretty sweet spot to be.

What now?

I’m not sure that I have a lot to share this week…it’s been a pretty emotional and stressful week at our house this week.
It kind of builds on the boundaries and blessings post I wrote a few weeks ago. A dear friend lost her husband this week. My heart aches for her and their children. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to continue after losing your lifemate. While we, as believers, have hope in death, it doesn’t take away the distress of losing someone we love.

We also found out that several other friends are hurting or diagnosed with illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. Emotionally it’s been difficult for us. We don’t know how to support these friends other than to pray and be there, but it just doesn’t seem enough. We know that God has a plan and He is sovereign. We thank Him for the blessings we’ve been given and we pray for those who are hurting. We rejoice and mourn with our friends. Always trusting and leaning on our everlasing God.

This week has helped remind me just how blessed we are to have another day with our loved ones, a healthy day and to treasure those special moments. (that sounds so cliche’ but it’s true). I have spent the better part of the last 2 weeks wallowing in my own self pity because things weren’t going the way I wanted them to. I’ve been throwing a big grown up hissy fit because my life wasn’t moving in the direction I wanted it to go (well it has been, but it isn’t moving fast enough and I want it right now instead of allowing it to be a process). God is working on me and I’m learning to wait. But this past week has helped me to see my life from a different perspective. I am blessed and I need to quit being such a baby, God has a plan…He’s in charge…not me. Be thankful. I am thankful for the work God is doing in my life and I am thankful for the lessons He is teaching me. Even if they’re tough (see humbling) ones.