Saturday, December 31, 2011

Emma's Birthday!

We sure do have a lot to celebrate in a short amount of time!
Emma turned 11 this week!!
We usually do a birthday breakfast, but this year since the girls had to be at church early, we went with birthday muffins!
We try to keep birthday and Christmas separate, so we open presents for each separtely.
We opened birthday presents between church services. Since the girls had to stay for the 2nd service, we had some time to fill!
And later at Roman Christmas....
Me and my Christmas baby!


What a fun Christmas! The kids were up by 6am! I heard the girls jump out of bed and say,
"Let's go check the milk and cookies!"

That was followed by excited giggles and gasps as they realized that Santa had been there!
I heard them checking out the presents, how big they were, whose name was on them. I lingered in bed for just a minute and enjoyed listening to them!

The girls finally woke Aiden up and he came out, looked at the tree and then turned to his sisters and said,
"Emma! Yi-ah! Which one is mines?"

Santa presents!
At our house Santa brings one present, and Aiden had asked for a "green measure."
He meant a green measuring tape, and of course, Santa brought him one!

My favorite gift?
A new pair of running shoes!
They were tagged,
"To Mom, From Aiden,
You can run but you can't hide!"

Later that morning we went to church.
During the worhip service Moriah played "We Three Kings" with her piano instructor and Emma sang another Christmas song. Hopefully the video of that will be coming soon!
While we were at church, Aiden took this picture of us.

We've come a long way since last Christmas morning!

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with Ryan's parents and grandparents.
We had pizza, played games, and opened presents.

I love this picture!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Christmas Traditions

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year!
This Christmas season has been one of my favorites! Isn't God so good? Last year, although Christmas was still Christmas, and we were thankful to have Ryan home, our circumstances surrounding Christmas were the worst ever. Last Christmas season is really a blur to me. There a few memories, and times I enjoyed, but I felt as if I were going through the motions for the most part. Perhaps that's why this year was so special. I think it's also because all 3 kids were old enough to begin understanding it and to be excited about it. I know we won't have many years like this, if we have another. It won't be long and the girls will lose some of their child like wonder of Christmas. I pray they always have some wonder of Christmas, but it will soon become a more grown up wonder! So I tried hard to squeeze out every ounce of enjoyment this year! 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas traditions:

Christmas Tea
This was Emma's first year to go, and she brought along her American Girl doll, which I thought was too cute!
Here are all the Roman ladies at the Christmas Tea.

The Coleman Christmas Parade
This was Aiden's favorite entry this year!

Decorating Our Tree
Getting out our ornaments is so much fun! Ryan and I both have our childhood ornaments, and our kids get new ones each year. Here they are with their new ones for last year. The girls have a globe since we studied "Countries and Cultures" last year. Aiden has a dump truck since that was his "favorite" toy last year!

One of my favorite ornaments, this one is for our little Roman baby in heaven.

And this makes me laugh! My kids have always loved Rudolph, and they were so excited to get this lighted Rudolph. They used a paper chain for reigns, and a box lid for a sleigh. They used stuffed animals for Santa and elves. The Santa costume they had, but Emma sewed the eleves' hats!

Here's the finished prouct!

What a joy to be able to decorate our tree together this year! We had to make some changes....we did go with a small artificial tree instead of real, but we were all healthy enough to do it ourselves! Of course we couldn't help but think of our dear friends who worked quickly to get last year's tree up before I came home from the hospital!

Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
For many years now we have done shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The kids have fun putting their boxes together. Emma even sewed a few items for her box this year.

The Santa House

Baking Cookies!

Christmas Movies!
Friday night is usually movie night, and in December it becomes Christmas movie night!
Some of our favorite Christmas movies to watch:

The Nativity Story
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Miracle on 34th Street
The Muppets Christmas Carol
Christmas With a Capital C
Veggie Tales-Little Drummer Boy

Christmas Stories By The Tree
Some of our favorite books:

The Legend of the Candy Cane
Memories from the Manger
The True Night Before Christmas--a gift this year--beautiful book!!
Bear Stays up for Christmas
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

What a wonderful Christmas season it has been for us!
I'd love to hear some of your Christmas traditions!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Weeks 12-13

Weeks 12 and 13 covers the 10 Plagues of Egypt.
We covered 2 plagues each day.
First day was blood and frogs.
The girls decided to act out a few plagues, and so we found frogs all over the house!
On the sofa, in our beds, in the cabinets, and in our food. 
Of course Dad was Pharoah, so at dinner he had frogs on his plate and red food coloring in his milk.

Here are some frogs on the mirror.

And a frog on the spelling board!

I asked the girls to think about what it would be like to have the land overtaken by frogs.
Think of the sound!
It was probably difficult to walk around without stepping on one!
The smell of the heaps of dead frogs once the plague was removed.
All because one man was stubborn, and refused to acknowledge God as God.

Then came flies and they taped little black dots to Dad's shirt.

During the livestock plague I found many "dead" stuffed animals throughout the house. 

Then came boils and hail.
The girls taped red circles to me and Ryan for boils.
 They hung little brown circles from the ceiling for hail.
There was hail in every room except the girls' room, because they were the Israelites.

Some of my favorite "plague" quotes:

"Watch out, hail machine coming through!" -Emma, pushing dad's wheelchair to use as a stool so she could reach the ceiling to hang the hail!

"Oh, and mom, you're the Queen, so sores, sores, sores, boils, boils, boils-- and all that stuff on you!"-Emma

Here's some "hail" in the sky.

Other happenings this week:
  • We finished up our read aloud by Patricia St. John, Star of Light. Very good book!
  • We began our new read aloud for the Christmas season, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This is such a good book too! We'll be watching the movie over Christmas break.
  • In grammar, Emma was introduced to outlining. She also had an assignment to write notes for a "How To" demonstration. She chose to explain "How to Make Johnny Cakes." That's one of her favorite recipes!
  • Emma has been thankful that math has eased up on long division in her recent lessons! The focus has moved to reviewing previous material, which makes for a less painful math lesson for her!
  • Moriah is still working on memorizing multiplication facts. She has also been introduced to division!
  • After today we are officially on Christmas break! We'll be doing some review next week, and maybe a math lesson or two. Other than that, we are on break!! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Weekend Update

What a week we have had! Here's why I missed last weekend's update!
  • Puke! Yep, we had a stomach bug stop by the house! Aiden started around 10pm Saturday night. Is it just our house, or do these things ALWAYS start at night? When they're in bed. So the bedding needs to be changed. And pillows must be washed (or tossed out in this case!) Ugh!!
  • He was up about every 20-40 minutes until 5am! I was exhausted!
  • Sunday morning we stayed home from church, slept in, and started catching up on the 25 loads of laundry from the night before!
  • Pump goes out! The pump for the well. Which gives us water! Which I need to do my 25 loads of laundry, wash puke pans (which were still being used!) and to wash hands! So I armed myself with hand sanitizer and 2 cans of Lysol while we waited for the pump to be fixed! Ugh!!!
  • Sunday evening, pump is working and puke seems to be gone! Hallelujah!!
  • Monday morning, heading out for a 7am appt--van wouldn't start! Really??
  • Cancel 7am appt.
  • Tuesday--van is fixed! Yay!
  • Tuesday night--pump goes out again! We were told on Sunday that more work needed to be done and they would do that on Friday.
  • We called to see if they could move that up!
  • Wed evening--we have water again!!

By this point in the week, I was ready for the weekend!
And what a great weekend we had!
We started our Christmas week by seeing our children in various Christmas programs.

Emma had her Christmas Choir Concert (they call it a Holiday Concert, but I just can't!)

Here's her group. She is in the 2nd row, 2 in from the right.

Here's after the performance!

And this morning was our first time having all 3 of our children in the children's Christmas program at church! We won't have many of those!

The cute little boy in the red sweater, yeah, he's ours! He's singing "Away in a Manger."
He waved to me, he waved to his daddy. The little girl next to him was sitting between Aiden and another boy. Apparently Aiden wanted to breathe like a dragon on the other boy, and of course the other boy returned the dragon breathing! The little girl put her hands up in an attempt to keep the boys away from her!

Moriah's class played the Christmas story and she had the part of the angel.  She did so good, even though she was a bit nervous! 
Emma's class played and sang "We Three Kings," and "Go Tell it on the Mountain."
It was a great way to start the Christmas week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week 11

Added to our timeline this week:
Jacob's Family Moves to Egypt
Old Babylonian Kingdom/Hammurabi
The Hebrews Become Slaves

For their history notebook they were supposed to make a page on Hammurabi's Laws...their work really made me laugh!
Here's Emma's illustration of a surgeon's hand being cut off because a patient died while he was performing surgery. As she was getting ready to draw this one she said, "Aiden! Come here! I need your hand!" Good thing she only used it for tracing!
To the left of the hand is an architect. She gave him a little speech bubble with "gulp" in it b/c he sees that a house he built has just fallen on a man and killed him, and according to the law he must be put to death.
And at the bottom she drew a picture of a man giving up his wife as a slave because he owes a debt that he cannot pay.

This is Moriah's page on Hammurabi's Laws.
This loving daughter of mine drew a picture of a Ryan giving me away as a slave because he cannot pay his debt. If you notice she drew Emma in the picture, crying because Mom is leaving. However, Moriah and Ryan are all smiles because now the Tiger fans outnumber the Cardinal fans!

Egyptian Queen Hatshepshut had an obelisk made to honor her reign, and the girls had an assignment to make draw an obelisk to commemorate someone or something.

Emma chose to make one in honor of music.

And my sweet Moriah? She made one to honor Luigi. Yes, the Luigi from Mario Bros.

Yes, Moriah is really crazy about Mario Bros. and especially Luigi. She has been asking for the Mario Bros. Wii game for Christmas. She has played it with Uncle Mike--more often than he probably cared to!
One of her recent math assigments was to write a multiplication word problem. This is what she wrote:
"Moriah did house chores every day. She was paid $3.00 a week. She worked for 17 weeks. How much money did she have?"
Answer: $51.00--enough to buy Mario Bros!!

That girl cracks me up!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Highlights from Weeks 8-10

We added Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph to our timeline.
They both added a page on Abraham and Isaac to their history notebook. 

Here's Emma's page on Abraham and Isaac.

And Moriah's.

They both did an Egyptian tomb painting coloring page.

This is Emma's.

And this one is Moriah's.

They made their name with heiroglyphs...this one is Emma's.

And this one is Moriah's

Moriah has been memorizing the poem "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" by William Wordsworth.
She has also been introduced to division and equivalent fractions.
She has been learning how to diagram sentences with predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives.

Emma has been studying verbs.
She is reviewing multiplication and division.

They both are memorizing the 10 commandments.
We are reading Star of Light by Patricia St. John as our read aloud.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Weekend Update

  • Ryan's recent appt. w/ the ortho surgeon:
Time to start thinking about surgery to remove the bone growth.
They will not remove all the bone growth but enough to give him more movement than he has now.
They will do a dose of radiation to prevent it from coming back.
However, according to Dr. some will come back, but hopefully not enough to limit him as much as now.
Chances of it coming back enough to severely limit him like now is 20-30%.
There is a chance that the nerve has intertwined in the bone growth.
If that's the case they will still do surgery, but be careful not to cut the nerve.
That's a good thing!
Dr. has ordered a CT scan and bloodwork.
Those have both been done.
We are waiting to hear the results from them.
  • Still waiting for more info on the jaw
  • Ryan will see the opthamologist later this month and the ENT in January.
  • I am still in PT twice a week for my neck/shoulder/back. I follow up with my dr later this month. My right side is still weak compared to the left. I still have times when I have to stop what I'm doing because of back pain.
  • The kids--Last week they talked a lot about the accident. Then Thursday, as we were getting ready to start school the girls brought it up again. As they started talking they both started to cry. I think one of the girls especially needed a good cry. As she put it, " I think I need to get some tears out." So, we closed our books and they cried. We talked. We hugged. Cried some more. When we were done I asked the one girl if she felt better and she said, "Yes, but I think I still have some more tears." I told her that we may always have some tears--just like when we lost our baby in a miscarriage. There are some things that will always make your heart ache. But we have hope in Jesus of a day when there are no more tears! What a wonderful day that will be! And until then, He will give His peace, comfort and strength to those still have more tears!
  • After a morning like that we just couldn't do school, so we decorated our Christmas tree! It's beautiful!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Then and Now--The Girls

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how far we have come in the last year! Here are a few pics of the girls following the accident.

Emma had a some black and blue marks on her face, but you can see it didn't stop her from smiling! Isn't she adorable?

Moriah didn't have bruising on her face, but she had a mark on her neck from the seatbelt.

And here they are last month, with Grandma at a pumpkin farm! Still looking adorable and so much taller!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Weekend Update--1 Year Later

Well, here we are....the one year mark! Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday, and sometimes it feels like an entire lifetime has gone by, but it was a year ago this Monday. However, we'll probably remember it more as the Sunday after Thanksgiving rather than November 28th. It has been a long difficult road, one we would never choose to take, but we have learned so much about our faithful and loving God that we would not otherwise have learned.

Many people have said we have been an inspiration because we faced this situation with grace, strength, and a good attitude. If there is anything inspiring in our actions, it is only because God has walked with us and carried us through this last year. We could not have gotten through this on our own! God was not taken by surprise last November 28th. He is not surprised at what may be going on in your life right now. Whatever your difficult situation may be, He knows all about it. Whether it's an illness, a miscarriage, infertility, financial struggles, the loss of a loved one, a troubled marriage, or a car accident.  God is God, He is sovereign, and He is good. He is willing to carry you through your trials, if you only ask Him. He will work ALL things for the good of those who love Him.

Today we were able to spend the day together, going  to church and hanging out at home. Usually we spend the weekend in IL and we are driving home on Sunday. This year my family came up here for the week, and they left on Friday. As we were on our way home last year, our accident just after 6pm. Tonight at 6pm we were reading through our Thankful Box. Of course, top on our list is just being home together! But here are a few more things that were listed in our box:

my mom and dad
our cozy home
emma's smile
moriah's laugh
everything God made
food (yep, we like to eat around here!)
my dad
my Ryan
my bed
our cousins
my microphone
my sister and brother
 "Squeaky" (Aiden's toy hamster)
Aiden's mischievous eyes

We are also thankful for all of you that have been a blessing to our family! Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement over the past year. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Highlights From Weeks 6 and 7/Fall Break

  • The girls have finished memorizing the books of the Old Testament and have moved on to memorizing the 10 commandments.
  • We have been reading The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, as our read-aloud.
  • Moriah has been reviewing adjectives and learning adverbs in grammar.
  • Emma is reviewing sentences and paragraphs in grammar.
  • They have been studying water and air in science. In one experiment they put a crumpled up piece of paper and put it in the bottom of a glass.  Then they turned the glass upside down and pushed into the kitchen sink which was filled with water. Their paper did not get wet because their glass was filled with air! Even though they couldn't see it, they could tell it was there b/c it kept the water out of the glass and away from their paper!
This week, since we had several appointments, we took a fall break.  It came at a perfect time! The weather was gorgeous and we had time to savor some of the beautiful, warm, fall days!

We played at the park.

Aiden had a friend over and they went looking for "big bucks."

And the girls buried them in the leaves!

 The girls made leaf houses.
Moriah's even comes with a pool!

Their leaf homes are in the country, near a park and a wild game reserve. The reserve is "home to over 200 deer, which includes over 100 bucks." I learned that on my personal tour. :)

Although they enjoy the comforts of country living, they also built a leaf city. The city has a library, store, courtroom, and doctor's office. Moriah is the librarian, shopkeeper, and doctor.

When Aiden, a frequent patient, is in need of medical attention, he lays on the ground with his eyes closed until help arrives. The girls come with the ambulance (their sled) and pull the patient to the doctor's office!

Emma is the mayor and artist. And Aiden, he is the P- Bus Driver (wondering what that
 is? See the quotes below!) 

Here's Emma standing in the middle of their city.

Here they are having fun with friends in their leaf house!

Some of our favorite recent quotes--they are all from Aiden, but he has been one hilarious little boy!

 "Look, Mom! It's the P-Bus!" Aiden pointing to the UPS truck!

Ryan likes to hunt, and he usually takes the kids in the woods to look for "buck rubs." Well, Papa took them out this week and it was a new thing for Aiden. He kept hearing them talk about "buck rubs."
When they came out of the woods, Aiden told Grandma he saw "butt rubs." Then he stuck his little bootie out, and gave it a shake to demonstrate a "butt rub!"

Aiden: "Daddy, you're a good spanker."
Daddy, trying really hard not to laugh, "Thanks, Aiden."

"Mommy, I want to take a snuggle with you."

Aiden, in the middle of the night. "I can't find my keys!"
Mommy, "It's okay, sweetie. Go to sleep, and I will find them."

Aiden was getting ready for bed and he said, "Good night, Daddy. When we wake up, we can tack!" (Which means play tackle.)
Then he quickly said, "Wait, Daddy! I didn't do my piano practice!" (He has to do everything the girls do!)
Daddy said, "You can do it in the morning. Good night."
7:00am  Aiden comes out of his room and says, "I need to do my piano practice!" He climbed up to the keyboard, set the demo to play and "practiced" like a little Mozart!

"IIIIIIIIIIIIII will o-beeeeeeey Your Word," Aiden, reciting his first memory verse!