Friday, June 26, 2009

Aidan's bug friend

Remember yesterday's post about Aidan and his fly friend?

The madness continues.

We have spent the last 1/2 hour here in the house chatting about his fly friend. I found a dead fly and threw him away, and Aidan was really upset that it might be his little bug friend. I told him there was probably plenty of other bug friends in the house after the garage sale today. We talked about the chance that Raphael, his fly, might die or disappear, but if that happens he could always find another fly. The new fly could be Raphael II. Aidan thought he would name it Leonardo. I asked him how he would tell his multiple fly friends apart, and he said they would wear headbands that were different colors!! Now the boy wants to make headbands for his fly friends and hand it to them so they can put them on.

Oh brother.

I think we need a pet. And not a fly, either.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

garage sale and update

So I've been quiet because I've been getting ready for a garage sale this week. Today wasn't as busy as I expected at the sale--I think the heat is keeping people away. We'll see how things go tomorrow and Saturday. We're hoping to get enough money to get these shelves from IKEA for our homeschooling supplies. We have some other things on our wish list, but we'll see what happens. :)

There were so many funny conversations with the kids today. Aidan is just hilarious! Pete posted about it here in today's post. We've told him he can have the money from the toys of his that sell at the sale. He's excited about getting to buy new things, but he's coming out to the garage every few minutes asking if his things have sold. Then he's either sad because they haven't or sad because they have.

All this going in and out has given us a nice family of flies in the house. Aidan caught one between his fingers today and brought it into Iona's bedroom to show her, letting it fly away. He named it Raphael. Nice. It's not the first time he's caught flies in his hand.

We went to see a presentation this week given by Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria. It was here in town thanks to the library reading program. They had a toad, a skunk, a snapping turtle, an albino snake, and an owl to present to the kids. Aidan's favorites were the snake and the turtle. Of course. Exactly the ones momma DIDN'T like. The snapping turtles mouth still gives me nightmares.

We've enjoyed having Pete home this week from work. Iona got strep throat earlier this week and had a very high fever, but she's doing much better. We've been doing some fun free activities around town this week. On Sunday Pete is DJing a wedding up by my dad's, so we're going up with him and I'll take the kids to visit a friend. We may even get to go to IKEA to get the shelves...we'll see.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

used curriculum sale bargains

I just had to post the deals I got this morning at our local homeschool curriculum sale:

The Light at Tern Rock
The Hundred Dresses
A Grain of Rice
The Apple and the Arrow
In Grandma's Attic
Five True Dog Stories
Mr. Popper's Penguins
James and the Giant Peach
What Your First Grader Needs to Know
What Your Second Grader Needs to Know
Usborne Children's World Cookbook
Usborne First Book of America
Geography Songs
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
Exploring Creation with Astronomy
The Story of the World Book One: Ancient Times (text and activity book)
Saxon 2 Teacher's Manual

Total Cost: $71.50. What a steal!!

I didn't need much for this coming year, but I found a bunch of the read-alouds I'm using. I did find a bunch of my curriculum for next year and after.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dancing Children

OK, Aidan WAS wearing his seatbelt, but the stinker, we think, stuck it behind him when we weren't looking. Looks like we'll be having a little discussion about it in the morning...

The Many Faces of Iona

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gingerbread Baby

I just read this book to Iona tonight for bedtime and it perfectly describes my little munchkin.

"I am the Gingerbread Baby. I am quick. I am fast. I am clever. I am smart. No one can catch me!"

Today we moved Iona's changing pad down to the floor off of the dresser because there's been too many times this week alone where she has been about to take a flying leap off of the dresser. 13 months old! She would also try to climb off the dresser feet or head first, slowly, as if I wouldn't notice.

Then tonight, at dinner, she stood up in her high chair WHILE BUCKLED IN. Thankfully we were sitting right there! The high chair is now in storage and the booster seat has joined our table. At least it's not as far for her to fall if she tries that again. Whew!

Yesterday she turned the laundry basket upside-down and climbed up top and stood up! She's also a HANDFUL when we go outside and play.

Maybe I just don't remember it well, but Aidan was not a daredevil like Iona is. I know, I know, every kid is different, but we're not used to this yet!

Monday, June 15, 2009

15-year reunion and vomit

Last week I found out a group of my friends from high school were getting together in Naperville for dinner on Sunday night. I haven't seen them since high school and only recently reconnected with them on Facebook. One friend was going to be in town from Seattle, and the rest live in the Chicago suburbs. Pete and I decided to take the family up there to see my friends again.

We left home around 4 pm Sunday and got to the restaurant just before 6. We were supposed to meet at Lou Malnati's, but plans changed at the last minute and we went to Giordano's for Chicago-style pizza. Yum! It was SO nice to see everyone again!! This was the crowd that, through their friendship, led me to Christ way back in the day. We hung out with everyone until about 8:45, when we left to drive home. I'm so glad we reconnected in person, and I hope I can stay in touch with them better!
On the way home, Pete looked back at Iona and discovered she had thrown up on herself and the carseat. Ugh. We drove a few more miles to an exit with a gas station and had to buy paper towels and more wipes to clean up the mess the best we could on the road. Thankfully, I had brought ANOTHER change of clothes. (We had the outfit she was in, pjs, and a spare outfit. We had put the kids in pjs when we left the restaurant, and Iona threw up all over those.) We think she just ate too much and the food was a bit rich for her--at least it smelled like Chicago pizza! We finally got home at 11, put the kids in bed (after changing Iona AGAIN since her clothes were wet from the wet carseat), and I spent the next 30 minutes taking off the carseat cover to wash and cleaning out all the crevices. Ick. You know you're a mom when you can touch your child's vomit. We realized this was the first time we've had to clean up vomit for our daughter! I'm sure there will be other times...

She seemed ok today and has had no fever, so I think she just ate too much. We were thankful that the mess was pretty contained. It could have been much worse.

This is the first time I've posted photos on my blog, and they posted out of order. The first one is Aidan's ninja pose. He doesn't like to take normal photos anymore. :) The second one is me and Iona just before she got sick. The poor girl's diaper was soaking wet and leaking onto my shirt at that moment. The third picture is of us and the girls. Our trip was SO worth it to see you all again!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Desire by Phil Wickham

OK, this is my third night in a row of not sleeping. I couldn't get this song out of my head. Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

what is God up to?

So, the night I started this blog, I was up until 4 am. Couldn't sleep. That doesn't usually happen to me. Granted, my mind can run and I can take forever to fall asleep (whereas all Pete has to do is roll over), but I never am up that late. Unless I have a crying or sick child. Or when I was in college.

Last night, even with the little sleep from the night before, I was up with Pete until at least 12:30. Granted, I got a 2-hour nap that afternoon, but still. I should have been exhausted. But we were listening to the expositor series from when God first pricked our hearts about adoption, way back in 2000. You can listen to the same one here. Pastor Ken Fong was speaking about God's adoption of us into His family. We both wept as he brought out his daughter and shared with her how she was pre-loved by them.

Little did we know, almost 10 years ago, that our adoption story would be similar to the Fongs. Infertility, for many years. A long wait. We laughed as we heard him reference Tim Keller. We had no idea who he was back then. Our church uses his material all the time!

We DO know that God is pricking our hearts again for another adoption. We don't know when. We don't know where. But we know that just as He pre-loved us, we are pre-loving another child. It's a holy mystery. We prayed together for clarity last night. And we're praying we can enjoy this moment of waiting to see what the next step is.

Because He first loved us.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

curriculum for 09/10

So Aidan wants to homeschool starting this summer, but I've decided not to start it formally until fall. This summer we're just casually working though workbooks and participating at both local library reading programs. We signed up Aidan for a class at the zoo that will meet 3 times over the summer. He will even get to interact with a real-live wild animal! We're part of a co-op this month with the homeschool group from our church, where Aidan is learning about art, birds, and poetry. And Aidan's in taekwondo. Sounds like a full summer to me!!

Anyone who knows me knows that when I get interested in something, I research it to death. I think I lived and breathed homeschool books and Web sites for a good couple of months. I talked with lots of friends who homeschool. And I finally came down to these options for grade K:

So here's some questions for you veteran homeschoolers:

  1. What do you use for a literature component in the early grades if you don't use Sonlight?

  2. What do you use for a Bible component in the early years?

We're all itching to get started. It was a happy day today when the mailman dropped off some boxes from amazon! Pete won a $100 gc to amazon through a contest at work, and I had gotten a $5 gc from Swagbucks, so we were able to order some last few things there for free! And I actually got most of our books here and by having an Usborne book party.

why we are homeschooling

Pete and I decided to homeschool Aidan in the fall for his kindergarten year, thanks to this post. There are a lot of reasons:
  • wanting to be a large part of Aidan's learning--both in what he is learning and in his excitement over the material
  • wanting to teach him how to think critically--I don't feel like I learned this so well in school
  • wanting to make learning a lifestyle for our family, not just something that happens in a certain chunk of time
  • wanting to see his heart be captivated by God's world
  • wanting to help him catch up with some of his delays one-on-one instead of the small bits of time he got in the public school (though we LOVE his teachers from last year!!)
  • wanting to learn with him

I'm posting this here more for me, as I want something to look back on when things get hard.

We don't know if we'll do this all the way through his schooling, but at this point we are planning on it. I'm pretty excited about teaching him to read and some of the subject matter in the later years as well.

The above-linked post was the one that God used to get my attention about homeschooling. I've looked into it in the past (I wrote a paper on it in college and also wrote a book review on this book). I even got to interview Susan Card about the book. But at the time it was just a curious thing that others did.

Pete and I have always planned to send our kids to public school. We'd love to use a private school but, at this point, there's no way we can afford it. So when I read Ann's post, I was shocked at my reaction. I was shaking and couldn't stop reading it over and over and thinking about it. I finally sent the post to Pete and asked him to pray that weekend. We went on a date night (already planned) a few days later, and that's when we started talking about it. I was astounded that Pete was VERY supportive!! We did have some concerns, which we spent the next few weeks researching. We came to the conclusion that homeschooling was the best option for our family at this time.

The funny thing? I asked Aidan about what he thought about it after we made the decision, and he wanted to start right away!!

How God Provided for Our Adoption Expenses

In March 2007 we applied with our adoption agency, AWAA, to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia. We had no idea how we were going to pay for it at all, but each time a payment was due we had the money. Here are some of the ways God provided:

  • Both Pete and I received extra side jobs (mostly freelance)--this helped especially with the smaller amounts due

  • We received a matching grant from Life International, now Lifesong For Orphans, and in total raised over $9000 thanks to the gifts of friends and family.

  • We read this book and got inspired to go down to one car. We sold both cars and bought a van.

  • We received a grant from the Lydia Fund.

  • We made use of the Adoption Tax Credit, which we received after the adoption was complete.

  • We received a no-interest loan from the ABBA Fund.

  • We took out bank loans and used our credit card to help with expenses until we received the tax credit.

  • We held 2 garage sales with item donations from people in our church and raised over $1000.

We are so incredibly blessed to see how God provided for this adoption. How will he provide for the next one?


I suppose you're wondering about why I chose this title. Maybe you're not. I feel compelled to share anyway.

One of my absolute favorite bands is Over the Rhine. I got engaged to their music, I gave birth to their music, and I've danced many nights with my love to their music. Their songs make me cry, contemplate life and love, dance, and worship the King. I think we own every album. We try to see them live any chance we get. Simply amazing.

Nursery rhymes by firelight is a line from one of their songs, My Love is a Fever. One of my favorite OtR songs, I might add.

It also hints at children's literature, poetry, parenting, homeschooling, contemplation. All passions of mine. Thanks, dear one, for the idea. You know me so well.

What do I title this?

I've resisted this whole blog thing for years, but my husband is making me. No, not really, but he's strongly encouraging this new venture.

I don't know what to write. Ever felt that way?

I have a lot swimming in my head right now. I can't sleep. It's 1:15 am. The kids are asleep. I should be too.

I can't sleep when my mind is racing.

Thoughts of the last hour and a half:
  • when to adopt again and from where
  • the desire to get pregnant again and how that all fits in
  • the need for a house with a fenced yard and more bedrooms than our little ranch if we have more kids
  • the things we need to do to our current house before we move
  • the desire to exercise and lose weight but the seeming lack of time to do this
  • how much time I waste every day
  • the desire to journal more (hoping to practice some of these things here in this blog)

So here's hoping and praying I can keep up this new habit. I'm excited to write again. I pray it's worth reading.

I'm always telling Aidan to ask "help please" when he wants help instead of demanding it. God, help please!! I need your wisdom and peace!