Friday, March 17, 2017

Snow and Freezing Rain and Cold

Just a LITTLE freezing rain and snow, but still some.

This time of years we usually get one last cold snap before spring arrives.  And this has been the week.  My parents and Naomi and Lydia came home to temperatures in the high 20's, after 2 weeks in the 70's and 80's.

They are still adjusting to Ohio time, which is 6 hours off from Hawaii time (after Daylight Savings Time kicked in.  Hawaii doesn't have Daylight Savings Time, being close to the equator and all.)

It was great seeing the girls after 2 weeks. They had a good time.

I have not been sleeping superbly for some reason.  I keep waking up. So now I'm tired and am glad I can have a nap soon.

Daniel astounded me today. I was working on having Sarah read books out of a book (very simple words) and he read a word before she did. So I tested him. Yes, that boy has learned how to blend consonants and the "a" sound so he can read "mat", "cat", and "sat".  Maybe that doesn't sound too amazing but IT IS.  Learning to blend is a huge first step in the road to reading. He is just a couple of months short of 5!  I have had kids who read this early, but they weren't boys.  Our older boys learned to read later.  But Daniel is obviously picking things up early.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Naomi and Lydia get home on Tuesday!  They have had a good trip and we are excited they got to visit Hawaii with the grandparents, but oh I miss them!

They got to see feral chickens, stray dogs, seals, and whales!  They went snorkeling and Lydia went horseback riding. I presume they swam a fair amount.  All in all, a thrilling experience.

Here at home, we've been trucking along fairly normally, though we've all had to do additional work since Naomi and Lydia are usually heavy contributors to keeping the house running.

Here is a recent discussion with Daniel that I posted on Facebook.

Tonight when I was putting our 4 year old son to bed, we had quite the religious discussion. His first question was "Who is more powerful than God?" (Answer: no one.) Second question: "How can God get even more powerful?" (Answer: He can't. He is as powerful as he can be.) Third question: "Mom, does God have cats?" (Answer: Ummmm....)

Kevin told me later I should have told Daniel that "God owns the cats on a thousand hills."

Which is true.

We have new neighbors!  Our old ones were fantastic, a retired couple who became good friends. They have now moved to the American southwest to be closer to family. The new family is a homeschooling Christian family with 6 kids!  Seriously.  Totally fun and awesome. Their eldest is 17, their youngest is 1.  We haven't really talked to them much as they are insanely busy getting unpacked.  They are military and the military truck showed up on Friday and unloaded their stuff.  I know from experience that unpacking a house with a bunch of little kids bustling around is NOT easy.

I have been continuing to write Star Wars fan fiction. I really love to write, and as I probably said before, having a built in fan base for a story is very encouraging. It isn't just going out into the void, there are people who will actually read what I am writing.  I'm on my third story now.

I submitted my College Credit Plus application last week.  CCP is a public government entity which awards money to high school students to attend college.  Homeschoolers have been eligible for a couple of years. I tried to get funding for Naomi last year but loused up the application process. I hope I did better this year!

Naomi is planning to take a bunch of computer design courses at Clark State next year. It is a local community college. She's already taken freshman English there.

That's about it!

Thursday, March 2, 2017


I just haven't felt like I have had much to say lately!  Life is trucking along, which is nice.

We have had another illness, which is not so nice.  Daniel and Rose both had croup, poor darlings.  Daniel, in particular, had the classic seal like bark, poor darling. He is improving.

You  know the boy isn't feeling his best when he is half asleep on the couch during the day. Usually it is run run jump jump twirl with this boy.

Rose is mostly better. She too had a horrible cough but is back to her sometimes cheerful, sometimes crabby self. 

The big news is that Naomi and Lydia are in Hawaii!!  My parents incredibly graciously paid for them to take a 2 week trip to Hawaii. After much anguish getting there (the flight plan had to be scrapped after a plane got hit by lightening, NOT while they were on it) they are finally in a lovely condo near the ocean on Kauai.  

Kevin loves the beach and the girls quite like it too! 

I am happy that 2/11ths of the family gets to be in the warm sun right now.

The weather is chilly this week with rain and snow and lots of wind.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

End of February

It has been so warm!

We've spent quite a bit of time outside, which most of the kids thoroughly enjoy.

Rose combines a great love of the outdoors with the requisite very little sense of a toddler. So when she is outside, some responsible person  has to be on her all the time. The others are wiser. Even Daniel, who is closing in on being 5 years old, is much safer than Rosy Posy.

I have a funny story about a dead opossum.  I hope it is funny.  

Kevin shot one of the possums that eats our cat food a number of weeks ago. It managed to stagger around to the back of our house before it expired.  Then it lay there in freezing temperatures for a couple of weeks, which wasn't too charming. But we weren't outside much.

February 13th was a nice day, so I heroically scooped up the possum with a shovel and took it to the back 3 acres and threw it into the brush.

That WAS heroic. I don't do dead animals well.

So then, after I tidied the corpse into some brush, some stupid predator found it and dragged it onto the mowed path in the back!

I refuse to cope again with it, since it is now half eaten.


So now it will just stay there 'til the bugs finish it off.

I hope that wasn't too disgusting.

Maybe it was.

Sorry :-).

In other news, cars.

I drive a 17 year old minivan. Mostly it is fine.  I mean, it runs well.  It doesn't break frequently.

Kevin and I tend to replace things when they break.

The ancient minivan isn't broken.

But still, we are saving up for a nearly brand new, maybe actually brand new minivan this year.

It is a struggle mentally as it will be an expensive purchase.  Part of me thinks we should just wait until our minivan dies. But another part agrees that one with new safety features would be nice.

And a new minivan would be nice. It would be.

I'm a saver, to the point that sometimes I don't spend when I should. Not that I'm a Scrooge like miser.  I do spend lots of money, definitely. Big purchases are painful for me, though.

Kevin's oft repeated statement is correct, that money is a tool.  So we should use it appropriately.  That doesn't mean just letting it pile up in a bank account when we have a good reason to buy something.

So probably sometime this year, we'll have a new or nearly new Chrysler Pacifica in our garage.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Appointments, appointments, everywhere!

The last two weeks have been tiring!

One of the challenges of a large family is medical appointments.  We had dental appointments for 8 of the children in the last couple of weeks. Oh, and I got my teeth cleaned too.  I took Lydia to the local place where one gets temporary driving permits.  She didn't pass the test the first time, and the testing facility was closed the second time.  We just got her a $10 ID card, which is good. She'll be going to Hawaii in less than 2 weeks with my parents, and having a photo ID seems like a good thing.

I keep reminding myself how blessed we are to have access at medical and dental care. And we can afford to fill our kids' teeth when needed.

I feel tired.  The house tends to fall apart more rapidly when I am gone a lot.

First world, problems, Laraba. First world problems!!

Creative Kids

I am not the world's most creative mother. Yesterday, I pulled out this puzzle. To my surprise, Sarah (age 6) was mostly able to put it together herself. She hasn't done many puzzles.

And then she and Daniel and Angela got CREATIVE. They dove into our art supplies and decided to make a solar system (with the occasional heart in evidence as well) on the wall in our family room.

I was all for it, even though the art room/ sun room degenerated into a disaster area.

Disaster area.

That evening, Daniel posed in front of the art work (while standing on Naomi, who graciously put up with it.)

This morning, I cleaned up the sun room with some help.  Right now, Sarah is getting it messy again by painting.  That's fine :-).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Still Tired

This stinking illness is lingering.

I saw my doctor 2 days ago for my diabetes checkup. She said there is an illness going around (the one I have apparently) that takes a long time to recover from.

I am just tired a lot.  I am used to fatigue but this is really annoying, because if I don't get a nap I just feel like falling over by evening.

Ok, diabetes check. I had my A1c check and it was 5.2!  That is really great. I haven't been that low since I was diagnosed back in 2004.  I haven't been doing anything too amazing lately so I'm a bit at a loss about why it has dropped so much. But I won't complain. I have been exercising a bit more, and I've been eating more salads.  Is that it?

Anyway, we'll see how I am doing in 6 months.

Rose continues to be a terror, bless her little heart. Ah, the joys of being 2.  I was reading a blog post by conservative commentator Matt Walsh.  He has 3 year old twins, and he wrote a hysterical post about his little ones in the back seat of his minivan arguing and asking a bazillion questions. I could relate.  But then the people commenting said things like, 'Oh yes, 3 years is even more challenging than age 2.'

And I thought, dear Lord in Heaven, please help Rose to mellow by the time she is 3.  Because she's a little firecracker now.

It's all good. She's wonderful and healthy and strong willed.

Actually, the three littles have been extra challenging this week. They are a little sick so are no doubt crankier. I can understand.

Now for our BIG NEWS.  Kevin and I are going to the Caribbean in a few months to celebrate our 20th anniversary!!  So very exciting.  Kevin is pulling all the details together.

It should be a really wonderful time. We're going to stay in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in a cottage by the beach.

My sweet parents will watch the children, and Kevin's mom will watch our house and kitties.

So that's something to look forward to.