Saturday, January 29, 2011


I have been thinking about putting music on my blog forever, but it wasn't until I discovered this group that I decided I actually was going to take the time to figure it out. This group, Need To Breathe, isn't new. I wish I had discovered them long ago. I've only heard their most recent album, The Outsiders, but every song on it is awesome! The one playing is called "Something Beautiful".

Rewind: Seward Sealife Center

Last year my mom gave us a gift certificate for the Sealife Center that expired at the end of the year. So, we headed to Seward the week after Christmas with Aunt Katy and Uncle Jesse. In conjunction with visiting the center, we were picking up a large fiberglass tank/pool that they had listed on freecycle, so Matt could realize his childhood dream of having a swimming pool in his backyard. When I say large, I mean GARGANTUOUS. But more on that later, I'm sure. :) Other than the fact that Katy was sicker than a dog, the guys were outside disassembling the pool the entire time and didn't get to share the fun, and after awhile the 4 kids were a bit much so we had to walk up the street in search of lunch, it was a good time. Their reaction to all the sealife was great! I would like to shout out a huge thanks to Katy and Jesse for helping on this trip. I know it wasn't what you expected or thought you were getting yourself into, but I seriously wouldn't have survived without you! We all love you so much!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

my children keep me humble

Hallie (4) has been begging me for days to make cookies with frosting and sprinkles. I have been putting her off. There are many reasons why I didn't want to make these cookies, but today, especially, I DID NOT want to make them. But fed up with the whining, I reluctantly and rather unkindly gave in. Imagine me tearing around the kitchen, throwing stuff out, trying to get through the task quickly. The idea is to make it known how unhappy I am to be doing this small act. She is oblivious to my feelings. I am wasting away a time that could be joyful with my daughter.

As I spend this time in the kitchen with her and realize she is happy to be with me, no matter how mean I am, my spirit begins to soften. I am making her day...her week, actually. She is not even asking me to make frosting, the part I loathe. She is happy to use some very old store bought tubed writing frosting. I tell her I think it tastes yucky. She says, it's okay. She begins putting it on a cookies. She tastes it and decides it does taste yucky. Here is my full turning point. I ask her if she would like me to make some pink frosting. I am making a simpler frosting, not my best work. She is sitting slightly behind and to the side of me watching. She leans in and quietly and sweetly says, "Mom, you are the best mom ever." And my heart is melted and crushed at the same time. Because I am the worst mom ever.

So today, my workout that I didn't get in this morning due to a sleepless night will have to wait, my bathroom cleaning will have to wait, the doorknobs I was planning to install downstairs will have to wait, the 3 Bible study homeworks I am behind and must do for tomorrow will have to wait. I am going to play with my girl.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Video Round-Up

I am so behind in my blogging! This is where I have to figure out if I just skip ahead or try to catch up. I usually try to catch up because I'm a bit OCD like that! Yesterday I uploaded some recent videos and I was looking at YouTube and realized that there are some videos I uploaded that I hadn't ever posted. So, here are a couple from Christmas and a couple from earlier in the Fall.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rewind: Montana's Surgery

I'm so happy I found this post. I wrote it a long time ago and thought it was lost forever!

Okay, so I really wanted to get this cute pic off my phone before I shared about this event with you. During a routine dental check-up in the fall (her first one ever, I might add), our dentist noticed in Montana's x-rays that her molars weren't descending at equal rates on either side and that it looked like there was a mass blocking one from growing in appropriately. (He did not inform me of this at the time.) I was at the office with all 4 kids that day and it was a bit stressful getting them rounded up and out after an older patient leaving called the office to tell them that there was a little girl standing out in the parking lot barefoot (Hallie), causing some unnecessary office lady excitement, because I knew she was there, and had, in fact told her to go stand out there to eat a particularly messy cookie. But I digress. What I am trying to get at is that they said, "Dr. Wortham wants to send these out to a radiologist to have read and we'll get back to you." I was so frazzled at that point, that I really didn't digest what they were saying and replied "Okay" and got my brood out of there.

Two weeks later I get a call, "Dr. Wortham would like to schedule an appointment with you to discuss the results of Montana's radiographs." Begin freaking out now. I could not even remember that they had said they were sending out the x-rays. (It was a crazy fall.) Thankfully, I was able to get in right away, but it was nervewracking wondering what was wrong with my daughter that we were completely unaware of! In an effort to shorten this story, he showed me her pictures and I could clearly see the cyst and he referred us to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon, Dr. Bergeron, was a very large dude, with a very loud, deep voice. A bit scary on first meeting. But he won over sweet Montana's heart! He examined and explained that although there was no way to know exactly what type of cyst it was at this point, it needed to come out and the sooner the better.

So, one month later, in early November, Montana and I were on our way to Anchorage for two days. Day one, shopping and pre-op appointment at Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska. Day two, a bit more shopping and oral surgery at Alaska Regional Hospital. And this is the part of the story that I really want to tell you about. It was the most wonderful 2 days of my entire year. I spent wonderful one on one time with my "middle" child. It was fun and special, shopping with her, staying in a hotel with her eating junk food and watching Disney channel as late as she could stay awake, going to Chuck E Cheeses with her, and listening to her talk her little heart out. And she was such a champ. She had to fast from the time she woke until surgery at 1:00 pm! (I managed to fast with her, except I did give in and get a breve when we checked in at the hospital.) She bought herself a cute messenger bag she just couldn't resist at Office Max and she carried it with her writing supplies and made a list of all the "Things She Didn't Expect at the Hospital". She got teary when the pre-op nurse explained what was going to happen, but then the little personal TV on an arm with PBS (which she is watching in the pic) took her mind off of it. Then they gave her the "happy medicine", the thing I am most thankful for, and she got silly. Hallucinating and whatnot. They wheeler her away happy and her recovery was a breeze.

When we got the results of the cyst, we learned that it is a VERY rare type of cyst. I still am unsure of how it would have affected life if it had not been removed, but all I want to say is that all the people we came into contact with at Oral Surgery Associates and Alaska Regional were top notch. It was a wonderful experience all around as far as medical things go.

And I know that having to go through this with my child should have been stressful and terrifying, etc. But I was truly sad when the whole experience was over. I loved my two days alone with Montana.

The end.

Laundry Room!

This project was pretty much completed over Christmas break (trim and window sill excluded). But today I finally put everything away and cleaned the aftermath of construction. And I sealed the tile grout, which is a huge accomplishment! Yay for me! I wanted a bright a cheery atmosphere in the laundry room to make this chore more enjoyable. I think it turned out lovely! The other wall is bare, I keep up the ironing board there. Thinking about putting up a cute vinyl expression there in the future.

SNEAK PEEK: master bath tub
This is the condition of it today and the rest of the bathroom is still majorly under construction. But I finally got to put my vision into concrete last weekend with this tub top and I really do love how it turned out. I was nervous! There's just no knowing what something will look like -- if it will look good or not -- when you've never seen it done before. Now I know these rocks have been used probably in similar situations, but I just haven't seen it and particularly not with the sea glass. I love how it turned out!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just had to share.

I realize that I probably struck a nerve with many homeschoolers with my last post. I would like to clear up that I don't think homeschooling is the wrong choice for everyone and I do my best not to judge people based on their decision to do so. But I often feel judged for sending my children to public school...and a regular old public school at that, not even attempting to get them into charter school lotteries. So, I wanted to share why I do it. Our decision was not made without seeking the Lord's guidance. And I can't say there won't come a time in the future when we feel led otherwise.

That being said, I just had to share this email I got from Carson's teacher today!

I was reading your post the other day about salt and light and why Christians need to send your child to public school. I wanted to share about your little evangelist. Here’s what happened on Monday:
Carson: “Hey ?, guess what I did yesterday?”
student: “What?”
Carson: “I was baptized”
student: “What is baptized?”
Carson: “What is baptized?! Baptized is only the coolest thing ever!!!” and then he goes on to explain and then asked the class who in here has been baptized? Some responded and others questioned what he was talking about. He explained and some continued on with where they went to church, etc.
I just wanted to share with you that Carson is becoming the salt and light for God’s glory. He has not only displayed that in this situation, but when we had Bethlehem revisited by passing out cards and inviting each teacher. God is good and it has been a pleasure to watch him growJ
Have a great day!

And this would be the appropriate place to put a picture of Carson getting baptized...except my mom still has my camera!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why Christians should send their kids to public school...

This woman expresses exactly how I feel very nicely. (click the post title to read her article)

Public school is not evil. My children will be SALT and LIGHT in the public school. They will be IN the world, not OF it. I am so excited to see how God will use my children in public school to bring glory to His name!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas outfit photoshoot

I thought the kids looked really spiffy this year! I did not attempt to get one with all of us this time. Besides, I've worn the same Christmas outfit like the last three years!

Happy 4th Birthday, Hallie

I did manage to make a cake for Hallie on Dec. 19th this year and I even let her open a gift (because I had an extra item among the Christmas goodies for her)! I think she felt special, which was the goal. I can't believe she is 4!
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Breakfast "with" Santa

This event was a fundraiser for the PTA at the kids' school. We were disappointed that Santa ended up being behind a curtain and we had to wait in a long line to see him. I had hoped for a less structured way for the kids to interact with him while we were eating breakfast. Oh well, we haven't seen him the last couple of years and I am okay not seeing him again.
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Gingerbread Mania!

We had so much fun the day the Morris clan (Kc, Paul, Eliza, JD) and Sheldon clan (Carol, Zoe, Eve, George) came over to decorate gingerbread houses! I really don't love gingerbread houses or the process of assembling and decorating them. But I knew it would be more bearable for me with friends to suffer along with! And it was!
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Back to the Manger

All four kids particiapted in the Children's Christmas musical at church, directed by my mom. I wish I had some good video to put on, but even if I spent the time to upload what I have, you would go crazy waiting to hear my kids sing. Montana had a short little solo of the first verse in Away in a Manger and she did awesome. I was also very proud of takes him a little bit to move past his stage fright. The story involved a time machine and kids ending up at their church Caroling Outreach on Christmas Eve in several different decades, so it had lots of great music and we enjoyed listening to the CD from Oct. up until Christmas and thus having the entire thing memorized.

Montana was in the 80s.
Carson was in the 40s.
Hallie was the star in the Nativity, but she wouldn't stand, so no one could see her full cuteness.
I wasn't sure if Ollie would participate in the Nativity or not, but I brought a pig head in case he wanted to get up there with Hallie. He enjoyed himself climbing up the steps and jumping off multiple times!
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Hallie Collage ~ just the smiles

And her sleeping...she is the only one of my children who will fall asleep anywhere...and so I feel compelled to photograph her just about every time. I needed to make this collage because she has such a great picture smile...when she wants to! But so often when I want to take her picture, she gives me the grumpy face, cries, turns away, etc. Here are the good times...
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