Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All is well

1. Sarah's night night has been found after being MIA for 24 hours.

2. The hermit crab is not dead, just molting. Or at least we think that is what's happening. Our more active crab has been sitting in the exact same spot for days. When I came downstairs tonight after getting everyone tucked in, Steve had it in a plastic baggie with several broken off pieces? legs? He said, "It's dead." When I presented the possibility that it might be molting he decided to put it back in the tank and we called Benjamin and Rachel down to assess the situation. Since we don't smell any "stink" yet we're going with the molting thing. Benjamin, our resident hermit crab expert, says we need to move it to an isolation tank and put the "pieces" of legs and whatnot with it so it can eat it and regain calcium or something like that. In the words of Benjamin, "This is a great day!"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

God is Good

All the time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ISO Salamanders


We had hoped to see hundreds of these little beauties wriggling across the road to their ancestral breeding ponds. The conditions need to be just right for it to happen: 1. temperature above 40-45 degrees, 2. wet/rainy, 3. dark, 4. usually first or second week of April.
It was 52 degrees and it had rained on and off all day. So we headed out around 8:00 pm. A friend from our homeschool group had seen a few migrating a week or so ago so we thought we'd check it out. The rangers close the roads to cars and people come armed with umbrellas, flashlights and cameras. It's pretty cool to be walking down the middle of the road in the Metroparks after dark. We heard a lovely chorus of spring peepers and wood frogs. They sounded like they were having quite the party out there in the woods. We ventured "off road" just a bit to see what we could see. And, lo and behold, I spotted some spots! This poor little guy was lucky to be alive because Steve, Benjamin and Rachel had already walked through this very spot. (I'm trying not to think about the unfortunate ones we didn't see in time under the leaves.) A few minutes later Steve saw another one that quickly darted away. Unfortunately, we didn't see any other action except for the several deer we saw on the way home. But it was great fun to get out "after dark" for some exercise and fresh air in the lungs and hear the sounds of nature in action!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stellan

Through my somewhat new hobby of surfing blogs, I have found an incredible circle of women. You can follow the links to their blogs to the right of my posts. They are funny, honest, positive moms who have strong Christian values and share openly as they are learning and walking with God. I feel connections with these women for different reasons: our kids are similar in age, some of them homeschool, their sense of humor, they love Jesus and some of them also have a child in heaven with Joshua. They share God moments, insights and prayer requests. One of these ladies, Mckmama, is currently in the picu with her son Stellan, as he is very ill. This is one of her recent posts regarding God and prayer. It is beautiful and so well said. The power and love of God is simply incredible. To have a child who is fighting for his life, and still be able to share thoughts like this - that's God speaking through Mckmama. God wants us to be in prayer with him. He wants us to be in a relationship with him. He desires for us to be close to him. No, that's not why this is happening to Stellan. On this side of heaven, we won't understand why. But I have no doubt God's loving arms are wrapped around Stellan and his family right now and they are experiencing a peace that only He can provide. God Bless You, baby Stellan!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shelby and Jasmine


It was 12 years ago that one of my 3rd grade students approached me with an offer I just couldn't refuse. She had heard that my new husband (of 4 months) and I were looking to start a family, a fur-family that is. All my years growing up we had kitties sharing our home, making life interesting. It was just too quiet in our new house. I knew just what we needed and so began the search for 2 female kittens from the same litter. We checked the Animal Protective League and Stay-A-While Cat Shelter but no such luck. One day a little girl in my class told me her mom had found two kittens behind their garage, shivering in the cold and snow, and she wanted to know if I would like to adopt them. I called her mom to ask if they were male or female. I didn't want a male, even though they are extremely affectionate, they seem to have issues in the potty department, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, one was a girl and the other a boy. I told her no thank you, we were looking for 2 females. She called me back a day or so later to see if I had changed my mind. She said she had offers from people willing to take one or the other but not both. She was hoping they could stay together and wanted to know if I would just stop by to "take a look" at them. I called Steve and told him I was stopping by to just "take a look" on my way home from school. We both knew that meant I was coming home with 2 adorable balls of fur that night. Jasmine is the quiet, gentle, shy, dark, female tabby. She LOVES to have her belly rubbed and cuddle in your lap if the noisy people aren't around. Shelby is the blond male who is the exact opposite of his sister. He hates to have his belly or feet touched but LOVES to get 'toe-love'. That means he likes to lay by your feet and have you pet him with your feet. Every night when everyone is in bed and just about asleep he starts this awful howl that sounds like something is terribly wrong. But not to worry, he's just capturing and delivering all of his toys to my bedside. He's such a good hunter and provider:)
I'm so glad Mrs. Moriarty called me back and asked me to come over and just take a look at them. It would have been very sad if they had been separated. They love each other and still play and snuggle up together. I must say that Shelby will definitely be the last male pet we ever have. He does have his potty issues, as I knew he would. But I love them anyways and couldn't imagine the last 12 years without them. Spoiled little kitties...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Harry London (as in chocolate)

Today Benjamin, Rachel, my mom and I journeyed to North Canton to the Harry London Chocolate Factory for a field trip. Oh, how I love homeschooling, especially when it involves chocolate!
I thought it was interesting that Harry London started making chocolates in his basement as gifts for his friends and family. He expanded his business by purchasing the house next door and constructing an underground tunnel to connect the two houses so that he wouldn't have to go outside and risk the chocolate melting. An electrical fire destroyed one of the houses and at that point he built his first building/factory. After 5 years of success he added a second floor to that factory and today they have a 200,000 square foot facility in North Canton.
Yum-deli-cious is about all I have to say about it. Unfortunately for Rachel it's not gluten-free but she was content with the GF chocolate donut and the granola bar I brought along for her. You know what's silly? These chocolates have a shelf life of 6-9 months. As if they're going to be sitting around that long!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins on Saturday

1. When I look to the left, I see pretend kitchen food that is actually put away where it belongs, go figure.

2. The family room is the room that has the best view in my home. From here I can view my tv or my laptop or my kids doing schoolwork or my personal favorite, watching the kids play in the backyard!

3. Let it work for at least two minutes before rinsing. Do you know what I'm referring to?

4. I would like to get my housework done dirt cheap! (no pun intended)

5. Recycling is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

6. If you have any chocolate feel free to share.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking Rachel to ballet, going to Giant Eagle for chili ingredients, making chili and finishing up the tax prep for my CM stuff, tomorrow my plans include soccer pictures for Benjamin and Rachel, dance for Rachel, Chili Challenge at church, Target, bank and Sunday, I want to go to church, Marcs and a going away party.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Magic of Painting

Sarah and Emily share a bedroom and will continue to do so for many years to come. Sarah, however, has better plans. When I was putting them to bed the other night she asked why Emily sleeps in her room. I explained that they 'share' a room because there are no other bedrooms. She asked why I couldn't just paint Emily her own room. I thought she knew of an extra room that I could paint and turn into a bedroom. She pointed to the wall in between Rachel and Benjamin's doors and told me that is where I could paint a room for her. She also told me to paint a TV in Mimi and Papa's car so that she could watch a movie when she rides with them. You want something? You just paint it and voila! There it is! Oh, if only it were that easy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You're rotten!


When I say to Emily, "You're rotten!", she answers in her sweet baby voice, "No, I precious!"
You decide.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sarah!


It's hard to believe my little Sarah Bear is 4 years old already. She is so precious to us. She was our answered prayer 16 months after Joshua went to be with Jesus. Sometimes her milestones are bittersweet for me because I think of how Joshua never got to do that particular thing.

Sarah is a lefty, and I've always thought left-handed people were unique. She is our quietest, calmest child - as long as things are going her way that is. She doesn't show her temper often but when she does - WATCH OUT. Run for your life, take cover and most importantly use ear plugs. I joke that she would make a good "only child". She likes for things to be her way and her requests aren't all that unreasonable, it's just that with 4 kids, it can't always be your way.

Sarah is the only one of our kids to have a night-night blankie that rarely leaves her side. I remember how she used to hold her socks or her dirty bib up to her nose and it would comfort her. That's when I knew I needed to get her a special blankie. I would have bought 2 identical blankies had I known just how special it would become. She's also the only one to suck her fingers - the first three fingers on her left hand. Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. She promised her daddy she would stop sucking her fingers when she turned four. *ahem* That didn't go so well.

Sarah was our earliest and easiest to potty train. I remember physically holding her on the potty chair while she screamed (quite loudly) and cried. I was sure I was going to emotionally scar her for life. However, once she figured it out there was no looking back:) She never needed pullups at night and she can hold it f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

Sarah is sweet, cute, loving, shy, smart and absolutely adores her siblings. She loves to sing, play the piano (thanks to grandma's lessons), play barbies, dolls, house, play dough, read, puzzles and my favorite snuggle. She likes kisses on the cheek, but no lips!!!! (except for the minstrel boy statue in my parent's living room)

Sarah's funny words -> ska-betty, pit, I'll be the mom and you be the swee-T, and milkies.

You are one-in-a-million and I love you to pieces my little Sarah Bear!