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    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Yesterday morning, we had Turner's first-ever parent/teacher conference.  I can't believe they do it for preschool, but it was nice to hear how he's doing, especially since he didn't do preschool last year.  
    Ms. Tina said he's doing great.  He was the first in his class to count to 100 with no help.  He knows all of his colors and all of his shapes.  (Octagon wasn't on the list, and he knows that, too.  Thanks to Uncle Mike!!) He didn't know the days of the week in September, but now he knows all of them.  He knows all the sounds of the letters, and is working on writing lower-case.  He can write all his letters in uppercase.  The only problems Ms. Tina has with him is the occasional authority conflict (we could have told her that!).  He also plays rough and tumble with the other boys in the class, but she said they all do it, so no ONE is to blame, there.  

    We are so proud of our big boy.  He'll join the reading group starting in January.  Ms. Tina knows he already knows how to read, but this will encourage him even more!!  
    We also received some pocket charts with flashcards to make words.  Turner loves to play with these.  What a nerd!! But, boy are we proud of him - did I mention that already???  

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    100 Days to Christmas

    I've been following a fun blog this month.  I wanted to share it with you... have fun reading the challenges!!  Just click on the picture to take you to the site.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Visitor's Day

    Turner had Visitor's Day at school, yesterday.  They were each given two invitations for grandparents (or older neighbors).  Turner invited Grandpa and GGpa (Great-Grandpa!).  Here are some of the pictures Grandpa took of Turner singing his Thanksgiving songs and beating his drum!

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Simple Woman's Daybook

    FOR TODAY (Monday, November 17)...
    Outside my window...I see leaves all over the ground.  The only green is the pine needles in the trees in the field across the lane.
    I am thinking...I had such a great time in Branson with my girlfriends this weekend.  How blessed am I to have such wonderful friends.
    I am thankful amazing husband.  Keeping all three kids (even the nursing girl) for the weekend, so I could get away for a little break.
    From the kitchen...just came a heaping plate of pancakes (which aren't so heaping now).
    I am wearing...some cozy pajama pants and a teeshirt.
    I am creating...a new blog routine.  We'll see how it works out!
    I am take Turner to preschool today.  And then pick up some stuff for Andy's birthday dinner.
    I am reading...The Shack, and Captivating.  I've been working on Captivating for awhile now.  I know, I know!
    I am hoping...I can figure out what I'm supposed to do next - homeschool or volunteer more at church?  Why is it so hard to just sit aside and listen to God's plan for me?
    I am hearing...the sounds of OLD superman cartoons from the TV.  My boys are in love with the classic cartoons.  Casper is also a favorite.  
    Around the looking good.  My husband also cleaned while I was gone.  There a some piles to pick up, but he did a great job!!
    One of my favorite that my 1yo already asks to color.  She just loves to scribble on paper!! 
    A few plans for the rest of the week: Tiny Tots, MWF.  Andy's birthday on Tuesday - he has band practice, and I have a meeting I'd like to go to.  Wed night we have coffee house at Youth - Open Mic for crazy teens!!  Looking forward to Saturday (Angel Food, 4yo birthday party, Lights of the Ozarks).  
    Here is picture thought I am sharing...Andy and Allison at Easter this last year.  I love this picture!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    The Pilgrims and the Indians

    On our way home from church tonight, I asked Turner what he learned in preschool today.  He said they listened to a story about the Pilgrims and the Indians.  The pilgrims "set sailed in a cauliflower ship."  They came to a new land, where the Indians live.  The Indian boys have pony tails.  Turner wanted to verify that they were, in fact, boys, even with ponytails.  Thought I'd share this quick note before I forgot about the cauliflower ship.  

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Boys will be boys...

    Here are some pictures of the boys playing outside at Nanny and Jonjon's. The big door is the well house. As you can see, boys will use anything as a weapon. Even old pipes or other hardware items that are on the ground. Enjoy the pics.

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    Election Day

    I'm not one to talk about politics, but I'm hoping everyone who reads this has either voted or is heading to the polls.  I actually voted on Saturday (without the kids).  It is our right and our responsibility as Americans.  I know the lines are long this year - but that's a good sign.  That should give you more incentive to do it... everyone else is!  Sometimes peer pressure is a good thing!

    Anyway - go vote!!!  

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Francesca Battistelli - VOTE next Tuesday!

    I love Aldi's!

    I love to shop at Aldi's.  And, not just because they have the double-child harness!  That is a bonus!  The food is great quality, there are fewer distractions with impulse buys, and I save money.  I had never really done a good job of comparing prices, but today read this article at Rocks In My Dryer.  Check it out, if you shop Aldi's!  And they also have a recipe website with a menu builder.  Check it out at

    Homemade laundry soap.

    I am totally hooked on blogs about frugality.  In other words, I'm learning how to be cheap - or even cheaper!!  This weekend, I made my own laundry soap.  Yes, I pulled out the food processor, and ground up some cleaning stuff, and then washed some laundry.  Of course, my first load was towels - but you can't really 'see' the dirt on them, so it was hard to tell if they were clean.  But, they sure smelled good!!  I moved onto a light-colored load.  They came out pretty good.  I'm not the best about pre-treating, so I'll have to work on that.  I'm going to make more today - I made a small batch to learn.  I'm really excited about this!!  If you want some info on how to do this, this is what I read to start with:  Homemade Laundry Detergent

    I used Zote soap, Borax and Oxiclean.  Actually that's a lie.  I had the Zote and Oxiclean, but didn't have any Borax.  So my first few loads were without Borax - so my so-called stains might be weaker against the full-strength formula I will mix up today.  I bought Borax on Saturday, and last night, mixed it with some of the detergent I had left over.  Again, I just have to say how good it smells.  I might just leave shavings of Zote lying around the house... 

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    While we were in Nashville last weekend, Andy's friend from childhood came over with his wife and little girl. We usually try to see them when we are down there, and before Mat was married he used to come see us for his vacations. Here are some fun pictures of the 'reunion.'

    Mat relaxing on the couch.

    Hannah just HAD to sit in Allison's booster chair. She also wanted the table attached. She thought it was so fun to just sit in there and read books.

    Alisha is pregnant with their second. I can't believe I forgot this already, but I think she's due around Thanksgiving. I'm sorry!! I'm so forgetful. They are having another girl!

    Here's the three munchkins. They went across the hall and watched a movie together. They were so cute all sitting in the recliner. Ryan and Hannah REALLY hit it off this year. I can't wait to see them again at Christmas!
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    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Allison is getting around - and up!

    Allison is finally getting around - no thanks to physical therapy. They approved her for 45 minutes twice a month. We are STILL waiting for the call from the therapist to say when that will start. She'll be past the milestones by the time they call us, at this rate!!
    This was her favorite game at Nanny's house this weekend. She could not stay out of her booster chair. She would climb up in it and turn around to slide out - like a miniature slide. I couldn't believe she pulled herself all the way up!!
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    Visit to Nanny's.

    Just a quick update about our weekend.  We left for Nashville, AR on Wednesday after Turner's ENT appointment.  It was a follow-up from his tonsillectomy and tubes - everything is fine.  We arrived late and the kids went straight to bed.  On Friday, the kids and I loaded up to go to the park to see JonJon while he was working.  We had a lot of fun swinging and sliding.  Allison has just figured out how much fun slides are - and she's breaking my back in the process.  I'm not as agile as I used to be. UGH!  
    JonJon took some cute pictures - on his camera, so I don't have any.  Then we went to lunch at the Trail's End (Andy's brother's restaurant) with JonJon.  We met up with Andy there, after he'd had some meetings.  The boys love to eat there because Unlce RaRa has the HUGEST cheeseburgers!  And, Aunt Candy gave them ice cream with Halloween sprinkles.  
    Now, here's the best part of the day... Andy and I took the kids to the high school and dropped the boys off with Nanny.  She didn't have any kids in her room, and it was almost time for the pep rally.  The boys went to the pep rally with Nanny and then rode the school bus home.  They love Nanny's school bus and always get excited when it's in the yard.  I think the school bus ride was the high point of the weekend for them.  
    Andy and I went to Wal-Mart with only Allison... that was weird.  And, now it's Wednesday and I still don't think we are fully recovered.  What a crazy trip.  Hope your weekend was great!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    The Edge of Recall

    TITLE:  The Edge of Recall
    AUTHOR:  Kristen Heitzmann

    ABOUT THE BOOK:  She locked up the vision like a monster in her mind's maze, but it lurked there, on The Edge of Recall.
    Tessa Young is a landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths. For years she has immersed herself in the healing aspects of these elaborate structures, searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.
    When Smith Chandler, a colleague who once betrayed her, offers an opportunity to reconstruct a remarkable Colonial-era labyrinth, she can't resist this project of a lifetime. But one evening, as dusk falls, an assailant ambushes Tessa and Smith and the real nightmare begins.

    MY REVIEW:  This is a great book. I've never read a book from Heitzmann before, and I'm now on the hunt for some more of her books. This book kept me up late at night - although I would NOT recommend reading this when you are home alone! I was really brought into the story with all of the different personalities and interactions. I totally blamed the wrong person for most of the book!

    The Rescue

    TITLE:  The Rescue
    AUTHOR:  Nicholas Sparks

    ABOUT THE BOOK:  When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks -- risks no one else in the department would ever take -- to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: He can't fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over, as soon as the relationship starts to become truly intimate.
    Then, one day, a raging, record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town. Denise Holton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids off the road. With her is her four-year old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Unconscious and bleeding, she -- but not Kyle -- will be found by Taylor McAden. And when she wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone.
    During the search for Kyle, the connection, the lifeline, between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will be different from all the others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. That it will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love. That it will require him to open doors to his past that were slammed shut by pain. That it will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love.

    MY REVIEW:  I wasn't sure how this book would turn out. The hero drove me a little crazy with his pulling away and acting like it was nothing - what a typical guy! With my educational background, I was really fascinated with the heroine and her struggles. Would recommend this book, as with all of Sparks' books!

    New Blog Site

    AAAHHH!!!  What a pain this has been.  I recently joined the Google World!  I started my old blog before doing all this.  You can't change the email address that's associated with your Blogger site, and now it's just been a big mess.  I have to log out of things and back into other sites.  I just want it all to work together... PLEASE??  So, I've decided to make a new blog.  I'm also going to combine my other two blogs into this new one.  I will update about the family, post pictures, and also review books on here.  It's too stressful for me to think about updating two blogs, so maybe one will be easier for me.  Anyway, my old sites will be up for awhile - I don't know if anyone actually reads them, but I hate to leave you hanging!  So, here's to the change.  I hope it goes smoothly! 

    About the Books, Crayons, and Lightsabers...  These are the elements that make our house run smoothly.  If I don't have books to read after the kids are in bed, I feel lost.  If we all don't have crayons for emergency stress-relief, I mean coloring, we are all lost.  And if the boys don't have their precious light sabers, or items they can use as light sabers or swords or guns, they are lost.  Andy has his music, but he also reads, colors and sword-fights with the boys.  Sorry, Andy, I lumped you in with everyone else!