Saturday, October 31, 2009

Winter Blues Washed Away-Activites

I would like to start an event here at our blog of fun ways for us to get through the winter without those cold, winter blues sneaking up on us come January and February. We are planning to do some fun activities. Our goal is to do the activity and take pictures as we do it, so that you can try it out at home. Or if something is going to be happening somewhere else, that others might be interested in, we will let all of you know about it and then after, post pics of our time there.

Now, if our readers happen to find a great idea for passing the winter months, please let us know. Leave a comment with your idea or leave your blog address for us to read about your activity and see your pictures. Should be a lot of fun, and I'm hoping to get some good ideas from you guys too.

Let me know if you are planning on joining us for this. Hopefully, we will post something once a week. Sometimes things don't go as planned, so it won't be the same day every week. Just stay tuned and check back often. We have something fun planned for Monday, so check back to see our first exciting activity.

And look for a super fun contest in January for all to participate in.
Here's to having a great winter that will pass quickly!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Autumn Stroll With My Children

The day was beautiful yesterday, and knowing that we won't have too many more of those days, I decided to take the children for a walk and take along the camera for some good autumn moments. What fun we had and loved the weather we were blessed with!

Just taking a stroll in the leaves. I can't wait til Benaiah is old enough that he can join the threesome in walking hand in hand. Well, I can wait, but it will make for some really cute pictures.

I've been looking at alot of photographer's blogs and seeing some of their creativeness. Not your typical sittings or backgrounds. This one was inspired by Krystal, an old friend that I used to babysit for. She now resides in Wisconsin but does some amazing work. Check her blog out here. You just might be inspired yourself.

They wanted so much to go on the other side of the fence to play. I wasn't opposed, so off they went through the open spot in the fence to roam on the deer trail. Thought this would be a cute pic, so they stopped their adventure to give me smiles.

A quick pose on the fence before we continued our walk.

My four cuties! We are so blessed by these little ones. Everyday isn't perfect, I mean, we do school, we keep the house clean, we try to teach them well, so obviously our days don't always go picture perfect. Children have other things in mind than any of those things. There is lots of running around and loudness in our little house, but when it's time for stories, the couch gets filled up and all is quiet. I love it! So, when the weather is nice, walks do us all some good.

Here is our Benaiah at 5 1/2 months. How big he is getting! This picture couldn't have gotten any better although how we got it could've. The poor guys is just starting to sit by himself, though he is quite wobbly still. So, he constantly rocked backwards and bumped his head on the fence. Didn't faze him at all, and he just kept on smiling. I thought for sure he would fit into the wagon, but the girls informed me that he is way too big. And when I tried it, well, he is bigger than I thought he was. The girls were right for sure! But it sure looked super cute beside him.
They decided enough smiling for the camera, so they all got up and started kicking leaves around. I told them they could pick some up and throw them in the air. Amazing that their smiles came right back, and lasted for awhile. Then they brought their hand fulls of leaves over to the photographer and baby and threw leaves on us. Not a good idea! Especially getting the tight fisted baby, unclenched from the many leaves that fell in his lap.

Couldn't resist a picture with my boy. But he was quite distracted by the leaf kicking, running back and forth, enjoying the day children behind me. Oh well! He is just longing for the day when he too will be able to do that and much for my cute picture of the 4 of them walking holding hands because he will probably be running all over the place. Ha!

We had to quickly head home because of a certain girl needing to go potty. So, after the bathroom break, we ventured out into our backyard and took a few more unsuspected shots. I love seeing my girls in the grass as if they were living in the prairie days.

After taking some pictures, the children had to show me the new buck rub by our pine tree. Looks like some good hunting in the valley. A perfect ending to a perfect walk. Oh, we did see a smooshed chipmunk in the road too. Always fun seeing wildlife but did they have to turn around and go back to see the deadness of the munk? Why, oh why? Fresh air, a good walk, and smiles from everybody ended a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Apple Orchard Fun

What a gorgeous day we had to go to the apple orchard on a field trip. And it was loaded with fun! We got there early to take pictures and get a head start on the fun. A couple years ago we came here, and I remembered the children weren't really interested in watching the video that they have playing in a little barn, so I planned for them to watch that before the other children got there.
We had so much fun. The sun was shining perfectly and it was a nearly perfect day.

Alegra really wanted a picture with Benaiah as the farmer. So, she held him, but since she thought it was so funny, she spent most the time laughing behind the scenes so I was surpised his face wasn't all blurry from her bouncing. It turned out pretty cute anyways.

Here are all four of my children watching the video, learning about apples, cider making, and the health benefits that apples give to our bodies.
When the rest of the group got there, we took a hay ride out to the corn maze. Benaiah fell asleep during the ride and slept peacefully through most of the ride and walk through the maze.

Was short and sweet with some corny jokes along the way.

Here is Mrs. Apple teaching the children how to pick an apple properly. They all did great as you can see from the following pictures.

Josiah picking a red delicious. Alegra picking. Diella posing after her picking.
They got to pick a gourd from the gourd patch. There were so many to choose from, but I must say they all did a great job with their picks. Now we will let them dry to make shaker instruments out of them.

After we were done picking, we all had some cider and the children were given coloring books. Here is Celia, the organizer of this field trip (great job heading it up!) and Benaiah. He had such a good time and always is good for a smile.

The whole group of children that participated. We were missing a few families due to sickness, but despite some not making it, the rest of us enjoyed the amazing warm and sunny day. I guess that was our last fix of sunshine for this year. Are we ready for winter now? Ready or not, here it comes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Story Time

I am finding more and more that it is truly a blessing to teach children when they are young to enjoy books. We had an appointment a couple weeks ago trying to get things cleared up with my hospital bills and had to sit in a very small cubicle to talk with a lady. We had all 4 children with us and the lady had a treasure basket in the only empty corner of the sitting area. It was a plain basket but it was filled with books! They crawled under our chairs and each sat on the floor looking through this basket of books. What a blessing to have children that don't need all the bells and whistles in toys but can sit quietly and enjoy a book. The lady was quite surprised and said usually the children are trying to get free from the cubicle. We know we are blessed with our children and are so thankful.

This night we sat down to read The Little Engine That Could (even Benaiah enjoyed it). We are studying transportation in school right now, so it went along with it. Today we made some train cars to put their beannie babies in like in the book. It will make its grand appearance at the grandparent's party we have every year. We are making plans for that and looking forward to it.

So here's my encouraging word for the to your children. Their love of books comes in really handy when you need them to sit still and quiet. Do you read to your children? What books do you enjoy? I am always interested in books suggested by others. Comment on your favorites. We'd love to check them out!

The Final Day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

The fun filled week of rejoicing is over. Thankful that we aren't limited to rejoicing just during this week. We have so much to rejoice about during the whole year, but this week is especially meant for rejoicing and considering tabernacling. We finished off the week with a meal together at our church and lots of games for everybody.

The children had a wonderful time in the big open space playing with jump ropes, bowling pins, a parachute, boxes, and hopscotch. What a great time for them to play with their friends!

Even the big people enjoyed themselves. Or were you, Matt and Melanie? Can't really tell here.

On the far left of the below picture is corn hole, then ladder ball, then a Wii bowling tournament (on the big screen), then the area for the children to play in. Something for everyone and everyone had a ball! Jonathon and I partnered up for ladder ball. We won one game and then lost. The coloring in there is so yellow and since I haven't been wearing my contacts with being on the meds, I couldn't see distance too well, so that's my reasoning we didn't become the champions at ladder ball. Hahaha!

The best part was just sitting around visiting with each other and enjoying one another's fellowship. The love that we all share is amazing in our church family and was clearly shown to us during our time in the hospital. What a sweet thing we have in our fellowship. Unlike any other church we have experienced. What a blessing!

Here is Benaiah and Sarah hanging out. He sure doesn't get ignored at church. I think he was passed from lady to girl, to lady and back to girl again. He sure is loved! What's not to love about him?
Hanging out and having fun with little ones. Except AnnMarie....put your chemistry away and have some fun girl! :)

The children played with so many different toys and used their imaginations well. So much for those who say that homeschooled children aren't socialized. I think we have that area covered with our children.
Some of the ladies conversing and sharing a great memory together.

The last stop for me before heading down to clean up then nurse a baby. This was Benaiah's last stop for the night too before he finally got to be with his momma a little before heading home. A little laughter, a little sharing, a little playing, a little eating, a little conversing, a little competeing, a little relaxing, and a lot of love!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Feast of Tabernacles Week

This week we have been celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in our home. The tent was set up and we prepared to have some friends camp along with us. I took the easy road after the first night of Benaiah puking on me at 6:30am and slept in my own bed. However we didn't start a fire in the woodstove in the evenings, so I probably was colder than the ones in tents with heaters. Nonetheless, the week was filled with wind and rain which makes for some interesting camping weather and took away nice evening sitting around the camp fire.
Here is one of our friends who camped out in our yard with his babe and mine. We had so much planned for the week that we didn't get most of it done, but were pretty happy with what we did get done. I guess I should say we didn't get the typical camping things done, but some other things that we will enjoy through the winter.
Monday evening we went and picked grapes and here is some our work with the grapes. I froze some and then the rest we canned to juice. What a late night job, but we got it done and it's actually pretty good. This was a first time doing juice for me. I have learned a lot this year about canning just by doing it. After grape picking we went to some friend's for a campfire and fun. Was pretty chilly, so we didn't stay real late. Did have some good roasted hot dogs over the fire, and the children had fun on the trails there.
Tuesday was the grape juice day then Wednesday was applesauce day.....

We had 3 bushel so split between 3 families and worked like crazies getting it all done. Here is Casie washing some dishes after our process of preparing, canning and then cleaning up.

Wedensday evening Jonathon and I had signed up at church to man the Corn School booth that our church has every year. We pass out free water and coffee to those who pass by. Also, every night we pass out homemade soup and bread to the vendors there. It's a great ministry and blesses a lot of people and shows others in a real way of God's love for them. It's interesting how nobody else there (even other churches) gives away what they offer. People are always baffled by our generosity. We enjoy doing it! The above picture is one of the younger girls from church riding the ride that was infront of our booth. You wouldn't catch me on that thing that's for sure.

Here is Jonathon and Jamin with Benaiah in the stroller. What a blessing it is to serve the community in this way.
Thursday, Casie and I went to the outlet mall in Fremont then I had a massage to give in the afternoon, then we had supper with our friends and they headed home. Rain caused them to pack up early, which was good for clean tent packing conditions, but bad for fellowship time.
Today I have been doing laundry and more laundry and more laundry. Also, cleaned my room from the children hanging out there most of the week and catching up on here. Jonathon is hauling wood up to the house preparing for the cold to set in and with the changing of seasons comes a change of chores in our house. The garden is pretty much done except for getting some carrots out and harvesting the beans that we have left out there to turn to seed. I also have lots of flowers to get seeds from for next year. I'll wait for a dryer day to do that.
Tomorrow is Sabbath and church gathering. Then Sunday is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. We will gather at church once more for a meal and fun and games in the evening. I will take pictures. We did last Sunday also with lots of fun for everybody, but I didn't have my camera. I will have to remember it this time. That ends out this post. This week was full of work and some play. Always more fun with friends even if it is work. The rain is coming down and has been all day, but my men are out working in it being good servants. Josiah is loving helping his daddy carry wood. So much for getting caught up on the laundry...oh well. Time to start supper and fix food for gathering tomorrow at church. Blessings to you all!

The life of Benaiah

Well, it seems time just doesn't stand still. I was over visiting one of our friend's homesteading websites, checking in on their family life, and realized that it had been awhile since I had reported about my own family life for all of you (whoever you are that read this). :)

Anyways, days with Benaiah are getting so much fun. His laughter would make anybody smile, his spit on his chin would make anybody...well...wipe off his chin, and his stories, oh boy, he's got some grand ones. His family does love him oodles! Below is a picture of one of his sister's head bands placed on his head by none other than his dad. What???? I didn't think his dad liked him in girly things. Well, honestly it makes him look more like a jogger with a sweat band. Cute anyways.
This is a picture of him laying in Josiah's bottom bunk bed. Diella was in charge for a little bit (she loves that role), and I guess she thought he needed to go to bed, and was obviously right. This is where he ended up and sound asleep. I am trying to get her to put him farther up on the couch beds, but she just isn't getting it. Thankfully he isn't rolling or moving that much....YET.

We are staying busy these days and getting geared up for winter. Blah!!! But in this neck of the woods, has to be done. Well, I have another post to write then to the kitchen to fix some supper. We are studying transportation right now, so I think after supper we will make a train. Maybe a post will be added about that later on.