Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey see, Monkey do, Monkey get in trouble too!  At least that's what his shirt said today...

At lunchtime today, I told the kids I was going downstairs to make lunch, and as usual, Isaak dropped what he was doing and followed me down.  While I got lunch together, Isaak got plates out of the cupboard and lined them up on the counter.  I stopped him after he'd gotten four out, and showed him that there was one for Jaela, one for Macey, one for Anya, and one for Isaak, and that he really didn't need to get any more out.  (He usually gets every plate in the cupboard out no matter what I tell him, but for once he actually stopped!)  After I pointed out that there was a plate for each of them, Isaak stood for a moment looking from me to the table.  Then he started making trips back and forth.

A plate for Anya, a plate for Jaela, a plate for Isaak, a plate for Macey.  Each time, I would see a plate pop up over the edge of the table, tilt until it was flat on the table, then finally a little hand would appear as it released the plate, all four fingers stuck straight up in the air.  He was SO proud of himself!  

I gave him the forks to put around, too, then put him in his chair as his sisters came to the table.  "Isaak did all of these?!?"  Isaak answered for himself, with a big grin and more of those emphatic head nods.  

Monkey see, Monkey do...but the rest doesn't always follow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am Thankful

I am thankful that when things happen that we don't expect, God is faithful in ways that we don't expect.

And I'm thankful that we can't see what's coming, either.

God is good!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Seatbelt Check...for Eternity

I thought that I was just making sure that everyone had their seat belts on correctly after we left the re-cycle place today.  Instead, it was the beginning of a very interesting discussion on death, heaven, and worship.  It was a very long conversation, but here are some quick highlights:

Macey:  I hope I get to die when I'm still a kid, because I really want to go to heaven and see Jesus and God.

Jaela: When I die and go to heaven, I might be shy of Jesus.

Anya:  I just want to go to heaven and see what the angels look like!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Am I Cheap, or Just Lazy?

I am feeling just a LITTLE proud of myself!  During naptime today, I cut my own hair!



I hate going to get my hair cut.  I hate spending the money, and I hate figuring out what to do with the kids while I'm getting it cut.  So, I have been planning this "do-it-myself" experiment  for a while, but I waited until after Mike left.  That way, if I made too much of a mess of it, at least he wouldn't have to look at it!  :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Repetition, Repetition

We begin every school day (except for Tuesdays, since we leave the house between 7:30 and 8:00 for CHET) with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Our address and phone numbers, how to dial 911, and all the memory verses we've worked on as well as the current one are all posted on the bulletin board above our school-table for easy reference.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, we review our address and phone numbers, and our memory verse for the week.  About once a week, we also review how and when to dial 911.

Our memory verses (in the NIV) this year are ABC verses.  Each week's verse starts with the next letter of the alphabet.  (A:  All Scripture is God-breathed...  B:  Blessed are the...  C:  Children, obey your parents...  and so on.)  Most of the verses were chosen for their, um, instructive nature, and as I have mentioned in an earlier post, they're not only instructive for the kids;  I need them too!  :)

Inspiration and Motivation

The kids and I spent the day cleaning and sorting.  We got their room completely done, and my schoolroom closet sorted through and re-arranged.  My task tonight is to plan out the rest of our school week, and since I would much rather sort through another closet instead, I am posting this quote from Charlotte Mason, hoping that re-reading it will motivate me to do what I OUGHT to do before I do what I WANT to do.  :)

Charlotte Mason wrote:

It is something to know what to do with ourselves when we are beset, and the knowledge of this way of the will is so far the secret of a happy life, that it is well worth imparting to the children. Are you cross? Change your thoughts. Are you tired of trying? Change your thoughts. Are you craving for things you are not to have? Change your thoughts; there is a power within you, your own will, which will enable you to turn your attention from thoughts that make you unhappy and wrong, to thoughts that make you happy and right. And this is the exceedingly simple way in which the will acts; this is the sole secret of the power over himself which the strong man wields––he can compel himself to think of what he chooses, and will not allow himself in thoughts that breed mischief.

(I guess that means that for me, sorting a closet is mischief!!!)  :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Little Yes Man

Isaak has been very agreeable these last few weeks.  At first, if you asked him a question, and the answer was yes, he would simply say "Huh-uh" (which, by the sound alone would mean "No", unless you knew better).  We worked with him a little, and "Huh-uh" was at least combined with emphatic head nodding.  A few days ago, he was down to simple emphatic head nods, with only the occasional verbal accompaniment, and today he FINALLY figured out what we were talking about all these weeks and added an "Uh-HUH!" to his emphatic head nods.

Some examples:
Me: Isaak, do you want breakfast?  (Big nods.)
Me: Isaak, would you like some milk?  (Big nods.)
Me: Isaak, are you cute?  (Big nods.)
Me: Isaak, can you please go put that (thing you're not supposed to be playing with) back where you found it?  (Isaak just looks at me.)
Me: Isaak, are you ready to go back inside now?  (Isaak runs in the other direction.)

You get the idea.

Today, sitting on the couch watching football and eating the last animal crackers:
Me: Isaak, does it taste better if you stick your animal cracker in between your toes before you eat it?  (Isaak looks down at his feet and animal cracker, looks up at me and grins...and gives me a really BIG nod.)  :)


The Adventure Begins

October 15, 2005  -- it was a warm, beautiful blue-skyed day, and it was awful!  We had gone out to eat the night before, and everyone but me got food poisoning.  Mike spent the whole night fighting nausea, while all three of the girls...well, they didn't fight it.  I got very little sleep that night, between cleaning up after the girls and finishing the packing Mike felt too sick to do himself.  In the morning, we took Mike to a gym on Fort Campbell, and the girls laid like rag- dolls on the grass outside while Mike finished all the final deployment paperwork.  We waited around for hours, first outside, then sitting on bleachers inside.  There were thousands of people milling around, and then finally the speeches started.  They went on and on and on...through lunch-time, then through nap-time...  Then there was the final formation, with Mike lost amid the thousands of soldiers all standing in long, neat lines and rows.  They filed onto buses as we watched, and then drove away.  By the time we got back to our car, I was crying so hard I couldn't see to put on the girls' seatbelts.  Yeah, it was horrible.

Before that first deployment, I was emotional for weeks in advance.  I had lists of all the things that had to be done before Mike left, and he had to teach me important things like how to work the lawn mower, how to use the gas grill, how to edge the lawn, when to change the air filters and how to start the gas fireplace.  I had to go to FRG (Family Readiness Group) meetings, and fill out (in triplicate!) a stack of paperwork which I affectionately call "Death paperwork".  (Form after form full of information on me, my mental and medical history, my closest friends and family, and who I'd want with me in an emergency...)  I was overwhelmed, and I cried a lot.

Fast forward three years to November 23, 2008.

We went to a different restaurant this time, and no one got sick.  I didn't make any lists, and Mike packed all of his own stuff.  He asked me if I plan to re-seed the lawn this spring, told me which tool to use when I'm ready to prep the bathtub to re-caulk it, and he wanted to teach me how to use his chop saw so I can cut up his pile of scrap wood, but I declined.  :)  I haven't been to an FRG meeting since 2005.  I'm kind of off the FRG radar, and happy to be!  (Mike has been borrowed and loaned back and forth so often these last few months between companies that I'm not on any company's FRG list.)  I didn't have to fill out any paperwork, either!

I never really had time or opportunity to count how many weeks or days were left before he left, either.  First they told us he would be leaving just before Christmas.  Then it was December 12.  No, wait, make that December 6.  The next day it changed to November 24.  A week later, it became November 21.  Until the Tuesday before, when it got switched to November 23.  We got the call in the afternoon of the 21st with the final drop-off time for Sunday...0130.  (For you non-military people, that's the morning.)  Never a dull moment in the Army!

Mike spent most of Saturday packing, and we put the kids to bed as usual, then woke everyone up after midnight and loaded up the van.  We got to the airfield half an hour early, but things were already in motion.  Mike dropped off his bags, and we found a parking space.  Everyone got out of the van (bundled up in our warmest jammies and a coat), we had someone take a picture of the six of us freezing together, then everyone gave Daddy a hug and got back in the nice warm van.  We said goodbye, and headed home!  No one even cried!  (Well, no one except for Isaak.  He didn't want to get back in his carseat quite yet.  He was ready to go exploring!)  That was it...short, simple and uncomplicated.  (Update:  Mike called this afternoon from Anchorage, AK.  There WAS a send-off ceremony after all...2 1/2 hours after we left!  Sure glad we didn't stick around for that!)

I've done a lot of thinking during these past few weeks about the differences I am seeing in myself and in our family this time around.  This community, being so close to an Army base, is extremely supportive of our soldiers and their families.  Our own community, by which I mean our neighbors, friends, and church family, is even more specific in their support of our soldier and our family.  It is wonderful to have their support, but we had their support during the last deployment too.  Nothing has changed there.  Mike went to Iraq last time and was assigned to a huge post, we emailed and IMed almost daily, and he came home early for training.  This time, he'll be in Afghanistan on a small airbase, we have no idea what the communication network will be like, and he will most likely be gone for just over a year.  Everything has changed this time.  Most importantly, my attitude has changed.

My Father is in charge.  It's that simple.  God IS in control!  There is nothing that I can change or prevent by worrying, or crying, or by making lists.  :)  We have known since Mike got home from Iraq that he would be leaving this winter for Afghanistan, so I have had over two years to work on changing my attitude.  Yesterday was the test.  I was completely taken by surprise by my emotional breakdown at the send-off last time, so I wondered all this week when the storm would hit.  At what point during this send-off would I break down and cry uncontrollably?  How badly was I about to embarrass myself?  :)  

The storm never broke.  I sent my husband, my best friend, off to war proudly and with a smile on my face, and with only a slight tremble in my voice.  :)  My Father IS in charge.  My heart IS at peace.  How simple!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daddy and Isaak

That dripping sound you heard this morning?  Yeah, that was the sound of my heart melting!  :)

Counting the Days

Christmas is coming!  One of our neighbors is out putting up his Christmas decorations this morning, so the girls have been discussing putting up Christmas decorations in their dollhouse, and wondering where they're going to find a Christmas tree the right size.  :)  When I hear "Christmas is coming!", the first song that pops into my head is this one, and I think it is especially appropriate this year, considering the state of the economy:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat

If you have no penny, a ha'penny will do
And if you have no ha'penny, then God bless you!
If you have no ha'penny, then God bless you!

Christmas IS coming, but we don't start counting the days until at LEAST December 1st!  And speaking of counting the days...

Mike was scheduled to leave for Afghanistan tomorrow, the 21st, but as is typical of the Army, he is now scheduled to leave on Sunday, the 23rd.  So, as Jaela pointed out to me again this morning, we still have three days before Daddy leaves!  

Unless, of course, his departure gets rescheduled again!  :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Tuesmonday

I know, I know, today is Tuesday, but it sure FELT like a Monday to me!

The first class at CHET starts at 9:00 am.  I usually try to be there by 8:30 so I have time to make my copies for both classes (1st and 2nd grade Spanish) and drop Isaak off at his "class", with plenty of time to ease him into it.  (Nothing against Ms. Jodi, his teacher, but Isaak does NOT like his CHET class...yet!  He usually goes into the church nursery just fine, but he's still adjusting to this CHET business.  But I digress...)

So, CHET starts at 9.  We have a 30 minute drive, so I figured that if we left by 7:45ish or 8, we'd be ok.  With that in mind, I got up at 7, showered, and dressed.  Yes, we CAN leave the house in an hour!  Just not today...

We were out of granola bars (our standard "in-a-hurry" breakfast staple) and out of Cheerios, so we all had granola.  By the time the kids finished their small bowls of granola, I had eaten and made sandwiches and lunches for all five of us.  I changed and dressed Isaak while the girls brushed their teeth and hair, then we all got socks and shoes on (and that's 4 cowgirl boots pulled on, and 6 shoelaces I tied in case you're interested!).  Then coats, and a hat for Isaak, two trips to the van with bags and a boy...and my windshield was frosted over.  We sat in the sun for a minute to let it melt, and pulled out of the driveway at 8:20.  Ok, not exactly on time, but it was workable.

Until I got to the road that goes past our neighborhood.  

Our neighborhood is about a quarter mile off of the highway, and there is an elementary school about a quarter of a mile down the road from us.  It's a two lane road, and from 8:00 to about 8:45, the "I-just-dropped-my-kid-off traffic is backed up from the stop sign to the school.  (Sigh, fidget, fidget.  I HATE being late!)

Six minutes later we were on our way.  The interstate was relatively clear and we made good time (NOT speeding!), and we were going to have about 6 minutes to get into the building, make my copies, and drop Isaak off.  Still not a best-case scenario, but doable.

Until I got off at the exit.

A semi-truck had started through the intersection and broke down in the middle, blocking all but ONE lane of a four lane intersection.  So I went south instead of north until I could turn around and go back through that ONE lane he'd left open.  I was still hopeful, though.  If the elevator was ready, and if I didn't make my copies before my first class and just dropped Isaak off over the gate instead of going in with him, we might make it.

There was a geography fair set up on tables in the hallway to the elevator, and we had to wait for the elevator to come back down.  I didn't make my copies, and when I left Isaak he was still inhaling for a gigantic "I-can't-believe-you're-leaving-me-here-with-these-people-again" scream.  I was two minutes late.  And my coffee was cold.

In two hours, I said "Put your candy/toy/shell away" three times.  I said "Put your candy/shell away AGAIN" twice.  I said "Shhh!  Just raise your hand, don't shriek at me!" at least six times.  I said "Sit back down" four times.  Once I said "We don't have show and tell in Spanish class unless you can do it in Spanish.  Do you mind if I finish reading our book now?"  (Sarcasm is lost on 6-year-olds, I'm afraid!)  I said "We're not READING a book about Obama right now, and he's not from Peru anyway, so please save your comments for later" only once.  :)  One of my 2nd graders accidentally knocked his chair over twice, and another (my special needs girl) fell asleep.  (She later apologized very sweetly.)  :)  FINALLY, after two very long hours, dragging a rolling suitcase full of my CHET supplies and a huge garbage sack full of hand-me-down clothes for Isaak, we left the building.

But not before Isaak pushed the "call for help" button in the elevator.  (And, yes, I AM laughing NOW!)

We ate lunch in the car, then I drove for an hour to Fort Campbell to go to the commissary, with one eye on my gas gauge to see if we were going to make it (gas is WAY cheaper on post!).  We made it, but as I was pulling up to the gate, I realized that my military ID was not in my wallet.  My military ID is ALWAYS in my wallet.  I need it for EVERYTHING -- to get on post, to buy anything on post, to go to the doctor...  They turned me around at the gate, and I sat in a parking lot going through my wallet and my pockets.  I remembered sticking it in my pocket when Mike and I went out the other night (not there), and then when we got home, I stuck it in the diaper bag (not in that pocket), but I remember thinking that I probably wouldn't think to look...ah ha!  Finally.

They let me on post :).  I got gas.  ($1.73/gallon -- you can hate me later!)  I got groceries (and really great deals on green beans and a bag of bruised pears).  Things were looking up!  :)

While I was arranging the groceries in the van, I broke a fingernail off so low that it bled.  Isaak threw up in his carseat on the way home.  Anya spilled chocolate milk in hers.  Jaela pointed out when we got home that Daddy leaves for Afghanistan in three days.  Anya spilled her milk at dinner, too.

My portion.  My cup.  My lot is secure.  My heart can be at peace.  My Father is in charge.  How simple!

Ah, life is GOOD!

Monday, November 17, 2008


The girls had a really hard time calming down enough to get ready for bed this evening.  They were very helpful and obedient while they were working with and near me in the kitchen and dining room cleaning up after dinner, but once I sent them upstairs to get ready for was "let the wild rumpus start!"  

On the other hand, at least they were including their little brother in their shenanigans and no one felt left out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

She Can Read!

Oh my.  She's only four years old.  And she's beginning to read on her own.  She has some words she recognizes instantly (remember Made In China?) and the rest she sounds out.  She came into the office to read this page to me a few minutes ago, and prefaced it with, "Mommy, don't tell me what the words are, I want to read them myself."  And she did.

Oh my.  I'd better rethink her Kindergarten curriculum!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just One More Page!

Jaela and Macey got new "chapter books" for their birthday (Thanks, Aunt Betsey!), and have been devouring them since they came in the mail yesterday.  Last night, Mike went in to read them a chapter of Pinocchio, their current bedtime story, and without even looking up from her book, Jaela asked, "Can you wait a minute, Daddy?  I'm almost done with this chapter.  Just one more page!"

It's starting already!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Adventure

Just for fun, I started another blog!  The new one is open to the public, so it doesn't have any personal information on it.  :)  Check it out if you want to, either by clicking here or by going to the link I put at the bottom of the sidebar on this page.


Before we had kids, I used to absolutely DREAD Monday morning.  Monday morning meant that the weekend was officially over, and I had to go back to work.

Now that we have kids, I still dread Monday mornings, but I don't have to go anywhere.  Monday mornings now mean that I can count on the entire house being a disaster.

After Sunday School and church, a late lunch and a late nap, Sunday afternoon is spent relaxing.  No one does any housework or cleaning up.  
The kids play, color, read, or watch football with Mommy.
Daddy plays with the kids, does his own thing, or sometimes watches football with Mommy.
Mommy just watches football.

So, on Monday mornings, my house usually looks something like this:
(and it only looks THIS good if I happened to clean it really well the week before!)  :)

(I'll give credit where credit is due:  the kids DID pick up this room completely before they went to bed Sunday night.  They also very obediently stayed in bed until their clock said 7:00 this morning, then colored and drew until almost 9:00.  I can't really complain about THIS mess!)

Nope.  Monday is not my favorite day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn Colors and Hot Spiced Apple Cider

The view from my back deck this afternoon...
...complete with a steaming mug of hot spiced apple cider.

It was a nice, quiet moment.  Yeah, I actually do mean just one.
Quiet.  Moment.

Isaak was with me, and he was not happy.
Not cheerful, either.  Downright grouchy, as a matter of fact.
And he thought that the entire neighborhood should hear about it.
I disagreed.
So we went inside.

It was a nice, quiet moment.  While it lasted.

Our House

Our House
Come on in!  :)
The "old Dining Room"...someday a Sitting Room:
Kitchen and "new" Dining Room:
Living Room:
Master Bedroom:
Master Bathroom:
"Tornado Closet" -- we DO live in the South!
Upstairs we go!
Jaela, Macey, and Anya's Room:
Office/Music Room/Guest Room:
Schoolroom/TV Room:
Isaak's Room:
The Backyard:
Wanna come for a REAL visit?!?  :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Brief Glimpse

A brief glimpse into my day (any deeper of a glimpse, and you'd either be bored to tears or as exhausted as I am!):

Dirty laundry waiting to be sorted and washed, and clean laundry waiting to be folded

I barely made a dent in either pile...
On the other hand, I cleaned and tidied up the ENTIRE house, taught school, ran a few errands, and picked up a few groceries!

And at the end of the day, there are clean dishes waiting to be put away, dirty dishes waiting to be washed, a full garbage waiting to go out...
...and two freshly baked loaves of bread waiting to be sliced and put away.

A very satisfying end to a satisfying day!  :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Little House in the Bark Mulch

The kids have designated the bark mulched area among our trees in the back yard as their "house", and whenever we go outside to play, that's where they head.  If I remember correctly, in this picture Macey is in the bedroom, Anya and Jaela are in the living room, and Isaak is in the kitchen.  They have a garden and a farm, too.  :)
Yesterday as they played in their house, I heard Jaela say, "Ok, now everyone line up, and I'll give you your chores for the day."  And her sisters cooperated too!  They lined up, Jaela assigned them each some chores, and they all ran off cheerfully to "do" them.  Maybe I should try that "line up" system in MY house!  (Although if I'm being honest, their house looks like it's more fun!)  :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


"A chore is something that we do to help the whole family." 
-- L. Elizabeth Krueger, author of Raising Godly Tomatoes

It wasn't that long ago that I finally realized two very important things.  The first is that the girls are actually old enough (and have been for quite some time now, actually) to have some responsibilities around the house, and the second is that I am not Super-woman and I don't need to be, either.  Shortly after this realization, the word "chore" became a part of our daily vocabulary!

We started simply.  Every morning before breakfast, the girls are all three required to get dressed and brush their hair, and make their beds.  Then Macey takes the bathroom garbage downstairs and replaces the liner, and Jaela takes the dirty laundry basket from their room to the laundry room (Anya's job is to help her if it is overflowing.)
Whenever the dishwasher is clean, I call all three girls to help empty it.  Lately, Isaak has taken over the assignment of putting away the silverware and utensils, and he actually has developed a pretty good grasp of which drawers things go in!  The hard part is then filling the dishwasher with one hand and trying to prevent him from putting the dirty silverware and utensils away with the other!  :)  His desire to help combined with how well he completes his self-appointed task have made me begin to question WHEN.  If he does this task so well and eagerly at 17 months, when do I begin to give him ACTUAL responsibilities...chores of his own?  Not TOO soon, but then again, does he need to know that it's not necessarily supposed to be fun?  :)

All three girls take care of their own laundry.  I wash and dry it, then sort it into their baskets for them to fold, hang up and put away.  It sometimes takes them a while to get their basket emptied, but the system has worked well so far!  I'm thinking that they might be ready for some new challenges.  As capable as my children have proven themselves to be so far, the possibilities are endless!  :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Beginning Narration

The concept of narration as a learning tool is not a new one, but as I learned today, it is a very effective one!  Charlotte Mason wrote that a pupil should learn to be able to "grasp the sense of a passage of some length at a single reading: and to narrate the substance of what they have read or heard." (from the appendix of School Education, Volume 3 of her series).  Narration is:   "Quite simply, it is the art of 'telling back' what you just read or heard from a book." -- from Lindafay at Higher Up and Further In (Which, by the way, is my favorite Charlotte Mason method homeschooling blog.)  :)

We do our Bible readings every morning before we do any of our other schoolwork.  It's the most important thing we learn, so we do it first to make sure it gets done!  :)  It takes so long for me to read it aloud, though, that I have started assigning chapters for Jaela and Macey to read on their own in their NIVs, while Anya reads a Bible storybook.  They read so quickly that when they told me they were done with their SIX chapters this morning, I asked them to narrate to me individually so I could make sure that they actually read it.  (My mom is thinking right about now that this sounds awfully familiar!)  :)

They read the first six chapters of Exodus today, so I told them to start from the beginning of the story, and pretend that I didn't know anything about Moses.  Macey went first, and it was like pulling teeth to get any details out of that child!  She had the storyline completely correct though, and told me everything in the right order, but it took a lot of prompting and patience on my part to get it all told.  Jaela, on the other hand, went into so much detail that I found myself thinking more than once, "I'd forgotten that!", and even "Did I ever know that?".  She too had the storyline in perfect chronological order, and they both proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had read what they were supposed to!

I have to admit that the differences between their narrating styles really surprised me, although I WAS forewarned that there could be such differences.  Lindafay wrote about her own children on her blog in a post titled Detailed Narrations and The Summary:  "One of my children loves to give very detailed narrations.  She can remember details so well that when she narrates, she sounds like the author....However, she shows a weakness in her ability to summarize a passage so that just the most important people and events are mentioned.  My other daughter has the exact opposite strength and weakness.  She summarizes beautifully but doesn't pay attention to details as much as she should."  

I am so grateful (as a mom and as a teacher!) for Lindafay's insight!  While I might have considered one narrating style only a strength and the other only a weakness, Lindafay points out that BOTH styles have equal parts strength and weakness, and she lays out a method for me as the teacher to use to strengthen the weaknesses and teach the proper use of each style.  Not only that, but in her post she continues on the subject of narration, giving more ideas and backing them up with examples from her (and her children's) experiences.  I really, really like her blog (can y'tell?!?).  It's nice to have an example to follow as we're beginning this new method of homeschooling, and yet I don't feel compelled to do everything the "Lindafay way", either.

And, OH, this new method is fun!  :)

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL?!?

The Tennessee Titans are 8-0!!!

The kids and I spent part of Saturday afternoon watching college football (Georgia vs. Florida), and the girls were fascinated by Tim Tebow, quarterback for Florida.  Not only is he a Christian, but his parents are missionaries AND he was homeschooled!  He plays with a Bible reference painted in white on the black stuff they put under their eyes: Phil (under his right eye) 4:13 (under his left eye)  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  When I read it to the girls, Jaela's first question was:  "Is he so good at football because he's a Christian?"  :)  

Yesterday afternoon we watched the Giants/Cowboys game, and Anya was fascinated by the difference between their uniforms and the uniforms the Titans/Green Bay wore in Tennessee.  It was in the high 70s here yesterday, and the players were all in short sleeves.  In the Giants game in New York, some wore short sleeves, but Eli Manning and a few others had long sleeves on underneath their short sleeved jerseys.  (Sometimes the things my kids notice absolutely amaze me!)  After a while, Anya came running back into the school/tv room dressed like this and exclaimed, "Look, Mommy!  I'm Eli Manning!"  :)

Today, the girls spent almost an hour upstairs working on writing and illustrating stories while Isaak and I made dinner.  Jaela and Macey are working on stories about queens, kings, and princesses.  This was Anya's:  (from top to bottom, left to right, pictures of) "a helper" (she means trainer), "a cheerleader, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning."  Then she drew Peyton Manning's helmet and labeled it PATINMANINES, followed by Eli Manning's helmet, and labeled it too (backwards) ELIMANES

It's definitely football season at my house!  :)

(Dad, go catch your eyeballs!  I think you just rolled them right out of your head!)  :)