Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'Til My Sides Hurt: Jackson Funnies

Our children are are very passionate in their hugs and kisses to the #beefyboys. From a stranger's view point it looks like the kids are about to hit, choke, or bite the babies when in reality they are just so overcome with joy and delight that they can hardly contain their affection. I know. It's been my response to babies since I was little. Like, still a baby myself.

Can we say, "Destined to have a bazillion children"?

Anyways, I've been training Jackson to give the #beefboys soft kisses and hugs and to save the big hugs and kisses for Mommy.

Win/Win. ;)

The other day after he had knocked me over with one of his kisses he told me, "I give da babies tiny kisses...and tiny punches."

Before I could get a correction out he added, "Der boys! And dey beed in your tummy all da days!"

3 year old logic: Tiny punches on boy babies are okay because:

#1. We can hit boys but not girls
#2. We can't give babies real punches


When he pinches the #beefyboys cheeks: "I'm not pinsing dem. I'm dust chubbing der cheeks!"


We were doing our advent reading and when it was Jackson's turn to list his blessing of the day he said, "Going in your woom." (climbing in bed with me in the middle of the night)

And then he flashed the "Momma's Boy Smolder."




A few months back I cut HH, Abiah, and Jackson's hair while my in-laws were out for the day. When they got home FIL was commenting on their hair and said to Abiah and Jackson, "Where'd your hair go? You got buzzed. You're Buzz Lightyear!"

At that point Jackson, who is laying on the couch, starts pulling his pants down. FIL goes, "Hey! Whatcha doing?!"

"I'm showing you my Woody!"

FIL and I half gasp and giggle and, as we're both starting to tell him to pull his pants up, we realize that he has his new Toy Story underwear on and he was just trying to show FIL the picture on the back of the unders.

Laughter for days, people. I tell ya.


The kids and I went blueberry picking with MIL this last summer. As we were picking I was talking to the kids about not eating too many of the berries while we were picking them because that would be stealing from the farmers. Jackson had a different solution.

"I'm dust hiding 'tween da boosses so dey can't see me."



About sleeping on a bunk bed:

"I don't like bonk beds. The wood bonks on me."


On getting too close to Emmett:

"He was twying to eat my cheek for brefest, but it's not achooly his brefest."



Speaking of Emmett's "brefest"...

The #beefyboys were due to be born during hunting season in September. I'll never hear the end of it.

That meant that we couldn't go on the Arcouette family annual two week hunting trip. That HH had already gotten time off for. I was a favorite of all this year.


While we waited for babies MIL and FIL went with SIL#1's family. MIL and FIL came home the day before induction to be here for the birth and the day after the #beefyboys were born they went back to camp and took Abiah and Jackson with them.

On the way back to camp they had car troubles and ended up at a little auto shop. When they walked into the shop the receptionist greeted them and Jackson immediately says, "Mommy had babies."

MIL explained that her DIL had just had twins and then Jackson added, "And dey dwink milk outta Mommy's boobies!"

Monday, December 8, 2014


Apparently Rest and Hope for this year looks like not blogging for almost a year. Oh! And these things that have happened since I last posted:

We found out we were pregnant.

We found out we were pregnant with twins!

The Krooked Kastle sold.

We moved in with HH's parents until we find a house.

We found out that our babies were boys.

The kids and I spent most of the summer at the park, wadding pool, my mom's pool, and the dollar movies.

I survived the 5 million degree weather while being ginormously pregnant.

We didn't go hunting.

HH barley survived.

Then I was induced and we finally got to meet our boys.

They are now two-and-a-half months old and we're so in love.

And we have six kids.

We are still at HH's parents' house waiting to find a place of our own. I have lots I want to share and I hope that, now that things have slowed down a bit, I will be able to.

I read through some old posts about the kids and was just in a fit of giggles over their cuteness. It also made me sad that I didn't keep posting this last year. They are so cute and the time with them flies so quickly. I just want to bottle all the memories up so I can revisit them. And the kids love for me to read the stories to them. Which makes it even more fun.

Here are some favorites I read:

'Til My Sides Hurt: The Telephone Guys

'Til My Sides Hurt: A Trip to the Dentist

'Til My Sides Hurt: When Daddy's in Charge

One of Those Videos

Hazel's New Friend

For more funnies click on the 'Til My Sides Hurt label.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rest and Hope for 2014

As a preface you may want to read my recap of 2013. Or not.

This year when I started to prepare for my New Year's Resolutions I asked the Lord what I needed in this year. What does this year need to be for me? The first word that came to mind was Hope. I think as a part of the healing I went through in 2013 I let go of a lot of cynicism. I finally feel the freedom to Hope. And, Oh My, I'm in daily need of Hope.

But it also seemed like I kept hearing a whisper saying, "Rest."

"Two words?" I thought, "I can only have one. I need to decide between the two."

As I slowed down and starting thinking about both of these words I realized they are inseparable. Hope and Rest. Rest and Hope. I need them both.

You know when you get a new car and you you suddenly start seeing cars exactly like yours everywhere you drive though you ever noticed that model before? Well, after I decided on Hope and Rest for my words this year it was like that. Songs on the radio, messages at church, blogs I read, all talking about Hope and Rest! One blog post had the most beautiful way of explaining the relationship between the two:

Hope is really about rest. Resting in the imperfections of today because you believe that tomorrow there is possibility.

I had written this down on New Year's day:

"Rest, because I feel I need a reminder to slow down and focus. Also, because I want to rest in the promises of the Lord. Which leads me to HOPE."

This is the song I sing the most right now. It is my prayer. My meditation. I want it to be my breath prayer.

 So, I wrote out a list of things I'm hoping for in 2014:
~ House sold
~ Our New House!!!
~  Financial freedom and peace
~ Better job (for HH) or Peace and Favor at current job
~ A year of health (No more ER trips, please!)

There are other, more immediate things I am hoping for right now and I'm sure there will be more through out the year, but this is my list of "big" hopes, if you will.

I sat down to use a portion (#22) of Ann Voskamp's Grace Plan for 2014 and ended up using her whole list as a base for my goals. Much of what she listed is what I want for myself. Why re-write what has already been so poetically penned.

For my specific 2014 goals I decided against "fixes" I wanted in my life and decided for the things that I felt just make me more whole person: daily disciplines, intentional/relational parenting, respecting and joyfully serving my husband, pursuing friendships.

And, of course, I always have a long list of books to read. This is just my "serious reading" list.

Books To Read:
These are the books on my shelf (minus one I still need to purchase) that I want to use to help me be a better me, mom, and wife. The ones marked (devo) are those that I plan to use in my morning devotional time. The others will probably be my night time reading books. Most are carried over from last year's list. Some I have already started.

Shepherding A Child's Heart
Love & Logic for Parenting
Sheet Music
Dare to Be (devo)
David (devo)
Children: In Life, In Meetings, In Our Hearts
The Power of a Praying Wife (devo)
The Love Dare (devo)
Preteen Wise
The Father Heart of God (devo)
Practical Theology for Women (devo)
Love and Respect 
I Will Look Up (devo)

I know we are already a month into the New Year and this may seem like a late post I actually waited on purpose. Although my goals, thoughts, and desires for the year were written down on the 1st of January, I like to wait a bit to see if anything changes. Posting a month late is also a good reminder to stay focused or to get re-focused.

I'm still excited about this year and I know it holds good things for us all. May we seek them with the eyes of a child.

Did you set goals for the New Year? Do share!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Favorite Things Friday Kid's Edition: Books

It's no secret that I love books. I could live in a library. As long as it had a cafe of course.

I've tried and am trying to instill my love of reading in my children. One way is by surrounding them with a zillion books to browse and read. I also try to read to them as often as I can. They, of course, have favorites that we have read so many times we've memorized them and the bindings are coming loose.

There are a few favorites, though, that have caused me to stifle my giggles.

The first was a favorite of Amelia's when she was about two. My MIL got the book for the kids thinking Abiah would especially like it because it was a narrative about Daniel Boone. No one ever assumed that the two year old would be the one to drag it out everyday over and over.

She had very little patience, though, for the actual story. She just wanted us to turn the pages until we got to this one:

She would point her chubby finger and say, "Buns! Him's buns is sowing!"

The next book is a favorite of Jackson's. I bought it at a resale/antique store this last fall because it is old and I thought we could incorporate it into our schooling or family time. It's called Wise Words for Little People. It was written in the late 80's.So, never mind. It's not old. It's very young.

When I started reading it to the kids I was so happy. Every little story is based on an encouragement or admonition from the book of Proverbs. My kids loved it and they could understand how the Proverb applied to them.

I never thought Jackson would catch on to this book so early. This is the story he wants me to read the most:

"If you're acting naughty, Your parents may spank you. But when you get older, You'll want to say, 'Thank you!'

You can see in the picture that Little Bear is getting into the medicine cupboard. Here's what happens next:

Yup. Little Bear is getting a spank. I think Jackson is drawn to this story because he's been in Little Bear's shoes. Of course after the spank Mommy and Little Bear hug and kiss. I'm sure Mother Bear is saying, "I don't want to spank you, but I can't let you be disobedient. I love you very much. Please obey Mommy." Which Jackson is also familiar with.

Books are a lovely thing.

What are some of your family favorites?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homeschool Q & A: A typical day and schooling with a toddler

For the first Q&A post see here.

I started this series to answer some questions for a friend. Since they are questions I get asked often I thought I'd write my answers out here for anyone else interested.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you while homeschooling and what do you do with Jackson during school? 

A: Because of our extra-curriculars everyday looks a little different, but I try to keep some schedule and routine for our actual schooling. 

Although I'd love to run everything Von Trapp style with time lines and whistles, life really just doesn't work that way. (smile) I go by a To-Do list and organize from there. I try to get up before the kids for quiet time, but this can be difficult with kids who still crawl into my bed half-an-hour before I plan to be up. I've learned to be flexible and remember that this is a short season. Abiah is up at 6:30 for Bible reading. The rest of the kids are almost always up before that, but I'm trying to train them to stay in their room until 7 so I have time to finish my devotions and shower.

Our mornings are started with kids getting dressed, chores getting done, piano practice, breakfast, and breakfast clean up. Most days HH is home for breakfast so we get to eat with him. 

I try to get us started with school by 8:30, but it's usually more like 9 or 9:30. First I get Abiah going on the subjects he does on his own. Then I spend about an hour working with Amelia and Jackson. Really this time is to give them some special time with me. Amelia is my main focus scholastically, but Jackson is her tag-a-long so we find things for him as well.

This is just one room. And it looks like this everyday. They have to have it all cleaned up by the end of the day. And then they start over as soon as they wake up. :)

When they get done and I send them off to play I do school with Hazel. Her curriculum takes 1-1&1/2 hours to do. Of course everything takes a bit longer because I'm working with children who have a mind of their own, a will of their own, and a bathroom schedule of their own. There are lots of interruptions, to put it plainly. 

Hazel was upset and refusing to do her math because there was a girl apple that had four worms in it and that was disgusting and unfair to the girl apple. Also, the girl apple should have been at the top of the page. Her least favorite memory verses are the ones that talk about rotting bones. She generally puts up a fight about rehearsing those ones. But, obviously, she's a princess and princesses shouldn't have to talk of such things... Oy vey! Puberty is going to be thrilling.

Though I aim to train my kids to show me and each other respect by allowing me to work with each one individually, really this is just part of being a family. Kids have to pee and poo. They need to express their ideas and thoughts. And they need remind you they have a will of their own every now and again five seconds later. 

After I finish with Hazel we have lunch. I usually make lunch while Hazel finishes up a writing task or puts her books away. Amelia and Jackson are usually cleaning up toys and Abiah is finishing up the subject he is on. After I've eaten I read aloud to the kids. Abiah has scheduled read-aloud books with his curriculum so that's what we read. Afterward we clean up from lunch and I settle Jackson down for a nap. 

While he's napping the girls play quietly-ish and I do school with Abiah. Depending on the day, scheduled lessons, and Abiah's work ethic we can be done anywhere from 1-5. I try not to carry work over to the next day, but sometimes it is unavoidable. 

Abiah is in a music class on Mondays and Hazel is in one on Tuesdays. The class is at 3 so we aim to be done with school in time to leave for class. Wednesday is a rather busy day for us. I only do school with Abiah and Hazel on this day. After school in the morning, we go to our homeschool group at 1:30, come home for dinner, and then leave again for mid-week church by 6:45. Thursday is a quiet day usually, and it is also our last day of school for the week. HH is off for the weekends beginning Friday morning so we spend Friday with him. Our curriculum is mostly scheduled for a four day school week so we just do any Friday work on Thursday.

I've found that our schedule has seasons because we have seasons. Last year looked very different. I like this year way more than last year, but the kids are a little older and are getting the hang of the routine a bit more.

One of the things that helped me relax about our daily school routine and my need for it to be perfect was a comment I read in our curriculum. The author was sharing their family's daily schedule and she used the phrase "we've trained our kids to..." a few times. I realized if I want my kids to follow a routine I have to train them to. And because they are still so young I can't just expect them to know on their own. So a lot of what I do is training. This year, thankfully, I don't have to do so much of that with Abiah. It's been a breathe of fresh air especially since I have three others who still need so much of my time in that area.

We have good days where I think we've finally, finally figured it out. And then we have no good very bad days when it feels like we have so far to go. Honestly, most of that depends on my hormones, though. I've learned to be aware and make adjustments in my attitude and our work load, if need be.

I hope this encourages you.

Do you have a question about homeschooling or about ours specifically? Leave me a comment and I'll add it to my list!

Blessings, ya'll!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Paper

Ok. Mostly wordless. I need to explain. My SIL's boyfriend, so my boyfriend-in-law, works for a paper company and he gave us a huge box of paper. And this little Miss, especially, makes the most gigantic messes with it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! She loves to color and goes through at least 100 sheets a week.

I sent my boyfriend-in-law a message thanking him for fueling my children's need to draw on a new piece of paper every few seconds. I also thanked him for fueling our wood stove, because that's where it all ends up.

I do love that I don't have to constantly replace my copy paper that I use for school. It was getting ridiculous. And I was getting stingy. We're all happy. :)