Category Archives: Patrice

Get Ready For A Sappy Post

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See that family up there?  It’s mine.  Mine.  That’s my hubby, my girls.  Mine.

I posted these recent family photos on Facebook yesterday and two college friends reminded me how I had been so sure I would never meet anyone, have a hubby or kids.  I was sure of it.  They were sure I was wrong.  For once, I’m glad I was wrong.

I love those four people like crazy.  More than words can ever express.  I love them.

I love the good moments, I love the hard.  I love it.

This weeks has had some hard.  Patrice was sick, really sick, Wednesday night.  She has recovered, but now Sue is down.

In the middle of that, I started to panic I was not teaching the girls the right stuff.  I don’t have specific curriculum picked out.  I am working a lot from items I find on-line, iPad apps, I Can Read books, and hand-me-down workbooks.

Today I feel better about it.  The hand-me-downs I have are really great books.  I am photocopying a bunch of math for Caitlyn right now, won’t she be thrilled.  I have Rod and Staff Bible/Reading material to start in the new year, the girls are in love with and challenged by the Teach Me iPad apps, and I ordered some handwriting and phonics material from Christian Book Distributors (CBD) today.

Even that teared me up.

We used to get the huge CBD newspaper print catalog.  I would drool over it for days.  I would choose something to save my pennies for.  I remember saving and saving for Janette Oke’s Love Come Softly and When Calls the Heart box sets.  I still have them, and due to my high book handling standards, they are still in pristine condition.  Fast forward a couple decades and here I am, pouring over CBD again to find what is just right for my girls.  Mine.

So, I cried.  Tears of joy, utter joy.

And while sick kids are part of the hard, there is joy there too.  I am the mama.  They want me when they are sick.  I can help them feel better.  I can be there and love them.

In sickness and in health.

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And because you need even more cute of my family…

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And if  you could only see the cute going on in my kitchen right now…

Caitlyn and Patrice are having a dance party.  Patrice just pointed at Caitlyn and said, “lets do it!”  And do it they are!!!  They are busting a move with the “Funky Chicken” and “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Not a Foot Fetish

Please forgive me as I dump a bunch of Patrice cuteness on you.  For some reason, this series of pictures grabbed my heart.

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Thanks to some wonderful generosity, we are able to do swimming lessons at the YMCA.  The girls are having a great time.  Getting dressed after can take time, but Patrice can of course “do it myself!”

It is a lot of fun to watch them learn and grow.  And sometimes just too darn cute!  What have  your kids done lately that just sent them off the cute charts?

Great Day with Some Groveling Here Y’all

Today, meaning Saturday, since it is now actually Sunday, was a great day.  Well for me and the girls.  Hubby is being knocked for a loop with a cold, but he holds his own with those.  So, back to those of us who are healthy.

Thanks to my ongoing issues with insomnia, case in point, I am typing this at 3 am, my day started very early yesterday.  By 5:30 I was sewing for Sue.  She has been begging me for a neck pillow.  She drives me crazy every time she sees them at the store.  I keep explaining I have everything to make them, I just haven’t done it yet.  Well I remedied that situation.  I made hers completely and cut out the other two.

Then I headed off to donate blood.  Even that went well.  Next, was a couple pleasant errands (read, craft store). Finally, I made my way home where hubby had scrubbed and bleached the kitchen and bathroom.  How can you go wrong with any of that?

Kids are kids, so there were whinings, time outs and moments of, well, just moments.

But the good outweighed ALL of the that.

Caitlyn and I made her a stress ball (sand in a balloon) and a birdseed wreath.  She made a birdseed feeder as well.

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And the leaves are still hanging out and BEAUTIFUL.

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I even got a couple short naps.  Yes, a couple.  Donating blood drained me a bit. Bwhahaha.

The girls and I ended the day making banana bread.  As a side note, I can’t find my recipe so used one with buttermilk in it.  I’m not sold.  Does anybody have just a straight, no bourbon, recipe they’d like to share?

Pinally, Patrice, Caitlyn and Sue went to bed VERY easily tonight.  Patrice even put herself to bed.

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I should feel fantabulous about this day.  And I do, when I look at the pieces, but when I look at the whole, I feel a desperate need for affirmation as a mother.  Why is that?

I have questions.  Am I doing too much with/for my kids?  Am I letting them use electronics too much?  Am I pushing them too hard to clean their room?  Do I compliment them too much/not enough?  Should I be worried that Caitlyn wants a stress ball?  Am I doing this right?

Oh the Funny

You always hear about kids being cute, but oh the funny!

I woke up early this morning, but did manage to get a decent night sleep.  I was making my bed when Sue and Patrice got up for the day.  And I hear,

“Mommy, Patrice is all up in my business!!!”

I am still laughing and knew this was setting me up for a day of great blog fodder.

Since then Patrice has been doing her version of hula hooping.  She throws the hoop into a spin and then keeps her body still while shaking her hands above her head.  I’d post a picture, but the only ones I’ve managed to grab were with her sporting her Nudacy, as Caitlyn calls it.

Patrices’ new word is hilarious.  Literally.  She declares things and people hilarious.

And today has been a good day for hilarious.

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Patrice is a RO BOT.

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We melted broken Crayons last night to make new ones.  Sue was a trooper.  She peeled a ton of crayons.  Caitlyn was a distant second.

While peeling them, Caitlyn came across a whole Crayon.  She said, “hey, this isn’t broken.”  Sue reached over, took the Crayon, broke it, and said, “there now it’s broken” while handing it back to Caitlyn.  Then went back to her peeling.  All deadpan.  I, on the other hand, lost it.
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And finally today, lunch was served with a side of funny faces.

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Kids are so cute and funny.  What have yours done lately to make you laugh?  And, if your kids are older, do they still make you laugh?

We Needed an Exterminator Yesterday…

Linking up for TGIF at 123 Homeschool 4 Me.

TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me

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A word exterminator, that is.  I recently found the idea to make a tape spider web on the floor and then put word flies on it for the girls to read/find/catch.  Whichever “spider” got the most flies won.  I can’t find the original pin, but if you are looking for sight word fun, check out momto2poshdivas board.  I’m certain she had the floor spider web idea, but I know that I know, she has tons of great ideas and I have or will use many of them.

We did two versions.  Patrice had colors and color words on her flies.  Caitlyn and Sue had sight words on their flies.

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I’ll admit, I originally told Caitlyn to not go too fast, to give Sue a chance.  Turns out, she didn’t need the advantage.  She did fine on her own…and won!

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I do have a piece of advice, use painters tape.  I used, apparently, paper tape, and it was a bit challenging to get off the floor.  Painters tape would come up MUCH easier.  I *might* have been sitting on my floor with a Pampered Chef scraper to get the rest of the tape off the floor.

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The girls loved this game.  We will definitely do it again…with painters tape.

The Pumpkins are Sat Around the Porch With Care In Hopes Candy Would Soon Be There

I am returning to a link up I have not done in a while, the phone photos.  I used to have to search for photos to use for these link ups, but since I got my iPhone, I’ll freely admit, I never use the point and shoot.  My phone does a better job.
Last night was pumpkin carving night.  This year, all of the girls were old enough to work on theirs.  Daddy was definitely there and helped, but each did some solo.
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I might have seen this pin on Pinterest so hubby, and girls, made it happen.
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The girls were heavily supervised even where you don’t see it.
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We had a lot of fun with pumpkin carving this year.  Though I forgot to read them the Pumpkin Carving Gospel.  We might have to do one more pumpkin tonight as part of our devotions.
How are your Halloween or Harvest time preparations coming?  Are you tackling it tonight or has it been done for a while?  I’d love to hear about it.

Down Time Equals Thinking Time

It has become my practice, as of late, to take a few minutes by myself after the family goes to bed.  Sometimes, it requires hours, some nights it is literally just a few minutes.  But those few minutes have my brain churning.

Back when I knew everything about what I would be like as a mom, you know before I had kids, I swore I would not celebrate Halloween with my kids.  We would go out for a fun dinner as a family, but we would NOT, NO WAY, do Halloween and Trick or Treating.

Then those kids were born.  And they were so cute.  The costumes were so cute.  It was a match made in Heaven, so Caitlyn became a pumpkin that first year, then we grew another pumpkin, and another.

Hubby and I have talked about it.  We’re pretty strict about what the girls can dress as.  No witches, no skeletons, nothing grotesque or scary.

This year we have a doctor, nurse and unicorn.

Turns out hubby thought we would not be doing Halloween now that we were homeschooling.  Oops.  I thought it was important not to take one more thing from them as we are transitioning out of school as they know it.

We’ve talked a lot about not dressing as witches because witches don’t love Jesus.  Sue walks through the store asking me why they have all the decorations of witches when they don’t love Jesus.  This brings on a conversation about how not all people believe like we do.  It sometimes gets weighty for an almost 6 year old and barely 7 year old, but they do a great job grasping it.

But is it enough.  Are we helping them understand what we do and don’t believe?  Are we doing enough to protect their hearts.

As you might imagine, these thoughts are weighing more on my mind as Halloween comes in 6 days.

Then last night I read this post about redeeming Halloween, engaging in Halloween or encouraging Halloween.  I have a lot more to think about and pray about before next year comes. I do absolutely love her Pumpkin Evangelism (downloadable PDF on the right side).  It talks about cutting off the top as letting Christ in, then the guts are our sin, cleaning it out is how Christ makes us clean, and the candle is like us shining the light of Jesus into the world.

I am so excited about sharing this with the girls.  We will add this our family desire to celebrate Halloween as kids getting to be kids and now talking about how Jesus changes us.

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How do you celebrate Halloween?  Has it changed over the years?

The Many Facets of the Day…

I realized this weekend Caitlyn was not being challenged enough by our homeschool curriculum.  The reading and vocabulary get her, but there is very little copy work and the math is well, Easy Peasy!

So, I set about making some changes during my lesson planning Sunday.  I found some of what I needed, got great feedback from friends and teachers…and got overwhelmed.  And realized I needed to restart one of my meds I decided I should go off because of the stomach issues.

Monday I woke up hopeful.  And then the girls joined me at 7 am.  They were wired and I realized the day was going to be a little more challenging than I had hoped.

We started with a great Christopher Columbus unit.  I have to say I just found out it is hip to bash Columbus.  And while I’m aware he had shortcomings, that wasn’t the focus I was going for.  So, I tried to make it truthful and age appropriate.

Then we moved on to several other items.  And I mean it when I say several.  I realized I might have overshot the planning when I told Caitlyn I was going to glue her butt to the stool.

It was not a stellar day.  I finally called it after lunch.  I ate breakfast at 11 am and finally showered at 1 pm…

Patrice fell asleep after several trips to her room for LOVELY 3 year old behavior.  The moment I knew I was WINNING at parenthood?  I heard her yelling from her room, “I only like daddy.  I don’t like mommy.”  FYI, the day before, I was her best friend.  Guess I can’t derive my value from what a three year old thinks of me.

I knew that nap was going to bite me in the rear, but after the day she had, I was not waking her up!!!  No way, no how.

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Of course, in her life, that means if she sleeps during the day, she doesn’t sleep at night.  So, do you take the fussing more or pay later when she is a little night owl?

I have to say I ran away.  I had to run two errands.  Hubby had the girls out back, so I got in the car and drove away.  I texted him from the end of the street that I ran away and joined the circus, dinner was waiting in the oven.

And I enjoyed my errands.  I came home, she was awake, and I was rejuvenated.  Time to do pinterest crafts, right?

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Hubby cut the hole in the pumpkin, Caitlyn helped him get the vase in there, Sue and I arranged the flowers (with lots of help from daddy!)

And then on to preparing the wire form for our Candy Cane Volcano.

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Then everybody, except Patrice and I went to bed.  It was after all, bedtime.

But my buddy was wide awake.  We rocked and chatted.  Then I said I had to go mop the floor, with hopes she’d settle down.

No such luck.

She wanted to help.  And truth be told, it turns out she is a pretty good mopper.  But the end fell off my dollar store mop.  We kept putting it back on, but gave up.  I didn’t realize how sharp it was without that stupid piece of plastic.  And there was an area I had to scrub on the floor.  She still wanted to help.  She grabbed the end of the mop.  I kept scrubbing, and hit her in the chin.  And cut it open.

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She cried, I cried and what sucks more?  This picture is of her this morning, so her lovely cut will be immortalized in pictures forever (I’d reschedule but it is a groupon that expires Thursday…wait, maybe we could do it Thursday, you know, since we homeschool.  Does anyone think her chin would look better by then????).

She says her chin hurts a little bit…my heart hurts a lot.


Diving In With All Our Senses

Caitlyn and Sue have a pretty set program with our homeschooling curriculum.  Well, let me back up…Caitlyn has a set program.  We are adjusting Sue’s to meet her and our needs.  We are spending lot of time with hands-on activities.  Next week we are going to start working on reading about unicorns.  I think that will grab her attention and help with the reading.

All that to say, I have a plan with them.  Patrice is a little bit of a different story.  I set her up each day with listening to her Bible memory verses and a preschool program, but that only lasts so long.  The other day I realized she was spending all of our school time, on-line.  I am monitoring what it is, so I know the content is good, but she’s 3.  She does not need a lot of screen time.

Yesterday we did some coloring worksheets, but did I mention she is three?  That didn’t keep her engaged for long.

I’ve been seeing a lot on Pinterest, oh my lovely friend, about sensory boxes.  So I am trying my hand on them.  We bought three plastic boxes on clearance and I started looking.

Awhile back the older girls and I dyed rice.  It was a hit and easier than it sounds.  The jars of it we made are still on the back of the stove and the girls refuse to give them up.  But talk about a great sensory activity for Patrice, so later today we are going to dye more, just for her.

But in the meantime, I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I started looking on Pinterest…again. And I found a sensory bin using epsom salt and other items I actually had on hand. Go here for the full instructions.

My Epsom salt was hard as rock, but with a little convincing it became the base of our bin.  Patrice woke up while I was putting it together and got in on the fun.

We used a 3 pound box of Epsom Salt, a liberal helping of pink glitter, some florist rocks I bought earlier this week and left over gems we had from their birthday party craft.

Patrice didn’t stay interested but I bet her sisters will like them and that will get her checking it out again.

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The Goings Ons

It has been a crazy two weeks around here.  Crazy I tell you.

I ended up in the hospital on Caitlyn’s birthday and was there until the night before Patrice’s birthday.  Besides some tears at the end of a hospital visit from Caitlyn, I think the girls have come through it ok :)  I on the other  hand am facing more tests and a severely restricted diet.  I am living on nutritional shakes.  But that’s not very fun.  I’d rather share pictures from our girls birthdays and party.


Caitlin went on Pinterest and searched for birthday breakfasts and found this waffle recipe.  I was sick as all get out but got them made…

When daddy got home we went for dinner and bowling.




Then it was time for cake…

IMG_20130813_29I was too sick by this point to take pictures of her opening presents but did get a few of the cake.  This is my favorite!

Then, after a few days in the hospital, it was time to celebrate with Patrice.  We didn’t do near as many fun things due to me still being really sick, but hopefully she won’t look back and feel short changed.

IMG_20130813_31 IMG_20130813_39She wanted a candle in her waffles like Caitlyn had (hers were store bought toaster waffles–sorry kid)




Then, a few days later it was on to the birthday party.

IMG_20130813_82It came down to Sue and Logan for musical chairs.

IMG_20130813_84With Logan coming out on top.

And we had a pinata, which may have caused me to accidentally turn Patrice into a homicidal maniac.  We bought a Dora pinata when Sue was her age.  Then hubby said, what if it freaks her out when we knock the head off?  We never used it.  I thought I would avoid this problem so I told Patrice a few days before the party, “now when we do the pinata, we’ll have to knock Dora’s head off to get the candy, ok?”  It totally did not freak my kid out.  She spent the next four days asking when we were going to “knock Dora’s head off?’  Countless times.  The day after her party we were at church and one of the Sunday School workers asked if she had a party.  Patrice said, “yeah, knocked Dora’s head off.”  You should have seen the horror on the teachers’ face.

I’m so proud…


And of course there was cake made by Casserts.


And at the end of it all, daddy was the pied piper of bikes as he lead the neighbor kids home.



It was a great celebration.  We love our girls so much.  It is so hard to believe my baby is 3 and my big girl is 7.  Wow.

Thank you to all who helped make our days great and helped while I was out of commission.  Prayerfully my girls will be no worse for the wear.