Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sleepover

Avery's friend from Abilene, Claire, came to our house last night. Her parents were at KMEA so she stayed the night with us. Avery and McKenna were soooo excited. Avery made a countdown to Claire calendar and everything. After supper , lots of playing, and baths, the girls watched Heidi. I told McKenna earlier that she would sleep on the top bunk and Avery and Claire would sleep on the bottom. She was fine with that until the actual bedtime. After many tears, Kevin said she could sleep on the floor next to the big girls. After another major meltdown from McKenna, the girls all decided to sleep on the floor. In the morning, which came earlier than I'd hoped, we made doughnuts-the girls are shaking powdered sugar on them.They played Pretty Pretty Princess.We played Bingo. With Kix.

The girls had such a great time! My house looks like a bomb went off, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Faith and loss

My sister's very dear friend, Anna, delivered a baby boy on Monday. He went to heaven this morning. I don't know Anna well. The last time I saw her was last year at my sister's baby shower. But my heart is aching for her. I'm so sad for her, her husband, Patrick, her older son, Zen, and their family. I prayed a lot this week. I cried almost every time I prayed. I remembered my husband's very first blog post. He wrote about my sister's miscarriage and grief. You can read it here.
Today was absolutely beautiful. We spent most of the day outside. Had a picnic at the park. We rode bikes, jumped rope, played some silly game the girls made up that involved spinning in circles until someone falls down. We had a great day. But, in the midst of those great moments, my mind went to Anna. It's hard to have fun when you know someone is not. I almost feel guilty because I had fun today. I realize that sounds silly. But every time I thought about her, I was reminded of her pain, her sorrow, her grief. I don't know what to think or how to feel. I'm glad today is almost over. I'm holding my girls tighter tonight and praising God for one more day with them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A study of Cezanne

Today, Avery studied about the life of artist Paul Cezanne. Where he was from (France), what he did (still life paintings), what others thought of him (they didn't like his work). It was a great lesson in determination, doing what you're called to do, no matter what the world says. At the end the lesson, I told Avery to set the scene for a still life painting, she picked out various things from our kitchen/dining room area and arranged them on the counter.this is Avery's still life painting.

Random thoughts

I don't really have anything to write about, except a few thoughts that are preventing me from being productive.
  • Presley is sooooo close to rolling over. She is really growing fast. She is starting to love her blanket with the tags. She just wraps her fingers around it and brings it up to her mouth. She is also getting attached to her dolls.

  • Did KU rock or what? Avery and I watched Jon and Kate +8 till 8:30. I came upstairs and saw this.
  • McKenna didn't make it past the first 10 minutes of the game. Kevin was mad. At the Jayhawks. But they finally pulled thru...Rock Chalk- Abby was excited for the win, you can tell.

  • Avery is reading her 7th out of 10 books for her reading curriculum. Each book has 3-5 stories in it. She does great on her timed reading, where she has to read so many words in a minute. She is also learning about money (coins). Tomorrow, she starts learning how to tell time. She's really excited about it. Now is when I regret buying trendy roman numeral clocks for the home instead of regular ones. Here they are playing hop/scotch/read.

  • McKenna is doing just as well on the money lessons. She usually joins us for Language Arts and Science and History. And Art, of course. There are days when she really does NOT want to do school. Last night at supper, she prayed that "we wouldn't have to do school tomorrow." Today, she played dolls by herself for most of the morning. She NEVER does that. She usually wants someone to play with at all times. I was proud of her for doing that instead of whining, her usual pastime.

  • Kevin and I are still in limbo as to what to do next year. I change my mind every 10 minutes. McKenna will be in preschool 2 afternoons a week next fall. The thought of having only one child (Presley) to take care of those 2 afternoons is very tempting at times. But, overall, we love what we're doing right now. The one thing I'd do differently next year is do a music and bible curriculum, in addition to LVS. This "wingin' it" strategy isn't working too well for me. And, I'd get a bigger table for the school room. Right now we have a card table and 2 kid tables. Not enough room.

It's supposed to be nice out the next 2 days. I see lots of bike riding and playground playing in our near future. Hopefully followed by early bedtimes :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Very Sad Thought

I've been drinking the best coffee in the world for the last 4 months. My heart skipped a beat last October when my sister came home from Walmart and said they had the Peppermint Mocha creamer out for the holiday season. I bought 2 bottles every time I went to the store until Christmas, when they took it off of the shelves. Yesterday was the last day I got to have this in my coffee.
I. Love. that. creamer.
Today I had this-
As Avery would so dramatically say, "that's yucky!"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Black bean soup w/ chicken and sausage

This soup was amazing when we had it last Friday night. Smoky Hill paired it with their Pasta Vino wine. I tried to recreate this last night and it turned out well. We drank Pink Catawba last night and loved them together. Here's what I did-

2 cups cooked, diced chicken (I seasoned it with this dry rub, then just baked the chicken in the oven.)
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced and cut in half, they'll look like half moons.
2 long carrots, sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans chicken broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves

while the chicken is baking in the oven, saute the carrots, celery, and garlic in a small amount of EVOO. Then add the sausage and saute a few minutes longer. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Then add all of the chicken broth, the chicken and black beans. Simmer for however long you want.
I served this with semi-homemade focaccia bread. I took pizza dough in a can, baked it half-way, then drizzled EVOO, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, shredded Parmesan cheese and salt over the top. Bake it the rest of the way and enjoy!
Next time, I'll add more broth. And I'll double the recipe and freeze the rest for later.

Long weekend recap

I had the best birthday weekend ever. We headed up to Abilene on Friday afternoon. Dropped the girls off at my folks' house, then went to Smoky Hill winery for the winemaker's dinner. It was incredible.

Everything was so good. The dinner, 6 courses, took 3 hours. We really liked 4 out of the 6 wines we tasted. I picked up the last bottle of Christmas wine. We want to go back to the winery during the daytime so we can see the vineyards. It was just a good night.

Saturday, we spent the day in Abilene. Had more great food, made a trip to Russell Stovers, watch KU rock and went to bed early.

Sunday, went to church and had lunch with good friends. Avery got to spend some much needed time with her BFF Claire. We came back home in the evening.

Monday, Kevin was home. Yeah! We had a very lazy day and it was great!

Today, Avery has a lesson online with her Education Specialist. It's supposed to be nice, so we'll spend a lot of time outside. Our house needs some TLC, but I can't promise anything. I'm much more motivated to play with my kids than clean right now. Later, I'll post a recipe that I tried to re-create from our soup course Friday night.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Birthday thoughts

Since today is my birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to express my love and appreciation for the 2 people responsible for my existence, besides God. I'm loving Him today, too.

My dad-we are soooo alike and soooo different at the same time. I love his loyalty. I love his humility and kindness. I love watching him worship. I love watching him be a grandpa.

My mom-I love her cooking. I love the way she loves and takes care of my dad. She has the gift of hospitality and it is evident in every aspect of her life. I love the way she treats her grandchildren. She loves being a grandma and it shows.

My Savior-thank you for breathing life into me and giving me my mom and dad. I love you. Thank you for saving me and picking me up out of the pit. I will forever praise Your name and tell of Your great works. You deserve all the glory. Amen

So, today I'm 34. I don't feel 34. The quiz I took on Facebook said I was still 30. Truth be told, I'm kind of tired of celebrating. We've had balloons and streamers all over our house since Kenna's b-day on Jan. 25. We have presents laying around b/c I don't know where they will fit in our cluttered home. I'm so thankful that I get to celebrate today with my family, though. That's the best gift-time. and maybe a pencil sharpener that I "wanted" for Christmas and didn't get...
Tonight, Kevin is taking me to a wine dinner at Smokey Hill winery in Salina. I'm so excited! You should visit their website and read their philosophy/mission statement. It's powerful! They have a store at new market and we are regular customers, to say the least. I love their Christmas wine, River Valley Red and the Czech Red. I'm looking forward to tasting some new wines that will eventually make their way onto our new wine rack, if I get one for my birthday, that is.

My Girls

I absolutely LOVE being a mom. There was a time when I didn't know if I'd ever be one, and I thank God that he heard my cry and blessed me with 3 beautiful, healthy daughters. I am grateful that these precious girls call me "Mom."

Avery-I love her creativity. She can spend hours with some paper, scissors, glue and crayons. She's a true artist.

I love that no matter what I make for supper, she'll love what I make for dessert.

She is her mother's daughter, warts and all. I think I love her most for that.

McKenna-I love that she sucks her thumb and has to have hair in her fingers to mess with. This is usually red hair from her beloved mermaid doll.
I love that she comes in our room every morning and asks for hot milk.
I love that she loves her sisters like crazy.

Presley-I love that, for this period in time, I'm her favorite!
I love it when I'm nursing her, and she stops eating so she can smile at me. We just gaze in each others eyes. I absolutely love those moments.
I love to watch her soothe herself by sucking her thumb.

Your turn. What is one thing you love about your kid(s)? If you don't have kids, think pets, neices, nephews, friends, etc...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I heart Kevin

I met my husband on the first day of school my freshman year at Friends. It was in the B wing of the Fine Arts building, right in front of my (now) studio. We didn't start dating until the next summer. We had a rocky first year, all my fault. For some reason I wanted to date 2 guys at the same time. Kevin told me he wasn't going to share, so I chose him. Best choice I ever made.
  • Even before we started dating, when we were just friends, he brought me a cappucino from QT before Theory class. I knew he was the one back then.
  • He is a natural leader. He loves to learn. I love to listen to his thoughts and opinions about issues. I'm always learning from him.
  • I love that he loves his family. He wants to play with the girls as soon as he gets home from work. He loves to make his neice giggle. He is always doing a project with his dad. my dad or one of his brothers-in-law. He wants to spend time with his nephews, playing pool or video games.
  • I love that he wants me to be a SAHM. He trusts me with the finances, the meal planning, taking care of and homeschooling the girls.
  • I love that he takes care of things around the house. That he takes pride in our home and works to keep it looking nice. I love that he lets me decorate it how I want. He only has one rule-no floral designs in the bedroom.
  • I love to hear him read to the girls and tuck them in bed at night. He's the best dad.
  • I love that he cleans up after I make dinner. And makes coffee every night so that it's ready when we wake up the next morning. And that he gives Abby, the dog, medicine and keeps up with her treatments.

The list goes on and on. I love my husband more than anything on this earth. I love the season of life we're in right now. I love having kids with him and spending time with him and planning for the future with him. I thank God that He chose Kevin for me.

Alright, it's your turn. What is one thing you love most about your spouse. Leave a comment and let me know. Then, make sure you let them know. Today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heart Thoughts

Since Valentines Day is coming, I thought I would reflect of some of the things, and people I love the most. Today, I'll focus on the frivolous things in my life...

  • Coke-real coke. I drink diet, b/c I should, but I don't like it near as much as the real thing. I believe their will be coca cola in heaven.

  • Blistex-My lips are addicted to this stuff. I've tried other brands, but this works the best. I've used it since high school.

  • LOST-Kevin and I got hooked on this a few years ago. Every week, I'm more confused and intrigued.

  • Candles-I love how they smell, how they add light and romance and warmth to a room

  • Homemade Chex mix-I've said this before. I'm already wondering when I can make it again. Is there a rule you can only make it around Christmas or when you go on vacation?

  • the ellipticals at the Y-I actually really like working out. I like to sweat and feel I've accomplished something. I hate running. My knees are bad and my ankles crack all of the time. But I love the elliptical at the Y. Weight Loss-Level 8, 45 minutes.

  • my minivan-never thought I'd say it, but I love having one. It's paid for, and it holds all of my family, stroller, and groceries.

  • Toby Mac-he rocks. It's his music I love. He's coming to Wichita at the end of the month and I'm so excited. I love his music. I secretly wish I could sing back-up for him someday.

  • my "new" bedroom. I wrote about it here. We've managed to keep it clean so far.

  • a jacuzzi tub-at least I think I would love it, if I had one.

ok-it's your turn. What things do you love? Leave a comment and let me know!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday thoughts

It's another Monday in the Osborn house, and around the world, for that matter. Laundry, menu planning, light cleaning and school. Some thoughts that are preventing me from doing the above include-

  • Avery and McKenna made a new friend over the weekend. A granddaughter of one of our neighbors was visiting. They had so much fun riding bikes and playing outside. The girl asked Ave and Kenna to come play inside her grandparents house. I was hesitant to let them at first. We've met these people, but don't know them well, or anything. I went over to make sure it was ok and found out they have a pet snake. A SNAKE!
  • I'm married to the best husband ever. Several weeks ago he started bringing me coffee in the morning before he leaves for work. I secretly hope he never stops. I love it.
  • Our city has been hit by the recession. I'm not necessarily worried right now. But I'm dissappointed that our savings/emergency fund isn't where it should be. And my heart aches for those who've lost their jobs. I'm so sad for them.
  • I have an urge to simplify. I spent almost 2 hours yesterday just cleaning the hutch in our kitchen area. It's been taken over by craft projects, crayons, and paper.
  • I'm tired of looking at all of the clutter in our house. Especially the girls' room. When I do laundry, and all of their clothes are clean, they can't close their drawers b/c there's too many clothes. McKenna even has an extra bag full of clothes on a shelf in the closet. I'm thinking of only getting them 4 or 5 outfits for summer. That's it.
  • Presley has outgrown her cradle. She slept in her room for the first time this weekend. She growing, too fast. She laughs now. She loves watching her big sisters play. She loves to suck her thumb and hold both hands up to her face. She's so cute.
  • I'm ready for spring break. I LOVE homeschooling. I knew it would take a lot of time and I'm extremely pleased with Avery's progress. But, I need a break.
  • Avery got this cookbook for her birthday. I'm planning to make pretzels with the girls this afternoon. But, don't call and ask them about it, in case I change my mind.
  • Why does KU have to play on Monday? They used to play on Tuesday. Now, I'm going to miss Jon and Kate+8 for the second week in a row.
  • I'm addicted to Facebook. I fought it for the longest time. Kevin opened my account almost a year before I ever looked at it. Now, I'm catching up with friends from California to Kentucky. While I love seeing and reading about their lives, I'm cautiously reminded of the choices we make and how important my relationship with my God, my husband, and my kids are to me. I need to spend less time in front of the computer and more time developing relationships with the people that mean the most to me.

And here I am, logging off-

Thursday, February 5, 2009

AG has invaded the Osborn abode!

Last year, I remember hearing about the whole American Girl phenomenon for the 1st time. After I saw the prices of those dolls, I quickly realized that my girls would probably never get to have one. Why in the world are these dolls so darn expensive? I remember being 8 when the cabbage patch kid craze was happening. My aunt Marlene bought me one for Christmas that year and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember the joy of having one, and the responsibility. This doll wasn't like the barbies I had. Sure, the barbies were special, but they were "everyday" play. My cabbage patch doll was extra special.

Fast forward to this summer. Kit Kittredge came out and I took the girls to see it one afternoon. We had a great time. We all loved the movie and Avery even got the dvd for Christmas. She looks like Ruthie and Kenna resembles Kit. They have fun pretending they're Kit and Ruthie playing together. I had dreams of buying these dolls for my girls. They never asked for them. I don't think they knew AG dolls existed until we went to visit our cousins in TX.

My issue with these dolls was twofold. 1) I didn't want to spend that much money for a doll. That seems a little extravagant to me. 2) If I/we did spend money for a doll, I didn't know if Avery would take care of it. I can't count how many dolls and barbies we have in this house who are naked, missing a limb and left for dead somewhere. Then I remembered my desire for a cabbage patch doll. And how I took care of her after I got her. My kids don't want everything. They've never been to Worlds of Fun or DisneyWorld. Their idea of fun is going to the mall to ride the carousel. They don't have a wii or any video game stuff, although Kevin and I really want one :) If American Girl is our one luxury that we save up for and invest in, I'm ok with that.

Avery got Ruthie for her birthday this week and is loving her new doll.
This morning, I was reading A Chair for My Mother to the girls. Part of the story talks about saving up for something you really want. I asked the girls what they would want to save up for. McKenna said a Kit Kittredge doll. Avery said a pretty chair to sit in, and another American Girl Doll. I guess we'll have to start saving for next Christmas now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Avery Elizabeth is 6!

At 11:37am (eastern time), Avery turns 6. She was born in Kentucky on a cold morning. I was one week over due, and went into labor in the middle of the night. Abby, the beagle, was very agitated to see us leaving in the middle of the night. On the way to the hospital I told Kevin I needed the epidural, fast. Once we got there and got into a room, they did blood work and said I couldn't get the epi b/c my iron levels were too low. After ALOT of pain and pleading with the dr. to get one, I finally got the epidural around 10:30am. I started pushing right after that and she was born. The doctor who delivered her quoted Ps. 140 as she was coming out. The hospital didn't have any hot water, so she didn't get cleaned up for several hours. It was just me and Kevin. All of our relatives were in Kansas. We had several friends visit us in the hospital. Kevin slept on a broken couch for 2 days. We came home to a house decorated in pink streamers and our lives have never been the same! There is still pink everywhere in our home, and we love it that way.
Avery loves art, barbies and sugar! We did breakfast at Panera, we'll swim at the Y this afternoon and tonight, dine at Carlos O Kellys. She is excelling in school. She's learning to read, write, add, subtract. She likes American Girl and all things pink and purple. She loves Jesus and her younger sisters. Happy Birthday, Avery. Your Daddy and I prayed for you for so long. We praise God for you. May He continue to shower His blessings on you. We love you! Enjoy being 6!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday melancholy thoughts

  • We had a great weekend celebrating Avery and McKenna's birthdays. Go to Kevin's blog to see pix from this weekend. Kevin and I procrastinated on getting Avery anything. Her birthday is tomorrow and we ended up ordering something online that won't get here til Friday. Oh well. I'm taking McKenna to Target tonight so she can pick out a gift to give to her sister. Ugh...I feel like a bad mom.
  • All of the homeschool books I've read talk about the fact that your home will rarely be clean. With art projects, school books, and other junk around this place, I'm learning that that's true. I don't like that part of homeschooling.
  • In art today, I asked Avery to pretend that George Washington asked her to make the US flag, instead of Betsy Ross. She made the best flag I've ever seen-with stars, hearts, and a cross in the middle. When I asked her to explain the symbols to me, she talked about freedom, love, and the fact that Christ died on the cross for us. For a minute, I thought to myself, "I wonder if she would've been able to do that in a regular public school setting?" Then, I thought my desire for a clean house wasn't so important anymore.
  • My older girls are getting older. 4 and almost 6. They take showers now. They can sleep on the top bunk of their beds. Avery can pour her own juice. It makes me sad.
  • Today is my friend, Melanie's birthday. We haven't lived in the same town in almost 5 years and I miss her.
  • I had great plans to work-out today. Instead, I'm watching Hook on AMC with Avery. McKenna and Presley both fell asleep.
  • I wish Kevin would have taken the left over cupcakes to work. Now they're practically screaming, "EAT ME!"