Monday, February 12, 2018

February family update

We are plugging away at daily routines: 
*Homeschooling with extra work for Lamb 1 to prepare him for high school and Lamb 2 and 3 concentrating on learning to read and spell.
*Our whole family is attending a weekly Bible study on Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the book of Mark, and the Small Catechism. We do the readings together to prepare for weekly quizzes.
*Lamb 2 and 3 are working on memorizing the meanings for the 6 chief parts of the catechism with the goal of confirmation in May.
*All 3 Lambs are practicing for a piano contest in March.
Update on my dad:
He became so weak at the beginning of February that he fell a few times. The paramedics recommended he go to the hospital and get checked out. The hospital was overcrowded and he waited several hours to get a room. He did have the flu and was much better after a few days in the hospital. We thought maybe he would go to a place for rehab, but not counting the hours he was in the hospital hallway that he wasn't officially a patient, he wasn't in the hospital long enough for insurance to pay for rehab. He went directly home and has been doing great since he has been home. We even took him to a high school basketball game last Friday. It is not easy as your parents get older and prayers are appreciated.
Vision Therapy Again:
Lamb 2 competed a long evaluation with a doctor here. We don't regret doing vision therapy in Idaho because it was helpful for several areas for him, but it wasn't enough. He is beginning vision therapy here at the end of the month. This doctor does things differently than our ID doctor and we are hoping these different ways of doing things are going to be helpful for Lamb 2. This doctor does 1 time a week therapy with 20 minutes of daily homework. Lamb 2 will get bifocals. He has 20/20 vision and can see fine in the distance. He doesn't truly need glasses for close up work, but the hope is that this will ease the stress on his eyes as they try to focus to see near work. We are expecting at least a year of therapy here. One nice thing is you pay one price and it covers everything (therapy, doctor exams, computer software for homework, etc.) no matter how long therapy takes. This is different than Idaho and is much better to know exactly how much it costs. Lamb 2 was very excited to go pick out his glasses and is impatiently waiting for them to come in.
After Lamb 2 begins, then we would like this doctor to also evaluate Lamb 3. For a long time he had no motivation to learn to read. Now he does and reading is very difficult for him. I am curious if he also has a vision difficulty and would also benefit from Vision Therapy.
Library volunteer:
A classical school started at our church this year. Our boys are too old as they began with lower grades and are working their way up, but Lamb 2 and 3 take art class there. I volunteered to help with the school library. It has been so much fun to get the books ready for the school children. Most are donated or library discards. The headmaster and his wife are choosing quality literature for the school. It is so fun to see what she finds on the 20 cent library discard shelves.
Lilla Rose:
I just signed up to be a Lilla Rose consultant. I'll blog more about this as I learn more, but if you don't currently have a consultant, contact me for more info if you are interested. I have been wearing Lilla Rose hair clips for about 10 years and I figured it was about time that I had a business card to hand to people when I get a compliment!
Our whole family went at once for dental cleanings and checkups. We all did well except one Lamb needs a tiny filling. Lamb 2 needs an orthodontist consultation because his teeth are so close together plus there is a problem with his canines. After dental checkups we are all extra good about brushing AND flossing AND using mouthwash for awhile...
While Ram is in school I have had to do more cooking than while he was a pastor. I was getting tired of the same old recipes and often 1 or 2 Lambs don't like what I make. I did a little research in my cookbooks and on the Internet to get some new recipes to try. Last night I made beef stew and it went fast even though only one Lamb had more than one helping. Today I made beef vegetable soup and we'll see how that goes tomorrow. I have some more recipes to try this week. The Lambs were shocked that I cooked something new two days in a row!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

January 2018

Finally everyone was healthy so my parents watched the Lambs so Ram and Ewe could go out for their anniversary (a couple of weeks late). We went during Savor Fort Wayne to a fancy restaurant after asking friends for a recommendation. We went on a Thursday so we got all our stamps for our 2 dinners so we could get entered into the drawing. It was a great meal and worth the bargain price of Savor Fort Wayne. 

Photo Credit: Steve Blakey
It was rainy and cold for March for Life, drastically different than last year in t-shirts. We marched with several friends from church and then went to my parents church for cookies and hot cocoa. We had a chance to wear our new hats. Our deaconess student is on the right in her hat from the Washington D.C. March for Life.

One day I worked on cleaning out the basement. I asked a Lamb to bring me my slippers while I was working. I kept noticing pieces of plastic on the basement floor and couldn't figure out where that was coming from. Finally I realized my slipper was breaking! These were a Christmas present about 8 years old. Both slippers went in the trash because what would I do with one slipper and how long would it be until the other one broke too?

We took the Lambs to Debrand chocolate for their Savor Fort Wayne deal for a big treat one day before Ram  returned to classes. It was so good and enough to share with 5 people-I can't imagine 2 sharing it although Ram and Ewe got the drinks and we all shared the chocolate. There were other SAHM doing the same thing with their kids that afternoon.

When Ram was on school vacation we didn't use both of our vehicles very much, but Ram did make sure to go out and run the car that was in the garage a couple of times during his vacation. It wasn't enough and the battery on our Camry died. After trying to get it to go for a day, we were happy when AAA came and towed it and we were back to having both vehicles available shortly after Ram began classes again.

I used some credit to get some Snipp, Snapp, Snurr books from Hyde Brothers before Christmas at about $8 each, but they didn't have very many Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books in stock. I was so excited when this book was on the 20 cent shelf at the public library. I am keeping it for my collection. Since then I keep looking for more Lindman books, but this is the only one I have found. The cover wasn't in the greatest shape, but the pages are clean.

Our church youth group went outdoor ice skating one day. Last year I really wanted to take the Lambs, but we never found time in our schedule. None of the Lambs were very excited about going, but they tolerated it for a couple of hours. I promised Lamb 1 I wouldn't post pictures of him ice skating, but here are the other Lambs. It was cooler, but not freezing the day that we went. I took pictures this time, but next time I want to join them. Lamb 1 took off his coat and when we got home he asked where his coat was? I went back and it was right where he left it! By then it was much more crowded and I was glad we had gone when we did.

I really wanted to see Goodbye Christopher Robin in the theater, but they never came to Fort Wayne theaters. I was #3 on the library hold list and the library ordered 19 copies, so I picked it up the day after it was released on DVD. I have read a lot about A.A. Milne, so I was looking forward to this movie. My dad borrowed it before it was due, I watched it, and the Lambs watched it. Ram didn't have any interest in watching it! Even after reading several reviews, it was different than I expected. If you are going to watch it, read his poem Vespers first and you might want to have tissues handy, but you might not need those tissues depending on your stage of life. I won't give any more spoilers nor any more recommendations. Personally I'm glad I have both read his autobiography and that I saw this movie.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Year in Review-December 2017 Part 3

I spent a lot of December planning the last Advent supper at church. I made supper for 75 people and served it on December 22. Several church families had family home for the holidays and it was a fun evening. We collected peanut butter and jelly for the Seminary food bank and here is some of what was collected. After supper that evening we decorated the church for Christmas and had Christmas cookies and goodies while we decorated. I served the wassail tea that our church in ID served at the Ladies tea every year and everyone loved it. I think it will be a new tradition to serve that while decorating at our church now. I love that our church waits until the end of Advent to decorate the church and it is all ready for Christmas Eve.

One day my parents babysat the boys so they could decorate Christmas cookies with my mom. Our boys had been sick with colds so the date got changed several times until everyone was healthy to do it. Ram and I ran errands while they were at my mom's. It was so nice to be able to go without them. When we got back to my mom's our Lambs monkeys were in my mom's tree in her front yard. I know it is just a few more years until we can leave them alone, but I love days like this when I get a little break, because a homeschooling mom doesn't get many breaks like this.

We ordered our own hats for our local March for Life. It was a major pain to order them,  we could not get the website to work. We finally called the Synod and they were so helpful to place our order for us. Shipping was outrageous because they expect churches to make a big order, not just order 5 hats. After all that we were really excited when they came in the mail and we had to take several selfies. I don't know if we will ever make it to the Washington D.C. March for Life, but we will proudly wear these at our local March for Life.

I really liked how this one turned out. 

Lamb 3 needs to work on his selfies a little bit.

I told you Lamb 2 loves selfies!

On December 23, the day after I served the dinner at church, Ram went to get our tree out of storage. While he did that I quickly swept and did a little cleaning to get ready for the tree. The whole family helped and we decorated the tree quickly. We chose a slightly different spot than last year and I love our tree in this house with high ceilings. I am so glad I purchased it at a church auction last year.

All of the Lambs were acolytes for the first time together on Christmas Eve. 💗💗💗
I think I am done buying Christmas outfits sweaters or dress shirts for them because they will be acolytes for the next several years.

My parents ended up coming to church with us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day even though that was not planned, because my mom did not want to drive in the snow. It ended up being really nice to worship together. Ram assisted with the service so I was glad to have my parents to sit with me. Lamb 2 just can't help himself with selfies when he is given a camera!

Christmas Eve

I bought a skirt for $2.64 including tax at Christopher and Banks after all my coupons. I couldn't believe it really worked. Unfortunately they had very few skirts for sale in the whole store. I found a basic grey skirt in my size that I love. Another unexpected blessing for me while Ram is in school!

I don't have any photos to post here, but a few days after Christmas we went over to a friend's house to decorate gingerbread cookies. The mom was so organized and a fun time was had by all. Lamb 1 took pictures, mostly of the babies at the party, instead of decorating cookies. Lamb 2 and 3 decorated a cookie, ate the toppings, and then decorated it again. They did this with about 3 cookies each.

After the gingerbread party we went to eat lunch at Chik-Fil-A. The Lambs got a gift card as present from a church member. I thought that was a great present for preteens. Lamb 1 and 3 were happy to order whatever they wanted and still had $ left on their $10 gift card. Lamb 2 ordered everything he wanted and needed us to pay a couple more dollars. That's the way it usually goes-Lamb 1 saves his money, Lamb 2 spends whatever money he has, and Lamb 3 spends some of his money. They were glad to order what they wanted instead of being limited like we usually do when the whole family goes-(water or lemonade, no dessert).

Chik-Fil-A was really crowded-what was I thinking to go to lunch during Christmas vacation? So the Lambs wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, but I made them pose for a picture outside. 

Grandma spoils our boys so much that we don't buy them very much for Christmas, just small stocking treats for the 12 days of Christmas. I thought this Lego chemist was pretty cool so I ordered it. The company made a mistake in advertising this set, so after it arrived I got an e-mail that they would refund my money. So they ended up getting this set for free.

And that completes our 2017 Review. Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Year in Review-December 2017 Part 2

This year's church Christmas pageant was the first year that Lamb 1 was not in the program. He began by being baby Jesus when we lived in MN; was a darling shepherd in MN; took on different roles usually memorizing quite a few lines in ID; and was Simeon last year here in Fort Wayne. This year he helped backstage and we were glad to have him to help the little kids. He had to be at practices early and stay later than the other Lambs as he had to get directions from the director and they didn't want to waste practice time on that. 

Lamb 2 was a prophet and he had a couple of lines from the book of Isaiah to memorize.

Photo Credit: Steve Blakey
I just love this picture. We have been talking to the Lambs as they get older we would like them to take on a leadership role. This picture is from when the shepherds were out in the field right before the angels came. Lamb 2 was assigned to be partners with this boy as they processed in and out. This boy took that role seriously and really looked to Lamb 2 for directions of what to do. Lamb 2 gladly helped him as you can see from this picture. I also love that our church includes all children in the Christmas pageant no matter what their ability level is -they find a part that is perfect for them.

Lamb 2 was Joseph and he didn't have any lines to recite, but he did a great job. I was so glad I got this picture right before they left stage.

Both Lamb 1 and 2 sang in the boys small group choir during the pageant too.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

End of January Family Update

On Monday I helped our church school library organize their new books some more. When Ram was done with class he came to pick up the boys to take them home. Except they were having so much fun with the other kids of volunteers that only Lamb 1 went home with him. I love "working" in the library and helping this school get started.

On Tuesday the Lambs had piano and art. I did a little grocery shopping before a mammogram. I already got the results and everything looks good. Our whole family attended the first Christian Wisdom class at our church. This weekly Bible study runs through Lent and we will study the book of Mark, The Small Catechism, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Our pastor titled it Luther, Lewis, and Mark. I think it will be good for everyone in our family.

On Wednesday Lamb 2 and 3 had a play date in the afternoon with some friends from church. Lamb 1 did a little shopping with me while they were there. Goodbye Christopher Robin movie was in at the library for me. I watched it and I'll blog about it soon.

On Thursday our family went to a library book sale. Ram and I didn't find much, but the Lambs did. Thursday night the furnace went out. Thankfully it was a little warmer here. We called our landlord first thing on Friday morning and the repair man came right away. I didn't take a shower until later on Friday, but other than that it wasn't too bad because it got fixed so quickly.

On Friday Lamb 2 had his second vision therapy exam. It is looking like this doctor and a second round of vision therapy will be very helpful for him. We set up a parent consultation to find out more details. We are also considering having Lamb 3 do the testing here. After he was done at the doctor we took peanut butter and jelly donated by our church members to the Seminary food bank. I was glad I had a strong Lamb to help me carry that. In the evening my parents babysat while Ram and I went to an adult only dinner at church. It was potluck this year (so much food!) and a very fun evening.

On Saturday we had to get up for confirmation class after being out too late. Our family went to the March for Life in Fort Wayne. It was rainy but not too cold. The speakers before the March were good. The March with friends from church was fun. Then we went to my parents church for cookies and hot cocoa. I think this was the first year they did that and it was a great idea to go fellowship out of the rain. We stopped at the last branch library book sale in January. Ewe and the Lambs found something, but Ram didn't. It probably would have been better to go in the morning, but we couldn't. After all that we came home and both Ram and Ewe took a nap!

Today was church and Sunday School. Then we ran a couple of errands as a family so I could come home and put my comfy clothes on and not go anywhere the rest of the day.

The calendar looks pretty light this week. It will be nice to stay home and continue to focus on homeschool and home keeping.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Year in Review-December 2017 Part 1

We took a lot of pictures in December, so I'll post a few at a time.
Photo Credit: Meghan Schultz
The Lambs favorite art class so far was the day they used clay to make boats.

Photo Credit: Meghan Schultz
I ordered a print to remember our babies. Row one is our 3 Lambs birthstones. Row two is the birthstones of our miscarried babies. I got it here. Her work is beautiful and I am so glad to have this to remember all our children. I would like to order more prints from her, but was so pleased to get this one for our family. I framed it and it is one of the few pieces of artwork on display in our rental home instead of still packed after moving.

Our city had a tour of churches night. The first 3 photos are the church where my parents got married. They did extensive remodeling recently to restore it closer to the original. It is beautiful!

This is the church where Ram and Ewe got married 16 years ago. We have so many fond memories of this church.

This is the church that we attend now. It was still Advent so we did not decorate for Christmas yet. We went to a few more churches that night, but I didn't take any more pictures.

The Lambs went to a Science Central class and dissected frogs.

Trying to identify if it is a male or female frog.

I used coupons to get 5 nice greeting cards for $1.56 total including tax.

I bought a necklace/keychain for my sister for Christmas from here. I bought myself one a few years ago. My sister's was larger than mine and it was not her favorite gift. I don't know this etsy shop owner, but I love her items made out of postage stamps and she has wonderful fast service.

This was her favorite gift. I bought it here. I bought her the set of 3 prints from the Anthems of Zion. I also used some of my birthday money to get a set for myself. It was so interesting because they are hand lettered, both sets were different. When these arrived I wrapped and finished shipping all our gifts to far away family. It was so good to have that done early this year and not worry about it near Christmas.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Third Week of January 2018

Last week was a fun, but busy week. On Sunday we went to church and Sunday School and I streamed the Seminary Epiphany service instead of going to it. That is always a beautiful service.
On Monday our church hosted a one day conference. The Lambs helped acolyte at 2 church services that day. There were sessions for adults during the day and supper and fellowship in the evening. I helped serve soup during lunch and nachos with cheese during our taco supper. We didn't know very many of the visiting attendees this year, but had a good time with our friends from church. Many schools in the area were canceled for MLK Jr. Day so the Lambs had friends to play with during the sessions. It's great to take a day with church friends.
On Tuesday the Lambs had their first piano lessons after Christmas break. Then we planned to go out to the Seminary and see if any friends were attending Symposium this year. But when we went to start the car, it wouldn't start. Ram had a doctor's appointment, his annual physical, so he called AAA and then took the minivan to the doctor. While he was gone they came and jumped the car and I let it run 25 minutes. Ram wasn't home so I turned it off to gather up my stuff and the Lambs to go to the car place. 5 minutes later it wouldn't start again.
On Wednesday a tow truck came and picked up the car. There was no charge thanks to AAA combining it with the call the day before. It was a long day of chauffeuring for me due to one car. When I picked up Ram after his class, we went over to the Seminary for a reception. Last year there were more children at this reception, this year our Lambs were the only ones. They behaved partly because there was food for them. Ram and I visited with one of my college friends and a few other people we knew. It was a nice end to a crazy day.
On Thursday we picked up the car from the shop with a new battery now. We went to a couple of library book sales and had a couple of good finds. On Thursday night our boys acolyted at our church weekly midweek service. I don't often attend that service and it was nice.
On Friday I woke up with a headache, I think sinus trouble from the weather. I was pretty worthless all day. I watched some of the March for Life coverage from D.C. online. I really want to go some year. Ram had an eye doctor appointment. He needs a slight change in prescription.
On Saturday the Lambs had confirmation class and then the church youth group went ice skating. The Lambs were not too excited about ice skating but after about an hour both Lamb 1 and 3 were pretty good at it. Lamb 2 declared that he liked roller skating better than ice skating. It was low 30s and I wonder if he would have liked it better if it was a little warmer. Maybe we'll try to go again as a family before the end of the season. Ram and Lamb 1 went to darts at church. When they got home I went over to my mom's. I am keeping some of our food in her chest freezer. I reorganized her freezer and brought some meat home for us. I had a nice visit with my parents after the freezer project.
Yesterday we went to church and Sunday School. CLHS had an open house so we went for a little bit. Lamb 1 has been accepted so we didn't have too many questions. Lamb 2 and 3 were glad for the chance to practice shooting rifles. We went to an open house for a possible house. It was nice, but not perfect for us, so we are still waiting and looking. We stopped by Barnes and Noble for a treat from the cafe while it was educator discount day. Then the Lambs were anxious to get home to watch football so we came home.
In the middle of all those activities last week, we got some homeschooling done too. This week I hope to be back to full homeschool schedule and Ram is back to full time schooling. I am glad to get back to a routine and hope for no more excitement like car problems this week!