Monday, April 2, 2018

Double digits!

I have no clue who most of the characters on this set are, but he was very excited about his big birthday gift.

No more number shirts!

Birthday breakfast was monkey bread.

My sister made a nice card for her youngest nephew.

More birthday meals to make and more birthday news to share, but here is the beginning  for our April 2 boy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March update

March meant that we finished some activities. The Lambs had been getting ready for piano contest and that was the middle of March. I let them have the next week off of piano lessons after that. Our family had been attending a Bible study at church together on the Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, the Small Catechism, and the book of Mark. That also finished in March so we were done with the weekly homework to prepare for class. The Lambs sang in Sunday School choir on Palm Sunday so we are done practicing that hymn at home. They will sing one more hymn this school year.
Lamb 1 picked his freshman classes for next year. Going to high school is getting more real for all of us now. I am very excited about his opportunities in high school.
I attended a seminar on infertility by a local pro-life doctor that was really good. It didn't really apply to me, but I am glad there are resources for women that need it. I especially appreciated the encouragement for couples to try some basic lab tests; take medicine if required; have surgery if necessary; and if still not pregnant consider adopting.
Ram's parents visited for Ram's spring break and I tried to do spring cleaning and decluttering before they arrived. I didn't get done everything I wanted to get done before they came, but every little bit helps. I especially enjoy getting everything to give away delivered to the proper place and finally getting it out of my house.
We did some car maintenance-oil changes for both cars; had the brakes on one car looked at and found out they were fine; and car washes for both cars after winter. Wouldn't you know that as soon as we had the car washes it snowed the next day and we followed a salt truck?
We put an offer on a house that we really liked but was priced above what it was worth and above our budget. They countered with still too expensive so we are taking a break from house buying right now. If nothing else comes up for sale that we are interested in and this is still on the market in a month, then we may try again. Our realtor thought our offer was completely reasonable and their list price was ridiculous. Since we are renting and not in a hurry, the whole deal became humorous. I think the seller was a fool to not take our offer. I also think God has an even better house planned for us since so far this deal has not worked out.
Vision therapy homework for Lamb 2 has taken some planning and thinking in how we can do it in our rental house. Their computer software didn't play nice with Macs so Ram had to figure out how to get it to run in our all Apple household. Lamb 2 is doing great on his therapy so I will be interested in what the Dr. says at his 8 week checkup. We are also going to have Lamb 3 evaluated and we may have two Lambs doing vision therapy.
My parents have taken turns being sick this winter so we haven't seen them real often. We will all be glad for summer and hopefully all be more healthy.
The Lambs keep practicing piano, memorizing the catechism with the goal of May confirmation for Lamb 2 and 3, and plugging away at homeschool subjects. Ram keeps writing papers for me to proofread, studying for his classes, and setting up interviews in the community for his papers. He is getting excited about starting internships this summer. I attempt to be chef, maid, delegator, chauffeur, teacher, and generally just to keep everyone happy and hopefully they gain some knowledge each day too.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

February and March pictures


The Lambs did well at their first piano contest in IN. It was pretty intense with sight-reading, performance including a memorized piece, theory test, and ear training test. We were all glad when it was over after several months getting ready for it. Lamb 1 was in a more advanced level so he received a blue medal. Some of the Lambs also earned blue ribbons for their theory test.

One day art class was canceled because of weather. The Lambs got up at normal time and got to work on their own art with colored pencils. I slept in and this was at my place at the table when I woke up. Is it bad that my son writes "Keep it Mama" on art work he gives to me?

I have been cleaning out boxes and trying to declutter and for some reason this kit that was a present while we lived in MN was never opened. I thought it would be dried out and worthless, but Lamb 2 and 3 enjoyed creating some sculptures with it.

One week we had a lot of banana splits until the toppings were all gone, just because I was hungry for them.

My sister came to visit and we celebrated my dad's 78th birthday together. We had a nice weekend with my sister and BIL.
Lamb 2 and 3 had homework for their art class to create their own family crest. We pulled out some family history from both sides of the family and talked about it a lot. They did a sample on paper. Then at class they made their own paint and painted some plaster. Our art teacher is awesome!

Lamb 2's.

Lamb 3's.

I let the Lambs borrow my phone to take their own pictures at the Botanical Conservatory. I will spare posting the pictures of plants and flowers here, but I did like this selfie that Lamb 2 and 3 took.

I think I am caught up on posting pictures now so we can get ready for Easter and Lamb 3's birthday pictures!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Spring Break 2018

Ram's parents visited during Ram's spring break so we let the Lambs also take spring break. I'll try to briefly say what we did while they visited.

They arrived on a Saturday and we went out to eat for sushi. The Lambs had piano contest that morning before they arrived and everyone was tired so we called it an early night.
Sunday we all went to church and then ate at Blaze pizza.
Monday we did some shopping including looking at iPads for Lamb 1-that is a requirement for his high school next year. We took Lamb 2 and 3 swimming. We ate lunch at a chain restaurant and supper at a wonderful local fish restaurant.
Tuesday we did some house shopping with our realtor, but none of the houses that we looked at were right for us. We ate a small lunch at a chain restaurant, mainly to feed the Lambs after house shopping. We went to the art museum since the Lambs had never been there and there was also an exhibit of high school artwork. That evening we took the Lambs to my parents and just the adults went out for a nice prime rib dinner. After that we went to another restaurant for drinks and dessert so we had more time to talk without the Lambs. I really enjoyed our adult night out.
Wednesday we made Paleo pancakes with coconut milk whipped cream and lingonberries. I took Lamb 2 to vision therapy. Ram and his dad did a few handyman tasks that I have wanted to do for a long time and was afraid if we didn't set a day for that, they wouldn't get done for several more months. I was very excited to get all that done. I had planned on cooking supper, but we went out again, this time to BJs Brewhouse.
Thursday we went to the Botanical Conservatory to take some family pictures since the weather didn't cooperate to take them outside. Then we went to see Black Panther, Lamb 2 wanted to see it the most and we had heard good reviews. The movie was so loud and I haven't been to the movies for a long time. I couldn't really tell you very much about the movie because it was so loud. Lamb 2 and 3 loved it though. Then we ate supper at a steak restaurant.

As you can see, they spoil us when they come to town, and Ram and I both had a spring break from cooking too. Their visit went too fast and it was time for them to head to visit some other relatives in MI. ID is just too far from IN and we have to fit a lot into seeing them one week a year. They left on Friday so it was nice to have a couple more days of spring break before Ram had to return to classes. We were all pretty worn out after all those fun days! Ram doesn't have another school break until Thanksgiving so we made the most of this break.


Monday, March 5, 2018

14

He is learning what "adult" birthdays are like. Almost all his presents were books from both his grandparents. There was no huge Lego set to put together this year. He was content to use his day off of school reading, playing iPad, and playing basketball with his brothers. (Homeschooling means no school on birthdays in our family.) He was happy that we didn't have anywhere to go today. The local grandparents even came over to our house. It was a little bittersweet for me today that it was the last homeschool birthday for him. Maybe he will end up with a snow day next year? He was born during a snowstorm, so we can hope, but that was in MN.
Lamb 2 made a really nice card

Grandma sent candles that light the same color as the candle. They were pretty neat.

Birthday Meal Requests:
Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: Sloppy Joes
Snack: fudge
Supper: Pizza (but we went out for pizza yesterday so we will have pizza another day this week, we just had leftovers tonight.)
Cake: Vanilla with homemade dairy free frosting that is the best frosting I have ever made!

I was a little exhausted after cooking all this plus making some other food for our family this week and doing all those dishes. I will sleep well tonight! Ram teased me that I didn't even have to teach school today, but honestly I don't know when we would have fit school in! Tomorrow will be back to regular schedule.



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!
Dentist:
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...
Cooking:
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.