Since my sister over at Beautiful Changing Life gave us a virtual tour of her home, I thought I'd give you a small tour of our home...well, our living room at least.  It is all I snapped pictures of.
If I waited until our house was picked up how I wish it always was then I would probably never get this post published.  So, enjoy the pictures.  This is our living room, as is.

Picture one: Our treadmill is the big black thing.  It folds up and down.  It doesn't get used as often as I wish it did, but it does get used a little.  That is better than never.  In front of the treadmill there are two boxes of blocks and a box of alphabet/number square mats (the famous amos box).  Those should be stored between the wall and the treadmill, but right now I have the magazines from cleaning out my collection sitting there needing to be handed out or recycled.  In front of the window we have a big storage box with blankets, pillows and big trucks and fire engines inside of it.  On top of the storage box is the changing mat and diapering supplies.

Picture two: Our entry is storing the 12 box compartment with toys in it right now.  So far, I am really liking having it out here and it seems like Abe is starting to get the hang of just getting one or two boxes out at a time.  My purses are squeezed between the toys and wall closet.  On the other side we have a box for little kid shoes.  Abe does a very good job at putting his shoes away in the box most of the time, unlike Mom or Dad who too often leave shoes cluttering the entry.

Picture three: An easel for coloring.  A (homemade) calendar for learning the days of the week or calendar type stuff.  The cork board just got moved from the laundry room so it actually still has my laundry tip sheet up on it.  Things often get done one step at a time here.  And the bookshelf with just some of our favorite or most used books and our kids CDs.

Picture four: Our tv area.  It is really cluttered right now.  I tried moving the stereo over there to see how it worked.  As you can see, it doesn't really work.  I need to move it back. The basket on the floor with the movies usually sits on top of the DVD player.  The fan gets moved around as needed (it is after all, summer in the desert).
This is one of the many stories that we have read repeatedly.  It is on page 51 of Abe's Treasury book from Dani Jo.  I actually don't mind the story, but the illustrations are certainly cooler as a big book.  And it is pretty neat that we can check out big books and such from the library too.  By the time we got home he'd already read it quite a few times in the car and was more interested in the books from the Hooked on Phonics kit we got.  Below are some pictures of him looking at his books with Dani Jo and Uncle Nick, counting for them, and Joel saying, "No, I don't want to talk with them.  Oh, ok Mom, I will."
I completed my first mod-podge project (at least, my first since I was a small kid).  After I started it ,I was wondering why on earth I decided to mod-podge the box anyways.  I figured it was probably better how it began, but I’d already started…I needed to finish.  (I think my mother can attest to a mountain of unfinished craft projects that I’ve started over my lifetime).

This is my box.  It was a bright pink index card box that I’ve used for many, many years.  The bright pink doesn’t really match the 3 males living in my house, nor my kitchen décor, and because I want to leave this box out so that I can quickly get in and out of it and be reminded to, in fact, get in and out of it, well…I decided on the project.

I use the box for scripture memory verses. This isn’t an idea that I can take claim to.  I think it has been around and used by lots and lots of people.  I learned it from a friend, back in the day.  I haven’t used it much the last couple of years, but it still has my cards in it and it really was a good system for me.  If you don’t do scripture memory, you might want to consider.  I’ve always appreciated it when I’m working on it.  I’ve used those verses I know many times.  And now, it is a great way to be teaching my kiddos (in regards to Deut 6).  Ideally I go over the verse I am working on with Abe morning, lunchtime and sometime before bed.  We’ve been working through Psalm 1.  We almost have the whole chapter (but, don’t be deceived, it is a short chapter).

The categories are: daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then 1-31 grouped into groups of mostly threes (1-3, 4-6…).  Our new verse would go on an index card in the daily slot.  After we’ve learned it, it gets moved back to a weekday slot, and then eventually a date slot.  That way, after you have learned it, you are still periodically reviewing it to keep it so you don’t forget it.

Typically my index cards have the reference on one side and the verse(s) written out on the other side.  We haven’t written out Psalm 1 yet though, and I am not sure what the best way for us will be to do that.  All on one card?  A different card for each verse?  Figuring that out first, would be helpful.  Then I could pull the card out when I need help as we are working on learning it.  Oh well…

The new photos are up.  I am not sure I got the kinks all worked out, but you should be able to at least see a bunch of new ones.  I’m still trying to work on the flickr slideshow.  If that does work for you, will you please let me know.

I also have two tabs with photos while I'm trying to figure out the best way on this site.  "Photo" or "Photo Blog" will both work for now.

When reading biographical stories about mothers of many of the great people of generations previous, you discover they had some kinds of “house rules.” I’ve started my list of house rules.  Not to be a copy-cat, but to try to keep a little more order in our home.  We have three rules so far.  Here they are:

1.     Food stays in the kitchen.

2.     Fill the car up with gas when it is down to only a quarter of a gallon.

3.     Eat at designated eating times.

Do you have official house rules?  Unofficial house rules?

Grandma Sponder finally got to come and visit Joel.  I know she was really itching to get down and meet him.  We had a great weekend with her.  Plus, she spoiled us like crazy.  And on top of that she helped me fix my bathroom drain problem.  Go Grandma!

While Grandma was here we got to go swimming at her hotel everyday, eat humbertos and dairy queen, go shopping, see all the cars at the classic car museum, take the boat (the free ferry) across the river and, of course, eat lots of snacks.  Thanks Grandma for coming.

Grandma Sponder finally got to come and visit Joel.  I know she was really itching to get down and meet him.  We had a great weekend with her.  Plus, she spoiled us like crazy.  And on top of that she helped me fix my bathroom drain problem.  Go Grandma!
As part of Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program we reviewed The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews.  This book would be a great one to share in a public school classroom, but it didn’t quite hold the interest of my two year old.  The main theme is that seemingly little things we do can change the outcome of everything and make a big difference.  I won’t argue that, but I am disappointed that this “Christian” publisher doesn’t point the reader towards Christ but instead to their own self worth.  Of course, it isn’t as bad as the “Christian” Christmas movie we saw a few years ago that didn’t even mention Jesus Christ—the ultimate reason for celebrating Christmas.

Read this book, enjoy learning something new, but remember that even if we live a really good life on earth, the only way we can stand on Judgement day is by Jesus Christ.  

There is the obvious you get pregnant, go into labor, stay home, a midwife shows up (hopefully) and you have a baby, but besides that some people are curious how it kind of works.  There are lots of questions such as: Isn't there a lot of mess?  What if something goes wrong?  How do they check the baby?  What if Mom needs some extra care?  So here is a quick little post about the hows.

Each midwife has her own  ways of handling the details, but most will have you order a birth kit.  For us, this includes things like gloves, disposable paper sheet type things to just throw away, a foot print maker and more.  She brings along her own medical kit which includes things like oxygen, sutures and a scale for measuring the new baby.  You labor at your own home.  You don't have to listen to the other people screaming down the hall.  You don't have to worry about the other people down the hall listening to you scream.  You can walk around and you don't have to worry about your backside beaming through a paper nightgown.  So, you labor and then...  You have the baby.  The midwife is trained to handle lots of things and if it truly is a situation that needs the OR or the hospital for any reason, she knows that too.  Assuming it isn't necessary for you to make the trip to the hospital and you've now go a baby in your arms, she does the clean up.  She cares for mom, providing stitches or anything else needed.  She weighs and measures baby.  She makes sure mom, baby and even dad are ready and set before she takes off and then she leaves you to recuperate in the comfort of your own home where Dad does a wonderful job taking care of you.
I'm so thankful to be home with my boys.  And they are a delight.  Abe loves his little brother.  And Joel is becoming quite the little cutie.  But I will admit yesterday evening the thoughts "Is this my initiation into motherhood?"  and "Grandma can't get here soon enough" ran through my head.  You see I've had a very clinging, moody toddler all week.  I am not sure what exactly it is, but I have an inkling it is related to daddy being back at work for 12 hours a day.  And not having any friends over to play for a whole week.  And being two.  And having a new little brother that can't quit play with him yet. And still being stuck inside most of the day.

But you know what, even though it was nearly 6 pm yesterday and I was hungry, and my supper plan wasn't going to happen because I'd spent the last hour dealing with kiddos instead of getting it started, and the house still had toys strewn about, I am so glad that I get to be the one to do this.  That I get to be the one to hug and to discipline and see what is going on with my family.