Preparing for 2012-13

As our school year has drawn to a close this year, I find myself preparing for next year.  There is something fun about picking out curriculum and creating a planner.  Organizing our “education room” for the coming year (also known as our dinning room) and putting away the keepsakes from the year that has just ended.  But getting ready for the new year is more than physically being prepared, it is also about being mentally prepared.  For me that is seeking God and growing in my relationship with Him so that I can better guide my children to become images of God.

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book review: Then Sings My Soul

I love singing.  I often sing while I am working (cliche I know.)  Even still I was a little apprehensive of  Then Sings My Soul Book 3 by Robert Morgan.  I am constantly on guard of spiritual books that don’t follow the inerrant word of God and I had never heard of Mr. Morgan even though he had written two other books in this series.  I was leery, to say the least.

Then Sings My Soul Book 3 is a fabulous book that gives a little history on some wonderful Hymns.  Book 3 also gives a bit of history about how hymns came about.  I had never thought about how God has used hymns through out history and this book taught me a lot.  As Mr. Morgan states in the beginning of the book, it is not through enough to be a used as a curriculum, but could easily be used as a reference book.   I learned so much about some of the authors of great hymns I love to sing, and even learned so new hymns.

It was great to read each hymn, as they were printed out as sheet music.   As I read, I couldn’t help but sing the hymns I knew.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about those great old (and some not so old) favorites.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Hoping to be more active

So this year, I want to be more active in blogging. At least to keep a journal of ideas and thoughts. Hopefully my wife will appreciate me posting here instead of at my site (www.wecentral.com). We’ll see how long I keep this up.


Book Review: Three Cups

I was so excited to review a book about teaching children to use money wisely.  I expected it to be a step by step instruction book.  Three Cups was definitely not!

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Christmas Wreaths

The children are selling these beautiful handmade Christmas wreaths for a home school project this year!  We love to support American companies, and this was a great opportunity to teach some small business skills.  My little ones plan to split any money they make 3 ways and use it on Christmas presents.

They are working so hard, it is really precious.  Benjamin has every price memorized and Alexander is more or less the spokesman of the group.  The boys gave Carolyn the job of holding up the brochure and smiling really big.  (A job she personally loves!)

If you would like to order one, please let me know.  There are two ways you can order.  Either the children can sell to you or you can go to https://www.wreathsofmaine.com/wreaths.  When buying online, be sure to use their seller id, 4876, so they will get the credit.  In person orders are due by November 28th and online orders December 16th, but don’t wait as they are handmade and take time to make.


Book Review: Heroes & Villains of the Bible

For me, when the words hero and villain are used together they conjure an image of something epic.  Maybe a battle with swords flying and people doing amazing twist and turns.  I think it is the addition of the word villain.  A hero can be an ordinary man, but a villain MUST be evil.  Reguardless, when I saw a book called Heroes and Villains of the Bible on the list of books I could review, I knew I wanted it.

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Butterfly Hair Bows

My beautiful Ladies

So I have been thinking for a while that I wanted to learn how to make hair bows and clippies for my daughters to wear.  I know a few women who make them, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on them, no matter how cute!  (I am SO cheap!)

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across some free tutorials on how to make ribbon art.  After reading some over, I decided it didn’t look to hard for me to try.  These are my first attempts at making clippies.  I think they look really cute and the little ladies really like them too.

Butterfly bows

Butterfly bow


Book Review: Night Night Blessings

I was so pleased to receive a complimentary copy of Night Night Blessings by Amy Parker from BookSneeze.  Our family loves to have books around the house to remind our children of God’s love and/or His blessings, and this book fits perfectly.  Night Night Blessings is a padded board book that reminds little ones to see God’s blessings in everything around them.  From thanking God for a new day to Mommy’s kisses and Daddy’s prayers, children ages 2-5 are pulled into this book with it’s cute little rhymes, colorful pages and artful way the words flow over the pages.

Night Night Blessings

Best selling author, Amy Parker did an adorable job showing multiple ways God blesses us everyday.  She takes the reader through a day of blessings – starting at waking up to the sun shining through the window and going all the way to bed that night – making a great bedtime story.

The illustrator, Marijan Ramljak, did a beautiful job, with almost a child-like way about it.  The colorful artwork looks to be oil paintings that capture your attention while still stimulating your imagination.  The publisher calls it snuggly art, and it truly is.  We snuggled on the couch and read this book 3 times as soon as we received it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.



Danielle pulling up on her own

How is this possible!!  My 6 month old baby girl is pulling up all by herself!!

Danielle excited to stand without help


Hermie, a Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado


I was elated when I was offered the chance to review the ebook Hermie, a Common Caterpillar by best-selling author Max Lucado.  My children love to watch the Hermie DVDs, but this is the first of the books we have been able to read.   I decided to read it aloud, but as a level two reader, it is a great book for a Reader in Training, roughly ages 5-8.

The story helps to remind children that they are special,  that God has a plan for their life and that they can always talk to Him.  It lays out these truths in a colorful, fun story of two caterpillar buddies who are sad because they see themselves as ordinary and everyone else as extraordinary.  The author did a fantastic job of reiterating how even though Hermie and Wormie may seem ordinary to the onlooker, God sees them as special.

The illustrator, Daniel Howarth, did a stupendous job – focused art that looks like what I can only describe as beautifully done watercolors.   My only very minor complaint was that some of the artwork was not on the same page that it was designed for – sometimes being a page after.

Overall, this piece of literature was a nice little read and sent my children into a flurry of coloring pictures of butterflies and discussions of what God might have planned for them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


This is SO late in coming.

Wow, sometimes life just gets away from me.  So much has happened since the last time I posted. Instead of trying to update in words, I will use pictures.  After all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

Meet Danielle Liana.

Meet Danielle Liana.

And here she is 3 months later.

And here she is 3 months later.

Alexander playing flag football

Alexander working on his flag football skills

My other footballer

My other footballer

Benjamin's idea of babysitting

Benjamin's idea of babysitting

Carolyn with a homemade puppet

Carolyn with a homemade puppet

Benjamin in USC gear

Benjamin in USC gear

Alexander in his...Go Gamecocks...

Alexander in his...Go Gamecocks...

Danielle doesn't seem to like USC.  Go Razerbacks!!  ;-)

Danielle doesn't seem to like USC. Go Razerbacks!! ;-)

Carolyn loves this doll

Carolyn loves this doll


Happy Birthday Love!

I love you so much, I can only hope that you have a great day!  Looking back at this site and realizing it’s two years old in July;  we should focus more on this site to update our families.  Anyhow I love you so much!!!


We have picked a name!!!

It is so great to say those words.  This has been the longest time in our family not to have picked a name.  I was starting to get concerned we would be holding the baby LONG BEFORE the name!  D has just been a difficult letter.

Well, as I said, we have picked a name.  Her name is Danielle Liana (pronounced lee-AHN-ah.)  Danielle means God is Judge and Liana means my God has answered, so her name literally means My God is Judge and He has answered.  Naming Danielle this was so appropriate.   In April, some dear friends had been praying for some minor health related issues I had been having.  Out of the blue I suddenly developed an appendicitis, and the x-rays revealed the problem believed to have been causing my issues.  And after that, everything seemed to fall into place.

God was so gracious to have given us this blessing, that we really felt He deserved all the glory.  We are blessed.

God's beauty


Decorating for Autumn

I found these cute pumpkins on a friend’s site ages ago.  I liked them then, but with life being busy I didn’t have the time to even think about making them.  At the beginning of October we went to her house for a Harvest Party, and there they were, hanging in her dinning room looking so festive.  So I finally decided to make them.  The hardest part was finding brown construction paper.  I had to improvise and use brown paper lunch sacks, but I think the end result was great.

Pumpkins for Fall

Our pumpkin patch


Alexander Sings

This past Wednesday Alexander’s choir sung.  Alexander did great.  All week he told me he didn’t know the words to the songs, but when it came to standing up there, he sang his heart out.  He even “tapped” his foot to the song.  I was really proud of him.  He even picked his clothing!

The choir





We are expecting another little girl!

It is so exciting to realize God is blessing us with another little one to train up and care for.

Profile Ultrasound of D

We decided to use the trip to the midwife as a field trip day.  The tech was nice enough to explain some of what the children saw, although I think Benjamin was more interested in finding out the sex of the baby!

Ultrasound of D

Darling head (see the eyes?)

After leaving the midwife we went to the mall to celebrate our little one.  (We also used this time to multitask and get some work done on the car.)   Tony and I allowed everyone to pick anything they wanted to eat from the food court at the mall.  With much debating, Alexander and Carolyn finally chose Chick-fil-a and Benjamin chose pizza.

When we finished eating we decided to take a train ride around the mall.  The children had a blast and waved to everyone we passed.  I wish I had remember to bring my camera!

Then we wanted to wander the mall while we waited for our car.  We went to Build-A-Bear to look around (as none of us had ever been in one) and decided to let the children each build a toy.  We also built one for our Darling D (we haven’t decided on a name, so if anyone has a suggestion, you are welcome to leave a comment.)  Her first toy is a snow owl.  Alexander built a camo bear with a soccer uniform.  Benjamin built a velvet pup and gave him a Star Wars uniform.  Both the boys gave their pals a Star Wars sound.  Carolyn built a pink princess bear.  She gave her bear a heart beat (we also gave one to D’s owl.)  I was very impressed with the Build-a-bear staff.  I also love that if anything happens to the pals we can bring it back to any Build-a-bear Workshop, and they will fix it.

Build-a-Bear Pals

Our clan and their pals

Everyone insisted on carrying their pals to the car.  When we got to the car, Carolyn promptly fell asleep.  All in all, we had a GREAT day.


One year….

Wow, has it really been a year since Tony created this site for me!  Where has the year gone…  So much has happened, but here are a few of the highlights.

We’ve had good times,

Benjamin and Carolyn climbing a "mountain"

Benjamin enjoying a hotdog

Alexander filling out his first Valentine cards

Tony being...well Tony


Carolyn and Isabella

And rest.

Crashed after all the fun


We’ve goofed off,

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

Layers night

Alexander and Ana in a staring contest

And enjoyed guests.

A welcome surprise visit from my parents

My brother Joe

Loving parents...

Dear Friends

Beautiful Friends

Over all we’ve been very blessed!

I love you, Tony.


Alexander’s Birthday

This is almost 2 months late, but Alexander deserves a special post to celebrate when he turned 7.  He is such a gift from God.  Alexander has a caring spirit, truly living up to his name, defender of men, wanting to care and watch over others in his life.  My matter of fact child is very dear to his family.

Here are some picture to recap the day…

Alexander, the birthday boy

The cartoonish dinosaur cake

Isabella, a beautiful guest

More guests

Party goers enjoy cake and ice cream

Ana and Alexander


April and Sage

Sage, Lydia and Carolyn with Emily in the back

Benjamin and Max

Baden and Joshua


Carolyn’s Birthday

This is late, but I wanted to post it anyway.  We had a great time with family and friends.  Carolyn enjoyed being the center of attention.


Opening a stroller, something she really wanted.

Cutting her caterpillar cake


Chick-fil-a: Cow Appreciation Day

We love Chick-fil-a and recently discovered some of what we will do for a free chicken meal.

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day 001

Our herd is so CUTE!