Thursday, August 30, 2012

I would be a GREAT mom...

IF I DIDN'T HAVE KIDS!  Those were the words Chris heard as I was wiping away my tears.  Honestly, it wasn't the kids fault even.  They were fine.  I just broke down.  Sometimes the pressures of motherhood just pile up and I feel completely I am going to ruin these kids because I am me.

I don't have a schedule to make sure I get all of these things done, I missed a subject (or two or three) in school today, I only put John on the potty twice today (AGAIN!), the supper dishes aren't cleared away, the kids are in front of a movie (AGAIN!), the toys are scattered all over, and all I really want to do is veg in front of the computer screen!

You can't tell me I am alone in these feelings!  I know I am not!  That's just it, though, they are feelings.  Feelings don't equal truth.  God's Word does!  Why does it always seem that the clarity of that comes after the storm?  

Matthew 11:28 says, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  So, why do I feel too guilty to come to Him?  Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  Once again?  Why?  Why do I think I have to, or even CAN, fix myself before I come to Christ?  

Leaning on Christ is thing we do out of humility.  Amazing how pride gets in our way EVEN when we are His children!  James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."  That is what I need to be doing.  On the days that I can...and the days that I can't!  God doesn't want us to wallow in self-pity and insecurity, but He can't help us until we let Him.

So, today I have pulled up my boot straps and I am back to the parenting game...with God's help!  And, on that note, here is another blog post to make you think on days like I had yesterday.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not-Back to School Bash

Our homeschool co-op is fairly new, so this past year we have been trying to slowly, but surely organize it a bit more.  One of the things we decided to do was throw a Not-Back to School Bash.  A group of homeschoolers got together at a local park yesterday and we had some good fellowship and some good food.  :)  It turned out well for our first event and it makes me look forward to co-op this year.

This is Libby and her friend.  Libby asked me profusely to delete this picture (to which I said NO WAY!)  I wonder why she didn't want this picture.  ;)

This fella was crazy good at blowing up the teeny tiny water balloons.  I blew most of them up, but a few I just set aside because I just couldn't get them to blow up.  He picked them up and blew them up like they were nothing.  Crazy!

Three of four fellow homeschooling sisters.  :)  They were so adorable and I was glad that Libby got to know them a little better.

I just missed the good picture (although this is still a pretty good pose).  He had been doing push ups just before I snapped the picture. 

More balloon blowing fun!

Last, but not least, John enjoyed the piggy back rides!

Over all, a good time was had by all and I can't wait for this co-op year to begin.  :)

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pure Art


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Guess What We've Been Up To Again!?!

How dull the world would be without art!

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Race Car Spider

I love how little kids' minds work!  Well, at least most of the time.  Ya know! 

Anyway, this is our new uninvited pet.  We have learned that SHE (complete with a nice egg sac which we are undecided what to do with) is an Argiope aurentia, more commonly known as a black and yellow garden spider, a writing spider or a corn spider.  Thankfully, she is not harmful to humans...thus the reason she is still living on our front porch. 

Another name by which she goes (although it is not listed on wikipedia for some reason) is the race car spider.  This is what John has affectionately dubbed her.  Although he doesn't want to get close to this very special race car spider, he enjoys going out on the porch to admire her beauty.

That being said, I was quite surprised when I read up on her because for the most part it seems that males get all the pretty markings in the animal kingdom, yet the male was a boring brown that gets eaten up (some of the time) by the female when they are finished mating.  I just might have put a smile on my face to see that every once in awhile it is the female that gets to be pretty.  :)


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lost and Found

I have lost myself amongst my labels.
I am mom of three, wife of one and a teacher.
I am loving, creative and friendly.
I am a frustrated perfectionist who lives with a perfectionist.
I am scatter brained, overwhelmed and off task often.
I am a daughter, a friend and a lover.
I am a sinner.
I am saved by grace.
I need to learn to live in that grace.
I am found in Him.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Week Down!

Technically, we started school two weeks ago.  That being said, with camp (which I did not blog about this week...bad mommy!) we decided to take things slowly.  Therefore, we are through our first week of school.  Woo hoo!

For some reason it was hard for me to gear up for this school year, so I am thrilled to be started and have one really good week under our belt.  I am looking forward to having fun with the Greek (culture, not language) part of our studies and I am very pleased with her progress in math.  I am amazed at this sweet, little girl for the mere fact that she is so much more proficient in advanced math than she is in simple math.  It makes me giggle!
Here's to a great school year!

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Big Truck!

Art is a favorite subject around this household.  Libby loves it, Grace loves it, so it is only natural that John loves it, too.  One of his favorite things to do, for awhile now, has been to ask the person nearest him to draw a tractor, a train, or a truck on a piece of paper, the doodle pad, or a napkin.  You get the picture...any vehicle on any surface. 

I was pleasantly surprised today when John looked up from the doodle pad (or as he calls it, doo-doo pad) and proudly exclaimed, "Big truck!"  And, by golly, he had drawn a beautiful big truck!

My little artist!


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No, not the musical!  The study OF cats.  Grace has been insistent for well over a year that she is going to be a cat when she grows up.  I have had brain block for well over a year on how to foster her dreams when they are SOOO unreal.  Therefore, I have just smiled at her and let her use her imagination without hindering her, but also without encouraging her. 

About a month ago I was writing a comment on a friend's blog post when I answered my own problem.  Duh!  Just start!  Why can't I encourage her?  I try to teach Libby things about being a veterinarian, why not teach Grace about cats? 

Consequently, this week we have been counting cats, graphing cats, putting cat puzzles together, reading simple words in stories about cats, etc.  Next week we will learn about baby kittens and what they eat and catnip and more.  I am having a blast with Grace, and as of last night, all three kids were having a blast with learning.  Mission accomplished this week, time to think about next week!

My future kitty cat! ;)

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Cutie Patootie!


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Six Flags Fun

Although the trip to Chicago was tiring, it had nothing on the fun and exhaustion after a full day at Six Flags. 

We left on the first shuttle from the hotel (10 AM) for the park.  Our group was large enough that we had to split up.  Everyone started to pile on to the bus, but the driver stopped the last four members of our group and told us he would come back for us.  No problem!  He shut the door and off he went.  It wasn't two seconds after he drove off that Tom, Chris and I heard a pitiful cry come from the stroller holding a very sad little John.  He was devastated!  He thought that bus drove right off with out us, never to return!  I pulled him out of his stroller to comfort him, but you could still hear a sniffle every once in awhile when the bus came back about eight minutes later.  :(  To say the least, he was thrilled when he saw it coming back for us!

Once at the park we kept going from here to there to everywhere.  Sometimes we would split up and take the taller kids so they could ride a roller coaster or two.  Sometimes we would just stick together.  Here is a picture of grandma with the kids headed for the "wet" rides.  If you look hard enough you can just see Grace's pink shirt at the right edge of the picture.  :)

As the day wore on, kiddos were starting to act more and more tired.  Grace was loving being held by grandma!  All seven of the kids enjoyed seeing their grandma and grandpa (or otherwise called, Juana and Papa). 

This little boy NEVER took a nap...all day!  I was amazed at his Energizer Bunny qualities.  He was actually well behaved the whole day, as well!

Brenton, on the other hand...was OUT!  He was just done at one point.  I said that John was well behaved, but really ALL of the kids were well behaved ALL day long.

By the end of the night we were definitely wearing down, but still going.  The last shuttle back to the hotel was at 9:00 PM and at about 8:10 three of the kids, grandma and I were headed to one last water ride!  I had promised Libby long ago that we would hit it and it was do or die time!  We made it...and being that late at night there was hardly any line.  Grant and I got wet enough, but Grace and Libby got ABSOLUTELY soaked!!!  They, of course, wanted to go again, but we really needed to start heading to the front gate to meet up with the rest of our group.  The only problem was...when we got there...our group wasn't there!  We called them and they were headed our way, but time was ticking and we weren't sure we were going to make it to the shuttle on time.  That isn't a great big deal, but we weren't sure if we wanted to be a retinue of 13 walking 0.7 miles back to the hotel...not to mention at least one pretty big road to cross!  Janet and I finally decided that our part of the group was going to go catch the shuttle and then we could send him back for the rest of our group so NO ONE had to walk anywhere.  We were glad we did because the other group missed the shuttle by two minutes!  By the time we were all back at the hotel room...we were hungry and tired.  So, a short trip to Burger King and then off to Dream Land for the night!

All in all...a success!

Oh...and one last picture to make you smile.  :)  Yes, I was getting the "Liza Marie!" treatment at this very moment.


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Camp Bee A Friend

Day Five ~ BUSY!!

Friday was the girls last day of camp for the first week.  Momma didn't get to go because this is daddy's first shift day, but she was up bright and early with daddy.  Momma got her Bible done and her "to do" list done and then the kids were up...and there was NO stopping from there!

The kids were excited to be dropped off at camp...and John wasn't too happy with me for dragging him away.  The girls must have had so much fun that it wiped them out!  By the time Chris came to pick them up they were walking around like zombies.  Neither of them could find their bags and they both left their water bottles behind.

No time for naps though!  We were off for Chicago in a flash!  It was a L-O-N-G drive complicated by the fact that the directions were wrong.  They were only off by about 5 miles, but that is enough to drive a tired person batty!

It was a long day, but all-in-all a good one.  :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Confessions of a Tree Killer

Do you know any tree huggers?  I sure do!  Now, before you get upset, let me explain that I am not calling names here.  For me, that is a term of endearment for my friends that just happen to be...a little more green than me.

I have to confess, I am not that "green" person.  I don't do a great job with recycling, I use paper plates, and paper towels and I use disposable diapers.  I am trying to garden this year, though!  :D  That being said, my worst offense would have to be ALL the paper I use!

You see, if I don't write it down, it doesn't end up happening.  So, I have to write a list of everything that needs done in a day.  That means writing down "school" and "lunch" and all of those things you do every day as well as the things that are only one time things.  Will we eat if I don't write lunch down? Probably, but it might be something like a handful of grapes and a swiss roll.  If I write it down, I will actually think through lunch and my children get a more balanced meal.

After I write my initial list, then I have to prioritize.  Is there anything that needs done before a certain time?  What is more important...reading to John or scrubbing the toilet?  Is there anything that needs to be done FOR SOMEONE ELSE?  You know, those questions that need answered.  Therefore, I write it down again.  (Seriously, the repetition is good for my brain.)

I have a separate piece of paper to write down thoughts that come to my head throughout the day.  You know, the thoughts like, "Oh, I want to remember to check out that documentary on schools...Superman something."  If I don't write the thought down I either obsess over it until I do something about it, in the process derailing my entire day (not exaggerating!) or I forget about and spend the rest of my day trying to remember what I forgot.

The key to making this system work for me is that I need to remember WHERE I placed my little slips of paper (you know the slips of paper with MY MIND on them).  As long as I can keep track of my little brains, well...then at least I killed a tree for a good reason.  Right?

Camp Bee A Friend

Day Four ~ All Better Now

As of Thursday ALL three Tucker girls were at camp again!  Yea!!!  We arrived bright and early to the sleepy eyed counselors still eating breakfast.  Amazing how as the week begins everyone is chipper, but as the week drags on, we have to get up this early?

Although it was a bit chilly the kids had the opportunity to enjoy a fire truck come to spray water on them.  It was fun to watch the personalities of the kids come alive in this situation.  Some (Libby included) were right there in the thick of things!  They didn't care that it was chilly and just wanted to have some water fun.  Others, stayed on the fringe and just watched.  The last group (Grace included) just stayed away...period.  It was too cold, and they wanted nothing to do with water at that moment.  I am pretty sure that Grace was the first kiddo to turn around and say, "Can I put my clothes back on?"

After the water, our group (The Little Monsters) headed to the playground to play.  The kids were all having a good time playing tag when somehow the game got a little skewed and it turned in to "Run From Liza!"  and "Ships Ahoy" at the same time.  From there I figured I might as well fit the theme so I turned into an alligator, and then a shark.  The kids had a blast running and playing, and were still enjoying themselves as I snuck off for other responsibilities.

I didn't know what to expect when I went to pick up the girls, but amazingly thankfully they were in great spirits and we had a good time together after camp.  Toward the end of the evening we ALL got a little grumpy and I, for one, was certainly glad when bed time rolled around.  ;)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Camp Bee a Friend

Day Three ~ More Sickness

It seems like my accounts of our camp experience are not going well!  Momma's tummy was still feeling out of sorts on Wednesday, but she was pretty sure all she needed was some food to settle things down.  BUT poor Grace took up where momma left off.  :(  She was SOOOO sad when I told her that she was going to have to stay home for the day.  She kept saying, "But, I feel fine!"  Poor girl!

Daddy dropped Libby off at camp and then came back so we could enjoy some time with Grace and John.  Daddy asked if he needed to stay home again, but I told him I thought I could handle things on the home front.  When we picked up Libby from camp she had an award on her shirt.  I asked her how she won her award...she had no clue.  She immediately began to cry over silly little things, and had two break downs before we even left Albrecht Acres property.  Momma instincts told me she needed a nap!  Sure enough, she didn't even fight it, and I am pretty sure that she fell asleep halfway to her bedroom.  ;)  I only let her sleep for about 40 minutes for fear that she wouldn't want to sleep at night, alas all this having fun is wearing my little darling out!  She went to bed at 8:30 without a problem!

*Oh, and rest the time I get to day three of camp, we all got to go again.  :)