The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


EEK! There's a snake in my house and his name is Snickers.

September 21, 2008 - 10:28 PM

EEK!  And it is all my fault!

I know, I know... we went over pet rules not too long ago, right?  And in there I said, "We do have this 'pet' home and so I figure we can continue to collect random creatures here and there and keep for 1 week and then release."  Welp, I stand before you eating my words.

It was just after lunch and we were all helping finish up cleaning when my phone rang.  It was Josh, who was outside mowing.  It seemed all rather weird to me that he was calling from a distance of no greater than 15', so I picked up quickly, "Send Max outside with a container, quick!  I have a snake for him.  Quick!"

Without thinking I grab a container and Max and push them out the door, rambling something about a snake.  Zeke soon follows with a, "What?  What's going on?" and runs outside.  Miriam then follows with a, "I don't like snakes," and hugs me tight.

Miriam and I then proceed to watch through the window.  Josh, Max and Zeke are working together as 3 little boys trying to capture this baby garter snake, with all sorts of giggles and jumping backs and sticks to encourage the snake into the container and more giggles and jumps back and in the midst of all the giggles and excitement I then realize... This thing is coming in my house?!

They do catch the little guy and bring him quickly into the house and set him on the kitchen table to proudly show him to me.  The 2 boys are giddy with excitement and can't stop talking while Josh has to go back to the adult task of mowing.  I checked its markings to confirm it was only a garter snake.  I did remember my deal with the boys and I said if the snake is ok eating the protein-filled-dried-up-crickets, then he can stay for 7 days, otherwise, he's out sooner, as I didn't want him to die in our possession.  To which Zeke quickly replies, "That's perfect Mom because snakes eat only once every 5-7 days, so we'll definitely be keeping this guy a while!"  (What kinds of books does this guy read?)

We went online to the curious place that is Wiki, to find out what they eat and learn that they had recently been found to be contain a slight amount of venom, not enough to kill, just itch & swell.  Grand.  They also like their food alive, so I don't know if our dried-up cricket leftovers from the tree frogs will win him over and that means he will be evicted.

In any event, it is for the most part my fault this creature is in our home, living on a table in the living room, making my hair stand on end.  The boys have made him a perfect home and are doing a great job taking care of him.  They also continue to keep an eye on the dried-up cricket to see if it gets eaten so they can keep him longer than 5 days. 

His name is Snickers.  Not like the candy (they don't know what that is) but like to sneak which became sneaky which rolled off the tongue like sneaky-snicky which reminded them of  to snicker and to round it off Snickers. 

Snickers Cramer to be exact... their words, not mine.


(I love our kids!)

Do you work at all?

September 20, 2008 - 3:48 PM


I know my old friend meant no harm by the question, but since they asked me that, I quote it often while I am running around juggling life... *sigh*... no truer words have ever been spoken.

Why do I forget to clean the downstairs bathroom?  Why is my laundry always in piles or baskets?  Why can my husband not find the matching black socks?  Why have I yet to respond to your emails or voice messages?  What do I do all day?

I train our kids in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not turn from it.

You want me to be specific?  Here it goes...

We spend time in prayer. 
We pray for our day, Dad's day, others's needs that we know of, then a few more times for our hearts to obey.  We pray often throughout our day as needs arise for others or ourselves.

We spend time in God's Word and in memorizing it. 
We have a Bible lesson plan we read with our kids, as well as have an extra devotional book called, "Leading Little Ones to God."  I know there are a lot of other great tools out there that I am sure many of you have found.  Tis true - it is way easier for a child to memorize a verse than an adult. 

We train ourselves to sit quietly. 
For us this means to sit still in silence, either on a chair (without a desk) or on a small blanket.  This is good not only for them to learn self control but also when we go to church or doctor's appointments or simply waiting in line at Wally-World.  This is nice for me so that I can read my devotions when I oversleep, which often happens!  Also, we do this during our day when one child needs specific direction for school work or whatnot, so needless-to-say, we practice this A LOT.

We work on those glaring character issues that would be so much easier to avoid. 
Not being bossy or being antagonistic or sharing or lacking self control or working with a joyful spirit or whatever, we put ourselves in positions when we can work on those specifics.  After a day like the other day, I would say that we work A LOT on character and wisdom.  This is another grand perk to home school as I can more quickly see an area we need to work on and then we can address said area.  (This also means that God works on my character a lot during each day!)

We home school.
We think our kids are (and want our kids to be) geniuses, but we do not live like that is the most important thing in the world or let that desire / pressure control our days.  In addition, we do not limit what they learn and if they desire more, or are capable of more, we happily cater their learning to that school subject.  We can move ahead in grades more without any interruption or social awkwardness too.

We go way above and beyond the state requirements for our boys who are school age but we do not put those specific requirements on our 3.5 yr old.  Granted, she learns A LOT through being around her boys schooling since she has to sit with us for reading times (her understanding of topics completely amazes me) but we subscribe to a little different thought on this topic of when to start school.

My point is, we are not trying to recreate public school in our home - our family's life mission statement is different than that.

We work on loving others more than ourselves and our schedule. 
This comes in being flexible.  Sometimes Dad has something we need to do for him, or sometimes there is a service opportunity or a moving family or a meal to be brought or a sick friend, and we are able to meet that need by being flexible in our days' schedule.  Again, we still meet the school requirements and we work on our character, but maybe we finish up later in the day than normal or start earlier than normal or whatever.  Again, my point, that we are not trying to recreate public school in our home.

We spend time in our community. 
While we do have to spend more actual time working on character and school this year than last, we still do our best to be out in our community through field trips, sports activities, etc.  Their timing in our days is later in the afternoons, but still possible and a great way to also see if the lessons learned at home work in the "real" world.  Sometimes this means we go through tough stuff too, like the other day at the park.  It was a tough and very scary experience for the kids and I, but at the same time, we learned a lot through the experience.

We work!
Wo/man does our house get messy in a day, half day, or even an hour!  The kids do chores both as a team and as an indivicual and we do them over and over and over, every day.  I must admit, our home is not nit-picky clean and that is due primarily to cleaning being a family activity not a mom-only activity.  I really had to come to grasp with it being ok that clothes weren't folded properly because it is more important that our child of 3 know how to fold clothes than fold without wrinkles.

We play!
We know how to play and play hard!  We get exercise, ride bikes, go to parks, design art projects, cook, garden, build airplanes, design cities, do puppet shows, write stories, sing songs then write lyrics of our own, design books, etc, etc, etc.  Suggestions from books or being creative as much as my brain can allow and then hopefully their creativity starts to piggy-back mine and we're off on some project or a field trip or whatnot.  We wrestle, tackle, create, destroy and create again.  Seriously, with 2 boys whose energy is endless and who learn so much better in doing rather than sitting, can you blame us?  It also helps that we have a little girl who is happy to do anything, from tea parties to dinosaurs and can go-go-go with the best of them.

All in all, we attempt to focus on character first and with that, the knowledge will come, and come more easily.  I am NOT saying we have the character thing down, far from it (we definitely understand our verb tenses and sentence structures better) but we are working toward those goals.

As our particulars, this is what works best for our family mission and our children.  As a principle, going before the Lord with our husbands to learn that mission statement is important.  There are families who live on a stop watch and others by the seat of their pants, those who never leave the house and others who spend time outside, all of whom love the Lord will all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  God calls us all to love Him first and love others second and then when we ask Him, He can show us what that looks like for our strengths and weaknesses, and to work through those strengths and weaknesses.

It would be so much easier if we as parents could coast through life, but we need to have our hearts ready to be shaped and molded along the way - God is not done with us either.

An Amazing Little Guy to An Amazing Young Mini-Man

September 9, 2008 - 7:01 AM

Don't let anyone fool you, the time goes by soooo fast.

Our little guy is growing up so fast...

Zeke at 3 days and unless you are constantly around newborns, you quickly forget their cute grunts.

Then at six months, there are those cute, "Ahhhh-uuuuu's" just to melt your heart.

Ten months and counting, the rolling of the r's... such talent!

And before you know it, they have grown into an amazing young mini-man at the age of 8... full of passion and intelligence, full of love for their family and friends, full of hope and joy.

We love you Zeke!  We are so proud of you and all the ways you are choosing to follow the narrow path, one step at a time!


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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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