Snow Days At the Houstons....

The view from our window
We are mean, I'll admit it.  But one of the joys of homeschooling is.......NO SNOW DAYS!!!  Bwahahahahaha!  We are truly mean, our children are around the table, doing school work in a house filled with the warmth of a fire in the wood stove~ mean, terrible... the longing in the eyes of the students as they peer through the window, looking at the fluffy white snow...........
Busy, busy! ;-)

A Little Bit of Snow

Snow! Yay!
Snow.  It comes with mixed feelings.  I love a beautiful landscape covered in that lovely white, but I don't much care for the wet melty stuff that the children insist on playing in.  Today we had the wet slushy stuff and the children insisted on playing in it.  They were so excited!  Of course it's lots of fun watching it come down, kind of like we are in a snow globe!  But then...."Mommy, can we go out and play now? Please?"  and this is heard until I finally reply with a, "Okay, get your stuff on and you can play for a bit."  This is ALWAYS followed by the scrambling around and trying to find gloves for both hands, not just one hand, the hat that fits, multiple socks, boots...hmm....where did they all go?  They were just under foot the other day when the sun was out....yes, the sun!  Today did end in sunshine as well, but we are told to expect more snow tonight.

Having fun
 I must explain the yellow snow pants on Zeke.  The little girls all have snow pants, and this particular pair are actually pink with yellow inside.  I turned them inside out so they could be "boyish" enough.  He STILL did NOT want to put those "pink" pants on!!  It took lots of coaxing, but we finally won.  He put them on and we covered the pink zipper with his BLUE jacket, red gloves and black boots all helped to make him look very BOY.  And I must say, he sure seemed to not mind once he made it outside in the snow... oh the fun to be had!!!

Maybe the look has something to do with the pants?
Ready to go!
I am thankful, though, the roads were all clear so we could drive to Selah's dr. appt.  She is 4 1/2 months old now!  She weighed in at 15lbs 5 oz...70%, 26 inches.....92%, and her head circumference 43cm...88%!!!  She was a chatter box throughout her appointment, that is, until she got her shots!  How sad!  She recovered quickly though!

Feeling a Bit Homesick.....

My family minus 3 babies!!!

Beautiful Astoria
The only family picture we've ever had done!
My baby brother, Kevin
There are just days that I start feeling a bit homesick.  Homesick for Astoria, OR, and homesick for family. This just happens to be one of those times.  My children put a beautiful picture of Astoria as our background on the computer, and I think that along with not getting to go for our Christmas visit, have brought on this feeling.  I have two new nieces as well as a new nephew that I am dying to meet.  Plus, my other sister-in-law is due anytime now with her 8th baby!  All these new babies to meet, our own dear little one to introduce to aunties, uncles, and cousins galore......I am definitely ready for some time with everyone!!


It's so Hard to swallow what we don't like!
We recently had vegetable soup for lunch.  Those that finished got a handful of chocolate chips.  But for one two year old, this was a daunting task.  He had such a hard time swallowing that bite!  I just couldn't resist getting a quick snapshot of him!  Oh, I tried and tried to convince this cute little boy that swallowing his food would be a good idea!  He finally accomplished the task and we all applauded him.  This helped him to swallow several more bites.  His joy was evident with each applause.  And then......showing a bit of grace, I decided to give him one "last" bite (there were several bites left).  I told him, "Swallow this one last bite and then you can have this pile of chocolate chips!"  He smiled, mouth now full of that cold soup. I imagined the smile that would be there when he at last finished.  I'd ask him, "have you swallowed?"  He then would open his mouth to reveal that mashed up mess. And I would coax him.....I wanted so badly to reward his hard work!  I couldn't wait to place his reward in front of him and tell him he had done a good job!

So, how do you think this story ended?  Welllll, I told him again to swallow his food.  He then decided to gag and spit it out.  I then knew what must happen.  And with sorrow in my heart, I disciplined him and put him in bed for his his chocolate chips to an older brother (this older brother had this same problem often approx 12 years ago!)  This grieved me as I know it grieved him.
1st mission accomplished with many tears.

This little story reminds me of our Heavenly Father.  How often do we choose to disobey Him because we think the task is too difficult?  Don't you think that God desires to reward us for our hard work and obedience?  Just as we may look at the (true) story above and think, "that is soooo easy, why didn't he just swallow?"  We each are given tasks that may or may not seem simple to others, and with the help of Christ, we can get them done.  But are we willing to do it?  Or do we allow our strong will to overcome us?  We don't know when our time will come to meet the Father, could this be that last "bite" before you are presented with your reward?  Or will you only have wood, hay, and stubble?  I know that I desired greatly to give a good gift to my son, how much more do you think God wants to reward us?

Happy about that, now just a few more bites!
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."  Matt 16;24-27

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  Phil 3;14

Putting the Pieces Together.....

This past week, we were slated to go to Astoria, OR, for a much needed break.  Monday morning; however, we got a phone call telling us that family members were throwing up.  I was so very sad as I was looking forward to meeting my two new nieces and introducing Selah to her aunties, uncles, and cousins. It was going to be a family reunion of sorts.  Since people were sick, and we had just had the same illness the week before, we decided the place to be was home, which is a no brainer.  Thankfully, my sweet and very smart husband had purchased a 1000 piece puzzle and some games.  I had wondered as he purchased these items, when we were supposed to work on them, seeing we were to be away for the week.  Well, turns out we had plenty of time to do just that!  So, our children and us adults played many games and sporadically pieced together our puzzle.   We played Uno and Racko, we also set up Axis and Allies but the instructions are a large manuel that we found out will take an experienced A & A player to teach us!!!  So, though our game stayed set up for many days, it never was played.  Amazingly enough, we were able to keep the puzzle on a card table in the living room without too much incident from a certain 2 year old and 4 year old! ;-)  Monday, daddy surprised us all with the announcement that since it was technically a federal holiday, we could have one more day off of school!  The children were just as excited as I was!  Later in the day, I found the puzzle had been tampered with.....I wonder who could've done that?!  "Zeke!  Where did you put the puzzle pieces?!!!!"  Thankfully I discovered them just under the table and finished the thing...except for the one missing piece that is.  Why is it, every time we get a puzzle, we always end up with one missing piece?  Yesterday morning, I awoke to the cheering of the boys as they decided to lift the couch and look under it just in case that piece happened to have crawled under it.  And to everyone's amazement, it was there!!  So, in the end, the entire puzzle was complete...we were able to put all the pieces together!