Our Old House in America

old house in america

John David enjoyed looking out the airplane windows. What a fun experience to have as a child!

So the move has been highly successful, though it was…a hectic nail-biter. You don’t move a family of six across the country without a boogoodles of planning and elbow grease.

old house in America

nom nom nom

Tonight is the most special part. After 2 weeks of being all split up, we are finally all sleeping under one roof! We are in our new house, and everyone is in their own bed. It feels so good to be together as a family again, even if the two little boys do have insomnia tonight. Oy.

old house in America

building with Lincoln Logs at the grandparents’ house

DaddyO (their grandfather) kept the boys overnight, by himself, so that Nonna could come help us unpack boxes. He told a funny story:

Daniel asked to take a shower. DaddyO asked him, “Do you know how to take a shower?”


And he does. When you have 2 bigger brothers, and you’re a go-getter like Daniel, you know how to do all sorts of things by age 5.

So DaddyO asked him, “Oh. Where did you learn how to take a shower?”

“At my old house, in America.”

“In America!?”

“Yes, we lived in America,” Dan explained.

“Oh, in America? Do you mean in California?”

“Yes, in America, California.”

“You mean in Monterey, California?”

“Yes, Monterey, America, California.”

That cracked us up.


I promise to have a comprehensive photo blog of Alan and the boys’ big road trip on the next post!

Roll Tide, y’all!


Home school Week 65: Beaver Holes, Effort Tests, and Ill-Fitting Shoes

Allum crystals

Pretty allum crystals: The boys grew these on an eggshell at their weekly Classical Conversations science lab.

It was an unusual week of home schooling, mostly because Alan insisted I spend a large part of it teaching standardized test-taking skills. I made a go of it, but you can’t teach someone how to have a type-A go-getter personality. Either you have it or you don’t. My second child does not.

“Caleb, you missed every single question about this story. You did not read the story. You absolutely did not.”

Caleb replied, “Well, it had a picture, so I just used that.”

“Go read it, and then you are starting over again. Don’t ever do this on these standardized tests, Caleb. You HAVE to read the stories.”

(Oh my goodness. When I was a kid I loved taking those tests, and I always scored well. I cannot even imagine not caring!)

He read the story, and then he answered 4/5 test questions correctly. That’s a vast difference from 0/5. Caleb has no problem reading and comprehending on the 3rd grade level. Sigh.

Now they could call it “Standardized Effort Tests,” and that’d be accurate. It accurately displays who puts forth great effort on standardized tests. Although even that wouldn’t be quite right, as some kids might put forth great effort but simply have not been taught everything on the exam. So I’m not sure these tests are useful at all.


hard at work

I wonder how many schools full of Calebs have lost funding because their students just wrote something down and then ran outside to play. I think we all need to stop letting these tests carry so much weight, especially when you’re talking about eight-year-old kids. Gracious.


Daniel, my number one kitchen helper

Daniel spent his Christmas money today. He bought a new Nerf gun. It came with eight bullets. He’s been playing with it for about two hours. He has 3 bullets left now. He explained it to me:

“Mom, it came with five ‘bullethts’, and now I onwy have thwee. See? Right there. Thwee.”

“Oh no! Already?? Where are the others?”

“In the beaver holes. I lost them in the beaver holes.” (He’s referring to the hundreds of gopher holes in our yard. Apparently he and his buddy Carter were trying to shoot the gophers with their Nerf guns.)

Daniel should give lessons on how to be absolutely, ridiculously adorable.


Caleb’s science lab for Classical Conversations Week 20 : Both boys love science.





Nonna bought us this set of educational DVDs that I have totally under-utilized!

I had a morning full of phone calls to make, in preparation for our big move, so this was just the trick to have the boys all learning quietly. I made them write and illustrate two things they learned from the video to keep them engaged in watching it and deter movie time from turning school into a party.  It worked! I’m going to remember this trick, for sure! I have four more of these videos on other topics.



If you want to play cards or a game at our house, you are out of luck. Pieces are usually missing because I use them to keep the small people busy. Who knows what he does with the cards, but he’s quiet, and I guarantee you he’s learning something, though I have no idea what.



peanut butter cracker sandwiches

This week I shared my favorite childhood snack/lunch with my little people: peanut butter cracker sandwiches. Of course, we have a red hot peanut-allergy kid here, so we made ours from Sunbutter. MMMMmmmm, sun butter!



JD calls this his Alabama football shirt. Yep. We don’t even have to teach them this. We watch it so much on t.v., they just know.



I love, love, love to watch him color.


I had to buy one of these. I am officially old.

You know remembering to do things or take medicines was never my strength, so owning this is essential with my newly discovered heart problem. This week I realized that if I’m going to keep going downhill in a hurry, I should do it with more grace. What do I have to fear?

And why am I not more happy? No, I’m not stellar at home-schooling. It stresses me out, y’all, it does. But I only have to get through eight more weeks of it, so I will try to enjoy it. I promise I will try. I love the boys, but teaching…..ohhhh groooooaaaan mooooaaaan….

Only 8 more weeks!

You know we are all designed differently from one another. Some of you are paintbrushes, and you wouldn’t use a paintbrush to hammer the nail on which to hang the painting. You could try, but you might break the paintbrush. You need a hammer for that job.

But what about when you are painting? Well, you wouldn’t want a hammer for that. A hammer is not capable of the beautiful strokes that can be rendered with a paintbrush. We each have a time and a place to feel needed and useful, and when we try to fill someone else’s role, it just isn’t pretty. People get hurt. Expectations are left unmet. It’s disappointing. While it can be done in a pinch, let’s not live in a pinch when it is not warranted.

I’m more of an ink pen, and it about killed me trying to be both an ink pen and a chalkboard. Sometimes I was more like nails screeching on a chalkboard. Let’s not have any more of that here. For me, home schooling was like walking around in ill-fitting shoes. Only eight more weeks, and then I’m simplifying. I’m going to just be mom again for a while.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, fulfilling your own God-given purpose.


Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Pet. 4:10)



8 Things You Might Hear In a House of Boys….Obvious Ones Aside

Boys, boys, boys

1. “Boom! Knock!”  *giggling*  “Bang!”

“Joshua, what are you doing?”

I was fighting with the milk. It had boxing gloves, I tell you!” He shouted back.

“boom! Bam!” More giggling, yet there is only one boy in the kitchen causing all this ruckus!

When it comes to what you might hear in a house full of boys, there is no limit. If you can imagine it, it won’t happen. No, it will be weirder. Yet, no matter how weird it is, unless you write it down, you will probably never remember it.

I actually DO write a lot of it down, and I still only capture about 5% of the hilarity. No, it’s not all hilarity. Some of it is adorable. Sometimes they will even melt your heart, and other times they will terrify and shock you so much all you can say is:

2. “Oh, Sweetie, no, no, no. That is just not an appropriate thing to say at all. Please never say that in public.”

What do I mean exactly? Well, I really can’t tell you because if you already have boys, then you know, and if you don’t, then you will suddenly judge MY boys, and I’d rather you didn’t. 🙂

Today was one of those days when Daniel said something super, super sweet, which believe it or not, many little boys say quite frequently. It is wonderful. The hilarious thing was that he SHOUTED it across the baseball field to me.

That’s right. Dan plays tee-ball now. We’re all quite excited about it. We keep nerd-ing out by showing up as a whole family to cheer him on, AT PRACTICE. Most of the other parents aren’t even there. We are nuts. Anyway. It was the middle of practice. He grinned at me, and then he shouted to me, with the kind of innocence that only a pre-schooler can have,

Daniel, running the bases

3. “Hey, MOM!” as he waved his tiny baseball mitt at me and smiled, “Me love you, MOM! Me really love you, Mom! Me really, really love you, MOM!”

I about died laughing, but of course, I still shouted back, “I love you too, Dan!” each time. That’s what he needs from me right now. Do you know what else is cute? None of the other kids there even seemed to find it odd for him to do that. 🙂 I love this age group!

He’s the smallest little slugger on his team, which is such a new experience for us.

Dan is the little one, in the middle of the field, beside the girl, with the green shirt and the red hat.

4. “Mom! Caleb has a bloody nose!!  Mom, hurry! It’s REAL bad!”

Why do bloody noses have to happen so much? They just spontaneously burst it seems. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent, pinching a little one’s nose with a tissue!

5. “Can I eat it now? Can I eat it now? Can I lick it? Can I lick it when we’re done?”

dying cookie dough–One child could not stop eating it.


Making cookies: fun for boys too

6. “Can we make the rainbow cookies, pleeeease.”

“What! I’m not touchin’ that! Will you do mine for me?”

“Oh! Me do it!”

We have every type of person here. One couldn’t stop eating it. One didn’t want to touch it. One just had a ball because cooking is his specialty. See, boys aren’t always so different from girls. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make rainbow cookies? You can bet the one-year-old would have wanted in too, but he was asleep. I am smart about a few things. 🙂

Take my picture with it!

They turned out well.

Meet Oh.

7. “I’m going to do my best to talk like Oh from now on.”

So on Monday night, I took the three oldest to see the movie Home. It’s a super cute movie about an alien and his alien race that move to Earth. The voice of Oh is done by Jim Parsons, also the actor that plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.

DaddyO, wearing the Bazinga! shirt

Sheldon’s character in the movie, Oh, sounds like Sheldon….but with mixed up grammar. He says things like, “Why do you has this thing? You has me for companion on this ship.”

So….the alien in the movie also sort of talks like Daniel. hehe

Of course, Joshua has never seen The Big Bang Theory, but it still bothered me a little bit to hear my son talking like Sheldon all day today..

all day long

I have only myself to blame. I’m the one that loves to impersonate people. Remind me to show you sometime. I can do a few really good ones, mostly just people I know personally.

Do you know what else I, and many good homes in the world have had to deal with this week? Easter candy and Easter candy withdrawal. Tonight, Joshua was just sitting on the sofa in the dining room…..it’s an unusual floor plan…staring at the space in front of him, doing…..nothing….and for JOSHUA, that is WEIRD. He is ALWAYS busy doing something.

“Are you okay?” I asked him.

8. “Oh! I just want more Mini Eggs so bad!” he blurted out, sounding a little like Sheldon. 

Bless it. Now a well- meaning, healthy,GOOD mother would have been comforting and guided him through this withdrawal of sugar that he was clearly experiencing.

Not me. I viewed it as an opportunity. *insert evil laughter*

I said, “Well, I do know where another bag of them is. I will give you 10 Cadbury Mini Eggs, if you put away one load of laundry.”

“And read one chapter from the Bible!!!” Alan jumped in from nowhere, and chimed in.

“Really! YES!!” he shouted, in glee.

And so he did.

Guess what Bible chapter he picked? He flipped and flipped until he found “a short one.” Also, I guess he picked it because of the subtitle “Saul kills himself.” Nice.

“Wow, Mom! They hung his head in the Temple! Whoa-ho-ho! I’m glad I didn’t live back in those days,” Joshua said, with enthusiasm.

“Yeah, that still happens,” I muttered, thinking of ISIS and company. Ew. It bothered me to even type their evil name.

Okay, that’s all the somewhat humorous things I can think of tonight. Does anyone have a movie that Joshua will love that will get a new character’s speech patterns in his head??? I’m thinking something like this:

Thor. Now there’s a role model.

Thanks for clickin’! 🙂




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