The Taters and Their Tots

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Wow, finally, a slow, quiet Saturday to catch up on my blog. Well, actually, I could be cleaning, but....nah. I'll do this instead! :)

We have continued the blizzard-like pace of summer so far with many visits to and from family members and events. Aunt Jenn Jenn and Gian are here in town today and we will have dinner tonight. Cousins Keith and Alex returned from San Antonio last weekend and spent the 4th of July with us (so much fun!). Our sweet friends, the Deckers, returned home last week after a wonderful 2 week visit, which included a very cool birthday party at the Science Spectrum.

In the midst of all this, we've been trying to keep up with learning our memory verses for Bible Bee. Riley and Kole have been working so hard and we are very excited about all that they are learning. They are hiding lots and lots of precious Scripture in their hearts... it's amazing! They've both learned around 75 verses so far, and are diligent in working on their Sword Study as well. We had our first Bee event last night, which included an obstacle course and Bible Bucks as rewards for correctly reciting verses. It was very encouraging and a lot of fun - especially when they got to spend their Bible Bucks!

The five of us Taters are headed out of town Monday morning for a camping trip in the mountains of New Mexico. We are so excited! We are looking forward to pulling away from the buzz of life and having sweet family time together. Keith and I went for a trip earlier this summer for a couple of days and scouted out a wonderful place to camp. I am hopeful that it won't be full when we get there this week. If it is, we'll move on and find something else. I'm sure we'll have a great time wherever we end up!

When we return, we'll be busy preparing for this year's VBS and continuing our Bible Bee work. It won't be all that long until it's time to hit the books again, but we are grateful to still have plenty of warm summer days ahead. August 28th is the date of the local Bible Bee. I'll be back with updates before then hopefully, but if not, certainly afterwards I will post about our adventures there.

I guess I'll close this disjointed rambling of randomness with some pics of our summer so far...

Blessings to all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The two oldest Tots embarked on a new adventure this week. We are participating in the 2nd annual Bible Bee. Basically, we have lists of Scriptures to memorize, much like word lists for a spelling bee. We are also studying a book of the Bible - Colossians. The contest will consist of a written test and an oral examination or "bee". The local bee is on August the 28th. Contestants will then be chosen for the National Bee, to be held November 13th.

There is a lot of work, but I'm convinced there will also be great rewards for taking on this seemingly enormous task. Please pray for us as we work together at hiding God's word in our hearts.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Science Fair Time!

Tomorrow is our first annual HSK (home school kids) Science Fair in Brownfield - yay! Well, sort of yay. We're not quite finished with our projects, actually, so today will be spent putting the finishing touches on (*read: preparing entire presentation x 3*.) I will do my best to get some pictures of the momentous occasion and let you know what the judges say, too. I'm still not doing too well at keeping up with this thing, am I?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Amazing Race??

The two oldest Tater Tots have a new obssession - Rubik's Cubes. They have both mastered the art of solving the puzzle, and now hold daily contests, racing against one another in an attempt to improve their solving time. I caught them on this video one evening, after many previous requests, and posted their video to YouTube. I guess it's a modern kid's dream to have something worthy of posting? They were so cute and so excited, I just had to share it! Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winding Down... Or Up?

This world of homeschooling, for those of you who don't already know, is a bit unsteady at times. There is just all this STUFF... mostly the stuff of life, that seems to want to infringe upon us. Well, the truth is, it wants to infringe upon public school, too, but public school does have the government as its enforcement team, so maybe that's why it didn't seem so tempting to let life interrupt it. Who knows. I don't even know if that made sense. So, my point is, it's really hard to stay consistent lately! We've had a baby in the house, and his Momma and Daddy, and then grandparents, and now, I have this sense of panicked urgency deep in my soul. I know, I know, it's really no big deal if we don't finish up every single assignment according to my original plan for this year, but darnit, that side of me that's slightly OCD keeps knocking at the door of my brain. So this week, we're doubling up on some work, in hopes of calming Momma's nerves a little bit.

On a more positive note, we have our first Science Fair coming up really soon. Another Mom in our homeschooling group is putting it all together. She's even rounded up some judges. Go, Elizabeth! But really, you're making me nervous. Just a little, but still... I hope our projects are "up to snuff". We're planning to work on them today, after we complete our other assignments. Everyone in our house is participating, even Nathan. He's doing a project with magnets, Kole is working on electrical circuits, and Riley is setting up a program for her NXT robot. The nerd in me is loving this. They are so excited about science! Yee Haw! And I'm really glad that none of them chose anything explosive for their project. I'm just sayin'.

Oh, and another positive note... My brother is getting married! The other brother. The one that doesn't have the baby and the wife. Just in case you didn't figure that out already. (Lord, help me. I'm a dork. Amen.) I'm so excited about his wedding. Well, I'm mostly excited about his wife - my future sister-in-law. I can't tell you how very sweet she is and how blessed we are that she is willing to join our family! Bubba? If you're out there, just one thing... please behave. We want to keep her. Thank you. And yes, I just called him Bubba. I'm a confirmed redneck. Mystery solved. And now, I'm a redneck with 2 sister-in-laws. After growing up with 2 little brothers, and all that entails, I think I've definitely earned the right to some sister-in-laws, don't you? Actually, I have a few already, but they are married to my husband's brothers, or they are my husband's sisters, (not sure what the official etiquette is on who actually qualifies for the term) so technically, just not the same. I can't really call their husbands Bubba and boss them around, since we didn't grow up in the same house. You understand, don't you?

Well, I guess that's all for the wind-up. Hopefully the wind-up will wind down soon. We don't have that far to go, it's just that we do need to get there eventually, and efficiently would be nice.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This little critter arrived at our house Sunday afternoon.

I can't believe how much he's growing and changing. And while we're on the subject of change - I can't describe what a change it is to watch my baby brother be a father. What a transformation that is! Tenderness and overwhelming love are just not things that used to exist under the category of "little brother" in my mind. But when I see my brother with this adorable little thing, it definitely becomes true.

The change in MY baby is remarkable, too. Normally quite jealous of the tinier creature in this picture, he actually took it upon himself to play with his cousin for a good 30 minutes yesterday morning. After that, Tiny was ready for a nice long nap. I think his Momma liked that! So, if we could just order a repeat of that for today.... ? Here's hoping!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Season of Change

The past year of our lives has been one of never-ending change! Some have been hard, some have been fun, but all have been needed and ended up blessing us beyond what we could have imagined.

The first change that occurred is Keith's job. He now has a full-time, benefits included, real-world, non self-employment J-O-B. It's been a HUGE change, especially for him, but such a blessing! We have more time together as a family now than we have ever had. The Lord even worked it out schedule wise for him to be off every Sunday, so that we can be involved in our church TOGETHER every week. We've never had that on a consistent basis before. We love it!!

Change is, of course, a constant in your life when you are raising children. But we have noticed a particularly strong surge of change in our children over the past year. This change has actually taken place more gradually than that. It began two years ago when we answered the call God placed in our hearts to homeschool them. It struck me quite pointedly this past week when Riley went with my Mom to Arizona for a week. Never before had my boys missed their sister so much! They have truly become not just closer as siblings; they are really best friends with one another. It is amazing to see how removing all that peer pressure to be cool and fit in and meet social norms (yes, even in elementary school) has freed them up to truly love one another. Don't get me wrong. They are not perfect, nor will they ever be. They still bicker over toys or games and get gritchy with one another sometimes, too. But all in all, the overflow of their hearts is love for each other and it is an awesome thing to witness.

The foremost change on my mind today involves my brother Drew and his family. They are moving. Drew has been offered a job at Keith's place of employment and has decided to accept this new challenge. He will begin a training program there on Monday and will be bringing his wife and baby to our home to stay until we can find a more permanent arrangement for them. This will inevitably inspire more visits to Brownfield from my parents. And who knows what will happen next? The prospect of the possibility of my parents living even closer and having my brother and sister-in-law and nephew close as well is very exciting to me, as well as challenging in some ways. I am so hopeful at the potential for growth in all our lives, in many aspects. This is the first time Drew will have really taken himself out from under the protective wings of Mom and Dad and tried to fly totally on his own. I am so proud of him, and admittedly, a little anxious as well. I so want him to succeed and be truly independent. These things can be especially difficult for those with the special needs and considerations he and Ashley face, but I believe that with faith in God and a heart willing to follow His direction, they will beat the odds.

So this season of change has brought me to a "bring it on" attitude. I'm ready to face whatever tomorrow brings, knowing that I'm not at the wheel, God is. And I'm never, ever alone. That's His promise. And I'm forever grateful.