Monday, December 8, 2008

My shocking gas station experience

I had an experience that was so unique (at least for me) I felt it was worth sharing. I leave work on Sunday and decide it is about time to fill the tank with gas. So as I am close to the Ashland on ramp I decided to stop by the Shell station there even though they were a little higher than Medford it was more convenient. I have filled up many times before here however up until now I have stooped at the island closest to the road. For whatever reason I pull into the island closest to the building and ask the attendant to fill it up as I go inside to get a cup of coffee. When I get to the counter the attendant tells my the total is $34.63 (sound a little high since gas has gone down but maybe I added wrong in my head. After paying I thank the outside attendant and get in my car. One last double check, as it does not sit quite right with me, to the price on the pump. $3.06 per gallon wait a minute the sign on the road says $2.06 so I ask the attendant. $3.06 per gallon? HE explains to me I pulled into the full service island where they wash you windows and stuff but that I could talk to the cashier. Obviously people have had problems like this before because all I had to do was mention the price and he refunded the difference.

$1.00 per gallon for full service I think still quite appalled as I drive away. Oh yea the window is still very dirty. -Jacob

Friday, December 5, 2008

Austin is 11!

Last Saturday our oldest celebrated his 11th birthday. People are always saying not to blink because they grow up so fast, and it is so true. The past 11 years have flown by.
Austin is a great kid! He is very happy and easy going. He is also very helpful and his younger siblings adore him. He is a very generous person. When he has something (a special treat or candy)he likes to divide it up to make sure everyone gets some, and with the $25.00 he was given for his birthday he decided to use it to buy either Bibles and tracks or a lantern for missionaries in India.
We love you Austin and we are so proud of you! It is amazing to see what the Lord is doing in you! May He continue to bless you and use you for His glory! -Dad & Mom

Here are some pictures from Austin's Birthday party on Nov. 29th.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

Jacob had 4 days off for Thanksgiving this year; which was really cool since he usually only gets Thanksgiving day off. On Thanksgiving morning we started the day with breakfast, and then immediately started rushing around trying to get the house straightened up for that evening when our guests would arrive. Including us there were 12 adults and 8 children.
Everyone brought food, but my job was to cook the turkey (at least one of them, we were having two to make sure there would be enough, and for leftovers). Jacob bought the biggest turkey he could find (24lbs.) a week ahead of time. I put it straight in the fridge, but on Thanksgiving morning it was still pretty frozen so I put it in a sink full of cold water thinking it would be fine by that afternoon when I needed to cook it. Well at one o'clock when I went to get it ready it was still quite frozen. I decided it was no big deal, I have cooked a partially frozen turkey before so I got it ready to put in the pan. That is when I discovered it was too big to fit with its wings tucked under so I had to leave them sticking up. Oh well so the wings get a little dark no big deal. I put it the oven at 400 degrees for about 1 hour so it was nicely browned on the top and then pulled it out so I could put the lid on and cook it at a lower temperature until it was done. Well... when I tried to put the lid on, it would not close. By this point I am starting to freak out. Jacob tells me not to worry about it and that every thing will be OK. I try covering the out side edge of the lid with tin foil and hope that will help keep the turkey from drying out. About an hour later I check on the turkey again and baste it and decide that the tin foil is too hot and hard to deal with so I discard it and hope for the best. At four o'clock the turkey is not as close to being done as I had hoped it would be at this point so I am still freaking out hoping it will be done at five when everyone is supposed to be here ready to eat. Well for the first time ever everyone shows up early and I am still waiting for my turkey to finish cooking. I am really embarrassed, but I try not to show it. Finally at 5:00 my meat thermometer says it is done Yeah! So after a few last minute things we are ready to eat at 5;15, only 15 min. late! Also I don't think anyone noticed (except Jacob) that I was totally stressing out over it. But now I've told them (whoops)

On Friday morning Jacob woke up at 4:45 and headed off to start our Christmas shopping while the kids and I stayed home sleeping. He made it to four different stores before coming back to pick us up around 7:30. We made it to four more before the 6 hour sales ended. So now most of our Christmas shopping is done! After coming back home and relaxing for a few hours we went out again with my little sister Edie to Costco to get Austin's birthday cake for the next day. Then we went to Pizza Hut for dinner so the kids could get their free pizzas from the Book It Program.

Saturday was Austin's 11th birthday! For breakfast Jacob and I make him breakfast pizza, and then it was time to start cleaning the house again for his birthday party that evening. This time there are 12 adults and 14 children coming for dinner. For dinner we have burritos, nachos, and tostadas.

Sunday morning we went to church and our pastor makes a comment about people stressing out over burnt turkeys; Jacob elbows me in the side. Then we came back home and spent the rest of the day relaxing! It was a very busy weekend but we all had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pampered Chef Giveaway!

My sister-in-law is an Independent Pampered Chef Consultant, and right now she is having a free give-a-way! Check it out at Hope you win!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Field Trip

On Wednesday we went on a field trip with some other homeschoolers to the Butte Creek Mill. It is the last commercially operated water powered mill west of the Mississippi. It was neat to see how they grind wheat into flour. They gave all of the kids sample bags of wheat to take home, and Jacob washed some rocks and let the kids try and grind theirs into wheat. They quickly realized how long it takes to do by hand!

At the mill they have a General Store to sell the different grain products they make there. We decided to try their pancake and waffle mix and bought some real maple syrup to go with them (none of us had ever tried real maple syrup before). Since Jacob was off Thursday we made our pancakes for breakfast; they were so good! You could really taste the wheat inside. The whole family loved them.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A School Day At Our House

A good friend of mine wrote on her blog about one of her days homeschooling and I enjoyed her story so much I thought I would share how our days go around here. So here it goes...

6:58am Ethan wakes up hungry. I am really tired from staying up past midnight the night before with Jacob, and Ethan woke up 3 times during the night. I grab him and nurse him while still laying in my bed. Jacob is already up had breakfast and is in the shower.
7:15 I iron Jacob's shirt for him and wake up the rest of the kids who are still sleeping. I change Brendan and Ethan's diapers and get Ethan dressed. Then grab cereal out for the kids to start eating.
7:30 Jacob leaves for work and I throw a load of laundry in the wash, get dressed, and then join the kids for cereal. When we are done I send Karissa in to take a shower while I do the breakfast dishes and dinner dishes from the night before. Then dress Brendan; have the other kids get dressed and have them work on picking up the floors that are still messy from the day before. Aleigha comes out of her room wearing shorts and a tank top (apparently she doesn't know it is 43 degrees outside) so I send her back to her room to change.
8:40We are finally all at the table ready to start school(40 min. later than I like). We pray, do a Bible study, and then work on the kids memory verses. When we are done with that I start doing Arithmetic with Karissa while Austin starts on his Arithmetic Quiz he has, and Tyler and Aleigha work on writing.
9:05 Karissa starts her Arithmetic page, while I move on to Arithmetic with Tyler. Austin is now working on his penmanship. Aleigha and Brendan decide to fight over a bag of marbles that didn't get put away. The bag rips and now there are about 60 marbles all over the living room floor. I have a talk with them about fighting and then have them pick them all up. Ethan needs his diaper changed again and then I get back to school with Tyler.
9:15Ethan is hungry again so I feed him oatmeal while doing story problems with Austin and quickly review dividing fractions.
9:25 Time for me to check Austin's Quiz (100% A+ YEAH!) and check over Tyler's handwriting page.
9:30 I give Tyler his Arithmetic test and Oral Arithemetic test, and discover I did the wrong lesson with him earlier today. Oh well. (Tyler gets 100% on both of his tests too!)
9:45Now I start working on numbers with Aleigha. Brendan starts shouting "GUYS WATCH!" as he runs down the hallway as fast as he can pushing Aleigha's baby doll stroller and saying he is mowing the lawn.
9:55 Ethan is tired and ready for his nap so I go sit in the living room and rock him to sleep. I lay him down then change Brendan's diaper. Brendan then asks me to read him a book so he, Aleigha, and I snuggle in the rocking chair and read "Green Eggs and Ham" while the other kids work on some of their seatwork pages.
10:05Time to check over Austin's arithmetic page for today and the last couple of days (I am behind). I read Tyler his story problems for his test.
10:35 Brendan decides Ethan has slept long enough now so he wakes him up.
10:45 I give the kids a break from school, check our e-mails, and print some coloring pages off for Brendan and Aleigha.
11:05 I have Brendan and Aleigha work on their coloring pages while Austin and I start health. 2 min. later Brendan tells me he is done coloring and wants to watch a movie. I make him wait a few min. and tell him to go color some more of his picture.
11:15 I turn on a movie for Brendan and Aleigha then work on language with Austin.
11:30 Ethan needs changed again. Then it is time for spelling with Karissa. After that she recites her poetry to me. When we finish I do spelling and poetry with Tyler, and then poetry with Austin.
12:00 We take a break for lunch. Ethan is being a little fussy so I have Karissa hold him for me while I make toasted ham and cheese sandwiches. When Austin finds out what I am making for lunch he says that I am the best mom in the world and Tyler quickly agrees (they must be getting tired of peanut butter and jelly). Karissa then asks me why the butter goes on the outside of the sandwich instead of the inside. I explain to her it is so the bread won't stick to the pan and so that the sandwich gets nicely browned. To which she says "you mean nicely black" (ok so I got distracted). During lunch I notice that my daughters haven't had their hair brushed and realize I haven't brushed mine either. After we eat I fix our hair and Karissa starts to wash the dishes without being asked :). I then spend some time playing with Ethan.
1:00I get Ethan layed down for another nap and have Brendan and Aleigha have quiet time for 20min. I work on science and spelling with Austin while Karissa and Tyler do more of their seatwork. Austin gets done for the day.
1:40 Ethan wakes up and I nurse him while Tyler reads me a book; then we do science togther.
Ethan falls back to sleep so I lay him down again and he gets woke up again 20min. later by Aleigha and Brendan jumping on to the couch to read a book.
2:15 I change both the little guys diapers again and lay Brendan down for his nap. I then start working on phonics with Tyler.
2:25 Jacob calls me at his lunch and I spend the next 20 min. talking to him. Then back to school with Tyler and we finish his school for the day. Aleigha and I do her phonics, and she is now done as well.
3:05 Karissa and I do her language and then science together, she is now done too and heads outside to play with the other kids.
3:20 Brendan wakes up cranky so I check Karissa's arithmetic book with Ethan in one arm and Brendan in the other.
3:30 Brendan still wants to snuggle so we read a book about police cars and then "Good Night Moon". Then he tells me he is hungry again so we go to have saltines with peanut butter. After I butter a few of them Ethan decides he is hungry too so I have Austin finish buttering crackers while I feed Ethan his carrots.
3:40 I check Karissa's language, and her and Tyler's seatwork books and finish school at 3:58pm.

This blog ended up being a lot longer than I thought so as to not bore you with the rest of my day I think I will finish it up here. So that is how a school day in our house goes (at least that day (: ).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wow Pictures

These were sent to me as "National Geographic BEST pictures for the year" by email. I have no idea of their true source but WOW these are awesome.

What are we teaching these kids?

Yesterday, I was working with our 4 year old daughter Aleigha on her letter sounds. She already knows the vowel sounds, so we have started working on the consonants. When I pointed to the letter M and asked, "What does this letter say?" With out missing a beat she replied, "McDonald's."


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

He who has found a wife has found a good thing!

The book of Proverbs contains countless bits of wisdom. Among those a declaration about finding a wife which proves amazingly correct in my case. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22

I found my wife in a parking lot while cruising town in High School. At that time almost everyone would spend the weekend nights cruising up and down the two main streets in our small town. Usually the different “clicks” would find a parking lot somewhere along the route to gather. OK I am older now (not old but older) I can freely admit this practice was a waste of time and quite frankly silly but such is life. Well this night ended up not being a waste but rather the beginning to almost everything good in my life (especially as it led to my salvation). This night through friends of friends I met Angie and we seemed to hit it off right off the bat (I even let her drive my truck 1960 Ford pickup with 3 on the tree). And it is clear she must have recently received a head injury, although to this day she will not admit it, because she thought I was funny. The Lord used this as the beginning to a long (at least until the Lord returns) and happy life.

I am truly blessed. Proverbs 31 goes on to explain the virtues of a good wife. These characteristics  I see clearly in my wife and I have therefore obtained favor.

Proverbs 31

V10 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” My heart finds rest within my wife. There is a safety unexplainable.

V13-14 “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”  Well I have never seen her seek Wool but she is great at crocheting J. Actually this verse talks about the dedication to take care of her family. These days it is about what you can get for your family. That concept is wrong according to the Bible rather the concept here is what you can give to your family. Angie is truly selfless in her dedication to me and the kids.

Verse 15 through 19 speak of unwavering dedication, a quality which my wife clearly exhibits’.

I am truly honored by her demeanor as in v23.

V 26-31 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Her own works praise her in the gates. How true that is over the years she has poured into her family and we both reap the benefits daily as we see our children doing well.

Another important virtue is humility. Case in point she would kill me if she knew I was writing this post about her. She is not one to "toot her own horn" as the expression goes. And as I talk with her I believe she thinks she is not who she wants to be as a mother or wife, however I am hard-pressed to think of her insufficiencies. As I think about the Joy I have in my life I am naturally drawn to the gift the Lord gave me in my helpmeet. She is definitely my completer. In fact we enjoy playing games together and I have told her more than once she is my completer in that way as well. I am the winner, she is the looserJ.

This post is not a rant to tell you my wife is better than yours or you (although she is) but an opportunity to encourage you to take joy in your life. Think about your helpmeet. Think about the blessings and joy she brings to your life. Choose this day to see her through the eyes of the Lord and give thanks for her. If you are the “her”, put your family first (after God) and invest in the one work that will give you true praise from your family and the Lord.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

As we were looking for a photo for our profile, I came across this one that I created with photo editing software. I enjoy playing around with images and while people think we are nuts for having 6 kids at least we don't have this many.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This is my eighth year homeschooling. It is amazing how fast time flies. Austin is in 6th grade this year, Karissa is in 3rd, Tyler 1st, and Aleigha preschool. I was a little nervous about how things would work out this year (homeschooling 4 kids, plus a 2 year old and a 4 month old), but so far it is going rather well. I made a daily schedule for this year and it is proving to be very helpful. It keeps me on track and focused. I am using the Abekka curriculum again this year and I am really enjoying it. 
For this year,I have decided to increase the number of  science, cooking, and art projects with the kids to make things a little more fun. We made a chocolate mousse cheesecake the second week of school, which turned out beautiful and delicious. The kids were very proud of it, and were very excited to share it with their dad (our very willing taste tester).


Monday, September 15, 2008

Now to the title of our blog Joy;

Joy is not often (although it should be) distinguished from happiness. Happiness is a feeling, a state of happening, even just an emotion. While happiness brings pleasure it will not last. It is fleeting always requiring you to search for the next feeling. Joy is a choice! You look at the events, the circumstances, the moment and decide your attitude. It may even be best described as seeing the big picture. Now to be very clear I am not talking about putting yourself in a frame of mind to change the world. Nor that you can will your problems away simply by putting on a happy face. The big picture must include that big God. Without him I am nothing, I would live my life being happy at times and just like before I met Jesus I might have even told you I have joy. There is truly no comparison and while that might seem like a way to make myself seem exclusive or “better than” others it truly has nothing to do with me. I am not good, God is good. I did not achieve, God sacrificed for me. I am not getting better, God is making those unhelpful things  in my life fade away.

Joy is seeing my redeemed life through God’s eyes and being in the moment. Why discuss joy? Well even as I am truly blessed I do struggle with being joyful. I read a quote from another blog recently (sorry I forgot the reference and it is not a exact quote) “I recently saw a picture of my kids and I on a picnic. I wish I could remember what we talked about that day. What treasures did we find as we walked along” This quote made me think. Not immediately but it is one of those things that hits you later on. I am so “in to” moving to the next thing or completing a task that at times I fail to miss enjoying the moment. To take the extra time not just to listen to my children but to go deeper. Ask them questions explorer who God is growing them into. Example: After a long day at work I find we need milk (we go through about a gallon and a half a day and our fridge holds about 4 gallons) I have the choice to grab the family or maybe just one of the kids and enjoy (find joy in) the moment or I can get frustrated because I have to go out to the store after a long day of work and waste time I could be spending relaxing and instead go to the store by myself with a grumpy attitude.


We (in Christ) are a work in progress. Would you join me in living every moment to the fullest? It is not about what happens to you but about how you choose to react. Jesus says I have come to give you life and that more abundantly” let’s take him up on the offer.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Post

We are new to this blogging thing so at this point we are still trying to figure out what exactly to include in our Blog. Our desire here is to keep in touch with friends and family and provide an interesting point of view on the world. You say how is it you say your point of view is so interesting. Well we have the 6 most amazing children on earth, me and my wife are deeply and passionately in love (also best friends), and we are focused (even though sometimes it gets a little hazy) on the giver of life and redeemer of the world. All of those plus many other blessings give us a deep Joy beyond what pleasures of this earth can bring.

This is the first of many post to come. Some will be written by Angie some by Me. Even though I am sure you will not like her post as well please do not tell her so. Bye for now.


Trips to Grandma's

Today we went to Jacob's grandmother's house so he could help her out with some yard work.  We go over there weekly so he can mow her lawn and help her with any thing else she may be needing. The job today was pulling out about 100' of hedges out of her front lawn so she can have a fence put in. It ended up being a lot more work than Jacob expected, even though we used the Suburban to do most of the pulling. 

When we were finally done there, we went over to visit my parents who live in the same town as Jacob's grandma. The kids all went swimming with my mom and then ran around playing in their garden,eating tomatoes(my parents have 56 tomato plants) and playing with the chickens (who are so fat and spoiled from all the extra produce from the garden my parents give them). My younger sister and her friend Jen also came over and we all had dinner together. It was a very nice evening. 

My posts are better than Jacob's. -Angie