Friday, May 29, 2009

Leviticus 18

We have established such a great bedtime routine with our kids. They clean up, do the pajama and tooth-brushing thing, and then crawl into bed to wait for mom or dad to tuck them in. Da Hubby and I have this little deal worked out that we rotate nights putting them to bed. The evenings we are not putting them to night-night land we do the dishes. It's a sweet deal for sure. Anyway, when it is our turn to put them to bed, we read several verses from God's word to them.

Perri has a Bible devotional book that is WONDERFUL for her age and she will not go to sleep unless we read from it. Duglin picks out a picture from his Super Heroes Bible and we read him the story it goes with. Daylor is reading the Bible from cover to cover on his own desire, so he has been making his way through the Old Testament. It is so wonderful that they have the desire to want to read God's Love Letter with us and we are thrilled for the opportunity to be there to answer questions and participate in this evening event. Time consuming? Yes. Absolutely worth it.

It's amazing the sense of humor God has. I am not one who believes in a stoic, straight faced, and humorless God. The Father I know is comedic and funny and has perfect timing. As I am typing this out, I can almost hear His booming, musical laughter. Why? Well, as much as we LOVE reading the Bible we have had to deal with an issue that we hadn't thought of. The word that strikes fear and perhaps dread at the thought of in every parent. The "S" word.


Daylor has done a great job reading through the Old Testament. He has enjoyed the old stories of Moses and the nation of Israel. Then we got to Leviticus.......

Let's stop here for a second so I can fill you in with a few details. One of the great things about homeschooling is that we have avoided our kids learning about things such as sex at too early of an age or before we have felt that they were mature enough to talk about it. Granted, they could still hear it from neighborhood kids or kids from church, but we have been blessed that our children have, for the most part, been innocent to what sex is.

Da Hubby and I have both recently felt like our boys were getting old enough to have "the talk." We have also felt the Spirit urging us to share God's wonderful plan of sex with them. Frankly, we have been ignoring it. OK, so maybe ignoring isn't strong enough a word to describe our eludement (Yay! I made a new word!) of the subject matter. Perhaps, if I'm "keepin' it real" our behavior would be better be described as running away as fast as we can screaming as we go.

I never thought this would be so difficult! I really thought I would be the parent that would be OK with dealing such an issue. I have to say I am terrified! I am very open to talking about sex. With adults. It doesn't bother me talk about it. But, with my boys, the whole thought of having that conversation gives me heartburn.

SO! I am doing what every good mother of sons should do and passing the baton to my husband to talk with them. I'm such a giver!

We both agree that this is a conversation that he should be having with them, not me. You would think this would give me a big sigh of relief. Our boyz adore and look up to him. He is wonderful father. Not just a father, but a Daddy. But after hearing his best opening liner he was going to give them for the conversation, I am now SERIOUSLY concerned. Oh. My. Word. I will spare you his, um, "enlightened" choice of words, but trust me when I say the kids would need therapy for life. Pardon me, while I go take a bottle couple of TUMS.

So, back to Leviticus. We were doing fine with all the sacrificial ceremony commentary and the cleansing techniques before entering the Temple that the Old Testament was providing us. We discussed all the promises that God had made and fulfilled through and to His people. It was beautiful and precious, the conversations that were being sparked through God's Word. It was all interesting, good, and wonderful.

Until Leviticus 18. Yes, that enlighten chapter of Leviticus. I will wait so you can go read it for yourself.

See, what I mean?

Apparently, God was tired of the brush-off we were giving Him concerning this issue and made sure that this was the chapter Daylor would read to us last week.

*CHOKE***COUGH, COUGH*****CHOKE*********GASP**** Defibrillator, please....

Yeeeeeeeaah. Hmm. No easy way outta this one. Well, needless to say we will be having the "conversation" in the extreme future as many, many questions have been sparked since this reading. (I hear your giggles, Jesus. OK, not really, but I bet You're getting a big laugh outta this one.)

So, all of you mommies out there who know what I'm talkin' 'bout, how did you do it? Did you use a book to go along with the conversation? What was it? Did you experience the heart palpitations at the thought of discussing such a serious, but wonderful thing with your kids?

I am going to lay it out there for ya. If your your feelin' my pain, PLEASE leave me a comment as I would would be eternally grateful for any godly advice and possibly the loan of a Pacemaker. (Just in case.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Silhouettes

When I saw that I ♥ Faces theme this week was "Silhouettes" I knew immediately what photo I was going to submit. This was taken in Destin a couple of years ago. It is of my little boy, Duglin, running down the beach. It has to be one of my favorite pictures. I love the reflection of the sunset on the water and the little footprints he's leaving behind. I also appreciate the fact that he was running so fast that he almost didn't make it in the frame. Totally fits his personality! Thank goodness for those fast shutter speeds and snappy ISO's!

To see some more incredible silhouettes head over to I ♥ Faces and join in on the fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Short and Sweets

Duglin's Grocery List...

When we asked what the fourth item was he said it was hats and strings (streamers). Literally, everyday is a party for this child. Oh, how he makes my insides smile. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What I Did on My First Day of Vacation...By Ellie May

This has been an issue my entire life. God must have given me a scent that attracts hurt, lost, or abandoned animals to my front door and to my husband's dismay, into our home. Da Hubby calls me Ellie May which I suppose if I were feeling defensive I could be offended at. Realistically, it's the truth. I have a very, extreme soft spot for animals.

I can't help it. It just happens. I seriously don't go looking for them. They find me. Lots and lots of them know where I live and deliberately plop themselves into my life.

Personally, I think it's my mom's fault. Although she would NEVER admit it, she has the same tender heart towards critters that I do so it must of been one of those inherited genes thingys. I will admit I am really bad. I bring home anything - snakes, turtles, squirrels, chinchillas, dogs, cats, bunnies, and an occasional opossum or two. I know it's crazy but they just won't leave me alone! And they know I just don't have the heart to leave them! (Oh, wow. I just realized that I am beginning to sound like the crazy lady at the end of the street with all the animals. Really, it's not like that!!! Much.)

Case in point, we found this on our back porch on Monday.

So sad looking isn't it? We think another bird must have stolen the egg from a nest but when it found out it had a baby in it it was dropped. Right on to my back porch. Literally it was minutes old. It's hiney was still attached to the egg. After detaching the egg from the baby, I took it inside and began to figure out how to save the little guy.. how could I have not? Look at it! It was one wiggly, little critter and seemed to have alot of strength so I thought maybe it would have a good chance of surviving.

Things were going just dandily as I was educating myself in the ways of baby sparrows. The site I found said to wrap it up in a soft cloth (Check!), put in a small container (Check!), put on a heating pad (Check!), and place in a quiet room (Check! Well, sort of, except for the sound of the back door slamming as the kids were in and out. And in and out. And in and out.). I was up with this! I could do this - baby sparrows are a breeze!! That's until I went to check on it and it was doing this.

Uh-oh. MAN! And to add to it's tiny patheticness, it was peeping! Aww! So heart wrenching! I had to do something! Well, after researching a bit I found out you can give it some softened dog food. Apparently, it works because she ate it. (That was a whole other ordeal.) I began to think that maybe I could rehabilitate the little guy here at our house and set him free when he got big enough. I had visions of releasing it to the wild to be with it's brothers and sisters. It was a beautiful thought... until I read that you have to feed it every 15-20 minutes, 24 hours a day for 2 days and then every hour to hour and a half for the next 7 days (No wonder mommy birds are so cranky!). Umm. I don't think so. Time to find "Tweety" a new home.

I found this great lady in town that takes in baby birds and does get up and take care of them 24 hours a day, God bless her! So we packed the little birdie up, kept it nice & warm on a heating pad plugged in, and headed to her house. Poor lady - she already had several birds she was helping and I am sure I added to her misery,but she was excited to see how tiny and strong the "hatchling" as she called it was. Poor thing, hadn't had a bath or been to sleep for an hour straight in days. Now THAT is dedication!

Here we are on the way to the nice lady's house all warmed with a heating pad and my footsies (I just love that color toe-nail polish!)

After dropping it off, I walked out of her bird filled home and I felt a huge sense of relief knowing that the little guy was going to have a chance with someone who knew what she was doing, and Da Hubby was breathing a sigh of relief that his wife wasn't going to be occupido taking care of a baby sparrow for the next few weeks.

Sadly, the baby birdie did not make it. She/he/it died the following day. But, I feel good that in its short little life it was comfy, warm, and fed by people who cared about its little existence. I can live with that.

Now I await the next little creature to come a knockin'. I'll be ready with a like I always am. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The BIG Reveal

Woo- Who!!! School is out for summer!

We normally have an open house every year for our families to come over and see all that the kidos are learning in that school year. The kids enjoy showing off all their work and art and we have such a great time! Usually we host the open house at Christmas time, but this year we had a very exciting surprise for the kids, so we decided it was best to have it at the end of our year.

We started out displaying all the kids work for the grandparents and family to see. Being that we are not in a "regular" schoolroom situation, it's such a good thing for them to be able to take pride in their work and be able to share it with other people.

We told the youngin's that we had planned a few games for them and started with the whole family participating in charades. THAT was fun. Here is a great shot of my brother, Brian, doing his best rendition of a monkey.

We then told the kids we were going to have a treasure hunt and handed them the following note:

All the clues had been printed out beforehand, put in envelopes, and hidden in various places.

Here is how it went.

Clue # 1 -

Sundae and Harmini have you first clue.

Go to their houses and find out what to do.

Clue #2 -

Congratulations, you've found you're first clue!

You'll need to go see Mrs. Lisa to find out next what to do!

Clue #3 -

Your journey has just begun!

Head back home and see Go-Go for more fun!

Clue #4 -

Now out you go into the backyard.

Check in Mr. Green Turtle. See? It's not hard!

Clue #5 -

Good job, our treasure hunters three!!

Time for clue number 6: Where would ice be?

Clue #6 -

BRRRRR! Thanks for saving me from the cold!

Now go open the dryer - Do what your told!

Clue #7 -

Go straight to your bathroom! I hope it's clean!

Check under the sink and look for something green!

Clue #8 -

Take this to Papaw and use it to buy your 9th clue.

You know how Papaw is. You may have to beg for a minute or two!

Clue #9 -

Instructions are held in Clue Number 10.

But you'll have to find it. It's somewhere in the den.

Clue # 10-

WOW! You guys have done great and you're almost done.
Go find an envelope on the trampoline, but be careful - Don't run!

Clue #11-
Mama and Daddy hold the 12th and final clue.
They will tell you what next you must do!

Clue #12 -
Congratulations!! Do you wonder what you've won?

Hasn't this been a boat load of fun?

Put the puzzle together and in one, two, and three

You'll know what the prize is in a quick jiffy!

So for the next 20 minutes the kids and grandparents all helped put the puzzle together. The end result was this. Perri guessed that it was a mouse, but everyone was wondering why there was a big piece in the middle that was missing.

I made them look all over for the missing piece, but finally confess that we had it the whole time. After torturing them for as long as I possible could, I then laid the final piece of the puzzle in front of them.

(Insert ear piercing screaming and jumping up and down as well as Duglin's remark of "Can we eat now?" here.

I also have made a countdown calendar for the trip! We have literally had this booked since February 2008 and it has been a miracle that they haven't found out! I feel like I can breathe now!

Hey, Mom! We're going to Disney World!!!!!!!!! Now you know our big secret, too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I ♥ Faces - 2009 Blurb Photo Book

This week's I ♥ Faces contest is for a Blurb Photo Book they will be making with the winners photos. They have asked that you find your favorite photo to post. This was soooo tough in that I have so many pics that I adore. So I decided to choose this picture of my boys a couple of years ago in Destin. It's definitely one of my favorites. I love the color, the warm light from the sunset in the background, and most of all, the reflection of how much they love each other.

I am submitting this photo into the Blurb book photo contest. If chosen, I grant I ♥ Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I ♥ Faces web sites.

Head over I ♥ Faces to join in on the fun!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Garden Update #1 & Other Stuff Too

Ooooooh, yeah, baby. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

Yes, those are what you think they are. Little tiny mater's! In just two weeks, my little plants have survived all the typhoons and rain and have begun to produce! Can't tell you how happy that makes my green, little heart. I know you are saying to yourself, so what? It's just a tomato.

Well, as you can remember in this post, last year was a umm, a rough year for our little tomato plants. In fact, even though we planted the buggers in April, out of 9 plants we got no tomatoes until October when the first frost came and stole what had started to grow. NONE. Yes, friends, I am ashamed to say that I have been known in the past as a tomato plant killer. Sigh...

Fortunately the tide seems to have changed this year and we have a great start to some healthy looking plants! Keep on keeping on, little babies!! Mama, wants some tomatoes!

Perri also decided she wanted to join the Green Thumb Society and plant a little flower garden of her own. A few weeks back our church gave the kids a packet of Cosmos seeds for the them to plant. We dug up a little corner of our backyard and let her put them there. BTW, the package said they grow 4 to 5 feet! Seriously!?!?! Should be fun to find out. Here she is showing off her little garden.

And here she is again, tolerating the fact that big brother wants to be in the picture, too. Notice her flared nostrils and expressionless eyes. Ya think there is some passive aggressiveness going on in this shot? Hmmm...

Here is my little drama queen sweet princess giving you her best and dramatic "this is my shovel and you can't have it" expression.

The child cracks me up, ya'll! Apparently God thought our family needed some drama when he chose to give her to us. Don't get me wrong, it's not the kind of drama from defiance or rebelliousness, it's the kind you get when you cross a Snow White movie with a Broadway musical. She lives in a totally different world than I do that includes talking to crickets and rescuing fallen leaves from being stepped on.

But, I love it. I love that she loves being a feminine, pink obsessed, stuff animal toting, twirly smocked dress wearing, little girl. She enjoys her childhood. I think all of my kids do. I am grateful for that!

Wow, I totally went off the path there didn't I?

Anyway, I better be off - I have TONS of housework to do. The Balentine Christian Academy officially closes for summer tomorrow and we are having an open house for the family to come see all that the kids have learned this year. I can't wait!

I also have a big surprise! SHHHHH!! It's a secret! But, I can't tell you what it is yet. NO. I am not pregnant you sick, sick person, you! :) You'll have to wait until Monday to find out!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Laughter

This week's theme for I ♥ Faces is laughter. While I have hundreds of laughter pics, I decided to pick two that are not necessarily technically perfect, but two that were very dear to my heart.

My kids photo is of the first time we took the family to the beach. This is the very moment that my kids first touched salt water. I will never forget the squeals and laughter as their toes first felt the waves on the beach.

My adult entry is of my amazing mother and father-in-law. I am so blessed to have in laws that I adore. This image gives me such a nostalgic, Americana feeling. I love how they are laughing and looking at each other. They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and they simply love each other to pieces.

If you feel like you need a warm fuzzy, head over to I ♥ Faces to see other amazing pics. Makes ya feel down right giddy seeing all the happy faces.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Weekend of Firsts

Hope all you mamas out there had a fabulous Mother's Day! My weekend was right nice, but soooo incredibly busy! We had much so to do. Lots of kewl stuff happened I thought I would share today. We had several "firsts" at the Balentine Kingdom that must be documented here and in the baby books. OK, maybe not the baby books, but EVERYTHING is blog worthy at our house. :)

First, Daylor is no longer in his booster seat. He is over the weight and age limit for needing one and had his first ride in the car sans the "baby seat" as he now calls it. Last week when he was sitting in it, it was a "booster seat". Now that we are ALL grown up, it officially has become a "baby seat". Mommy is sad but working through it. I suppose it would be unreasonable for me to ask him to ride in it until he was 21.

Then we ran to "the border" with the kids for the first time this week. They got their very first Taco Bell dinner. I know, we are bad parents for not taking them before now, but we have a VERY picky eater that rarely wants anything but McNasty's McDonald's. She actually decided that she wanted to try something different (with a little bribing) and went for a couple of crunchy tacos. You would have thought they were having a steak dinner - they LOVED it! Woo-Who - now we can go to two places! (Seriously, she is beyond picky, but that is a whole other post for another day.)

Speaking of steak dinner, the kids had their first steak dinner as well this week. (I know, how sad, we totally don't experiment much with food here - back to Miss Picky-Pants.) In efforts to expand the kids desire to eat a variety of food, we have a couple of kid cookbooks that we are letting one kid a week pick out something that they would like to fix. It was Daylor's week last week and he chose Teriyaki Steak Kabobs over Grilled Pineapple. Delish!! So good!

Daylor is totally open to eating just about anything. Literally, he will try anything. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Including octopus. With tentacles. And a head attached. And eyes still looking at you. Not joking. Anything. Gag.

Anyway, the boys said they really liked the steak. Perri took a bite then threw up a little in her mouth...and everywhere else. I'm not sure, but I don't think she liked it. Oh well, back to McNasty's and P,B&J.

There is also one other thing that happened this weekend that concerns my Perri. She finally got over her fear of walking through the house at night to come and get us when she is scared. It has been raining almost solidly for two weeks here and there has been many thunderstorms. All of my kids have gone through a period a fear of thunder, but Perri has always dealt with it much differently then the boys ever did. She does something we call "boody bumping." It is a coping mechanism that she has had since birth. There is a long, long story behind this and again, it will be another post for another day, but the main point is she overcame her fear and came to get us instead of boody bumping.

She has NEVER come and gotten us for ANYTHING, even when she was sick, when she has accidents, when it was thundering, when hail made the house sound like it was caving in, when fireworks were going off, when she's thrown up in bed. Nothing. It has been a source of guilt for me not being there and not knowing when to be there for her. She simply coped the best and most quiet way she knew and would boody bump for hours. Completely heart breaking for Da Hubby and I. It also leads to severe follicle issues such as this:

FUNNY! But, nor fun to brush out. Especially when you have a tender head like she does.

Anyway, I can't tell you how HUGE this is. HUGE! We have been trying for years to help her move from the rocking and "bumping" to coming and telling us she is scared instead. For some reason she has never been able to voice that until now. We spent a good part of the night and most of the morning holding and loving on her. What a sweet and precious Mother's Day present that was.
So, I hope that your Mother's Day weekend was as fun and blessed as mine was!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Short and Sweets

Perri coined a new term at our house this week. She informed her daddy and I that she was very excited that summer was coming. I asked her why and she said she was looking forward to getting outside to do some "excessorizing".

"Ex-cess-or-izing" - verb - workin' out and looking fab with a few accenting articles.

I'm thinkin' I need to call Webster's!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Hats

This week's theme at I ♥ Faces is hats. I am submitting a kid and adult entry this time around.

My adult entry is of my favorite people in the world, my 93 year old grandfather, "Peepa." Here, he is showing off his newest and 8th great-grandchildren who happens to be named after him. As you can tell by his amazing smile, he adores his great-grand babies!

My kids entry is of my daughter, Perri. We started taking pictures while wearing the hat, but it quickly got on her nerves, so she took it off and began to twirl it in front of her. I love the way this turned out! It is probably one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken! Thanks to I ♥ Faces for the inspiration!

If you want to be totally impressed by some very talented photographers make your way on over to I ♥ Faces for the hat festivities!