Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today ended part of a journey for Isaiah; he got his braces off!!  It is so funny to see how different he looks without them.  This all started last spring.  Isaiah had to have a palette separator because his palette was so narrow.  Then they moved on to braces on the top which he got in July 2010.  It is amazing to see how much his teeth have changed in one years time.

Here he is with Olivia last summer before the braces

This is the day he got his braces, July 2010
Here he is today!!  What a difference braces make!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We headed to Paducah, KY this weekend to celebrate my aunt's and my mom's birthdays.  On Saturday we had lunch at my cousins house (my Dad's side of the family).  The kids loved spending time with their cousins, jumping on the trampoline, and playing with the dogs.  I think Olivia enjoyed the dogs more than anything!!

After that party we headed to my aunt's house (Mom's side of the family) to celebrate my mom's b-day and my cousin coming home from medical school to work.  I didn't see the older kids most of the time we were there.  Isaiah loved having some boys to play with (my cousin has three adorable little boys)!!!  I'm not really sure what they were doing outside that whole time but when we left Isaiah and Emma were very dirty, so the must have had a great time!!  Of course, there was another dog at this house and Olivia loved playing with him too!!
All the cousins on my mom's side of the family 

We stayed the night at my mom's and went to church this morning.  Mom was gracious enough to cook dinner for us all on her birthday!!  The kids loved playing table tennis and the cool organ at mom's house.  We all had a fun weekend and really enjoyed getting to see all the family that we don't get to see often enough!!
Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day!!!

It was so beautiful outside today that we decided to have a little picnic.  The older kids actually got their school done in a timely manner so we were able to make our lunch and eat out on top of the play system.  They all really enjoyed eating outside.  There was a nice breeze and not many bugs!!  All we had to do after lunch was practice our music and have our Bible study!

I love days like this!  It reminds me of why we homeschool.  In the midst of the frustration that sometimes comes along with teaching my kids; we can have a peaceful and enjoyable time together just because the weather is great!!
Something cool also happened last night...I ran to the grocery after dinner and when we pulled in the driveway there were about 20 wild turkeys in the driveway.  The kids had accidentally spilled birdseed there earlier and the baby turkeys were loving it!!  I ran inside to get my camera and caught them just as they were leaving our yard!!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Not much has been going on here lately but school.  So far it has gone pretty well.  Both older kids have cried over their math; so hopefully they have that out of their system and we can proceed without further outbursts!! 

This year I have made a commitment to spend more time in the Word with the kids.  I have felt very convicted lately to fill them with more of God's truth and remove other influences that don't line up with God's standards.  It hasn't been easy to explain why we can't watch that show anymore or why that talk in inappropriate.  Funny how much my thinking has changed over the years.  If I could do it all over again we would have very little t.v., no cable and no video games.  But, alas, I feel like I must now have control over those things instead of completely removing them, lest I be the worst mom in the world (according to the kids!!)  All that to say I have really been enjoying using a Bible study from www.doorposts.com.  I have one for boys and one for girls!  It allows me to spend one-on-one time with each kids and we have had some really good discussions.   
You can pray for me that I stick to this change in our schedule; I tend to let Bible study fall by the wayside when things get busy. I don't want that to happen anymore.

On a much different note:  Olivia had her first PB&J today and she was so cute!!  She had jelly from ear to ear; she even rubbed it into her hair!!  I am pretty sure she enjoyed it!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

School, Carrots,and Pumpkins

 Well today was our first official day of school.  Overall things went really well, but I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was.  I felt like I was fumbling through things all day.  Also, I underestimated the ability of one toddler to distract everyone.  She was grabbing books, dumping pencils, screaming and wanting juice or snacks at every turn.  Homeschool will be very different this year with Miss O being so active!!
Here is Miss O ready for "school"
Another thing that has been going on here lately is gardening.  My once beautiful garden has been overtaken by weeds, heat, and bugs.  I am new to this whole gardening thing and I'm committed to not using any chemicals.  So far my squash, cucumbers, and beans are all dead.  Not much of a harvest this year, but not so bad for our second year!!
 Tonight the kids and I harvested our carrots!  They were huge and smelled kind of spicy.  I can't wait to try them and see how they taste. 
I definitely have a lot to learn.  These pumpkins/gourds were harvested about 2 weeks ago.  At the end of the fall season last year I threw all of my decorative pumpkins into the garden thinking they would just rot and be good for the garden.  Little did I know that this spring the entire garden would be covered in tiny pumpkin plants.  We picked them all out and left 3 or 4 of them in the corner of the garden to see what would happen.  Above is what we got!! Not much I know but the plants were overtaken by squash bugs!!  This gardening thing is a learning process for sure!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicago, Chicago!!

For weeks my kids have been chanting, "Chicago, Chicago!"  They were so excited to go visit Chicago for a few days with their cousins. We drove up early on Wednesday morning so we could spend the evening with a long time friend of mine, Michelle.  She was kind enough to invite us for dinner.  We played at a local park (which was much needed after spending 6+ hours in the car), and then went back to their home for Chicago style pizza and hotdogs!!  Olivia loved playing with their sweet dog, Maggie and Emma enjoyed girl talk with Michelle's daughter!  Later we walked the downtown of Wheaton to get some frozen yogurt!!  We had a great time of fellowship.  Makes me remember how much I miss sitting and talking with her; she is a great friend no matter how many miles separate us!!
The next morning we met up with Ryan's parents, sister and her family, and cousin and his family.  It is hard to travel Chicago with 16 people, but tons of fun!!! We headed out to the Museum of Science and Industry.  I was so excited....for years I have wanted to see the Body Worlds exhibit and it was in Chicago while we were there!!!  If you know me at all you know that the human body fascinates me. Of course the kids had fun too seeing all sorts of fun things.  There is too much to see in one day!!!
This is all the blood vessels in our body.  So cool!  They have injected the vessels with plastic and dissolved the rest of the surrounding tissue!!

Emma playing with the color cube!
The next morning we took the train and several buses to Shedd Aquarium.  I think Olivia liked this the most!!

After the aquarium we took a bus to the American Girl Doll store!  The girls were in heaven!  There were tons of dolls, clothes, and other things to look at.  Luckily we got out of the store without spending to much!! 
 Legoland was our last stop of the trip!  To say that Isaiah loved it would be an understatement.  He had a great time seeing all the statues made of Legos.
We had a great time on our trip but are so glad to be home!  Tomorrow we are starting school.  I'll let you know tomorrow how that goes!! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Can I have the best of both worlds??

For the past month my family has been attending a new church.  This church was started by our old high school pastor who Ryan and I both love.  In many ways this church is what my heart has been craving: smaller congregation, family integrated (ie. no Sunday school for the kids), and of course great preaching from The Word.  Today we attended service at the church that Ryan grew up in.  This church holds a special place in our hearts.  I began going to church with Ryan when we started dating some 17 years ago.  We were married there, baptized there, and have dedicated our children there.  Lifelong friendships have been formed and over the years we have poured our life into serving the community in this church.  Today we went back to celebrate the church's 37 year anniversary. Going back today after being gone a month brought back so many emotions about why we loved this church in the first place.  The teaching is solid and always based on God's Word and the worship is rockin' (which Ryan and I both love)!!  Neither of us can seem to discern where the Lord wants us.  We really miss serving on the worship team at a larger church, but we also love the small family environment of the other church.  The difficulty of the decision is also compounded by family and friends.  Our family and many friends are still attending the other church, while our entire small group Bible study, except one couple, have moved to the new church.  Ryan and I have been a part of this small group since before we were married!  We have been there for each other through dating, weddings, births of children, deaths of children, moves across the ocean, remodeling projects, surgeries, cancer.....the list could go on and on!  Obviously no matter where we end up, we will still have a bond with our family and friends. Nothing will ever change that!!!
I guess the only thing we can do is stay steady in prayer for the Lord to lead us where He wants us to be and that our judgment wouldn't be clouded by our own desires.  I would really love the best of both worlds in this situation but that is not possible.  One thing Ryan and I both agree on is that we want to make a commitment and we want the Lord to lead us to what is right for our family!!  Thanks for praying with me!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why vowel island??

I wanted to start this blog to help me remember what we do on a daily basis. I am a scrapbooker; but by the time I get to all the pictures, I have forgotten a lot about what happened. Remembering all the cute things the kids say and do is very important to me!! So why the name vowel island?? A trend has started on my dads side of the family to name all the grandkids with names that start with vowels. At first it was just a coincidence, but now we are trying to keep it going.
For those who may read this and don't already know me I will introduce my family. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Ryan, for over 12 years. We have three beautiful children, Isaiah (9), Emma (7), and Olivia (1) who I homeschool. Isaiah will be starting 5th grade and Emma 3rd grade. I hope to keep up with blogging several times a week to record what goes on here in our very blessed lives!