Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 29, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ... Monday, December 29, 2008

Outside my window...

The sun is shining brightly and
it looks far warmer than it really is.

I am thinking...

About all of the housework that needs to be done.
Getting the house back in order after Christmas celebrations will not be an easy task.

I am thankful for...

So many things. Family, friends, love, health, peace....
especially peace brought about by the prayers of others.

From the learning rooms...

Mostly focusing on Eli, so we'll be playing with
Play-doh, puzzles and bubbles, lots of bubbles!

From the kitchen...

I'll be cooking up some chicken for different meals this week
and making some vegetable beef soup in the crockpot.

I am wearing...

My favorite blue jeans and a grey hoodie.

I am creating...

This blog entry! Hopefully, I'll be creating a clean
and organized house this week.

I am going...

To run a few errands. I'd much rather stay at home.

I am reading...

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (again), and
planning a trip to the library today.

I am hoping...

for success in all I have to do this week. The list is
long and slightly overwhelming.

I am hearing...

just the hum from my computer and the tapping
of the keys. It's very quiet here today.

Around the house...

Things are a mess! For now, anyway. Eli is watching Spongebob
downstairs and the laundry has been started.

One of my favorite things...

Having a few moments of quiet time.
I don't always take the time to have that quiet time.
I'm trying to get in the habit of starting my day off with quiet,
God-filled moments.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Lots of housework, school plans for my olders,
therapy time with Eli. Lots of errands to run this week,
and hopes for the new year!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Just another day in the life of siblings at our house!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Fed Ex Man Cometh.....

And oh, oh, happy day!
He left a box by my door yesterday.

The box was filled with sweet berry delight,
covered in chocolate and wrapped up just right.

I was forced to choose. Should I hide? Should I share?
Could I outrun them all? Would they even care?

No, being the person I am, I stood,
and I shared them all with my pleading brood!

Each face was just beaming,
every eye was just gleaming.

For a few seconds it was quiet
as we all wrecked our diet.

And then they were gone, so quickly!
Our fingers were still sweet and sticky....

We all drifted, remembering the seconds before
and I pondered the Bakke Family lore.

The box of sweet goodness brought us great bliss
and I just can't comprehend last year's dismiss!

Thank you, Ronette!
We thoroughly enjoyed your blog give-away!
I wanted to take pictures, but the battery wasn't charged, and well,
we just didn't have time to wait!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HO HO HO!!!!!!!!!

For our generation, Santa was Christmas. My dad was a Santa expert and would do anything to help Santa keep his Christmas secrets. Christmas was a bit of a letdown in our family once my brother and I grew up.

My husband talks of telling his mother that 'reindeer CAN'T fly!' Oh, but Santa has a helicopter....

When my older kids were little, Christmas was all about Santa. Yet, somehow, it always felt a little off kilter. So, as the younger kids came along, we decided to play it down a little. Santa still comes to visit, leaving a gift for each of them, St. Nick leaves goodies in our shoes on Dec 6th, and Jesus gets a birthday cake on Christmas day.

Trying to focus Christmas on Jesus can become a major undertaking these days. You're considered weird if Jesus is bigger than Santa. And yet, it always feels awkward to think that anyone could be that confused. AND...willing to let their young charges think that way.

Needless to say, we try to put more emphasis on Jesus in our house while still allowing Santa his own special place. Kids are hold-outs, though. They believe. In spite of what they see and hear, they believe.

Childlike faith....

Now that's the lesson I want them all to really get! Hopefully, the transition of belief will float smoothly from childhood into an eternity.

So, a few days ago, my 3 yr old is pulling the paper off of a handful of stickers he received at the doctor's office for being what, compliant? I sat with him as he showed me the colorful stickers. He turned one over and smiled a smile that would melt butter. His shining eyes shifted from the fat man with the white beard up to my eyes. "Ho Ho Ho," he exclaimed.

How did he know??

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Yes, another birthday boy! Three years old!
Well, actually, yesterday was the big day.
Here are a few pictures of him trying to blow out the candles.

As you can see by his brothers' expressions, this was quite a spectacle! He kept huffing and puffing and blowing.....and nothing was happening.
He was working so hard! Finally, I was able to get his attention
and show him what to do.

Now, for his favorite part:

Yum! Happy birthday, sweet baby boy.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Look At You Now!

Check out this video by Mark O'Shea. It is a great, great song and a wonderful tribute to the kids/adults living with Congenital Heart Disease. The video was made at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, TN. This is where Eli's doctors sent us for a second opinion.

Enjoy !

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Found a great blog today...

I was just nosing around (err, I mean looking around) Sheri's blog, The Shades of Pink , when I saw a comment about a blog giveaway.

Okay, I'm a sucker for a giveaway. Who isn't? So, I clicked on the link to this blog:
What a great little place to visit! Good, clean, Christian environment all about home and family.... wonderful pictures. (Gina, you will love it!)
Nikki, I'm adding you to my list of regulars!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today he said.....

"I wa miyk", along with the sign for milk.
Two days ago, it was "gyu". A week ago is was just the sign for milk.
So, is it the ABA, OT and speech therapy; the multivitamin, vitamin C, cod liver oil; the weaning of the Amiodarone (heart med)?
All of the above?
I have a feeling it is the vitamins. We have been giving him omega 3 fish oil gummies for about a month. Four days ago, I switched to cod liver oil liquid with vitamin A and D. Yesterday he began to repeat words....clearly.
Is he cured? No, not by a long shot. But, he isn't non-verbal any more!

Going back a few days....

I have so many things I could be blogging about, but it is really difficult to find the time. I spend my on-line time checking out what my favorite bloggers are up to, then I'm off to something else.

I know this is old news, but I wanted to share halloween pictures. Halloween is a big deal in our house! My oldest has been a huge fan since she was tiny. She will tell you it is her favorite holiday. The candy, the costumes, the fun parties....it's just all too much for her....still! Did she dress up this year at nearly 18 years old? YES, and she even went Trick-or-Treating! (She'll kill me when she sees this!)

You do NOT want this nurse to take care of you during an illness:

Here are the others:

Baby Ninja

A pretty convincing mummy (If I do say so, myself...)

And I'm not exactly sure what this is, but it looks a little creepy!

For some reason I don't have a picture of the 7 yr old. He was also a Ninja. Hummphhh....

I'm also missing the group photo. I know they are on this computer somewhere. (Leave it to me to misplace something, even on the computer!)

Oh, well...

On another note, we celebrated Jack's birthday on Oct 30th. We also used that day to carve our Jack O'Lanterns. Here is the one I did for Jack:

And here it is in the dark:

We carved six pumpkins. These were everyone's favorites:

Halloween is like a formal announcement that Fall has arrived. It usually turns cooler, the leaves start to change and in no time, it's Thanksgiving!

Happy Fall!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gagorgo pee pee?

If you've read any of my previous posts, you probably know that my baby hasn't spoken much since he was about 15 months old, other than a lot of jabbering.

After 8 weeks of therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder, my beautiful little almost-3-year-old looked up at me this morning with the sweetest little grin and said,

"Gagorgo pee pee?"

I was standing in the bathroom at the time.
It took me totally by surprise. I stood there for a few seconds staring at him.
"Why yes, baby. I do have to go pee pee!"

Another Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday (tomorrow), Trent!
You are the most awesome 11 year old I know....
I love you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Happy 14th birthday wishes to one of my very favorite boys in the whole world!

I love you, Jack.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thinking of Clint

What would it be like if he were here with us? Our house would include another teenager.....more action, more friends. Could it possibly be any more noisy? lol

Would he be healthy? Would his 16 years have been smooth and easy, or full of pain and illness?

I wonder what it's like to celebrate your Sweet 16 in Heaven?

Happy Birthday, Clint.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Quickest Update Ever!

Eli is receiving Occupational Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, Feeding Therapy and ABA Therapy. Hours of therapy a week!

Last week he said............................................


Need I say more???


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Comic ....... Relief??

Upon approaching the children's bathroom in somewhat dire need, I found these curious black markings...

And this partial face.....
Of course, at this point, I knew the culprit would be the marker-crazy two-year-old. *sigh* Later, we discovered that Sissy's black eye-liner was missing...hmmmmmmmm......

I admit, I chuckled. It isn't often you are greeted with a smile (or smirk, in this case) by this particular apparatus. (I don't think Sissy was too happy about the stub of eye liner I found behind the toilet. )

I lifted the lid and found further evidence. Only a two-year-old would dare do this:

I went on about my "business" and upon preparing to finish with a flush.....

I was greeted by this:

Okay, now....this is just CREEPY!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm so excited...... First Sign!!

During last week's therapy session, they began working on using two signs, the words, and the modeled behavior. Since last Wednesday, we have been signing "MORE" and "MY TURN" every time we get the opportunity. We've been taking turns with toys and kicking the ball.

Yesterday, Eli started signing "MORE" when we would sign it. A couple of times, he also said, "MO" along with the sign.

This morning, he brought me his empty sippy cup. I asked him if he wanted more (twice). He whined a little bit and then, he did the sign for "MORE"!

It's just so exciting to watch!

Progress will definitely be step by step...

It doesn't get much better than this!!!

Memphis?? The last week of summer???

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A meme to give myself a kick-start...

I have so much swirling around in my life and my brain right now that I haven't been able to sit down and blog it out. It would probably help if I would just write it all out and release it, but I tend to hold things in a bit too much.

When I saw this meme on Gina's blog, I thought I'd post it here to try to give myself a kick-start.

Have you ever…

1. gone on a blind date? No, never did that.

2. skipped school? Ummm, yes. *blush* But, it didn't come naturally.

3. watched someone die? Yes, my son and then, 6 years later, my dad.

4. been on a plane? No, but I've always wanted to.

5. been on the opposite side of your country? Yes, I've been on the beach at St. Augustine and on the beach at San Diego.

6. swam in the ocean? Yes! (see above)

7. had your booze taken away by the cops? Uh, no, but came really close once in the 1980's. *blush* *blush*

8. lettered in a high school sport? No, they didn't give letters for art. lol

9. cried yourself to sleep? yes, many times.

10. played cops and robbers? yes

11. sung karaoke? NO! too. scared.

12. paid for a meal with coins only? yes

13. done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? yes!

14. cheated on an exam? Not that I can remember.

15. made prank phone calls? Maybe a couple

16. laughed until some sort of beverage came out of your nose? Oh, yeah!

17. caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes, every time it snows.

18. written a letter to Santa Claus? yes

19. watched the sunrise with someone you care about? yes

20. been kissed under the mistletoe? yes

21. ever been arrested? no

22. gone ice skating? No, but I've taken my kids. Again. too. scared.

23. been skinny dipping outdoors? no

24. had a nickname? Yes, my daddy called me Tootie and my granddad called me Tickle Britches. Very embarrassing.... At least it wasn't Bug Fuzz (my brother's nickname)!

25. been on TV? No, but I did a radio interview for LeBonheur Children's Medical Center during the radiothon a couple of years ago. My son and I auditioned for a LeBonheur commercial that same year, but he choked on his drool during the taping. I think that blew it for us! LOL!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two Words!! (It was a good day....)

I heard two words yesterday. My two year old actually SPOKE. He rubbed his little belly and said he was "hoggy". Later in the day, while enjoying a banana popsicle, he looked at me, grinned and said, "GOOOOOO"!!!

He hasn't said a word in days and days, so this was a welcome surprise.

So, even though two of my children were sick this weekend with fever and coughing, sneezing, etc., yesterday was still a good day. :o)

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Time To Fall Back.......



Or should I say, it's getting close to that time!  It feels like 100 degrees here today, so it's a little difficult to think that Fall is right around the corner.  But, it really is. 


So, in honor of Fall and the thoughts of a new school year,  HsKubes is having a great giveaway.  Her blog is very soothing and gentle, with or without a giveaway.  You should definitely check it out!






Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My First Ever Blog Awards!!

Sheri nominated me for both of these awards. Thanks, Sheri!! Now, I hope I do this correctly....


The rules for this one:

1.)Link back to the person who gave you the award
2.) Include the award on your blog
3.) Pass it on to 7 worthy bloggers (with links to their blogs on yours)
4.) notify those you nominated


The rules for this one:
1. The recipient must link back to the awards creator (it's right on the award)
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award (see below.)
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human).
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

Here are my nominees for both....

Gina at Gina's Public Diary, Leslie at Joyful Mother of Six, Christy at Training Hearts at Home, Amanda at The Towne House , and Ginger at The Honeycomb.

I keep tabs on these women usually every day (sometimes more than once!). They motivate me, inspire me, make me laugh, make me cry, make me laugh until I cry, touch me, cause me to stop, think, praise, rejoice....

Thank you all for telling your life stories!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day Of School....Part 2...With Extras

About 2 and a half weeks ago, my 10 year old and my 7 year old went off to school. Not such a big deal, I guess...

BUT, this was the first time...ever. All of my kids have been homeschooled since 1998. My oldest went to kindergarten and first grade. She came home for second grade and we've sort of been camped out here at home since then. Until now, that is.

Both boys are doing well in school, but I think the shine is wearing off a bit. The 10 year old wanted me to just 'go back home' this morning. That makes me sad. But, I know he really is enjoying the day because he is happy and talkative after school.

Anyway, my oldest two kids are still at home and yesterday was their first day of school. It was quiet and easy for them to concentrate all day....a first. We had a very good day and look forward to many more.

So, things are going well for us in the area of school. However, I am a bit torn. I prefer our old way of doing things. But I'm trying my best to keep it under my hat. Not easy for me to do!

My little one also started OT therapy today. He will be going to a rehab center for three hours of therapy a week. OT for one hour, S/LT for one hour and a combined OT/ST/feeding therapy for one hour. I am so happy that this is finally happening! He truly needs this therapy. The downside....each therapy is on a different day and the rehab center is an hour from home. They are trying to help us by getting all three therapies back to back, but their schedules are so packed with other little kids. Amazing how many little kids are in need of these therapies....

Now I'm really wondering how I am going to fit LPN school and studying to all this?!?! More on this subject later....

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I got this from my friend, Gina's blog.

I don't think I've ever done one of these, mainly because I have only a handful of readers.

There can be only a one word answer for each question, but I talk too much so I'm throwing that rule outha window!! :o)

Sport: Football (Dallas Cowboys!)
Game: Not much into games
Color: Green
Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Broadway play I have seen: None
Broadway Musical I have seen: None
Song: Really tough-too many to choose. I'm pretty extreme. Anything from Christian like Third Day, News Boys, Nicole Mullen, etc. to Nickleback, etc.
American city I have visited: San Diego, CA
Foreign city I have visited: Tijuana, Mexico (does this count??)
Book: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Children’s Book: The Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews
Classic television show: I Love Lucy
Recent television show: Grey's Anatomy (although I wish it were cleaner)
Actor: Robert Downey, Jr., Owen Wilson, Will Smith
Actress: Jodie Foster
Perfume: Ck One by Calvin Klein
Food: Anything Mexican
Dessert: Chocolate cheesecake
Chain Restaurant: Olive Garden
Local Restaurant: The Cottage
Car: Ford Mustang convertable or PT Cruiser, but settle for my Town And Country Van!
Condiment: Salsa
Kitchen Appliance: Griddle
Home Appliance: Washer & Dryer; DVD player
Beauty Product: Lipgloss and Eyeliner
Piece of clothing: Flip flops!
HGTV Show: Designed To Sell
Food Network show: Anything with Bobby Flay
Author: Ted Dekker, Angela Hunt, so many!
Male Songwriter: Mac Powell
Female Songwriter: none in particular
Holiday: Thanksgiving
Ballet I have seen: Not much of a fan
Disney character: Classic Disney-Mickey Mouse; New Disney-Lightning McQueen
Flower: Daisy
Alcoholic drink: Not into alcohol
Non-Alcoholic drink: Sweet tea, Coke Zero and on a good day-Mint Choc Chip Frap from Starbucks!
Magazine: Good Housekeeping
Animated movie: Ratatouille
Television network miniseries: The Thorn Birds (That was a good one, Gina!)
Season: I like something about all of them
Male vocalist: Mac Powell (Third Day) among others
Female vocalist: I just don't know-I guess I don't really listen to many female bands
Day of the week: Tuesday
Household Chore: Laundry (too easy with machines!)
Ice Cream: Rocky Road or Peanut Butter Fudge
Candy: Milky Way
Artist: No way I can pick a favorite: Monet and Van Gogh, I guess. Starry Night is my favorite painting.

Updating my look...

Just playing around with my template and colors a little bit. I never get enough time to do this!

I think I've decided to combine my homeschool blog with this one. I'm not exactly sure how to move posts, though.

I'd love to have a custom blog template. *hint, hint* But better than that, I'd love to figure out how to do it myself.

With so many changes in our lives, it just makes more sense to have one blog for everything.

I hope to blog about everyday life, public elementary school experiences, homeschooling high school, life with a child with complex CHD, and special education/therapies/biomeds for preschool developmental delays/autism.

Starting in late October, I'll either be adding about my experiences in nursing school or I'll be sitting in a corner somewhere staring out into space-not sure which!

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A New Year With Many Changes...


This summer has flown past.  It really is true that the older you get, the faster time goes!


This new year comes with several new commitments and some big changes.


We have been homeschooling since 1998.  We started when our oldest daughter entered the second grade.  We lived in Mississippi at the time.  We have fond memories of those early years-just the two of us, my only daughter and I-living and learning together.  Of course, the boys were in the background.  Never a dull moment.


After we moved to Tennessee, it just felt natural to continue schooling at home. 


We added another student to the mix.  Despite having a speech/language delay, he was a good little student, learning to read was fun for him and exciting for me. 


When it was time to add  the next student, he threw a kink into our plans.  He wanted to go to school.  He begged and expected to go to school!  So, he did.  He went to Kindergarten and even though he was sick for much of the first semester, he managed to do very well.   He came home to school for first grade.


When it was time to add the next student, I paused.  He wasn't ready.  I knew it in my heart that he was still too much of a baby for school-at home or away.  You see, he was the baby.  Or so we thought...for nearly five years!  The decision was made to move forward with Kindergarten at home.  We knew we could move at his pace and even repeat it, if necessary.


And then the baby came along.  The REAL baby.   He came in like an unexpected storm, a surprise, with his medical issues and now probable Autism diagnosis.  He changed us in more ways than you could ever imagine:  our faith, our trust, our sense of family, our strength, our joy.  And just as big as all that, he changed the way we lived and schooled.  


So, after a very difficult two years, we felt God urging us to grow and change once again.  Change is hard, though.  I fought this change for eight months.  Last month, I embraced it.  HIS will commanded it and I found the courage to follow.  


My middle boys are now in school.  I have peace.  I know they will be fine.     It has been just one week, but the routine has been set in place.  Both boys seem to enjoy it, although it does take a lot of hours away from home.  Our house feels quiet and empty during the day...and clean.    (Yes, even with the rambunctous two-year-old!)


If that isn't enough change...

 I applied and have been accepted into a local LPN night/evening program.  There are still a few details I have to work through, like money (!) before I can say I'm a part-time student.  We'll see.


See, lots and lots of changes!


Together, my husband and I will run our home business, provide time for my possible schooling, school our older two kids, manage our middle two and their schooling outside our home, and deal with the little one's many therapies, doctor appointments and upcoming surgeries.

It seems like a lot, but we have the Lord and each other.  We're a team and a family. 


  18 "Forget the former things;
       do not dwell on the past.

 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
       Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
       I am making a way in the desert
       and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19




Monday, August 4, 2008

Starbucks/Birthday Funny!

Yesterday was my birthday. My husband was out and about and decided to bring me a treat from Starbucks.

I LOVE Starbucks, but rarely spend the money on it. It's just so expensive.

Anyway, I was asked what my favorite item from Starbucks would be. I, without hesitation, exclaimed that I would love a grande mint chocolate chip frappaccino. With a look of confusion, he went on to place the order.

When he handed me my special birthday grande mint choc chip frappaccino, he commented that it would be easier if Starbucks would use English on their menu.

So, I'm like, "Thank you for the large mint chocolate chip coffee milkshake, Sweetie." LOL

Saturday, August 2, 2008

More pictures....

These were taken at Pizza Hut on the way home from our camping trip. Some of the pics are not great quality because of a very dirty lens.

This is the little guy. He was left out of the last post.

And this is what the kids call Daddy's mean look. (LOL)

These are pictures taken at Sugar Loaf Mountain. My oldest and her dad were the only ones interested and willing to make the climb. It was hot and well, hard! (I did it about 20 years ago, if that counts.)

Going up.....

A view on the way...

They made it!

Going back down....

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