Follow our family as we journey through life.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mom of Boys Blog Hop!

The MOB Society (short for "Moms of Boys") is having their first annual Boy Mom Blog Hop! I have joined this fun blogging event since the majority of my life as a mother is devoted to raising boys. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

I am Jessica, mother of this tribe and wife to Michael. Our children are:

James age nine

Isaac age seven and a half

Henry age five and a half

Malcolm age four months
 And to spice it up a little we also have:
Margaret age three and a half.

We live in the foothills of Western PA. Since most of our family lives in Oregon, I use this blog to show off my kids, promote my etsy shop, and write reviews for The Old Schoolhouse. I love how busy my kids keep me, and I love the adventures of my male-dominated family. I also enjoy poo-pooing my friends that think it is such a shame that Margaret does not have a sister.

My boys are voracious readers. James is into the Percy Jackson series and really anything by Rick Riordan. Although Isaac enjoys these as well, Henry is frightened by many of these stories. Isaac is making his way through The Little House on the Prairie series.  Henry loves books about Saints, The Berenstain Bears, and anything Star Wars. The boys are super patient with their little sister, and will often endure the Disney Princess stories that she demands they read to her.

Thanks for stopping by to get to know us. Feel free to leave a comment or to follow us using GFC or networked blogs. Check out other MOB blogs as well!

7 Quick Takes

1. We had our first case of stitches! Isaac fell off his scooter in the alley and got a puncture wound to the forehead. It only required one stitch, but it was so deep that they had to do a CAT scan to make sure his skull was okay. You could really see into his head through this little tiny hole. He's totally fine, by the way, and the stitch is already out.

2. James and Isaac are enjoying their swimming lessons and are in their own little group at the pool. My boys are "special" swimmers. But hey, they get in the water each day without a fight and that is a thousand miles from where we were last summer.

3. After four years my kitchen is 99% finished. IT'S WONDERFUL! I'll post some before/between/after photos soon.

4. Our neighbor gave us a side by side fridge for $25. Trouble was, it didn't work. So we fixed it and put all our food in it. Then it gave out again. Nothing like a non-working fridge in a house with five kids. So we called a real repair man. Our $25 fridge has been repaired and now works like a champ. I guess we should start calling it the $125 fridge.  The old fridge has officiallly become our drink fridge. Thing about having two fridges is that you don't really know just how much you need two until you have two.

5. Now that the kitchen & bathroom are done, I am going to try to re-do the school room before we start daily lessons. I am looking for suggestions if anyone has one. I think I will head out to IKEA to check out storage thingies.

6. I can't decide whether to do first or kindergarten with Henry next year. He can already read, and finished a kindergarten math program, so maybe first? I need to decide soon so that I can get something ordered for him. Any suggestions?

7. You should have heard the comments I got when I took the kids to the public pool for free swim. I know I have a lot of kids. Do people think I forget that fact and they need to remind me of it? Among my favorite comments were: "When are you going to wake up?!?" "People should only have as many kids as there are parents." and "You're crazy!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Who said this baby could get so darn big?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The School Room~ AHHHHHH!

With only a month until we start schooling full-time again, I find that my school room is in need of a serious make-over. We spend about 40 hours a week in here and I want it to be a place of comfort and learning. But I need suggestions on how to do that.
I am already thinking about replacing the desks with long tables. That'll (hopefully) eliminate desk clutter. And I know I want to paint. When we moved in four years ago, this room was lavendar with bright pink trim. The ceiling is still lavendar, but the walls only have primer on them.
I am activitely getting rid of things in here, and have donated about four garbage bags of goods from this room in the last month. And I mean the BIG trash bags, not the wimpy kitchen ones.
The closet seen here has long shelves that extend about 18 inches into both sides of the opening. Is it worth opening up that space, or would that add to the cluttered look? What else can I do to maximize space and minimize clutter? I am also looking to save on costs as I don't have a ton of money to invest in this room.

Something is starting...

At Margaret's request we are watching the original version of the movie Annie.

Me, referring to Annie: "That little girl is so cute."

James: "Yeah... she is."


Monday, July 25, 2011

Art Camp: Session 2

I wasn't as happy with the second session of art camp at the Latrobe Art Center. The boys enjoyed the camp, but they brought home more "crafty" type work and didn't really learn any art technique. I guess the important thing is that they had a good time with their friends. Although for the money I spent I could have thrown one heck of a party around here for them and their friends and produced about the same quality of crafts.
Tie-dye shirts

Pressed pencil and marker on paper drawings

Marker on paper drawing

Color wire that has been twisted.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seven Quick Takes (a day late)

1. The heat wave appears to have broken! On Thursday night Michael and I were both up at 3:00 am and it was 83 degrees outside. Our AC had shut off and it was 81 degrees inside. That in itself isn't so bad, but the humidity was close the 90%. We have an awesome Solar Weather Station to tell us all these useful facts. Anyways, Michael was able to get the AC working again, but our house is so old and so big it is very difficult to get it cooled off. Friday night a big thunderstorm broke the heat wave and we are all much happier now!

2. I think Margaret is officially potty-trained. Months of bribing have finally paid off. I am not celebrating yet though, since we have had this kind of success before and it didn't last.

3. Malcolm started sleeping through the night at six weeks. I didn't really want to tell anyone for fear I would jinx it. People would ask how he was sleeping and I would honestly say "He is a great sleeper!" He would sleep from eight or nine at night until six in the morning.

4. Malcolm no longer sleeps through the night. He has always been a belly sleeper (shhhh) and has recently learned to turn himself over. Now he will turn himself over several times a night and wake up. Sometimes just putting him back onto his stomach works, but usually he has to be nursed. Sigh.

5. Michael leaves for Wyoming on Sunday. I am so jealous I could just scream.

6. Mema (Michael's mom) is here to help while Michael is away. We have been looking at furniture thinking we are going to change things around while hubby is away.

7. Our work crew is here today. We are trying to finish the kitchen. Four summers of kitchen remodeling may come to an end this summer!

That's seven! See you next week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Cuteness!

Margaret and her BFF

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cherry Festival

A family friend gifted "a treat" to the kids for our trip and we took them to a little carnival in the twon that we were staying in. The kids had a great time on the rides and each of them won a stuffed animal at a game.
Henry enjoys an obstacle course.
Margaret LOVED the kiddie rides.
First time on the Gravitron.
Why yes I am nursing my baby in the middle of a crowded carnival. Oh the experience of a mother five times over.
Dizzy Dragon ride.
The all-time favorite ride.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reading Aloud Challenge Week 1 for us

I have decided to join a little blog hop and catch up on our summer reading at the same time. Oh I had HUGE plans for summer read-a-louds with the kids. We started in mid-May and had plans to read the entire Percy Jackson series together. The first day went great with three chapters read. James and I shared the reading and we all snuggled on Margo's bed for the event. And that is where our journey through the Jackson series started and ended.

So I am hoping a little motivation will get us back on track. We are still reading around here, just more of the individual reading. Henry and Isaac are busy devouring the hundreds of Star Wars books that we own.
James is really into the Borrowers series. Of course, he reads so fast his tastes change daily.

And of course I want to include the place to feed your child's reading interest:

I have been a member for years and we have gotten tons of books from this site. It is a blessing to our large reading family. If you sign up, say that I referred you (using the email on the right side bar) and I will gift you the referring credit I get!

Beaches of Lake Erie

We went to three beaches on Lake Erie during our trip. Two were fantastic, and one was really yucky and gross (read trash, dirt, and swearing).