Search This Blog

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fun with Sound

Today was a LONG day.  Both kids slept in a little, then we read some books as has become our morning ritual.  We had a good breakfast, then got everyone dressed and headed to the doctor.  James was cleared to return to all activities, without an additional xray.  He was trying to hang from the counter while we were checking in.  But he flipped out when the doctor walked in the room.  I think he remembered the pain he was in last time we were there.  By the end he was smiling and gave the doctor a high five.  Big difference from last time!
We spent the rest of the morning at grocery stores, home for lunch and naps.

With a slightly later nap, both kids slept later than usual.  By the time Carolyn was done listening to her book, James was up.  We finished reading the last sound book and then had some fun.  We made a "telephone" out of string and 2 cups.  Both kids had a blast playing with it and taking turns listening/talking.  I also filled 5 wine glasses with varying amounts of water and let them play using a spoon.  They really liked and switched between playing the glasses and with the phone.  Great learning afternoon!

And then our night turned into running around cleaning in a hurry.  Jon was out looking at houses with our realtor and she got a call for a showing.  I had 30 minutes to get the house in show shape, with both kids!  In the end, I did the best that I good and took the garbage out with me on the way out.  We headed down to the park to let them look.  Fingers crossed that they liked it, because that was terrifying.  It's a couple relocating for a new job, so they could want to move quickly which could be good.  We have seen a potential rental house that's only $1k/month.

I added pictures to some previous posts since I uploaded tonight.  Here's the crafts we have done so far that I took pictures of:

Ready for a 3 day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sound books

Today was a bit of a lazy day.  Had planned to head to the beach, but just didn't feel like packing everyone into the car (now you see why we NEED to move!)  The kids were playing nicely on their own as while, so I didn't want to interrupt that.  After breakfast they played together in Carolyn's room for a while, and then came out in the living room to play store.  They had taken the letter and vehicle magnets off the garage door and put them into a basket, it was their money.  For a while they pretended to buy things, then would take the money to the bank for me - a way to give them the money back.  After a while this degenerated a little and then I was cooking things for Carolyn while she didn't do much.  So I suggested we head downstairs.  I got in my workout while the kids played some more.  They nearly emptied out the kitchen onto the table down there eating "lunch".  Amazing how much they'll play on their own and use their imaginations when left alone.  Afterwards we came upstairs and read some books before lunch.  I am often amazed at how much both children love reading!

After a short nap, Carolyn listened to another book on tape.  Then she picked up the remaining sound books to read.  While I finished my work, James woke up.  So I ended up reading 2.5 books about sound to both of them.  The first and last were non-fiction, while the middle was fiction.  I like to mix it up as I feel that Carolyn often relates to the fiction better.  Got some ideas too for projects we can do, especially this winter.  String 2 cups together to play telephone.  Make a pan pipe out of straws. 

Hoping that both kids get some better sleep tonight, because they were both exhausted tonight.  We have James' collar bone check up in the morning and then we're heading to 2 stores for grocery shopping.  Jon is going to look at 3 houses on his way home from work.  Looking forward to a 3 day weekend though!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sense of sound

Another pretty good day today.  James was up early, before Jon left for work.  But Carolyn slept until 7:40, possibly a new record for her.  Although she was up at about 10 last night with a night terror.  They seem to happen about once a month now, when she's extremely tired.  So hopefully the extra sleep this morning and decent nap today will help for tonight.  After breakfast we gathered the library books and headed to the library.  I gathered a bunch of new "preschool" books for Carolyn about the 5 senses, community helpers, and a couple books for math lessons.  Both children enjoyed playing at the library for a while.  Stopped at the store on the way home, talked to the neighbor for a while, read some of the new books, then had lunch and naps.

Carolyn started off listening to a book on CD again.  It's developing into a really nice transition time for me, to wrap up anything I'm in the middle of and transition to smaller emails I can work on while helping her.  Although I need to reorganize my closet a little to make it easier for her to get the CDs and books.  Then we read 2 books about sound.  The first was more so about hearing, explaining the ear as well as how sound is a wave.  Lots of good pictures and a few key vocab words.  Then we read a picture book about the sounds of the different seasons.  Carolyn got a little annoyed I think with me trying to demo while reading to her, so asked to do a project.  I pulled out her next book to make and after reading it together she worked on cutting and pasting the sentences.  By then James was up, so she moved to coloring in the 2 books she's completed.  I encouraged her to color more detail and she did a great job with it.

I'm thinking tomorrow I will push a math lesson a little bit since it's been a few days.  I'm hoping also that James will sleep later, since I don't have any demos.  Overall things continue to go well though and Carolyn's behavior seems to have really improved.  I think she needs the challenge of learning some truly new things each day. 

James can count to 3!  He does it consistently now, and even counts objects.  We're working with him a little on identifying colors as well.  He can get green most of the time, and that seems to be his favorite color.  But we're working on the others as well and he's coming along.  He enjoys listening to the books on CD here and there as well.  While he doesn't page through the books really as he's reading, I figure it's not horrible for him to listen to a story being told.

It's amazing how different 2 kids brought up in the same house can be at this young of an age!  Haven't decided what's on the plan for tomorrow morning.  But strongly considering the beach or a spray park since it's going to be a HOT one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

C is for Clock

What an awesome day and beautiful weather!  Got a bit of a slow start this morning, Carolyn sleeping until 7 so didn't get to breakfast until about 8.  By the time I was showered and everyone was dressed it was about 9.  I had decided to get my workout in after naps, so wanted to keep near the house.  I remembered we had received a case of playdoh for Christmas (thanks Dad) but never got around to opening it because James was still eating everything and then the house was on the market.  So with the beautiful weather, we took it outside. Only opening 4 colors, they had a blast.  We made balls and then compared their sizes.  We made different shapes.  And then James starting rolling things down the driveway.  So I suggested we make different shapes, and proceeded to make a sphere, cube, and cone.  Carolyn added a circle and then tried to roll them all down the driveway (love having a small slope for this!)  Obviously the sphere won and we talked about that a little. 

But then their imaginations just ran wild.  It was so awesome to watch and made me think about what everyone says about today's kids.  They don't get enough free play time and aren't left to use their imaginations.  We made cookies, James cooked them on the concrete sticking out from the garage.  They turned playdoh into a workout too, running all over the yard.  We made a motorcycle, scooter, bat, and bat food (Templeton from Charlotte's Web - really a rat).  I don't even remember all the different things we did.  They played with playdoh for <1.5hrs before I called an end to it because James was clearly done.  Will definitely bring this back out in about 2 weeks or so because it was an awesome hit.  The kids then rode around until getting too hot and thirsty that we came in for a few minutes before lunch.  I have a fear that sending them to school will squelch this imagination.

Both kids slept better today, leaving us with about an hour for preschool activities.  Carolyn read a book on CD and then we worked on the letter C.  She wrote it, found it, then we read Hickory Dickory Dock.  Another poem memorized for her and definitely a letter mastered writing.  It will be interesting to see if there are any letters that give her trouble.  She then cut out and out together a grandfather clock.  She enjoys these projects so much, even though they're very simple.  Will post pictures when I upload at the end of the month.  James woke up as she finished, so she finished her "I See" book as he got some of his snuggle time.  She was excited to finish her second book that she can read on her own.  I will need to spend some time this weekend printing up some more letters and books I think.  I think these books are going to be exactly her way into reading too!

After snack we walked down to the park so I could workout.  I was a little nervous at first because sometimes James is a wanderer.  But both kids spent my running time chasing me.  They pretended to fall and nap in the field.  We exchanged high fives and walked together through the field.  It was a lot of fun and nice to get in my sprints.  Afterwards I pushed the kids on the swings, they went down the slides and then we wandered home.  Both kids seemed pretty exhausted by the end of the night.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Had a great first day with Jon at work.  Didn't have much time this morning with early gymnastics.  So we had breakfast, got everyone dressed and did Carolyn's hair, put together a snack for James, and went out the door.  James was somewhat sad to not get to play again this week.  But hopefully he'll get to the next time we go!  Carolyn had another fantastic gymnastics class.  She can kick up into a handstand, do a backward roll down a wedge, do an almost perfect cartwheel, jump and land on a beam, and do a back walk over off a mat!  There are 2 other girls that are older than her but can not do as much.  It is amazing to watch how easily she learns these tricks.  I'm looking forward to watching her progress throughout this year.

Didn't have much time for preschool because James woke up pretty early.  But we worked on writing B's, which she did with ease, as well as finding B's in other letters as well as the poem.  We read Baa Baa Black Sheep, and then struggled to find the rhyming words.  I'm going to look for some other resources on helping to identify rhyming words.  Then she got to color in a picture of some sheep.  Hoping tomorrow is a better day with napping for both of them!

I didn't have to work much today, so I got a chance to look over the next lessons and find books to pick up from the library.  Have a nice long list of books to get.  I'm thinking the social studies will be mostly just reading books, at least for now.  But have a list of community helper books to read through.  Looking forward to keep working through everything!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ready to Start!

What a weekend!  The last few days have felt pretty packed, although I guess they weren't really that busy.  Yesterday we went to 2 stores, then came to have lunch and finish cleaning for our showing.  Showing was good and bad - the agent was very impressed with the house and said it showed well - the buyers are aparently looking for a high end kitchen.  You can clearly tell from the pictures that we do not have that.  Maybe they'll keep looking around though and decide that they love everything else about our house, including the lot, and that they could fix the kitchen.  Only time will tell.  Kids took a nap and then they played in the pool.  Today felt crazy, but I just went shopping in the morning, then worked and made dinner. Jon went to see the house we've had our eye on and was disappointed.  It needs a fair amount of work, and the family room is much smaller than anticipated.  Without a basement this just won't work.  See we will keep looking and trusting that God has a great house for us that just isn't on the market or in our price range yet.  Jon starts work tomorrow, so we have other things to focus on.

Haven't done too much with Carolyn the last couple days because I'm running out of what I had planned.  In just about 10 days we've gone through 5 science topics, 4 math lessons, 1 letter sheet, almost 2 reading/writing books, and 1 social studies unit.  Looking like we'll have to be onto 1st grade things before this year ends!  She is just such a sponge.  Since I keep forgetting to buy cotton balls, I printed out some sheep for her to color so we can move on to B tomorrow.  I'm wondering if we'll do a letter each day this week though!  While she's napping tomorrow I should have time to take my plans further out, including making a list of books to get from the library.  We should start making it there weekly now. 

We're off and running now though... ready to fill the tanks of these 2 little ones as much as possible.  Starting with gymnastics tomorrow morning of course!  Debating about whether to start new toy rotations as well.  With the weather predicted to be so nice I'm thinking we'll just take the opportunity to be outside more.  But then there's always James' arm to worry about.  At least we go back to the doctor on Friday to see how it's healing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sorting and Hands

Today was another productive day.  Jon took the car in first thing this morning, we had breakfast and got dressed while he was gone.  When he returned we all went for a nice, long walk.  We've been talking about houses a lot lately, so did more of that.  Carolyn enjoyed commenting on the different barns we walked past.  We can see cows during our neighborhood walks as well.  Played outside for the rest of the morning, had lunch, then the kids took naps.

Got in another 2 lessons when Carolyn woke up.  She listened to another book on tape, and then we did some math and science.  We did lesson K5 out of CSMP which she found quite easy.  We read "5 little kindergartners" which she enjoyed.  Then we did sorting.  She easily found different ways to sort the objects I pulled out of her box along with some of her beads.  She enjoyed playing with the box, so I let her do that for a little while afterwards.  When she got bored we read a book about hands, did a couple activities with them, and then traced her hands.  She then cut them out, glued them onto other paper, and colored them.  I think she's really enjoying all the art projects.  Good thing Jon's mom is bringing some more construction paper tomorrow!  James woke up at that point, so we were done for the day.  Still having a lot of fun.  Feeling like the math stuff is WAY too easy for her, but just planning to do it more often to get to the harder stuff more quickly.  Will likely started the first grade curriculum I figure in the Spring.  We will see how everything goes.  Still having fun with this so far.

We've been talking and looking at a lot of houses lately.  Trying to decide what it is we're really looking for.  I was getting frustrated looking at things, because a lot of places out there are awkwardly laid out (split bedrooms, master bedroom in the basement, etc) or just huge.  After talking more today we've decided we don't want a huge house.  We're fine with a ranch without a basement.  And in fact, we've found a ranch home that we just might be interested in.  It's about 325 sqft bigger than our house here.  Which, if you think about it, is considerably bigger.  And let's be honest, we don't really use the basement all that much except for storage and to work out.  With a 2.5 car garage, that takes care of storage, and we can sort out where to exercise.  Looks like the inside is in good shape and the work that it needs is all outdoor cosmetic.  The low payment that would accompany this place along with its location will allow us the lifestyle we're seeking.  So Jon will go see it Monday.  Wondering if this is the plan God has laid out for us, or if we'll be disappointed.  Time will tell!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A is for Apples

Another great day with the kids.  Well, I wasn't with the kids for a large portion of the morning.  Jon took them to gymnastics since I had to tutor.  Carolyn started the intro to beginner class, which is a full hour long.  It is for kids that are 6 and up according to the website, but generally 5 year olds are accepted.  After speaking with everyone, they have accepted Carolyn into the class.  Jon said she did everything that was asked of her today, and did it well.  She can kick up into a handstand against the wall, do her ever amazing dive forward rolls, dropped off the high bar into the pit (5ft+ drop), and did a forward circle on the bar.  Great to hear that she's listening so well, and she told me all about it and was so proud of herself.  I am excited to see where this leads her skills over the next year.

After an hour of gymnastics this morning, we anticipated a great nap.  However, she got up after less than an hour.  Trying to get her into her routine for next week, she came in and listened to a book on CD.  When she finished listening twice and I was still working, I had Jon start her on her preschool work for the day.  She traced the letter Aa, circled it amongst other letters, then read a poem with some rhyming, circling the A's in that as well.  Then she colored some apples, cut them out, and glued them to a background.  I finished working while she was doing the apples and sat with her as she finished up.  We then went over the poem again and picked out the rhyming words.  She definitely struggles with this, so it will be good to work on.  We then pasted the poem onto her apple sheet.  She was so proud of it!  Then she finished up her "We will" book.  It's something I found online where there are about pages to work on sight words.  This one has statements of "we will __".  We read it together, she cut out the words, taped the right sentences on each page, and had started to write out the sentences.  So finished writing the sentences and again was very proud of herself.  I put some clips at the top of the page and now she has a book to look through.  This will also be something she can color if she ever needs something to busy herself.

I am amazed at how interested she is in everything and how quickly she's moving through everything planned.  I am sure her interest will wane, although I wonder if it will since I've put together such a variety.  I think the plan for tomorrow will be math (K3 I think) and then science (hands).  I wonder if we will make it until we return to the library next week or if I'll need to get over there before then.  Time and her nap schedule will let us know!  Love working with such an amazing little girl.  At this rate, we'll be well into a first grade curriculum by the end of the year, haha!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gingerbread Men and Family Tree

Carolyn didn't sleep as much today, so we had lots of time to do some preschool work.  I wasn't planning to suggest anything since it's Saturday, but she was excited.  First she listened to a book on CD twice.  Next time we go to the library I'm going to see if they any that beep for turning the pages.  The ones we have don't, so she often gets to the end of the CD before the end of the book.  Then she asked what she could do next.

So we did lesson K2 of the CSMP math curriculum.  She had lots of fun with it.  We read the gingerbread man story with some cut-outs I had made.  Compared the sizes of the various cut-outs very easily.  She was quite cute with the whole thing.

Then moved into her family tree.  We had already read the family books and talked about who is part of a family.  This was the art project portion.  So she cut out the trunk and leaves part.  Then we wrote some names in lemons and oranges (circles on yellow and orange paper mainly because I didn't have red).  We started with "Me", which she then insisted we add her full name to.  She wrote mom, and I wrote dad and James.  We drew a sling with snoopy on James' circle.  She then cut out those out.  We glued everything onto a large piece of paper.  Then we wrote in aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great grandparents.  With a large family, this filled all 24 circles I had prepared.  I cut out the remaining circles and she glued them on.  I then drew the "branches", which was slightly difficult because she had randomly placed the circles.  But she then took her crayons and added leaves.  She was so proud of the final product, showing it to her dad when she was done.  She showed it to James when he woke up as well.  Then we hung it on her wall.  Tomorrow I need to take a picture of it and will add it here at the end of the month.  It was awesome to see how excited she was.  And she asked if we could do 2 more "projects" tomorrow.  We'll see what we get through each day.  But if she does keep up at this rate I'll have to look into some first grade curriculum ideas this Spring!  I figure she'll have days where she doesn't want to do anything though.  Time will tell!

Spoke with our neighbor's son tonight as well.  Randomly asked him if he knew anyone willing to rent and he said he might be.  We let him know we want to move by July 1 and he said he would be looking in the spring to move.  Have to wonder if God's at play here with the timing of everything.  Would be great if we could help someone by renting to them and get to where we want to be, keeping our finances and my credit in tact.  Everything is truly in God's hands and we will see what happens over the next few months.  If you're reading this, please keep us in your prayers!


Just wanted to share that I have officially broken the 180lb mark.  Two weeks in a row I've now weighed in under, today at 179.  I haven't seen 17- since before I was pregnant with Carolyn, 5 years ago!  This feels like a major accomplishment to me because it's taken so long.  But honestly, since I started eating Primal (no grains, fairly low carb, limited sugar, no yucky oils) it's been fairly easy.  Slower than I would like (of course would like to be 160 by now), by steady progress.  And I keep telling myself that losing slowly by making lifestyle changes that I have no problem keeping up with forever, means I'm more likely to keep the weight off.  I don't have to count anything and I'm not constantly hungry like I used to be.  There are no special supplements or anything crazy like that.  The exercises are fairly short, and I'll forever have the option of adding in more exercise if I feel up to it and have the time.  But my life looks likely to only get crazier for the next few years as the kids get older.  So working out 3-4x/week for 20-25 minutes fits perfectly.  The workouts leave my muscles feeling taxed as well, a feeling that I LOVE.  I never imagined feeling this way with a non-impact, body weight program.  It's really rather amazing.  I feel like I'm writing a commercial, but after having lost 15lbs fairly effortlessly, I think I should share.

Didn't get to any preschool lessons yesterday because Carolyn until 3!  I guess she was pretty tired from her crankiness on Thursday.  So perhaps today we will get to try one of the activities I prepared yesterday.  She's been really into counting lately, so I'm think we'll do math with the ginger bread men.

Friday, August 17, 2012


So I spent time earlier in the summer gathering materials and making lists of lessons I want to do this year.  I think I've put together a great start to a program for Carolyn for this year.  But when we started this week, I realize I had forgotten to organize the projects into complete sets.  So with both kids out of the house this morning (at the store with Dad), I set to work.  I now have a plan and sets to get started in every subject.  Here's what I did today:
Math - cut out 5 gingerbread men, made notes for needs for first 5 lessons for manipulatives
Social Studies - drew patterns for Carolyn to cut out tree pieces to make family tree
Science - thought about more activities to do live make hand/foot prints as we talk about each of those
Writing/reading - made templates for art projects - already had apples printed, decided on cotton ball black sheep, made grandfather clock template for cutting, made dog and bone template, made engine 9 template

This didn't take me too long either, which is nice.  Only about 45 minutes and I have the first 5 lessons of everything but social studies put together.  The next unit for SS will likely involve more field trips than crafts since it's community helpers.  I'm thinking I'll wait until Jon goes back to work before figuring that out.  But the unit will likely take a while.  I'm thinking we'll start at the library and talk about all the helpers there, we're visiting the doctor 8/31 for James' collar bone follow-up.  They go to the store each week.  Maybe we'll go to the post office to buy stamps, and try to see if we can visit the firehouse and police station.  I think that's a good variety of places.  If anyone is around and wants to join us for the police station and/or firehouse, let me know.  We'll be going on a Tues/Fri most likely, unless we go early in the year before soccer and story hour start up.

Having put all this together, I'm pretty excited to keep working with Carolyn.  As we go I think she's going to enjoy all the different thing we'll be doing.  She already likes reading her "preschool" books and getting to spend special time with me.  So here's to a great year with hopefully minimal arguing over school stuff. 

Yesterday we read all 3 family books I had found, then discovered I didn't have the family tree ready to work on or the ginger bread men cut out for the first math lesson.  So she listened to a book on CD and then we read some more, then she just looked through some of the preschool books we will read.  Did I tell you she's excited and a total bookworm?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Heart

Went to the library today and loaded up on preschool books.  And by that I mean books that fit into the curriculum I've developed.  Carolyn is very excited about the idea of doing "preschool" and I'm enjoying feeding into that.  She also chose princesses as her topic - again.  I think we may have already ready all of those that we brought home.  The library was fun and we worked on vocabulary and a bit of alphabet order while there.  They have flash cards with pictures and words.  James took those out initially and was going through them with Jon.  He got bored and Carolyn took over.  Once she got bored of identifying the objects, I took out 5 pictures and we tried to order them alphabetically.  I realized I start a little too difficultly by selecting 5 cards at random.  So I went back and chose words with A-E and we put those in order.  She got bored part way through F-J.  Something to think about another time we go as a family.  Or maybe even a game we could recreate at home with pictures from magazines with words on notecards.  Although I'm torn as to how important being able to order letters is.  It doesn't help you read, but it does help make sense of the world.

While James was still sleeping, we completed our first preschool activities.  First we read a book about the human body.  It was a really cool book and one I am almost thinking about buying.  Simple, but provides a lot of facts, and some cool effects with holding a page up to light.  Carolyn really enjoyed reading it.  Afterwards, I wanted to the heart activities I found, but she wanted to read more.  So I gave her a Curious George book on CD and she sat with that for the whole book.  She wanted to read more, no interest in activities.  I found the Magic School Bus in the Heart book and so we read that, then she would do some hands on things.  I had her listen to Jon's heartbeat, which she found very cool.  And then we found her pulse on her wrist.  She felt that for a minute.  Then I had her do 10 jumping jacks (next time I'll choose a higher number to challenge her counting I think).  We felt her pulse again and talked about how it was quicker because her heart was beating faster.  Then James woke up.  All in all, a pretty successful first day.  Tomorrow we'll choose a different subject area or go on to hands.  We've officially started the school year, because she's ready to learn.  Awesome that it's still going to be laid back, but she'll be prepared for kindergarten in HP.  If we can get academics to be pretty much covered, it'll make it so she can focus on adjusting to a new place and the social aspects of school.  We're ready!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hard Knocks

We've had an injury in our house, and the first major one since Carolyn was born.  Both kids were playing on the couch last Thursday and James fell, off the back.  He landed hard, but we didn't think too much of it at first.  We gave him lots of snuggles and some ibuprofen before bed.  He slept fairly well that night, but didn't push himself to standing in his crib Friday morning.  Jon brought him into bed and he refused to nurse, didn't want to be moved at all.  As the morning went on we decided a trip to the doctor was in order.  So we made an appointment and headed over.  The pediatrician came in and suggested he was likely fine, until he did the exam.  James would/could not be pulled up by his left arm.  And one spot increased his crying to a wail.  So we were sent for xrays.  They only took 2, one of the collar bone and other of the shoulder.  It was easy to see the bend in the collar bone and break.  So they gave James a snoopy sling and told us to get him to rest.  Thus we have spent the last 3.5 days trying to get our energetic, 2 year old to sit still.  Not a problem Friday, but since then it's been a challenge.  He did crash this morning, crawling into my lap after lunch and promptly falling asleep.  He didn't even wake when Jon transferred to his crib!  So nice to get the extra snuggles, but watching a little one in pain and knowing there's nothing you can do is torturous!  Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

Still waiting on the house, and deciding we need to be patient.  As bad as we WANT to move tomorrow, we can get by one more year here.  I will be working as much as possible during this time, and we will try to save up as much as possible.

Two more weeks with Jon home and then we will be starting preschool at home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Searching for a Buyer

All that's missing right now is someone to buy our house.  We've visited Highland Park and Carolyn is excited about the move.  I've found a gym that looks like it will work very well for her to continue gymnastics.  And I'm sure I can easily find her a soccer program in the Spring.  For now I've signed everyone up for their fall classes assuming we won't be moving.  I don't want them to lose their spots.  Plus it's looking more likely that we wouldn't move until October or so anyway.  I hate the idea of going into the school year with the responsibility of keeping the house show ready.  But we're going to tell our realtor that we will simply need more notice than what's currently listed.  And we might need to be sure and straighten everything up on Saturday mornings so it doesn't get too out of control.

We've been looking for a sign that we're on the right path with our goals.  With dropping our price, I continued to be nervous about giving up a large portion of our savings.  But when you look at all the reasons we want to move - be near stuff, have a park district, walk to the library, have a pool to go, awesome schools, plus cut Jon's commute in half - I was starting to become more comfortable with the idea.  Then I went to check the mail yesterday as Jon started the grill for dinner.  I noticed a small envelope from my grandfather.  Knowing that he has a record of sending money at random times, I opened it quickly.  There were so many 0's that I actually had to read the written portion to be sure the amount was correct.  The note attached said it's for birthdays and holidays.  For our family it will mean financial security when we sell the house.  What amazing timing!  I wish there was some way for me to help my grandfather understand what his gifts mean to our family.  They always come at just the right moment - definitely God is at play here.  This one check is equal to more than I make per year, just under 1/4 of our adjusted gross income!  Once my grandfather is settled back in AZ for the year, we will start to plan a trip to visit him.  With the remaining money, we will have the cushion we need to not panic as we look to sell our house.  This is a pretty amazing sign that we're on the right track.  So now we just live our lives and wait for the buyer we need to move.  Jon is very excited about the 5 hours a week that he will regain once we move.

God blesses us over and over again.  We're hoping for a blessing from Him soon of a buyer for our house!