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Archive for the ‘large families’ Category

At our last Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, I ended up making the sloppy joes for the main course.  It was kind of a last-minute arrangement–very last minute!  In fact, I really didn’t know I was going to end up doing this until we went to the church to set up!  Anyway, I was given a recipe that had been used in the past, and Dan had bought the ingredients, so I just jumped right in there and started putting things together!  Unfortunately, I was not working in my own kitchen, so I didn’t have access to my normal equipment.  So, instead of measuring everything, I just ended up mixing a little of this and a lot of that until it “looked and tasted right.”  I didn’t know how it would go over, but it was all eaten up, and Dan said it was some of the best sloppy joe that he had ever tasted!  So, I thought I’d try to remember what I did and post it here on my blog where I can find it  if (and when) I will need to do that type of thing again. There are two pages to this Smilebox. The first page has the original recipe that was given to me, and the second page attempts to explain how I made it.  I don’t know if I’d ever be able to get it the same again, but it sure was good that time!  🙂

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The Prairie Family has driven the same 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager Mini-Van since Brock was a baby.  It has been a great, reliable vehicle, but recently Dan has been considering getting a different vehicle because of its age and mileage.  John is our internet researcher, so Dan got him busy looking up vehicles that might fit our large family, and what a good price range might be.  He stumbled across a 2008 Toyota Sienna with only 18,000 miles on it for a very good price in a nearby town.  In fact, it was at the same dealership where we had bought our Plymouth Grand Voyager many years ago.  So, yesterday, Dan decided to take us to check it out, and after thought and prayer, we decided to bring it home.  So, there is a “new-to-us” Prairie Family Mobile that will soon be driving all over the place!  🙂

What about our old van?  Well, we had already decided that we would probably keep it unless they offered us a tremendous deal on it.  After all, it has been a good, reliable vehicle, and soon our kids will be driving.  I didn’t realize how attached I was to that silly old van until they started talking about trading it, though!  I was thinking, “No way!  That is OUR van!  We LOVE that van! Everyone knows that it is the Prairie Family van!”  I was a little worried that Dan might change his mind, but he felt like I did, and we are happy to say that we kept it.  I know it wouldn’t have been two days before we would’ve regretted it if we had traded it.  It is definitely worth more to us than they were offering us for it anyway.

So, now we have a good, reliable, practical vehicle that may or may not last for several more years, but we also have a very good family van that should serve us well as long as we need it.  Dan made the comment that by the time we are ready to get a different Prairie Family Vehicle (i.e. not one for the kids), we will very likely not need such a large vehicle.  Yep, the empty nest is getting closer every day!

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Our house is far from quiet.  As you can imagine, there is always a lot of “background noise.” Sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and listen to what is actually going on–I can gain good information that way!  🙂

Here are a couple of recent examples:

One day this past week, Luke and Kara were playing games with their stuffed animals in the living room while I was cooking supper.  I heard Luke ask Kara, “Do you know who my best friend is?”  Kara replied, “Who?”  Luke laughed and said, “You!”  Pretty sweet, huh?!

Cosette is always full of interesting thoughts.  I heard her say this to one of the other kids recently:  “I am the only person in the whole wide world that can call myself  ‘me.'”  Well, I guess that’s true!

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Our lives have been anything but dull lately!  Between school, selling scout popcorn, cleaning the church, and, oh yes, having an extra girl in the house, we have not lacked for things to do!

This week we have had the privilege of taking care of this precious two-year-old who is one of my Sunday School class students.  Usually her grandparents keep her while her parents work, but this week they had a family emergency and had to be gone.  I think it just about broke that grandma’s heart to leave her sweet baby with someone else!  The parents thought that she would do well with us since she knows me from Sunday School and is friends with our kids, and we were happy to help out for a few days.

This little girl is an absolute sweetheart, and really, she could not have done better coming to a new and very different place.  She was a good helper with school and let the big kids get all of their work done.  The big kids, in turn, were great helpers too and had a lot of fun playing with her.  It was neat seeing how all of my kids jumped in at different times to help out during this busy week.

So, we had a crash course reminder of having a toddler hanging around, and it was a lot of fun.

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We will be leaving tomorrow for our annual Thanksgiving get-together with Dan’s family.  Before we leave, I want to be sure to express my thanksgiving to my Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has truly been so good to me.  He provides all I need every day, and I rest in His loving care.

I am going to post two videos to this entry.  The first video is of Luke reciting my favorite Thanksgiving Psalm.  It was taken last year while he was in kindergarten.  The second video is a song of thanksgiving that I also put together last year.  I watched it just now and even though it is dated Thanksgiving 2007, it’s sentiments still ring from my heart to God.  So, join me in praising our wonderful and faithful Maker!

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A couple of years ago, we had a new Schwan’s man.  As he came week-by-week, I found out that we had several things in common including large families and homeschooling.  We had nice visits when he came, and my kids enjoyed him as our Schwan man.  After a few months, though, he told us that he had decided to do other things and would no longer be working for Schwans.

Well, it just so happened that his oldest son is the same age as Brock.  As we have gotten involved with scouting, we have come across this family again!  They are also actively involved with scouting, and Brock and their oldest son have developed a very good friendship.  They have camped together, and Brock has even gone over to their house to play. 

We decided that it would be fun to get all of our kids together with their 4 kids, so we have been trying to organize such a time.  We thought an informal play at the park would be a good way for the kids to get to know each other without the pressure on either family of trying to have all 9 kids in one place!  🙂  The weather complicated our first plans, but last night worked out just right.  We met them at the park and cooked S’Mores.  The kids had a great time playing at the playground, and we all agreed that we’ll have to get together again!  They are really a neat family, and I am glad to have some new friends!

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This week’s Homeschool Memoirs Meme Theme is Summer Photo Essay.  We are to post pictures from our summer activities and give a brief description of them.

Our summer was very busy–it was hard to summarize it in a few pictures!  🙂  I put together a Smilebox Slideshow for this assignment.  I hope you all enjoy it!

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One year ago today, The Prairie Family Chronicles made its official debut.  There are entries dated earlier than that, but those were transferred from an earlier blog that I had started to record our adoption journey.  So, the first “live” entries began September 12, 2007.

This has been a fun hobby and outlet for me.  It gives me a place to record my thoughts and our family’s activities.  One of the neatest results of the Prairie Family Chronicles is that it has brought relatives who are far away much nearer.  I think especially of Dan’s parents.  I’m glad that I can let them enter our daily lives and enjoy their grandkids through this venue.

I have also met some wonderful people (you know who you are! 🙂 ).  I have had many neat contacts over the last several months with people who have read the entries and have found that we have things in common:  whether Christianity, homeschooling, large families, international adoption, kids with clubbed feet, or whatever.  I have also had people disagree with me, and that’s ok too.

So today I thank God for giving me this blog.  Maybe that sounds a little strange, but I really do believe that it is a gift from Him.  He has used it to bless my own life, and maybe by His grace, He has used it in the lives of some of my readers as well.  I look forward to continuing The Prairie Family Chronicles.  As my kids grow up and our lives change, I am sure that there will be new things to write about, new categories of entries to begin, but my theme and prayer will remain the same:  that this blog will bring glory to my Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.

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All 5 of the Prairie Family kids had Scripture memory verses due this week. Continuing the tradition of last school year, I am going to post videos of the kids saying their verses. This has been quite a motivator for them to learn their verses well! 🙂 This time, I will post them from youngest to oldest, but next time, the stars of the videos say that I need to change the order…..

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This week’s Homeschool Memoirs assignment is entitled Homeschool Routines.  For it, I am going to write about how we actually get through our day.

This is going to be kind of a repeat post for those of you who are my regular readers, but putting this post in this format will help me to share my schedule with the other members of Homeschool Memoirs.

In the days prior to our starting school each year, My Mom and I sit down and try to organize a “schedule” for the new year.  This is really only a guideline to get started, but it helps me to visualize how the day will go.

Our scheduling is somewhat complicated by the fact that we use the Abeka Academy DVD program.  I have to make sure that each student has viewing time and time to complete assignments, even if they are sharing a viewing station.  This year was somewhat easier because only two of my kids, Luke and Kara, are sharing a station.  BUT–Luke and Cosette also share a seat work station, so I have to try to coordinate their schedules to not conflict with that desk!  So, you can imagine how complicated that gets! 🙂

I also need to have time for me to listen to each student read aloud each day, and I also guide each one as they practice their daily music lessons, so throw the fact that there is only one of me in there, and that really puts the challenge into making up a schedule!

Really, though, once I get it all thought through onto paper, our day goes quite smoothly.  We try to get started early enough that my kids have time to help me sort the laundry before their school starts.  Then we are pretty busy with our morning activities of school, music practice, and laundry folding until lunch.  While I fix lunch, the kids do their daily household chores.

While the kids do their afternoon classes, I grade papers and get ready for the next day.  We usually are finished with school around 3:30, although the older kids often have a few assignments to finish up in the evening.

So, we have pretty full days!  We also have scouting activities on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, so that keeps things hopping too!

I have found, though, that God always gives the strength and wisdom I need to face each school year and each day.  Sometimes I look into the coming years and wonder, “How in the world is this all going to work?”  But then I remember that He is so faithful.  He always provides me the answers I need at just the right time.  So, I praise Him today.  He is good–all of the time!

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