Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Is it really Thanksgiving again?

As I look around my kitchen, I suppose it is. The island is covered with flour, brown sugar, vanilla, and measuring cups. The baking has begun. I L-O-V-E the holiday baking!! Cookies, pies, cakes, oh my! I get a sugar-high just thinking about it all.

As wonderful as the food is, it's not the heart of the holidays. Oh, yes indeed, friends, it's a fabulous bonus, but not where the focus should be.

Tomorrow we'll pause and reflect on the wonderful blessings we have been given. And, boy have we been blessed! Our Jehovah Jireh is such a wonderful Provider. We have all we need. Sure, we budget, cut back, and live frugally. But now, even in the midst of the country's financial crisis, God has proven to be greater!

So, I challenge you to look beyond the economic mess and take the time to see what God is doing and has done! You'll be surprised! There are so many things to be thankful for!

And above all, I'm thankful that God loves me (and you) so much that he sent his son to die for my sins, so that I might have eternal and abundant life!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's not what you're thinking

I love this blogger's spin on baby's first word. Check it out at One Thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Around lunch time today, I looked outside to see a beautiful sight. With Eli all bundled up, we headed outside. I caught a little on video. God's displays of beauty and splendor never cease to amaze me. I'm sure that's obvious by the oohs, aahs, and wows. Enjoy a rare treat...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

This past weekend, my parents demonstrated their insanity love by inviting 6 of the 7 grandkids to their house for a slumber party and field trip to the planetarium. I'm sure the level of activity and noise in their house on Friday night was commensurate to that of a room full of 2 year olds high on birthday cake. That kinda happens when those kiddos get together. My saint-of-a-mother loves having them there. My dad turns his hearing aid off (just kidding...he loves it, too)!

On Sunday, we loaded the family up in the van and headed back to Wilson for Becca's birthday party. She's 12. WOW...starting to feel old over here! The kids had a blast running around the playground and chowing down on cake.

And some yummy cake it was!

And some sweet cake it was!

Which attracted the yellow jackets.

Which caused the pre-teen girls to scream.

At decibel levels that would cause dogs to howl.

And made me appreciate being the mom to boys!

I had some fun snapping photos while the kiddos played and the relatives took turns holding and playing with Eli. Here are a few of my favorites.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday and thank you!

Happy 233rd Birthday, USMC!!

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli. We will fight our country's battles in the air, on land, and sea. First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean. We are proud to claim the title of United States Marines.

Semper Fi!

To all the Marines (including my fabulous hubby), soldiers, airmen, sailors, and members of the Coast Guard, I extend my heartfelt appreciation for your willingness to sacrifice it all for our freedoms.

May God Bless you!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Idle hands here...NEVER!!!

We Sloans tend to take the saying "idle hands are the devil's playground" very seriously. Either that, or we have a serious disorder that prevents us from sitting still for long periods of time. We are always on the go and we like it that way. So when Jacob's teacher workdays were coming up, I started making plans. Boy, did we have things to do and places to go!!

On Monday, we started our day with regular household chores. (BTW, I discovered the "daily jobs list" from Katherine at Raising Five and it has worked beautifully and saved me from repeating myself 'til the cows come home! She has some awesome hints for raising kids based on her experiences!!) Jacob did his "before school" stuff then played legos, while I completed my "to dos." We ate some lunch, then Jacob settled in to paint some letters for his door. I think they turned out wonderfully.

After he finished his letters, we moved on to baking. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies--yum! I love to bake and Jacob is picking up on that love. It's so neat to see him getting more and more comfortable in the kitchen. He's gonna make a great hubby to someone one day. Sidenote: I shared with Jacob not long ago, that I pray for his future wife. I told him that I pray that God provides him with a really cute, Godly girl. He laughed and said, "What about you pray for an ugly one for him." Wha???? :)

Later that night, we had a rousing game of Scene It, Jr. No pictures of that, but I will admit that Jacob and I got stomped by Matt. It was an ugly defeat! But it was fun!

On Tuesday, Jacob and I headed out to vote. We went while Eli was napping (Matt works from home and had the monitor...don't call DSS), so it was easy peasy. In and out in 15 minutes! I think it was a great learning experience for Jacob. Of course, we're still old school and had paper and pen ballots. I think that surprised Jacob more than anything.

We headed home and Jacob and I settled in for some reading. We are reading The Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series. I am really enjoying the book and the time with Jacob. He's working on earning those Accelerated Reader points for school and the Narnia books are worth lots of points!

After the other brother woke up, we loaded up the van and off we went to Target. We all know that no long weekend is complete without a trip to Target! Jacob was a little disappointed in the toy selection, so he opted to save his money. Eli, however spent his $5 on a cute little Elmo doll! In reality I could have just bought Elmo's tag and he would have been happy. Who needs an Elmo doll when you can play with the plastic taggie thing used to hang him from the store hook?!

After lunch, Jacob practiced guitar. Check out his progress. He's practicing the chords from "Every Rose Has It's Thorn." Gotta love those 80's Power Ballads. Reminds me of pegged multi-color jeans, and Rave hairspray!

Jacob finished his last day off on a high note. Nonnie and D (Niki's parents) met us at guitar lessons and swept him away to the world of toy stores and restaurant food--a nine year old's fantasy land!

So, here's what I learned over the past two days. When I taught school, I loved teacher workdays. My classroom was empty and calm. I was able to write lesson plans, sanitize and clean everything, change bulletin boards, chit-chat with coworkers, and actually leave the building for lunch!! Monday and Tuesday I loved teacher workdays for a whole 'nother reason. I spent tons of quality time with the kiddos and wouldn't trade it for chit-chat or lunch out.

Reflecting, I just realized that Jacob is already halfway through his time at home with us. And I don't want to miss one minute of what we have left!

The apple doesn't fall far...

More proof that Eli is indeed his Daddy's boy! Pappy reminded me that I had this picture of Matt stuck in a dressing table. It's eerily similar to Eli's little incident! I guess boys will be boys.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Series of Unfortunate Events

Confession: Eli doesn't crawl.

But, let me assure he gets where he wants to go. We call it"crolling." Last night he was on a "croll" and quickly found himself caught between a rock and a hard place a pack 'n play and an exercise ball. Before we saved him from his little situation, I had to snap a picture. Yes, his entire upper body is wedged under the pack 'n play. He's a silly kid!

Today we had some fun with a mixing bowl. Or at least I think we had fun...maybe it was just me.

Disclaimer: No babies were injured in either incident as evidenced by the really cute smile on this kiddo!

Stop by tomorrow. I'll be posting about the great fun the boys and I had Monday and Tuesday thanks to some time away from school! See you then!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Busy Boys

Jacob had career day at school yesterday. I think it's just an excuse to let the kiddos dress up for Halloween. He was a baseball player. And a handsome one at that!

Eli has been busy cutting teeth. He now has two on top and three on the bottom for a total of five. See there, a math lesson. This blog is so well-rounded :) Here's some pictures I took trying to get those teeth on camera.

Then, there's Eli's newest trick. He loves to stand up. He can't quite pull himself up on the furniture, but has certainly mastered doing so in his crib. We learned that quickly last Saturday. I laid him down in his crib for his afternoon nap. I grabbed the monitor and headed downstairs to eat lunch. He was whining a little at first, which is normal. Quickly that whine turned to a cry. One of those cries a mama recognizes as "not-okay." I booked it up the stairs only to find my screaming baby standing up in his crib with his mouth pressed against the railings. I picked him up and was met with the horror of a bloody face. He had busted his mouth on the crib railings. Forgive me for not getting that on camera, but I was in Mama-mode, not blogger-mode. After giving his face a wipe down and offering a cold, wet washcloth to bite on, he was all better. Matt even congratulated me on handling the situation without panicking. What can I say, 8 years of teaching kiddos with autism prepares you for pretty much anything! Here's a few shots of him being big!

Couple of Characters

Last night as we prepared to hand out the goodies to some cute trick-or-treaters, we got a phone call. Niki was calling to ask if we wanted to go trick-or-treating with them (they have Jacob right now). This was our second year without Jacob for Halloween and we decided to head on over there with Eli for some blended family fun. We are so glad we did! The boys were precious together and wonderful memories were made (including some scantily-clad policewomen handing out candy that I'm sure the hubbies won't forget)! Fun times!!

Here are some pictures of our boys.