New place

I've switched my blog over to Wordpress. So here is the new site:

Hope to see you over there!

I'm Trying...

Not that there are people wishing I'd post on my blog, but in case anyone thinks I've abandoned it, I thought I'd say "no!".

I just can't write right now. I've tried. Many times. But what I want to say and what I end up typing aren't jiving. That's what I get for wanting to write about some more serious subjects.

So, I will continue to try to write it out, but it may be awhile. In case you were wondering.

My Garden

They tell me that it's spring.

I don't remember sweating in 90 degree heat in spring, but they assure me it's spring.

In spite of the heat and general lack of rain, things are growing -- like my garden!

Now, for your viewing pleasure, I would like to take you on a tour of our yard in springtime (feel free to grab a bag of popcorn -- but make sure it has butter and salt -- without those, it's like eating crunchy air.):

This is the beginning of my zucchini crop...sorry for misspelling it on the label, but that's how it was spelled on the bag of seeds, and well, I never claimed to know or really care how to spell zucchini. :)
Here are my green beans. I planted these in spite of the painful childhood memory of picking beans with my grandmother and getting stung 3 times by a yellow jacket who clearly had a territorial issue. 

Cilantro. So good. The end.

Here are our "big boy" tomatoes. I'm probably most excited about these. I hope they turn out delicious!

Here are the blueberry bushes. I am dying to pick them and make a blueberry pie from scratch. With a lot of sugar. After we go on our cruise and the need to wear a swimsuit has passed. I can almost taste that pie. 

This isn't from my garden, it's from one of the trees in our backyard. A very big tree. I did not know that really big trees really had flowers to speak of. But it's a poplar, and produces these large tulip-like flowers. I just think they're cool.

This is one of two little azaleas that I planted in the backyard this year. They are small now, but will hopefully get very big and covered with hot pink blossoms. Unless the dogs eat them. 

I planted Morning Glory seeds, and now the vines are starting to crawl up the fence. Honestly, I'm just ecstatic that they haven't died yet. 

Here is a lovely wild flower in the grass. It will be mowed down tomorrow.

Here is what is left of our illegal burn last weekend. We aren't supposed to burn yard waste in our neighborhood, but well, we had a lot of yard waste that needed to go away. So we burned it. We're so rebellious.

Tyler has been battling ticks and mosquitoes, and spraying weed killer behind our fence every weekend - sometimes a couple of times each weekend. It's really made a difference. This is a picture of the area he has been spraying.

This is a part that he hasn't gotten to spraying yet. You can see the major difference. And I'm sure there are probably 36,000 ticks in this picture, all smiling and saying "cheese!" - we just can't see them. Stupid ticks.

Can you find the bird giving the camera a death look in this picture?She's sitting on 6 red-speckled eggs. Her nest is at the base of a tree - almost on the ground. Not the best location, but maybe her last nest was foreclosed on, and this is the best she can do. (that was cheesy).

Now this bird is just plain dumb. A bird has insisted on building a nest in the newspaper holder part of our mailbox. You can see all the pine needles on the grass that have fallen out. I don't know if there are eggs in there, but I'm waiting to get attacked when I check the mail.

Here is a picture of some of the ground cover I planted in our front yard - I like that the flowers have little spots on them. Plus, these are called "steppables" - meaning they can be walked on 2 to 3 times per day without being damaged. Nice plus when you have little children who don't appreciate walkways. 

This is in my front yard. I just love that it's happy, big and very purple. 

The plant in the middle is where I planted some poppy seeds. I am hoping that is what came up. If it's not, then I've been watering and taking care of an unidentified weed.

And this is...what the...Rebekah?! What are you wearing?!

No seriously -- this is not acceptable at all! I was trying to show everyone my garden...not your attempts to bloom. :)

Oh well...what are ya gonna do? Crazy girl :)

From My Cold Dead Hands...

...nap time, that is -- not guns.

Zach is three years old now, and in his infinite wisdom, he's decided that naps aren't his thing.
I beg to differ.
And if I have my way, he'll be napping until kindergarten.
It is a power struggle of epic proportions.

In the last few days, I have heard myself say things like
"Do not pile all your books on your bed, it's nap time."
"Zach, stop talking to your crocodile - it's nap time."
"If you kick the wall one more time, I'm coming in there!"
"Zach, why did you take your clothes off? It's nap time."
"I don't want you to sing or talk, I want you to close your eyes and stay still."
I could go on, but I'll spare you the rest :)

I would be more open to the idea of just having a "rest time" where he does whatever he'd like in his room - quietly, but when he doesn't sleep during nap time, he is impossible to live with later in the evening. I'm talking tantrums, crying about anything and everything, complaining about dinner, and anything else that an over-tired preschooler does. We all get to be the recipients of his foul moods. Rebekah probably gets it the most though - because Zach knows he can take her.

Anyway, I am determined to keep nap time! I will not give up on this! I'm thinking I may put him in the master bedroom for his nap so that he is not surrounded by all his toys and books. I figure pure boredom will help put him to sleep :) I'm also trying to come up with an effective distance to have him run before nap time so that he will be current estimate is about 73.4 miles. **sigh**

Wish me luck on nap time tomorrow!

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
-- Mark Twain

To My Husband...On His 30th Birthday (a little late)

I had every intention of posting this on your birthday, but, as you well know, life with young children is unpredictable, and that is exactly what this week has been. So, as they say, better late than never!

Dear Ty,

Today, you join me in the '30s' chapter of our life. It was a lonely 3 months here without you. Now I have you to keep me company. :) Each year, when your birthday comes around, I always feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed, because in a single day, I want to show you how important you are to me and to our children. I've had amazing ideas, but then I remember we aren't millionaires, and so my "spare no expense" plans are put on hold. Often, I am left to try to sum it up in a small note at the bottom of a birthday card...and I always end up running out of space, so my writing gets smaller and smaller, and by that point, I'm just hoping you won't question my literacy. Luckily, blogs don't limit your writing space.

I am so grateful for your personality and what you bring to our family. I really think it would be a disaster without you. As I'm sure everyone knows, you balance me out. You are calm and even-tempered. As the years have gone by, you've taught me to think a little more before I speak - and I am still learning that lesson. I love that even though you are a level-headed man, you are still passionate about many things. Some of my favorite times have been long drives late at night as we discuss theology, politics, or what we want for our future. So many times, your take on things inspires me - and gets me looking at something in a completely different way. And even though you are incredibly intelligent, you are unpretentious. You approach your life with a quiet confidence that your hard work and your ideas will speak for themselves - and nothing else needs to be said. Because of that approach, you have accomplished many things, and earned a lot of respect along the way.

Thank you for getting up every morning and going to work so that I can stay home with Zach and Rebekah. Thank you for all the time you spend tickling Rebekah, or playing cars with Zach on the floor. Thank you for the countless laughs brought on by the strange conversations we have late at night -- when we should be sleeping. Thank you for letting me vent my frustrations to you - even though most of them are completely outside of our control. I could continue for a long time...but I know you'd rather I not. :)

I love you, Ty. Happy birthday.
May the years be gentle on us both, since the kids are not :)

Mississippi Trip

We just got back from a long weekend trip to Mississippi. One of the highlights of the trip was that Zach got to go out to a logging job and see all the big machines - he was in awe to say the least. I know he really enjoyed it. Here is the video Tyler took - kind of long, but pretty interesting!

Zach's First Logging Job from Jennifer Thompson on Vimeo.


Right now, I have a lot on my mind. Nothing horribly pressing, just things. One thing that keeps coming up in my head is the issue of schooling for our kids. Yeah, I know -- funny issue since Zach is only 3. I can hear the collective eye rolling. But I have a feeling that 5 is going to be here a lot faster than I expect, and I want to have a plan.

I'm still considering home schooling Zach. Not long term, but at least for a couple of years - to make sure he has an excellent foundation, and frankly, to let him be a kid for awhile longer. Yes, there are political and religious reasons for this - I don't want him being exposed to liberal viewpoints while we're trying to instill conservative values. And as far as religion goes, I don't want Zach being taught about evolution and how monkeys are our cousins, when I'm teaching a 7-day creation at home. I'm not trying to completely remove him from those viewpoints - I know he will face them soon enough. But during his formidable years, I want to be confident that we are having the ultimate say in what goes into that sweet little large head of his! My hope is that our efforts will produce a kid who knows the issues, knows why he believes what he believes, and can stand up and defend it to anyone.

Back to my thoughts - I keep running across two different schooling approaches with homeschooling. I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I continually find. The first is the classical Christian education approach. It's very structured, and really sets out to create a critical thinker instead of a child that just repeats back what has been said. Latin is taught from kindergarten on, the focus with younger children is memorization of facts, with older children it's the "why" behind those facts, pre-teens learn to defend the "whys" and high schoolers' are given the tools to communicate their thoughts through speech and original writing. I really like the classical approach - it plays to my love of structure and predictability. I think it has a lot of good points.

The other approach is generally referred to as "unschooling". It's the idea that, aside from the basics, children are given the freedom to pursue the avenues of education that interest them at the time, and that they will learn more from playing and exploring than anything else. Obviously, this applies mainly to young children - not jr. high and high school. I am more leery of this approach, because I do not think children have the capacity to guide their own learning - and there are certain things they need to learn regardless of their interest level. BUT, I think it makes a good point about putting emphasis on exploring and playing at a young age. So, I am trying to think through these approaches and find a place where I'm comfortable and confident. I'd love to hear any advice you have to offer on this subject!

The final thing that I've been thinking about a lot lately, is what I want to write on this blog. I love keeping everyone up to date on our family and the children in particular. But on the daily basis, there isn't always much to write about - many of our days are just typical days. So that leaves room for other topics - deeper topics that I would like to write about. I do like to discuss politics, but I have a separate blog for that. So, that leaves two other main topics I truly enjoy, and feel knowledgeable enough to write about - theology and parenting of babies/toddlers. At the risk of getting NO replies, I would like to open this up to you - what questions or topics would you like to see on here? They can be within the subject areas I have mentioned, or something completely different. If no one provides any ideas, I'll just pick a subject and start :)

Have a great day!