Saturday, January 28, 2012


I meant to post these pictures a couple of weeks ago but just haven't gotten around to it until today. These are from earlier this winter. We had a cold beginning with no snow and it made for perfect conditions for skating on the lake. So I called up a couple of my friends and they came out to join the boys and I. Troy was even able to sneak away from work for a little bit and join us.

We skated on Sawyer Lake, the lake that SBR is on. Skating on the lake is a lot different than on the ice skating rink. It's a little bumpier, but there is also a lot more area to cover. Plus, the added thrill of having that nagging thought in the back of your mind that it could be slightly possible that as you are skating merrily across the lake, you hear a loud crack and plunge into the icy water.  I try not to talk like that around the kids.

But skating on the lake is a lot of fun, and it's special. It isn't possible every year. The conditions have to be just right. A lot of cold and no snow for a long enough period of time for the ice to get thick enough. One of my favorite things about being on the lake was thinking about is how the very spot I was skating across is the exact same spot where this past summer I was skimming across the water in a tube being pulled behind a boat. Usually you don't get to be in the middle of the lake unless you are on a boat or riding a jet ski. Even then it's not the same because you are sitting in the water. In the winter, you're on top. Totally different sensation.

This was our first skate of the season, and even though it was a chilly day, we had a lot of fun. The boys got to practice their skating, which always includes a lot of falling.  I forgot how much my feet hurt in skates! Yeouch! I guess they aren't conditioned yet. At times I felt like my toes were flaming balls of fire, and although I don't usually have arch issues, my arches were screaming!

All happily sacrificed for the sake of giving the boys a unique experience they might not have again for awhile, and for the sake of sharing a fun memory with some good friends. Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Fun to Play at the YMCA!

Last week we decided to make our own field trip (just one of the many blessing of home schooling). We really wanted to go somewhere we could burn some pent up energy since the winter weather keeps us indoors more than we are used to.  I get to the point where I just can't handle the kids running wild through the house anymore.  So I called up my sister and asked her what our options were down in the Fox Valley, where she lives. She discovered that the YMCA sells a day pass for $14.00 a family (plus the lady at the desk let my sister, mom, and I all count as one family!). You can even use the day pass at all of the YMCA locations in the valley area, there are 3 of them. Woot! One of the Y's has a gymnastics room. That's where we decided to go first and spend most of our time. Let me just tell you, it was so much fun!!!! The boys LOVED it. Plus it was really fun to watch them experience all of the fun gymnastics equipment. They had never had an opportunity to jump off of a trampoline into a foam pit, swing on the bar, run and jump on a spring board, and the spring floor, well, it was more fun for me than for them. The kids wouldn't stand still long enough for me to take a picture that didn't turn out fuzzy.
It was a great way to spend the morning, and even more fun because my sister, her kids, and my mom joined in the fun too. Then in the afternoon we went to another Y and let the little kids play in a fun indoor play park while the bigger kids went to the splash pad.
Let me just tell you, those kids slept GOOD that night.
We are definitely going to have to go back at least one more time this winter. I was pleasantly surprised to see Bible verses posted on banners and on the t.v. screens through out the buildings.  I didn't realize that the Y promoted their Christian foundation so boldly. Yay!
Next time, I am going to spend more time jumping off that trampoline into the foam pit. I felt like a kid again. And the spring floor, well, let's just say, my inner gymnast really wanted to bust out. I may have let her if I wasn't sure it would result in some serious sprains or even a broken bone or two.
Whoo Hoo! Pin It

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cleanin' Out the House

For those of you who are not regulars at the Beaber house, this is our playroom. And it almost never looks like this. I made the epic mistake of not taking a 'before' photo. I'm sorry, I'm still new at this blogging stuff. It hasn't quite become second nature to me to photograph all the befores, middles, and afters of our life. I really should have taken a before shot though. You would have been amazed, astounded, nay even flabbergasted at the transformation. A brief description would be, you couldn't see the floor for all the toys scattered across it. There would have been no walking 2 steps into the room with out impaling your foot on some ridiculously sharp toy that is supposedly child safe. There was no separation of toys, no distinction between the masses. In fact I think the remote control trains were giving free rides to the hex bugs while we were eating dinner. In exchange the hex bug battle ground served as a support system for the second story of the train track. All while the match box cars were having drag races along the perimeter of the track.  Somehow, no one ever knows exactly how, the dress up clothes once again vomited out of their bucket to cloak the entire room in mystery.  The stuffed and mounted musky was giving a bear a piggy back ride. It was complete and total chaos

Saturday morning, after a nice leisurely breakfast, I roped everyone into helping purge the playroom. I had been wanting to do this since Christmas. If you have children you know how Christmas is a mixed blessing when it comes to new toys. We definitely needed to get rid of some of the old to make room for the new. When I clean the playroom, we dump absolutely every bucket in there upside down. This does make for a larger mess initially but it is necessary in order to find all the random pieces that have been put away in the wrong bucket when the boys were in charge of cleaning up on their own. It always amazes me how in our pretty organized system, where there is a container of some kind for every category of toy we own, the bullets for the nerf guns can end up in the play mobil and the dress up clothes can be found in the train set. I guess maybe the kids aren't quite as good at matching as I thought. Except, they are. They just don't want to. My absolute favorite though, is when they have been told to clean the playroom, and they take all the stuff they aren't quite sure of and make piles in the corners. As if I'm not going to notice that. Silly kids.

After about 2 1/2 hours we have the beautiful results that you see here. With everyone pitching in, including Troy and our friend Alexa, it actually went much more smoothly than when it's just me and the boys. Meaning, I did a lot less yelling. I actually think doing a major clean out and reorganize like this is fun. I LOVE the results. It feels so satisfying.

Here's what we pulled out of the room. Can you believe there was an entire bag of garbage in there? Not including the 4 cardboard boxes we broke down. Where did it all come from? It's supposed to be just toys up there! We also found 2 garbage bags worth of toys we will be giving away to someone else who will appreciate and enjoy them. We split up the match box cars to go to the grandparents and emptied out 2 bins! Yay! Now my goal is to not fill them back up. I also got the boys to clean up their bedroom floor and the school room floor so that the entire upstairs could be vacuumed. Unfortunately that doesn't happen as often as it should. So satisfying. And the best part is - it is still this clean today, even after having the company of 3 other kids, because the boys have cleaned up after themselves so spectacularly. Probably because they know mommy would blow a gasket if I walked upstairs and found it a mess. They know they need to wait at least 3 or 4 days before the threat of that happening wears off.
Don't worry, that's not all we did this weekend. Although I don't have any pictures because I didn't want to take my camera out in the cold and I don't own one of those fancy smart phones. We spent the rest of Saturday sledding at SBR and playing with friends. Then on Sunday after church, we had small group here and ended the evening with an epic game of freeze tag. It was a lot of fun.
I hope this inspires you to purge somethings at your house. I know this is just the beginning of my purge-fest.
But please, don't expect me to take pictures of it all. Pin It

Thursday, January 19, 2012

52 a Year - Week 3

I can't think of any curves that are much more adorable than these: pudgy, baby, finger curves. 
That was the challenge for week 3; curves. 
So after looking high and low, near and far, I settled on this.
Although I was tempted to take another picture of this same baby when I saw her all nekked, getting her diaper changed. I tell you what, this little girl has got some curves! (she's got some 'junk in the trunk' if you know what I'm sayin?) 
But I wanted to keep things 'G' rated, so I thought these little fingers would be curvy enough. Pin It

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, Monday

We begin the day with a yummy breakfast, golden brown waffles hot off the waffle maker. Yummy. Troy is usually the breakfast chef but he decided to go sit on the ice and see if he could catch some  fish. Lucky for me, Megan was here to fill in. Seeing as how I was nearly comatose this morning. I don't do breakfast well. So if Troy happens to be gone in the morning the kids usually get cereal. (don't worry, they are actually happy about that)

Don't be fooled, he's not that excited about school. But there are some fun parts.

Then, after much wiggly silliness while consuming the above mentioned breakfast, they finally got the dishwasher unloaded. I was sitting on the computer monitoring them from the other room and that usually doesn't go very well. You would think I would learn. So we got a later start today than normal but finally by 9:00 I sent the kids up to our school room to start their computers. At which point, while my hands were sunk deep in the dishwater, (because even if I don't cook it, I do get clean up duty), my eldest son runs down stairs and announces that he is supposed to have a teachers conference today. Which makes me remember that his brother is supposed to have one today too. At 9:00!

Working diligently, except at keeping his space clean. Maybe I should let him check out some of my organization blogs?

With no time for a towel to dry off those dishpan hands, I use the next best thing, my pants.  (They have so many uses, besides just covering my white, white, legs.) Of course, we were supposed to be logged on to the computer already and my computer is still off. This may not be a problem for some of you, but I happen to have a slow computer and a slow internet connection. Not as slow as dial-up, but still. Those of you who are accustomed to high speed would have a hissy fit over what I deal with on a daily basis.

The phone rings, fortunately I had already had Tate bring it upstairs for me, and I am still not logged in. Mrs. Kidder is a sweet lady and a good sport and says she'll just pour herself a cup of coffee while she waits for me to log on.  So I do, and guess what?  There is no link to Seth's online conference.  Ha! Here I felt all bad for running late and making the teacher late because I was all slow of brain this morning, and it turns out that she forgot to send me the link. Of course, I was very sweet, and accomodating, so we have rescheduled for this afternoon.

This is how Wyat feels about school today

Is it wrong that I felt so much better about my blunder after we realized that her blunder was the greater blunder? Yes, it probably is. I never should have been late in the first place.
Stupid, foggy, monday morning brain.  So much for writing things down three times to help me remember it. Now my sister is going to remind me about her 'plan ahead on Sunday night' philosophy again. And she's going to really feel justified in believing I need to do it.

Sometimes they help each other out and are so sweet to each other
But I am stubborn enough to believe that planning ahead on Sunday night really wouldn't help me because I would just forget it all in my sleep. And I KNOW that foggy Monday morning brain would trump any well intentioned planning ahead. So why waste my time? I am nothing if not efficient. No worries about our new conference time though. I finally figured out how to utilize the alarm function on my cell phone.  It is revolutionizing my life. As long as I know where my phone is, we should be good.

Sometimes this is a more accurate perception of how 'helpful' brothers can be

And so begins our week of home school. Never sure what we're going to encounter on any given day, but we can always be sure it will be an adventure. 

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance
And we will always know that we'll be facing it together.   That's nice.
 Most days.

Don't they look excited to be working on their school today?

Here's to Mondays. I hope you have a happy one!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

52 a Week - 52 photo's for 2012

I was invited to join a facebook group by my old college girlfriend, Cheri from over at, called '52 a week'.  It's a photography challenge to take one photo per week for a year and post it on the group page.  Every week will have a theme for you to work with.  Since I really want to use my camera more and figure out how to use it better and take better quality photo's, this sounded like a great idea.  I'd heard of people doing a photo a day, and although that sounds fabulous, it also sounds really overwhelming and a bit like overkill. So once a week is good. I'm going to try and post my photo on the blog each week, but I missed doing that last week so I included it below.  Last weeks theme challenge was 'new'. Can you guess what this weekes theme challenge was? (that's what the above pic is for) Leave a comment and let me know what your guess is!

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Scurry, Flurry

Say hello to my little friends.  The red squirrel, we have decided to call Pippen.  He/she (who can tell?) has a buddy we call Pip-squeak.  Watching them in the mornings is good old fashioned entertainment! Partially because the gray squirrel, Rocky, is their arch enemy. This means that there is a competition every day to see who is going to get to the feeder first. Rocky is a bit selfish and doesn't like to share. With the red squirrels, or the birds.

This morning, there was a bit more scurry at the feeder than usual. We have been in a little bit of a snow deficit here for Northern Wisconsin.  But last night, the flurry started. And that makes all of the animals scurry for a place at the feeder. Kinda reminds me of the one winter when we lived in Knoxville TN. When snow was in the forcast, you should have seen the traffic lined up outside the local grocery store. You would have thought a 2in forcast of snow meant a blizzard was coming to those sweet southerners. :) That's nothing to a Wisconsin girl. :)
Enjoy your flurry! I hope it keeps coming down all day. 
But I am glad I got to the groccery store last night!  Pin It

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just an Average Evening at the Beaber House

Wyat walks up to me on his way to bed and says, "Mom, Dad said he would read me half the bible and a fake believe book before bed."
Me: "Great Wyat, what exactly is a 'fake believe' book?
Wyat: "You know, it's fake but it's believe."
Man I love this kid, he always cracks me up.

(Please excuse the bad photo quality on these pic's. I've got a nice camera, but I despise using the flash and evening indoor pic's just don't come out well. )
This scene is pretty typical for my oldest son. He is currently reading a series by one of my favorite musicians, Andrew Peterson. This kid is carrying on the love of reading that I inherited from my Grandmother and mom. He read 255 pages in a 28 hour period and that includes at least 9 hours of sleep and church service today. I love to see my son devour books.

Which is also what this guy does. He may not be reading novels like his brother, but for a second grader he's doing really great. He's read through a couple of Magic Tree House books and a few other small chapter books.  I would say that this is one area where wanting to be like his older brother has really paid off for him and me.
Wyat loves to be read to, so on an average evening you can find all of us curled up with a good book, or two, or three.
Happy reading! Pin It

Friday, January 6, 2012


 This past Wednesday, my baby turned 5.
F-I-V-E, fiver, cinco, funf, cinq, cinque, I think you get my drift.
Did I ever really think this day would come when I brought this little purple faced baby home from the hospital? At that point in time I couldn't think past the next potential nap time.
They say a childs personality is basically established by the age they are five.
Scary huh?

I've had that knowledge breathing down my neck for the last couple of years now. So what does this mean for Wyat now that he's turned the age at which these things are set in stone?
 How have we, as his parents, done at shaping his personality and character? This is where I want to insert the disclaimer: each child truly does come with their own unique personality at birth.
 There is some shaping that a parent can do, but some of it will be evident from infancy and stick with your kid his whole life until death. Unless God intervenes. God can do anything. Basically because he made your kid and the whole universe, so really, what can't he do? What does this mean as I look at my young son? What do I see in him today that I hope will be there 30 years from now? He's got a lot of good qualities, and I am so thankful because I'm pretty sure he has those in spite of his parents not because of.
Here are 5 things I love about him:
1.He is a really compassionate kid. When I listen to his prayers at night I am amazed at his thoughtfulness of others and his compassion for them, people he doesn't even know. He is already learning to love other people because God loves them.
2. Anyone who knows Wyat also knows that he is a funny kid. He loves to make people laugh and he loves to have fun and joke around. Punching and wrestling will usually be included (we're still working on that). 
3. He is fiercely loyal to those he loves.
4. He has a happy personality and he has just as much fun playing alone as he does with other people.
5. Most importantly, already as a little boy, he loves God and wants to do what he says. Does it get any better than this? 
As for the character qualities that he posseses that are a little less than desireable, well, I'm just going to trust God to take care of those along the way. And truly, other than the fact that he can dodge work better than anyone I've ever met, he's a truly great kid.

Happy 5th birthday Wyat!
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

The whole group all together (from left to right) Wyat, Seth, Lincoln, Ella, Tate, and Ian

I love the sweet friendship between these two.

The only problem with trying to do what your older cousin does . . . unexpected bumps in the ride.

Ella and Tate, both the oldest kids in their family.

We celebrated New Years Eve -Eve (no that isn't a typo) with my sister and her family and my Mom and Dad. They all drove up to our house so we could have our family Christmas together.  Being that Dad is a preacher man he was unable to come up for the actual New Years Eve, which is ok. In the end, it all worked out. 
After all, more important than the day we get together is the fact that we actually get together. It's nice that my family is flexible. Troy's is too. I guess we really lucked out that way. So it makes for a stress-less holiday season.
As anyone with kids knows though, it's the kids that really make the holiday fun.  I mean, why go through the hassle of actually wrapping a present when there are attractive gift bags that are quicker and easier? 
Except, it is so much fun to watch the kids tear the wrapping off of their gift and watch their eyes light up when they see what is in the box underneath the paper.
We managed to have just enough snow in the yard while the niece and nephews were here for all of the kids to enjoy a little sledding out in the back yard.  It was pretty funny to watch the kids ride their sleds down the barely snow covered backyard steps. They seemed to really enjoy the bumpy ride. This is where my kids usually sled, but normally the stairs are covered with enough snow that it forms a sleek slope that is bump free for them to glide down.  My kids are a little more rough and tumble than my sisters kids, so I was a little concerned as I was watching them slide down our barely snow covered slopes. I just kept praying that if they fell off of the sled, their hat would be thick enough to protect their little skull when it hit the exposed rocks and branches in the yard.  Happily, other than one face wash for my littlest nephew, the sledding commenced without mishap but with lots of laughter and smiles. It warms my heart to see my sons and my niece and nephews get along so well. And I am thankful that even though we are separated by enough miles that keep us from getting together regularly, we get together often enough to cultivate a relationship between these kids. 
They're pretty good kids too.
So Happy New Year, and I hope you all have opportunities to enjoy some sweet time with your family throughout this year. Pin It