Our fruit is here!

Yay! We are so excited to get our first week’s share of produce! And even better, it’s ALL organic!

Now If you know me, you know I’m not the earthy, all organic type of gal. But only because I felt like we couldn’t afford to go all or nothing and my family eats A LOT of produce. I want us to eat better, but it really adds up when you feed lots of hungry mouths. $6.00 for organic strawberries isn’t gonna cut it when we buy 2 or 3 at a time.

 Since I became a coordinator for Annie’s Organic buying club, I get all my produce for free because I host drop off, sorting, and pick up for all the members in my group (about 15-20 per week) It’s a ‘sweet’ deal!

Today is the first day so we’ll see how it goes :) So far I’m excited about all the fresh organic fruits and veggies waiting for us to devour until next week when there will be more!

If you live in Florida or Southern U.S. and are interested you can go to

Annies Buying Club and check it out

Summer photos: outtakes

These pictures make me laugh and some of them are mess ups, and some are not. I just can’t bring my self to delete them.

Enjoy!

Now Jake is a ham when no one is around, but has a hard time making a normal face when he needs to.

He puts this  costume on almost daily and pretends to be a character. He loaded it with stuffed animals on this particular day…

Alright now, this may be uncalled for, but I think it’s hilarious because I can relate! It’s a goat milk pump! I took this at the goat dairy farm and laughed because I wondered if the poor goat had the same breast pump feelings that many humans have when they endure this procedure time after time. Hm, probably not!

Jakers again… he asked me to “take another one mom”

Trying to get a cute shot at the strawberry farm- Cole almost killing himself jumping off the ledge of strawberry rows

Fish kissing picture. If you don’t remember what this is…

s

Then here is a picture of my brother kissing a fish he caught. He’d try to get Cole to kiss them too.

At first he was on to him

But later figured, ‘what would it hurt?’ And gave it a try

Jake about to devour some serious refined sugar

This makes me laugh a little because he looks a little too old to be carrying that basket first of all (sniff, sniff) but that day he was on a mission to find this golden egg and he was mad that someone else found it first and had gone running around the yard like mad to find it!

You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose…

Captain Underpants and his sidekick tiny potty wonder

“I want to squeeze him and eat him and love him”

Yep, that’s a biscuit in his mouth from the breakfast table. And he’s in his undies. Shameful.

Ok this picture is really cute of Cole but I have a LIZARD tongue that is so weird!! Eww!

Trick photography, sort of

Achoo

(note to child with allergies’s mother: give child allergy medicine at the beach too)

Brock got to be in the dunk tank at church- who wants to be in the dunk tank??

Now that’s just cool

Alright folks! Summer’s getting shorter, but I’m sure there will be no shortage of crazy photos! We’ll do it again later!


Snippets

The subtitle of this blog says ” a snippet of life with 3 boys”. And we are living up to that these days! Ok, so I won’t go on and on about how it’s been 3months since I could even think about updating the blog.

That was hard to write so I just crossed it out! I will tell you about some snippets of our life though because we have been up to many fun and adventurous things!

Remember our caterpillars? Well, they did their metamorphosis thing and it was so cool! After about 5 days in the jar they crawled up to the ceiling and attached themselves to the top.

They hatched about 1 week later then flew around in the net house we had for them. We fed them oranges and sugar water on a sponge.

After a few days of observing and naming them (one for each member of our family!) Then it was time for release. Since they can pretty much live anywhere as long as the temperature is warm at night, we go to let them live in our front yard!

We watched them fly around the bushes for a while and then watched for them for the next few days. I think we really saw them! When they first came out, each boy got to hold one in his hand until it flew away on its own!

They were so beautiful and such a great way for the boys to learn about nature and animals. They loved watching their “pets” and then letting them go in the wild to help pollenate the flowers! Thanks to Todd’s mom for giving us the idea and letting us have the butterfly enclosure. I highly recommend this activity with your kids no matter what age they are. So fun!

We also visited a goat dairy back in the spring. It was a home school field trip to Sweet Grass Dairy. A goat milk farm in Thomasville, GA. The goats were so cute and the boys loved getting to pet them and feed them grass and limbs. Brock was an especially attractive goat feeder because he would stand over them and get them all eating tree limbs in a clump.

Next stop was a trip up to Birmingham but not without a little stop in Dothan for strawberries!! I was SO excited to find this ‘farm’ on the side of the road. It had about a square mile of strawberry plants and a little hut where get your u-pick bucket. I pulled in and the boys got out and we all teamed up in the heat to pick a bucket full of big and juicy beauties. They were so good!! I will be back next year for sure and hopefully get more. I wasn’t prepared for such a good find.

We celebrated Easter with my mom and dad this year and had a fun time fishing at Nanny’s house afterward.

Cole was a little bummed no one would give him a pole to fish with. They all had hooks. Maybe next year buddy!

I don’t know why my brother Brad like to kiss his fish in pictures, but he does! Then Cole was kissing fish after this! And the fish were biting too. Out of all the kids fishing, most of them caught about 5 or 10 each and for kids, that’s pretty exciting. Brad only kept a few to put in his pond behind his house. The rest were put back to “grow”.

Here’s a proud Brockers early on… after about the 15th one he stopped holding them up!

This is our snippet of Mother’s Day. I am so blessed to have such sweet and amazing little boys. I just don’t realize it until I see moments like these when I have everyone in my arms. (and they are all smiling and loving each other!)

Not long after, we were excited to welcome our new baby cousin, Colton! He is precious and growing like a weed. He also is already sleeping a lot at night which for a first baby is quite a feat. (really at 9 weeks)

In May we were done with home school and were able to get away to the beach before summer schedule gets going with traveling and such. Aunt BB and Uncle Larry live in Destin so we can so over and see them at the beach. We are so thankful to have them and the boys love them a lot too!

In June, Todd and I celebrated 8 sweet years of marriage. We love each other more everyday and are enjoying the benefits of sticking through the rough times and enjoying the good times. I am so proud of him and for who he is. The perfect husband stands at the foot of the cross daily and asks how to live his life and love his family well and that is what he does. No matter what our daily struggles are about, we are trusting God and God is making us great.

I am excited about sharing the next season of life with him. Plus he’s pretty darn cute!

“DADDY”! is what I hear when the garage door opens these days. These boys love their Daddy and we had a good time giving Father’s Day cards and hugs.

So here it is July and I haven’t done half of what I wanted to get done this summer… oh well, at least what I did do mattered. (minus Facebook time). This is our school calendar that I just got put together. Jake was so excited that he ran right over to it and started working it. We try to do a little “school” on days we are home, but no pressure, mostly reading and puzzles, games. That kind of thing. I tend to get to anxious about a plan and preparing and want everything just right before we can start then the day if half over so I gotta get over it and just do it!

I thought this was cute: we made playdoh earlier this summer, then later I printed off and laminated some sight words we are learning. Then we made snakes to shape out the words. Cute huh?

OK, gotta go. Jake is hungry for the 20th time today. Be back for more snippets later!!

Homeschool update: the home stretch!

Well, I thought I would blog a lot about our progress in our very first year of homeschooling. That obviously didn’t happen! Ok, was I busy homeschooling? I guess you could say that. It’s been a very interesting year that was exactly like I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be all at the same time.

Let me first of all say, without the Lord’s calling, my husband’s help and support and my friend’s and family’s encouragement, I could not do this. This is not easy. It is a HIGH calling. But I have realized it’s a high calling be cause it is WORTH MUCH. I have been in tears some days over not being able to handle all ‘life’ has for me to deal with- including bad health, school work and bad attitudes- only to find myself in tears later over how blessed I am to have three healthy, intelligent children that the Lord has given to me to train up in the way they should go.

I would like to give you a few peeks into some ‘real’ days we had…

This was Brock on an ‘off’ day. He was practicing piano with his bed comforter over his head. I took a picture to remember it. Jake still in his jammies and I am quite sure it was the afternoon.

Then on this day, while Brock and I worked on something and Cole napped, Jake appeared in my room with about 20 stuffed animals stuffed into this dinosaur suit. We spent about 20 mins laughing so hard at him! He walked like an “umpa-lumpa” and Brock was rolling him around the room and trying to stuff more things in the suit. This day was pretty real.

I’ll never forget the day Jake asked, “what happens to poop?” We spent the afternoon on the computer looking up poo-farm information and found a hilarious yet educational video put out by the city of San Diego. Let’s just say it involved the whole poo process. The boys learned many real things that day.

We all have certainly bonded very deeply, more than ever before. We are with each other enough so that if there are any sin issues to be dealt with (such as obedience or mean spirited-ness) it’s staring you in the face all day. It’s kept me on my toes with them and on my knees with the Almighty God!

 

I don’t think a week went by this year that I didn’t think, “what have I gotten myself into?” Only to say by the end of the week, “this is the best thing in the world, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”

Sure some days I’d like to sling the kids on the yellow school bus, or at daycare and go off and save the world, make some extra money, or have a career (that I really worked hard for!) or just go shopping without someone screaming or running away. But you know, that’s just part of it. I realize they’ll be grown in a blink, and right around the corner, in my next season of life, I’ll be longing for the days of pull-ups and sippy cups. (pottys and elmo, soccer and shin guards, kiddie pools and wet towels on the floor, lunch boxes and string cheese… ) Sniff… I’m going to miss these days.

After prayerful consideration, we have decided to continue our homeschooling journey next year. (yay!) I asked Brock very neutrally his opinion about the matter of his choice of schooling, and he responded with a very enthusiastic thumbs up for another year (or two) of staying home! He said he really has liked the time he has gotten to spend with friends and family. He’s gotten more free time since he can finish his work significantly faster than a classroom pace, and he thinks it’s fun. The field trips, not the work!

I am very pleased with this, because I feel like only in the last month have we really started to feel the benefits of staying home. We need another year and I’d love to have more if that is the Lord’s will for us. The term “de-school” is very true. Brock has been used to someone telling him what to do from 8:15am- 2pm every half hour or so for the last 7 years of his life every school day. He didn’t get that here. It was a real struggle for him to focus on,” Brock, when you finish  your math, start on spelling so you can be done.” He really needed someone to hold his hand and I refused to do it most days. Lately things have started to click with him and he has gotten in gear. We’re in the the home stretch! Yep! We have 30 wks of school so that means at the end of April we are done for a break! I have the whole month of May off to do some fun stuff.

Speaking of fun stuff, me and the kids are really excited about our new pets! We are raising Painted Lady caterpillars to become butterflies! They will make chrysalids, then hatch and we will release them when they are ready. I will update when there is more caterpillar news.

I have been doing some digging and research as far as curriculum goes to try and figure out the best way to challenge my advanced child, but not to bore him to death with ‘work’. I want the learning to be fun and me to enjoy teaching it at the same time. The choices for this year worked great for us, but we gotta step it up next year.

I’ve also got two other very important tasks at hand, a gifted pre-k child; and a sweet, contented 2 -year-old. My mind has constantly been churning about doing the best thing in all three areas of my calling as a mother. I worry that I won’t do the best job, but then I have to sit back and be willing to what God asks…my best job. Sweet Cole needs lots of playtime and lots of snuggle time with his mama, and Jake needs constant activity (but is getting better at entertaining himself!)

I am very excited about homeschooling Jake in the next few years. He loves learning and loves reading and loves most anything that is interesting. He has a library book addiction… had to explain that to the librarian today. That’s for another blog post though.

I’m going to take this opportunity to wrap it up and talk a little about our accomplishments this year. This really helps when you have days where you feel like not much got done… but we have done SO much!

Above is Brock’s homeschool science fair project. He was a pro at putting together a project, but he actually enjoyed the process a little more this year I think.

We participated in Kids Day at the Capitol since it was just a nice little drive downtown.

We saw three Young Actor’s Theatre’s plays:

“The Wizard of OZ”

” The Diary of Anne Frank”

and ” Charolette’s Web”

Brock went to Joe Budd fish camp and caught about 16 or so catfish. Got to keep 2 to eat!

Brock participated in Homeschool soccer on Thursdays

And Last but not Least, Bible time.

The most important part to our whole time together, is how we’ve grown spiritually together. It has been slow and steady, but over all, we have studied several character traits and memorized several verses of scripture together. We’ve prayed together and held each other accountable for our actions (like don’t fight with your brother today, and keep the house clean). This has been by far the most beneficial and rewarding part of our whole time. One thing we do is sing our songs and read our verses through the day and it helps us remember the things we are working on!

Character Traits: Obedience, Orderliness, Diligence, Self- control, Attentiveness

All (even Cole a little bit) Memorized these Bible Verses (thanks in part to Seeds of Worship!)

John 8 :12,

Eph. 6:1,

Proverbs 20:11,

Eccl. 9:10,

Matthew 5:8,

Romans 5:8,

1 Peter 1 :24-25,

John 3:16,

Matthew 12:34

That’s amazing to me!

I know that the Lord rewards persistence. I had a grumpy participant in Brock for most Bible times this year, but this morning I asked him to read the character story to his brothers while I finished getting ready, and not only did he read it with kindness to them, he asked them to say their verses and prayed with them too! I was holding back the tears!

Thanks for everyone who has been supportive, and don’t stop, I’ll need more next year and will start to be able to encourage others at the same time because of you.


Birthday Bash and soccer season

 

1 Samuel 16:7b says: ” Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

 

Here’s the birthday boy with his brothers eagerly ready to rip into gifts… mom had to get a picture first.

Brock’s birthday is on April Fool’s Day. He never really realized the part about jokes and pranks on that day, he just knew it was his birthday.

This was one of a few ‘gag’ gifts he got. I loved the look on his face! His real gifts were in the bottom of the bags and I kept my straight face for a while before snickering. Then he figured it out and started to check the bag again.

Homemade cookie cake is becoming one of my specialties…

We did a little party with friends at Funstation. That place has seen more of Brock’s birthdays than any other in town! He requested it once again this year.

The guys chowing down on pizza and sugary drinks. Then off to Laser tag, go carts, and bumper boats.

Cole wanted to ride the go carts so badly.

I volunteered to sit out and watch on this one… that water’s cold. (and dirty!)

Soccer season is in full swing. When you get to middle school age and you are a decent soccer player, for it to be worth your time and investment, soccer requires more of you; and your parents. (run-on sentence) Brock currently plays for a competitive team in town that only travels to one city 1/2 an hour away and plays in town too. (it’s do-able!)

He excitedly plays in his first ‘tournament’ this weekend where you have to have an official player’s card, etc. and all that jazz. This is all new to us since we’ve been doing the sign-your-kid-up-and-play soccer since he was 3, but he’s feeling pretty stoked.

(stoked-word of the day-use it)

He looks like such a tall little man out there. Wooly hair and all. I’ll have to admit- as his mom, I can’t help but feel pretty stoked myself.

My first-born turns 12

Psalm 139:16 says “You saw me before I was born,  every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out, before a single day had passed.”

As I reflect on the last 12 years of my life, I have nothing but delight for the child that the Lord gave to me. I had no idea how to be a mother. I didn’t even feel ready to be a mother. I was a teenager then. Trying to embrace what my life was going to be about. God never gave me more than I can bear. Each trial was meant to teach me something, although I may not have realized it at the time.

On the night of March 31, 1999, I packed my bag for the hospital and got ready to go have my baby the next morning. I was being induced. I did what I could to prepare myself, but I had no idea what was about to happen. (I mean I did but not REALLY!)

April 1, 1999 at 5:03 pm marked the day that my life changed forever for the better. Brock Jackson was born that evening and I was overwhelmed with the feelings of joy, shock, fear, and amazement all at the same time. I could not believe what God had given me.  I could not believe he was mine. I am so grateful to my parents and to all the people who helped me through those times.

Much time has passed and the days and years are now blurs between sweet memories. I have tried to cherish every last minute. Because his baby pictures are not digital, I have to start at 4 years old…

Where did the time go? He was on his 5th birthday, then today he’s on his 12th!

Some of these photos are so old! But our digital photos go back only to about 2003. Brock’s about 4 in this picture. (i think)

Around 6 years old

 

 

Around 7 1/2 at Jake’s first birthday

 

About 8 on vacation

 

He was 8 when we got our dog Angel

9 years old at a Medieval Times field trip. I had really red eyes in this picture!

He was 10 years old when he first played his favorite sport- tackle football

At 11 years old, he entered 6th grade, we started homeschooling,  he likes to play soccer, basketball, football, rugby, inline skate, and karate. Pizza, spaghetti, and broccoli are his favorite foods, and watching any sports game on TV is his favorite activity. Brock is very sweet and loves his family although he can be a typical ‘older brother’ sometimes. He gives lots of hugs to his momma and likes to wrestle with his Dad and play trampoline games with his brothers.

 

11 years old in his second year of tackle football. It was cut short due to a knee injury where he ended up in a full leg cast.

At 12 he is getting taller and taller every day! We are so proud of the young man that he is becoming and hope to have many more precious birthdays with him before he is grown and off to college.

Happy Birthday Brock!

 

Ice cream

We took a little educational field trip over to the ice cream and candy shop! We got to eat ice cream and watch and learn about how to make this candy.

It was very interesting to see it done from start to finish and we even got a sample :)

Brock picked out his favorite flavor ice cream… vanilla. How unusual I told him! He at least branched out and got gummi bears on top:

Jake enjoyed the trip too and sampled some ice cream.

This is what our candy maker came up with after only about 25 mins of molding:

They  tasted like watermelons yum!!

Cole bears was being a little, well 2 year old-ish and here is an example of a little face to go with it!

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