Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Getting updated

It has been 3 months since I posted last.  That will tell you how busy we have been.
I have to admit that this year's school has kept me on my toes.

All 3 boys are home this year. David is in 7th grade and we began the year with him open enrolled into the Appleton school district virtual school.  We withdrew him within 10 days.  That will tell you how well it worked for him. His teacher was over tasked with more than 40 students. She had no lesson plans prepared and it was over-the-top frustrating for both David and I.  We had no idea what we were suppose to do for the Language Arts or Social Studies lessons.  He had a different teacher for Math (he was enrolled in 8th grade math due to his advancement).  That teacher was on the ball! Boy, I wish he taught all the classes.  We would've stayed.  Everything was clearly laid out, links were working and overall it was very easy to follow. We requested another 7th grade teacher but there was only 1 for that grade.  No wonder we couldn't even log in to her room.  What a mess.  So we punted. We contacted the Department of Education and filed our home school form. We scrambled week 2 of school and bought all our curriculum to be shipped ASAP.  I stayed up for days lesson planning to get us caught up.  

Caleb is is grade 3 and he also is home.  Caleb was also enrolled with Appleton school district virtual school and he is having a great experience.  We withdrew David, but we continued with Caleb.  His teacher  is wonderful.  Everything we need to do is well planned and communicated.  The standard of education is obviously higher in Appleton than here in Evansville.  Our district really has a long way to go. We are very pleased with the virtual school experience Caleb is having.  It is a true indicator that the teacher makes all the difference.  Caleb has done a number of  writing projects that are WELL above the level of the 3rd grade classes at our local school.

Nathan is home as well.  He is technically in kindergarten due to his September 8th birthday.  However, he does 1st and 2nd grade class work with me. He reads chapter books while his peers are learning their vowel sounds. He is learning how to carry and borrow in 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction while his peers are learning how to count to 50.  Don't get me wrong, he will attend the public school just as the other boys have done at some point. He will get a year of pure social education, just as David and Caleb got.  Nathan will really thrive in the school environment due to his disposition.But for now, I plan to give him a big educational head start.

The boys are all in swim lessons and will continue with that thru the winter.  David and Caleb will start wrestling in about a week.  This, on top of AWANA and music lessons, means we are more busy than I would like.  I can't even make a grocery list, between all the responsibilities.  I longed for the days of preschool to be over and here we are.  Now it is go, go, go. I have entered the taxi driver stage. I do have to admit that I love them at this age.  It is a rare thing for them to interrupt my sleep, I don't wipe anyone else's bottom, and at swim lessons no one accompanies me into the ladies locker room.  WHOOT!

Our everyday commitments keep us busy, but add on the events of a normal life and we have been playing defense more than I would like.  David has been doing farm work part time, our dog got fleas in September, my phone got dropped and I lost all my pictures and videos, and someone bashed John's car side mirror off while parked at work.

I am thankful though, all of us made it thru October without pneumonia from the moldy leaves. There was a lot of sickness in my Cubbie class.  Those little Cubbies are adorable, but I knew I was increasing my chances of getting sick by being their teacher.  We sanitize and teach kiddos how to cough in their elbow a lot!

I wish I had pictures of the last 3 months to add, but they are lost forever. Sigh.

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving pilgrim hat cookies - YUM!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nathan turns 6

What can I say? Nathan has brought such joy to our family. It is a great thing to celebrate his birthday. 

Nathan is now 6 and in first grade.  He is just the most sunny, happy go lucky little man. His "good morning" greetings first thing each day are delightful.

He is so thoughtful and helpful of others.  He has a true servants heart. I am so proud of him.

We went to Dunkin Donuts for his birthday breakfast and later enjoyed a Batman cake bordered with Andy Candies.  Nathan loves mint and chocolate. Wow , was that a great cake!

True to Nathan's personality, he was most excited about his new dress up superhero cape.

Nathan is my own little superhero.  I hope he continues to save the day with his sunny personality.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Dog Washing

It is that time of the year.  Time to give the dog a bath.  
For this special occasion I ask Caleb to help me in washing "his" dog.
He happily agrees. 

All three of us squeeze into our tiny bathroom and lock the door.  I turn on the water and begin to fill the tub.  At this point I tell Caleb :"It would be a good idea to go potty before we get started."  The running water always makes him do the potty dance and there is no room for dancing in this small bathroom.  So he agrees. Now the fun begins. 

Now our dog is actually very good in the tub.  She isn't like those YouTube videos you see. She doesn't like the bath, but she isn't fearful or combative. She always has the most pitiful look on her face, but she complies.  She even waits for permission to be excused from the tub.  But, considering the trauma she endured this bath she may be on YouTube after all.

So here we are in the tiny bathroom. Caleb has his pants down to the ankles and is positioned in front of the toilet.  The water is filling the tub from the lower faucet. I am by the opposite wall of the tub.  The dog is in a tiny spot between Caleb and the tub, waiting for the inevitable.  I tell Caleb to get the dog into the tub.  He doesn't pull up his pants first, he just grabs her collar and tells her: " Get in!"  She reluctantly obeys.  Now she is standing in the ankle deep water with the look of shame. 

At this point Caleb decides to become a typical 8 year old stinker.  He smiles to himself and reaches over (pants still at the ankles mind you) and pulls the shower lever.  He says: "It isn't my turn for a shower, (pull lever now) it's YOURS!"  A split second later the shower head begins to spout water over the dog, landing on her tail area and scaring the absolute daylights out of her! She never saw that coming.  She freaks out.  She bolts out of the tub, wet and fast.  She plows Caleb (still pants at ankles) aside and towards me.  Now this bathroom is tiny so we are all pushed around until the funniest thing ever happens.... Maddie gets tangled in my workout clothes which are hanging on the back of the bathroom door.  Oh, but not just any part of my workout clothes. She bolts, wet and frightened right into my pink racerback workout bra.  She gets tangled and stuck with half of her body in and half out.    Caleb about falls over in laughter.  Exclaiming: "Look, Look, Mom LOOK! Maddie is stuck in the bikini, Maddie is stuck in the bikini!

I have to admit it was  funny.  My son thinks my bra is a bikini, he is still pants at ankles, and my dog is wet, scared, and stuck in my under ware. Yup. That was just how I imagined this would go and we hadn't even washed her yet. Pretty funny.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gone Fishin'

We are havin' fish and french fries tonight!

After a full day for fishing, we really hauled!  The boys and I went to a trout pond near Evansville in the morning and fished Lake Leota in the afternoon.

The trout fishing was really exciting! Nathan caught the largest fish with his spiderman fishing pole, a 12 inch brooke trout.  He also had a great fight from another brooke trout.  Unfortuately while mom was trying to remove the hook, the fish slipped out of my hands and flapped back into the lake.  We all just stood there in unbeleif for a moment. "Did that just happpen?" Nathan was a good sport about it and just said "oh well". 

Caleb went on to reel in a 10 inch and an 11 inch rainbow trout. Mom learned to hold onto all subsequent fish while digging out the hooks. :) Caleb is a natural at fishing, he is very patient and knows just when to start reeling.  He was the one who most enjoyed watching the guts get cleaned.

David caught two 11 inch rainbow trout. He was so independant doing all the baiting and netting himself.

After trout fishing we went to Lake Leota.  Our little town's lake was  drudged and cleaned 4 years ago. It was refilled 3 years ago and is mostly young catch and release only fishing. 

So in the Am we fished for supper. Afterword, we fished for sport. The picture of the bucket is the catch and release fish. Obviously we ate the trout. Yum.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Paint for David and Nathan

So now that Caleb has moved out of the "boys' room", David and Caleb felt it was only fair to get new paint in their room too.  I agreed. 

Off to Ace hardware we went to gather paint samples.  David wanted the room green. Nathan wanted to paint it orange.  We gathered all orange and green samples and taped them to the wall.

I hoped they would both "come to their senses " and pick a nice calm color they both agreed on. Ha! Fat chance on that.

In the end we agreed to buy green for the bottom of the room and orange for the slanted ceilings.  David picked olive garden green. Nathan picked golden city orange. 

I clenched my teeth and said "ok it is your room." The Ace paint worker said: "well you cant be depressed with this color on the walls!"

We moved them into our bedroom for 2 days and nights. Their belongings were exploded all over the hallway.  My hair was punk orange streaked for 2 days. 

While painting, I almost cried. I will forever remember stenciling those airplanes in that room while David napped as a baby. Sigh. 

Then John said something that really picked me up. He said: "Those were good days, but these are good days too!" He is right. These really are good days. This was their room and if they wanted it orange and green, then why not. Be glad they didn't pick black!

I have to admit that I was irritated to paint 4 coats of punk orange in order to cover those beloved airplane stencils. But, in the end it turned out great.

The carpet "glows orange" with the reflected orange slanted ceiling walls when you turn on the light.  That happens to be their most favorite part about it.

They were all smiles to move back in their "new room".

Here is a picture of David with the millennium falcon. In the background you can see the old sky blue walls with one of the airplane stencils.  Then another picture of the same area, as it looks now.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Millennium Falcon Complete

The whole top of it unfolds to show the inside. Amazing what legos can do, isn't it? 

It was a fun project.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Caleb Moves Out

Caleb really likes to sleep with the light on.
Nathan and David don't.
Caleb doesn't like any decorations on the walls because their shadows freak him out at night.  David and Nathan want to hang everything up on the wall.

So we repainted the playroom and moved Caleb into his own room.  It was the easiest decoration job I have ever done. He wanted NOTHING, just plain walls, books and his dog.

He has been sleeping like a champ ever since.  Caleb is very much enjoying his "alone space". Maddie is enjoying Caleb's new room too. Since it has nothing for her to chew up she gets her nights with Caleb on his bed. A good match for them both. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Millennium Falcon Almost Done

David has just 10 steps to go to complete this project. He is on step 123. What a good summer break rainy day activity.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Baseball Ends

Halfway thru summer break already!

Baseball season ended last week and the Baierls are happy to have a few non rush out the door evening meals.

It was a good season. David's league switched to kid pitching this year. Most of the players experienced a bean ball or two when up to bat from an inexperienced opposing team pitcher. For the most part all the kids adjusted well to the new pitching style.

David pitched the second to the last game of his season. He had an all time baseball high experience that game.  He struck out 3 kids in one inning. I could see his smile from the bleachers. 

Caleb and Nathan's last 2 games were canceled due to extreme heat.  They were ready to be committment free for a few weeks.  They didn't seem to mind. Both of them really enjoyed their coach
this year. 

We have put the cleats away till next year. Now to the BEACH!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cherry Pickin

Not the fruit, cherry picker; this one is the machine.

John rented this machine to do some work on the house and trim a willow tree.

The boys enjoyed a "ride".

Hot Summer Days

The summer weather has finally arrived with all it's heat and humidity. 
David and I have been enjoying an indoor activity to beat the heat.

Here is the half way point on the Lego Millennium Falcon.  We work about an hour each day and have really enjoyed this project so far.

Here is a few pictures of our status:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jenny's first 5k

Turning 40 wasn't that big of a deal. That is what I keep telling myself.  In order to prove it, I trained for a 5k.  That is 3.12 miles for those who don't know. 

Now I was never in track or anything but I decided my goal would be to run it all with no walking.  I used the couch to 5 k program and downloaded the android app to be my training guide.  In 10 weeks I went from not be able to run more than 3 min straight to running the whole 3.12 miles without stopping. 

I couldn't have done it without my buddy Cassie. Knowing I would let her down if I quit helped me keep training for the race. I may not have been the first to finish, but finish I did We ran the whole course and I enjoyed the journey. GOAL! It was the best to see my boys at the finish with their home made signs. David ran the last 250 feet with me telling me "You are going to do it mom!"

Crescent Lake Bible Camp

This is the first year all 3 boys were able to come to Bible camp. 

Since Caleb and Nathan were grades k-2 John and I were allowed to accompany them as parents.  What a great time to have the whole family at Bible camp together.

Our weather hasn't been the best, but we have enjoyed some archery, boating and a gew fun trips to the canteen.

The second night it thunderstormed and all outside camp activities were  closed.  The staff brought all age groips into the dinning hall and we had a 2 hour square dance.

When this was announced you could audibly hear all the 11-12 year old boys groan.  But in about 15 minutes we had 60 plus kids dancing the Virginia wheel.

I had the best time ever dancing with my oldest son. We totally messed up our first time as lead couple but soon got the hang of it. John got a bit of video that I hope to upload here. What a feeling to be asked to dance by your son in a room full of his peers who are "too cool" to dance. I was smiling ear to ear.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Strawberry Pickin,

Our van is really getting old and is well used.  We just got it back from the mechanic and finaly had the freedom of wheels again.  Whoot Whoot!

I have been waiting for wheels to get to the strawberry patch for some jam berry pickin.

It has been raining almost everyday for so long now. Finally our opportunity came when I had a working vehicle and it wasn't raining. So off we go and boy were we dissapointed.

I have never had a bad experience picking strawberries, until now.

The field was flooded.The berries we over ripe, waterlogged, and molding right on their vines.

It was such a disappointment. Oh well, maybe we will need to buy store bought strawberries to make our jam this year.

It helped me realize just how many good years of strawberry pickin we have enjoyed.  It never occurred to me that we would have anything but the best of the best.

Boys only party

Caleb requested a "boys only party " in order to keep in contact with his buddies from school  over the summer break.

We enjoyed the trampoline and made an angry bird sling shot party game.

It was very roudy loud.  The boys really had fun.

Pictured are Julian, Tyeus, Caleb and Nathan.  David was away at camp.

David turns 12

Twelve years old, where does the time go?

We bought David a new mountain bike for his birthday.  It is really amazing how many styles of bikes there are to choose from.

David has a bunch of money saved from working this summer. He is considering purchasing an electric scooter.  So his toy purchasing days are just about over. Mostly he saves his money for big ticket items.

He went off to summer camp 2 days after his birthday.  It rained both days between his birthday and going to camp.  He hasn't had a chance to go on a decent bike ride yet.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lemonade Anyone?

It was a hot one yesturday.

Nathan and Caleb decided to set up a lemonade stand.

They made $5.00, which is a lot considering it was a quarter per cup.

Both boys were excited with their profits.
They sold out in an hour.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Summer has officially arrived.

(Someone needs to notify the temperature, its too low!)

Baseball has begun and we are back to rushing out of the house after dinner 4 nights a week.  It is more manageable now that Caleb and Nathan are on the same team.

Caleb and Nathan were delighted to learn their little league team sponsor was Rock N Rollls Pizza and Subs.  It is their favorite restaurant. In addition, they have a great coach who has coached Nathan before.

David is on the National league team sponsored by Evansville Home Talent.His coach is a friend of ours from church and is the manager of the league.

David's league is kid pitching for the first time and so far it is going really well.  One of David's closest friends pitched the last game and struck out many of the opposing teams players.

David was shot stop at the last game and stopped a ball with his chin. It looked painful but he was fine and was able to get the ball to first base.

Caleb had a great play on his second game this week. Nathan is the most enthusiastic of the 3. He is serious minded and isn't like most of the 5-6 year olds who are watching the airplanes go by.

Here are a few pictures:

I Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Frosty Freeze - oh how I love your dollar twist cones....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Break for Caleb

School's Out For Summer!

Caleb had his final day of second grade. As most last days of school go,  he had many supplies and papers to bring home.  He was especially excited to bring home 2 of the classroom pets.  In a container he has 2 Madagascar Hissing Cockroachs.  Blach! We will see how they do as they are banished to the garage.  School is over for all the boys and the van is stocked for baseball season. Let's play ball!