Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I see someone has been on my phone playing again...

And if you get on there without my permission, I will post it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Weaving 101

Look who finished his weaving project in time to go to the Awana Overnighter...

He's showing his Pact Panther Pride.

Since this project required ripping out over half of his work that he had already done (because he left the yarn colors he needed to complete it in his desk at school) and starting over (with yarn that I had at home here), I'm hoping he learned that procrastination isn't always the best tactic. He weaved for almost 4 hours straight. Judging by how much fun he had at the Overnighter...I'm guessing it was worth all the work.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Five on Friday (February 23, 2017)

1. This is an honorable mention that I forgot to blog about from last week. Ben completed his 5th grade T-n-T book in Awana. He set a really high goal and wouldn't quit until he reached it. He ended up saying a total of 16 sections in order to complete his book. I picked him up from church and this kid was absolutely beaming and so proud of himself. It took a lot of effort and concentration and not getting to go to gym so he could spend the extra time saying verses to his leader...but in the end, he was soaring. He said it was so worth it. He's out gunning for beating Zyra's old record of 22 sections in one night. And as a mom, it's so rewarding to see him so excited about hiding God's word in his heart. I just love this program.

2. The Awana Overnighter is tonight. Ben and Ella are old enough to go and they are completely psyched for it. The kids meet up at church tonight at 6:30 for a pizza feed and then there are games galore including a flashlight scavenger hunt and more dodgeball than you can shake a stick at. And as an "overnighter" they stay up until they can't take it any longer and crash in their sleeping bags on the floor. I informed Jason that the only way they could go was if *one* of us volunteered. Guess who's gonna be slumming it on the floor and guess who's gonna be cozy and comfy in her own king-sized bed tonight? :)

3. Speaking of the overnighter, there is a certain someone who is weaving like a mad-man. He left his art weaving project until the very last minute. As in it was due yesterday. Seriously. The parents were none-to-happy about this lack of judgement and irresponsibility. Ben was told that he had to finish his project if he wanted to be able to go tonight...hence the weaving, weaving, weaving. Procrastination at it's finest.

4. We are busy getting ready for the upcoming trip. I know I have talked about it a zillion times on here, but I am really. really. excited. We have never taken a trip on an airplane as a family together. In fact, the 4 of the 5 children who have been on a plane before were tooooo little to remember anything about it. I can't wait to watch them experience flight and I can. not. wait. to see them  experience the ocean and all it's power and beauty. Suitcases have been hauled out and I spent the past weekend sorting through bins and bins of summer clothes. It's starting to get real now! Each child is responsible for wheeling their own carry-on...except Hattie. Jason is certain he will be carrying her duffle bag on one side with her on the other. :) If I had to wager, I would say he's probably right. hehe. Which also means I will be rolling two carry-ons myself.

5. When we announced we would be taking a family vacation back in January, it was 67 days away. The kids were told that once we got down to "20 days left", we would make a chain and each day take away one link until all that remained was the one telling us we were leaving on a jet plane. So a few days ago, I got out the construction paper and we sat around the table as a family, writing numbers on slips of paper. It was such a simple activity, but one that bonded us and brought us all together in anticipation of it. We had so much fun! I'm determined that every trip we take from here on out has to have a count-down chain to go along with it. Please disregard the obnoxious mess in the mudroom...this is real life, people.

Preschool Days with Ella

Another happy customer as Ella taught Hattie how to make valentine's day cards for her friends.

I love that she is learning how to be creative and how to show love to others. It's so easy to get lost in this "me" culture...and I want to instill in all my kids a love for showing kindness to others.

Hattie had a blast and her cards turned out really cute.

Proud of both my "babies"...the first and the last.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

Valentine's Day was pretty low key around Hubler Planet this year. And when I say "low key"...I really mean it.

Last year Jason and I really put forth a lot of effort. (No blog post since I was on a hiatus...you'll just have to take my word for it.) We had a scavenger hunt, board games, word finds, crossword puzzles, and all sorts of treats and special food. Then there was Valentine's Day 2015 and that was pretty fun too. So the kids were expecting big things from me this year.

But this year...well, this year was a flop. Jason worked late as he had a big project due at the office, in fact, he didn't get home until we were completely finished with our supper.

What I did manage to do was make a Korean meal...it's called Korean Royal Rice Cakes. Back in the Joseon Dynasty it was a meal prepared only for royalty...so my kids ate like kings and queens. ;)

Jason also picked up marble soda at the Korean Mart earlier in the week. Every one got their own flavor. It's named "marble soda" because there is a glass marble that seals the soda inside the bottle. You pop down the marble and it's ready to go.

I realized that I have 4 of the five kids pictured. In the interest of being transparent and showing off real life, Cora was busy throwing a fit so I didn't take her picture. She informed me that she didn't like the rice cakes, that they were too chewy, and she wanted to know exactly how much she had to eat.

You can't win them all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Brother and Sister Love (ie Wrestling)

Someone is feeling a little better around these parts again. It's good to have Ella acting like her silly self even if it means listening to these two pick on each other. :)

Over the past few years I've seen these two (who used to be so close) start to grow up in and go their own ways. Ella is interested in reading all. the. time. as well as hanging with me more and more. Doesn't matter if we are in the kitchen, sitting on the couch to snuggle, or her following me around like a puppy dog. :)

Ben on the other hand likes to spend his time outdoors, playing sports with the neighbor boys, or wrestling and pinning someone to the ground. (Not me).

And while their interests and likes have started to change, it's amazing to me how much they miss each other with Ben at school during the day. After a long week, this boy will come with nothing but mischief on his mind and will find any way he can to get his big sister's attention. Ella will usually give in, put her book down, and before long this is the scene one happens upon. Both of them on the ground....wrestling...and giggling their heads off.

I hope these two will always keep their special bond.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sick of Being Sick

It's Thursday already and I feel like I am about 10 days behind in life. Ella got the flu this past weekend...the one with aches and chills, fever, headache, and cough. The "real: flu...not the "I just barfed" kind of flu.

Poor thing was quarantined in her room for 3 days straight as I didn't want to take any chances with Hattie getting it. We brought her movies, books, crafts to do, and food. There was also a lot of reading going on in our read-aloud book. We have two rules with our read-alouds: 1. You can't read on your own, you have to read it together and 2. You can't read ON YOUR OWN, you have to read it TOGETHER. Yes, I know they are the same rule and I said there was two, but Ella needs to hear it twice so she makes sure not to pick the book up and read it without me. She's sneaky that way...and since she can devour a book in less time it takes me to brush my teeth, I can't take any chances. Needless to say, it was a bright spot in her very long and cloudy weekend.

She seemed to turn the corner on Monday morning as her fever broke overnight sometime. She was able to come back downstairs and sit at a real table for meals. Hattie was so excited to see her and had missed her terribly.

By Monday afternoon, Ella was wiping her nose every two seconds and complaining of feeling like a cold was coming on. And she was right. I guess her immune system was so overtaxed from the flu, that she caught something else right on top of it. I'm not exactly sure how this happened since she was forced to stay in her room for days on end, but it did.

Why am I rambling on so? I guess I should get to the point. Ella's not a good sick person. There are some people who just sort of take it as it comes and deal with it. That's not her. She's a bit melancholy and well frankly, a lot a bit whiny. She moans and groans and whines and well...whines some more. She hates being sick and she's not a good patient. Honestly, she's a lot like her mother. Poor thing.

All of this to say, it's been a long week around here and I haven't gotten hardly anything done that I have needed to...and that includes keeping up on this little ol' blog. I'm a trillion steps behind on getting things squared away for vacation and my house is a disaster. I have a bathroom closet that is overflowing with laundry that needs to be attended to. BUT...those are all just things and my baby comes first. So...I'm off to go comfort my baby...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Family Pictures 2017

A picture parade of my brood...I love them so much! And I'm so glad they indulge there mother some time behind the camera lens to capture them.

These pics make me sing.

This one is currently printed out as a 16 x 20...but I am really, really tempted to put it on a 20 x 30 canvas instead.

Hattie, 3 years old

Cora, 6 years old.

Lily, 8 years old

Ben, 10 years old

Ella, 12 years old.

The 5 that give me purpose in life.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Personal Trainer

Have I mentioned that I have an aversion to physical exercise? Hehe...not really, but specifically "working out" isn't so much my "thang". I would rather do some activity that by it's very nature is active. I don't enjoy doing squats in my living room while I feel my quads burn and shake.

The instructor on the video says "jiggle now so you don't jiggle later". {Insert eye roll here} It annoys me every time she says it. I'm digressing.

Hattie loves it when I work out and she asks me several times a day when I am going to do it. I guess it's God's way of giving me a personal trainer. She will usually start doing some of the exercises with me and has completely claimed the 2 lb. weights as her own. When she tires of being a participant, she immediately moves into the coaching roll.

All of a sudden I will feel a hand on my shoulder, telling me I'm doing a good job, that I "can do anything for 60 seconds" (another phrase I hate to hear). She will push on my weights as I am trying to curl them or push on my forehead as I try to do crunches, telling me to "push through it" and "not to give up". The kid is not easy on me.

And here...well, she is making sure I hold my position in plank all the way through to the end. She learned quickly that if she crawled up onto my back, we both quickly fell to the floor. I kid you not.

If I actually end up in shape, I know who to give the credit to.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Five on Friday (February 10, 2017)

1. I've been trying to get to this post for almost 9 hours now. It's amazing how one can feel like they accomplished nothing all day long and yet they have been so busy that it makes their head spin. Does this really count as a number 1? Seems sort of pathetic...maybe I'll throw in a 1.5 for good measure.

1.5 I  have been working out...with the anticipation of our vacation. As much as I loath working out and sweating, I have been keeping up with it. This week I had to run upstairs to grab something. I literally ran up with bounce in my step and without hyperventilating. All good signs that I'm getting stronger and reaping the rewards of getting in shape. I've also started prepping my veggies and misc. for the week. My fridge is currently stocked full of bags of different cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, lots of fruit, and kombucha. Makes reaching for something healthy just a bit easier.

2. Ella and I are putting considerable effort into finding her a swimsuit for the trip. I bought a new one last year around the mid-summer mark. And not to anyone's surprise, it doesn't fit what-so-ever. She has gone through such a growth spurt this fall/winter. Not only is she officially taller than me, but she tried on one of my swimsuits and it literally fits her. Although I was happy that she was happy that she now has a swimsuit to wear that she likes, I might have cried a little on the inside just knowing how grown-up she is becoming. Where does the time go?

3. My iced-tea addiction is alive and well. I have been seen sitting with a throw on, a blanket scarf wrapped around my neck, and fingerless mitts on so I can hold the freezing cold glass. I know, I have a problem. On another chilly note, I came home from church on Wednesday night in a cranky mood. The problem: I was freezing. I mean F. R. E. E. Z. I. N. G. (This is not out of the ordinary...with or without the iced tea) and it was just making me grumpy. It was a chill all the way down to my bones. I turned on the fireplace and warmed myself up and upon checking my temperature it was 96.9. Proof that I really run colder than most.

4. Ben has a valentine's party coming up on Tuesday at school. His teacher emailed me asking if Ben would indeed be able to bring the treat that he signed up for. He decided that he wanted to bring in a Korean treat for his class. I'm beyond excited to go shopping at the Korean market and let him share something from his birth country. I'm so proud of this boy.

5. The Armor of God by Pricilla Schrirer is the bible study that I have just started. I'm captivated by it already and am anxious to learn how to discern where the devil is working in my life and how to counteract him and stop him in his tracks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


We are learning about marine animals right now in anticipation of our trip to Florida next month. We are all so excited about vacation!!

I thought that it would be a great opportunity to include some education...then our vacation can sort of be counted as school! I love how that works!!

There are so many things to see in Florida and just knowing that makes these animals all the more interesting to learn about. The kids are loving it. The big kiddos have some extra assignments of researching where in FL we can hope to see some of these amazing creatures. Animals on our list include: manatees, dolphins, sea stars, turtles, shark teeth (cause I don't really want to see a live shark in the area I'm swimming), mollusks, and tide pool creatures.

Last week we learned about how the moon creates tides, what high tide and low tide actually are, and what makes the ocean currents. Our condo that we are going to be staying in Cocoa Beach literally looks out onto the Atlantic. This will give us a great opportunity to see the tides change first-hand. Hopefully we will see some tide pools and get to see some of the animals that call them home.

We dove into the chapter about whales last night. Cora decided that she wanted to take notes. Keep in mind this girl is currently 6 years old and in the first grade. I read out loud from this book, we found pictures of whales, and we listened to whale songs via youtube. When we were all done, Cora presented her page to me and told me she had been writing things done.

I was stunned at how much information she retained, that she tackled some really big words, and really captured the essence of what we learned. Honestly, I couldn't teach these note-taking skills! I didn't tell her what to write at. all.

A first-grader! She is crazy smart, this one.

Here is a sampling of it. It was also written on the back-side. Go figure.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Snapshot: February

Motivated to . . .
work out, get in shape, exercise, become healthier, otherwise known as "get off my bum". The count-down of our days until our Florida vacation is quickly passing and it will be here before I know it. Jason and I have embarked on a mission of getting in shape (at least a little) before we put our pasty-white bodies on the beach. I'm not sure if "mission" is the right word to use...maybe "recovery mission" might be more fitting. I'm fairly sure that 2 months of working out will not undo the last 10 years of doing nothing. :) We tried "country heat" which is a cardio/dance routine. It was very comical, each of us worked our abs so hard (by laughing at each other) that it turned out to be the most fun exercise I've ever done. I'm sure we looked like lunatics in the living room, but it felt so good to be doubled over in laughter with my hubby.

On The Watch/Read List . . .
The Life of Pi. Still. I've wanted to see this forever and January was so busy that I didn't watched a single movie the entire month. Not. Even. One. I guess the trade-off has been less movies, but more reading. Now that I think about it, that's not a bad trade. I've read through some good ones, fought my way through some dumb ones (and then cried "uncle" and shoved it aside) and muddled through some "meh" ones. The current two that I can't wait to pick up each day are The City of Ember and The Education of Nicholas Benedict...the first I'm reading out loud (mainly to Ben, Lily) and the latter with Ella.

Grateful . . . 
for Hattie's appointment at Children's Milwaukee to see the CVS specialist. I'm going to do a more in-depth post in the next few days, but it was worth the trip. I have been given hope again and the fight continues to wage forward as we try new meds and up some current ones.

Drinking . . .
iced peach black tea...cause I'm done with winter and I have spring fever something awful. Yes, I know it's only February...but I'm entirely over winter. Well...in all fairness, I was entirely over winter at about day 2...but still. I've put my time in, I'm sick of being cold, and I need some warmth. So I'm boycotting winter from here on out. And I'm clearly in denial that spring is still months away...hence
the iced tea.

Out my Window . . .
sunny, and yet freezing. I could either be happy or annoyed by this. I'm choosing the "glass is half full" route. It's something I'm trying out this year. ;)The sun is back out which it therapeutic for me. It had taken a vacation for 8 days and we were all so sick of clouds and gloom. Is it embarrassing to admit that yesterday I put my sunglasses on, found a sunny spot in the house, and lounged back with my eyes closed, dreaming it was summer? I almost, almost put on ocean sounds...but thought that might be feeding my psychosis even further. I can't be the only one who does this, can I?!
Buying . . .
Still on the lookout for sunshirts, swimsuits (for those that grew 3 inches in the past year), flip flops, and sunglasses for the family trip. I am itching to get to Florida in the worst way.
Trying . . .
To stay caught up on laundry/housework. Things are kinda sorta surface clean right now, but don't look too closely. Also tackling eating up what we have in the pantry and deep freeze...this is taking some creativity.

Enjoying . . .
The fact that I got new pics up of the kids. Look for them on the blog in the coming week. I love them. I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. I know I might be a bit biased...but I have some really cute kids.

 Future plans I'm looking forward to . . .
 Ella and I are planning on taking part in a service project at church this Saturday. It is to help assemble shoes for children in Uganda, Africa. I want to be purposeful this year about getting more involved in serving others...and letting my kids experience the joy of doing something for someone else. Did I mention that I stepped up and have also volunteered to help with the kids choir spring musical?

In the kitchen . . .
A little of this and that. I have been making a huge effort to menu plan each week. I mostly hate it while I am putting it together, but reap the rewards as the week goes on. In an effort to save money by not eating out, menu planning has helped me in a huge-o way. I can no longer come up with the excuse that "I don't know what to make" or "I don't have much in the pantry" since the menu is staring at me from the fridge door and the groceries have been purchased specifically for said meals.

Realizing . . .
that a bulk of this snapshot has been me talking about wanting to be where it's warm. Sigh.

Trialing . . . 
 Ella has been taking Topamax for her migraines for the past few weeks. It took Jason and I a long time to agree to trial this drug as it can be sort of a nasty one as far as side-effects. We are watching her closely, but with 4+  headaches a week, we felt we needed to try the next thing to help with her quality of life. Her migraines, much like mine, reach their ugly hands into everyday life and effect how much she gets out there and takes part in things. This week starts a big jump in the med for the next 2 week trial.

Grappling with . . .
Contentment. Specifically winter. (As clearly witnessed from this post alone). I really struggle with winter. I really don't like being cold. My body literally runs a degree cooler than most people and with my hypothyroidism, I have an intolerability to cold. (Look it up.) I feel so trapped and cooped up in the house all winter long, I can barely convince myself I should go out in the cold where the air hurts my face. Seriously, it can hurt...and sting...and burn. I know that if it wasn't for family, I would have petitioned to move out of this state a long time ago. (Although I do enjoy the other 3 seasons...maybe I should just winter somewhere else?) Here's my dilemma: I see Jill and Joren absolutely loving where they live. They just LOVE it. Like in love with it. They moved to Duluth from Brainerd last year. Brainerd was ok, it was fine, nothing special, but nothing notable wonderful either. Life was ho-hum. But now....now they live somewhere that they just can't get enough of it. They are sooooo content there. It was such a good move for them and it fits them perfectly in regards to the things they really enjoy spending time doing. They are peaceful and overjoyed at living there. I want that. I want to love where I live. All the time. Not just in the summer. And then dread 5-6 months of cold...just waiting to get through it. Not that I need to be happy all the time or even come close to deserving that...but where do you draw the line of "just be content" and "there's no reason to purposefully be miserable, life is too short for that." This, my friends, is where I am at...

And just so I don't leave on a "downer" note . . .

My Brood