Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go Broncos!!!

Finally, some pictures from a football game. I don't have many though. Still to come is one with Chris. At this game, we had fun watching with the Warren's. John is teaching all the kids to yell, "Go Broncos!!!!!" My Ashlynn refuses. She has stated that she will never do that because it is too silly. Silly? I would say she is our silliest. Oh, well. Maybe we will get through to her by the end of the season.

Monday, September 29, 2008

We actually do school!

I have wanted to post pictures of school happening in our home. This year has been a struggle getting a peaceful schedule going with a two year old in our midst. Today, however, school went swimmingly and so I had to take the opportunity to take pictures.

More on Fabulous Fridays

You can never pass a person sleeping and not take a picture.

Catching up on things not recorded...

Something that I have neglected to post about is our wonderful experience in our homeschool co-op. On these "Fabulous Fridays," my three older kids enjoy PE, the girls take piano, and Allison takes Latin. Kaiden usually naps through most of it, and I enjoy talking with friends, reading books, or just relaxing. It has been great!

LOVE this video!!!

Emily (see post below) just told me about this video. You HAVE to go see it too. Soooo funny!
Step 1: Go to www.godtube.com
Step 2: Search - Tim Hawkins
Step 3: Click on Tim Hawkins - Homeschool Family

Emily is a Mantooth for the week....

We are having a great week here at the Mantooth house. Emily, a long time family friend, is staying with us. We are accomplishing all kinds of things from housework to school to just having tons of fun. My girls especially love having a live in playmate. Welcome, Emily!!! We love you!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I am a "messy"

I have joined in the challenge of a few other moms to get our houses in order. So, I will be posting before and after pics of my challenge areas. I happen to have many. The before pic will be posted with my deadline to accomplish the job. Then, I will post the after pic. Plus, I will continue to post pics of the completed areas to be accountable to keeping them clean. I am not crazy enough, though to publish these revealing pictures on this blog. I have created a new blog for this purpose. It is linked, along with a few others, to the side under "messies."

Homeschool Day at Sea World!

We just had a great time at Sea World. They did a really great job of providing many educational opportunities. We learned about dolphins and even fed them! We saw sea lions and seals REALLY close up! There were divers in the Shark/Coral Reef exhibits. On a stroke of luck, we got to sit in on a training session for a Beluga Whale with her baby in tow! My kids always love the penguins, so we went down the conveyor belt twice! Then, they did a special show with the Shamu family and then another at the Sea Lion Theatre. At each, we learned a lot about the animals as we got to see them in action. There were the killer whales, of course. Then, at the next show, we saw a walrus (HUGE!), an otter, and some seals! It was so interesting and fun. The only thing we missed was enjoying it with friends. We were the only ones from our homeschool group that were able to go. Oh well, maybe next time. It was a fun morning!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My budding artist!

The girls have really gotten into drawing lately. (Even more than they always have been.) They LOVE to look at something and try to draw it. Here is something that Ashlynn (6yrs) just did during rest time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Babies are a Blessing!!!!!!

For those of you who have read any of my other posts, you know my heart for children. I LOVE huge families with all their sweet children in tow. God says that it is a blessing to have a quiver full! Our culture tries to define "full". It plans when life should begin and even, in some cases, when it should end. A sweet friend of mine sent me a link discussing how birth control has altered our culture and changed our thinking on life. It is very interesting to read the cultural beliefs and responses. I challenge you to read it yourself. I hope that you allow your belief system to be challenged and I pray God speaks to you personally.


I had to laugh out loud when reading some responses to questions asked of large families. A couple of my favorites were:

When being stared at...
"No, we don't try to overpopulate the earth, just outnumber the idiots!"

Don't you know what causes that?
"Yes, we do know what causes that and we like it very much, thank you!"

For more questions and responses visit:

Enjoy and allow yourself to be challenged!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My sweet (and very challenging) two year old is making up for all the difficulties by showering me with kisses. I love this mood! He comes up, grabs my hand like a little gentleman, and kisses the back of my hand. He comes up and tells me a secret and then kisses my cheek. Sometimes, he plants a very hard, long kiss right on my lips! That always cracks me up. He always likes to name the parts of the face. When he is in this mood, he names them and kisses them. Cheek, mouth, nose, forehead, head, neck, ear, eye, chin, you get the picture.

Thank you, God for Kaiden's sweet kissy mood. Thank you for filling my love tank back up. I was very much on empty because of the constant behavior problems. You are so good to me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

In celebration of such amazing weather....

(from lft. to rt. :up close hippo!, on the lions at the entrance, on a kimono dragon statue, mama and baby nursing right at the glass!, a very mean looking hyena!)

....we took a spontaneous trip to the zoo! For several years, that has been a fun thing for us to do. Whenever we wake up and are surprised by a fresh new cold front after so many months of heat, we scrap all plans and head to the zoo!!! This was our first time to visit this zoo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fun with the LeBlanc's

My dear friend and college roommate came to visit with her family. We had a great time letting the kids get to know eachother. I can't believe how big they are now!!!

Our dog, Annie

I didn't have my camera up and running when we got our sweet, Annie. We have just fallen in love with her and we are so glad to have her in our family! (She is apparently afraid of cameras, and therefore hard to catch a great shot.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kaiden gets a little boy haircut!

Our sweet baby boy with the white blond ringlets is a thing of the past now. He progressed to wavy, and then it just needed cut. Now, all of a sudden he looks so much older. :( He will still be my baby boy, even if he doesn't look like one anymore! Here is the progression of Kaiden's hair...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Being new to the area, my children and I have been amazed and thrilled at all the butterflies!!! It is awesome to watch the migration of these wonderful and amazing creatures. Unfortunately, we have to drive from time to time and the results are disturbing. Other than that, it is one more reason to love this beautiful area of our country!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"You are sheltering your children." (said negatively)

(my answer) "Are you kidding me? Of course I am sheltering my children!" It seems the world is very against the idea of sheltering children. I whole-heartedly disagree for anyone out there who cares. I do guard their eyes, minds, and hearts. I screen what TV shows, commercials, radio, movies, books, and friends they encounter in their daily lives. Yes, I am a protective parent. AS I SHOULD BE!!! Today's shows are flooded with pre-teen and teen dating scenarios, immorality, with divorce as an accepted way of life, with rebellion and attitudes as something every kid must go through. They are wrong. I choose to raise and train my children with a God-world view. I believe that, in the end, they will be stronger for it. Being totally in the world as they are growing desensitizes and confuses. Entering the world slowly and controlled, in a safe family environment where challenges and issues can be discussed strengthens them. Then, when they are on their own, things that are not of God stand out clearly to them. Then, they have learned steps in which to process the challenge and come up with their own confident stand. Then, they are confident in the unconditional support they have from their family. The self-centered, "Me" culture we live in today does not point to God in any way. Immediate gratification, the "its okay if I'm not caught" mentality, and wanting rewards without putting in the required work are not attitudes I want for my children. The fact that what you chose to do didn't hurt anyone, does not make it okay. I want my children to know right from wrong. I want them to grow up with honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic. I want them to love others as they do themselves and to live sacrificially. I want them to trust in God's perfect and wonderful plan for love and marriage. These are very different ideas than the world teaches. I want God's Word, the Bible, to teach them how to live in and interact with the world, not a room full of children just as immature as they are (or more so). So, when you accuse me of sheltering my children I proudly answer, "Yes, I am!"

May God teach me how to shelter them even more. I know the world has desensitized me and I let more in than I should. Father give me wisdom and discernment in choosing what is beneficial for these precious children. I pray God continues to mature me in this area. I commend all you other sheltering moms. May God bless you!


My mom just emailed me this link to a commercial that a soldier made. It is addressed to Obama supporting McCain. Take a look!

This post is being revised and thought about........to be continued

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Those of you who have known me for many years, know that I love birth. I was beginning a loose apprenticeship with a dear friend in Katy to become a doula. I have considered going to nursing school and then apprentice to become a midwife. If you have been there, you have traveled with me through 4 cesareans and a miscarriage. My personal birth journey has had much disappointment and sadness associated with it. Believe me, it breaks your heart to have another cesarean when you have this doula/midwife/homebirth mindset. I have tried to council people against them. Saying that they are wonderful when really needed to save lives, but so overused. I have advocated for VBAC and homebirth.

Well, my baby is two and a half now and I am not pregnant. Nor is the plan for me to be. This is where my deep struggle and grief begins. With my beliefs and love of birth and children, I would want to just have babies as God gave them to us. We would also have more freedom in our marriage relationship, no worries because more babies are more blessings. With four c-sections, we are struggling with the safety issue. I am struggling with how big do I think my God is? Am I demonstrating a lack of faith by even having this struggle? OR, has God called me to take care of myself and having more pregnancies would not be doing that? Right now, I do not know. I have not heard from God clearly on this.

Just in case you have read other postings, this is completely separate from our adoption journey. I still feel that whether God blesses us with more biological children or not, we have been called to be open to other children as well. I know there are some out there who are gasping, saying how on earth would you provide for all of those kids? How could you afford them and where would you get the strength? Well, that is where I do not struggle. I KNOW my God is big enough for that task. He will provide all that is needed. The energy, strength, organization, space, and money would come from somewhere if it is needed. God promises His provision. I trust that those that have a quiver full are truly blessed!

I was just talking with a friend the other night and we were discussing how times were changing. God was changing generations. Most families are still having one or two children. There is a population of God following, mostly homeschooling, believer families who are having more. This will eventually produce a growth in the Christian population. I totally agree with taking care of our earth. We are to be good stewards of all that God has given us. I do not, however, fear resources running out or overpopulation. God has promised His provision. God has promised His return. This earth is not meant to house us forever. I believe God is blessed by many children being raised and trained to love and follow Him.

So, somewhere in my ramblings, you probably picked up that I would love to be having another baby. I am coveting the freedom to just have another without worries. I realize I should not covet, nor worry. So, there I am. Realizing my need to grow in my faith right now. I am trying to learn to fear God. I don't know if I truly appreciate that His plans are not my plans always and that His ways are not my ways. I don't fully accept that His will may not make sense to me in any way and that its okay, even better! I realize my need to develop a discipline of truly sitting at His feet. I need to learn to hear His voice more. I can't seem to hear him regarding these issues. Maybe He is just being silent now. Maybe I just need to wait on Him.