Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sacred Mommyhood's first giveaway! Don't miss out!

Sacred Mommyhood is a precious blog full of tips, ideas, recipes, mommy stories, homeschool ideas, etc. The author is a Christian mother of nine wonderful children whom are all homeschooled (or at least one day will be!).

Don't miss out on her first giveaway! Visit Sacredmommyhood and check it out!!

Sacred Mommyhood

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The ugly side of motherhood...and then the beauty from the ashes.

Could there possibly be an ugly side to motherhood? It isn't really motherhood at fault, it is my own sin.

Today, I heard a disrespectful attitude within my child as she argued back. As the day wore on, I got more and more annoyed. I was being more and more disrespectful right back at her. The other children moved around us as we kept an ongoing argument throughout the morning and early afternoon when it blew up into a full blown fight.

Wow. Ouch. How did it come to this? How did I end up yelling at the very child that I wrote several days ago was blessing me? How did it get this out of control?

As mothers, we are warned to have a gentle and quiet spirit. We are told to train up our children in the Lord. We are taught order and consistency. Consistency. That is the main thing that broke down here. In my laziness, business, or whatever, I lost consistency. I lost sight of the goal, to train up this child in righteousness. I forgot that her character was more important than getting that chore done or finishing that spelling lesson with the other child.

If at her first offense, I had responded calmly yet firmly, and I had given the consequence deserved, it most likely would have gone no farther. She would have seen her sin, said she was sorry, had her consequence and moved on through the day still in the loving fellowship of her mother. Neither of us would have been angry.

Instead, I either ignored the offenses or just fussed my dislike of the offense while still moving forward with my agenda. This does not teach. It does not train. It does not say that you and your character development are a priority to me because I love you. It says that this is a normal way to disagree with me. It says that I don't have time for you. It communicates all kinds of negative things that I do not want to communicate to these precious gifts that God has intrusted to me.

So, what is a mother to do? Humble herself. I first went to God and asked for forgiveness. I prayed for my child, for my child's relationship and walk with God, for me as her mother, for the huge responsibility of raising this person, for my need for a savior, for my need for His help and guidance, for my child's and my relationship. I prayed.

When I was through, and while still in prayer, I approached my child. I confessed my sin and asked for forgiveness. I listened humbly and quietly to the hurt I had caused. We talked about what could make our relationship better, stronger. I was apologized to, and I forgave.

Our God is a God of reconciliation, of unity, of forgiveness, of grace, and of love! He restores and heals our hearts. As long as we are clinging to Him, humbly acknowledging our need for Him, all will work for good!

Thank you, God, for these precious gifts. Thank you that you never leave my side. Thank you that I am not raising them alone, but that you are with me. Thank you for a godly, loving husband who walks with me and supports and encourages me. Mold me into the woman, wife, and mother that you want me to be. I pray my heart would never be closed to growth, never "arriving" until I am with you. I pray that you would show yourself, your love, to these children. I pray that they would grow to know you, to love you, and to follow you more and more each day. May they never lose the thirst to know you more!! In Jesus' name, Amen.



(This post is now linked!) A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How I Help My Family....

"How I Help My Family..." is the title of our chore chart. Yes, some jobs are a chore, but it just seemed to start everything off on a negative note to say, "Chore Chart," when we talk about a happy heart all the time.

We divide the house into zones. Here are the current jobs:

AFTER MEALS: (We focus on the 15-30 minutes after meal time for chores, but the jobs the girls and I do sometimes requires initiative at other times to keep caught up.)

Rotation between Mom, Allison (11 yrs), and Ashlynn (9 yrs) (We do the zone for a week and begin the next week on Mon.)
              A - Kitchen (This job means everything in the kitchen from dishes to counters to floor pick up.)

              B - Bathrooms and sweeping (deep clean bathrooms on Monday)

              C - Laundry (wash sheets on Friday)

Kevin (7 yrs) - Picking up the living room/ entry hall and game room, take out recycling and garbage

Kaiden (5 yrs)- Dining room and stairs

Everyone keeps their own room picked up.

SATURDAY MORNING :

Rotation between Mom, Allison (11yrs), and Ashlynn (9 yrs): (These letters match what week we are on above.)

                 A - Mop and pantry clean up
                 B - Clean downstairs windows and blinds
                 C - Clean shower and dusting

Kevin (7 yrs) - Clean kitchen cabinets and appliance surfaces, vacuum

Kaiden (5 yrs) - Clean both bath tubs, wipe down dirty walls


So, there you have it!

I have just recently added myself back to the chart. This has helped a TON as far as attitude within the ranks. Before now, though, it took all of my time training and keeping everyone on task that I would never get to my chore. So, I had to just be the trainer/manager for a good couple of years. Now, I am able to jump back in, and it has really improved my relationship with my girls.

Of course, this has been only going on a couple of months exactly like this. Dynamics change, abilities change, etc. so small revisions must be made.

I don't share this to say that this is the right way to do things. I share it to encourage you that your children are VERY capable of helping around the house!

Happy helping!!!





Friday, August 26, 2011

FRUIT!!!!


God has had me on a fast track study program for the last 3 years. Three years ago, when we moved, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of life. I saw first hand how the family can truly be a wonderful place to be! I experienced respectful children and even teenagers who knew how to be under the authority God placed above them. I saw joy and love! I also saw moms who didn't do everything themselves!! I was introduced to the idea that our kids can and should do A LOT more than I had been expecting of them! (I will share what our chores are in my next post.)

I learned that not only do chores teach skills that my children will need for life, but they foster a sense of servant hood, of team, of responsibility, and of selflessness. We have battled back and forth over the last few years. Training children already set in the habit of being served proved a daunting task. I was also faced with my own selfishness, laziness, and inconsistency. God is still refining these characteristics in me.

So, as time has marched on, so have our chores. Each child has been given certain responsibilities within our home, to help our family run smoothly and enable us to be more hospitable toward our neighbors. Finally in this last year (or even 6 months!), the kids have finally given into embraced this idea. Sure, there are still yucky jobs and bad moods, but as a whole, everyone sees what an important roll they play in our family.

I was so proud of my oldest, Allison (11 years), a couple of nights ago. It was my turn to do the dishes. Two of my boys were fighting, the baby was crying and tugging on my leg, I was trying to bark out orders, and it was past bedtime. Allison came up to me and started doing the dishes. (She HATES this job!) I told her that she didn't need to do that, that I would get it done. She responded by saying that she knew I had enough to do at that moment, and she was finished with her chores, so could help. OH HOW THAT BLESSED ME!!!!

Because all of this didn't start until three years ago, my number 4 child was 2 at the time. We were just beginning still when he was little. The heart of family had not been bought into yet. So, he was in training like all the rest of us. Now, we have a baby. Noah is 21 months old and is absolutely precious inside and out! He LOVES to help! When ever he spills a cup, which is quite often, he runs for a towel and dries up the mess without ever being told to! When I say, "Chore time!" he goes and gets a wash cloth and starts wiping things on his own initiative! He will wipe walls, windows, the floor, his high chair, just where ever his little heart leads him. OH HOW THAT BLESSES ME!!!

I am absolutely loving this season of our lives. It has been VERY hard work, mainly fighting my own sinfulness, to get us trained. God is so faithful though! He has done such a work in each of our hearts, blessing us with a heart to serve, a willingness to go above and beyond, and a deep love for Him and each other. I am so humbled when I see a child working with a happy heart! That the Lord would bless us so abundantly brings me to tears.

Don't get me wrong. It is not perfect here by ANY means! We are still sinners, who struggle with our selfish and lazy tendencies, but we are learning! Praise God!



(This post is now linked!) A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

update

No, I haven't fallen off a cliff, I have just not been in the blogging mood. I go through seasons. Sometimes this is where I spend all my free time. Other times, not so much.

Anyway, after my big "WOOOOOHOOOO!!!" blog post, I had a bad accident that left me on crutches for a week and not in tennis shoes for another 6 weeks. I fell off a deck onto a rocky path while holding my 1 year old. In order to save him from any harm, I practically killed myself. Both ankles were swollen up for a little over a week. My ankles, toes, and right knee were BADLY scraped up. I still think I broke a toe, but will never know. It is still sore today and we are now about 8 weeks out. Soooooo, all that wonderful walking and motivation has vanished. I have spent so much down time now, that I don't even want to get back to the gym. I am working on that attitude. Stay tuned....

My 5th child, and last biologically,  is in the process of weaning, which is very emotional for me. He is almost 21 months old, which is the longest of mine to nurse. We both love it and I hate to see it end, but then.....

School is humming along nicely. The check off list which I talked about in my last post is working GREAT!! The kids are finally trained back onto chores (for the most part), and so the house remains functionally clean most of the time, which is refreshing.

I am looking forward to a long weekend by myself! My parents have requested my children's presence and I didn't want to disappoint them. So, I am planning to have some fun with friends, see at least one movie, and get some projects done! I want to rearrange and reorganize some closets and get the "school room" (except that we never have school there) and kids' rooms reorganized and some toys put away. I am a mess about this weekend already. Some moments it can't get here soon enough! Then, other moments just make me sit and cry (already!). I am going to be a mess when I drop them off! I always am and then I am fine and enjoy the time. I can't help it! I love my kids!

Allison just auditioned for a singing and/or speaking role in a play at church. Both Allison and Ashlynn will participate. It is for kids 1st - 5th grade. We are all really excited. They live for this sort of thing!

The boys are just being boys. They collect the occasional bug or reptile, try to skate board (I hate the skate board), and get busted in the tops of closets with everything that was once on the shelves on the ground.

I am doing well, but adjusting to Chris' 7 day a week football schedule. This Friday we will cheer on the Brandeis Broncos for the first time this season! If you ever want to come with us, let me know and I can get you tickets!

That probably wraps us up for now! Hopefully I will get inspired to write about something important soon! Until then, God bless you and your family!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A "schedule" that WORKS for the type B gal!!!

I have needed a schedule forever. For those who know me, you know how much I actually enjoy making out schedules and plans. I can waste hours on these, never to follow them. When things get crazy, making out a schedule gives me a sense of perspective and peace again. It lets me know what is possible. Unfortunately, the next morning usually bombs. Still, with each new child, I realize my need for organization.

Well, I don't know about you, but I always get sick of the crazy, little to no schedule days of summer. The kids are staying up later. Everyone is waking up later. Things may happen in the day but as they come, not by schedule. I get all excited about the coming school year about this time. With it comes potential for consistency and predictability!

We actually began our full school line up this week. It has been a little rough, but there have also been many successes! One was that, after making out many schedules, I ditched them completely! I realized that my personality and the personality of my family just didn't adhere to a specific, tight schedule well. I also realized that some of my priorities makes it impossible to stick to a schedule. For example, training these children up in the Lord and their relationships with each other come before academics in my book. They are top priorities for me. This mean that when heart attitudes are out of whack and/or children are fighting with each other, I am going to use those times to teach about what Jesus would want them to do in that situation and how to treat one another. If that takes the time I "scheduled" to be history, then so be it. That will be taught in time.

My problem with following a schedule is also that I can't break myself free from the "all or nothing" philosophy. I either followed the schedule, or I didn't. So, if at 9:30am we are off, well, what's the point? Right?

Here is my current answer to my scheduling problems. Below you can see a simple "To Do" list for each of my reading children. They now know what they are held responsible for and what they need me for. This is holding them (and me as well) accountable. They LOVE to play with the children we have been so blessed to have living close to us. The kids can't go out and play until everything is checked off their list! It is working!! Granted we started Monday and this is Wednesday, but it is really working! We are getting ALL of our school done EVERY day!!! I am so excited about this!

We begin our day with breakfast and our Bible time. We then stay at the table for History and Science. After that, I begin with the youngest child and work to the oldest doing the work they need me for. Everyone else is plugging away at the independent portion of their list. The only thing I think I need to add is some play time with our toddler for each of my older ones. My baby has been used to being the center of attention, I think, during the summer, and now finds everyone busy. He has been a little cranky and into stuff trying to get attention. So, each of the kids, beginning next week, will spend 15-20 minutes playing with the baby!

Hopefully this will continue to work for us. It provides the flexibility we need. I don't see times that make me feel like I am failing. We can visit neighbors, go to co-op, play with friends, and still come back to our list! YAY!

Here is their daily check list:

Friday, June 24, 2011

WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!

I want to shout to the world, "I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I have walked 4 miles each morning this week (Mon.-Fri.)! That is 20 MILES!!!!!! WOW!!! I have never done that! I have also lost 5.6 pounds!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the road again....(or the treadmill)

As you may have guessed, I let the weight loss plan completely drop. In fact, in the last month, I gained back everything that I had lost plus two pounds. Ugh.

BUT! God's grace is new every morning!!!

This week I have had an enormous break through! Every morning (this was the third morning), I have gotten up at 5:30am to leave by 5:45am. I walk from almost 6am to a little past 7am and go 4 miles. Sooooooo....drum roll please......I have walked 12 MILES already this week!!!! This is HUGE for me!!!

The real break through came Monday morning. I was there on the treadmill at the gym just sweating and hating life. I was into the 2nd mile and already really wanted to quit. My foot was hurting. My back was hurting. Sweat was uncomfortably pouring off of me. (I didn't know to pick up a towel. I had never needed one before.) I started my normal pattern of negotiating with myself. I thought, "Why not just slow it down a little just for a lap?" Then it hit me! NO!!!!! I was NOT going to slow it down! I was NOT going to change or alter the goal I came in with! I was NOT going to quit on ANY level!!!!!

It was then that I believed, for the first time ever, that I COULD DO THIS!!! Even through the pain of the moment I was in, God strengthened me! I started chanting to myself, "I am strong! I am disciplined! I am motivated! I can push myself! I can do this! I WILL do this! I WILL REACH MY GOAL!!!!" I must have said that a hundred times over the next thirty minutes. These were all the things I have not believed about myself in the past. It was amazing how much stronger this made me! Instead of telling myself how tired I was, how much I was hurting, and how much I wanted to stop, I changed all of my thinking to the positive. The results were incredible!!!!

My goal this week is to just get up, get there, and walk my 4 miles. Next week will be extremely difficult to get any activity. So, my goal will be to just get some sort of activity each day. Then, I will start again with my walking. I look forward to being able to increase my distance in the time I have been walking. I also look forward to adding in jogging. Eventually, and not too far off, I will run a 5K!!!

Right now, I am 80 pounds over weight. My feet, hips, and back hurt most of the time, and I have no energy. As a home schooling mom of 5, this makes my days very difficult.

I am so excited about my future!!!!! I now know that I CAN do this! I now know that I WILL do this! I now understand that I am the only one getting in my way of success! I have Christ, so I have the power to keep going!

I don't have to quit. In the past, I have chosen to quit, and I will not make that choice anymore. I now believe that I am important enough to do this for. I am created uniquely by God, the creator of the universe. He took the time to form me, to know how many hairs are on my head, to search and know my heart. He loves me!!!! If God Almighty loves me, then I can love me too! I am worth this!!!!

Don't miss out on these give aways!!!

Beyond Words Designs is the site of a very dear friend of mine. She is not a trained artist, but has a God given talent that cannot be denied. In honor of her birthday week, she is giving away $50 a day worth of credit in her store!!!!!!! Don't miss out!!!! Go now and visit! The link below will get you to where she describes her give aways and lets you enter, but don't leave before you look around her site at all her amazing artwork!

Giveaways at Beyond Words Designs!!!

Beyond Words Designs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homeschool curriculum crazies...

Are you new to home schooling? Thinking about where to start can be extremely overwhelming. If you are not careful, you can spend WAY too much money trying to find your way through everything.

I started out buying a whole curriculum. For the first few years, I was spending $300 to $400 or more!

I have now learned this is not necessary.



If you want to read up about schooling so that you can form a philosophy of your own, I suggest these:

The Well Trained Mind

Well Trained Mind getting started blog site - http://www.welltrainedmind.com/getting-started/ This site will answer some of your questions.

The "What Your ____ Needs To Know" series

Educating the Whole Hearted Child



Curriculum:

I personally LOVE My Father's World curriculum for 2nd grade and above. It was okay for K-1st, but I have started some new things which are MUCH cheaper. MFW has GREAT books though, and are a very good curriculum if you want everything planned out for you.

I have now found that it is easier and less expensive to piece my own books together. Most books are a one time purchase that I can then use with each of my children. Also, they require little to no preparation on my part. I just have to open the book up to the next lesson. (I personally love that aspect.)

Below is simply what I use right now. It is not right or wrong, better or worse than something else. It has also changed and will most likely change again before I graduate my last child.

Reading/English/Language Arts:
  • Phonics for Kinder/1st (learning to read) - Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading
  • English - First Language Lessons 1-4 
  • After FFL 3 or 4, Easy Grammar
  • In 2nd grade, we start spelling with Spelling Power, which is a great book that takes you through EVERY level and EVERY child, so it is a one time purchase as well as a great program!
  • For writing, I have been using Writing With Ease, which is very good, but I think for my students, we need something a little different. I am having them journal right now, and I am looking into a new writing program. I will let you know what I end up with!
Math:
  • We use Abeka K-3. All of my kids have done really well and loved these workbooks. They have tons of repetition and cover many concepts the whole time. I really recommend them!
  • At 4th grade, we are switching to Teaching Textbooks.
History:
  • Just this year, we started reading Mystery of History Vol. 1 and LOVE it! I do love all the real, living books, but we just still do those as read alouds. Having a History textbook this year has helped my organization a ton! We read the weekly lessons at home and then get together with another family and do the activities for those lessons. It has been great for us!
 Science:
  • I have been using some of the Usborne books and casually been doing science with the kids. We would study different topics here and there and then do an experiment. Some times we would look up an animal to read about. I am really tired of this kind of science. Honestly, it is really easy for me to just push science to the back burner using books like these, and on a stressful day (which day isn't), I tend to just not do science.
  • So, we are about to begin Apologia Science!!! I have ordered the Zoology one about the Flying Creatures of the fifth day and am so excited to receive them and get going!
  • If you are just beginning, I would say hold off on science for a couple of years.

Right now, our family is going through 24 Family Ways in our Bible time as well as reading the Bible.

I go back and forth on art and music. I have some different curriculums for each and just kind of do my own thing off and on. A lot of the time, our History will give an art project.

I am investigating language programs. Most tend to love Rosetta Stone, but more and more don't. Tell Me More is another that has been suggested to me. I still have some research to do. I don't plan on starting language until 4th or 5th grade, which is where my oldest is now, so I need to get on this.

Typing and Computer Science are also subjects to look into. There are some good online programs, but we aren't doing this yet.


Again, if you are just beginning, and your oldest is just learning to read, keep it simple and inexpensive. Get a phonics book and a math book. You can even add in a handwriting book (grocery store ones work). If you are just eager to spend money, do it on math games, manipulatives, and toys that inspire creativity like blocks, Lego's, tinker toys, etc. Your day is still mostly play time, read alouds, and beginning chore training! Phonics, math, etc. should only take 1 hour or less. Really just 30-45 minutes. Then, color, cut, glue, etc.!!

Have fun planning!!! I always love this time of year when I evaluate what is working and what is not. The anticipation of a fresh start is always exciting! Happy schooling!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemaker's Challenge begins!

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean


So, do you have the book, 31 Days to Clean????

(I really need a Kindle - hint, hint to those who might need that info - I can't stand to sit at my computer and read books. I had to print out the whole ebook so that I could hold it in my hands. Now, I am happy!)

Each day is such a short, easy read. On Fridays, blog about which day was the most challenging and why. Then, link up!

Are you not signed up yet? Go here!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homemaker's Challenge!!!!!

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean



Don't miss out! Did you download your copy of 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way, by Sarah Mae, yet? Hurry!

You don't want to miss getting involved in this challenge!

Follow the button above to get all the details you need to get started!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Proverbs 31 - Have you heard of it?

Several things are on my mind tonight. One is that I have told my husband recently that I need to pray more for our children. Oh, I pray for them every night, but I have lost the discipline of constantly praying for them throughout the day. In all my business, I have misplaced the most important thing I have to do! As I talked with my husband, we discussed how it is not us that changes their hearts, it is God. All my efforts in the world won't actually change their hearts. I need to release them, once again, to God. Praying for them acknowledges this and turns my thoughts back to God instead of myself and my own efforts.

Tonight, this thought hit me in a slightly new way. You see, I have been trying so hard to grow and mature and change MY heart. Yet, I haven't been consistently at the foot of the cross. I haven't been pouring over the scripture, the very words of God, written to speak to and change my heart!

Well, tonight, I decided to begin in Proverbs 31. This may or may not have been a good idea with the day I just had. I have to admit that at first, this passage made me feel much worse. At first, all that was there on the page were evidences of how I was not measuring up. Have you ever felt that way?

God sent his son to humble himself by living as human and dieing a horrible death so that He could conquer death and have relationship with us once again. He LOVES each of us so much!!! He knows our hearts. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He promises to never leave you and to continue to grow you in Him. You know what also? He loves your children just as much!

Today, I felt like such a failure. As I went through my day, I thought back on posts written and felt like such a phony. It all felt like theory, and really it all is. I felt as if all of it was so far from my reality. Today was just one of those days. I am so thankful for my God who is ALWAYS there to hear my cries, ALWAYS there through His Word, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS there with me, loving me.

Here is Proverbs 31. I want to commit this to memory, not to beat myself up with, but to keep me focused on the goal of a godly woman. We will never fully measure up, but we can grow closer and closer each day. I just read on another blog about how she recites this passage to her girls over and over as they grow up. This is a great way for them to be raised embracing this idea of the hard working, godly wife and mother in the home.

Proverbs 31: 10-31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies,

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple;

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her;

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Friend's Wisdom Over Lunch

Today, I was eating lunch with a friend. As usual, parenting topics came up and she gave some advice that I found very wise. We were discussing daughters and the struggles that come as they enter the preteen/teen years.

Before I begin, I want to first say that, in our family, we do not accept the culture's definition of "teenager." We do not believe that there is an acceptable few years where irresponsibility and disrespectful behavior is expected and even accepted as a norm. Nor do we believe that gradually increasing fighting and disharmony in the home is the natural way for young adults to then desire to split from the family at the age of 18. We believe that as a child approaches adulthood, they are to be trained even more, so that they may know how to live out on their own. We believe that a respectful relationship that becomes closer and closer is necessary to allow the young adult more and more freedoms within the protection of home. This allows the child to experience the world little by little, observe mistakes, make mistakes, and learn all while communicating and learning from these experiences with their parents. That said, there are natural hormonal changes and new found desires that make the child want to form their own beliefs, find their own way, and discover if their way is what their parents say.

This is where my friend's wisdom came in and reminded me of some very real aspects of our growing daughters:
When a girl's body begins to change, she is also changing inside. God has designed her to desire to be a wife and a homemaker. She desires her own space to manage, even if she does not realize this. The problem is, is that she is still in her mother's home. Her mother is still the manager of their home (under the leadership of her husband). Especially in the current culture, girls have to wait a very long time, much longer than in past generations, to be considered an acceptable age to marry and leave the home. This is a large portion of the frustration that builds within girls of this age.

So, how does a wise mother deal with this? Here are some practical ideas.

*Allow her to be in charge of a meal. If she is old enough, she could even have a budget for the meal, plan it, and gather the ingredients while you are at the store. She could check out herself.

*Give her control of a room to decorate and keep tidy. It could be a bathroom, an entry way, and extra living area, anywhere. Allow her to have a bucket that is all her own containing her own supplies needed to clean that particular room.

*Ask her to help you plan the order of the home, like the chore schedule, meal plan, etc.

*Allow her to join you as you budget for the month.

*Help her to start a home business that she can keep running, coming to you for guidance. This is a good one to allow her a creative outlet.

*Allow her to begin a garden in your yard that she must maintain.

*Give her a subject in your school that she can teach. For example, older students are wonderful phonics teachers for your youngest learner.

There are many, many more ideas that would be helpful. Please share them if you want in the comments. The point is to show her that you respect her growth, value her ideas, and to give her a creative outlet. This is all while you are still there as mom to provide the guidance and boundaries needed for her specific maturity.
”LikeABubblingBrook.com”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Preparing to get my girls on board

I can tell this journey is going to be a long up and down hill one. I am constantly battling with my selfish, sin nature. I am constantly battling with laziness. I am constantly battling with my old bad habits. Yet......



Yet, God is so faithful!!!! As I read scripture and learn about biblical womanhood, true femininity, what it is to be a wife, a mom, a friend, a servant, a witness, a homemaker, God is changing my heart. I can feel it! I know it is happening. Right now, I am like an infant. I need milk. I am learning in concept and the fruits aren't there yet.


So, how, when I am still in infancy, am I supposed to train my daughters? How am I supposed to begin instilling in them the lessons I am learning while I am still learning them? Through transparency as we learn together. How glorious for them to see my faults, my vulnerability, my need for my Lord and Savior. Only when I am humble, can I truly teach them.



I learned about Dannah Gresh about a year ago and want many more of her books. My husband just gave me, 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters. This is one tool that I am going to be using soon! This book gives us time together while giving me the tools to teach them modesty, which has been an issue in our house. One daughter in particular, is really rebelling against our rules right now, but I don't have the words to teach WHY. Right now they are just rules. A large portion of what I desire for my daughters is that they learn skills to help them when they are married and have a family and home. I want them to also embrace God's calling for them as women. While this is going on, I pray to build a strong, intimate relationship with each of my girls that will last through their teen years and into their adult lives. I have been very weak in building this relationship. I am sad to say, there has just been too much fighting going on to build a relationship based on respect for one another. I pray these dates will give us just the break we need to really get to know each other as God made us, enjoy each other, and have many deeper, spiritual conversations.

I have also just run across some other resources that I am eager to get my hands on. Over at Raising Homemakers, she did a post about how to raise your daughters in biblical womanhood when we ourselves weren't raised this way. How do you implement something that doesn't come naturally and is actually foreign?

Here are the books I liked best and hope to order soon! Go to Raising Homemakers for even more resources and ideas.

The Girl's Guides - The Homemaker's Mentor

Future Christian Homemaker's Handbook - The Homemaker's Mentor

Beautiful Girlhood (and the Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood), by Karen Andreola

The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls, by J. White

Proverbs for Parenting: A Topical Guide for Child Raising from the Book of Proverbs, by Barbara Decker

Polished Cornerstones - Doorposts
(I also want to get the book, Plants Grown Up, which is the version for your sons and the CD that accompanies them both for easy print outs.)

I hope you find resources that help you also as you journey to follow God's leading in your life. Our daughters are so precious and our time with them so short. I pray we can take advantage of each moment from here on out!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

God speaks to my heart about homemaking!

As you can sense in the last two posts, I have still been rebelling about homemaking. It has still been about what I DO and accomplish. What does my house LOOK like and do I have great meals prepared. It has been about the selfishness in my heart as I see my family as hindrances to accomplishing these goals, my mess makers. I actually said the words, jokingly of course, but I meant them, "I could get a lot more done if it weren't for all the parenting needed." Oh how is saddens my heart and actually brings a lump to my throat as I confess that to you now.

I am praising my Father in heaven for always loving me, always being right there with me, and never giving up on me, but instead continuously growing me into the woman I am meant to be. A woman with a heart for Him alone! A heart that longs to serve Him.

Two days ago, I had one of the busiest days that I can remember. It included doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and loads of errands (with 5 children). Then, there were things to do when I go home, of course. I was exhausted and yet still couldn't manage to get to bed until 1:00AM, knowing I had to get back up at 5:30AM. You see, I am NOT a morning person, but the next day was a celebration of my husband's birthday. If I was to get everything done, I had to get to the grocery store, get back, and prepare his requested breakfast by 7:00AM.

Then, the shower of blessing rained on me! 5:30AM came and I rose, excited to serve my husband in this way! A little groggy, I reached for my phone and read an email from Raising Homemakers that deeply moved my heart. Because it was on my phone, I didn't have any of the pictures, just the message that told of her joy and love of homemaking, specifically in the area of hospitality. Well, God used this message to propel me through my day!

I was actually singing and bouncing along as I jumped out of my car at the grocery store. I couldn't wipe the smile from my face. I was actually there BEFORE the grocery store opened their doors (never happened before)! As I waited the couple of minutes, I greeted and was warmly greeted by several others up early to shop. As the doors to the store opened, I felt like my heart might burst with excitement! I know, this is getting corny, but it is so true! I went in hurrying to stay on schedule so that my breakfast would be ready on time.

As I approached the bananas, I was smacked in the face by a wonderful truth! I actually teared up picking out my bananas as I realized the honor and privilege it is to serve my family in this way. God has blessed us with the means and I was able to go in there and choose wonderful foods for my family to enjoy! With each thing I picked up, I realized it was for a meal planned for us to share together! All of the blessings in my life began to overwhelm me and I almost cried right there at the bananas!

I returned home, unloaded, and rushed in to cook breakfast before my family woke up. We then all enjoyed the food and the fellowship! How blessed I am to be able to prepare meals for my family! How blessed I am to have a loving family who enjoys coming to the table together to pray, read His word, and enjoy the company of each other!

I see planning and preparing meals in a slightly new way now. Mealtime is the main and most consistent time my family spends focused time together without the TV or other activities distracting us. I get to plan and prepare the food which brings us together! How exciting is that!?!

I expect to come off this high and have to face all my selfishness again very soon, but I am so thankful for my retreat with God right there at the bananas in the grocery store!! I will pray that He reminds me daily or even moment by moment of the blessings right here in front of me and gives me the strength to look on them as JOYS and not hindrances to my shallow "to-do's" of the day. Thank you, Lord!!!!!!

(I have linked this to a homemaking link-up! Go over and learn so many great things from women who also desire to serve their famlies and Lord through homemaking!)
A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lord, why did you call me to be a homemaker?

Yes, here I am again. I warned you that I was posting my JOURNEY. This implies hills and valleys. It implies rough spots along the way and painful lessons. It also implies that lessons will be learned, life will be changed, growth will take place, and celebrations will be thrown. I look forward to those. Right now, I am still taking one step forward and three back.

First, I have to say that I am loving the projects getting done around here!!! Our master bedroom has been a DISASTER!!! It has been the entire family's catch-all for everything we don't know what to do with. It has also been the emergency place to hide the mountain of clean, unfolded clothes that were covering the living room couch 10 minutes before you arrived at my house. When you show up, I greet you with a warm smile and a hug, hoping all the while that you don't accidentally open my bedroom door thinking it is the bathroom.
Well, no longer! I am not completely finished. I have some files to make so that we have places for some of the stacks and a few odds and ends to find homes for, but for the most part, the room looks GREAT!! You couldn't even walk in our closet! I unpacked 2 boxes that we hadn't even bothered to unload when we moved to this house 3 YEARS AGO! Yikes! We laughed at how ridiculous it was when we found missing things that were there all along. We also got rid of who knows how many huge garbage bags of clothes to a local charity. The closet looks amazing! I can't wait to continue working and finally have the sanctuary that Chris and I have wanted, OUR place to get away and rest in. OUR place. No one else is allowed to put ANYTHING in our room anymore!!!!!

The other wonderful thing that has happened, is that I AM CAUGHT UP ON LAUNDRY!!!!!! I want to scream that to anyone who will listen! I have 5 children who have clothes that have either been worn out or out grown that still keep getting in the laundry. The mountain was unbelievable! I have washed, sorted, and folded ALL of it!!! The kids now only have the clothes that fit them and they are back within the little laundry basket in their own room. Ahhhhhhhh! I think I got so far behind during our months of throwing up. All clothes took a back seat while I washed sheets and blankets after sheets and blankets. UGH! Those take up so much room and take so much more time to dry! Finally, no more to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My last praise, is that my daughters did a project for me that has been hanging over me for a long time. Our pantry/laundry room needed to be cleaned and reorganized again. They (9 yrs and 10 yrs) spent the entire day working and did a wonderful job! I love you girls!!!! Seriously, they saved me. Also, my Ashlynn (9), reorganized and cleaned out all our cabinets! WOW!!!! This is saving us so much time in the kitchen now!

I do have to say that I still don't think we are getting it yet. I don't think my daughters and I feel any joy in serving in this way. It is a pain. It is not what we want to be doing. We get frustrated at the level of junk that needs sorting through.  Sure, it feels good to complete a project, but a calling? So, even though the house is getting into better shape, I still feel I have a very long way to go before I can call myself a joyful homemaker. We still have a long spiritual journey to go.

Meal planning update...

Well, nothing new comes without a few hiccups. I am using Big Oven, but find myself very frustrated a lot of the time. My first complaint, is that I need to see at least a week at a time, if not the month. You can only see these views if you go to print preview. When I am trying to figure out what I want to eat, I can't remember what I have already put on other days. For example, I don't want chicken three night in a row, or a more difficult meal the same night that also has a breakfast prep.

I am sure my distaste for meal planning, cooking, and grocery shopping plays some part in my frustrations, but still, I want a perfect program. Who doesn't? I actually don't hate cooking all the time. I love when I prepare a meal that everyone loves! I just can't get the timing down so that I am not cooking too late in the evening. Our normal dinner time right now is about 7:00pm or 7:30pm which is WAY too late. It snowballs. Dinner too late means chores too late or not done at all and bed time too late. This puts me to bed too late and very grumpy the next morning.

My other problem has nothing to do with Big Oven. The cord that connects my printer to my computer has died. UGH!!! I am planning on going to Radio Shack tomorrow (but then, I have been planning that the last 3 days) to get a new one. Until then, computer meal planning is pretty pointless.

In an attempt to say something positive here, my family has been enjoying more balanced meals! We have enjoyed trying out some new recipes that I keep finding here and there from friends and online.

I look forward to all the growth I have room for in this area of homemaking!!! Someday, I will look back on this point in my life and laugh at how difficult I made everything. Until then......well, I pray to stay sane!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I WON!!!!!!!

I am so excited right now!!! Seriously, I am jumping up and down and running through the house!!! (Well, I was before I started typing.)

I WON!!!!! I went to this blog:


and entered her giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card!

I have entered a TON of giveaways and never, ever won. I am so excited to have won on THIS one!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a Lazy Mom is a WONDERFUL blog all about being a mom who wants to train up her children in the Lord. It is all about taking on that responsibility that God has given us to be the ones to teach our children and prepare them for their future. The more we teach them, the more they can do, therefore making us "lazy" moms! Get it? Are you a lazy mom? Visit I'm a Lazy Mom and find out!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I'm a Lazy Mom!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My sweet Kaiden turned 5 today!

I cannot believe my little boy is already 5 year old! Every time a child turns five, it hits me hard. I don't know why this seems like such a milestone. I guess he is officially one of the big kids instead of my little boy, my preschooler. *sigh*

I remember from the time he could walk, he has picked up sticks or anything stick-like, and pretended it was a sword and he was fighting off the bad guys. Seriously, before anyone could have taught him, he would stand in a warrior pose ready for battle. He could take on anything!

Kaiden is still full of imagination and energy. He is still fighting the bad guys. He is also still my sweet cuddler (at times, on his terms). Lately, he loves making up songs that are always a rock style. If you are ever so blessed as to hear one, you will also enjoy the fancy footwork that goes with it as he sings. Kaiden has never been able to stand still if a good beat is going on! He is also so interested in God and how all of this works. The questions I get recently are amazing and so hard to answer! Especially when he tries to make it all work within his logic, the conversations get tough! He is such a fun blessing in our lives and I am so thankful for him!

Here he is training his baby brother, hoping to have a sparing partner soon. (Notice how he has the big sword and he kindly gave the baby a plastic screw driver as a sword. lol)


This is a picture that I took earlier today on my phone. Since he hates his picture being taken, this will probably be the 5 year old picture that sticks.
Happy birthday, Kaiden!! We love you!!!!!

Worship Notes!!!

I was hopping around the blogs I follow, and I ran across these GREAT worship notes to give your school age children during church! I LOVE THESE!!!

I think it is so important to have our children in worship with us. Whether you attend a church with classes or not, I believe we should worship as a family. It takes a little bit more of your day, but all go to classes and then all go to worship. There is so much you can teach them, even in the middle of the service quietly, that will shape their reverence and love for our Lord. I hope you enjoy this pdf as much as I will!




I found this idea at:
Photobucket


Who found it at (creator of pdf):


Have fun teaching your children to worship!

The Meal Planning Adventure!

Meal planning has always been the thorn in my side, the dreaded chore, the reason why I argue with God, asking WHY OH WHY did he make us weak and in need of food. Not only do we need food, but we need it at least 3 times a day!! Seriously! Think of all we would avoid if we didn't have to eat.....meal planning, cooking, cleaning up the kitchen, going to the bathroom, cleaning bathrooms, grocery shopping....the list goes on! Of course, then I remember chocolate and decide that maybe it is all worth it! ;-)

For years, I have struggled with meal planning. Many days, I find myself staring in to the refrigerator, the freezer, and the pantry. I wear a path between them pacing, just waiting for something to offer itself for dinner. Those days are fewer since I started meal planning. That brings me back to self discipline and consistency, though. All of the issues I talk about on here are ways that God is teaching me these lessons. I continue to fail over and over again. Ugh! Recently, I have meal planned a week, floundered a week, then meal planned again. The cycle continuing over and over.

There is a bright future, though!!! Yes, we have the hope that our Lord is never finish working in us! Yes, we know He will never leave us nor forsake us! Yes, we look forward to our life with Him in heaven where there will be no more need for meal planning! Can you imagine that there could be even more!?! Well there is one small thing, that doesn't even measure up to the others in anyway, but will shed light in your meal planning!

Did you know that there were FREE and almost free programs online for this!?! I have found that I can enter in my recipes (this part does take some time, but then it is done), find new recipes, plan out menus, and generate shopping lists divided by the section of the grocery store!!!!

The completely free website is http://www.saymmm.com/ and the almost free one is http://www.bigoven.com/. (You can use bigoven for free if you don't want the calendar.)

Pros:
SayMMM - Free, easy to use, I like their grocery list format better

Big Oven - Can be downloaded on your computer (if they go away, you don't lose your recipes), have TONS of recipes to choose from, easier to input recipes

Cons:
SayMMM - Almost too simple, doesn't have very many other recipes to choose from, can't be downloaded on my computer

Big Oven - A little more difficult to figure out at first (but then fine), I don't like their grocery list format as well

I have chosen Big Oven for now and purchased it for my computer. Yesterday, I made my first week of meal plans. I figure, since it takes so long to input the recipes, I will do a week at a time. Soon, everything will be saved!

TIPS:
* You can pretend to enter a new recipe and just write something like "fruit" in the title. Then, leave the rest blank or add one or two main ingredients so that they appear on the grocery list. This helped my personality because I wanted neat calendars printed out that I wasn't handwriting anything onto.

* Before you go shopping, read your list CAREFULLY to see that each item has been assigned to the correct department in the grocery store. Last night was a disaster! I took WAY too long going back and forth for items missed because the list was so mixed up. I got home, fixed the list on the computer in just a couple of minutes, and now am ready to go for next time.

I am so excited! It is a lot of work right now, but I am looking forward to a day when I just come over to the computer, drag meals onto a calendar, and generate a grocery shopping list!!! Doesn't that sound wonderful!?! I hope this helps you take control of your meal planning instead of letting it rob you of precious hours that should be spent with your family!

Happy meal planning!!! (did I just say that?)

Monday, April 4, 2011

My future goals (my call to homemaking)....

(Neither of these pictures are of my home. I just found the images on google.com)


Close to reality....





What I want....

If you have been reading, you know that we have had quite the winter season. As we move into spring, I am optimistic about life and so eager to get things in order. Nothing makes you want to spring clean like months of vomit! ;-)

God has been working in me about many specific issues. One major one is my calling to be a homemaker, and not just any homemaker, but a joyful one! In addition to this, the calling to train my daughters in the love of joyful homemaking. YIKES!! This is VERY challenging for me. I have had the home that you don't want to just drop in on. On good days, we are a meal behind on dishes and have clean clothes piled in the big living room chair. At lease there ARE clean clothes! On bad day, don't even ask! Ever been there?

We do have a chore chart, but I find myself battling all the whines and bad attitudes the whole time. This puts our chores only partly finished and the next thing on the schedule late. See, I am FAR from perfect! I laugh when people look at all the charts I love to make and assume our home runs just like that. We are getting much better at following them, but we still have a long way to go! (I have high hopes for our If/Then chart. Although, today's first run at is has been a little rough.)

Anyway, all this equals much frustration between the children and I and a home that remains a place we wouldn't want to invite anyone. Still, my heart is to have open doors and people here all the time. I love hospitality and desire that to be part of our lives. My daughters, right now, just want to get out of the door as fast as possible. Outside play time with friends is their favorite time of the day. When they come in, the chaos begins again. Why would they want to be here or look forward to being a homemaker in their own home someday?

I first have to battle my own "I don't wanna's." It has been hard for me to see homemaking as a way to serve the Lord and my family, but I am starting to come around. Growing up, outside achievements were more valued, it seemed. School, work, etc. were talked about and praised, but not homemaking. In fact, the term homemaking wasn't ever said. I remember my dad getting in trouble for getting my mom an appliance or anything to aid in cleaning and cooking. It was seen as insulting to think that the kitchen was my mom's "place." I was raised to think about what schooling I wanted and what career I would do. Don't get me wrong, my parents were and are WONDERFUL! I learned so many lessons that help me be the mom I am today.

Over the past couple of years, I have learned more about God's calling for wives and mothers. I have changed my thoughts on the value given to homemaking. I now see that this is the very most challenging, most valuable, most wonderful calling for me! I want to be my husband's help mate! I want to train my children up in the Lord! I want to be their teacher and main influence in their lives! I want to make our home a beautiful, peaceful, comfortable, and welcoming place to be! I want to prepare delicious, healthy meals for my family and friends! I want to bless my husband by being wise with our budget! Wow, what an honor!!! Homemaking is not for the weak!

Something I also want, though, is to do all this with joy. That is the kicker! I am slowly learning how to carry out the charts and schedules that make most of this happen, but my heart attitude is still not there. I am still such in the infant stage in this area, that my resolve is quickly vanished as soon as the children protest, fight, and the baby starts crying. That is where hanging onto to my Lord for dear life comes in! He is the strength that makes this possible! Only with Him will I mature in this area that is so contrary to all our culture teaches.

Over the next many weeks, I am going to write a series about my journey toward joyful homemaking. There are some specific areas that I will cover.
*First, is discipline. I have already written about our If/Then chart. I will keep you updated on how that is going. There is also a lot of room for growth in my own discipline!

*Meal planning and grocery shopping. I just learned a trick that I can't wait to share with you!!!

*Staying on a budget. OUCH! This may be my hardest area.

*Adding in lessons in homemaking into our daily life. I just ordered some videos that I am really excited to receive and we just added something to our school schedule that I am so excited about! I can't wait to tell you!

*Cooking with my children. I am queen of the "Everyone out of the kitchen" cooking philosophy. I don't really enjoy cooking, so this is hard to train and pass on. Much work is needed here.

*Being creative! Sewing, crafting, etc. with a generous heart. I want to make our home beautiful! I want to make and share with neighbors and friends!

*Gardening! I want to learn how to put in hard work for a wonderful reward, fresh veggies!

More may come, but that is a ton already to tackle! Come along for the journey!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party! 2011


I am joining in on the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party over at 5 Minutes for Mom!!

What is The Mantooth Family Story is all about? Well, a little bit of everything! I am a Christian, homeschooling mother, married to my best friend. We have 5 children so far ages 10, 9, 7, 5, and 16 months.

I blog about where the Lord has me, what He is teaching me, and my daily celebrations and struggles as a wife and mom. Sometimes, it is about our school lessons. Sometimes it is about discipline or scheduling. Then other times, I might blog about finances, marriage, Bible studies, meal planning, living on a tight budget, etc., etc., etc.. In other words, what ever I have on my heart that day!

I hope you come along for the journey! You are always welcome!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My If/then charts (without the then)

I have my charts made!!! You can't possibly know how much a chart warms my heart. I LOVE lists, charts, and anything organizational!!! (Now following them is a whole different issue all together.)

We don't have the "THEN" written in yet. Chris and I still need to sit down and hash that out a little more. It will be things like no/shortened playtime with friends, no screen time (Wii, computer, TV), time out, write out the Bible verses, longer rest time, early bed time, extra chore, etc. We were also given the suggestion to laminate them and write the "Then" with a dry erase marker so that we can change the consequences when needed.

Here they are (click on the chart to see it larger):





Monday, March 28, 2011

The next step - If....Then...

One specific heart attitude that we are dealing with here is, hmmmm, how do I even put it? Some children don't see their fault in their actions. There is hardly ever a repentent heart, or change seen from a lesson learned. We, the parents, are to blame for the consequence, because we had the choice of whether to give it or not.

I have been struggling with this attitude for some time now with no improvement. The inconsistent sick weeks and months we have had have not helped at all.

Well, recently, I was reminded by a dear friend of mine about If/Then charts. I remembered hearing about these several years ago. At that time, I dismissed them. I don't remember what turned me off of them, but I just remember conciously deciding that this stragegy was not for us. Well, it is now EXACTLY for us! We don't have it in place yet, but my husband and I are in the process of writing it. Our prayer is that it will add the consistency that has been lacking. We are praying that our children will fully grasp that THEIR poor decisions require discipline, and that they would grasp THEIR responsibility in them.

Below are some links that I am using right now to help compose our chart. As soon as we have it, I will post it for you to see!

Our busy homeschool

Doorposts

Homestead Momma

Raising Arrows

Crayons In My Dryer

I'm back!!! (I hope)

Wow, what a season we have been having! It has been one thing after another! We have had many different illnesses and a couple injuries that have set us WAY back.

So, I am craving normalacy (whatever that is!)!!! We are back on schedule with just a few lessons to catch up on. School-wise, we have done pretty well keeping up with the main subjects. Some of the extra ones have had to take a break, but we are going to be adding them back in very soon.

Something that happens when we are sick is that schedules and consistency go out the window. Does that happen at your house? Emotions run high, patience runs short, and energy is just not there at all. The simplest of tasks seem overwhelming. When all the dishes, laundry, clutter, and lessons not completed start to pile up, I just want to run the other way! Hawaii, here I come!

Another area that suffers is discipline. The kids (and I) get lazy in our TV watching, laying around, no chore schedule days. It is so hard to get back up!!! I have my own immaturities and "I don't wanna's" to deal with to make the process hard enough. When the children start their whinning and complaining, it is only by Christ's strength that I even get out of bed in the morning.

So, that is right where we are now. We are not sick, but we are not well either. Our hearts have become lazy and selfish, and we no longer default to the Lord to help us in these sinful mindsets. Arguing and fighting are heard every few minutes. Discipline is emotionally delt out and inconsistent at best. UGH!!! Have you been here before?

My hope is in the Lord, though! He promises that His grace is new every morning! He promises that He will not leave me nor forsake me! He promises that He loves me and my family! He promises that He will continue to work in us! Oh, that is such balm on my soul right now! I am bathing in those promises and in that hope that comes with them! I am not alone in this! All I am called to do, is my best in what He has given me, always giving it all to Him for His glory! Wow!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sick, sick, and more sick

I have gotten calls from family asking if we are okay. I know, I have fallen off the blog world completely for weeks now. The reason is SICKNESS. Yucky, never ending sickness. Yes, we are basically fine. There are no emergencies and no need to worry about us. We will get through this, but we are really getting tired of it.

We started with a simple fever virus that only had a fever the first night and then nothing else. We would wait a day or two and someone else would get it. That went through us twice, one at a time. Then, Chris got what we think now was the flu. A few days later Kaiden and I got it. Then a few more days passed and Kevin and Allison got it. Now, Ashlynn and Noah have it. This has been lots of congestion, coughing, some throwing up, aches, major headaches, and fever for several days. So, this has been going on for about a month now. I pray we are almost over everything for good.

More interesting blog posts will have to wait until then. See you when I am fully well!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day!!!

We got snow!!! The kids got to play in snow for the first time in YEARS! The girls had seen snow when they were little, but the boys had never experienced snow. I have some pictures of the scenery on another camera that I cannot access right now. :( Technical difficulties. Here, though, are the pictures of the kids teaming up with some neighborhood friends and a dad to create a snowman!!! You can just imagine how much work and shoveling it took to get this much snow in one place!!





 I did get one scenery pic after we had all the fun. This was taken from one of our upstairs windows. The snow had melted off the streets already.

Education Cubes! Money Review

Here we are using our Education Cubes to review money. He had to know the value of each coin and recognize it written in two different ways.



 Our baby doesn't care what pictures are in the blocks. He LOVES knocking down the stack. It is his favorite game!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday update...sickening

Okay, well not a total wash of a week. I didn't mean that my goals were completely sickening, although they suffered.

My children have been sick FOREVER now! The entire week, I had at least 3 sick at all times. Then, Mon., Tues., and most of today we were all well!!! Yea!!! NOPE. This evening, my four year old said he was sleepy while I was cooking dinner and fell asleep in a living room chair. When I went to wake him for dinner, he was burning up. I got the thermometer and learned that he had a 103.8 temp.! Here we go again! I am praying that the others won't get it again this time, but our past week suggests we will have this forever.

So, because of making quick meals with more calories than I would like, not going to the gym because of sick kids and a husband who has had to work late more than not recently, and generally just exhausted because of the same reasons, I refused to step on the scale this week.

I will have to find a way to do better despite these circumstances for this week. I cannot let this take two of my weeks away! I will not let it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mystery of History / Science Co-op

Don't miss out on the links to pictures, information, and videos that give more insight into Week 4 of Mystery of History Vol. 1.

Also, there are some fun pictures of my children doing some hands on activities to do with our lessons!

http://educatinglittlemindscoop.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 28, 2011

ABC songs!

I found some great videos to make the ABCs fun at My Tot Learning Time! These were my two favorites!






This isn't really a song, but really fun to watch!




Consent form for Dr. to sign...

As a woman who has been through LONG labor, 5 cesareans, and a very long, hard attempt at VBAC at home, I thought this was great! The climate in the medical field toward VBAC is horrible in the USA.

Below is a letter I copied from a post at http://flammtastic.blogspot.com/2009/05/repeat-cesarean-consent-form-for-ob-to.html.

Take a look! I did not write the following letter.

A Different Kind of Consent Form
I am so irate at the lack of patient choice and the asinine mentality of doctors here. I am very, very frustrated. So, I thought I would vent some of that frustration by doing something semi-constructive. To that end, I wrote my own consent form. After all, if the doctor wants me to sign theirs, they should sign mine first.

Here 'tis.

I, the undersigned physician, have, in violation of the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, the Patient Self Determination Act, the ethical guidelines of the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Constitutional Law (the right to privacy and self determination protected by the 1st and 14th amendments), international tort law, and case law (of particular interest "In re A.C.", 1987, "In re Fetus Brown, 689 N.E.2d 397, 400 (Ill. App. Ct. 1997)", and "In re Baby Boy Doe, 632 N.E.2d 326 (Ill. App. Ct. 1994)") and the Patient Rights as determined by this institution, deprived my client,________________, of her right to self determination and her right to bodily integrity by ignoring her repeated refusal for delivery by repeat cesarean section. I acknowledge that by refusing to honor my client's denial of consent, I have not only violated the above laws, but I also affirm that I have used unwarranted and unethical pressure including emotional threats to my client's and her unborn child's life and safety, in my attempts to obtain such consent. I further affirm that I have stressed the risks of vaginal birth after cesarean, but neglected to inform my patient of the risks of delivery by repeat cesarean section. I further affirm that I understand, that should I resort to physical force, including but not limited to physical or chemical restraints to compel my client's cooperation, I will be guilty of criminal battery, which is defined as "any form of non-consensual touching or treatment that occurs in a medical setting". 

In compensation for the above violations of my client's rights, I hereby guarantee the following:

a healthy baby, born in perfect condition, with no physical, mental or developmental defecits whatsoever, whether arising from surgery or any other cause 

no complications for the infant, including but not limited to: persistent pulmonary hypertension, transient tachypnea of the newborn, respiratory distress syndrome, iatrogenic prematurity, lacerations, or hematoma

a speedy, uncomplicated post-operative recovery for my client. Specifically, I guarantee that my client shall not experience nerve damage, organ damage, hemorrhage (whether sufficient to require transfusion or not), disability or disfigurement, intraoperative or postoperative infection of the wound or surrounding skin and tissues, post partum depression and post partum post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions not listed here. 

Signed,

It is finally real to me...

I didn't want to say anything on the blog about my weight loss because it seems every time I do, I fail and never post again about it. Well, this time is different! I am no longer saying that I am trying to lose weight. I AM losing weight. There is a big difference in doing and trying. Trying is setting yourself up to fail. No more trying here! I have a vision and won't stop until I get there!!!

I have been getting my mind in gear and slowly working on it since Thanksgiving (with a huge set back over the Christmas break). I am much more consistent now.

So, I am going to start giving you my goals, achievements, set backs, and victories here. I have been following a few different blogs that have been doing the same for a long time now. I comment and read their posts, but never post here.

January:
I have lost 7 pounds so far this month and hope to make it a couple of more before weighing in on Tuesday, Feb. 1st. We will see!

I just started journaling all my food intake so that I could count my calories. They were eye opening! I just wrote down the first couple of days without adding them up. Wow! I had no idea how many calories I was putting into my mouth regularly! These days, I was even thinking about it! My daily goal is no more than 1400 calories. Here are my totals so far this week.

Day 1 - 2773.5 YIKES!!!!
Day 2 - 1153
Day 3 - 1437.5

Today is Day 4 of my week, so totals still to be tabulated.

I have the fitness goal of going to the gym at least 4 days a week and getting some activity 6 days out of the week.

I have gotten a fitness buddy from Eclipse, which has been such a wonderful blessing!!! I now have a friend and encourager who I keep up with several times a day via email! This has made all the difference!

I will report back on Tues.!!!! Please join me if you have total health as your goal!!!