Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sweet Relief!

I awoke to a gorgeous 63 degree morning!! Not only that but it has rained here for 5 days straight. Rain we desperately needed. The grass is turning green again. It is wonderful. I dare say Fall is here because this is Texas and it is only September (in 2 days) But I will sure enjoy it while it lasts. It looks like we will be throwing caution to the wind this week and spending alot of time outside.

So I decided that I was going to take Maverick in at least every other day to be neutered. LOL
He came home and slept and was so calm and peacful. It was great! You see he is...well... nerotic by nature. Its the Weimerreiner in him. He is always busy and playing and then there is his puppy side. I keep forgetting that he is only 7 months old, simply because he is so big. Here he is the day of the BIG operation that took his dog-hood away.

I also am going against my better judgment ;-) and am sharing a prego picture. This is me this morning. I am between 16 and 18 weeks pregnant with number 7. I havent gained but about 4 pounds so far. I think because I have had a really peculiar taste bud change. I used to be able to sit and eat an entire bag of cookies. Now I can eat just a few and am done. And quite honestly I dont even want them most of the time. I have also been drinking lake loads of water. So hopefully I will be able to keep my weight under 180 tops with this preg. I know, huge...huh?!? Oh well, they are worth every pound and stretch mark!

Oh, and I am sporting in this picture a one of a kind Audrey original. hahaha
This was my first attempt at sewing a maternity dress. It really just looks like a large moo-moo to me. I think that a lighter material and some pleats in the front will do it some good. So I plan on tweaking the next dress to make it a bit more fitted. But hey when I'm 9 months this one will fit perfectly!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's really wrong with public schools?

I read this article on my (Heart of Wisdom) homeschool support yahoo group today. It may sound extreme to most, yet there is truth in the words. On the same note , even though it wasn't mentioned in the article....did you know that our constitution as written at the founding of our nation, does not say anything about the government at any level being responsible for the education of our society. It is hard to read the article below and not have a "knee jerk reaction" as many good things have come from public education, or has it? Just to make it clear this article does not touch on collage and other further education facilities. Remember that these "used" to be student funded exclusively. Further education schools were and still are necessary for most careers. These facilities "were" privately owned and operated, yet they to have been taken over by government agencies and funding. This article deals specifically with the k-12 public school arena, and the perpective that "christians" should have on public schools in referrence to the word of God.

What's Really Wrong with Public Schools?
by David H. Chiltonfrom
The Biblical Educator, March 1981
Institute for Christian Economics
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ------------------- --------- --------- -------

"To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding" (Proverbs 1:2)The usual arguments against public education are very convincing yet very wrong nonetheless. They typically run something like this: We realize that public schools have become breeding grounds for violence and sexual promiscuity; that they are often outlets for socialist propaganda; that they now constitute a formidable enemy of Christianity (e.g. by teaching evolution and prohibiting prayer and Bible reading); they are an enemy of the family (by teaching sex education and deriding traditional authority structures), and so on. Now its true that this well-intentioned conviction is not an absolute tragedy since it is being used, under the providence of God, to lead more and more people of faith to abandon the system of public education. So, no matter what the reason, the result is certainly a good one. Unfortunately, this argument is not as principled as it looks. It is not an argument against state education but only against certain perceived ills within the public schools. Thus, even among Christians upset with state education you will find the following attitudes:(1) "The real problems exist in the inner-city schools, but there's nothing wrong with public schools in the better suburbs and in the rural, God-centered traditional values communities; (2) "We should work to make public schools more moral by pressuring our legislators to reinstitute prayer and abolish sex-education;(3) "We should try to force the public schools to give Creation 'equal time' with Evolution."These and similar positions all attest to the fact that much of the opposition to public schools focuses mainly on mere details. That is, we are very willing for the state to control education as long as we can be reasonably sure our children won't be beaten, drugged or raped in the library. To put it bluntly, we want our socialism, but we want it clean. If only the public schools would teach what we want them to teach we would be happy to have our children's education funded by legalized theft. Philosophically speaking, this is quite an interesting position. We'll give our children a "moral" upbringing by robbing our neighbors (socialism) to pay for it.Put in another perspective, as Christians, we do not argue against abortion simply by citing the physical and mental dangers attendant to the procedure nor should we consider it sufficient to oppose state education simply because of its evil consequences. We do not work for safer methods of abortion nor should we work to improve public schools. The basic argument, you see, is that the very existence of state schools is immoral -- regardless of the level of "morality" contained in them.According to the Bible (see Romans 13:4 and surrounding) the state has an extremely limited function which may be summed up in two points: punishing criminals (as defined by God's law) and protecting the law-abiding citizens. That's it. God has appointed civil rulers as His ministers, and their responsibility is to administer His laws.The Bible severely limits the powers of the state and just in case rulers might misunderstand the extent of their commission God built a "strict constructionist" interpretation into the law: The ruler "may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left" (Deut. 17:20).The Bible does not give civic rulers the power to educate children. That responsibility belongs to the parents. State schools are therefore immoral in principle and exist only because God's laws have been violated -- by greedy rulers who covet the powers of deity and by blindly greedy citizens who covet "free" education at their neighbors' expense. Viewed in this light, it is no wonder the public school system has spawned a generation of illiterate criminals who assume the world owes them a living. Why is this attitude not surprising? According to their baby-boomer parents the world owed them an education. They're just extending that logic to the marketplace.The existence of public-school crime and violence is nothing but superstructure built atop a rotten, humanist foundation. It is quite predictable and, in fact, was predicted in Deuteronomy 28 with its list of curses which necessarily fall upon a culture that departs from God's law. If our educational principles are not founded on God's word we have shut God out of our system of knowledge and committed cultural suicide. Romans 1:28-32 tells us what happens to people who will not have God in their knowledge: It reads like a modem report card on "citizenship. " "But," it may be objected, "if the state doesn't provide education and force its citizens to submit to it, some parents won't bother to do it themselves." This is true. It is also true that some people don't brush their teeth. Does it follow then that we should provide free dental care and send bureaucrats to each home every morning and evening armed with dental floss to enforce public compliance with oral hygiene? Where do you draw the line? You draw the line where God draws it which is in His law. God has defined the responsibilities and limits of the state and whenever it falls short of those responsibilities or transgresses those limits it is making itself into a new kind of god. The inevitable result is national damnation.No matter what your own particular objection to all this, it fails the ultimate test and is an example of non-conformity to God's law. When you say the "moral," community-oriented public schools are still OK all you're saying is that the full harvest of apostasy hasn't caught up yet with what the schools are doing. But the fact that none of your bad checks have returned is no justification of forgery. Those wonderful schools are possible only by the illegitimate beneficence of a deified state which plunders your neighbors to give your kids a free lunch and a free education. There's just no way around it. Public schools are immoral, and always have been even in the bygone, halcyon days of old, when students got regular doses of birch rods and McGuffey readers. Look at yourself for a prime example. You went to a "nice" public school, and you didn't turn out so badly did you? You didn't take LSD in 5th grade, you didn't carry a switch blade in Jr. High, and you were a virgin on Graduation Day. State education didn't pervert you. Or did it? Consider for a moment your reaction to this essay:Regardless of the biblical evidence you still find it hard to swallow the idea that the state shouldn't do some things over and above God's requirements. You think the argument that public education involves theft is somewhat "abstract." But, face it: You're a socialist. Many of your ideas about the proper role of government were fed to you from K through 12, and it's like pulling teeth to get rid of them. I'm constantly running into sincere Christians who are absolutely aghast at the notion of abolishing unbiblical government regulation and they do so by posing quasi-rhetorical questions such as: "But, how will the mail get delivered?" I even heard one theologian boldly assert that the value of gold and silver comes from the paper money behind it!The real problem with public schools is that they exist in the first place. They are ungodly, unlawful, collectivist/ socialist- based institutions. The many evils now spewing out of them derive from the curse that God inflicts upon all institutions that defy Him.He has commanded parents to educate their children in terms of His law and thats something that cannot be done in a public school. If we want our children to fear Him and to grow into diligent workers for His kingdom we cannot afford to train them in an institution which has as its fundamental presupposition that I am entitled to as much money as I can vote out of my neighbor's pocket.Prayer doesn't belong in a public school (Proverbs 28:9). Your money doesn't belong in a public school. Most of all, your children don't belong in a public school. Institutions premised on sin must not be redeemed but abandoned. We dont send chaste young maidens into brothels in the interests of "equal time for the other side." As the light of the world, we must set the standard. Our Lord never called His people to help build the tower of Babel hoping theyd include having a Bible study in the basement. He commanded us to build our own city on a hill.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Time Flies

I cant believe I'm at 16 weeks already. Respectivly. I actually could be between 15 and 18 weeks. But I am pretty sure we are closer to 16. I am averaging the due date to be somewhere around Feb 10th. So I just prepare for the first 3 weeks of Feb as being "the time". I will measure my fundus as I get bigger and that usually helps me to see if I am close to my estimated due date. I guessed Eves date right on, even with having no monthly cycle to gage it by.

On the home front, my poor dh has been under our house this whole weekend long. Including up until midnight last night trying to wrap the plumbing up so we could have water today. Then he had to get up at 5:00 to go to work. He is such a hard worker.

I took the dog in to be neutered this morning. I had to be there before the chickens were up. Thats country talk for "way to darn early." He weighs 60lbs and made me carry him the whole way...he was petrefied. I guess he thought I had finally had it with all his shinanigans and was taking him back to the shelter. LOL

Here are some cute pictures I thought I would share then its off to get busy with a lovely Monday morning!

We call this having a really good nap, although this is Texas so it could be just your average hairstyle. Isnt she precious?!?

Its a hard nock life!

Friday, August 25, 2006

A life worth repeating?

......I realized then, as I have realized before, what my daughter really needs from my husband and me in this fallen, mixed up world. It's the same thing all my children need-and that your child needs as well.

They don't need sweet platitudes of faith that will momentarily placate their emotions. They need the authentic strength that comes from the true foundation on a biblical world view and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of their worship. They need an unwavering, internal, moral and spiritual compass that will help them weather today's storms and tomorrow's and will guide them for the rest of their lives. They also need to see what real faith looks like when lived day in, day out, so they will have a pattern to follow................

How amazed and thankful I am to see God producing in all my children's lives a love for Him and a maturity that could be cultivated only by the Holy Spirit. It all started naturally in our own home as we sought to follow God's pattern for discipleship shown through the life of Christ......It was part of God's plan that I recruit my own children to drop the fishing nets of their own lives in order to embrace God's purpose and mission. It all began when I was able to embrace with Joy the ministry of motherhood............

I realized with the passing of each day that spiritual and emotional maturity would not just happen to my children because I wished it so. It would not come just from a passive example of me being good. Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned.

Excerpts taken from The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

As my children get older it becomes ever present in my mind that they will soon leave my home and start lives of their own. This has had me thinking about what we are doing as parents to train them and instill in them an unfailing desire to follow Jesus in all that they do as adults.

I want to raise boys who will become men who will not compromise their lives because of outside influences. Men who are strong, with wisdom and love. Ultimately fathers who will live the life of Christ for their children to see on a daily basis and husbands who will take their place in the home, stand directly under Christ and lead their families.

Daughters with a meek and quite spirit. Who seek to serve others through love. Who see themselves as vessels of The Holy Spirit. Respecting their bodies and realizing the power of that body and in turn preserving it for that one man whom the Lord gives to them as their husband.
Mothers with a heart of love that withstands all troubles, pressures and circumstances with peace and patience.

I have been guilty of just thinking that these things will just happen because I wish them to. What a dangerous position to take. I of course can not force them to be these things if they choose another path, but can I influence them in staying the course? Can I show them what strength in the Lord looks like and how to live that on a daily basis. Do my kids see that I worship the very Lord I tell them to worship? Am I only hollow words with no foundation? Sometimes I am! Do my children know how to be unwavering, righteous followers of Christ because they have seen two parents who have lived a life worthy of repeating?

This is my prayer...this is my passion....this is our duty, as "step parents" to the children The Heavenly Father has so gracefully leant to us...... for such a short time!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another finished dress

The other dresss came out of the dryer so I took a pic to share. I found that on the next one (I have two to sew) the waist needs to be a bit bigger. It was a little snug, on my 16 lb 15 month old. She's a stick.

Here is Eve modeling the dress from the earlier picture, she is still not feeling well. Poor thing! Teething is hard!

A little of this and a bit of that

Eve has a terrible habit of taking off her diaper. Which is why I bought her some cloth Fuzzi Bunz this week. The kids can not get those off. So I would find her many mornings sleeping in her birthday suit. She also hates to be shooey (our word for dirty diaper.) So at 2:00 in the morning she starts to cry (she never wakes up at night) so I knew something was up. Well she had shooeyd her diaper and then took it off and was trying to let me know she needed a new one. So I fix her up lay her back down and try and go back to sleep. Then this morning the little stinker (literally) does it again, except this time its very messy. YUK! I explained to her how it wasn't very lady like to have poop on your face. Then I gave her a bath and moved on with the day.

I am finishing up two dresses for Eve today. A picture of one is below, the other is still in the washing machine. I bought two really cute snap onesies on the clearance rack yesterday for 2.00. Then bought a yard of matching material to add skirts to them.

I love to sew but because of this little problem I have with every thing needing to be a-symmetrical and know like the clothes you find at the store, I really don't like anything that I sew. I just started though a few months ago, so I figure practice will make me much better.

The boys are upstairs making movies. Yep real movies. They have an older camcorder that was given to us. So one of them is in charge of props and another costumes. They have blankets draped across their room. Devon said he figured out how to pause the tape and move an object over then begin taping again. I love watching kids learn all on their own. I'm sure they will be busy up there for a few more hours. I'm so glad I have a husband and a Lord that provides for me in such a way that I can stay home with my kiddos and allow them to learn in what ever area delights them. That has to be more fun for them than sitting in a classroom for half of the day.

I am really tired today. I didn't get much sleep last night. It was about 11:30 when I finally got to sleep then I kept dreaming that I was running from a tornado all night long. LOL I slept through my alarm clock for about 35 min. But I did get up and got moving.

Well I'm getting commentary on the movie. It's about two astronauts who are in outer space and are attacked by a marshin (sp). To funny.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Baby Steps

We moms sometimes feel like there is so much to do and that we have to get it all done right now. At least this mom struggles with that from time to time.

We had taken a much needed break this summer from school, and other things like keeping on top of the house. Due to early pregnancy sickness, I was almost useless around here.

So then its time to get started again. Re-train children on chores and household duties. Catch up on the house work. Deep clean. Get school work ready. Schedule our day. We have thought it through...planned it out....its Monday....

O.K. Ready.....get set..... GO!!

Well...why didn't everything just fall right into place?!? I have decided that I am going to break it down into baby steps. Until we are all, including me trained to walk through the day in a productive fashion. I love to stay in my PJ's until about noon...not any more. I am getting up and dressed and making my bed first thing in the morning. I am getting my laundry done and PUT AWAY daily. I am training the kids thoroughly on their chores and how to properly clean each of their designated rooms or (zones). I am cleaning my bathrooms on a daily basis. The boys at night before bed, ours in the morning after I'm done getting ready. Consistently on a daily basis, which is my downfall....I have a nod and wave relationship with consistency. I had told myself two years ago that as soon as I could stay focused and get my home in order and the children daily doing school work...then I could begin midwifery school. Well I still haven't started. LOL
My goal is that by Jan 2007 I will be ready to take on an extra responsibility, without neglecting what is my first calling.

Its been a week and I am adding more each day. That's the key, we don't have to get it all done exactly as we planned it the first day or even the first few weeks. So many homeschool moms especially when they are first starting out or even starting a new year begin to feel over whelmed by what looks like more than we can do (correctly). Its easy to do 100 things halfway...ask me how I know.

Another way to do it is to split your schedule up. Begin working on the things listed in the morning. Really training the children as well as yourself to get up, get dressed, make beds, the older ones can be taught to make breakfast for the days they are on breakfast duty. The little ones can be taught basics like brushing teeth correctly, how to get dressed on their own. Then devotions or quite time. Then when you feel that everyone is doing their part correctly...move on to the noon part of the schedule. Train in that until everyone has a grasp as of their duties for that time. You get the picture. For me this way of looking at it is working really well.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How dependent are you??

If you have read the bible or even are remotely familiar with what's contained in it, then you know that hard times will fall on this world and many will suffer. What do you think that will look like? I'm not sure nor can anyone determine how things will unfold.
Not even the Son knows only the Father

We can make a few guesses as to the things that are likely. Perhaps we will no longer have electricity. Maybe no running water. Imagine your home without those two factors. We have only become dependent on them in these last 60-70 years. Would you be prepared if you were without them, even for a few weeks? What about food? Do you have enough non perishables put away to be able to provide your family with sustenance for even a few weeks?

Just to set the record straight I am not a hardcore survivalist. In fact my dh and I scoffed at the Y2K pandemonium. We just weren't convinced that all would collapse just because it was the year 2000. BUT even though we don't know the future and what it holds, should we be so dependent on the luxuries of modern day society. I will let you in on something that most people know about me. If I could move to Amish Country I would in a heart beat. The freedom of living off the grid is so appalling to me and always has been. But for now I am here. I began thinking about my family and how we would "make it through" the "hard times" when they come. I realized we were not prepared at all!

I am not rushing out and stock piling supplies, here is what I decided to do. Instead of putting 10 dollars in my Suburban get me through until the next week, I decided to fill it up (yes this was an expensive endeavor about $90) then every week top it off. This way I will not have to sit in a long line at gas stations should an emergency occur.

Next and most important WATER! Everytime I visit Walmart (no matter what for) I pick up some water. They have a box of 3 gallons for 1.98, very inexpensive. I don't have tons of water yet, but slowly I will build a reliable source of water for my children in case we ever are in need. I am also picking up a few things every shopping trip, that amount to about 15$ extra. Things like beans, rice, pasta, canned goods, dried milk, oil and the like. I only purchase what 15$ will get me during each weekly shopping trip. Do we have six months worth of food saved up. No, it will be a while, but I am on my way.

A few other things to think about if you have small children is do you have a cloth diaper stash in case you are unable to buy diapers? Stock up on body soap and peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Buy a tube of 99cent toothpaste at walmart every shopping trip and put it away. I always buy the cheapest soap like ivory for stocking up. I don't think the brand will matter much to us in an emergency situation.

Many people are in denial that we live in an artificial infrastructure that can easily crumble. We should not live in fear or constant thought about it, but at the very least (especially those of us with children who we must provide for) we should prepare in some way or another, and trust in The Lord to keep us safe and in His will!

I encourage you to think about the small steps you can start taking to care for your family in a time of uncertainty.

Monday, August 21, 2006

First day on schedule???

Nope that would not be today. Lets face it a schedule needs to be a means of direction for the day. Not a rigourous time dictator shouting orders at you. We did well this morning, I am taking extra time right now to train the kids in things that I feel they need to work on, like after brushing your teeth...wipe off the sink. Little things that can easily get bypassed when you have so much more to think about. But those small things are important just as well.

I have our "direction" on the wall. It looks like this

I can move the colored tabs around as needed because we all know that schedules change quite often. This really does help me to stay some what on track and those small things that I want to get done have a time slot. That on some days we do get to!

This is our reason for not being on track today

Miss Eve was feeling under the weather and was so cuddly I couldnt resist. We laid on the couch and snuggled for a long time. Much more important than any to do list!
This was her first fever, she's 15 months, and was drooling quite a bit so I'm guessing she is teething some molars. Poor thing.

History Lesson

We came across a very cool history lesson yesterday! We were told when we bought our house by the local inspector that many years earlier he had spoken with a service man of some sort(cant remember) who had done some work under our house that there may be a well under there so to be careful. We have been under the house many times but never came across a large hole of any kind. Well, yesterday Rob found it. It was covered by a large piece of tin that in turn was covered up by a bunch of dirt and leaves. Rob pulled the tin back and found this:

Rob and Jordan working hard under the house (this is also close to where the well was found)

So why would there be a well under our house? Well the best we can determine is that the well was dug before they actually built the house. There are many under ground streams that run under and through Greenville. Then they built the house on top of the well and had a trap door of some type so that they could pull water from the well directly into the house. After the plumbing was put in probably 50 years later they filled the well up with dirt to the point that you see above. Its neat though isn't it. I love that you can still see the bricks along the side.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A girls dream

So for those of you who don't know the whole story on our house I'll fill you in. About 3 years ago we had just moved back to Texas from CO and were searching for a home. We really had no specific area that we needed to live in although I wont live in the inner cities surrounding Dallas. So I was looking through a real estate mag one day and fell in love with a dream.

It Read something like this: Beautiful 2 story (with 3rd unfinished) in Historical Greenville. Covered wrap around porches on both levels. Antique fixtures and original moldings. Transom windows. High ceilings throughout. Spacious Foyer & mature trees. Superb property with potential.

My husband heard "with potential" and knew what those words meant. LOL I heard a gorgeous 6 bedroom home with all the space I will ever need. How beautiful we will make it!

The price was listed at 95,000 we bought it for 67,000!! The Lords Blessing! Yes it needed work, but I saw past all of that to the completed, finished product. (A gift us ladies have) The reality was that it takes a lot to fix up these big old houses. You have 3 times the work than a conventional home. We accepted that we would fix it as we could and not take out any extra loans. We have been here now for 2 1/2 years. We have really done quite a bit, but nothing compared to what we would have liked to have done by now. But The Lord has been faithful and our patience is paying off. He has made provisions for us to finish and repair some major things. Granted we (meaning mostly my husband) is providing the labor.

So what have we done this weekend. My dh has been under the house replacing all of the plumbing and running new phone lines. The old plumbing was about as old as, well sense they invented plumbing. So this is a huge step. We have the next 4-5 weekends scheduled to complete other projects that have been started but not completed. Such as finishing the leveling, painting exterior, replacing the skirting, and replacing the whole wrap around front porch and railings. At that point the exterior will be finished. That is so wonderful!!

Then throughout the winter we will pick a room a month and completely remodel it. Who knows at this rate by next summer we may be DONE!! I will post pictures as we go. I'm sure your not interested in seeing the plumbing job, LOL

I owe it all to my merciful Father in Heaven who really wants to bless His children....and to the most wonderful, caring, loving, sexy husband on this whole round planet! Thank You!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Empty houses and painted toe nails

The house seems pretty empty today. I awoke to only half of my children being home. It is very rare that my kids stay overnight anywhere, so rare its maybe once a year. And on those days I feel kinda lost. Its pretty quiet...theres no bickering and rough housing going on. LOL

My 3 and 5 year old woke and played play dough for a few hours this morning and Eve has been being Eve. I figured to day I would take the younger three to McDonalds and let them play for a while.

Last night my childrens god mother gave my 5 year old 3 dollars as a way to make herself feel better for not taking him as well ;-) So I told him we would go to dollar tree and he could pick out a few toys. I got a great idea from Tiany and her post from yesterday. I decided that on our way to the dollar tree I would stop in at the Local Bath & Body shop and get some nice smelling lotions and soap. Well I gave it a most noble and honest effort. I smelt about every scent from sweat pea to vanilla sugar. I just couldnt get past the 9.50 price tag on the bottom of the bottle (you know back when they first opened the price for most of their products was around 6.50) I decided that I would go ahead and see what they had at the Dollar tree instead. LOL So I ended up getting a bottle of rose lilly shower gel and some playdough, molding clay, puffy stickers, and some "scheduled" play time totes (to hold toys only to be played with during specific play times)
Turns out that the shower gel smelled really good, BUT it doesnt lather. haha

Anyway in another noble effort to take more time for myself, while I was deep cleaning my bathroom this morning. I sat on the floor and painted my toe nails (I figured they could dry while I cleaned the toilet.) They hadnt been painted in over a year. As I was cleaning out my cabinet I realized that I have had the same bottle of hairspray for two years. LOL I guess you dont really need hairspray for long hair that hasnt been cut in many years and lives in a ponytail ;-))

Dont give up on me yet, I'm still working on it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dreaming of fall

I awoke this morning at 6:30 to a kitchen that was already 90 degrees. We turn all the air units off downstairs at night sense our bedrooms are upstairs. As I sat down to catch a quick glimps of the news the weather man said we should reach a high of 106. Needless to say we are hot and ready for some cooler weather. It has literally been around 100 if not above 100 for 2 months now.

The 3 oldest boys will be heading off this evening to spend two days with their god mother, they are coming apart at the seams, waiting. Nothing like hearing 1000 times a day "mom how much longer till we leave?" So until then we will be taking it very easy around here, no outside play today. Its just to hot. The boys have gotten a good start on relaxing, they seem to be pros at it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Future Engineers

So what do you do when it is on day 232 of over 100 degree temps outside? Well you build a dam of course. My oldest child is a real inventor. He says he wants to be an Engineer and a Veterinarian when he grows up. He is always up to something. Today he and his 6 year old brother went out back, dug a whole, built a retaining wall on one side and filled it with water.

Then the great "dam destroyer" came along and the dam sprung a leak

Not to worry there is plenty of mud and brick to fix that leak. So they are soaking wet and covered in mud, as will be my kitchen floor when they walk through it to grab a towel. Isn't that what being a kid is all about?

Monday, August 14, 2006

First day back

So today we are officially back on schedule. The past few months have been unstructured. So as we walk through these next few days we will tweak and fine tune our time to fit the day. I did not get as much accomplished before lunch that I wanted to, but one day at a time. We finished everything except math and that can be caught up on this afternoon.

As for this morning, I laid Eve down for her nap at 10:00 and we all sat down for morning devotions. We read Proverbs 6 and talked about the 7 things that The Lord despises. Then we read about being a peacemaker in
Little visits with God . Then all the children did their reading and spelling and writing for the day. We had lunch at 11:45. Then I got off track. LOL I have been needing to run an errand and haven't wanted to get started on another subject until we returned. Thing is Eve is still asleep and its 1:30. I guess it takes a lot of sleep to be that beautiful! One thing I have noticed is she sleeps a lot more than the boys ever have. My boys tend to need very little sleep.

Tomorrow we will get started a bit earlier and have certain things "Lord willing" done by lunch.
We did read two really great books today that my boys love. I would recommend them as fun high energy reads, with humor that boys really seem to like. They are by Tedd Arnold. The books are
Parts and More Parts . Great read for boys, (girls too) and silly mom's!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Joy Of Boys

I thought it would be fun for all the moms who have been blessed with many boys or only boys (so far) to give their tips or joys of raising boys.

I was 19 when I had my first son. I had wanted a girl from the time I was a girl. It was just what I thought I needed. Well my dh and I were blessed with our first precious little boy in Nov of 95. Then we proceeded to here those words 4 more times “It’s a BOY” By the time I was 28 I had been blessed with 5 lovely, perfect, healthy baby boys! What a blessing. I had succumbed to being a mom to sons. In fact when any one asked do you want a girl I would say “nope not really” I love my boys. Then we became pregnant with # 6 and I just assumed like all the rest that we were having another boy. On June 4th the shock of my life occurred as I looked down at my precious baby who happened to be missing a very important part of the boy anatomy. I could not believe my eyes. It was indeed a girl! I was in shock for days as I glanced at her in awe. I giggled every time I changed her diaper. And went pink crazy. Do I love my daughter? You bet! Would I want 5 daughters? I’ll have to think on that one! LOL. She is a cutie, but a different kind of creature than all my boys.

So what about boys do I love so much? They are care free. Running and jumping, climbing, inventing. They get over things fast and move on. Forgiving, loving. They don’t care what they ware, very low maintenance. They catch bugs for me in the house. They carry the groceries in. They are learning to be great husbands. They one day will be great men who in turn will have wives and children.

What are some tips I have on raising boys?

1) Well the first and foremost is make sure you have tile in your bathroom around the toilet as well as up the walls behind it. We decided when we remodel the boys bathroom we are going to put in a urinal. Not sure if this will help with the messes, but its worth a try!

2) Give them lots of trash to play with. LOL Not like normal trash…you know boxes and empty plastic containers from the kitchen. Allow them to take apart old electronics when they brake. My boys make so much out of what I call “trash”.

3) Boys need space to run around and in our house this includes inside as well. We have a large circle path in our house around all the rooms, that they are aloud to run around when given permission in a structured way. We take early morning trips to the park and spend as much time as possible outside.

4) Give them one task at a time to do, don’t expect multitasking. That was a gift given from The Lord to mothers alone. LOL

5) Be gentle, loving, speak kindly, lift them up to the Lord on a daily basis that he would strengthen them and make them the men He needs them to be.

So share your boy-joys and tips with us!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


It is that season again. We usually educate year round, with an 8 weeks on 2 weeks off schedule. This allows for those days when you just cant get around to teaching, due to sick children or a sick mom. We did not follow that schedule through this summer. I actually took the summer off. With company staying here for a few months and the ominous all day sickness I had with this pregnancy early on, it was a much needed break!

I am excited to get started again and will begin this next Monday-Thursday (we take Fridays off). I have alot more on my plate this year, with Ethan my 5 year old beginning some basics. I must admit it was much easier when there were only two to teach. Then it got a little more busy with three. Now I am adding a 4th and in a few years it will be a fifth, then a sixth, then a seventh. YIKES! I have to admit I will have to put away my carefree ways and really become the time conscious person I need to be. But we will walk down those roads when we come to them. I must focus right now on structuring my days with four. That in it self seems overwhelming! BUT, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Devon this year will be refining his reading, writing and spelling skills. As well as mastering math facts. He will also begin learning Hebrew. The resources he will be using are:
Math: Saxon 3&4 (we usually get through 1 1/2 years within a twelve month span)
Reading: A plethora of resources. Mostly reading whole books and writing reports and the like, along with Pathway readers, he will be in Grade 3-4 in these this year.

Jordan and Seth are at the same grade level (Jordan has learning difficulties) so in truth Seth who is two years younger is ahead of Jordan. I am trying to keep them together in math which will be Saxon 1&2 this year, but I am prepared for Jordan to not be able to keep up.
They both are also using Pathway Readers K-1, as well as Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons , I am also starting to teach them phonograms and spelling rules. I really use a large range of tools, lots of games, boys seem to need that.

Ethan this year as he is only 5 will begin 100 easy lessons and begin forming letters and numbers, as well as starting Saxon K. We will keep it basic, light and fun!

Science & History: for these areas we use HOW , Heart of Wisdom. It is a four year unit study program, teaching with the Bible as the main focus. I love this! Below is the Four Year Plan, we of course will be doing year one, with all children at applicable levels. I switch back and forth through the units. We will do a history unit, then switch to a science unit then back again to history and so on. We will be beginning our timeline this year as we move through the history of the world. It is neat for us visual learners to see things in chronological order.

Heart of Wisdom Four Year Plan

Adam to Abraham ***********Creation
Mesopotamia ****************Light
Ancient Egypt ***************Energy
Ancient Israel ***************Matter
Ancient Greece **************Motion
Ancient Rome*************** Electricity
The Messiah

Early Church *****************Weather
Vikings **********************Oceanography
Middle Ages ******************Botany
Renaissance ******************Geology
Reformation ******************Astronomy

Age of Exploration ***********************Marine Biology
Pilgrims to Colonies **********************Ornithology (Birds)
Colonies to Country********************** Entomology (Insects)
Civil War and Reconstruction *************Earth Zoology
American West

Industrial Era ****************************Cell Design
World War I ******************************Brain/Nervous System
The Depression ***************************Skeletal/Muscular Systems
World War II *****************************Respiratory/Digestive Systems
Holocaust ********************************Heart/Circulatory System
Modern Times (1950 until Today) ***********Reproductive System

When you have gone through the first four years then you start over again, of course using different resources and the children who were younger are now four years older and will be doing much deeper research on each unit. I have been so blessed by Heart of Wisdom. If you are interested in learning more about it I would suggest buying the Heart of Wisdom teaching approach.

So there you have it. Our school year at a glance. We split it up with doing reading, writing, spelling and math before lunch and HOW after lunch as a group. That seems to have worked best in the past so we will stick with it this year. I wish all of you other homeschooling mom's a blessed and happy school year. With much growth educationally but most of all spiritually!

What is this wet stuff falling from the sky?

We had a wonderful summer storm role through here. It rained cats and dogs and the wind was blowing like crazy. The temperature dropped from 100 to about 75 within a few minutes. We sat out on our front porch and enjoyed the cold wind and of course I was watching for tornadoes. After the lightening stopped the kids went out and played in the rain and the puddles and had themselves a great time! We hadent had rain here for about 2 1/2 months. We still need alot more rain!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Worlds Apart

My extended family is very well off on my fathers side. Many doctors and big shot executives. Material things are very important and they have worked hard to get what they have. My Husband and I enjoy nice things but we sure don't need the latest Mercedes or other high toten fad.

There lives are different and that was made to hilariously clear today. My grandmother brought over a boat load of boy clothes from a relative on the high rolling side of the family LOL. She drove all the way from Shreveport LA to give them to me and then turned around to go to Nebraska to go dancing for the weekend. Thanks MeMaw (shes not your average grandma) She is up there in age but not in mind, body or spirit ( I guess its the indian in her)

So anyway I'm getting off I have these clothes laying on my couch, probably over 100 shirts of all kinds including regular T-shirts. There were also plenty of great pairs of pants in sizes my boys can ware. As I was looking at them all hanging nicely on their hangers I realized all these clothes had come from the cleaners. Even the silly play t-shirts. I was astonished. This relative has ALL her sons clothes laundered. Could you imagine the bill on that? What a luxury!

Yes, it was made all to clear we live lives that are worlds apart.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Feeling stretched

There are many things that make having a large family challenging. Dont get me wrong I wouldnt have it any other way, but never the less there are still challenges. For example clothing. Oh how I loath clothing. There is always just way to much of it. About every 6 months I go through all the clothes and get rid of things that are stained or ruined. Yet what about ALL those clothes whether it is out of season clothes or the unreal amount of hand me down clothes. I cant seem to find a system that works for me. I had been doing all winter clothes together (or vice versa) and then going through them at the beginning of the season and pulling out everything that were the right sizes and then packing up the other season. Yet there are just to many sizes for this to be efficent any more. Now we are adding girl clothes to the mix.

The other problem I have is there is not enough of me to keep this house clean. This may sound crazy to some, but nevertheless it is true. My house is to big to keep clean. I can keep it tidy, thats not the problem. Its the deep cleaning that I never get around to, because keeping it tidy is a full time job. Yes, my boys are all responsible for keeping many rooms clean. Which helps to some degree. Old homes like this are so dusty and they have extra features to get dusty.

I can create a pretty mean cleaning schedule but it just doesnt matter if you cant keep to it. I guess I just need to try harder, work more deligently and organize better. There has got to be a way to make this work more efficiently.
Any ideas?

Edited later in the day: So far today I have deep cleaned my bedroom, which included going through all the clothes in my closet and getting rid of know, the size 8's I wore a few years ago and will never fit into again. I also went through some totes of clothes that were stacked in my room and sorted through those. I dusted from the ceiling to the floor, that was an undertaking. Swept and sh-moped the floor and put away all 6 loads of clean laundry that were hanging out in laundry baskets in my room.

I cleaned Eve's room. I had not cleaned it sense my mother left, that is were she was sleeping and had her stuff. So I dusted in there and changed sheets and comforters and windexed and got that weird person smell out (other people always smell different than your family) I put all her clothes back in there restocked the changing table and made it pretty again.

In our home on the second level, there is a long hallway that goes from one end of the house to the other. I vaccumed and dusted the stair railings and base boards and swept and
sh-moped the floor and wiped down all the doors leading into the different rooms.

The boys 2 bedrooms are left up there (not going to be my job) so all that is left is the boys bathroom and the upstairs will be done!!!!! I started this at 9:45 and it is now 2:25. I am hoping to get the downstairs done today as well and then come up with a plan to maintain, while maybe deep cleaning a room a day or possibly three rooms on "deep-clean Friday"
(which we have been missing these past few months)

I think that with me not having been feeling well the past 3 months, I am way behind and need to just dig in and catch myself up. The first few months of pregnancy really takes its toll on me and my home. So off I go, I here the boys upstairs cleaning their room. YAY!

Edited even later in the day: It is 5:00 and I am pooped! Not to mention burning up. During the later part of the day the house gets very hot. In rooms with no AC units it is about 90 degrees. That tends to pull the uummph right out of me. So I havent finished the entire downstairs. I cleaned the bathroom, swept and sh-moped the halls and entryway and excersice room downstairs. I spent the past two hours in the library. The kids love to come in here and build forts with the couch cushions. Play in all the art supplies. Cut up paper and leave little pieces all over the place. Eve loves to pull ALL the books off the shelves and leave them lieing everywhere. I on the same note had way to many stacks of paper that needed to be gone through. I also swept and moped and dusted. There is still some work that needs to by tied up in the library but that can happen tomorrow. All that is left is the Living room, dinning room, kitchen and utility room. Those will have to wait until early tomorrow morning. Except of course the kitchen, its where Im heading next. I know you are exhausted from reading this long drawn out post of mine, but if you head on over to Blest with Sons Blog
you will find an actual uplifting & good post about hard work pertaining to house cleaning.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A trip to......

So its been over 100 degress outside for a good 2 months now....what is a mother to do with 5 energetic boys who will only play outside if the sprinklers are on? I'll tell you what she does. She wakes all her little precious men up at 7:00 am. Gets them dressed, fed and they head out the door by 7:30 am to the park. Where they proceed to run and jump and spin and play. We sat at the pond and watched the ducks while a cool breeze came off the water. It was so peaceful!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Fruit of Her Hands

I am about halfway through a very wonderful book (so far) called The fruit of her hands written by Nancy Wilson. You can purchase it through Cannon Press. The chapter I just finished reading is titled Respect and Finances. Here is an excerpt:

Now I want to address a specific area in which women have trouble submitting. What if your husband fails to provide for you? What if you are hopelessly in debt, and he is not bringing home an adequate paycheck? There are several temptations you need to avoid in this situation.

First, do not seek to protect him from the consequences of his folly. Even though you may want the Lord to "wake him up", most wives do not want the Lord to be too rough on their husbands. We want to shield the blow, ease the hardship, or take on some resposibility ourselves. But this will only drag out the problem. You must allow the consequences to fall on his shoulders, no matter how hard it may be for you to watch. I am certainly not saying that you take a morbid delight in seeing your husband go through difficult times. Of course you must be a support and help and source of encouragment, but that is a completely different thing then trying to shoulder responsibilities that are not yours. When a wife tries to bear the responsibilities that her husband should be bearing, she suffers.

Have you ever been here? I know I have in the past. Your situation may not be as extreme as what is mentioned above, but it all boils down to the same thing. I think that a very real problem in this country and many others is that the man no longer has HIS place. The woman can do just as much, probably better. Society has taken away a mans role, resposibilities, place, status, headship ect. What is he left with? He is left a boy and can not grow fully into the man he is supposed to be. We as wives need to step back and allow our husbands to take their place in the home. Allow them to step up, maybe fall down...stand up again, wipe their scrapes off and become the awesome men God intends for them to be.
Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29