Friday, September 25, 2009

A little of this...

... and a little of that.
Wow! What a week we have had. Nothing special, same as usual, but usual is always fun!

We had a spider episode:

This big lovely was hanging in our doorway one night. It appeared only 30 minutes after the last person had come through the door. And while I am not particularly fond of spiders, it was amazing to look at the intricacy of the web. And marvel at how wonderful our God is. He created a spider to make a beautiful web, and in the process keep mosquitoes away from our door. ;)  I truly hated to have to tear down the web. But 5 am is when my dad leaves the house and he would have never seen it then. And he would not have enjoyed walking through that.

We had the snake episode I blogged about already. And nope, no pictures to go along with that. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have had the ability to take pictures of that episode.

Monkey needs a haircut:

But he hasn't gotten it yet. He wants to know everything so he won't sit still while getting a haircut; he twists around trying to see the clippers.

Frog still enjoys a good, impromptu nap with his thumb and blankie.

And both Dino and Frog enjoyed our science experiment today.

We've been talking about how our lungs and vocal cords work. And nothing works better than a hands on experiment to make it stick. I love the books that we have for this. They are part of Sonlight's package. But you can get them separately. They are Usborne books. We have Science Activities 1, 2, and 3. Each book is a combination of some of the others. For instance, in K, Frog has Science Activities volume 2 which has Science with Air, Science in the Kitchen, and Science with Plants all in the same book. We have really enjoyed these books. I will say that we sometimes have to play "spot the evolution" with Usborne books, but not so far in the science experiment ones, more so in the history books. (I've been known to use a black marker and cross out "millions of years", but that's a topic for another day.) In general, Usborne books are very nice.

And now, Monkey is sleeping, Frog and Dino are running errands with Nanny, and I am able to have a bit of computer time. Ahhhh, what a way to end a week. I love my job! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The problem with chicken coops...

We The boys and my mother tend some chickens at a neighbors house. It has been a wonderful experience for the boys. Dino especially has really grown through this adventure. He went from a skittish little boy who would cower behind my skirts, to a gentle young man with a passion for animals. He will be able to completely take over this task in a matter of days. He has even lost his fear of dogs. The neighbor got a puppy (german shepherd/husky mix) several months back and Dino now wants Sam to be his dog.

But the chicken coop hasn't always been so kind to our family. A few months ago, my mother went to feed the chickens and took my niece who visiting at the time. Sally, who was only 3 1/2 at the time, is not a fan of animals. But she wanted to go have fun with Nanny. The coop has an outer entrance and area that is the size of a large closet. Mom went in and shut the door. She got the feed and then opened the small door and went in to the chickens. Sally, frightened as the chickens came close for the food, slammed the door shut behind mom. Slammed the door with automatically locking lock, with no release on the inside. Ummm, yeah, my mom was not impressed. She tried to dig her way out of the coop for over an hour before being rescued. And Sally was hysterically crying the whole time. But by the time they got out and cleaned up, all was well and the story has gone into family lore status.

But today, well, today the lore vault got opened again when mom and Dino went to tend to the chicks. Dino walked in with some scraps. Mom went to get the feed, and he went on into the coop ahead of her. When she turned right after him, she looked down before she stepped down. And then she screamed. There was a black snake against the side of the wall running the length of the coop. Dino had stepped over it on his way in. Yikes! And when mom screamed, Dino turned, saw the snake, screamed and started crying. My poor baby! Mom is standing there knowing that there is no way she's going to step over a snake but no way she can leave Dino stranded. She took her phone, which she had started carrying after the incident with Sally, and called up to the neighbor's house. Beverly answered and when she heard said "Ralph will be right there." While waiting, mom picked up a metal bar and shooed the snake away. Then Dino ran to her and they stayed in the outer room. Dino wanted to go home but mom said they had to wait to tell Ralph where the snake was. He came and took care of the snake. Once it was "taken care of", he measured it and it was a hefty 4'2" long. Phew.

Now, Dino doesn't want to go back into the coop again. But tomorrow, he is going to go back and we're going to do our best to help him through it. He is growing so much lately, in stature and in faith and maturity, that I know he will be fine. He just has to go do it. We did look up a scripture to help.
Luke 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Tomorrow we will know if he took the words to heart.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All About Me

I'm in a mood tonight, and I should be in bed, but I feel very talkative. So, I'll share about something someone I know very well: ME!
And since I like lists, I thought I'd do one of those 100 things about me lists. I don't know if I'll make it all the way to 100, but I'll give it a go. Oh, and I will be adding pictures as I go along.

1. I consider myself to be a very shy, painfully, awkwardly shy person. But I don't think people who know me would say the same thing.
2. Once you get to know me, I never shut up. I can talk and talk and talk and talk, well, you get the picture.
3. I love my hubby dearly, but he can annoy me more than anyone I know.
4. I can remember the first moment I ever laid eyes on Hub.
5. We worked together at JCPenney. He was sitting in the break room. He was wearing khaki pants, a light blue shirt, and a navy blue jacket.
6. I pursued him.
7. We were friends for several months before I finally got him to ask me out on a date.
8. We went to dinner at Applebee's and saw "The Santa Clause".
9. Why, yes, we started dating close to Christmas. Why do you ask?
10. I am a goofball.

11. I also don't lie. I am really a goofball. But a shy one.
12. I will act silly for my kids and close friends and some family, but I tend to keep more to myself when around large groups or people I don't know very well.
13. But I am willing, however, to make a complete idiot online. Just ask my APTCH friends.
14. They are my girls, my bff's. We met online when we were all pregnant. Me with Monkey; them, well, not with Monkey. With their little ones.
15. Back to Hub. We dated for several months and then moved in together.
16. Looking back now, not one of our better choices.
17. And in keeping with not a better choice, I should have put God up higher on this list.
18. I am a Jesus loving, literal Bible believing, creationist, daughter of the Most High King, so thankful to be saved, every day sinner, but most joyful to be washed by the blood Christian!!
19. That should have been number 1.
20. Hub and I lived together before we got married though we both knew it was wrong.
21. Did I mention I am a sinner?
22. And a goofball?

23. I bought my own engagement ring. Sorta.
24. I still worked at JCPenney. Diamonds were on sale. A flyer came in the mail. I told Hub that with my discount and the huge sale, it would be a good time to buy a diamond. So we bought one that night, April 18, 1997.
25. Then Hub went and asked my parents for my hand in marriage. He's old fashioned like that.
26. We got married about 6 months later, almost exactly three years after our first date. It was a beautiful day. The leaves had turned such a pretty color and there was snow on the mountaintops.
27. My father performed the ceremony.

28. Did I mention he's a Methodist minister? He graduated from seminary when I was 6 weeks old.
29. I'm not entirely sure he's really saved.
30. And there's too much history there for me to get into tonight.
31. After Hub and I were married, I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.
32. I got a two year degree from the local community college.
33. Then decided I wanted to get my bachelor's degree.
34. So we moved back home for me. Or close to back home. Where all my parents lived at the time.
35. My mom and dad divorced when I was 2. Well, they split up then anyway. My mom was pregnant with my brother at the time.
36. I do not recommend growing up in a divorced household. There is not one good thing about it.
37. Even though I got good step-parents, I still wish I'd never had to have gone through that.
38. Hub came from a non-divorced home. It was a big hurdle for us to overcome. Me coming from a divorced home, that is.
39. I went to school to become an accountant.
40. Something my mother told me to do when I was 18.
41. I waited until I was 29.

42. I wish I had listened to my mother.
43. I listen to her much better now.
44. My first born son changed my life.
45. While trying to get pregnant with him, Hub and I decided that we had been idiots and quit running from God.
46. We started going to church together a few months before conceiving Dino.
47. No surprise to me now that we had been trying for almost 2 years, but just a short three months after we got back into church I got pregnant.
48. My fall semester of school started in August 2002 and I was almost 8 months pregnant. I really thought I could finish the semester.
49. I dropped out a week later.
50. Dino was born a week after that; 4 weeks early.
51. He had to stay in the NICU for 6 days. The day I left the hospital without my baby was one of the hardest days of my life.
52. The other two were the day I left Frog at the hospital after he was born and had to be in the NICU. And the day I had a miscarriage.
53. I took a semester off school when Dino was born and started back when he was 5 months old.
54. Hub and I decided to try to have another baby before I graduated so that when I went to get a job I wouldn't have to immediately go on maternity leave.
55. That expression "Know how to make God laugh? Make plans." or something like that. Well, it's so true.
56. By the time I was pregnant with Frog, when Dino was about 16 months old, I had decided to be a SAHM and homeschool.
57. But I finished school anyway.
58. I graduated in May, six months pregnant, with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. I had a Distinction in Accounting and graduated Cum Laude.
59. Not too shabby.
60. I really love accounting.
61. If I could just go to school all the time, it would be a great career for me.
62. But being a mom is what God wanted me to be.
63. Hub was asked to resign from his teaching job a month after I graduated from school.
64. And for those keeping track, I was 7 months pregnant with Frog at the time.
65. God knows what He's doing even when we don't. Hub was never meant to be a teacher. Unfortunately it took him 8 years to figure it out.
66. We moved in with my mom and step-dad two days before Frog was born.
67. I do not recommend moving at almost 9 months pregnant.
68. Frog stopped moving the day he was born.
69. I panicked but the nurse on the helpline said everything was probably fine.
70. She was wrong.
71. But I listened to my intuition (God's actually) and went to the doctor's office anyway.
72. Frog ended up being fine, but he was sick, and needed to be born that day.
73. Loved being a mama to my two boys. But it was hard at first cause Hub had no job.
74. Took a ton of faith to not run out and find the first accounting job a newly graduated, high honors student could find.
75. But God had bigger plans. My job is to be a mother to my boys. And their teacher.
76. Hub eventually found work. Even now, still not what we would like, but he supports his family well.
77. Still wanted more babies even while living with my parents. Had a miscarriage, and then welcomed Monkey into our lives.
78. Did NOT enjoy the last month of Monkey's pregnancy.
79. Gained 20 pounds in 2 weeks and bought a one way ticket to the hospital.
80. False alarm. Not pre-eclampsia, but close, and closely watched for the rest of the pregnancy, which ended up being only two weeks,
81. Was contracting for a few days; went for a check-up; scheduled my c-section for two weeks later even though I told the doc (a newbie) that I was  might be in labor. She just smiled and told me I was 3 cm.
82. Had a NST and another doc said I needed to go to the hospital since I'd had 2 c-sections already and it looked like I might be in labor.
83. Went to the hospital and the doc who had examined me earlier and declared me not in labor, examined me again and said I was 5 cm and "in labor."
84. Even through the contractions, while waiting for Hub to get to the hospital, and being prepped for the section, I played Sudoku. I love numbers.

85. This is more fun than I thought it would be. But it's 12:30 and I should be in bed.
86. At 9 pounds 10 ounces, and three weeks early, Monkey was my biggest newborn.
87. But he's my tiniest little fella now. Dino and Frog are always at the top and off the charts for height and weight since they were around a year old. Monkey has consistently been 25% for weight and just now got to 50% for height.
88. Frog takes after me, dontcha think?

89. So, now we live in a three bedroom house with me, Hub, our three boys, and my parents. Oh, and I forgot to mention, my step-brother.
90. He lives in the shed.
91. No, really. It's a huge shed and one end has been made into a bedroom. Fully insulated and wired for electricity. We even have wireless so Bro can play his RPGs in his room.
92. We aren't your typical family.
93. Be we love each other and we love the Lord. Still praying that Bro will eventually see that he needs God, but he sees the love we have everyday.
94. Since I had kids, I have started to have a passion for Jesus and being the best witness I can.
95. I hope I'm successful.
96. But time and time again, God has made it clear that the number one mission field I work with, and my number one priority, is sitting right in my house.

97. Golly, I sure love these guys!!
98. And I love being a stay at home, homeschooling mom!!
99. And I do love to talk!
100. Whew! I'm exhausted!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

I homeschool because I believe it is what God would have me do. I believe it deep in my soul; I can feel it in my heart. I look at the world around me and I know that I don't want my children to grow up and think that this is right and good. Our world is falling apart. There is little of value in it anymore.
I used to love to watch tv. I even got TV Guide in the mail. I had a subscription to People magazine. I stayed on top of the entertainment industry. But now my eyes are wide open, the veil has been lifted and I see it all for what it is: Satan's way to keep us from God.
Take a look at the top 10 tv shows right now:
  1. American Idol- a show about singing. Just that seems fine, but when you watch it, you will find rude and mean-spirited judges, sexual innuendo that should make everyone blush, and an emphasis placed on fame as the be-all-end-all of life.
  2. American Idol- it's on twice a week, and both times make the top 10! While this show isn't as bad as many, I still think it places value on the world and not on God.
  3. Football- okay, not a big deal. But don't look too far under the surface; do not allow your children to use the players as role models.
  4. Desperate Housewives- ugh. I've never seen the show, so I don't know that this statement is completely accurate, but I don't think there is anything of real value on this show.

Okay, I can't take any more. I just don't think tv is good for much these days. And for the record, the rest of the top 10 list is: Grey's Anatomy, Two and a Half Men, House, Dancing with the Stars, CSI, The OT.

I am just amazed that this stuff really makes it on to tv. There is nothing there. I find most of it morally bankrupt. I do not want my children to think it's okay to watch things of this nature. I find much of what there is to watch totally inappropriate for my children, for any children at all. And much of it is geared directly to children. I just keep going back to that old children's song, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see (ears what you hear), oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down with love, oh be careful little eyes what you see."

I picked up a movie one day for the boys to watch. We were going to be traveling to visit family and in the car for two days. I was hoping to keep them entertained with some new movies. So one I picked up was Happy Feet. All I can say is I am glad I decided to watch it before I let them watch it. The sexual innuendo is astounding. I could barely watch it and I was amazed that this is a movie marketed to kids. And I know that many people have no issue with it.

It is my job to keep my children focusing on God. If I allow them to watch much of the mainstream tv programs and movies, I am essentially telling them it's okay to behave that way. And as I grow closer to God, I am realizing that I am getting further and further away from the world. I do not find much of what there is out there appropriate. For me. For my children. For anyone.

And in public school, most kids have seen all of the top 10 tv shows I listed. They have seen many of the shows on tv that Hub and I do not allow our children to watch. They behave in ways we would never let our children behave. I just can't imagine letting my children believe it was okay.

Yes, I know this post was all over the place. I needed to write and this is where it went. Typically I do this. And even if it isn't understandable to others, it helps me.

*Okay, I found this blog after I finished this post. This is what I wanted to say. The blogger even used the same children's song I did. I wish I could get my thoughts out as well as she did, but I do intend to keep trying.*

Friday, September 4, 2009

A week (or two) in review

Week 2 of school down, and I think it's going well. We've sort of established a routine. School starts at 9. I am very lucky to have my mom. I start with Frog and she starts with Dino. Monkey runs around a bit. We begin with Language Arts stuff. Frog is done in short order and Dino needs more time. Each boy gets a bit of a break, depending on how long they take to finish their work, and how long each one fusses and complains before starting. (sigh) Then we have some math time.
I started Dino on Singapore Math this year. So far, I have really liked it. It has been review so far, but I like how the concepts are taught. It's an interesting way to look at math. I am a math person. When I was in middle school, they started offering algebra to students who seemed to need more depth in math. I think that's when I first realized that math is fun! Then in high school, I took geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus and calculus. And not once did I lose my interest in all things math. And when the sudoku puzzles came on the scene, I was definitely hooked.

Dino seems to have my talent for math, but he doesn't really like it yet. But I feel like he will do very well. And parents know best after all, don't they? (wink) My mother told me that I should go to school for accounting way back when I was 18 and I laughed. It only took me until I was 25 to realize she was right. And I was 33 by the time I finally graduated from college with an accounting degree. Really wish I would've listened to her sooner. Not that it matters now. I wouldn't change where I am now for anything!

So, back to school. After math, we have a snack break, which is the boys favorite time. Then comes some history. I am thrilled with Sonlight's books on history. I like that the focus is on world history. Dino, and even Frog to some extent, have an amazing grasp on the fact that we here in the US are not alone in this world. We discuss missionarys quite a bit, too, so the boys are able to see that though we live here, the entire world is our mission field. And they love to learn more about other cultures. I am really pleased with the fact that they are enjoying history.

Science is another big hit with them as well. But who doesn't love to learn about God's beautiful creations? We love to go outside and explore and find creepy crawlies and butterflies, and especially praying manti mantis' mantises (?).

Then, let's see, Bible reading brings us up to nap time. Each of the boys reads a bit from the Bible and they each have a memory verse a week. Frog really enjoys this just about the most. He loves to read the Bible. And yes, that makes me so happy!

This schedule leaves out a lot, but there are little things here and there that just fit into one of the other categories. Like when Dino reads from one of his readers. Right now, he's reading books set in the 1800's in America. So even though our history is focused on the world, while learning to read, Dino is also learning about US history. And I love listening to him read. I am amazed that he seems to have picked it up so quickly but my mother assures me that most kids do once they get going, and that my child isn't spectacular at this. But I know that he really is. ;) I am also amazed that I taught him to read. Me!!!! And I am amazed that more people don't think they can homeschool. It's not really all that difficult. If you can find a program that works for you, it's not hard. And I get to watch my children's faces light up when they learn something new. It's a wonderful feeling!

We have also picked back up our habit of reading in the evening. Right now, we are reading "Red Sails to Capri" and Dino begs for "just one more chapter" every night. I love that they are learning to love reading. Reading opens the doors for so much and I truly want them to read with a passion.

So, I really only have one more thing to work on to make it all go smoother, I need to get to bed earlier! And, I haven't acomplished that tonight, but I don't have to teach tomorrow either! But I am working on it. So, with that, goodnight!