Monday, January 30, 2006

Pick a chore, any chore!

I was trying to get the house in order this afternoon. My kids had been playing very nicely together but it was getting to the rowdy level. You know, that level where someone is about to get hurt. I was racking my brain to come up with activities to put them in so that I could get finished with the house when it hit me. THEY could help me. I'm a genius, I know.

So I put everything to be done on a squares of paper. There were 24 chores so that would equal out to 6 chores a piece. I told them we were going to auction the chores and the first one to call it would get it. It was hilarious because they all wanted different things and were excited about their chores since they picked them. Little Mister wanted quite a few of the kitchen chores. (Huh?) Little Lady wanted most of the outdoor chores. (That figures.) Little Miss just tried to pick the ones that she thought would take the least time. (Smart girl!) I took all the leftovers. I set the timer and we all went to work. I had to help them out a bit on learning new chores but it was still being accomplished and made me happy. When we were finished they were ready for a break and the house looked ten times better. We all had a little snack and enjoyed the cleanliness. Ahhhh. Now for the garage chores...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Second Night

I am in shock! My sweet Little Lady fell asleep faster on the second night!!! I didn't even have to turn the tape over. How can this be? It seems too simple. Where's all that withdrawal I was anticipating? I think she grieved it all out BEFORE she got the expander. I can tell that she is excited that she's being able to do it. I am so proud of her!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Last Night

Last night went SO good with Little Lady. She was teary throughout the evening saying that she didn't want to have to go to bed without her thumb. I told her that we'd just have to start some new routines. I gave her a baby doll to snuggle with and her blankie. Then we decided to have some soft music playing (Bach) to help her calm down. It was a tape. She came to me when the tape stopped and I turned it over. I prayed with her and then kissed her goodnight again. When I came back to check on her, the tape had finished playing and she was fast asleep! I couldn't believe it!!! I really expected to lose lots of sleep so this was a huge blessing!! Thank you all for your prayers. Continue to pray for her because it is really hard to learn how to eat with these gadgets in her mouth. About the only thing that it easy for her is ice cream. But she's going to have to learn to eat more than that!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Third Blog of the Day

Three blogs in one day. Wow, I guess I've been saving up! L I forgot to mention that I have a new link to Heather's blog. She is a sweet friend and an incredible artist through her photography and poetry. I especially love the video she has on there of "If Love Had A Noise". Check it out!


Today Little Lady got her expander. The thing is huge! I guess because of the extra thumb guard it really seems large. She did really well while they put it in. We took Rose (her baby doll) to squeeze for extra comfort. Rose and Little Lady did great! She is not eating very much because it takes a while to get used to that thing at the roof of your mouth. Big sister is helping her know how to do it and told her that she didn't eat much those first days either. Tonight is going to be the hardest test. I can tell Little Lady's already dreading it. She keeps asking me how many hours before bedtime. Last night was a tearful farewell to the thumbsucking but she actually woke up somewhat excited this morning. Before we went she said, "Mom, I'm kind of scared, kind of happy and kind of sad." I told her that was normal and that she would do fine. Pray for us!

Desert Test

Man, I feel like the Israelites in the desert of testing! Lately, God has been calling me to give up all my idols (addictions) and truly follow Him. He leaves it in my court to follow or not, and I have begun the act of submitting. But it's HARD!!! In all of my struggles with my will I have uncovered something more than just obeying. I have found that I need God and His strength! Sounds simple I know, but it's huge. You know that verse in I Corinthians 10:13 that says, "But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."

That last part has been my saving grace! Maybe I'm not supposed to take this verse literally but I do. God seems to do the funniest things to get my attention. A bowl breaks at just the moment I was about to give in to something I shouldn't. My child needs me. The computer shuts down. On and on I could go and probably without giving the specifics, it's not as great a story to you. But to me, it's miraculous and I'm overcome with His love. Please pray that I can withstand the testing and overcome. I am longing to but I'm so scared because my secret life will be so different. I want to trust that He will be far greater than any "high" I could get from any of my addictions. I can take hope in the fact that He died so that I could die to my sins.

I Peter 2:21 - 24 "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness..."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Wrestling with my Will

You know, throughout all my reading this week, I kept coming back to passages about the will. Overcoming or submitting your will is such a difficult thing to do. I've wrestled with even the concept of winning the will for lots of my life thinking that some things just can't be overcome completely. I've assumed it may always be a battle. But this week I read some things that stood in stark contrast to that. Then to top it off, what does Kyle talk about this morning? You guessed it! The will. Yikes! Can't I get away from this topic?!!! Then tonight we discussed the changed lives of three people in the passage. They all turned immediately. :{ God does pursue. :)

The will is choosing which direction to go. Or, as Kyle put it, like aiming at the mark. It's righting your aim. I'll admit there are things that I've struggled with for years. I am just now seeing that I am not a victim but that it is a choice. It's not that I can't choose because I am strong in some things. You won't see me stealing from the supermarket. That is not a temptation for me. But my weaknesses are difficult. They are the points that I want to pretend I'm helpless on and not address them. God is funny in how He works. With giving up something as little as nailbiting for my daughter, I have seen how weak my will can be. I keep catching myself in the middle of putting a finger to my mouth. But I quickly put it back down. It's just sobering to see how dependent I am on that. Now, that's something very insignificant in the big scheme of things but it's huge to me. (Believe me, I've got greater problems but this is a beginning.) "If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve." (Joshua 24:15)

H. Clay Trumbull says, "It is true that God holds out before man, as an inducement to him in his choosing, the inevitable results of his choice. If he chooses good, life comes with it. If he chooses evil, death is its accompaniment. The rewards and the punishments are declared in advance; but after all, and in spite of all, the choice is man's own." "As God, our wise and loving Father in heaven, deals with us His children, so we, as earthly fathers, should deal with our children. We should guard sacredly their privilege of personal choice; and while using every proper means to induce them to choose aright, we should never, never, never force their choice, even into the direction of our intelligent preference for them. The final responsibility of a choice and of its consequences rests with the child, and not with the parent." -- Hints on Child Training. (H. Clay Trumbull raised eight children of his own and is the great-grandfather of Elisabeth Elliot Gren)

At first I wrestled with this philosophy. Leave it in the child's hands to obey or not? Huh? Then as I read more I began to really understand his meaning. We set up specific enticements for our children to choose right or punishments when they choose wrong. But in my world when they begin to choose wrong I want to nag and remind them of the consequences or maybe even intimidate them with the Motherly evil eye to keep them from going down that path. All these things are WRONG! If I aim to build character I MUST let them choose right for themselves. Or else they will be sitting down but standing up on the inside. It can only be their choice when they OWN it. Leave it in their court. Keep myself calm. No power struggles. They choose right - praise and enjoyments. They choose wrong - discipline or loss of privledge. That simple. Seeing it in that light helps me see my choices in God's light. I begin to see the consequences and the enticements through my own life. What is my choice? What will I will?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Birthday Party

Tonight is Little Miss' long awaited (for her) birthday sleepover. She's having a few of her friends. And if you know her, she has been planning it for awhile. Of course the theme is Narnia! :) We made a dome-shaped cake into a Beavers Dam. Covered it with chocolate icing and then put pretzels on top. We sprinkled it lightly with powdered sugar to give it a "snowy" effect and put "snow" all over the platter that it sits on. Thanks to McDonald's Happy Meals, we have most of the characters from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We, of course, put Mr. Beaver beside his dam. Then we also made a long rectangular white cake which we are making into Aslan's Camp. King Peter, King Edmond, Queen Susan and Queen Lucy will go on top as well as Aslan. We're making the icing green for the grassy campground. We even have (food coloring) green-tinted coconut for the grass! :) Then she has connecting backgrounds (thanks again to McDonalds) to put around the outside of the cake. It has been so much fun to create that it's been difficult to focus on cleaning the house. L Although, Little Miss claims the business helps her day pass quickly. Well, good.

We have three games planned and then the Narnia movie to watch. (Thank you cousins close to Mexico!) I am looking forward to the night almost as much as she is. The only glich is keeping little siblings out of the limelight and busy so that they stay out of trouble. You know, have fun but don't over-interfere. Here's to a fun and sleepless night! ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Giving Up

Tomorrow morning we are going to the orthodonist to have Little Lady fitted for an expander. Her expander will also have a thumbguard to help her completely overcome her nighttime habit. She has been somewhat emotional about this. So, I decided that since my little girl is going to have to go through giving something up that I should go through it with her. I have had a nailbiting habit for about thirty years (honestly, I can't remember when it began). But I told her that since she is going to have to give up her thumb that I will give up my nailbiting so that I can understand what she's going through. We can tackle surrendering our habits together.

I announced this at the supper table tonight. Then asked everyone if they would like to give up something temporarily (for two weeks) to walk through it with Little Lady. When I asked Little Mister what he might like to give up he wasn't sure. So I moved on to Little Miss to see what she would like to give up. She suggested school. I said, "Not!" And Daddy said that he once new a boy that went stupid in two weeks. We laughed about that for a minute. Then my little Mister piped up that he had decided on what to give up. I asked him,"What?" He said, "You!" Making Daddy almost choke on his food laughing. Glare. Little Mister quickly recovered by saying, "Just kidding". He'd actually decided on a car. Good choice.


I am so refreshed this morning. Yesterday afternoon I started a cleaning frenzy and continued into the night. It felt so good to put the pull-out sofa bed back up and have my couch again! Tissues were strewn everywhere and trash cans were overflowing. Cups were scattered all around the house along with medicine bottles. After I got all the trash picked up, cups and dishes in the dishwasher there was some clear space to look at. Believe me, I had been trying to keep it clean but for any of you that have tried to care for a sick brood, you know how hard that can be!

Finally, after I got everything in the front rooms back in their place tidy and clean, I vaccumed. Ahhhh. My carpet looked so pretty and my eyes happily took in the clean area. My poor husband, weak from being so sick, ventured to work because of a huge Martin Luther King day event that he was in charge of. I knew he was going to be working until well into the night so I decided I would give him the gift of clean surfaces when he walked into the back door. I got the laundry put away and cleared out the utility room. Then I cleared off every counter in the kitchen (ran the dishwasher three times)! Swept and cleared off the floor from the three trash bags sitting there. Thank goodness today was trash pick-up! Then I mopped. Picked up all the medicines and dishes off of the table and scrubbed it down.

After all that, I sat down and just basked in the glow of cleanliness! If that wasn't enough, then I got a good night's sleep! I feel so invigorated today and ready to conquer the world. Thanks for all your prayers! Hubby's fever stopped yesterday and Little Mister's was gone this morning. Whew! They are both still really congested but from watching my other two, it should only last a day or so.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

And The Award Goes To...

Reporting live from the Jammies.

The Sweetest Sufferer award goes to ... Little Miss
The Dearest Diva award goes to .... Little Lady
The Most Patient Patient award goes to ... Little Mister
The Most Amount of Meds Taken award goes to... Hubby
The Continued Wellness award goes to... Mommy

Sick of Sick!

I really wish there was something else I had to write about other than sickness. I'm sick of sick. I guess I'm writing this blog for my sanity. Just a moment's peace in which I'm not hearing the word, "Mommy" yelled. It's almost comical. I should think of myself as a celebrity then it would probably seem glamourous. As I walk past any room of the house all I hear is, "Mommy!" "Moooommmmmmyyyyyy!" "Mom, hey Mom!" I'm about ready to change my title just for the sake of hearing a different word.

Maybe I'm a bit irritable. I haven't had a lot of sleep in the last week. Monday night I was cleaning up--well, you know. Tuesday night, Little Miss was delirious and having horrific nightmares so I spent the night at the foot of her bed. Wednesday night, I was up in intervals to keep medicine going so the fever would stay down. Thursday night, Little Lady ended up in my bed shivering with cold and restlessly turning because of fever. Hubby spiked a fever too. Friday night, Little Mister began running fever and coughing. I kept waking through the night to give everyone meds. Saturday night Little Mister was coughing hard. It was starting to sound like croup. I kept hearing him hacking. I finally moved him to my bed because I was scared I would sleep through it and not hear if he was really in trouble. Needless to say, it wasn't a restful night.

I better quit writing before I fully re-start that pity-party. I'll try to think of a new topic for tomorrow. Really.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Being Honest

I'll admit it, I'm tired. Little Lady is my most demanding patient yet. Then tonight as we finished watching a movie my little Mister was shivering and saying how cold he was. Oh please, you've got to be kidding. Nope! I took his temperature and sure enough it was high. Sigh. Didn't the doctor say they had the same virus, it just affected different people different ways? Apparently, that wasn't the case. At least I hope that wasn't the case because if it was, that means that everyone can re-catch this virus in four days. :-} AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

But just when I want to really feel sorry for myself, I read on a friend's blog that her son is having heart surgery today. The doctors say it's routine. When is surgery on your child ever routine? Man, all I'm dealing with here is a little virus. I can survive. So I said a prayer for my friend's son then got back to my nursing.

Two Down, One to Go

Unfortunately, Hubby and Little Lady are down with the virus. I'm the only one left. If you're wondering if I'm washing my hands the answer is, YES! I think my nails are even growing out a bit because I'm scared to bite them. L

God is teaching me more and more about my will. I am struggling through it. Ironically, it always seems like my kids mirror my struggles in some way or another. Yesterday, I was having trouble with lots of squabbles between them. I finally sat everyone down to do a mini-Bible study. (I was sick of being the nag!) We went through I Corinthians 13 (don't laugh). I felt like we all needed a good reminder that these instructions were from God and not just some crazy ramblings! It led to some pretty interesting discussion and very heartfelt moments. I walked away convicted and encouraged. The day seemed to go smoother after that.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fever/ Lost

My little Miss has had a fever all week since she got sick on Monday. It just keeps hanging on. Her fever has been high. We went to the doctor today because I was worried it was an infection. He tested her and then told me that it is still the virus but it's just effecting her differently than it did her little brother. As long as she is having fever she is contagious. So we're staying away from people until she's better.

Last night, my new favorite show, LOST, returned. FINALLY, an NEW episode. I was anticipating two long hours of pure Lost fever! I started watching it at 8:00 thinking it would go until 10:00. Unfortunately, the first episode started at 7:00. Argh!!!!! The ONE night that I could have watched two hours! After I got over my pity party I decided to be grateful that I at least got to see the last one. ;{

Daniel and Janiners, if you saw all of it, would you please fill me in? Sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Top Five Reasons I Homeschool

In the homeschooling movement, there are many reasons why people homeschool. I would like to share some of mine.

Five Reasons I Homeschool:

1. To live a missional life.
I know that sounds like a contradiction to some, so let me explain. As my kindergartener enters the school realm, they are usually not a believer yet. For them to be "sent" is not an option. Only believers are sent. I see missional homeschooling as teaching them the missional life under my guidance and example. We live out the gospel together as a family. When I go to take a meal to someone, they help me prepare it and come along for the delivery. When Daddy helps out at John 3:16, they go along to help. When a friend is in crisis and comes over to talk, they understand to play quietly in the back so that we can have privacy. When Daddy helps a homeless person find shelter and food, they learn from his example. When we give to someone in need, they learn to get creative with our "fun" times to stretch the dollars. We discuss God and His Word when we rise to do our morning chores, when we walk (in nature or about the house), and when we sit for reading or table time. We are sent out as a family and they each begin to find their own missional life within that. Then, as they become mature in their discipleship and faith, then I will send them out alone.

2. Because I only have 18 years. This reason is kind of selfish. But it's true. The season is short and I want every minute that I can get!

3. Because I am their Mom. There are so many incredible teachers out there that know much more than I will ever know. They teach amazingly well and I am grateful or else I would not love literature and history the way I do. But there is one thing that they can never be to my kids and that is, Mom. No one is going to love my children as much as me or know them as well as me. Maybe that sounds braggy but I feel it's true. I have watched their little hearts and lives grow from birth. I know when they're struggling, excited, embarrassed, sad and I can depend on God to show me how to minister to them in those moments. They are my little disciples (as scary as that thought is) and I want to point them to God. I wish I was a perfect example but I'm not. My imperfections give me plenty of opportunities to teach them that in my weak moments I must humble myself and ask forgiveness or give restitution if it's needed.

4. To make disciples. More than anything, I long for my children to be passionate for God and His word. I love being the first one to share the stories from the Great Story, the Bible. My heart leaps when they ask many questions and seek to know more. I hope that they will search for God as they would hunt for hidden treasure.

5. For the fire in their eyes. There is something so intimate when a child makes a new discovery that will forever change their world. It happens when they're young as they take their first steps and then their first run. But I have seen a fire in their eyes even greater these moments. When suddenly they are not just sounding out words, they are reading! Then they read something that stirs or shakes them and they come to me with questions. Or perhaps, everything suddenly makes sense. Those are the moments that I would never give back! I love seeing the fire in their eyes.

In the end, I pray that they will have the courage to face what comes, the wisdom to worship God and turn back to Him quickly when they fail, the hope that this life is worth giving up for the one to come and the conviction that others are worth loving because they are precious to God.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Yuk Yuk

Well, it's really not the "funny" kind of yuk yuk. It's more like the "we are sick as dogs" yuck, yuck! My poor kiddos. Little Mister hit the dirt first today around dinner. He said he didn't want to eat but he wanted to lay down. Wha--? Then my little birthday girl told me that we shouldn't go to the movies tonight. She wasn't feeling very good. Uh-oh. I was glad she made that choice though. It turned out to be a wise one! I'll spare you the details. Anyway, I made Hubby go to the store to stock up on laundry detergent, Lysol, 7-Up, applesauce, bananas and popsicles. We're ready for a doozy of a week! YeeHaw!!

Happy Birthday Little Miss

Today is my Little Miss' 11th Birthday! She is my firstborn and the little girl that gave me the title of Mom. I can't believe it's been 11 years already. She is full of life! The older she gets, the more fun we have. I love that she still loves dolls (the American Girl-like dolls). She loves to sew, make crafts, play games, entertain little children, knit and read. It's so fun to share books together. I have a reading buddy! :-) She is beautiful inward and out. I am so thankful to have her as part of my life!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Well, our fun holiday travels are over and my sister left this morning on her 14 hour trip home. Whaa. It's good that there is a Girl's Night out tonight! My house is quiet and everything must return back to normal. I do like my routine but the holiday has been wonderful! I have been working on my home schedule for this Spring semester (to which my sister was forced read). As I've said before, I always love the new start. This year has been a year of lessons for me.

I am in the middle of reading books by Charlotte Mason and learning about her. For those of you outside the homeschooling world, she is a pioneer of sorts in this arena. I love most of her philosophy and am learning a lot.

I am feeling the need to form a new habit. One of getting up early. (Don't faint, Mom) I know what you're thinking. My Hubby already looked at me as if it would be like moving the moon. But seriously, I think it would help my days if I had a little quiet time to think and get ready before my kids are up. I have gone through spurts of this but then I'll end up staying up late and allow myself to sleep until the kids wake. It's not consistent. I am going to strive to be consistent. So if you want, when you see me you can ask me what time I got up that morning. Maybe that will hold me accountable. Yikes!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


My Sister.

She is the one that I tell all my details of a story to so that Hubby is spared the infinite details. She is the one that I can sing a song with and harmonize together like no other. She knows my weird quirks and promptly does the opposite. She makes me laugh until we cry. She is the one that I share deeply with until our brains hurt or my voice is maxed. She is the one I can stay up late with until the wee hours of the morning. She can make me angry but not for long. She is too good a friend to stay mad at. She reads my face and knows instinctively what I'm feeling. Sometimes she doesn't even need words to let me know she understands.

Right now she is visiting me from out of town along with her kids. At this very moment she is cleaning my kitchen while I put Little Mister down for a nap. Our kids are old enough now to play for hours together without interrupting us. I'm going to enjoy every moment of this week!

Monday, January 02, 2006


My sweet husband bought me a book on the evening of our Anniversary that I had been wanting for quite a while. It's called Use What You Have Decorating by Lauri Ward. I tell you, it is incredible! I am someone who loves to move things around every two months or so anyway, but this lady has given me the tools to do it with!

Hubby asked me on Saturday what I wanted to do on New Year's Day. I said, "Move furniture!" To which he groaned, "Oh no." He should have known it was a mistake to buy me that book! ;) I LOVE how everything is turning out. So if you need some re-arranging at your house, I'm on a roll! L

My little Mister just came in wanting to ask me something. He looked at my coffee cup and then held his nose. "That stuff stinks," he said. Crazy kid! It's the aroma of Heaven.

Little Lady is enjoying the day setting up tea for her dollies. She has babies everywhere! I swear this girl will someday have an orphanage! Little Miss is, of course, doing a craft. Where does she get these endless ideas? I would love to take credit but alas I can't even remember where the supplies are let alone an idea.

We watched the Extreme House Makeover last night and like a baby I bawled. What is it about growing older that makes one become a sappy Mom? I finally grabbed a Kleenex box and quit trying to pretend that I had a cold. The story was about this couple who had two kids of their own and adopted four kids that were in great need of a family. They wanted to adopt more but didn't have the room. Ty built them an incredible new ranch (with extra room of course) and even a cute little school house because they homeschool. It was adorable! Maybe I can talk Hubby into building me a little school shed out back...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year

I can breathe a sigh of relief for the start of a new year. Not that last year was bad but I love having a fresh slate. It's all crisp and clean like a new piece of paper not yet written on (a huge weakness for me). I love how God creates so many new beginnings. We get a new beginning yearly, seasonally, monthly, weekly and even daily. I guess God knew we'd need lots of start-overs.

Looking forward to all my new beginnings. Happy New Year!