Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feeling the Need to Get it Out

My husband and I live a pretty public life. We receive emails and phone calls on a daily basis from complete strangers. We are good with it. We knew when we contemplated starting an online school this would be one of the things that went along with it. We kind of make a living out of answering questions for these people. As word travels about our family these questions sometimes are more personal. We have become quite proficient at keeping our privacy while giving an answer. Lately, when the home schooling talk is done, I have been getting a lot of "Congratulations on your adoption. Do you mind if I ask a few questions?" Like I said I have learned to answer these questions without giving up my children's privacy, so it is really okay. The thing I have realized though, is the general public is really ignorant about adoption. I do not say ignorant in a disrespectful way, but there is certainly a lack of knowledge on the subject. So, I am taking it upon myself to educate the world.:) Seriously, I have just had a lot of thoughts and I just need to get it out. This may be more for myself. You know how it is? There are so many thoughts going around I can not get them all straight. Therefore, I am going to blog about them in hopes I can get it all together. I will be posting a few different times on this. I am sorry if it bores you. Just amuse me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Which Part is Your Favorite?

Our pastor is going through a series on liturgy. Yesterday he spoke on "Why We Do What We Do." His opening statements really hit home for me. He pointed out a few different views on worship. I do not remember his exact words. I was juggling a couple of children. He talked about people who pick favorite parts of worship and then are kind of on auto-pilot for the rest. Some love the music and count down the minutes to the end of the sermon. There are others who are not really into that style of music, so they drift through and cannot wait until it is over. Others would like to ignore confession, but are all there for petition.So on and so on, you get the point. He went on to say that every part of the liturgy in a service plays a biblical part. It may not be our favorite, but it is our responsibility to participate with our whole hearts. I am not sure about you, but I have certainly been guilty of this.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brain Candy

Some of you may have heard that Veritas Press is doing a summer reading contest. Since they announced this the phones and email have been going like crazy. Everyone wants to know what is quality "fun" reading. So, that has been the topic of conversation around here. Some of you may be surprised at mine and my husbands thoughts on this. First let me say two things. 1. I am not speaking on moral content here. That goes without saying. Parents must approve of what their children are reading. 2. I do believe quality must be presented often to our children. If they are not trained to love quality then it will be almost impossible to get them to find pleasure in the finer things in life. They will also develop the easy way out mentality. You know what I mean. The read any book just to say you read a book mentality. But, I do believe there is a place for mindless brain candy. My son would have never developed a love for reading if he had been made to struggle through everything he read. My daughter loves getting lost in the land of make believe. She is often getting injured because she cannot put the book down long enough to watch where she is walking. I am in a period if my life where if I thought everything I read had to be meaty, I probably would not ever read anything. I am too tired right now. Of course, there is junk that I hope never crosses my children's path, but as long as we are exposing them to quality on a regular basis, is it really the end of the world if they read brain candy every once in a while?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Am a Mean Mother

My son informed me recently the little boy across the street thinks I am a mean mother. You see, we have rules. He thinks obedience is completely optional and about 95% of the time chooses disobedience. This is a problem because as soon as the bus pulls up in the afternoon he and his sister find their way over until dinner and most nights are back after dinner. We have struggled with what to do. I do not need or want 2 more children to raise at this time, but feel bad about sending them home to play adult rated video games and watch completely inappropriate movies. I know I am not responsible for them, but I find it interesting that they desire to be with the "mean mother" instead having the run of their home. So, for now we let them play here (Our kids are never allowed over there.Thankfully our 6 year old knew to leave when the R rated movie was put in. We said no more at that point.)We say no occasionally to let them know we need family time. My children know there is a difference in our homes. They also know if we ever see the others behavior and attitude rubbing off on them, the friendship is over. The other children also know we do not take any of the inappropriate behavior. I just wonder, when do we say enough is enough and choose to protect our own and just cut off the friendship? I use the term protect lightly because we are very careful that they play in our presence at all times.Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still Waiting

Just wanted to give a quick update about the adoption. Things are going well. He is absolutely beautiful and we are falling more and more in love with him everyday. The other children are so good with him. We are still just biding our time until parental rights are terminated.We should know sometime in July if it is going to be a smooth process or not. It is hard to not be 100% secure in our future with him. Some days are better than others. I have to remind myself often that he is not my child, but God's and He is taking care of him. The day we left Hawaii I had a heart to heart with the birth mother. I wanted to know honestly how she was going. She told me, "I keep telling myself he is not my child or yours, but God's, and that helps me to really be okay." So, I keep thinking if she can think that, I definitely can. Yes, if you are wondering, she is an amazing person. So, anyway, if you think of it please remember to pray for us. I cannot wait until the day this is done and I can show off his beautiful picture and tell all of his cute little stories.


It really hurts when your six year old slams your head in the trunk of the van. REALLY hurts!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's Planning Time

One of the pitfalls of working for a homeschool curriculum company is the tendency to become lazy about planning for your children. When we first began homeschooling Isaac 5 years ago, my favorite part of it all was the planning and studying different curriculum. When we decided to jump back into it we were kind of late in the game and I thought, "Great, it is all at the Press. I'll just hop in the car and go look through a few things and make my purchases." During this year we realized we would need to make a few changes. Not many, but enough that I had to put a little more thought into it. One of the benefits of what we do is that I am privileged to talk with multiple homeschooling families on a weekly basis. So, when I had to make my changes I had talked with enough people, including my employer, and was able to make a pretty quick, but educated decision. I realized how blessed we are to be where we are. You see, 5 years ago we had no one to turn to. We knew we wanted a classical education for our children, but we did not know anyone who was doing it. I do not even know how we were put on the mailing list, but one day a Veritas Press catalog showed up in the mailbox. We took their word for it and put in our order. I know there are those who are where we were then. I talked with someone the other day who is there. My advice to her was do as much research as you can, but do not feel the need to reinvent the wheel. You will drive yourself nuts. When you find something good, just do it. There is always something better and you will continue to jump from curriculum to curriculum if you are not careful. I do not feel curriculum jumping is good for the student. Each company has a different goal and I am afraid you will find holes in your children's education if you do not pick something and stay with it. Of course each child has different needs and you will need to temper this advice with what you believe your child needs at different times. One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to shape the schooling around the child's individual needs.Lastly, find a trustworthy source for advice. Most curriculum companies now have yahoo groups and employees who will give phone consults. If you were to walk into Veritas Press pre-catalog stage, you will find tables spilling over with stacks of books and curriculum. That is what is read before the new catalog goes to print. They also hand out some of the good stuff for families to try and give their opinions. We happened to be one of those families this year and found some great things. They also have master teachers of the field look through the books. If they find something better, then they add it. When I first saw this process I realized they do not just pick something and sell it. They literally look at everything out there and then make an educated opinion. It was then that I decided to do my own research, but to also trust those who have done more research than I will ever have time to do. I am sure most companies go about this the same way. If you feel overwhelmed with all of the choices out there, find someone you trust and ask for help. I find the Spring the most difficult time of year for schooling. We are ready to be done with this year's work while having the stress of making next year's decisions. It is important to remember two things. 1. Why did you start this in the beginning? When you are struggling with what to do next, remember your original goal. It may change through the years, but going back to the beginning is sometimes enough to give you that extra push. 2. Remember your end goal. If you know where you came from, and you know where your going, it will make your decision making process a lot easier.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Can They Pass the Test?

I thought this was great!

(Hat Tip: Girl Talk)

The next "Survivor" series:

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up. The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

I am going to let you in on a little secret. I may be the most impatient person on the planet. It is kind of ironic that God paired me with my husband who happens to be the opposite of impatient. We have learned to just laugh at one another over the years, but it was not pretty in the early years. If you need an example just read a little more. We won a hand made, wooden cabinet at the school auction on Saturday night. It was unfinished and I was ready to paint it. My husband tried to talk me into waiting until the weekend when he could keep the children out of the way. Well, I am impatient, you see. I bought my paint and went to work today. Of course, it is a little chilly and I could not leave the children inside without me all day, so I decided just to do it in the living room. After cleaning paint off of everyone, dog included, I am done. Should I have taken my husband's advice? Probably so. It looks nice, but made for a very stressful day. I am trying to learn a lesson here. It seems like God is trying to test my patience in every area of my life right now. There are so many things happening right now that I have no control over. Did I mention I am a little bit of a control freak as well? I was having trouble not living in daily anxiety, but it had become too much. I had no choice but to quit being consumed by it all. I believe God does that when we have trouble just handing it all over to Him, no questions asked. So, I am spending time in the Bible and talking with God instead of worrying about what may happen. I hope I am learning this lesson and will not need to be shaken up like this again for a long time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mother of At least Three

I was in Home Depot today while my husband was home with the kids. I know this appears backwards, but it worked for today. So, he calls while I am trying to make up my mind on the purchase I needed to make. It sounded as if every child we have was screaming in the background. I think they actually all were except for one. Anyway, he says the 1 year old threw a rock at the 9 year old. There is blood all over the bathroom and he is not sure if he needs stitches. I am sure I am being pretty graphic in my conversation, because that is just how we are. When I hang up I look to the young, new mother standing beside me with her newborn baby. She asks is everything okay and wasn't I going to leave. I say no, he is fine and certainly will not bleed to death before I get home. The elderly lady with her says, "You must be a mother of at least three children." Guilty as charged.

By the way, Isaac is fine. I knew what this mother will quickly learn. Head injuries bleed a lot and almost always look worse than they are. Isaac has also had a life threatening head injury that included a trip in the Medivac. Since then we have become more skilled at determining what involves a trip to the hospital or not.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Highlight of the Weekend

I decided to put all five kids in the car and go visit the grandparents without my husband. We left him home to recover in silence. He appreciated it since he had a splitting headache and there is absolutely no way to keep this bunch quiet. It was a rough trip there and we were all glad to get out of the car. 5 1/2 hours was long enough. The kids had a blast with the cousins and I enjoyed being just far enough south to see the beginnings of spring. The highlight? The red light was on at the Krispy Kreme. Need I say more? (We do not have one here.)

As exciting as that was, my daughter made me very sad. She kept hearing this foreign word. She was determined it was not a word,and being her father's daughter, had to correct everyone. She kept saying. "Y'all is not a word." I informed her she was breaking my heart. She was born in VA and that is certainly a word that should be in her vocabulary.

I Concede

I finally give in. I am so tired of the fight which has gone on for weeks now. Who ever knew a battle against a 9 year old and 4 year old could drive me to this breaking point? Boys, you win. Yes huh, is a word in your world. Keys words here, "In your world." Definitely not in my world.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Here We Go Again

The flu does not want to leave the area. It is still going around school like crazy. Bruce is down with it now. We were supposed to take the baby to meet his grandparents this weekend. That's out now. Although,I am wondering if it would be better for me to leave with the kids until the germs are gone. When will it stop?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm Tired

1 newborn who can not get into a deep sleep + 1 4 year old who wets the bed = No sleep for Mommy