Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Discussion - "The Monistry of Motherhood"

Ladies, I've decided to begin our book discussions with *The Ministry of Motherhood* by Sally Clarkson. You can purchase this book at Whole Heart Ministries , or many other spots. The book has study guides and questions every few chapters and I think that will assist in making this an easy book to discuss.

I'm open to discuss pace. I don't want to move TOO quickly...but I've noted that book discussions bog down if you move TOO slowly. ::snort::

I'd like to begin in May. Yikes - that's soon. ::snort:: you think we should allow one or two weeks for everyone to get the book? I've got an idea - let's begin the Monday after Mother's Day, some of you may want to request the book for Mother's Day. ::snort::

You can simply read the reviews and comments....or jump in and the book, read it, share your informed thoughts.... Or skip the whole thing if that pleases you most. ::snort::

Picture of the book won't load - I'll try tomorrow.


I continue to be dizzy, which makes every day life interesting. I have not fainted again. I am eating "something" every couple of hours.

Speech, produce co-op, something else. We all went and watched Arielle and Nolan in a performance that their drama class put on. They did good. They were nervous. Miss A was PUT out that "the military" made Dad miss Christmas and NOW her play....but several dads missed. I'm really, really glad that the kids participated in this. I tend to avoid many outside activities...but this was 8 weeks...and was beneficial.

Women's Project Night. This was my first time going somewhere to crop. I took the albums mom had made with me. I spent about an hour organizing things. I only took two bags and wasn't quite sure what was in them. I've not used this stuff since our move. I put together the power sorter thing that I found in one bag. I thought about taking all the photos out of all the albums mom had made and storing them...then I decided to simply transfer one album. I finished one. I simply copied mom's writing. The pieces of magnetic pages would be too thick....when Mike gets home we'll see if he can scan the rest in a way that I can use them. We had fun and midnight came before we knew it. Everyone wants to do this monthly. I'm still committed to simplifying - in other words "they're photos - put them in the album already!!!" I have DECADES of photos to get into albums.....and I knew some of the photos were falling out and some of the pages were yellow...but it became apparent that the magnetic "stuff" was eating away the photos. It's time to make transferring these albums a priority....and then all the big albums Mike and I took for the first 20 years of our marriage. LOL THEN, maybe, I'll think about being crafty again....

Used Book Fair this a.m. at 8:30. I didn't sell a lot; but I've already listed the books I have left online. I DID sell a few things - enough to pay for the Math U See Geometry that I picked up. ::snort::

Now - I need a nap. I need to clean. I need to do laundry. Tomorrow is a big pot luck at chapel and so I should cook.....and Mike comes home in a few hours. Hey, maybe I can post photos again once he gets home and speaks to the computers! ::snort::

Thursday, April 26, 2007

THURSDAY - What day off?

This was supposed to be my "vacation" week with Mike gone - but it's turned into a rather tiring week.

Curves this a.m.

School this a.m.

Went to base to pick up a student's luggage.

Lunch and then ran the boys across town for their volunteer activity.

Ran the younger ones to park day. Yikes! We got there and there were about 4 busses parked outside the gate. I was very pleased when they began to load up. Then it was bare - I wondered if I had the wrong date for our homeschool park day....but there was one lone Mom with 14/12 yo boys still at the park. She's new to town. Still in TLF on base...and a homeschool Mom. They'd been waiting for someone from the group to show up. I was 30 minutes late as I have to go across town with the older boys first. I was sad that there was no one there to welcome this new mom - but I did my best. Tricia and her daughters showed up too and we basically had the park to ourselves. LOL She asked what my boys liked to do and I suggested the one really fun thing to do in this area - paint ball. Her son was THRILLED and I have their phone number to try and make that happen.

Came home for dinner. Josiah was supposed to pick the boys up and I expected them by 5:30. It was 6:15 when they got home. Dinner was ready. Yeah, I KNOW I've not posted a menu this week. We ARE eating at home. It's not pretty...but it's food. ::snort::

Jamin, Jared, and I, picked up Tricia and her oldest daughter and headed out to a Come and See party for World View Academy. This looks excellent. It's expensive, but if God wants the boys to go, He will provide. They earned $ for airplane tickets and a mission trip to AK last summer (which was a good $300 more than this). The camp we are looking at is in the fall - it's 90% homeschoolers. Josiah would like to go but may be in college by that time. I did get a bit lost driving out in the country - but we found it - eventually.

Josiah had the littles all settled down when I got home. Stacia is asleep on my bed. He ran through their lines for the play their drama class is putting on tomorrow.

Home to set up tables and call it a day. I still need to price books and gather things for project night tomorrow. I seriously may take a pillow and blanket, sit under a table with a magazine and tell them to wake me at mid-night to lock up! ::snort::

Labor of Love

I can remember my mother with boxes of negatives. I remember her painstakingly running to Bi-mart to make 2 copies of this photo, 1 copy of this one, 3 copies of this one....and then one day.....the boxes became stacks and stacks all over our dining room table.

There were stacks of photo albums. Not just ANY photo albums; the very newest and best albums on the market for this labor of love. There were THREE very distinct patterns of albums, each of us children were to have our OWN set of family photo albums, in our OWN pattern. There were stacks of photos sorted by person, year, month. In the end, I was given 12 albums of photos that chronicled my life from birth through graduation. Amazing.

I began with the idea of doing the same for my children. By the time I had 5 young un's under the age of 8, I realized I didn't have the TIME or the DOLLARS to keep x amount of copies for each this point I would need 10 children albums and 1 family album... it isn't happening.

I decided to keep a family album. It was ALWAYS up to date. Photos came home and immediately went into the current album, complete with quite a bit of writing (which is now called journaling). I was current. A favorite family past time was to sit around and look through all our albums....until, as I've previously shared SCRAPBOOKING took over our albums. Please know that this is not true across the board - but for ME - scrapbooking became an evil. It took away from a great family pleasure. No longer do we have albums that are fun to look through on family night. I'm now over 5 years behind. I can't possibly put photos in an album without coordinating paper, stickers, cropping etc. Oh, I've played around with various styles. I've tried various systems. It comes back to the fact that I don't have time for keeping our family history as a craft outlet for me. I need to get the photos and stories in an album. Others have told me to go for it - that later in life I can "do it right". ::snort:: I've not been able to bring myself to open those beautiful 12 x 12 Creative Memory albums and simply put photos on the page and write.....but I plan to do just that. It will be a terrible shock to those looking at my album. From plain - to works of art - back to plain! But so be it. I want to have fun with our photos again and not feel like it is a constant undone huge project hanging over my head. DON'T TAKE ANY MORE PHOTOS - DON'T YOU KNOW I'M FIVE YEARS BEHIND - OH 5 1/2 NOW!!!!

I planned to simply make myself stick photos from 2002 on a page and write - regardless of stickers, mats, shapes etc. That was the plan for TOMORROW night.....somehow all the photos from 2002 - 2003 have gone missing.

I needed to come up with another plan....back to my Mother's Early Labor of Love. Since learning about acid free albums and such, I've been meaning to do something with those lovely albums. Some have suggested I could do them in classic albums, vellum and eyelets (since evidently I'm an ANTIQUE)....and I thought of it. I couldn't bring myself to take those albums apart. I remember the hours it took mom to create this keepsake. My older girls loved looking over these albums...BUT the pages are yellowing, the magnetic stuff is coming loose...some photos fall out and some are stuck. I don't want the younger ones looking at them because they may ruin a photo. I need to do something. I don't want to change what Mom did. I decided I'd scan her words into the computer, use much the same layout as she did and matt her words on the page..... I'll begin that tomorrow. This should help me save my mom's Labor of Love, and get over my fear of going simple!!!

I scanned - the words don't show up. I now need to decide if I will simply copy the words in my handwriting....or cut out the part of the page with words and somehow matt those onto the pages. What would you all do?

And yes...this is all an exercise in ginning up the courage for me to follow through with my plan - get the photos in the album so that my family can begin enjoying them again. Oh - and on top of the 13 albums Mom gave me....I added 21 HUGE 3 ring magnetic albums of our early family years. I need to get THOSE into safe albums too.....and then I'll hit those 3 years of masterpieces...a craft I began when I wasn't teaching Bible Studies, when I had young women at home who worked on them with me.....and then I'll be back to simple.....and my family will not care. My children and Mike will be thrilled to be able to thumb through the albums again and remember family fun!
Mom and Dad
Me at 16 weeks (cone head @ 4 hours yikes!)
Me at 18 months - if Stacia had hair I think we'd look alike! ::snort::
...and one day - I CAN do them "right" - though I'm not sure who should define right. ::snort:: Now I only need to figure out what to do with oodles and oodles of supplies...more supplies than a person should ever have as I sold for one of the makers of such things. LOL


Mom, this one's for you. Ladies, my mom was diagnosed with FM about 8 years ago {?}. If any of you have info, websites etc to share - would you leave them in the comment section for Mom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Someone forgot the "not incapacitated" part of the prayer. I think 20 minutes a day would be enough to reassure me. Let's not go overboard with this 24/7 stuff. ::snort::

Seriously, today has been a rough day. I've been real sick most of the day...and the dizziness isn't making it easier to cope with. I'm trying to eat every few hours...and I'm remembering to drink so I don't dehydrate....and I'm smiling because I'd say pregnancy symptoms have finally hit.


Talked with B a couple of times about getting her luggage. Her departure date from the base has moved up - so I'll need to go pick her suitcases up tomorrow.

We're having a homeschool support group book sale on Saturday and I really want to pull a few things together to sell. I need to find time online to find retail prices and then adjust. Is the going rate still 50% of new if it's used? I've noticed a lot of things going for higher than that online.

Our first PWOC project night is coming up - and I can't find the box that had the photos from our trip to AK and the first year up there. I'm going to have to figure out a different project for the night. The terrible thing is that there is a project I'm wanting to work on for a friend and the photos are in THERE. WHERE could the box have gone?????

Took Jared to get a haircut. Bought groceries at Sam's.

I still can't get a card reader to work. Mike will be home soon.

School Today

I received *Five in a Row* today from Paperback Swap. I need to look it over and see if/how to incorporate it into our school. I don't really "do school" with Zander but have wanted a bit more structure. I think even partially doing this with him a few times a week, will be that "special time" he craves with me.

Arielle watched a lesson and did 4 MuS worksheets in 10 minutes. She aced them all. She then aced the test for that lesson as well. I warned her that eventually we'll have her in the "right spot" and it WILL take longer. At this point the lessons are really great for her because of his trick for quickly doing say 9's and 8's...but it is review.

I didn't get to couch school today. Really, it's o.k. since we've already done 3 weeks of TOG this week...but it has made me think I need to reconsider my schedule. I can't have this going on for very long.

I'm sick - really sick today. I've had lots of phone calls - and I could ease that up if I simply didn't answer the phone during school time. I had errands I HAD to run (milk)...this week has been TOOO busy and it's only Wednesday. I don't do well when I have THINGS on the schedule that I have to be out outside of our house. They take over my focus and our schedule. I know folks that are amazing and can run all over, keep house clean, school on track...and I simply can't. I've proven that to myself over and over. I'll begin by getting to Curves 1/2 an hour earlier...I think that will help. I'll not read any list mail or moderator messages until AFTER couch school - that should help. ::snort:: Not sure what else I can do. I'll pray about this. I do NOT want to end up shorting school on a regular basis - been there/done THAT. LOL

Thinking Blogger Award

Dorothy has tagged me for the Thinking Blogger Award. Dorothy shares life in England, gorgeous photos of places I dream of visiting, and deep insights of the process of sliding into decrepitude. I'm honored that she chose me. I started my blog to chronicle our daily life for far away friends and family....and then I discovered it was a good place to share whatever took my fancy. I'm truly surprised others read it. I'm touched that my ramblings seem to communicate something - at least some of the time. I'm also perplexed.

Here's my problem. For the most part, I read blogs to relax! I also read mostly SHS blogs but if I tag only SHS bloggers eventually they'll run of those to tag. I'm going to try to pick "non SHS" blogs so that others who are tagged on SHS still have a blog pool. ::Snort::

1. Jodi - is the first one who explained blogging to me. Her blog helps me think through the issues and daily life of the autism spectrum, she has given me glimpses into the vegan lifestyle (yes, you CAN still EAT), and has demonstrated how to incorporate fun into our homeschool. Jodi is a constant source of encouragement as we seek solutions for Zander. She truly exhibits the old wisdom that often we walk our paths, in order to help others who follow behind.

2. Trish - my friend from our assignment in Anchorage. She challenged me to be sure that women leaving my Bible Studies were not "stuffed with fluff". Mostly her blog makes me think I need to find my pictures so I can scrapbook...but she also shares great info on fibromyalgia (which Trish has) and reminds me to "rejoice in everything". Trish is a great thinker in real life and that comes through in her posts (from felt purses to bearing fruit with a chronic illness).

3. Large Family Logistics - I'm sure they've been chosen a zillion times and no longer participate - BUT I continually find food for thought at this blog, as well as meal tips, laundry tips and more. "The art and science of managing a large family."

I've tried ya'll (YES - I KNOW there are two ways to spell this and I checked with a life long Texan - two of them - they said to spell it this way ::snort:: Let's NOT go there again - ok?) but I mainly read SHS blogs...SO....I tried not to pick 5 and make it harder on them to find 5 - but ya'll are on your own. ::snort::

4. Kristine's blog makes me think about curriculum, books, and gorgeous spots to visit. I've been trying to get a family here to start a GH bakery...I've been craving GH for two weeks. Kristine's last post is about Great Harvest - so I pick her. ::snort::

I've counted at least 20 other SHS blog friends that I could put on here. Please know that I read and enjoy all your blogs...but I must choose one more blog here and get on with the day.

5. Debbie in NY - this family makes me think about how wonderful family is. How awe-inspiring that families such as theirs will go miles away and bring sibling groups a second chance at happiness in a new home, together. Debbie has made me think about HOW I juggle a large family, how hard it would be to add 3 at one time....and shes done it with GRACE. You've done amazingly well this year, Deb - and so I choose you for my 5th entry....

If any of you would rather have your link removed from my blog - please let me know. I'll leave your name and remove the link. LOL

This meme seems to have originated with the *The Thinking Blog* (A quick skimming of this blog leads me to conclude that though his blog may make me think, I do not necessarily agree with all his conclusions). Here are the rules:

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme.

The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post (his original post on the award)so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Book Review: "Fragments of Isabella..."

*Fragments of Isabella: A Memoir of Auschwitz by Isabella Leitner and Irving A. Leitner

I began hunting for the adult books by this author after reading * The Big Lie* - a children's book which she wrote about her family's experiences during WW2. You can see my review of that book here.

This is a SHORT book. It's a POWERFUL book. It's a REAL book. It's a PAINFUL book. I feel it is IMPORTANT for the books written by holocaust survivors to remain in print...unfortunately, many are no longer in print. The words are carefully chosen. The author states that "each word in this book stands for one hundred other words that were too painful to express" and I got that sense as I read.

In 1939 Isabella's father left Germany to try to find a haven for his family. He helplessly watched WW2 engulf his country of Hungary while he fought for visas for his family. His wife and 6 children were eventually sent to Auschwitz. The mother and youngest sister were immediately selected by Mengele to die. The mother's last words to her children were "live". The struggled to live and survive and this book documents their struggle. In the end 4 of the 7 that were deported are reunited with the father.

I recommend this book, though it wasn't full of the hope and happy ending that say The Hiding Place has. I have unearthed the second adult book written by Mrs. Leitner and will read it soon. I'm hoping to find healing as she moves on through life. *Isabella: From Auschwitz to Freedom*, Published by Ex Libris is available from This is different from the other books in that it contains new materials plus the other two earlier books. This is the relevant title that is print. Available in hard cover or paperback. (I found the orginal two used).

I couldn't help comparing this book with Corrie ten Boom's book. This book was shorter and somehow more "vivid"....both relied on God for strength. Their relationships with God are different. Corrie relied heavily on her daily personal relationship with God to forgive her captors. This contrast was vividly seen in a retelling of a situation in 1975 where Isabella is surrounded by Germans of the age of her captors that remind her of one guard. I do NOT find fault - only point out that she was devastated and wanted revenge of some sort. Corrie encountered an actual guard who had beaten her and her sister...and was able to forgive. This whole time period boggles my mind. I'm amazed at the courage and strength of the survivors to live.

This was another spring reading thing book. I'm thinking of moving my list to the top of the blog until June so it's easier to find and mark books read....I'd like to figure out how to cross out books from the list. LOL

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday - Just Another Day

Curves - they kept telling me I looked awful and asking me if I was o.k. I was, I'd only slept 4 hours.

School - finished but I kept falling asleep. Arielle (9 - almost 10) finally suggested I let her finish reading *The Files of Mrs. whoever*

Nap - I went to put Stacia down for a nap. I woke up an hour later on my bed (not where I'd started). Stacia was not in the bed with me. ::snort::

Bible Study - there were a group of men in our room and I prepared to politely kick them out. Our Catholic Parish Coordinator chased after me and got my attention. It was the Bishop and she felt terrible she forgot to call me about switching our location. NOT a problem....we got to eat the leftovers from the Bishop's spread. I was really thankful she caught me before I told them, "I'm sorry but we've reserved this room. Your time is UP!" ::snort::

Graduation - Josiah took the slide show with music on a jump drive to the cooridnator. Seems many are having trouble with power point. With the girls' graduation we could use whatever program we had (Windows Media). Anyway, it's out of our hands...hopefully THEY can get it on to a disc...our computers simply won't do it...unless we rebuild the slide show in the Burner software - and THEN it wouldn't be in Powerpoint again. LOL

Family Reading - I read two chapters of Jamin's books to the children tonight. Arielle asked Jamin if she knew that he hated chapters that ended like these - that it's torture. He shared his sketch book with them to help them figure out what a merrix looks like...

Going to bed - not even reading email or blogs.

I'm reading *The 7 Pillars of Health*. The first pillar was water - got it down. The second was - sleep. Oops. The 3rd is food - I have that fairly well down....but that sleep one I must work on, especially now as I'm exhausted 30 minutes after waking up. ::snort::

Surrogate Mothering....

BUT I already HAVE a houseful of children to mother!!!

OK - now that that is off my chest.... I made a CONSCIOUS choice 2 years ago to leave many of my leadership/mentoring/ministry roles behind. I had become over-involved with ministry outside of my home and needed to focus on my children. Yes, I teach a small study now...but I WAS teaching 3 - 4 studies a week for quite a bit of time. I've carefully evaluated each activity to come our way. I've made sure it won't interfere with school, it is something that will benefit my children, and that there is TIME to become involved. I've been quite content to put most of my focus on the ministry of mothering.....and I sense that God has been pleased with this as well. Sometimes, the children wish I'd get out a bit more. ::snort:: Sometimes, Mike misses me being a very active helpmate in the chapel...but all in all it's been good. I've been focusing on mothering MY children!

I'm finding more and more, as my children interact with their generation, that there are peers of theirs who are looking for a mother figure. I've thought about it. I've failed to do much. I was asked by one of my daughters if I'd sort of adopt one of her friends....I never lived in the same town, I didn't really know her, I've prayed, but it has been easy to let it slide....I'm busy with a new baby (now 20 months old)....this amazing young woman who has tenaciously followed Christ to Guam deserves a Christian Mom who will not only pray for her, but take an interest in her life.

We've had a student attending Bible Study. She's had some rough times. I've stayed late and visited. I've given her rides. I've prayed. I haven't had her over. I haven't called her as often as I should. It's so hard to tell which students are wanting mothering and which are enjoying their first taste of independence. Anyway, this dear young woman has run into some hard times. She's leaving our base as of Friday. She's sad, hurt, disgruntled. She talked tonight about how hard this has been for her. We didn't realize her mother had died 3 years ago. She said, "I have no one to call and I only want to discuss this with my Mom." She said several times, "I need a surrogate mother. I know I'm 26, but I miss her and I need a mother figure." So...what am I going to do? I'm going to do what others have done for my baby girls as they left home and moved into the world in WA. I'm going to mother this young woman. I'm going to remember how very much her own mother loved her and how very much I would want others to mother my babies if I were not here. I know she's leaving our base, but you can be sure I'll keep in touch. I'll have her luggage so surely, she'll get in touch with me?????

I know I'm tired. I know I have a full ministry here with my very own children...but I can't turn a deaf ear to this huge need that I see over and over in young women of this generation. They need to experience a mother's love.....Can we doubt that the "simple" act of mothering is in fact a ministry to our children....and quit easily to their generation???? I've always felt that my passion was to mentor other women....increasingly however, I find YOUNG women being attracted to me...just as I enter decrepitude (right there with you Dorothy!). I'm really surprised...because you know I AM old...and old fashioned and PECULIAR. It's hard to say what's on my heart. I guess I'm realizing that I need to continue my focus on my children...but I need to be willing to also look beyond my boundaries and see who else God is placing in my life that really needs the loving touch of a mother. Not in any way to take away from my mothering of my children - I've been there and I'm pretty aware of situations that are going to have a negative impact on the mentoring that I must do at home. Obviously, if I expend all my energy mentoring women and other young women and neglect my OWN children...I've failed.

I think I'm leaning towards reading "The Ministry of Motherhood" for our first book discussion.... LOL

Upcoming Book Discussion

I mentioned hosting a book discussion earlier. After reading the Trivium and trying to find someone to discuss the book, I think I'm going to follow through on this idea. LOL I'm looking for some input. Which would be preferable for a book discussion? Using the chat box and having a "live" chat on the book? Having blog entries with comments? Pros: Chat - more give and take in a discussion; Blog entries - more opportunity to comment as schedules permit, record that can be saved and revisited.

I'm considering either *Heartfelt Discipline: The Gentle Art of Training and Guiding Your Child* by Clay Clarkson, or *The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of our Children* by Sally Clarkson. Both are on my Spring Reading Thing list. Clay and Sally are homeschool parents, but the books that I've bought from them before speak to all parents, regardless of their educational choices. You can read more bout the Clarksons at Whole Heart Ministries. Oooo, Sally has a new book out called *The Mom Walk*....I really do need to read these two so I can buy more. ::snort::

Opinions anyone?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pregnancy Tidbits

Tricia informed me today that she's been praying I'd be sick enough to be reassured but not incapacitated. You gotta love a friend like that. ::snort:: Her prayers do many of yours from what I'm hearing. Seriously, thanks for your prayers.

Yes, more nausea.

Worked out today. They rechecked all the books and the key is that my heart is not to go over 140 max....and that is 23 heartbeats in 10 seconds....that is about 75% of my max and I can keep it THERE much easier than at 50%. ::snort::

I am still dizzy more than I would like to be, but I've not had those near fainting or fainting episodes for a week.

I found the "mother of all baby name books" on our shelves. I knew we had to have one that wasn't worn out. ::snort:: They still don't have the name I compiled from my grandmothers' names. That's o.k. I still have quite a bit of convincing to do before Mike will go for it. AND this one is being born in "boy season" but still I suspect a girl...but will say "boy" to keep the peace around here.

The Week is OFF and RUNNING...

Mike left this a.m. for a week's TDY (temporary duty). Zander didn't realize he was gone until bed time when he said, "Isn't my Dad coming home tonight?"

Josiah and I spent time obsessing over the slide show. It has to be in Powerpoint. We got the slides going but couldn't get the music to embed. Tricia had the same problem last year and had instructions for us. He got it to work on the jump drive. We can't get it to work if we save it to a hard drive, and we can't make a disc...but it's there.

I went to a meeting today about fund raising for World View Academy. We're considering this for Jamin and Jared in the fall. Has anyone else had student's attend this? They have a week long homeschool camp in the fall. Heather - I need to catch you to talk about this.

I already wrote about school.

Tonight was Shop Natural co-op. It was an easy night...small night. Always fun to visit with folks.

I have some GREAT photos from the day, but I can't get any of the card readers to work...Mike is gone KNOW what that means!


Math - Nolan needed some review and so I had him watch lesson 8 again. He then did a worksheet. I told Arielle to do math for 15 minutes and she finished 4 worksheets. I think she'll whiz through this level fairly quickly. Jared took a test and aced it....He'll move quickly too. Maybe he'll be back in pre-algebra by next fall or winter - which is where he would have been in Saxon next year.

TOG - We're all on DIFFERENT levels. Jamin has stayed the course. He's taking the most credits, doing Chemistry and Alg other words he's had a tough schedule and he's where he should be considering we didn't begin school until the end of September. I don't regret spending those weeks with Mike and the girls before they flew the nest. Josiah doubled up quite a bit because he wants to finish his school in May even though we started in September. He hasn't needed any credits for two years but opted to do TOG Year 4 history and literature anyway. Easy to double up. Jared worked quite hard and doubled everything for over a month. The littles and I? Well.....we hit a spell where there doesn't seem to be much assigned for the younger set...we did 3 weeks today. ::snort:: I do want to go find a book on the challenger....

I WAS appalled when our DK president book ended their rather wimpy section on President Regan with this quote, "Nevertheless, Regan was popular with the voters". I set the record straight....

Phonics - STILL can't find that Raceway book...and I don't want to buy a 3rd book but I will....well Nolan will buy this one. He knows where his school books are to be kept...and I didn't move it.

Science - We finished our dragonfly book from the library. WOW....amazing photos.

READ ALOUDS We kept reading "The mixed up files of whoever she is" and I finally "gave in" to the kids' pleas to read pilgrims progress...I "planted" this book in January and waited for them to want to read it. ::snort::

ART - The three youngers cut up cardboard, reassembled it, painted it and made....are you ready a house for Barbies and Dinosaurs. I'm not sure I'd picture the two together, myself.

Book Review *Teaching the Trivium* by Harvie and Laurie Bluedorn.

I have a friend that attended a seminar where the Bluedorns spoke. She recommended this book over 6 years ago. I really had little interest in Classical Eduation and so sort of put the idea on the back burner. Someone told me that the curriculum we use, Tapestry of Grace is classical. She was surprised that I was a "classical educator". I began to hear this more and more. I was aghast. Me? Nope. I'm a fun-schooler or a Charlotte Mason educator....I kept hearing that TOG was like "Teaching the Trivium" so I finally began to read this book.

I've been trying to read this book for over a year. I decided last week that I WOULD finish this book before I read another one. I determined not to mark the book. A used book sale is coming up this weekend and I'd resell it. A while back I wrote an entry on my propensity to mark books. Tonight, I went back and reread that entry and the article by Mortimer J Adlerabout how to mark a book. I feel a bit better about what happened.

In a fit of "interaction" I began to mark this book quite liberally. First, I found things I liked. Then, I found things with which I intensely disagree. I found things that simply weren't logical to me (which was supremely ironic considering Bluedorns write some really great logic materials). I wanted to unreservedly LOVE this book. I don't.

I DID find things that encouraged me and with which I wholeheartedly agreed. I also found things with which I vehemently disagree. It did cause me to think. It did allow me to interact with some of the true greats in the homeschooling movement. I found myself today trying to find someone who had read the book to discuss some of these issues....I've decided not even to begin listing what I liked and didn't would be far too long of a post as there are lots of both.

I think this book falls into my "chew the meat and spit out the bones" category. ::snort:: Alas, this book is now so thoroughly marked that it will never be sold or given away. I simply couldn't stop myself...and it was a fun read in the end.


Josiah drew my attention to this article. Continue to pray for Iraq and her citizens.

In this story gunmen stopped a bus and told all the Christians to get off the bus. Some did. Then they killed everyone still ON the bus. Pray for our troops (US and allied), world leaders, Iraqi leaders, troops and citizens.....I believe it honors God for us to not simply read the news but pray through the news.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to chapel today.....

Just as we started to head out a wave of nausea and dizziness hit me. I ran for the bathroom. Zander chased after me. He was making such helpful observations as, "Man, you can run FAST, Mom!" and "I didn't know you could run!"

I made it to the bathroom. I proceeded to do what I had to do...with Zander at my elbow saying "are you going to throw up, Mom?" And...."I just do this (big swallowing gulp) when I feel sick and it goes back in - why don't you do that, Mom?"

I asked Mike and the children to please intercept in the future if I'm running towards a bathroom with Zander or Stacia on my heels.

Six weeks....eating every two signs of trouble....still having really high highs and moments of lows....

Saturday - A Whirl of Activity

Some days are a whirl of activity. We went 4 directions with 2 vehicles. Nothing more need be said....but most certainly something more will be said. ::snort::

I did go to Curves. The other owner got out her books and re talked the work-out with me. She's the middle ground between the first trainer (no change) and her mom (50% of max heart rate). I told her my heart rate is that fast when I'm simply sitting at the dinner table. Yes, we checked. She discovered that my heart rate should get no higher than 140 - which would be 75% of my max and so that is much more doable. She does want me to bring a thermometer to my workouts to check my temperature. ::snort::

I came home from Curves in time to give Mike and the younger ones hugs as they left for the day. I showered, dressed and drove Cy to work. I then went to Homeschool 101. Meanwhile, Mike took some kids to a birthday party, others to the park and bowling, all to lunch, and then to some big "Month of the Military Child" event on base. We all made it back home about 4:30.

Josiah, Mike, and I worked on his graduation slide show. Josiah decided he wants a photo of all the children with each new baby in his slide show. It's been pretty fun to watch the family grow. He is RIGHT that it's been a major focus of his life. We'll finish that up today.

Mike and I went out to eat. Then we drove to the lake and talked. Then we drove around the lake....

We got home and found this sight...

It was a fun but exhausting day. I woke up at 3 a.m. and can't get back to sleep. My last ditch effort at inducing sleep is to write a quick blog, then read more of the Trivium. That seems to work fairly well.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Working Those Curves

- Curves workout that is....
I had talked to the trainer on duty the day after I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to know how I would need to tweak the workout. I told her I miscarry. She said that I didn't need to do anything different in the first tri-mester. I told her that Gary's book mentioned heart rate at only 50% of max. She said that is NOT for the first trimester.
Our Curves has two owners...Mom and Daughter. Daughter has been there a few times when I worked out and kept turning fans on.....Thursday Mom talked to me. She asked if anyone had talked with me about modifying my workout. I told her I'd talked with the one trainer. She watched. She came over and began asking me questions. It seems that the first trainer was wrong and will be getting some further education. I AM supposed to keep my heart at 50% - which it is at when I am simply sitting in a chair. I'm not to overheat (thus the fans go on the minute I show up). I'm not supposed to do the squat machine because of my prenatal history until the 3rd trimester or when you WANT to deliver quickly. I modify the ab/back machine, the inner thigh machine and the um one with handles over your head.... I am not sure that a workout at this level is going to do much for getting me in shape but they assure me it isn't pointless...that I'll still be maintaining and building muscle even without a full aerobic workout.

FRIDAY - Speech and Other Things

 Speech: We continue to explore Nolan's problem with processing information. WAIT - it's not a problem - it's a "learning difference". ::snort:: The speech therapist does not feel we need to do further tests/labeling etc. She thinks that she and I working together can affect change. She said that it seems to her that Nolan is a visual learner. She says that he responds well to visual cues before being given an auditory list of things to do.....Now I had not tried that in every day life. She draws photos of everything he is asked to do...tells him what to do and thinks it helps. For example....Nolan simply can't do more than one thing at a time...if I give him multiple instructions - he freezes. He's 8. Zander is 5 and can easily follow 2 or 3 step it isn't just a developmental thing that he'll outgrow. I've been working at giving him LOTS of 2 step directions. BUT Natalie says I should DRAW pictures of what I want him to do. ARGH. I don't have time to draw pictures of every instruction...and furthermore, my pictures are NOT going to be much help in deciphering my directions. I am thinking I could make up a laminated sheet and find photos on the web of various things...or take pictures of him doing them....and then use THAT when I ask him to do things...."MOVE the chairs, sweep the floor, and take out the garbage" etc. I was thrilled to hear someone say Math U see appeals to visual learners....we switched to that already. In Science, I've gone more "traditional" than *I* like because Arielle likes that (auditory learner) but I am going to make sure we get lots of visual input added to the programs this year. I'm already finding great, brightly colored science books from the library on the topics we are covering in Apologia. NOT TK all over the page type books but the ones with really big and detailed photos. I really like photos too. LOL He LIKES apologia and wants to continue it...but it's amazing the facts that click when he simply SEES a photo of say a Praying Mantis.... I think I can easily make Elementary Apologia more visual.

In TOG I'll be sure to pull in more history quilts, lapbook type things...I'm debating if hands on is the same as visual....and thinking of how he's responded this year. He LOVED the lapbooks - Arielle felt they were a waste of time (just read the text and move along, please). I'd already been trying to see if I could fit 3 history kits into the budget next year. Kate (from SHS) and her husband Jeff run Hands and Hearts , a company that sells wonderful history kits. They've tested all their projects and kits on children 5 - 12. Any activity that wasn't loved by all is removed from the kit. I'd thought of these for the last couple of years. I've held off because of the budget. I've also known that there were many great hands on ideas in the TOG manual...but I find I do better if I have all the pieces I need in a box at the start of the year (i.e. the history quilt versus all my lapbook plans).

Dessert Co-op: I've put together an invite for a Tapestry Tea. I think it will be fun even for those who have no intention of buying TOG. I always like to see new curriculi (spell check doesn't like my other word??). AND everyone who attends gets a free Egyptian Unit - can't beat that. Of course, you can also click the link in the sidebar and get the free unit but you know. ::snort:: I've been hoping that maybe the tea will be a way to find some who are either using TOG year 1 next year or studying ancients - and they may want to join our "fun" co-op. I've read what Marcia says about co-ops and for young children she says they should be the "dessert". I think I'm going to tell people I'm starting a "dessert co-op". ::snort:: I have been thinking that Jeff and Kate's KITS would be the perfect sort of thing to do in a "dessert co-op". The supplies are all there, they tie in to the period being studied, and I keep hearing they are wonderful. I can have everyone simply order the kits and go from there. Saves having to shop and buy supplies myself. LOL We shall see. I also think it would be fun to do Meet the Masters in a group setting...really easy...but I'm trying to curb the ideas.

Produce c0-op: went well. We seem to be alternating between big weeks and medium weeks. LOL If the trend keeps up, I will have to talk to the every other week members and get them spread out a bit more evenly. ::snort::

Family Bits: Josiah got called into work again yesterday...BUT...they let him out of his evening shift so he was home for family night. Yippee!

Arielle and Nolan had drama. They are really enjoying this. They go home with Deja after co-op and get some playing time in with Erik and Emma beforehand.

It's hard for Zander to see them leaving every week. AND this week he was certainly off. I needed to spend some time with him. I took he, Stacia and Jared and we went to BK - his choice. I had a great salad and they ate junk...then I let them play on the playground until it was time to go pick up the other two from Camp Broadway. I read some of *Teaching the Trivium* and promptly fell asleep in the play area. I woke up with just enough time to drive to drama. I'm determined to finish that book this week!

Jamin asked me to make the deep dish pizza last night. I did a nutmeg type sauce with chicken, cheese, mushrooms, red peppers and asparagus. He and I were the only ones who tried it - but it WAS good and there is plenty left over for today! Maybe breakfast.

We watched Happy Feet from Netflix. We worked on Josiah's graduation slide show. Mike went in to the office yesterday because the Air Force Chief of Staff was on base.

Busy - full day for all.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Whole Wheat Garlic Cheese Dinner Rolls (big recipe)

2 cups water (1 3/4 water 1/4 milk)
3 T melted butter
3 t. salt
6 T cane juice crystal’s (Rapadura)
¼ cup powdered milk (skipped)
1/3 cup gluten flour
5 to 5 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
2 T dry yeast
½ cup butter
2 to 4 T minced garlic (I used dried)
Parmesan cheese (I used fresh)

In mixer add water, 3 T melted butter, salt, cane juice crystal’s, powdered milk, yeast, gluten flour and bread flour. Knead and add more flour if necessary. Allow dough to rest for about 15 minutes.

Divide dough into 48 pieces. I do this by cutting the dough in half with my kitchen scissors and then each half, in half again. Now you have 4 parts and each will make 12 rolls. With one piece of this dough, cut it in half, and both halves cut again. Now each piece can be divided into 3 pieces. This helps the rolls to be more of an equal size. I then repeat the process with the other 3 sections of dough.

Put the rolls on a lightly greased large jelly roll pan. Melt the ½ cup butter and mix in the garlic. Spoon this over the rolls in the pan. Now sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let rise until doubled in size.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Chocolate Rolls

2 pieces of dough and rolled out each one.
Melt: ¼ cup butter and added 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and ½ cup Rapadura
Pour on rolled out dough.
Sprinkle ½ C Chocolate Chips on the dough
Roll the dough up and cut it into slices like cinnamon rolls.
This filled up a large jelly roll pan. I baked them for 25 minutes.

Delicious Whole Wheat Bread - makes 2 loaves2 cups warm water
1/3 cup honey
1 T yeast
1/3 cut olive oil
2 t. salt
1/3 cup gluten flour
5 to 7 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour

In a large bowl or in a large mixer (such as a Kitchen Aid or Bosch type) combine the water, yeast and honey. Let sit for a few minutes to give the yeast a chance to start working. Add the salt, oil, gluten flour and 3 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Continue to add more flour until the dough does not stick to the side of the bowl and does not feel sticky to the touch. Knead for 4 minutes in a Bosch mixer or 7 to 10 in other mixers or 10 to 15 minutes by hand.

When dough has finished kneading let it rise once until doubled in bulk (unless you are using a Bosch type mixer and in this case you can skip the 1st rising). Punch down dough and divide it into 2 pieces and form into loaves and set in bread pans.

Let it rise in a slightly warm oven (this means that you turn the oven on for just 2 or 3 min. or until you can feel the heat and then turn it off, if it is too hot then it will kill the yeast) for 15 to 25 minutes or until the dough is ½ inch above top of pan. Turn oven to 350 (without taking bread out) and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden brown.


We did get six more squares done for our history quilt.
Bus Boycott & Israel's formation
Vietnam war (wall) & School Integration Moon Exploration & Ummm Stacia's square

Stacia explains to me HOW a paint marker got in her hand and HOW she ended up with such pleasantly pink lips!
Josiah got home from work and suggested taking the three middle children (Arielle, Nolan and Zander) to the movies. The thought was that Stacia and I could nap. What a great idea! Turned out Zander opted to stay home....and then changed his mind after they left....leading to great lamenting...leading to Stacia waking up....
I fixed meatloaf and grilled some corn on the cob, answered a few phone calls, read SHS mail, collected a few baskets for tomorrow. The rest of night we'll read a chapter for Jamin's book, set up co-op tables and baskets and finish up the co-op newsletter.....


This is a clone of the dish by the same name which is served at the Outback Steakhouse.

4 chicken breasts
4 slices marbled cheddar and swiss cheese
1 cup mushroom
4 slices bacon (I left this out)
honey mustard dressing for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. On each piece of chicken, carefully layer the mushrooms first and then the bacon (position the bacon on the mushrooms so that it holds them in place).
3. Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
4. Remove from oven, add cheese and bake for 15 minutes uncovered.
5. Serve with a side of honey mustard salad dressing for a real treat.

1 1/2 cups real mayonaise (veganaise - no cholesterol)
1/4 cup Grey Poupon
1/2 cup honeyCombine and let sit for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with Alice Springs Chicken.

*THIS is my favorite dish at Outback (though our Outback has CUT BACK on their servings and I'm not sure I'll be going there much any longer). When I saw this on Cindy's blog, I knew I would eventually make it. ::snort:: You'll want to go to her blog to see crew tends to attack the food before I get it photographed!

I LOVE the sauce at Outback and laughed when I saw the recipe. I happened to have made my
Honey Mustard Dressing yesterday and noted that it seemed similar when I made this dressing last night. Sure enough...less mustard, more veganaise....


School Today

Thursday is really the last "full day" of school for Arielle and Nolan. The older boys try to get some school done on Friday - but because of Produce Co-op we don't get a LOT done.

I can't believe that our math u see arrived yesterday afternoon. Wow. I ordered it on the 17th and it arrived on the 18th! Now THAT is great customer service. Of course, it turns out they ARE a TX company. ::snort:: Jared began Epsilon. He watched the first lesson and said, "Ah - I think I get it". Fractions have been a consistent problem for him. He went on to complete 5 worksheets and ACED them all. I gave him the option of taking the tests and skipping the work, but he wants to do the work. I told him to work 30 minutes a day and do as much as he can in that 30 minutes (Saxon took 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day). Arielle, Nolan and I began learning the skip counting songs. I don't think we'll ever be able to sing some of these hymns in chapel again without laughing. Arielle is on lesson 9 and Nolan is going to begin on lesson 1. He CAN do the work but I have to explain how every he needs to start at the very beginning...a very good place to start. ::snort::

They zipped through their independent work. I can't believe that Nolan has lost his raceway book and reader 17 - again! I have spent the week looking for this. I hate to buy another workbook for this - but I hate to not do it either. We've spent the week reading other books I found at the library and doing Explode the Code. I'm really excited to check out Character Quality Language Arts. Thanks again, Lisa for mailing it to me to check out. I KNOW that we are doing writing, spelling, grammar...but the idea of integrating them and doing it AROUND a character study really appeals to me. I could make up my OWN units on various character traits that are part of our "parenting projects" but I'm wondering......We shall see.

*Praying Mantis* by Rebecca Stefoff - this is a COOL book. I did not plan on using ANY text book for science with my younger ones. I really believe in lots of hands on experiments, activities and nature studies for elementary age. These younger two, however, saw Jared's apologia book and wanted to do it with him....and so we've been using Apologia's elementary books. They are written around Charlotte Mason principles and so they are a great compromise between my idea and their desires. ::snort:: However, sometimes I simply have to go to the library and find tons of real living books on the topics we are doing in Apologia. This is one such book. I would class this as a LIVING BOOK. It's interesting, lots of facts, great photos and the author obviously loves his topic. This was an easy read today and we had lots of fun talking about various mantis', stick bugs etc that we've seen since moving down here. I plan to add some of the lap books that Cyndi Kinney has made that go along with the Apologia Elementary books. I think that will give us the best of both worlds. Hands on and fun for ME and the structured text book that Arielle seems to thrive on. If you are interested in the lapbooks you can either google Cyndi or follow the homeschoolestore link in my side bar....they are the "pick of the week". I know I COULD make up our very own lapbooks, and maybe we will some day, but for now I'm thrilled to find kits. ::snort::

Josiah was supposed to have today off...but called in. He asked me if I had something he had to do....and we couldn't think of a he went in. Then I thought, "you know he's in high school - he has SCHOOL to do and if he doesn't want to go in when called again THAT is enough reason to tell them to ask one of the older managers to come in." ::snort:: So....he has the van...and I forgot about getting the other boys to their ministry location today...::snort:: Cy REMEMBERED and is running home to drop them off quickly...

The younger ones and I are home bound - think we'll work on some quilt squares. We've finished 3 weeks of TOG this week. We're on a roll. It helps that they are weeks without a lot of resources listed. ::snort::

Homeschooling Cartoon

A funny thing happened while I was searching for graphics for the hand out last least I thought it was fairly humourous...I found this....

Tis the season for water fights...let the fun begin!

How to Catch a Squirrel?

"I caught a squirrel"....the cry went on and on and so finally I went to see if Zander HAD caught something.....
Alarming site in the bathroom mirror

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday Happenings

Nearly done with my cute graphics....just lots of tiny books and such. ::snort::

Sometime today, while working at the computer and surfing for URL's, I decided to host a Tapestry Tea. They'll send me a DVD with Scott and Marcia talking, catalogs, brochures and the Egyptian Unit Study (which is 3 or 4 weeks of Year 1) to pass out. I figure there may be some here who are curious and even if they don't plan to change their curriculum they would like to see TOG in person. Who knows? It may be a way to find a few Year 1 families to "co-op" with. I'm not sure how to get the word out - I want to do it early in June. Maybe I'll make a hand out for this weekend's event...we shall see.

Cooked Cindy's Alice Springs Chicken today - without bacon. I barely miss it any longer, though I could have used Turkey Bacon (dog treats as my boys say - best to just skip it). We steamed up more asparagus too.

I got the weekly produce order in. I think we're really nearing a broccoli break...but I had lots of $ this week to spend... a big week. LOL

Well - off to finish co-op newsletters and resource lists.

Unexpected FUN

Yesterday, Tricia called and invited us to the park.

Today, Charly called and asked if she could drop by. We were game. She has a daughter a couple of years older than Arielle, a son Zander's age, and a toddler Stacia's age. We were excited at how well Mick and Zander played. A year ago Charly and I were both searching for answers for our little ones. They are both on the spectrum....our answer has been a lot of diet and behavioral work. Charly and Mike began there and then have had a lot of tests etc....anyway.....all that to say that we had a delightful day visiting...and watching our children PLAY...TOGETHER for the most part. I think you would have had to walk a bit of our path to know how incredibly special that is....and how wonderful to have a friend who understands if your child does something "atypical" or downright off the wall. ::snort:: I'm going to miss Charly and her family when they move this summer. There are times I dislike the military lifestyle very much. This lifestyle has taught me to make the most of potential friendships. We don't have years to let friendships slowly grow.....but it also makes us a bit "off putting" to those who live in an area for a long time. They don't always want to invest in relationships with friends who are sure to move....or understand why we jump so totally and almost aggressively into relationships....

Here's the secret. We have to. If we don't, we won't ever have friends....and if we wait we may move....or if we're all military...they may move. ::snort::

I'm thrilled to have FRIENDS this year....we are establishing some nice roots in our new location. It took longer than it has in past moves, and I thank those of you who prayed and believed that eventually we'd feel at "home" in our new "home".


Our schedule was thrown off today because I had a strange, strange a.m. I woke up at 3 a.m. with Stacia. I got her back down around 4:30 a.m. I knew I had two handouts to finish by Saturday (for homeschool 101) and so I decided to work on them. I had a long list of curriculum resources that cyber friends and local friends had helped me compile...but I needed to find weblinks for each entry, phone numbers etc. I worked until 7 a.m. I had no idea how late it was getting. Mike walked through the library on the way to work and commented that he thought I had gone to Curves. Oops - I'd forgotten. So - he told me I should go catch a bit of sleep since the children were still down. I did.

In other words - we got a late start. While the younger two worked on their independent work, I worked on the handouts a bit more.

We had friends over for a bit after lunch and then finally began schooling at about 2:30.

Arielle read "From the mixed Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" to Nolan. I ate (which I'd forgotten to do until this). Then we read our TOG books.

This week we are studying Dragonflies and Damselflies in our Zoology book. I found a great book at the library with awesome photos. It's titled, "A Dazzle of Dragonflies" by Forrest L. Mitchell and James L. Lasswell. I don't agree with much of the text...but the photos are "dazzling". It compliments our science book well.
We caught a big, flying bug in a jar today. It was fun to study him and let him go. All in all a good day of school.

Tuesday Recap



Grocery shopping.

Treated Nolan to a whole Chick Fil A shake for HIMSELF while we waited for Cy to get off work. He wasn't sure he'd like one, but agreed it was wonderful once he tasted it. ::snort::

Grabbed kids and met Trish at the park for exactly one hour. Had to sit down once because of dizziness...but did not pass out in the porta potty which has now become my biggest pregnancy fear. ::snort::

Made dinner...oven friend chicken and fries, corn on the cob, salad, fruit...

Ran to Bible Study while family ate.

Visited with a young student after study. Please do pray for her as you think of it.

Got home quite late from study and all the kids were down for the night.

Stacia woke up at 3:30 a.m.

Goals for Wednesday:
Put in produce order
Work on produce newsletter
Work on handouts for Homeschool 101

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Menu - Week of 16 April

Fresh Fruit, Salad and Steamed Veggies @ each meal

Monday - Mac and Cheese, Tortellinis

Tuesday - shake and bake chicken, steamed green beans

Wednesday - Turkey Meatloaf, grilled corn on the cob and grilled squash

Thursday - Alice Springs Chicken (no bacon) from Cindy, steamed asparagus

Friday - Pizza

Saturday - Crustless Jarlsburg Quiche/broccoli

Sunday - dine out

Monday, April 16, 2007

Busy Day

Wow! I really got things done.

I DID pay the bills.

I DID work out at Curves...being careful to slow way, way down at the first hint of dizziness.

WE DID finish school.

I DID take a nap.

The Dr. did call back. I sort of KNEW that the receptionist should have asked more questions and worked me in sooner than the end of May...but I hate to make waves. Evidently, Dr. Laura has decided that I will be seen in April. She thinks I need care before the second trimester but isn't terribly alarmed with my symptoms. OK are you ready? THIS is what I'm to do...."take it easy", "don't drive if you feel this coming on", "rest"....since I've had 2 second warnings...this should be interesting. It could well be hormones, or anemia, or low blood sugar...I don't have other symptoms of high blood pressure so I don't think it's that. I am trying to be sure I eat every couple of hours. Isn't God funny? I've really been having trouble keeping up this eating style the last couple of weeks...but believe me it is easier that falling out of the shower. ::snort::

I sat in the van and read while Josiah took out a car on a test drive. It turns out it is owned by a past wing commander of the base.

Went with Josiah for group cap and gown photos. A mom there had just heard I was pregnant. What fun. I'm blessed not to have heard a lot of nasty comments yet. We have noted, when we lived in TX before, that people down here seem to be more accepting of big families. The further North and West we get on our moves, the more strange looks and nasty comments we get. ::snort::

Josiah and I dropped by the library and picked up more books for the next few weeks of school. I saw a few I wanted to pick up to read - but then I remembered my rather substantial spring reading thing list. LOL

All in all a good day.


The younger kids and I finished up our four week study on the American Civil Rights Movement today. Chris, on SHS, posted recently that the difference she saw between Sonlight Curriculum and Tapestry of Grace was that SL was "literature based" and TOG is "history based". This helped me articulate the difference I see in the two programs. Both are GREAT programs that center on a lot of wonderful living books.... When we studied the Civil Rights with SL we had more engaging historical fiction books. I don't think we've read a single fiction counting in the grammar levels with TOG during this study. We have read some really awesome, engaging, non-fiction history books - written for younger children. *Through my Eyes* by Ruby Bridges tells the story of the year Ruby was the only black child to attend William Frantz elementary in New Orleans. This book was great. I especially loved how she brings out the role that faith played in her experiences then and now.

When I first began using TOG I really missed all our historical fiction. Now, I'm coming to really appreciate biography books. I'm also learning that sometimes those historical books distort history. ::snort::

We began a new unit in our Zoology study today. "Interesting Insects" - we shall see. I'm not totally sold on the concept.

I'm exploring new options for next year. I'm really interested in Character Quality Language Arts. I'm not sure. TOG has most of these subjects in their manual...but I like the idea of combining character studies with LA studies. I also like the programs that she's used as basis for this new program. I like it being multi-age.....not sure if I NEED it. I'm hoping to see it at the Arlington Book Fair - but it doesn't look like this vendor will be attending.

Jared has been working on 2 and 3 digit multiplication with worksheets I've made at the Math U See website. I think it's clear he'll be able to go ahead and skip ahead to fractions. Somehow he just missed that one concept in Saxon...and kept scoring high enough that I didn't flag it. Bad homeschool mommy. It happens. I've place an ad on the website of our local support group. I am about ready to simply order the fractions and alpha now so that we can begin working on the new math now.

Pregnancy Journal - 16 Apr

THIS is exactly what I hope to avoid by not telling folks that I'm pregnant until the second trimester.....I don't want anyone to have to endure the ups and downs of this season with me....and so delete if you so desire. I've debated how honest, or raw, to be here.

I've had high days. Days of extreme confidence. God has heard my prayers for 3 years that I not have to walk through another miscarriage. He blessed with Stacia. I was slow getting pregnant with this one...that MUST be because He is honoring my prayer and I'm simply not conceiving babies that would miscarry.

I also have days where it feels that fear is a very real person. I feel like it is on my heels, breathing down my neck, and threatening to pull me under some terrible pond of despondency. I want to go to sleep and wake up in a couple of months when all this will be resolved.

For the most part, I've felt confidence. I called the docs office this a.m. and reached the nurse. She said that she'll pass the message on to Dr. Laura and she'll call me back....but she also asked about pregnancy symptoms. THEN IT HIT ME!!!! I'm not drop dead sick this time. I'm not spending hours with my head draped over the toilet bowl. This should be cause for joy. I've prayed for light nausea...but now...ack...I'm not experiencing symptoms. A bit of my history - I've always felt GREAT in the pregnancies that I've lost and been sicker than a dog in the ones that continue. Fear threatened to overtake me. I finished school. I grabbed my Bible and ran for my room, after getting Stacia down for a nap. I journaled in my "written journal" - those raw things that may or may not ever make it to public. ::snort::

For some reason it seems important to leave a trail of how very precious we consider this baby to be. It seems important that there be some "evidence" of his life....even now...Of course, in the back of my mind must be the thought that if we lose him I'll remember all I thought and felt during this time...but also so that this little one knows that we are NOT simply breeders...that he is not simply "another child"...that he is an individual and was greatly rejoiced over and wanted from the very start...before we got to know him in I journal.

My prayer: God save this little life. We want to hold him, kiss him, partner with you in raising him to fulfill your unique call on his life. Please don't call us to walk a path of pain and loss again.

Ah God's word...always so close and precious.....Phil 4, James 1, Hebrews 4:16, I peter 5:7, Ps 55:22, Is 26:3, Is 41:10, Ps 139, Ps many jewels there to mine. Peace and comfort for the asking....and so I beat back the fear once again. I take the thoughts captive. I move forward and I keep a God who has my ultimate best in view, in a God who is rich in mercy and grace, a God who will ALWAYS carry me...and I specifically pray for this little life. I pray for enough nausea to reassure me that I'm having pregnancy symptoms - but not enough to incapacitate me. I pray not to pass out while driving. I pray that I walk ever closer to His throne of grace and that I receive mercy and grace in this time of need. I pray for life.


After missing the Catholic Parish Appreciation Dinner on Saturday night, I took the time early Sunday a.m. to update our family calendar. I have a calendar in MY notebook but obviously, with another adult's schedule to integrate, we need to go back to our BIG family calendar.

This is a monthly board that I use for a weekly schedule. I need big spaces. I have the days across the top. Each person has a color of pen....and all is on here....Josiah's work schedule, outside classes, chapel events, Mike's schedule, doctor's appts, play dates, co-ops etc Across the bottom I usually have our weekly menu written....but I've not come up with a menu yet for this week.

My goals for bills before Curves, Curves, make a menu, do school, grocery shop, cook dinner, graduation meeting tonight.....oh yeah - call the doc.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:

Her Royal Highness De'Etta the Elegant of Wallop upon Deane
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Couldn't resist trying this when I saw it on Debbie's blog...and then I had to laugh....not sure this is ME.... I think given my recent escapades....."the dizzy of bod upon floor" may fit better

Help, I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up....

Believe it or not, this was the call Mike woke up to this a.m. ::snort::

I hadn't stopped to put it all together but this a.m. I had my third dizzy spell in 8 days. This one was a doozy. I've done a bit of reading today and realize that "vertigo" is more what I'm experiencing than dizzy/lightheaded. The room sways! Anyway - I was taking a shower this a.m., the world began to sway, I reached to turn the water off, did a cartwheel out of the tub, pulled the shower curtain over on top of me, wet vinyl entangles....I could not get up AND everything was still spinning. So.....I began to think this through.

Last Tuesday I was cutting Mike's hair. The same swaying thing happened. I had to sit down, head between knees...took 5 minutes to pass.

Working out one day last week - it started. I slowed to nearly a halt on the recovery board thing and it passed.

I know they said that they don't need to see me until the end of May, but I'm calling tomorrow. Surely there is a reason this is happening so often...and there is something that may help. I have a toddler I carry all over...I drive...I can't be suddenly passing out. I read that anemia in early pregnancy can cause this....extra blood volume in early pregnancy....low blood sugar and of course the high blood pressure. I may get the lovely GTT earlier than I expected this time. LOL

It was a scare...but everything seems to be fine. NO cramping or spotting....lots of bruises...where YOU'LL never see them. ::snort:: No photos to accompany this engaging tale.

Pregnancy Journal

I've never kept one. Blogging, however, has become a habit. I think that I can keep one this time. I think I'll put "some" of my pregnancy thoughts on the blog and link them as "pregnancy journal". I joined one of those pregnancy sites that send you weekly updates telling you what is going on in your body. Yeah - I know - I've been pregnant 15 times...but typically I try to ignore the pregnancy until about 12 weeks. I realize I've let my fear of losing a baby keep me from marveling at God's awesome work in the early weeks. It has always seemed like it would be more painful if we thought to much about our developing baby early on. Each week brings me closer to "safety" in my mind.....and I find myself at least 100 times a day saying "Thank you GOD that I'm still pregnant."
We are all adjusting to the idea of having baby #10. This was shocking to us at first. Having our 3rd child was a huge adjustment. I tell people that after 3, the others are simply a matter of adding one more. You make so many parenting adjustments when you have 3...those adjustments carry you over as you add more....but somehow moving into double digits seems daunting. I've chosen to focus on the fact that only 8 of them will be at home next year...and we've done 8 before. ::snort::
The children have been through so many pregnancies and losses with me that they are pros at this. My boys have been trained to be gentlemen and they really shine during a pregnancy. I don't think I'll be allowed to lift a thing until Christmas day. ::snort::
Friday night we started discussing names. I'm not sure why my family likes boring names. A big part of the problem is that if the name has a Hebrew or Greek background Mike will know the meaning/translation of the word in the language - regardless of the nicer meaning the baby name book assigns. Or I'll like the meaning and pronunciation (popular) and he'll insist that if we use that name we have to use the proper pronunciation......Care-is becomes CAR is...
I've wanted to use the name Blaze (Blaise) for years and years for a boy - but I doubt that will ever happen...much to the relief of most family members (immediate and extended). ::snort:: I'm currently set on Maryna (combining my grandmothers names Mabel and Kathryn) for a girl. This name is not in name books and Mike isn't very impressed with it at this point. A funny that I think Deja will enjoy: someone mentioned they liked the name Deja. I said that I really liked that name too. Mike piped up that he liked Vu as a middle name. I didn't get it. With a totally serious face he quipped, "Deja Vu seems like an appropriate name for our 10th baby."
Pregnancy weekly reports that during this week "the heart and the circulatory system are beginning to appear in baby. The early version of the placenta, the chorionic villi, and the umbilical cord - which delivers nourishment and oxygen to your baby - are already on the job." Kinda cool to know what is going on - I can focus my prayers beyond - "let me keep this baby". You know God is perfectly capable of knitting this one together without my prayers...but don't we need to feel like we are doing something???? ::snort::
Mike brought these home for me yesterday.

He always bring me a dozen when I have a baby but he said these are the first of my pregnancy flowers. Ah.... oh and someone asked....Yes, I did get my remaining deployment roses....I forgot to take a picture of them though.