Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. 2009 looks to be an excellent year!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
My camera is awful so you can't really see how gorgeous this paper is - it's Martha Stewart's classic woodland scrapbook paper from the friendly neighborhood walmart. The blocks that look solid in the picture (cursed camera!) actually have a very pretty quilted design on them. Each day we will take a square down and write what we're thankful for (leaving space for Daddy to add his after supper).
I am so thankful for Casey's hard work.
Levi is so thankful for Rover (his stuffed dog).
Brenna is thankful for mommy.
Jack is so "sankful" his mommy loves him:)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Growing up in a military family, I think I'm especially passionate about our country. I still tear up any time I hear God Bless the USA. It was released (or re-released?) when my dad was in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War and I just don't ever hear it without getting choked up.
I was so proud when the M.C. called out the branches of service for recognition. After each one I would tell the kids which people in our family were or are in that branch. It helped the kids to put a face on what we were honoring.
I hope that I can pass my love for this country on to them. I hope that I don't let my own discouragement or disillusionment get in the way of teaching them what makes this country great.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
50 Ways To Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers
By Randy Alcorn
Please Note: This article was written for the first version of my book ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (1992). The book was revised and expanded in 2000 so the references to Appendices are different depending on which version of the book you have. The abbreviation PLA stands for ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. References to the smaller prolife book published in 2004, Why ProLife? have also been added.
Direct Personal Involvement
2. Open your home to an unwanted child for foster care or adoption.
3. Volunteer time with organizations helping pregnant women, newborns, drug babies, orphans, the handicapped, elderly, street people, and others in need. Personal care is the most basic prolife activity.
4. Establish a pregnancy counseling and abortion alternative service that offers free pregnancy tests, counseling, and support. You can often get the very first listing in the Yellow Pages as Abortion Alternatives, which precedes Abortion Services. (For help getting started, see "Abortion Alternatives and Support For Women" in Appendix D or K, Prolife Resources, PLA.)
5. Donate materials, office equipment, furniture, baby clothes, professional services, and money to Pregnancy Resource Centers, Birthright, Bethany Christian Services, and other prolife groups.
6. Teach your children and other young people how to say no to premarital sex. Teenage sexual abstinence is not only psychologically healthy, it is the only sure way to prevent teen pregnancies. (Josh McDowell's Why Wait? and How to Teach Your Child to Say No to Sexual Pressures, and James Dobson's Preparing for Adolescence are helpful resources. See also the "Prochastity Curricula" listed in Appendix D or Appendix K, PLA).
Educating Yourself and Others
7. Become thoroughly informed about the abortion issue. Read ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or the condensed version, Why ProLife? There are many other fine prolife books and videos as well as excellent—and usually free—prolife newsletters. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) There are a large number of quality prolife websites. The one I highly recommend is Abort73.com .This website is one of a kind, cutting edge, informative and appealing in its presentation. Know the facts so you can rehearse in advance the best responses to the prochoice arguments. Be prepared so no opportunities are missed.
8. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the abortion issue. Challenge them to rethink their assumptions, and to be careful not to buy into an illogical or morally untenable position. Give them a copy of this book, with some pages marked for their attention. (Refer women who have had abortions to Appendix A, PLA, "Finding Forgiveness after an Abortion".) Use this book to read and discuss in a class or small group.
9. Volunteer your services as a prolife speaker for schools and church groups. Use the arguments laid out in this book as your presentation outline. Approach a church or Christian school and offer to teach a course in Prolife Logic and Action.
10. Call in and speak up on talk shows, and ask for equal time on television and radio stations that present the prochoice position. They often welcome a variety of positions. To say nothing is to endorse what is often an unchallenged prochoice bandwagon.
11. Students: Write papers, make speeches, and start a campus prolife group. See "Organizing a Student Prolife Organization" under Books on Prolife Strategies in Appendix D or K, PLA.
12. Display attractive prolife posters and information at your office or shop. You may lose a little business, and gain a little. But the truth will be served, and some innocent human lives will be saved.
Literature, Visuals, and Advertising
13. Order and distribute prolife literature. Have it displayed or available at your place of business. Leave it on your coffee table. Distribute literature door to door to influence opinion. An attractive piece left on each porch on a Saturday morning will be read by many. In some areas every home distribution has radically changed community sentiments about abortion. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for a list of the best literature.)
14. Donate prolife books and magazine subscriptions to public and school libraries. They are usually well-stocked with prochoice literature—point out that you just want to provide a little balance and make sure the other position isn't censored.
15. Use a pre-made prolife slide presentation, assemble your own, or buy a video tape, and offer to show it in schools, churches, to your neighbors and government representatives. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
16. Wear prolife symbols, precious feet pins, buttons, and shirts (Abort73.com sells some attractive prolife apparel). These often stimulate conversations. Use prolife bumper stickers or lawn signs. Place prolife stickers on letters. More than a dozen people see the average piece of mail. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
17. Place newspaper ads, bench ads, and billboard posters. Attractive pre-made ads and beautiful full-size billboard posters are available. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
18. Write letters to the editor. Be courteous, concise, accurate, and memorable. Quote brief references cited in ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. Some local newspapers have a policy of printing every letter to the editor. The opportunity for influence is enormous. Letters to the editor in a major national magazine may be read by a million people.
19. Compile a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of politicians, newspapers, television stations, hospitals, and others in your area that people can contact to express their prolife views. Distribute them widely.
20. Select the most strategic measures and issues and host a prolife letter-writing party. People can help each other compose informed and succinct letters to the right people and places. Since legislators and others assume there are a hundred others who feel the same way for every one that writes, there is considerable impact from each letter.
21. Write letters of encouragement to the sometimes tired and discouraged prolife activists.
22. Refuse any indirect or business support of abortion clinics, and explain your refusal. Boycott proabortion companies, landlords of abortion clinics, and businesses that share space with abortion clinics and abortion-promoters such as Planned Parenthood. Explain your reasons nicely, and they will often take you seriously.
23. Contact physicians and hospitals that perform abortions and insurance companies that cover them and express your convictions. Be polite but firm, stating that you, your family, and your business cannot in good conscience patronize those who contribute to the killing of innocent children. Does your own physician perform abortions? Ask him; you may be surprised to discover he does. If so, tell him you must reluctantly change doctors. Is your doctor prolife? Encourage him to take a public stand and participate in local prolife events. Share this book with him and ask his opinion of it.
24. Talk to journalists about your concern that they accurately represent the prolife side in their reporting. Many have never heard an accurate presentation of the prolife position. Until we present it to them, how can we expect them to be fair? Highlight sections of this book for their interest. Many will read what you provide, and some may use the material in future articles.
25. Talk to teachers, especially junior high, high school, and college teachers. Express your desire that they understand and be able to represent the prolife position rather than ignore or distort it. Whatever a teacher believes is multiplied a hundred times over in his students and those they in turn influence. Give them a copy of ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or Why ProLife? or other prolife books or videos. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
26. Write to representatives and others in government at local, state, and national levels. Be respectful, legible, straightforward, brief, and nondefensive. Enclose attractive prolife literature. The more personal your letter the better. Pre-printed postcards are not as effective.
27. Personally phone or set up a meeting with your representatives to share your views on abortion. Groups of three are most effective. If possible include a prolife doctor or other professional. Be careful how you come across; show them prolifers are intelligent and rational.
28. Draft, circulate, and sign petitions for prolife ballot measures, school board members, and so on.
29. Run for political office, school board, or precinct chairman. Or stand by other prolife candidates with your time and money. The only possibility for there to be long-term restrictions on abortion is if our state legislatures have a prolife majority. Churches and prolife groups should identify and support character-qualified, knowledgeable, and skilled candidates.
30. Help a bright young prolifer through law school. Challenge him or her to set a goal of becoming a judge. The legal and judicial arenas, as well as the medical and political, desperately need intelligent and skilled prolifers.
31. Picket abortion clinics, hospitals, and physicians who perform abortions. Write a brochure or fact sheet documenting their performance of abortions. When abortions are only part of their practice they are much more inclined to eliminate them to preserve their reputation in the community. But until they are exposed they usually won't stop.
32. Make prolife signs for yourself and others. Make them large and attractive, with concise messages such as: Abortion Kills Babies. Adoption, not Abortion. Every Child Is Wanted by Someone. Give Your Baby a Chance to Choose. Please Let Your Baby Live. Equal Rights for Unborn Women. She's a Baby, not a Blob. We Care; Talk to Us. We'll Help Financially If You'll Let Your Baby Live.
33. Organize or participate in a Life Chain, where hundreds or thousands of prolifers stand on public sidewalks and display signs supporting the unborn and opposing abortion. This is an extremely effective means of mobilizing prolifers and making a clear statement for the children. Many who begin with Life Chain will solidify a prolife commitment and get involved in future prolife activities. (See Life Chain under "Prolife Event and Action Organizations", in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
34. Join prolife rallies and marches to galvanize prolife efforts. Have walk-a-thons and other projects to earn money for prolife groups. Get your children involved. They'll love it, and it's a great education as well as a family activity.
35. Attend prochoice rallies as a counter-demonstrator. Be peaceful. The quiet presence of your group and your signs will make others think and lead to conversations with passersby.
36. Participate in peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience at the doorways of abortion clinics. Or do the legal sidewalk counseling, singing, or praying in conjunction with other prolife activities.
Abortion Clinic Strategies
37. Research and write a brochure on your local abortion clinic, citing specific lawsuits and health code violations, which are a matter of public record. Write a leaflet or brochure asking something like, "What Do You Know about the Third Street Abortion Clinic"? Make it neat and attractive, perhaps with a photo of the clinic on the front. Give this brochure to women coming to the clinic, neighbors, nearby businesses, and passersby. Include information from this book on physical and psychological risks of abortion. Or use pre-made brochures specially designed for women entering abortion clinics. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
38. Collect information and initiate lawsuits against abortion clinics. Place newspaper or billboard ads asking, "Problems after an abortion?" Give a local or national phone number to call for medical, legal, or emotional help. (1-800-634-2224, the American Rights Coalition, is already set up for this purpose.) Many abortion clinics have been shut down by successful lawsuits.
39. Hand out questionnaires and legal information to women entering and leaving clinics. Did you have a doctor-patient relationship? Did the doctor ask you for a complete medical history? Did he explain to you the possible complications of abortion? Did he show you a picture or explain to you the state of development of your unborn child? This will encourage them to reconsider their decision, to seek other counsel, or—if the abortion is over—not to come back for another abortion, and possibly to initiate legal action against the clinic. Include the number of an alternative pregnancy center where they can get complete and accurate information the clinic won't give them.
40. Keep new abortion clinics out of your community by informing the public, writing letters to council members, and contacting potential landlords and real estate agents. Abortion clinics mean loss of business and declining property values to everyone due to public sentiment and frequent demonstrations. Those who do not respond to moral reasoning often do respond to public opinion and even more to financial loss. It is usually easier to keep a clinic out of an area than to shut it down once it's there.
41. Rent space as close as possible to an abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood office and establish a pregnancy counseling clinic or prolife information center.
Influencing Your Church
42. Organize a prolife task force and target key church leaders for influence. Identify pastors and other strategic leaders and speak with them one by one. Give them literature and ask them to watch a video. Recruit prolife activists in your church who will help you formulate and implement a plan of education and mobilization. Ask your church leaders to include prolife activities and literature in the budget.
43. Set up a prolife table at church with the best prolife literature and materials. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) The presence of the table itself is a vital reminder of the prolife cause.
44. Show in church services or classes prolife films and videos such as The Abortion Providers, The Hard Truth, and The Eclipse of Reason. Offer to pay the film rental yourself. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
45. Place a prolife newspaper ad, bench ad, or billboard with your church's name and phone number, offering your help to pregnant girls. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for pre-made ads.)
46. Take your church bus to prolife activities. Many people who won't go alone will go with a group. Some will discover an aptitude for regular prolife ministry they would otherwise never have realized.
47. Have prolife emphasis Sundays, with special music, speakers, films, and literature. This should include, but not be limited to, the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in mid-January. (Special bulletin inserts and materials are available from CareNet http://www.care-net.org/ and Right to Life of Michigan, http://www.rtl.org/, listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
48. Bring prolife issues and opportunities to the attention of your pastor, Sunday school class, Bible study, or men's, women's, or youth group. Show them one of the videos listed in Appendix D or K, PLA. Provide relevant newspaper clippings and other information to inform your pastor and provide him with sermon ideas and illustrations. Give him ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or Why Pro-Life? as a resource. Instead of expecting him to fulfill your prolife agenda, help him out by offering to be a resource and facilitator for him.
49. Start a group of sidewalk counselors from your church that go once or twice a week to talk to women outside abortion clinics. This is hard but rewarding work, and you need the camaraderie of others by your side. Some excellent sidewalk counseling materials are listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.
50. Pray daily for prolife ministries and victimized mothers and babies. Organize your own prayer group, perhaps combining prolife concerns with other vital needs, such as missions. Go to prolife rallies or sidewalk counseling and focus on the ministry of prayer. If the darkness of child-killing is to be overcome with the light of truth and compassion, it will require spiritual warfare, fought with humble and consistent prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20).
With that in mind, I'll be praying for President Obama more than I've ever prayed for any other leader and I'll be praying for new opportunities to share Christ and do His will.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Then we came home and dressed up to Trick or Treat. Christian refused to wear his fireman hat (and Mommy refused to spend $20 on a better costume for a baby who could care less). The big kids had a ball though...
I just finished updating our "lesson plans" for the next few weeks - up to Christmas. I like to divide the year up into blocks of 6 weeks or so. That gives me a chance to adapt things pretty easily if we fall behind or get ahead. Now that I have the basics down I'm making holiday plans and working them into our school days. I'm so excited about the holidays this year - cocoa and reading Christmas stories and baking cookies...bring it on:)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
The last week and a half has been so so much better. I don't want to get into everything that was going wrong, but much of it had been building for a long time like a storm. The death of a church-family member somehow brought everything to a head. Isn't it amazing how God uses one thing to wake you up to other, completely unrelated issues? Now, even though not everything is neatly resolved, I've come through the stormiest part...
My parents came this weekend for a visit and the timing could not have been better. It's been so good to relax with my family. And my mom bought me new shoes - what could be better than that!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
And I know that this is all for His glory...but where is the glory in this?
I just have to trust that it's there.
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall.
Monday, September 22, 2008
- Pasta Carrabba (I don't bother with the marinade but I do thaw the chicken - mine's always frozen - in very salty water or a brine for all you food tv addicts)
- Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich
- Quick and Easy Breadsticks (with mozzerella and parmesan on top these are better than the pizza joint's)
- Best Lasagna Ever (I can not bring myself to use cottage cheese in this but ricotta works great too)
- The Best Meatloaf (it really is)
And because I love y'all here is my own personal, oh so incredibly creative, recipe for Pork Lo Mein which I ate all the time when I was growing up in Germany. Yes, German people like Chinese food, too:)
Pork Lo Mein
4 thin sliced boneless pork chops
½ bag broccoli slaw
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 servings cooked spaghetti
Chop the pork chops into small pieces and toss them in a bowl with some soy sauce while you cut up the onion and garlic. Heat a large pan with plenty of oil over med-high and stir-fry the pork. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and cook until brown, then add the garlic and the broccoli slaw. Turn the heat down to medium and stir for a few minutes until the veggies are cooked but not limp and the garlic is brown but not burnt. Add the noodles and enough soy sauce to lightly coat the noodles to the pan and stir until heated through.
Probably. And either way, it's just got to stop. It's not healthy, it's too expensive, it takes too long and requires using precious gasoline that could be used to take us somewhere fun...and I'm just sick and tired of rotating Zaxby's, Dairy Queen and Burger King.
So I'm working on a new plan...a binder (you saw that coming, didn't you?). Everything I need to plan meals in one handy place.
I started with a list of everything we like to eat for supper (I'll add breakfast and lunch in soon) and then I divided the list up into sections...beef, pork, chicken, pasta, etc. Then I printed a blank calendar and jotted down what kind of meals I need on which days. I need to have something in the crockpot on Wednesday so we can eat before church and Casey can eat when he wakes up. On Saturday we like to have a big family dinner with dessert. We like something fast and kid friendly on Fridays - sometimes I make something different and "grown up" so Casey and I can have supper together after the kids are in bed.
Then I started printing recipes for all the foods on our favorites list. I probably could've put this part off for awhile, but sometimes I get a little carried away. I put them all in the binder with tabs separating each section. Then I made a list of everything we already have in the freezer and cabinets and made a plan to actually use it. Five pounds of hamburger in the freezer? Fine. Flip to the beef section and see what's for supper (and what else to use all that hamburger for...).
Now, HOPEFULLY, I can get back on track with buying groceries and cooking at home. As one final motivational boost I'm planning things I *like* to cook for at least the first few days. Now I'm off to make a pretty cover and make sure my pearls and high heels match my apron:)
ed to add...the fabulous Other Shannon posted on the same thing today! Two Shannons on the same wavelength...hmm.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
One great thing required absolutely no efforts on my part whatsoever...my baby sister's birthday. She turned 19! Isn't she gorgeous? Well, when she's not making funny faces. But she makes funny faces a lot, so...Anyway. Not only is she gorgeous, she's kindhearted and principled and generous and hysterical. She's in college, planning to be a missionary. Now what does such a wonderful girl want for her birthday?
I went through all of the kids clothes this week, switching from summer clothes to fall. I had to leave a few short-sleeved shirts and shorts in the closet though because it's still pretty hot around here. I also pulled out all of the clothes in storage - sorting some to sell at the big consignment sale and putting anything that will fit into the right closet. Levi has a ton of hand-me-downs to grow into from his cousins and of course jack and Christian have hand-me-downs from Levi. Christian will wear the clothes that Jack wore last winter. He's only two pounds smaller than Jack right now and they're a year and a half apart. At any rate, Brenna is the only one that needs clothes - for the boys I'll probably just pick up a few things to freshen up their wardrobes. I have a nice list put together for Brenna - the big pre-sale consignor's sale is Tuesday night. I can't wait!
My pastor's wife and our Sunday School Superintendent came over to go over the church website with me and to work on updating our church policy manual. It was so nice to talk to other grown-ups. I'm planning on having them over for lunch sometime soon now that I've seen the kids will behave. Just as soon as I get over this awful cold/sore throat!
We also finally had our lunch at Pizza Hut for reading 30 books in August. It was lots of fun. The kids really enjoyed getting to go "out" to eat instead of just bringing something home. I think for this month we'll pick a different prize. For one thing I want them to read for the pleasure of reading not just for the prize and for another Mommy's not up to taking four kids out to eat by myself every month:)
Our homeschool group got together on Friday and that went really well. All the kids were divided into groups for reading groups (book clubs for kids!) and art classes, free play and volleyball (for the big kids). The moms are even discussing starting our own bookclub. This will be a once a month thing and we're also having a picnic at the park day once a month. That leaves one Friday a month for playdates and field trips and one Friday for me to regroup!
Now I'm off to get started on lesson plans for the next few weeks.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Bread and Jam for Frances falls in that second category. Levi reads this one all the time and Brenna loves it too. I'm especially fond of the descriptions of food...the lunch her mom packs at the end is so lovely! It always inspires me to try to make nicer meals (Frances's mom doesn't serve fish sticks!) and it really helps the kids to be less picky!
The Frog Wore Red Suspenders was full of funny poems. Being a Georgia girl, I especially like the one about peanuts! The pictures were funny, too. Levi picked it himself and he read it several times - always a good sign.
I loved Little Farm by the Sea. Beautiful pictures and I loved the way the family pulled together to do farm chores. It was a neat introduction to seasons, too.
As part of our history study we read One Small Blue Bead and it was very good. I wanted to avoid any discussion on evolution for right now and since the drawings in this one looked a little like Neanderthals I was a little concerned, but the book doesn't mention anything like that. It actually led to a great discussion about the Tower of Babel (check out this book on that) and how in a few generations, people could have come to believe they were the only ones on Earth. Also, the young man in the story shows a real servant's heart and that impressed me:)
Another history book, Seeker of Knowledge, was a very good story. Well worth the read when I overheard Levi telling his granny about the Rosetta Stone! It was inspiring to read about Jean-Francois Champollion's passion for his work.
The last book we read for our list was Brenna's favorite. If Everybody Did is a very funny look at what would happen if everyone had bad manners. The kids were cracking up over the very simple black and white drawings (we checked out the older hardback copy from the library).
Now I have to plan a day to take them out for a pizza lunch and decide on a shape for our September reading window. I'd like to use apples, but do I really want to cut out 30 or 40 apples? But I do have a lot of red construction paper....
Monday, September 01, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm planning on finishing up the cleaning this afternoon. I, of course, bit off more than I could chew. My beginning list took up three pages in my notebook! But I think I got more done by starting with a big list and crossing off the less necessary things than I would have if I started with a list of what I thought I could get done. And it was very handy to be able to look at the list and assign a job to whoever popped there head and asked to help. Levi and Brenna have both actually been big helps, but it is almost impossible to do anything with all of them "helping" at once! It was much easier to start them playing and then call one of the older kids to work a shift.
We got a lot of reading done this week. For every book we read (or Levi reads) we add a part of our flower...
Also, Christian really started pulling himself up on everything! He's been pulling up on the rails of his crib for awhile now, but he hasn't really done it anywhere else. This week, though, he seems to have discovered that there's a lot of fun stuff on top of these tables!
The kids' clothing sale was postponed so I haven't had to worry about that this week. It's looking to be even bigger this fall and in a larger building, too. I get so excited about this sale but it is full of really great clothes and, provided you get there early, there are some great deals. Most of the time I sell enough to at least cover the amount I spend.
Well, I'm off to finish up in the kitchen. My curtains are clean and ready to be pressed! It really doesn't take much to make me happy:) Making things pretty is my favorite part of cleaning, so I bribe myself with little projects like ironing the curtains or rearranging the pictures to get through the scrubbing. Sometimes we have to make our own rewards.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Besides the big clean up and preparing for the party, I'm also trying to get clothes together for the big kid's clothing sale. I usually spend about a week getting all of that in order, but it sort of snuck up on me this year. I had hoped to volunteer to help with the sale this year, but I won't have time. Maybe next spring.
It's also my Grandpa's birthday so we're going to go to his house on Friday night for his party. I can hardly wait - I love going to my grandparent's house!
Let's see, what else...there's library day tomorrow and preparing for the class I'm leading on Wednesday night. There's school and let's not forget the requisite grocery shopping expedition. And I'd like to squeeze haircuts for me and Brenna in there sometime...
But I'm oddly excited about getting all of this done. Something about the change of the seasons always gives me a boost. And I love fall. I'm already trying to figure out if we can squeeze in a trip to the mountains and making plans for our annual field trip to the pumpkin patch. I'm hoping to list what I get accomplished on here later today. We'll see!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It's called Elizabeti's Doll and it's one of my favorites, too. I love that Elizabeti makes her own doll and I love that she wears her baby just like her mom wears her baby brother. Brenna does that all the time. It's a really good story and the pictures are just gorgeous. I know, again with the artwork:)
In the meantime, school is going really well. One of my favorite parts so far has been all the reading we're doing. I've always read a lot to the kids, but it's usually been books that they choose - whatever they bring me, basically. But now that I've been planning out so many books to read as part of our curriculum, I'm really enjoying it even more. Our librarian's are so helpful. I can get online and request as many books as I want from our local library or any library in the state and they email me when I have a couple waiting at the desk. Which means I don't even have to go upstairs to get myself a book when I take the kids in. Now if they'd just install a drive through...
We're making every other Tuesday Library Day. Tuesday's are storytime and we used to go every week, but I'm really committed to staying home a few days a week. Levi is learning his way around the stacks. I made him a "laminated" (with clear packing tape) card listing the kinds of books he has to check out each week. I think I got this idea from The Well Trained Mind. I tried to keep the categories to a minimum for this year. He chooses one book from each category - social sciences (which I help him choose because there are a lot of books in this category that he's not ready for...Coping with a Gay Parent for example...sheesh), science and technology, arts and recreation, and literature. I, as always, have final veto power, but I'm trying to let him choose for himself as much as possible. For example, last week when he chose a book about Christmas (in August, y'all) I didn't say a word.
One book he picked out last week was really great, though. Thunderstorms by Nathaniel Tripp. Levi is fascinated (and terrified!) by thunderstorms so I thought knowing more about them might help. Children's books seem to focus on how kids feel about thunderstorms, though, and that seems to reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of. This book was wonderful. It's the story of a big thunderstorm passing over a farm. There are lots of scientific explanations about what's going on with the weather, but there's also a lot of story about farm and animal life. I also liked the way it shows neighbors helping one another and the art work is lovely. I'm a sucker for the artwork.
I've read some other great books lately so I'm planning on writing about some of those in the next few days. And I've got to get some of our homeschool plans up on here soon. But first it's time for Brenna's medicine...we all seem to have summer colds.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
They were all so excited about their lunchboxes that we included them in the official first day of school picture. Jack chose batman. He's a little obsessed. He spends a pretty good bit of each day wearing some sort of cape.
Brenna is a kindergartener! She's only four but she does so much with Levi that I thought it would be neat to have them just one year apart. If we need to add an extra year in there somewhere that shouldn't be a problem, but I'm afraid it's going to be the opposite problem - that she grows up all too fast for me! Already she looks so grown-y!
I have so much I want to post about. I love the books we're using this year and I put together a good sized list of activities to keep Jack busy while we do school. I've read lots of good books I just need to tell you all about. I'm planning a wedding shower with my aunt for my cousin. Facilitating a class at church on Today's Disciple. Lots of stuff to chat about only I have to make some time to chat!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
You can click on the pictures if you're hard of seeing like me, but be warned it's still fuzzy:)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- Why I Love Homemaking I think there will be a lot of women in Heaven thanking Laine. Her letters are so cheerful and self-effacing and...they're just wonderful.
- Homemaking: An Art to Be Learned This is a really good article about learning to care for a home. I think it's really written for girls and young women, but the description at the beginning of the workings of an ideal home is lovely.
- The Wife and Queens Ride By should be required reading for every new bride. Thinking about all the work involved with running a home makes the task seem larger than life, but when I remember the effect that it has on my husband and my kids (and me!) it makes it so much easier.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I may say that I work best under pressure, but I crave the peaceful happiness in this picture. There is too much going on in my little corner of the world. There's good stuff, like planning for school next month, and heavy stuff, like our struggling church, and difficult stuff, like a six year old who thinks he 16 or 60 (the rolling eyes, the know-it-all attitude, the "Listen, mom, it's like this") - oh my word. Sometimes stuff just seems to take over my life.
- I must have a clean (clean! not just straightened up!) kitchen before I go to bed every night
- all the laundry gets washed and dried today, folded and put away tomorrow
- no tv tomorrow - a trip to the library, the swimming pool and helping Mommy should keep everyone busy
- set my alarm to get up in the morning in time to fix Casey breakfast
Now, to get to work...
Friday, July 18, 2008
I worry a little that she's getting lost in the midst of all these boys. She's so soft-spoken that I don't even always hear her over the firetrucks, tazaran yells, karate chops, and machine gun fire. Hmm, Brenna and I need more tea parties...
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
(the ones in red are done)
Apr 17, 2003 - Jan 13, 2009
1. Pray about our home school goals
2. have a homeschool planning time
3. Get rid of unwanted hs materials
4. attend hs convention
5. join hslda
6. teach Levi to read
7. start having a regular school time
8. have a big “starting homeschool” day this fall
Health & Safety
9. buy and take a quality vitamin everyday
10. put together an emergency/disaster kit
11. put together a first aid kit
12. serve a raw vegetable or fruit with every meal
13. get a fire ladder and have a fire drill
14. do a detox after weaning Jack (ed. Do this after weaning Christian)
15. drink only water for a week and see if I feel better
16. buy and try stevia instead of sugar
17. take Levi to the dentist
18. exercise 3x a week
19. use only nontoxic cleansers in the house
20. Lose 60 lbs ( I can’t believe I wrote down the number!)
21. go to bed and get up earlier
22. Hold a garage sale
23. Make a family tree and hang it up in the house
24. Decorate the playroom
25. Decorate Mbed and Bath – make it a retreat
26. Get rid of unwanted toys
27. Decorate the kids’ rooms
28. Fence in the yard
29. clean out my closet and get rid of all the clothes I don’t wear
30. get a new kitchen table and chairs
31. paint scripture on walls
32. complete my black and white picture frame of all our family
33. decorate patio
34. invite people over for supper at least 1x every other month
35. organize storage room to hold outgrown kids’ clothing
36. learn how to make really good biscuits
37. learn how to make a great 14 layer cake
38. have Christmas presents made or bought and wrapped before Dec 1st
39. learn to cook cabbage the way Casey likes
40. put together a list of a months worth of well-liked meals
41. create and follow a workable cleaning schedule
42. make silhouettes of each of the kids to hang up
43. establish a chore chart for kids and use it
44. keep meals in the freezer to take to people in need
45. pack an emergency diaper bag for the trunk
46. read or get rid of all unread books
47. Reorganize all my books
48. make a price book for groceries & household stuff
49. grow an herb garden
50. try once a month cooking
51. Pay off all debt except house
52. sign Levi up for scouts
53. make Easter more meaningful – establish more traditions
54. take the kids to the zoo in Atlanta
55. take the kids to the aquarium in Atlanta
56. swim w/ kids
57. Start Brenna’s pearl necklace
58. Take the kids to the beach
59. Verbally praise more than verbally correct
60. teach kids good manners
61. Have a pajama ice cream run
62. Invite Bet to stay with us over the summer
63. be at Bethany’s high school graduation (I'm still a little upset that I didn't get to do this one - very early labor pains with Christian kept me from traveling)
64. plan fun things with nieces and nephews
65. start a playgroup in our neighborhood
66. get a playhouse for Brenna
67. have a traditional picnic with Casey and kids
68. Encourage someone at church every week
69. Weekly praise a child that’s not my own
70. start a church library - I'm so glad to have this one done! It's really growing, too!
71. go to ladies retreat at least once
72. have a cookie decorating party for the kids at church
73. build a basic wardrobe
74. take better care of my skin
75. get teeth whitened
76. buy and wear really good makeup
77. get a cool shorter hairstyle
78. Take care of my nails
79. Memorize 3 scriptures per week for a month
80. Pray faithfully for family, church family and friends
81. Finish reading through the Bible
82. establish a daily Bible and prayer time and keep it consistently
83. pray with Casey every day
84. Pray for Casey daily (use POAPW)
85. plan an overnight getaway for me and Casey
86. be an active prayer partner for a volunteer at the pregnancy center
87. find a way to volunteer at the pregnancy center
88. make shoeboxes at Christmas for the Christmas Child Project
89. sponsor a child
90. grow my hair to donate to Locks of Love
91. invite another woman over once every other month
92. get to know some neighbors
93. make a will and have it notorized (or whatever to make it official)
94. get a bigger vehicle
95. finish “baby” quilts for all three kids
96. learn more about the Old testament laws/ traditions
97. write something and submit it to be published
98. Write a letter explaining our “quiverfull” philosophy
99. write 1 letter a month to friends or family
100. Don’t check email on weekends
101. Catch up on scrapbooks
Well, it's pretty clear what areas are easier for me and what's going to take a little more willpower. Somethings may not be as important as I thought. For example, we haven't even looked into scouting yet. But overall, this is a really handy way to make some long range plans - and it's fun to see how much I have gotten done!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The first thing I do is get out my pretty pictures file and dig through all the, um, pretty pictures, until I find some that look good to me right now. Obviously this will be different for everyone - this is also what makes this so fun. For some reason bright pink was just calling my name this month... Lots of these pictures won't get used, but I like to have plenty to choose from.
Now I start picking and choosing pictures and tearing them to fit. Feel free to use scissors if you want your notebook to be boring and dull with no cool-edgy-torn effect. Sometimes I use a piece of colored scrapbooking paper for a background, or sometimes I choose a really large picture for the background. Either way, it's easiest to have one piece that covers all the brown-ness and then build on top of that.
I like to have some words somewhere on the front because that's just the kind of person I am. Sometimes a Bible verse, sometimes a quote...one day I might do one with just words all over it. I love words. Let's move on.
Now I slap some modge podge on the cover and start placing things where I think they should go. A couple of notes - always lay it out first and smooth it out really well (see my wrinkles? the ones on the notebook, I mean!). Rubber cement works much better than modge podge, but sometimes I have to make do. I will not go to Walmart just for rubber cement. I just won't do it!
Sigh. Now it seems like I can start all over with a fresh clean slate. All those messy to do lists and menu plans and memos are gone and blank pages wait for me to craft my life in them...that's pretty deep for a 33 cent notebook, don't ya think?