Friday, August 29, 2008

Front Seat Parenting

So, I'm driving along, singing to the music while the kids chit-chat in the back seats. Someone takes something away from Lydia (or doesn't, but does something to irritate her in some manner) and she starts wailing. I make sure it wasn't intentional, which it wasn't, and attempt to calm Lydia down from the front seat. It's ineffective. I tell her in a firm voice that she needs to be quiet. She keeps wailing. She knows I'm in the front seat and she's in the back seat. She's smart. I have to pull over. But there's nowhere to pull over for awhile, so we all have to listen to her wail until there's a place to stop.

About 6 months ago, I was questioning why Lydia was whined so much. I was so consistent! I never gave her what she wanted when she whined! I always told her: "You don't get what you want when you whine. You get what you want by asking nicely." So what's the deal with this whiney brat? Then I realized that her siblings were giving her what she wanted whenever she whined. AHAH! So, I need to train the siblings to do what I'm doing! Duh!

So, the other day when we were in the car and Lydia started wailing, I said: "Lydia, why are you throwing a fit?"
She replied in a lower tone wail, "My book is on the floor."
Immediately, Chloe and Maya bent to pick up the book. I practically screamed: "Don't pick it up!" Then calmly said, "Don't give it to her until she can ask nicely."
Front seat parenting is hard!

I'm curious: How do you handle front seat parenting?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Make Your Own Capsules

Better yet, have your kids make them! Actually, I was in the kitchen making capsules of Kelp and Black Walnut powder and the girls kept asking if they could help me. I put them off twice, but finally decided to be a good mommy and let my kids help me. They were pretty good at putting the little caps on as it turns out.
With my handy dandy Cap-M-Quik capsulator, (or am I The Capsulator?? {snicker}) I whipped out 100 capsules in no time, saving myself gobs and gobs of money. And since I got the powdered herbs and the capsule maker from Mountain Rose Herbs, I also saved myself a trip to the store. Woo-Hoo! Gas saved is money in the pocket!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


For five days only — August 26-30, 2008 — receive a free $50 gift certificate (passport) for every $95 of Vision Forum merchandise you order!

$95 Order = 1 Free $50 Gift Certificate
$190 Order = 2 Free $50 Gift Certificates
$285 Order = 3 Free $50 Gift Certificates
No Limit!

These free gift certificates may be redeemed between October 15th and December 24, 2008, and are good toward our entire product selection at Vision Forum.

My 20 Minute Rule

I hate disappointing my kids. I avoid it if at all possible. I used to tell them: "Guess where we're going on Thursday?! We're going to the zoo with Aunt Jamie and your cousins!" Then one of her kids would get sick and I'd have to say: "Well we're not going after all, sorry!"

I hated doing that. Life will have plenty of disappointments and my kids will have lots of opportunities to develop flexibility (after all, they have 6 siblings!). I control what I can.
I give them 20 minutes notice for any exciting activity. I plan to take them to the zoo this morning and I can hardly wait to tell them. But I haven't told them yet. I'll tell them 20 minutes before we need to leave. ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aim High, Girls!


School officials in Palo Alto are reconsidering their use of a popular speaker for an annual career day after he advised middle school students that they could earn a good living as strip dancers.

William Fried told eighth-graders at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School that stripping and exotic dancing could be lucrative career moves for girls, offering as much as $250,000 or more per year, depending on their bust size.

In defense, Fried said, "It's sick, but it's true, you can earn a tremendous amount of money as an exotic dancer, if that's your desire."

Read more here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vision Forum Coupon Up For Grabs!

This past weekend, I went to a local homeschool conference & book fair and was able to hear Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum, speak at three seminars. He was wonderful and so encouraging! I went to the Vision Forum booth afterwards and received two $10 off coupons. I used one of them to buy all sorts of things on my wish list: How to Develop Character in Your Children, A Full House of Blessing: The Inspiring Story of the Nicklas Family, Parenting from the Heart, and Family Driven Faith.

I'm willing to give the other coupon away to the first person to request it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why I Hate Dealing With Doctors, Part 2

On the same afternoon as the infamous Rogers team phone calls, I called a few other doctors who I found through the Armour website. First one I called is a couple miles away. Score! That would be really convenient if he works out!
So, I call and the first thing I say is: I'm looking for a new doctor who prescribes Armour.

"No, he doesn't."

But I found him listed on the Armour website.

"He doesn't prescribe Armour."

Ok. Next. I call another doctor who's a little farther away. Same script. Ha! Now I'm using scripts! Where do I learn this stuff?

"What insurance do you have?"

I have an HSA.

"What's that?"

A health savings account.


I repeat myself. Surely medical staff have heard of HSAs, right?

"What's that mean?"

Cash. I'll be paying cash. (I utilize the KISS strategy, hoping for more success.)

"We're not taking any new patients."

Then why did you need to know what insurance I have?

"Oh I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to the lady at the desk."

Uh huh.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why I Hate Dealing With Doctors, Part 1

I've been trying to find a new doctor. I take Armour Thyroid and I'm trying to find a doc close-by who will prescribe it. So I call the doctor that we take the kids to when they have an issue (not a Pediatrician because I really don't put much faith in them). I try several times to reach the nurses station. The voice mail message said if I need an antibiotic, to leave the drug number and my name and number. I don't need an antibiotic, so I didn't leave a message. So I try to talk to the receptionist.
I tell her: Before I set up an appointment, I need to find out if Dr. Rogers prescribes Armour.

"Well, you'll need to come in before we can tell you if she'll prescribe that for you."

I try again: "No, I don't mean if she'll prescribe it for me, I mean: does she ever prescribe Armour? Is she opposed to that brand?"

"I can't tell you what she'll prescribe without knowing your medical history since you've never seen Dr. Rogers."

Ugggh. I try a third time to explain what I'm asking and finally she transfers me to someone else.
I explain that I don't want to make an appointment and pay for an appointment only to find out that Dr. Rogers doesn't prescribe Armour to anyone and therefore won't for me.
She goes through the script again about needing to come in before they can tell me what the doctor will prescribe. I roll my eyes, but patiently explain it a different way. I can't remember now what I said differently, maybe I put the accent on the word ever, instead of the word prescribe. I don't know. This time, however, I'm understood. She says she'll have the physician's assistant call me.
Ok great!

Then the physician's assistant calls me. I patiently explain what I'm after. (Armour Thyroid, in case you're still as confused as the medical staff at Dr. Roger's office.) The P.A. first used the script, then finally after I explained it AGAIN, she said:

Oh, you're looking for a new doctor? You've never seen Dr. Rogers, so you want to make sure she prescribes Armour before you come in, right?


"Dr. Rogers isn't taking any new patients currently."

I didn't have a very kind reply to that, I'm afraid to report.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm a Hoarder

I'm very protective about certain things. And they aren't important things at all. In fact, they're very simple, very easy to replace things. I don't know why I hoard them the way I do, but . . .
Here are some of the things I hoard:
Binder clips: I use these to attach transparency sheets to school workbooks so that I don't have to make gobs of copies. Nothing works as well, so I don't want to lose them!

Barrettes: I just can't stand it when we go somewhere with clip in and leave with clip missing. I buy hair clips in bulk at the beauty supply superstore. That one clip cost me 20 cents, now go back through the playground and find it!

I have a little basket in my desk that is just for bookmarks. I have at least 3 dozen, but they get used constantly. Don't bend the bookmarks! I don't want to have to go get more when we're at the library next! We only go to the library a couple times a week, for heaven's sake!

I also have a little basket in one of my kitchen drawers just for twix-it clips. I love these! I use them on half-used bags of frozen broccoli (yes, they're really big bags) and on bread bags. I use the big ones for bags of tortilla chips and such. You get the idea. I use them for all sorts of things. Throw one of those in the trash by accident and you may just see this mom melt into a puddle like the Wicked Witch of the West. Don't mess with my clips!

I'm Curious: Do you hoard anything? Please tell me you're as illogical as I am, even sometimes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The NEA's New Plan

The nation's largest teachers union, the National Education Association, attracted 9,000 delegates to its annual convention in Washington, D.C., over the Fourth of July weekend. Delegates sported buttons with provocative slogans such as "Gay marriage causes Global Warming only because we are so hot!" "Hate is not a family value," "The 'Christian Right' is neither," and "Gay Rights are civil rights."

Here are a few of their resolutions:
  • The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans, or public support of any kind to non-public schools. (So it's a business then, huh? This shouldn't be surprising to anyone.)
  • The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even though such a designation is supported by more than 80 percent of Americans. (No comment.)
  • The NEA opposes homeschooling unless children are taught by state-licensed teachers using a state-approved curriculum. The NEA wants to bar homeschooled students from participating in any extracurricular activities in public schools even though their parents pay school taxes, too. (Gee, really?? They want to control what MY kids learn and how they learn it?? And they have no respect for my money. What a shocker!)
  • The NEA wants every child, regardless of age, to have "direct and confidential access, without notification to parents, to comprehensive health education." That would include things such as learning how to use condoms for premarital sex, as well as social and psychological programs and services. (Again, they get to teach my kids about even the most important family value- procreation.)
  • The NEA wants public schools to take over the physical and mental care of students through school clinics that provide services, diagnosis, treatment, family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods "with instruction in their use." Family planning clinics are called on to "provide intensive counseling." (Good to know that I can trust them with my kids' life.)
  • The NEA wants all sex-education courses, textbooks, curricula, instructional materials and activities to include indoctrination about sexual orientation and gender identification plus warnings about homophobia. (Do they also teach the viewpoint that homosexuality is a sin, or do they only teach their own viewpoint?? How very "tolerant" of them.)
Read more about the NEA's radical plan for your kids here. Need more reasons not to send your kids to a government institution to be educated? Here's 100 more reasons.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nature vs. Nurture

It was an adoption story that captured national attention. After raising 3 1/2-year-old Evan since birth, Dawn and Gene Scott were recently ordered to return the boy to his biological mother. It was the worst day of their lives having to hand over the precious little boy they'd done everything for since he was born. They videotaped their final moments together and their very emotional goodbye. All three cry as they prepare Evan for leaving.
As Evan's biological mother, Amanda, leaves with Evan, Dawn screams at the reporters, "I can say what I want to say, now he's gone! I'm not going to be silenced anymore. That boy has been traumatized and hurt and nobody cares!"

Here's more on the story.

What do you think? Should biology always be the trump?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Boys and Girls Are Different

This is what I caught Isaac doing at the dinner table last night. He didn't know anyone was looking, he was just quietly admiring his biceps.

This past year and a half (since adopting our Liberians) , I have been struck by how different it is to raise girls and boys. It took me about a year to get used to the differences. I've learned that when I ask the kids to be quiet, the boys will not infer that I mean: be still. They know how to roll around like a tumbleweed while being perfectly quiet.

I've learned that pride in manliness in inborn. They are born wanting to conquer and protect. Ten minutes after this little act of pride, Isaac was telling Daniel: Don't hit Lydia. You have to be gentle with her because she's a girl and you're a boy.
This muscle-bound boy is going to make a great Daddy one day.

I'm Curious: What differences have you noticed between your daughters and sons?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Swim Lessons

Maya, Isaac, and Elena are taking swimming lessons. They started last week and had three lessons. They were all three swimming the length of the pool by the end of the third lesson.

In all fairness, Maya and Isaac already knew how to swim. They were just kinda crazy with it. They kicked their legs like they were having a seizure and got everyone within 10 feet of them soaked. Elena, on the other hand, was afraid to do anything without her ring floatie prior to this.
We are all so proud of her quick progress!

I don't know how often you read my blog, but Lis, you are one fantastic teacher! We're so thankful for you!
I had hoped that peer pressure would effect Chloe and she'd want to learn how to swim by the time the other three finished. So far, it's not looking good.

Daniel, however, is begging to learn now. We told him he could take swimming lessons if Chloe will. There's still a few more days, so we'll see. Lydia will barely put more than a toe in the water, so we've got another year for her.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Story Time

A few months ago, I started a new routine to get all of our readings done. I gathered everybody in the girls' room for story time. I have two rules: the babies lie down with eyes closed and the big kids sit quietly while I read.
I do this for naptime and bedtime. I have one book for naptime and a different book for bedtime. (At bedtime, the boys go to their room after I finish the story and there's only one rule- everybody has to sit quietly.)
Not only are we getting a lot more reading done painlessly, but it has really helped settle the babies down. At naptime, I read for about 20 minutes and the babies usually fall asleep while I'm reading. I pick up the bookmark when I get to the last paragraph and that signals the big kids to sneak quietly out of the room.
See that sleeping baby? He passed out before I got to the second page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Big Girl

This little homemade (by someone) Thrift store skirt has been a favorite of my girls. Chloe wore it every third day last year. She just loved how long and "flowy" it was. Well, Chloe dressed Lydia up and put this skirt on her. Much to my surprise, it fit her.

Lydia was soooo proud of it and the two of us (Lydia and I) thought she looked absolutely beautiful.
Last night, Lydia had a breakthrough. Although she has the vocabulary of a child much older, or I should say she has the vocabulary of a child with several older sisters, her articulation is less than stellar. She says "seat" when she means feet and she calls herself Widia.
I, Ginger, the Speech Pathologist, overlooked this most of the time because it's so cute. (The very thing I used to tell parents never to do.) So Kyle took it on himself to try to correct her speech. He was getting her to say La la Lydia. She was faithfully repeating: La la Widia.
Then at dinner, when Kyle was showing off how funny it is, she said it correctly. La la Lydia.
This was met with a huge screaming, applauding response from everyone. Her eyes lit up so big and her grin spread from ear to ear. Such pride! Such joy! And Kyle declared that he should have been a Speech Pathologist.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Toothbrush Tag

Someone recently asked me how I stay on top of everyone's dental hygiene.
Here's how we do it:
We play Toothbrush Tag. At night, we're all in the living room together and I say: It's time for Toothbrush Tag. Elena, tag you're it.
She goes upstairs, brushes her teeth, gets pj's on, then comes downstairs and tags someone. . .till all the teeth are brushed.
In the morning, the same thing happens, but it starts right after breakfast.

School Choice

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic Games

I am so looking forward to the Olympics! This will be Maya, Isaac, and Daniel's first experience with Olympic competition. We've been talking it up, explaining it to them, and we plan to make it into a big geography lesson.

What are your plans for the Olympics? What summer sports do you enjoy watching?