Friday, January 27, 2012

I Just Gotta Brag

Spent $31; saved $82.

Here's what I got:

20 cans diced tomatoes
8 boxes Honey Bunches of Oats
6 boxes Grape Nuts
6 boxes Shredded Wheat
2 boxes Mom's Best Sweetened Wheat-fuls
18 Balance bars

There's nothing quite like that "coupon high". hehehe

Loving the Little Years

I recently spent my Vision Forum coupon on this book and I absolutely LOVE it! I mean L-O-V-E, love it. This is not the type of book you read cover to cover, it's the type you read a little bit at a time, so that you really absorb all the wisdom in it. I can't say enough about this gem.

The author is a mom of 5 children, 5 years and under. She explains how she learned about the "bulk effect":

Our OB told us in advance that having the twins was not going to make us twice as busy (we had two at the time), but rather exponentially busy. Every time you add a child to your family. . . you are exponentially increasing.

I understand what she means. When Julia began going through the terrible two's, I didn't just have to train her. I had to train all of the other 6 to know how to correctly handle her fits, so that they weren't making it worse by giving in to her every time.
I had to learn how to hold Judah after nursing him so he doesn't spit up on himself. So I also had to teach 6 other baby-eager children how to hold him so he doesn't spit up on them either.

While there is much more child training, I also have a lot of help. I don't do anything alone.

A big family is big work. But oh such big rewards!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Urgent Calls Needed

“So tonight, I am proposing that every state—every state—requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”
President Barack Obama
last night’s State of the Union speech.

I was shocked when I heard that. Under our U.S. Constitution, education matters are left to the states. Our Founders wanted decisions about education and a host of other matters left to the states and local government so that these important decisions that affect every family could easily be influenced by the real decision makers: parents and the family.

Parents—not the federal government and certainly not the president—are the ones who should decide how children are educated and when they’re ready to graduate from high school.

But last night, President Obama made it clear that he thinks the federal government should be in the business of telling states how long children should stay in school.

Call Now!

Right now, please call the White House and your members of Congress, and give them this message:

“Last night, President Obama called for the government to mandate that all children stay in school until they graduate or turn age 18. This is not the federal government’s responsibility. Leave education decisions to parents, not federal bureaucrats. Tell President Obama to withdraw his compulsory attendance mandate immediately.”

Winnie the Pooh

As part of a Charlotte Mason education, my children begin their schooling with Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne. I admit that with my four big kids, I skipped Winnie the Pooh. So, with Daniel and Lydia I was determined not to miss it. I'm so glad I made that decision. I am LOVING Winnie the Pooh! It is so funny!

However, I've decided that Winnie the Pooh would be better suited for reading to bigger kids, and I plan to read it to my four soon. While my kindergartners enjoy it a lot, they don't appreciate the humor as much as I do.

If you homeschool, or even if you don't, don't let your kids escape childhood without a relationship with the genius of A.A. Milne. His humor in Winnie the Pooh, and whimsy in his poetry, really should not be missed.

You won't regret it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2011 in Review

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | Learn About Mixbook Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love Costs Everything

Persecution is a reality for nearly two hundred million Christians around the world. Daily, they risk their lives simply because they believe in Jesus. They could surrender, or convert, or quit but the love of Jesus is worth the sacrifice. For many of them, this road leads to death.

Warning: Viewer discretion advised. Not for young children.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hymn Study

Each month, we choose a new hymn for our hymn study. I find a youtube video of the song with lyrics and we play it three times each week. We usually have all learned it by the end of the month and we enjoy singing together each morning after breakfast.
ALL of us sing it, whether we know the words or not. Case in point:

(Note: For the first 30 seconds, Julia is watching all of us who were trying to coach her to do her thing. But then she takes off, much to our delight!)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

You Need a Giggle

Julia, 2 years

"Snort for us, little piggy!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Do You Know? Home Birthing is Safe Afterall

My midwife, Rose Marie, assessing Judah after the birth.

Study: Home birth with midwife as safe as hospital birth

Having your baby at home with a registered midwife is just as safe as a conventional hospital birth, a new study says.

In fact, planned home births of this kind may have a lower rate of complications, according to the study published in the Sept. 15 issue of CMAJ.

Even though the study was conducted in Canada, where attitudes toward midwifery are more accepting than in some other countries, the findings may help to calm an ongoing controversy in the United States and elsewhere. (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is opposed to home births.)

Read the rest here.

It's time American Obstetricians and Gynecologists heeded the facts, regardless of lack of profit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Judah Update: 1 Month Old

Seriously. Could he be any cuter?
Judah has taken us on a roller coaster lately. He has a fussy time every evening from 9-10pm, when Kyle and I take turns bouncing, rocking, and swaying while he wails. Eventually he drifts into dreamland and Kyle and I immediately fall into bed. He has been on a perfect 3 hour schedule for the last couple of weeks, but has gone 4-5 hours between feedings at night a few times. WooHoo!!

Unfortunately, he isn't consistent with it. Last night, he was up every 2 hrs. Not fun!
Luckily, he's really sweet and cuddly and I forgive him my sleepless nights. He's really easy during the day afterall. He wakes, he eats, he plays, he sleeps. Easy peasy.

Even while I'm sitting in the rocker at night, trying with all my might to get a burp out of the boy so he won't spit up all over me, I can't help but just hug him to me for awhile just enjoying him. He snuggles up under my chin and I sigh a deep sigh of contentment.

I'm tired, but it's been a wonderful babymoon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Speaking a Different Language

Recently someone we're close to learned for the first time that our adoptees aren't academically at grade level. They're behind, whatever that means. (Who do I compare them to anyway? Do government schools provide my goals or is the Bible my plumb line?)

I was reminded of a party I attended last year, where I ran into someone I hadn't seen since way before our adoption. They were absolutely fascinated with our adoption story. I mean, seriously captivated by every detail. That is, until she asked if they were on grade level. I laughed and said: Oh no, she's probably about ____ grades behind.
Her face dropped and she actually looked embarrassed for me.

I suddenly realized there was no way I could explain it to her in a way she would understand.
Of course my adoptees are behind! Of course they're not on the level of children their age who were read to, sung to, hugged, held, and talked to!
Of course!
And I don't expect them to be!

My Maya could run a house at her young age of 14. She is gifted. She knits at the speed of lightning, decorates cakes, and has a passion for photography. She knows how to calm a wailing baby and what spices go with which foods. She has great strengths.
She loves the Lord and forgives easily and quickly. She is an amazing peacemaker and very willing to give up her wants to make someone else happy. She's not a martyr; she's loving and loving others makes her happy. She reads the Bible every day on her own because she wants to.

I wanted to tell this lady: Don't be embarrassed for me! I'm PROUD of these children! Don't you see what they've overcome? What little they were given? What struggles they have to compensate for? We didn't adopt them to give them an academic future! We adopted them to give them a FAMILY!

But she was too entrenched in her mainstream thinking to be able to see any of these things. It made me sad.

We just weren't speaking the same language.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This Post is for Nicole W.

So you're posting nasty things about me on Facebook, saying a baby isn't a good enough reason not to blog? Hmmmph. I'm calling you out! Would you actually have said those things if I were really ON Facebook to read them? I think not!

(Lest anyone think I'm serious or seriously offended, I should say that no "nasty" things were actually said. I exaggerate.)

Everything on my mind (for those who desperately need something to read, no matter how boring):
  • I have a new man in my life and I'm in love. Judah is so adorable and so sweet and so perfect. I'm nuts about him.
  • I'm so happy that he's moved up to a 3 hour schedule. You have no idea. 2 hours was great for reducing certain unavoidable pains, but 3 hours feels like life can go on!
  • I've learned that my mind makes up problems to solve when I'm tired but can't sleep. The latest problem I've been dwelling on is what curriculum I should use to teach my kids to write well. Still haven't solved this one if you have any advice.
  • I'm back to couponing. Those 2 weeks off were great, but I missed it! CVS paid me $2 to take 8 Nivea chapsticks out of their store and I got 9 bottles of my hairgel for a little under $5 yesterday. That was fun!
  • Much to the thrill of my children I also brought home 27 boxes of cereal for $40 the other day. (Hey, when it's on sale, you stock up! Don't judge.) Elena brought her siblings out the trunk of the car with their eyes closed to surprise them. She said: "Don't scream! It's just for weekends." ha!
  • This week we're starting back to school. And by "we", I mean "they". I don't do much at this point, other than supervise.
  • The first day we didn't have dinner brought to us (which was 2 weeks straight, thank you church family!), Kyle took me on a date to a sushi restaurant that impressed us both. He still loves me, hormones and all.
  • My church friends are hosting a baby shower for me this Saturday. I'm a little fearful that my lack of recent socialization will result in logorrhea. I embarrass myself when I do that. Let's hope I can reign it in. But I CAN'T WAIT!