Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's for Dinner?

My four year old asked me tonite,
What are we having for dinner?

I told him, "Roast potatoes and ham."

He gave me a funny look and said,

"Gross potatoes?!"

A Great Money-Saving Deal You Won't Want to Miss!

An online friend of mine, Tawra Kellam, is having a huge sale on her wonderful, money-saving ebooks. Tawra runs the very helpful site,, and she and her family are having this super sale in order to raise money because they need to move to a different home because of health problems.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to help others while helping ourselves with tons of new ideas on how we can save money in our everyday living!

This ebook package includes:

Menus On A Dime

Plan Ahead Leftovers

Quick Dinners

Money Management

Grocery Savings

Cleaning Cents

Kids Cents

Moving On A Dime

Debt Free Holidays

Gifts In A Jar

Pretty for Pennies

Plus they also have a bunch of bonus items from a variety of other businesses. It all adds up to $130 worth of products for just $35.

CLICK HERE to go to the sale!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sad, But True

Ladies, here's a tip for you:

If the meal stunk the first time around, don't freeze the leftovers and think you'll be able to make a decent meal out of it the second time around.

For example: Tonite I pulled a mystery meal out of the freezer. I vaguely remembered it not being a big hit, but decided to thaw it out and see what's what.

So it was a pasta thing that looked like it lacked the right amount of sauce or something. I decided to see if the kids would like it anyhow, since most of them prefer no sauce, and I had no spaghetti sauce in the house.

My oldest son looks at me after taking a bite, and so as to not alert the younger kids to the fact that he hates it, silently mouths the words, "What on earth is this??"

So I go over to him and say, "Yeah, I suspected it might not be the best. What do you think it needs to make it taste good?"

A set up he couldn't refuse!

His reply? "Um....a miracle??"

He was right. I tossed it all. :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

90 Things

1. How old will you be in five years?
41 --woot!

2. Do you think you will be married by then?
I will have been married for 21 years by then!

3. How tall are you?

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Going on a weekend getaway with my husband, meeting my brand new great-niece, and watching a different niece get married!

5. What was the last movie you saw?
I watched a 4400 episode on DVD last night. (getting tired of that show)

6. Who was the last person you called?
My mother-in-law, so that I could hear details about my great-niece! :)

7. Who was the last person to call you?
my husband probably

8. What was the last text message you received?
I don't do text messages.

9. Do you prefer to call or text?

10. Do you have any pets?
I have six kids so don't need pets. But the kids have two hamsters and 4 chickens.

11. What were you doing at 12 am last night?


13. When is the last time you saw your mom?
At Christmas (too long ago)

14. What color are your eyes?
dark brown

15. What time did you wake up today?

16. What are you wearing right now?
gray t shirt, jeans, slip on shoes

17. What's your favorite Christmas song?
I don't like too many Christmas songs. I guess jazzy Christmas songs would be my favorite.

18. Where is your favorite place to be?

19. Where is your least favorite place to be?
away :)

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?

21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
I'll be basking in the fun of having a bunch of teenagers and young adults. :)

22. Do you tan or burn?
I generally stay out of the sun.

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
I don't know, but I do remember never wanting any part of my arms or legs to be outside the covers, no matter how hot it was. (and we didn't have a/c either!!)

24. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Dancing with my husband earlier today. It was hot...and fun!

25. How many TVs do you have?
One, and it doesn't even get TV channels. Just games and movies.

26. How big is your bed?

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer?

28. Do you sleep with or without clothes on?

29. What color are your sheets?
blue/yellow, or off white

30. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Three--one for my head, one for my legs, one for my arms. (I'm a high-maintenance sleeper, I guess)

31. What is your favorite season?
Spring or Fall (I probably lean a little more toward fall)

32. What do you like about fall?
The leaves, the sweater weather.

33. What do you like about winter?

34. What do you like about the summer?

35. What do you like about the spring?
The scent of spring air, and sunshine.

36. How many states have you lived in?

37. How many cities/towns have you lived in?

38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
Not bare feet. (too dangerous with a million legos around!!)

39. Are you a social person?
Yes, although less so than I used to be. I can be perfectly happy alone for a pretty long time. It doesn't bother me to not leave the house for days on end.

40. What was the last thing you ate?
My vitamins!

41. What is your favorite restaurant?
Macaroni Grill (although they discontinued my very favorite dinner item!)

42. What is your favorite ice cream?
chocolate peanut butter (also known as Charlie Brown)

43. What is your favorite dessert?
something with chocolate

44. What is your favorite kind of soup?
Potato Cheese Soup

45. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
Raspberry, and my kind is made without sugar (no aspartame junk either).

47. Do you like coffee?
nope. Never got into that.

48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average?
Probably 2 quarts.

49. What do you drink in the morning?
Healthy Lemonade, or a fruit smoothie

50. Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?
I'm getting to like sleeping alone on nights when my husband works, but I also like snuggling up with my kids.

51. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
On the right side

52. do you know how to play poker?
Nope, but I rock at Dutch Blitz!

53. Do you like to cuddle?

54. Have you ever been to Canada?

55. Do you have an addictive personality?
For some things.

56. Do you eat out or at home more often?
Home almost always.

58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?

59. Do you want any more kids?
That sounds like a trick question to me.

60. Do you speak any other languages?

61. Have you ever gotten stitches?
yes, 20 in my face as a child (10 on my chin, 10 on my eyebrow)

62. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Several times, thanks to scary pregnancy issues. (not fun)

63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?
pool if it's chlorine free.

64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seats?

65. Do you know how to drive a stickshift?

66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
Well, if it's extra money, then I guess clothes, although it's more a need than a favorite. I hate to shop.

67. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?
wedding ring

68. What is your favorite TV show?
I have a few TV shows I enjoy: Lost, Brothers and Sisters, Six Feet Under (which is long gone now but was still a very daring show that I enjoyed a lot).

69. Can you roll your tongue?

70. Who is the funniest person you know?
I don't know. My brother and oldest son come to mind.

71. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

72. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
Jazzy Piano midi (and I love it, so there!)

73. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?
I don't think so

74. What color are your bedroom walls?
Right now yellow with a horrid lavender being tested out because my husband thought it would look good. (it doesn't!)

75. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth?

76. Do you sleep with your closet doors opened or closed?

77. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
what a weird question

78. Do you flirt a lot?
I used to, but not anymore. My husband wouldn't appreciate it!

79. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Honey mustard sauce!

80. What is your favorite food?
pizza or chicken fingers

81. Have you ever changed the oil on the side of the road?

82. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?

83. Have you ever run out of gas?
no, but I've come close

84. What is your usual bedtime?
I aim to be in bed by 10

86. Do you read the newspaper?
just a local weekly newspaper

87. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Alternative Medicine, and some other natural health type mags that I can't think of the names, and Better Homes and Gardens

88. Best comedian?
I don't do well with questions that want Best or Favorites, but I do enjoy Steve Martin

89. Do you watch soap operas?
No, unless nighttime dramas count

90. Do you dance in the car?
I dance while sitting in my seat! And I sing loud too. :)

Another Way to Earn $5

In the past I told you about Mom Product Reviews that were wanted. Now the same people are looking for reviews of healthy products. You can check it out and start earning money here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Bachelor--Yukk!

This recent season of The Bachelor is the first time I've ever watched the show, thanks to online viewing. I guess the concept of the show has probably been discussed bunches of times, but I've not kept up on it, so tonite's my turn.


First of all, I guess it must be pretty bad "out there" in the world for singles to find someone, because I have a hard time imagining a scenario where I would be willing to be treated like cattle, shuffled through "group dates" and having to prove my interest in a virtual stranger.

Secondly, I guess it must be pretty bad "out there" because all of those girls were going crazy for Andy, and frankly I thought he was a fake bore. If it wasn't for the circumstantial evidence of a fairly wide range of things going on in his life, it would be hard for me to not think of him as rather one-dimensional.

Third, how special could it possibly be to get "picked" by a guy you barely know to "marry" when just a few hours before that he wasn't sure if he would pick you? Honestly, if it were me, I'd let the guy know by that last date that if he wasn't already sure he wanted me, to please pick the other girl. It's not lucky to win that guy under those circumstances. It's sad.

And what's up with this whole asking the person to marry you? Nonsense! They barely know each other and set no date.

Like most reality TV shows, it seemed to me that The Bachelor does it's best to catch participants in emotionally trying situations, and exploits desperate young adults that should know better. If it weren't for the fact that half of marriages fail anyhow, I'd think it was irresponsible. But, I guess a couple that gets together on The Bachelor has as good a chance as anybody.

I think Andy and Tessa seem just right for each other--boring, fake, and annoying. Bevin dodged a bullet, methinks. Run, Bevin, run!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Homeschooling Decision Has Been Made...

I'll be homeschooling my 3rd and 5th graders next year. The Sonlight order is going out today. Let the adventure begin! (and let's hope I don't lose my mind in the process....)

**I would also like to say that there is no way I would have been able to consider (let alone look forward to) homeschooling again without Sonlight Curriculum. In the past when we used Sonlight it was a huge success. Every other thing I've done has had very mixed results, and I was rather frazzled trying to put it all together myself. It has been so great to contemplate homeschooling again knowing that I was going to get a complete set of Sonlight curriculum, where all the planning is done for me, and where I won't be looking for 3 Popsicle sticks and 7 cotton balls for a science experiment! It has been very freeing to throw away every homeschool catalog that has entered the house, and just spare myself from agonizing over every single subject and possibility for it. To me, Sonlight is a gift. I highly recommend it.

Katy, this is for you.

Katy asked in a recent comment about my opinion on immunizations, since she knows I tend toward natural health.

Well, that's not a question that will be real quick and simple to answer, but here you go:

Unlike a lot of other people in the pro or anti-immunization camps, I don't have a hard-and-fast opinion about this. Here are some of the things I believe:

-I don't believe that the current immunization schedule is set up for the good of children. I believe it is set up for the convenience of doctors offices, with the belief that it is easiest to get kids immunized when they are babies and their parents are running to the doctor's office every couple of months (or weeks). Basically, it's when they can get you there easiest. It's not because there is some magical risk for your child to get this disease or that when they hit 2 months old or whatever.

When our fourth child was born 3 months prematurely, weighing just 2.5 lbs., my husband and I got to see firsthand the medical thinking of "vaccinate now, think later." Because I had somehow missed having a hepatitis test during that pregnancy, they wanted to give our baby a Hep B shot right after he was born! This is a shot that is one-size-fits-all. They don't dose it like Tylenol according to weight. (it's funny how new parents will worry about whether or not they give the right amount of Tylenol, yet we're supposed to not care about the shots they get. Makes sense...not!) They just shoot 'em up, no matter how small they are. So, whatever chemicals, additives, etc. were in there, my child would have been getting 3 times more than regular newborn babies, when adjusted for his size! My husband had to get into a big fight with some idiot doctor about our son not getting a Hep B shot. All that we needed to do was do a quick blood test on me to show them that I did not have Hep B. Duh! They could have poisoned and killed our child with that shot, thanks to their nonsense mentality! I hate to think how many other premature babies sustain injury and suffer because of getting shots that should be delayed. (and, someone please explain to me how a newborn baby is in legitimate need for a Hep B shot anyhow....that doesn't make any sense!)

-I think that it makes sense to learn about each disease that immunizations are available for, and then make an educated decision about how badly you want to avoid it. My favorite book on this subject is The Immunization Decision by Randall Neustaedter. It explains each disease, including normal scenario and worst-case scenario, how a person can get the disease, stats on how likely your child is to get the disease, etc. Then it explains what the vaccine for that disease will and won't do, rates of effectiveness, and risks and stats for having the vaccine. (for instance, the pertussis vaccine is one of the least effective ones) To me it was so much more helpful than having doctor's office staff act like your child would die within a few days of some terrible disease if he didn't get a shot "on time." Once you can learn what diseases, risks, and likelihoods of all the pros and cons, you can make a more educated decision and vaccinate or not with greater confidence. Many people that I know have read the book adopted more of a pick-and-choose approach to vaccination, getting some, not getting others, delaying some to later ages, or spreading out vaccinations a little more to give the child's system more time to recover from each shot.

That book also has some information on ways to handle the diseases if your child was to get it. Some are pretty easy to deal with at home, others would be a nightmare.

Other issues that this book brings up include how vaccine efficacy gets lower over time, although there is not one pat answer to how quickly this happens. When elderly people's immunity to some vaccinated illness wears off, they end up so much sicker than they would have been if they had just been allowed to get the illness once in their childhood. But, vaccinating repeatedly (booster shots) aren't always a healthy solution either.

The book tells about other countries, such as Japan, and their vaccination practices and how their rates of complications from vaccines are much lower than the US when they start vaccinations at 2 years of age instead of at birth.

The Immunization Decision is an older book now, one that I got when I just had one child. So there may be newer, better books out today for you to check into.

One thing you can do in making your decision is contact your local health dept. and get stats on how many cases of various diseases there have been per year for the last several years. Of course, this is no guarantee of the future, but at least gives you some solid numbers of what has happened in recent history. (For instance, If nobody has gotten polio in the entire USA since the 1970s, do you really think your child is going to be getting polio? If you see large outbreaks of pertussis each winter, you may feel more concerned about that one.)

I think your lifestyle makes a difference, too. When we were homeschooling and super health nuts, I didn't worry as much about my children being exposed to diseases. When my kids went to school and we weren't keeping up on being healthy eaters, I felt they had a different set of risks and so I made some difference choices about vaccines at that point. My kids haven't had the chicken pox vaccine, but if they get to be older teens and aren't immune to chicken pox by then, I would give them the option to get the shot at that point since chicken pox is generally a lot worse the older you are when you get it. I'd never, ever let a baby get a Hep B shot since they won't be doing needle drugs or having sex with anyone in their infancy, but it may be something to talk to them about as an option when they get older.

I have had friends that spent a lot of time with international students or who traveled internationally for missions work, so they approached immunizations with their particulars in mind. Makes sense to me.

-New vaccines are always a concern to me. Vaccinations are Big Business and Big Money, and it seems there is a rush to push new vaccines on parents as often as possible. The Roto Virus vaccine has TWICE now been released, and TWICE proven to turn kids intestines inside out. That is so heartbreaking and sad! Greed is what puts these vaccines out into the public without sufficient testing and research. And children suffer. It's hard for me to respect an industry like that.

-The ingredients in vaccines are a concern of mine. Most people now know to be concerned about mercury in vaccines, so some vaccines have taken mercury out. Sadly, they have generally replaces the mercury with aluminum. Sorry, but I don't want mercury OR aluminum going into my kids. The CDC's Pink Book comes out each year, and it used to (don't know if it does now) have a listing of every vaccine and manufacturer, and includes the ingredients. You can actually look down the list and find, for instance, a single measles shot without mercury or aluminum, if that's what you want. Your doctor would have to write a prescription for it, and your pharmacy would probably have to special order it, but you can definitely find a way to get the shots you want, avoiding the chemicals you don't want, if you look hard enough. I know of many parents that choose to vaccinate this a la carte way. Spending the $35 or whatever for your own copy of the Pink Book would be well worth it for the parent that wants to be armed with a lot of information that even your doctor isn't likely to know. You can take it with you to the office, show the doc what you want, and have it ordered.

-SIDS is a concern related to vaccines. Some studies have shown that more babies die of SIDS shortly after vaccination. I have also read studies that have shown that SIDS is actually very similar/the same as mercury poisoning. Could it be that mercury overload is what causes babies to go to sleep and never wake up? Again, those one-size-fits-all shots concern me. Heavy metals accumulate in the body, they don't just pass through. So, your child may do fine on their shots when they're born, or their 2 or 4 month shots, but you may see that as they get older, they suffer more. Other things I have read suggest that AUTISM often shows up after about 18 months of age, which is right around when many children have gotten another vaccine cocktail with their MMR shots. Could it be that these kid's bodies just can't handle any more mercury, and now they are poisoned so badly that they are autistic?

Some of the damage that the ingredients in vaccines can do is permanent. I have to ask myself, "Do I want to vaccinate against this bad enough to take this risk?" Sometimes the answer was yes, other times it was no.

Obviously I'm no scientist, and I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I'm just bringing up some points that you could do your own research on and see what you learn from there. I did most of my reading and thinking about vaccinations years ago. I've been so settled in my approach to it that I have a hard time remembering all of the issues that convinced me to do as I have done.

One thing that I have kept in mind when I've read anything about vaccinations, is the question, "What does the author have to gain by convincing me of their point?" When someone has big money attached to their message, you might just want to factor that in.

A valuable lesson I learned from early regrets in parenthood (my first child is almost 15 now!) is to learn what you can, and make a decision you can own. When I let the herd mentality dictate the choices I would make, I was heavy hearted and regretful later. Since then I have done my best to make decisions that made the most sense to me, even if it scared traditionalists or offended my super-all-natural friends. God gives you your own children, and He gave them YOU! Do the best you can, pray lots, and move forward. There isn't a perfect answer on a lot of this stuff.

Hope this helps, Katy! did you have your baby yet? It's no fair that you can come here and read my stuff, but I have no way of checking up on you!! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kids...They Never Stop Surprising Me

Yesterday my almost-9-year-old asked me if we could go to the library so he could get some books to read. I mentioned that we have tons of great books right on our shelf that he could check out. (Apparently he did not realize that we had books that might be of interest to him)

A few minutes later he comes upstairs with a book about Hudson Taylor (famous missionary to China) that was given to my husband by his parents in 1978. (Same age as my son is now) He dug right in and started reading, and is now hooked! He's been going around with the book, periodically telling me what page he's on, sometimes reading a line or two to me in his stilted stop-and-start outloud reading voice of a second grader, or tells me things like, "So Hudson said that God told him to go to China, so he's going to GO!"

This is the child that a year ago seemed like reading was never going to click. And here he is picking a random book off the shelf and gobbling it up. Too fun. I'm loving this.

(and, yes, I'm thinking of all the awesome Sonlight books he might be reading new year if we homeschool......)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Foxy Mamma

I found out about these fun shirts from Couture Moms in a recent magazine review, and decided to buy myself a Mom-to-the-sixth-power shirt for Mother's Day. :)

It arrived the other day and I was so excited! It's very soft and looks great! The bling is very pretty and is a good size and placement.

I had to run some errands so decided to wear my new shirt and head out. The shirt looked so great that I decided to get a little more gussied-up than usual. Just a little mascara and lipstick. And I left my hair funky-curly because my husband loves it that way. (I normally straighten my hair)

Then I got going and called my husband at work to see if he would have time to meet me for lunch. He did.

So I met him there, and the look on his face said it all.... :) But it was nice that he said it in my ear, too. "You look so foxy, I could fall down and die!!"

Ha! Sounds like I better be careful when wearing my new secret weapon, eh? :)

Funny Kid

We are a family of eight fairly messy people, and our car reflects that. Lately we've had a lot of on-the-go eating (unusual for us) so there was a larger-than-usual collection of napkins, McD's bags, empty cups, etc. plus jackets, shopping items, etc. sitting in the front passenger's seat yesterday when I picked my 14 year old up from school.

As he was trying to get into the car I was scrambling to move the junk out of his way. He got in and I said (in my best drive-through attendant voice), "Welcome to Crapville. Can I take your order, please?"

Without missing a beat he replies, "Yes, thanks! I'd like two dirty napkins, a partially smashed cup, and am empty Zone bar wrapper, please."

That kid cracks me up.

Shrek 3 Review: Don't Bother

Like lots of kids around the country, ours were very excited about Shrek 3 coming out yesterday, so we decided to have a special treat and take all of 'em to the theater. Setting aside the excitement of trying to get seating together for 8 (we didn't), I'll tell you that we had a split of opinion between the kids and the parents.

The kids loved it, they said. Why? My husband and I have no idea.

The music wasn't as good as the first two movies.

The story line wasn't as good.

There was too much reliance on old jokes, that now fell flat.

The stuff that was new also fell flat.

So, save your pennies. Rent it when it comes out. Maybe next week's new Pirates movie will be better. What are the odds?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Having a Good Mother's Day So Far?

Me neither.

My daughter has hurt her arm and I think it might be broken. Looks like a trip to the Urgent Treatment Center or hospital is in the works for later today. I just love how we *just* got all of our medical bills paid off, and now we can start with a new batch. UGH

My 4 year old son woke me up calling for me at 3am. Then he got in my bed. And then my sleeping was over. Hence, it's 5:55am and I've been on the computer for awhile now. I'm sure how tired I am will hit me right about as I'm stuck in the middle of something medical for my sobbing, miserable daughter.

One bright spot: A perk of having my kids in school is that they come home on the Friday before Mother's Day with sweet gifts. My daughter wrote me a poem that states 3 times "you are smart and wonderful" as well as insightfully pointing out things like, "You pretend to not need the things you need" and other gems. My 8 year old son made me this cute card that had this little fill-in-the-blank page:

My Mother's Name is __________ (which he misspelled, adorably) but I call her _mom_.

She is about _5_ feet tall (I'm 6 feet tall so this was a chuckle) and has _brown_ hair and _brown_ eyes.

I love it when she cooks _checkn_. (chicken, folks!)

One thing we like to do together is _tok_. (talk)

He favorite color is _pink_ (I don't really have a favorite so that'll work) and her favorite music is _kid stuf_. (which is our church music for our kid's program. I do actually like it, although it's not my favorite. I play it a lot around the house, though, so good guess.)

My mother is very special. Let me tell you why. _becaues I love her._ (AW!!!)

Too sweet!

My two kindergarteners came home with flowers in plastic cups. Love that! They also had cards with their handprints in them. They say:

This is my hand.
My hand will do
A thousand loving things for you
And you will remember
When I am tall
That once my hand
Was just this small.

Made me cry!!

Sadly, the preschool teacher seems to have dropped the ball on Mother's Day. Bummer. I love those little class project cards and gifts.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day Giveaways!

mothers-day-button-180-pixe.jpgBetter late than never, I guess. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away lots of fun goodies for Mother's Day. Hurry to sign up!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tis the Season...

to ask oneself, What will we do about school next year?

In other words, our annual will-we-or-will-we-not-homeschool-anybody-next-year debate is underway.

My 11 year old daughter is really wanting to be homeschooled, despite an abundance of friends (and the sometimes unpleasant drama that accompanies them) and activities. My 8 year old son always wants to be homeschooled.

Having one kid already through our middle school, my husband and I were already anticipating bypassing the middle school for our daughter. But, she has one more year of elementary school left, so it wasn't next year that I was planning on. Now she's given us a pretty good list of reasons why she'd rather be homeschooled and why she thinks it would be better for her. It's an impressive collection of comments and thoughts, actually. And so, here we are asking ourselves if we can do it.

For a time I liked homeschooling my kids. It was the time before I was overwhelmed with the needs of 3 babies in 3 years. Now we've had a breather of sorts for 4 years, and we're fresh out of babies here, so it stands to reason that homeschooling could just maybe be a positive thing that perhaps could somewhat resemble the ideal homeschool that lives in my imagination.

So I ask myself through most recent days, "Do I think I could do homeschooling on a day like today?" There have been a lot of tricky days lately since my husband has taken on some additional work hours. Today was nuts. (whether it was pro-school or pro-homeschool nuts, I'm not entirely sure) I had 3 kids staying home sick from school today, and I was thinking to myself how I hate the pressure of their limited number of days they can miss school, and how if I was homeschooling nobody would be missing a thing. Yeah, they might not have felt perfect, but that wouldn't stop them from listening to me read them a good book or doing their math.

If we homeschool next year it will probably just be two of the kids. (The 11 and almost 9 year olds) The younger ones still really love to go to school, all 3 of them are in speech therapy and need to continue, and I think I'm more comfortable with the idea of bringing people back home once they have the basics of reading, writing, and math down. Seems more manageable to me.

Although my recent years of homeschooling kind of went down in a blaze of...something... I guess I haven't totally given up hope. I still credit my years of homeschooling my oldest two children with our close relationship and their capable navigation of all the crud that comes their way in school and activities. I feel like having had my oldest child by my side for the first 10 years of his life was a great foundation for our relationship, for his love of learning, and for his moral development. Conversely, I am concerned about my younger children that have not had that time by my side and are now being regularly influenced by others. I know I'm not as close to the 3rd, 4th, or 5th children as I was with my first 2. (the 6th kid is getting a lot of Mom Time this year so I do feel like we're pretty close) My 4 year old son's recent introduction to various sexual information by a fellow preschooler brought this to my attention in a rather upsetting way.

Yes, we may not be able to shield them at all times. And kids learn naughty stuff even at VBS, Sunday School, and at family reunions (or homeschool activities!). I know that. So, it's not so much a knee-jerk thing about public school as it is just a wake up call that time's a-wastin', my kids are growing, and we don't get any do-overs in this life.

Would I love to spend my days with a quiet house, working on projects of my choosing, taking naps, or going out to lunch with my husband? Sure. But I'm not so sure that I'd be proud of that choice on down the line if it meant that I wasn't 100% sure it was the best choice for my kids. I know that the past year was a needed one. But if I had known it was the only semi-quiet year I would get for a long, long time....I think I would have spent it differently! Ideally I'd like one more year to get some more of my to-do list done, and to get things ordered in a way that might make me feel more ready for homeschooling again. Because, I think that ultimately we will probably go back to our original plan to homeschool, and not hop around with it year by year so much. (yes, it would still have some flex, but I think we'd like to be more in the direction of homeschool being the default rather than school being the default as it has been for 4 years now) There are just a few things that my daughter has said that make me wonder if there's more information between the lines that she's telling me, and that if I knew the rest I'd for sure want her home. Also, I can't help but wonder if I put her desire to be home off for a year, will I have missed an opening? Right now she's still young enough to like her mom...most of the time. If she turns into a snarly adolescent in the coming year, maybe she won't even want to be home any more. (not that I can't still make her do it.... I'm just wondering where her heart will be in another year)

Of course, they need a sane mother too. I'm still not sure how to reconcile all of these issues. I don't believe that there is one right answer to educational issues all the time. But, I'm always trying to be open to the voice of God, my own heart, and the needs of this family as I look at another school year.

The Ultimate Optimist

You know you're in the running for the World's Ultimate Optimist when you can go to bed saying,

"At least it wasn't on the carpet. And it didn't smell bad. And it happened before we were already asleep."

and you're talking about a child's vomit.

Yeah, well, there was more to come after we tucked ourselves into bed.

And today I've got a child going crazy with itchy legs thanks to hives. And there's no benadryl in the house. Nothing's ever simple, is it?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Notes From the Underbelly

If you like Scrubs and appreciate parent/pregnancy-related humor, you should check out Notes From The Underbelly. Lots of laughs in this new sitcom! You can watch in online here.