Thursday, February 26, 2009

My life as a M.O.B.*

Long ago- when I tried to be a good blogger and make little notes of post ideas- I wrote these next few lines."

You know you are a M.O.B.* when…

… your cell phone has pictures of bugs on it… in various stages of life and some not so much life.

… you have several cages in the basement and garage for the inevitable animal rescue.

… there are Styrofoam cups in the car with bugs etc. that didn’t quite make it in to the cage… or didn’t make it at all for that matter!

… socks are ALWAYS on the list of needed items. All different styles so they can be matched to the right child, forget to the original mate!

… it is not the volume of a scream that matters so much as the delay of said scream from the moment of impact to the actual hearing of it. Quick cry- no worries. Delayed cry- call 911! own several varieties of compound w.

... you buy a box of band-aids every time you go to wal mart. Yes, every time.

… duct tape, electrical tape, super glue and zip straps are favorite stocking stuffers.

… buying 7 gallons of milk on grocery day means you will only have to make one or two more milk runs before the next grocery day.

… the freezer houses not only food but various items of science projects – both gone well and not so well!

... magnifying glasses are very cool for art class. Not always safe, but very fun.

...there is not enough shout or zout or oxy-clean in the entire world to adequately keep their socks clean.… even pans with a life time guarantee do not stand a chance against a young man learning to cook.
… you look at the young men in your home and melt when they call you mom. If they happen to say “I love you” or give you a hug- it is all over. Even I cry- and that is saying something!

*mother of boys :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A belated Valentines gift...

Because I know we all struggle and are very busy - I thought I would help you with a little house cleaning as a gift to make your life just a little brighter today.

Click HERE !

You're Welcome!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A look into one of our days...

Being a veteran home schooler, I am often asked... so what does a day of school look like? Are you very strict and regimented? How do you motivate your children on a daily basis?

Well, here is a mini-peek into a day at our home on a typical winter day of home schooling. Mind you, the clock reads 7:00 am EST somewhere... because the early bird get's the worm... or in this case the nugget of knowledge that may propel them on to a successful career some day end of the box of "good" cereal and last of the milk!

The first thing you must know, is I firmly believe in having the children present themselves ready to learn. That means teeth and hair brushed, and clothes suitable to be worn to a traditional school they wake up sometime before 10. This is well demonstrated by our youngest, Savannah. She loves school- really! At 5, she already does mid 1st grade work. Certainly not a chip off the old blocks as it were! But you can see, she is diligent to her studies even if not the most presentable!

I am also a firm believer in the buddy system. Micah feels our dog Molly is a great study partner. I am fairly confident she won't give him any answers on tests, so I am all good with his choice. It is amazing though how much assistance distraction a little 7 pound dog can provide! Really though, he says she keeps him warm... which is the theme of the next two photos!

Our family is made up of overly warm blooded people who cannot stand temperatures below 70. This is a problem here, as the outside reaches a mere 19* some days, and we live in an old farm house that costs more to heat than the monthly rent if we put the heat above 62. So they, in their amazing creativity, have found ways to manage the cold. Here you see Josiah in a hoodie and hat that he also goes outside sledding in and is completely "fine-I'm not cold at all"-exact quote. He positions his chair directly over the heat run closest to the furnace, and makes a tent over his legs to trap ALL the warm air coming out. The heat run is also in the living room where the thermostat is and because he is preventing the room from getting warmed up properly, the heat is on significantly more than it should be. But he is warm! Oh, and I know the next question... he tells me he uses his cell phone as a calculator, which in 9th grade math he is allowed to do. Only trouble is... that is his English on his lap! He reached an all time high for our family last month in texting done on a single phone line. 14,000+. I have read many of them... if "Hey", and "What's up?" were not counted then he would have only 5 :)

Olivia is a little more conscious of stealing the heat from the rest of us. She props herself right in front of the kerosene heater and often Molly joins her there. It is in the laundry room right next to a wall of (sometimes!) sunny windows and french doors, so it almost feels like she is outside on our deck off our bedroom- which is where she goes the first day the temps are over 60*!

And yes, we supplement the heat in our house with kerosene heaters. It works in a dual way. Placed in the living room right by the thermostat, they prevent it from reaching low temperatures by over heating that small 10ft area. We save the money spent on RG&E by not using a whole lot of natural gas. Also, the kids rooms then receive little or no heat, which causes them to come into the main living areas of the house to get warm. This may sound cruel or unusual, but with 5 kids ages 17 to 5, their tastes run in completely opposing directions. this tactic provides opportunity to join as a family and engage in quality time together. Some favorite games during these times include farkle, yahtzee, uno, and dutch blitz- as seen in this photo.

I have included this picture of our kitchen blinds for no other reason than I think it is a really cool picture. Look how straight it is! And it is un retouched! I know- I am getting sick or something.

OK, last but not least I will give you a look at a gym class. Josiah is a great teacher, and Levi is a gifted athlete... this video displays holes in both of their attributes!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Big Inspiration...

Today I read through a tiny book called "Though Lions Roar", the story of Helen Roseveare. A British woman from the mid 1900's, and virtually unknown to me prior to this book, she struggled with so many of the same things that I do today. Pride, self-elevation, service to be serving God and not seen by man, you get the point. One portion of the book so struck a chord with me that I reread it a few times before continuing on.

... and she prayed this prayer in all sincerity: "Please go on working in me until I really am transformed into the image of Your Son. Today I mean this, but when You start doing it, and the stirring hurts, and I feel I can't take anymore, maybe I'll cry out to you to stop, but just remember my vow today to be available to you, and just go on working away at me to make me like you want me to be."

Wow! I have often had those same feelings and emotions, never once thinking to pray for God to continue His work in me in spite of them. Some times I fear making the "vow" because I know I will break it. I fear my failure and that causes me to not even try in the first place. Oh that I will at least give God the chance to work wholly in me!

You need only watch the first five minutes...

All of this brings to mind when Dan and I had our children. We both had a desire to have as natural a childbirth as possible, and were fully prepared to have Dan be the heavy when I - in full blown labor- would be tempted to cave in under the pressure and cry out for drugs ... please! Anything to stop this immediate hurt! There were times when he had to be strong, and go against what I was saying at the time. But he was fully persuaded that if he gave in, I would be SO mad at him after! How much better does God know me! He will know when to push back, and I will need to trust Him when I am yelling for the trial-test-hurt to stop.

So while I am not so sure what may come, I do desire to be like Christ. And may I have the courage to pray that prayer in all sincerity.