Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A Glimpse of the Future: Abortion Museums
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I think we're hooked on geocaching-it was a lot of fun. Letterboxing was fun, too and there's no reason not to combine the two and get outside. Being outside together making memories is what counts-finding a treasure is just icing on the cake.
Oh, and one of the coolest parts was that there were some people there on bikes. They all had matching shirts that read, "5th Annual Halloween Campout". There were a lot of them-a dozen or so just on the bikes, so it must be a big deal for them. I would like to kick our tradition up a notch-make it a full weekend and maybe do some cool shirts and invite a bunch of cool friends and family...
Probably because I am so tired.
Yesterday we went on a hike
And by mile 2, I wished I had a bike.
But Dad, striking out so bold,
Found a great rock with signs of old.
We went on a search for a geocache
But the GPS and I didn’t match.
Dear Hubby figured it out
But not before we’d extended our route.
Finding the stash while hiding from briars,
Our four year old’s excitement flew higher and higher!
Bethany, while looking under a rock
Found what all of us had not!
In a can that had held bullets that kill,
We found prizes and toys to thrill!
We even found a travel bug, I have to boast
It will be moved along to the Ivory Coast!
Off we go, to head back to camp,
Sure wish we had a handicapped ramp.
The reason Dad’s old back is sore
Is that little Bethany said, “Carry me more!”
Jaybird was content in the sling
But her 25 pounds weren’t no little thang!
I got worried; Dad had left to answer the call
Dark was falling and we had to haul!
Mom alone prods the girls-"Go with all your might
We have to get out of the woods before night!"
Safe and sound we finally arrived at the head of the trail
There was Daddy-looking a little frail!
“Rest” is a good adjective for the room
We all raced there in the night’s gloom!
Safe and together at last, we headed to camp
Where the Fluitt family had our dogs under a lamp.
We ate and ate and retold the tale
Of when we all traveled that Mineral Wells trail.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
In order to avoid Halloween and to make good memories, we go camping the day our town trick or treats. It simply removes us from the day-out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. Any bad attitudes are quickly left behind when we're outside experiencing God's beauty at a State Park.
We have had attitudes, too. Believe me. A couple of years ago, when we started this traditon, we were at Mineral Wells State Park and our oldest protested most of the day. We cheerfully restated our case and moved on. In a few days, I overheard her telling someone else what a good time we had and that she doesn't want to celebrate Halloween with her kids (someday) either.
Last year was quite an experience! I wish Halloween fell earlier in the month. In Texas, October days are usually stunningly beautiful but the nights get chilly by late October. I was overly optimistic about our ability to handle the cold--with a three month old! It was cold in that tent. We froze. I started to run a fever and froze even more. The only fever meds I had were for the kids. A half a bottle of Children's Tylenol later, my fever broke and I was burning up. Ever hear the phrase "If momma's cold the kids put on a sweater"? Well, when I was frozen, I cuddled little Jay close and piled the covers on us. When I was hot, I was sure she was hot, so I practically uncovered us, leaving her pretty bare! I promised I'd never tent camp again!
This year, we're day camping ;)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
There are several versions of the origins of Halloween. Here’s one from a Neo-pagan who makes Christians look pretty stupid.
This is not my reason for not celebrating (this is from the link above):
Every year in October, some folks begin shouting that Neopagans must be “stopped” from celebrating Halloween, which they describe as a “Satanic” holiday. Many Christian Fundamentalists say loudly and publicly that we Druids, Witches and other Neo-pagans kidnap children, sacrifice babies, poison or booby trap Halloween treats, drink blood, and hold orgies at Halloween. As W. J. Bethancourt puts it, “These opinions are backed up with some rather unusual and very frightening fantasies masquerading as historical facts.”
My original views that led our family to stop celebrating a few years ago were more from this line of thinking (although now I read this as a little extreme-in the rest of his essay, he tends to put a lot of emphasis on the day of Halloween instead of on the warped behaviors of those in the occult-who are practicing every day of the year, not just on Oct. 31.
Here’s where I am right now (quote from the link immediately above):
It does not have even one single redeeming virtue. It is custom born out of pagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired, devil-glorifying, occult festival. It is an evening holy unto evil, death, and divination. The Scriptures tells us to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22]
In our current culture obsessed with death (and indeed, with abortion and euthanasia, and the general devaluing of human life, we act on that obsession), I don’t want to participate in a holiday dedicated to at best making light of death and at most glorifying it. I see our culture has made witchcraft into a mild Saturday morning cartoon theme and I'm rebelling against that. Witches and spells and the like are listed as things God hates in His own Word, and I see allowing our kids to "play" with those issues is only flirting with fire.
All other holidays we (our family) seriously celebrate we celebrate for positive reasons. Obviously Easter and Christmas focus on our Savior. Although many people think Thanksgiving is just about cranberries and pumpkin pie and football, our family takes it seriously-as a day to focus on the many blessings God has given us. Even the 4th of July is meaningful to me-I am deeply moved by the sacrifices, both past and present of those who risk—and sometimes give—their lives for our freedom.
So, why would I want to celebrate Halloween? I struggle enough with my weight—I don’t need 4 children’s full plastic jack-o-lanterns taunting me to sneak just one more tootsie roll. I frankly am not a bit interested in the dramatics (I have girls, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is dramatic) of choosing and making/buying four costumes. And I will not expose my young children to images that will give them nightmares just for the sake of making childhood memories. There’s nothing left of the day to point to the Lord, so why even bother?
The bottom line for our family is that we feel Halloween glorifies evil. We aren’t into glorifying evil, so we skip Halloween. We do something else instead-I’ll post about that tomorrow!
Does this stir you up? Am I taking too strong a stand? Not enough of one? I'd love to hear comments on either side of the issue-just be nice :)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Earlier this month a real live missionary came to our house! When I was a kid, I recall a few missionaries coming to Vacation Bible School but they were like untouchable celebrities in my childish mind. We certainly never had one in our house. (The preacher came to our house once or twice, but my parents didn't like the attention and it was always a little tense!).
It worked out for Shannon (my friend Terrie's best friend) to come to our Life Group while on a break. I knew my girls would love to meet her so I asked if she'd mind coming over while she was here. She came with her laptop full of pictures, great stories, some Indonesian language training, and she even brought Indonesian purses for each of the three oldest girls!
We just finished reading Torches of Joy, about missions in the area near where Shannon serves. That was a great tie-in. Our curriculum this year is called Eastern Hemisphere and we're studying the history, culture, and outreach to that side of the earth-very neat.
The last two days have been more of simple country living field days. The 3 oldest girls were gone 2 full days to a family friends' home about 45 minutes away. She has a great log cabin home in the country, a pool & hot tub, incredible fun stuff to do outside...she led them on one of her traditional treasure hunts with 20 questions leading to their prizes! They made cakes and swam in the hot tub (I hear my oldest took a bet/bribe and jumped--and fully submerged herself!--in the regular, unheated pool! It was in the 60's today after getting into the 40s overnight!). Some of them skinny dipped (okay, so that's not exactly enrichment, lol).
I feel like this has been a great year so far-the karate has pushed them socially but especially physically. Ash's new Bible Study has her digging into the Word like never before. She calls Bible Study her new favorite subject. Having friends go into the mission field and praying for them as a family, meeting Shannon, reading about missions, training Ash & Hope in childcare through watching Adri, and the blessing of them making incredible, invaluable memories with my mentor (who's becoming their mentor) is better than I could have plotted out in the homeschooling planner. God is good!
Monday, October 22, 2007
It is sooo chilly outside! On my porch a few hours ago it was 52 degrees. I woke up before dawn and it was cold and rainy. The 3 oldest left this morning about 8:30 to head to a friend's cabin in the woods for a day of play. That leaves Shane, the babies (Jay & cousin Adri) and me. I keep a long mental list of things I want Shane to do on his next day off and what I'll do the next time the girls aren't around. Today is the perfect day....
Adri & Ash taking a nap last week...
....for a nap! That's what we've done so far. Jaybird & I got up at 11:00 from the cuddle-fest under the quilt and Adri was just waking up, so I brought them into the dining room and gave them some brunch (their first meal of the day...but at almost noon-what am I supposed to feed them???). Jay ate banana, part of Adri's nurtigrain bar and a bunch of peas. Adri ate 2 bites of her bar and a bunch of pretzels. We listened to Todd Agnew's Better Questions CD and it was precious to see the little girls sway, clap and do a toddler style headbang thing to the music.
So, now there's more food on my floor than I thought I even served :) and one of the girls insists on climbing on top of the table just to show she's big. Don't worry, Jamie, it's mine who's doing it. I wouldn't let Adri get away with that. I know Jay won't fall-she has a lot of practice balancing on top of high surfaces lately.It's her new favorite game-to see how high she can climb. We caught her on tip top of the piano last week. Adri just sits and watches it all. I'm trying to get Jay to see sitting down is a good thing. She won't hear of it.
My stubborn child....or at least the smallest of the stubborn children.
My big plans for the rest of the day? Bake bread. Cuddle under a quilt somemore...maybe with a movie on? R-E-L-A-X...something I don't really do enough. But first I have to clean up those peas & pretzels on the floor and change diapers and put another load of laundry through...
Friday, October 19, 2007
I think it all stems from my need to get up early to get school started (there is no option but to do school at this time of day b/c of my job and other afternoon/evening activities like piano lessons, church, & karate). I can't easily go to bed early because of Shane's schedule. On his worknights, he sleeps until 11, and leaves shortly thereafter. If I got to bed before he leaves, either I wake him up getting Jaybird and I to bed (she sleeps with me) or he wakes me up leaving, or both.
There are no extra bedrooms...I'm not seeing a good solution...how about you?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I woke up this morning about 6:50, ten minutes before the alarm went off. The coolness of the sheets and the darkness still outside brought me full into fall. When I think of fall, I am brought back to my childhood days in the local public school…I think of sharpening my pencil in the old fashioned hand cranked sharpener mounted to the wall over the trash can in the junior high, with loud crickets chirping in the corners of the room. When autumn comes, I think of fresh school supplies, new teachers, and that butterfly feeling in my stomach brought on by the newness of the first weeks of school. Of course I’m old and we actually started school in the fall back in the old days!
I also remember walking a half block to the bus stop from my Grandma’s house (the same house where I live now!) where we stayed in the mornings when my mom went to work at the local Haggar Slack factory, long since closed. In front of what used to be the Old South Ward School, my cousin and I waited for the bus while neighborhood kids threw horse apples at each other, splattering those huge balls of green-yellow goo on the crooked old sidewalks. I never knew what these kids from “across the tracks” would do, so I was always a little nervous about those cold mornings.
My mom went to work really early and brought us still in our PJs to my Grandma’s. My cousins came, too, since their mom worked at the same factory at the time. We’d wake up in the bedroom with the double bed with pastel print sheets and the old white alarm clock with the orange numbers that actually flipped over (pre-digital?). Believe it or not, I sleep in the same exact location now! This room has no real piece of carpet but instead is covered with scores of brightly colored mismatched carpet squares! Some are even original shag! Very groovy! Anyway, Grandma would feed and dress us, and her house always smelled of coffee! I love coffee because of my Grandma!
I love it when life brings out a memory from the grab bag of childhood recollections! None of the above notions have anything to do with fall except maybe the crickets, but my mind will forever associate them together. What memories are we making for our husbands and kids? Of course, we all try to make “on purpose” memories, but what day-to-day-I-love-the-smell-of-coffee-because-it-reminds-me-of-Grandma memories are we making?
I'd love to hear memories of your childhood falls (that doesn't quite sound right, does it?) or of the memories you're making now with the ones you love!
Friday, October 12, 2007
You see, Hope is a story teller. She's a darn good one, too. When she was about 5, she told my friend Jonna (her Sunday School teacher) a whopper...and it is being continued even today!
Hope limped into Sunday School one morning, quietly hoping someone would ask why. Jonna took the bait, being the concerned teacher she is. Hope--with a completely straight face--told Jonna that I ran over her foot with the minvan. Jonna thought this could be true, given the limp, and asked more questions. Hope gave a blow-by-blow account of what happened...something like I was backing out of the driveway and rolled the tire over her foot. Knowing Hope, I'm sure she gave lots of background and details to support her story. She blew it though, when she told Jonna I woudn't take her to the doctor. Jonna realized she was being conned by a 5 year old--but she took it well; she just told me I should channel all of this far fetched fiction and encourage Hope to be a writer.
So tonight--more than a year later--we see another friend's mom in the grocery store. Dian visited with us and recited all the girls' names to see if she could get them right. Hope decides Dian also needs to hear all their nicknames..."Hollywood...Hot Rod..." she starts. Thinking Dian was doing well to just know all their names, I said, "I don't think Dian needs to know all the nicknames." Dian thought I was meaning Hope didn't need to tell our our family stories and we laughed about Hope being our storyteller. I brought up the foot story saying, "Yeah, Hope told Jonna I ran over her with the car."
Hope--matter of factly--wasted no time and chimed in, "Because you did!"
1 pkg fresh Italian sausage (we bought the links, but I think breakfast sausage could be sub.)
1/4 c chopped onions (we omitted these, adding onions is a sure fire way to get my girls NOT to try a recipe!)
3 lg potatoes, peeled/cubed (we left the peel on)
2t salt, 1/2 t pepper
1 t dried basil (I used oregeno, I was out of dried basil)
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
12 oz evaporated milk
Brown sauage (per instructions on package), drain any fat, cut sausage into bite sized pieces. Put sausage pieces in a soup kettle (I used a large pot with a lid).
Saute' onions in 2 T fat
Add pototoes, salt, pepper, basil and 2 cups water to soup kettle.
Cover & simmer for 15 min or until potatoes are soft. Stir in corn & evaporated milk. Heat thoroughly.
This would be good with a nice crusty roll. We loved this soup and it's the perfect time of year for it!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Updated 10/10 4:45 CST to say I found my ring earlier this afternoon! It was in the little basket I keep my hair dryer, mousse, spritz and stuff. Thanks for praying!
Monday, October 8, 2007
As a new HS mom, I stuck to only what the Sonlight Catalog sold. The HS curriculum world was just too big for me to wander around in, so I stuck close to home (SL will always be home...fellow SL users get this). We used 2 other fine math curricula during this time-Singapore and Miquon, both sold and highly recommended by SL. Ash did well at first, but somehow we just fell behind. I could have been trying to do too much-instead of picking complementary pages from each book, I had her doing all of the pages in each book. It became confusing and I no longer knew what she had covered and what she lacked training in.
Because I'd been around the SL forums a lot, I'd seen MUS's name come up over and over again. I researched it a little, showed the free DVD to Ash, did the online placement--then jumped in with both feet. Ash & Hope both started Alpha-about 1st grade level (this was last year, when Ash was doing 4th grade work).
Ash soon overheard me tell someone that she was doing catch up work, due to my decision that she should start back at the beginning so she wouldn't miss anything. She is now about to finish Beta (2nd grade book) and Hope is back to Alpha after I bumped her back to Primer last year.
Ash's reaction to being at a younger grade level is the only draw back to MUS-we love every aspect of it. I love the way it builds each lesson with information from the previous lessons and I appreciate that it's thorough and "on purpose" in its sequence. I love the way they teach in a multisensory way, and I especially love that I can tell the girls to go watch the DVD at the beginning of each chapter and they "get" it right away.
Steve, the main guy at MUS is a solid Christian; I love supporting another believer's work--and I've NEVER had quicker shipping. We have ordered one morning and our new books arrived the very next day! (I'm sure this varies, since the orders go through individual MUS reps.)
Go check them out at: http://www.mathusee.com/
Saturday, October 6, 2007
My "little" brother and I took all my girls, plus a friend of theirs about 2 hours away to Oklahoma. I was anxious, of course, about J-she has decided to explore the world and is now afraid of very little! I had to constantly worry about her toddling into the ring, where she could at the least distract someone competing and at the most be seriously hurt or worse. Here she is with a new friend-she kept trying to share her sippy cup and soggy graham crackers with this kind man (we've never met him; he wasn't with our group!
The girls both competed in sparring (fighting) and kata (kind of like a serious dance using karate moves). Neither placed, but that's not a surprise given their limited experience. They both kept a great attitude and showed much bravery. Hope fought against a boy (!) 6" taller than her! Ash fought a boy, too, but he was smaller-but feisty for sure!
I want to give kudos to the girls' karate team-the leaders did an excellent job taking care of all the kids' needs, even when it went against the wishes of the kids. The adults, especially Doc H, who is wonderful with the tiniest karate choppers, was constantly giving me tips or all of us encouragement. Everyone-both kids and adults alike were so helpful and thoughtful to me-from before we left the church parking lot through dinner. I'm very impressed!
Oh, and one of the leaders, a PS teacher applauded me for educating the girls well at home. She said she'd wished she'd been able to homeschool one of her girls and was happy about homeschoolers who take it seriously. That's always nice to hear!
Friday, October 5, 2007
I think I'm going to die.
I am so tired.
I have to get up in 4.5 hours.
I can see today will be a splendid school day. Great.
This is our last baby.
(Later in the) Morning Update:
We sat at the computer watching the very funny Anita Renfroe demo clips with Jay clapping along. I emailed a Shane and one of my bestest pals (who lives on the other side of the ocean and would pray for me!) and only got sympathy from Leah. Shane might ought to sleep in a cell at the SO because I'm none to happy to see him.
So, we get into bed and Bright Eyes starts to finally dim--at 3:30! Guess what happens at 3:49? No, Shane did not call to tell me he'd be praying and he'd come home right after his shift to keep all the kids quiet so I could nap....my cousin texted saying his wife is in the beginnings of labor...Jay woke up and her eyes sparked right up again :( Thankfully, in a few minutes she was over it. I wanted to throw my phone against the wall...but alas, I needed it to wake me up 3.5 hours later, which it did.
Sweet Adri is here, and although I was willing to stay up with her a bit this morning, she started to fuss on my lap so now it's nap time...ahhhh...
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
First, I (insanely) took 5 children & myself-including two one year olds-for hair cuts this morning. It really wasn't the one year olds that scared me, it was my almost-seven year old. She loves all the pretty necklaces and boas that the salon sells and she can't keep herself from wandering over to them. This in itself isn't so bad, but then her 4 yr old sister has to follow her over and then Jaybird toddles over as well, licking the glass display case while Hope yells at Beth not to touch, who then steps back into a display of glittery T-shirts all while Ash is busy taking my calls and can't stop her sisters from bringing total chaos to the salon! This hasn't actually happened, but I fear it will while I'm around the corner getting my hair cut--with my glasses off, so I can only really hear what's going on!
So, I prayed for it to go well, asked a friend to pray...and then I pulled out my spatula and threatened each child over 2 1/2 feet tall that they'd better behave. My spatula is still in my purse-it went unused today! The've never acted better and it went fairly well. The babies got tired at the end, so Ash took them all outside and got them buckled in the car seats (with the van's side doors open). There they ate their snack while I pretended to be a public school mom with no children with her enjoying getting my hair cut, lol.
After 2 hours, we did survive! Beth and I even shared a tender moment--the stylist left her in the chair and ran to wash another woman's hair. Beth is shy and although she loves getting her hair done, I know its a stretch for her to let someone else so close. I was telling her how pretty she was and quietly asking her if she liked the pretty green shimmery cape on her. She batted her long eyelashes and smiled...then she said, "Mommy, will you pick my nose?".
My other first was that I cooked kabobs! I don't have much experience cooking meat other than ground beef or baked chicken, so this was a fun stretch for me. It's all because the e-mealz program has it on the menu-the directions were so easy and they turned out great! I think Shane will enjoy them.
Be blessed-and try something new!