Monday, November 29, 2010

11-29-2010 Update


First and foremost - A few weeks ago both Nelson and Lydia prayed to ask God to forgive them of their sins!

Secondly - We are still thanking God for our new home.

Also - Being without internet access seems to be one of the best things that has ever happened to us! While I miss my bloggy friends, I am getting SO much more done. We are logging SO many school hours! I seriously thought that I was not spending all that much time on the internet, but now I see that I must have been! The dynamic within our home has completely changed!!! (Of course, some of this could be because we are not all sick... from the old farmhouse). I am trying hard every day to live for God and not for myself. And, I am seeing now - as I should have before, if I would have admitted it - that my time spent on the computer was all about me. And, when the children needed my attention I would snip at them. I was being very selfish. And, I am SO glad that God took away our internet access for a time so that I could see that! I know now that if we get internet in our new home I will NOT be using it during the day when the children need me! (This same idea spreads into other areas too, like I will not read for my own pleasure while the children need me.)

Prayers needed:
Well, there is so much that I cannot begin to write it all down during my limited time right now. Please just keep praying for my family, for Paul's jobs!, and for my health!

I do not have time to write more. Sorry I cannot stop by your sites and say hello. I miss you all! No comments again, because I cannot moderate.

Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

See you soon

If you are reading this post, then we have been without internet access for longer than I expected! 

If you miss me too much you can read through my archives ; ) 
We hope to be back online soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Parenting Expectations

Reposted 09-26-2011, Edited for content

How much of your child's behavior is directly related to your expectations of them? A lot, I think. Granted, my oldest is only eight  - I could be wrong. But it seems to me that we excuse a lot of sin by calling it "age appropriate behavior."

Terrible Twos - Parenting magazines and books make a big deal about the terrible twos. Children at this age are certainly very independent. But, should we expect them to be terrible? If you plan for the worst, you will probably get what you expect from your child.

Specific Example: Most people would say that a two or three year old cannot sit through a church service. Some parents would go so far as to say it is like a punishment for a young child to sit still through a service. Or that it simply can't be done. I want to challenge that mentality. You can train your two year old to do hard things, like sit quietly through a service (without toys and crayons, at that). It takes hard work (and determination) on the part of the parents, but it can be done.

Teenagers - Everyone knows that all teenagers rebel, right? Wrong. We know people in real life whose children have not rebelled, you might know of some too. You might even be a young person who went through those years without rebelling.  I firmly believe that if you bring up your child from infancy expecting them to rebel, then you are probably raising them in such a way that they will rebel. Does that make sense? If you raise your teen with low expectations and low standards, they will likely rise to your low expectations of them.
I am NOT advocating that we push our kids to perfection that will drive them mad! I am just saying that we have been lied to by pop psychiatry and sitcoms. Our kids do not necessarily have to rebel. Some will. Some won't. It has a lot to do with how you raise them. It has a lot to do with your expectations.
Specific Example: "Joe, your curfew is eleven...though I don't know why I bother to give you a curfew at all, since you will stay out late anyway." This would be the perfect example of giving your child license to disobey.

I am no expert. My kids are not perfect. I am far from perfect. This is just a theory I am putting together from what I see around me.

ADDED 09-26-2011:
I am still trying to expect the best from my children. But some times things do not go as you expect. Paul is always reminding me that the Bible says that "As a man thinks, so he is." But, we just don't have control of everything! I have a young lady in my home whose body chemistry and hormones are going crazy at an early age (began at 9). People are always talking about what a horrible teenager she will be. I am concerned that if she keeps hearing these ideas that she might lower to their standards. BUT, Paul and I are daily praying that we will be able to train her to control her mind and body even when she is confused, moody, irritable, etc. We choose to expect the best. We will encourage her as we can. God will do the rest.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov. 8th Update

(Reposted 5-8-2013. Unedited. This is part of our family journey, so I put it back up.)

I have just a minute to write.

1- We just cannot find any internet providers in our area. We are still doing without. It has been good to have a break, and be more focused on school without the distraction of the internet. But, I never realized just how much I rely upon internet for my "curriculum!"

2- I am feeling well. No joint pain or muscle pain since I wrote that last update. Maybe it was because we stirred up all the mold dust moving out of the old house, at least that's Paul's theory.

3- I am going to be teaching a little homeschool class (for my family and another family), out of the Drawing with Children book.

4- The new house has been such a blessing to us! No one has any more ear aches and sore throats! Praise the Lord! And, I have not had any headaches. Even the "brain fog" seems to have lessened in severity.

I will try to get back on a computer again soon. Sorry I cannot allow comments. But, I literally don't have the time to moderate comments (when I use a computer somewhere).

Gotta run!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Canning Goals

Reposted 09-26-2011

I was frustrated to discover that Wal-Mart's Great Value brand Dark Red Kidney Beans contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)! What will they add HFCS to next?!

I am no longer a food nazi that refuses to eat anything with sugar or HFCS in it. BUT, I do try to limit my family's intake!

One of my new goals for canning is that I will pre-soak/cook beans and can them. This would take up a lot of space, but it would be great for convenience! I am thinking that soaking a HUGE pot of just one bean variety would be enough to get me started. I don't want to become overwhelmed, trying to take on too much at once (who, me?). I think this plan of action sounds feasible. I got the idea of canning beans from Kim at Life in a Shoe.

I want to can my home-made re-fried beans, which I am currently freezing.

I want to can my own applesauce rather than freezing it.

I want to can my own pie filling.

These are just a few of my canning goals.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nelson's Birthday

This post was scheduled to publish while we are without internet access. For that reason we cannot allow comments.

Nelson is 7 today!

He is fun-loving!
He is super strong!
He loves his siblings (most of the time)!
He helps in the hay field!
He takes out my garbage and compost!

We are eager to watch him grow into the young man that God would have him to be! He is as strong and energetic as three men! So, we hope to shape him (by the grace of God) into a man that is as hard-working as three men!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens - A Review

This post was scheduled to publish while we are without internet access. For that reason we cannot allow comments.

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow, could be compared to an encyclopedia for raising chickens.

One disclaimer before I begin: This book mentions evolution on every other page! It really irritated me! If you want your children to read this book (as mine have begged to do), prepare them for what they will find.

While old-timers say that chickens are the easiest creature to care for, I still wanted to read more about it. I wanted to know more about when they start laying, why they stop laying periodically, which birds are most aggressive (so I can avoid them), which birds are friendliest to children, etc. Some people I know in real life mock my desire to learn and read books on seemingly simple topics, but I love to learn! And, the same man who laughs at me for reading a book on chickens scratches his head every summer and fall wondering why he isn't getting any eggs.

Other helpful info in the book:
- who ate my chickens? A very thorough description of who stole your chickens and eggs based on what was left over at the scene of the crime. (yuck!)
- what kind of coop to make
- how to make the coop varmint proof
- what to feed all ages of chickens (and how to mix your own)
- how to butcher
- how to identify, treat, cure, prevent disease

There was so much information in this book that I am short for words to describe it. The book was SO thorough and practical that I plan to check out every book in the Storey's Guide series! I can't wait to read about goats! And, Rebecca wants to check out the book about horses. I think these books would be a great addition to the family library as well! There was a lot of content that I skimmed through for now, but I will want to read later, when my flock is well established.

So - which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Bible teaches us in Genesis 1:20-23 that God created birds on Day Five. They flew in the air from their first moment of creation. Without a doubt they have changed over time. But, in the beginning GOD created birds!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Update on the Children's Spiritual Condition

This post was scheduled to publish while we are without internet access. For that reason we cannot allow comments.

Nelson - Just as in every update, he still says that he is not a Christian. He knows the Gospel in his head, but it is not at all in his heart. And, he has no desire to change. We are praying that God would move on him soon!

Lydia - She has been praying every day for months that God would make her a Christian. She asks God to make her less naughty. And, she asks Him to help her quit sinning in very specific ways. GOD IS MOVING on her heart! She too knows the Gospel, and she is started to ingest it! Praise the Lord!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October Family Pictures

This post was scheduled to be posted while we are without internet access. For that reason we will not be allowing comments.

Here are some pictures that we took on Sunday. I will warn you in advance that Nelson was acting a little bit like Calvin (the naughty cartoon character, not the theologian.) Part of his punishment is that I am posting the pictures anyway. They are not professional looking, but they do look like us. (Except that I can't find my glasses anywhere. So, I look a little different.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is Traditional?

Reposted 09-26-2011

Do you ever get confused by terminology?

Why is modern medicine called "traditional" when it is so new and unproven? And, why are the healing practices that have been proven for a few thousand years called "alternative," when they are truly the traditional standard of operation?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moving Plans

Lord willing, we will be moving on Tuesday, October 12th!

You will not be able to reach me on our current land line after that date. 
And, we do not yet have plans for reconnecting internet at our new home. 

I'll keep y'all posted!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

House Pics

I am posting these pictures mainly for my family. They want to know that we have found something better than what we are in now. I am certain these will pass inspection.

 Living Room, looking into the front yard.
 Dining Area and Kitchen.
 Funny little boy - dining area.
 Looking down the hallway.
 Girls Room.
 Boys' Room.
Our Room.

Back Deck.

I also wanted to tell you all that we met our home schooling neighbors tonight! The daughter (age 14), told me right away that they had been praying for homeschooling neighbors! And, we met the dad of that family. He and Paul talked for a while. There family has chickens, turkeys, and many aspirations to raise more animals. I think we will get along well!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The house

A little bit about our new house (pics to come later):

We are moving into the one I told you about the other day, in the post This May Be the One. It has three bedrooms and a "bonus room" in the basement. The boys and girls will finally have separate rooms!!! We will store our homeschool stuff in the basement, but likely do school around the dining room table. We will have a dining room! We can put a leaf in our table and actually fit around it!

There is an acre and a half to two acres. One former tenant had a goat pen. We also have a large garden plot. The landlord has given us permission to put up a fence (6 foot stakes and wire), to keep the dog and children contained. We have two neighboring houses - one of which is a homeschooling family. (We haven't met them yet. They might be weirdos. What's that? I'm a weirdo? Well then, we ought to get along just fine.) We hope to get chickens in the Spring. The house is mold free and in a safe location. And, best as I can tell, there are no snakes in the walls. The house has central heat (and air conditioning, should we want to turn it on)! And the house even has insulation! Two last words on this topic - vaulted. ceilings.

My kids are VERY happy! Rebecca was praying specifically that we would get this house. The girls danced and jumped around last night out of joy over having their own room.

Things we heard the kids saying last night, that made it sound like we just arrived in the big city off of the turnip truck.

"Wow! I'm gonna have a closet!"
"OH, we are going to have a closet for coats with hangers instead of hooks!"
"I will be able to change clothes in my own room!"

We are all very excited!

Monday, October 4, 2010


(Reposted 5-8-2013: This is a fond memory. I do not remember why it had been reverted to a draft???)

It's official! 

We are moving to Tiger Town. 

We will be moving very soon!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Camera on a Balloon

Would you think to send a video camera to space attached to a weather balloon? No? Me neither.

But someone has done it! Watch the video here at The Homeschool Freebie of the Day website.

Rural Beauty: September

My husband learned to be a mechanic by tinkering around with the family automobiles. The two cars shown here are just two of the classics that Paul grew up working on and driving. The one in front is a Pontiac Star Chief. The car in the background is some kind of Mercury (I think...). I will force my husband to leave a comment, through my complete ignorance on the topic. (Mwahahahaha) Paul will have to tell you the years as well. Sorry. And, do you see the 1960-something grain truck in the background?

Paul's second love  - tractors. We use these antiques for actual work! Last night we used the hay baler one last time! The hay is finished for the year!!!

Below is a picture of the corn being harvested in Amish country. Paul and I are complete romantics when we think about doing things "the old way." We just look at these shocks and sigh. Beautiful!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Candor: Parenting

One of the reasons that I am so sincere on the blog is that I want to help younger ladies coming along after me - my daughters included. (Rebecca is my number one fan, she reads every post over and over again!) When Paul and I first married we thought we were the only newlyweds who had arguments and wanted to pull our hair out. And, when I first had Rebecca, I thought I was the only mommy in the world who wanted to run away just about daily. (I might be exaggerating  a little... my brain was so foggy back then from all her crying spells and lack of sleep).

There is a need among Christians for authenticity and sharing of struggles. Maybe the blog is not the best place for it, but it seems to be my best outlet at present. I am not saying that we should all get together and whine about our problems - far from it. But, how can older moms encourage me if they do not know my true struggles? And, how can I encourage younger moms, unless I am willing to admit some of my weakness and assume that they are facing some similar thoughts/feelings?

My candor today is on the topic of parenting many little wee ones. (I will be using a lot of sarcasm and tongue in cheek honesty.) I thought having two children under age two was hard. I thought having three children age three and under was very difficult. I thought having four children five and under was a nightmare. And, when we got to the point that we had five children under the age of seven - well, let's just say I thought I needed my head examined. Now, my oldest is 8, and the baby is 9 months old.

I had no trouble keeping Rebecca alive and well. She was under constant adult supervision. And, adding Nelson to the family was not too much trouble. Rebecca was a good little helper. She did not try to kill her brother. BUT, add Lydia to the mix and you have trouble! I am still not sure how we kept her alive with Nelson always trying to "help" feed her and care for her. I would have to hold my pee till Nelson's nap time just to keep poor Lydia alive. I think Nelson meant well. He was more likely to snuggle her to death than anything else.Then, we had Joshua. By this point the older two were old enough to be playing with crayons, but not always putting them away. I often reflect on what a miracle it is that Joshua did not choke on some broken crayon! Now, we have Baby Josiah. And, I mean to tell you that it is HARD work being a momma to a tribe of little people.

I have five little people making messes: spilling cups at EVERY meal, tearing up paper and crayons every time I leave the room, trying to help cook, leaving out sewing scraps, etc. Five mess makers... and only one competent mess cleaner. Nelson walks by messes and it does not phase him a bit. He can walk over a whole box of crayons dumped out, with Josiah putting one in his mouth and it does not occur to him that this is a problem. Rebecca and Lydia are a little more motherly. At least they take that one crayon out of baby's mouth... even if they do leave him sitting in a pile of 23 other broken crayons...

I just keep thinking that this mothering thing is based on a curve. Having one baby was easy enough to keep alive and well (in retrospect). And, surely when the oldest get a little older it will be easier to keep the littlest ones alive - I hope! But, right now, I am exhausted. I don't wish the time away. I don't want to fast forward. Don't scold me about how fast the time goes. All I really want is a little more sleep! Gone are the days that you can nap two hours when the one or two babies napped.

What I really want is a baby sitter, so that I can nap a pat on the back that my children have all survived infancy with older siblings always trying to kill them.

In all honesty, without the sarcasm - I know that each of my children is a blessing, a gift. I am not complaining about having so many children. I love them and I want them. But, I will admit that I have some hard days... and some hard nights! I never have enough hours in the day. I never have enough patience. I never have enough sleep. But, by the Grace of God, we will all look back and remember the joys of these years rather than the crayons on the floor!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday - Family Visit

My parents and my aunt and uncle came to visit this past Sunday! My parents come monthly from IL. But, my uncle and aunt live in FL, and I had not seen them for four years!

This tall gentleman is my uncle! He is at least 6'5". 
One of the few people I know that makes me feel short. 
Did you notice those apples in the background? 
Yeah... I still haven't finished those...
This is my aunt. 
I have always thought of her as being really glamorous.
This is my mother and Baby Josiah (9 months old).
Below is four of the children saying goodbye. 
It was such a short visit, but they had to head back home to Florida.
Grandpa Bill is resting with Joshua and Lydia.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Painting is Finished

We finished the school room today. 
We ended up using paint on it after all, because the Sharpie showed through several layers of primer... and the first layer of paint.
I let the children help apply the primer. As I told them, "Any mother would have to be crazy to let a 6 year old and 8 year old help paint." Then I handed the roller over to them :0)
The idea is that they will learn that actions have consequences. Someone writes on the walls with permanent markers, someone has to paint the walls.

I am really pleased with how this turned out. The color is very cool and calming. I have a new favorite, Wal-Mart's Color Place "White Springs." It might even make the carpet look a little less ugly... maybe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two Brief Homesteading Book Reviews

If you want a book that lives up to it's name, this is it - The Practical Homestead: The backyard handbook for growing food, raising animals, & nurturing your land, by Paul Heiney. The title says it all!

I am amazed at how each of the homesteading books I am reading is different from the rest. This book, as you might expect, has some very practical considerations.
- "homefarm" size (in acres)
- uses and difficulties of various animals
- uses and difficulties of tractors (or draft animals)
- how to make a useful hedge row
- diagrams, illustrations, and glossy photos
- much, much, much more!!!

Another terrific book is The Self-Reliant Homestead, by Charles A. Sanders.
This book was also very practical. Both of these books covered a variety of topics. And, while some topics overlapped, the material mentioned did not. This book has a lot of technical information that I did not understand so well, but my husband would be fascinated by. This book contains ideas for every aspect of homesteading: from choosing and buying land, to planting a garden, to raising livestock, to how to can your veggies, and how to make your own bread.
This is a VERY brief review of a very thorough and helpful book.

I recommend that you get both of these books from the library, as they will help you in whatever season of life you are in... from an apartment (daydreaming of the future) to seasoned homesteader. Something for everyone!

Only one disclaimer. Both books use the word "hell" one time (that I caught). And, the book by Sanders speaks about drinking alcohol and jests one time about divorce. Other than these troubles, the books were very good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rebecca Writes: Washinghton Park

(Mommy wrote: Some of Becca's misspellings are too cute! I will "translate" for the rest of you.)

We went to the Washinghton Park, It is in ilenoy (Illinois).   
mom took the picture of the folawer (flower). I took the picture of the ocean of grass and bell tower through the trees. I think that picture 3 is funny.       

Me and Nelson are budys (buddies)

Look What I'm Doing Today

Look what project I took on today! My spackling skills are improving!
I am priming to cover over some pen marks (and such) that not even Magic Eraser can clean up.

As Christians, we believe that we should leave a rental unit in as good a condition as we found it or better. We try anyway. In the case of this house, we will be leaving it better than when we came.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Children - Sept 2010

When a Global Missionary Comes Home

My blog friends Ryan and Sandra are leaving their mission in Ecuador to come back home. They need help getting grounded here in the States. Please go read this post, and consider giving to their need. And, whether you give or not, please pray for them! I imagine that they feel a bit like they are caught in a tornado.

Thank you for the call to missions that you gave Ryan and Sandra. Thank you that you enabled them to get this far in their journey and that they were able to learn Spanish so fluently! We know that you will use these acquired skills in their future ministry. Please provide the funding they need to get back "home" and start over in the States. Thank you, in advance, for providing all of their needs according to Your Riches in Glory! And, I ask that during these coming tumultuous months that You would grant The Peace that passes understanding to their hearts and that you will guard their minds from despair and doubt. Thank you for all you are, and for all you have done for Ryan and Sandra already.
I ask this all in the name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Family Photo - Sept 2010

Fun with Photos

One of these pictures was taken in summer of 2008. One was taken in summer of 2010. One baby is Joshua. One baby is Josiah. Which one is which? (My cousins who were at each event cannot vote, that would be cheating!)