Thursday, May 21, 2009

On vacation

No posts for awhile, folks! I'll be back in June. In the meantime:

try some amazing recipes with a side of brand new baby at Delish,

kiss those babies and enjoy Dy's special humor and sweet family anecdotes at Classic Adventures,

and leave comments bugging Elena to post more often. :)

Stealing my joy

I think Satan enjoyed reading my last post. He’s been whispering a lot of lies in my ear lately and he must have appreciated seeing their results.

Satan would have me believe that the work I do is drudgery, unimportant, beneath me, worthless. He would have me think that I am ill-used and unappreciated.

He overstepped himself, though, and I finally caught it. You know what? It is utterly unreasonable to feel ill-used because I am making dinner while my husband takes care of the kids. (I know, you’re probably thinking – it took THAT to make her recognize the lies? I know. Sometimes I’m really slow.)

Jesus never said life would be easy. I will have difficult days. But I can still call the lies what they are: LIES, and refuse to let Satan decide how I’m going to feel about my life.

Time alone and time away is a gift, and I need to recognize and appreciate it as such. It is a very good gift, and one that I would like to receive frequently, but like my friend Jessica reminded me, you can’t rely on gifts!

So I am repenting. I am asking Jesus to help me reclaim joy. And peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Parenting requires ALL of those. All the time.) And since the Holy Spirit lives in me, I believe that by His grace I can work toward this new perspective.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Grumpy

I've been grumpy and overwhelmed and tired and irritable and GRUMPY lately. I keep thinking "if I could just have a couple of days off..." Of course, I'm grumpy enough at the moment to follow that up with the thought: "but then I'd have to come back and nothing will have changed..."

Like I said, grumpy.

I think that some of it is frustration and sadness over the state of our church, and worry worry worry about what we (my husband and I) will do about it.

Some of it is the fact that Josiah is teething, I think (?) and nurses better at night than during the day. Which means I'm frustrated during the day trying to get a screaming angry baby to nurse even though he doesn't seem to want to, and frustrated at night trying to get some sleep with a child who'd like to nurse three times in four hours.

And I'm just a smidge afraid that I'm pregnant. Not that there is any good reason why I should be, just that I've never NOT been pregnant for this long between children before, and I have just enough possible symptoms (that could also simply be due to the not sleeping happening around here) to wreak havoc with my head.

Also, the book that I'm trying to read? That stupid author keeps killing my favorite characters. How much worse can it get? ;)

Underneath all of that is the fact of my three children, who I love so very much and who I often wish would just. be. quiet. Even quiet time and bedtime aren't particularly quiet right now because we're allowing the boys to get up to use the potty (Thomas is just starting training, mostly on his own initiative) which means that I have to get up and help them, and it is a ten minute production every time.

Two days ago the chaos of screaming baby, crying toddler, and angry preschooler reduced me to tears in the middle of floor. Which didn't help, of course.

Today I'm just kind of sick of it all. Even things I usually like to do seem dull and gray and unappealing.

I know, somewhere in my head, that this IS all in my head. And that it will get better. But I'm having a very hard time believing it with the rest of me - which is the part that has to keep changing diapers and coloring pictures and doing laundry and reading stories. So I think I need some encouragement and some ideas to pull myself our of this slough of despond. Comments, please?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Copycat

I'm not sure exactly why they wanted to do this particular pose, but this picture is a good example of the copying that goes on in our house right now. Thomas wants to BE his big brother. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rosetta Stone Latin giveaway

Gabe and I have often tossed around the idea of teaching our kids Latin. Only we don't know Latin. I've heard great things about Rosetta Stone for language learning, though, so I'm really excited about this giveaway!

Here is the information:

Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language and has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — and you can WIN the *all new* version 3 Rosetta Stone Homeschool LATIN program… FOR FREE! This is the first year you can get Latin in the brand new Version III update.

This is a $259 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!)
This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever! Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress- I love that!), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this most excellent Latin program copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR link to the contest from your facebook page and/OR email the information to your homeschool support group – Then go to the original page http://Jeneralities.com and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post. And good luck!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Free chocolate

Well, the chance for it anyway! Mars chocolate is running a promotion called the Real Chocolate Relief Act. Every Friday (through 9/25/09) they are giving out 250,000 coupons for your choice of one single-sized package one of their brands of chocolate. (Participating candies are M&M'S, MILKY WAY, SNICKERS, 3 MUSKETEERS, TWIX and DOVE.) All you have to do is sign up!

Science experiment

Jonathan and I have been reading a book this past week called Gus and Grandpa and Show-and-Tell by Claudia Mills. I think the Gus and Grandpa books are quite good, and this one was no exception. One of the show-and-tell projects mentioned was a science experiment: creating a gas out of vinegar and baking soda and blowing up a balloon. Jonathan was fascinated and I realized that I had those very simple ingredients on hand and could do it with him!









It didn't exactly blow up the balloon, but it filled up with enough gas to make it stand up straight and feel firm when squeezed. The boys thought it was extremely awesome, although they weren't all that interested in the science of gases! Well, that will come when they're older. For now, I'm glad we can do "science projects" with such joyous reactions!

To re-create the experiment, you'll need:
a balloon
a narrow-neck bottle
1 t. baking soda
2 T. vinegar

Put the soda inside the bottle. Add the vinegar and cover the bottle top with the balloon as quickly as you can.

Be advised that if you try using extra soda and vinegar in an attempt to get more gas, you will probably end up with foaming bubbles all over your table and hands. Not that I would know from experience or anything, of course.

Saying "thank you"

It was high time to write thank you notes for Jonathan's birthday gifts, and the boys wanted to do it themselves. So we busted out the watercolors (Thomas for the very first time!) and went to town. They had a great time and so did I; it was such fun to see their creativity. This one (see the pointing finger below) was entirely Jonathan's idea. He asked what letter made the sound "th", and when I explained, he promptly started painting "TH"!



Thomas wanted to use lots of different colors, and was surprisingly careful about not mixing them on his brush.



The boys stuffed, sealed, and stamped their own letters.





Ready for the postman!



Family, watch your mailboxes. :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Free strawberries at Vons!



Vons currently has a coupon available for FREE strawberries when you purchase $10 in produce. The link takes you to the main Vons coupon page - you may have to click through a few pages to find it. Remember that you can print it twice! It doesn't expire until May 31st.

(Photo credit: Pinch My Salt)

Summer bedtimes

Remember summer bedtimes when you were a kid? Going to bed when it was still entirely light outside, and lying there wondering what you were missing and wishing you were older?

I remember. It is sort of strange to now find myself in the position of "grown up", making my own child go to bed when he wants so badly to stay out.

This evening's comment made me laugh, though.
"Daddy, I want to be a grown-up and stay up late. I’m so older, I’m so bigger than Thomas, I’m almost YOUR age!"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gardening

We've been doing a lot of gardening around here the past few weeks. The biggest project was getting this bed (see below) ready for planting again. Last summer (while about 8 months pregnant) I conceded the battle with the crabgrass. So this spring the entire bed needed to be pulled, dug up, and re-started. I saved some of the strawberry plants in the hopes that they would re-root, but I'm not sure. In any case, they weren't going to produce well while choked with crabgrass, so it was a known loss vs. a possible loss!

In any case, here is the bed all ready for planting again.



My two gardening helpers:



All planted! We laid newspapers down and planted everything through slits, in the hope that the crabgrass would be stymied for awhile. :)



My other gardening helper. Doesn't he have the best smile?



Marigolds:



Green beans:



Tomatoes:



Sweet William:



And my lovely roses which, thankfully, are now aphid free! (That was the other battle I'd been fighting, and I think I've won that one!)





I love the results of gardening. And I usually like the work, too. But boy howdy, does it ever take a long time to do it right! Hopefully, now that we've done the hard getting ready work, it will be easier to sustain it all summer.

Because he's just so cute. :)

video