Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good Things

Good things.

  • And, in light of yesterday's announcement of my plan for a no-fiction September, I suddenly feel compelled to read the entire Mitford series tomorrow.

  • N2 is 7 months today and pulling up on EVERYTHING!

  • Heard from N1 today as we were heading home from grocery shopping:

    "My wuves Baa! Me takes Baa home wif me!" (She's never before said that she loves anything ... even though I tell her that I love her and ask her if she loves Mama, apparently Baa gets her first love). :)

    So later, upon arrived home, after she has expressed her "wuv" for her "cups" (a princess tea set that she plays with all. the. time.), I ask her:

    Me: Do you love Mama? Can you say, "I love you Mama."
    N1: No.
    Me: You can't say, "Love you, Mama?"
    N1: No. Not right now.

    What a stinker.
  • Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    30 Days

    I'm going to try something that's pretty radical for me. :) I've decided that for the month of September, I'm going to eliminate fiction from my "diet." I've been needing to do this for some time ... and I have stacks of great non-fiction just sitting hear looking longingly at me, but I never slow down long enough to pick it up. One reason, for me, reading non-fiction is a lot more work. I have to concentrate more to follow along, sometimes I need to stop and meditate on what I read, and it just can't tear through it as fast as a fiction book. I'm starting to see those for what they really are - excuses. My mind needs stretching and pruning and I think going cold-turkey on fiction for a few days is going to help.

    I'm also going to have a focus on my reading for September. My plan, to the best of my ability, is to spend the next 30 days reading and focusing on marriage. That doesn't mean I can't read another non-fiction book, but again, I'm staying away from fiction. I will also be using this guide: Praying for Your Husband from Revive Our Hearts.

    I would like to say that I'm going to post daily about where I am with this challenge to myself, but that may be taking it a bit too far. LOL I really enjoyed the 21 Day Challenge that I did with Rhonda Farrar and, though this isn't going to be a scrapbook type challenge, I anticipate enjoying it just as much, if not more, if I truly apply myself. :)

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    It's not that I haven't thought about writing lately. I have. But when I've had the time to sit, either the words haven't come, or they've been too jumbled to adequately process and type out. A question of the day that was talked over at Women at Home has been on my mind for much of this week. The question was about "drop-ins" and if you like them. Do you mind if the unexpected visitor shows up at your door, would you prefer that they call first ... or not come by at all.

    The responses were varied. There were several that loved having an open door policy and having visitors stop over for coffee, impromptu Bible study, and whatever else may come along. Then, for some, a drop-in was most dreaded. It might be okay if they called first, and also who the "dropee" is ...

    This touches on something that I've been pondering and struggling with for several months now. Hospitality. Being vulnerable. More open. Living an extravagant life and not one hidden under a bushel. And, I think I've about come to the conclusion that the blogging world might contribute a little bit to my mentality of being closed off and less than I could be, or God would have me to be.

    For example, I'm not an extrovert. I do well in a group when I have my "game face" on, but don't expect me to be up-close and personal with you when there's a group. I get easily overwhelmed in large social situations. It's easier for me to say, let's just stay home as a family, instead of loading us all up and going to a friend's party, or out-to-dinner. Just stay home where I don't have to make the effort to get involved in another's life.

    That last line is the key. It's easy in my little blog world to interact with tons of people daily without being involved in one ounce of their lives. I can share with So-&-So in her daily life on my terms ... I can catch up whatever time of the day I want. I don't have to interact at all if I don't want, I can just read and move along. I'm not inconvienced by her ... if I disagree, I can just delete her from my reading list and move along.

    That doesn't seem to me to be the picture of real fellowship that Christ gave me in the Bible. We're supposed to be actively involved in the others' lives: encourage, rebuking, discipling, mentoring, showing patience, hospitality, love and the list could go on and on. I'm not saying at ALL that those things can't happen in an online relationship, but when I have been given amazing real-life relationships that I isolate and hybernate from because I'm too afraid or tired, or just plain unwilling, to put forth the effort, that's where I see a problem. Last night, I got to have dinner with the woman who I consider my best friend and I was sharing some of these thoughts with her. This is a woman that if I called her day or night, for whatever the reason, whatever the time, and said I need you, she would come. When I'm not cultivating that relationship because of laziness ... rather I'm spending my time peering into the lives of others without any cost to self, I'm missing out on a treasure that God has handed me.

    Like I said these thoughts are still pretty muddled and in process of being sorted. This is just something that I'm feeling convicted about and am working through.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Random Thoughts from Today

  • It's takes either an electrical engineering degree or something related to astrophysics to program a universal remote control. That and holding your mouth just the right way as you press the buttons.

  • N1: "Nah-ah-lie is so silly."

  • This is when you should be worried:

    Step 1: Loud crash.
    Step 2: Baby cries.
    Step 3: N1 yelling, "Mama, Nah-ah-lie is okay! Nah-ah-lie, you okay? Okay? You okay!!" :)
  • My new career...

    Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, "human" or "person") consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). It is holistic in two senses: it is concerned with all humans at all times and with all dimensions of humanity. Anthropology is traditionally distinguished from other disciplines by its emphasis on cultural relativity, in-depth examination of context, and cross-cultural comparisons. Anthropology is methodologically diverse using both qualitative methods and quantitative methods. Case studies have historically played a key role in anthropology, for instance in producing ethnographies based on field research.

    You scored as Anthropology. You should be an Anthropology major!

    Anthropology

    83%

    English

    75%

    Sociology

    75%

    Mathematics

    67%

    Art

    67%

    Dance

    58%

    Journalism

    58%

    Theater

    50%

    Philosophy

    50%

    Psychology

    42%

    Linguistics

    33%

    Biology

    33%

    Engineering

    25%

    Chemistry

    8%

    What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
    created with QuizFarm.com


    Credit goes to Kristen for the quiz. :)

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    My First Homeschooling Meme!!

    My first homeschooling questionaire courtesy of BlestwithSons!

    1) ONE HOMESCHOOLING BOOK YOU HAVE ENJOYED

    I don't have many, but I'm enjoying The Well Trained Mind. I'm not finished with it yet ... I'm reading in small doses for absorbtion purposes. I'd like to read some on Charlotte Mason if anyone has any recommendations...

    2) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULDN’T BE WITHOUT

    Ummm ... I haven't been doing this long enough to have something! :)

    3) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH YOU HAD NEVER BOUGHT

    Ditto.

    4) ONE RESOURCE YOU ENJOYED LAST YEAR

    We are enjoying Imagination Library ... one benefit of living in Tennessee. Dolly Parton and the Tennessee state government have a program that you can enroll your child in anytime between birth and age five. Then, they will send you a free book every 6-8 weeks. No postage costs, book costs, nothing! We love getting our free book in the mail and checking it out as soon as we get it in the door!

    5) ONE RESOURCE YOU WILL BE USING THIS YEAR

    I'm going to be working through Before Five in a Row ... it will be done very loosely as I plan on getting two years out of it hopefully before having to decide on kindergarten curriculum! I'm sure there are some who are wondering why I'm bothering with preschool curriculum. One, because I need the structure. I am trained and certified as a teacher for junior high and high school, but preschool stuff is outside my comfort zone. I need all the help I can get. :) And, two, I really want to work on reading with N1 this year. She is just now to where she will sit and let me read a whole book to her and I want to jump on that and reinforce books to her as much as possible.

    6) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUY

    I would love some manipulatives from Melissa and Doug ... especially pattern blocks like these. I also think this doll house would be very cool.

    7) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH EXISTED

    I don't think I've been doing this long enough to know what I'm missing. :)

    8) ONE HOMESCHOOLING CATALOGUE YOU ENJOY READING

    I actually don't have any yet! I just got a Sonlight catalog in the mail and I'm eager to flip through it when I get a chance.

    9) ONE HOMESCHOOLING WEBSITE YOU USE REGULARLY

    I've enjoyed the Simply Charlotte Mason website, and Letter of the Week. I also love Preschoolers and Peace.

    10) TAG FIVE OTHER HOMESCHOOLERS

    Misty
    Dawn
    Charity
    Cheri
    Nancy

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Lunch Routine

    Choosing Home has started having a weekly theme to their blog posts which I am enjoying. This week is all about lunch. I started to think about our lunchtime routine around here, and, instead of coming up with all sorts of creative things that we eat for our lunch, I've thought about how I'm attempting to use lunch as a training time for our almost 3 year old. I suffered nausea through almost all of my recent pregnancy, and it wasn't unusual for lunch to be a fairly loose event. I would be laying on the couch trying NOT to lose my lunch while my 2 year old sat next to me or pulled up to the coffee table in a small chair eating and watching a video. It was for a season and it helped me get by for a few months, but then it was time to move on.

    After our 2nd daughter arrived I was ready to move back to eating a more structured meal at the table. Lunch is when I have uninterrupted time with N1. The baby consistently seemed to want to nurse at the same time as I was trying to feed N1 breakfast, but is generally down for a nap by lunchtime if our schedule is on track. That's where I've been able to take the time to brush up on our table manners - eating a little of what's on our plate, practicing drinking out of a real cup (or a coffee cup which is heavy and seems a little harder to tip over), staying at the table even when she done with her meal and others may not be, and saying things like "please be excuse?" :) If we're really on the ball, I'll read to her while she eats and she can look at the pictures.

    I definitely won't win any awards for creative lunches ... she doesn't eat a great variety of food and I'm usually pressed to keep some weight on her, but I'm challenged to use that time at the table as a learning time for her (and me). I know the little we've worked will go along way as I start doing some small preschool activites for her this fall and I don't have to start with a battle about how we conduct ourself during table time.

    One of those bullet type posts of which I am exceedingly fond...

  • Life has been plugging along here in our household.
  • N1 has started dropping her naps every-other-day or so. So far it's going pretty good. Sometimes we have mini-meltdowns when I'm trying to get dinner ready, but we're usually able to press through. She is going to bed at 8 p.m. those days that she doesn't have a nap which has been pretty great, let me tell you. I've actually had a few hours in the evening to do something!
  • N2 is sitting up now and thinks she is hot stuff. I've also had to start supplementing her nursing because she is just not getting enough milk from me. Right now, I'm trying to alternate feedings back and forth between nursing and a bottle. Two nights ago it was so apparent that she wasn't full when I was trying to put her in bed. :( It was breaking my heart to hear her fuss like that.
  • I've been struggling lately. It's not something that I feel like I can go into detail with here, but it's been hard and I feel like it is sucking the life out of me because I'm spending so much time thinking and dwelling on it, and crying out to God, too.
  • Next week, I have big plans for us around here. :) I'm going to start doing a little homeschool preschool with N1 shortly and we're going to start working on having a bit more schedule to our day. She plays so well by herself that it's easy for me to just let her do her own thing while I get housework and such done. I'm going to be using the Before Five in a Row materials ... very loosely I might add. I'm planning on making this last a couple of years, or until I think she's ready for kindergarten materials.
  • I'm also going to start working with N1 on a few little chores. She's very ready, I just need to be proactive in having her "help" me dust, put her dirty clothes away, and such. Yesterday I spent thirty minutes or so moving all our plates and bowls down to a low cabinet so that we can start having her help me set the table.
  • I've done several invitation/stationary jobs in the last several weeks, for which I have been very thankful. One that I will show here is a cute little birthday party invitation for a one year old. (I've smudged out the pertinent info so that's why parts of it are a little fuzzy). I had a lot of fun making these - I don't do too many birthday invitations. In the works are a couple baby announcements ... one that is almost done. Just waiting on the parents' final approval on it and then I'll post it. Another is still in the designing stage; the baby isn't due until October, so I'm loving having the extra time to play around with it.
  • With my invitation money, I'm saving up to get a Moby Wrap for N2, in chocolate! I've been using the Snugli that we've had since N1 was born, and she has about maxed it out with her wonderful chubbiness. I've seen a moby up close and even watched someone load N2 into it and it looks perfect for me ... the key is that her weight will be evenly distributed across my back. I've got a sling (2 actually since I have my sister's) and I just cannot wear them. Our budget is pretty tight right now so that's why I'm hoping I can eventually get one with just my invitation money ... I can't justify enough to ask Travis if I can spend the money. :)
  • I'm thinking of taking a fiction fast. It's something I really need to do ... my brain needs more stimulation and I have some great non-fiction sitting here that I really want to dive into.
  • Have you stopped by One Weigh or Another lately? This weight-loss blog that I'm part of rocketh. Highlights for you to check out are Blestwithson's journey through Nehemiah, our Friday recipe days, and a picture of the overalls that I WILL be fitting back into. Oh yes, they will be mine once again. :)
  • I've discovered a few new reads in the last several months that have so encouraged and blessed me. Katharine at Raising Five, Joy of Joy in the Journey, BooMama who consistenly makes me laugh out loud when reading, Jenn at Reflecting Him ... all new favorites. Blogging has been such a blessing to me ... honestly more that I thought it would be. While these women may not even really know if I even read their words, there are so many times I feel mentored and encouraged when I spend just a few moments at their sites. So, thank you for sharing your lives with me.
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Works for Me Wednesday, 8/16

    My daughter LOVES puzzles so we have several of them. About a year ago she moved past the wooden puzzles to the 24-piece cardboard ones. I knew there would be a little learning time needed at the beginning about not dumping ALL of the puzzles out at the same time, but just working on one at a time, so I could see my self sorting through several puzzles trying to figure out which piece went with which box. My Dad gave me this idea and it helped immensely!

    When you first open a new puzzle, write a number on the box lid. Then write the same number of the back of each puzzle piece that is in the box. This makes cleanup go so much faster if I know all the two's go in the two box, instead of trying to sort pieces from Elmo's swimming puzzle and Elmo's bug puzzle apart when they both are sort-of the same color. This has saved me endless headaches, and made quick work of cleaning up when we have had a puzzle disaster. It works for me. :)

    For more great tips and tricks, head on over to Shannon's at Rocks in My Dryer!

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    A Diagnosis

    I've suspected it.

    There were signs and symptoms along the way that hinted this might be the case.

    I think this pretty much confirms it.

    I'm an introvert. :-)

    Feels good to just get that out there!

    21 Day Challenge, Days 5-9

    Click to enlarge in Flickr.

    21 Day Challenge, Day 5 21 Day Challenge, Day 6 21 Day Challenge, Day 7 21 Day Challenge, Day 8 21 Day Challenge, Day 9

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Meltdown Morning

    N1 has reached this new stage where the day is just not fun if she isn't leaving the house with Daddy. Goodbyes in the morning have turned into a torrent of tears, comments like "I go to work!", or "go with Daddy in truuuuuuuuck!" complete with giant tears and a drippy nose.

    Then we stand at the door and I wave at Daddy while holding my crying 2 year old. It's somewhat amusing.

    It does seem like Daddy gets to have all the fun. He gets to leave, in the car, to that great mysterious place called "work." Some mornings I want to jump in the car with him, too, leaving behind the laundry, dishes, and diapers ... they will still be here when I get back, right? Along with the fussy girls, green noses, and "no Mom ... N1 do it!"

    So you know what ... we're going to run away today. Celebrate a day of fun ... just Mama and the girls (and the fact that we have a car again!) :-) When N2 wakes up from her nap, we're going to go here for a few hours this morning (shhhh, N1 doesn't know yet) and then have lunch here with Grandma and Aunt Kathy. The beauty of an annual pass at our zoo - I don't have to feel guilty about going and staying just an hour or two and not killing us to see the whole thing.

    Life is good. Green noses and all. It won't be too long before these little ones will be too busy to jump in the car and hang out with me. We're off to make a day that we'll remember and cherish. What have you done lately to make a memory like that?

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Morning Report

    This has been a crazy weekend around here. Last week (Wed/Thurs) I started feeling pretty achy and sore and, unbeknownst to me, by Friday had a MASSIVE yeast infection. (I don't think I have male readers other than Travis, but just in case I'll leave it at that). I don't think my c-sections hurt this bad. Travis picked me up some medicine on Friday and I've been taking it faithfully all weekend, but haven't seen much pain relief. I've got a call into my Dr. to see what she suggests ... I suspect it will involve me loading the girls and heading to her office which I dread. I'm not in the right frame of mind to haul girls to my OBGYNs today. It just makes me want to cry. :-( Both girls are dealing with summer colds, too. Green noses and all. That's actually pretty good timing, because N2 has her 6 month well baby checkup and so I can have the Dr. check her cold as well. N1 has been prone to ear infections and I don't want N2 to have to suffer with those if we can catch it in time.

    I've added a few new things to my plate in the last couple weeks ... one reason that I've not written here as much other than a few weekly things. I've joined the blogging/weight loss team at One Weigh or Another, led by the feisty BlestwithSons. I've been posting (and mostly commenting) over there ... there's a group of about 20 of us that are keeping each other accountable to lose weight and get in shape. Today was our 2nd weigh in and I'm down a total of 4 pounds in 2 weeks. I'll take that. In conjunction with that, I'm doing the 21 Day Challenge at Rhonna's site. I'm posting my pages on my Flickr and at OWOA, but here's a tidbit of what I've done:

    21 Day Challenge, Day 1 21 Day Challenge, Day 2 21 Day Challenge, Day 3 21 Day Challenge, Day 4

    I've got Day 5 and 6 to catch up on from the weekend ... I've thought about my journaling this weekend and now need to get it out of my head and on paper. I think that will be this morning's project. We're having a video day around here ... Mama's just not up to wrestling playing with the girlies and so we're laying low other than just regular housekeeping/laundry and such.

    A couple other happenings from the weekend ... we are no longer a one car family anymore! The Lord provided us with a great deal on a pick-up truck which is EXACTLY what my husband was wanting. It really hasn't been too bad sharing a car, but I'm so thankful for the new vehicle. There were several things that we had had to cut out of our schedule (trips to the library, playdates) because we didn't have a car every day, and other things took priority when we did have wheels, like Dr. appointments and buying groceries. I've gotten to drive the truck just around the block and it's way different than my van ... it's so much bigger. I know he is going to enjoy this vehicle. There was quite the smile on his face and he climbed in it to head off to work. :-) When I get a chance, I'll post pictures of the truck, and of N2's baby dedication when we had on Sunday at church. It's been a big weekend!

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Everyday Things



    Having missed a few weeks, it's good to do an Everyday Thing. Especially when I'm having one of those "everydays" that's just a bit harder. All us girls are a little under the weather in one way or another, so this is putting my mind towards something I am going to be thankful for. My dogs. Yes, I know I've said they are the bane of my existence before. It's true ... in the summer when they are shedding, I would happily open the front door and just let them run off if I have to vacuum one. more. time. However, they are my faithful friends. My girl-dog Jenny is my constant pal. Wherever I sit, she sits. She is the more quiet of the our two and so gentle with our girls. They can crawl all over her and she never makes any kind of a fuss. Maybe her mothering instinct? :-) Our Sam-dog is my friend. He's the one that I take to the door with me when someone knocks and I'm not expecting company. His size and girth say "protector". N1 does not go outside without Sam-dog to accompany her. However, would he ever harm the girls? Never! Not as tolerant of their company as our girl is, he will get up and walk away if they are bothering him. Now one cannot have two 90 lbs dogs that occasionally like to wrestle without a little frustration, but they are so much a part of our family. Very much an everyday thing.

    My creation

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Thursday Thirteen



    Today's my 4th anniversary so I'm going to list 13 facts about my husband!

    1. He has a degree in classical & jazz guitar.

    2. He loves cool ranch doritos. (I do not).

    3. He has the best work ethic I've ever seen. He truly does his job as if until the Lord.

    4. He's pretty darn cute. Especially when he grows his winter beard/gotee. My personal favorites.

    5. He can be very silly (with the girls).

    6. He is such an example to me in reading my Bible ... just being in the Word daily.

    7. He has been on a beef jerky kick lately.

    8. He shoots straight with me.

    9. He cleans better than I do.

    10. He LOVES to declutter.

    11. He asked me to marry him when we had only been dating for 6 weeks.

    12. He is my defender.

    13. He is my favorite person in the whole world. :-)


    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Works for Me Wednesday, 8/2


    Hosted by Shannon @ Rocks in My Dryer


    Hopefully this tip isn't considered scraping the bottom of the WFMW bucket, but it really does help me out. I'm a planner and organizer by nature ... the more lists, the better. :-) Generally, I use a month-at-a-glance style calendar so I have a good overview of our schedule, and then a daily page that has my specific to-dos for home, kids, and part-time job(s). However, when I get super-duper overwhelmed, say right before I go on a trip or have a big event, I pull out this little form that I made on the computer and it has helped me get organized on those big things.



    There's a column for each day of the week. With a big project, I can break it down into manageable chunks for each day, along with any other appointments (dr., church stuff) that's going on and get an idea of what I'll really be able to accomplish. I've been known to jot down at the bottom of the page what I'm making for dinner each night so that's thought out as well. The back of the page is blank and I use it for making additional lists or jotting notes to myself as I go along. The page is either slipped into my planner binder or just dropped into my purse or pocket so it's ready at a glance for me to skim over as needed. Yes, it gets a little dog-earned, but it keeps it front and center with me and that's what helps!

    Visit Shannon for more great WFMW tips and tricks!

    Shameless plug: I make these in my home printing business if anyone's interested. :-)

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Picture Post

    Just a few pics to show you what we've been up to lately...

    N1 has learned how to work the mouse on the computer!

    My creation

    N2 turned 6 months on Sunday!

    6months

    We had a baby shower/cookout for a couple that used to be on the music team at our church ... this is the crowd that was at our house a few weekends ago! Let's just say that Travis grilled quite a bit of chicken. :-)

    Quite the crowd!

    A little scrapping (you can read the journalling on Flickr):

    An interview with me ...