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Monday, October 27, 2008


Scott's scout troop went camping this week-end. They left Saturday morning and came back Sunday afternoon, so it seems on paper to be not such a big deal.

But it was.

See, this was a "hike in" camping excursion. They had to carry EVERYTHING in on their backs. EVERYTHING. Even a little trowel to dig their "cat hole" (read "potty hole" for those not into extreme camping). The hike in was meant to be about 3 1/2 miles.

But they got lost.

It was really more like 7 1/2 miles.

Then they had to set up camp, cook their own food, dig their cat hole, collapse from exhaustion, and get up in the morning, cook their breakfast and hike 3 1/2 more miles out. Scott LOVED it. He and his friend J camped together, and they make a good team I think. Scott brought his own tent, but they ended up sharing anyway ;-). It was great other than the poor behavior of one of the other scouts, who shall remain nameless because his parents are SO NICE (in this case the apple fell WAY far from the tree).

Anyway, his shoulders are pretty sore from his pack, but we are SO PROUD of him!
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So today after piano I stopped by the post office to mail our homeschool year-end reviews. It seems the first set never got there. Good that I make copies before I mail them, as they are threatening to put me on a one year probation. Like they don't have bigger fish to fry...but anyway, $5 later it's sent again.
So then we dropped by a friend's house to give her her Renaissance Faire tickets and pick up her money. We had a few minutes so we stayed and visited. It seemed like forever since we'd just chatted. We ended up staying longer than I'd planned since the kids were having a good time. But once I talked to my husband, who was just this side of calling out the national guard to find us, we went home.
After dinner, I told Mimi and Scott that they could not go out and enjoy the fire pit and roast marshmallows until they finished their Precept work. That was when Mimi came to me with tears in her eyes to say that her arm hurt and she couldn't write. She told me that while the kids were jumping on the trampoline, her brother collided mid jump with her arm that was extended low on the trampoline (she was doing a "seat-drop"), and it had hurt ever since, but she didn't want to tell me. She is a bit of a, well, hypochondriac, so I didn't know what to do. I took her arm in my hands and felt the bones, and she cried out in pain and burst into tears. So I wrote her answers for her, and then we went out to the fire so I could discuss it with her daddy. We were both at a loss. It wasn't swollen, and she could wiggle her fingers. It did seem a bit bowed to me, but then you have to wonder if you are just seeing what has always been there, but you've never noticed before.
In the end, our deductible is met, and while this might have a separate charge, I felt like kids, with all the growing they still have to do, deserve to have things checked out. SO off to the urgent care center we went.
I LOVE Riverside. There is NEVER anyone there. We walked right in. They were so kind, and really took care of her and put to rest her fears. They took all her vitals and then of course did x-rays. I was shocked, but her arm IS broken. Really broken! Not out of place, scary broken, but she broke one of her two forearm bones (the bottom one....yes, I could google it to see which one that is, but you get the idea). It's cracked 3/4 of the way through, so they put a temporary cast on to hold it in place so she doesn't snap it completely. We have to see an orthopedic doctor tomorrow to get it in a real cast.
SO, pray for my little Mimi. She's a bit wigged-out to learn it's broke. And if you are reading this and are a friend, I may beg you to watch my other kids tomorrow while I take Mimi to see the specialist. I can't set up the appt. until the morning.
And, lest my friend with the trampoline is reading this, I know accidents happen. I'll be talking to my kids about how only one person should be on the trampoline at a time, but hey, some lessons they have to learn by doing.
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Yesterday Mimi proclaimed to the world what she's professed at every vacation Bible school she's been to for the last 3 years...that she is a sinner, she needs a Savior, and she gives her life to Jesus as her Savior and her Lord.
She was in good company-4 others were baptized, including her good friend Mad.

Here's a picture or two...or three :-)
Praying beforehand.

Born again to a new life :-)

Mad and her dad
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Venturing into political commentary...

I've been restrained so far, but there are two blog posts just ping-ponging around in my head that won't let me go, so here's the first.

I know there's debate about what the Bible says regarding homosexuality. Mostly, the debate is by people trying to justify homosexual behavior as not reflecting an inherently sinful lifestyle. It's amazing, isn't it, how scripture taken out of context can be made to say...or seem to say...anything you want.

And here's the thing, I'll even give you the fact that people can be "born that way". Yep. Radical, I know. But if you figure we are ALL born sinners, and homosexuality is a sin, then yes, people who practice it are "born that way". BUT, then so are overeaters, self-abusers, alcoholics, drug addicts, food addicts, abusive personalities....the list goes on and on. We ALL have vices. Sins that are OUR PERSONAL stumbling block. The question is, how do you act on that? Do you say, "I was born that way" and embrace the sin, letting it lead you to death? Or do you embrace your need for a Savior, take His gift of eternal life, and repent from being "born that way" to be transformed into being born again?

Lest you try to justify homosexuality, let me just say this. For me, the answer comes in the first verses of the Bible. In Genesis. During creation, at the end of each day, God said, "It is good." At the end of each day, that is, until He created man. The He said, "It is NOT good that man should be alone." And He created a help meet for him. Eve. Not Steve. When God created the person to perfectly complete Adam, to be his help meet, that was Eve, not Steve. A woman, not another man. And that's why marriage always has been, and should in my state now legally be declared to be, between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. That's how it's been since the beginning of the world. That's how God created it to be. And what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
VOTE YES on Amendment 2.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'd LOVE to know what goes on inside her head....

So my friend over here inspired me to post this after her posts of her daughter's questionable Barbie Couture line, LOL.

My littlest has no interest in fashion, but she does have an active imagination. The other day, we got a nativity set in the mail for us to review. She went right to work testing it out :-).

Anyone notice a few key figures who are conspicuously missing? And I wonder why all the figures have collapsed as if in shock and awe? (Even the pooping Littlest Pet Shop puppy got in on the action.)


I wonder what happened?

Could it be..................?

Oh no, the angels and Joseph apparently have their own agenda. They've absconded with the baby Jesus, stolen the boat from the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, and are heading out of Dodge-or at least Bethlehem.
I particularly like the angel at the helm AND the LazyBoy...just in case they get tired, LOL. I'm not exactly sure where they are headed though...or why the plank is extended.
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Cool, so I had to share

These go with yesterday's pictures. You know a butterfly has a's that little thing that looks kind of like a tongue and is how they harvest nectar. Well, after our butterfly emerged, he did a little experimenting with his proboscis, so I got these pictures...(you'll have to look carefully, that little proboscis is SMALL)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

or, "How to post when you're brain dead and needing to go to bed, LOL".

Last week, Scott saved this chrysalis from the mouth of a lizard.

Today, it emerged as this...

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Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm a sucker...

and you can bump the critter count back up by one.
I should know better than to take a child to a pet store.

Riley BROKE his collar today (don't ask) so he needed a new one. My husband bought one on the way home, but apparently he thought we had Clifford the Big Red Dog instead of Damien the Demon Possessed dog living here, as he bought a size huge and was convinced it would fit. It didn't.

So off I went before dinner to Pet Supermarket. And I took TJ because the other kids wanted to go but they weren't done with their schoolwork for the day so it was a form of discipline for them to take him instead.

I should have known better.

We no sooner walked in than he said, "can we get a new hamster?".

Did anyone NOT see that coming?

And yes, that big crashing noise you could hear all the way from your house was me caving in and saying "yes" (although I did hold him at bay for about 15 minutes).

So now we have a seemingly nice little girl hamster currently going by the name Caramel (guess what color she is?). The one contingency was that we would NOT get one if we couldn't find a nice one. Wouldn't you know the first one I picked up was nice. She wasn't jumpy and she didn't bite. Of course, time will tell, but here's praying we got a nice one.

Just sign me, one crazy and blessed mamma ;-).
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mimi's story

We could not have been more excited to learn we were expecting Mimi. As with Scott, her conception was very much planned.... basal body temp charts, Clomid, and prayer, oh, my!
And as with Scott, it took 3 months of Clomid for it to work. For reasons now long forgotten to me, my husband was not around (or available by phone) when I took the pregnancy test. It was a Friday, and I had a Sweet Adeline retreat that week-end. It seemed wrong, as my husband was walking in the door and I was walking out, to say, "oh, by the way, we're expecting" so I decided to wait to tell him. But then the question is, when is the RIGHT time? It was near Valentines Day, so I waited until then to tell him. It felt very strange to know something that big without sharing it with him! I was relieved to finally let the cat out of the bag.
As with Scott's pregnancy, we wait to tell the family until the end of the first trimester. That 13th week fell right around my husband's birthday, and the family got together to celebrate, and I had made Scott a little T-shirt that said, "I'm going to be a big brother" for him to wear in the presence of the Grandparents, so that's how we "announced" it to the family.
I had a great pregnancy, with some aversions to raw meat, but nothing too bad. I had dropped a TON of weight before getting pregnant ( I was a size 8...can you believe that?) and I don't carry big anyway, so I didn't wear maternity clothes until my 7th month.
We did make an exciting trip during this pregnancy...we went to England and Wales on a church exchange program. We stayed with a family who had come over the year before and had a son Scott's age. We hiked and toured and I even went trapezing off the side of a Hobie cat wearing a wet suit-all while 6 months pregnant. It was great fun.
As for emotions in pregnancy, I had all the usual reticence moms have about how having a second child will affect the first one. We loved him SO MUCH, and couldn't imagine how a) we could love another child the same way and b) how he would ever recover from the upheaval we were about to cause in his life by adding a sibling. Of course, like everyone else, we discovered your love multiplies as your children do, and yes, your first child will never be the same after siblings, but hopefully that's for the better, although in our case that's debatable :-).
My due date was the 11th of October. Since Scott had been induced early, we had no idea what to expect in terms of whether I'd be early/late/or on time. Well, the 11th came and went, and no baby. On the18th (my sister's birthday) I had an appointment, but still no baby. That following Monday would be 2 weeks...the point at which they induce no matter what. We decided that, because of my husband working for himself and the hospital being 45 minutes away, we'd schedule an induction for that Thursday the 21st, so that I'd be home for the week-end and he'd be there to help without having to worry about missing client service calls (when you're self-employed, you don't get paid if you don't work). But Mimi had different plans :-).
Tuesday morning I had taken Scott to the park. I was there with friends, and was having totally painless contractions every 5 minutes. I'd had Braxton Hicks throughout, so I just blew them off. When we got home though, I called the midwife (it was probably around 11:45ish) since they had been so regular, and she of course said to come in. I protested that I had just been there the day before, and it was probably nothing. She insisted, but I told her I needed to at least wait for my husband to get home and told her she should just go to lunch and we'd probably get there 1-1:30ish. I can't even remember what we did with Scott, although I am fairly certain that we took him to Mimi's Godmother's house on our way down to the midwife's.
Anyway, as we drove to the midwife's, my contractions spaced out and became irregular, (although they were a bit more painful) and I became utterly convinced going there was ridiculous. But we went anyway. So we get there, and my midwife checked me and said, "Guess how far you are?" I said something along the lines of not wanting to play that game (still convinced this was not the real thing) and she said 6 cm. She told us to head to the hospital. Even the nurse on the way out said she was sure I was NOT in labor because I was laughing and smiling.
I got to the hospital and was 7 cm. They hooked me up to an IV (I have mitral valve prolapse) for my antibiotic, and then the midwife broke my water. Mimi was born 17 minutes later. No, that's not a joke. Glad I totally listened to the midwife and ignored my own inclinations or she would have been born by the side of the road.
We knew Mimi was a girl because Scott even then was having language/learning problems and we thought knowing the gender and calling her a "she" would be more concrete for him than an "it". When we chose Scott's name, we had chosen a girl's name also. We had decided early on that we wanted to use that name for this little girl, so Mimi she was. She is named for my great-grandmother, whose middle name was Mimi's first name. And we just liked Lauren with that.
Mimi has always had a special spirit about her. God has big plans for her. She is amazingly easy...easy as a daughter, easy as a friend, and easy for other people to have around and enjoy. She does however talk incessantly :-). Her physical resemblance to me is negligible. I seem to be the incubator more than the genetically strong one ;-). She gets her petite build from her great and great-great grandmothers. She gets her curly hair from a rogue curly hair gene. Four pregnancies later I am enjoying that gene more, but my sister and my cousin and my uncle were the ones most blessed that way.
Mimi's spirit though, that's where we are more alike. She's an amazing arguer. It was always my "gift" too. Hopefully she'll learn when to make a point and when to let it go WAY earlier than I have. She would make a great lawyer someday, but I hope instead she puts her oratory skills to good use as a mom, I know I use them everyday :-).
Happy Birthday Mimi!
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Happy Birthday Mimi!

I'll try to get her story posted later, but for now I just wanted to say, "Happy 9th Birthday Mimi!"
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Saturday, October 18, 2008


Speaking of magazine she cute or WHAT?
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Friday, October 17, 2008

That's's not fun anymore :-)

So then, just to try to cram everything fall into one day, we went to the pumpkin patch. Actually, it WAS fun. For the first time in years, I got good pictures of the kids individually, and it only took about 50 pictures to get ONE good one of all 4, LOL.
The Scarecrow was tilted, so he matched it...cute!

Could be a cute magazine cover...too bad I don't know someone who owns one...
oh, wait...

PoorTJ, his photos are either stellar or "ok", and this one is okay. It was tough lighting for a fair skinned blondie. 1 PM is NOT prime outdoor photo time.

Guess which one didn't want to smile for the camera?

Don't look too close. Scott's not actually looking at the camera. But otherwise, it's serviceable.
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More fall fun

We went from the library to look at scarecrows in the downtown area. This year's theme was "A tribute to America's Workers...past, present, and future." I'd love to show you a GREAT picture, but the more kids you put in a photo, the more likely you are never to get a great one, LOL.

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Annual fall fun

Our local library has pumpkin decorating every year. You have to call the morning they start taking reservations to get in because it fills up fast, but we've done it every year for years and years. This year's new twist is that they didn't paint the pumpkins. Last year they replaced the carpet in the community room, and the librarian spent hours scrubbing paint out of the new carpet after last year's pumpkin fun, so this year it was glue, feathers, foamies, googley-eyes, string, etc. but no paint.
Here are the kids' creations:

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If your hometown make the top two evening news stories...

You just might be a redneck. First, a local high school teacher had sex with 2 of her students. YUCK!
Then, a local police officer had a party at his house with underaged drinking, and TASED (or is it tazed?) someone FOR FUN. The 16 year old did ask to be tased but you would hope a police officer would know better than to do that for fun. Of course, you'd hope he would know better than to allow underaged kids to drink either.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Golden Hour

Okay, given that I've posted several other posts today, I don't know if you can call this "Wordless Wednesday", but here's a picture I snapped a few months ago during my favorite hour of the day.
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Critter Update

Aunt Fanny asked for a Critter Update, so here you go...

Noah's ark has a few less inhabitants now.

First, Daisy our hamster died about 3 days ago. She was fine the night before, and I have no idea what happened (other than hamsters have a short shelf life...and her cage hadn't been changed in, well, a while). She wasn't the type of hamster you could handle without getting bitten, so no one here is taking it too hard. Worst was disposing of her. How can a little critter STINK so bad?

Second, our cat Mittens (yes, he's ours now...I was living in denial thinking he'd be anything but ours) had adopted another cat. Or kitten to be precise. And she was semi-feral (read that as "she was happy to eat our food, but not so happy with any human contact"). Not my ideal pet, but Mittens was quite smitten, in a caregiving, nurturing sort of way. They slept together, ate together, walked together. It was really touching to watch. But a few nights ago Tabby, as the kids had taken to calling her, was no where to be found, and we haven't seen her since. I suspect she made a nice meal to an owl or fox or some other predator whose suddenly found it's habitat encroached upon so much that neighborhood cats fill the void in the food chain.
Tabby and Mittens

And Riley is on the endangered species list. He's growing everyday, mostly in leg length. Tonight's capers include using his new found height to reach the plates on the counter and knock Sari's dinner (waiting to be taken to the table to EAT) to the floor where he promptly set upon it. Of course it was fish, and there was not any extra (good that my kids aren't big fish fans). I was frying the rest of the fish, so had my attention focused on the stove. He then PEED all over the floor as icing on the "disobedient dog" cake. ARGH!!!!!
Look Ma, I can reach the countertop. YUCK!

Here is his idea of redecorating. The carpet used to actually TOUCH the metal threshold. He's unraveling it strand by strand. Nice.
Oh, and the floor? He did that too ;-).
And the wall? Yep, you guessed it.

And here are my cabinets. Who knew they made good chew toys? The garbage on the floor is compliments of him too. I just mopped (since he had PEED) 2 hours before I took this.

My new plan is to make him an outside dog and bring sweet-as-pie Mittens inside. Who can resist a cat who let's their 3 year old do this?
Sadly, the daddy isn't buying into my toss-out-the-dog, bring-in-the-cat plan. Pray for me...or the dog ;-).
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Was it YOU?

Someone knocked on our door and than RAN while I wasn't home. My son opened the door to find 4 goody bags outside the door. It's a very nice gesture, but if you are the one who did it, can you fess up so I know the candy isn't laced with rat poisoning? Sorry, but in this day and age you never know...

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Monday, October 13, 2008


Tonight was Scott's orthodontist's annual skating party. I was meant to take Scott and Mimi, but Mimi spent all day avoiding doing her work to the best of her ability, so she lost her privilege to go, and TJ went instead.
Here's the thing. With Scott's sensory issues, the one thing you can count on is that non-stop loud music and PA announcements paired with an activity that involves unpredictable motion is just this side of the Lake of Fire in his humble opinion. He was done almost before he started.
So we got skates, and the boys put them on, but I had a cling-on on each side of my body, so the first thing we did was eat. With pizza and soda in their tummies, they were much more agreeable to skating. Well, one of them was. To be honest, Scott never set foot on the skate floor, and he changed back into shoes almost immediately after eating. And he demanded to LEAVE. NOW. He was done.
And just as soon as those words came out of his mouth, they started the drawings for the door prizes. And at about the third drawing, Scott won a 2 Gig MP3 player. Suddenly, the skate party was the BEST. It was totally fun! How could he have ever thought of leaving!
TJ worked up the courage to make small trips onto the skate floor with me watching and prompting him....just to this line....just to the next line...just to the swirling lights. Luckily, another family from church was there, and their daughter took TJ out for his first full lap around. He did great, and made several more laps.
The skating is punctuated by door prize drawings, and tonight they had lots of prizes. All the early winners' tickets stayed in because they do grand prize drawings for bikes, and everyone is eligible for that. So after the bike drawing (which we didn't win), Scott's number came up again! He won a portable CD player this time. Now, the skating rink has been elevated to THE COOLEST place to go, LOL.
Poor TJ didn't win anything, BUT after the last round of drawings, they still had prizes left (they had run out of TIME), so they just handed them out to any kid who asked, and TJ was in the right place at the right time, so he has a brand new Guess Who game!
Add that to the free pizza and soda and flashing necklaces (which I have extra of for the girls) and it was a fun long as I can lock myself up in a totally quiet padded cell, because MY sensory issues are at full capacity, LOL.
Tonight, we were One Blessed Family!
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Rambling thoughts on socialization

There are a few things you always hear as a homeschooler.

One of them is, "I just don't think I could DO that. My child is ___________ (fill in the blank with any adjective you like...gifted, impossible, lazy, a dreamer, too smart, you get the idea). And I just don't have the _____________ (intelligence, patience, enthusiasm, dedication, diligence) to meet their needs." Those are people I usually don't even try to respond to, because they've already decided the matter, and nothing I say is going to convince them that my child(ren) can be every bit as gifted/impossible/lazy/dreamy/smart/smart-aleky etc. as theirs and NO, I did not get the superhuman gene for intelligence/patience/enthusiasm/dedication/diligence...I just am doing my best to do what God has called me to do, and I am fairly certain there is not a teacher on earth who will love/care about/invest in/understand/prod/be patient with/and sometimes want to throttle my child(ren) nearly as much as I do. Nor did any teacher on earth get the super human gene for intelligence/patience/enthusiasm/dedication/diligence EITHER, and certainly not enough to meet the needs of an entire class full of children better than I can do for my four. Which is not to say it is evil or wrong for people to send their children to a "building" school, but is to say that this decision is about me being obedient to God, and His desires for our family, not my desires to sit around in a totally clean house eating bon-bons. (Ok, I confess even if I stayed home all day WITHOUT my kids here, my house would not ever be totally clean...that is NOT one of my God given talents.)

But that's not even what I wanted to blog about.

Today, it's about socialization.

For some reason, the other thing people ALWAYS ask about is, "Well, aren't you worried about socialization?" So I thought I'd share a snapshot of our week.

Let's start with last Thursday, when we took advantage of a beautiful fall day and after a morning appointment with an oral surgeon for Scott (no, we don't need a note for school, we homeschool, :-), we decided at the spur of the moment to head to Sea World. We got down there around 1:30, and the park was blissfully not crowded (the advantage to being able to go any time you want). We did one ride, and then as we were walking to our next destination, my son TJ said, "Hey, there's my friend." And sure enough, there was another family from our homeschool group that we had just seen the afternoon before at a library program. This family we don't know very well, but my kids instantly assimilated their family into our experience, and for the rest of the afternoon we spent more time together than not. No problems moving from the acquaintance stage to the friend stage, the kids just picked up with them like they've known them all their lives. We said our good-byes as the park closed, and then went to IKEA. My youngest 3 BEGGED to go into the childcare (Please mommy, it's so much fun!) and they played just great with all the other kids there while Scott and I took advantage of some unplanned shopping. He helped me get what we needed, and then stayed with the stuff as I pulled up the car, and stayed with the car when I got his siblings.
On Friday, we did schoolwork in the morning, and then headed to the park for our weekly "park day" with our homeschool group. We got home, and then Scott went to a sleep-over birthday party, and the other 3 went with my husband to TJ's cub scout Pack meeting.
Saturday we did work around the house, and then TJ and my husband went to sell popcorn for scouts out in front of a local grocery store. TJ sold 10 tins of popcorn, more than anyone else, at the ripe old age of 7. He sold 10 last week too. He asks people if they want to support scouting, not "buy popcorn" AND he says "thank you" whether they buy or not. He has collected more donations for the troop than anyone else because he is polite...and cute ;-).
Sunday, we went to church. My husband and I both serve, so we get there an hour early. The kids are largely on their own, and I sign them into their classes (usually before the teacher ever gets there), but they get themselves there when the time is right, and typically I get good reports about their conduct in class. We also end up being one of the last families to leave, and the kids see that serving God and others by serving in the church is important.
Today, we did school work in the morning and early afternoon, and then Scott had piano. He plays quite well, and is very comfortable playing in front of an audience. His teacher is a homeschool graduate, college attending BOY, and is a wonderful role model. He doesn't always work his hardest to practice everyday, but he has learned that he reaps what he sows in terms of practice, and I prod, but the responsibility is his. He is getting more diligent every week. The kids also spent their evening working on the rest of their Precept lesson with their Daddy while I had a UIP practice.
Tomorrow, we will go to Precept at 9, and everyone is in class until 11:30ish. Then we'll run home for a little while, and we have a field trip at 1:30 at the court house where we will meet with a judge. When we are done there, TJ will have his picture taken by a friend of ours-hopefully for a local magazine cover (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
Wednesday, we will be home in the morning and we'll work on school and get ready for AWANA. We'll also get our stuff together for a yard sale. Sari will go to my sister's for a while, and then my nephew will come here. Wednesday evening the younger 3 kids (and Bam-Bam) have AWANA. They are responsible for their own progress or lack there of (except Sari-I work with her). Scott will have Boy Scouts in the evening. They are planning their next camping trip-with a 5 mile hike INTO the camp site!
Thursday, we start a 3 day yard sale with friends. Also, my older 3 will be going to a 2 part golf clinic in the middle of the day. Sari and I will go to Marie's to babysit the baby she watches until she returns with my kids, and then we'll go back to the yard sale. Mimi and her friend are planning a lemonade stand for the yard sale. Thursday night we have church. The kids are learning 2 songs to sing and sign for the church service in just a few weeks. Scott is excited about a new class for the kids his age that will start soon, maybe this Thursday.

And that's just a small glimpse into our weeks.

One online site defined socialization as "The process whereby a child learns to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure." And I think that's the definition most of society uses...especially in relation to the "socialization" question for homeschoolers. And while my children have plenty of opportunities to learn to get along with other people in a group (Scouts, church, Precept, AWANA) they also learn that to behave similarly is not ALWAYS a good thing. Sure, in a class, you need to conform in terms of compliant behavior. BUT, there are plenty of instances of group pressure leading to, well, the wrong sort of socialization.
I prefer this definition from Merriam-Webster, "the process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status." Socialization begins as an infant, and NO ONE (in normal, functional situations) ever questions whether the home is the best place for a baby to learn stuff. My kids are definitely learning about the habits of society...and how they line up with the Bible, and whether they are good or bad. Today, over lunch, we discussed whether girls should wear bikinis.
They learn about the beliefs of society-both in our secular world and in "the church"-that being our physical church and our experiences with the body of Christ in our other activities. We see the differences in beliefs and have the opportunities to discuss them AS WE EXPERIENCE them. And I'm there with them to guide them through that.
They learn about the accumulated knowledge of society. Not as it has been re-written through the years, but as our Creator has revealed it. And we then take non-Biblical events can try to look at them through that framework-things that public schools are no longer allowed to do.
They get "educated". Not according to a scope and sequence draw up by some arbitrary group, but according to what their God, and their father and I think they should learn. At a pace appropriate for them. And our family.
They get trained for adult status. Not a day goes by that I don't train them, in far more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. I teach the boys to hold doors open. I have trained them to answer the phone politely. I teach them to be focused on awareness of OTHERS when we are out. (For example, if we are shopping, whose way are they in if they stand next to the cart and block the aisle? ) I want them to be the kind of kids (and therefore adults) that cling to "old fashioned" standards-politeness, compassion, Christlikeness-in a world that tells them to focus on themselves and what THEY deserve.
So yes, I'm worried about socialization. I see the negative effects of it all the time. I don't want my children to conform blindly to the pressure of a group, especially a group of which I am not a part. So I invest my life into my kids. I direct their socialization. They are exposed to TONS of people...not just of their own age, but of every age, color, and creed. They learn FROM ME the appropriate behaviors, and none of it involves beating up kids for lunch money. They learn that they are part of a world that does not revolve around them. That they have a responsibility to work out their salvation and that means treating others right. They learn how to be in the world, but not OF the world. And they make mistakes, but I'm here to guide them through them. They also are not overly sheltered. They get opportunities to be part of things bigger than the microcosm of our family. But we monitor those, and invest in them ourselves (or feel very comfortable with the adults who ARE involved) so that we can stay on top of the experiences they have and step in at the first sign of trouble.
I understand there are some homeschoolers who truly are sequestered away either by remote location or specific intent. And they would have to answer for themselves that socialization question. But as for us, if socialization means spending time with others, we've got that in spades. We actually have to chose what activities to sit out of. And if it means teaching a child to conform, well then, I guess there is reason for concern, because we aren't doing that. But if it indeed means teaching them to be productive, comfortable, respectful, God fearing, members of society, then no, I'm not worried about socialization. It's an awesome responsibility, but we are committed to it, because we have to both live with the results and stand before a righteous judge someday for the effort we gave. And I fear Him far more than I fear the people decrying homeschooling over the issue of "socialization".
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

TJ's New Room

TJ's room is finished! Mostly. Almost. Kind of. Well, at least he's sleeping in it, LOL. Here he was on his first night:

The floor is done-except for a few tiny touchup places from where the painter's tape peeled off the stain. You may recall the utter disaster we had with the initial tinting, so here's what the remedy looks like. The first picture is actually of the worst spot, and I think the gray over the top hids the boo-boos pretty well.

The walls are done...expect the closet walls-I ran out of paint, so currently they are destined to stay lilac and primer white. Good thing he's a boy. This picture shows the wall and trim color plus the blackboard/magnetic area and a piece of his loft bed.

The chalkboard/magnetic paint has been put to use:

His stuff is moved in...except what isn't. But mostly, what he needs is in there now. And as you can see, there is plenty to make a mess! The irony is we rushed to get the room done because of how much the 3 of them were fighting while they were in one room, but now they CHOSE to be in his room most of the now at 1 hour and 40 minutes past bed time.
He's enjoying his own space, and the girls are quickly laying claim to theirs.

I have to go chase some kids off to bed or we'll never make it to church in the morning!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Going short again...
(sorry for the horrible picture quality)

It's funny to me that some people have known me only with "longer" hair. (Note I did not say LONG hair...I seem to be one of those people whose hair gets just beyond the shoulder and stops growing.) In my memory, I spent a LONG time with very short hair...and in reality, it was cut very short for the first time around fall 1991, but then I grew it out for my wedding in the summer of 1992, and wore it chin/mid neck length for a few years (see below)

before lopping it off entirely again at least 13-14 years ago. BUT I also decided to grow it out a few years back, and have NOT had short hair for about 5 or so years.
But even though I have worn my hair as long as it seems to want to grow for a few years now, I never have gotten desensitized to having hair on my face. I have very thin hair, and if even one of them lands on my face, it is hugely distracting and itchy. It makes me crazy. Add to that the fact that having my hair on my neck seems to really up my body's perception of heat, and you get someone who just isn't comfortable with long hair. Nor is long hair attractive on me. It's stringy, and has a mind of its own. And it starts to curl about 2 inches from the root, so the top is perfectly straight, like the top picture, and then it starts curling, so I look like I am always growing out a perm.
I'm not really vain, so the appearance side of my hair really doesn't faze me, nor would it be the deciding factor for cutting it. In fact, I like longer hair because I feel more like, well, a woman. Short hair is just more boy-like. And my husband likes it better longer too. But there is not an hour that goes by that the sensation of hair on my face does not make me crazy.
The downside of short hair is it needs very regular upkeep (read "frequent haircuts"). And I haven't needed a haircut in years. I've had them, complements of RM's mom when she went through cosmetology school, but I didn't NEED one...not like you NEED it to keep short hair looking good. But my husband is behind me whatever I do, and I'm hoping RM's mom would agree to regularly cut it if I drive over there, and that way the girls will get play time too.

So, what do you think? To cut or not to cut...that is the quandary.

P.S. For anyone wondering about the's funny that Marie blogged about hair coloring just today. I started going gray when I was 22. At some point, I decided the person I saw in the mirror with gray darker hair wasn't the person I saw myself as (I was a blond until I was about 12 when my hair started darkening naturally and GRADUALLY, so gradual that it wasn't until my mid 20's that it was really dark). So I started coloring it BLOND. Seriously. That color at the top is what happens when I color my hair blond. I have a LOT of red in my hair, and you don't notice it until I lighten it up. I don't think I'll do that again...the chemicals really started getting to my scalp, but I'd never say never. Right now though, the length is the issue.

So, what do you think?
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