Friday, February 29, 2008

Homeschooling- Q & A Part 3

Do you worry that your children won't learn as much as they would in a classroom?

Honestly, no. I think they will learn more at home than they would in a public school for sure, but that isn't one of my main motivations for homeschooling. I don't think that the Lord is going to ask me whether or not I taught my kids Calculus on judgment day. (Although with my love for math, I am sure I will!) I think He will be more concerned with whether or not they were raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Man's primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We can glorify Him by being good stewards of our time and talents and learning as much as we can, to be sure, but education is a tool, not an end. I want to teach my children how to learn and to be seekers of wisdom and knowledge. If they learn how to think critically and have a love of learning, they sky's the limit as to how much they will know. (The state has gotten itself involved in the home education of children, and in WA, they are tested yearly to make sure they are staying up to speed, in case my previous answer was not sufficient for you. ;) )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oh, How I Love Ebay

I just received my new Sutton Studio (Bloomingdales brand) black cashmere cardigan sweater that I bought for $16 including shipping. It is beautiful and in perfect condition! Ebay is so great!

Today On the Quiverfull Digest

Laraba Kendig says:

"The big thing that helped me be QF is the realization that God did
not design people to control their fertility in the way that we do right
now. Modern birth control is VERY modern. For thousands of years,
God’s design was that birth control was limited to abstinence outside of
marriage, and to some degree the effects of breastfeeding within
marriage. Even natural family planning requires the use of sophisticated
thermometers, which were not available until the last 100 years. So for
thousands of years, God HAS been in charge of family size. So I have a
hard time arguing that suddenly, the last 100 years, God has dropped
the reins of this totally important area of our lives and decided that
WE should decide. (And unfortunately, many of the ways we “decide”
is by abortion, whether a surgical abortion or through chemical means.)

"God is wise. He could have created us to only conceive during one
month of the year, and indeed there are animals that conceive readily
only one time of the year. He could have had a big blue dot show up on
our hands when we were fertile so we could abstain during that time if we
felt we shouldn’t have more kids. He chose not to do that! My
belief is that in all the history of the world, there has NEVER been a time
and place when we’ve had less excuse for not trusting God in the
area of childbearing. We are in one of the richest countries of the world
and we have wonderful medical care. I think of the Israelites in
Egypt, groaning under slavery. Of all the times you would have thought
having children was bad, that would be it. But God makes it clear in
Exodus that it was a blessing that the Israelites increased greatly in
number during that time. Throughout the Bible, fertility is a blessing.
Barrenness and miscarriage are considered part of the curse of a fallen
creation. Our culture does have it backwards in so many ways…"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Homeschooling- Q & A Part 2

Don't you worry about the socialization of your children?

Absolutely! That is why I am going to homeschool. I don't want my impressionable 5 year old going to school and learning from kids who see their parents do and say really heinous stuff. My children are by no means living in a bubble. We socialize with many different kinds of people, but it is under our supervision. We have new people in our home almost every week, and our children love meeting new people, young and old. We also plan to participate in homeschooling groups that have many activities. Our kids have friends they enjoy playing with during the week. Everyone has met a weird, withdrawn homeschool kid and blames it on a lack of socialization, but I remember kids like that IN school. It is sometimes a matter of personality type, whether or not a child is introverted or extroverted.

Homeschooling- Q & A Part 2 continued

I received this question in the comments, so I added the answer to piggy-back the socialization question

I'm wondering about the friendships your children will have. Will you only allow them to "hang out" with other kids who are homeschooled? What about other kids in your neighborhood who may attend public schools? Would you try to discourage them from having more than a casual relationship with those children?

Friendships for our children is a topic that we have thought alot about. We have many different types of people in our house (public schooled, homeschooled, Christian and not), it is the ministry we feel the Lord has lead us to, but we do have to protect our children first and foremost. Our children spend time with other children that are very different than them, but it is always under our supervision. Also, I don't necessarily "trust" homeschooled kids to be perfect and to be all that different than any other kids. All are depraved and born into sin, so as a mom, I feel it is my job to keep an eye and ear on them at all times.

We don't live anecdotally, but we know of a family whose daughter was molested, in the next room that they were sitting in, at a Christian, homeschooling family's house, by a teenage son. These are our little ones, so I think we need to take the utmost care in protecting them from evil.

We will try to guide our children's choices for friends toward other children who display a strong sense of character and morality. At their current ages of 4, 2 and baby, I have to make those decision for them. Usually we spend time with my friends that have kids the same age. As they get older, more serious discussions and guiding will have to take place.

My kids play outside with neighbor kids under my supervision, but often times we have to come inside because the other kids aren't being or talking very nicely (or vice versa, like I said, my kids are 4, 2 and baby, are far from perfect and learning how to be a good friend!) The same thing happens at the park. Sometimes we stay and play for a long time, or sometimes we have to go home because of the kids there. Bennett picks up on this very easily and knows to leave a bad situation.

Every family has a comfort level and will have a different set of rules. We feel that we can't influence our children if we aren't with them, guiding them until the time comes that they are displaying a character ruled by wisdom instead of the foolishness of a child.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Homeschooling- Q & A Part 1

I have been asked some questions lately about why and how we are and will be homeschooling, so I thought I would post the answers for anyone who is curious.

Why are you going to homeschool?

We are going to homeschool for many reasons that would take me longer than I have right now to answer, so here are just a few reasons (these are our personal opinions, and I am not applying them to you, reader, so please keep your offendedness to a minimum:o)

1. We believe that God has given us, as parents, the ultimate responsibility of raising our children. It would be very hard to train them up in the way they should go if we were only together for a couple of hours a day. We apply this to spiritual training as well as education. We don't leave the spiritual training of our children up to sunday school teachers either. It is our primary responsibility. Here is one of the scriptures that has influenced our decision:

Deuteronomy 11
18“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 19 “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth. 22 “For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. 24 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea. 25 “No man will be able to stand before you; the LORD your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

2. We want our children to be family focused, not peer focused, and we want our day to center around the home, not being shuttled here, there, and everywhere.
3. We want to control what our children learn, and at what age they learn what a sex is, STD's are, or a myriad of other topics mean.
4. We want to control who our children are influenced by until they exhibit godly wisdom and decision making skills that frankly, no 5 year old can possess.
5. I don't trust many people with my children. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys is molested by the age of 18, and while my trust rests in the Lord to protect my kids, and I can't always be with them, I can be as careful as possible. I read an article last week about a girl who was stabbed in the back multiple times by scissors in the hallway at school (this wasn't an inner city school either) by a boy she didn't even know. Enough said!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Jeromy and I went out on a real date last night with no children, not even the baby (thanks mom!), and had a wonderful dinner and some adult conversation. PF Changs just opened a couple of weeks ago in Kennewick, and although we heard it was really hard to get in, we decided to go for it. We dropped the kids off to my mom at her work. She works for an accounting firm, and they have a "social" for their employees on Friday evenings during tax season. We enjoyed a glass of wine and headed over to the restaurant. It was only 5:30, so we thought we would be ahead of the full dinner rush, and we were. We only had to wait 15-20 minutes, and they gave us a really huge booth that sits up higher than the dining tables which gave us a nice vantage of the restaurant. We decided to go crazy with our ordering, everything looked so good, and we were technically celebrating Valentine's Day as well. PF Changs also offers a gluten-free menu that I really appreciated. Alot of their items are gluten-free anyway, but they use wheat-free soy sauce in the GF entrees which allowed me a nice selection of food to choose from. We had Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps for our appetizer, and we both really liked them, messy, but really tasty! The waiters mix you up a little sauce table-side that was really good in the wraps. We had Dali Chicken, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Philip's Lemon Chicken for our entree(s). The Dali Chicken was super spicy chicken and potatoes with a ton of red chili peppers that you had to make sure not to bite into. The Chang's Spicy Chicken was their version of General Tsao's Chicken, sweet, a little spicy, a good combination. The Lemon Chicken was chicken, broccoli and lemon slices in the yummy lemon sauce. It was our favorite. It wasn't that fake, candy tasting lemon sauce that you sometimes get. It tasted like real lemon, fresh with just enough sweetness. We only ate about half of each entree (I just had some leftovers for lunch- yum!) so that we would have room for dessert. They had a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce that was calling my name the moment I arrived. It was almost like really thick pudding or maybe soft fudge, with the raspberry sauce and fresh berries. I am still thinking about it. Jeromy had the banana spring rolls which were served with pineapple coconut ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce. He said they were wonderful! The service was excellent. The waiters stand around and talk to you, if you want, and are very helpful and friendly. It was a great meal, and by the time we left, there were people waiting inside and out for a table. We were happy we got there early! We were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't all that expensive either, at least no more than the other chains, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Outback. It was around $10-$15 for an entree, most were around $12, just a little more than a small little chinese restaurant. The atmosphere was worth the extra money. Go try it, you'll like it!

So Sweet!

We watched the movie Arctic Tale this last week and it was really cute! It is the same type of movie as March of the Penguins in that it was the story of real polar bears and walruses, not animated ones. Rachel was a little bit scared at first, not surprising with her, but I told her to go downstairs and play if she was scared. I went to take a shower after the first half hour and when I came out Bennett was crying. This is the conversation that followed:

Me: Bennett, what's wrong honey, are you scared?

Bennett:'s just so sweet!

Me: Ah sweetie, you are so precious. Are they happy tears or sad tears?

Bennett: Happy tears, they are just so sweet.

Ah, that kid just melts my heart! The movie ends with the baby polar bear growing up and having her own baby cub. At the end, Bennett started crying again and said, "Now she is a mother!" He thought it was so sweet. I love that he has such a soft, tender heart underneath all the 4 year old, rough and tumble boy.

I highly recommend this movie, as long as you can get over the "buy a fluorescent lightbulb to help save the polar bears" speech at the end. (The movie was made by National Geographic and the people that made An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, but don't hold that against it.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lookie, Lookie

Look at what I got! My new Sole treadmill came on Friday, and Jeromy still has a backache from getting it into our basement primarily by HIMSELF! It weighs 250 pounds, so that was crazy! I was worried about how stable it would feel because it is the fold-up kind, and I am accustomed to using the big, heavy $5000 models that they have at the gym. I am very happy with it. It is fairly quiet, stable, and a perfect size for me, even though I am larger than the average person. It got really good ratings everywhere I looked online, and so far I am very pleased. I have used it every day this week so far (it's only Tuesday :P) and my legs have the wonderful ache of muscle fatigue. I have a long way to go before I am going to be jogging multiple miles a day, but it's a start. THANK YOU JEROMY!


Jeromy and I listened to this before bed last night and it kept me up thinking about what Piper said. Listen for yourself.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Seemingly Unrelated Occurences

-Say it with blood. I cut off a chunk of my pinky knuckle using a mandoline (the sharp slicer, not the instrument) while making Valentine's Day dinner. Ouch!

-My pinky still bleeds anytime I bump it on something.

-You'd be surprised how often a pinky gets bumped in a day.

-Ellie's new tricks are spitting and growling.

-Ellie is pretty much sitting up by herself these days. She has really strong core muscles. (Is it bad for a baby to sit up before she rolls over?)

-I am not good at having a baby on a strict schedule, or I don't have a baby that is good at being on a strict schedule.

-I have quit the Babywise-type schedule for Ellie and have decided to just trust my best judgment and intuition.

-I am much less stressed since I decided to stop trying to get Ellie to conform.

-Ellie is a mixture of Bennett and Rachel's personalities. She is happy and pretty easy going most of the time, although getting sensitive to other people she doesn't know, and when she doesn't want to do something, SHE WON'T! (I cannot get her to nurse unless she wants to.)

-I don't feel any more equipped to raise baby #3 than I did with #1. I have just learned to trust myself more and the motherly instincts God gave me.

-If God chooses to bless us with another baby, I need to reread the above bullet point. I seemed to forget that there is no formula to baby raising after I had Ellie. Every baby is so different!

-My kids adore playing with the boy that lives next door to us whose name is Caleb. For some reason Bennett doesn't hear the |b| sound and calls him K-Love.

-I just discovered Google reader and it has revolutionized my life. Okay that is an exaggeration, but if you check alot of blogs a day like I do, it checks them all for you and then just tells you which ones have any new posts. If you don't subscribe to it yet, you should!

I made today better by cuddling on the couch with all three kids while they watched Blue's Clues. That is a huge sacrifice to sit through that, but it was such a wonderful time with them so close and sitting still!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Is....

Covenant Marriage and first kisses on your wedding day

Enduring the pain of childbirth

Fathers and sons

Mothers and their babies

Brothers and sisters



1 Corinthians 13:13
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Random Observations for a Wednesday

-Rachel is still horribly afraid of dogs, but says that cats and elephants are okay.

-Bennett has a hard time writing lower case "m's" but not the capital ones.

-I like the anticipation of change that living in a place with all four seasons offers.

-I read in cycles. Actually, I do any hobby in cycles, knitting, scrapbooking, reading, exercising. I don't do a little bit all the time, I do alot once in a while. (Like how I called exercising a hobby :D)

-I am getting a treadmill tomorrow, so exercising is about to become more than a hobby.

-Jeromy has amazing discipline to get up at 5:30 am to go to the gym.

-Ellie can pick things up now that you put in front of her and like all babies, the item goes straight in the mouth. (I need to buy some new baby chew toys, does anyone know of a company that makes toys that are not from China or certified to not contain harmful chemicals?)

-Someone falls down our stairs or trips coming up them every day. (By someone I mean me, Bennett or Rachel) We are not a family that should live in a multi-level house. Ramblers are our friends! (As in the house, not friends that talk too much.)

-I burn myself at least 6 out of 10 times I use the oven.

-I enjoy cooking.

-I can't come up with anymore observations except our neighbors across the street always have at least 6 vehicles, 2 boats, 1 riding lawn mower, and a delivery truck parked in front of their house. Only 1 lady with one son lives there.

TV Zombies

I took these pictures recently when the kids were watching a video. They turn into zombies, and I can see their brain cells falling out of their ears. They don't respond to much of anything while the TV is on. Luckily they have a mommy who makes sure that they live in reality most of the time. They have been enjoying a wonderful warm spell this week. It has been over 50 degrees which is the warmest it has been all winter long! The kids have been outside from morning until night having all sorts of fun out there. (They have been playing outside regardless of the cold this winter, but they haven't had to bundle up this week!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

15 Minutes Part 1

-Bennett has been begging to start "Get Ready For the Code," a beginners phonics program that he got for Christmas. I had planned on working with him for 15-30 minutes after Rachel went down for a nap, but he was enjoying it so much that I worked with him for 45 minutes. He can now identify the |f| sound and write a lower and uppercase f. (He knows how to write all his uppercase letters, but not all of the lowercase ones)

-Jeromy allowed me the luxury of reading in bed after I cleaned up dinner and instead of protecting "MY" alone time, I let the kids come in and snuggle with me.

This made my Monday OVER 15 minutes better. Did you do anything to make your day better?

Monday, February 11, 2008

15 Minutes a Day

I got this wonderful idea from Owlhaven, a thought provoking blog by a homeschooling mother of 10. She decided to consciously make each day 15 minutes better and then blog about it. I thought this was a great idea. When I stop, sit and spend time with one of my children instead of doing what I want to do, I am always so blessed in the end. I want to start doing this and will add how I made my day 15 minutes better to my blog to keep MYSELF accountable, more than anything.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bathroom Talk

Rachel is supposed to be downstairs taking a nap, but I heard her on the baby monitor singing in the bathroom.

"I went pee, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Mommy, I went pee. Hallelujah. Bennett, bennett, bennett, bennett. BENNETT, I NEED HELP."

Bennett went shopping with his dad, so I better go see what the needing help is all about.

Baby Ellie, Amazing 4 Month Old

Ellie is days away from rolling over. She arches her back and cranes her head around and just about flips over. I was afraid she was going to be really advanced like Bennett, but he was rolling over both ways by 3 months and sitting up by himself just before he turned 5 months. She has always been really strong which is why I thought she would be fast with the milestones. No teeth yet either for Ellie (Yay!). I just checked out Babywise again from the library. I have still been having a hard time with nursing her, and I really think it is due to a lack of schedule (tune out now Rohnda) and nursing too frequently. I am going to keep track of her pattern the next couple of days and then make a schedule that works for all of us. I can see the benefits of a nursing/sleeping schedule so that we can avoid the ever common: it is past the older kids lunch time at the same time she is squawking for food and wanting a nap. (She doesn't actually squawk, it is more like a bear growl. I am serious!) You'd think I would have all of this figured out by now, but alas, I am still working on it!

Ellie's super power is her amazing ability to make everyone smile. She even makes her very serious 4 year old brother coo and baby-talk like the rest of us. It is so wonderful having a helpful four year old. People have always told me that the early years of a large family are hard, but when your kids start getting old enough to help, things get easier. I can definitely see that. I don't have kids that are that close in age either, and I am sure that makes a huge difference. Rachel was 27 months when Ellie was born. She can get in and out of the car by herself, use the bathroom, get mostly dressed, get up and down from her chair and a whole bunch of other great things. I am sure that if you have a 16 month old and a newborn, life is a little more crazy with two babies at the same time. I had always heard that child #3 was the hardest to adjust from, that you have to go from man to man defense to zone defense (I don't really know what that means, but I have a husband who likes basketball, and he gets it :D) For any of you out there that are wondering if you should have #3, don't let the myth that #3 is the hardest scare you. I haven't found that to be true. I think I become a better mother with each one and it almost becomes easier because everything isn't new and scary.

Enjoy some new pictures of Ellie Bellie.

Friday, February 8, 2008

MORE Snow Pictures

Okay, Okay, I know that I have posted alot of snow posts this winter, but this one is especially amazing. Bennett built this snowman by himself! I showed him how to make a snowball and then roll it around to make it bigger. He made the biggest ball, the base, by filling up a really big red bucket, like a sand castle, and turning it over. He then made the middle and the head with the rolling method. The middle one was so heavy that I had to come out to put it on the base for him. He couldn't get rocks or a carrot to stick into the snow for the face, the snow was really dry, but he was pretty proud of himself.

Bennett rolling his snowball, and Rachel rolling the bucket instead of the snowball. I don't think she really got what he was doing.

Inserting appendages.

Bennett and his snowman buddy.

Every snowman needs a sword, at least every snowman built by a four year old BOY.

Rachel asked Bennett to build her a snowman, but he built her a snowdog instead. I think it looks like a gremlin or an ewok. They lovingly referred to it as the snowdog though, probably because of the ears.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What Romantic Movie Are You?

I managed to resist taking this quiz after reading it on Kristen's blog, but succumbed to my curiosity after reading the Heldt's blog today. It is funny that it picked one of my favorite movies of all time. I should have known when I chose that I would prefer falling in love in an Italian villa and that my favorite romance is one that begins with an insult and ends with an apple pelting. I am admittedly alot like Emma Thompson's character in the movie. So, if you haven't seen this movie, put it in your Netflix cue. It is a winner!

(My disclaimers for this movie: there are male naked posteriors in the beginning, and there is an inappropriate scene between a male and female character in the movie AND Keanu Reeves murders Shakespeare BIG TIME!)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cold AND Snowy

Bennett: Aghh, it is a terrible, ugly day out today.

Me: What are you talking about, Bennett. It is beautiful and sunny outside. Look at the blue sky.

Bennett: I know, but I want it to be cold out.

Me: It is still cold outside even though the sun is out.

Bennett: I want it to be cold AND snowy. I like the snow. (Big smile)

Rohnda, I think we need to send Bennett to you in Minnesota so that he can get perspective on COLD AND SNOWY!