Sunday, March 28, 2010


John Henry became a boy scout officially last night! He has been waiting for this particular moment for about a year. He finished all his Webelo pins and was ready for boy scouts last June! The boy is driven when it comes to bling! He loves awards, patches, pins, and medals. Well, last night, he got all of the above. There was plenty of bling, a bonfire, and lots of time in front of the crowd. John Henry was in his element. He's the one on the left looking especially proud.

I love this boy! His goal is to become an Eagle Scout when he is 14 years old. I believe in him. He just might make it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homemade Clif Bars!

In my never-ending quest to fill up my growing boys and give them nutritious foods instead of junk, I have been experimenting with homemade clif bars, which my very picky boy LOVES. (How weird??) I got a no-cook recipe from here and I made it last night for the first time. These were good and picky boy Paulie liked them, but stated there were "too many little oat-things"(oatmeal). I made another batch this afternoon, but I changed a few things. I added 1/3 cup chocolate chips, used pulverized pecans instead of peanuts, and I ground up the oatmeal as well. I also found them dry and so I doubled the recipe for the wet part. This second batch turned out great and everyone liked them....except the peanut butter hater, Sam. He got oatmeal cookies.

I weighed today after not adhering to my diet/exercise plan all last week while on spring break. I found I was down 2.5 pounds!! WOW!! YIPPEE! How is that possible?? I totally don't know.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home again..

We are home again and back into the full swing of activities. I taught Sunday School this morning to the 2nd and 3rd graders and I love it. We are doing a gardening study and the kids are enjoying planting and watching as the seeds sprout and grow. It is a nice build up to Easter, too. I hope that some of these seeds become hardy enough seedlings to give away to the congregation and perhaps to bear fruit later this year. I will hopefully plant some in my own garden and bring the veggies back for the kids to see.

IF spring ever comes I will enjoy planting and growing!!! Another forecast of snow-flurries for Alabama! How crazy is that??

We had a nice time in south AL, but I am glad to be back home again. I am ready to start my diet/exercise plan tomorrow morning! Yippee!! It is a combination of Weight Watchers for eating and the Fat Burning Furnace for exercise. I'll be plotting my success as I go along, so cheer me on!!

The children enjoyed some special grandparent attention and when we arrived home last night, Lizzie took one look at our house and said,"No, not this house!! Me go Nana's house!" Poor little thing.

Paul spent the night with Nana and as during his bath that night, she was scrubbing his head. She asked if she was scrubbing too hard. She them told him that his mama (ME!!) was really tender-headed and she had to scrub my head carefully and gently. He thought about that for a minute and replied,"She's hard-headed now!" Out of the mouths of babes......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We've spent the past 3 days in south Alabama at our barn house. It has been the perfect get away..... no field trips, co-ops, karate lessons, or scout meetings. While we love all those things, it is certainly nice to get away from it all for a short time. We've continued to do school, but even that is more relaxed and fun without the pressure of an activity later! My cousin and her little girl have been with us. Elizabeth has had a blast doing girly things with her and Sam has had a really nice time having someone almost his size to boss and best at things! We've enjoyed seeing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other cousins, too. I've cooked 3 meals a day, washed the same amount of laundry, and wiped the same amounts of bottoms, but somehow.... it has seemed like a vacation. The children have slept late, Daddo and I have gotten up early enjoying the quiet and hot cups of coffee.

We have 3 more days. Deep sigh........

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Busy, busy....

Steve got home Thursday evening from his latest trip. Singapore this time. Karate that night for Paul and John Henry. Poor Sam has felt poorly since Monday (remember the rock in his ear!). I am certain it didn't cause all that he has experienced (fever, cough, stuffy nose, upset stomach), but he is just as certain that it did!! LOL! Poor little guy.

Friday was spent getting our schoolwork done early and cleaning up for company coming. John Henry and Paul had friends come spend the night and as they are also homeschooled, they got here early afternoon. The afternoon and evening were filled with the sounds of 5 boys playing. And just so you know.... that is a really loud sound. Lizzie and I hid in my bedroom a lot!! Paul and Sam shared his guest and seemed to enjoy him equally and he them. John Henry and his buddy conned the paternal unit into allowing them to go to the Little Cahaba. I do not normally allow this when it has been raining for 3 days solid. Well, buddy fell in and came home soaking wet just in time for me to return from the store and realize what had occurred. Stern words were spoken and boys were duly chastised. Clothes were then washed.

I also spent much of the day baking for various things. Boys, friends, church bake sale, and scout meeting dessert. 2 pans of lemon squares, 2 pans of brownies, and 12 mini loaves of bread later and I am pooped. Chicken and dumplings was also prepared in there somewhere for supper for the wild tribe of children here.

I settled them in front of a NEW movie and folded clothes for the duration. A little while later, they all were snuggled into a bed somewhere (don't ask how I managed for everyone to have a place to sleep-6 kids, 2 adults, and 3 bedrooms!) and Steve and I finally were able to get some sleep ourselves.

Today was returning the correct children to their homes and John Henry's final Webelos meeting. BIG Sniff..... Do I really have to cook supper now???

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Long lazy rainy day....

Rain coming down in buckets and 4 children cooped up inside all day. Did you hear them at your house??? They were THAT loud at times!

My sweet girl asked to go outside and I sadly told her it was raining too hard for that today. She stood at the door and looked out for a long time.... Then she disappeared, returned with her life jacket and asked for help putting it on. I zipped her up and she stuffed her baby in and said,"Me go outside now!" Gotta love that girl!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This news story has me just shaking my head in sadness.... A 7 year old girl was beaten to death by her adoptive, homeschooling, professing-to-be-Christian parents. Their form of correction was a horrible miscarriage of the discipline method taught by Michael and Debi Pearl, a couple who market themselves as Christian parenting and homeschooling experts and have books, articles, and magazines devoted to their teachings. They have a million dollar business selling their products and speaking all around the country.

Arguably, the Pearls don't teach parents to beat their children to death. These parents are ultimately responsible for the death of their child and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

But, here's my problem with those who preach corporal punishment as Biblical. It is taught as THE way to reach your child's soul and point them to heaven. It is so powerful to say to a parent that if you follow our method of child-rearing, you are doing everything you can to get them into heaven. For parents who are Christians, this is the ultimate goal, the thing you strive to above all else..... to have your children become Christians. The Pearls have this one-size fits all model of parenting that involves correction with flexible plumbing tubing, a ruler, and/or many other similar types of "rods". Spend any time at all reading their books or articles and you will see that correction is designed for breaking the spirit of the child and moving them into submission to the parents and to God. This is dangerous.

Now, I make a confession.... I should never spank my children. I am a level-headed decent person who loves Jesus and mostly I am an all around nice individual. But, I have a bad temper and I lose it too easily. I get angry when my kids misbehave. I tend to take it personally and I get mad at them. I should NOT spank and I decided early in my parenting that I wouldn't. If I was not real with myself about this, my children would suffer for it. Thanks to be God for showing me this earlier rather than later. It is a rare thing now for me to spat a little leg and when it does happen, it always serves to remind me that I cannot allow myself to spank.

So can you see that people are really vulnerable to teachings like this? People whose desire is to raise Godly and Christian children are shown a method that professes to do just that and they buy it. Hook, line, and sinker, they buy it; they see it as THE way to insure their beloved children achieve that ultimate goal. But what if they are people who also shouldn't spank? What if these are people who truly believe that they need to hit their children to keep them on that straight and narrow path? There are well-meaning parents out there who can too easily move past punishment and into abuse. And if those parents feel they are doing this in the name of God, how much easier is it for them to carry the punishment too far?

I certainly don't know the answer to this, but I do know that Michael Pearl's response is by far not an answer. It is a sad and kind of creepy response to the tragic death of a child.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The day of the rock....

You know that park with the zillions of tiny rocks for safety?? You know how they always end up in your kid's shoes and pockets? Well, raise your hand if one made its way into your child's EAR! Do you see me jumping up with my hand in the air?

So, yeah, busy morning, school, doctor's appointment for Paul, and grocery store, but we STILL made it to our lunch play-date at the park in time. I was proud of myself and proud of the kids for being real troopers through our morning and here we were at the park for a reward. Me, with time to talk to other moms, and them with friends to play with on a bright beautiful Monday afternoon. We were really having a wonderful day and I was breathing a sigh of relief. We'd managed to get some schoolwork done, do all our errands, and I was ready to enjoy the relaxing part of the day.

Then, Sam comes running up screaming,"There's a rock in my ear!" I looked and sure enough.... small, round pebble lodged firmly in his left ear. HOW? I didn't bother to ask. I just calmed him down and dialed the doctor's office. It was 12noon. The nice lady on the other end of my phone suggested I bring him in at 4pm. Okay... I hung up and talked to Sam. He was unhappy, but not in pain. He didn't want to leave the park and since there was no pain, I decided to just stay, play, and keep the 4pm appointment. We DID enjoy the park and the kids got tired and dirty, so when we arrived home, I put Lizzie in bed and Sam in the shower.

4pm was rolling around faster and Sam started to freak out on the way to the doctor's office. Poor Sam. From the moment of his birth, it's been one long doctor's appointment for him. And rarely for normal childhood sickness! No.... it's for the rare Hyaline Membrane Disease at birth, and the severe reflux as a baby and toddler. Then, it's biting through his tongue when he's 2 and then the boiling water burns when he was 3, the stitches from tripping over scissors, and now..... the rock in his ear. He just cannot catch a break. And he has every right to freak.

The doctor was really pleasant and had the rock out in just a minute, but it did hurt and Sam was terrified by the time she pulled out the long sharp-looking tweezers. He was just sure she'd have to cut his ear open to remove the rock.

Finally, we were on our way home again. Missed karate and we were all hungry and tired, Sam especially. As I drove past Cracker Barrel a sudden burst of gravity pulled us in and just a short time later, we were happily chowing on all our favorites. Root beer floats finished it off and made everyone happy. So, now they are all stretched out wearily in front of the TV. Bedtime is coming and not fast enough for me!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I always forget these precious things the kids say, so here are a few of my favorite ones from Lizzie.

She lays her hand flat on her forehand and looks around for someone she likes,"Where me best buddy go?"

She's looking for something she's misplaced,"Tink, Tink, Tink." (think) Imagine her with her hands on her hips, too.

I give her something she's asked for,"Tank you berry much, Mama!"

When she sees something she likes,"Bootiful, bootiful!"

On the way to wake me up, she saw the snow outside. She woke me up jumping up an down beside my bed,"Where me mitts? Where me boots? SNOW, SNOW, Mama!! Where me jacket? Let's go, Mama!"

If she bumps her head or her foot... it is "broken" and always needs me to,"Kiss me head (foot,hand), hurry, Mama!"

When she gets what she wants,"Me happy!"

When she wants to be held, she climbs into your lap and says,"Snug-snuggle me, Mama." Who could resist that?

Oh my... she is too cute these days. Makes us all fall at her feet and strive to please her just to hear that,"Me happy!"

We are in SUCH trouble in about 12 years!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why do I homeschool...

BUSY day.... Took the kids and worked the consignment sale at church this morning. Three moms who don't know me asked why the boys were not in school. I simply said that we homeschool. I received a chorus of replies I hear a lot.

I could never do that!
You sure are brave!
Wow, that must be so hard!

I just smiled and went back to work. I've found that most folks are not looking for an answer and I am no longer looking to make a point about homeschooling. If pressed I have a few reasons I give people and if really pushed I can put together a well-reasoned argument for homeschooling. But, in my heart I know why I homeschool and most people are not ready to hear it.

I do it because I like homeschooling my kids. I like watching them learn and I like being their teacher. I am not braver than you, or more patient than you, or more dedicated as a parent. I sleep late, my kids sleep late. We sometimes take days off to just play games, watch movies, or work at a consignment sale for our church. We take long nature walks on pretty days and we throw bean bags while reviewing math facts. It is nice to go on vacation when everyone else is in school. I like not having to answer to others and I like making my own schedule.

There I said it. I do it not because I am a saintly, sacrificing, patient mother. I homeschool because I like it.