Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Here at home, my goal is to work myself out of a job. ;) Some moms struggle with letting their kids do work around the house because they "don't do it right." I, however, will do just about anything to get out of housecleaning, and would rather see dishes in the wrong place than sitting on the counter dirty, hence...
  • Shiloh has been promoted to dishwasher emptier
  • Elijah has taken over her former responsibilities as silverware sorter
  • I am now kitchen manager
Big deal, right? It's a huge deal to me, which probably tells you all something about my life...

However, lest you think I'm overwhelmingly pathetic...I've been asked to join the Ben Franklin Design Team, which means I will be designing scrapbook pages for them to display in the store. I actually dug out my Social Security card and filled out a W-4 for the first time since 1997! This will nicely complement my teaching opportunity there, and I'm thrilled to be working with great people and at a great store that sells great stuff!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Congrats--you've finished the race!!!

This is the 8th and final clue to the knowledge of who our {hip}santaclaus is!! I can't wait to find out myself, she (?) has been beyond generous and has brought some serious holiday cheer to the Pub.

Anyway, this 8th and final picture is supposed to complete the puzzle and reveal Santa's identity. Cut and paste it into your word processing document and e-mail it to along with Santa's name. If you don't know yet, you can pea-mail {hip} for the answer.

Congrats on making it this far--and good luck!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I *heart* days off...

Dan had to use up some vacation time, so he took a half day on Friday and a full day off yesterday. The best thing is when he takes a day off and everyone else is working, because then we don't make plans with other people....isn't that horrible??? It's not that I don't love getting together with friends, it's just so nice to stay home, get caught up on things here, have him field some of the interruptions, etc.

Anyway, we're back to the daily grind today. The kids have already trashed the house, I'm still in my jammies, have a mile-long to do list. Here's a few things on that list...
  • finish apps for 2 design teams
  • finish up Christmas cards
  • weekly cleaning (I try to do it all in one day)
  • make my sister's Christmas present (a decorated journal)
  • finish Shiloh's present (a decorated box)
  • wrap some presents
  • do school
I'd better not add anything more to this list!! I think it's already past what I can reasonably do in a day!

Have a great day, and I hope whatever's on your list is getting accomplished. :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Homeschooling update

Since this blog was initially about homeschooling I thought I'd give a little update.
  1. I'm realizing we've done way more than I've given myself credit for. Shiloh is on letter P, Mariah (who's 2) counts to 13, and Elijah does puzzles like a champ and draws dinosaurs!
  2. We've learned about a bazillion random things that really aren't random at all. The Fatherhood of God, properties of light, clouds, flowers, counting, making 10, poetry, comparisons, trees, day/night, seasons (to name a few).
  3. I've learned a system that works for keeping a 2- and 3-year-old productively occupied while teachind Kindergarten.
  4. We take a lot of days off. As in, we've probably only done 2-3 days a week tops for the last couple months. BUT, when I reviewed my monthly calendar last night, I realized I'd given myself 3 weeks off in December that we won't need. So if we do 4 days of school between now and next Friday, we'll be caught up!!!!
  5. I need a math curriculum. Shiloh's ahead of the preschool level in our curriculum, but not to the kindergarten level. She has a hard time counting to 20. And the curriculum doesn't give me much for how to teach math. I think she's just not math-inclined. And I am, math has always just made sense to me. So I've got my eye on something with a little more detailed instruction.
I don't love homeschooling the way I thought I would. I know it's the right thing for our family, and I think I'll enjoy it more when the kids are older. My ideal for homeschooling is everyone busy doing something interesting and meaningful, having conversations about what we're all learning about, in-depth Bible study, library trips, volunteering together and talking about it afterwards, sitting around the table working on math problems or some kind of necessary homework together, singing, learning hymns...a lifestyle of learning that has structured times of instruction but isn't about that. A life of strong family relationships, learning in context, and Christ at the center directing, teaching, guiding. I think we're building to that, and that makes it worthwhile.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I got an e-mail this morning that I'm going to be published in a scrapbooking magazine for the first time!! So exciting!! The funny thing is that people tend to think of scrapping as a Mom thing--you know, moms taking pictures of their kids and writing their memories and thoughts about how much they love them. But the page I got picked up is one I made about Dan! Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for the Jan/Feb/Mar issue of CorrespondenceART magazine...probably will be on the newsstands in a couple months or so. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What are you doing Dec. 9th?

If you're within driving distance of Bonney Lake Ben Franklin, I hope you'll be taking my Holiday Tags class! We'll make the tags in the picture to the left, and learn some of the many uses for tags for sprucing up your Christmas presents or embellishing your scrapbook layouts. You can sign up on their website, the cost for the class is $15 and supplies will be about $5.

While we're on the subject, what is the best scrapbooking class you've ever taken? What did you like about it? Any suggestions for a newbie teacher?

Have a great day!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rosy needs...

Got the idea from Sara W. to google my name + needs and see what comes up....I'd explain these, but they're funnier without knowing the context. :)
  1. 'Rosy' Needs Some Weather
  2. ROSY needs your help and that of your friends, family, colleagues and associates
  3. what Rosy needs is a good psychiatrist.
  4. this rose needs some soil amendments and mulching.
  5. Once the lock was filled, the lock-keeper opened one gate, which is all Rosy needs.
Had to look up Dan too...
  1. Dan Needs Bush Hogging
  2. Dan needs a new Car.
  3. Uncle Dan Needs You
  4. dan needs the love too, y'all.
  5. Dan needs to overcome himself

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's been brought to my attention that I need to update my blog...

Yes, it has been a couple weeks! And I've actually had blog-worthy things to share, just not the mental RAM to make it happen. Did I actually just make that joke??? Evidence that I spend *way* too much time at the computer. :P
  1. I've been given the opportunity to teach Scrapbooking and Paper Crafting classes at Bonney Lake Ben Franklin! I'd been wanting to get into teaching classes for a while, and I've gotten to know the Class Coordinator, who is running an amazing program! You'd think a craft store in a town the size of Bonney Lake wouldn't have much to offer, but they have a huge scrapbooking dept. and monthly crops that are attended by 60+ people! Anyway, I made her aware of my interest and she's letting me give it a go. My first class is Dec. 9th at 7pm, I have a really fun project planned and am excited to see how it goes! If you're in the area, you're welcome to come--more information is on the calendar page of their website.
  2. I was named Pubster of the Day on Nov. 14th! POTD is a huge honor, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am. :) My online scrapbook gallery got lots of attention and I got to know a few people better.
  3. Dan and I celebrated our 6th anniversary! It's been a crazy, action packed 6 years, and I love him more than ever. Dan is truly the most caring and fun husband I could have ever imagined having. My mom babysat, and we went out for dinner using a gift card we'd been holding onto since last December! I didn't want to go pregnant, and Esther's just now to the point where we can leave her for half a day. We had a great time!
  4. Homeschooling has slowed down somewhat. I had planned to take Thanksgiving week off, and it turns out we'll be using that to make up missed work! Good thing she's not technically school-aged yet. My mom brought down lots of educational goodies, and I've been better about library trips, and I'm grateful that one of the great things about kids is that they're still learning even when we're not doing anything formal.
  5. I'm studying the book of Judges in my Wed night Bible study, and keep seeing how the Israelites failed to pass the knowledge of God down through the generations, and how their children would fall into sin and idolatry as a result. A good reminder to take seriously my job as a parent to teach my kids to love the Lord and walk in His ways.
Ok, hopefully this will be enough to keep Sara happy for a while! Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cheap tricks pt. 2

Ok, here's another before and after shot. The after shot isn't fabulous, but I thought it was a good recovery of an unusable photo.

Just in case anyone was wondering (which I'm sure you weren't) we don't really celebrate Halloween. We do carve pumpkins though. This one is Marshie. You have to leave a comment if you know who that is.

Had to add in Elijah. The great thing about a 5MP camera is that you can crop way in and still get decent pics.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Since Hanni didn't, I will

Today's ND giggle:

"I made like affinity of those at scout camp."

Cheap tricks

There are many wonderful things about being married to my husband, one being his knowledge of Photoshop! For an amateur photographer, Photoshop can be a huge benefit! Here are the before and after versions of a photo I took yesterday. There's more that could be done color-wise, but the trick I'm most excited about is that I selected Esther's eyes using the magnetic lasso, and brought up the contrast. So many little things that can be done to improve mediocre photos! I'm looking forward to exploring this. I'll keep you posted.
**ETA** The two boxes on the bottom are the same photos the first time I tried to upload them. The ones you can see are the before and after. The after shot looks more bluish here than IRL, for some reason.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


My baby has eczema so bad that her cheeks are bright red and scaly most of the time. So I take a bazillion photos of her when they're normal. Here's my favorite from Monday's photo shoot:

All in a day's work.

Cat and I got together yesterday to assemble the goodie bags for our dinner this weekend. It was truly amazing to see so much product in one place! Definitely makes me feel proud to be a part of the Pub.

The only thing cooler than all the free stuff is knowing that I get to meet so many amazing people on Saturday! So many people that I respect as people as well as artists will be at the convention. Even if all I was doing was getting away from the kids for the day, it would totally be fun. But getting out for the day + classes + shopping + new friends + old

Friday, October 21, 2005

American Crafts

You know how you think every once in a while, "This food is so good, I could live on it for the rest of my life and eat nothing else"? That's how I feel about AC letter stickers. They are just perfect. I don't even know what makes them so much better than other stickers, they just are. They just work. So much so that I made a page title with them that took up most of one page! I had so much fun with it, especially considering the subject.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

If you have faith like a little child...

I love hearing Shiloh express her love for the Lord, her desire to follow Him, her growing understanding of what we believe. It is a blessing to pray with her and to be the one to teach her about God's Word and His ways.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The God of the impossible....

I've been praying lately that my life for God would be marked by things that aren't humanly possible. That like Abraham, I wouldn't waver, but be strong in faith. He fully trusted God to bring a child into the world through his barren wife, when they both were well past the age of childbearing. He never wavered in faith. He did have a pretty big misunderstanding about how God's promise was to be fulfilled, but he fully trusted God.

The things I'm trusting God for aren't physically impossible, but they are far beyond what I'm capable of. The ability to manage a family of 6 on one income, to still be sane at the end of the day, to teach my kids how to love and honor God with their behavior.

I've decided to include Elijah (3) and Mariah (2) in our school time. Talk about impossible! I feel that it's the best way to make my marriage the priority it needs to be and gain control over my schedule. Today was our first day and it went great! I'm hoping that by the time the novelty wears off it will be routine enough that it won't be too hard to stick with. We spend the first half of the time on the couch reading, doing a memory verse, and doing a Bible lesson (with some science & social studies mixed in). Sometimes we'll do some sort of P.E. activity, then we do table time. 3-15 min. segments where both of the little kids get toys to play with for the segment, then they can switch. Mariah did amazingly well. I didn't even consider doing school with her awake when we first started, and I still wouldn't if I wasn't including her in what we're doing. It will be good for her to learn some discipline, and I found out today that she can count to 5!

All in all, a good day. To anyone who is reading, let me encourage you--don't sell God short! He wants to do so much more through us than we let Him, and delights in the impossible.

Friday, October 14, 2005

80's music challenge

This is an awesome quiz! Some guy really knew his stuff. I scored 85.5, if you beat me you will have my undying respect.

Here's the quiz

Monday, October 10, 2005

ND quote of the day

"Since when does Grandma go to the dunes?"
"Looks like there's a lot you don't know about."

Is my afternoon break a thing of the past???

Having some downtime every afternoon is very important to me. It's pretty much the only thing that allows me to still be human when Dan gets home. It's my #1 piece of advice (to anyone who asks) about how to make family life work--take your break in the afternoon so you can be available for your husband when he gets home. For us that means if Dan wants to watch a movie together or something, it's not a big deal because I can do my scrapping or reading in the afternoon. If he wants to listen to music I don't like, it's no problem because I have all day to play what I want to listen to. I really think it's one of the keys to a marriage that works.

And yet, here I am. I decided at the beginning of the year that we'd do school in the afternoon so I didn't have to take care of 3 little kids while I was teaching the 4th. My idea was to do school from 1-3. Somehow, though, by the time I get Mariah down for her nap, feed Esther, clean up from lunch or do a chore or two, it's closer to 2:30. And now Mariah's in a big girl bed, so I can't ignore her when she wakes up. We're training her to stay put until we get her up, but, well...staying put isn't one of my 2-year-old's strengths.

So that basically leaves me "on duty" all day long. At least for now, until the girls get used to their new arrangement. I just don't fully relax unless they're all sleeping. And it leaves me not knowing when to make the phone calls that I need to not have interrupted. Maybe it won't take long to get the kinks work out. But if you're reading this--PRAY FOR ME!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


We did a unit on the sky this week. Prepared to discuss the differences between Cumulus, Stratas, and Cirrus, I asked Shiloh if she knew what the different kinds of clouds were.

"Cloudy clouds, rainy clouds, and sunny clouds," she answered. :)

I think so much of education is just common sense. Stuff we all sort of instinctively "get", but can't put into words. I remember that about school, especially college. A teacher would explain something, and it was like I'd found the 2 or 3 missing pieces to a puzzle that was just-about-not-quite done.

It was a good reminder to keep it simple, to build on what she already knows, to stay with things that are practical and relevant.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Journaling challenge

This week we wrote a poem for the 2peas journaling challenge. Here's mine:


10 little bits of life
to bathe until they wrinkle
hold them out for tickles
sit and watch them wiggle

10 little bits of beauty
to paint pink
slip into patent leather
run barefoot in the heather

10 little bits of potential
to jump over hurdles
sink into warm sands
carry you to foreign lands.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

OK Dar, you asked for it...

Dar Kaso from 2Peas wanted to hear labor stories, and I've got a doozie!

I woke up the morning of Feb. 2 having strong contractions every 15 minutes or so. Today's the day!, thought I, and called my wonderful friend Jana who would be babysitting to warn her. Contractions never got very close together, 8 minutes at the most, but they were good and strong. Dan came home at 3 to get us ready, but we kept putting off going to the hospital. Things just weren't picking up. What should I do? I knew they were labor contractions, we lived half an hour from the hospital, and I was at 4 cm. at my last appt. We went in after dinner. We were there for about 3 hours, and they sent me home!! I wasn't progressing quickly enough, apparently.

Here's where it starts to get weird though (well, besides the fact that they wouldn't induce or break my water and I was a week overdue): they prescribed a sleeping pill. They even offered morphine! Apparently when you're having false labor a good night's sleep will make it stop. However, since I wasn't having false labor, I woke up every 15 min. with a minute-long contraction, all night long.

More of the same when the morning started (I can't say "when I woke up" because I hadn't been asleep for more than 20 min. all night). Dan stayed home from work to take care of us. By 3pm I was desperate. I called my dr's office and told them I couldn't keep going like this. They prescribed more Ambien. Keep in mind that I'm a week overdue at this point. I had my weekly check-up the next morning, though, so I figured at that point I'd stage a sit-in in the examining room until they were willing to admit me.

I didn't have to wait that long.

That night, in my Ambien-induced fog, I still was waking up having contractions every 15 min. Then I decided around midnight I wanted a bath. Got in the tub, things started to speed up some. Dan and I still can't figure out who decided we needed to go to the hospital, but by the time I was out of the bath and dressed, Dan had called Jana, gotten the kids in the car and had all our stuff ready to go. Remember we live half an hour from the hospital where I'm supposed to deliver....

Contractions are definitely coming faster. We get to the highway, and my water breaks. I start feeling the urge to push. I'm doing everything to keep from pushing, but at this point I can't stop myself. The Ambien-induced fog is nowhere to be found now. Just before the turn-off to go to Tacoma, I tell Dan we're not going to make it to Tacoma, we'll need to go to the closer hospital in Puyallup (pronounced "pyoo-al-up", for you non-Washingtonians). He was already pretty freaked out, and now is even more so, yet somehow every bit of energy is going to getting us to the hospital as quickly as possible. I'm giving him directions. Very much feeling her head coming down. As we pull into the circle drive I can feel her crowning (remember them talking about the "ring of fire" in childbirth class?). I tell Dan she's coming out, he reaches over and can feel her head through my stretch pants.

He jumps out of the car, runs to the ER and tells the staff, "My wife's having a baby."
They reply, "Ok, just take her up to L & D."
"No," he says, "I mean the head is coming out now!"

15 doctors and nurses run to our van and deliver her the rest of the way (by the time they got there, her head was out.) They delivered her the rest of the way, cut the cord, held her up so I could see her, and then whisked her off to L & D, while they got me cleaned up and put back together. The kids saw pretty much the whole thing from the back of the van and then came in to the hospital and got taken care of by the ER nurses until Dan could get Jana' s phone # from me.

So all's well that ends well. We were somewhat of a legend at the hospital. I thank God that the uterine rupture they're so freaky about with VBAC patients didn't happen in the car, that Esther didn't have low blood sugar when she was born from my gestational diabetes, that we did make it to the hospital, that everything else that could've gone wrong didn't, that we're not having more kids, and that (thanks to Dan's prodding) we called our insurance and got it covered as an emergency delivery, even though we'd delivered outside of their network. And that I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl who brings me joy every day!

Oh, and Summer, I hope you're having an easier time of it than I did!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Imposing structure

Wow. I haven't updated in a while. I think I've had enough going on mentally and emotionally that I didn't quite have a handle on that I wasn't ready to reflect. I was still stewing, I guess.

So here's something meaningful. I spent the weekend with some old roommates. One has 5 kids, all 5 and under. 2 are foster, and they are in the process of adopting. She runs a tight ship! They eat at the same time every day, and get plugged into different activities as soon as they're done eating. They don't get to just run around and cause trouble. They're happy and well-adjusted and love their parents and each other. I've always been kind of in the middle when it comes to structure, I think. We're on a very flexible schedule. I like it that way. But lately the kids are crazy. Elijah knows when I'm not giving him my full attention, and takes advantage of those times. Anyway, talking to my friend made me think that I need to be more proactive about keeping them out of trouble. Paying closer attention, making sure they're doing something productive and not just causing trouble. Having a set time each day where they're playing alone.

We made a list of all of Shiloh's responsibilities and turned it into a star chart. The goal is that she'll be able to do everything on the list without being told. Getting dressed, brushing her hair, making her bed, putting her breakfast dishes away, picking up her room, stuff like that. She loves it.

Speaking of structure, I don't get everything done I need to do in the morning unless I get a good night's sleep, which means going to bed at a decent time. So, of to bed I go....

Friday, September 09, 2005

Random thoughts about the first week of school

  1. We finished our first week, and I think we've accomplished a lot. Homeschooling will be a lot of work, but I know it's what God wants for us, so I'm positive He will bless our efforts. There's more to teaching than I initially realized, and I say this as a former preschool teacher and as one who has done a ton of reading on education. I'm positive we'll do our share of stumbling our way through it, but isn't that how life goes?
  2. We went to a park day with our homeschool fellowship today. My friend Becky did a great job of putting it together and planning a fun activity for the kids. They built boats out of milk jugs--the younger kids made them from single serving pop bottles, and the older kids took about 30-40 milk jugs, duct taped them together and made a 4' x 6' raft. A couple of the kids even rode it! I'm hosting the park day in March, and will definitely have to do some thinking to figure out a fun project--kites, maybe?
  3. We had a Mariah scare. Our 2-year-old is quiet and loves to wander, not a good combination. I had realized that I hadn't seen her for a while and went to look for her when one of the girls informed me that Elijah had gone out on the dock. So we had to call him back in, and by the time he came back I was convinced that Mariah was not nearby. I let the moms know and we all looked for her, even some of the older kids helped. She was in the bathroom. I am so glad the Lord has our days numbered. Even knowing that it is still terrifying to lose your child, even for 2 minutes.
  4. I'm not going to be able to get much done during school time. Last year we worked out of a workbook a couple days a week, and I could sweep the floor, get the mail, pay bills, etc. With our curriculum I'm much more needed. At least for now.
  5. Dan's birthday party is tomorrow. There's still a lot to do to get ready. If the weather holds out, we're having a Star Wars party, with costumes, and watching the original Star Wars movie on the side of our house! Should be fun.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First day of school

I get it now. How homeschooling is going to be. There are times with Shiloh when I'm explaining something to her or trying to do something with her and it's just not clicking. Like learning to ride a bike for her. I'd explain what she needed to do, I knew she understood my words but for some reason it just wasn't connecting. It's like when you keep clicking on a program you want to start on the computer and it won't open. On the other hand, there are times when it connects and there's this sense that a whole new world has been opened to her. We had both of those today, and I think we probably always will.

We talked a bit about fathers today, how God is our Father and He made the world for us, and things about Shiloh's daddy. She made him a card of all the things she loves about him that is priceless.

I love you Daddy because...
  • I sit on the couch with you, on your lap.
  • he will never, ever go in jail.
  • he's handsome, and because he has gel.
  • he does art.
  • he's careful with matches.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Doing nothing

Dan and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night. I don't really know what to say about it except that it was so disturbing to see how so many people knew what was happening and did nothing. How I did nothing. How I live most of my life unaware of the horrible realities the rest of the world lives with every day. Very few people live as comfortably as I do, and I'm not rich by American standards. And it's not even about money, not entirely anyway. It's about paying attention, and refusing to tolerate the kind of human rights abuses that happened in the Sudan 10 years ago, or our fellow Americans literally dying in the streets because of someone's poor planning. And most important, it's about sharing the love of Christ, giving hope to those who have none and the opportunity to spend eternity in a place without the suffering that is inevitable in this world.

Gospel for Asia is one group that is doing something. Their Bridge of Hope program sponsors children who are victims of India's caste system and pays for their education and a meal a day, and in some cases buys them out of slavery (for $14!). These kids learn that they aren't "untouchable", that they're made in the image of God and beloved by Him. Dan and I have come to the conclusion that this is worth far more than $30/mo. could buy our family, and our kids get to grow up praying for a child (and a native missionary) they don't know in another part of the world, knowing that not everyone lives like we do and that we can do something to help.

Another thing, maybe even more important, that I can do is live a life of gratitude. Giving is important, but so is acting in a way that shows that I am grateful for God's blessing in my life. His salvation most of all, His gift of my family, and yes, his provision of material comfort.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I'm having a hard time getting anything done today.

The more I hear about the situation in New Orleans, the harder it is to do anything. I've been sitting in front of the computer (no TV), waiting for better news. It's scary and sad to think about the chaos, the suffering, the loss of life. The only comfort for me is that after great loss there is great openness to the gospel, and many opportunities to do good. I don't know what else to say so I think I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

We prayed this morning for patience and motivation for me...

and it worked! Praise God! I've been much better with the kids today and even read to them this morning, which I never do even though I know how important it is. And I'm out of my don't-wanna-do-anything slump and have a list of things I'd like to do before we start homeschooling on Tuesday. It's overwhelmingly long, but at least everything's written down.

Hurricane Katrina was devastating. Things like that affect me much more since 9-11. I think since then I've been more aware of how things like that impact me, even when they seem so far away. Jlyne, a fellow 2peas member, lost just about everything. She and her family are safe, but her house and most of her things have been destroyed. I don't know her, and have never spoken with her, but her design work is incredible and my heart goes out to her and everyone else who has lost so much, and especially those who have lost loved ones or are fighting for their own lives.

I'm looking forward to hearing how the Calvary Chapel is faring, and hopeful that the Lord is using them to draw many people to Himself and provide for their physical and material needs.

Anyway, back to that list. Truly I am blessed abundantly and ought to show my gratitude by loving my family and taking care of my things, for starters...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Call me a dork, but...

I *heart* Napoleon Dynamite! Here's a ND-inspired layout I did this afternoon.

Ever have a day when the mom thing just isn't working???

This would be one of those days.

The 4-year-old is having some sort of naptime issue. I make her have some quiet time every afternoon, whether she sleeps or not. She can read books or play quietly. Lately every time I send her in to our room she destroys something. Today she found a green marker and wrote all over herself, her sister's brand-new pillow and there's a spot on the carpet. Lately she' s squirted all the Vaseline out of the tube, written in a book of mine, etc.

The 3-year-old pees or poops in his underwear and then takes it off. He won't go in the toilet of his own accord. And he knows exactly how to push all my buttons, but has the courtesy to wait until I'm on the phone to do it.

The 2-year-old was her normal self today. Totally crazy and needing all kinds of attention.

The baby has some sort of issue and is currently inconsolable. I can't function when she's screaming. Even if she's in the other room.

Never mind the usual. A pile of laundry that needs to be folded. Another that needs to be washed. Can't find my camera, would like to use it tonight. A million other things I'd like to do and need to do to gear up for homeschooling (we start next week). I'm going to a party, mostly people I don't know (I hate that) to say good-bye to my good friend who just got married and is leaving first thing tomorrow for Alaska.

I have a scrapbook layout that I'm 2/3 of the way finished with and totally excited about, but I can't scrap in this frame of mind!! Oh, wait. The baby stopped screaming. Carry on, I'm going to go scrap!

10 places I'd like to travel to

I saw this challenge posted on 2peas by goes. I think I'll add the whys too.
  1. the Grand Canyon -- just because I think it would be awesome.
  2. London, England -- because Dan really wants to go. Though if we went I think we'd have to see Scotland and Ireland as well.
  3. Glacier Nat'l Park (Montana) -- fairly nearby and awesome for camping, from what I remember
  4. Hawaii -- do I need to say why?
  5. Israel -- everyone I've talked to that has gone says that it totally changed their understanding of the Bible and made it come to life in a new way
  6. back to the California Redwoods -- it was so beautiful when we were there before and we left so quickly after getting rained out. Also the Samoa Cookhouse is totally cool.
  7. Philadelphia, PA -- to see my sis
  8. Spain -- I've just always wanted to go there, to the countryside more than the cities, though
  9. Maine when the leaves are falling -- another self-explanatory one
  10. the rest of the East Coast -- we'd love to do an American History tour with the kids when they get older. Also, to see the Smithsonian

Friday, August 26, 2005


Jenny L. asked which curriculum I'm using. After much thought, some research 3 years ago (long story), more thought, and talks with Dan, I narrowed down the list of what I wanted in a curriculum. Bible-based, and a one-room schoolhouse approach were at the top of my list. I wanted something where all 4 of my kids would be learning the same concepts but at their level. I also preferred a holistic approach to education, something that integrated all the subjects and showed their interconnectedness.

So, knowing what I wanted, I googled "Bible-based homeschool curriculum" or something to that effect. A few different names of publishers came up. I already knew A Beka wasn't for me. I went to the websites of the others and first determined whether they were doing what I wanted to do spiritually and educationally. Alpha Omega turned out to have exactly what I was looking for with their Weaver program. We're using The Interlock, their preschool/kindergarten curriculum. Oh, and it turned out that another family at church has used the Weaver, and the mom was willing to talk to me about it and let me borrow her copy. That was awesome! So I checked eBay a couple times and ended up finding it for $15 with S&H (Brand new it's $89 without S&H).

My advice: stay far, far away from those catalogs, at least until you know what you're looking for. It was important to me to have a full curriculum for the first year, I'll add what I feel is necessary later but for this year I wanted something easy to follow that would cover all the bases. I prefer at this point to go with publishers I trust and get what I need from them, rather than picking stuff out of a catalog that might not be any good, or might not be what my family needs.

The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches

It takes so little for me to get caught up in temporal things. All I have to do is look a little to the right and look at our escrow statement, then I'm wondering "can't we drop our PMI yet?" "has our house appreciated as much as we think?" "why haven't they called us back about the refinance?". Or I can look to the left and think "that is one nasty dining room floor". The cares of this world want to take over my heart and mind. I could easily be consumed by everything that goes into managing my home. And the deceitfulness of riches--I can almost always find an answer to my problems that just requires a little money.

The Bible tells me "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." This is encouraging. It reminds me that my mind isn't naturally, normally set on things above. However, it is a challenge. I must actively set it on heavenly things. I can't allow the things of this world to control me or dictate how I spend my time. God isn't worried about how I'm going to pay my bills, how I'm going to get caught up on housework, where I'll find the time to homeschool, how I'm going to lose my extra weight. He even knows what it will take to get Elijah to potty train! And it's not important to Him that I have a picture perfect life with everything in it's place, financial independence, etc. So I guess I should chill out. After I get the floor mopped, of course.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what's stewing today...

  1. The wedding is OVER!!! Jana and Ben are married, and I get my life back. Sounds like a win-win situation if you ask me. Jana was the happiest, most beautiful bride I've ever seen and the kids were adorable as the flower girl and "ring bear". God was glorified that day, and I was honored to be a part of it.
  2. I think I'm ready to start homeschooling. I have my curriculum, I bought everything on the supplies list that I think we'll need, I've got a sense of my goals for this year and how to achieve them, Shiloh's totally excited, I have monthly and weekly calendars printed out and filled in. We're waiting until the day after Labor Day, though, to give me a little time to get things in relative order around here.
  3. I've decided it's ok if I start buying frozen dinners. Not like TV dinners or those itty-bitty Lean Cuisines or anything. I mean stuff like frozen ravioli, potstickers, lasagna, etc. Life is just too short for me to be idealistic. Today these frozen chicken-veggie-pasta thingies were 2 for 1 at Costco. 4 meals for about $8 (I think, I didn't actually look at the price), and it frees me up to spend my time doing more important things.
  4. My friend Cat called this morning to tell me she's the newest member of the Scraptalk {dt}, and it's definitely pushed me to get my work out there. I think I've wanted to have some sort of strategy for how to get to where I want to be in the world of semi-professional scrappers...but I think I just need to do what works and take the opportunities as they come, and not stress over what the "best" way to do this is.
  5. My house is a mess. There's stuff everywhere. When we're busy we tend to just drop everything and run off to the next event when we're home. Gotta do something about that.
  6. Mariah's 2nd birthday is in 2 days! I think we're going to celebrate by going out on Grandma and Grandpa's boat. Her cheapskate parents are buying paint for her birthday. Pink paint. So she and her sisters can have a cute, pink, girly room. This is my favorite picture of Mariah. I can't tell if I'm making it fit here the way I want it to, but whatever. Isn't she the cutest?
That's all for today. If you've read this far, leave me a message telling me what you did on your 2nd birthday, or the first birthday you remember. I'm pretty sure I spent my 2nd birthday at home with my new baby sister and my mom, who had just come home from the hospital from having my new baby sister.

Friday, August 19, 2005

We are ridiculously busy.

Unbelievably so.

My dear friend Jana is getting married tomorrow, and Shiloh and Elijah and I are all in the wedding. I go back and forth between being excited beyond belief for her, and wanting it all to be O-ver. After this, we have baby shower, dinners w/friends, dentist appts, BBQs, etc. All in addition to our normal weekly stuff. Cleaninglaundryshoppingcookingerrandshomeschoolprep. Breathe. Try to scrap in there somewhere. I have a project I'm hoping to submit.

I'm starting to think this is just life with a big family. 6 people with needs. 24 hours to meet them all. And I'm the manager. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But I'd be really really really happy if I could get caught up and on top of everything, just once.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Setting Homeschooling goals pt. 3

Yeah, I'm all about goals. Something I read recently really affirmed their importance to me--the author of The Organized Homeschooler talked about how God has a purpose for everything He does. He does nothing carelessly, aimlessly, or in vain. It's important to me to begin with the end in mind, so that I can make sure I get to the end I'm working toward.

These are my goals for this school year:

for Shiloh:
  • grow in confidence socially and make friends
  • learn letter sounds and blends
  • count to 100
  • tranisition into full-time homeschooling
for Elijah:
  • begin to recognize letters, shapes, numbers
  • participate in story time, memory verses, field trips
for Mariah:
  • learn to sit quietly during story time
for myself:
  • read to kids daily
  • frequent library trips
  • make school time a priority
  • be involved with Agape HSF
  • achieve and maintain an ordered, disciplined life
  • pursue opportunities to scrapbook for compensation
Looks like it's going to be a busy year!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Setting Homeschooling goals pt. 2

In my last post I mentioned that my spiritual goals are the #1 reason I'm homeschooling. My desire is that they would know God as He is revealed in the Bible, and that they would love and fear Him. As far as actual goals, mine are that they will...
  • develop habits of consistent daily "quiet times"--starting their days by praying and reading their Bibles
  • know how to study the Bible
  • memorization of large and small portions of Scripture
  • know how to explain a Biblical concept to believers and unbelievers
  • obtain a Biblical worldview
  • know how to pray for their own needs and the needs of others
  • know how to repent and express gratitude to God
  • find strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of discovering their calling
  • understand the importance of reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Related are my character goals for them--that they would be...
  • obedient (to God and their parents)
  • humble
  • honest
  • respectful
  • responsible
  • good stewards
  • creative
  • willing and able to serve others
Many of these came up in a conversation Dan and I had year ago where we made lists of our goals for our kids and narrowed them down to our top 5. I found it to be really helpful in determining what our core values are, where mine differ from his and how to make these the priority of our parenting. I believe that the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control) will be evident as they mature in their relationships with Christ, as they are the by-product of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Setting Homeschooling goals pt. 1

In an attempt to be purposeful with our homschooling, I've been considering short-term and long-term goals. I found this definition of an educated person in The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson:

*can obtain information he requires (through knowing how to read well and knowing where and how to find needed information)
*can communicate effectively with others both orally and in writing
*has a broad general knowledge base from which he can draw as needed
*possesses the math knowledge required for daily life, as well as an awareness, if not a working knowledge, of the intricate bonds between higher math and the workings of the universe
*has a love of learning that will facilitate education throughout the lifetime. (p. 52-53)

This fits with many conversations Dan and I have had about our desires for our kids. However, seeing them written down has given direction to my thinking. It's important to me that they learn history and science and all that, but I've come to believe that teaching them how to learn, how to read and love reading, and how to think critically is the foundation.

I believe that homeschooling affords me a unique opportunity to accomplish my goals for my kids. Not that these things can't happen in a school setting, just that my opportunity to make them happen is limited.

To be perfectly honest, my educational objectives for them are not at the top of my priority list. Far from it. My primary reason for keeping them at home is to teach them who God is, what His Word says, and how to live in a way that pleases Him. I have goals to that end as well, but we'll talk about that another day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Welcome to my crockpot!

Why a crockpot? Because that's what my brain feels like a lot of the time. A bunch of stuff all thrown together, simmering, mixing together. Usually what comes out is something I'm pleased with. I love using my (real) crockpot. My meat never tastes as good as when it's been sitting in the crockpot all day with some onions, garlic, veggies...and there's always enough liquid when it's done to make a little gravy. It reminds me that in life, everything we do or say affects each other. Everything we learn is added to a lifetime of thoughts and information. Everything we feel is layered on top of other feelings. It all mixes together. I hope for my life to be an integrated whole like that, with Jesus Christ infusing every aspect of it.

So with that, I jump on the blog-wagon. My purposes for blogging are as follows:
  1. to record our homeschooling activities and reflect on what's working and what we're learning.
  2. to network with the scrapbooking community and share my work and photography
  3. political rantings and ravings
  4. for loved ones to see what we're up to
  5. to communicate about the Lordship of Jesus Christ, how that affects my life, and thoughts about walking with Him