Monday, September 28, 2009

Can I Get A "Do Over" Please?

I was in a six month internship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO the summer/fall of 2004. Nathan and I had just started our courtship earlier that spring and I knew that when I got home we would be getting married. (That might sound presumptuous but I had known for about a year or more before we even started courting. A different story for another time.) In preparation for this six months away I made a list of things I wanted to do during my internship because I knew my life was going to be way different when I got home. It was mostly a list of personal disciplines that I wanted to conquer or achieve but in the end I wasted my time and didn't take advantage of those six months. I've really tried to not rake myself over the coals for my lack of discipline, and therefore failure, but I do regret it. And I want a "Do Over".

I've never wanted to be one of those people who has to exercise or I'll just die! And I've personally never really enjoyed things like fasting and dieting. But in my attempt to "not be legalistic" I've gotten lazy and am seriously lacking in the area of personal disciplines. So I'm giving myself a "Do Over". This as a choice I'm making, not rules I'm setting.

Here's my plan:

6 Month Do Over

October 2009-March 2010

1. Exercise 5 times a week.
I need it. That's the plain, not-so-pretty truth. And especially after the trauma this body has been through this year it needs some training and LOTS of toning.

2. Fasting.
Oh granny. I don't know if anyone is ever like, "YEAH! It's time to fast!" but I would really like to get to a place where I'm not swearing on the inside when I think of fasting. The main reason really that I want to fast is cause I failed miserably at my fasting commitment while in KC. My fasting plan will follow what I should have done in KC. I will be fasting the first Monday-Wednesday of every month, every Tuesday, and the first full week of December.

3. Read through the Bible in 6 months.
I've read many parts of the Bible over and over. And I've made many attempts to read it Genesis to Revelations but I've never succeeded. So I'm going to now. I found a great Bible reading plan resource online. My personal plan profile is called: 6 month personal do over.

4. Do school with Abiah 5 days a week.
It has been so easy for me to procrastinate when it comes to Abiah's schooling but now that he is in the 1st grade I really need to buckle down and make this a priority. I've learned so far that our schooling only takes 2-3 hours a day. I can do that.

5. Read with Nathan.
We have always wanted to read books together and have never seems to make it happen. But recently we've both been purposeful about it and it makes me happy. Right now we are reading Waking the Dead by John Eldridge. Nathan picked it out and that makes me happy, too. I love it when he leads in this area of our marriage.

6. Blog 2 times a week.
I started this blog because there are so many thoughts and ideas of stories swimming around in my head and I needed an outlet for them. I've always wanted to journal but I still have a fear that my sisters are gonna find my journal and tell everyone what I wrote. So I beat 'em to it and started a blog! Plus my kids are just too stinking cute and funny not to share with ya'll. The problem is that when I have time and the peace required to blog it's much easier to take a nap or watch a movie. And then my brain gets filled to a dangerous capacity with information that is fighting to get out. The truth is I need to blog. Need.

7. Read three "personal growth" books.
I actually don't really know that they would be labeled "personal growth" but I mean "books that aren't stories". My book choices are: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, and When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent. You may be thinking, "Wow! That's a lot of reading." And it is. But I've been working at reading Battlefield of the Mind for the past two years and have only recently finished part one of three. But since January of this year I have read at least ten novels. And I've watched plenty of movies and t.v. online. I can do this.

8. Monthly Specials.
Every month I have one special commitment thatwill last just for that month (with the exception of October and December's because it involves more than just me).

October: Potty train Hazel
November: Daily Cleanse vitamins
December: Wean Hazel from thuuuuth (which means friend in Hazel language, which is her pacifier).
January: Fast candy and deserts
February: For One Week*
March: 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels (I've heard it's brutal!)

*For One Week is an idea I read about when I was blog surfing. The problem is that I don't remember who's blog I was on. So whoever came up with this idea, I give you full credit for your creativity and wonderfulness. I don't take credit for this at all. The idea is to commit to do one new thing for seven days that you always want to do but forget about or are just to lazy to do. I have two of my four commitments so far.

Week 1: Greet Nathan at the door every night with a smile and a kiss.
Week 2: Call a different friend every day.

So, this is my "Do Over". It begins this Thursday and I will blog with updates regularly. If this has inspired you to do your own "Do Over"or if you have any questions about my choices leave a comment below and share.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cannibalism Runs In The Family And Other New Stories

Abiah was talking to me & Hazel about dinner the other night. Well, it was more like rambling...any who, he's talking about what I cooked for dinner and starts listing off the ingredients I "used", "salt, pepper, rice, venchables (vegetables), people...", he looks at me to see if I heard and asks, "Mom, do you eat people?" I reply, "Yup. that's why I want you to eat your dinner. So I can grow you up good and eat you." He laughed and pushed his bowl back and said, "Well, I'm not gonna eat then." then he got quiet and 30 seconds later he asked, "Really Mom?"

I did of course reassure him that I don't eat people, but he might want to watch out for Amelia.


My mom has been so helpful to me lately. Well, always really, but lately when she comes over she seems to find time to fold my ever-existing mound of laundry on the couch. Well, one day I managed to conquer this task while the kids were napping and when I brought the girls down stairs Hazel saw the folded piles of clothes and exclaimed, "Baba!" (which is Maga, which means Grandma). I rolled my eyes as I laughed and told her that mommy had folded the laundry, but she still looked around the house for Baba. Whatever!


Abiah informed me that when he gets older he's gonna get a sword or gun and fight Satan.


Hazel picked up Abiah's stuffed dog uniquely named "Puppy" and sniffed it's butt. I don't know why she felt the need or where she got the idea from. But she did it. And it is totally mommy blog material.


My Mom took Abiah into the restroom at Costco and when he needed help with unmentionable things she asked him to unlock the door for her. He asked he why she couldn't just crawl under like he does. Ewwwwww! I had NO idea. I swear.


My husband, Nathan, has a false tooth. He didn't have all of his adult teeth and the dentist pulled a baby tooth that didn't have a replacement so he wears a retainer with a false tooth. Abiah LOVES to do EVERYTHING Daddy does. So, when he saw Nathan take his false tooth out while brushing his teeth Abiah ran to his bed room and got his toy teeth (They are all silver with jewels on them. Very Flavor Flav. I know.) and put them into his mouth so he could take them out before brushing his teeth.

Monday, September 21, 2009

1st Grade Curriculum Choices

Abiah started 1st grade this year and I am excited and nervous at the same time. We have decided to homeschool for many reasons. Since I get asked often I thought I'd list a few of the main reasons here.
  1. Because of Nathan's work schedule (swing shift) he would only see Abiah on the weekends.
  2. Because "we" hunt it gives us the flexibility to start school when it works best for our family.
  3. We want to protect Abiah from being exposed to "mature" information before it is time.
  4. I used to homeschool other people's children for a living and so I have lots of experience and very little reason not to.
Because of our recent hunting trip we started school this week. At the beginning of the week I felt like I was trying to find my footing. I was not as prepared as I hoped to be, but by the end of the week I felt more sure about my daily plan.

I get all my curriculum from Exodus Books (see link to the right). Aside from the fact that I know the owner, I like the variety and prices as well as the honesty and eagerness to help homeschooling families. Exodus Books also has a great website with helpful tips and tools. Check it out! (I am not getting paid to say this. I just like their store.) So, here's my choices for 1st grade curriculum.


Horizon's Math Book 1&2 Grade 1
I chose this math book for it's colorful pictures, repetitive content and easy teaching. I don't purchase the teacher's guide because of the skill level and because right now Abiah still needs me to sit with him and help him stay on task. So I am correcting as we go. We used this curriculum for his kindergarten math and it seemed to challenge him and keep his attention (as well as a five year old's attention span can be kept). I plan to use this math curriculum through third grade. At fourth grade we will switch to Saxon.


Grammar Practice
I am usually an Easy Grammar and Daily Grams kinda gal but they don't have books until 2nd grade. After looking through Grammar Practice I decided it is a book that is easy to use without a teacher's manual (and an answer key is in the back) and it should only take us about 10 minutes every day to work through a section. There are 22 lessons that contain 5 sections each. We can do one lesson a week and be right on track with our other school work. I feel like it will give Abiah a good exposure to grammar in preparation for the books I plan to use next year.


Bible Truth's: A Father's Care Grade 1 BJU
Abiah has been asking for more information about the Bible and his interest moved me to choose a Bible curriculum for our schooling. Although there are many activities available to go with this curriculum I am just using the basics. I did need the teacher's manual for this subject but because Exodus Books carries used books I was able to get one in good but used condition for a lower price. One of the drawing points for me was that it teaches the Catechism. Now, I wasn't raised in churches that taught the Catechism but I have always wanted to know it and I figured I can teach it to myself while I teach it to my kids.


Startwrite 5.0
I LOVE this program! Startwrite 5.0 is a computer software that allows you to create your own handwriting worksheets. You choose from multiple fonts, letter sizes, character guides and much more. I have used this program since last year to teach Abiah to write his name and alphabet. This year we are incorporating it with his Bible course. I created a worksheet for his weekly Bible memory verse and he uses it for handwriting practice and memorization.

Science 1 BJU
My America and My World A Beka Book

I enjoy both Bob Jones and A Beka for science and history curriculum. For this year we are just slowly reading through the books and I ask Abiah a few questions about what we have read. My goal is exposure to science and history without the weight of tests and experiments. This is not to say that we won't do any experiments but I am trying to keep our school time at the table to a minimum. So we talk about and included what we read about into our daily lives. Another plus for this choice is that I found used books in great condition for three and four dollars. At Exodus Books of course.


Spell to Write and Read BHI

I am a huge fan of Spell to Write and Read. The program can feel weighty and really involved but I think that every family that uses it can find what works for them and make it their own. I used this program when I was tutoring ESL students and I had great results. The repetition and flash cards make memorizing the rules for phonics easy and fun. We also read together every night and I am hoping that Abiah will be reading to me by the end of the year.

Well, that's it. Even with choosing to do 8 different subjects we are done with school in 2-3 hours. I love it! What are some of your favorite curriculum choices. And if you don't homeschool, what are some of your favorite books to read with your kids. I'm always looking for new ideas.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Place Like

We've been home for a week and so this seems late, but I have had a hard time putting our trip into words. Well, words that didn't sound negative and complainy (I can make up words). When people ask me if we had a fun trip I have a hard time answering because it was mostly work. It was much better than it could have been. But it was hard and a LOT of work. Abiah loved it and so did Nathan. I had a nice time with the family but being out in the woods with a 20 months old and a 7 month old is a lot of work. Have I mentioned that it was a lot of work yet?

This was my 5th year of hunting with Nathan's family. Usually we camp out in the woods where there are no eminities. We brought up water, my father-in-law dug a hole and put up the "crapper"tent, we took two minute showers every other day, and when the guys were out hunting we women spent most of our time in the trailer hiding from the many noises outside. It worked well. We had it figured out and it was "roughing it" but it worked. This year we would have seven adults and six kids ages 7 months to 6 years.... we decided to try out the local camp ground.

My in-laws still brought the trailer and we ended up in sights that only had water but we loved it. The camp hostess cleaned the bathroom 8 times a day. She tried to clean the showers after every use. The kids could run around and play and we didn't have to worry too much about wild animals. There was a play ground with "wings" as Hazel called them and our camp sites were close together and close to the bathrooms. This made our trip easier and I'm so glad we went there. We are going back next year, too.

While we were camping I started compiling a list of lessons learned on this trip.

Lessons Learned Hunting 2009

  • Reading The Shack isn't a good idea if you ever plan to camp with your children.
  • Synchronizing kids nap schedules with other camping family members is a must.
  • Synchronizing nap schedules does not mean that all kids will actually be asleep at the same time.
  • Bringing a fan to drown out noises is a great idea....when you have electricity.
  • Swapping dinner for lunch makes for an easier clean up/bed time/relaxing evening.
  • It takes a whole village to raise six children, a dog and a praying mantis.
  • Four women is not a village.
  • Finding food for Lucinda the Mantis is a great activity for bored kids.
  • Finding a male mantis "friend" for Lucinda the Mantis leads to uncomfortable questions from kids about why bugs give piggy back rides to each other.
  • A five hour kids free trip to a podunk town to do laundry for almost three hours and browse a few shops makes for a refreshed and happy momma.
  • When every step you take causes a dust storm expect everything to be covered in dust. Kids, clothes, camping gear, food, vehicles, mantises...
  • When you return home from an 11 day trip there is more laundry to do than you knew existed in your house.
  • When the hubby washes his USED game bags in YOUR washing machine there will be remnants of things that God and the Maytag Man never meant to be in there.
  • Hubby will clean these remnants out of washing machine OR ELSE!
  • Scheduling a pedicure for the day after you get back is crucial to returning to a "normal" state of womanliness.
  • I can live 11 days without Facebook, my blog and just takes a while for the shaking to stop.
Also, we had a very successful hunt. My FIL got a 4x4 bull elk at the beginning of the trip. Nathan went back up this last weekend and also got a 4x4 bull elk. And then Nathan's childhood best friend, Jesse, was here from Texas and got a 6x5 bull elk and gave the meat to Nathan's sister and brother-in-law. So we all will have freezers full of meat for this year. I'm very proud of Nathan and his accomplishment. And I do like being out there with him. I just have to remember it will get easier.

Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gone Huntin'

We'll be back in about ten days. Pray for a successful and safe hunt. I'm hoping to find a place with WFI up there so I can post some pictures but ya'll might just have to wait 'till we get back. See you later!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An Adult Like Momma

Today Abiah was explaining to Hazel the cycle of life. Well, what he knows about it. He said, "Everyone starts out as a baby. Then they are a kid. Then they are an adult. Like Momma." Inside I'm thinking, "Huh! An adult? Momma doesn't feel like an adult." But, you see, he and I have two very different definitions of that word.

To him that means:
  • Staying up late.
  • Eating chocolate and candy.
  • Drinking soda.
  • Drinking coffee.
  • Driving a car and going wherever you want.
  • Watching adult movies (In our house that means movies he can't watch. Not "Behind The Big Red Curtain" movies.).
  • Eating nachos for lunch instead of burritos (burritos are, in theory, cleaner).
To me that means:
  • Staying up late to regain sanity and finish cleaning up from the day.
  • Feeling guilty over the candy and chocolate consumed an hour after my morning walk.
  • Full responsibility for three kids, one husband, one house and three vehicles .
  • A constantly dirty right shoulder and thigh which, today, is compliments of the a fore mentioned theoretically cleaner burrito and the toddler who sits next to me at the table and uses me as a napkin.
  • Slug like snot trails on my shoulders and legs from children.
  • Loving nap time and bedtime way more than the kids.
  • Missing the kids as soon as they are down for nap time or bed time.
  • Eating nachos instead of burritos because I like the spicy nacho sauce that's too hot for the kids.
Are there split definition words in your house?