12 December 2007

you know you're a mother when...~

You know you're really a mother when...
~You are totally okay with the five second dropped food rule. Hey, you're totally willing to stretch that rule to the five minute rule, next day rule...whatever....

~You don't think twice about holding out your hands to catch throw up that would otherwise end up on the carpet

~You find yourself bouncing, swaying, and/or pushing your grocery cart back and forth, even if you're alone.

~You think banana peach oatmeal baby food tastes pretty good.

~You say things like "Because I'm the mom...," "If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you jump off as well?"

You know you're the mother of a larger than average size family when...~

~Your mother in law keeps two of the children for the day, leaving you at home with only six and you feel like you have a day off...

~You ask the guy at the grocery store if you can just have the still-shrink wrapped case of vegetables on his cart instead of having to throw 15 individual cans of green beans in your cart...then you get home and your seven year old says "Thanks Mom for getting the case of beans, it's so much easier to bring in and put away than all those cans!"

~Your family likes a certain kind of bread and anytime you are at any store, you buy every single loaf they have...

~You order paper towel and toilet paper coupons in bulk from the coupon clippers...



~You have diapers and wipes as a regular scheduled delivery from Amazon and still you often have to request an early shipment.

~When people see you with only three toddlers in the store and say "Boy, you've got your hands full..." you have to decide if you're going to smile sweetly and keep walking, roll your eyes, or have a 15 minute conversation on how you really have five more, yes we homeschool, but they're in a two day a week co-op, yes we might have more, yes, I know I look young, yes, I'll tell you how old I am, I'm 31 which leads to another conversation about how my husband and I met in high school, married at 17, had our first over a year later, (yes, we did things in the proper order :) not that that is any of their business!), and have been married 14 1/2 years, we afford it because the Lord is gracious and takes care of us and we trust that He always will. I don't do it, I can only be a mom by the grace of God, etc, etc, etc.....great testimony, just have to decide how many times I want to share it in one grocery trip :o)

~You will only buy one kind of sock for each child and each child's socks have their own color-coordinated line.

~You need a new washer and you tell the guy you just want the absolute largest one they make.

~You buy pacifiers in bulk when they're on sale.

~Leftovers....what are leftovers?

~It's way cheaper for you to shop online and pay for shipping than dragging everyone out, paying for gas in your suv/15-passenger van, and buying food for everyone.

~You find yourself constantly counting your children and it takes you five minutes to realize you're holding the one you are frantically searching for.

~Whichever cereal is buy-one-get-one-free is the cereal of the week. If it comes with a toy, you'd better hope they have at least seven boxes. Well, actually that doesn't even matter because you need at least seven boxes.

~You strictly adhere to an extremely detailed plan for whose week it is to sit at the end of the dinner table, pray first, choose the Bible story, sit by the baby, go on errands with mom, and stay up late to play a game after bedtime.

~When someone is sick, you have them cough on everyone immediately so that you can get it over with in one week instead of six :o) (sounds bad, but trust me, one week of chicken pox vs. six weeks of chicken pox...we did the six week version...like I said...trust me)

~It takes a re-arranging of the doctor's schedule to do check ups for all your children, it still takes two weeks in a row of four kids each week, you're there for two and half hours each time, and an extremely coordinated plan for babysitting and keeping school going...but it still throws off your life for an entire month.

~You buy so many bananas someone inevitably says "You must be making a lot of banana bread," and again, you have to decided whether or not to engage them in the above mentioned conversation...

~You only buy mix and match clothing.

~Costco is a bulk buying warehouse?.....Really? It's supposed to last longer than a week?

~When going out of town you can only rent a house, or go to Country Inns and Suites, and then you still have to decide if they really mean the baby and two year old when they ask how many children you're travelling with....does it count if they sleep in a pack and play?

~You have to buy a troop membership (not family, no....a "family" is three kids and two adults) to the Adventure Science Center, and then it's still cheaper than buying tickets for everyone.

~You have enough people to make a reservation anytime you want to go to any restaurant.

~You have perfected the peanut butter and honey assembly line...gee...you're nine year perfected the peanut butter and honey assembly line.

~Your maternity wardrobe is much nicer than your regular wardrobe seeing as how you spend more time wearing it...

~You realize you will be attending the Kdg/1st grade Mother's Tea for at least 16 years in a row.

~You qualify for group discounts!

~You get eight times the laundry, meal prep, meal clean up, baths, toys, etc....and eight times the stories, plays, songs, jokes, secrets, smiles, hugs, kisses, and love notes...


Can't remember why I started thinking about this, but it was kind of fun...Oh yeah, because my mother in law does have two of my children and I do feel like I have a day off :o)

Happy Wednesday! It is Wednesday...right?


15 November 2007

something you don't see every day~

I love living in the country. Most people I know say something about how it's so beautiful, but they would never want to have to drive this far out on a daily basis. Well, I don't get out daily, so that obviously helps, but when I do get out, I love the drive. It is beautiful. It is calming, it is relaxing, it is very much downtime for me. Getting all six sweeties out the door can sometimes be frustrating, so it's nice to have time to just relax. I don't want to have to get out of my car five minutes after I get in it :o)

Anyway, that aside, guess what I saw today! I saw a mother cow giving birth in a field right alongside the road! I have never in my life seen an animal giving birth, come to think of it, aside from one of my nieces, I've never seen any birth. I didn't see my own births and I was behind the video camera for Millie's, so I've never really seen a birth. Rats that I pretty much missed the cow's too, but I sort of saw it.

I was driving by and saw a cow lying on her side with a leg stuck up in the air, a very large, bulging stomach, and a partially born calf coming out! I promptly (not promptly enough, apparantly) found a place to turn around and went back. I pulled over, but the mother cow was already standing up, eating(?) the bag and umbilical cord (yuck...), and licking the little cow like crazy. It was squirming around some, but mostly still just lying there all wet. Still....pretty amazing. As it was on a not so busy road, I got Moriah out to look. Since it had really already happened, she wasn't particularly impressed, but oh well.... I was! Now every time I drive by that field and see that little calf with its mother I'm going to feel like that's my little calf :o)

I'm a little bored :o) Not that I don't have piles of things I can do, but I'm fighting off getting some kind of chest infection (again), so under strict orders from the husband of the year, I'm not doing much...

I still think the cow thing was pretty cool, though, just wish I'd been able to see the whole thing...

Kind of weird, too, though, as Glen and I are thinking about getting my grandparents to raise a cow for us this next year (well...for our freezer, if you get my drift...)

12 November 2007

pondering in my heart~

"...But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Luke 2:19

I spent a good part of worship at church yesterday morning holding Ethan. For those of you that don't know Ethan, he is my stocky five, almost six-year-old funny man. We always joke that God must have pulled his personality out of the surprise box as he is one of the sweetest, yet uniquely funny kids I've ever met, and honestly, that is a fairly un-biased observation :o)
He is at the sweetest stage of life, mostly big boy, but still in love with me and oblivious to the "mom, my friends are all watching" public display of affection awareness that sadly comes with age... He kisses me, hugs me, holds my hand, rubs my back, all with childish abandonment. His particularly sweet nature and personality just makes it all the more pronounced. As hard as I am trying...there are really no words...

I've mentioned before how my children seem to be more affectionate with me at church, although I've noticed it when we watch movies together or read as well, so I think it is really more of a "mom is sitting down, let's grab her" kind of thing, not specifically related to church. But that is where I tend to notice it most.

So, we're at church, standing up and worshipping. I've been holding Noah, then Moriah, and the next thing I know, Ethan is reaching up for me to hold him. So there I stand, holding my fifty pound sweetie. For a good 15 minutes I stood and just held him, holding the tears at bay. Thanking the Lord for my precious boy who, in that instant I realized, was soon, in the blink of an eye, going to be bigger than me. I treasured up every thought, every feeling of his still small body holding onto my neck, resting his head on my shoulder, rubbing my hair and giving me kisses. Before I know it, this stage of my life will have passed and I will be left aching for small arms to embrace me with pure childish abandon.

Somewhere along the way I crossed the line. You always hear older moms say to treasure it, to not wish it away, yet it is so hard when we are surrounded by laundry and toy squabbles and diapers and dishes and impatient two year olds, to not wish for that next, optimistically easier stage of life. To wish our children into their adulthood. I eagerly anticipate my children being even more self sufficient and the evolving of our friendship that will come with age, but I am beginning to get a taste of what those older, wiser women mean when they caution us to treasure those moments. When I was holding Ethan I had this intense, conscious realization that out of the span of my whole life, the very narrow window of time that I have with him as a boy totally in love with his mommy is almost past, and to savor every minute, to treasure it, to store it up in my heart. So I did. I relished him. And I've begun my week with renewed focus on the important things of life.

People ask why I have so many children...now you know...because it is worth it. Every smile, every slobbery kiss, every shiny rock, every flower, every picture, every hug, pajama feet and freshly scrubbed children running in towels, children piled on the bed with popcorn and a movie complete with 3-D glasses on the two year old, Bible stories told by Dad, Anna teaching Moriah how to write her name, bigger boys explaining to little boys how they're going to teach them to play dinosaurs and shoot arrows, 4 year olds learning to write their name and pictures of stick people with big heads on my refrigerator, silly songs and sleepy baby stretches...I can't resist it. It is the stuff life is made of. It is my life.

For which I am exceedingly and overwhelmingly thankful...

06 November 2007

the homeschool guinea pig~

A little bragging is in order around here. I just want to let everyone know how proud I am of my sweet Anna! She tested into Saxon 7/6 Math which is a sixth/seventh grade math! As Anna is only in the fourth grade, and often gets down on herself about math, I just had to brag on her a little!

I have decided, mid year of course, to switch math curriculums for Anna. I did very well in math, but I am very much a "just tell me how to do it and I'll do" kind of person. I don't really care that much why it works, just show me how. The math curriculum that I have been using with Anna since we started homeschooling is called Singapore Math. It has a tremendous track record and is very effective, but it is slightly unconventional. It focuses a lot on mental math and then moves to concrete "how to" kind of stuff. I really have liked it and it hasn't been too difficult for me to teach, I've just had to shift my brain from what is my normal way of thinking. This year, though, has been more challenging as Anna moves into slightly more advanced math. I was spending way too much time figuring out how to explain it to her. I knew how to do the problems, but they were presenting things in a way that was not conducive to how I thought about them. Make sense? Instead of being able to just teach her the way I understand, I was having to first teach myself how to teach her the way they were presenting concepts.

I have always planned on switching to Saxon Math as that is what I used from seventh grade on and liked it very much. I just wasn't sure when I would switch. I really believe the verses in the Bible that talk about asking for wisdom and that the Lord will give wisdom when one asks for it, so I have developed a habit of just asking the Lord for specific wisdom in different aspects of parenting, homeschooling included, and just watching for His direction and answers. He promises to give it, and He has never failed me. It has always been quite interesting, actually, for me to be actively watching for His leading and seeing how He sends it!
So anyway, I decided to switch, gave her the placement test, and was blown away when she tested to be able to skip two Saxon books and move directly into the 7/6 book!

The other side of this is that I am feeling a great sense of relief and very settled regarding math right now. I feel my decision to use Singapore at the beginning has proved successful, and I have a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to teach my children. I think the concern lurks somewhere in the back of the minds of many homeschool moms if they are really doing a good job, if their kids are really getting it, if they are really on track, etc... Vindication... Such a wonderful feeling...

And not only am I at peace, Anna also now has a sense of pride and accomplishment that I could not give her without it just coming across as "mom being encouraging", she has been able to see it for herself, and to a homeschooling mom, that is priceless...a little self confidence can do wonders for a nine year old girl :o)

30 October 2007

add on post to in defense of noah~

I've had several of my real life friends leave me comments on my post about nursing Noah (thanks, guys!). I just wanted to clarify a little that I was feeling particuarly frustrated that day. None of you guys have ever made me feel weird. I did respond to Lori's comment, but wanted to just add on here to make sure everyone saw it.

Mostly my frustration has just come from people thinking its gross or that he is just too old for it to be socially acceptable, and I feel that is due, largely in part, to our overly se~ualized culture. My passion is my mothering and encouraging young moms (or even older-than-me moms with little ones), so I am glad to answer real questions from moms who are purely curious to people wanting to genuinely know more about it. It just makes me mad that our culture "tends" to make me feel like there is something wrong with either Noah or me for wanting to continue nursing into toddlerhood.

On a side note, preterm labor is a valid concern for some women nursing throughout a pregnancy. My home-birth supporting back-up doctor even advised me to wean Noah once I got to twenty weeks, but after five previous pregnancies and doing online research, I felt confident that I could watch my own body and would be able to tell if I needed to be concerned. It ended up being quite funny that I actually had significantly fewer braxton hicks contractions that my other pregnancies, and after having five early babies, Haven decided to be 13 days late!

One other piece of info I meant to say too was that when a woman tandem nurses (which only means nursing more than one child, not necessarily nursing them simultaneously, I had to learn that. I have only nursed simultaneously maybe three times.), her body resets itself as soon as she gives birth to the infant. The milk becomes geared specifically for the newborn's needs, the older child just benefits from that. Amazing...

25 October 2007

frugal fridays~ ebay of course!

So I haven't really done the Frugal Fridays thing in awhile, but I absolutely love ebay, so I thought I'd do a quick post on it.

Ebay is an awesome resource for several different things actually. First, of course, it is a great place to find things for cheap. Secondly, it is a great way to make some extra money. Some people make an excellent living just from selling things on ebay. And third, it is a great place to find particular, rare, or hard to find items.


I buy things on ebay all the time. I do quite a bit of my children's clothing shopping on ebay. Here are a few of the good deals I've gotton lately...

**new American Eagle jeans for Glen $.99
**new American Eagle jeans for Glen $5
(Glen is built with a long torso and shorter legs and has found that these particular jeans fit
him the best. I used to have to watch for sales and make a trip out to the mall, while still
spending at least $20, and that was only if I found them on the clearance rack. On sale, they
were still usually $30! So these were very good deals for us!)
**new baby Gap sparkle courduroy pants for Moriah $7.00
**3 new kids Gap tshirts for Caleb $1.50 each
**new chocolate brown mary jane crocs $19 (while that seems pricey, they are sold out in stores and online, and i've been watching for some for months. the childrens' sizes are rare, and when they do have them, they can sell upwards of $50. i just happened to catch someone who listed a buy it now and got them before anyone else did!)
**new baby gap lined jeans and baseball shirt for noah $8 total
**2 Gap shirts and Limited Too skirt for Anna $8
**new in pkg schikk intuition razor blades bought in bulk for $1.33 each ($3.33 at Target)
and those are just a few of the things!

As you can probably tell, though, I tend to like name brand stuff. I have fun dressing my kids, maybe it's a hobby, maybe I don't like dressing myself (the whole post baby body thing) so I put extra effort into dressing them, I don't know, but I have great fun watching for good deals on ebay.

Here is my method...shhh :o)
You can "save" searches on ebay, and you get daily emails everyday when things are listed. For example, Ethan had this baseball type shirt that was pretty cute last year. It was my favorite shirt. I did buy it new. So I thought, there will probably be some on ebay this year. So I saved a search for it, and in true Shyla fashion (my sisters tease me about this endlessly), I have now managed to find one in just about every boy size from 6 months to 5t! Some of them were even new with tags. And cheaper than buying new shirts at the store. Of course, you have to figure in shipping, but I include that factor when deciding to buy/bid on something or not.
You can save general searches, such as "jeans 5t" or get as specific as you want "baby gap button jeans 5t" (this was a particular jean I had wanted for Moriah). I do tend to like Gap jeans/pants as I have noticed through the years that they do hold up well. So I have searches saved "gap jeans 8", "gap jeans 10", etc. and have found some really great deals. I have searches saved in most of the sizes my children are currently in, as well as sizes coming up for next season.

So, most of the emails I skim and pass up, but if there is an item I am interested in, I click on the link over to ebay, and then click "watch this item." I don't usually bid until almost the end of the auction time. A day or so before the auction ends, I get an email saying this item is going to end soon. That is when I decided whether or not to bid. If it has already been bid up to the amount I'm willing to pay, then I just ignore it. What I typically watch for, as in the case of the American Eagle jeans for Glen and t-shirts for Caleb, are items that have not been bid on, with very low starting prices, often $.99. I then bid on them. Sometimes things go really high, sometimes things just get passed up for some reason, and I get great deals. The trick seems to really be the saved searches and just watching for things that are low.

I've also sold quite a few things on ebay as well. Either my children's extra and/or old stuff that I know is worth my time to list or great deals I've found at the store that I know will sell (I don't do this very often, but I think it is how some people really get into selling and making money). Most of my children's outgrown stuff I just give to various friends, but there are a few things that are worth taking picture of and selling. One thing I had some fun with this summer were Hannah Montana folders and notebooks.

For anyone that has a girl over the age of, say 5, and is out in public at all, has probably heard of Hannah Montana. We are actually in the process of learning some important life lessons about culture and idols through Hannah Montana, but that is a different story (I say that a lot...sorry.)

Anyway, Anna wanted to see if there were Hannah Montana folders on ebay that she could use for New Song. When I checked, I saw that people were selling these sets of folders and notebooks for like $10 plus! I just waited. I then happened to see in the Target flyer that weekend, that they had Hannah Montana school supplies (I didn't know that when I was looking for them on ebay), and that particular week, they were on sale 50% off! So, I purchased a bunch, knowing I could return what I didn't sell. So....guess what happened! I listed these sets of 2 folders/1 spiral notebook for approximately $8 each. I sold all of them, and they only cost me $2! I think I had like 16 sets. It was a lot of fun, but that's really the only like that I've done.

So, that's my Frugal Fridays tip of the week....ebay! Have fun!

**And a special thank you to my sweet friend Rachel for all the wonderful girls clothes! My girls spend a good week going through all of the great stuff you gave us, they felt like they were getting to play dress up every day. Moriah was hunting around for that pink vest jacket she's convinced is her size just last night...so she could sleep in it :o)

24 October 2007

in defense of noah~


First, for those of you who don't know me, I have a confession...


I am still nursing my two and a half year old. Yes, I am proud to say, that sweet little boy with the mischevious grin and sparkling, vibrant blue eyes noticeable from across a room, has never had a drop of formula pass his lips. He's only had regular cow milk a handful of times. I am feeding him God's perfect food. So tell me....


WHY DO I FEEL THE NEED TO HIDE AND DEFEND MYSELF????


I wish people would leave me alone already! The "when are you going to cut him off?" questions, the second glances when they realize I'm nursing him and not the baby (of course I nurse Haven still), but what especially gets me is the outward "that's great, I'm supportive of you" but I can tell what they really think is "gross!"

Any doctor, nurse, medical professional, the AAP, the WHO, and the list goes on and on will tell you that b~e~st milk is best for babies and children, but in our over-s~x~ualized western culture, any mother nursing a child over the age of say, six months max, is viewed as weird, abnormal, or even worse as a deviant. Argghhh!

I made a conscious decision to continue nursing Noah. When I found out I was pregnant with Haven, Noah was 14 months old. I realized I needed to be proactive, and make an educated, conscious decision on whether to wean him or continue nursing. I did online research as well as talking to several women in my MOMYS group regarding the benefits vs difficulties, emotional and physical (for me being pregnant as well as the baby's health and Noah's). He is my first child that I have nursed past the age of twelve months. Do I regret it? NO! I do not. Was/is it difficult at times? Yes, it is sometimes a sacrifice. But all health benefits aside (and those are too numerous to even begin to talk about), when that little boy pats me on the shoulder, whispers "milk mommy, milk," and cuddles up with me, rubs my face or drives his little car around my neck, I am glad I made what I know was the best decision for him. I don't care what anyone else thinks. I am not weird, there is nothing wrong with me, and no, I do not get any physical pleasure from it. Sorry if that is too much information, but that is a common misconception. Nursing through a pregnancy was actually often painful. But it still was nutritionally and emotionally comforting for Noah, so I stuck with it as long as he wanted. I don't plan on intentionally weaning him at a certain age, the majority of children who nurse into toddlerhood give it up on their own.

I took Noah, as well as two of the other children, to the doctor today for well child visits. I didn't used to even do well child visits, but I began to for a few different reasons. I like to support Mercy Children's Clinic, there are obvious "toys made in china, how much lead paint has Ethan eaten off Superman's head" issues, and unfortunately in this currently "Christians are extremists" culture, I like to have my bases covered in case of any accusations made by a certain neighbor (long, bad, yucky story) or anyone else that our children are neglected and/or abused. I hate it that I even have to worry about that...but that's a whole other topic.

Anyway, they were asking me all of the general questions they like to know, and the nurse said "Do you give him whole or 2% milk?" Nursing wasn't even a choice! When I told her he still nurses, she kind of looked at me and hesitated. I can understand that she's probably not used to that as a common response, but I had hoped that maybe, at the doctor's office, I would get at least a "that's good for him" comment. It was like the nurse filling out the questionnaire, as well as the doctor, chose to ignore it completely. The doctor didn't even address it other than to ask me if he eats solid food! Of course, he's a two and a half year old boy, not an aberration of nature! What does the child not eat?

Has anyone bothered to notice that "hmmm...he doesn't seem to catch whatever is going around the general public, not to mention our house?" That's because he's getting a superfood from me, packed full of antibodies against whatever I, and by default he, has been exposed to?" So...I would think the doctor would say "good for you, that is the best defense against sickness as well as brain building food there is!" Moms will play Mozart for their kids, but not br~astfeed. They'll fork over all kinds of money for the newest and best educational classes, videos, toys, etc. but look with contempt on the one thing proven throughout all of time to be the best thing for their babies. And I am the one made to feel shamed...I won't even start on my frustration with the lack of support for breastfeeding over the age of 6 months yet the pushing of this new Gardasil vaccine! (This is not at all a slam on Mercy Children's Clinic, I think they are awesome. I left an openly Christian, father of 6 doctor's office that I thought was great in order to support MCC. This is a frustration with the medical industry in general.)

Did you know that there have been studies done on an hour to hour break down of a baby's nutrtional needs/deficiencies, and the compostion of a mother's milk changes, literally, from hour to hour to meet the needs of her baby! That is amazing!

It frustrates me that something that is so obviously God-made is viewed so weirdly by our society. We have had to pass laws allowing women to nurse their children in public. I am not an advocate of in your face nursing, I try and be quite discreet. But it saddens and frustrates me that while I will feed my baby in public when he is hungry (which is almost anytime I go out, and even then I feel like an odd ball and that I should be apologizing to everyone I might offend), I feel that I have to hide Noah when he starts saying "milk, mommy" and tell him no. I do nurse him at church as our church is a little more "granola" than the mainstream, but even there I feel the need to escape to a private place (unless I'm feeling particularly rebellious that day ;o). And I often field lots of questions. I don't mind the questions as I like to encourage moms, but it is sad to me that there are so many questions to be asked. I think sometimes about Hannah and Samuel in the Old Testament. If I were Hannah, I'd be nursing that little guy 24/7 as long as possible before I had to send him off to live at the Temple.

So, to everyone, yes, I am still nursing Noah because I want to. And I would appreciate a little more real support and not this snarky, outwardly supportive, inwardly thinking "weirdo" vibe that I feel from pretty much everyone I know. It is good for him, everyone knows it, so get past the everyone else weans their babies a way long time ago comments.

I know, this doesn't really sound like me, but I just needed to vent a little, and this is a pretty safe place to do it. So thanks for listening, and next time you see a mom nursing, give her a big smile :o)

I make milk....what's your superpower?

(I did want to add on here that in no way do I wish to hurt anyone who wants to nurse, but has difficulties with it. I realize there are valid concerns and problems with nursing. I also realize that deciding to nurse a child into toddlerhood is a personal decision and am in no way critical of weaning older babies. I got to a point where I knew my decision to continue nursing or not was just that..a conscious decision that would have benefits as well as consequences. In no way to I want to hurt anyone or impose my decision to nurse past the age of one year onto anyone :o)
I just needed to vent the lack of criticism and support I have had with the choice I made...)

22 October 2007

love notes from ethan~

Part of what I started my blog for is just for me to look back years from now and remember things. So some of this is really just for me, but as I find it pretty sweet, hopefully it will bring a smile to your day too...

Two memories I have from Ethan...


Once, when Ethan was probably late three, early four maybe, he walked into my closet with me as I was getting dressed up to go somewhere. I must have been dressing up more than usual, because Ethan came over, hugged me around the legs and kind of started swaying back and forth. He looked up at me and said, "Mom, sometime can you dress up and dance with me slow like this...?"

One thing we do around here is the children take turns having "errand day" with me. I go and do errands on Saturdays and the kids rotate weeks getting to come with me. The others get to stay home, play, and do projects with Dad. This past April, when I was within a few weeks of giving birth to Haven, Ethan and I were walking into O'Charley's for lunch (I typically let them choose where to eat lunch, which means I get to enjoy everything from Jasons Deli..yum! to chicken mcnuggets..yuck! to O'Charley's). Ethan grabbed my hand and was just holding hands with me as we crossed the parking lot and walked into the restaurant. Now, as he is a grown man all of five years old, I very much appreciated this public dispplay of sweet affection, so I looked down and smiled at him. That's it, all I did was look down and smile. And you know what that kid said? He said, "I love it when you smile at me, Mommy..."

For all the messes, laundry, meals, kitchen cleaning...did I say laundry (?) and everything else, I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world. I, among all women, am truly blessed...

pleasant places~




"Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I am ever mindful of the Lord's Presence;
He is at my right hand; I shall never be shaken.
So my heart rejoices,
my whole being exults,
and my body rests secure.

You will teach me the path of life.
In Your Presence is perfect joy;
delights are ever in Your right hand."

~Psalm 16:5-6,8,11~

**taken from the NIV and the Hebrew-English Tanakh







risk #1 of living in the country~


As you can see, they had lots of fun. Back to normal...except one thing....

I have a mouse trapped under a trashcan in our schoolroom....blech! I think this should fall under the category of...say....Husband of The Year duties????




rainy monday~

What's a Mom to do?

Monday is our "new song homeschool focus day." All the little guys, except Haven, of course, go off to Myr's house, and Anna and Caleb get free run of the house for a good part of the day. We focus on whatever New Song "parent intensive" work that needs to be completed, they do their regular "home" school work, and general jobs around here, but other than that they're allowed to have fun doing whatever "big kid" stuff they want. This has been a new thing around here this year and has been quite sweet really as it has given the big kids a break from being, well...the big kids, and has solidified their relationship even more. They have great fun together.

So anyway....8:30 is job time, and it still amazes me (you'd think I'd learn by now) how children disappear every day around 8:25. Suddenly, everyone is best friends and playing at something conveniently out of ear shot from Mom (who would really rather curl up with a good book while the baby is sleeping) :o) So, today, with piles of things I'd like to accomplish, school and home related, it is now 9:30, and Anna, Caleb, and Ethan are playing in the rain. They planted my flowers for me too!







So, back to my original question....

What's a Mom to do? Isn't this why I homeschool? Culture and Biblical discipleship aside, family relationship is much more valuble to me than scheduling. Is it necessary for Caleb, who is only 7, to practice his times tables and division? Is Naya Nuki (the book Anna is currently reading) and fractions more pressing than mud puddles and sticks and swings and, lest we forget, the all important factor of any problem can be overcome and worked out amicably by ourselves or Mom will realize we're not here...?

Real life learning, two brothers and a sister, six acres, trees, a pond, sticks, a custom built by Dad swingset, a basement full of tools and scrap wood....I wonder what they're doing at the little school down the road? Probably not playing in the rain :o)

30 September 2007

songs of blessing~

During our worship at church this morning, I was doing something I often do, and I thought, "I should write about that..."


So, as it's Sunday afternoon and a certain little guy would rather be swinging than sleeping, I was reminded of that...


To give credit where credit is due, I will say that I got this idea from Vange. I just saw her doing it in church one day, and thought..."What a wonderful idea!"


So, what I do, is if we are singing a song where it would be appropriate, instead of singing it about myself (I'll give an example here in a minute), I sing it over my children.


This morning, it looked like this...


"May they give you their hearts,
May they give You their souls,
May they live for You alone.
Every breath that they take,
Every moment they're awake,
Lord, have Your way in them."


My children are exceptionally cuddly with me during worship at church, probably because I'm sitting still and not bossing everyone around :o) so it's usually pretty easy to just cuddle with them, hug on them, touch them, etc. while I sing blessings over them. My heart's desire for them, above anything else, is that my children would know the Lord and love Him with their whole hearts from a very young age, so I love singing blessings over my children. I used to lay in bed with Anna at night (did I really used to just have one child?) and just sing and sing. I did it some with Caleb and Ethan, too, and then with the others when they were small and still nursing, but Anna really got it the most.


Another thing I've always done is pray the Hebrew blessing over my children at night when they are babies and I'm still laying them down in their bed in our room. With some modification...




"May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you,
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace,
And may you always love Jesus first...above all else."




That has always been one of my favorite and sweetest memories of laying down my babies at night.


So, the next time you are worshipping or just whenever you think about it, take a minute to sing blessings over your children...




"Jesus, be their Center,
Be their Source, be their Light, Jesus..."

"Jesus, be their Center,
Be their Hope, be their Song, Jesus..."

"Be the fire in their hearts,
Be the wind in their sails,
Be the reason that they live,
Jesus, Jesus..."

"Jesus, be their Vision,
Be their Path, be their Guide,
Jesus, Jesus..."

my birthday girls~



I've been a mother now for nine years already, I can't believe it! While Moriah celebrated her 4th birthday last Wednesday, Anna celebrated her 9th birthday the day we left for Florida.

Anna had her two girl cousins come over and have a girls' night slumber party where we had all the other kids (except Haven) off spending the night with family. We took them out to eat, came home and made chocolate oatmeal cookies (yum!), and then pretty much gave them free reign over the upstairs. Anna wanted a karaoke machine for her birthday, so the three girls spent pretty much the whole night singing, dancing, doing skits, plays, stand up comedy, and who knows what other fun girl stuff. As a side benefit, Glen and I pretty much got to have a date night with everyone gone. Lots of fun! The next morning was church, and as we weren't meeting my sister to pick up everyone else until later, we got to have lunch out with just Anna at our favorite Chinese place. Let me tell you, once we realized we weren't going to have everyone else, the three of us all immediately thought...Chinese! We can all fix our own plates!

Moriah hasn't had an official party yet as all we usually do is have an extended family kind of thing where we celebrate several at once, so in the next few weeks, we'll have a birthday party here for Moriah, Anna, Glen, my sister Kristen, and my sister Dyana.

Moriah's birthday is extra special as she decided to come 15 days early so that she could not only be born on Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year), but also her daddy's birthday.

So....Happy Birthday....to my two sweeties,

May the Lord pour out His sweetest, most fun blessings on you in this coming year. May He speak to you and draw you ever closer to Himself. May you know with your whole heart, mind, and spirit, how much He loves you.

Love,

Mommy

28 September 2007

the state of my brain~


~asdfjkl;asdfjkl;asdfjkl;asdfjkl;~

Make sense? A total jumble of thoughts in a repeating pattern.

That, is the state of my brain.

Whoa. That is all I can say about my life right now. This sixth little sweetie has thrown me for a loop! A big one. I feel like I am going around and around, upside down. Only to come to a stop, and have this giant roller coaster take off again. And this over the course of maybe an hour or so. Basically, my brain is just one big jumble of things to think about, things to do, things to get in order, goals I have, things to change, things to tweak, child training that needs to take place, babies to feed, diapers to change, baby weight to lose....you get the picture. Anyway, I haven't felt the ability to be able to sit down and organize anything on paper (the computer..whatever...you get the picture). It always helps me so much to write, though, that I really should have probably been doing it anyway.

For some reason I had put this pressure on myself though, that my blog needed to be all about being encouraging and helpful to others, and I do want it to be that, but I also started it as a way to journal for myself, and hopefully as a fun thing to have for my children when they are older. So...hopefully....I can get it going and keep up with it a bit better than I have in recent weeks. I will give due warning, though. One of my passions is to learn to and be able to manage my home with excellence, and at this point in my life, that means a lot more concentrating on school. I had what felt like lots of free time over the summer, especially being in my baby moon, that I could just blog and blog, but now that the baby moon is over and "real life" has once again become a necessity, I am having to prioritize. So, I do plan to continue to blog, just probably not quite as often. I do have some fun stuff and more important stuff going around in my brain....if I can just get it to come in for a landing maybe I can write about it.

03 September 2007

my disappearing act~

Yes, yes, I am still here and still in one piece. Which, truthfully, after the last month, is really a miracle of sorts. Due to some super over-active postpartum hormones, getting ready for our vacation last week, and the vacation, I've not been around much in blogger world. I do miss it, I like blogging quite a bit.

So, here I am...but just long enough to say hi. I am officially taking off the next week, possibly two, from my computer in order to get some much needed order back into our lives. I had the best intentions of beginning our homeschool year during the heat of summer (I am a firm believer - through experience, mind you- that children do much, much better with some structure and routine in their lives, not to mention some good old-fashioned work). But you know how that goes....the best laid plans of man...

So, this week I am spending all of my free (ha ha) time planning out and organizing our school year. Anna, Caleb, and Ethan start tomorrow at New Song! Yay! They are so excited, and truthfully, I am too, as they do miss their friends, and I miss my structured weeks. Having some time off to just get used to having a new little guy has been nice, but we are all antsy to get back to normal life. We did just come back from an overwhelming trip to Florida, that, while nice to get away as a family, was unexpectedly stressful due to adding an infant to the mix. But more about that later, along with some hopefully cute pics :o)

So, school and schedule planning coming up. And if you think of it, please pray for me as I am dealing with some super strong post partum hormonal stuff. You would think I would expect it by now. My body always tries to have a period when my babies are around 3-4 months old, and then nothing else until 12 months or so, but I can tell my hormones always go through a pretty significant shift at that 3-4 month postpartum mark. I begin to fight some pretty rough depression and overwhelmed with life kind of feelings, I gain weight, and my babies grow and grow. My newest cutie, Haven, is about to outgrow his 3-6 month clothes, and he just turned 3 months a few days ago! The severity of my hormonal stuff seems to increase with my bigger babies, and Haven has been my biggest so far. (I still haven't posted my birth story yet, have I?) So anyway, prayers would be appreciated!

See you later!

20 August 2007

pregnant!~



pregnant!

No, not me :o)

Finally, after a year and a half of trying, my sister told me last night that yes, she is pregnant!!
Yay! I am going to be an aunt!!
Well, I've been an aunt for ten years now to all my husband's siblings' children, but it is totally different when it's your own sister. I am so excited. Probably more excited than she is, because I think she's still in shock :o)


So, Dyana....
This is your official welcome into mommy-hood. I am so proud of you guys, and I pray the Father's richest, most amazing blessings on your pregnancy and new season of life.
For those of you who do not know my sister, she is one of the most amazing people I know. She, along with my aunt and other sister, are my best friends. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful relationships with them.


Dyana and I are 16 months apart, which made us mortal enemies for a good part of our childhood...just kidding ;o) She and Brent have been married for 6 1/2 years. For those years, she has either been working two jobs to help put both of them through school, or been working full time along with going to school. She is a NICU nurse at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, and a post-partum nurse at Centennial Women's Hospital (which has made for some interesting discussions between her and me, her home-birthing, non-vaccinating sister :o)


She is one of the most caring, giving, compassionate woman I know, and is going to be an excellent mother. I am priveleged to call her not only my sister, but also my friend.

17 August 2007

why do i do this to myself?~

Every time I plan some great day trip with all my children, in the back of my mind always lurks the question~

"why do you do this to yourself?"
everything is such a huge ordeal when it involves
leaving the house for an entire day.

Glen wasn't able to come as he had to stay home so no one's house fell apart...smart man. Seriously, though, my aunt and I took all six sweeties to the Chattanooga Aquarium two weeks ago. Aside from a long car ride with Haven and just a long day in general, we had lots of fun.

I think the highlight though was all the water fountains out front. Needless to say, I had several naked kids on the way home and we had to go through the drive-thru!

And, thankfully, no one caught any gross disease :o)







13 August 2007

free antibiotics~

Just a quick note~
Publix is now offering seven different antibiotics for free, up to a 14 day supply. All you need is a prescription from your doctor.

Those are:
Amoxicillin
Cephalexin
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP)
Ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR)
Pinicillin VK
Ampicillin
Erythromycin (excluding Ery-Tab)

Our family does not have traditional health insurance. We are members of Samaritan Ministires, a Christian needs-sharing organization. It has been a tremendous blessing to our family. While it does not cover things such as well-child visits, prescriptions, or pre-existing conditions, my recent $40,000+ hospital stay for pneumonia and Haven's birth were completely covered. 100%. Maybe I'll post about it sometime. :o)

Gotta go, it's laundry day!

10 August 2007

extra info for super suppers~

Extra info:
Unfortunately, they do not allow you to bring children with you. Just so you know :o(

09 August 2007

frugal fridays~ super suppers deal

Along the lines of meal planning, what could be easier than pre-assembled meals in your freezer, ready to thaw and cook? Too expensive you say?

Yes, they are quite pricey, but until they run out, the WKRN Half-Off Nashville Thursdays is offering $50 off coupons for $25 to Super Suppers. It is a deal from a previous link, so you have to click on the Super Suppers link on the left side of the page.

The Super Six is regularly priced $114, but minus the $25 you get free, that would come to $89 for six meals. That is $14.83 per meal for your family. Not exceptionally cheap, but definately cheaper than eating out. Many of the meals can be assembled as two entrees, so, depending on your family size, this could actually provide 12 entrees. We have six children, and several of the entrees can be halved and still feed our family as long as I add in veggies, salad, potatos, etc. I have only used a service like this two times and that was when I found out I was pregnant and knew I would be out of commission many evenings. Again, it is not cheap, but it was definately cheaper than all of us going out some nights when I didn't feel up to cooking.

For those of you that don't know, Super Suppers is a place where you can go and pre-assemble meals to take home and freeze. The most economical way is to go and assemble them yourself (you have to choose your meals and schedule a time to go through their website), but they do provide a service where they prepare them and you just pick them up.
Another place we have in Nashville is Supper Thyme. They do not have any discounts going around right now that I am aware of, though.

I am thinking of purchasing one of these as for our family it is WAY cheaper than eating out, so if any of you end up purchasing one, please let me know and maybe we can go together :o)

**Please note:
You must have the certificate in hand to redeem, so don't schedule a time to go until you receive the certificate. The half-off website says it takes 7-10 days to arrive.

When you do schedule your appointment (it's not an individual appointment, other women will be there at the same time you are), do not pay for it online through the Super Suppers website, take your certificate, and pay when you go.

frugal fridays~ meal planning


There are many great ways to save money at the grocery. One of the ways I have learned to utilize is meal planning.


Meal planning is an excellent tool for the homemaker and has several benefits. First of all, it allows for conscious, planned purchases at the grocery. Grocery shopping can be a crazy event when you have little ones, so having your purchases planned out is a great benefit. Secondly, you can plan your meals around sales. That can be a whole post in itself, maybe I'll get around to it one day in all my spare time :o) Thirdly, pre-dinner time is often one of the most frustrating, hectic times of the day when you have little sweeties running around, so not having to decide what to do makes things go much more smoothly. I can tell such a difference in the quality of our meals when I actually take the time to plan them out in advance.


Depending on how much time you have and want to commit to meal planning, there are several ways you can utilize meal planning. Some people just have a running list (in their head or written down) and can just decide what they are going to have each night, create their list and go to the grocery. Some moms I know have a different theme for each night, such as Monday~Mexican, Tuesday~Italian, Wednesday~Casserole, etc. This method can be good as it is predictable amd kind of helps direct your thoughts. I would like to try this method at some point, but right now I mostly just plan around sales and what I have in my freezer. I am a big fan of bulk cooking and pantry stocking, so I generally just pull from that.

A great resource for the meal-planning-challenged, or really just anyone who wants someone else to work it out for them (the easier the better is a great motto!), is Menus 4 Moms. It is wonderful. Every week, a pre-determined menu is provided, along with recipes and a grocery list! It can't get much easier than that. Right now, I still have a freezer full of pre-prepared/pre-cooked meals that I mostly pull from, but I also plan on adding some of the menus 4 moms meals in now that Haven is two months old and life is settling down to more of a predictable routine (whatever a predictable routine looks like with a newborn :o) anyway.


Here is the menu plan for this week:


Monday - Recipes
Taco Mac Salad
Yogurt With Berries


Tuesday - Recipes
Chicken Ham and Rice Casserole
Broccoli Salad
Fruit of Your Choice


Wednesday - Recipes
Homemade Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta
Salad
Garlic Bread


Thursday - Recipes
Easy Feta Chicken Bake
Zucchini Herb Casserole
Italian Bread dipped in Olive Oil with Pesto sauce


Friday - Recipes
Hawaiian Pizza
Salad
Snow Cones


With the recipe links are also plans for buying extra to use for later meals that week or the following. Such as, if you are browning meat for a taco salad, you may also be browning meat to freeze and use the following week in an Italian dish. It is extremely helpful and easy. And it is free! You can either subscribe to the emails, or just go to the site. I do my meal planning on either Thursday or Friday as I go to the grocery on Saturday. Again, the grocery list (including the extra amounts for future recipes or stockpiling) is included. Two weeks of menus are given at a time, but they also have all the archives from the past several years, so there are a wealth of recipes and ideas. There are also links to many other helpful resources.


Depending on your families health and taste preferences, you may or may not be able to use all of them. That is why it is good to have a running list of meals that you commonly prepare. Then, prior to going grocery shopping, you can sit down and plan your meals out (I plan "whatever days" and left over days, too), make your list, and make your life a little easier.


Implementing this, along with several other things I do regarding meals, has made my life enormously easier. Some of the other things I do are bulk cooking, coupon clipping (not necessarily easier, but definatley money saving), pairing coupons with sales, along with sometimes purchasing extra coupons to go along with sales, keeping a stocked pantry by stocking up when there is a sale, keeping prepped veggies/ground beef/cooked chicken/etc. in the freezer, and having a list of meals and side dishes I can easily reference on those crazy days. Most of these things I do have some sort of method behind them, and many have books and/or online resources that I glean from. Some of those are The Coupon Clippers, The Grocery Game, Don't Panic Dinner's In The Freezer, and I've learned many wonderful tips from my MOMYS group.


In addition to all this, my reality is that I like to and prefer to plan meals in advance, but I do not alway do it. This is where having my stocked pantry and freezer along with my meal/side-dish list comes in handy. If I have a week (or two or three) where I do not pre-plan, I always have a list I can pull from, and pre-prepared main dishes (casseroles, marinated chicken, ground beef, etc.) in my freezer, along with ingredients for sides in my pantry.


Are any of those of any interest to anyone? I greatly enjoy planning things out and organizing, and have really learned a lot in the past year or so that has streamlined meals in the Hutchison house. I would like to post on some of them, so let me know what sounds interesting to you.



Happy Friday!

frugal fridays~ biblical womanhood

I got the idea for Frugal Fridays from the Biblical Womanhood site. Crystal's blog is one of my favorites in general, but I also enjoy reading the Frugal Fridays posts. She actually has it set up so that her readers post their Frugal Fridays posts on their blogs or websites, and then link to the Biblical Womanhood site. Once there, you can access all of her reader's Frugal Fridays posts. Make sense?



08 August 2007

half-off nashville thursdays~




this is something i discovered last week that looks pretty exciting. every week, there is a different place featured, and basically, they sell gift certificates at half price. there are only a limited number available, so order early!


i've never actually used this, but i am planning on trying it tomorrow. my youngest sister is wanting to go to bistro 215 for her birthday in a few weeks, so we're going to try it. i'll let you know how it goes!


i noticed they also have some deals left over from previous weeks. i didn't check out all of them, but i did notice they had a lot left for cafe coco and a spa :o)
can this count for my frugal friday post? i am having a post-partum hormonal week :o(

03 August 2007

frugal fridays~ tn tax free weekend

After a long, tiring journey to the Chattanooga Aquarium, and getting us semi-lost on the way home last night, I am super tired. So...I'm just going to make this quick.

This weekend is TN tax free weekend. In nutshell, that means clothing, school supplies, and computers under $1500 can be purchased tax free Friday through Sunday. As long as you would be buying these items anyway, and the price is not raised in a way that would cancel out any tax you will be saving, this is a great way to save some money this weekend.

Sorry so short and generic. Hopefully these posts will be a little more specific and thought out, but for today, I'm wiped out :o)

Happy Friday!

31 July 2007

she's getting it~

one night, after anna had been in her room for awhile, she came down with a piece of paper. on it she had written what she felt like the Lord was saying to her...

"I know the plans I have for you, Anna, for I am the Father God who you love. I have not abandoned you, Anna, for you love me and I love you. You have opened my eyes and set my new day full of blessing that I pour out on you. I love you with all the love I can ever give you. You are loved so much you can't imagine it. You have very few sins compared to a lot of people. Go and tell the world about me and my love for you and all people, and I shall prepare you and your family for lots of challenging adventures. I love you, Anna."

~is that amazing or what? glen and i were amazed. i will admit, we smiled a little at the few sins compared to most people part. at first i thought, "well, that is probably a little of anna coming through in that part," but the more i thought about it, i realized that nope, that probably was God. that is exactly what she needs to hear and He knows it. she is so sensitive, and tries so hard to please and do everything right. she is by the book. she needs to know that He sees her efforts to obey Him and please Him, and gee...she's a child. she does probably have fewer sins than most people :o)

i love it that she is learning to hear God, that she knows He loves her and wants to be friends with her. that He likes her and wants to talk to her. that He wants a real relationship with her. that He is not a big guy up there ready to squash her when she screws up. i'm still learning that.

now about that challenging adventure part....?

additional info on the organizer~

I forgot to mention that I got my current organizer a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble. It was the same price that you can get it online, but of course I didn't have to pay shipping. They run $15. The current calender runs from July 2007 through December 2008.

30 July 2007

who needs a secretary?~

Amy Knapp's Family Organizer~


again, for those of you that know me, i am a planner, list maker, major organizer, etc. i spent several years trying out different notebooks, planners, etc. until i found the best planner ever, amy knapp's family organizer. i love it so much and think it is such a wonderful resource that i have got to tell you guys about it. i use it for everything and carry it with me pretty much at all times. it runs in an 18 month format, so i use mine from july to july to coincide with our school year. i use it for keeping track of what i do each day, the days the children do school, my to-do/errand list, my grocery list, my meal planning, christmas/birthday lists, and anything else i need to remember or keep track of. the two far edges are perforated so you can tear off your grocery list if you don't want to carry around the planner. i carry it around because i keep a running grocery list, costco list, specific errand list, and on-going Christmas/birthday list. i also keep a list of meal ideas in the back that i can pull from when i haven't planned anything out.

here is a photo from the website and a photo of how i use mine.


if you give a momys a muffin~

by Kathy Fictorie, a MOMYS~

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three year old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two year old. While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring. Her five year old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

how to bake a cake momys style~

by Angie Reber, a MOMYS~

Preheat oven. Get out bowl, spoons, and ingredients. Grease pan. Crack nuts. Remove 18 blocks and 7 toy autos from kitchen table. Measure 2 cups of flour. Remove baby's hands from flour. Wash flour off. Measure 1 more cup of flour to replace flour on floor. Put flour, baking powder, and salt in sifter. Get dust pan to brush up pieces of bowl baby knocked to the floor. Get another bowl. Answer phone. Return. Take out greased bowl. Remove pinch of salt from pan. Look at baby. Remove grimy hands from bowl. Wash off shortening. Take greased pan and find 1/4 inch of nutshells in it. Head for baby who flees, knocking bowl off table. Wash kitchen floor, wash table, wash walls, wash dishes, wash baby. Call bakery. Lie down. :o)

momys~

those of you that have known me for awhile have more than likely heard me talk about MOMYS. it is a big part of my life. it is an email digest for Mothers of Many Young Siblings, hence the name :o). to actively participate, meaning post questions and reply to posts via the digest, you must have had, at some point, at least four children eight and under. anyone can receive the digest (known as read-only momys), but to actively participate you must meet the above criteria.

why momys? it is to provide support and encouragement for women who have many small children, and to address many of the challenges/blessings that come from many small children close together. many of the women are quiverfull minded. compared to most of the women (over 2000 subscribed from all over the world!), i have a smaller sized family :o). most homeschool, many are dresses-only and headcovering, many are "normal." there are all different denominations. it is challenging in so many ways, yet so encouraging and refreshing. our moderator is constantly challenging us to get into the Word, to have conscious goals for our children and visions for our families. it is often serious, and often funny. many of the women are adoptive momys in addition to having many biological children. (the four children within an eight year span applies to birth and/or adoption.) many of the women have children with health issues. raw eating, healthy eating, vaccinating vs non-vaccinating, autism, fertility issues, breast-feeding, bedwetting, potty training, home management, and homeschooling are some of the normal topics in addition to conversations/debates on Scripture. it is wonderful. anytime i have a question regarding anything, at least one of the momys will have advice, usually of the "been there, done that" variety. i highly recommend it, and strongly encourage those of you that fit the guidelines to participate, and those of you that may aspire to that to subscribe as a read-only momy.

did you know that the average number of children per woman in the US is only 2.09? that is slightly below replacement rate. that number is due in a large part to the rise of feminism in the 60s and 70s. women began to see children as a burden and were fed a lie that their worth was found in the marketplace and not in the home. but that could be a blog devoted solely unto itself. i do hope to address this more fully at some point, though. anyway, i believe there is a movement being birthed among Christians, and that is the return to the Biblical Family. a large part of that movement consists of families deciding to trust God with their family size. i understand well both sides of that argument and can be found on both sides of the fence. i am not going to pronounce judgment on anyone for what they believe regarding that issue :o)
however, i believe that the Lord is calling His people to raise up a generation that values life, values family, and can very possibly change our world just because there are so many of them. power is found in numbers, and if we, as Christians, welcome children as blessings, and raise them up to love the Lord with all their hearts, we can provide the catalyst our country so desperately needs.

so, in a culture that does not value children or Biblical womanhood, it is wonderful to have support and encouragement from women that are in or have been in the same place of life that i am in. i am normal there and people understand me, along with the many challenges and blessings that come with having a large family with lots of small children. it is my lifeline :o)
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November