Thursday, July 27, 2006
Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen (fairly random) Things on my mind this week

1. We just got the news that we will not be moving to the East Coast. I feel bad for my dh, it would have been a cool job, but I'm thrilled not to have to deal with packing up the kids and moving to a place where we know no one!

2. We've finally decided to homeschool all of the kids again this year.

3.Wow, it's nice to have some things settled in our lives.

4. Our 10 year old will be doing a "gap" year--we've decided to NOT have her graduate at 16, so this year will be grade 6.5 for her.

5.She'll be studying a worldview curriculum, statistics, and doing an Anne of Green Gables unit study and science classes at a co-of downtown.

6. While my 9 year old son will be doing a classical 5 grade curriculum, I really want to focus on developing his writing skills. They were his weak point in the standardized tests we just got back.

7. The 6 year old is doing first grade. I love first grade! Having taught it twice already, I also love how comfortable I am with the material.

8.I am struggling with how to find "my" time as homeschooling three and chasing a toddler (with twice a week therapy appointments) stares me in the face. Back to the "dying to self" drawing board...

9.We may actually be taking a family vacation this in vacationing to vacation, not to visit family (as much as we love visiting our family!). We're finalizing plans to rent a cabin in Tahoe.

10. I have the coolest sisters (grin). The mail brought me a lovely Starbucks' card from the youngest yesterday. {See previous TT}. The card read, "Everyone deserves a little coffee after too many kids and a long drive or two :). Love, Booger".

11. We're starting a small, multi-church home group tonight. We've really missed intimate small-group fellowship and accountability and are excited to be working on "homebuilding" with other believing couples.

12.I wish our home church offered this kind of fellowship...we're really struggling with staying there or looking for a new church home.

13.Sheesh, it's HOT out here. We've experienced an early monsoon season along with our normal 110 plus degree weather. We're coping with lots and lots of swimming pool time, popsicles, and iced drinks. Hope everyone out there is staying cool.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

  posted at 12:46 PM  

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The times, they're a changin'...
"Why is it",asked my younger sister during a phone call yesterday, "that people feel free give the 'You're still nursing?' comment about my 10 month old, but if I ask a mom why she's weaned a baby to formula, that I'm the one accusing her of being a bad mommy?"

Ah, the horrors of the front lines of the mommy wars (grin). Let's face it, no matter what choices we make about raising our children (breast or bottle, demand or schedule feed, home/private/public/unschoooling, to spank or not to spank...), someone isn't going to be thrilled with it. After four babies, I think I'm moving towards the place where I've figured out that I'm only accountable (well, their father, too!) to God for the choices I make for my children. If someone chooses to encourage me and cheer me on, it's a nice pat on the back. If someone chooses to vent their own insecurities on me, it's an opportunity to either respond in love and find out what's really bothering them, or to simply let it roll off my back (like I said--I'm moving towards that place--I didn't say I'd arrived!)

Although I hesitate to say it in anything louder than a whisper or without knocking on any wood that can be found nearby, she called to check in because that my littlest guy hasn't nursed since Friday afternoon, shortly before I left for another run to California, this time to pick up our oldest from her science camp at USD.

If I sound a bit gleeful about this (at risk of enraging the extended nursing/lactivist camp), well, it's because I am. With the temperatures regularly pushing the 120 degree mark out here; it's hard enough for me to stay hydrated, let alone supply part of his hydration. With a cumulative seventy-two months of breastfeeding to my credit between the four kiddos, I've been there, done that, and am ready to get the t-shirt that can be fitted, belted, and/or worn without a nursing bra underneath!

Beyond that, the timing feels perfect. He's not asking; I'm not offering. (To be honest, I "redirected" him once or twice, but it was painless for both of us). It's his season to wean, and mine to enter a stage of life without nursing . My challenge now is to not try and rush the season of having him talking and out of diapers as well!

My mom once offered this insight. She told me that she never had an easy answer when someone asked what ages/stages she liked most in child rearing. She simply tried to enjoy each one as well grew--because growing and changing was what we were supposed to be doing.

I'm going to try to keep growing and changing with my kiddos-- starting with my wardrobe. Next stop, the mall...anyone up for a nursing-bra burning?

  posted at 10:04 AM  

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thirteen Things I've heard this week...
I'm watching (lots of)
extra children as my teacher buddies
get ready to start back to school.

From short people:

1. "Can we have a snack?"

2. "Can we go swimming?"

3. "Is it time for lunch?"

4. "Can I play on the computer?"

5. "Can we play on the game cube?"

6. "Where did I leave my____?"

7. "I didn't do it!"

8. "The baby's bothering us!"

Note: Any of the above, but especially 7 and 8, can be said in a whine for maximum effectiveness.

From adults:

9. "Wow, you're really good at handling large groups of children." --from our piano teacher who arrived at lunchtime to give ds1 and dd2 lessons.

10."I wouldn't want your job!" --from the air conditioning service provider who works on roofs in 110 degree heat!

11. "Are you going for sainthood?"

12. "Have you killed any of them yet and sent them back to their parents in little pieces?" --from my childless sister!

13. "Thank you--we appreicate you doing this". --My personal favorite, from my friend's husband!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

  posted at 2:59 PM  

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
And finally, Saturday and Sunday
...Saturday morning dd 1 and I hit the road for California. We had a great day together driving across the country and stopping for lunch and date milk shakes at Hadley's Date Farm (outside of Palm Springs).

Saturday night we spent at my friend's parent's house. I had only met them briefly, but we had a great time fellowshipping and I helped watch her grandchildren while my friend and her husband went on a much-needed evening out.

Sunday was church, then dd and drove the additional hour to San Diego and checked her into Science Camp at USD. Wow, was that an emotional we hauled her stuff to the dorms and unpacked, I kept thinking that in not too terribly long, we'd be moving her into a dorm "for real"...I think I can wait!

By the time orientation was over, she had made a fast friend in another girl in her "major" and was chatting with her room mates. I was able to slip away for my long nightime drive back across the desert and home to my own bed.

Whew...and I get to do the drive again to pick her up on Saturday! It's worth it; we miss her already!

  posted at 6:43 PM  

More of Friday (or, A little kindness goes a LONG way)
Post-VBS clean up, I rushed home (kids in tow) and tossed the younger two in bed for a quick nap while I showered of the funk from working in the 114 heat.

An hour later we were headed to Krispy Kreme for a belated "friends" birthday party for our Princess Piggy (crazy, I know, but many of my teacher friends had to head back to work this week, so it was the best day for it!).

The assistant manager in charge of the party obviously wanted to give us a great experience--she had personally decorated the entire restraunt! However, she had two major things working against her. First, she wasn't trained in how to give a party--and it showed. Several of my friends and I "stepped in" more than once to keep the crowd from getting out of hand. Second--the air conditioner wasn't working properly and it was at least 95 degrees in the lobby. Not the ideal scenario, especially when I'm paying someone else to run my child's party!

Fortunately, my daughter had a great time, and as a "seasoned" mommy, that was pretty much good enough for me. The poor KK manager was not as happy--she was hot, overwhelmed, and very aware of her shortcomings in presenting the "total package" of the party; not to mention a bit nervous as to how I would react when she asked me to pay the balance of my bill.

I took a deep breath and a big sip of my cold drink ( did I mention it was really hot?), and told her that while I agreed that the party wasn't ideal, I also thought that she did an awesome job with what she had to work with--that such an excellent employee deserved better training, that I understood that she couldn't control the air conditioner issue, and that I was planning on writing the corporate office and telling them so. I also reminded her that in addition to the balance of my party fee; I owed her for the adult "drink tab" I was running and for three extra children who had shown up.

That was not the reaction she was expecting! She promptly dropped all of my extra charges and asked dd1 (who was at the register with me) what our family's favorite types of donuts were, and sent us home with a huge box of assorted "fancies". We were both smiling as I left. I imagine she was smiling at avoiding a PR nightmare; and I was smiling because I wasn't the one cleaning up after a six-year-old's party!

The moral? Well, I guess it never hurts to be nice...and customer service really isn't dead.

Oh, and I did write that email...and got a nice phone call from the store manager in return.

  posted at 10:39 AM  

Monday, July 17, 2006
What a weekend...(Weekend Window, part one)
I've had a busy weekend (and week, as my silent blog reflects!).

Friday we closed out a week of Vacation Bible School. It was held at my dear friend's church (about 20 minutes away from me). Each day I loaded up my truck (it was full every day--if there had been a carpool prize, I would have won it!) and drove down to be the "snack lady".

It was a great week full of fun lessons, noisy kids, and way to much sugar (I have a bone to pick with Group Publishing about that one, LOL!). However, one thing really stood out for me. At the end of the week, all of the workers stayed behind to breakdown and clean the church for Sunday's service. As we scrubbed bathrooms, vacuumed, and mopped floors, one of the parents of my carpool kids and her sons made lunch for all of us (and our children, too!). This would be a remarkable example of servanthood in itself; but as a group, we represented at least FOUR different churches--some mainline denominations, some not. This VBS was a true representation of the Body working together for Christ's cause--and it was joyous and fun.

It makes one wonder what else the universal church could accomplish if we chose to serve side by side.

The church was clean and shiny, but my weekend had just started...

  posted at 11:05 AM  

Saturday, July 01, 2006
Word Cup Mania is alive and well at my house...
it's so bad that we ate breakfast in front of the "telly" this morning during the England-Portugal match (we are SO not a TV during meals house...we're barely a TV house). At least this one was on ABC...we don't have cable, and it's been funny watching my kids following the other games on Univision (only dh is fluent in Spanish).

All I can say is that England certainly didn't get elimintated because of lack of support out here in the Arizona desert. If the match had been determined by cuteness instead of penalty kicks, we'd have had their ace in the hole--check out this little guy (we won't tell how many pounds his world traveller dad shelled out for this coming home present!).

Watch your back, Beckham!

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  posted at 8:41 PM  

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I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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