Thursday, August 30

my daily must-have

At the moment I'm having to eat sugar, dairy, and grain free.
The same as I had to last summer for four months on a candida cleanse.  I felt fantastic and all of my symptoms disappeared - but when I got pregnant last fall, I couldn't even look at another egg or another salad due to nausea.  So I stopped cleansing... and all was well until I had to be on two courses of antibiotics in the pregnancy...  Awful, since they wipe out all of the good yeast in my body.  Bad news for a gal that just worked so hard to get rid of the bad, and replace it with the good.  (probiotics)
So anyway, I knew I'd have to cleanse again after the pregnancy.
All was well until Emmalie turned two weeks old. 
Then thrush hit.  So awful. 
I knew the cleanse was my only hope. 
I've been eradicating it for the last 9 weeks via anti-fungal prescriptions and the the diet, which was added four weeks ago.  The thrush is amazingly better, but if I have as much as one cookie, it flares up.  And it's awful.  So no sugar for me, it feeds those bad sorts of yeast.  For a girl who is working on self-control with sweets, this is forcing me to stay away.  And it's not so difficult when you HAVE to. 
So I'm eating lots of eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and meat/fish.
It's good for me, and I feel great eating this way.  (Though get-togethers are hard, as is eating out.)
But each day, I get out my blender and make a smoothie that makes me feel as if I am having the most decadent dessert around.  Here's my recipe for a:
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 banana (fresh or frozen, but peel it first before freezing)
1 T cocoa powder
2 cups milk (I use unsweetened coconut)
2 T almond butter (I can't have peanuts right now, but I'm sure it'd be yummy with peanut butter.)
sometimes I put in unsweetened coconut flakes
cinnamon to taste
2 T ground flaxseed
ice (about four cubes, not needed if banana was frozen)
I seriously make one of these each afternoon.  It's my no guilt treat. 
Speaking of no guilt treats, check out some of these recipes:
Tuesday, August 28

when goodbye means hello

Today, I'm saying goodbye to facebook.  And I'm happy.

Earlier today, I was pondering all of the things we've said goodbye to as a family that were truly us saying hello to something different and better for our family.  And it made me remember that goodbye is sometimes better, no matter how hard. 

Here are some examples of things we've said goodbye to since we were married thirteen years ago:

  • Television was shown the door in our first year of marriage, before our first baby was born.  We were wasting too much time watching meaningless shows, and we were both sick of it.  There was plenty of junk on TV back in 1999, but it pales in comparison to the filth that is allowed on network television today.  Jeremy had grown up without a TV and it was still sort of a novelty to him, and I had grown up as a TV junkie, so we were both happy.  So we thought.  The decision to disconnect the TV was an easy one.  We have had a TV for the purpose of watching DVDs ever since we unhooked television service, and we love that.  We love watching good movies together.  With television, you just never know what you're going to get.  Is there going to be a commercial splashed across the screen with a woman in her underwear?  Is there going to be a frightening movie trailer?  Is a show going to be chock full of language?  Saying goodbye to the TV was the beginning of several good choices we made together. 

  • Another thing we've said no to is a matter of living within our means.  We live in a state that offers an abundance of fun, outdoor pursuits.  But those fun, outdoor pursuits cost money.  Lots of it in our case, as a family of nine.  We could choose to go into debt to outfit our family into skis, snowmachines, four-wheelers, hiking and climbing gear, fishing gear, bikes, boats, ice skates, etc...  but we choose not to.  Not because we don't want to participate in those activities, (because we really do) it's because of principal.  We despise debt.  In turn, we spend more time at home, which isn't a detriment by any means.  Do I sometimes feel we're depriving our children?  Yes.  Even though I truly know we're not.  But living within our means feels so much better. 

  • We've also said no to the run-around lifestyle.  We have lots of kids, that naturally want to be in lots of activities - but there is no way I'd stay sane trying to run several kids to several different activities in a week.  We choose differently.  We savor our time as a family, and have dinner together each night.  If an activity is for more than one kid, it's seriously considered.  For instance, it's looking like our three oldest will be able to be in the same swim class that meets once a week this year.  Perfect.  We don't want to race our days away, and the most important lessons our kids could ever take are learned right here at home. 

  •   As I've said goodbye to facebook, Jeremy has made a choice to stop playing computer games.  They were something that he'd spend a lot of time on in spurts.  He'd play a game for a few weeks until he finished it, and then not at all for a few weeks.  But me being on facebook, and him spending time on computer games was NOT the example we wanted to be setting for our children.  And there was an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) annoyance at each other for these habits.  They had to go.   We didn't talk about it together and decide we were both going to give something up.  It was a separate decision we both made that happened to coincide this last week.  And we couldn't be happier.  I'm so proud of him, and he's so proud of me.  God has been changing our hearts even more so toward our children, and we don't want to miss out. 

That's just a smattering of choices we've made that we feel honor God, and draw us closer as a family.  And I'm so excited to get on with life in the slow lane. 


State Fair!

We didn't take a whole lot of pictures this year at the State Fair, since we only had about four hours to spend there, but we did take these! 

I have to comment on this one, because it's classic Gabi!  Jeremy was seeing what she'd do if he put her up next to the goats...  yup, terrified! 

These days, we don't get to go into many booths, but we do get to see a general overview...  anymore, Jeremy and I would have to go on a date to the fair to truly see it all.  But it's a blast to go with the kids and see the fair through their eyes. 
Sunday, August 26

the most precious way to spend my time

We took this family photo the other day on our lawn after getting home from church.  We set the camera up on our front porch, set the timer, and prayed the kids would look at the camera even though no one was manning it.  They did, and we got some great shots! 
These people are so precious to me, and these children are growing at an alarming rate.

We don't get the time back spent or not spent with them in their growing up years. 

Something has been weighing heavily on my heart for the past several months:  they need me to be present with them.  Yes, I'm here in the physical sense.  But I am so easily distracted. 

The major distraction for me is my laptop.  It is so easy for me to just pop on the computer, without setting a boundary for myself, and end up wasting precious time I could be spending on lasting pursuits like reading to the little ones more or making lunch.   I've been saying a lot lately, "I just don't have time to do this/or that."  Well, what Mom does?  Well, probably those that aren't on facebook a several times a day. 

I've been robbing myself and my family of me. 

I've decided to give facebook the boot. 

I have absolutely loved the connections and reconnections I've been able to make on there.  Mostly with my cousins and family that live far away, and friends we don't live close to.  I'm really, truly sad about that.  But I'm still here, and will still be blogging.  I can take phone calls (love those) and check my email every day.  And whatever happened to letters?  I adore those. 

I've been dreading the start of our homeschool year (in about 10 days) and I realized that what I was basing my feelings on, was the fear of not being able to have time to spend with my kids and schooling.   And why wasn't I going to have enough time?  Well, I was going off of how my days were going lately... and honestly they've been rather trying.  I'm nursing, wrangling two toddlers, and trying to meet everyone else's needs too.  But what I wasn't factoring in, was the time I was spending on the computer.  I was wasting so much time on here.  I knew that something had to give if I was going to do this thing right and honor God with how I was spending my days. 

So facebook got the ax. 

I know I won't regret it, but I will miss some things. 

Ephesians 5:15-17
15 Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Foolish and unwise could definitely sum up the way I was choosing to spend my time. 

Also,  I've grown tired of how the lack of true communication has crept into our culture.  And social media like facebook, doesn't help matters.  I cringe when I hear the words, "Oh yeah, I saw that on facebook..." come out of my mouth.  It has ushered in the end of true communication, where you can tell someone something they don't already know, and appreciate the back and forth of good old fashioned communication.  And yes, we can monitor what we post on social media, but for me, it's easier just to leave it. 

I'd much rather hear, in the voice of a friend in person or on the phone or in a personal email, about some good news or hard times someone is facing.  And truly, I'd just like to know a whole lot less about people than I do now.  I don't need to know that someone has just made a divine looking dish for dinner.  Then feel guilty that all I had time to make was pancakes.  Again.  And I don't need to know that someone's dog just got their toenails clipped.  I made that one up, but I'm sure someone, somewhere has typed that as their facebook status at some point.

I feel so free and excited. 

And it's so strange, because it's a decision I could have made a long time ago before I felt so wrapped up in it. 

I love visiting in person.  Having someone on my couch.  Chatting.  I love being in Bible Study with women in person.  I love hosting get togethers in person.  I love going to Bunko.  I love being present at a church service, hearing hundreds of voices lifted up together.   I love sitting on my couch before the kids are up, reading Jesus Calling and my Bible.  You can have one-on-one time with God too, ya know.   Sharing conversation with Jeremy after the kids are in bed, playing a game, or watching a movie together.  I love being with my family.  Undistracted. 

My children are watching.  What am I showing them is important? 

So I'm getting back to where I've wanted to be all along, and to where God has been nudging me.  Wow, he's patient. 

And I'm happy to be able to savor more moments like these:


Tuesday, August 21

Do you know what you need?

Mom, do you know what you need?, says my eldest child today. 

Um, yes.  I need 8 arms to take care of everything, you could call me Octomom even though I only have seven kids.  I need to be more patient with a screaming toddler.  I need to let go of stresses and not allow them to turn into a monster headache.  I need to bake just enough cookies for the kids to enjoy, and not leave extras lying around for me to devour hidden in the corner of the kitchen. 

Oh, wait.  You already had something in mind?  I seriously thought he was going to suggest some new cleaning product he had invented in his mind, since he was dusting when he asked me the question. 

You need a trip to Paris. 

Now, this I like! 

You really like the Eiffel Tower, and it would be a good break for you. 

I like how this guy thinks. 

He is going to be a wonderful husband someday. 


Curriculum 2012-2013

I always love to see what other homeschoolers are using each year, so here's my post just incase you enjoy browsing these sorts of posts like I do! 

This year, we will have:
Drew - 6th grade
Gavin - 5th grade
Morgan - 2nd grade
Annika - preschool

**Note:  This year will be like no other for us = 7 kids, including a newborn, so we may/may not even come close to getting through all of this... it's just what we have planned.  Plus, I usually over buy.** 

The Jesus Storybook Bible (We all love this one, we're reading through it again...)
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit
A Poke in the I (poetry)
Lost in the Woods
20th Century Children's Book Treasury
HarperCollins Treasury of Picture Book Classics
Teddy Bear Counting (and Teddy Bear counters not pictured)
Ladybug Letters
Sequence Letters game
Dr. Suess's ABC
Preschool Workbooks set of 4 (developed by an Amish family for their children)
Richard Scarry's Getting Ready for School workbook
Usborne Sticker Books:  Getting Dressed & 1 2 3

 Family Read-Alouds
Paddle to the Sea
Minn of the Mississippi
Understood Betsy
The Children of Noisy Village
Winnie the Pooh collection (unabridged audio)
Little Britches
Toliver's Secret
Ereth's Birthday
Owls in the Family
Mr. Popper's Penguins

Personal Reading for the Boys (1/2 Drew, 1/2 Gavin)
Mr. Revere and I
Kite Fighters
The Great and Terrible Quest
Johnny Tremain
Plain Girl
The Golden Goblet
Ali and the Golden Eagle
Secret of the Andes
All Sail Set
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Shades of Gray
The Terrible Wave
The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Little Pear
George Washington Carver
Freedom Train
Sing Down the Moon
Hero Over Here
The Seventeenth Swap
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
The Strange Intruder
The Year of the Panda
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Treasures of the Snow
The Good Master
Listening for Lions
The Black Pearl
The Great Turkey Walk
Turn Homward, Hannalee

with the Girls:
America: A Patriotic Primer
Hail to the Chief: The American Presidency
Our 50 States
The Scrambled States of America
Beginning Geography (a continuation of what we started last year)
A Child's History of the World  (I read this a couple years back with the boys, a great read!)

for the Boys:
Switched on Schoolhouse, History/Geography Grade 6

Read Aloud Fun with the Girls
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook & Comprehension Guide
My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions
Little House in the Big Woods & Comprehension Guide
The Little House Cookbook
Laura Ingalls Wilder Country
My Little House Crafts Book
My Book of Little House Paper Dolls
On the Loose with Dr. Suess
Your Favorite Suess Treasury

Horizons 2  (Morgan)
Teaching Textbooks 5  (Gavin)
Teaching Textbooks 6  (Drew)

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Zoology 1  (all)
Apologia - Notebooking Journal (boys)
Apologia - Junior Notebooking Journal (Morgan)
Zoology 1 Lab Kit  (not pictured)
One Small Square Series (girls)

Reading/Writing with the Girls
Primary Arts of Language: Reading
Primarty Arts of Language: Writing

Writing for the Boys

Write Source 6
Cursive Writing Practice:  Inspiring Quotes
Pictures in Cursive:  books C and D  (Queen Homeschool)
Thematic Copywork Lessons - 4 different titles  (Queen Homeschool)
Winter Promise Language Arts:  Alien Spelling Word Attack,  First Contact, Fifth Grade Paragraph Writing

More Language Arts for the Girls
for Annika:
Printing with Pictures Primer
Explode the Code, books B and C

for Morgan:
I'm a Writer! 
Copywork for Little Girls
Copywork for Animal Lovers
Printing with Pictures, books A and B

Not Back to School Blog Hop Photobucket