10.31.2008

Holy Cow I WON!

This was the first time I have participated in Bloggy Giveaways because I have just started partaking in this blogging world. It's quite remarkable that nearly 1500 bloggers were willing to giveaway things. I can't wait til the next time around when I can gather up something to giveaway myself. I would have this time, except I didn't know about it til last week! At any rate, it leaves me speechless that I actually won something!

A big thank you to Megan for my one year subscription to God's World magazine! I really loved this subscription when I was teaching school, and now I am looking forward to sharing it with my daughter.

Adoption story continued

One day she says to me, 'Would you like to be adopted?' And I remember saying, 'sure, Mom.' Crazy huh? So that settled it. We stayed with the new parents one weekend and then soon after we moved in with them. What I still find absolutely amazing is how one couple would decide to take in all three of us. Now, I read many blogs and I know many families from my days in teaching where some families have done similar things, and I think it no less amazing. It is an indescribable gift to give siblings to allow them to grow up together when their biological parents can do it. Thank you for what you do every day to my parents (you know, the ones who adopted me) and to you who are reading.

Now, the thought of never seeing her again didn't really occur to me. After I was adopted, I never asked my parents about her. My brother and I would tell my sister stories about our aunt and uncles and our grandparents. We missed those people, but I don't remember sharing stories about the very people who brought us into this world.

10.29.2008

HELP!


Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great tips.


When T1 was not quite two, she began a ritual I would prefer to forget. She would wait til nap time to poop. Once in the crib, she would remove the diaper, poop and smear it EVERYWHERE! A little sniff sniff as I walked down the hall revealed what I had ahead of me- time for cleaning the crib, cleaning the girl, redressing the bed, redressing the girl, and calming her back down to return to napping... It wore. me. out. It happened daily. for months. It was enough to make a person stop having children. But, I was already pregnant.

So, T2 has taken an interest in the potty. Now, I really am not ready to potty train him- so I won't. But, I don't see the harm in encouraging him when he gives me signs that he wants to use the potty. Right? Well, today he pulled a T1- in that once in his crib, he removed his diaper and smeared poop all. over. his. crib.

What is a mother to do? Any ideas? Please?


10.28.2008

Adoption story

They were married over the winter in my great grandparents living room and I was born in the spring. The next summer my brother was born. Then a couple years later, my sister was born. This is where my memories begin. I have few memories of my mother and father. Mostly the memories are with other family. At some point after my sister was born, they divorced. Maybe it was simply because they were sooo young. I don't really know, but I do still blame myself. There is no logical reason for this and in my brain I know that I have no blame, but it's there. I remember she worked a lot and it must have been hard. 20 years old, single mom to three kids! Some days are hard for me, and I have a wonderfully supportive husband, am nearly 10 years older and have a college education. It must have been hopeless for her. And while I know that, I still question it and it still makes me sad.

She speaks...


This morning, I was wishing T2 would speak already... He knows so many words, but to able to to tell me what he wants, how he feels, that would be wonderful. I remember when T1 first said, "love you mama." And then I cried. Now she says things like, "Go away Monster!" Sadly, I don't think she has this guy in mind.

10.26.2008

joy

I am sick. My family has been sick all week. It's hard taking care of sick children, sick husband and sick self. Yet, as I showered this morning, the Lord reminded me of his strength. Thank you Lord.

10.24.2008

I want to know more about this.

I am gaining an interest in what I read about RAD (reactive attatchment disorder). My siblings and I were adopted as older children. I wonder about my biological mother and if she dealt with this disorder. I wonder how it affects my siblings and I and what affect it has on our relationship with one another and our adoptive and biological families. I wonder how it affects my relationship with my own husband and children. I REALLY want to look more into this and see if I can recognize it in my behavior and change my negative behavior by becoming conscience of it.

I think I'll post more about my family's circumstances- without going into too much detail. I wonder if what I have experienced can be helpful to other people and I wonder how I can go about actually helping... Any ideas?

10.21.2008

In which I go green





I have been interested in going green in the matter of keeping my house clean. I haven't known where to start. Many of you have listed recipes for laundry detergent... But what about everything else? Here's what I have found. It's a comprehensive list for any cleaner you use and how to make it, frugally. I printed it and put it in the front of my favorite cook book. I added the essential ingredients for what I need to make to my shopping list. Now I just need to carve some time out to assemble the cleaners I want to use. I hope it works for me- and you too :) Be sure to check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips!



What's up Doc?


Today she says, 'Mama, I want a carrot.' So I tell her she may get one from the refrigerator. Please allow me to rejoice for a moment that she actually asked first! She has been in the habit of just helping herself to whatever she wants however and whenever and with whatever mess comes with it. I was so happy that she asked first! Then, she came back with this. It's as big as her head. So, I had to have a picture... and she obliged, but she also wanted to show me the fish in the bag...Love that imagination... She spent the afternoon happily munching away on her beta carotene!

10.20.2008

can babies read?

I have seen these info-mercials on TV lately about babies reading! Shocking! I have also had students teach themselves to read at pretty young ages- but not as babies.

Is this for real?

Is this a good idea?

Does it really work?

How much of my time should I devote to teaching my children - who are under the age of 5- to read?

I'd like to have 'school time' for my oldest each day, but the truth is, it only happens a couple days a week. I'd like to have more structure in my day, with a Bible time for everyone with a lesson, and some verse memorization going on... and I am working on getting that going. But I really wonder about this reading thing.

My oldest just learned to say the alphabet this year and is recognizing about 1/2 the letters. I think I need to work on that some more before I tackle reading. I did put together some phonics activities/games to work on with her. I do read to all my children everyday.

I think I 'll keep doing what I am doing and not push them into reading- it just doesn't sound good to me. Maybe it's kinda like diapers and potty training... When they are ready, they are ready- right?! Anything before that is just frustrating!

10.18.2008

more memory verses

I wrote in this post about my desire to engrave God's word on the hearts of my children. In this book about prayer, Stormie O Martian has compiled an excellent list of the attributes of God. She also provided scriptural references for each attribute. The idea occured to me that this would be a great resource for memory verses. I wasn't going to publish this, but I actually changed about 1/2 of it. I give her the credit for the list and for my inspiration, but some of the verses just didn't suit me for memorization- so I changed the references. I hope she doesn't mind! If I am violating some plagiarism law, please tell me...
Here it is:


God is good.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

powerful
Job 12:13
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

Great
Psalm 86:10
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

Excellent
Psalm 8:1
Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Love
1 John 4:16
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him.

Wisdom
Jeremiah 10:12
God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

Holy
1 Samuel 2:2
There i no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

Patient
1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

CHangeless
Malachi 3:6
I the Lord do not change.

Merciful
Psalm 116:5
The lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

ALmighty
Psalm 89:8
O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lodr, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

Glorious
Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Righteous
Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Just
Deuteronomy 32:4

Grace
2 Corinthians 9:8
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all theings at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Majestic
Psalm 8:1
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

All knowing
John 16:30
Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.

All Wise
Proberbs 3:19-20
By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;
by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

True
Jeremiah 10:10
But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.

Pure
Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Sinless
1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faithful
Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

Magnificent
Isaiah 28:29
All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

Worthy
Psalm 18:3
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

Creator
Psalm 139:13
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Redeemer
Isaiah 44:6
This is what the LORD says— Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Strength
Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

Truth
John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Lifter of my head
Psalm 3:3
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

All sufficient
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Saviour
Psalm 18:46
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!

Hope
Psalm 71:5
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

Son of God
Luke 1:35
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Resurrection
John 11:25,26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Holy Spirit
Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Light of the World
John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Lord of Lords
Deuteronomy 10:17
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

King of Kings
Revelation 17:14
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

Authority
Matthew 28:18
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Consuming Fire
Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Restorer
Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake

Comforter
John 14:15
If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Stronghold in a time of trouble
Nahum 1:7
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

Resting Place
Jeremiah 50:6
My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Refiner
1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Deliverer
Psalm 70:5
Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

Refuge from the Storm
2 Samuel 22:3
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.

Overcomer
John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Peace
James 3:18
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Bread of life
John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Fortress
Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Shade from the Heat
Isaiah 25:4
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

Healer
Job 5:18
For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

Counselor
Psalm 16:7
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

Author of my Faith
Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Rewarder
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hiding Place
Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Shield
Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Purifier
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Sustainer
Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Sovereign Lord
2 Samuel 7:28
O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.

Whew! That's long... It's my hope to also commit these to memory as I help my children along. I also fully expect this list to last a few years, as only one of my children is capable of memorizing verses yet!

10.16.2008

It's about time!



In 2002, I completed my elementary education degree from Indiana University. It was wonderful. I did some subsitute teaching because I finished the degree mid-year. The pay wasn't enough to support myself, so I also worked weekends in a department store. And I loved both jobs.

I was very successful in college, earning a degree with academic distinction. If I had stayed in that town, I would still be teaching there today- and probably not needing the second job.

However, the next year my newly aquired husband and I moved south - where teaching jobs were in need. Not having a license in my new home state- or the $100 required to get such license, I pursued a job in a private school. I was hired on the spot. For $22,000/year. I could have looked more. I could have borrowed the $100 that was not in my tight budget, but I took the job. I worked there for three years, and I LOVED it. I loved the families and the staff. I had an amazing boss. Now I am home with my own children- and I love this job.



But, if I had to seek employment, this is where I'd look: Charter School

There are so many reasons why- it's not just about the money- well, more money is nice, right?
I digress...
It seems that:

Higher payed professionals are treated with more respect than lower payed professionals. Consider doctors, lawyers, politicians, company VIPS. We value these folk's opinions and education more than the lower payed/educated counter parts. It just makes sense to do so. Now, all are needed to make the world go round, but some are held to higher regard. Aren't the teachers of our children- our tomorrow- worth as much as these individuals?

A number of highly qualified teachers quit the profession in just five years. Why?

Paying the teachers more money means having fewer programs and extra stuff. I think the trade off is fine, great even. It means getting back to the basics- reading, writing and arithmetic. That will make for successful students, because the focus is in the right place.

Now, let's just bring back the prayer- the acknowledgement of a God who exists- cares even for the details of a child's life and for his education. Then we'd have some real school sucess. Don't you think?

10.13.2008

baby giggles

It's easy to forget one's lack of sleep when, at 4a.m., she hears this...


video

More bug love


The last post reminded me of an event this summer. We usually go for walks, though not so much recently with the new baby and all... One particular day, Talia found a centipede. It was love at first sight. I mean REAL love. The centipede was as large as her hand and upon finding it, she picked it up and carried it all. the. way. home. We were 1/2 mile from home. Have you ever walked with a three year old for a mile? It's slow. It took us 45 minutes to walk that 1/2 mile. When we finally reached our humble abode, she refused to come inside. It was hot and I was nine months pregnant. I didn't want to stay outside. She wanted to bring the centipede inside. I just wanted a cold drink. So we settled on this. She could sit on the porch with her centipede. She did. For an hour. It died. You know the story , Of Mice and Men, it was kinda like that. She informed me, "he's taking his nap." And layed him in a flower pot. Next day, she says, "Look Mama, HE CAME BACK!!!" I tried to tell her that he died, but she insisted, "He's just sleeping." So there you have it... He's just sleeping.

10.12.2008

A spider named Charlotte




Months ago, I read Charlotte's Web to my daughter over the course of many nights. She loves animals and nature and she loved reading this book. Well, we have had quite a large banana spider living near our home, so we have been observing her all summer. T1 (daughter) has named her Charlotte.







Last week, she layed an egg sac in our doorframe. I quickly drew T1's attention to her egg sac and we noticed that poor Charlotte was quite shruken and droopy. T1 exclaimed, "Charlotte layed an egg sac, and she died." I was quite impressed by this observation. What can I say, I am easily impressed by my 3 year old girl.










It turns out, she didn't die! She spun a web that night, blocking the back door. We watched her eat many bugs and moved her in the evening, hoping she'd make a new web that wouldn't block the door! I am thinking of placing her egg sac into a container and waiting for spring... What do
you think?












10.11.2008

Memory verses and Attributes of God

My husband recently purchased the book, The Prayer That Changes Everything, by Stormie O'Martian for me. In the front is a great list of the attributes of God along with scripture to support them.

I have been wanting to start memorizing scripture with my daughter who is 3. When I found this, a light bulb went off. Why reinvent the wheel? Why go on endless searches for the perfect verse to memorize. This is perfect! They are simple; they teach us who God is; they provide opportunity for discussion and for memorization. I can't wait to get started!

I have a bulletin board with learning things posted on it. So far, there is the alphabet, the first memory verse and a calendar.

Our first verse teaches us that God is good. 1Chronicles 16:34

10.09.2008

fun in the kitchen!


On the left, peanut butter cookies. YUM! On the right, star shaped V8 crackers- YUM! We had lots of fun in the kitchen this morning.

10.08.2008

Homemade Yogurt Works for Me


We love some yogurt around here. We can consume a quart of yogurt in about two days, which means we go through the stuff. I love to feed my children healthy, nutritious food. The price of organic or even 'all natural' yogurt is considerably more expensive than the cheap stuff, but they add so much preservatives, color, etc. to it. I did a little research and it turns out making yogurt is quite simple. All you need is milk and a bit of plain yogurt. I boil the milk first to remove any bad bacteria. Once it cools to about 100 degrees, I mix in the plain yogurt and it sits on my counter overnight. I let it rest about 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more tart and thicker it becomes. Occasionally we add fresh fruit or honey, but that is it! Sugar free, dye free, preservative free yogurty goodness! Not to mention the beautifully beneficial bacteria... It works for us! To see more Works for Me Wednesday posts, check out Shannon's blog.

Curious


10.07.2008

I was just...

I have a terrible habit... When my wonderful husband makes a parenting decision that I disagree with or corrects them for something that I would let pass... I interrupt him. I say, 'She(or he or they) was(were) just _______. Now, I have begun to catch myself and eliminate this terrible habit. I think it is disrespectful to him and I need to set the example of respect for my children. I really need to work on this. Today, I realized just how bad it is, when T1 says, "Mama, I was just...."

10.04.2008

Questions

We've recently been captured by the TV Show with Troy Dunn called, The Locater. The stories really captivate my attention and pull at my heart, stories of people looking for lost loved ones. I identify with some and and it prompts me to think of my own story.

Adopted children are often told that one day someone from the past may show up and desire to reconnect. As a child, I certainly was told. My adoption was celebrated and not hidden from me, and I was content with my life. I felt no desire to go looking for lost family, especially because they had been the ones to walk away from me.

But one day, a phone call came, an unexpected message for me- just for me. Someone in the past wanting to reconnect, establish a relationship, heal the hurt. It put me down a path that I never imagined, but today I am so grateful for that call. It changed my life. Connections were made, hurts were healed, acceptance and unconditional love was found. The call was from an aunt, a dear friend. From that other connections were made: more aunts, uncles and grandparents. but never with parents.

What holds me back from the next step? Is it fear? Am I content in a relationship with my 'adopted' parents? Is it that I have never considered seeking- only considered being sought?

What would I say? How would it go? What would the relationship be like after the meeting? How does it affect my children? Maybe I don't need this, but do they?

These are the things I wonder... And I think I should write more about these experiences....

And lastly, I think of the song: 'Jesus, he can move the mountains... Our God is mighty to save, Jesus conquered the grave...' And isn't that what this is all about? Seperation.. and Jesus conquered it.... so he can conquer my fear and questions too?!