Sunday, February 28, 2010


strip malls, shopping malls, super malls...

...a consumer necessity of worldly purchasing. Ouch! Did I say that? I like to shop, I like nice things, I like finding what I am looking for... I do not like malls. There, I said it.

I avoid malls for a few reasons:

1) too many people. I find them busy, chaotic, & crowded (in general)
2) too materialistic. I find them to have the influence to crave unnecesary items.
3) too spendy. I find it a waste of quality time as a cost to our family.
4) too influential. I find the latest need to "party like a rockstar" to have an ill impression as it hits even the youngest of our communities.

Time, Talent, & Treasures~
a motto we try to instill in our children by holding ourselves accountable for what we do with our time, our talents, & our treasures.

The children know how hard their dad works everyday; all in the selfless glory of providing for our family. It is my job to spend the money earned in a wise manner. Admittedly, I am not always successful at this. Yet, I do know that staying away from malls helps us avoid the "I wants" of frivolous spending. Now, if I could only withstand the challenge of fasting fast food, we could save a whole lot more money! Please feel free to share what you do to make a positive difference in your budget.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


and enjoying the calm of our days.

Ofcourse some days are more chaotic than others...
that is the beauty
of having many children,
of homeschooling,
of staying home,
of being a mom...

So as I sit here relaxing during a quiet moment in the middle of the night, I can't help but smile at our day that has passed.

School went smoothly with Olympic Studies, French review, read aloud time at the top of our agenda. We also began a new seedling project as helpful Bryson dumped our last ones out. "Baby brother ate our homework" comes to mind. =)

Katie-girl began a new Health Study book yesterday...and finished today! I think it was meant to last a semester??

Andrew is big into "reading" books to us. He is quite the story teller.

Bryson is, oh so active! He tore up his foot on a metal wire a few days ago, but the way he runs wild, one would never guess so. He currently loves Grams sticks (from the window) as weapons. Personally, I think he has been hanging out too much w/ his older brothers whom been watching Ancient Weapon Technology shows lately. nice, huh?

The day only gets better, as my husband comes home and makes his famous yummy hamburgers!...and a batch of brownies! Yes, I am spoiled...and oh so grateful!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Children Are ...

Poet: Meiji Stewart

Believable, TRUST THEM.
Childlike, ALLOW THEM.
Energetic, NOURISH THEM.


Kindhearted, LEARN FROM THEM.

Open minded, RESPECT THEM.
Precious, VALUE THEM.
Questioners, ENCOURAGE THEM.

Resourceful, SUPPORT THEM.
Spontaneous, ENJOY THEM.

Vulnerable, PROTECT THEM.
Xtraspecial, CELEBRATE THEM.
Yearning, NOTICE THEM.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am wanting to take our 2-week Spring Break early. Maybe it's the sunshine tempting me? On the more realistic side, it is the perfectionist in me that is leaning towards time off. With our transitioning move, I want to get the school books in order, arrange our new classroom, and adjust our daily schedule.

I loved Oregon, cuz you could be more flexible w/ your school schedule. Life was always about learning, but it was fun to think outside the box... as in beyond 4 walls.

Here in Washington, they hold you to 11 specific subjects, hours per day, weeks per year, etc...

Folks that don't homeschool seem to think strict rules will hold parents "accountable", and that should be a good thing? For us? I find it a bit of a hinderance, but ofcourse, we have adjusted as needed. You see, to take spring break early would throw off our "record books" on our length of each quarter. Although, if I were to add in all the hours that we "school" (aka learn) during the evenings and weekends, I suppose the hours would be quite sufficient.

After a bit of pondering,
I've come to the conclusion,
that I will do what the public schools do...
take a few days off as "in-service days"...
funny thing is...
my kids will continue to show up for class. ;^)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here We Go Again...


This past year has been full of changes that seems to be on a continuous path...
as I embrace the moments, it is becoming clear to me, that this is about the journey, not the destination.

The home we are housing in, is currently up for sale
. We moved up in this area last June due to a company expansion at my husbands work. It seemed to be a fantastic timing, as my lovely s.i.l. Chanelle had recently purchased her mom's home (this would be my dear m.i.l.) The transition of ownership was needed due to an extensive unemployment... in easy terms...we didn't want mom to lose her home. The challenge is that it is too costly for one income (Chanelle), thus it has worked well for us to move in and help share the financial load. The difficulty, long term, comes in the size of the home. 3 bedrooms for 9 of us is a snug fit, especially when there is a varied expectation on the"children". Respectfully, it is still mom's "home". With this, comes a regard for Grandma's rules intermixed w/ our own standards of parenting. The children have adjusted amazingly, imho. None-the-less, the multiple showings of the house is putting a strain on me (how's that for selfish? ;^), as we can have an hour notice to tidy up, put school away, shove the littles make shift beds into the garage, get jackets and shoes on, shine up the place, get the dog, and load up in the van... then not really go anywhere? it's winter... where does one go w/ 5 kids and a dog for unspecified times?? It is usually a two hour outing...sometimes followed by another one, and another one... This does not fit well into our homeschooling agenda..."Have school, will travel" is a motto that has not been very effective.
All this to say we are headed to my parents home in 2 weeks. Again, it is a 3 bedroom home, so it will be snug. For those who may be questioning why we aren't getting our own place, again, it would be because we will still be contributing financially to help ends meet for Chanelle (thus also helping mom).

This move will be a blessing for our children. My mom does not expect the house to be company ready at all times, thus I can just breathe, and the kids can, well, be kids! My mom's rules are a bit more laid back than Grandma M. (note: there is not a wrong way to be grandmas, just different ways). The kids will be able to swing their feet in dining chairs, the littles will be able to stand/climb on the couches, our classroom will be able to actually be in the house fully adorned w/ maps, a huge whiteboard, children's art, and desks. My parents are willing to give up their dining room space in lieu of our children's education. Easy accessability to their books and school supplies will be helpful and refreshing to stay on task.

The Future? We do not know how long it will take for the house to sell. Thus we do not know what the future entails...only that we will re-evaluate our situation in 3 months. How's that for a plan?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding,
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5&6

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adrenaline Junkie?

Baby Bryson has a new friend!
(yes, I am aware he is not much of a baby, but I am claiming it until he is 2)
Isn't this a cute back-pack? It is also a very useful tool!
A safety harness!
The tail links on when needed...
and if any child would need one, it is him!
We have had...
a cautious child,
an active child,
a clutzy child,
a dramatic child,
and one that can be a bit aloof of his surroundings;
but this one?
he will run into sticker bushes, bound for cliffs, leap off anything;
and yes, he gets hurt at times, then laughs and tries again!
So this new lil friend is a favorite right now...
may Bryson never discover the skateboard!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Science in a Bottle?

Objective: to create "Invisible Ink"

Method: Using acidic based items, then applying heat.

The "invisible" part worked very well, don't ya think?
The Challenge: applying the heat.
Attempt #1-blow dryer-it bombed.
Attempt #2-by candle flame-caused charcoal marks (can you guess what page it was?)
Attempt #3- hot burner-this did work, but took a long time to pull the picture out of the paper.
Analyze Results: Lemon & O.J. worked best, vinegar failed.


I think we will stick to the "white crayon" method of invisible ink...
easier, quicker, & more legible!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For those whom choose not to earn an income in order to be with your kids, what is your job title??

Domestic Engineer?
J.A.M. (just a mom)?
My job title? MOM
My employer? GOD
My job description? Teacher, mentor, nurse, limo driver, cheerleader, life coach, house keeper, cook, activities co-ordinator, party planner, nutritionist, accountant, driving instructor, fitness trainer, & missionary... (to name just a few).
My hours: on call...24/7
My salary? PRICELESS!

I love being a mom! It is an amazing gift to receive. It is joyful, and heart-warming, a simplistic beauty... (pictured above is my sons TJ & Joe)

Oh....I hear you...
I did not say it was easy! It is a tiresome job, full of mistakes, and challenges at every turn...
~My kids are spaced out very evenly, so I feel I have been changing diapers for over 21 years now.
~I have not, but on rare occasion, the priviledge of sleeping through the night.
~yes, those ear-piercing screams of a toddler hurt my ears also!
~I do have moments of feeling like I am drowning in housework.
~At times, there are poor choices & complacency to correct.

...but at the end of the day, when I pray over their sleeping faces, I am in awe of what has been entrusted to me!

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21