Sunday, October 31, 2010


~Laurel began a journey to get healthy, both spiritually as well physically.

I already mentioned doing a post on Overcoming Personal Struggles.

I've decided to step up to the Challenge as it will relate to what I was already going to share.

I've also decided that this journey will be my Monday post. We will see how it goes. =)

My Story
(the very simple quick version)

I was tiny, petite, little while growing up. I had my fair share of challenging situations in my childhood.

I was an average teen- average grades, average size, average attitude.

So, when did my eating disorder begin? It muddles somewhere around 9. This is when I began food type rituals (food can't touch, etc), and began to opt not to eat. It was not noticed. Let's just say that "peas" don't flush well down the toilet. =)

By 14, I began to diet. This would be the 500 calorie diet...only to follow with a binge of LOTS of popcorn with an disturbing amount of butter (really, like picture using a spoon to eat your popcorn).

By 16, I discovered diet pills, then speed. Thankfully, over a few years time, that was let go. Whether over-the-counter or narcotics, it just plain made me agitated and jittering and ultimately feeling out of control.

By 18, after over eating at a fabulous Mexican restaurant, my dear cousin whom was with me, suggested we try to 'throw it up'. She couldn't, and I, well I found my escape.

By 22, I began to realize my behavior was obsessive. (between 18-22 I had gained about 30 extra pounds). I had my first son now, and the weight began to fall off because I had ate very balanced and healthy during the pregnancy. Well, "go me", so I thought. Exercise became compulsive, I didn't "feel well" all the time, if I ate too much one day, I would starve the next day, etc... Then all in one week I saw a TV show, read an article, and went to an OA (overeaters anonymous) to support a friend... and realized all these quirky behaviors were Bulimia related tendencies.

Oddly, most folks believe Bulimia is a diet issue, but in all reality it is an emotional issue. Oh the face of bulimia starts out as a diet savior. Just another avenue to lose weight, and you finally feel in control of something in your life. Soon it becomes a vice to cope with life. To "stuff" feeling that you were never allowed to share... only to later "release" the pressures of life. Yes, that is what binging and purging is about.

I won't go into my drawn out adult life, but Bulimia was a recurring issue in my life for many years- minus the two years per child of pregnancy/nursing which was probably a God send.
You see, my definition of bulimia is the slow, silent, suicide. You begin to die from the inside out, both spiritually as well as physically. Emotionally, you are so deep in a dark, miry pit, much like a murky well; the way up and out seems absolutely impossible...This was me at age 37. And no one knew. Not friends, not family. And I was dying indeed. I could feel my insides shutting down, I began to hemmorage (the Dr. put me on "the pill"), the acid lining in my stomach was barely existent, etc.... My biggest trouble was defining Bulimia as a sin rather than a disease. In this search for Truth, I came across a Christian website that explained eating disorders as sinful. That would mean I have a choice. That there is hope. That it is possible to stop. I chose Life. I quit purging, period. The binging took a bit longer to let go of. Now, that doesn't mean it isn't difficult. I still emotionally overeat (
not binge, there is a difference). I still have situational triggers. I still have rare moments of glancing at that toilet; ya know, one time won't hurt; but I see the Enemy begin to grin at my very thought. In actuality, Satan can't hear our thoughts, but he is king of temptation. Yet my God is merciful... hope, peace, & sanity can be restored.

I now mentor others whom are willing to ask for help.
One gal came to me as a young teen; may she never endure the years of suffering that I did.
Another gal is a young mom; I understand, and she is not alone.

There is light on the otherside, & it is a beautiful thing!

So, with that all said =)
I am now at a place where I can begin to focus on taking better care of myself. I cannot diet (obviously), but my body thrives on nutrition. Go figure?

I have been "round" for a chunk of years now. I am around 50 lbs overweight. My dear husband has been working out of town A LOT, and I tend to take less care of myself as to take more care of the children. It does not have to be that way, I just tend to cope that way.

So, next week I will share my "healthy plan" ,
which will include fitness, nutrition, and spiritual food!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Marla at Mothers Inspirations

gave me the Sunshine Award.

She was sweet to give it to me WWwaaayyy back in August.
Yes, I am just now getting to it. =)

I am suppose to write 7 things about myself...
and bless 7 others with this award.

I am not so fond of trying to talk about myself, but I do have blogs that make me smile~ wouldn't that fit into the "sunshine" award?

Mary at Winecup Christian Academy recently gave me the Versatile Blogger Award.

Rule No. 1 Thank the giver of the award~ that goes w/o sayin' I think.
Rule No. 2 Share 7 things about myself.
Rule No. 3 Pass this on to 12 great bloggers that I have recently discovered.
Rule No. 4 Contact selected Bloggers & let them know (I find this funny)

Now, is it WRONG to combine the 7 things about me??
cuz seriously, I don't think I can come up with much more than that. I am a 'what you see is what you get' kinda person.

and what exactly is the Versatile Blogger? Is that a definition for those of us whom enjoy babbling, er, sharing about many different topics? ;^)

My only challenge with awarding this is that I probably read about 12 blogs all together *smile*.
So, since I seem to be a rule breaker, I will pick a handful that I think fit into this category.

So, here goes.... 7 random things about me.

1. I received my first Teddy Bear on my 18th birthday.
2. I hate cooking. I have 3 recipes I can cook really well, the rest of the week I wing what I can. Needless to say, "breakfast" style dinners are at least once a week.
3. I love cleaning. and I have managed to let go of needing things to 'look' clean, and be satisfied by knowing it IS clean. Clutter is constant; dust & germs, not so much.
4. I have a dream to be able to run a marathon some day~ it's not gonna happen.
5. I love SNOW, but I am very wimpy when it comes to playing in it.
6. I am a glass half-full person; this annoys some people, but that only makes me smile.
7. If I say I am praying for you, or that I will pray for you... I am....often.

Ok, now to give away these awards, and yes, I am still breaking the rules...
I do what I can do. =)

The Sunshine Award goes to :

Elaine at Tails of Heaven Scent Farms
Chrissy at Enriched Living
Suzanne at The Joyful Chaos
Kathi at A Mother's Prayers
Cassandra at James, Cassandra, & Madison

The Versatile Award goes to:

Erica at 5 boys and a Princess
Danielle at DB's World
Leanne at Joyful in Hope
Peta at 7 Little Heads on 7 Little Beds
Tammy at Many Things

and now to go notify these beautiful people....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We do not celebrate Halloween!

I have found that this statement brings about 2 things:

or defensiveness.

Curious? How did we come about this decision? You would think it would be obvious by the claim that we are a Christian family. Would you be surprised to know we are very much in the minority of this choice within our Christian community?
Halloween is celebration of a darkness, period. We can fluff it w/ cute costumes, fun games, laughter, & reasoning... but the underlying purpose is dark. Yes, there is plenty of good argument to go around (All Hallow's Eve, Saints fest, etc), & yes, we did our homework, extensively. Ultimately, we, as a family, are led not to give our attention, our time, our talents, or our treasures to glorify this event.

Defensive? Are you offended by my initial statement? or does it make you feel uncomfortable? I find this common among our Christian friends. My friends, we are not judging others of their choice to celebrate this holiday or not. We are accountable to God for raising our children; God has led us down this path. Funny enough, non Christian folk don't seem much bothered by our decision not to celebrate Halloween. They may think we are strange, or roll their eyes at us 'church folk', but will shrug us off with a live/let live attitude.

It does sadden me. I gently express this. Our kids are exposed to so much darkness this particular month. The commercialism is geared toward our young. "It's just for fun" Witches, blood, vampires, and the thrill of a scare factor... all for fun.
But is it?
Satan is having a blast, I am sure... but is God pleased?
As with any other day, is our choice of actions pleasing to God?
These are the questions I am responsible to ask myself....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learning with the Littles

Our seasonal tree has been a hit in our house:

Aa- apples

Bb- bees

Cc- caterpillars

Dd- dragonflies

Our Circle Time has been hit or miss.
This would be due to my lack of planning efficiently. Bryson loves the finger songs, and Andrew is catching on to the French versions of our songs.

Circle Time

Letter of the week- Ee
the sight of it (we finger trace it)
the sound of it (we sound it out)
the sign (sign language)
& the song (w/ the animal of the week, the elephant)

The Alphabet/ l'alphabet
Days of the week/ jours de la semaine
Months of the Year/ mois de lannee

Left Hand/ Right Hand rhyme
A finger song - "One Little Elephant"

Table Time

A story, a craft, & a game.

Mon- animal story & craft, puzzle, tracer pages
Tues- Alphabet Fun Stories (Abeka) w/ puppets, decorate the Letter E & e, matching game.
Wed- Bible Story w/ color page, magnet worksheet, & lacing card.
Thur- My 'e' book, our "sound box" scavenger hunt, & dry erase writing boards.
Fri- Big Thoughts for little people (one letter per week/devotional type), paper plate craft, & cookie sheet writing ( w/ rice or shaving cream).

Activity Time

Things to keep the littles busy while cooking dinner;
playdough, leggos, marbles, bristle blocks, little peoples, cars, tinker toys, lincoln logs, etc...
We rotate daily so that they do not have time to get bored with them. =)

Keeping the Littles busy helps keep behaviors in check,
but I also let them have plenty of free time...
Free to watch a movie together
Free to jump & climb on TJ
Free to listen to Katie read
Free to "play" ball w/ Nick
Free to call their big brother, Joe
Free to snuggle w/ mama
Free to rough house w/ Grandpa
Free to "share" Grandma's food w/ her
Free to chase the dogs
Free to play games w/ Daddy
Free to be little....

Sunday, October 24, 2010





(photo of Aunt Chanelle w/ Bryson)
We are continuing our formal lessons with Chanelle on Mondays, and we are getting better at practicing at home. We are implementing common sentences at home, and the littles are even picking up on some. Je t'aime mon bébé =)


All about verbs;
helping verbs, verb phrases, irregular verbs, linking verbs, contractions, tenses, & infinitives.

Fine Arts:
Composer- Ludwig Van Beethoven "Symphony No. 5
Artist- Sir Edwin Landseer "The Monarch of the Glen"
Poet- Robert Louis Stevenson "Autumn Fires"

Jamestown Colony- John Smith, Sir Walter Raliegh, John Rolfe, Pocahontas, & to discuss 1st slaves to be brought over to North America.
Plymouth Colony- Mayflower Compact, Pilgrims, & to discuss freedom of religion (and what that means).

Katie- fractions, money, & metrics.
begin study for 4 & 6 times table. (o, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, & 11 review)

TJ- decimals, mixed numbers, area/perimeters, & fraction review.

Nick- absolute values, ratio & proportions, and polygons

Katie- Dear America (The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple), Lil Prudy's Dottie Dimple (series), and On the Banks of Plum Creek w/ me.

TJ- Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huck Finn

Nick- Slave Dancer, To Kill a Mockingbird


We will simplify Science for this quarter~ Animal Study-migration
Each student will be required to choose an migrating animal to study, research, report, & give an oral presentation on.

Katie- Barn Swallow
TJ- Great White Shark
Nick- Artic Tern
Mom (me)- Wildebeest
(I am still traumatized about Simba's Dad getting trampled via Lion King) ;^)

Small Pox epidemic

We are enjoying our Robinson Curriculum style, and the older kids have adapted well to our schedule. My focus this month is to spend consistant time w/ our Andrew. He has effectively avoided his reading and language skills lessons. I may incorporate Tutor Time (sibling assistance) in this area. Andrew plays outside the box, so I will update you on our progress. =)

TOT School:
Circle Time has not been consistant, but we are enjoying hands-on preschool activities.
Our Seasonal Tree has been a success.
Bryson is currently loving our Children's Encyclopedia, and the pictures in it are helping his vocabulary. yay!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Church-less Family in a Godly Home

I ponder what this really is. What is "church"?

I was not raised in a Godly home. My mom was. But it was not necessarily a kind home. I found Jesus when I was young. I went to Sunday School when we visited my Grandma. This was not often. The summer before 4th grade I was fortunate enough to attend my first VBS. This was a very pivotal point in my life. I accepted Christ as my Savior. I "knew" what I knew to be true. The dark areas of home became much darker; and I survived because I "knew" the Light lived within me. During this 6 yr trial in my life, I personally sought out Jesus. You see, we moved a LOT. In my 4th grade alone I went to 4 different schools. At each house we lived, I found a Sunday School. I walked alone. Once I even was able to ride a Sunday School bus. I did not know about denominations. I did not care about denominations. I yearned to learn more about my Savior, one whom would save me.

Oddly enough, when the enemy left our home (finally), was about the age I learned how to escape. Without the details of my sinful choices; let's just say I walked away from Christ for a season. ('nuff said, eh?) I still talked to God, I still chatted with Him randomly, but I put Him in a box stored in my heart. I randomly came across different youth groups throughout high school. I was the girl your parents warned their sons about. Maybe not quite that bad, lol, but bad enough. Lost. Each youth group became an increasingly worse experience. I was seeking the Truth, and darkness was revealing itself within these groups.

Years later, now with a husband and a child, I sought out the Truth stored in my heart. There is a drive to do the right thing. Church is the right thing, right? We became CEO's - Christmas/Easter only. I knew what I knew to be true. Jesus IS the answer. One does not have to attend church to be saved, that I knew. And one does not have to be saved to attend church.

In my child-like faith, I knew I must get past the milk, and on to the meat of this spiritual meal. and I fervently prayed, for what seemed like a lifetime in itself.

8 years and 3 kids later, my husband was saved. (no details on a public forum; it is his story to tell). We began going to church; I began to realize what church was suppose to look like. In a 10 year growth, we went to 3 churches, and I began to trust the process. The first church we dedicated to had fabulous, Christ loving folks. The pastor fell apart, darkness exposed. The 2nd church-different style, lovely people, not for us. (I continued to help with their VBS each year, until this church disbanned also.) Our last church was a community-based church and that was exactly what we

Now we are in a new state, a new home, a new situation to ponder. 1st we were in a home w/ my in-laws (mom & sister) for about 9 months. We began going to my cousins church a few times. I liked it. Now we are currently living with my parents. We did find a church in this area that we seem to like, yet, I continue to stall our attendance with any type of commitment.
Because I know we may not be here very long.
Because I know there is a possibility of us moving in a year.
Because I moved a lot as a child, and do not want my kids to feel shuffled about.
Because I know it is hard for me to let go of friendships, so I do not want to start any.
Because it takes work to commit to a new church.

So, what is church to us?
A place where sinful people seek Godly counsel.
Where truth is sought out; where answers are found;
where we lay our heart out on the line,
and humbly praise Jesus Christ as Lord.

Church is kinda like a hospital-
There are sick folk, healing folk, some folks are just walking through, some are visiting, some loiter about, & some stay to take care of the sick & healing.

For a season, our church is from the home.
Church has become a life style, not a building.

A place where we seek Godly counsel,
and God is gracious to reveal our sins.

Where we seek out truth,
and God gracefully provides the answers.

Where we lay our hearts out on the line,
and God meets us where we are at.

Where we praise Jesus,
and God is merciful.

For this season we will nurture, prepare, & guide our "congregation" to equip them how to Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called them heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
Phillippians 3:14

What is that goal?
~to get to know Christ,
~to be Christ-like,
~to be all that God has purposed us to be.

What is your goal?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Maybe not....

Here is our journey with gardening. I share it here as to keep all things real. ;^)

We started in April with planting seeds.

Batch 1, batch 2, AND batch 3 were tortured by a curious 23 month old.

The 4th & final attempt we had him join the process....

then I got smart and placed the seedlings in an out-of-reach place!




Bryson is begging to play with these wee lil green tomatoes that he calls a "ball".

We did actually eat many of our hard earned produce, including peas and green onions also.

So, what is your opinion?

With such strange looking vegetables, how would you grade our garden for an "agriculture" credit w/ science labs??

I would like to add that my dear husband was the supervisor over this 6 month project! He was great at explaining the growth, guiding the learning, and starting the green tomato fight. ;^)
I, on the other hand, could somehow die off a cactus; consequently, I stayed out of the way.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

l.i.f.e Academy...

Our first quarter is over. It seem to go by so fast! We now get to enjoy 2 weeks off.

I think I am acutely aware of how fast the year is going because I have a senior student. What a wonderful journey it has been. I will post of details at a later date.

First quarter successes:

Field Trips:
Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle Science Center
Fruit picking at a farm in Oregon

Library every Wednesday:
This is working out well. It is a small library, Thank goodness, as I get overwhelmed in big fancy ones with my littles in tow. =) I do have a habitual habit of always having some type of fee; I am pretty proud that I have not lost a book/movie/magazine as of yet. Little guy has ripped one page, but I figure for having 5 kids learning from home, that isn't too bad a track record??

We established our new routine using the Robinson Curriculum along with keeping it organized Workbox style. It is working out well for us. Less chaotic, more focused. I am needing to find more focused time w/ my kindergartener. Preschool-ish activities are going well alongside littlest brother, but dear Andrew, in his offbeat way is skirting around his quality lessons in reading and language skills.

*Katie-girl is doing ballet twice a week. Cool part is that she helps as an assistant in two little tyke ballet classes, and barters her payment for the lessons. She LOVES helping little kids.
Campfire also began. Lucky for us, Aunt Chanelle (my husband's sister) is the camp leader. She is amazing with kids!

*Nick is out (again) with a soccer related injury. Let's see...Hip out of alignment, broken it is a bruised bone in the shin. This is not something to play around with, unless one enjoys the thought of a potential broken bone. We are hoping he will be back in play in a few weeks.

*TJ is patiently waiting for dad to take him fishing...soon, very soon....

A Funeral:
My dear Grandpa passed away recently. The funeral was last week-end. It is rather an event of mixed feelings. We know he is with the Good Lord; Halelujah! Yet the heart aches at the loss. The family had a Celebration of Life...which was, food, fun... but it left me pondering at how quickly life goes by, and how we should celebrate daily the gift of life.

Fall Break:
We are headed to Oregon for a week to visit some friends. Daddy has been staying with these friends for several months now. Lucky for us, Daddy gets to take a vacation with us next week to the Coast for a whole week! We are thrilled!

Future posts:
1. We wrapped up our Summer Nature Studies
2. Interesting Garden Adventure
3. Our Curriculum plans for the fall months.
4. A church-less family in a Godly home
5. Victories in personal struggles.
(if I am brave enough to open the door to this topic)
6. Preparing for the holidays~
Embracing the Moments.

Until next time...
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
Galations 13:14

Friday, October 1, 2010

From One Mama to Another Mama...

To discipline is to guide, nurture, & prepare our children ....

2 yr olds say "NO!"...
a lot.

Toddlers test boundaries.
Your 'yes' needs to be a yes;

Your 'no' needs to be a no;
and allow room for 'maybe' & 'sure, why not'.

Your NO is for... a real no.
If mom says "no", THAT is just what she has to mean.


Time out/The Naughty Spot (call it what you like)
I have a carpet square; it travels well. =)

Yes, have your child sit as many minutes as their age.
Yes, at first especially, you will have to return them to their spot~a zillion times.
Supernanny (I think) says "That's unacceptable behavior"
I say "It is not ok to disobey mommy" and lead them to their 'spot'
"If you can't obey, go sit down".

Stay calm and matter of fact.
You will not feel calm;
especially if said child ends up pulling an all out tantrum.

Act calm; THAT shows you in control.

3 & 4 yr olds~ this is the age of the screamer.
Preschoolers are trying out their boundaries.
Some whine, some whimper, many scream, some will rage.
(I have had them all)
This stems from frustration, but can become manipulative if allowed to become a routine behavior.

My standard approach toward this child is:

"Use your words"
"How can I help you"
"Do you need me to hold you for a minute?"

The idea is to teach communication. If said child decides not to reply, and begins (or continues) to cry/scream/yell/hollar/sass/or backtalk...


~Time out/Naughty spot~
"It is not ok to ____, go sit down"

note: My daughter was a screamer. She thought it would be clever to pull a tantrum in the van, followed by vomiting. (grrr) I then began to pull over, find a safe place, and make her sit on a curb til she chose not to scream. "I cannot drive if you are screaming". Luckily for me, it was pouring down rain the 1st time I tried this... she only received warnings after that. =)

5 & up...the age of accountability.

The Thoughtful Spot~
a nook, a corner, a quiet spot.

I utilize the "thoughtful spot" for meltdowns, poutiness, not being co-operative, basically for any behavior correction needed.

This is a place to take quiet time by oneself.
Reading the Bible, praying, and writing apology letters are only some of the activities that can take place here.

Yes, they stay there as many minutes as their age. =)
Admittedly, I have not had anyone over the age of 13 need to be in this spot.

If you get tag-teamed... oh yes, multiple meltdowns do happen...
gulp down a huge dose of patience;
you can multi-discipline if they know the rules,
but if this is a newer routine where rules are thought to be broken...
Attention and correction goes to the youngest child first, with a very clear follow through for the next oldest misbehaved child.

Out in public:
One has to behave in public to be able go in public. I do pull the curbside timeout if needed. I also 'ground' them from public appearance for as many days as their age. Lol, honestly, I have never had to approach this technique much past the age of 4. The first time the child is left behind (obviously with supervision) while the rest of the kids get to "go" is usually enough to heed a warning the next time.

***With ALL discipline, I recommend praying with/alongside the child after their correction, followed by a hug. Obviously, at the younger years, you are praying the they get older, they begin to pray too.


Lay down your House Rules.

Reminders are ok.

Remind, warn, discipline...always!
~in other words, don't threaten correction and not follow through~

Always appear calm;
It is how your child will learn self control.

Always speak clearly,
(avoid sighs, grunts, & screaming);
It is how your child will learn to communicate.

Always be in control of your actions;
It is how your child will learn to trust.

~i say 'always', but that is meant as a self-determination approach;
we all slip in our coping behaviors, but really, isn't that just an adult version of a temper tantrum? We scream, we cry, we whine, we fuss, we get overwhelmed...and how does God correct us but with guidance and unconditional love...THAT is where 'always' comes in; to strive to show Christ's love through the struggles.~

My life:

My rambunctious 2 yr old many times will walk himself to 'time-out',
I have been so consistant w/ him, that he knows when he needs to be corrected.
This is also the child that many times just simply needs a snuggle to regroup, thus he responds to my "do you need me to hold you for a minute?" rather than being sent to time-out.
(please note that I had to learn the hard, unmanaged way with my kids, to actually get to this point)

My 5 yr old is a bit tricky. He has Asperger's characteristics, so his processing skills are a bit askewed...yet...consistancy of correction leaves him without having to guess.

My 8 yr old dear daughter (whom reads my blog)-{insert waving hand here} can be dramatic.
She is turning into a lovely young lady, but still needs nurturing and guidance.

My 13 yr old can be quick to anger, but the root of it is caused by sensitivity. Being able to process those feelings will help him face adulthood. Prayer with this son is very effective. This young man has a great heart for righteous things.

My 17 yr old~ uh...yeah... besides an occasional give him 'the' look (for teasing a sibling, and such)... I simply don't have to discipline at this age. This is the age of mentoring. We all make mistakes, we all should seek Godly counsel.... and my husband and I make ourselves available to our adult children for such things.

Our 21 yr old adult son~ he's a pretty great guy, if I don't mind sayin' so! =)
He survived through all our parenting trial-n-errors...

Love endures, and God's grace sustains...
and at the worst of chaotic moments, always remember...
This too shall pass...

Nature Study...

Our Backyard!

These photos are all from our fenced backyard.
We moved from small town to big city, so I find it a bit amusing to still enjoy such treasures of wildlife.

The wee lil tree frog was the most enjoyable. All the kids had fun with him.

We also have several rabbits to observe. Our dogs go a bit nutty over them.
Spiders are of abundance.
Thankfully, not many are found in our house;
the way it should be if you ask me!

The Blue Jays are amazing. We have a lovely birdhouse that we keep stocked with bird food. Chickadees and Robins are popular guests also.
We cannot seem to capture on camera our surprise early morning guest at the birdhouse...
the neighborhood squirrel!

We also discovered a rather large BEE hive in our pine tree. The odd thing was that we did not have many bees bothering us this summer, which is a nice change from previous summers.
We have the hopes of dissecting this piece of artwork very soon.

Some other friends of the back yard are:



, lady bugs, and the occasional slug.