Friday, September 28, 2012

3 in 30: A Weird Blogger Week

I have been unable to write new posts this week because I've had problems with Blogger (except for that once on Wednesday).  It's been frustrating and aggravating, but apparently (and obviously) it's working right now.  And I'm taking advantage of that!  I have several posts floating around in my head, and I really hope that Blogger continues to work for me so I can share them with you.  Since I've been working on getting things fixed, I'm behind on my blog reading, as well.  I hope to catch up this weekend -- with blogging and reading.

Anyway, here is how I've done with my goals this week and this month:
  • Chore chart.  As I said last week, I've given up on this goal.  But Rachel keeps asking to put stickers on it.  Since she still gets her medicine and sunscreen no matter what, I let her put stickers on...wherever she feels like putting them.
  • Working on the playroom.  I got one more (and the last!!!) box unpacked earlier this week.  Well, it's not completely unpacked; it still has pictures that need to be hung on the wall in it.  But since John is better at hanging pictures in it, I left them there.  I probably should get them out so we can see them and figure out where to hang them....  Now that everything is unpacked, I'm not exactly sure what to do now with the playroom.  My parents are coming for a visit in a couple of weeks, and my mother has good ideas about such things.  I plan to ask for her help some while they're here.  (Thanks, Mom!)  I may also start working on making a corner of it into our schoolroom.  There's so much I can do down there....
  • Write one letter per week.  I wrote the letter for last week and this week on Sunday.  I've had such a good time doing this that I may carry this goal on next month.  Or I may just keep doing it without making it a goal.  Don't you love getting real, live letters in the mail?
How have you done this week?  Have you had any problems with Blogger?  What have you been able accomplish?

This post is linked to Welcome to Our Good Life:  3in30.

Computer Problem

This is Nikki's husband, she is not able to post from home due to a computer problem.  We hope to have it fixed in a few days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Problems with Blogger

I have been having trouble with Blogger since Sunday.  I have been unable to access the page where I write new posts for all of my blogs.  I keep getting error bX-g90x6h, and I have not been able to figure out what that means.  I have to admit that this is very aggravating.  I don't know why I am able to write this post write now, but I wanted to let you know what's going on, why there haven't been any new posts lately, and why there may not be anymore for a while.  And if you have any suggestions about how to get this issue resolved, please, please let me know.  I started a new thread on the Blogger discussion board Monday, but I haven't gotten any help there.  I have sent feedback, also, and gotten no response.

Are you having any trouble with Blogger?  

Friday, September 21, 2012

3 in 30: Another Good Week

This week was another good one.  I took Mary to the doctor Wednesday for her 9 month check up.  I have always thought that my children have big heads; now I have proof.  Mary is in the 50th to 60th percentile for weight and length, but her head is in the 90th.  No wonder I have a hard time getting some shirts over her head.  But that was the only highlight of our week.  Other than that, it was a fairly normal week.

Here's how I did with my monthly goals:
  • Chore chart.  I've given up on this literal goal, but we're getting all of our morning tasks completed.  (Well, maybe not all of them, but most.)  With the cooler weather (high in the upper 80's instead of the 90's), we're able to play outside in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning.  That takes some of the pressure off me to get things done before we start school.
  • Working on the playroom.  Slowly but surely, I'm getting things done.  I unpacked another box this week, so there's only one left.  Then the only thing I'll need to do is rearrange everything neatly and efficiently.  The only thing.
  • Write one letter per week.  This note is just a simple one to let someone know that I'm praying for them.  I haven't gotten this letter written yet, but I hope to write it today or tomorrow.  There were several people I wanted to write, and I had a hard time narrowing it down.
We're having a family from our church over for supper tonight, and we're looking forward to that, to getting to know them better.  In the meantime, I'm trying to get things ready, mostly the food because the house is okay.  What do you have planned for tonight and this weekend?

How did you do this week?  What were you able to get accomplished?

This post is linked to Welcome to Our Good Life:  3in30.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Random Question: Where Did You Meet Your Husband?

After I graduated from pharmacy school, I started attending Sunday school at my church again.  (Before that, I didn't feel that I fit anywhere:  the college class was too young, and the medical students class just wasn't right, either.)  Now that I wasn't in college anymore, I felt free to join the singles class. On one of my first visits there, I met John.  As a matter of fact, he was one of the first people I met.  After church, I saw him again, ahead of me in the parking lot, and the thought occurred to me, "What if I marry him?  Wouldn't that be funny?"  You see, one of my brothers is Jon, and so was my brother-in-law.  I thought it would be very funny to have three John's (Jon's?) in my immediate family.  Well, that thought proved prophetic.

Where did you meet your husband?  Did you have strange, prophetic thoughts like I did?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Giving Meds to Children

my tools

I hope that you never have to give any of your children medicine.  It's not fun having sick children, especially ones with chronic conditions.  But through experience and some friends' advice, I've come up with these ways of giving medicine to my children.

Mary had an ear infection back in the early spring, and I had to give her antibiotics for that.  It wasn't fun, but I learned a couple of things about giving medicine to infants.

  • When you squeeze medicine into a baby's mouth, you don't want to squirt it down his throat.  It could go down the wrong "pipe," so to speak, and choke him.  Instead, squirt it in between his cheek and teeth.
  • In order to get your baby to swallow his medicine, blow into his face.  I don't know why this works, but it does.  Blow gently.
Now that I'm giving medicine to Rachel daily, I feel like I'm becoming an expert in administering medicine.  As a pharmacist, I just dispense medicine; now I'm acting like a nurse and administering it.  
  • Bulb syringes (the blue on in the picture) are easier to draw medicine up with, but they usually come in smaller sizes like 5 ml or one teaspoon.  
  • When you have to crush tablets, a mortar does an excellent job.  It should; that is its sole purpose for existence.  (Other than decoration which mine has done for most of the time that I've owned it.)  If you'll be crushing tablets for a while, I encourage you to invest in a mortar and pestle.  I don't use the pestle, though; I just crush the tablet in a custard dish, mix it with a teaspoon of yogurt and give it to Rachel.  She thinks its a treat!
  • Follow up with a treat, if you like.  It works great that we can give Rachel the calcium and vitamin D in this "chocolate."  
Have you had to give any of your children medicine?  What tips have you learned that I might find helpful?

Monday, September 17, 2012

"A Strange and Selfish Way to Live"

I've been reading Deadline by Randy Alcorn, and it is a very good, thought-provoking book.  In this instance, Jake has just visited Lou's Diner which Rory owns, and it occurs to him that he doesn't know Rory very well at all.
Jake had never thought about Rory's family.  Rory was a one-dimensional fixture in his world, like the holodeck images on Star Trek:  The Next Generation, as if when Jake left Lou's Diner, Rory didn't have a life.  He existed just to round out one little corner of Jake's world.  Open-minded as he liked to think of himself, Jake was beginning to realize he seldom saw any place or anything from someone else's point of view.  He was always the main character.  The rest of the world had a supporting role or no role at all.  It struck him as a strange and selfish way to live.  
I know that I am guilty of this quite a bit.  Does the cashier at the grocery store have a life other than checking out my groceries?  Does the speaker at MOPs really have a family?  My good friends, what are their lives like when I'm not around?  What does John really do all day at work?

After I read this quote, I realized that I live the same way.  My world revolves around me.  When you're not around, you don't exist.  Of course, this isn't true, but to some extent it is.  I'm so preoccupied with myself that I don't have time to think of others.  As Jake concludes, it's a "strange and selfish way to live."

What about you?  Do you suffer from the same "strange and selfish" way of living?  (That's a rhetorical question; I don't really expect you to answer it.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

3 in 30: A Successful Week!

This week was not a nice, quiet week, but neither was it terribly busy.  We had our first meeting of MOPs on Tuesday, and Thursday was our normal homeschool co-op day.  I don't know about you, but I like nice, quiet weeks at home.  Here's how I did with my goals for the week (and here is the full run down of what each goal is):

  • Chore chart.  While my kids are regularly making their beds and brushing their teeth, we've already pretty much quit using the chore chart.  I think I made the wrong goal for the month; my morning routine needs some work, and I'm not sure how to tackle it.  I feel pulled in about fifteen different directions every morning as soon as breakfast is over:  Rachel needs her medicine, Rachel needs to get dressed, hair needs to be brushed, the breakfast dishes need to be done, sometime bread needs to get started in the bread machine, etc.  I would like my mornings to go a little smoother, but maybe it just can't happen right now.
  • Working on the playroom.  I've been working on the playroom pretty regularly.  After my older children's afternoon playtime while they clean up their mess, I work on cleaning up mine.  I got another box unpacked this week, and I sorted through the DVD's:  the empty cases are boxed up, and the other ones are on a shelf.  (The DVD's from the empty cases are in a DVD book.)
  • Write one letter a week.  I got the letter written for last week and for this one.  Hooray!
How did you do this week?  What were you able to get accomplished?

This post is linked to Welcome to Our Good Life 3in30.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mary is Nine Months Old!

Mary turns nine months old today.  This has been a big month for her developmentally.

She started pulling up a couple of weeks ago.

While she's still doing the "army crawl," she manages to get all over the house...

...sometimes even where she shouldn't necessarily be.

And just this week, Mary has started sitting up.

With each child, I remember how fun it is to watch them grow and develop into a little person.  How kind of God to let us experience this wonderful development.

As an aside, in science, we're learning about mammals.  I doubt Sarah Beth and Daniel will ever forget one thing that makes mammals different from other animals:  they feed their babies with milk.  When I ask them to name a mammal, they say, "You, Mommy!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Booking It: September Review

I'm not sure how I got so many books read this month.  I'm sure it helped that I read a couple of them while jogging on my treadmill.  And most of these books are fairly short and quick to read.
  • Autumn Dreams by Gayle G. Roper.  This book is about the owner of a bed and breakfast.  Since I enjoy staying at bed and breakfasts (although we haven't done it in a while), I thought I would enjoy this book...and I did.
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley.  This book is a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast which is a fairy tale that I really enjoy.
  • Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble.  This book wasn't so good as it tells the story of a young woman who discovers that her father left her an inn and two siblings that she didn't know existed.
  • The Foundlings by Matthew Christian Harding.  This book takes place after the flood and imagines what life might have been like then.  The concept is very interesting, but the book is written for young adults so there's not too much depth to it.
  • Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney.  This book takes the Titus 2 passage and exegetes it in a helpful and practical way.
  • A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd.  Bess is an English nurse during the Great War, and she gets caught up in the mystery of a couple of murders and a (possibly) illegitimate child (it's not hers).  This book was very good.
What have you been reading lately?

This post is linked to Life as Mom:  Booking It.

Random Question: What is Your Favorite Thing to Clean?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you about your least favorite cleaning chore.  While I absolutely hate cleaning the shower, I enjoy cleaning the bathroom mirror.  With a minimum of effort and time, the end result is sparkling.  Just spray the mirror with Windex, wipe a little, and it's done!  Easy peasy!

What is your most favorite thing to clean?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Let Your Child Choose

If you read my other blog about Rachel and her JDM, you know that getting her dressed in the morning can be a chore.  Not only do I have to get her dressed and brush her hair, but I have to put sunscreen on her and give her medicine.  All of those things can be a struggle, so I've started letting her choose which one she wants to do next.

Do you want your medicine, or do you want to get dressed?  Which medicine do you want first?  Do you want me to brush your hair or put on sunscreen?  Do you want me to put sunscreen on your cheek or your forehead first?  Which cheek?

Rachel still fusses when I hit a tangle while brushing her hair, and putting sunscreen on is not fun.  But letting her chose, giving her some control over what happens to her makes things much more pleasant...for both of us.

Is there something unpleasant that you have to do with/to your child?  Can you give him a choice about it?  Like when to do it?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tomorrow's Relationship Begins Today

I'm sure you've seen a similar quote to this one, but I think we mothers cannot be reminded enough of this truth.  At least, I know that I can use a constant reminder.  This particular quote comes from Edith Schaeffer's book The Hidden Art of Homemaking.
You cannot expect to have a close relationship with a teenager who, after all, is still the same person as the two-year-old you stuck crying into bed, the three-year old you spanked and shoved aside, the four-year-old you wouldn't listen to, the five-year-old you never shared beauty with, the six-year-old you found boring, or you "trained" never to butt in, but never gave time to make a cosy and beautiful background out of which you could talk to him or her.
How often I shove my children aside when I have something "more important" to do.  What poor lessons I teach them when I do that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

3 in 30: A New Month

This week was a busy one for us.  John was off Monday for Labor Day, and while we love having him home with us, it does throw our schedule off, mostly in regards to school.  But it's worth it to have him home!  John was out of town Tuesday night, and we missed him.  Wednesday, we took Rachel for her first doctor's appointment since she received the infusions for her JDM.  She's doing great, and you can read more about that appointment here, if you like.  Yesterday, we had our weekly co-op meeting with Classical Conversations, so we're looking forward to being home today.

With a new month comes new goals, and I always think making new goals is kind of fun.  Keeping them, well, that may be a different story.
  • I started a chore chart for Sarah Beth and Daniel.  I'm starting out small with just having them make their beds and brush their teeth, but they love putting stickers on the chart.  Of course, they have other chores they do (like unloading the dishwasher) that they don't get stickers for.  I included Rachel, too, but she gets stickers for taking her medicine and getting sunscreen put on.  Honestly, I know that I'm not disciplined enough to keep this chore chart going very long; I'm just hoping that we all get into the groove of getting some things done without my having to remember everything.  We've done well this week not only with doing the chores but also in remembering to put stickers on the chore chart.
  • The playroom needs some work.  It's been neglected, well, ever since we moved in last year.  We pick it up and keep it clean, but the bookshelves didn't actually have the shelves on them until last week.  There are a couple of boxes that still need to be unpacked, and I would like to organize the built-in shelves that we have in a better way.  I started this week by moving the kids' books from one of the built-ins that's not very deep to one of the stand-alone bookshelves.  When the kids would pull one book off, a whole bunch would fall onto the floor.  And a lot of books were too wide to fit well on such shallow shelves.  John, also, moved the bedside table upstairs last night to the kids' room.  I don't have pictures because I was too embarrassed about how messy the room was...but Sarah Beth and Daniel picked it up yesterday afternoon all by themselves without my asking.  I was amazed!  There wasn't a single toy on the floor.  They did a great job!
  • I would like to write one letter a week.  After writing this post about letting others know that we pray for them, I thought that writing a letter to some of the people I pray for regularly would be a good idea.  I have to admit, too, that I was inspired by Esther, one of Laura's daughters, one of whose goals is to write letters this month.  I haven't written a letter yet this week, but I do know to whom I plan to write it.
How was your week?  Busy?  Eventful?  What were you able to accomplish?

This post is linked to Welcome to Our Good Life 3in30.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Review of New Year's Goals

It's been a busy month with Rachel's diagnosis of Juvenile Dermatomyositis.  But I've still gotten a good bit done toward my goals with the two biggest successes being starting school and losing weight.
  • School.  We started school two weeks ago, and we're having a good time so far.  We joined a co-op this year Classical Conversations, and it's impressive.  My kids are learning a lot, and so am I!  With Sarah Beth in first grade, we are hitting the books for real this year.  Since Daniel wants to do school, as well, I've got him doing some kindergarten work.
  • Reading.  Yes, I read.
  • Losing weight.  Done, done, done!  I've lost all of the baby weight.  Whoohoo!  Here's proof that you can lose weight while eating ice cream every night as a bedtime snack.  It's all in portion size!  I even dropped a pants size; it's a nice problem to have when you need new pants because yours are too big!
  • Run a 5K.  The training is going well.  The run is this month, so it's almost time.
  • Hospitality.  We haven't had anyone over lately, and we have got to get back into this habit.  We enjoy it so much when we fellowship with others.
  • Work.  I'm making phone calls, looking for a job.  Since I want to work only one weekend a month, it may be hard to find a job.
How was your month?  How are you doing with your yearly goals?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Random Question: What's Your Favorite Thing to Bake/Cook?

I prefer baking to cooking, although I do enjoy producing a healthful (relatively!) meal for my family.  But I really enjoy baking.  I think that has to do with my sweet tooth:  I love to eat cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.  Yum!

My absolute favorite things to bake are cupcakes.  I'm not sure why; maybe it's the small, cute size.  And I don't get to bake them very often because I can't figure out how to make fewer than two dozen at a time...and we don't need that many in our family at once.  My favorite cupcakes are the ones pictured above:  chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting.  They make me hungry just looking at them!

Muffins are similar to cupcakes, and I enjoy making them, as well.  We love our chocolate chip muffins around here; as a matter of fact, we have them almost every weekend.

Do you prefer baking or cooking?  And what is your favorite thing to bake/cook?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Put Things Where Your Children Can Reach Them

I have to admit that this tip did not come from me; John thought this one up.  Daniel complains of being thirsty fairly often, although I think that a good bit of "being thirsty" actually is the fun of using the water dispenser in the refrigerator.  John and I got tired of getting Daniel a cup so he could get himself some water.  In exasperation one day, John said, "Can we put some cups down where Daniel can reach them, please?"

As the good, submissive (and also exasperated) wife that I am, I did.  Now we have cups for Daniel and Sarah Beth in the drawer with our dishcloths.  Where they can reach them.

Do you have cups where your children can reach them?  What have you moved so that your children can reach?

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Faith of a Child

My quote for today doesn't come from a book; it comes from my son.  What did he say?  "It's still raining" with an incredulous tone in his voice.

Let me start from the beginning.  Do you remember how our area flooded a couple of months ago due to all of the rain from Debby?  And how the golf holes behind our house are now part of an extended lake?  On top of all of that rain, it has continued to rain here almost every day; in the last seven or eight weeks, it has rained everyday except for about seven.  And we're talking significant rain:  a quarter to a half an inch, at least.

John and I have started talking about how we need it to stop raining.  Yes, the trees and grass need rain, as do the farmer's crops.  However, the water table also needs to go down, and I'm sure the farmers who cut hay need it to stop raining so they can cut and bale their hay.

Our children have started praying that it would stop raining.  Friday afternoon, when it started raining, Daniel said that he was going to pray that it would stop.  We all bowed our heads while he prayed, "Please God to stop the rain.  Amen."  Then he looked up, and said incredulously, "It's still raining."

Oh, I wish I had faith like that.  I wish that when I prayed for something, that I expected God to answer me right now.  As an adult and relatively mature Christian, I know that God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want Him to; He's not a genie in the bottle.  But I do wish that I had the simple, innocent, expectant faith of a child.