Friday, September 30, 2016

What I Enjoyed This Week: Puzzles and Friends

Lately, I've been wondering where all my time is going.  I don't seem to have the time that I used to have, so I'm getting left behind on my chores and other things.  Then I realized the two things that are sapping my time:  soccer practice and feeding Hannah.  Taking Sarah Beth and Daniel to practice every day takes thirty to forty minutes including drive time and getting ready.  And feeding Hannah food along with a bottle takes much longer than just nursing her.  Oh, well.  I'm sure I'll figure this season out soon -- probably in time for it to end.  :)

Here are a few things I've enjoyed this week:
  • Watching Daniel play soccer last Saturday.  It was the first time I'd been able to see him play.  His team didn't win, but they fought hard and had fun which is what really counts, right?
  • Doing puzzles with my children.  Our library has a bunch of puzzles, and they let patrons borrow them.  Hooray for free puzzles!  As quickly as Rachel can put together a 500-piece puzzles, we go through a lot of puzzles.
  • Having friends over Monday.  We haven't seen these friends in a couple of months, so it was especially nice to spend time with them.
Sarah Beth's soccer game was moved from tomorrow to this evening, so I look forward to watching her play.  Also, it will be nice to have only one game in the hot sun tomorrow.  :)  We have friends coming over for supper tomorrow night which should be fun.  

What have you enjoyed this week?  What plans do you have for the weekend?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Loneliness: There's More of it Than You Might Think

I have a confession to make:  I'm lonely.

Are you?

In my humble opinion (for what it's worth), I think more people are lonely than we realize.  Why do I think this?  Because of the women I invite over for lunch and they stay all afternoon.  Because of the women who can't stop talking once they get started because they have so much to say and no one to tell.

Why are we lonely?  I think there are many reasons, but here are a couple.  We're so busy, too busy to spend time with people and really get to know them.  We're also afraid of being vulnerable because others might reject us if they knew who we really are.

Yes, our husbands should be our friends, maybe even our best friends.  But God designed us women to need fellowship from other woman -- just as our husbands need other men friends.

How do we "fix" our loneliness?  I wish I knew!  But I do know one thing that won't help:  waiting around for someone else to seek us out, to initiate something.

You have to take charge and do something yourself.  Invite someone over or out for lunch.  Speak to the other mothers at your child's soccer game.  Introduce yourself to another mother at story time at the library.

If you are blessed enough not to be lonely, I want to plead with you to extend your friendship to other women outside of your circle.  There are women around you who need your friendship, even if you don't really need theirs.

So, are you lonely?  What are you going to do about it?

Friday, September 23, 2016

What I Enjoyed This Week: Hannah Taking a Bottle

I have been busy this week weaning Hannah.  Well, maybe "busy" isn't quite the right word.  But we've been working on it, and she's doing great.  I usually take about a month to wean my babies because slow seems to work best -- at least, for me.  :)  I am weaning Hannah a little earlier than I usually wean, but she's losing interest in nursing:  she wants to look around while eating, and it's hard to do that while nursing.  Honestly, I'm amazed at how quickly she took to the bottle, especially since three of my other children refused to take a bottle.

Here are a few things I've enjoyed this week:

  • How quickly Hannah has adapted to drinking from a bottle.
  • The possibility of leaving Hannah with John or a babysitter and not worrying about her getting hungry while I'm gone.  :)
  • I must admit that I don't enjoy washing bottles or buying formula.  
  • Watching hummingbirds outside our kitchen window.  Their amazing flight never gets old!
  • Having Sarah Beth's paper due a week early.  I misunderstood her assignment schedule, so we worked hard to get it ready for CC, only to find out that it's not due until next week.  Whoohoo!  We just need to add a couple of "because clauses" (for those of you familiar with IEW), and we'll be done!
  • While I didn't really enjoy going to the pool on Monday, I did enjoy seeing how excited my children were and how much fun they had.  
Tomorrow Sarah Beth and Daniel have soccer games, but this time they're at different times!  So all of us will be able to see both games.  While I'm looking forward to seeing Daniel play (since I missed his game last week), I have to admit that spending all morning in the sun at the soccer fields is going to be exhausting.

What have you enjoyed this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: Saffire by Sigmund Brouwer

When James Holt arrives in Panama, he is given a mystery to solve:  what happened to a local girl's mother who is presumed to have run away, leaving her daughter behind.  However, the girl Saffire doesn't believe that, and neither does Holt.  But no one will talk about the mystery, and it's obvious that something else is going on.  Using the persistence he learned as a cowboy, Holt perseveres even when his life is threatened.  All of this occurs with the building of the Panama Canal in the background.

First of all, I enjoyed learning more about how the Panama Canal was built, what a monumental endeavor it was.  I also enjoyed the characters:  Holt just wanted to get home to the Dakotas where his daughter was waiting; Saffire was a spunky, streetwise girl; and there were several others who were painted so convincingly.  While the writing is excellent, I just find it frustrating how Brouwer unwraps a little bit of the puzzle at a time, making the reader (and the main character) feel like he's in the dark until the very end of the book.  But I guess that's the point.  :)  However, the intriguing writing kept me reading, and since I've read several of Brouwer's books, I knew what to expect.  I did enjoy the book, and I'm sure I'll read more by this author.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What I Enjoyed This Week: Soccer

I wish I had a picture of her playing!

Sarah Beth had her first soccer game last Saturday, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching her play!  Honestly, I yelled myself hoarse.  :)  While her team didn't win, she had fun playing, and that's what it's all about anyway, isn't it?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed:
  • the sunny weather
  • spending time with my friends during lunch at CC this week
  • trying something new with my hair.  No, I don't have any pictures, but I've enjoyed seeing what happens to it when I let it do its own thing instead of drying and straightening it.
  • a trip to the library.  I have to admit that I enjoy the look on new librarians' faces when they see how many books we return and check out.  :)
Tomorrow is Daniel's first soccer game, and it's at the same time as Sarah Beth's.  So John and I will "divide and conquer," so to speak, as I watch her game and he watches Daniel's.

What did you enjoy this week?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What We're Using This Year in Our Home School

Since I enjoy reading about the curricula that others use in their home schools, I thought I would share what we're using in case you're interested as well.  It's our sixth year to homeschool; we began when Sarah Beth was in kindergarten.  I have to admit that I haven't enjoyed every single moment, but I have appreciated how much we have all learned together.

Classical Conversations.  This program overarches almost everything we do.  Our science and history are based on what we're learning in CC, although we're learning lots of other things, as well.  This year is the fifth for Sarah Beth and Daniel, the third for Rachel, and the first for Mary.  It's our second time for Cycle 2.

As part of CC, Sarah Beth is in the Essentials class where she learns how to write using Institute for Excellence in Writing and how to diagram sentences.  She also practices her math facts.

Bible.  We're going through Proverbs I Study Guide from Generations with Vision.

Saxon Math.  We've used Saxon math since Sarah Beth was in kindergarten.  I appreciate how Saxon teaches math concepts with loads of review and time in-between new ideas to give children time to learn them well.

History.  We're studying the Middle Ages in CC, but I wanted to supplement that.  When I discovered that Heirloom Audio had a history curriculum based off The Dragon and the Raven, I snatched it up!  We love these CDs, and it's fun learning more about one of them.  In order to make the most of this curriculum, I'm supplementing with books from the library.

Spelling.  I'm using Spelling Plus with Sarah Beth and Daniel.

Science.  We read books from the library to learn more about what we're studying in CC.

What are you using this year?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Moms, Let Them Try!

Sarah Beth and Daniel are playing soccer for the first time and having a wonderful time.  John and I want to encourage them and help them develop some skills, so we purchased this goal for them.  It arrived last Friday, and Saturday morning John told them to put it together while he went on his bike ride.

Honestly, I didn't think they would be able to do it.  I figured they would come back inside after five minutes complaining how hard it was to put together.  But I was busy, and I trusted John, so I left them to it.

Half an hour later, my curiosity got the better of me, and I went outside to check on them.  Lo and behold!  The goal was almost completely put together!  I was so proud of my children.

Let me encourage you, fellow mothers, to let your children try things you don't think they can do.  (And I'm talking to myself, too!)  They just might surprise you!  Mine sure did!

Have you had an experience like this, where your children accomplished something you didn't think they could?

Friday, September 9, 2016

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Three Day Weekend

This week, oh, this week!  I felt like I was running behind all week!  Monday is my usual day to catch up from the weekend, but when Monday is part of the weekend -- well, there goes my week!

Okay, it wasn't really that bad this week although it did feel like it at times.  :)

Since John was home on Monday, he took our oldest four children out in the boat to do some crabbing.  Wasn't that brave of him?  :)  They had a great time!  And I had some time to myself!!  Hannah and I ran a couple of errands and enjoyed being home by ourselves for a little while.

Thursday, Mary and Sarah Beth had an appointment with the ophthalmologist, and they did fine.  But the doctor found a piece of metal in Sarah Beth's eye.  It had been there long enough to rust, but it didn't do any damage.  He was able to remove it, and things are fine now.  Honestly, I thought he was joking at first because it was just so strange.  "Your daughter has a piece of metal in her eye."  What?!

Here are a few things I enjoyed this week:
  • A three-day weekend with John.
  • A little time to myself (with Hannah) on Monday.
  • Having Sarah Beth and Daniel vacuum and mop on Tuesday.  :)  Yes, I enjoyed not doing it.
  • Booking an appointment to have our pictures taken professionally.  We haven't had professional pictures done since Daniel was a baby.  
  • Triggers:  Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake.  This book is amazing!  Each short chapter talks about the different things that can trigger anger in us, and then the authors give other ways to respond.  The first half of the book deals with the ways that children trigger anger in us, and it gives ways we should respond instead of getting angry while still dealing with whatever triggered the anger.  I wish I could buy this book for everyone I know!  I think it's that good!
Tomorrow is Sarah Beth's first soccer game, and we look forward to cheering her on!  What do you have planned?  And what have you enjoyed this week?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Forgotten Post: My August Reading and Goals

I completely forgot about this post until this past weekend when I remembered that I hadn't written about the books I read in August or even how I did with my goals.  Oops!  Since it's just the first week in September, however, I think it's still okay.  :)

Here are the books I read:
  • Patrick Henry by Thomas Kidd.  I learned much about about this Founder of our country through this biography.  I was most surprised to learn that Henry fought against the Constitution, thinking it gave the federal government too much power and took too much from the states.
  • The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.  This excellent book shows how to love our children better, in ways they understand more.  It also shows how to discipline our children more effectively, and even how their love languages affect their learning.  
  • Mama Needs a Do-Over by Lisa Pennington.  This book is filled with practical advice to show us how to take a problem and use the gifts God has given us to make it better.  We can't solve all of our problems, but we can make them better.  Also, the author shows us how to take a bad situation or a bad day and turn it around into a good one.
  • Dr. Seuss:  Young Author and Artist by Kathleen Kudlinski.  Sarah Beth recommended this book to me, and I enjoyed reading about the legendary children's book writer.  I learned some interesting things about his life, like where he got some of the inspiration for his stories.  
  • Heaven:  A World of Love by Jonathan Edwards.  This short, little book has amazing information in it about how wonderful Heaven will be.  I'm even more eager to see Heaven now!
  • To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson.  The second in the series, this exciting book made the exercise on my treadmill go by much more quickly!
  • How to Manage Your Mouth:  A 30 Day Wholesome Talk Challenge by Connie Hughes.  I highly recommend this book as it takes Scripture and shows what we should be saying, how to say it, and what we should refrain from.  
I didn't do as well with my goals for August as I had hoped, but I'm not too disappointed.  I certainly could have done better, but I also could have done much worse.  :)
  • Start back to school well.  We did, and we settled into a nice routine.  We're doing a new history curriculum which I hope to tell you about soon.  
  • Take my children to the pool once a week.  I did not take my children to the pool a single time, but John took the two little girls (not Hannah, of course) twice.  We were just too busy with school and everything else.
  • Continue using the treadmill four times a week.  I walked/jogged a good bit, but I probably only exercised four times in two weeks.  I couldn't get motivated the week John was out of town, and there were other times when things happened.  
Here are my new goals for September:
  • Take my children to the pool twice.  Let's make it realistic.  :)  I know I won't take them weekly.  
  • Continue exercising, getting in shape for a 5K.  I heard about a 5K in town at the end of October, so I plan to run this.  My goal for the 5K is just to run the whole thing like I did last time.  Since it's near Halloween, they would like for us to wear a costume; I told John I would dress as a homeschooling mother of five.  He thought that was funny.  
What have you read lately?  How are you doing towards any goals you've made?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hannah is Seven Months Old!

Hannah turned seven months old yesterday, and she is such a joy to have in our family.  

Her siblings still treat her like a doll baby, but I'm glad they love her so much.

This seems to be her favorite face right now with her bottom lip stuck out.  She's not unhappy; she just seems to like having her face like this.  I think she looks kind of like a grumpy old man.  :)

So what's new with Hannah?  She's rolling over which makes napping more difficult.  We started baby food this past weekend, and she loves it!   We had to pry the spoon in between her lips the first couple of times, but now she opens right up, ready for more!  Exciting times!

Friday, September 2, 2016

What I Enjoyed This Week: New Glasses and Ice Cream

Last weekend, we traveled to Louisiana for a family reunion.  This time, it was John's mother's family who came together.  Being gone all weekend, however, set me behind for the week.  I spent Monday catching up, Tuesday running errands, and Wednesday at CC.  Finally, I feel like I've got some time to breathe -- but it's almost the weekend again!

Other things I've enjoyed this week:

  • Daniel's glasses.  I don't enjoy the fact that he needs them, but I do enjoy knowing that he can see better now.  It's been fun watching him compare what he can see without his glasses with what he can see with them.  :)
  • Our CC group.  I really enjoy the mothers of the other children and spending time with them.  I also appreciate the hard work the tutors do to get ready to tutor our children.
  • The library.  I'm not sure how many books we checked out earlier this week, but it was quite a few!  I appreciate how my children can pick out random books that they might enjoy, and then we can check them out.  If we don't like them, it's not a big deal; we just take them back!
  • Naps.  While I did take one earlier this week (and it was lovely!), I'm actually talking about Hannah's naps.  She has started rolled over, so sometimes she rolls over so she can't sleep.  Then I have to roll her back over, and sometimes she misses a nap because it happens so much. Even though she's my fifth child to do this, it's still a little stressful for me when she doesn't nap.  
  • A new lego catalog.  I've enjoyed watching my three oldest daughters gather around the magazine, dreaming about what they will request for their birthdays and/or Christmas.  Mostly, I enjoy seeing them sitting together, spending time together.
  • Ice cream.  Did you know that Baskin Robbins prices their regular scoops at $1.31 on the 31st?  Well, Wednesday was the 31st, and we enjoyed less expensive ice cream!  We're looking forward to Halloween because it's the next 31st and therefore cheap ice cream!
What did you enjoy this week?