Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It is Aug. 30 and ......

I am listening to Christmas music right now. Oh, yes I am!
117 days until Christmas (I have a countdown on my laptop - drives Jeff crazy, heehe)

I know, I know -- it's a tad early, but life has been kind of stressful the last couple days. Thinking about fall, snow and Christmas brings me a smile.

Besides, it is the birth of our sweet Savior! If one of my daughters can anticipate her birthday (that is 6 months away!) -- we can plan BIG for the Lord.

Speaking of planning, I am following the Holiday Grand Plan for a stress free holiday! Give it a try? This is my 3rd year and it really is helpful.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Honey, I'm home."

I am back in blog-land after a much needed break. I lost that blogging feeling (whoa whoa - that bloggin' feelin'.......)

This is just a catch-up of sorts --- a real mixture of ideas and happenings.

1. Fall is coming to town! For the past week, I've noticed leaves changing color. It is slow going but beautiful. I love this time of the year.

2. E made co-captain of her volleyball team. She is also playing setter position. I am proud of her hard work and determination. They played in an Invitational all morning and afternoon today, taking 2nd place in the championship play-off! Yay Falcons! It is going to be a great season.

3. S has her first gymnastic comp on 9/16. I stayed and watched her in practice last Thursday and she takes my breath away. God has given her strength and bravery. She uses it well.

4. Jeff began teaching at the local college last week, along with his regular job. He loves being an instructor.

5. Our week-day schedule would give Franklin Covey a nervous breakdown. It's not that any one person is doing 5 things, but with 8 family members each doing their own thing, the days get very busy. Jeff is teaching Tuesday evening, I am teaching Wednesday evening (church) and Jeff is taking MBA classes on Thursday. Monday is filled with volleyball and gymnastics. That leaves Friday night for relaxing at the dinner table and in the den. I vacillate between dreading the calendar and enjoying the excitement. This is such a short season in the big scheme -- I don't want to look back on our activities with a poor attitude.

6. And, because we aren't busy enough - we added another furry friend to the household. He is an early birthday gift for P, a cutie patootie guinea pig. He doesn't have a name yet. The list is narrowed down to Howie, Pez, Snickers, Smores, Ernie and Graham (Cracker). One of my friends, a vet, helped with the selection and shared all sorts of tips for a happy piggy. So far, he is blending in nicely. Baxter, our hound dog, isn't so sure about 'piggy' but he is more curious than anything else. *A name has been chosen! Pez. (like the candy)

7. I found out a couple weeks ago that I'm going to be an auntie (again) in April. My baby sister is due with #3. Congrats again, sis!

8. The boys have informed us that they want fish and hermit crabs for their birthday. I've been down the fish route before and I don't think I can do it again. Hermit crabs? That is a possibility. C tells me he is going to name one of them, "Fluffster"
Where does he get these things?

9. Did I mention that fall is in the air? Love love love it. I made stew a few days ago, a real treat for cooler weather.

Did I get everything? I think so. Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Carnival of Homeschooling - Boy Howdy!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Listen y'all, you need to check out the current Carnival of Homeschooling over on Sbees.
I ain't blowing dust in yer eye - it is better than a stagecoach full of gold and whiskey.
Go on. Git on out of this here place and do some reading.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Slipping on my lactavist cap

Did you know that it is World Breastfeeding Week? Some folks wonder, "Why is that necessary?" to which I reply, "If we can have any number of goofy days and weeks thru the year, we can dedicate a few days to the importance of breastfeeding." You would be surprised at how many people truly do not understand the impact of mother's milk for an infant.

I learned about this picture through
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action website. A mother of a 13 year old boy considered this magazine cover offensive, even calling it 'pornographic" before shredding it. I understand the importance of modesty, but really, sheilding a young adult from a visual such as this does more harm than good.

We need to teach our children that breastfeeding is not 'best' - it is normal. It is the reason the female species have lactating breasts after delivery. There should be no shame attached to the act of breastfeeding. Ever.

Long ago, while living in California, I was a member of a very active breastfeeding support group. We helped new mothers learn why and how to breastfeed. We talked with local pediatrician offices and offered our help, free of charge. It was successful.

At one point, we heard of a mother who had been harrassed by a mall employee. The mother was sitting on a bench, nursing her young infant. She was not using a cover up, but did not show an inch of skin. You simply saw a mother cradling an infant. The mother was told to use the restroom for "that." The mom, unsure of herself to begin with, took her baby and went home.
What a shame. Once she cried her tears and found her wit, she called the group.

I called the mall office and spoke with a very kind woman. She had heard there was a problem and apologized. She had planned on sending the mother a card of apology. That was great, but it wasn't enough. We agreed that an inservice of sorts was necessary. On a Saturday morning, before the mall opened, the mall office had all of their employees gather for a meeting. I, along with 2 other support ladies were in attendance.

We walked every inch of the mall and made note of every ad that showcased the female breast in a commerical and/or provacative manner. Between Victorias Secret, Spencers and many others stores, it became apparent that the media in our society uses the female breast to sell everything, except breastmilk. If you throw in the average teen girl that visits the mall, wearing much less than the average nursing mother, and you can figure out why so many people are confused. Our senses have become twisted. We are numb to blatant sexuality, but offended at the natural act of breastfeeding.

The days are gone when women received breastfeeding advice (that is correct) from mom, grandma, aunts and family friends. We live in a world were, "As long as you are happy, it doesn't matter." I disagree with that statement, but we'll save that for another entry.
Instead, we have new mothers scrambling for help - believing every myth under the sun and falling prey to the ever growing marketing ploys of the formula company.

I am happy to see a swing in breastfeeding trends. Most mothers start out breastfeeding these days - a huge improvememnt from 10 years ago. Sadly, the average mother introduces formula by the 8th week and discontinues nurisng altogher by month 6. We have a long way to go before hitting the recommended 12 months put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization.

So, what can you do to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week? If you are a nursing mother, great! Enjoy this special time. If you are out in public and see another breastfeeding mother, give her a smile. If you have children past the age of nursing, take the time to teach them the importance for both mom and baby in regard to berastfeeding. It is time to take the shadow of shame off of breastfeeding and rejoince in His great plan for nurturing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

That's okay, I like to drive around like a maniac.

Well, it's official - I have transformed the temperamental van into a taxi.
I finalized our calendar this morning. I have developed a strange twitch in my left eye and I am balding at a rapid rate. Aside from that, life is peachy keen.

Let's see:
E was informed last week that she made the JV squad for her volleyball team. This is super exciting for her. She was on the junior high team previously and has worked hard to move up.
With this new team, we have added more practices, state tournies and games. I am thrilled for her and enjoy the process, but my calendar - eh, not so much.
Volleyball ends in November. She will start swim team in January.

S has been moved to a higher level in gymnastics. She is in the gym for 3 days a week, for a total of 10 hours. Starting in September, she will have one competition a month - some at our gym, some at other gyms. She is also taking one ballet class to keep her technique in place.
Up until this time, she was taking both ballet and gymnastics pretty equally. She can't do that now -- since she is ready to move to pointe work in ballet and that requires 3 days at the studio.
So, this year she had to pick - gymnastics or ballet. Of course, she went with her passion.

P has been invited to join a new ballet conservatory here in town. She will be there for 3 classes, working her way to pointe instruction. I am eager to see what is in store for her.

G will also be at the new ballet studio, but for only one class. She is also going to join our dance worship team at church.

The boys - bless their hearts. They are going to (hopefully) start a karate class this fall. They also talk about wanting to learn gymnastics, but unless the gym offers a huge discount (ha) for siblings, I may have to sell a kidney for that to happen. We'll see.

So, uh, about that calendar......

Oh, by the way --- the humidity is still causing us grief. It is so bad, y'all.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Find Your Wings

Music is a powerful tool.
I first heard this song at my niece's graduation -- it was played while the parents did a dedication for the graduates. Very moving. When it comes on now, the kids automatically grab a tissue and hand it to me.

Find Your Wings
by Mark Harris

It's only for a moment
that you are mine to hold

The plans that heaven has for you
will all too soon unfold

So many different prayers I'll pray
for all that you might do

But most of all I'll want to know
you're walking in the truth

And if I've never told you
I want you to know that

as I watch you grow

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
and that faith gives you the courage
to dare to do great things

I'm here for you whatever this life brings
so let my love give you roots
and help you find your wings

May passion be the wind that leads
you through your days
and may convictions keep you strong
guide you on your way

May there be many moments
that make your life so sweet

Oh, but more than memories
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
and that faith gives you the courage
to dare to do great things

I'm here for you whatever this life brings
so let my love give you roots
and help you find your wings

It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer you as you fly

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
and that faith gives you the courage
to dare to do great things

I'm here for you whatever this life brings
so let my love give you roots
and help you find your wings