Saturday, January 31, 2009

This About Sums It Up

Never seen a better comparison of Democrat vs Republican values:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

~~~~~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 - 2005

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Couple of "Firsts" and Misc. Rambling

We have hit a couple little mile stones with Isaac. The first one is that he smiled. Not that "I've got gas" smile, but a deliberate, look at Mama, and mimick the smile I was doing. He as done a few now for me and for Dale, and though I have hovered like the paparazzi, I haven't been able to catch it on the camera yet.

The next one is that for two nights in a row, Isaac has had a good chunk of sleeping time, one night was 5 hours (gasp... wow, real sleep!), and last night there was a 4 1/2 hour stint. Then he went right back to sleep for about 2 1/2, and is still in a food-induced coma in the bedroom. :)

Also, I finally tried Isaac in the sling, which after fussing for a couple minutes, he fell asleep and napped for 3 hours in it. I don't know if it was due to liking the snuggly feeling of the sling, or he was just overtired anyway. Either way, it was nice to have all the cuddle time!

Recovery from birth is going well enough for me. I feel like I am starting to get back into the groove of the basics here, and that tired, overwhelmed feeling has been less and less frequent in rearing its ugly head. Not that I am keeping up on everything, but close enough for now. Between all of us, no one is going hungry, naked, or dirty. :)

Yesterday we got some fresh snow, it the temperature dropped to low single digits last night. This morning the sun decided to make an appearance, and the landscape is all sparkly. I sent Benjamin out a little while ago to try and capture it digitally, as I wasn't dressed yet, and still on my first cup of java. The pics definately do not do the real thing justice! Trust me when I say, it was truly gorgeous.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sit Still

It isn't always easy to "sit still". I like to keep my hands busy. I don't like to sit and do nothing, unless I am very tired. I like to be busy in general, doing things around the house, with the kids, outside, etc. Not so busy that I tear my hair out trying to race and get things done, but busy enough to keep me out of trouble. ;)

It is habitual for me to have the day basically planned out, and to tackle one thing after another. I'm not opposed to downtime, don't get me wrong. But the majority of the day is spoken for.

Since Isaac has been born I have been learning the art of taking it easy. A slower pace is emerging and taking hold, and to tell the truth, though it is better for us right now, it is hard to get used to!

The rule of thumb for post partum recovery is to allow yourself one week per birth you have had before you can expect to start working up to your normal pace. I know in this day and age and our society, that is poo-poo'd. After all, we are women. Aren't we supposed to do it all? No matter what? and goodness, if we take a break, then everyone wonders what is wrong with us. Are we sick? Upset? Backslidden? No, just realizing that I don't have to be SuperBaptistHomeschoolingPreacherwifeandMom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is okay to take a breath. It is okay to take a step back from the hurry and scurry of my schedule and enjoy.. yes, that's right ENJOY some hard earned, slower pace, recover time from growing a baby and birthing it. That's the other thing, according to today's society, if we DO actually take a break, then we are certainly not to enjoy it. We should feel guilty, and restless, and push to work our routines anyway. Right?

I totally disagree. As mother's our time is packed. Whether you have one child or more. Not everyone is in the same stage of child rearing. The years we had littles that were totally dependent on us, and no older children to help out were extremely busy and taxing. Now we have some olders to help with the youngers. You know what I have discovered? It is still extremely busy and taxing.. but in a different way.

It is good for Mama to slow down, and good for the children too. If I have to take it easy, then I might as well enjoy it. I have at least 8 weeks of recovery time, half of which are over. At first I admit I felt I couldn't take this time. There are still times now when I feel like I should be doing more, pushing myself to get more done. After all, I did it all myself when we had all littles, didn't I? What is wrong with me now? Have I gotten lazy?

I don't think so, truly. Circumstances are different now. I have olders to help out, so I don't have to do it all myself. And there is nothing wrong with delegation. Part of being a parent is training children to be able to take care of themselves, and Lord willing, a family some day. Also, I have noticed that even if they aren't particularly fond of a few extra chores to do, there is a certain sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing they are helping Mama and the rest of the family. I do try to praise them for the good work they do, and try to surreptitiously brag on them publicly when they are within hearing distance.

Oh, and Dale says, so sweetly "Not to mention you aren't getting any younger." Pfffft.

At this point, we aren't looking to remodel the house or start any major cleaning projects. There is a time and a season for those things. Right now we are just doing the basics of cleaning, cooking, and homeschooling. My main priority is taking care of Isaac right now. As time goes on he will be less and less dependent on me, more content and less fussy. For now I will try and remember to enjoy the days (and sometimes nights) when he needs me to hold him, or rock him or change his diaper, or nurse him. He will only be like this for a little time. The "newborn" stage doesn't last forever.

Along the lines of sitting still, I read this devotional in the Days of Praise the other day, and it struck home. It was written by Henry M. Morris, PH.D.

"Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day." (Ruth 3:18)

This was the instruction given to Ruth by Naomi in hopes that her kinsman, Boaz, would be willing to perform his family duty and marry Ruth, whose Jewish husband had died in Moab. Ruth's behavior had been honorable, and she had done what she could to let Boaz know she was willing to be his wife, but now she could do nothing except to sit still and wait.

This lesson needs to be remembered by Christians today. All too often we rush ahead of the Lord, fearful that things won't work out unless we take matters into our own hands. When the Jews were being invaded by the Assyrian armies and felt the needed and alliance with Pharaoh, God warned: "The Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still... In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:7-15).

Long before, when the children of Israel were in even more desperate circumstances, with the Egyptian armies pursuing them and the Red Sea in front of them, Moses had said: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD" (Exodus 14:13). Soon, the chariots of Pharaoh were at the bottom of the sea, just as, in due time, Boaz did marry Ruth, and as 600 years later, the hosts of the Assyrians were slain by the angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36).

There is, certainly, a time to work - and work hard - in the service of the Lord. There are spiritual battles to be fought and races to be run. But when we have done the best we know how, according to the Scriptures, and still don't see the answer, there comes a time when we must simply sit still, and wait for the Lord. He would have us "be still, and know that (He is ) God" (Psalm46:10).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Post Partum Depression? How to care for a newborn?

It always amazes me after even a home birth, you still get freebie materials for taking care of newborns.

This past week I got a phone call from the county health ledger.. a health association. The lady that called was very personable, I have to say. However she was asking about how the baby was doing, if I had any questions, what his stats were when he was born and if he had any vax's yet, yadda yadda yadda. Well, I told her we put off vaccination indefinately. Not sure I should have told her that, but I said "I know that can be a hot topic" and she very kindly said, no problem, I understand.

A couple days later I get this pack in the mail talking about how to take care of your newborn. Now I told this lady this way my 8th baby. So this made dh and I laugh. The first thing I asked my dh when he was looking over the pamplets was:

"So, how do they reccomend putting your baby down to sleep this year?"

Seems like every time I have a baby they change their tune on that one. This year "they" say you are supposed to lay them on their backs. Pffft. I think when I had my oldest that was a huge no-no. Isaac sleeps on his side for the most part.

Oh, and here is a good one...
"NEVER allow the infant to sleep on the couch especially with an adult."
Oh great... Dh loves to put Isaac across his chest and prop him so he won't fall off and snooze. I guess we broke that rule!

"Parents should never co-sleep with an infant." Uhoh. I do like to nurse/sleep with Isaac sometimes. Of course, I don't toss and turn usually, and I am very aware when he is in the bed, and so is dh. Usually I do these in the morning, after dh is up and getting ready for work anyway.

Here's one I don't understand at all...
"but baby at the foot of the crib". They show a little diagram. They want us to put the baby so his feet are close to the foot of the crib. WHY???? I don't understand that one at all. Right now he is sleeping in the portacrib, crosswise. However I can put him in without waking him up! LOL

Okay... here's what got me. The stuff in parenthesis are my own snide comments.

Are you a mom, with a baby, who tends to...
~cry for no reason? (Goodness, am I a woman with hormones?"
~feel "panic"?
~worry a lot about your health or the health of your baby? (what mother doesn't?)
~Have trouble sleeping or relaxing? (yeah, like when the baby is awake, or crying, or doing his pre-wake up snorting...)
~Stay away from other people ( much as possible. It is flu/cold season and I have a newborn for crying out loud!)
~Have a change in appetite? (you mean like eating more because of nursing a baby? doh!)
~Have difficulty making decisions (does the term "sleep deprivation" mean anything to you?)

If you have some of these feelings or behaviors, you may be depressed, even thouh other people may not see your depression.

According to this pamphlet I have ppd, and no wonder, since apparently I am at high risk from having a stillbirth. Oh, and it has gone on past the two week mark so I am supposed to be seeking professional help.

Yeah right.

Is it me, or do those sypmtoms seem to apply to more than ppd and are too generic to be helpful? Maybe it is just another ploy of the medical establishment to get more money? I know there are women who really do suffer, I'm not making light of that, but those symptoms could apply to so many other things.

Oh, there is a list of things to do for yourself ALONG with getting professional help. One of the things is to "Look for humor. Have fun and Laugh." Well, just as I was finishing up reading about depression and how one of the symptoms is a feeling of hopelessness, "Taps" started playing on the radio. :doh: It was being used as part of an intro for a hymn "Nearer My God To Thee" which of course conjured up visions of Titanic... talk about feeling hopeless!

Okay... enough babbling... there is no real point to this post. Back to whatever you were doing. :)

ETA: I was reading this over to Dale who responded:
"I must have post partum depression too." LOL!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Jerusha!

Hard to believe she is 4 today! Here are some pics from tonight's festivities.

It is tradition in our family for the birthday boy/girl to pick out their birthday dinner. This year Jerusha wanted pumpkin pancakes, and a chocolate cake with pink frosting. She was a good little helper when I frosted and decorated the cake.

Jerusha also got a "Happy Birthday" phone call from Memere. :)

Of course, there were presents to unwrap!

This present stunk. ;)

Benjamin's gift to Jerusha was some oragami he has been learning. The first one is a piano...

Oh wait....

No, it's a house!

Here is a hat for one of her teddy bears...

A flip and a flop of the wrist and fingers...

Viola! It's a boat!

Here is Isaac's response to all the comotion.

As we know, babies don't sleep forever, and Isaac is no exception. Time for this mama to feed the sweet little babe! Blessings!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yankee Humor

Thanks to my Dad, New Englander-turned-snowbird, for the following in an amusing email, which btw, is basically true! LOL

Forget Rednecks is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about New Englanders...

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in New England.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in New England.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in New England.

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of New York City for the weekend, you live in New England.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in New England.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in New England.

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you live in New England.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in New England.

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you live in New England.

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in New England.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in New England.

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in New England.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in New England.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in New England.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in New England.

If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly,' you live in New England.

If there's a Dunkin' Donuts on every corner, you live in New England.

If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your New England friends & others, you live or have lived in New England.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homeschooling on a Shoestring

Obtaining curriculum doesn't have to cost a lot of money. With the advantage of the internet these days, you can download lots of materials for free. I have oodles of links bookmarked on my computer. Does it take a little more effort than just buying a text book? Yes, but raising children takes time anyway. Personally, I love the hunting to find the "right" downloads for what we are working on. We just finished up a long unit study on Lewis and Clark. We read about them online, did some notebooking, drawing, discussions, etc. To finish up the unit study, as a review, we did a lap book. We also have been watching a documentary on Netflix by PBS. It is 3 1/2 hours long, and we watch about 20 minutes at a time. We are about halfway through it, and will hopefully finish it by this weekend. How much did all of this wonderful unit study cost? Well, not too much. Almost all of the material was obtained online. There are two major advantages to that. One is, as already stated, the cost, or the lack thereof. The second is that by reading online, you don't have a bunch of extra books to store. I say that hesitantly, because I consider books as investments, and love the feel of a good book in my hands. Let's face it, it is a little hard to curl up on the couch by the woodstove in an afghan with the PC. However, for purposes of school, it is fine. Here are some pics of the Lewis and Clark lapbooks we did:

All the materials for this cost very little, as I printed up all the goodies. We also had to buy the folders for the lapbooks, but they came in a big pack, and we will be able to use them for at least 4 sets of lapbook studies for 5 children. Plus, it is just plain fun!

There are times when money should be spent on quality materials. Personally I try to minimize paying for consumable products. I try to limit it to basic workbooks for math, english, and readers.

Something we splurged on for this semester is Visual Link Spanish. It is the best system for teaching spanish that I have ever seen. It teaches everyday spanish, not the prim and proper stuff you learn in school for 7 years and then have your Columbian friends laugh at you because NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE really speaks like that. It is like the difference between speaking the King's english and what we speak in everyday life. I highly recommend this program!

Next up for us is studying Ancient Egypt. I found Henty books available to read and download online for FREE! What a treasure that is. Those books are expensive. They are excellent quality living historical books. The children are now reading The Cat of Bubastes online.. about two chapters a day. They beg me to let them read ahead, as they love the story. I also bookmarked several kid friendly sites about ancient Egypt, and a free lapbooking resource.

Who says learning can't be fun, exciting, and cheap?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History Mystery

I got this from Dale. Apparently it is slow at work. LOL

Have a history teacher explain this----- if they can.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presiden ts were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln 's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln .

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford'.
Kennedy was shot in a car called ' Lincoln ' made by 'Ford'.

Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Two Year Search Is Over

The Lord provided us a 15 passenger van! Dale saw it on It had what we were looking for, within our parameters of cost and mileage. And... it isn't white! Woohoo! All our vans have been white, and I was so ready for some other color whether it be blue, black, paisley or polka dotted.. whatever, as long as it wasn't white. It is burgundy. Very classy looking if I do say so myself. It has somesortoranother engine in it, V-something, and thinamagigie on the back for towing a trailer if we ever need to, arm rests, cassette player, auto this, auto that, AC (that was NON NEGOTIABLE), cruise control, power windows and stuff. It was in the same town where one of Dale's brothers live, so he went and checked it out for us to see if the 4 1/2 hour one way trip would be worth it. It "just happened" to be the exact same year, make and model that he drives for his church, so he knew what it was supposed to sound like, feel like, drive like. He called us and said it seemed very clean, mechanically sound, in over all good condition.

Last Friday Dale and the deacon from our church drove down to kick the tires, check under the hood, and other like guy type stuff. He was satisfied with what he saw, so he drove the van home and the deacon drove our old van back.

It is so good to see it out there, all paid for, and ready to go. Of course, we don't have plans on going anywhere. Not just yet. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's COLD! Yay for Winter!

I must be insane. Surely others must think so. This morning, by the time Dh left, it had WARMED UP to -16 degrees. Yes, warmed up to that temperature. I stepped outside this morning before breakfast to snap a couple pics, and to just get some of that wonderful winter air. There is something about that crispness, and the "snot freezing" cold air (as my mother says) that I like to indulge in for a moment. Not a long time, mind you.. after all, it is frigid out, but just getting some of that fresh air my lungs and in my brain helps wake a body up, and clears the cobwebs. The sun is out, and it is reflecting off the snow, making it sparkle like jewels.

I tried to capture some of that beauty on my camera, but I'm not a very good photographer, so these don't do justice. The first pic is of the roof of our shed outside our living room window. When I was taking the pic, I could see all the dazzling snow crystals, sparkling away, greeting the new day. The second one is of the INSIDE of the glass door to our "back stoop". It is the enclosed area leading up to our back door. You can see the wreath still on the door, but the frost and ice is on the inside. Thankfully, the house is plenty warm, thanks to our woodstove, which seems to be keeping up wonderfully.

I know some would say "Yeah, you may like it now but soon you'll be wishing it was summer."

I trow not.

There was a time when summer was my favorite season. The heat didn't bother me, because I tended to run cold all the time. Now, a couple of decades and several children later, my thermostat has changed, and I tend to run warm, and can barely tolerate summer, even with the AC's on. I love winter. I like being able to drink hot tea without sweating. I like cuddling up under quilts and afghans. I like to have to wear layers. I like the smell of the woodstove. I like to see the smoke wafting in the air from our chimney. I like the dry, cool air. I want us to retire to a cabin in Maine someday. I know, I am weird. :)

I couldn't resist including this shot of Isaac. At 3 1/2 weeks he is trying to hold his head up, and every day can do it for a longer period of time. He is having lots of awake time, and studying EVERYTHING over! His sleeping pattern still is askew, which has made some very short nights for us, but that is okay. We know this is just for a season.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Weather! and Yet More Pics

We are experiencing some real winter weather for the next several days. It will be in the single digits during the days, and in the subzero levels at night. Brrr! Our little woodstove seems to be keeping up, but during this arctic snap, I will be feeding it more. That is fine with me. What is it about putting wood in the woodstove that is so satisfying?

Hey Dad, don't you wish you were here? :)

Below are some more shots of Isaac. Here is what we have been up to:

Here's a shot of Isaac sleeping on our bed. How is it such a little body takes up so much room?

One day I tried to do some piano practice. Isaac was content enough when I barricaded him on the couch, faced towards the piano, so he could see mama. But when I started practicing here is what happened:

Isaac seems to be warming up to the swing....Sometimes.

Here is one of my favorite things! :)

Here is another of my favorite things. Watching Isaac take a Sunday afternoon nap with Daddy.

You all have a blessed day!