Friday, December 31, 2010

Family Home Evening Resources

I thought I'd share some of the upcoming FHE's we will be having as a family, and some other fun FHE resources! :0)

Provident Living

Peace

Home

FHE Fun from SugarDoodle

Some Nifty FHE Planner Boards

FHE Wheel Chart

Gearing Up for a New Year!

Mr. Man and I have spent some time switching gears for this upcoming season of learning at our house! The focus for this year, is going to be as follows:

Character Building

Operational Definitions of Character Qualities (from the Duggar Family)
We will also use the Book of Mormon, to supplement additional ideas about each quality.

20 Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character taken from Dr. Helen LeGette's book, Parents, Kids & Character: Twenty-One Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character. (Redundant, I know. LOL) :0) I had a copy of this handout, saved from somewhere and it really has a lot of great information!

Methods of Teaching Character

Ideas to help teach specific character traits. For example:

Find Heroes and Heroines who exhibited this trait.
Find stories which demonstrate this trait, or it's lack.
Tell a story about this trait.
Study historical people who showed this trait.
ETC., ETC., ETC.

The other part of our focus for the year will be PEACE.

We have a copy of The Duggar House Guidelines
Which we've re-titled to our Family Guidelines for Peace.

We will still continue our Storied Scriptures study. We are doing a lapbook for each section. Currently, we are studying The Book of Mormon.

There are three articles that I have found, which will help us this year! They are:

1. Good, Better, Best by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
2. The Power of Free Play by Lenore Skenazy
3. Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills by Alix Spiegel

One other thing we will focus on for the year, is Family Home Evening. (Having actual PLANNED lessons, every Monday evening!)


My personal studies right now, include The Doctrine and Covenants and the book entitled A Quiet Heart by Patricia T. Holland. (This is a WONDERFUL book! I was inspired to buy it one day when we were at Deseret Industries while on Christmas vacation.) I have been waking up at least a half hour early (still working up to that hour early), to spend time for scripture study and prayer. This helps me get off on the right foot, for the day!

I am making some type of board to go on the wall, which will be the hub of these things that we want to focus on for the year! I'll let ya' know how this turns out! :0)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas and the New Year

Our family had a wonderful Christmas this year! It was much more simple and stress-free than in years past! Even so, I would like next Christmas to be even more simple and stress-free! It's a work in progress, right?! :0) This year we decided to put more of a limit on what the children could receive for Christmas. We told them they could receive 2 gifts from Mr. Man and myself. They all wanted to receive Pioneer/Cowboy Stuff and Stick Horses from Santa, so that's what they got. Next year, we will stick to one thing from Santa! It was a little too much! :0) They received a picnic basket and blanket, pie tins and spoons for dishes, 2 tin cups (since Laura and Mary always shared their with each other), and some baked beans and cornbread mix to make their own prairie meal, all from Santa. He brought the boys all western shirts and red bandanas with toy guns and accessories. He brought the girls homemade pioneer skirts and aprons with shirts and bonnets that had flowers glued on to them. The hats turned out really cute and tie under their chins with ties that match their dresses or aprons. (Thanks to Nana Claus...my mom!) They also each received a pair of cowboy/pioneer boots to wear. Let's just say that Santa ran around to every thrift store in town, looking to find boots for every child. Most everything they received came from a second-hand store in some way, and they loved it! I don't think I'll ever shop at a regular store again, if I can help it! We went over to my parents house to open gifts and had a nice time! I wish the part about opening presents wasn't so chaotic, but it was fun! In Utah, Mr. Man's family all opens gifts one at a time and shows everyone what they got, and it just makes for a more peaceful and grateful atmosphere where everyone can give hugs and thank-you's and knows who gave them what! :0) So next year...we are talking about giving Christmas to another family and focusing more on acts of service/homemade gifts to give each other. We want to start making homemade gifts next month, so that Christmas doesn't sneak up on us and turn into a scramble to find gifts for everyone. The cool thing about this, is that we want to teach the children a new skill each month, that they can turn into gifts for others. Hopefully, this will help us to be more intentional about Christmas next year, and leave time and energy for focusing on the spirit of Christmas, in a more reverent way! All in all, it was a wonderful time! We feel bad because we had a Secret Santa who was trying to do the 12 days of Christmas for our family, but we went out of town this year. No one has ever done that for our family before, and we are sad to have missed it! Thank you to whoever you were! It was a lovely thought! :0)

With the New Year approaching, my thoughts are turned to making some real and lasting changes with some things! First off, I want to make an appointment with the Lord each morning, for personal prayer and scripture study! A dear friend told me that she has done this and I just thought it was a beautiful idea! I am going to go to bed early enough (by 9 p.m.) so that I can wake up at 5 a.m. and have an hour to myself for prayer, scripture study, personal reflection and planning of my day. Next...I really need to do something about the state of my bod. I've gained about 20 pounds and have been having some health problems lately. Mr. Man and I both have some weight to lose and are both intent on daily stretching, exercising and walks on the treadmill! This will include intentional eating as well. No more junk food! Gone are the days when I can eat whatever I want and not gain anything! I want to set a better example for my children too, and am looking forward to some fun projects in the kitchen, preparing healthy meals and snacks! :0) The other goals that I have, involve my personal education and providing inspiration for my children to educate themselves! We received lots of great books and activities/project ideas for our family this Christmas, so we have some inspiration for learning some new skills together! 2011 should be a great year! I am planning for it to be so! Merry Christmas everyone...and Happy New Year! :0)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Things As They Really Are

I LOVE this talk and wanted to share it with each of you! :0)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Frozen

We had a lovely time this past week, visiting family in Utah! It was a beautiful drive and we are grateful that we were blessed to have an un-eventful trip both there and back! It was great to see everyone and for them all to get to meet Wiggle Bug in person! We attended Mr. Man's great grandma's memorial service and it was neat to get to listen to some stories about her life. I only met her one time, but I know she was a remarkable lady!
The children were very excited about the snow...particularly to see it snowing! We would wake up every morning in our hotel room and one of them would rip the curtains away from the window and inevitably shout "Santa's coming! It's snowing!" We kept having to explain to them that it wasn't quite time for him to visit yet! It was absolutely beautiful to be in that world of white for about a week! We are glad we made it home safely, and missed the great rain/snow storm headed for the south part of Utah and the north part of Arizona! Thank you to all of our family members, for a wonderful, early Christmas celebration! It was quite cold there...I think it averaged about 31 to 35 degrees for the better part of our trip (and on the way up, we even had some 21 degree weather...quite cold for us warm weather people.):0) So we have been frozen this week! Frozen in the literal sense, sometimes, although we got used to it pretty quickly, but more importantly, frozen in time! We don't know when we will be able to visit again! It's been about 2 1/2 years since our last visit. So when we do visit, we find that it freezes everyone in time, the next time we see each other, these frozen images will change and we will be able to build upon the memories made this past week. We look forward to seeing everyone again, but until that day...we will relish the happenings of this past week, and pray that the Lord will keep them frozen in time for us, til' we meet again! :0) Merry Christmas everyone! Happy New Year, too! :0)

P.S We made the entire trip WITHOUT a DVD player in our car! (Many people are shocked by this and some are even appalled! But we did!) Being without the constant buzz of the t.v. in our eyes and ears, has been an incredible blessing for us! I read THIS blog post this morning, and loved it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

She Sang Today!

I am SO excited...I just HAD to share! Our Ladybug sang today! She sang! For the very first time...EVER! I thought it was Wiggle Bug's voice I was hearing, but soon found that it was Miss Ladybug! Now this is the truly precious part...the words she sang were, "Happy Birthday Jesus!" You can't get anymore precious or fitting than that! We have been hoping and praying and trying so hard to get her to sing, ever since she was about 2. Who knows if she'll do it again, but we are grateful for this sweet, little Christmas miracle today! :0)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus

My children will be singing this song at our family Christmas party this year! It's called Happy Birthday Jesus and I first heard it sung on Family Life Radio ! I just love it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update about the Tooth Fairy

Let me just say that it was completely adorable to hear Cuddle Bug whisper real loud this morning to Luv Bug..."Hey, the Toof Fairy Come!" So exciting and so fun! And later today we saw the dentist for their bi-annual cleanings and exams and he said everything looks good in there, even though Cuddle is a little young to be losing a tooth! Woo Hoo! :0)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Lost Tooth for Cuddle Bug

I just wanted to take a minute and document this momentous occasion...Cuddle Bug lost his first tooth tonight. We won't draw too much attention to the fact that it was with the help of his little brother Wiggle Bug, who knocked the laundry room door into his face last week. LOL :0) He's SOOOOO excited that the Tooth Fairy will visit him tonight! I can't believe he's growing up so fast! It makes me kinda' sad and teary eyed! My kiddo's are all growing up WAY too fast! Where does the time go? I cannot imagine how much more I would be missing out on, if we didn't home school! Now we have 3 kiddo's at various stages of the lost tooth/new tooth coming in cycle! It's so much fun for them all! :0)

I am Thankful To Be Back On Track

The last couple of months have been really stressful! Kiddo's have been sick and our youngest two, keep getting sick over and over. There have been lots of doctor's appointments, lots of unanswered questions about things they need, etc. Life has just been crazy for our family these last few months. BUT...I can feel that starting to change! It is a wonderful feeling! As I have tried to re-focus my sights on the Savior this Christmas season, and read my scriptures and make time for more meaningful study and prayer, I can feel the love of my Heavenly Father and Savior, for me! I am excited for the New Year that is coming! I feel re-charged and re-inspired about life in general, and about my focus! I am so thankful to be back on track, and am so excited to be learning and growing again, in the gospel! I am excited to inspire my children and to share some wonderful things with them! I am determined that 2011 is going to be a wonderful year!
A sweet friend shared a wonderful thought last night, she talked about how important our attitude is, and said that we draw more of the same, to us! If our attitude is one of defeat and failure, then we draw more defeat and failure to us; if it is one of accomplishment and happiness, then we will draw more accomplishment and happiness to ourselves! How true that is! I have gained a wonderful, fresh perspective about life, from the sweet words she shared! How grateful I am, for friends who travel this path with me and who can see positive things in the horizon and who help me find growth amidst the trials! My life is truly beautiful...I just have to remember to do those essential things, that allow me to slow down and savor every beautiful thing about my life! I am eager to foster more simplicity in our lives and our home! I am eager to leave the world on my doorstep and create a haven inside the walls of our home! I am eager to spend time fostering strong relationships with one another, and to learn and grow even more, as a family! I am planning for this coming year, to be GREAT! I am simplifying, focusing on essentials and reaping the blessings that will come!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Great Grandma

We had been looking SO forward to visiting Mr. Man's Grandma soon! I have only met her in person, one time! I was excited to get a picture of all of us together, and particularly excited to take one of her and the children together. That would have been an amazing picture! But...sadly, she passed away yesterday evening. We were just getting ready to go visit her, in another state, but we didn't make it there in time. It makes me sad for Mr. Man and his family...it makes me sad for my children, who won't get to meet her in this life. But...it does mean that there is another angel in heaven watching over us all! I know Grandma will do that for us! She is off on another, spectacular part of this journey we call life! How wonderful it must be for her to be with Grandpa again! I can only imagine how wonderful that reunion must be! :0) I am so glad that our oldest kiddo' was named after her! That's a pretty sweet legacy!~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Focus for the New Year

I have lots of different things swirling through my mind all the time! But amidst all the swirling, everyday concerns and cares, I am trying to come to some sort of conclusion about what our focus will be for this new year. For the first time in my life, my health is starting to be a real concern. I am just realizing that I am getting "old" (yeah, I know I am only almost 34) and it is imperative that I exercise and get enough rest. I also know how important it is for me to focus on my spiritual health as well. So...I guess my theme for the New Year is to focus on health and happiness! I am off to read my scriptures and see what kind of wisdom I can glean that will help in my focus! Happy Day All! :@)

UPDATED STUDY: D&C 25:10 And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better.

I love this scripture! It jumped out at me today, when I was reading! I have felt so prompted to read from the Doctrine and Covenants. This scripture was addressed to Emma Smith, from Heavenly Father, in reference to the work He had called her to do, in supporting her husband, Joseph. Section 26 verse 1 goes onto to say:

"Behold, I say unto you that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures and to preaching,... and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required...and then it shall be made known what you should do."

I have been pondering about the best way to set up a system for Family Work and chores, here in our home, and have also been pondering about what I should be studying right now. I have a library filled with classic literature, and yet I can't seem to stick with anything I read, lately. This has really bothered me, because I love to read. But each time I pick up a book, the same thought comes to my mind..."Gospel Learning." I feel so strongly that that is the kind of focus my studies should have, and those are the kinds of things I need to inspire the children in! It is daunting, not to be inspiring more academic things, through example, for my children. But I think that gospel study is crucial for our family right now! It is so easy for me to get stressed out about daily life and about all there is to do. I need the anchor of the gospel, to keep me on a steady course! I am grateful for personal revelation, which comes through prayer! This reminds me of a song that I love: Anchor by Mindy Gledhill.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Very Special Day!

We had so much fun today, celebrating Luv's upcoming birthday! She's turning 6! I can't believe it! She's growing up to be such a smart and beautiful girl, who is the sunshine of our life! We started off with breakfast with Santa at my parents' ward! This was FANTASTIC! We're talking pancakes with buttermilk syrup-Fantastic! SO Yummy and so much FUN! My dad is the ward photographer, so I am excited to see each picture that he got of our kiddo's with Santa one on one! After the breakfast with the Jolly Man himself, we...or should I say "I" did some Christmas shopping. Mr. Man and the kiddo's graciously dropped me off at a couple different places and waited for me to run in and out to try and find as many of the little things that are still on my list, as I could. We are having quite the simple Christmas this year, and I must say that I am loving how de-stressed I feel! It allows us more time and energy to focus on our Savior this Christmas, instead of all the commercialism and money spent. And who doesn't LOVE thrift store shopping? I LOVE it! This evening was the perfect example of that sweet Christmas simplicity that I love. We decided to check out something we heard about at church last week...The Third Annual Live Nativity Under the Stars at our stake center. WOW! I can't believe we never knew about this in the years past. From the minute we walked onto the field (it was in the ball field behind the building), we could feel such a strong spirit there. Our kiddo's were astonished at seeing the Christmas story come to life before their eyes. There was singing and narration and live animals and a live baby who played the part of Jesus. It was truly wonderful and such a great way to start off this Christmas season. A little drive afterward to see some pretty amazing light shows in some decked out neighborhoods, put droopy eyes to rest in their car seats and then we headed home. Of course, one of the best things we did today, was what we did in the middle of all of this...celebrating 6 years of sunshine with Miss Luv Bug! She had a lovely birthday part with grandparents (who brought dinner to share)and cousins and brothers and sisters and Mr. Man and I! She received 3 babies this year...Tiana from The Frog and The Princess (we broke down and allowed some Disney, since she is brown like Miss Luv, and since she adores her from when we went to see the Movie for her birthday last year), an ADORABLE Water Baby that Nana and Papa found for her, who is also brown and seriously SO SWEET! I think Water Babies are my new favorite doll for little girls! And then the last baby, is a porcelain doll who looks just like our Ladybug and who reminded Luv Bug of Mary from Little House on the Prairie. She's enamored with her and want to take very special care of her! Overall...we had one very special day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Trumpet of The Swan

We have really been enjoying our time each day, to read aloud together! We've been reading The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, and I knew Snug and Luv would adore it, but the real surprise has been how much Cuddle Bug loves it! He is the one who is always asking for another chapter or saying "No! Keep Reading Mom!", when I close the book at the end of a chapter. This is the sweetest story about a Trumpeter Swan who doesn't have a voice, and about the boy who helps him learn to express himself. (Snug LOVES this story for this reason, because it's hard for him to talk.) Cuddle Bug yells at the top of his lungs "Ko-ho!", like a trumpet, to give Louis his voice, every time Louis uses his trumpet. Luv Bug asks lots of questions about EVERYTHING! We are having so much fun reading it together! We can't wait to find out how it ends!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why I am the Mom that I am

I read THIS today! This story resonated with me! It's a story by a fellow home schooler, who attended high school where I did. I don't know her, but I love her examples and the inspiration she provides to me! I wanted to post a link to it here, because it speaks to why I am the way I am when it comes to parenting my children.
I know what LOTS of people think about me! They think I am paranoid and that I don't trust people and that my hands are full and I am crazy. (Then there are those who love me unconditionally, and who "GET IT"!) :0) I don't consider myself paranoid at all, but rather the kind of girl who would rather be safe than sorry. We are advocates for our kiddo's, plain and simple! We know what they need and don't need! Everyone else just thinks they know. I know some people have some strong opinions and feelings about me, because lots of them tell me...and of those who don't tell me, their facial expressions or comments or whispers under their breath say it all. It doesn't matter what they think...but sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of that! LOL :0)
I hold on to my children relentlessly. I hold on to them because they and Mr. Man are my EVERYTHING. I hold onto them because despite what anyone may think, I have labored for them to be mine, in the same way that a birth mother labors for her children. My labor has just taken a different form, and it has taken MUCH longer! I don't take my children for granted. I am sorry to say that there are lots of parents who do. I guess having 17 children come to stay, one or two at a time, and then suddenly disappear from your life , is part of the reason that I don't take them for granted. After as long as 2 1/2 years of court dates, visits and meetings with case managers and licensing workers,etc., it wasn't until that judge banged his gavel and declared our adoption complete, that we could breathe and rest. Children are such blessings! They are little, walking miracles and they are smarter than anyone ever realizes! I cringe every time I hear someone say "Oh, I can't wait until Spring Break is over...my kids are driving me nuts!" That's terrible! Now...I get it! Everyone needs a break to re-group every now and then, but we should always remember how blessed we are to have our children in our lives! They should never be treated as burdens to us! How blessed I am, to be here with them each day! They teach me so much! They ask amazing questions and give amazing answers to my questions! They make me laugh and cry and think! They inspire me to be the best I can be! I am glad that the situation described in the above linked story, has never happened to us! But this sweet story was still a wonderful reminder of why I hold on to them so tightly! And it gives me strength to plant my feet, and face whatever anyone thinks they know, about our family and our situations! Some people may think they know what's what. They may think they know better than me and Mr. Man, about what is best for our children! They can think what they want! We aren't letting go of our children...not for anyone or anything!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Happenings and other news

Today we made pies. What else are ya' gonna' do the day before Thanksgiving, right? 2 Pumpkin and 2 Apple Crumb Pies. Yum! We will take at least 2 of them to the festivities tomorrow. One of the best parts about making pies is Kid Pie! I just learned about this idea a couple of weeks ago! With the pie crust scraps, you form it into little balls rolled in sugar and cinnamon and baked in the oven! My kiddo's LOVE this and it keeps their cute, chubby fingers out of what I am doing! LOVE it!
I am looking for a Jazzercise class to take! I have GOT to exercise...not only for my waistline, but for my sanity as well! Jazzercise is really fun and you forget you are exercising...well you almost forget! Anyone know of a Jazzercise class anywhere? Anyone wanna' go with me? It's really fun, I mean it! I really need to lose about 20 lbs.
Speaking of weight, Miss Ladybug has lost a full pound. Not cool, when you are a G-tube patient and when you don't eat anything by mouth. We still can't figure out just why she lost weight. Sometimes this is easily explained by an excessive growth spurt in height, but she only gained about 1/2 an inch in height this time. Her G.I. Dr. said that her immune disorder could explain some of this, because if her body is burning more and more energy trying to keep herself well, but we are increasing her feeds by one can a day, to stay on top of this. This means, that now she gets 1000ml of formula a night, and another 750ml during the day through a bolus feed. It's really such a catch 22, because when she's so full of formula, she doesn't want to eat, and if she doesn't learn to eat on her own, then she'll never get off the G-tube, but the tube is also sustaining her life right now. It's always one thing or another around here. We are definitely always on our toes!
I am going to be learning more about sewing this weekend, from my Mom! The children have asked for "Cowboy Clothes" from Santa, so we'll see how well "Mrs. Claus" can do. Wish me luck! I found the cutest pattern for "Pioneer Aprons" for the girls, and am still looking for a pattern for bonnets. They want to look like Laura and Mary from Little House. They've all asked for stick horses too! I am excited because we found a wonderful website that makes homemade wooden toys and they had the greatest stick horses on there...enough that each child will get one that looks different from everyone else! Christmas here we come!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I found this article by way of The Blaze. And while there

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Thanksgiving Time!

I am SO excited for this time of year! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I love the fall colors (especially since we don't really see many Fall colors here), and I love that our attention is called to the blessings we receive so abundantly, from our Heavenly Father! (It drives me crazy, that the world skims right over this special holiday and jumps right to what we can "get" instead of stopping to give thanks for what we "have".) So with a grateful heart for all that I have, I wanted to list some of the things that I am thankful for:

The Gospel of Jesus Christ and a Savior who loves me and died for me
A living Prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson
My Beautiful and Precious Family and temples in which we are sealed for eternity.
Extended Family who I adore
Friends
The Scriptures which give needed instruction
The Holy Ghost
A roof over our heads and a landlord who has been kind and gracious with us
Food to eat and stored food for a rainy day
Water to drink and water for a rainy day
Mr. Man's job and the insurance benefits it provides
Adoption Subsidy which helps us care for our children and their special needs
modern conveniences like washers and driers and ovens and dishwashers
Lots of skilled doctors who help us care for 2 special people in our family
Therapists who love our children and teach them weekly
Books to read, that help us gain important knowledge
The freedom and ability to home educate ourselves and our family
This wonderful country... The United States of America, and the Founding Fathers who fought for us to be free
A life free from physical bondage and/or slavery (so far)
Nature and all of it's beauty
Animals for food and friendship
Music
The 5 Senses of Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste and Smell, and that we all have them
Mobility and the ability to walk around (we pray each day that Wiggle will continue to walk on his own.)
Protection from harm or accidents
Ancestors and geneology
A pioneer heritage
.............................The list goes on........................................

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! Pause to thank Him who gives you all that you have! Our Father in Heaven has been and continues to be very good to us!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hours of Operation

Good Morning Everyone~

The time has come where Mr. Man and I have decided that we need to lay down some ground rules, about receiving phone calls, so that we can have uninterrupted time each day for our family. As you all know, we are homeschooling, and with that decision, comes the need for prioritizing some things, and given the fact that with therapies and doctors appointments we have precious little time for prioritizing, we just HAD to make some tough decisions about some things! We would ask that you refrain from calling our home between the hours of 7 a.m. til' 2 p.m. (You can call as early as 6 a.m.) each day, UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY, in which case, please let us know. (By emergency, we're talking...someone's life is at stake or someone is stranded somewhere and needs our help or someone is heading to the hospital, or someone died or something.) Please use your best judgment with this! It is not our desire to take ourselves off the planet and out of everyone's lives, but rather, to give priority time where it is due...for our children and our unique family situations. We would also ask that you respect our bedtime routine for our children and not call between 6:15 - 7:30 p.m., and would also ask that we receive evening phone calls NO LATER than 9 p.m. Please be courteous of the fact that we have a young daughter with a severe and chronic sleep disturbance and that we will be in bed at 9 p.m. each evening, resting up for the many hours we spend awake with her at various times of the night and early morning. If I don't rest when I can, my health is jeopardized, and Mr. Man works varying hours and often gets up for work very early in the morning. If he doesn't get rest, his health and safety are jeopardized. I know this is a lot to remember, so here it is in a nutshell:

Hansen Family Time: (Please do not call during these hours, EXCEPT in an emergency!)
7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

(You may call as early as 6 a.m., however, we reserve the right to change that if we get bombarded with early morning phone calls!) :0)

Please respect our bedtime routine for our children, between 6:15 - 7:30 p.m. (This is a time consuming process involving the giving of medications and starting tube feedings. We like to have calm and quiet for this time, so that everyone can wind down!

Please do not call any later than 9 p.m., in respect for tired bodies and needed rest.

In a nutshell: Please only call us between the hours of 2 p.m. to 6: 15 p.m. or between 7:30 and 9 p.m.

Please also understand, that we need to be strict about this schedule, so please don't be offended if you call at 6:05 p.m. and we can't talk for long or if you call at 8:45 p.m. and we can't talk past 9 p.m. Gone are the days when we can stay on the phone for hours at a time. Life is just too crazy for that! Sorry! :0)
Please know that we love you all and that you are important to us...just not quite as important as our little ones! :0) (you can laugh at that...it's not meant to hurt your feelings!) :0)

Please contact us by email, ANYTIME YOU WISH! (if you have our e-mail address!) I will email you back when it is convenient, and don't be surprised if that falls during the hours when we have asked you not to call us! :0)
We appreciate your love, support and understanding! Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about this!
Hugs and Blessings to you all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Criteria

We had an appointment for Miss Ladybug today. It was kind of a big one. Today we met with the nurse practitioner for the developmental pediatrician. Today we received confirmation that she does fit the criteria for Autism. This isn't earth shattering information. Mr. Man and I, have known for quite some time, that she likely had Autism. (BTW...she will receive the diagnosis in a few months, when she actually sees the developmental pediatrician.) But...it's still a hard bite to swallow. In some ways, it's a relief to be one step closer to knowing this for sure. In other ways, it brings up more questions about what this will mean for her, in her life. But we are grateful to be living in a time, when so much help is available to her! The nurse practitioner said that she does recommend that Ladybug be evaluated by, AND attend, the local special needs program at the public school. I said "Well, I can almost guarantee you that we won't be doing that...no, I can absolutely guarantee you we won't be doing that!" :0) Then, I told her about all of the ways that the public school system let my Snug-a-Bug down, and how much we LOVE homeschooling and feel that it is best for our family! She was supportive and kind about it! (She echoed our amazement at how they had let Snug down!) What a refreshing change of pace! When some medical professionals find out that you home school (especially, when some of your children have special needs), you'd be amazed at how they look at you like you're crazy and choosing terribly for your children. She didn't look at me that way, at all! It was great! So, we have some more paperwork to fill out, and we have some paperwork for her therapists to fill out, and we will plug along in this journey called Advocating for Our Children! It's funny to me, how many people told me I was overreacting or crazy to think my kiddo's had this or that. I have been correct about almost every single thing! Mother's intuition is a blessing and it is something I will never EVER question! How grateful I am, for my testimony that I am their mother for very specific reasons! How grateful I am, for a husband who supports and sustains me, as a wife and a mother! How grateful I am, for our children! All of them are great kiddo's, who have an eternal identity and purpose, and who are precious spirit children of our Heavenly Father! THAT is the criteria that matters the most! I am honored to be their mother! :0)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Follow The Prophet

Our Beloved Prophet

Today I attended stake conference and got to hear our prophet President Thomas S. Monson speak to us! What a treat! He taught us more about helping to lift the hands that hang down and strengthening the feeble knees of those around us! I must say that I LOVE that he talked to us about what we can do to help those around us, and didn't focus at all, on the kinds of circumstances we find ourselves in. If we want to feel peace during this time of unrest in our world, we must help others! Along with President Monson, we heard from Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop, Sis. Thompson of the Relief Society General Presidency and Elder Cook of the twelve. Bishop Burton spoke about gratitude, sister Thompson spoke about strengthening our faith and studying the scriptures, and Elder Cook spoke about the power of our example in our communities, among other things. What a joy it is, to hear from our church leaders, about the things that are important to them, and therefore, to us! There is no fear or trepidation in our future, when we listen to them. We were counseled again today, to be prepared. I know that as we spend time and attention in preparation for things to come, we will better be able to be instruments in the Lord's hands, to help those about us! What a strength we can be, to others, if we have faith instead of fear! I am grateful for this conference experience today! I took some great notes and will enjoy sharing these things with my family this week! I am SO grateful for a personal testimony that President Monson truly is a prophet of God, and that I belong to the true church on the earth today, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Heavenly Father speaks to President Monson and we are wise to follow his counsel and trust in his words! It is my prayer, that as we go throughout this holiday season, that we will have one of the most spiritual holiday experiences ever, and that we won't allow the commercialism and weight of the world, invade on the peace and spirit of this wonderful time of year! In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Georgic---I LOVED this!

I read an article (okay...I read PART of it...motherhood interrupted me), and I LOVED what I read! I have heard of the word "georgic", before and have a desire to learn more about it. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Low

Am I the only one who over estimates their abilities? I have such a desire to be involved in things, that sometimes I think I can do more than I am really capable of. I marvel at the trust the Lord places in me. Just about every day, I throw my hands up in the air and ask Him is he's sure He has the right girl for this job or that! I understand that I am supposed to grow and stretch and learn lessons through life's experiences, but it just seems these days, that the only lesson I am learning, is that I am not enough. So...I am feeling low today! (Shocker, I know!) My posts have all been party poopers, lately! Sorry! I seriously need a break from life. A pause button would be AWESOME! I am just spread too thin and it's hard to justify hard work here...and not enough work there. I CAN'T do it all! I Can't!

Monday, November 8, 2010

How To Prioritize

I came across this video this morning and it was just the "Re-Group" that I needed. I thought I would share it with you! It is a video from the church website and it is Julie B. Beck speaking about How to Prioritize. It's very short, simple and to the point. I needed to start over with my priorities and put first things first. It's very easy, in a family with so much needed and going on, to just start scrambling around trying to check things off of a list and do what I call the things of "Eminent Need." These are the things that can't help but prioritize themselves, if we don't organize our lives enough to put everything in it's place. It's not to say that these things of eminent need, are not important, on the contrary, they are extremely important, but Heavenly Father didn't mean for them to take over the importance of everything else that is needful in our lives. He has given us a way to prioritize our lives and provide order, so that we start with the priceless essentials that allow every other thing to get done in an orderly and stress-free way! And most importantly, when we do the essentials, the windows of heaven are opened up to us, and we are better able to receive the spiritual promptings of a Heavenly Father who has a plan for everything we need to do!

This week...I am focusing on the essentials. Period. Yes, I will cook and clean and keep the laundry moving. But I am not going to try and change or institute any systems, until I have an ample portion of the spirit with me, to let me know the perspective of my Heavenly Father in these plans. That's the goal for this week! More spirit...less chaos! At the end of the week, I'll let you know what I've learned and how my perspectives have changed and how my mind has opened up to new ideas and inspiration!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Teaching Them to Take Care of Things

After an inspiring HIP Night recently, Mr. Man and I decided that we wanted to teach our children to take care of things a little better. So...we went to Goodwill and they each picked out their own glass plate, bowl and cup, to use for every meal! I am SO impressed with them and their ability to be careful with things. (We have only had one broken glass, and we are going on three weeks soon!) Even Miss Ladybug is drinking out of a glass. (We just stopped the whole sippy cup thing, cold turkey.) The children all feel pretty special and their willingness and desire to clean their own dishes after each meal, is pretty great too! Our children have never ceased to amaze us, when it comes to trying new things! They are awesome at toy purges, and just recently told me that they'd like to do another toy purge before Christmas this year! (Not my idea...theirs!) I really believe that less is more, and I have watched as their sweet little bodies have de-stressed and detoxed from ridding themselves of excess "stuff"! We go through their clothes every so often, cycling hand-me-downs, and making sure that each child has no more than about eight outfits a piece. It's wonderful to see their attitudes change, about what's an unnecessary luxury and what is truly needed. It's great to watch them get the most use that they can, out of their things, and to see them stop being as wasteful as they once were! (We have talked about how Laura and Mary shared a cup, for a long time, before they each got their own, and how they each only had a simple Corn Husk doll for a while. We've talked about how they likely only ever had one real doll in their whole lives, and I've watched as this knowledge has affected our kiddo's!) Simplicity is such a beautiful thing! It really does free up your mind and your body to focus on other, more important, truths! I LOVE that my kids LOVE thrift stores! They don't know that it's hand-me-down stuff that was used by others, before it became ours. I have been trying to teach them thrift, and they are just starting to understand what a wonderful thing it is, to give our excess "stuff' to a thrift store, where someone else can purchase and use it! These little life lessons, are joyous to teach them and they in turn, teach me each day, by their perfect examples and humility!

Just One Question...

What happens when you have a tube fed 4 year old daughter (who is like a 2 yr. old in every way), who has a severe sleep disturbance?


Answer: You get the surprise of your life at 2:30 a.m. when she decides to open the feed bag and dump it ALL OVER the floor the wall, herself and her bed! Yeah...Mr. Man and I were up in the middle of the night, cleaning and scrubbing, scrubbing and cleaning. NOT COOL!


BUT...she's precious, we love her, and she knows it! :0)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"You're the Cutest Mom that I Love"

Leave it to my Luv Bug, to say something that sweet! She climbed up into my lap today, wrapped her arms around me and whispered "You're the cutest Mom, that I love!" How she made my day! After an entry like my post from yesterday, it was another sweet reminder of the reasons why I do all that I do. We finally ordered weighted vests for the girls, and received them the other day. They are helping a lot, with both of them! We will need to order a weighted blanket for Luv Bug, soon, though. Tonight, I got oils on all the kiddo's and sat with Luv Bug in her bed and put her weighted vest on her back, while she laid on her tummy. I just sat with her and waited for the oils the weight and the melatonin, to kick in. She is in Slumberland now. How we love her! She knows she can talk to us about her issues and how she is feeling, and we have seen great improvement in her behavior, when we invite her to talk about it! She knows that we know it's not her fault! She has started asking for her weighted vest when she starts to feel "silly", and she will even ask for a big hug or to rock in the rocking chair, when she starts to feel this way! Bless her sweet, little heart! She really does have lots going on! How grateful we are, that Heavenly Father sent her to our family! We love you Miss Luv! :0)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Catching My Breath (Vent Warning)

Life is moving way too fast for me! (Yep, folks...this is a vent post, so buckle up your seat belts! Sorry!) I seriously wish the world would just go away and let us relax for a while! A girl can dream, can't she?? :0) I am sure there are many of you, who can relate to this feeling. I am stressing out and I don't like it one bit! I don't think I could even begin to list all the things that are on my mind at any given moment! BUT...I'll try...because my brain is on overload and if I don't list it all and make some kind of sense of it somewhere, it just might explode! There is always something to be thinking about and doing. There's always a kiddo' that needs an appointment to see a doctor of some sort, always a test or procedure of some kind that one of them needs. (Today, it was Ladybug having her blood taken AGAIN...for the umpteen millionth time! Yesterday, it was Wiggle Bug at the orthopedist. He was supposed to see his cranial surgeon on Monday, but was so sick he couldn't go anywhere.) And they are precious and sweet, and deserve the best care! There's always cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, therapy, scheduling, meetings, phone calls, reading, tube feedings,job training for kiddo's,etc. that all need a piece of me. Not to mention, special time for each kiddo' and Mr. Man, personal prayers, personal scripture study, family prayers and scripture study, family home evening, homeschooling time, home school group responsibilities, etc. etc. etc. (I know you're all wondering why I don't have church listed...that's because I don't have any church responsibilities. I spend my Sunday's walking the halls with one or both of my girls, who have very real issues that are challenges for them at church and other public places.) Yikes! Am I the only one that never gets to sit for 2 seconds and just catch my breath? Seriously! It's not healthy for me, to be so stressed out and bogged down! And how do you say "No!" to things, when they are all important? A 6 Month "No!" does not exist in my world. What do I say "No!" to??? There's not a thing on my plate that's not important. Not one thing. So pardon me for a moment, while I have a bit of a pity party!

(*elevator music playing*............................)

I am having a hard time right now! I think I am finally realizing that I am not Wonder Woman, and it's a hard brick wall to hit! I can't do it all! But I HAVE to. My health is seriously at risk. I've gained about 15 pounds and lost countless hours of sleep. ("Then why are you blogging at 10 p.m. at night?", you ask? Writing or "typing" is a way that I can get my emotions and frustrations out. Plus...this blog serves as my journal, and I am just trying to prove to history, that I didn't have it all together all the time.) (Lest my Wonder Woman abilities fool anyone.) :0) I don't sit down during the day. I don't eat as often as I should, hence the weight gain. I don't drink enough water. I don't spend enough time with my scriptures. My studies are non-existent. I am in one of those situations where I have put myself last, every single time, and it's catching up to me. You know...it's the whole empty cup thing. My cup is running on empty and I am finding it hard to fill it up, which is a very necessary thing,in order for me to keep filling everyone else's cup. So...I am going to go talk to the Lord again, tonight. Just to tell Him what's going on and how hard I am trying and how broken I feel. I am grateful to know He is real and the He listens to me. It's possible that I don't ask for His help enough. I just feel like I am meant to bear all of these burdens and that women have done this forever and that I have no room to complain or ask for help. I am supposed to be strong and have all the answers! I am supposed to have it all together and all figured out. Well, I don't. Right now, I am just trying to learn how to breath, all over again! I can't help but feel like a trip to Acapulco or something, is the only way for me to get a break from some of these things. Maybe I should go to a place that actually exists...because I've been to Crazy...and Crazy isn't working for me anymore!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Get Out and Vote Today!

I hope everyone has taken or will be taking the opportunity to vote and let your voice be heard for our country today! Our country is in grave danger, unless we all realize the significant blessings our Father in Heaven continues to bless us with, and also the impact our vote can have! We cannot complain about how things are going in our country, for our children and ourselves,if we do not vote our consciences this day! We know that one of the signs of the last days, is that the constitution will hang by a thread. I shudder to think of a more volatile situation for our constitution, than exists right now. Satan is tricky. He is skilled at making evil look good and good look evil. May we pray for the spirit of the Lord to guide us in these all important decisions for our country! Our country has been sleeping...oblivious to the crumbling that is taking place all around us. It's WAY past time, that we wake up, stand up, and fight to keep what our founding fathers fought and sacrificed for, alive and upheld! May God bless this great nation, brought forth through His mercy and grace! May we each do the hard work necessary, to learn about it's founding, and those who sacrificed so much, because they loved us! May we stop following the crowd, but instead, forge our own trails to preserve all that is good and uplifting and wholesome! May we have the courage to go against the "norm", if need be, to do those things that we have been divinely inspired to do for our families and our communities. May heaven's blessings be upon this election! Goodness knows, we need them! :0)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Of Pumpkin Cookies, Table Activities and Blessings

We had a lovely evening, last night! Having a porch light that doesn't work, and a husband who disconnected the doorbell just in case, made for a nice night. Our evening was not interrupted once, and we spent it making homemade pumpkin cookies with orange butter cream frosting, complete with sprinkles, and laughing together and doing some fun family activities. For example, the kids had gone crazy about a simple, little book we found at the thrift store, and each couldn't wait to try their hand at tracing numbers and number words. (So much, for waiting til they opened the Joy Cabinet this morning.) They can't wait to play with this book again, today. And I am particularly excited about their interest in learning to write properly. Especially, since it's completely their idea and not mine! Inspiration is magical! :0)

I had a nice talk with Heavenly Father yesterday, and told Him that I need His help to know what things are most important to focus on for each member of our family, and which things I can just let go of. It was a nice conversation, and I received some answers about quite a few things. Before my prayer, I had sat and pondered each person in our family, and wrote down the first things that came to my mind, about what they need. Life has been a bit overwhelming lately! I have lots of extra things on my plate and I am concerned that I do them all well, especially when it comes to the wife and mother department. I know that Heavenly Father is blessing me. After hearing from the Solomon's at our HIP Night the other night, I told Heavenly Father that I'd really like to know the best way to do our laundry around here. I have some more pondering and praying to do about that,still. I have felt prompted that Snug needs a project to work on. After my prayer, and a quick little meeting with Snug, we have a little plan that we are both excited about! I received spiritual promptings for each person in our family, as related to relationships and inspiring learning. Other promptings he sent to me, were to proceed with my home school group responsibilities in the same way that I've been doing, and not to worry about what everyone else thinks about it. I am grateful to know of His love and support for me! It is hard to gain the self confidence to lead, when you are used to doing what someone else has assigned or told you to do. It's not a fun leap of faith to take, nevertheless, I am taking it. I am determined to learn whatever He will teach me, through this process, no matter what it is. So...I have some new wind in my sails, about people and relationships, and other responsibilities that are in my stewardship. I am one blessed girl! And when I look for those blessings and ask Heavenly Father to weigh in on where I am headed and what I am doing, the blessings just keep pouring in. And THAT'S a great thing!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Celebrating the "Holy" part of the holidays

Mr. Man and I have made lots of decisions for our family, that veer from the "norm". We have relished the joy and personal revelation of making personal and inspired decisions for our sweet family! We will forever be grateful for God's holy priesthood power, which allows us divine understanding of Heavenly Father's will for our family, through Mr. Man! One of these very personal decisions, is that we have chosen not to celebrate Halloween. And I came across a beautifully written article, tonight, that echoes many of our thoughts concerning this and other holidays. As you read, please do so with the understanding of one very important truth: This is a decision that Mr. Man and I have made, which has nothing to do with any other friends or family members, who may or may not choose to celebrate holidays in a different way. We are all entitled to inspiration for our families, and will receive it, as we worthily seek to know Heavenly Father's will for us. We do not judge or condemn, in any way, cherished family members and friends who choose differently than we have chosen! Rather, we respect each family's divine privilege to choose for their own family, what is right for them! I hope the you enjoy this wonderful article and the spirit in which it was written. How grateful I am, for very personal witnesses from the Spirit, that are available to each of us, as we raise our families!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Walking In Their Shoes

You all know that I am in awe of my beautiful and wonderful children! They are my heroes! Each of them are so unique and special! They are each so talented and loving! They amaze me! It's hard to care for each of their needs, day in and day out! It's hard to fall into bed at night, exhausted, and then get up and do it all again! It's hard, because of the physical labor of it all. It's NOT hard though, because I LOVE serving them! They and Mr. Man, are my joy! They are the reason I am happy! They are everything to us!

When life gets frustrating as a mom...when I want to cry about this or that...I take a walk in their shoes. Today was one of those days for me. I didn't cry, but for this past week, there have been a few times at least, when I have wanted to. Today, I wanted to cry for my sweet Luv Bug. She struggles so much, with anxiety and impulse control. Mr. Man and I are concerned about this. But we have some great things that are helping her...when we don't run out of them. (Melatonin at night, and Essential Oils, are SO helpful!) Luv Bug is super smart! She loves to talk about the gospel and ask deep and thought provoking questions! She is amazing to us! When she feels anxious or impulsive, she has a very different side to her. She becomes unreachable and disconnected from us. This breaks our hearts... for us and for her. We have to remind ourselves that she is still in there. She is still our sweet, beautiful and precious girl who SO desires to do right and good in this world! We sit and rock her, do deep pressure and joint compression with her, sing songs in her ear and tell her how much we love her...until she calms down and comes back to herself and to us. She has told us that sometimes her body feels "crazy", and that she gets too many thoughts running at the same time. We know that she is sensitive to too much noise and activity, and we try to quiet the world down for a little bit, and help her to feel calm again! Through the tender mercies of the Lord, I am learning to take a walk in my children's shoes, and cast off the opinions and thoughts of others, about what THEY think is going on. How grateful I am, for the spiritual promptings I feel, to put myself in their shoes and try to experience what life must be like for each of my children! How blessed we are, by the love we have for our children, and they for us! When life's issues encroach...Mr. Man and I remember who and WHOSE, our children are! When I try to walk in their shoes, my empty cup fills again, with compassion, awe and grace! I could not...COULD NOT...deal as gracefully, with challenges and frailties such as they have. And I am ever grateful that my Heavenly Father is helping me to see my role as their mother, as sacred and holy! For it is! So...when my mothering experiences get difficult and when I want to cry...I take a walk in the shoes of a 7 year old boy who is the most amazing and talented artist and undaunted "Imagineer" that I will ever know! I try on the shoes of a soon to be 6 year old daughter who is an amazing and loving thinker,leader and entertainer! I walk in the shoes of my soon to be 5 year old son, who is filled with such tenderness and compassion and love for all of us, that it utterly amazes me! I try on the shoes of my 4 1/2 year old son, who is the epitome of life, love and music! And I walk the creative path of our soon to be 4 1/2 year old daughter, who continually teaches us new ways to look at our environment! I am finding joy in taking the road less traveled by! When I walk THEIR road, I find beauty I never would have found! And THAT, makes all the difference! :0)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homeschool Blues by Tim Hawkins

Ya' gotta' love this! Especially the part about mom talking to herself and just being in a "parent-teacher conference!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And the Prayers Just Kept Going On

Tonight, Miss Ladybug said family prayer. Or should I say...family prayers. I think she said 6 or 7 of them. One of the kids would mention that she forgot to bless so and so, and so she'd start all over again. It was adorable! She asked Heavenly Father to "Bless Dad-work-safe!" and she asked Him to "Help-work-good!" She "blessed" each of us, some more than others. It was very precious! What a sweet little spirit she is! She's been sick this past couple of days...all of the children are sick. I always get so sad when my kids are sick, because they just feel and look miserable. Please pray for them, that their bodies will heal and that they will be well soon! Thank You! :0)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I HAD to post this! (Because, while I'm not a "hater" of anyone...sometimes I want to respond to people this way!)

By Deborah Markus from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007


1. Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2. Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3. Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4. Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5. If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6. Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7. We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling. (This one happens to us from "loving" and "concerned" family members.)

8. Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9. Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10. We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11. Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12. If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13. Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14. Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15. Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16. Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then. (I've done this and ended up with a very mad friend when her daughter started begging to be homeschooled.)

17. Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18. If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19. Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20. Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21. Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24. Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25. Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A-ha!

I have had an "A-ha!" moment this morning! I need to "unplug" for a while. Not that I spend very much time on my computer, but I need to just sit myself down in a chair, with my scriptures, in a quiet room (where will I find one of those??), and just read them. Life keeps handing me 5 million reasons to do anything but read my scriptures. I just need to schedule a time for scripture reading! So...I'll be away from the "web" for a while. I'll be back later...don't worry!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

I am TOTALLY a LOVE of LEARNER right now! I have given myself permission to browse lots of different books and topics and ideas in my own learning. With all that's going on in our world, it's hard for me to keep any focus on my own learning. I am very focused on making sure the children have a wonderful core phase! I am focused on reading to them and inspiring them as much as I can. And I marvel all the time, at the grace and remarkable love that my Father in Heaven has for me, because He sends blessings and inspiration to me, even though I don't always do my part to search for them like I should. Do you ever make a ton of plans to do this and that, and then become really hard on yourself when you don't do what you planned? This happens to me a lot! Just one of the inadequacies I feel as a mother, sometimes. Okay...I feel it a lot! I have all of these GREAT ideas! Where do they all go? I'll give myself some credit, and say that what we do is pretty great! Mr. Man and I are very mindful and intentional about the things we need to do as a family. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father helps me to "clear my plate" by helping me to forget about ideas that sound nice but aren't really necessary, or are too complicated. I picture angels surrounding me and pulling things out of my brain, to make room in there for the stuff that is really important. LOL :0) It's hard to read about or see or hear about all the great things others are doing, and not have some sort of longing in my heart, to be that cool! It's very easy to see what others are inspiring in their own homes, and feel a deep desire to inspire some of those same things. Our life is our own though...I keep reminding myself of that! I cannot hold myself to the standards of any other mother out there (however AWESOME and AWE INSPIRING they may be.) :0) I am slowly learning (or trying to learn) to be happy and content with our slow progress around here. I can honestly say that I am so honored to have children who have true love and appreciation for the scriptures and the latter-day prophets, etc. I know that I am to prepare them for a valiant and noble calling and mission in this world. And I think right now, that we need to do more to strengthen family relationships. We are really getting along quite well, but I think we need to focus on our individual and personal relationships with each other, more fully. Well, I suppose that's enough rambling for one night! I find that after a good night's rest, I wake up with a clear head and new found inspiration and motivation! :0)

Delightful Wednesdays

Since Wednesdays are "Crazy Therapy Days" at our house, and the therapists are here each day by 11:00 a.m., we don't have time to do much of anything we would normally do on every other day. So...Wednesdays are now officially going to be known as "Delightful Wednesdays!" The little time we do have in the mornings, will start out with doing those basic things we do in the morning, to be ready for the day...beds made, teeth brushed, prayers said, clothes on, prayer meeting, breakfast. THEN...we're going to do something fun. No chores! Not today. We are going on a nature walk or we are going to listen to great, classical music performances or draw in our Nature Journals, etc. The way I figure it, we have only about an hour of our morning to ourselves. The therapists stay til' around 3 p.m. Then there is about an hour or so, of free time before dinner prep. Then it's our evening routine...prayer and scriptures, teeth brushed, jammies on, meds given, oils and lights out. Wednesdays are definitely "crazy". Honestly, I wish it could be like every other day, with no interruptions for what we want to do, but alas, this is life for us. And I'll gladly take having 3 therapists here in a week, as opposed to the 5 or 6 therapists a week, that we used to have! So we will use our Wednesdays to celebrate with some Spontaneous Delight. Some of you might say that that doesn't sound very spontaneous. But, we will let the spirit guide and inspire our spontaneity for the day, and see what we come up with. It should be a great part of our week! :0)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prayer Meeting and My Own Learning

Yesterday morning, was our first Quiet Time and Prayer Meeting, that we have now added as part of our morning routine. We got this idea from Teaching Your Children Joy by the Eyre's, and we love it! As soon as we all wake up, I remind the kiddo's that it is Quiet Time. We try,(emphasis on "TRY"), to be more quiet and to think about our blessings each morning. Then after they get themselves ready (the oldest three) for the day, we have a prayer meeting and Draw Our Blessings. We listen to reverent music while the children draw a picture about something Heavenly Father has blessed them with. Then we talk about their pictures and we also talk about things that we can thank Heavenly Father for, and ask Heavenly Father for, in our group prayer for the morning! This, along with our Hug-a-thon, is giving us a great start to our day!

I have been trying to spend some real pondering time, to evaluate what I should be studying right now. I must admit, that I don't study like I should. With 5 kiddo's, there is never a dull moment around here. And I know how important it is that I focus on You Not Them, in order to be a proper example of someone who thirsts for knowledge. So....instead of just picking up a book and reading it because it's one that I haven't read yet, I am trying to make sure I am picking up the right book to start with. Do you know how many books I have started that I haven't finished yet? I can think of 7. Two of those are books that I have made daily progress in, but what's up with the other 5? I have found lately that I often lose steam, just after starting a book, and I have no desire to keep reading. It's driving me crazy! What phase am I in? There is no such thing as the "Start a book and don't finish it" phase, that's for sure. And writing...that's another ball game. Ya' gotta' finish the book to write an accurate and interesting piece about it! LOL :0) I just feel like I am stuck in a bit of a rut lately. I don't know...maybe it's the crazy life of doctor's appointments, phone calls, therapists. It's definitely hard to keep my head above water. So...instead of letting this just happen to me everyday, I am deciding to be intentional about my own learning. I don't want to sit on the sidelines of my own education, wondering how the game is played. There is definitely a balance that needs to occur, between being present for my children, and having time for my learning too! Where is that balance? Anyway...I think I need to start with the scriptures. I need to immerse myself in them and truly learn about the gospel. That's where I am going to start! The scriptures are the greatest classic of all, right? If I can get myself right, spiritually, then I know Heavenly Father will continue to inspire me about what I should study and write about! Does anyone have any ideas on this?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plans

I am up WAY too late, making plans for JOY this week! I had the epiphany tonight, of using The Storied Scriptures to correlate with our weekly JOY and Book of Mormon lapbook! This is the only sort of "structured learning" we have goin' on. I also re-vamped my form that I fill out each day, to keep an idea of what each of the children were passionate about for the day. It's broken down into categories of the things that I need to keep inspiring for them each day...Our Joy Principle for the week, What's Mine, Storied Scripture for the day, Lapbook work for the day, Life Skills, Job Training, Free Time, and Joy Cabinet (what they chose to do today from there). Just some things that I want to keep a record of, to help me know how best to continue inspiring each of the children. I will just jot down a note or two about each of these categories in reference to the children. I think it's going to work better than what I had! I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could You Pray For Us?

Good morning, everyone!

I am up a little early this morning, because our Ladybug has been struggling with sleep, yet again. Her limbs are hurting at night and during the day, and she just can't get any relief from it. Could you pray for her? We have started the process of taking her to a new sleep center and we will see what some new doctors can do, to help her with this severe and chronic sleep disturbance.

Could you pray for Snug, Luv, Cuddle and Wiggle too? Here's why:

Snug still struggles with his Dyslexia (and probably will for a while). We just got a wonderful book from Amazon, and are looking forward to reading through it together and trying some therapeutic techniques to help him visualize and perceive things better.

Luv's impulsivity and anxiety has improved since we switched here off her previous melatonin for bedtime, and now we use essential oils, so that IS helping. But she still has a bad day about once or twice a week. Yesterday was one of these. Please pray for her and for us, that we can effectively teach her about cause and effect, and about ways to express herself and ways to deal with her anxiety.

Cuddle still struggles with eczema. Please pray that this winter season will go easy on his skin, and that we can keep it under control. He only has it on his hands, arms, elbows, knees and feet, which is a great improvement, but it always gets worse in the winter.

Wiggle struggles daily, with chronic hip and leg pain due to his cerebral palsy. We have an upcoming appointment to see a new doctor at the beginning of next month. Please pray that they whatever they decide to do (previous doctor said botox or surgery) that they will be able to give him some relief from the pain he feels all the time.

As far as Mr. Man and I are concerned, would you just pray that our minds will continue to be enlightened, as we seek the Lord's help, in finding ways and being inspired as to how to help our kiddo's the best!

Thanks! We appreciate it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Punkin' Paaaaaaatch!!!!

Well, as Miss Ladybug would put we found a "Punkin' Paaaaaaaatch!" The children were SO excited! Each child got to pick out their own pumpkin and have it measured so we knew what to pay! We are planning to paint them, this year, and display them at our Hooplah! It's gonna' be great!

We also walked around Hobby Lobby tonight, trying to get an idea of the kinds of things the children would like to give and receive for Christmas this year! Can I just say that Disney stuff drives me bonkers?!!!! We haven't watched anything by video or t.v., in months. We don't read books that involve any Disney characters...we don't have any Disney music we listen to either. So why does the Disney always reel them in? It drives Mr. Man and I BONKERS! (See...I said it again!) Commercialism is pretty ridiculous! For goodness sakes, it's everywhere you turn! UGH! There were so many fun activities and great things to make, at Hobby Lobby! We would walk down aisles and aisles that were full of great and useful activities that the kids were super excited about, and then...Dun-Dun-Dun...the obnoxious Disney stuff would pop out from around the corner and it stirred up all the "Mommy-Can-I's???" "Mommy look!" "Ohhh loooook!" "I want that and that and THAT!" Now, I think we've done a pretty good job of purging these kinds of things from our lives! Honestly, we've done a GREAT job! It shows you what kind of a hold these things can have on kiddo's, when they don't even exist in our lives anymore, and yet they can reel them right back in. But one of the things, I LOVE about this, is the great discussions that we can have, about how just because something is "Disney", doesn't mean we HAVE to have it! People think we're crazy because we don't have plans to take our kids to Disneyland. Trust us...there are more important things! For goodness sakes, there's not a single thing there that is real! Sure...they base most of their stories off of fairy tales. Then they take them and twist them and add in obscenities, inuendo's and snide remarks and then call them appropriate for kids. And they just keep getting worse! We have plans, instead, to take our family to Nauvoo! Our kiddo's LOVE the story of the restoration of the gospel! Mr. Man got to go to Illinois on his mission, so we have a pretty great tour guide! We are starting a new family tradition, of going to museums for birthdays, and receiving one toy, etc. from Mr. Man and I. We are trying to make some REAL memories that are meaningful and fun and that bring us closer together as a family! NOW...do I care if other people want to take their kiddo's to Disneyland and allow them to watch Disney movies all the time and buy them Disney stuff? Nope. Do I think you are doing wrong by your children??? Nope. That's why our children are ours and your children are yours! I believe that as parents, we should have the freedom to do what we feel is best for our families! I am just presenting the opinions of Mr. Man and myself, about what is best for our family! (I am pretty sure no one is reading this anyway...LOL) But just in case you are...go easy on me! To each their own, and one of our favorite quotes is "I've seen the village and I want to raise my own children!"

Play

As I type this post, Cuddle Bug is saying to Luv Bug... "Hi! Welcome to Great Clips!" He's using a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurine (he doesn't even know that's what it is), to "cut" Luv's hair. It's precious!
We have still been doing our morning routine, which consists of the children accomplishing their "Morning Basics", of making their beds, saying their prayers, brushing their teeth and getting dressed. After the morning basics are done and breakfast is over, they do their chores. THEN...they play! We bagged our more structured approach of sitting with our compass notebooks, to recite our Mission Statement, having a devotional and scripture, singing a hymn and a primary song, reciting articles of faith, etc. I am definitely NOT saying that these things are not important. But, I felt so strongly, that we needed to focus on more meaningful play time, lately! We still read scriptures every evening and have a couple of books that we read-aloud, from...we are still centered on the gospel. (We have recently started putting together, one Book of Mormon lapbook per week! This is a wonderful gospel learning tool for our family!) I just felt like my kids were missing some of their core phase, because we were so focused on a schedule and a certain order of how things were done. We have been having a blast with our Joy Cabinet (or Learning Closet). I re-organized it, and added some great things, and got rid of things that were just taking up space, and now we have a great new closet, that everyone LOVES! I took everything that was for Ladybug and Wiggle Bug, out of it, and put it all in some plastic Rubbermaid drawers next to the Joy Cabinet. It's working great!
Today, we're going to find a pumpkin patch (SOMEWHERE...I hope), and pick out some pumpkins to paint for our upcoming Hooplah! This year marks, the first annual Hooplah for our family, where we celebrate our FAMILY! Think of it as a big party that celebrates Halloween (since we don't celebrate it in the "traditional sense"), our children's adoptions into our family, and the JOY of being a family, ALL IN ONE! We have some fun ideas for next weekend! I'll let you know how it goes! For now...we've got a pumpkin patch to find! :0)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's All About Your Heart

I LOVE this song by Mindy Gledhill! It's called It's All About Your Heart, and it's simply beautiful! Listen to the words, they are gorgeous! It makes me think of my kiddo's and their cute and querky ways! Today, Ladybug sat and spun the wheels of Cuddle Bugs fire truck, over and over again. She often likes to spin in circles, like the sweet little girl in the video. We had a wonderful dance party in our living room yesterday! The children danced while I sang songs and clapped! It was pure bliss!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spontaneous Delight

Our lives are not full of enough Spontaneous Delight! This is the epiphany that I have had lately. We have a lot going on...A LOT! But Mr. Man and I have decided that among the A LOT that it going on, we have to have more Spontaneous Delight! It just HAS to happen! Life is short and life is crazy. If we don't tell it who's boss, it will be in control of us. So...we have been taking weekends to go up north and enjoy God's beauty. We have been making homemade brownies and taking our time to lick the batter from the spoon and bowl... and taking some cute brownie batter beard pictures, I might add. We have been bursting into song at random moments, about random things! (Anyone who knows me, knows that I do this sometimes!) This morning...while we should be doing the chores because we have a therapist coming early...we are having a dance party! Shhh...the children don't know this yet! If the kitchen is still in dissaray when she gets here, we have a great excuse: "We were busy making memories!" We were also busy dancing like chickens! (That is a phrase I use often with my children.) It has been too long since we last shook our tail feathers. So...I gotta' go! So many dance moves and so little time!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This video made me cry!

As always, I thought of my sweet Ladybug, when I watched this video. How I pray, that she will have friends who love her, watch over her and want to help her, the way these girls helped Madison. We already have a great head start on friends for Miss Ladybug...she has a precious sister and 3 wonderful brothers who adore her! How blessed we are to have each other, and especially, to have a Savior, Jesus Christ who has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves!

The Joy Cabinet

The children and I organized what has previously been known as our "Learning Cabinet", into what is now known as our "Joy Cabinet", today. I pulled all of the items out, that I had in there for the babies (I know they are 4 years old, but since Lady and Wiggle are developmentally delayed, they are still known as "the babies", around here), and I gave them their own set of Rubbermaid drawers, full of fun things that are geared toward them. The remaining room, left in the actual closet, was filled with new and inspiring items that had been hanging out in our "school room", which we never use. Tonight after dinner, the kids and I went through the closet and the drawers, so everyone could really see what was there. Their eyes grew wide and they smiled and laughed. The excitement was overflowing. There were joyous cries of "Oh, can I play with that?" or "Oh that looks cool!" I told them it was only for school time (which is 1 hour a day). Later I heard them talking about that again! I could hear the suspense and excitement in their sweet, little voices! They can't WAIT to get in there and play! I can't wait to get in there with them, and play! Tomorrow should be awesome!

In studying about Teaching Children Joy by Linda and Richard Eyre, Mr. Man and I have taken another look at how we have been doing things in reference to inspiring the children. We felt it was time for a change, and so far, things are going much better! We made our first Book of Mormon lapbook, yesterday, and the kids are excited to make one each week, as part of our study of the Book of Mormon. We have started talking about "Perfect Obedience" and "Family Laws" and the children are really learning a ton! We talked this evening, about the importance of getting our morning basics (Make Bed, Say Prayers, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed)done quickly, so we can have time for breakfast, chores, Joy School and Free Time/Outdoor Play, in that order. They know that if they dilly dally and don't get their chores done in time for Joy School, then they will finish them during Free Time. (This means that some of my Free Time is lost in helping them, but that's okay. I am trying to teach them the importance of work, and that they can do hard things.) I am ever amazed at the abilities that my children have, to understand principles that we are learning together! Wiggle understands that if he is sent to the corner for a time out, he must calm down before he can come back. He always gains control and says "Mom, I am calm now!" I LOVE that he understands how to re-gain control of his emotions! So great! Miss Ladybug is starting to understand things slowly, as well! She learns new things every day!
We are excited to attend the HIP Market, for our homeschooling community, soon! I think we've decided that our children are too young to sell anything there, so we will likely walk around and buy up everyone else's wares! It should be a really fun time! We can't wait!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Too Cute Not To Share...

Cuddle Bug came and sat with me this morning, and we watched some short videos on gospel topics, from the SugarDoodle website. Out of the blue, he said very excitedly, "Mom! I wiped my bum all by myself this morning! It was di-wee-uh!" *cute smile* (Sorry for the graphic part, but that's what he said and it was so funny, I had to save this moment on my blog!) So after some checking to make sure he did a good job (which he did), we moved on with our morning! I just LOVE kiddo's and their complete delight in simple things! Way to go, Cuddle Bug! It makes me a little sad that you are growing up so fast, but I am so proud of the boy you are growing into! :0)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Joy School

Well, now that our recent drama is over, I am off on a studying tangent, about teaching children joy. This is of course, being inspired by a book Mr. Man and I just started reading called Teaching Children Joy by Linda and Richard Eyre. So far, we are loving what we are learning! This past week, we have been doing our 6 month purge and I just started to feel like it was time to change things up in our learning routine. The children have really benefited from our routine, but in some ways, I have felt lately, like they are getting bored with it. So Mr. Man and I have talked about it and prayed about it and have been sharing insights with each other, from this book! I love it when I read something that just makes sense! I find myself nodding along with almost every word they say in this book! I particularly LOVE this quote by Spencer W. Kimball, about why we should teach our children joy..."Because home is the place to save society." How true that is! That is my new favorite quote! Home makes all the difference in the world! I am grateful for that new gem of information to ponder on! How grateful I am, that Heavenly Father has lead us down this path for our family! He truly knows everything! He knew that our Snug-a-Bug would struggle with dyslexia and cerebral palsy and with his speech, because of the CP. He knew that Luv Bug would struggle with anxiety and impulse control issues. He knew the Cuddle Bug would have a tender heart and need the nurturing of his mother at home. He knew that Ladybug and Cuddle Bug would need a flexible and child-focused environment and also some very special protection from a scary world! I am just so grateful that through the Holy Ghost, we were able to hear His will for our family, and follow it! Anyway, about joy...I LOVE how this all fits so well with the things I am learning from the Headgates article! We want to rid our lives of twaddle and distractions, so we can focus on true joy! This book is written so simply and focuses on 5 joys to teach our children:
1. Spiritual Joys
2. Physical Joys
3. Mental Joys
4. Emotional Joys
5. Social Joys
(Is it just me, or does anyone else find "joy" in the fact that they focus on social joys, last?) :0) All things have their proper place and order in life. This world puts WAY too much focus on social things. I LOVE that they put this in it's proper place! Anyway...I am excited to learn more about all of the joys we can teach our children! Through Leadership Education, we can teach them what joy is, and how to think and lead joyfully! What a concept! I'll let you know as I learn more! I can't wait to start applying these principles in our family!
One of the things we are going to start doing, in an effort to teach more from the scriptures, is notebooking about scripture stories/heroes. Our first one will be about Nephi ( since the kiddo's LOVE him so), and we will keep a collection of each family notebook that we make about each scripture story. What a fun library we will have, full of our special books created by our children! I am excited as I know they are! I will let you all know how this goes, as well! :0)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thrown For a Loop

Ladybug's G-tube started to get tighter last week, so I made an appointment for this past Wednesday, to see her surgeon about upping it a size. He changed it out in the office and sent an order for our home health company to deliver a new one to us. (You always have to have a replacement tube on hand, to put in if the current one breaks.) We hooked her up for her feed that evening and tucked her into bed. Hours later...enter drama!
So here's what happened. It was about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. We were all asleep, that is, until I heard the ever annoying "BEEEEEEEEEEP!", that is THE FEEDING PUMP. ( I know..."Dun-Dun-Dun!") Sounds like I am whining, but we have 2 OF THEM at our house, so these feeding pumps are often my nighttime nemesis. It's particularly awesome, when their beeps are just offset from each other in such a way, that as soon as I get back to my room from turning off the alarm on one of them, the other one beeps. I am usually up as many as 8 times a night dealing with pumps and their beeping. UGH! So...I roll out of bed and head down the hallway to push a button and stop the "BEEP!" Usually, it beeps because Lady or Wiggle has rolled over on their tubing, clogging the pump and not allowing it to continue to feed them. A little re-adjustment and untangling of tubing usually fixes the issue. Well...NOT THIS TIME. I went in to find Ladybug's head where her feet should go, and saw that she was tangled, and as I reached in to turn her around, I found that she was SOAKING WET with formula. If you ever hear me use the sentence "He (or She) fed the Bed", like it's no big deal, that's only because it happens much more often than I would like. Poor Ladybug, (and occasionally, Wiggle Bug) have had more 3 a.m. baths, than they (or I) would like. YIKES! Well...the drama gets worse. I thought her tubing had just come disconnected from the G-tube in her tummy. NOPE! THE WHOLE TUBE CAME OUT! AGAIN! This isn't normally a big deal, but we didn't have a replacement tube from our home health company yet. (This has happened to each of them, about 4 or 5 times within this past year or so.) Normally when their G-tube comes out, I just put in another one, and life goes on. This time, Mr. Man was already gone to work, which wouldn't have been an issue, IF...IF I had the replacement tube (instead of improvising with Wiggle's replacement tube which was a size too long), and IF I could get it in and then verify that it was in her stomach. (Long process to explain, and kinda' gross, so I'll spare you the details of how this is accomplished.) This time, I wasn't able to confirm that it was in fact in her stomach and not curled up inside her body cavity as it went in. This time there was more blood than I am used to seeing with this issue. This time...we took a trip to the ER about an hour or so away from our home, to verify that the tube was in her stomach, so that when I started her feed the next day, the formula would go into her stomach and not into her body cavity. I had to call Mr. Man home from work, so sleeping kiddo's didn't have to go with me. His work was so great about the whole thing, and he was able to be home quickly. (BTW...when a G-tube comes out, you have about an hour, to get another one in, or the body closes the hole or stoma, and another surgery is required.) Yeah...can you say 6 HOURS at the ER? SIX. (Can you imagine what socialized medicine will do for our situation? I shudder to think of it.) They had to do an x-ray, change out her tube, etc. I had to chuckle when the nurses commented to Ladybug "Honey, you should be sleeping, it's 3 a.m.!" I told them she has a chronic sleep disturbance. I don't think they really understood that. Anyway, we got to leave the hospital at about 9 :30 a.m. after arriving at about 3 a.m. I couldn't really get much sleep, and then Mr. Man and I had dental appointments that afternoon. I finally got to sleep at about 8 :30 p.m. Thank heaven for essential oils! I had Oregano and Lavender oil on the bottoms of my feet and I chugged some water that had some oil of lemon in it, and I went to bed smelling like a pizza. But boy, did I feel better when I woke up this morning! I LOVE essential oils! They are really helping our family! Anyway...Miss Ladybug and I were thrown for quite the loop yesterday. It was crazy! But then again...crazy seems to be my middle name, lately! What are ya' gonna' do?? :0)

Monday, October 4, 2010

I LOVE Conference!

This past weekend was the best weekend I have had in a long time! That's because, it was a heavenly chance for us to hear the words of the Lord from our prophet and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! As each talk finished, I would look over at Mr. Man and exclaim "That was a really GOOD talk!" He would smile for 2 reasons: 1. He agreed. 2. I always say that, every conference, about every talk I hear! That kind of thing, makes me smile! :)

While every talk I heard WAS SO GOOD, there were a few that really resonated with me! One of them was Quentin L. Cook's talk, entitled Let There Be Light. If you haven't seen it,you should check it out! Totally! You should even check it out if you did see it! We are blessed to live in a day, when we can watch these talks over and over! :0)



I love that he talked about being a source of light to our families and our communities! I feel so strongly about this! I really believe that if we don't stand up for our beliefs and fight for right, our communities and, in essence the world, will crumble around us. We know that right will prevail in the end, regardless, but I really want to help it along! Don't you??!! :0) To stand for right and let our voices be heard, is no small undertaking! It is as simple as opening our mouths, but as complicated as letting those in our midst, know exactly where we stand! That's not always an easy thing to do! I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that He is my elder brother, and the His love for me is infinite. That He is the one, true source of comfort and strength that will buoy me up and give me the courage to stand for the right in my home, family and community. I am grateful for Elder Cook's words that call us to action, and that offer wisdom and optimism! May we continue to fight for the right, in our homes, families and communities. May we continue to let our voices be heard, in protecting and defending the family! May we share our testimonies in word and deed and on a daily basis. May we share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the world, and may we be the examples we should be for our children. These are the goals that I have for myself...to be the wife and mother that I have been called to be, and to be that everyday! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.