Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why She's Awake,,,

I suppose I should start a series on my blog, entitled Why She's Awake; The Reasons Ladybug is Up At This Hour. Today's reason, as quoted by Ladybug on video this morning, is..."I'M TOUCHING MY EARS!" She yelled it at me, when I asked her to say it a little louder. So there you go! Now, I am going back to sleep! (So far she's been waking up every day now, usually around 3 a.m. but occasionally around 1 a.m. and I always know when she is up, because she talks loud and laughs in her crib.) Yikes!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"What are you doing Ladybug?"

Last night (or I should say REALLY EARLY this morning--it was 3:30 a.m.), I awoke to the sound of Miss Ladybug laughing and talking to herself in her crib. I gave Mr. Man and little nudge and said "Are you hearing this?", to which he mumbled "Uh-huh." And then, I said what I always say..."There is really something wrong with our daughter and it makes me sad." I started to fall back asleep, but then remembered that I needed to get up and go video tape her, so we can show doctors what's going on. So I dragged myself down the hallway and picked up the camera and turned it on. My conversation with Ladybug went something like this:

Me: Ladybug, whatcha' doin'?
Ladybug: (Loudly) "I'm having a party!" (This cracked me up, because I have always referred to her sleep disturbances as "parties" because that's what they are for her. I just never expected her to pick up on that, and say it back to me.
Me: Oh...well maybe you should go back to sleep and have the party tomorrow, when everyone else can come.
L: Wiggle Bug told me get out of my crib!
Me: Wiggle Bug is asleep. So is everyone else. Can you go to sleep?!?!?!?
L: (Proceeded to name everyone in the family and say that they were in their beds.)

It went on for a few more minutes, and then I turned off the camera and went back to bed, while she proceeded to have a party for at least the following hour and a half or so. Plus...she was awake for the day, by at least 6:30 a.m. this morning. OY! We worry a lot about her!

Our Nature Walk Today








We had a GREAT time together today! We drove up past Payson and went to the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery, and had ourselves a nature walk! Everything up there was BEAUTIFUL and green and lush! So different from the desert or city life we have down here. We took lots of pictures (see below) and samples from nature, to bring home and sketch in our personal sketch books. I have been feeling like I needed to inspire drawing and nature, so we have combined the two. The kids can't wait to draw pictures of some of the nature samples we collected, and look at them with a magnifying glass. Snug-a-Bug and Luv Bug were super excited to help me wrap our nature samples in plastic wrap and press them between heavy books, when we got home today. I can't wait to see what they draw! Here are just some of the beautiful pictures from today's trip! Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Learning from the Scriptures

These are just a few of the insights I have gained, in my study of the scriptures this week:

1 Ne. 15:24 Tells us to hearken and hold fast to the Word of God. If we do so, we will never perish. (As I read this scripture, I thought "It really is that simple!") To hearken, doesn't just mean to listen, but it means that we should listen and DO! I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who values simplicity. He tells us what we need to do to regain His presence. We don't have to figure it out for ourselves...it's right there in the scriptures. And I am grateful for ancient people, who followed His commandment to keep a record of their lives, so that we could learn so many important truths from them.

Proverbs 4:13 (I particularly love this), says: "Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life." In this scripture, instruction refers to education. Education is our life! It is one important reason we are here. As the scripture states, it is thy life. I just LOVE the eloquence with which that is said! I fear that today, too many youth mistreat their education experiences. To have the opportunity to become educated individuals, is such a wonderful blessing! We should show respect for the great opportunity we have, in this free country, to enlighten our minds and gain knowledge and wisdom. Education is one of the freedoms that is too often taken for granted in our country, and even the world! I am grateful for the opportunity, not only to gain my own education, but to also to teach my children:
1. That they are the stewards of their own educations. Teachers teach; students educate. Their education is their responsibility. Mr. Man and I are here, to provide the right environment, inspiration and example for them to follow. (We have been talking about stewardship this week, in our morning devotionals, and the children and I are learning more about being wise stewards of the sacred things God has entrusted to us. I would submit, that our education is one of those things!)

2. Education isn't about opening the flip-top lid on our brains and pouring in a bunch of facts, figures and other memorized things, to spit back out on a piece of paper when asked, and never have that knowledge again. Education is about passion! It's about finding what we are passionate about, putting forth the time and effort to learn about it, and honing that passion so we can be who we are meant to be in this world.

3. Education is about mission! I LOVE the congruity that is a leadership education! Before I knew about Leadership Education/A Thomas Jefferson Education, life seemed disconnected to me. Learning was something we did during the week, Church was on Sunday, and all the happenings of daily life, fell somewhere in between. How grateful I am, for the knowledge that all of these things are connected to one another! We don't ever stop learning! And our learning isn't just about facts and figures, numbers, letters, etc. It's about physical things and their relationship to spiritual things. It's knowing that we were sent to this earth to fulfill a personal and specific mission here! If you are reading this, and have never stopped to ponder what your mission might be on this earth, I urge you to do so! Heavenly Father has an important work for you to do! Ask Him about it! He will let you know His plans for you!

I will ever be grateful for the very personal and specific ways that Heavenly Father inspires me, as a mother, and gives me vision and focus to do His will for our family!

Ephesians 6:14 teaches us to "bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." An admonition is a warning or rebuke. So we are to bring up our children in the nurture and warning of the Lord. We should raise them to be God-fearing people, and to know Whose they are. In Enos 1:1 we read that Enos was taught in his father's language and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What a wonderful gift we give our children, when we teach them, not only to understand our language, but our Heavenly Father's language (the scriptures).

These are some of the insights I am gaining as I study the scriptures! I am grateful to have them, and for the opportunity to learn from them each day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I love my family!

I feel impressed tonight, to write some of my deep and innermost feelings about being a wife and a mother. I am so blessed to be married to Mr. Man! He truly is my help meet. We are eternal companions. I am so excited about that! :0) I love him beyond adequate explanation! He is a source of strength and comfort to me. He knows me so completely and loves me for who I am. I love his desire to do what is right, and his integrity, and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love the way he chews his tongue when he's concentrating on something. I love watching him work in the yard or read to our children. His testimony is strong and it shows in the way that he lives his life and in the way that he loves us so much and so often! I love his smell. I love being close to him, and the way that a hug from him makes everything okay. We speak often, about how we were meant for each other. We don't argue. We discuss things with each other with mutual love and respect. He is so patient with me and our children. He is a wonderful father, and has graciously taken the lead in our home and family. His faith sustains me and our children. He is the perfect father for our children! He takes care of us with such concern and devotion, and he never EVER complains about a thing! He can fix just about anything and he makes us all feel so safe and secure! We know that he will take care of us no matter what...because he always has and he always does. Mr. Man is courageous and strong. He's brave and smart. He loves the gospel. He loves this country. He is interested in things that are significant and that have meaning. He has vision and insight. He has great wisdom and passion. He is ever trying to be better than he already is! I love him with all my heart. He is my biggest blessing!

I have 5 other, precious blessings in my life. They are our beautiful children, and I can't imagine any children more beautiful than they are. They are my world! I cannot imagine a day in my life without my beautiful family. They are such a special gift to me, and a constant reminder of the love of my Father in Heaven. He gave them to us. What faith He must have in us! He has trusted us with some of his most valiant spirits. What a noble and honored responsibility we have. What an honor it is, that I get to learn from each of them everyday! I get to spend every day with them! We get to experience learning and growth, together, and it makes me smile! They are so smart and faithful! They make me want to be better!

Snug-a-Bug is our oldest son! He is a really wonderful boy! He loves the Lord and has a strong desire to choose the right, and his testimony is firm. He is a good brother to his siblings and such a great help to them! He loves to help and feel needed. We truly do need him here in our family! He is a strong leader and is a great example to each of us! He is so smart and knows many things! He can figure things out and thinks analytically. He has wonderful skills in artistry. I am so blessed to get to be his mother. I am blessed by his love and desire to serve and help others. I am so happy he is our son, and the example that our other children look to. They will do well to follow in his footsteps.

Luv Bug is our oldest daughter. I have said it many times, but I will say it again...she is our sunshine. She has a good heart and has a great memory. She learns so many great things and stores them away, and always remembers them when they are most applicable for herself or for us. She has strong faith and says the most precious prayers! Luv Bug is beautiful inside and out! She has a desire to choose the right, and has timeless wisdom and understanding. She is a "little mother", and has a great desire to adopt children and do foster care when she gets older. She likes to be a helper and wants to serve the Lord. She tells imaginative stories and shares her testimony daily. She is inquisitive and has a thirst for knowledge. She will be a wonderful wife and mother someday!

Cuddle Bug is our second oldest son. He has the heart of a missionary. His heroes are Nephi and Abinadi, Alma the Younger, Ammon, and David, among others. He loves trains and books. He has a tender heart and asks many questions about the nature of God and Jesus Christ. He loves fresh vegetables and fruits and understands why garden's are so important. He has a love for the prophets of the latter days, and enjoys singing about them. He loves the scriptures, and knows they are real and true. We know that he will serve an important mission in this life. Cuddle Bug is learning so many new things, daily! He is creative and imaginative, and loves music and acting out his favorite scripture stories. He loves the Lord.

Wiggle Bug is our next oldest son. He is our "Music Man", and has a special talent and love for music. He loves the heroes of the scriptures also, and can memorize anything he hears, and repeat it again and again. He will likely be a wonderful scriptorian, someday. He has a valiant spirit and an attitude to match. He will lead many to Christ, by his testimony and strength of spirit and character. He is simple, honest and straight forward! He likes to be like his older brothers, which is wonderful! He is also a wonderful example to them!

Lady Bug is our youngest daughter. She is quickly showing her love for our Heavenly Father, by her sweet prayers and example. Her life's mission is great. She is our teacher. She approaches life in a vastly different way, and is teaching us to think outside the box, even though, a box is one of her favorite places to be sometimes. She makes us laugh, think and feel, in ways that we never would, without her. She is the epitome of child innocence and grace. She is strong in all the ways that matter most. She is heroic. She is ever and always genuine and meek. She is a tender mercy for our family, on a daily basis. She is our daily reminder of our ultimate goal...that of eternity together.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To Inspire

We had a great time at our home school retreat! The Keppner's came to speak to us one evening and they spoke about How to Inspire. I spent some time typing up the notes Rachel sent to us, from their talk that evening. I am going to frame it and set it on my piano. I will share their great suggestions here, in hopes that they are a help to other families who are using the Leadership Education Model in their homes.

How To Inspire
by Rachel Keppner

I~ Ignore : Ignore doubts and fears. Ignore criticism. Ignore perfectionism and how things "should" be. Trust God and His plans!
N~ Notice: Notice WHO your children are and what their missions might be. Notice WHAT your children need to fulfill their personal missions.
S~ Support: Support your children's talents and interests, even if they are not your own. Then LET THEM FAIL. Failure is the most powerful teacher of all. Be there to dry the tears and encourage them to try again.
P~ Passion: We inspire our families when we're passionate about our personal convictions and what we're learning. We can be passionate about having fun--our children need happy memories to look back on.
I~ Integrity: Do we follow through? Can our children and spouses count on us? What kind of example are we setting?
R~ Read Aloud: Take the time to share these moments studying the classics, old and modern. Time = Love
E~ Excellence: This is NOT about holding our children to standards of "excellence". It is about only allowing the very best resources, books, and media into our homes and family cultures.

I am so grateful for our home education community and the wonderful relationships we have with like-minded families! These truths are SO important and helpful as we spend each day in endeavors to become leaders ourselves, and inspire our children to do the same!

Monday, September 20, 2010

God Loves Broken Things and Scars

I came across this song tonight and just had to share it. I've never heard it before. It's by Kenneth Cope and it's called Broken. It spoke to me!


Mr. Man and I, have had many experiences, as foster parents, with precious and broken children. Children who have been broken as a consequence of choices that were not theirs. Our beautiful and precious children today, each gracefully handle unique challenges in their lives. They are so strong. They don't know life without these challenges. I don't think I could handle their challenges so well, if I were them. They really do amaze me! And I think all children are beautiful and precious, but I particularly feel truly blessed to be the mother of children, some of whom have physical bodies that are broken in one way or another...because their spirits are SO strong! And I truly do believe that God does love broken things! In fact, I KNOW HE does...because I myself, am broken and in need of His healing power! I KNOW HE loves me! I guess in one way or another, we are all broken! My mother in law sent me this email tonight that also spoke to me! I will share it here. It's called Scars.


Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms, just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began a very incredible tug-of-war between the two.

The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim, and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh; in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the boy if he would show him his scars.

The boy lifted his pant legs. Then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, 'But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go.'

You and I can identify with that little boy.

We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been right there, holding on to you.

The Scriptures teach that God loves you.

You are a child of God. He wants to protect you, and provide for you in every way. But, sometimes, we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That is when the tug-of-war begins.

If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will not ever let you go.

Please pass this on to those you love. God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life, and what they are going through.

Never judge other persons scars, because you don't know how they got them.


Right now, someone needs to know that God loves them, and you love them too ~enough to not let them go!!!

God bless!

--
"When you reach the end of your rope...
You will find the hem of His garment!"
Anon.

I loved that story and I love the quote at the end! I love that the little boy's mom wouldn't let go of him, just as our Savior doesn't let go of us! If there is anything I have learned as a mom, it's that I know my kids better than anyone does! I won't let go of them! I won't let anything endanger them or cause them hurt. And would add, that when we, as mother's, hold tight to our children as the "alligators of the world" come up to get them, our Savior is standing right there with us, holding tightly to our arms and not letting go. It's like the Footprints poem...when we think we are the only ones holding on, and we think we've been left to fight these battles alone, our Savior hasn't left us at all. He is simply holding to our arms with all His might, as we hold on to our children's arms with all our might! He hasn't left us at all. He's pulling us to Him, as we pull our children to us! How blessed we are to have a loving Savior, who understands how to fix us in our brokenness. He understands us in every way! He understands things about us, that other's only think they understand. We are blessed that God loves broken things, and that our Savior is our Advocate with Him, in our behalf. What a glorious day it will be, when we see Him again! He will know us completely and will love us just as we are..broken, scarred and all!

My Heart Aches

Sorry...this post isn't a happy one. I am feeling SO discouraged about my Luv Bug! She has changed somewhat, in the last few months. She growls and disobeys and laughs all the while. Her usual sweetness is hidden beneath chaotic behavior and it hurts my heart. I know she's a good girl and that she wants to be good, but sometimes, for whatever reason, she just can't. She runs from me, laughs and makes faces and growls with her claws up in the air (literally). People tell me they think she has ADHD, but she has never had issues attending to things. She can spend an hour or more, doing various different activities (one activity for one hour) and pays attention to them. That doesn't say ADHD to me...but I am not exactly sure what it is. She has quite the biological family history of mental health issues that would make your head spin. This history is, I think, what scares me the most. Mr. Man and I are having issues with her that we would expect from a rebellious teenager. (We are honestly not expecting to deal with a whole lot of rebellion from our teenagers, due to some systems, goals, etc. that we are working on with the children right now.) But Luv Bug really struggles with obedience! She is disobedient more than she is obedient. I just can't seem to get through to her. She doesn't mind, and then receives a consequence (which is usually an extra chore for everyone else), but she won't do it and we can't make her, so she usually gets toys put in time out, which usually makes her more angry and brings on a tantrum and more dysfunction to our home. Our in -home therapists would tell you that I am pretty good at ignoring her bad behavior, but that it often escalates to the point that it can't be ignored anymore. The big thing about all of this, is that we refuse to medicate her. I have spoken to too many people who have told me that their children have turned into zombie's when they've been on medication. Plus, Mr. Man and I really understand the importance of teaching her to govern herself and have self control. I bawled my eyes out to her this morning, and told her how much my heart hurts when she acts this way. Tears rolled down her cheeks and we both cried. I told her what a good girl she is and that I want her to share the love and joy in her heart, and tell her inner monster to hit the road, Jack! I know she wants to behave better, but so far it's been pretty rough! Even today, after that talk, we've had problems. I guess there are lessons for both of us to learn. One of mine is patience, one of hers is expressing her anger appropriately. I pray someday it will get easier! Would you pray too? Thanks! :0)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Great Week

Growing up, for some reason, I always looked at Sunday as the last day of the week. It was the end of another weekend. The worst part was that I didn't like Monday's! I really didn't like them! (I didn't like the thought of going to school...if I could have, I would have chosen to skip school altogether.) And it's not to say that I didn't like learning...I actually LOVED to learn! I still do! But I didn't like the social scene of school (from about junior high, on.) It represented a world that I didn't care to belong to. Part of being in my awkward teenage years, I suppose. Anyway...fast forward to now, and I am SO glad that I see Sunday's as the spiritual jump start to my week! And while I like going to church and learning, my most favorite things about Sunday are the time spent making plans for our week as a family, and studying gospel topics together! I am glad that we have this time each week, to re-focus our efforts and priorities, repent, re-charge and renew! The kiddo's LOVE going to church, and coming home to tell us what they learned about! I LOVE that they are all so young and close in age! They get excited about the same things and find the same things interesting! It's a beautiful thing! So, today I am gearing up for a great week of new discoveries about myself, my family and the gospel!

Speaking of discoveries. Last night, Snug-a-Bug and I were doing a reading lesson together, and he explained to me that he has dyslexia. (He of course, didn't know to call it that, but there's no doubt that's what it is.) Mr. Man and I had had our suspicions about this a couple of years ago, and in Snug's MRI report from a few years ago (where he was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy), it says that due to a phonemic processing disorder, he could have dyslexia as he got older. Well, he does. And it was such a blessing that he was able to explain things to Mr. Man and I, in such a detailed way. He spoke of letters flipping upside-down, lines of text trading places with each other and letters switching places with each other too. We talked about numbers and even punctuation marks, and what they look like to him...if he sees them at all. We are amazed that Snug has learned to read as well as he has so far, but also understand his genius! We have always known how incredibly smart and imaginative he is! He is creative and has lots of talent for artistry and mechanical things! (All blessings that come from dyslexia.) I was blessed to attend a HIP night (an evening of learning, put on by our home education community), where a couple spoke to us about their home education experiences. The husband explained that he has dyslexia and shared the name of a highly recommended book with us. It's called The Gift of Dyslexia and it's written by Ronald D. Davis. (He has dyslexia, himself.) Snug and I read through a few parts of it on Amazon, last night, and are excited to learn from this book when we order it. I LOVED the language of this book (so far), and can see why it's so highly recommended. It speaks so positively of the gifts that dyslexia bestows on the person who has it! We are grateful for this knowledge about our Snug-a-Bug and are eager to help him as he progresses through his learning experiences, with this unique learning style! :0)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Each week, we choose a primary song and a hymn to learn. Last week the hymn was Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel. How I've loved listening to my kiddo's walking around singing the chorus to that hymn! It's even cuter when they stop to explain "Mom, that means you have to work hard to push your wagon out of the mud like the pioneers did!" It's adorable! I love their child-like perceptions about things! This week, our hymn is Count Your Blessings. My kids think it's funny when I improvise a little bit on this part: "Count your blessings...name them one by Wuh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-one!" I have to be careful to teach them the correct way to sing it though, or we might have our own children's choir going for sacrament meeting, every time that song is sung! LOL :0)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Headgates, Stewardship, Ephiphanies and Honor

I LOVED this article from The Misfit Cygnet. I especially love that she understands the criticism one can come under, when they choose different for their family, than the world thinks is right or popular. Not that I want to focus on the rain that falls on my parade sometimes, but you know. :0) I had heard the quote once, in seminary: "When you want learning and knowledge like you want air, you won't have to ask anyone to give it to you." I didn't know that it came from Socrates, but I have always loved it. I want to teach my children to thirst after knowledge like they thirst after righteousness and to thirst after righteousness like they do, air! I want them to know HOW to think and I want them to be prepared to lead in their great capacities in life. They have important missions to accomplish! I love The Headgate article by Brian and Kerri Tibbetts . Mr. Man and I have found a lot of wisdom in this approach, not just for our homeschooling experiences, but for life in general. Self discipline and mastery are SO important. And as parents, we have a great and powerful stewardship over our children...to guide their way! The beauty of a principle based, leadership education is that we are learning to govern ourselves and our families in ways that are specifically right for us, personally. No two families will make the same choices or close or open the same headgates that we do. No two home school families will choose to learn what we are learning. Each family will receive the divine intervention of a loving Heavenly Father, in a very personal way. Pete and I feel so very blessed to have our beautiful children, and to have been divinely inspired to teach them in this way! I am learning SO MUCH, every single day! The best part is that we are learning together! Family epiphanies are AWESOME! When we learn great things together, there's just nothing in the world that can top it! I wrote down the following information about Epiphanal Learning, from a blog that not longer exists: (at least, not under the name it was before...it was known as Called to Liber.) This will be my course of study for the next little while. I want to commit these truths to memory so they'll always be with me!

Epiphanal Speaking: 2 Nephi 32:2
Epiphanal Learning: Look and glean understanding: 1 Nephi 11 (or is it 1 Ne.1:11?? Not sure.)
Epiphanal Reading: Cast your nets: Luke 5: 4-5
Epiphanal Study: By study and also by faith: D&C 88:18
Epiphanal Teaching: Don't teach without the Spirit D&C 42:14
Epiphanal Colloquia (or discussions): All have voice and all edified: D&C 88:122
Epiphanal Living: Let the Spirit guide you: D&C 11:12 and D&C 45:57

Today I received a special call from a fellow homeschooler and friend who I deeply admire and look up to! She paid me a very nice compliment about the class I taught at the HIP Retreat! I was truly honored! This was such a confidence booster for me, and has renewed my faith in myself and my efforts as a homeschooling wife and mother! She has asked me to take on a great responsibility in or homeschooling community. I am excited! Mr. Man is super supportive and excited for me! I will ask my Father in Heaven for His wisdom about it, and then will make my decision! Change is in the air! (Remember, I said that recently!) I am excited to hear from my Father in Heaven, what His will is for me and for our family! I will keep you all posted about the changes that come our way! Even when life is hard and challenges are upon us, I can still see the blessings and feel the love of my personal Savior, Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father! I am often amazed at their love and care for me and mine! :0)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Food for Thought

I read this article about "Babylon's Diet" today and thought it was quite interesting and a little scary! It makes a lot of sense to me! I have been thinking more and more about the food I feed my family! I guess it's good that I am thinking about these things, and I guess it's good that we are getting ready to get our garden up and running again since we moved! I can't bear the thought of eating much of what you find in stores these days. We eat it, of course...but we don't want to. I don't trust it. I am on a mission to find a healthier way to feed my sweet family! Any suggestions??

Also...today I went to the doctor and had a good talk with him about the fatigue I feel about three times a week. I literally hit a wall of exhaustion and have to take a nap (however short the nap may be.) I got a B12 shot today, and he said I should be taking a B Complex vitamin and an Iron tablet daily. I hope this all helps, and there's nothing "icky or scary" in the supplements I take. Who really knows? I have gained about 15 pounds in the last 3-4 months, and while I am already starting to lose a few pounds, it's not cool. I know my body suffers because of stress! What mother doesn't get stressed out from time to time, right? Well, anyway...I am determined to get healthier. I am going to get on my tread mill for 30 min. a day, 3 times a week and I am going to take better care of myself so there is more of me to go around (well...more of me in a good way.) :0) Any suggestions for healthy diets, supplements, naturopathic medicines/treatments, etc.? I want to check out essential oils, but fear the expense of it all. Let me know what you think! I need some good advice about this! :0)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference!


Mr. Man and I were talking about this last night. It has always been a favorite of mine...ever since my great grandmother gave me a plaque with these words on it. I LOVE it! Serenity, Courage and Wisdom! These are my hearts desire! Well...these and patience! Worthy goals for this year...don't you think?! I am particularly interested in serenity right now! Being in nature will do that to you! I wanted to bring some of that beautiful serenity home with me, and then I realized that I can! I just need to create the environment for it! :0)

We had a lovely time at the HIP Retreat! I enjoyed the discussion that surrounded the lesson I taught for the adults there! We made wonderful connections with friends, met new people, put faces with names that I had seen on the HIP site, and enjoyed the outdoors! It was beautiful! The kids ran and played and did really well! I was so proud of them and their good behavior! My dad took family pictures of us in the woods and I can't wait to see them! I think they will turn out pretty cute! All of our boys wore green shirts with blue stripes, the girls wore solid blue shirts, I wore a solid green shirt and Mr. Man wore a solid blue shirt! And we all wore blue jeans! We found a rock "love seat" that was perfect to sit on, and took lots of pictures! I was especially happy that we got some really great ones of Miss Ladybug! It is very hard for her to sit for pictures, but she did really well!

The Keppner's came to speak to us on Friday night! They have been following the TJEd principles for a while now, and are quite knowledgeable about it! They have 11 children and have such amazing insights about so many things! I was so glad I got to meet them and hear them speak!

Well, tomorrow is the start of mountains of laundry to fold and another amazing week! I feel like my batteries have been re-charged and we are ready to inspire and be inspired! It should be a great week! Hope yours is too!

Monday September 13, 2010: Just purged all of our movies and put them all away! Currently, the t.v. is covered in large towels (my ingenuity at work until Mr. Man comes home to move it out of our site.) I also flipped the switch behind the t.v., "breaking" the t.v. so it won't work anymore. I love a broken t.v.! (It's actually not broken, but it's not working either, so there's the beauty!) Anyway, we have 2 medium sized boxes of movies. One of them is almost full (this would be the movies we will trade in for credit at Bookman's), and the other box is about half full of movies that are considered classics in our home (these include video's put out by the church, and other movies that are classics for our family.) We are off to purchase bigger sketch books for the children. (Books the size of index cards just aren't cutting it.) I have felt prompted to inspire drawing in our family! I know that some of the children could really benefit from activities like this, since we have a couple who doubt their ability to draw. So...on the menu for right now and the near future: Nature, Drawing and Scripture Study! Ahhh...I LOVE the simplicity of Leadership Education! :0)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Seal It On My Heart!

Have you ever felt like you are learning so much so fast, that you're afraid you won't be able to recall all the important details of it all? Whether it's in a great book (or for me, more like 3 or 4), or something gospel related, etc. This past Sunday, Mr. Man was able to give priesthood blessings to each of us, for the beginning of our school year! As I listened to the inspired words that he spoke, tears filled my eyes, and my head nodded! The prayers he uttered in behalf of our beautiful children, were so personal and precious for each of them! Words that can only be spoken in a fatherly way, by an earthly father, from a Heavenly Father. When blessings are given in our family, I always accompany them with a silent prayer of my own, that Heavenly Father will allow those precious words to be sealed on our hearts, and that He will bless us with a gift to recall those words again, as we need them in our lives! I have started to utter those same prayers, for my educational learning...that Heavenly Father will help me (amid the craziness of each day when it seems as though I don't have the time or attention or capacity to learn at that moment), to gain the knowledge that I need, for my mission in this life. Now...it may just be the mission that's 5 minutes ahead of me, or it may be knowledge that will help me to fulfill my mission on this earth. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers! I KNOW that He hears the prayers of a mother who has so much on her plate sometimes, that she doesn't know what to start with first! I know that He knows the desires of our hearts, and the He knows that we want to be the best we can be for our husbands and our children! And I KNOW, that we don't have to get it all right! Sometimes, all we have to do, is make a valiant effort to know His will and His specific and personal information for our lives, and He will somehow find a way to seal it on our hearts! We just have to keep our hearts ready to receive it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day (all play and a little work) :0)

We had a really fun day as a family! We made a plan yesterday, that we would rise early, eat breakfast, get ready and be off to run errands for our upcoming HIP Retreat! (Home School Retreat.) We were all up at about 6:30 a.m. and the day started out great! And...it was great the whole day! We went to Wal-Mart, Sally's, stopped for lunch at Red Robin (our favorite place, what a treat!), Target, and then went to Hobby Lobby and came home for a yummy, homemade dinner. It was one of the BEST days EVER! The children were all obedient and happy and helpful! They made us so proud, as parents! We really do have GREAT kiddo's! A couple of funny things happened today! Mr. Snug a Bug, ordered pizza and french fries (what a combo, huh?) and ate it all, then had a bite of my California Chicken Sandwich...and THEN kept asking for bites and basically ended up eating half of it! I couldn't finish it, but he did! Mr. Man and I were shocked! It was great! Then at Target, Ladybug was so tuckered out, she fell asleep in the cart, resting her head on the balloon she got from Red Robin. I got the cutest picture of her! So funny! She parties all night, so I guess her body has developed the ability to crash anywhere and on anything. (I just wish she would use this skill more often!) Also, we were super proud of Miss Luv Bug today, when she got into the car in the Red Robin parking lot, and her balloon popped, and she remained calm and collected and didn't tantrum! She earned beans for that today, for our Bean Counter Game! In fact, everyone earned beans for having a fantabulous day today! Cuddle Bug and Wiggle Bug were the best of friends today (which happens most of the time), and they just kept asking when we are going camping. "We're going camping tomorrow, Mom?" So adorable! I especially love that they still ask questions in the form of a statement! All of us are super excited!
We had a GREAT family home evening about Obedience today (already planned to be about that, this past week), and the kids were listening really well tonight! We reviewed the 4 Basic Skills that Nicholeen Peck teaches in her Teaching Self-Government seminars. They are: 1. Following Instructions 2. Accepting a No Answer/Criticism 3. Accepting a Consequence 4. Disagreeing Appropriately. We had a really great lesson, and started out by talking about the City of Enoch and we sang the verse of Follow the Prophet, about Enoch. This week, Mr. Man and I are going to work on being more consistent with prepping and pre-teaching for our children, and then we spoke to each child about specific things that they can work on to help them attain self government! We are excited to see them continue to learn how to govern themselves!
Well, I should be off to bed, but I think I better get downstairs and start making weighted vests for my girls! We want them to have them before we go on our camping trip and so I better get crackin'! Today, Mr. Man and I came up with an easy idea for making neck pillows for the kids while they are in the car when we travel. We bought some inexpensive hand towels, and some Men's socks. We put two hand towels together and rolled them up sideways. Then, slide the roll into a men's sock, and you have a neck pillow for a kiddo'! We'll see if the kiddo's leave them alone or keep pulling them apart. If they pull them apart, I may need to stitch up the end of socks, or put velcro there, or something. Here's hoping they work okay! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bread

We're makin' bread today! Dilly Bread, Wheat Bread (maybe some Wheat Dilly Bread), Rolls, maybe some cinnamon bread or rolls, etc. Each kiddo' gets to make their own mini-loaf (or roll). It's like Extreme Play Dough! They are excited and I am excited! What are the lessons to be learned today, you ask?? They are miriad! Chemical changes, chemical reactions (what does the baking soda do?), observations and hypothesis, math skills, a little occupational therapy (roll, squeeze and pull the dough, use the spoon to stir in the flour, sensory integration through getting your hands down into the gooey dough), the senses of taste and smell and sight, kitchen safety, work (individual and team work), awesome conversations (some of which will have everything to do with bread or dough and some that won't!) Who knows where this thing could go??? We're talkin' Extreme Home School! We'll get out the bread maker, and let it help us with some of the work too, so then we get to talk about machines! And knowing my kiddo's, part of our conversation will revolve around the fact that an egg WOULD have been a chicken, and that "Yes...when we eat eggs or chicken or ground beef or ham, etc.... we are eating farm animals." (They are very into this whole discussion right now, and I am just happy that they keep eating it all anyway!) :0) And when we start talking about a farm, the subject of a garden will come up as well. It always does! So, we'll spend some time talking about the green smoothies we like to make at lunch time, and why they taste so good and are so healthy for our bodies. One of the kids will start talking about how Heavenly Father and Jesus made our bodies, and then some great gospel centered questions will come up. We'll have a great gospel discussion and the kiddo's will impress me yet again, with all that they know (especially their testimonies)! And All THIS from a loaf or two of bread! It's like giving a moose a muffin! It always leads to something else! Bring it on! :0)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Results and Other Fun Stuff

The Immunologist, today, said that L's blood work results came back and everything tested normal, except that she has low antibodies for Hib and Pneumoccocal. ( I am assuming this means there isn't any sign of an auto-immune disorder, but we may have to see what Rheumatology says about that, to be sure.) So basically, when it comes to those 2 vaccinations, she is considered immune compromised. Her diagnosis is called Hypogammaglobulinemia. Say THAT five times fast! Specifically, her immunoglobulin levels are low in the following areas: IGG, IGA and IGM. (That's a note more for me, than for you. I just want to remember this.) :0) Our whole family was sick 3 weeks ago, for a duration of about 2 weeks. Ladybug's illness seemed to go away, and yet 2-3 days later, here she is with a liquidy cough again. (Sorry, for the graphic description.) The Immunologist is concerned about her and has prescribed Zithromax to kick whatever sinus infection may exist, and has sent instructions to our family practice doctor, that he wants her treated aggressively for any and all flu symptoms, coughs, colds, etc. that she gets. The immunolgist says that given her age, he wants to treat these low antibodies aggressively, to stave on any later severity that could progress as she gets older. We are to get her another pneumonia vaccination and then he will do another blood test 6-8 weeks afterward, to see if her body responds appropriately. He will see us back in 3 months, unless she isn't responding to the vaccination, in which case he will see her sooner. He wants to re-test her immuno-globulin levels again in 6 mos. to see where they are at. He said this could all have something to do with her gene deletion, or could be it's own thing. He is going to research more about her specific gene deletion and see what he can learn about it. He instructed us to purchase a pediatric Netti-Pot (spelling??) of sorts, and to use it any time she gets the slightest hint of sickness. He also told us that we need to be careful with her being around other kiddo's that are sick, as she will get the flu, pneumonia or whatever...worse and for a longer period of time than the average person. I told him all about her sleep stuff, and he said the melatonin is really only designed to help people GET to sleep, not to STAY asleep. He said her sleep could be aggravated by her cough and sinus symptoms right now, too! So...next up, we will report back to the Rheumatologist and see if he has anything to add or look into to. Our next big hurdle for her, is to see what's up with her sleep. The Immunologist and I agreed today, that since her sleep meds, weren't really helping her sleep anyway, that having her on them isn't a good idea. They seem to worsen her limb pain. All in all, I feel good about the appointment today. We have indeed found some clues to the puzzle that is our Ladybug! We still have a few missing pieces to find, and we will do just that! If we can get to a point someday in L's life, where she can sleep peacefully, have a day without limb pain and be generally healthy, happy and developing well, then and only then, will we think about resting. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent her to us! He knew that I would be the kind of gal to be a squeaky wheel for her! It's the squeaky wheel that get's the grease, as they say! I am determined to be her voice as long as she needs me too!

In news about Snug, Luv, Cuddle and Wiggle...they are happy and mostly healthy! Cuddle Bug still has a touch of a cough, but not near like Miss Ladybug! They have been enjoying our learning time with the "school cabinet", and have been interested in many different things lately! Lincoln Logs are a big hit around here! Snug-a-Bug and Luv Bug particularly love them! Cuddle Bug has been into counting and using a stamp pad and letter stamps lately! Wiggle Bug really like puzzles and books! Both Mr, Snug and Miss Ladybug have been sensory seeking lately, more than usual. I had a nice talk with our OT today, about ways to satisfy their seeking! I also had a nice talk with her about Miss Luv Bug and some calming techniques for her! It was a pretty good day today! :0)

Teaching Our Children from the Scriptures

I found this article this morning, and wanted to share it! I love that the current Ensign magazine always has ideas to further inspire things that have already been in my heart! Each time I think about what I should be inspiring for my children, I am always drawn to thoughts of teaching them the gospel! I know it is the MOST important thing they need to know, to help them be responsible, well-grounded adults in the future! I am trying to teach them character and hard work! I often talk to my oldest 2 children, about strengthening their discipline muscle, so that when life gets hard, they will know that they can rise to meet their challenges! This article lists simple ways to make gospel devotionals a part of your day! I was excited to see that we are already doing some of the things she suggests, and I am excited to try some of the other ideas she mentions! I am always so impressed with the children on the earth today! I have only met a fraction of them, but I know that they represent a vast army of righteous, young people who have such noble and valiant spirits! It seems like there are more children all the time, who are dealing with a special need of some sort too! I firmly believe that these physical challenges are meant to weaken the body a bit, so that their strong spirits can continue to shine through and teach all of us, because they don't fall prey to the temptations of satan as easily as the rest of us! I know that I have been blessed with a strong body, and I think that because of that strong body, it's much easier to fall prey to temptation. I am grateful to have these little examples of Christ-like love and wonder, around me each day! I know that if I do my part to teach them these eternal truths, they will give me blessings, a hundred-fold! All I have to do, is be willing to learn what they are trying to teach me!