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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friends, Fun, Faith and Other Great Things

Today we had a fun day with some friends who have lived out of state for a few years, and have moved back! We have kept in touch through phone and email, while they were away, and we had visited them a few times, but it's SO great to have them here! They have a beautiful, trans-racial family, like we do, and we share a lot of things in common! It was so great to see my friend and two of her daughters today! We went to lunch and then went to a thrift store (have I mentioned how much I love thrift store shopping?), and got to visit and enjoy each others company! The kids had a great time and did such a great job listening! I was so proud of them! Thanks friend (you know who you are),for being part of our fun day today! Speaking of fun days... check this out for a couple of really great days, this weekend. We can't wait!

We have discovered the world of essential oils, this week, and while we are still learning about it, we are excited about the results that we are experiencing as a family! I have more exciting news to come, about this, so I'll keep you posted! Part of the reason the children did so well today, was due to essential oils! And...Ladybug is still asleep! So we are off to a great start! :0)

Just when life seemed to slow down a little bit, I find myself to be one busy mama, again! But I am passionate about all of the people and things that occupy my time, so it's a good kind of busy! I wish I had a little more time to devote to my own studies, but at the same time, I feel like Heavenly Father really understands mom's who have their plates full, and He is helping me to really benefit from the time that I am able to study! I want to be a good example to my family, of the joy and work involved in learning! I really am so excited about our homeschooling experiences together! The children are so imaginative and creative and they are learning so much! I am learning the value of Headgates, and the ability to channel your family in positive directions! It is a beautiful thing!

We are gearing up for some great outdoor play weather, some fun family field trips, and some visits to see family that we haven't seen in a while! Plus, we have some new twists up our sleeves for Christmas celebration in our family this year, and have some fun family birthday events happening, as well! Life is definitely what you make it, and we have enjoyed remembering that we are the keepers of our dreams and aspirations, and not the rest of the world! We have been having some great learning moments and some great discussions as a family, about books and scriptures we are reading, as well as other things we are researching and learning about together! It's wonderful!

I am looking forward to hearing the words of the prophet and apostles tomorrow and Sunday! I always have those "A-ha!" moments, where I feel that Heavenly Father is speaking to only me! I think that happens to everyone! Isn't that awesome?! Inspiration is awesome! :0)