"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Read this (the underline and different color means it's a link-click on it!) and thought maybe Brian had helped write it.

This kind of sums up where things are at right now:

I will likely be connected to some group for the purpose of fellowship but I am under no illusion. I realize that if I had to live on that as my primary source of spiritual nutrition I would probably die of heart failure at a young age.

What/where/how else are you being fed spiritually? (Hmm...does reading people's Bible verses on their facebook status count?) The bigger question--are you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just thought I would let you all know that I had a GREAT time at the home school conference last week! I will say though, that I was thoroughly exhausted by Saturday morning, and about dead by that night. The convention center was quite spread out, so walking to the exhibit hall, to coat check to drop off books, to used book hall, to drop off more books, to upstairs and seminars, plus the 10 minute walk to the hotel (thankfully in a skyway!) was quite exhausting. My shins were killing me. Wearing tennis shoes would have been a great idea I know, but of course I didn't.

And Brian and the kids did survive. It's too bad we had such gloomy weather though-in the house all weekend. The vehicles didn't get cleaned :-) ! No super big issues until around the time I hit St. Cloud on Saturday night. They were all pretty tired and crabby for a few days, but I think we are all back into the groove.

Thursday was the high school workshops. They were fine; I think I am getting to the point where I have all the information I can, now I just need to do it. There are still choices about what class, when, and where--but I just need to get started and do it.
That night we hit the mall for a few things and then ate at the Texas Roadhouse. Oh my, we were stuffed!

Friday morning I worked at pre-registration. That was fun; seeing people I hadn't in quite awhile, seeing who came that I knew from this area. I did some shopping at used books and most of my non-main curriculum shopping and got a lay of the exhibit hall land. One full-size suitcase of books filled.
At 3 pm I went to the first of the 2 seminars I was looking forward to. It was for adoptive and foster parents, parents of kids with FASD, ADHD, RAD, learning disabilities. I enjoyed it. The speaker jumped around a bit (he admitted his own ADD), but I came away with some things to think and do.
When that was done, it was back to a little more shopping and checking out new things.

Friday evening was the keynote speaker, Dr. Larry Gutherie. One of my dear friends was his interpreter from a Russia trip 20 years ago. He told the story of a fire that took place before he went on that trip and then talked about the Russia trip itself. Well, I am telling my friend we HAVE to go say hi-he needs an ending to the story! We got down there and have a little visit. Now the cool thing is-he remembers her! Saturday morning he again spoke and shared with the whole convention how emotional the night before was for him...a woman who looked familiar came down to say Hi and said I am H from Russia. (at this point I am bawling just like the night before!). He shared how she interpreted for him on this trip, presenting the gospel over and over again and she wasn't a believer at the time. Well, here it is 20 years later, she has 6 kids, home schools and loves the Lord. Isn't God great?!

Saturday morning I finished my shopping for my main curriculum, loaded up at the used book fair and took extra time to stroll through the exhibit hall. I talked to the Northwestern college guy about PSEO and stopped at a few other places. Ate my lunch and went to a seminar on correction (of children's behavior). By this time I was exhausted and slept through a few parts ;-). After this I went back up the stairs to the seminar I was looking forward to called "How long does God expect me to do this?" Again, I enjoyed it and came away with lots to think about-some actions I need to take. I have spent a few days this week working on those things, and well-that will be another post for another day.

Some of the curriculum wasn't available directly at the convention as they had already run out (which was probably good in the long run-I don't know if I could have carried anymore!). Well, it came last night! And the geek that I am I have been looking through it, planning how to do lessons, and getting excited to start! I have a hard time believing we'll (okay, I'll) be able to wait until August to start it all! Baby #8 may help, but I just get excited for the new stuff! We'll do a few things in the summer-I'd like all the kids to be a little further in math and Cybil will do one of her elective courses, maybe some other "fun stuff". School is just such a part of our daily routine and life, that it is actually more disruptive to stop. Sure, we scale back, but we need to do a little just to bide some time.

The rest of the curriculum will be here by the middle of next week-can't wait to see the rest of it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

prayers appreciated!

I am writing this Wednesday afternoon in the hour or so before I head up to the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators annual convention. It is up in Duluth this year.
What a day today has been. I have not even left and already the acting out and regression of behaviors has begun. I expect it, I know it's coming, and I know why. But that doesn't make me understand it, or even deal with it any better.
Please keep Brian in your prayers today and tomorrow. He's gonna need it! :-)

One of the speakers is focusing on FAS, attachment and adoption issues among other things so I am really looking forward to those workshops. And of course there is just quiet time, do what I want time, and shopping time!
I also know that when I get back there will again be more, maybe even extra, behaviors as we establish relationship again. You know, sometimes I wish I were a little braver in writing about adopting kids from a hard place. Maybe it would be help me. I don't know. Unfortunately it hasn't really brought out the best in me. I learn things about myself all the time that I am SO. NOT. PROUD of. Big, big kuddos go out to you trauma mommas who write about your struggles and give the rest of us hope!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

totally bored today with NOTHING to do...and it's only 10 am :(

Yup, I said that on facebook last Saturday.

So in response to a few comments, I will write about what our day/week looks like to see if you believe me!

First, a few reminders:
--I had girls first-which are 14, 12.5, 9.5, and 8 yr old girl.
--I have a super helpful, want praise all the time 7 yr boy

Dishes-C & M take turns washing any dishes that need hand washing. G & H handle unloading. We all (well, except dad!) pretty much put our own dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

Clothes-J is an EXPERT clothes folder, that is his main job. C & M take turns sorting and starting new loads and I will do some too. I will usually do a load whenever it looks like there is enough, which is often. Maybe one load a day, or two to three every other day.

Vacuuming-with the dog, I have this thing about doing it myself, usually. But sometimes C & M will do the basement or parts of the upstairs. Knowing it is done every week at least once, I don’t mind letting them do it some-just not twice in a row.

Sweeping-Again, I gotta do this. I do have them sweep every once in a while. But let’s face it, it is a quick sweep at best. They at least get the big stuff I guess.

Picking up-okay, we do do this one a lot. When the toy room was a completely separate place with doors that shut, I could say once a week; but I can’t do it when I walk through it all the time. We pick up after breakfast (again, this is one of J’s areas of excellence) and then before supper. Sometimes before dinner if it is a really BIG mess. We almost always pick up before we go anywhere-church, shopping, whatever. Picking up is mainly J, Ha & G right now. We are still working on My being much of a help. Little He can sometimes be a help. C & M only have to jump in when it is really bad.
All of the kids have to make sure their own rooms are cleaned up after breakfast and before school starts. Once a week they also go through all of their drawers and shelves to straighten them up. (again, if we miss one week, we just be sure to do it the next) On the list there room is listed-they go through that room including dusting and mirrors, etc. whatever needs to be done.

Okay, let’s try to begin.

I wake up at 7 am.
I get the kids up at 8 am. Then eat breakfast (cereal) and then go about working on getting their rooms done.
We have a list for every day of the week as to what work must be done that day. I prefer that we have these done right away in the morning too. Sometimes that works, others it doesn’t-depends on how draggy they are in the morning. So we do this cleaning and picking up until about 9 am (or shortly after if we are almost done). I will put the daily list below. Some days we just can’t get to anything-no big deal, we tackle it the next day. Some jobs are on the list twice a week, like the bathrooms, so if we miss it we can do it later in the week. Or sometimes I do that with other big jobs-I don’t wash my kitchen floor every week. But I know if I don’t do it one week, it’s on the schedule for the next.

From 9 am to noon or so we tackle school.

Noonish we eat and then have “free time” until 1 or 1:30 when it is back to school for anything not finished. If the house work isn’t done, we will finish that first, then on to school.

Then the rest of the day is theirs. On some days the big girls really drag things out so will be working until 3 or 4. But if they would just hit it hard, they would easily be done by noon or shortly after (okay, for now anyway. Starting high school next year-that will be different!)

We eat around 5:30-6 and the kids head to bed at 9 pm.

We don’t leave the house much during the week. A co-op for the kids one day, church on Sunday and Wednesday nights, another class activity. So here’s a secret for laundry: if we have nowhere to go, we stay in our pajamas, especially in the winter. When the kids were younger and not in anything we’d get in jammies on Sunday night and not change until Wednesday AM when we went out. Really, we did. Ugh-true confessions. Sure, sometimes I wish the kids were in more activities, others I just don’t. Like when I hear friends say "we’ve been gone every night for 8 days" or "I hate this day because all we do is run."

Here is the daily work list:
Monday—upstairs bathroom, boys room, laundry room, sweep
Tuesday—change garbage bags, vacuum upstairs, office, mom & dad’s room, sweep
Wednesday—downstairs bathroom, girls’ rooms, sweep
Thursday—upstairs bathroom, vacuum downstairs, downstairs living room, sweep
Friday—downstairs bathroom, upstairs living room, garage, sweep
Saturday—clean up van, wash kitchen floor, clean up outside (including dog poop!)

So that’s about it. Those are my secrets.

Meal planning is a whole other thing. I used to do it-still have my charts. Maybe I will have to get back into doing that. Hmm, we’ll see. Gotta teach the girls how to make more than hamburger helper someday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Hard to believe but our big girl is already 14! A high-schooler in my house!
We were sooooo young when she was born. April 6th and there was a snow storm that day. I believe it was about noon exactly. I was 20 and I distinctly remember throwing up all the juice I had drank that morning and the nurse telling me to be quiet. Oh my, what a day.
Cybil is such a SUPER. DUPER. BIG. HELP around the house for me, working with Dad, and doing whatever.


Saturday, April 2, 2011


Having a VERY LAZY day today so I went through my schedules and shopping lists for the homeschool convention I am going to in a week and a half.

There is a speaker there who will cover parenting kids from the "hard places"-fetal alcohol syndrome, attachment disorders, foster care, etc. that I plan to listen to a few times. I will also be going up a day early to hear Home School Legal Defense Association's "Homechooling through High School" workshop on Thursday. I am not as worried about high school anymore, but as much extra info I can get, the better. There are just SO. MANY. CHOICES!!!

Friday morning I will be working the registration table. By doing that I get into the conference free. And anything free is GREAT! I totaled up my shopping list of needs, and OUCH!!! Cybil is now hitting high school so we need all new curriculum for her, and there are electives she will be taking of course. The other kids are starting the cycle of curriculum we already have over again, but there are some upgrades needed. We saved over $250 by finding a friend to borrow the Biology lab microscope and slides from thankfully! There is also Spanish, which will be another big killer. I am very grateful that most of our curriculum is non-consumable so we can just start the next kid on each one. The next 4 years will be more expensive obviously as we have to purchase high school material. With tax, I am probably looking at $1350 in curriculum! Ouch! (And that isn't the hotel room or food for the weekend either!)

Looking at that big number, sure there is a part of me that says send'em to school-you're paying for that anyway too! But as crazy as things can get around here every great once in a while, I enjoy learning with them and having all the kids around. The two oldest girls are gone this weekend for a conference and all the other kids are missing them (and my workload is bigger too :-) ! ) I actually can't imagine them NOT being here anymore. I really don't think any of them even think about public school anymore, and they have never even asked to go. It's more of a threat-if you don't fix the attitude, keep up your work, etc, etc...I'll send you to public school where you have to just sit all day... (it's a joke-no comments on that please!)

And yes, there is another part of me that is a little sad that they aren't involved in sports or music programs like I was. They've never really asked to be, I suppose because they just don't think about that either. We are hoping to get back into piano lessons next year (for the four girls) too. It's a toss-up it some times seems-I so don't miss out on driving kids around in four different directions or more on any given night or weekend. But yes, there are great things about the activities too. This is the choice we've made for our family though, and we are just gonna do the best we can with what we've got.