Sunday, January 30, 2005

100 Things About Me

1. I am a Christian
2. I believe in a personal and two-way relationship with God through Jesus Christ
3. My husband is my favorite person to be with
4. I love being with my kids (most of the time)
5. I have always wanted a large family
6. I am a recovering alcoholic
7. I got sober when I was 19 and have never had a "legal" drink
8. My favorite beverage is Dr. Pepper, Otherwise I drink water
9. I can only drink milk when I am pregnant, otherwise it makes me gag
10. I have been married for almost 7 years
11. I have a BS in Psychology - please tell me what to do with it
12. I have never been "on a diet"
13. I like to observe life, not necessarily be involved in it
14. I love to do research and to study new things
15. I always wanted to write the next great American novel
16. Unfortunately I always get stuck in the research
17. If I had all the money I could want I would be a professional student
18. I have never had a speeding ticket
19. I grew up in a beach community
20. I do not like going to the ocean
21. I love to cook
22. I believe that recipes are merely suggestions
23. I wonder why my oldest daughter has trouble following directions :)
24. I love to breastfeed (my own children, please)
25. I can get so caught up in reading a book the house could burn down around me
26. I always wanted red hair
27. I have a red headed child
28. I am descended entirely from people of the British isles: Irish, welsh, English and Scottish
29. My family settled in NC in the 1600s, the same county in which I grew up, and someone in my family has lived there ever since
30. My only sister lives on the West Coast, darn it!
31. I dread cleaning the kitchen
32. I exercise by putting on dance club/ old skool hip hop and dancing around the house with my girls
33. My favorite colors are blues and greens
34. I love to watch home decorating shows and am addicted to HGTV
35. I will never be happy with the way my home looks, sorry honey
36. I have grand visions, but struggle with follow-through
37. My favorite music artist is Steven Curtis Chapman
38. I listen to a lot of different music - jazz, blues, old skool, 80's soft rock, 70's rock, 80's/90's hair bands, and classical.
39. I love Vivaldi's Four Seasons
40. I can't stand Opera
41. My favorite movie is Gone With the Wind
42. My second favorite movie is The Sound of Music
43. I love to play in the snow, for about an hour, after that winter could be over for all I care
44. I do not like horror movies
45. For personal escape I like to read historical romances in a bubble bath
46. I get to do that about once every two years
47. Waking up to an alarm clock puts me in a bad mood
48. I get horrible Migraines (used to get clusters of them, after having children I get them a few times a year)
49. The only place I have been outside of USA is to the Bahamas
50. I would like to travel to the British Isles, Central Europe, Costa Rica, Canada and New Zealand one of these days
51. I do not have a passport
52. The car I drive is a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan
53. The car I would love to have is a Honda Odyssey
54. My favorite car I ever owned was a 1966 Mustang that my Dad and I rebuilt for my 16 birthday
55. We have a dog, we used to have a cat also but he ran away when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I won't take it personally
56. I prefer to stay at home to going out
57. I want to learn to read foreign languages - French, Hebrew, German and Latin
58. I took French in High School and college, but stunk at speaking it
59. I would like to have a time machine to travel back in history to study how different cultures actually lived
60. I have a black thumb and can kill any living plant that I try to grow
61. I like to play board games
62. I have never learned how to play chess
63. I have kept a journal since I was 11
64. I have gotten rid of my journals from when I was in high school and early college to protect me from my children
65. I do not like politics and will not discuss them
66. I took piano lessons when I was 5/6 and played the trumpet in middle school, other than being able to read music, I have no ability
67. I cannot sing, not even in the shower
68. I originally studied genetics in college
69. I can do nothing special with my body. For example; roll tongue, wiggle ears, double jointed
70. I was shooting guard for my high school basketball team
71. I like to watch sports with my dh, especially ACC Basketball
72. The first b-ball game I remember watching on TV is the 1983 NCAA finals in which NC State won
73. I decided when I was eight where I was going to college - NC State
74. My husband is 7 years older than I am
75. I don't like 'fake' people and people to pander towards me
76. I am not into name brand clothing, and spend most of my money at Target
78. I am a clutterbug, although I am trying to clean up and get rid of most of it
79. I can still wear a pair of jeans from high school, they were baggy and now they are tight, but I can still wear them
80. I wear jeans, sweatshirts and sweaters most of the time
81. I have basically had the same haircut since I was 15, jut sometimes it is long and sometimes it is shorter
82. I am a night owl and get more things done late at night
83. I like to have a nap in the afternoon
84. I have always thought about buying an RV and traveling around the US
85. I spend too much time on the computer
86. Patience is the virtue that I need the most work on
87. I have never thought of really living anywhere else than were I am living now
88. I never really learned how to do a lot of housekeeping things, I have had to learn on the job
89. I am learning to knit and to sew
90. I would like to start my own at home business for when the girls are older
91. I have a temper, although I am working on it
92. I collect 'useful' pottery
93. I love freshly laundered sheets
94. I am not very romantic
95. I talk to myself as I am working
96. I took a photography course, and still can't take decent pictures
97. I like to watch historical and nature documentaries
98. I have 'worked' since I was 14 (I am including being a sahm)
99. I would like to take a trip on a train
100. I hope that I don't have to do this again

Boy this was much harder than I thought it would be.


Thoughts on a Bible Study

My dh has left to pick up MB and taken Kate with him for the company.So I sit here in my quiet house with only little EM for company and ignore the call of the laundry and dishwasher. I figure this is the perfect time to work on some decisions I need to make regarding a bible study I need to develop/plan.

Background info:

I participate in a weekly Bible Study in which we commit for a whole year. During that time we explore and discern are spiritual gifts, then we take those gifts and with the help of the other members we discern a service or ministry to perform. This can be for the community, church, world or even personal. I have been called to start-up a new type of bible study for our church. Small groups in the larger church setting have always been an interest of mine, and with us being a small church that is just starting, small groups are very important. We have a couple of bible studies that do well and are great, but serve a limited number of people. I have been told that some people don't do the studies because they don't feel as though they can make the commitment or because of families it is to difficult. Others don't feel like they fit in with the existing Bible study attendees. My vision is to create bible study seminars. Something that doesn't require a long commitment, but has one or two sessions of maybe a couple of hours. I am hoping that this may be a springboard for other studies to start or just to springboard others into personal studies.

I really need to start nailing down the specifics of my program as I would like the first one to run in late spring. Since this is during Pentecost I was thinking that a study on the Holy Spirit or maybe what makes a church would be timely. Of course we could just do a study on the Book of Acts, but that is a long book to fit into the time period I have. This is what I am thinking now.

If this one is successful enough our church would like to continue the program and I have to decide if we are going to study "Books of the Bible" or "Life Issues with the Bible for guidance." I have heard a call for both within the membership.

If anyone has any suggestions of bible studies to look at or have had experience with something similar to what I am trying to do, please share.


Though I write the multitude of my instructions, they are regarded as a strange thing. Hosea 8:12


The storm passed us by

We got lucky this time and the ice storm managed to all but pass us by. We woke this morning to a pretty glaze of ice on the trees and bushes, but not so much that it was dangerous or inconvienced us in any way. Of course now there are a lot of people with a lot of extra food in there house. People around here get insane when weather is focasted that might make them stay in their houses for more than 24 hours. To their credit the 20-inch snowstorm which closed down the area for a week and the ice storm of 2002 which cut electricity for almost that long are not very distant memories. Yet when I ran into the grocery store yesterday to pick up a few items we were really out of, one would have thought that we had been told that all the grocery stores were going to be closed for the next month and everyone need to buy all the food they would need. I also have to question the diet of these people; milk, bread, pizza, chips and beer were the winners in my unscientific survey of other's carts. The store had pulled everyone in the store to work registers and the lines were own the aisles. It isn't even like this is the only store in the area, we have 10 grocery stores in a 2-mile radius of our house. I am sure that everyone of those was having the same experience.

As a veteren of weather related entrapments in my house without power here are my suggestions of good "storm" food. Remember that you may or may not end up losing electricity so refrigerated and freezer items are not the best purchases. Fresh fruit and veggies that don't need to be cooked. These are healthy and are great because you can just pick them up and eat them. Water is a necessity, I refill and keep water bottles frozen in the freezer. These are great in the summertime to just pull out and use for trips to the park, they can also be used to keep foods cold in a cooler, then when they melt you have drinking water. Cans of soup and things like Chef Boyardee, these aren't the healthiest meals in the world but they can be eaten straight from the can or warmed up over an alternative heating source. Comfort food such as chips, pretzles, cookies and pastries (Krispy Kreme Doughnuts) are wonderful, this is a time of stress give yourself and your family some comfort. Bread, Peanut Butter and Jelly. I could probably be considered a food hoarder, but I try to keep things like these in my pantry at all times for emergenices. This of course could be a condition brought on from living in a place all my life in which we have hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms and ice storms. In NC we never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us next.

I am thankful today that we do not have to break into those supplies and that we are warm and comfortable in our house. I am also thankful that my husband is able to go pick up MB and bring her back home today.


Friday, January 28, 2005

It is like something is missing...

MB has gone to spend the weekend with her cousins. It has been quiet since she left early this afternoon. It has been eerily quiet. She has gone away before, but never has it felt like something is missing. My family is just not quite complete without her around. I keep waiting for her to start talking about something, or to start arguing over something with me. Even Kate has been a little reserved this evening without her big sister around.

Today I learned how responsibly independent MB can be if (1) I let her try to do more things herself and (2) she wants to be.

Last night MB packed her own suitcase for her trip. She would not let me help her, and I figured that I would just repack it for her this morning. When I checked it this morning I ws very surprised to find that she had packed appropriate clothes including underware, socks and nightclothes. The only things I needed to add were some heavier shirts for colder weather(which to her defense were in the wash when she orginally packed) and a dress for church. Additionally everything was organized an neatly folded. Lesson one for Mommy.

Lesson two was at lunch time today. I had just sat down to nurse little EM when MB said that she and Kate were ready for lunch. I told them they would have to wait about 20 minutes. MB said that she would do it, so not wanting to argue I agreed to let her try. Besides asking me how much time the chicken nuggets needed to go in the microwave, she prepared the entire lunch herself, and served it to herself and Kate. Not only did she nuke nuggets, she also served baby carrots, potato chips and water to drink. The two of them sat and ate a quiet and peaceful lunch while I nursed the baby. I could have spent 10 or 15 minutes in a stand-off with her over fixing lunch (believe me we have done it before), and I probably would have had I not been nursing and already anticipating a nap once she left. Instead in less than the time we would have spent arguing she prepared the meal and was really, really happy over it. Maybe I should have her fix my lunch sometime :).

"This is wonderful" I tell myself. But there is a nagging voice saying to me that she shouldn't do these things yet. She is too young. Is it really okay that I give her this much independence? But then I think about how some of our biggest battles come from me not letting her do something she wants to do. Now some of them are for safety reasons and I will battle as long as I have to over those, but some of them are because in my mind I am saying a 4/5 yr old should not be doing that yet. These are things like preparing her own lunch, helping Kate dress, etc. Maybe it is time that I give up total control over these things and let her try to do more. She really does shine when she is allowed to "help." Have you ever seen a child beg to wash windows? Mine really does, and yet freaks out when asked to pick her toys up off the floor. Go figure...

DH and I have had a nice evening. We got takeout Chinese for dinner and picked up a couple of movies with the gift card he got for Christmas. Tonight we watched Terminal. It was a pretty good movie. Very Tom Hanks. It was a good movie for tonight. He also picked up I, Robot which I guess we will watch tomorrow while we are being iced in.

Now it is 11:oo and the little ones are asleep. I should probably join them. I will need to get going in the morning to run a few errands before/if the weather sets in on us. I can promise you that Milk and Bread are not on my shopping list.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mathew 6:21


Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Welcome!!

I am so excited. Someone has actually read my blog already. Thank you Jess for the welcome. I wasn't sure how long it would be before someone found me, or if anyone would for that case. It is a big blog world out there.

Jess wanted to know more about the Moravian Church, and if you are not from the Pennsylvania/Ohio area or the Piedmont of North Carolina you probably would not know much about the church. It is a mainstream protestant church with pre-reformation beginnings. I grew up in the Episcopal Church and married into the Moravian Church and if I personally had to describe the Moravian Churches I have attended I would say it is a blend of Episcopal, Methodist and a little Baptist, especially here in NC, although it is older than those churches. Here is a link to the Moravian Church website if you want more info

I will be down one child this weekend, my oldest is going to visit her cousins. I know it is horrible to say, but I am looking forward to a somewhat quiet weekend. I know that I will miss her and by Saturday wishing she was home. But today I am looking forward to some time that I can spend with the other two and my dh. MB is the child we always have seemed to be in more prayer over. She has a tendency to be wound up a little tighter than the rest of us and craves attention. I don't think since she has turned 2 (she is now 5) we have been able to go more than 3 hours without some type of fit or argument over something. We have even burned through one kitchen timer with her and the second she took apart and hid the pieces so we couldn't use it anymore. One the flip side she can be the most empathetically, caring person and because she is so capable, the biggest help with her younger sisters. I am amazed many times by what she is able to do on her own and how much she really wants to help. The best word to describe her is MORE!! This has led me many times to my knees to pray to find the way to most meet her needs while also reining/tempering her in some. All that said, peace in the house for 48 hours will be nice :).

It sounds like the girls have had enough "free play" time to go guide them in a new direction.

If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

What is Important to Me

Sometimes I have my most serious discussions with myself while doing the most mundane things. I have been reading recently about women opting-in and opting-out of the workforce, which I believe is a family/mother decision, not one that anybody else shoul make for another. But I think back to my own decision. When I worked I often found myself questioning how important certain things really were and questioning the commonsense of those managers I worked for, which I am sure anybody who has ever worked has had the same thoughts. Much of them mutterings under my breath of, "why am I doing this when X,Y, and Z really need to be done before tomorrow?"
Truthfully much of what I did I found to be unimportant to the company I worked for and really for the Kingdom I live for.

Today I drove my oldest to preschool, went grocery shopping, nursed little EM, changed Kate's diaper, started a load of laundry, loaded the dishwasher, washed the dishes by hand that didn't fit and watched my youngest sleep peacefully and Kate play happily; and boom I had such a happy glad feeling. This is important to me! They may sound like such boring, mundane activities, and there are times I get bummed by the continuous replay of this type of day, but they are important and they make a difference. This is why I opted out. I may be even less appreciated by my "customers" and I definitely don't get raises or many vacation days. But I get to make a difference in the little things I do.

Today I feel really good about the decision we made!



Sunday, January 23, 2005

Pipe Cleaner Sculptures Posted by Hello

Water Science or Water Balloons? Posted by Hello

Crazy Kids/Loving Kids?

I know it is the weather and being cooped up for so many days but my kids have really become the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde wannabes. Since the little snow on Wednesday they have been up and down on Momma's irritation meter. Our weather has been cold and icy, not really good for getting out to play, not to mention that I don't want to venture out with Little EM. One minute MB and Kate are playing nicely together the next they are rolling around on the floor like they are the world's worst enemies. I know that part of it is that Kate is now 2 and she has decided that she is not going to be bossed around by anyone, including MB. And, MB believes that she is the "Queen of Everything," an unfortunate side effect of 3+ years of Daycare in a class mostly of boys who would do her bidding.

As I watch them play, and yes, even fight I get a glimpse of the future. My heart pitter-pats. My sister and I are almost 6 years apart in age, and when I was eight she moved in with our Dad while I stayed with Mom. Now we have a really great relationship, but growing up I was an only child. I didn't get all that sibling stuff, the good and the bad. The girls have and share so much love between them that even when they fight I know that they will be okay. Not that it doesn't drive me up the wall most of the time.

It has been a good few days. MB and I have managed to get back on a reading schedule. I am glad I put it aside for awhile because now she is taking more time and working through the difficult things, whereas just a couple of months ago she would just quit and huff away in frustration. The hardest part for me is that she wants to memorize and "just know" everything right then. Sounding words out is hard for her, because she really doesn't want to put the effort into it. "Just tell me what it is!" is what she often said to me. On Friday she picked up the third Bob Book and read it through to me. She would pause and study words, sound them out and be very hesitant. She was so excited for herself when she did it. I was elated. I knew that she had worked at it, as opposed to the past when she would just memorize books based on the pictures. This time she was reading the words. We did a happy dance around the den. Then last night she actually asked me for some new sight words to work on learning!

In addition to the reading we have also filled our time with some art and science, two of the girls' favorite activities.

Here is a picture of some pipe cleaner figures. This project was totally imprompto. I was working in another room when MB brought them to me to share. MB created the pink dancer and the fish. Kate did the black figure.

On Friday's I have generally tried to do some science-type project. This was one that showed that cold water is heavier than warm water. In the back jar is a white balloon that sunk to the bottom of a jar of warm water. the front jar shows a balloon tha floated because it was the same temperature as the water in the jar. We talked about the science of it a little, but the girls enjoyed it because they got to play with water balloons. Ah well!!

As for us adults we have spent some time working on projects around the house. We finally got doors back on our laundry closet. It is nice to walk by and not see the mess in there. We have also been exploring options in replacing our 20-some yr-old shower stall that is disentegrating on us. Over the last few months I have been really trying to weed through our belongings and get rid of a bunch of stuff. The effect on our lives has been wonderful. With 5 people and a dog we don't have enough space to hold onto things for the sake of keeping them. Now that we aren't tripping over stuff so badly anymore it is wonderful. I still have a few more rooms to tackle, but I am looking forward to it and not dreading it!

Back to work, the natives are beginning to get restless.

Stay warm and safe!


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Snow! Uh-Oh

I have lived in North Carolina my entire life and I will be the first to admit that us natives go a little crazy when we have winter weather. Of course we should be use to it as we have had some form of severe winter weather at least once each year since 1996. But yesterday was just crazy. We had flurries turn into about 1/2" accumulation. Okay, we can handle that, and it was a dry snow. Yet it turned into the biggest fiasco traffic-wise I have ever witnessed.

The schools; private, public and daycares all 'released' their students at the same time, right when it was snowing "the hardest." The roads clogged with traffic and turned that small amount of dry snow into a layer of ice across the roads. Last night we watched the late news and saw people stuck in their cars in traffic at 11:00 at night, many of whom had left work around 2:00 in the afternoon. Buses from the schools were stuck or in accidents an couldn't get the kids home from school. On the news they said that nearly 3,000 students would be spening the night at schools, yet at that time they were not going to make the call on whether to close or delay school for the next day. Can you say incompetence.

The blame for this is falling right on the public school systems. They had been told by the weather service that the snow would stop falling quickly, yet they couldn't wait for that to happen. Instead they ended up getting the buses and parents (not to mention the teenage drivers) out onto untreated roads. If they had waited on more hour DOT would have been able to get out and salt/sand the roads. As it was the DOT trucks were stuck in the same traffic and could not get around all the stuck vehicles.

After seeing all that I gave my blessings that I stay home with the girls and that DH works south of us, so he was able to get home with no problems.

Today we are going to have a nice slow day, my southern nod to the weather. MB's preschool and my bible study have both been canceled today so we do not have to rush out anywhere. MB has already put on her snow clothes and is outside having morning playtime. When she comes back inside we will drink some hot chocolate and read some of the books we got from the library earlier this week. Numeracy is definitely on the list as I have seen MB definitely showing some signs that she is grasping large numbers, a concept we have hinted at but not done a lot of work. I also want to spend some time on letter recognition with Kate while also reviewing letter sounds with MB. If we get all this accomplished this morning without too much arguing and sidetracking, I have told MB that she can watch Brother Bear this afternoon during quiet time.

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Big Step for My Kind

I have had an accout with Blogger for almost a year now, but have not done anything with it as I tell myself that no one could be interested in my life. I still don't think anyone will be interested, but I enjoy lurking so much I have decided to join the "Land of Blog." I am looking forward to a place to talk about the cute things and not so cute things that my little ones do.

About us: I am a 30-year-0ld SAHM with three girls. The oldest is MB who is 5, then Kate is 2 and finally little EM who is 1 month old today. Up until a year ago I worked outside the home. I was happy in my job and my life, until suddenly (or really not so suddenly) I wasn't anymore. I began hearing a new call in my life from God to be home with the two girls (at that time). Totally fearful I decided to chuck my life in marketing and the family's health insurance and come home. It has been the best decision. Since then we had an unexpected pregnancy, little EM, and my husband lost his job, which was really scary, then found a new one with better benefits. We have totally been blessed beyond belief this year.

With coming home I also entered the world of homeschooling. When I pulled her out of her daycare last year she was attending an excellent Jr. K program, where she was being pushed to start school in August 2004 even though she has a late birthday. Intellectually she could have been fine, but I was hesitant and I knew that if I held her back and kept her in the same program for another year I would have had trouble with a child who gets bored very easily. So I began to homeschool her and not to forget Kate, we have also been having our own preschool program.

We have a very unschooled/classical approach to homeschooling. I let the girls
guide what we do according to their interests, but also try to introduce them to the classics through reading right now. MB also attends a Christian-based preschool three mornings a week, which I absolutely love since it gives MB the time to socialize, a need I became aware of, also it has done a great job introducing her to biblical stories and themes.

Although I really enjoy HS, we have decided to give our local public school a try and MB will start Kindergarten there next summer. But we will supplement her ps education with a continued classic approach and focus on her science interest.

So, although I am not a homeschooler in the truest sense, I am in full support and would not hesitate to homeschool if we find we need to, or it becomes the better option for us.

I truly believe in the guiding hand of God in my life and try my best to listen for His will and what He wants me to do. We are members of a Moravian Church, where we celebrate and learn.

I hope that some would like to drop in and have coffee once in awhile, and I would love to meet ya!

The Girls Posted by Hello
A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.