Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday:Future Bloggers?

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

The first round of summer canning?? DONE!
About 12 quarts of tomatoes and 2 of peaches!



And, now my mother-in-law wants her big canning pot back already (oh, the nerve! *wink*) so she can do her...BEETS!? Yuck! LOL

Go here to see more Tackle It Tuesdays!

Monday, August 25, 2008

2008-2009 curriculum (I think) LOL

Been fooling around with our curriculum for the year. Waited too long but Flicka wants to start school the same time as week! LOL Other than a couple Ebay auctions I'm waiting on, it looks like I got everything for the year for both kids for under $100!

(Had all the links but the html "burped" and wouldn't let me post. I'll be happy to put them in later since DaHubby is due home any second and I need to be ready to run to the college bookstore with him.)

Tot Books

Noah 0.00

Chicka Chicka 0.00

Thomas 0.00

Cars 0.00

Nemo 0.00

Human Body 0.00

Weather 0.00

Money 0.00


butterflies 0.00

planets 0.00

Rod and Staff

Preschool ABC series

6 books plus extra coloring book for Pojke 26.75


Patriotic Symbols: Cross Eyed Curric 1.50

My Book of Continents: ABC Books 1.98

Beg. Phonics: 3.50


Getting Ready To Write 6.95

My Letter Book 6.95


God's World K - Science w/teacher manual 10.00

Social Studies K student only 9.50

HS Numbers Curriculm K - teachers 10.00

HS Numbers Curriculm K - student 11.50


Cry Out America

Are you in the US? What are you doing eighteen days from now on September 11th? Are you interested in being part of a nationwide day of nondenominational prayer - like that of May 1st?

"On September 11, 2008 our nation will pause to remember the greatest 'wake-up' call in our generation, the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. As part of Awakening America, a call is being issued for Christians across the nation to mark this significant day in our history with powerful prayer for America and the lost individuals of this country.

"In every one of the 3141 counties in the United States, during the noon lunch hour on September 11, Christians will unite around their county courthouse to cry out to God with focused prayer for their community, their lost friends and family, and for the spiritual condition of our nation."

We found out yesterday that our home church is the organizer for our county's Cry Out America activities. We will be meeting at our county's courthouse that Saturday like we do for National Day of Prayer.

Did you know that according to Awakening America's site:

  • Only 17 percent of Americans attend church on any given Sunday.
  • Moral failure among Christian leaders continues at a high level.
  • America has become the 3rd largest mission field in the world.
Find out here where this event is taking place near you.

A better articulated reason for homeschooling

Have you ever just *known* something? It's in your gut but you can't explain it just yet to someone - a spouse, your kids, or other family members? That's how I've felt about homeschooling the Vikings.

I trained at one of several preeminent and historical teacher colleges in Michigan. The majority of teachers certified in this state seem to come from Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, or Central Michigan universities. I've maintained my state credentials despite being a stay-at-home wife and mom since 2001. I also worked either in full time classroom or nearly daily substitute work for 6 years. Due to my training and experience, it has always been "expected" that I am a public school advocate and that I would fully support putting the Vikings in my local school district (which happens to rank 57th out of Michigan's 691 districts).

But I could not shake my interest in and desire for homeschooling.

Then, I started getting the standard questions and criticism on nearly every side. Most people's concerns focused on one of two things: either on Michigan's (depending on how you look at it) treasured and flexible homeschool legislation (also viewed as a seeming lack of accountability to anyone) or on the standard homeschooling complaint of "lack of socialization".

I've stood by my initial desire to homeschool - even eventually convincing DaHubby that I hadn't lost my mind (LOL) and that we were able and capable of doing this for some very solid and documented reasons. The accountability issue is a strong one for him as well and, in honor of that concern, it will be addressed when the Vikings enter standard school age.

Recently, the joy in homeschooingl's flexibility has increased our desire to continue on this course as we've realized that, after the next few years as DaHubby finishes up an intensive college-level second career re-training program, he will be able to work at any power plant in the country and we might have to move where the work is if nothing is available at the 3 local nuke plants at the time DaHubby completes his work commitment to pay back for his scholarship.

In addition, I keep hearing myself explain to people "I'm not setting out with the intention to homeschool through the high school level. I just want them home a little while longer. How am I supposed to pass on what we're about it and what we think is important is someone else is teaching them 6-8 hours a day? Didn't I step out of my career to actually *be home* with them?"

As for the socialization issue, for me it's a mute point. We already see the influence of media and peers on the Vikings while they are still pre-kindergarten age. We have no cable and have had none for nearly two years yet Flicka knows exactly who Hannah Montana and SpongeBob are while Pojke can sing the Diego song with significant practiced flair. Another example was Saturday when Flicka announced to me that she was pretending her tennis shoes were Sketchers since Sketchers could fly! *eyes rolling*

Finally, with all the messages of kids struggling and growing up too early in the press, socialization has become as much of a bad thing as it was originally thought of as a good thing. Having their peers already challenging what we are trying to instill in the Vikings is like shaking a building half-built to see if it will withstand an earthquake.

But, I’ve continued to struggle to design an academic-sounding enough argument (something better than “just ‘cuz I think it’s the right thing to do”) to counter the socialization criticism…and then I found this post.

Jennifer, an atheist turned devout Catholic, describes her experience growing up in Littleton, Colorado in a kid culture that she feels led to the environment at Columbine. And, she refers to a book that she says put a name on what she felt had gone wrong so to speak.

Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld describes in great detail “attachment” and how, due in part to this generation’s focus on economic gain and status-seeking over family, kids are latching onto their peers to find meaning as opposed to their parents.

The theory of attachment parenting has gotten a lot of praise and a lot of criticism in recent years but one thing, in my experience, that it does is finds a common ground between so-called “liberal” and “conservative” parents.

Attachment parenting theory seems to focus mostly on infants and toddlers and advocates child-directed scheduling, feeding on demand, baby sling and packs aka “baby wearing”, co-sleeping and the like.

But, this book also seems to present the next step for those with preschoolers up to teenagers. And, as a result, the author (who does not specifically support homeschooling) gives great arguments for those interested in homeschooling. They simply advocate keeping your kids close and being more intimately involved in their inner lives so they look to you as their parent to walk through their initial years of life instead of getting wrapped up in the kid culture of the school yard.

The author even suggests that the public schools encourage a student to be peer-oriented instead of parent-oriented as peer-oriented students are easier to fit into the school culture and environment.

". . . (A)t least initially, peer-oriented children also tend to be more schoolable . . . . School takes children out of the home, separating parent-oriented children from the adults to whom they are attached. For such children the separation anxiety will be intense and the sense of disorientation at school will be acute . . . . (T)he elevated anxiety it provokes interferes with learning. Anxiety dumbs us down, lowering our functional I.Q. Being alarmed affects our ability to focus and to remember. Anxiety makes it difficult to read the cues and follow directions. A child simply cannot learn well when feeling lost and alarmed.

"Children already peer-oriented by the time they enter school do not face such a dilemma. In the first days of school in kindergarten, a peer-oriented child would appear smarter, more confident, and better able to benefit from the school experience. The parent-oriented child, impaired by separation anxiety would, by contrast, appear to be less adept and capable - at least until he can form a good attachment with a teacher. . . . (I)n the short term, peer orientation appears to be a godsend. And it is undoubtedly this dynamic that research taps into when discovering the benefits to early education.

"In the long term . . . the positive effects on learning of reduced anxiety and disorientation will gradually be canceled by the negative effects of peer orientation. Thus follows the research evidence that early advantages of preschool education are not sustainable over time. Peer-oriented kids go to school to be with their friends, not to learn. If these friends are also not into learning, academic performance will slip. When children go to school to be with one another, they are primed only to learn enough not to stand out, to remain with those their own age. Other than that, learning is irrelevant and can even be a liability to peer relationships." (236-7)

Farther down the same page:

"Interestingly, home-schoolers are now the favored applicants of some big-name universities. According to Jon Reider, admissions official at Stanford University in California, they are desirable applicants because "home-schoolers bring certain skills - motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education - that high school don't induce very well." In other words, preschooled kids may have to best head start, but home-schooled kids have the best finish, because in our educational system we have neglected the crucial role of attachment." (237-8)

And, since I’m interested in raising good people as well as good students, this makes all the difference.

Between Jennifer’s post and the reviews on Amazon, which can be seen here, I think this will be a book I track down and read. The book will hopefully flesh out what is now a fresh spark of understanding and insight into the “whys” of our homeschooling.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh, and did I mention the first car wash?

The Vikings have been bugging. me. constantly. about going through a drive-thru car wash. Told them it cost money and it was too expensive of an extravagence. But, if THEY wanted to pay for it, I would be *glad* to do it. Well, they called my bluff. A $20 fill-up by me and $2 discounted car wash fee and $1 each from the Vikings later (nice way to spend their hard earned allowence), the first car wash...

Antic.......ipation of the spray

Pojke looking a little worried

Group shot

You'd have thought it was a ride at Disney! LOL My kids apparently are too sheltered! LOL

And, speaking of haircuts...

...apparently one wouldn't want to fall asleep around here too often when scissors are present in the hand of a parent with a two-year-old who's been refusing to sit still for a trim! *wink*

(And, excuse the lovely look of concentration on my face *eyes rolling*)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tomorrow night!

Things We've Been Doing Lately

A photo montage...LOL

A new haircut. Four inches cut off!

Eating tomatoes right out of the garden!

Cow kisses and the county fair (thanks Grandma P and Papa D!!)

And, a tour of our local Coast Guard station!!

Putting my little toe back in

I've been kinda dreading coming back to daily blogging. Don't even know where to start to get "caught up". So much is jumbled in our day-to-day lives right now. With the loss of Böna and a financial blessing for DaHubby along with the normal ups-and-downs and roller coaster life of raising preschoolers, there have been many waves on these Vikings waters lately.

But, as always, God provides.

He's provided family, church family, and friends (local, distant, and bloggy alike) who've been checking in on us regularly...bringing meals, hugs, gifts, cards, congratulations. prayers and their listening ears and holding us up during the last few weeks.

Thanks to all of you.

We've had the wagons circled and keeping to ourselves mostly. But, the fog is somewhat lifting. I'm feeling better physically with the exception of some lingering headaches. Emotionally, it is still rough when things are quiet and I'm alone but DaHubby's been beyond awesome at picking up the slack and picking me up on the bad days.

We've also been incredibly blessed this week by participating in a nearby revival at our Spanish-speaking sister church. And, have I mentioned before I'm uni-lingual? LOL It's been AWESOME regardless! And, the peace and healing gained from this suprising-at-least-to-me source is an example of God's amazing power.

And, there's an accumulating mountain of new challenges before us. DaHubby begins full-time school while still working full time in less than two weeks. He will be doing this for the next 6 semesters and will complete his training in May 2010.

And, I'm starting up our preschool homeschool again as DaHubby starts his first week of class. Flicka and I will be making some final choices today to order remaining curriculum over the weekend as DaHubby installs another two replacement windows for winter and I can a large plastic grocery bag of peaches. Oh, and did I mention that the garden's carrots are over an inch in diameter and I have 6-8 tomato plants nearly falling over with almost-ready-to-can goodness?

I guess I'm saying all this to say this: thank you to everyone who continued to check on us, pray for us, call us, come to see us, and offered help. We're doing better and we're on the mend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In need of a mentor

Christian woman with possibly school-aged children.
Someone who will be or has been homeschooling.
Who has some experience is frugality and/or living within a limited budget.
Who has survived a "life overhaul" where she has been basically a single parent running the household...a spouse returning to school or possibly a military or ministry wife? LOL
Looking for someone to be accountable to for personal growth and parenting
To help with organization, focus, and prioritization challenges.
Who might have optional experience with someone with ADD LOL
Need an unbiased, experienced voice to help me hear God's voice and think outside the box for some lifestyle solutions through an upcoming season

eternal reward and
my undying gratitude! *wink*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where Is Heaven?

What do you tell a four-year-old who wants to know where her unborn baby sister or brother is and asks this question? *sigh*

Monday, August 18, 2008

Still on break

First day alone with kids. A little pain remains but attitude stinks. Emotionally exhausted. Have follow up appt today at some point. Have nearly a week worth of momma-work to wade through, prioritize, reschedule, etc. plus kids are cranky and exhausted from several days of off-schedule spoiling by wonderful grandparents and church families.

More healing and resting needed...thanks for your prayers and your patience.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bloggy break

Will be off the bloggy radar probably at least 'til Monday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Zucchini chips experiment part two

Well, I started at 6am this morning and the first results came in last night post-Viking bedtime...

And, with a mixture of oil/non-oil and spices, the final assessment was:

I should have peeled the zucchini first (LOL)
My favorite was the simple sprinkle of salt
My least favorite was the Italian seasoning - too strong for me
DaHubby seemed to like the chili powder ones best.
Whether I had rubbed them with oil or not seemed to make no difference.

Things I would do differently:

peel them
use a little more salt on the salt-only ones
slice them even thinner so they'd be even "crisper"
slice them more evenly (I had a zucchini with a strong curve in it and was having difficulty cutting it evenly.)

But, it was enough of a success that we will be trying it again as soon as we get a moment to harvest some more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yea, DaHubby! Way to go!

Not only made it through the first round (essay)...

and the second round (interview)...

but now he's made it through the THIRD round (security clearance/drug testing) too for the full ride grant/scholarship process for his college program!


The fourth round is Thursday with an aptitude test.

Can't imagine what's left for a fifth, sixth, or seventh round! *wink*

Way to go, babe! You rock!

Too much zucchini? Try "chips"!

My 6am experiment this morning...

Too much zucchini lately (Lisa, this ring any bells from this time last year? LOL) And, while DaHubby experimented this past weekend drying a few of our first red tomatoes, he threw some slices of zucchini to see what happened. Wow!

They are like chips almost but a little bland-er, if that makes sense! LOL So, I had two H-U-G-E ones getting ready to go bad so I sliced them up, dampened a few with olive oil, spiced them up, and we'll see how they turn out!

(I used dry erase marker on the sides of the trays so I knew what tray held what.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

More good news from Chicago!

My niece posted a little bit ago about Peggy's follow-up dr appt today in Chicago:

"Hello all this is Marla. Mom and Dad just called they are on their way home from Chicago and I was asked to please do a Post and let you know that the last of the Bone Morrow Results are in. Mom’s Bone Morrow is 99% Donor (Uncle Joel's). Couldn’t get better than that. This means that 100% Donor would mean you’re cured so to speak and Mom is at a 99% So this is AWESOME news.. This is the Second piece of GREAT NEWS I have heard today so I do believe that we are truly Blessed as a family. And Thanks to Uncle Joel he has given Mom the best gift he ever could. I stand by what I said a couple months ago he (Uncle Joel) is our Angel here on earth!

I don’t think my Mom could be any Happier with the results today! One day at a time though even still. Slowly but surely we will all see her back they way she used to be. She is almost there now. She got clearance to Drive and now she is Never home…LOL… Oh well she deserves it. The Energizer Bunny is coming back I do believe… LOL.. I hope all of you have a Blessed Day!!

Love Always,

Thank you, Lord for this wonderful news and awesome blessing!

10 days down; 21 days to go

August is one-third gone already! Can you believe it?

While I've been focused on other issues here at home, I think I'm ready to play catch-up this week as I put my house back together after several days of slack housekeeping while snuggling with DaHubby and the Vikings.

While I have only purged on item, I have several nooks and crannies to tackle this week. I've been inspired and motivated by my IRL friend Melanie who's participating so, not to be outdone, I MUST get moving! LOL

So, how is everyone else doing? What items have you cleaned out, given away, donated, or tossed?

Friday, August 8, 2008

For those of you in SW Michigan

If you are free the evening of August 23, please feel free to come. Contact me via a comment, email, or phone if you need directions to the church!

From my niece's recent post:

Upcoming Event!!!
Posted 1 day ago

Wanted to let all of you know of the Benefit Dinner and Singing in Honor of (Peggy) and (Marlon) that Safe Harbor Church is sponsoring. The Information is as follows:


The Evening is going to include Dinner and Singing by Variety of people. I think I have a pretty good line up of Singers for the Evening. There is not a Charge however I have been asked about Donations. Donations for Mom and Dad can be accepted that evening just see me, or if your unable to attend but would like to contribute please call me at the number above.

Thanks to all of you for your love and support through out this battle!!! I do have Fliers made up if you would like any to post in Businesses or just to give to people you know please contact me and I can get one to you. Lots of Love, M.

Oh, did I mention that definitely DaHubby and possibly myself will be singing? *blush*

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A big blasting ray of light

My sister in law Peggy who is about 84 days post-transplant to treat a rare leukemia had been facing some challenges lately. After making some significant gains in strength and test result numbers, she suddenly went backwards. White count up, platelets way done, suddenly very tired all over again.

So, last week, her docs at Chicago Rush decided to not wait til the traditional/expected 100 day post-transplant bone marrow check and moved it up to this past Monday.

To be honest, we were very worried. If I'm remembering correctly the statistics, Rush had never even seen someone with Peggy's type of leukemia before and of the about 20 documented cases worldwide, only one survived any significant length of time.

Yet, due to our great God and Healer, this is what my niece posted about 4 hours ago:

"Well we are still waiting on some of the results however it has come back that there is NO SIGN OF LEUKEMIA!!!! Yes!!! We are ALL so very Happy and excited about this news... HAHA... So much so that yep I started dancing at work and they all looked as me as if I were nuts!!! LOL... "

If it hasnt' sunk in just yet, let me help ya out:


Praise GOD!! He is AWESOME!! And, I'm feeling a little partial about Peggy and her doctors right now too! *wink*

Small ray of light

DaHubby made the first cut (an essay) and the second cut (an interview) for a full ride scholarship/grant for his new college program! This could result $8,000-10,000 per year for tuition and books! Yea for my hubby!! So proud of him!

His next round of interviews in 40 minutes away tomorrow morning at 8am.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tonight's Distraction

Today was National Night Out - an event that, according to its website, is a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW).

The website goes on to say that National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

In 2007, over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide joined in with a total over 35 million people participating.

This momma's thinking? An evening out with free hot dogs, free chips, free pop, free ice cream, activities, balloons, and probably 30+ law enforcement vehicle for the kids to climb around on? COUNT ME IN! LOL

Remembering what's important

Good job to the Dallas/Fort Worth community for doing this! I wish we lived close enough to an airport to do this! How cool it would be for the Vikings to see and for DaHubby and I to be reminded...

Monday, August 4, 2008

100 Things Post delay

Having a bit of a minor crisis this morning. Need to deal with it first. Posting for the first Monday of our 100 Things Challenge delayed. Will try to post this afternoon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Family Movie Night: Vikings Style

First shot - but me oh my, what are they watching?

Ka-chow! LOL Lightning McQueen

Thanks for a weekend loan from DaHubby's work! Used it for the reunion karaoke and got the added benefit of a movie night! LOL

Friday, August 1, 2008

Small, sweet moment

Did this with Flicka when she was 2 but just haven't had it on my mind lately re: Pojke. It took "Miss Jane", our Parents as Teachers parent educator, to do this simple activity/evaluation at our home visit this afternoon to remind me again about the small sweet things:

the small sweet Vikings themselves, their little hands, their soon-growing bodies, and their ever-expanding minds.

If you are interested, the poem reads:

Sticky little fingers
Touching all the walls
Smudgy little fingerprints
From a child so small

It seems the cleaning's never done
But soon the small child's grown
And no more little fingerprints
Will decorate your home.

So save a little hand print
So you can recall,
Just how sweet your child's hand looked
When it was very small.

Something we frugal mommas have known all along...

Nice to see the mainstream media acknowledge our "geekiness" is now "cool"! LOL Check out this article from the Grand Rapids Press.

(I don't know WHERE the library is in the picture above but I want one *just* like it next to my mansion in heaven *wink*)