Friday, June 25, 2010

Hey Good Lookin'

My husband calls me Babe.
(for a funny story about this, click here.)
I could probably count on one hand the number of times he has used my given name. I laugh whenever he does because it sounds so strange coming out of his mouth. He even stumbles over it. (I think if he is referring to me in a conversation he will typically say "my wife.")

I mostly call him Dennis, or Daddy if I'm with the kids, as in, "go ask Daddy".
I think I also call him Honey.

Recently, Christopher (4) greeted me by saying, "Hi-ya Toots."
I said, "Hi."
He said, "You can call me Jim."
"Oh," I said. "Hi-ya Jim."

All of this got me to thinking,
What do you call each other?
Honey? Sweetie? Snookums?
(a note of caution: my kids read this blog so keep 'er clean...)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

another Q and A

Q: I want to have a large family but my husband is afraid we will have too many children like the duggars lol. I think with my age that it won't be a problem. He is just afraid of providing for a large family being self employed and farming he thinks everyone that has a large family is wealthy. any suggestions on this topic.

My Answer:
First, I have to stop laughing about the "everyone that has a large family is wealthy"... That is no more true than if I were to assume that all smaller families are wealthy because they have fewer people on which to spend their income. Nope--definitely not all large families are wealthy. (I speak from first-hand experience.)
Also, don't trust these funny numbers.

Next, I used to think that way, too--about the "too many" children. I thought that if we did not try to control how many children we had, we'd have oodles of kids. But God worked on my heart to trust Him.
For one at a time.
He doesn't typically give eight at once. I know, I know, the Oct-a-mom. I said, typically.

My "conversation" with the Lord went something like this:
God: "I'd really like you to stop using birth control."
Me: "Really? But, but...we'd have who-knows-how-many kids!"
God: "Do you trust Me?"
Me: "Yes, but..."
God: "Do you trust Me?"
Me: "Yes, I do, but...but..."
God: "Do. you. trust. Me."
Me: ".....................Yes, Lord. I will trust You."

I think that God does not give a couple "too many" children. The Bible always calls children a blessing. It's not like having too many pairs of shoes or too many toys. Children--all of us--have eternal souls. They are a joy and blessing.
And now I think, so what if we have oodles of kids? Kids are fabulous!

I also was filled with repentance when I read Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn.
Life changing.

Were I you, I would pray that God would speak to your husband and soften his heart in this area.

Other suggested reading: Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell. I also subscribe to her Above Rubies magazine.
20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. So much more than a "how we do it" type of book. They share their hearts so beautifully. I love their story.
Courtney, at Storing Up Treasures, has so many great posts on the blessings of children. She says it well, I think.
So does Amy at Raising Arrows.

Most importantly, be careful that you are concerned about what God thinks and not what the world thinks. I find that when God is asking me to trust Him on an issue, my greatest resistance is "what will the world think?"
Such was the case when we really started listening to the Lord and His plans for our family's size.

I hope this helps you with your question. It's a HUGE topic and hard to condense into one post. Blessings to you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Frugal Living--this one's for you, Heather from TX

Question for you: I am trying to think of ways to live cheaper. I use cloth diapers, breastfeed, cook, we dont go out, I try to go to town only twice a week, hang clothes, thinking of maybe making baby food, am I leaving anything out? What else is there to cut expenses?

Answer(s) for you:
There are many ways to live more frugally. "Cheaper" isn't always better, though I know what you mean--and I think you meant "frugal".
I think to live more frugal is to live smarter.

I am always asking myself: is there a better way I can do this?

Definitely--cloth diapering is better. Better for the environment, better for your baby. The hard part is the initial outlay of $$. The pay off is when you can re-use them for future babies. I wish I would have started cloth diapering much sooner.

Breastfeeding, too--much better all the way around! Always ready, made just right for Baby--and it's FREE.

Cooking is way cheaper than going out. There are so many ways to stretch things out, too. Doubling the noodles or rice and halving the amount of meat, for example.
I've been trying something new lately and that is that we have the same thing every day for a month. Except I think it's been more than a month.
Let me explain.
It gets tiring for me to have to think of what to cook all the time...planning a menu and grocery list...bleh.
So the kids and I sat down and made up a weekly menu.
They offered suggestions and we came up with what we would eat each day, for dinner and supper.
Each Monday, we have homemade pizza for dinner and BBQ's and chips for supper.
Each Tuesday is tuna sandwiches and then spaghetti with garlic bread.
And so on, for each day.
I wrote up a grocery list, in the order that things are shelved at the store, and I have made copies of it for each trip to the store.
I add to the list anything that has come up during the week, like salt, for example.

This method has simplified the shopping, the cooking, and the planning.
I think we've been doing this for just over a month.
We'll soon be taking out a few meals and putting in some others, for variety.

Store-bought baby food--blech. You are much better off to just mush up whatever you're having. Depending on baby's age, of course. Otherwise, get some avocado, bananas, and start mushing.
Cheaper and better.

I do my shopping on one day. It happens to be Tuesday. This is my "going to town" day. The children know this and so if they have things to get from town with their money, they know that is the day we will go. This is also when we stop at the library. We utilize the internet to request the books from the library and they have them all set to go so we only have to stop at the counter to pick them up.
It makes for a big tiring day in town and I have considered splitting it into two days--grocery store on one day and Wal-Mart/Target and the library on another, but a day gone from home is a day I can't get work done here, so we just plow through and I go on one day.

My clothesline--I love it!! Definitely cheaper than an electricity-hogging dryer.

So what else to cut expenses??
I'm so glad you asked!!

Make your own laundry soap
and dishwasher detergent.

Use this for washing your floors.

Re-use your coffee filters.

Have everyone wear their pj's more than once.

Shop at Goodwill.

Again, constantly ask yourself, is there a better, more frugal way I could accomplish this?

So what do you guys think?
What have I left out?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(Not-so) Simple Math

When people hear how many children I have,
most often it's a shock.

Many times, I can see them doing the math in their head:
"Whoa. I've got two. That's like---my kids times four!"

But it's not like that.

Ok, well, in the laundry department, I'll agree.
If you have two and I have eight, then most likely I have 4x the laundry you do.

In other areas, though, the math is not so simple.

If you remember, multiplication facts work either way.
If 2 x 3 = 6
then 3 x 2 will also equal 6.

So saying that because I have eight and she has two then I have 4x as much work would also mean that she has only 1/4 the work that I do.

Is that really so?

Whether you have one kid or 8, you still have to (in no particular order):

cook/prepare 3 meals each day
wash and fold clothes
sweep floors
dust (I don't actually dust. I just put that in for good measure. What I really mean is "swipe hand over dusty area and wipe on pants. Or blow really hard on said dusty area.)
wash, dry, and put away dishes
shop for groceries and household items
mow the lawn
sleep (I don't really do much of this either... but what adult does?)
trip over pick up toys
answer the phone and/or doorbell, sometimes at the same time
make decisions about school. in my case, home-educating.
wipe noses
trim finger and toe nails
give baths
kiss owies
listen to their silly jokes
try to understand their hearts
and encourage.

It's a big job being a parent, no matter how many you have.
I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

I'm just getting around to posting this now...
In May, our homeschool group
took part in the
Young Eagles Flight Program.

The kids attend a one-hour "ground school"
and then they get to take a 30 minute flight
with a pilot.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay cool.

Nathaniel, Isaiah, and Linnea
And it's FREE.
again: waaaaaaaaaaay cool.

The boys are shown getting in the blue plane
and Linnea is in the red.
She even got to fly the plane.

I must say that it was a bit difficult
for this mama's heart to have
three pieces of my heart get on a plane,
taxi, and take off.
And not come back for a half hour.

Accidents happen all the time.
I was so glad when they came back
to earth safe and sound!

Needless to say,
they had fun.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Redneck Lawn Mowers

At our homeschool,
we take Ag class very seriously.
Isaiah gets an A in fencing.
Seriously, he's really good at it.

His herd (flock?) of goats has plenty of
brush to keep them happy.

Aaaaaaaannnnnnd the number one rule
with electric fence and little boys?
Never pee on the fence.
(Thankfully, they did not learn this the hard way.)

Are we totally backwoods
to have electric fence on our yard?????
I like to call it "eco-friendly" lawn care.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Well I'll Be a Horse's...

Linnea likes to do my toenails:
remove the old polish, push back cuticles, apply new polish--
particularly in some far-out colors.

she was doing the cuticle thing.
I asked her if she felt like a dentist.
(the tool I have for this is metal...sort of resembles a dental tool handle)

She said,
"Nope. I feel more like Brent."

At this point,
you may be asking yourself,
"Who's Brent?
And how is that funny?"

I'll tell you.

Brent is my cousin.
And he's a farrier.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

and the beat goes on

Our big plans for today: I'm taking the younger six to a parade and to visit my grandparents. Linnea is going to drive Paco and the buggy in the parade. We'll leave shortly after dinner.
Hopefully, it will be less eventful than yesterday. Another ER visit!!! I was changing Ruby's diaper when Andrew said, "Mom?? I got a cut...."
Knowing that he gets a little dramatic, I was thinking paper cut or something. Also knowing that he gets woozy, I wanted him to sit down. I told him to get in the bathroom and sit on the floor.
I stepped back from the changing table to peek across the hall at him and saw blood ALL over the bathroom floor!! Yikes and double yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I promptly set Ruby on the floor and ran to get towels. I was not quite in panic mode, but I'll tell you I was close. I was envisioning severed fingers...who knows.
I wrapped a towel around his hand and tried to get the story of what happened. Well, on toy guns they put a bright orange cap/tip on the end--so you know it's a fake gun, I guess.
Dennis and Uncle Aaron have helped them remove these caps on most of their other guns and Andrew decided he would use his pocket knife to take this one off by himself.
The knife slipped and it jabbed into his hand, at the V between the thumb and pointer finger.
When I tried to pull back the towel to peek at the wound, blood spurted out. As I took a look around at all the blood from the bathroom to the hallway--it even got Elijah who was standing in the hallway as Andrew passed by him---I realized that with each pulse of his heart, the hole was spurting.
Is this too much information????????????????????
So, I was putting pressure on the spot, and each time I would look to see if it had stopped bleeding I could see right away that it had not.
I had sent Christopher out to get Dennis who had not answered when I called his phone.
Yay for Bipper! He went right out and found him.
In the meantime, I called my mom for her opinion. She said we needed to go to ER right away. By this time, I had been putting hard pressure on the spot for a full five minutes and it wouldn't quit bleeding. She said he must have hit a big vein...get in right now.
That kind of freaked me out, since she is usually more like " wouldn't hurt to get it checked out......"
Dennis came in, saw all the blood everywhere and agreed with her advice. =)
We headed for the hospital with Ivy and Andrew.
On the way, it stopped bleeding but we kept going, so we could have them check for tendon damage, etc.

At the hospital, they, of course, asked what happened.
I cringed as Andrew began:
"Well, there's this thing on my pistol...and I was using my knife..."

I asked if they had to document that he was playing with guns and knives.....
Long story short: he's fine. Missed everything important. He now has a first-hand knowledge of what can happen when you mis-use your pocketknife.
They put him on an antibiotic and gave him a tetanus shot.
When we got back home, Dennis said, "I can see the crime scene is still here." I had told the children I would clean it up when we got back.
I had these moments while cleaning up (the whole time, really) about how differently things could have gone. That could have been life changing.
I talked about the whole deal with the children over supper...talking through how they could've handled that had I not been home when it happened.
Seriously, they probably should have called 911 because I don't think they would have gotten the bleeding stopped without some advice. I told them that the person would mostly likely have talked them through how to put pressure on it, etc.
Sometimes I think--will they all make it to adulthood????
Well. That was yesterday. Today is new day. Hopefully not as dramatic!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beam Me Up

Ruby got a bug bite right between her eyebrows.
It has swelled up something awful.
She now resembles Commander Warf from Star Trek.
(this picture was the best I could get with a cell phone.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tell Your Stories

Everyone loves a good story.

And children especially love a story.
Especially when it's about them.

Stories are the stuff of memories.
Of course your children don't remember the day they were born.

But you do.
And you can tell them the story of it--and it makes a memory for them.

Kids love to be able to say, "when I was little, I used to..."

Tell them the funny way they used to say certain words or phrases.
Tell them what the weather was like the day they were born.

You know what else kids love?
Stories about you.

It doesn't matter if you are their parent or not---kids love to hear what grown-ups did when they were younger.

It doesn't have to be a huge lesson learned "and so you see, son, that's when I learned to never, never, fill in the blank..."

It can be as simple as "I remember my mom always wore blue eyeshadow."
Either way it gives them a memory.

My kids love to hear about the stupid stuff I did when I was younger.
They really love to hear about the stupid stuff my brothers did when they were younger.
And, truth be told, they love to hear about the stupid stuff my brothers do now.
When they're not younger.

Like I said, it doesn't have to be anything earth-shattering.
Just tell them stuff.
Things like:
my Grandma Marjie used to say "oh honestly" when she was disgusted.
my dad used to call his cows "an ornery cuss" when he was frustrated with them. He never swore.
my mom really did used to wear blue eyeshadow.
we once tied my Grandpa Glen in a recliner with jump ropes. And people took pictures.
my dad wears cowboy boots with shorts to get a laugh out of the children.
I remember the time I touched an electric fence.
I remember the day one of our horses died.
I remember hitting my brother in the face with a baseball while playing catch.
I used to pronounce "island" by using the "s". Is-land. They couldn't convince me otherwise.
my brothers used to smoosh the face of my cabbage patch doll in, just to make me mad.
I had once been told (most likely by my brothers) that if a cat got wet, it would die. Once, when we were having some sort of hose fight on the lawn, my little kitty got sprinkled. It got sick and eventually died and I was certain my brothers had "killed her." Good grief. (Interestingly enough, or maybe not, I now really don't like cats. Go figure.)

Tell them how you got your nickname. My brothers call me "Lis" or "Lissa" to this day because they couldn't say Melissa when we were small. My dad also calls me Lis or Lissa, but I don't think it's for the same reason.
My brother's favorite shirt when he was a little boy had a tiger on it. His nickname was Tiger. I don't think anyone calls him that anymore.
He's a trucker who works with a bunch of men.
If they call him that, I'd have some serious concerns.

When my sister and I would put on a pair of sunglasses, my dad would call us "Miss Hollywood". He would also call us "Mrs. Magillicutty" but I don't remember why.

My dad would always say his favorite color was sky-blue-pink.
Speaking of colors, we had a fridge and stove in the 80's that my dad said were "calf scour gold". Nice.

So those are some of my stories.
My memories.
And now, my kids' memories.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Redneck Doorknob

For your viewing pleasure:
our redneck door knob.

Ours broke.
So for now, the duct tape keeps the
'sceeters out.

Did I mention that this has been this way for
nearly a week now?

And did I mention that this
is our front door?

I didn't?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WFMW: Want a Tough Stain Out?

This may not be news to some of you, but I recently had a bit of revelation.

(Sometimes I call these "duh" moments, sometimes depends on my level of self-esteem at the time."

I use oxiclean as my favorite stain treatment and I think it works pretty well. But, it doesn't get out everything, and/or I need to wash something twice.

Then, the thought occurred to me that if I would just rinse the shirt (or whatever dirty piece of clothing) in the sink with cold water and then spray it....well, let's just say that works a whole lot better!

So, want a tough stain out? Rinse it out!

Works for me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The View from Here

And I Quote:

Elijah, upon walking in on Dad sitting down in the bathroom: "Whoa---Dad! You have a really big butt! You don't even have to hold on!"

And two days later, when Elijah was using the bathroom: "Hey Mom! I have a really big butt just like Dad! No hands!!!"
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