Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Anvil

I recently read a book called The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool by David and Kim d'Escoto. It was a good book, confirming all of the reasons I want to teach my kids at home. At the beginning of the book is a really good poem, and I thought I'd share it. It's called The Anvil of God's Word, by John Clifford.

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith's door
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
When looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers worn with beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had," said I,
"To wear and batter these hammers so?"
"Just one," said he; then with a twinkling eye,
"The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."

And so, I thought, the anvil of God's Word,
For ages, skeptics blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed - the hammers gone.


Anyway, there's my post for today. Now I'm off to do some homeschool research!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Time for some organizing!

It's time to start getting life organized! If I ever want to be successful at homeschooling four kids while running a house, I'm going to have to get my life in some kind of order. I thought I'd make a quick list of things I'd like to do or put together in the next few weeks so that bringing the kids home will be as painless as possible.

Around the House
*Weekly cleaning schedule (for bigger household jobs)
*Meal planning (and stick to it!)
*Chores for the kids
*Plan out daily schedule/routine
*Schedule/routine charts
*Home notebook (to keep it all in one place)
*Go through toys in playroom

*Modified workboxes/notebooks for the kids
*"Together work" notebook for me
*General school calendar (for keeping track of planned breaks)
*Make extra weekly planning pages for other (non-Sonlight) curriculum
*School schedule/order/routine
*Start setting up schoolroom
*Go through curriculum (is anything missing?)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My Mental Block

I think about writing on this blog every. single. day. Seriously. Everyday I write two or three posts in my head. So why has my post count been sitting at 370 since the end of August (and really, the last three posts I wrote, one in August, and two in April, don't really count)? The last thing I wrote with any kind of substance was on March 3rd! That's crazy, considering how much time I spend my head. So, I've been searching my heart, and my head, for reasons why I can't seem to make myself write.

Distractions. I've got four kids, two of them are under three years old. Let's face it. I have lots of distractions. Just in writing that first paragraph, I got out of my chair four times to stop Zeke from screaming about his sister helping him build a train track. Four times. And two of the kids aren't even in this distracting picture. I find it difficult to sit down and write, to keep my thoughts flowing when................... (Add another distracting moment there.) Anyway, it's hard to sit down and keep the words coming when you have to get up and down and deal with problems. (Phew, just sent Sierra and Tyner outside for some much needed fresh air. Hopefully I can get this done now). What really needs to happen is that I need to prioritize my kid-free time and try to fit writing in there somewhere. (Ignoring the fussing baby who is supposed to be taking a nap.) I need to choose morning nap time when Zeke is outside playing, or afternoon naps when Zeke and Emma are both sleeping, or after bed when all the kids are ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh..............................can't ignore the fussing baby much longer. Apparently she doesn't need a nap this morning.

That is what my life feels like right now. A series of dots.......waiting.......being completely and totally distracted to the point that I can't even find myself anymore. I've got to get this figured out. I've got to find a way to get myself back. I'm drowning in this sea of chaos.


Maybe my brain will work some other day and I can write a coherent post then.

Until then.........................

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hello Blog. I miss you. Someday we will be reunited. I promise.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

What's in your crockpot?

Connie over at Smockity Frocks is hosting a Crockpot Carnival! Go over and find a new recipe. Or share one of your favorites for the rest of us to enjoy. Go! Now! Hurry!

This is the one I shared. Love it!


The internet is not my passion. Neither is the TV. So why is it that I spend far more time on these two things than on the things I really enjoy? Why don't I knit or read more? Why am I not in the kitchen more? Why am I not out running? What's the deal?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

WIP Wednesday: The Sweater 2

You thought I forgot, didn't you? Well, I didn't! I just wanted to work until the last possible second.

Here is Zeke trying on the sweater. Don't mind the '80s cut-off look. I promise it's going to be longer than that.

Where I stopped tonight. See that white string way down at the bottom, kind of peeking out from behind the curled up edge? It's running across the whole front of the sweater. That's called a lifeline. I will be using that to put on the pocket, if I have enough yarn to do that.
Okay, it's late. Way past when I wanted to go to bed. Both littles decided that a late night party would be fun. But they are both sleeping now, so it's time to head to bed. Goodnight!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

4 Moms, 35 Kids Live-blogging

Four moms with larger than average families have started a new series. It's called 4 Moms, 35 Kids, and they post something new every Thursday. Last week they posted what a "typical" day looks like in their house. Today they are live-blogging what their day actually looks like.

Here are some links if you want to check them out:

The Headmistress at The Common Room.
Connie at Smockity Frocks.
Kimberly at Raising Olives.

These may hold my attention more than Facebook today.

WIP Wednesday: The Sweater

Okay, so it's not technically Wednesday anymore. But I promise I took these pictures before midnight!

Here is the beginnings of the sweater. This is the front view. The little dip in the middle is the front of the collar (or where I will start the hood if I have enough yarn).

This is a side view. Those little lines there, that are spreading from the top? Those are the shoulder seams. Pretty cool, eh?

I'm making this with yarn that I dyed. I'm really liking how this is turning out. Can't wait to see it with the trim yarn (solid gray).

So, that's the sweater for now. I'm hoping sure I will be much farther next week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Do list - Wednesday 3/17

I have a WIP Wednesday post to do later today, but I'm hoping to knit more on the sweater before I show it off. But I thought I'd put my To Do list up, for motivation. Here goes:

-Our sheets
*Empty dishwasher
*Call WIC office
*Call Kristi about cookies
*Call Jenny about party and cookies
*Fill out MediCal paperwork
*Call Worker about tax refund
*Clean our bathroom

That may or may not be everything. We'll see as I go through the day. I will be back later to hopefully cross some stuff off.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


If you remember from my last post, an FO is a Finished Object. Normally, I will be trying to share my FOs with you on Friday ('cause, ya' know, the first letters have to match and all). But I was so excited about finishing up my Organizing, and my yarn dyeing that I had to share a few days early late. So, here we go.

You've already seen this picture, but I figured it was worth repeating. This is my knitting gear, all in one place (in the proper packages, even). This is a BFD (big freakin' deal), 'cause my stuff was scattered all over the house. So now everything is where it is supposed to be, ready to go.

I'm caving, and showing you the whole yarn chest. Do you see the videos? They weren't there before. They were covered by unwound yarn. But not anymore. I got everything rewound while we were watching The Hangover last night. Yay for multi-tasking! So, that's half of the cedar chest, filled with lovely, lonely yarn. The chest is probably 15 inches deep, 12 inches wide, and half of it is about 18 inches long. That's over 3200 cubic inches filled with yummy yarn, just waiting to be used. I have summer projects planned for most of it, though.

And, finally, the last thing I had to finish before I could start Zeke's sweater. This is yarn I dyed for my friend, Suzie. Dyed blue and green on 3-Ply 100Purewool.

So, those are all my recent FOs. I'm planning to start the sweater tonight or tomorrow, so hopefully I will have part of it to show you on Wednesday.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Organizing

For those of you not in "the know," WIP stands for Work In Progress (which it says right up there on that cute little header. Duh, I didn't even notice that.). I don't think WIP Wednesday has to just be for knitting or sewing projects though. I think it's a great way to show off whatever creative pursuits are occupying your time right now. You know, in between the cooking, the cleaning, the refereeing, the teaching, and the snot-wiping. It for sure could be knitting or sewing, if that's what you do. But it could also be scrapbooking, crocheting, home decorating, painting, drawing, whatever. Anything you use as an outlet for your creativity.

So, without further babbling ado, here are my current WIPs. Hmm, should that be WsIP? You know, Works In Progress? I've digressed.

I don't actually have any projects OTNs (On The Needles) right now. I finished one project this week (it's an FO (Finished Object) now, and I can't share it today, because, well, it's finished, not in progress....I've digressed again). What I'm working on right now is organizing my yarn and getting my gear in order in preparation for my next big project (a sweater.... for Zeke). I threatened promised myself that my stuff would be organized before I started anything new.

So, my "gear" is in order. Okay, I'll be honest. This is actually an FO. It shouldn't be here in this post. But it's part of this total package project. So it's here. Deal with it.

This is the yarn that is going to be used for the sweater, so this project needs to be frogged (pulled apart) and rewound.

All of this yarn needs to be rewound too, just because it's a big fat mess in my yarn chest. Yes, I have a yarn chest. Okay, the yarn actually shares a home with our videos. But it's a cedar chest, which makes it the perfect place for wool yarn. No mothies in this stash! Some of this yarn is partially used, some is completely unwound, some is just a big crazy blob. It's going to take a while. **I won't show you the other side of the yarn chest, which holds all the already-wound-yarn-just-waiting-to-be-used-for-an-actual-project. There's too much. You'd be ashamed jealous too impressed.**

And this is my other major WIP. This is some bare yarn that I need to dye for a friend. But first I have to untangle it and re-skein it (that means wind it around the back of the couch so it's in a really big loop) to get it ready for dyeing. Mama messed up and left the yarn in arm's reach of a certain toddler. Oops. I think I need to work on this one first, since this wonderful friend is waiting patiently for her yarn. Then I will move on to the other yarn.

Well, that's all my WIPs (WsIP?) for now. Hopefully I will have something more exciting to show you next week (if I remember to post). Like, maybe, the beginnings of a sweater?

'Til the next time I remember that I actually have a blog!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I've got this thing...

I really should be going to bed, but I figured I was due for a blog post soon. Now, if I could get my darn fingers to cooperate, we'd be good. My backspace key is seeing more action than my hubby did during my last pregnancy.

Anyway. Do you ever have that one thing? You know, the one that, if it changed, you are convinced the rest of your life would fall to order? Of course, once that thing changes, and your life goes magically perfect, another thing pops up, and the cycle continues. I guess that's where having joy (not just happiness) in all your circumstances comes in, huh? Being thankful to God for all that you have, and finding peace through him. But....there's still that thing.

Right now, my thing is Emma sleeping through the night. I am utterly convinced that life would be pure bliss if she would just sleep for 10 hours straight.

So, for your amusement, here's a list of ways that my life would change if my darling infant would just conk out already:

1. I would start going to bed at a normal time (say, 10:00 instead of 12:00 or 1:00).
2. I would get up early in the mornings to read my Bible and pray, instead of being completely useless before 8:00 a.m.

Sorry, I had to go get Emma to sleep. I'm back now. Did you miss me? Oh wait, you didn't even know I was gone. Anyway, back to the list:

3. My house would be completely cleaned, from top to bottom, in an orderly manner every week.
4. School would become the favorite part of everyone's day, instead of being something we struggle to get through before I get irritated, before the kids get bored, and just a few minutes after Zeke tears the house apart.
5. My knitting skillz would improve.
6. Dinner would appear on the table at 5:00 every night, with little to no planning and/or work from me.
7. My hair would be fabulous.
8. I'd lose that last 10 pounds.
9. Zeke would learn to use the potty.
10. All our bills would be paid off.
11. I'd find time during the day to sew.
12. Facebook would lose it's evil kryptonite-like hold on me.
13. I would start running/biking/working out everyday.
14. The piles of rubbish that occupy the flat spaces in my house would disappear.
15. I'd start buying/cooking healthier food for the whole fam.

Ummm...I'm sure there's a lot more, but it's almost 11:30, and my brain has gone to Standby mode, so that's all I can think of for now. And that was kind of a long sentence. Anyhoo....

Reading back over my list, I've realized something. Any of those items on that list could be my "thing." They are all pretty much interchangeable. Like, if my hair would just be fabulous, Zeke would learn to use the potty. Or if my knitting skillz improved, my flat spaces would be clean.

I guess this is just my lesson this week on how life is never going to be perfect, or even slightly normal (I do have four children after all). There is always going to be something that I can use as an excuse for bad behavior, something I can point to and say "See that there? That's the reason my life isn't how I want it to be. That's the reason I'm being selfish/lazy/whiny/grumpy. It's not my fault!".

*sigh* So this is the part where I tell you that it's not all Emma's fault. Although I do think it's her fault a little bit. Like I tell Tyner all. the. time. We all make our own choices. Whether they are good or bad, we choose how we will act and react to things.

Am I going to make a bad choice the next time I'm tired because we got up three times in the middle of the night? Or am I going to choose joy and peace? Am I going to turn to The One who gives those things to me, and ask for His help? Guess we'll see in the morning....

Monday, February 15, 2010


Life lately has been all about me. Sleeping in until the last minute because I stayed up too late the night before. Spending my mornings on the computer instead of being with the kids. Putting off school because I'm too busy trying to catch up on chores. Ignoring the blog because I'd rather play on Facebook. Watching TV or surfing the net late into the night instead of spending time with my hubby or getting some much needed sleep. I've truly become very selfish with my time these last few months.

I'm starting to hear things from my kids like "You're always on the computer.", or "You'd rather be on Facebook than play with us." (Yes, sadly, my children know all about Facebook and the games I play on there. Sierra has even started asking me when she will get her own account.) It's finally starting to hit me that this recent obsession with all things computer-y is not good for my children, my house, my hubby, or me.

All of this realizing has got me thinking about what is really important. About what is first on the list now, and also about what the order really should be. As of last week-ish, these were my priorities, in order of importance:

1. Me time (staying up too late, being on the computer as much as possible, sleeping in).
2. The house (trying to play catch up with chores when I finally look at the clock and realize it's mid-afternoon).
3. The kids (hurrying through school, playing with them just enough to get them to leave me alone for another 30 minutes).
4. Jason (talking to him over the back of the couch while one of us is on the computer and the other is in front of the TV, not getting to bed at a decent time very often).
5. God (I almost feel like He doesn't even make the list, since the only time I really acknowledge Him is at church on Sunday and Bible study on Thursday).

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm addicted to the computer, letting my children starve and my house go to ruins just for another shot of Cafe World. But if I keep on the path that I've created, it might not be long before you see me on the episode of Dr. Phil entitled "Help! My kids got lost in the chaos while I was chatting on Facebook."

Not only have I become selfish with my time, but I've noticed this selfishness leaking into other areas of my life as well. When I buy things at the store that I like ("special" healthy food, a certain candy, a particular brand of cereal), I find myself hiding and hoarding the stuff so that Jason and the kids can't have it. When Jason gets on the computer to play poker, or one of the kids wants to play Nick Jr, I can hear huffing and puffing in my head because I feel like they are intruding on "my" computer. I've become miserly with the things of this world; things that don't even really belong to me. Things that were given to me by God and my husband's hard work.

So, that's my confession to you, Blogosphere. I've been a very selfish person of late. Now how do I fix it?

First, I think I've got to come up with a new list of priorities. A list that better reflects the person I want to be. Here's what I'm thinking:

1. God (get up early to read my Bible and pray, start school with a prayer and a Bible lesson each day).
2. Jason (purpose to spend one-on-one time with him at some point everyday, go to bed earlier so we can, know...more often).
3. The kids (make awake times during the day about them, play with them and be silly, read with them more often, be at the table with them for all of the school lessons, include them in my daily household chores, spend time planning each week's schoolwork instead of throwing stuff together at the last minute).
4. The house (once the people in my life are fulfilled then it will be time to pay attention to the stuff, make tidying/surface cleaning a daily priority, plan meals/shopping better, set up a schedule for deep cleaning).
5. Me time (figure out what past times are really enjoyable to me and spend my quiet time doing those, spend some time focusing on health/nutrition/exercise).

It might seem that I'm doing myself a disservice by putting Me last. But really, I'm not. What good is having hours and hours and hours of Me time if I'm unhappy and frustrated because my house is a mess, my kids are whiny, and my husband is mad at me? When I stop to think about it, I've actually got quite a bit of kid-free time during the day. Zeke naps for two hours in the afternoons, and Emma usually naps for a bit while he does. When he naps, Sierra and Tyner either play outside or go next door. I usually try to use that time to do stuff around the house (mostly because afternoon is my high-energy time), but I consider doing chores in a quiet house a form of Me time. Plus, we have a pretty set bedtime around here, so the kids are usually in bed no later than 8:00 p.m (more often it's 7:30). The latest Jason would like for me to join him in bed is 10:00, so that gives me two full hours of Me time. I think that's more than some moms of four kids get.

The problem I have isn't how much time I have to myself, it's how I spend it. My inclination is to play games on Facebook, chat on the Diaper Pin, or click my way through 50 billion blogs. Sometimes it's truly mind-numbing, and before I know it, it's 11:30 and well past my bedtime. Instead, from now on, I want to sit on the couch and catch up on my recorded shows and knit on my latest project. Or take a bath and read whatever book I have going at the moment. I'd love to blog more often, since I miss writing so much. Or play Wii bowling with my hubby. Or maybe even go to bed early and get a full nights sleep (if Emma will allow that).

Really, it all comes down to self-control and discipline. It's easy to plop down on the computer chair and put my hand on the mouse. It's easy to get lost in other people's lives. I need to constantly remind myself that there are other things I love doing, other passions I want to pursue. I need to get my buns out of this seat and go get lost in my life.

And now, it's almost 10:00. I guess I'd better heed my own admonition and get to bed.

See ya' later!

Our Playroom

I realized that I've never posted any pictures of our playroom that Jason (with the help of friends and family) built for us this summer. I spent some time in there last night cleaning, sorting, and organizing. I took out about half the toys that were in there and put them in the garage to be brought out at a later date. The room is nice and tidy now, with a space at one end for possible homeschooling use. Anyway, on with the pictures.

A view of the carpeted area of the playroom. The wall at the end is painted with chalkboard paint. The space at the back half of the room is where we would do school.

Part of our toy storage. The kids weren't using this as a dollhouse, so we decided to put the plastic toy boxes in it. I love the boxes with the locking lids, because Zeke can't get in to them without help.

Our tall bookshelf with games, art supplies, more games, and big toys.

This is the "mudroom" side of the room. Jason hung a bar for our coats with a shelf on top for hats. Those are shoes and boots underneath the coats, and the basket has hats/gloves/scarves in it.

So, there it is. Our playroom. Hopefully we can keep it this clean from now on, now that there are less toys in there.

Someday I'd love to paint/decorate it. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Broken Promise

I promised myself that I wouldn't post any pictures on here before I wrote a real blog post. And since I've been able to put pictures on Facebook, it's been easy to keep that promise. Mostly by just sharing pictures on there, and avoiding the blog. But since God broke my Facebook account (that's a whole other story), I can't share these fun pictures on there. So, I'm breaking my promise to myself. 'Cause my kids are just too cute to not show off.

So here we go.

Zeke trying to get the camera.

Emma is done sitting up.

She loves the camera.

I thought this was a cool shot.

Emma loves to watch the bigger kids play.

This is the first time she's ever done this! I was so happy I happened to have the camera out when it happened.

Okay, that's it for now. Sorry for not writing something deep and meaningful. :D

Monday, January 25, 2010

A yummy giveaway!

Elizabeth over at Small Town Blessings is hosting a giveaway!

A yummy Scentsy wickless candle warmer. You get to pick your own scent. She even gives you three chances to enter! Go check it out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's official!

We are homeschooling!

Today was the kids' first day out of public school. We didn't actually do any schoolwork today. We just met with the lady from the charter school to get the kids enrolled (paperwork, blech!!!) and so she could get my curriculum list so she could order stuff.

I don't get any of my curriculum until the 29th of January, so I get to spend the next two and a half weeks making stuff up! Actually, our handwriting curriculum will be here this week, nd I bought a kindergarten workbook for Tyner. But other than that, I'm winging it.

Tomorrow will be our first day of actual schooling. I'll let you know how it goes!