Friday, May 30, 2008


I started reading the book for bible study while I was putting Marah down for a nap today. Although I have only finished one chapter it is JUST what I need. Lately I have been feeling a bit down and really struggling. Adding Naomi to our family has really thrown me into a funk. Not a postpartum depression funk just a how do I get it all done, how come everyone else can do it, what is my purpose here? kind of funk. I have been getting upset and irritated with the smallest things the kids do and overall been a grouch. I have noticed it and have just been at a loss as to why I feel this way.

Lately I have not really been one to read, when do I have time I would think. I'm too tired at night and find it almost impossible to remember what I have read when the kids are running around me. When I went to nurse Marah down for her nap I took my book with me. It was quiet and I made it almost through chapter one. I was so interested and wanting to finish that I grabbed my book, a notebook, and my bible and sent the older ones outside. I sat down at the table and finished chapter one. This book is exactly what I need. So many times while reading I have been nodding or thinking YES that is how I feel right now!

Chapter one is titled Decide to Decide. I know it sounds so self help like doesn't it. LOL

Here are some things that caught my eye:

When you live your life accidentally, just meandering along, don't be surprised if your life becomes an accident. Drifting produces depressing results. Neglect relationships, and you'll see people walking away from you; neglect personal growth, and you'll see others pass you up on the ladder to success; neglect your health, and you'll see your energy and vitality diminish. To not decide is to decide, but often the results are tragic. Instead, decide that today you will see life through new eyes.

I needed a new mirror because my expectations, others' expectations of me, and God's expectations all seemed to be jumbled up together.

My mirror was so warped that when I sat down to think and plan, my list grew; when others talked with me, my list grew; and even when I read the Bible, my list grew. Sometimes I felt as though God were making my to-do list longer and longer. Because my perspective was so distorted, I thought God's expectations of me were impossible to fulfill. I found myself consistently angry with Him, even though I knew He loved me.

The bigger question is: Why do we as women feel bad about ourselves when we see a woman using her God-given gifts and talents well? Why do we sometimes feel that if we are not doing the same thing in the same way, we must be a failure? Why do some of us fall into a pattern of jealousy or, worse, apathy, if our life isn't what we see in other' lives? Decide to decide that you will not fall prey to the negative but rather to choose to make some positive changes to gain the life you have always dreamed of, or, better yet, the one God has dreamed up for you!

God's view of you is concrete. Genuine significance is rooted and grounded in Him.

When I see myself through His eyes, I realize my value. I am nothing more than a woman saved by His grace, but I am nothing less than a new creation.

As I see myself from God's point of view, the pieces fall together easier because God holds the box top to the puzzle. He already sees the completed picture of me and my life. My relationship with Him is the key that unlocks the puzzle's solution.

You Are...

The salt of the earth, the light of the world Mathew 5:13-14
More valuable than birds Luke 12:24
In Me and I in you John 14:20; 17:21
Already clean John 15:3
The branches John 15:5
Heirs of the prophets and of the covenant Acts 3:25
Servants of the Most High Acts 16:17
Called Romans 1:6-7
Weak in your natural selves Romans 6:19
Still worldly 1 Corinthians 3:2-4
God's fellow workers, God's field, and Gods building 1 Corinthians 3:9
God's temple 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Strong, honored 1 Corinthians 4:10
A temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19
Standing, firm 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Part of the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:27
A letter from Christ 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
Christ's ambassador 2 Corinthians 5:20
Sons of God Galatians 3:26
Abraham's seed Galatians 3:28-29
Sons, an heir Galatians 4:6-10
Children of the promise Galatians 4:27-28
Fellow citizens and members of God's household Ephesians 2:19
Children of the light Ephesians 5:8
Standing firm 1 Thessalonians 3:8
Sons of the light and sons of the day 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
Slow to learn Hebrews 5:11
Mist James 4:14
Living stones 1 Peter 2:5
A chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation 1 Peter 2:9-10
Daughters of Sarah 1 Peter 3:6

New Bible Study

About a month ago I noticed a new women's Bible study starting up at church. I have been feeling a need to be with other women of faith and this jumped out at me. Honestly I have been very discouraged lately with doing anything. Marah will not let us leave her with anyone and even though childcare is provided I did not think I would be able to actually attend. The last mom's group at church I called said that kids were not allowed at all in with the group when I asked if Marah could attend with me if she was quiet. While I understood why I was still upset. What are moms who have clingy attached children to do? Well it took me two weeks of a daily voice in my head telling me to call until I finally did. I spoke with Susan over the phone who said that we would just see what happens with Marah and go from there. I was so excited!

Fast forward one week and Marah gets pink eye (UGH!) I did not think I would be able to attend when Joe said "Call your Mom." I said no, she won't want to drive all the way down here that early. She is almost 2 hours away and I needed to leave at 8:45 am. God is really telling me something here because my mom said yes I wanted to come down sometime this week anyway. I had the best time. We just talked about the book are going to be reading, The 10 Best Decisions a Woman an Make: Finding Your Place in God's Plan, getting to know everyone, and praying. I am so glad I was able to go.

The following week Marah for the first time EVER let me leave her in childcare. You must be thinking you have never left her? The only times I have ever left Marah are with Joe, with my mom, and twice with my friend Leslie who the kids adore. So no I have never left her with a stranger or in any kind of childcare at all. She usually freaks out. At church we spend the time watching the service in the parents room where they televise it. She stayed the entire two and a half hours and did not cry once. In fact when I dropped her off and said goodbye she was kind of like yeah whatever I am playing kitchen. I am so excited. It was so amazing to talk about the book (which also happens to be just what I needed but that needs a post just for itself) with all the other women. I love hearing everyone's thoughts as there is such a wide range of ages in the women in the group. We are all at such a different part of life but we can all come together and relate to each other, talk about God and pray together.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

LIFE is Good!

Oh what an amazing four days! The LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference started on Thursday May 22nd and ended on Sunday May 25th. I went into this not really knowing what to expect. How does one attend a conference with little ones in tow? Would we even be able to see any of the speakers?

We did not get to see as many speakers as we originally planned but it was an amazing experience. The kids had a blast at the many Funshops. Joe attended SSUDS, The Secret Society of Unschooling Dads, and a few other presentations. I was able to attend a birth circle chat and a circle chat called Talking With Relatives. We managed the entire conference with only a few minor meltdowns, a few from the kids (mostly from exhaustion) and one from me after trying to chase the wild and crazy Marah around and hold the baby while Joe attended SSUDS.

It was wonderful to be in such a large group of people where everyone was respected, including children. The interactions between the kids (of all ages) were kind. There was no age segregation. I watched teens show younger kids how to play games and kids of all ages play gently with babies and toddlers. The energy was amazing.

I came away from this conference fully believing that what we are doing is right for our family. Child led learning, Life Learning, Unschooling whatever you want to call it. It was great to see all of the kids at various ages and see that it does work. I am energized and exhausted all at the same time. We are already looking forward to LIFE is Good 2009! I am sure I will have more to say later but my mind is still whirling.

Some pictures:

Balloon Sword Maddness

Daddy painted Marah's face at the tattoo funshop.

Mommy and Marah walking the halls.

Not really a conference photo. On the way back from lunch one day there were two ducks using the crosswalk, they even waited until the light changed to walk. They did not quite make it in time and were to scared to move. The finally flew away after the car honked several times.

The kids participated in Fairy Godparents. Everyone draws a name and keeps it secret. For the duration of the conference you do nice, fun things for your God child. At the end you can reveal who you are or keep it a secret forever. Everyone who draws a God Child is also drawn by someone else. The kids had a blast picking flowers, drawing pictures, and doing things in secret for their fairy God children.

They also enjoyed receiving things from their secret God parents. Michael's left him things on our hotel door and he was always super excited. Madeline wondered the whole conference who hers was. :)

Some of the things they made for their God children.

Popsicle stick puzzles

The opening band on concert night. They are a group of unschoolers who live in Portland. Amazing!

The bridge

While Joe was in SSUDS the kids and I walked up to Ester Short Park. It was nice and sunny for the first time that weekend so we played in the fountain.

Some of the cars in the parking lot.

Okay so I may have gone a tad overboard with the car pictures. There were some GREAT bumperstickers. :)

Campfire songs funshop

Playing in the lobby

Playing DDR in the game room.

Madeline with Mary the conference diva (organizer). Maddy was also Mary's Fairy God Parent.

The barefoot boogie on the last night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Is Your LIFE Good?

This week we will attend our first unschooling conference. I am so excited! Michael can talk of nothing but a funshop called Up, Up, and Away and the Star Wars Battle. In fact today he told me "Mom I don't know how to choose." "Choose what?" I said "Which one to do, Up and Away or Battling." It took me a minute to realize he thought he only was able to do one thing at the conference. When I told him that the conference is for 4 days he was so excited. I wish I could post a picture of his face when I said he gets to do both and more too. Madeline is so excited about several of the fun shops and hanging out with tons of other kids. I will definitely be posting to the blog with pictures when we recuperate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

We have worms, hives, and other things.

Once again a months worth of photos to catch you up. I am amazed that I am getting this done in the middle of the day. Madeline is reading (as usual, I actually had to make her go outside earlier), Michael and Marah are outside with a spray bottle of water, and Naomi is cooing away at a cow toy hanging off the baby chair. I am eating bites of cupcake while I type in hopes that no one notices and then I have to share.

Sweet smiles. Nomy (yes I wrote Nomy and not Naomi.) Marah cannot say Naomi and Nomy has kind of stuck.
Michael is REALLY into legos. He will build and build for hours on end. This is a robot.

We went to Grandma Evelyn's. Meeting Great Grandma for the first time.

And those of you that know Grandma know she does not like having her picture taken twice.

Much less three times. See the eye? Its saying do it again I dare you.

I love Grandma's Tulips. I had hoped they would be in bloom at our wedding but it was still a little early.

The trees are in bloom.

At Grandma Karen's. Madeline is having a tea party.

Michael is building. Grandma has a large container full of toys and mini tools the kids get to play with when they come and visit.

Marah playing.

Madeline took some pictures of Skookum. He has one blue eye, its really pretty.

The best thing ever. All FOUR kids fell asleep for the entire drive home ( 1 and 1/2 hours). The drive home usually consists of a small nap and then lots of screaming the rest of the trip. This was heaven.

Grandma Melody came to visit and meet Nomy.

And yes Nomy has a "Got Breastmilk" shirt too. :)

Madeline asked me to curl her hair with rollers.

The results.

Marah really enjoys kitchen and set this table for Daddy.

The ant hill after 12 hours.

The kids tell me the ants are having a meeting here.

After 3 days.

The lady bugs.

We planted the garden. Green beans, snow peas, corn, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, carrots, lettuce, onions, radishes, strawberries. Madeline planted a flower garden and Michael planted several giant pumpkins.

She is getting so big!

I have to say I love prefolds.

Leslie made this soaker for Nomy. It is so cute!

In World Crafts (her Friday class) they learned about Korea. Madeline has eaten with her chopsticks every chance she gets.

Michael has hives. Well had hives. The Dr. thinks it is a food allergy but there is no way to tell what right now. He has a hyper immune system or something like that. He is also allergic to mosquitoes and amoxicillan.

We have worms! Two lbs of Red Worms to be exact.

Our vermicomposter being set up.

Red wigglers.

I managed to eat my cupcake and now must go make dinner.