Saturday, August 28, 2010


I love hot water. I am unceasingly grateful for hot water that kills bacteria in my dishwasher, washing machine and kitchen sink, and I am profoundly grateful for hot showers. Really. I thank God on a regular basis for the gift of being born in this century. In this place. With something as luxurious as a hot shower here for the taking.

And I pray for them.

The ones He loves that haven't had a hot shower in years because they're rotting in a dictator's prison. I remember.

I sweat as I do a simple outdoor task in the middle of a summer heat wave.

And I pray for them. The ones left in metal shipping containers for months. What do I have to complain about?

I shiver on a winter morning when the heat doesn't work properly.

And I pray for them. Those brothers and sisters whose names I do not know. Freezing in a prison cell with no blanket, no hot tea, no end in sight.

Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The best thing for stings

As we're planning an at home vacation week soon that includes lots of outdoor adventures, and because it seems like yellow jackets get crankier as the season wears on, I've restocked my favorite bee sting remedy. These little swabs have a relatively strong plastic case that peals off in the back so that you can remove a tube of benzocaine gel that is the best at relieving the pain of a sting. My grandfather used these when I got stung as a little girl. Children can rub the gel on themselves, which seems to be less traumatic to them, and it numbs the area quickly.

They're hard to find, though. I get mine at Walmart, but they're out of stock frequently, and I have to pick them up at the pharmacy counter these days.

By the way, they fit in those bandage boo boo boxes. (Which they apparently don't make anymore, sorry. They were hard boxes the kids bandages, band-aids, I think, came in one year, they opened like a case.) I use them as portable first aid kids with a variety of band-aids, especially knee sized ones, sealed medicine tablets, a small tube of antibiotic ointment, and a couple Sting-Kill swabs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Truth

Amazima Ministries.

Amazima is the Lugandan word meaning "the truth of Christ." To be honest, it was chosen quickly without much thought, because the IRS needed a name. God said to me "You will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free." I opened my Bible to John chapter 8 and it said "You will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free." I went to church that Sunday and guess what the Pastor said? Yes. "You will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free."

There is TRUTH that my children need to share with the people of America. Brace yourself:

The TRUTH is that there are 147,000,000 orphans in our world today. 147,000,000.

The TRUTH is that 70 percent of these precious children will never have an education.

The TRUTH is that every day, 16,000 children die from hunger related causes. That is 5,840,000 a year.

The TRUTH is that about 1 in every 3 people living today does not have access to clean water.

The TRUTH is that 10,600,000 children under the age of 5 die each year. 54 percent of these deaths are from PREVENTABLE, TREATABLE illnesses

Please read the rest here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kids Raising Money for Missions

The offering at VBS this year went to a local ministry that drills wells around the world in needy areas with the primary purpose of sharing the gospel.

My kids, particularly Anna Kate, want very much to raise more money for them. She has lobbied me for donations (which she wants to save in a can in the treehouse clubhouse :) and suggested a yard sale/bake sale. I'm not sure where we would hold a bake sale. I've considered asking Walmart about selling out front like the Girl Scouts do. I'm okay with a yardsale, but as the oldest of three sisters, most of her stuff gets handed down, so she wouldn't own that idea as much.

Have you all ever staged a fund raiser? The stuff I used to do as a kid was more suited to the small town with close-together houses that I grew up in. We don't live in a very big neighborhood, so door to door stuff isn't a great option. With school underway, I don't have time for something complicated, but I really want to encourage their desire to help other people. I also need to move fast while the desire is strong.

So hit me with your best ideas, please, I'm all ears!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

At the lake

We met some new friends at the lake that was between us since we lived a but farther apart. I brought a picnic tablecloth, some lemonade, cookies, and mini cupcakes. The kids enjoyed their treats and were off to explore. Unfortunately, the day was a ot hotter than the previous one, but we plan to do this again with friends on some nice fall days, and maybe bring a deck of Uno cards to play on the deck of the pavillion with this gorgeous view.

First Day of School

Back to school books

The Party

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've made it through four babies without them drinking from the toilet

...until today. And, of course it's the week everyone is passing around a virus. Hopefully she won't get sick again.

Bella Gracie is such a busy little person. She likes to dance on her Sesame Street dance mat, climb onto beds and bounce, watch kidsongs and baby genius dvds, play outside on the slides and with Sadie, cart around stuffed animals, tuck into bed with her little bear Fuzzworth, baby Daisy, and glow seahorse Stella, eat grapes and cheese, drink yogurt smoothies and strawberry nilk, and poop in her diaper right after she's been changed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Updated: Homeschool Forms

This is an updated repost from 2007.

I finally got my planner together this weekend ( last minute, as usual). I found some great lesson planning pages. Here's what I'm using this year:

School Days - for keeping track of our 180 day count. Right now it looks like we'll finish up midway through March just in time for spring!

2010-2011 school year overview calendar

I finally found these monthly calendar pages. I wanted some cute designs, but all of the cute ones only had 2010 pages and I wanted the whole school year for long range planning. Another option is here.

Schedule - I particularly like the Time-Filled Daily Schedule

Weekly Planning Sheets ( I love these because I can jot ideas on those big blocks ahead of time and list library books to request and craft materials on the other side!)

Weekly Log - These have been great for keeping track of what we actually did. I especially like that it has extra lined space for booklists or whatever subject we focused on that week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

VBS - Marketplace

We've been attending a new church for the past few months. It is not easy to leave a church that you love after 11 years, but this new church is growing on me. It's not love at first sight like my old one was, but hopefully this love will come softly and eventually it will feel like home.

Their VBS, however, was love at first sight. It was amazing. Each child was assigned to a tribe and they explored different areas of the marketplace each day.

Costumes from thrift store flat sheets
15 minutes

First came assembly with the narration and periodic acted
out scenes

This is the family tents where they had
snacks and story reinforcement

Making fig candy

Synagogue school

Daddy's birthday

Daddy requested a Hawaiin wedding cake,
so that set the party theme.

Add Image


This sweet puppy followed my brother a mile home from a nearby park while he was ignoring her. As he stood at my front door asking what to do with her, she was letting herself into the backyard through a gap in the fence. She had no tag, no microchip, and no one looking for her, so now she is officially ours.

Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Don't Miss the Great Perseids

It's this Thursday night through Friday morning!

This afternoon Bella has...

taken a nap that wasn't nearly long enough

gobbled down her pasta Alfredo

watched her Baby Genius nursery rhymes DVD

somehow figured out how to climb up onto my waist-high bed where she festooned herself in some plastic leis left over from my dad's birthday party

danced on her dance mat


been repeatedly disciplined for climbing into the teetering floor lamp and power cord laden corner behind her daddy's easy chair

rocked on the rocking chair

poked holes in the soft peaches on the table

danced on the table

had a snack of diced peaches

danced on her dance mat

learned to stack the blocks from her block table, cheering for herself (a very cute habit of hers) and saying boom when they fall

asked for the tropical door fringe decoration hanging over the door frame and when denied it, dragged a step stool over to the doorway in a vain attempt to reach it herself (which she realized before even setting down the stool and standing on it - smart baby)

found and played with her daddy's palm pilot

explored her backyard with her big brother and her puppy

made her mother a little more crazy

Good, cheap razor

A couple of months ago, I picked up a new razor for my husband at the Dollar General store. The Magnum M5 came with a blade storing case with a cover and extra blade for about $5. I didn't think I had much to lose, especially with refill blades at 2/$3.50.

I figured that it would be decent. What I didn't figure on was it being wonderful. My husband loves it, and it rivals my Venus Embrace, knocking the competition completely out of the ring when you figure in cost. My husband used the blade for about a month before wanting to change it, at which point, I still thought that it was performing beautifully.

Maybe I'll be really cheap and buy another one and just use the blades he doesn't want anymore. That might qualify me for the Tightwad Gazette.

And at the rate things are breaking down around here, I might need to dust off a few of those and reread them.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Books for Mothers

This is a sweet follow-up to the lovely and inspiring Mittenstrings for God. Neither of these are Christian parenting books, just comfortable, well-written books about the seasons of mothering. Mittenstrings for God is divided into chaptered ideas to inspire creative mothering. The Gift of an Ordinary Day is the same mother telling the story of her boys and her own journey through their teenage years into adulthood.

Either way, the book video is very sweet on its own and makes me choke up every time. :^)

P.S. The video link is troubled at the moment. I'm hoping it's a fluke. I'll try to fix it later, but for now you can watch on YouTube The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kennison.