Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hodge-Podge Post

Yes, exactly. I have random bits of this and that to post. Nothing cohesive, just a tad here and there.

  • Okay, I had my first run-in with a little girl who had a head full of pine tree sap. I thought it was going to be an utter disaster! The Lord musta blessed because it came right out. I let it fully dry. I actually thought it was a bit of an ice cream sandwich because I couldn't smell the pine smell over the smell of the shampoo. Here was the remedy: a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil massaged into the hair. It took it a while to get it worked in since it was matted to the scalp. Then I wrapped it up in a plastic grocery sack for about 45 minutes (I don't have a shower cap). I broke up the last bit of sap with my fingers and then went through her hair with a fine-tooth comb. I washed it all out and, voila, it came out totally pain free! Whew!
  • Is Josiah the biggest tornado I've had, or do I forget from toddler to toddler what a mess they make? Just this morning he grabbed a step stool to reach a pint of honey that was left out and made a tremendous mess from head to foot and counter to floor. Then I put him in a shallow tub of water. I went to tend after some laundry to let it soak out. He managed to nearly submerge the bathroom while was gone for about 5 minutes. Then the boys went to try to stop them. They both had red clay on the bottom of their shoes, making a muddy mess everywhere.
  • We have homeschool evaluations in about 3 weeks at 8:30 in the morning. It's about an hour's drive, if not more in rush hour traffic. We'll have to get up before dawn. We're early risers, but not that early. Not looking forward to this day.
  • I'm already having some relatively strong Braxton-Hicks contractions. I always have them, but I don't remember them this early. Maybe it's because I have now actually labored?
    I'm not really concerned, just puzzled.
  • This is the kids' last week of school...that is if they can manage to focus through another week of school. :-)
  • Speaking of pregnancy, I'm also enjoying lots of baby wiggling. I'm getting bumped at the back, front, top, bottom, and all points in between. It's amazing that one little baby can make so much a ruckus!
  • More pregnancy: I have never taken so many supplements in a pregnancy. I'm taking a plant based prenatal, a 3-6-9 omega blend, a vitamin D3 supplement (soy based), and a calcium supplement (kelp and alfalfa). I maybe need to take iron later, but for now I'm good. I usually take iron, pregnant or not, but my prenatal has a good bit of iron in it.
  • I bought a set of hair sticks and LOVE them!!
  • Ethan will be having a kindergarten graduation next week with our homeschool fellowship group.
  • The kids LOVE to swing. Unfortunately they've outgrown the little swing they have now. We bought it when Ethan was younger than Josiah. It's rusty and dangerous. Here it is:
  • Daddy to the rescue though, because he, with some help from his dad, built this kid-tough version with a whopping SIX swings on it:
  • I spent the cool morning on the back porch swing sipping coffee and listening to Mourning Doves and Purple Martins. (Links are examples of their vocalizations) Very, very relaxing. Of course, I only got to enjoy it about 10 minutes, but hey, that's better than zero.
  • Speaking of Purple Martins, we haven't had them in our Martin houses for years, but it looks like either 3 or 4 pairs have set up "house" this year. We had a rat snake clean out all the babies several years back and no birds, other than Marsh Wrens, have used the houses. Here are a pair that I grabbed a photo of this morning, the male being darker in color (click to enlarge.
  • We did have a nest filled with mockingbird eggs, but the eggs have mysteriously vanished. The kids were disappointed, so I don't think they did it. John ransacked a nest once, and was then devastated once I explained to him that those eggs were the mommy bird's babies. But, we do have this next of Blue Jay babies!
  • Josiah can open all doors, which is not good.
  • Josiah also runs directly to the road when he thinks no one is looking. Fortunately, its a probably 100 yards to the road, and a car hardly goes down it. But I'm still not turning my back on him for a second.
  • Okay, I said I wasn't posting any garden photos. Well.......... I LIED! I can't resist!!!!

little-bitty zucchini, though these will be ready before anything else.

Have you ever seen a blooming elephant garlic? Now you have!

These heirloom, non-hybrid watermelons were given to Jeremy by a co-worker. They have yellow rinds and yellow meat. Plus, they're actually thriving. Watermelons haven't done well in the past.

Teeny-tiny baby-sized green beans. The plants are overrun with blooms. Hopefully we'll have a good season with these.

And baby tomatoes! YUMMY!! They've grown a lot since last post. We did, however, lose 2 plants: both of our celebrity tomatoes got some kind of root rot, I guess.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I know that I'm not too diligent at posting photos. It's just such a pain! But I love pictures, and I'm sure that everyone else does too. Here's some of what we've been doing recently.

A few weeks ago we all went to a golf course at a local (remembering that nothing here is too local lol) community college. Yes, I mean all 6 of us on a golf course. Lydia and Josiah both have no idea how serious a wound from flying golf ball can be, so you can imagine the "action" in this afternoon.

Lydia was content, instead of golfing, to blow dandelion seeds.

But later she got Dad to show her how to golf.

She was also a huge helper in pushing Josiah around the course. Normally I'm a very "let-them-walk-and-learn" sort of parent, but Josiah kept trying to walk in front of one of the boys who was about to swing a club. Dangerous!! Anyway, here she decided to decorate his head...because everyone needs flowers on their head according to Lydia!

Ethan was really funny on this trip. First, he had to get completely decked out in his golf stuff: his golf gloves (a set of lime green gardening gloves) and sunglasses (a pair of protective glasses from a Nerf set he got for Christmas. Daddy kept telling him to aim to where he needed to hit the ball. So, he'd take his finger and draw a straight line from his ball to its intended destination.

Here's a shot of John as he'd just whammed a golf ball.

My mom and dad had spent the weekend at my brother and sister-law's in Gainesville. We had planned a big field trip to Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna. We got to hear how the caves were formed over billions and millions and trillions and zillions of years. *eye roll*

We did get to enjoy some great formations...

...see some wildlife, up-close. Here, a salamander.

We saw several fossils trapped in the rocks. Here is a fossilized shark tooth.

I cannot believe that I'm posting this photo. I'm only 17 1/2 weeks pregnant, but I'm already getting that fat, swollen, pregnant woman look. I'm not one of those beautiful pregnant women with a beach ball belly: I'm pregnant over every square inch of my body!! Anyway, here's me and Jeremy, the kiddies and my mom and dad.

We had a picnic lunch under a nice pavilion with a playground, which was really fun.

We threw the Frisbee some, one of my very favorite things to do!

After lunch, we took the kids on a hike. It was a miracle that we survived because of the horrendous mosquitoes. I mean, being a lifelong Floridian, I am very, very accustom to mosquitoes. I brought bug spray, which had no effect on the mosquitoes. Here hubby is swatting them away. Mental note: next time, bring spray that is 100% deet!!

The garden is also coming along very nicely. There's always no shortage of help.

If you click on the image, you can probably see the purple blossoms on the potatoes. We should start turning these over in about 2 weeks! Yummy!

Every season I want to post every little detail about our garden. Since I've done it so many years in the past, I'll spare you all. :) I couldn't resist showing you the pretty little blooms on our tomatoes.

The other kids did lots of helping in the yard this day also. Here they are taking a play break. I loved this picture because John is attempting a backflip, which he always lands on his back and not his feet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring ... What?!

otherwise entitled (after original publication)...
Geometrically Correct vs. Politically Correct"

Has anyone else read the article where a Seattle school changed the name "Easter egg" to "spring sphere?" Okay well, I thought I'd sound off on this one. First, in light of other rulings regarding public education and religion, I understand why the word of "Easter" was taboo. Although, Easter is far from being a Christian holiday. That's beside the point.

Why in the world would someone call an egg, a sphere?! Okay, there are types of eggs that are spherical (some fish eggs, e. g.), but a spherical, avian egg is an oddity.

I can imagine:
kid: Hey mom, look at my spring spheres!
mom: spheres?! That's not a sphere.
kid: oh yes it is. My teacher said so.
mom: no, this is a sphere. *showing ping pong ball*
kid: well my teacher said this egg was a sphere....

So, these elementary school kids are probably encountering the word "sphere" for the first time. They get older and into middle school math, where their math teacher says, "Can anyone tell me what a 'sphere' is?" The kid raises his hand and says, "Yes. It's an egg shape!"

Okay, this really is my mild OCD kicking in here, I'll admit. But why not just call the crazy thing a spring egg, or spring ovum, or spring oval. Or better yet, just forget the whole matter.

That's today's rant!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Put to the Test ... Again

Our ladies at church have been working through a devotional booklet studying the fruits of the Spirit. It's been a good study. My problem with it, however, is that when we finish a particular unit (we do one per monthly meeting) I am always presented with a test in that area the very next day. Last night's study was on the fruit of gentleness.

Here was my morning. The alarm clock went off at 5:30 as it always does. I didn't leave my room until 6:30. I have a lot of trouble getting up when I'm pregnant. 6:30 sounds like its still on the early side, but my kids usually get up between 6:30 and 7. When I got up all 3 boys were already up. The boys started out with a lot of energy, very loud and with lots of giggles. I cooked a big pot of grits for breakfast. I asked Jeremy to divide out the grits while I woke up Lydia and did some other stuff. Some kids like no cheese, some like cheddar, some like American. Since Dad doesn't do this very often, everyone's cheese preferences were all messed up, sending the kids into fits of whining and complaining.

The kids have an 8:30 time frame to finish breakfast and do their morning chores. Lately it's gotten to be more like 9 or later before it all gets done for one reason: playing. It's a habit they're having a lot of trouble breaking. They didn't finish in time, so punishment followed. They kids sat down to start school and Ethan couldn't find his arithmetic book. He said it was in the van. (whyyyy? why is it in the car) Josiah had the keys that morning, locked the doors to the van and lost the keys. Ethan and I spent the next 15 minutes looking for the kids and never found them. We were interrupted by the sound of my Scentsy warmer being picked up by Josiah. It was full of scented wax. Ten billion times we talked about it being a no-no. He picks it up, spills wax everywhere: the wall, the furniture, the laminate floor, the white base boards, his clothes, and a pair of shoes. Talk about a mess. The boys, knowing that I'm distracted, start playing instead of doing schoolwork. Josiah starts his 18-month-old tornadic mess making. After a lot of work, half an hour with a hair dryer, and some tears (pregnant hormones?) I got the mess up. We finally located the keys too.

Although it may sound like I'm looking for sympathy there, I'M NOT. As I explain the story it really doesn't sound all that bad. Just a typical homeschooler's morning in a home with a variety of ages in the house. Probably has happened to a million other homeschool families. The point is this: after a lesson last night in gentleness, the Lord gave me a small test in what I was taught. Once again I failed miserably. I can do well in being meek, gentle, good, peaceful, etc. as long as all is well. If I have a few minor problems, I'm usually still good. But let a few of those minor problems build up, and top it off with a big one (the waxy candle mess) and Mrs. Sweet Mommy is long gone! Of course in the midst of all the turmoil I didn't see it like that. After my calm spirit had returned I thought, "I bet the Lord was just reinforcing that lesson in gentleness."

I have a schedule in my house to keep things on track. What I can't seem to do is to understand that every day is not going to go by the schedule. In fact, most days probably aren't. Schedules are excellent tools in my opinion. However, it is more important for my kids to see mother calm and peaceful under stress. Once of Bill Gothard's character qualities that I had never considered until I read his list was flexibility. Scheduling the day has helped us tremendously, but in that as to be flexibility, endurance, and gentleness. My schedule can't be set in stone. I understand that in our routine that can seem trivial and mundane, God creates situations to mold us. Something as small as cooking dinner can be an opportunity for learning more about Him.

A Scripture that keeps ringing in my mind is James 1:19-20:

...let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

I think of this Scripture a lot in raising kids. I want them to desire the righteous of God to be on them. Worketh means "to bring about." The wrath of "Mom" will not bring about God's righteousness in my children. If I am swift to hear and slow to speak, it will be easier for me to be slow to wrath. We as moms and wives set the spirit of the home. If we're wrathful, it'll spread. If we're calm and gentle, it will likewise spread.

This was my morning ladies. How was yours?