Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Seashell!

Just over a week ago, on the 13th of April, little Seashell celebrated her 7th birthday. Oh, how time flies. I didn't take the time to stop in here to post on the actual day, but better late than never...right? It was a fun day, too. Presents, cake, cards, eating out... she had a blast.

Just today I had the pleasure of taking her shopping...just us two girls. Her Granny gave her money for her birthday and we went out to spend it on her together. As we walked into the department store, hand-in-hand, I was struck by the thought that I was rather enjoying being out shopping with her. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being with my children, but this was a new kind of enjoyment. This was a "I'm hanging with my girl" kind of enjoyment... a teeny peek into the future.

She knew what she was after. Seashell wanted a pair of dressy sandals, a casual "wear anyday" dress, and toys. So we set out on our hunt...and we shopped! We hit three stores and, in the end, she got everything she had listed and had less than $1.00 in change. We did it, almost to the penny! Yep, me and my girl.

Yetserday evening Ron and I went to the opera the see Porgy and Bess. I only bring that up because while I was getting ready in the afternoon Seashell and Butterfly pleaded for me to paint their finger and toe nails with the same light lavender polish I used on mine (my dress had lavender flowers). So I did.

I'd never done that before and I found it to be fun. And, of course, once they had painted nails the became quite the ladies! Prancing and giggling and picking up things oh so gently so as not to smudge their polish.

My girls are growing up and I am looking forward to what lies ahead. I'm so thankful for my front-row seat to their lives. What a blessing!

Happy Birthday, Seashell. I love you.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Time To Re-Evaluate

I wrote this for the newsletter for my local homeschool support group. I thought I'd share it here, too.

Very recently I received an email from an old, high school friend which
contained one of those inspirational forwarded messages. By now I've
learned that very often the things written in these types of emails turn out to be false...thought up by someone who has nothing better to do, I suppose. And the one I received may be no different. Or, it may be true. I don't know. But, it was good and it made me think.

Supposedly, it was written by a lady after she learned she was dying of cancer. She composed a list of things she would have done differently if she could relive her life. It was one of those lists that, if you really stop and think about, will make you re-evaluate why you do what you do and whether those reasons really make any practical sense.

So... I started thinking...

As a homeschooling mother, why do I make my children save their "good clothes" for when we go out when, in truth, we are mostly in? If my daughters want to look pretty just to stay home and "do school"... why shouldn't they? Are the people out there more worth dressing up for than the people at home? Why shouldn't we get the most out of the clothes while they still fit?

If I am going to a meeting or party (VHS or otherwise) why should I bake a dessert to take, threaten my husband if he gets near it, and only bring home the picked-over left-overs to my family? No offense to the rest of you, but I think from now on I'll just make more, separate an ample portion for my family, and bring you what is left (also an ample portion).

Why should I try so hard to justify homeschooling to skeptical and unsupporting family and friends. Why put that pressure on myself when I can just smile politely and change the subject. My husband and I are pleased with our children's progress and, more importantly, we believe God is as well. Whose opinion trumps these? Hmmm, can't think of anyone...

The list could go on and on:
-We absolutely must have routine in my house, but should it win out over an on the spot, God-sent, teachable moment that may have very little to do with a text-book?
-Isn't living integrity more valuable than spelling integrity for both my children and me?
-So what if the paint does get on the carpet? We'll get it clean, but even if we don't, is the carpet to be our master?
-And, why not occasionally forsake the lesson plan for a good book with my children, in the springtime sunshine, in the back yard? After all, that is the freedom we homeschoolers have, isn't it?

Those who know me also know that I'd be the last to advocate reckless abandon regarding educating our children. Not at all! I just don't want to look back on these precious years with an "I wish I'd done it differently" list. I believe the grammar and the arithmetic really do matter, but does the knowledge of them make life beautiful? What good are the best writing skills without something truly moving to write about? God, love, family, joy, etc...these are the things that make life beautiful.

So it is my new goal to let the people and things that matter most, matter most. I'm sure I won't always get it just right but I will work toward it. Then, hopefully, at the end of this homeschooling journey I'll chuckle to myself and thank God for the memories...and, who knows, I might even have a stubborn carpet stain to make me think back and smile!

...and that's just my $0.02...


Monday, March 12, 2007

Alive And Well!

I am pleased to inform you, my loyal reader, that I am (indeed) alive and well. This past month has been quite the "thrill ride"... and me...I've been something of an emotional train wreck. You know the drill---happy one second, then in tears, then scared about the future, then deliriously tired, then deeply in love, then strangely at peace---and on and on down the wacky-track.

I thought about checking in here on several occasions only to change my mind mid-post. I wouldn't want to scare anyone away or anything. Noo...better to wait until things settled down a bit...

...and now they have (I hope). So here I am, and bearing good news, no less!


Yes, praise the Lord, it is true! He won't actually start until March 26th, but he does have a sure thing. It is with an excellent company, with good pay and excellent benefits. It is even quite close to home. We are pleased!

We have survived this stretch of unemployment. (deep sigh of relief)

And to top that off, we haven't even had any more major illnesses, pet emergencies, or plumbing problems. Whoo-hoo!

I am still in emotional recovery though. I will be back to post again soon. (Hopefully with my humor intact next time.)

Until then, just know that we are well...we've faced some storms this past month...but we are well.

And for that, we are thankful.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Valentine!!!

Today is a very special day. For us it's not only a day to celebrate the gift of love, but it is also the anniversary of the day we welcomed our third child into this world, five short years ago.

Yes...Butterfly has turned 5!

And, what a fun-filled five years it has been. Gone is the pudgy, baby face and here to stay is the humorous, fun-loving, intelligent, and all-around delightful child.

It's amazing how each new child born into a family bends and molds it into a previously unknown configuration. Each special character trait brightens our home even as it changes our home. There's just no going back...and we wouldn't want to if we could.

We have been permanently altered, in beautiful ways, by our sweet Butterfly, and this is the day we get to stop and think about that fact.

We'll watch her prance around in delight as she shows off her gifts. She'll bubble over with joy as I bake her birthday cake. She'll repeat her new age to anyone who will listen. We will see her eyes light up as grandparents show up with even more gifts...

And all the while I'll be thinking,

"Butterfly, you're my favorite Valentine's gift."

With all my love,

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Sooo... who was that who said, "When it rains, it pours." ...Huh?

I wouldn't necessarily always agree with that statement, but lately it has been a little hard to refute. As I am typing this entry Ron is scouring the local Home Depot for a product known as Liquid Nails, or something like that. This is after our well meaning children (who were moving furniture in order to vacuum the living room) pushed the playpen across the threshold into the breakfast nook and inadvertently ripped the divider thingy from the floor. You know, the part that divides the carpet from the laminate wood floor. Yeah, that thingy. Tonight we shall have the unmerited pleasure of trying to glue it back down. Yes... we... who have NO idea how to do this type of thing.

Oh, but don't feel sorry for us yet. It's far too early for that. I've only just begun. So get comfy...

If you are a faithful reader of Tonya's Two Cents you are already aware that Ron was recently RIFed. (see "Here We Grow Again" for details) If you are new to my blog then... Welcome!!! But I have to warn you-You've come at a bad time.

Anyway, as if the sudden income halt weren't enough, two weekends ago we suffered a pipe break in our front yard. The City was good enough to come out to inspect the problem and to inform us that it was indeed our problem and not theirs. Plus, they were kind enough to leave us a little note to say that they hoped this would not inconvenience us. Of course not! We are not fickle enough to consider a wee little pipe break an inconvenience when we are unemployed. What kind of people do they think we are?

We do have a home warranty on our house and they did send out a plumber. But apparently our warranty only covers the plumbing that is over the actual foundation of the house, not in the yard.

I trust that they also hoped that this wouldn't be an inconvenience.

Well, we hired a plumber and, after four days without running water, he fixed our pipe and we re-entered the 21st Century. It's good to be back! I'd write a little about life with four children and a dog, minus running water, but I haven't reached that point in my recovery yet. I'm sure you understand.

Money spent!

No job.

After my husband lost his job I scheduled last minute dental appointments for Ron and myself (because our health insurance would end at the end of January and we hadn't been in a while. The kiddos were current on their check-ups already.) To my horror and amazement I had several needs for tooth fortification, and Ron had two. $$$ Can you say, "cha-ching"? $$$

More money spent.

Still no job.

All was well in our home after that... until Sunday morning. Upon waking we found that our little Jack Russel Terrier looked more like a bulldog than any terrier of any type. The right half of his face was very swollen! I thought someone must have thrown something at him while he was out back. I was horrified!

Then, several hours later, after church, lunch, and a family trip to the library, we came home to a dog whose whole face and neck were swollen---like a balloon! I tossed out my "despicable neighbor" theory and adopted a "severe allergy" theory in its place, pulled out the Yellow Pages and began my quest to spend more money, yet.

I found a vet open on Sundays and rushed out with my dog in one hand and my check card in the other. I was right. Severe allergy. The doc wanted to give him two shots. One anti-inflammatory and one antihistamine. I met him in the middle. I agreed to the first, and gave Samson Benedryl at home, by mouth. (Was that ever fun!) I'd found a coupon for that particular vet in the phonebook and altogether I saved my dog's life for about $60.00.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. I would've spent more on a new dog and I would've had sad, crying children to comfort. ALRIGHT! I would have been sad too, if you must know.

More money spent.

That was two days ago.

As I'm finishing up this lovely, little post... Ron just got home with the supplies needed to fix the floor. Apparently we needed more than we thought. The friendly flooring guy at Home Depot showed him what to do... all for the bargain price of $60-something dollars. More money spent. Oh well.

I guess this is the part where I write about the up-side of all of this. hmm... I'm a little hard-pressed on that one. Let me see here...

Well, we've been able to do what we've needed to do and we are happy and together. That counts for a lot, right? Of course it does!

Also, the job search seems to be going well. There have been some offers, just not "feed a family of six" type offers, but I am encouraged. I feel that the right offer is just around the corner. He is certainly being diligent about getting his resume' out there.

Ron is also stretching his business muscles. He is self-employed but since he had been at a full-time job had more-or-less taken a break from that. Well now he's back, and he's good at what he does! I know we'll be seeing some impressive income from that avenue as well. He is a marketing consultant... just in case you were about to look for one when you finished reading my blog.

It's only a matter of time! God is good and He hasn't forgotten about us! He will see us through.

Thanks, dear reader, for letting me vent. I am very much relieved. You should charge for this type of therapy.

Now for a bit of carpentry! Wish us luck!

Signing out,

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Shortest Personality Test Ever

For this test I just had to click on one of nine pictures...whichever appealed most to me at the time. Here are the results:

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.

Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.

In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.

You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.

And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cyborg Momma

Day 5: The first phase of my transformation is nearly complete. I am adjusting well to the new metal chewing apparatuses, although my bite feels slightly off center since the fourth installment yesterday. Notwithstanding some slight laughing gas complications on day three, I am holding up well. For the time being I have been instructed to floss daily and prepare mentally for the final installment which is to take place next Wednesday.

I am told by my practitioner that this first phase of transformation is the easiest and that I should hope to make the transition with no further installments. I understand that the need for hip and knee replacement as well as heart function and hearing apparatuses are best avoided, whenever possible. It is my goal to heed this advice. As it is, I have already had to be fitted with sight enhancing instruments and have had to have them upgraded almost yearly. Nevertheless, I hold on to my dream of remaining as human as possible.

On the up side---my hair follicles seem to be keeping pace with the demands of life and I have, as yet, found no need for artificial intelligence (although, with my final mouth installment Wednesday, I will have enough metal on board to maintain a circuit connection should this become necessary in the future.)

I find the experience is effective for teaching the need for proper oral health to the young ones as I need only show them my teeth to remind them of the pitfalls of failing to floss. Like myself, they could go 30 (almost) fully human years without regular flossing only to have it backfire wildly when they are in their prime. The possibility remains that they could inherit their father's perfect dental record, but it's better to anticipate the pitfall and avoid it just in case...

In the event that this is my last log update please know that I have come to terms with my predicament and am seeking to step up my efforts to keep my natural human components in tact.

I am only one in the war to save natural humanity, but I am one of many...and we are strong! To my fellow strugglers, "Take up your brushes and fight on!!!

May the floss be with you!"


Saturday, January 20, 2007

5 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. During my senior year of high school I was the JROTC Battalion Commander of three cross-enrolled schools. As a freshman, JROTC Private I set a goal of becoming Battalion Commander my senior year and, although I went to four different high schools (due to being a military brat), I succeeded! I had so much fun. My Junior year I was the Drill Team Commander and I LOVED that, too. I loved to compete. I learned so much about myself through those experiences. I wouldn't trade it at all.

2. I once attempted to water ski on a beautiful lake nestled in the mountains of Zell Am See, Austria. Let's just was the first AND last time I attempted to water ski. In the end I settled for a trip behind the boat in a big inner tube.

3. During my Freshman year at the University of Tulsa I was invited by the Student Association president (a senior) to be his date for the university's formal Centennial Celebration. It was taking place at the Adam's Mark hotel in downtown Tulsa and would be attended by distinguished alumni, faculty, and guests. We were the only two students invited. I decided to have a martini from the open bar and, because I was only eighteen, my date instructed me to say I was a senior if anyone inquired.

As it turned out, my place card had me seated directly next to (then) Congressman Steve Largent, who had attended TU, with my date on my opposite side. It wasn't long into the meal before the pleasant Congressman was striking up a conversation with of the first questions being, "So, Tonya, what year are you in?" I fibbed, as instructed, only to find out that the dear Congressman had majored in the same subject as me. He launched into talk of courses and professors I'd barely heard mention of. I was sooo very stuck. With the help of friendly interruptions by my, very nervous, date we stumbled through until at last the subject was changed. To this day I wonder if we really pulled that off or if our Congressman was just gracious enough to let us slide on by. Phew...was I glad when that was over!

4. I am a fugitive from justice. Really... but let me explain.

It was my junior year at Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt, Germany. My friend Anna and I had stayed after school and somehow missed the ASA (after-school-activity) bus. This was a problem because we lived in Darmstadt which was between 45 minutes and an hour from Frankfurt. It was already dark and we had to get home. Anna had a plan. I followed it...and it was downhill from there.

She said we should take the Bahnhof (the major train system in Germany) and, since we had no money for fair, we should hide in the bathroom when the ticket taker came around. She said she had done it before, though she probably hadn't really, and I saw no alternative so I agreed.

It didn't work. He waited patiently for, what he must have assumed was, one passenger to come out. When that didn't work he began banging on the bathroom door and demanding it be opened. Just before entering the restroom Anna had handed me a wrench (I DO NOT know why she had a wrench, but she did), and she had grabbed one of those devices intended for breaking a window in case of emergency for herself. She said that if we were caught we would stay in the bathroom until the train stopped, open the door, threaten the ticket taker with our weapons, and make a break for it.

Well, we were caught. Since I hadn't had the good sense to do it earlier, this was definitely the point where I should have said, "Anna, you are crazy!", laid down my weapon, and accepted defeat. But I didn't. I followed through with the lunatic scheme.

The shocked ticket taker backed out of the way of our upheld weapons and called for the Polezie (police) as we made our break. Lucky for him (unlucky for us) there were two patrolling the Bahnhof station very near our chosen exit and we were quickly apprehended, unarmed, cuffed, and nearly dragged to the polezie station. A couple more polezie showed up to lend a hand. The two uh...gentlemen escorting me were not gentle at all. I could barely walk for the way they had my arms.

Long story, short: My Mother was called, I was fined by the Bahnhof, scheduled to appear in court for my actions, and released into my Mother's somewhat hostile custody.

I had no money for my fine, but my good friend Vanessa cashed in a savings bond and loaned me the money. Thanks again, Vanessa.

It wasn't long before I left Germany to stay with an Aunt and Uncle in Oklahoma because I was having too much trouble at home with my Mother. I can't imagine why...seeing how good I was, and all.

My departure came before my court date and I never looked back.
Let's just say I'm glad I was a minor! (But still...Don't get married in Germany 'cause I'm not coming if you do.)

5. My fifth, and most embarrassing, previously unknown bit of information....

In Junior High School I was madly, head-over-heals in love with Michael Jackson.

Stop laughing!

So there you have it. Five things you would have probably never guessed about me in a million, trillion years. If you are still courageous enough to admit to knowing, or being related to, me...please comment and include five things I'd never guess about you. Since you now know me so well I'd like to get better acquainted with you too. Come on! It'll be fun.

Until then,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Here We Grow Again

Once, several years ago, when faced with difficulties of some kind my husband replied to the Associate Pastor to whom we were speaking, "Here we go again."

"No," she responded authoritatively, "Here you grow again."

Her point was not lost on us. We knew she was referring to the fact that during the more trying times of life we have the opportunity to dig deep, press in to God, hold tight to our courage, and...grow. Either that or shrink back in paralyzing fear and take a passive and unproductive stance.

I cannot remember what particular problem we were facing at that time but I do know this: We've faced many problems and have repeatedly made the choice to grow forward. That's just what we do.

It's what we will continue to do.

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all."
Psalm 34:19

Today we learned that Ron has lost his job due to RIF (reduction in force). The company he was employed with is fairly small and has been struggling financially. They had to make the decision to let some people go. Ron was one of several. This comes at a bad time (although I don't know that there is ever a good time to unexpectedly lose your job).

Needless to say, this is tough. Right now there are a whole host of unanswered questions. We will seek God for the answers and do what we must to get things back on track. All prayers on our behalf are greatly appreciated. We trust that things will work out for the best.

And we know that all things work together for good to those
who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

That being said...Here we grow again!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Good Eats!

A big "THANK YOU" to my sister, Tasha (see photo), for recording and mailing me a video containing four episodes of Good Eats. Unconventional learning is always on the menu/lesson plan.

My oldest three children and I were fully captivated through three back-to-back episodes as we learned of many things including the function of yeast, milling grains, the role of the nose in tasting, the purpose of curing and smoking meats and, my personal favorite bit of info, the origin of fatback! (I have never used fatback but have wondered aloud, on more than one occasion, what in the world it is.) My husband even came out and joined us for the third episode. We had fun---the best kind of learning!

We will likely watch the fourth episode today and anxiously await our next installments. Thanks Tasha...whenever I think of fatback I'll think of you!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life, on ice...

Well, today is day #3 of our regional ice storm. I really can't complain too much. We're actually quite snug and cozy in our winter Alcatraz. As a family we've enjoyed a fireside movie with popcorn, a bigger and better than usual Sunday breakfast, lazy pajama days, reading and games, and an overflowing heap of togetherness.

My one moment of anxiety resulted from realizing our family doctor's office was closed yesterday (due to ice) after deciding to take Li'l Bear in for a sick visit. He'd been running a fever since Thursday afternoon and seemed, for a time, to be worsening. My only remaining option was the local ER which was overflowing with winter-weekend "business." The near certainty of at least 6-8 hours of waiting coupled with the likelihood of hearing, "It's just a virus. Give 'em Tylenol and fluids and come back if it gets worse," deterred me from braving the icy thoroughfares. And at this point he seems to be pulling through just fine. I am just treating his symptoms and overlooking his uhhh...moodiness.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and most places will remain closed. My husband, however, is expected to be at work, as far as we know. That's a shame considering that the freezing rain is still making its way down to gloss our city. (I am grateful that our power lines have not been affected.) Whether Ron makes it out tomorrow, or not, remains to be seen as the weather men are strongly urging him to stay at home. It never ceases to amaze me how an advisory to stay at home restores his, usually shaky, faith in the meteorological community. ;-) It's a wonder to behold!

Well, I won't thrill you any further with the details of this day though you beg and plead. I have more to do than write in this blog and besides---the whole lazy pajama thing--- it's getting old. I'm going to get dressed and comb my hair! (And you should do likewise, you internet addict!)

...and that's just my $0.02...


Saturday, January 13, 2007

My Inner Child

Your Inner Child Is Happy

You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.

You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.

And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.

You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

...And I thought I was a worrier. I guess my outer adult should listen to my inner child and worry less. Huh! Who knew?


Friday, January 12, 2007

The Cost of Children

I did not write the following piece. I would have---if only I'd thought of it first. I have no idea who to credit with its authorship though. It was given to me a few years ago by a friend and fellow homeschooling mom. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

I have to request that you please not crowd my comments section with claims of authorship. All claims should be sent, in writing, to my home office and should include at least two samples of similar writing, a right thumb print, retinal scan, blood type, and a DNA sample. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. These matters require the utmost security and it would be remiss of me to ask less of you than was asked of me the last time I cashed a $5.00 check from my Mother, at her bank...especially post 9/11. I'm sure you understand.

Now, please enjoy!

The Cost of Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family.

Talk about sticker shock!

For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert your child's name here). For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a day! Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich". It is just the opposite.

What do your get for your $160,140? Naming rights. First, middle, and last! Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A hand to hold, usually covered with jam. A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles. A partner to attend baseball, football, and basketball games with. And skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain. Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how poorly your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel. You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, along list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, physical education, and communications that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

...and, if I had written it...that would be my $0.02...


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Introducing the Kidlets (well, sort of)

I would like to take this time to introduce my children because they will undoubtedly make many "appearances" in this blog. To protect their animosity..uh, um...I mean anonymity (they are actually quite sweet and loving) I have asked them each to come up with a "blogname" which I will use in place of their real names whenever I write about them here. Disclaimer: Please remember...with the exception of the baby, my children came up with these names themselves. My sanity can not and should not, in any way, be held in question with regard to said "blognames." Upon acceptance of these terms you may continue to read this weblog.

Meet T-rex:
11 year old T-rex is my oldest child. He is fun-loving and studious. He loves to "rough it" with the neighborhood boys and can just as easily find himself lost in a good book. He is easy to teach, self-motivated, and kind. He needs little more than a quite corner and an interesting read to soak in knowledge of all sorts. He is a great big brother always willing to play with, and watch out for, his younger siblings!

Meet Seashell:
Whimsical and artistic, seashell is my 6 year old daughter. She is bright, eager to learn, and talkative. She'd just as soon doodle and paint as go outside and play. She is an active learner, who will sit still, if told, but can learn just as easily (if not better) while twirling around me as I recite some lesson in a silly sing-songy voice. She is a cautious child who adores her baby brother and also has fun with the other children.

Meet Butterfly:
Butterfly is 4 years old until her birthday next month. She is a daring and charismatic child who loves to play outdoors and has little patience for the repetitive and mundane. She would far rather use every shade in the crayon box to color a horse than to make it like it's "supposed" to be. She loves learning and is quick to jump ahead and demonstrate a knowledge of information she has picked up herself. She is imaginative and likes to lead during play.

Meet Li'l Bear:
My youngest child, Li'l Bear, just turned 1 year old in November and is anxious to explore the world around him. So far, his personality is strong, yet pleasant. He knows what he wants and goes after it with great determination. He enjoys his older three siblings and would much rather be down playing with them than snuggling in my lap...until he grows sleepy. He keeps all of us quite busy. An excellent addition to our family!

I look forward to sharing bits and pieces of my family journey within the posts on this blog. What an exciting adventure!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Onomatopoea--and other bodily functions.... Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
- Show Spelled Pronunciation[on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh]
1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
2. a word so formed.
3. Rhetoric. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical effect. was our first day back at "school"...formal homeschool that is. (Every day is a learning day here!) We took two scheduled weeks off for the Christmas holiday aaaaand two unscheduled days off due to Teacher sickness. Truth be told, Teacher is still somewhat sick, but at least, back on her feet.

And what a day it has been! (Not that it's over yet. It's only 2:15pm, my time.) It's just been full of the typical adventures and obstacles. I'll keep it brief: Triumph #1-Got up, nursed baby, fed self and other children. Setback #1- 6yo announced she had to pee at last minute while wearing leotard and ballet skirt. Needless to say, she missed the goal. Triumph #2- She missed in the one bathroom that has laminate wood flooring. (The other two are carpeted. I really want linoleum in those.) Setback #2- Samson (our Jack Russell Terrier) came in quite thirsty from his "backyard time" (aka-"keep dog and Baby separate time") and gulped too much water from his dish...and then promptly threw up the excess. Triumph #3- Also on the laminate wood floor. Setback #3- Spent too much time at computer thereby pushing back the start-time of all things productive. Triumph #4- Had a wonderful devotional time with children. Setback #4- Still hadn't brushed my teeth. Triumph #5- Made the quality decision to make an early lunch, feed children, put Baby down for his nap, and tackle school in the quite of the afternoon. Setback #5- hmmm...none that I can think of! And...the triumphs keep going!

We are well on our way through school. Baby is still napping. I managed a few moments away from my studious (usually) little pupils to write this post. And I feel rather confident that I have plenty of time to wrap up school, transfer a load to the dryer, clean my kitchen, play with children, babble and coo with Baby about things around us (onomatopoea), cook dinner, break up some squabbles and call my sister. And that's all before the good part...when my husband gets home! Not so bad...if I do say so myself!

...and that's just my $0.02...

Ohhh...there's the littlest one calling me now...gotta run...


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I Am Momma... Hear Me Roar!

Now, at first glance, my "oh so clever" title may lead you to believe that this post will be about the Momma Bear within me, ever ready to leap tall buildings in one single bound or throw myself into oncoming traffic to retrieve one of my children's lost balls. And I can see why you'd think that because I have done that, and worse, many times over. But still, this little number is not about that. For now I will lay aside my heroic Mommy-deeds and address a topic that strikes me beneath my armor, in the vulnerable underbelly of my womanhood.

Let me begin by admitting that I suffered a bout of angst while creating this blog. When I came to the "About Me" section I felt obligated to input some information about So, naturally, I asked myself "Who am I?" And, like most of us, I started by thinking of who I am to other people...wife of...mother of...sister of...etc. I see no problem with that. Yes, I know, technically those things aren't really who we are but I'd venture to guess that very few of us are poetic enough to capture the very essence of our beings and confine it to mere words. I said, I'm fine with that part. Here's where I struggled:

I am a happily married, stay-at-home Mom. I homeschool. I have no personal income. I am not an "independent woman." I have not yet convinced myself that I have any time (or desire) what-so-ever for a "cottage industry." I don't mind cooking for a man who gets up every day and goes to work for me. I loved college but I don't miss it--which means I may never have any letters behind my name (other than Q.T. if you ask my husband or P.P. if you catch me at a bad diaper moment). All of this works well for me 99.9% of the time. In fact, I only just ran into trouble when I had to lay it out in the daunting "About Me" section.

It's not that I wish I had a string of letters behind my name or a list of accomplishments to put Apostle Paul to shame. It's just that I cringed at the thought of the of the critical eyes who would write me off as a know-nothing, or worse yet, label me as identity-less. May I say, for the record, "I know who I am." "I think." "Well at least a much as any of you know who you are." Okay, I admit, life is a journey and I am a seeker. Who I am is changing all the time. It's the same for all of us. But, the fact remains--there are those of you out there who would think me more fulfilled, more complete if I could put M.D. after my name. Or Ph.D. Or Vice President of such-and-such. You would say, "Now, there's a gal who saw what she wanted and went after it!" Or you might think to yourself, "She's really something. She didn't let her husband and kids get in the way of her dreams."

Here's where it could get controversial, but I'm gonna type it anyway...

My husband and children are the best parts of my dream. Sure, they are not the only part, but, next to God, they are the parts that matter most to me. I love doctors. In fact, I frequent them with four children. But, still I say to you doctors, "Will your patients take care of you when you get old?" Oh, how I hope you are more to a few special people than their doctor! My husband is the best Direct Marketer I've ever kissed (or heard, or read) , but, I say to you business masterminds, "Will your clients hold you close at night?" (Okay, if the answer is yes, please keep that hush, hush..k?) I pray you'll be much more to someone than their sure-fire money-maker. I trust that along with attaining your goals you are tending the relationships that make life meaningful.

Of course, all of these are great achievements in their own right, but they are not necessarily the kind that warm your heart while your body grows cold at the end of this earthly journey. I just figure I'm cutting to the chase; leaving out the middle man. I know not all people are passionate about what I am passionate about...and that's perfectly fine with me. I just happen to be blessed with life dreams that mesh seamlessly with what I value the most.

So...who am I, anyway? I unabashedly invite you to check out my "About Me" section!

...and that's just my $0.02...