Monday, October 31, 2011

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

This is such a huge debate among Christians and wherever I see it talked about, it can get explosive.  I've mostly seen Christians talk against but rarely hear from Christians like me that do go out and dress up.  Here is how I've done it:

Halloween 2010
All growing up the rule was we could dress up in costume, anything we wanted as long as it was clean and was not demonic.  We didn't dress up as witches, goblins, ghosts, demons.  Nothing of that sort.  It was the one day of the year I could dress up as any character I admired and have fun getting candy.  It was no more than that.  We had to stay in a group and usually we went for hours.  I have so many fun memories of it growing up.  

Here is my solid belief on the matter and I found the perfect way to explain it from this link HERE but I'll copy a certain portion of it for my blog for an easy read.  

Can the Christian celebrate Halloween?

The answer is simple: Yes and No. Let’s look at the negative first.
The Christian is not to be involved with or support the occult, witchcraft, demonism, or any other thing that uplifts the occult. To do so is to contradict God’s word, dabble in demonic spirits, and invite judgment from God. If a Halloween celebration is centered on demons, devils, spirits, etc., I would say don't have anything to do with it.
On the other hand, it isn't wrong to dress up in a costume and go door-to-door saying "Trick or Treat." Provided that the costume isn't demonic, I can't see anything wrong with this.  It's just fun for the kids.
Take a look at the Christmas tree.  It was originally an ancient fertility symbol. Yet, it has become a representation of Christmas and the place where gifts are placed. Are the Christians, then, paying homage to an ancient pagan fertility god? No. Not at all. They do not consider it pagan at all and are simply joining in on a cultural event and giving no honor to anything unbiblical.
In the Bible in 1 Cor. 10:23-33, Paul speaks about meat sacrificed to idols. This meat was often sold in the meat market and the question arose, "Should a Christian each such meat?"
Paul said in verse 25, "Eat anything that is sold in the meat market, without asking questions for conscience' sake." This is most interesting. He says it is okay to eat the meat bought in the market place even though that meat may have been sacrificed to idols.
Then in verses 28-29 he says, "But if anyone should say to you, 'This is meat sacrificed to idols,' do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?" (NASB). Paul is saying that if you find out the meat was sacrificed to idols, don't eat it -- not because of you, but because of the other person. In other words, eating that meat won't affect you. But, it may affect the attitude of another who does not understand the freedom the Christian has in Christ.
Is it any different with Halloween (or Christmas)? No. Even though Halloween has pagan origins, because of your freedom in Christ, you and/or your kids can dress up in costumes and go door-to-door and just have fun. However, if you are not comfortable with doing this, then you should not.

Pastor Sawyer sharing gospel message after Halloween Play

Another side of this I would love to share with you is something my church does.  Growing up my church would put on haunted houses but not the kind you might think of. We'd cover real nightmares.  Abortion, drunk driving, suicide, gangs, murder, hollywood, drugs, etc.  It always was covered in the news because it drew a lot of attention. Often you'd hear crying during the abortion scenes because it touched a raw nerve in the crowd.  Why do ghost and goblins when sin itself is a nightmare?  In the end, the very last scene, would be a bloody Jesus on the cross and a minister giving a gospel message.  Hundreds of people would get saved through that.  What if we shunned that time of the year and as Christian hid away?  The opportunity to bring Christ to a lost people would be missed.  
This year my church did a Halloween play.  Of course the purpose was to bring a gospel message.  Not glorify evil.  It was powerful and amazing to see so many people respond to Christ.  I took my older boys with me knowing it was about the right age.  My boys had a really long discussion afterwards about sin, the effects of sin, and how we never know how long our time is here on earth.

Tomorrow, yes, I'll be dressing up my kids.  I'll be letting the kids play out their favorite character and get candy.  No, we won't be participating in sacrifices or praying to demons.  After trick or treating we'll be attending the Halloween play again to support it and pray with people.  We're really looking forward to a fun night.  I really think this is a personal conviction.  If God spoke to my heart on he matter, of course I will obey Him.  Just as we still put presents around our Christmas tree.  We are not worshipping the fertility God. We are just having fun exchanging gifts and celebrating Jesus' birth.  Of course we know that was not His actual birth date but it's pretty darn awesome that we set that one day out of the year to celebrate.  

Does your family stay home during Halloween or do you dress your kids up?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Real Life Desperate Housewives

Chaz 3, Ryan 2
I used to belong to this Christian homemakers group.  For the sake of what I'm gonna talk about, I won't say the name of it.  I found the group back when I only had one child and pregnant with my second.  This must've been in 2000.  It was kind of far from my house but I truly needed the support about being a stay at home mom and advice.  I truly strived to be a Godly wife and wanted badly to be a great homekeeper.  Meetings were once a week and a breakfast was always served.  When I first walked in I was in awe.  I'm the kind of gal that always wakes up too late to make myself something to eat.  The kids usually eat but I don't.  Without seeming like I was too hungry, I sauntered over to the breakfast table to grab a plate.  Announcements had already begun and I found a spot next to my friend to sit down while I munched on food.  The usual topic, mainly about organization, I desperately needed to hear.  

When I was single I lived in my own one bedroom apartment. I owned a single bed, one dresser, a table for two, couch for two, two forks, two spoons, two cups, two plates, etc.  Of course also my clothes which were organized.  It was soooo easy to care for.  Now that I had to care for more, I needed the advice.  It wasn't so easy because when you marry, you mesh habits together.

I ended up attending this group up till 2007 and finally decided it was a good time to stop.  It's not that they were boring or a bad group of people. It was fun!  Every week after the initial morning talk we would split up into small groups.  You got to pick the theme of your group.  Teens, toddlers, craft, homeschool, etc.  I picked the toddlers one of course.  Anytime you put a group of very opinionated women together, it can cause sparks.  For the most part I sensed a lot of women really held back things about their personal life for good reason including myself.  Sometimes we shouldn't be so open about personal things.  One woman in particular would talk the ENTIRE time and no one could get a word in edgewise. It was really, really frustrating.  I remember wishing she would either switch groups or quit altogether.  I felt bad thinking this but it would get pretty bad.  Well, one day she did quit but not because it was her choice. She died of cancer.  My heart broke.  I felt so bad for having these feelings towards her.  She left behind a husband and two little kids they adopted together.  :(

As far as money goes, I'm not the jealous type when I see others have a lot of things that I can't have.  I've always thought of expensive things as debt.  Often, two people have to work to afford to have new cars or a big house.  Either that, or hours and hours of overtime.  Just not worth it to me.  Often I would be pulling up in my debt free little two door Toyota with 3 carseats crammed together in the back.  I would park my car in between 2 big Cadillac Escalades and watch as a mom would pull 2 kids out of it.  I used to think, "Whoa.  Two kids in that big hunk of a thing?"  No matter, I was happy and content as I strolled in to enjoy another meeting.  Of course within that same year I bought a gorgeous minivan to fit four kids and fit us better.

One particular day I was happy to announce that I was pregnant with my 4th child.  Usually, how many kids you have was never an issue.  I saw families with up to 8 or 9 kids there but not many.  Many of these moms had maybe 2-3 kids.  As I gave my announcement in small group, a lady says, "That's not right. That is just not fair to your other ones."   I was shocked as I thought this was a group that supported not only staying at home but having children also.  I sat their dumbfounded as no one spoke up and rebuked her.  It completely broke my heart and left me in silence.  That was my first step to pulling away from the group in my heart.  Children are a gift from the Lord and there is just no scripture in the bible you can pull out to defend beating down growing families.  

Because the location of the group, it was held in an upperclass area.  Many of the women were wives of successful business men and CEO's.  I was a happily married woman and loved to share about my family and what a joy it was being married to my best friend.  I didn't really notice the silence in the room till some time later when I would share stories or what went on in my home.  Finally one day a woman piped up, "Okay, okay.  We all know what a fantastic marriage you have."  Huh?  I never bragged about anything.  Often we would all share stories and that's all I did was talk about events and funny things that happened.  I realized later that not many other women shared positive stories about their marriage.  Usually it was just about things they did by themselves or with other women.  Later, as women would share I realized there was something HUGE going on that seemed to be a common but silent complaint.  These women that seemed like they had it all together on the outside, were in fact pretty lonely.  Yes, they could buy what they wanted, eat out when they wanted, swipe their credit cards as they wished. But these were some pretty lonely women.  The reason they didn't like my stories about fun with my husband was because they greatly longed to have that time with theirs.  Successful business men are often on the road a lot or working long hours.  They had a lot of money but at the price of being apart.  Not really enjoying the fruit of their labors in the relationship sense.  My heart broke for these women.  Some of these men traveled weeks as a time away from their family. For the sake of a very nasty commenter I will mention that this of course did not apply to everyone there I'm sure.

One Valentines day, it was a special day for this mom's group.  We were to all bring our husband's in for a Valentines message. I was excited to have my best friend with me to see my mom's group.  Before it started, everyone mingled about and talked.  My husband said all the men talked about was money, more money, and how to make even more.  It was just a one-up kind of talk of who had it the best.  He pretty much felt like a loner while trying to find a normal dude that could just talk about real life.  Well, that didn't happen so we were happy when we could just sit down and hear the message.  Over time, after I had my 5th child, I decided it was about time to leave.  The messages were great, in fact, our speaker is now pretty popular and talks on Family Life Radio with James Dobson.  It took several years for me to see that this was just not a place I could fit in and it wasn't about the money, but the general discontent.  I guess maybe the silent desperation that was there broke my heart.  My life and goals were incredibly different than these women.  Some could even afford to have their own maids but I know all they just longed for a relationship with their spouses more than anything else.  More than money.   

Some husbands would leave their wives for their secretary, one woman was surprised by her husband and taken on an anniversary cruise.  What was meant to be a romantic time together became a nightmare when she found out he did all that to tell her he was leaving her and the kids for another man.  Some that had affairs overseas while on business trips.  Story after story.  I felt like I was living a real life Desperate Housewives show and it became more of a burden to come than a blessing since a lot of time was spent comparing rather than just dealing with real life issues.  With money or without money these situations can happen, I realize that.  I desperately needed a group of women where we could encourage and just enjoy fellowship with each other.

I have not attended a mom's group since then because, frankly, I'm scared. I am a little frightened looking for groups anymore in a more upscale area.   I'm afraid I'll find a group I love, invest time into it, then find out a year later that there are just things behind the scene that really mess with my head.  I afraid of the clicks.  My husband pushes me to try one out but I think my experience really kept me away.  

Probably the closest comparison I could give is either The Stepford Wives (who seemed to have it all together but on puppet strings), or The Desperate Housewives (who completely frighten me with all the drama and deception).  I am not in anyway putting down these women.  Every woman has the dream to marry their prince charming, to still get flowers a decade later, still have that love and commitment.  It's not always like that but if anything we like to have a real relationship with our spouse.  If anything my heart completely broke for them.  Seeing the bags under their eyes, the loneliness, the discontentment.  Of course these stories don't apply to every person that attended there.  It was just hard to see it every week.  I would love to find another group that is healthy and can just give genuine support for one another.  Is it possible to find one?

Have you found a good mom's groups that you feel are healthy for you?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How I knocked My Husband's Tooth Out

The picture is so true except the other way around.  I'm always falling off the edge of the bed.  Haha.  :D

Almost a week ago I did something really bad to my poor husband. It was in the middle of the night, he was laying on the covers where I couldn't get any.  I grabbed the blanket, gripped hard, and pulled the covers with all my might to try and get some.  My left hand slipped and whacked him right in the mouth.  I was hoping I didn't hit him that hard but he jumped up and grabbed his mouth.  Charles ran to the bathroom to get some tissue.  I figured that I gave him a bloody nose or something.  I kept saying, "Oh, I'm so sorry, so sorry!"  Guess what I did.  I not only split his lip with my wedding ring, I split his front tooth.  HIS FRONT TOOTH.  He had blood all over his mouth and was trying to hold part of his tooth in place.  Oh man, I felt sooooo bad.

Caleb's Billy Bob pacifier
The next couple of days he tried to be really careful eating but finally the the piece of tooth fell off so only half of the tooth is there. I feel so bad and he says he looks like he has Billy Bob teeth now.  Sigh.  I called around to several dentists and it'll be over $1,000 to fix it.  Really, really bad timing since the holidays are coming. We have to get it fixed though because Charles doesn't want to be visiting long lost family with Billy Bob teeth.  Soooo, we are thinking about different ways to save money in finding a dentist.  I told him that since we are paying with cash, bargain with them.  You can always negotiate when you are paying it all out of your own pocket.

Charles keeps joking and telling me maybe I was harboring bad feelings towards him and just needed to get it out, even if it was in my sleep.  Noooo, so not true!  Well, at first I joked with him and said, "That's what you get for getting me pregnant!"  Heh heh

(Picture shows Charles with 5 of the kids....before I knocked his tooth out)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How'd I Get this Husband?

I wonder if any other moms feel like their day gets thrown off by doctor's appointments.  Just having to get everyone up in the morning, dressed, looking decent, breakfast, and then out to an office for check ups or shots.  By the time I get back, feed everyone lunch, I'm soooo tired.  Not only that but our homeschooling day just begins and it's already past noon.  I'm used to a routine every day and it's why I dread doctor's/dentists appointments.  Pretty soon I'll be adding an OB appointment to the routine.  

I think I have the ALL PATIENT husband that I never imagined God would bless me with.  He seriously deserves husband of the year/decade award.  Some days I have it all together and some days I'm a scatterbrain who's just happy to have the kids warm, fed, and content.  If I were to ask myself, "Would you marry you?", I'm not so sure.  Ha!  I guess I'd pick someone more organized and together.  Not someone who has so many ups and downs with cleaning and having it all together.  Some days I feel like Superwoman and other days I just want to escape to a bath with a good book for an hour or two (or all day).  My husband has told me before he has more patience because he grew up with his mom and two sisters.  He had no brothers and just had emotions flying all around him in the house.  He says, "Baby, you are calm.  Trust me.  I know what an UP and DOWN person looks like."  I'll have to take his word for it.  Not only

Or maybe he has read this book.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bible Study Humor from Kids

I have so much fun with the kids when we are learning about the bible. Sometimes we get really in depth answers or just really funny ones unintentionally.  Today I was trying to look into why Ryan's bible study through SOS had a lower grade. When I looked into his answers, this is what I saw...

Ryan was sitting next to me and we both started giggling at how he put "and" as one of the answers.  We looked up Galatians 5:22-23 together and found that the 9 fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
This one (above) had Ryan and I in tears and laughter!  I explained to Ryan that "the" will probably never be an answer on here.  We couldn't stop cracking up for a long time.  LOL.  The answer is "12."

His answer was "living for a long time" would would probably be true for some people!  The answer was enduring or patience.  Ryan was never offended because we were just in a silly mood and was laughing together.  It's just so cute working with kids sometimes when studying stuff like this.  Tee hee....


The other night we were studying the book Growing with Jesus before bedtime.  I ask my 11 year old if he could look up the scripture Ecclesiastes 12:14.  Chaz gladly flipped through till he found it and we all listened.  This is what we heard....

"God knows everything people do, even the things done in secret.  He knows all the good and all the bad.  He will judge everything people do.  With good reason, the young women love you, my lover."

What?  I asked him to read it again because the ending didn't sound right.  He read it again and the kids started to giggle.  I had to look it up myself because I don't remember the scripture ending that way.  The kids were all laughing and Chaz was turning bright read having to read "the young women love you, my lover" a second time.  I laughed so hard when I realized that since 12:14 is the last scripture in Ecclesiastes, Chaz hadn't realized he started reading into the Song of Solomon (verse 1:4) on the next page.  Somehow he meshed the two books together.  It took us all like 15 minutes to stop laughing.  I had tears running down my face and the kids kept laughing and laughing. Chaz thought it was pretty funny too!

Kids are so stinking cute.

Monday, October 24, 2011

5 Perks to Eating Outside When Dining Out with Kids

1.  I love how we don't have to worry about inside voices.  The more people you have in your party, the more noise there is.  When you dine on the patio of a restaurant, you don't have to keep saying "shhhh" every minute.  Then there is the other side of the coin. Sometimes it's so loud in a restaurant you have to yell to hear each other. It can be very unromantic.  
"Hey baby, I love how your shirt looks on you tonight."
"What?  You think I'm acting like a jerk tonight?!"  
See what I mean?  
2. If a kid falls off a chair you don't have all the stares from the tables of people around you. Outdoors and kids falling just seem to go together so no one really notices.
3. Less claustrophobic.  There is way more space, air to breathe, and the only thing you have to worry about is earth's gravity ceasing to exist.  
4. If a kid farts, it just doesn't seem as rude.  Plus, the smell goes away quickly.
5. It's so romantic under the stars and especially when they've included a fireplace and music.  Sigh.  

The band was set up under that white
canopy in the background
Ashley coloring her kids menu
The other night my husband took me out (with 6 kids in tow) on a date.  We went to an outside mall.  That wasn't my first choice.  I wanted to go camping by a lake but his city ways made him suggest an outdoors mall instead.  Okay, not NEARLY the same as being by the lake but I'll take it. Heh heh.

We went inside of California Pizza Kitchen and waited about 15 minutes for a table.  It was completely packed!  The restaurant was super loud and people crammed too close together.  Charles and I were not too excited about that so we jumped at the opportunity to sit on the patio where we could see all the shops around us and people walking by.  Way more interesting.  

After we were sat down outside we begin looking around at the scenery and it was so romantic.  The trees were laced with pretty white lights, a band had just started to play in the background, and there was a gentle wind blowing ever so slightly.  It was just awesome.  The kids were more relaxed and less bored.  The band wasn't loud since it was at somewhat of a distance.  We had such a good time and the waitress commented on how good they were.  We had such a good time.

As we walked by the outdoor shops I spotted Motherhood.  I love and hate that store for how beautiful their clothes are but their crazy prices.  After looking at some of the pants offered and high prices I decided on just getting The Tummy Sleeve.  It makes it to where you can wear all your non maternity pants, shorts, and skirts even while pregnant.  You just keep the zipper down and then place The Tummy Sleeve over it to hide it.  Then you can wear them throughout your pregnancy and afterwards!  Even for postpartum.  This is gonna save me some big bucks because I won't have to purchase any new pants or church skirts.  

Anyway, what a great night out!  Every woman has just gotta have it.  When you're inside all the time cleaning, homeschooling, cooking, etc... it feels so good to just get out and do some exploring.  Even thought I didn't get my lake and camping, I'll take the wildness of outdoor malls and patios. Tee hee.

*Even without homeschool, we women still need our breaks.

Ohhh, this is the perfect time to mention I still have a contest running for a $25 gift certificate to the online Bloom Maternity store.  Whether you are pregnant or nursing I'm sure you can find something you love!  Click HERE to enter.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Hinder Your Prayers to God

I laid down the kids at night and as usual grabbed our Growing with Jesus Daily Devotional.  I told Ryan to pick a number from 50 to 200.  He picked page 176.  I skimmed through the pages till I found the right number and repeated the title out loud to the kids "God Forgive as You Forgive."  I smiled thinking this would be a good lesson for the kids.  The scripture it called for was Matthew 6:14-15 so I had Chaz read it aloud.  I'll give you the version that came from the kid's devotional book as they heard it.

"If you forgive others for the things they do wrong, then your Father in heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong.  But if you don't forgive the wrongs of others, then your Father in Heaven will not forgive the wrong things you do." 

I had to read that again.  Sigh.  I know, I know.  I've read it sooo many times. Then I went on to read this out of the kid's devotional.

"Did you know that God's forgiveness actually stops when you refuse to forgive others?  Your friendship with God is possible because of his forgiveness.  If God were unwilling to forgive your sins, your sins would build an invisible wall between him and you.  But God placed every sin you'd ever have on Jesus and washed them away at the cross.  Forgiveness is important because  IT COST GOD THE LIFE OF HIS VERY OWN SON.  Who do you need to forgive today?  A friend?  A schoolmate?  Your mom or dad?  Everyone makes mistakes.  Sometimes tese mistakes my hurt or disappoint you. 

Today: Don't build a wall of bitterness or anger around your heart.  Instead, choose to forgive."

Oh, that really touched my heart.  I still wanted to focus on the kids so after we talked about it I asked each one if there was someone they needed to forgive.  Knowing it was probably little stuff and nothing really big I knew they wouldn't be embarrassed to say it aloud.

Our dog Henry
Ivy (6):  I forgive Ashley because sometimes she bothers me.
Ashley (4): I forgive because I want Jesus in my heart and I want to go to heaven.
Kyle (8):  I forgive Chaz for putting his underwear over my head. I forgive our dog Henry for making us walk through his farts in the living room.
Chaz (11):  Hmmm.... I really can think of anyone I need to forgive.
Ryan (10): No one has been mean to me mom.  (For some reason I felt like he was holding back but really didn't want to push him.

Then I looked towards baby Caleb and asked if anyone needed to forgive him.  Everyone giggled as they looked over and saw him rolling around in his bed completely oblivious to our study.  He was holding a muted megaphone up and talking through it.  Just entertaining himself.

After laying the kids down I got my tired self into the shower.  It had been a productive day.  Was able to homeschool 4 kids, make some good meals, organize two bedrooms, and had a great discussion with the family around the dining room table.  While in the shower my shoulders just hung.  I felt like my energy was drained.  

Thinking about the study with the kids I asked myself, "Is this why I felt like my prayers were reaching only about as high as the ceiling?  It just felt like my prayer life has been completely flat.  What is forgiveness?  Is forgiveness giving someone permission to hurt me again?  No, of course not.   Well, I can't just erase those bad feelings towards them so what do I do?  I don't exactly feel like taking them out to dinner just yet.  A pastor put it in the right perspective before that made perfect sense to me.  Forgiveness is when not only you forgive them, but you never speak of the offense again.  You don't keep that offense as a weapon for an argument.  You just don't talk about it no matter how mad you are.  I had done exactly that.  People that had really hurt me I not only closed myself off to them but I continue to talk about their offenses over and over.  Maybe not to them but in the privacy of my home with my husband.

How could I?  God gave His on son who was brutally beaten and killed for my sins, which are many by the way.  I couldn't forgive others?  After all the kids were sound asleep and my husband, I prayed to God and named every person before Him.  Then I asked God if He would forgive me for my bitterness.  He had forgiven my humongous debt and here I was holding others hostage in my heart.  

I want my prayers to reach heaven.  I had a peace in me after giving all that to God.  I don't want to grow old with a dried and twisted heart.  I want others to see joy and peace in me because of having Jesus in my heart. Not see an old lady flinging her cane around at people in the store because they got in my way and I had to get my bitterness out on everyone that passed by.

Often, when I see someone who has to constantly hurt others, be critical, judgmental, closed off, inconsiderate, I see a person who has a lot of hurt inside.  Like a ship that's been damaged from war but never rebuilt.  Who wants to live in a damaged ship till it sinks?  I don't.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Newer and Easier Chore List On Trial

Today was one of those really good days.  I didn't get a lot of sleep but some reason it was fine this time.  I got up, made Cinnamon Streusel muffins for my family, spent some fun time with them, and then started a new project.  This one I was dreading a little.  I like things to be very simple otherwise I won't stick with it.  When I find something that works, its hard for me to change it. However, after a meeting with the family, this is what they all wanted:

I already had a somewhat comfortable chore system set in place.  However, the kids quickly forgot their chores so I did some study work.  I did a search online and got an idea of what parents do with their kids as far as chores go.  In some of the Duggar videos I noticed that the kids just have one room they are responsible for.  Sounded so simple!  I decided to give it a whirl and use their new chorepack cards I had purchased.  However, I am not completely following their system ( of making the cards. I didn't want to be changing out their cards all the time so I just listed everyone they have to do in one day on a card.  Then, I clip it to their clothes until they have finished it all.  That way, throughout the day they can just look at their card and see what needs to get done.  

The boys of course can read so theirs was written out.  Thank goodness. I couldn't of fit tons of pictures on those.

The girls can't read so theirs was done in pictures which is so cute!  Haha.  The are hung up on some pretty strong magnets for now on our garage door in our dining room till I can get something made for it.  

This is an overview put up in several spots around our house.  We constantly have to change things around with our growing family or when we see things that just aren't working out.  By the way, we are NOT early birds because we all goof off later into the evening so I don't put pressure on them to get up early.  I wasn't that way growing up either.  My family loved fellowships and often it went late into the evening.  We loved it!

So that was my huge Before Noon accomplishment.  We had to have a family meeting and figure all this stuff out.  The kids love the simplicity and so do I.  

Next we homeschooled as usual.  It's not so easy for Chaz because he always panics when things get too tough.  I usually have to peel him off the floor like his previous teachers had to, sit him back down in his chair, and tell him he can do it.  He usually tries to tell me things like, "I can't do it.  I've never learned that before, etc."  Really?  You can do simple subtraction?  Um, didn't you learn that in first grade?  (He's in 5th grade).  After I push and prod him he EASILY shows me how he can subtract and borrow.  He's such a stinker.  :)  Ivy loves to homeschool and work in her workbooks.  Ashley says she's her helper by holding the crayon box.  Heh heh.  As long as Ashley feels like she's a part of something or helping out, she is happy.  You can always figure out which one is Ashley in the picture because she's always in costume with a crown on her head.  She has to be princessy all the time.  In the picture Ivy is working on her Math workbook.  

Today was a GREAT day with very little morning sickness and exhaustion.  I put tons of laundry away after our list was accomplished.  Because I'm afraid this is a one time thing, I'm gonna go do some more cleaning RIGHT NOW before I go to bed.  Yeehaw!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Condition That Causes Fatigue and Disorganization

It's called pregnancy!  Ha.  

Whoa, I just really have these knockout days where I don't get anything done.  This morning I woke up with morning sickness and a migraine.  Coffee is getting grosser to me now like it does with every pregnancy.  Probably a good thing anyway.  Thankfully my husband comes home 9am everyday so it helps in situations like these.  He just let me get better while he took care of the kids.  I'm sooooo grateful to him.  He told me no homeschooling today since it took till 3pm to feel better.  

The phone rings off the hook every 10 minutes.  I can prove it by all the messages on my answering machine.  Sometimes the times on them will look like this.  A call at 10:00, 10:11, 10:30, 10:44, etc.  We empty off that machine every other day or so because it just gets so full.  I've gotten to the point where if it's an emergency I'll know it's an emergency if I hear screaming on the answering machine.  Heh heh.

It breaks my heart to see the house fall apart from not having as much energy.  I think it's time to get rid of more stuff. Yep, that's how much stuff we have.  It builds up fast.  I just need to simplify and it's so much easier than it looks.  I talk myself back into everything yet I like the house to be simple. Can't have both.  However, I need some energy really, really bad.  You know though, life doesn't need all this worry.  I just need to take each day as it is, and do what I can with it.  Someday my energy will be back and I'll have a cleaner house. 

For now, there is always Angry Birds.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

This Family Loves Adventure

On Friday we had an adventurous day at the zoo.  Of course we took along a friend for the kids because on our membership we can have up to 14 kids.  :)  We can't waste it!  It's funny because throughout the day I would count the kids and saying, "Seven?  That's it?"  My husband would have to remind me that we only have six kids and one is a friend.  So yeah, for some reason lately I keep thinking I'm missing someone.  This has been happening a lot lately.  It must be from always taking extra kids with us when we go places.

We go to the zoo about twice a month throughout the year, sometimes more, but we never get sick of it.  It's not just the animals but the atmosphere, walking together, exploring, doing something different each time.  We always have a picnic every time.

We let Kyle and Ivy bring their bike since it's allowed here.  I think we gonna have to get everyone a bike this year just so that we can all bike ride.  Would be fantastic!

An unconventional way to climb a tree but this works!  Haha.  Georgie on the right took a flying leap.

I love this picture of the boys.  I'm thinking about getting it made really big if it's good enough quality and putting it in the homeschool room.

My boys just really doubt their abilities and question themselves a lot.  This should be a poster size.

After we had a picnic, saw the animals, rode bikes, we headed to the hill behind the zoo and decided it was time to show our kids the fun little cave.  It was so easy to hike, thank goodness, and I wasn't so fearful about a kid falling off.  I really did refuse to take them till I was confident they were obedient enough to stay away from the edge as I asked.  It was actually really relaxing and the kids did really well.

Charles with the kids just relaxing and enjoying the view!  There were so many little pits and felt like a easy chair to sit in.  Was pretty cool.

Panoramic view of left side of cave

Panoramic of right side of cave

This is such a neat picture of the boys checking out the sunset.  From left, Chaz, friend Georgie, Kyle, and Ryan.

Georgie is such a good boy and always easy to take along to family outings.  We actually kept him an extra day longer until church Sunday morning.  

Watching the sunset looking towards downtown.  Was beautiful! 

On the way down from the caves Ivy was singing a song to Jesus.  It was so cute so I recorded it on my camera while we were walking.