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Showing posts from March, 2016

An (Almost) Unbelievable Day

Today was an incredibly surprising day.  Like insane. 

For most of you, it will probably sound like a normal day.  Most people I imagine are much better at daily life than I am.  But for me, it was almost unbelievable.

I got up this morning, got the girls ready for school, including making their lunches.  After they left, I read a chapter of the Bible, because although I am not very good at doing it, I TRY to start every day with either Scripture writing or Bible reading, and since the girls seem to lose pens at a rate even more alarming than the rate I lose them, reading is more doable than writing.

After that I took a shower.  Then I got breakfast ready for the boys, and while they ate breakfast I got dressed, put on make-up and did my hair.  Little Guy got dressed then I gave Boy Z a shower (we had about a dozen people that needed to shower yesterday before church, so he needed one today) and did both their hair.  Little Guy needs a haircut so he is a bit shaggy if I don't gel…

Pathway to Freedom by Alistair Begg - A Review

What is the purpose of the 10 Commandments in a Christian's Life?  That is the question that Alistair Begg takes on in his book Pathway to Freedom. 

This book has a chapter for each of the ten commandments given to Moses by God so long ago on Mount Sinai.  It also looks at the different ways the ten commandments can bring us closer to God, closer to Jesus, and closer to each other.

This book is a wonderful.  It starts to drag in a few places, but overall it was a great read.  The content of the book far outweighs the few parts that are a little less page-turning.

From the back cover:
God’s code of conduct is as relevant and insistent today as it’s always been.
The landscape of contemporary society reveals that we neither know nor care much about the Law of God. There is:
A general lawlessness in the lives of professing Christians.An absence of the fear of God in public worship and private living.A growing confidence in ourselves and doubt concerning God and His Word. Amidst this mo…

Learning About Desert Tortoises - Mother Goose Time

Today we went back to five kids, so I was able to do some school with Mother Goose Time!  Of course the girls are off for Spring Break, so we included our six year old (E) in our fun.  She is a little to old for it, but she is young enough she thinks it is fun anyways, and she adds some more interesting answers to our discussion questions.  We also included Boy-Z, although at 22 months, he wasn't really doing anything.
For whatever reason, Little Guy was pretty excited about Desert Tortoise day.  Last week he was putting a box on his back and told me he was a desert tortoise, and the box was his shell.  I am not really even sure where he heard about them... I must have shown him the bags as I was going through the box and the tortoise stuck with him.
First we read The Tortoise and the Hare.  They got to run around while I read it, going FAST whenever I said "hare" and s   l    o   w whenever I said "tortoise".  Because I doubted how much they were listening wh…

Individualizing Instruction

In case you have missed it, I really enjoy using the Mother Goose Time curriculum that Little Guy and I receive for free in exchange for our honest reviews.  Every once in a while I don't think they do quite enough of something for my little man though, and at that point I individualize some things for him.

One of the most obvious things that I do is with the Sight Word Pointers and the I Can Read books.  In the usual course of the curriculum, the I Can Read books are used one day, then sent home with kids.  Since I really value literacy and reading, and Little Guy already knows all his letters and most of the sounds, I think these resources deserve more of our time.  So every month I dig out the books and pointers, add them to the first day's bag, and we use them every day.

My six year old is not great at reading, and so she is in a reading class at school.  She comes home with sight words on a little ring that she is supposed to study, I thought this was brilliant and used th…

Experience God with Mother Goose Time

Mother Goose Time offers a variety of add-ons to their great preschool curriculum.  You can get Little Goose for toddlers, More Math and Literacy for kids that are ready for more "book learnin'", Dance 'n Beats for physical education/dance, and Experience God for teaching Little Ones about God.  Little Guy and I were doing a good enough job at blogging about Mother Goose Time that we were offered an add-on kit for free in exchange for more reviewing!  *side note: I always say Little Guy and I because while I do the "work" side of things with the blogging, if it were not for him and his hard work we wouldn't have anything to review!*  I had a hard time choosing between Dance 'n Beats and Experience God, but I found out I was doing a terrible job at his Bible Education when we were talking about what was read and what was not real and he said God wasn't real.  So we had a talk about that, and my decision was made simple! 
*another side note: We …

Excuses and My Son May Be An Elephant

Well, we had a good run.  We went 9 days in a row of doing our Mother Goose Time.  Even when Bitty Baby had surgery we didn't miss a day because we did it the evening before.  Then on the 11th, Bitty Baby left.  We didn't do Mother Goose Time that day because I was busy crying.  Then on Monday I spent the day up at my grandparents' house, because my Grandpa has been really sick lately. 

I figured on Tuesday we would get back into the swing of things.  Nope.  Instead we got not one, but TWO new foster children.  A 13 month old and a 22 month old (unrelated).  Little Guy and I are to busy listening to the new children (who apparently used to be able roam about the house unsupervised getting into things while carrying around a drink and snacks) scream because they are not allowed to play with my modem or wander around the kitchen opening drawers to get any school done.

On Tuesday we TRIED to do Mother Goose Time, and we did a few things, but overall it was kind of a fail.  T…

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer - A Review

I don't actually read a lot of fiction.  Parenting books, good wife books and religious books are my usual go-tos.  I read the description of Room for Hope and thought it sounded really interesting, but after it arrived it found its way to the middle of my to-be-read pile.

When I DID pick it up, I barely put it down!  Room for Hope was like the perfect book!  My two favorite authors are Sophia Kinsella and Beverly Lewis.  I love the characters that Sophie Kinsella writes, and the way her story progresses at a quick pace, but there are pieces of her stories that are not exactly great morally.  Beverly Lewis creates really intriguing stories, with a good focus on God, but her stories can go at such a slow pace that its easy to put them down and forget to pick them back up.  Apparently Kim Vogel Sawyer is my dream author!

From the back cover (with an addition of my own):
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells ite…


Yesterday, Bitty Baby had surgery.  She had a hernia, and they had to repair it.  The surgery went well, and she was discharged a couple hours after they did the repairs.

On the way home she was pretty good at sleeping, until we switched cars.

We switched cars because I usually meet my mom halfway for appointments.  She drives us so I don't have to try to park my big SUV in Portland.  And of course keeps me company and is a HUGE help with Little Guy.

When we switched cars, it woke her up, and after that she started crying every time I stopped or turned a corner.  It was so sad.  By the time she got home she was really, really upset.

At ten years old I had an appendectomy, and they gave me morphine.  Not so for babies.  They just told me to give her Tylenol every six hours.  I would be really mad if they gave me Tylenol for abdominal surgery, but whatever.

The poor baby couldn't move AT ALL without crying.  Even when she would just move her arm she would start bawling.  So wh…

Another Sad Good-bye

One year and about 2 months ago, my beautiful little girl, Miss Baby, was moved across the country to live with family members she had not seen in over a year.  (For those that don't know we do foster care.)  That was probably the saddest I have ever been, other than when my grandpa died.  But I was also angry.  The whole situation was messed up, and I didn't think it was right for her to be moved.

Today, Bitty Baby left.  Her situation was pretty good.  Her dad found out he had a baby, had a good record, and wanted to have his little girl.  This is a definite success story!  I actually didn't think I was that sad until we got the message yesterday saying she would go home today.  Then I realized that despite the good things about the situation, this was "my" baby!  I brought her home from the hospital, I fed her every few hours for a couple months.  I took her to the hospital for surgery yesterday (Yeah the judge was awesome and ordered her home the day after h…

4 Things to Say to Bored Children and 1 Way to Avoid it in the First Place

Kids LOVE to complain that they are bored.  Parents HATE to hear their kids complain that they are bored.  I don't hear "I'm bored" a lot, because I don't really give them satisfying answers.  I NEVER suggest what they really want (television), and actually, I never suggest anything.  Here are the top answers I give my kids when they tell me they are bored.
That sucks.  What do you want to do? - This is my go-to, and what I say at least 50% of the time.  Go clean your room. Fold the laundry on the couch. - There is always laundry on the couch when seven people live in a house.You have a ton of books, go read. The key to the last three is making sure that they are aware that it is not a suggestion.  Its not "find something to do, or I will find something for you to do" which will do nothing to discourage them from complaining about it next time.  It is "okay, you said you were bored, I found you a solution, when you are done you can find your own ent…

Jesus Called - He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston - A Review

Sometimes, you pick a book because of its cover.  Other times, the author is someone you really like for one reason or another.  And every once in a while, the title is so good, you know you have to read it!

That was the case with Jesus Called - He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston, which I received free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own :)  It was a title to good to pass up!  The book did not disappoint, although it was much less snarky than the title implied.

If I were to summarize the main point of this book in one sentence, it would be: Act on your faith!  Americans (and most of the Western world) are spectators in their religion, rather than participants.  Imagine the amazing impact Christians could have, if instead of talking about religion, we acted on it.  In this book, we see some of the amazing things that are accomplished when we let Jesus lead our lives.

In addition to the almost unbelievable stories of God working throug…

"Is That a Ford Mustang?" and Other Cute Car Quips

My husband loves cars.  He plays a lot of racing video games right now, and so Little Guy is learning to like cars too.  He has been able to recognize Volkswagen Beetles for a long time, and will often see the "slug bugs" before I do.  But recently he is making an effort to learn new cars, so often when we take walks, he asks me "Is that a Ford Mustang?", or something along those lines.

He is getting better at recognizing them, and always gets excited when he is right, and says "Just like mine!" (he has a couple of Ford Mustang Hot Wheels Cars).

Michael likes Nissan Skylines, and was driving them a lot in The Crew, so Little Guy is certain they are the best cars.  The other day we were in the car and he said "I'm going to have a Nissan Skyline." (side note for those that don't know, they don't sell Skylines in the USA, so that will be quite a feat)  I said "Daddy wants a Skyline too."  His reply was "I race him in my N…

Why Do Babies Grow Up?

This is a picture of my son two years ago.  Back then he was baby, he couldn't even walk yet!  His favorite thing to do was crawl around the yard.  He loved bananas and hated cottage cheese.  He couldn't really talk, although he had a couple of words.  He was still drinking out of bottles!

Now he is my little man.  He says things like "I am not a baby anymore!".  He still loves to play outside, and this Spring we are building a fence so he can be outside more often.  He can run, jump, kick, throw and stand on one foot.  He still loves bananas, and likes cottage cheese too.  He hasn't had a bottle in almost two years.  He talks like crazy, knows his alphabet, he can count, and can spell a few words.  He can tell you what his heart does, and has a vast vocabulary, which he uses very well.  He even uses the toilet!

Do I wish he was still a baby?  No, not really.  Other than a few horrible weeks of defiant behavior recently, he is a joy to be around.  I look forward…

The Ten Best Candies - According to Rachel

I really enjoy candy!  My waistline didn't used to reflect this fact, but it is definitely trying to be more honest lately.  Anyways, I am making an effort to post more frequently, so here is a just for fun post.  My favorite candies.  In no real order. 

1) York Peppermint Patties 2) Junior Mints 3) Nerds 4) SweeTarts 5) Red Hots 6) Kit Kats 7) Atomic Fireballs 8) Smarties 9) Candy Corn 10) Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles

Everyday Influence by Bill Butterworth - A Review

My husband went to a men's conference a few weeks ago. He went with our pastor, who bought a few of the books that the speaker has written.  Not knowing that reading isn't my husband's favorite pastime, he generously offered to lend a couple to my husband.  Surprisingly, my husband read one of them right away (surprising because in 10 years of living together I think he has only read like three books, and they were all Animorphs).  The other one was a bit longer, and he told me I should read it.  I think he is hoping to be able to just ask me about it and not actually have to read it.

In all honesty, I didn't really want to read it.  I was not 100% sure if I was interested in the topic, and I have a small stack of books I have recently signed up to review.

But, it came down to my husband having asked me to do two things: clean the house and read Everyday Influence by Bill Butterworth.  Obviously, I was going to do the reading one.  Because I am a terrible housewife, a…

Learning About Cowboy Hats - Mother Goose Time

Wow.  After last month I would not have thought today was possible! 

We did Circle Time, Experience God, AND all FOUR preschool learning activities.  So it was basically the perfect preschool day.  To top it off, Little Guy did really well at most of the activities, which is always encouraging.

Experience God was a little tough for Little Guy today.  We were talking about how we should always obey God, and God will always tell us to do only good and helpful things.  To illustrate this we played "God says" which is like "Simon Says".  In all honesty it made me a little uncomfortable when I thought about it, because I am not God (and I was the one telling him what do to), and God doesn't tell people to do things like jump up and down.  Little Guy didn't get it anyways, and just did everything that I told him to do, whether I said "God says" first, or not.  I really like that doing the Experience God stuff before the rest of our school day reminds us…

Learning About Cowboy Boots - Mother Goose Time

Today we started Discover the Desert.  It was a great start to what I am REALLY hoping will be a great month!

We had quite a few errands to run today, so we did an abbreviated day, but actually got a lot done!

Early this morning (well early for me, probably mid morning for most moms) I redid our Circle Time Display.  For some reason this always makes me more excited than Little Guy. :)  This month we are learning about brown, squares, number 13 and 14, and letter H,I, and Y. 

This morning before we left for our errands, we got a package from FedEx.  It was our new Add-On pack.  Little Guy and I now get to use the Experience God kit from Mother Goose Time.  I was glad we didn't do our school time this morning, because that way we could implement our Experience God kit right away.  This month the theme is God Asks Us To Obey, which I think is a great thing to start with.  I will go into it in more detail in future posts, but it looks pretty awesome!

We did our school time in the sh…

Three Reasons I Am Super Stoked to Discover the Desert With Mother Goose Time

This March, Little Guy and I are going to Discover the Desert with Mother Goose Time.

I am really excited about this month, for a wide variety of reasons.

Reason One:
Cowboys!  What could be more fun for a little boy than learning about cowboys?  We are spending our whole first week learning about rodeos and cowboys.  Although it is the wrong time of year for a rodeo, I am sure that Little Guy will make the connections this summer if we get a chance to take him.  Plus, this is the perfect time to have him watch his first John Wayne movie.  Which will definitely be McLintock. Reason Two: An amazing list of activities!  Every month I go through the Teacher Guide and mark the activities I really want to do, because I know I will not get ALL of them done.  Some months (so far Going on a Safari and Discover the Desert) I end up marking darn near all of them, because the activities seem so fun, but still achievable.  Some activities seem fun, but involve a lot of prep on my part, or going o…