Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall pastor conference day 1

Ram had a conference in St. Cloud on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We considered going up on Sunday, but then he had an LLL meeting on Sunday night. So we had to get up really early on Monday in order for Ram to get there on time. We were all healthy and we were all able to go along. Well, on the way there Lamb 2 said he had to "spit up" so I got a little scared. But he did well the whole time.
We dropped Ram off at the conference. Two of my friends who I planned to meet there were unable to come. First, my college friend Leah, was visiting her family. Second, The Mama had sick kids and other reasons she was unable to come. I was really looking forward to meeting The Mama and having our kids play together. She was very disappointed to not come too. Please keep her (and her unborn baby and her kids) in your prayers. None of the pastor's wives from our circuit were able to attend either. So this meant that I had the 3 Lambs by myself while Ram attended the conference.
Monday was extremely windy which made it cold. The Lambs really wanted to go to a park, but it was just too windy. So we went to Menards and played on their swingsets etc. Each Lamb had their own little house to play in. Lamb 3 went in the swing for a long time. All 3 went down the slide several times. It was nice because it was a "park" but it was sort of inside and sheltered from the wind. It was still cold and the garage doors were very creaky with all that wind. We played for awhile and then did a little shopping. All 3 Lambs sat in one cart and made a train. There was hardly room in the cart to buy anything.
Next we went to Qdoba for lunch. I usually get 3 tacos for Lamb 1 and 2 to share. They ate all that and Lamb 1 was still hungry. Lamb 3 ate a lot of black beans.
Then we made a stop at Goodwill to drop off some of the stuff I've been cleaning out. We had to wait a long time because I think everyone else is doing the same thing and dropping off stuff after garage sales. We didn't go shopping. The Lambs wanted too, but I wasn't brave enough to take 3 Lambs there by myself.
Then we went to Barnes and Noble to play with the Thomas trains but we didn't buy anything.
Then we went to Coldstone Creamery. I had never been there before. I had a coupon for two but I foolishly thought it would be cheaper to get 2 kids cones plus my own instead of two adult size. I ended up spending way too much money there. Their ice cream was good, but I wasn't impressed enough to spend that much money on ice cream again. Of course, the next day the Lambs tried to talk me into going again!
Then we went shopping at Target. We bought everything on the list and only forgot one thing. I say that is pretty successful shopping when I'm not used to shopping by myself with the 3 Lambs. Of course the Lambs talked me into a lot from the dollar section and the toy section. They each chose one toy to keep and the rest were future prizes (potty training etc.). Lamb 1 chose a motor home matchbox car (something like Grandpa and Grandma have) and Lamb 2 chose a Schleich kangaroo.
Then we went to the drive up at Starbucks. Lamb 1 was shocked that I didn't get anything for Ram.
I was pretty tired after all this and Lamb 3 had fallen asleep so even though we were about 1 1/2 hours early, we went to the church to pick up Ram. Lamb 1 and 2 took turns "driving" and played in our minivan while Lamb 3 slept.
We went inside the church about 1/2 hour early. A pastor I knew from Seminary before I met Ram, totally surprised me and came up and gave me a hug. When Ram asked him about it later, he said, "I just felt like giving her a hug!" Another pastor said this pastor has really changed (for the better) since going through the Doxology program. Ram and I did a little shopping at the CPH booth and rounded up the wild Lambs for supper.
We met some of the other pastors from the circuit at Mongo's Grill for supper. We didn't even know there was a Mongolian Grill in St. Cloud before this. Lamb 1 ate really well-one big helping. Lamb 2 didn't eat so well. Lamb 3 ate lots of black beans. Lamb 1 asked if we could go back there for supper the next day! I ate too much but it was so yummy.
We went back to the hotel and went swimming for a short time. Then baths and bed. Ram went to another pastor's room to talk with the circuit pastors staying at our hotel.
We had a great day and it wasn't so bad for me to be stuck with the 3 Lambs without a buddy! The Lambs had a great time and were happy with their treats.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Third Week of School Report

We were recovering from the flu so we didn't do very much school this week. The Lambs were glad that we were back to school when I felt well enough, but they said they didn't miss not having school. I think they were too sick to care on those days. Here's what we did accomplish:
Math: Finished lesson 1 in Math U See including lots of time for both Lambs to show me they really understand it and show me with the blocks. I love MUS so far! Began lesson 2. Lamb 1 worked in his math workbook a little. We actually worked on math more than anything else this week because the Lambs asked for it.
Handwriting: Lamb 1 did the math workbook writing the number 12 and the word twelve. He begged to do more but I didn't feel like helping him. Lamb 1 was the one that missed the routine of school this week, as I just did a little when I felt like it.
Phonics: Reviewed vowels, didn't start anything new
Religion: Memorized Mark 2:5 (for Sunday School), worked on memorizing the first commandment and the hymn Jesus Lead Thou On a little. Did the Sunday School lesson they missed on David and Nathan. Didn't do any other Bible stories.
Science: Read from Berenstain Bears science book a little, read about bears.
Reading: Finished The Story about Ping, Began Madeline (Ram's parents are going to Paris soon for Ram's dad to go on business), Read a few stories from My Book House and a few poems, recited Happy Thought by R.L. Stevenson daily.

We are off to a field trip while Ram goes to the pastor's conference early this week. I am praying that we are all completely healthy when we return and we can get off to a good start for school after this last crazy month. Ram had a slight possibility of another funeral and I'm so glad that he doesn't have that one. I just wanted to scream when he told me about the possibility because I was hoping to finally get going on school. A funeral ends up messing up the entire week for our family. Thankfully he doesn't have to do that funeral. When we return I want to do more Prima Latina and also music and art with the Lambs. I want to start memorizing a new poem and a new hymn. I want to get going on The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. I pray that we stay healthy so we can accomplish this!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You know you live in a rural area when...

I heard the Lambs while they were playing cars. Lamb 1 invited Lamb 2 to come to the play mat to play cars. They started out playing on their own on separate parts of the mat. Then Lamb 1 invited Lamb 2 to come to his part of the mat. Lamb 2 asked, "Is it far?" Lamb 1 said, "No." I looked and it was on the complete other side of the mat. When I questioned Lamb 1, he said, "This isn't far. I could have asked him to go way over there, off the mat." Then Lamb 2 started asking questions that were in his frame of reference-Is it farther than the town 7 miles away? Is it farther than the 1 1/2 hour drive we normally do for grocery shopping? Is it farther than the 3 hours for major shopping? Is it farther than Grandma and Grandpa's?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Luther quotes

These are also taken from Luther: The Estate of Marriage Sermon of 1522

"Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool, though that father is acting in the spirit just described and in Christian faith, my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all his angels and creatures is smiling, not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith. Those who sneer at him and see only the task but not the faith are ridiculing God with all his creatures, as the biggest fool on earth. Indeed, they are only ridiculing themselves; with all their cleverness they are nothing but devil's fools."
Ram and I actually had a conversation about this. One day this summer I had hung the cloth diapers out on the line to dry. I love to hang the clothes on the line, because I feel like I'm accomplishing something AND saving money and electricity. But I hate to take them off the line. You see, when it is time to take them off the line, I don't want to put shoes on and/or get bit by mosquitoes and/or have to get all the Lambs ready to go outside with their shoes etc. So on this particular day, Ram offered to go get the clothes off the line. The neighbor high school/college age kids were outside. Just as Ram started to remove the diapers off the line, the neighbor kids started laughing very loudly. It probably had nothing to do with Ram, but it made him think. Then he thought to himself (and later told me), "Who cares if they laugh, I love my wife enough to help her take the clothes off the line."
Ram hasn't washed our cloth diapers because I'm very particular about laundry and I don't let him in the laundry room very often. But he loads the dishwasher as often as I do, if not more. He watches the Lambs so I can get a nap almost daily. He probably changes more diapers than I do. When he is at home, he helps me until the Lambs are all in bed. His attitude-he definitely does it all in Christian faith!
"St. Cyprian, that great and admirable man and holy martyr, wrote that one should kiss the new-born infant, even before it is baptised, in honour of the hands of God here engaged in a brand new deed. What do you suppose he would have said about a baptised infant? There was a true Christian, who correctly recognised and regarded God's work and creature. Therefore, I say that all nuns and monks who lack faith, and who trust in their own chastity and in their order, are not worthy of rocking a baptised child or preparing its pap, even if it were the child of a harlot. This is because their order and manner of life has no word of God as its warrant. They cannot boast that what they do is pleasing in God's sight, as can the woman in childbirth, even if her child is born out of wedlock."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Luther quote about childbirth

In this post I had a quote from Martin Luther that was in Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, but I couldn't find a reference. My dad tried looking for the reference a little bit without any luck. As I was trying to find that reference (I still haven't found it), I discovered some quotes in Luther: The Estate of Marriage sermon of 1522. I just had to share these!

"A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways: and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works."
This quote was also in PHDfG. It is a wonderful quote for me. This is exactly what I do all day long!

"This is also how to comfort and encourage a woman in the pangs of childbirth, not by repeating St. Margaret legends and other silly old wives' tales but by speaking thus, "Dear Grete, remember that you are a woman, and that this work of God in you is pleasing to him. Trust joyfully in his will, and let him have his way with you. Work with all your might to bring forth the child. Should it mean your death, then depart happily, for you will die in a noble deed and in subservience to God. If you were not a woman you should now wish to be one for the sake of this very work alone, that you might thus gloriously suffer and even die in the performance of God's work and will. For here you have the word of God, who so created you and implanted within you this extremity." Tell me, is not this indeed (as Solomon says [Prov. 18:22]) "to obtain favour from the Lord," even in the midst of such extremity?"
Um, no, this is NOT what I want to be told when I am in the midst of childbirth. When I read this quote to Ram and told him this is not what I wanted to hear, he said, "Don't worry, I would call you Ewe, not Grete." Grr!
Ram has taken a book by the apostolic fathers with him for my last two births (he hadn't bought the book yet when I had Lamb 1). He was happy to get a lot of reading done while I was in labor! He also suggested that next time I'm labor that he should bring this sermon from Luther and read it to me while I'm in labor. Grr!
But seriously, this is a great quote to read before or after childbirth, just not when you are in the midst of it!

I have two more quotes from this sermon that I plan to share in a later post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congratulations, Pam and flu update

My friend Pam had a great blog post. I'm so happy for her! She has 4 boys. I met her before she moved to ND.

We still are recovering from the flu. Without being official, the doctor is pretty sure we had H1N1. The Lambs are grouchy so I know they aren't completely well, but they say they feel better and they don't have temperatures any more. Ram was doing better but today he felt ill enough to not go to an important meeting tonight. Hopefully the tri-parish council had a good meeting without their pastor there. I got a sinus infection after the flu and I'm still not recovered from the flu. Needless to say, we haven't had ANY school this week except for doing the Sunday School lesson that they missed on Sunday. We are trying to all get healthy enough to go along to pastor conference next week.

I had heard that your family should be prepared for H1N1 with extra supplies. I assumed that meant Tylenol and ginger ale and tissues and items like that for being sick. We had all that. We live 7 miles away from town and the drug store closes at 6pm so we always have supplies like that. But what I wasn't prepared for was when you have H1N1, you aren't allowed to go out of your house except for medical care until your temperature is below 100 degrees for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol to reduce the temperature. What we really needed was bananas. You can't stock up on that ahead of time when you don't know you are going to get sick. Lamb 3 hasn't acted very sick, but he didn't have much appetite. The one thing we could get him to eat was bananas. Thankfully Ram was feeling well enough to go buy bananas yesterday. We ate almost the whole bunch that he bought in one day. So today he went to buy more thinking he was well enough. Then later he didn't feel well again. I'm so glad I don't work at a grocery store or pharmacy or bank or a place like that-that people may truly have to go to even if they know they are sick and they shouldn't go.

I understand how the flu travels, but I'm still confused how we got the flu this time. We normally go out of town for a long day of shopping and go to multiple stores where we would be exposed a few times a month. We haven't done that since Labor Day weekend. Ram hasn't visited very many people recently and he was the last one to get the flu in our family. Lamb 2 was actually the one that had it first. Looking at our schedule the week before we came down with the flu, Lamb 2 hardly left the house. ECFE and library storytime and places where I would expect the Lambs to get it haven't started again this fall yet. This is a good example that you can really get the flu anywhere at any time no matter how careful you are. We wouldn't have given the Lambs the flu shot this year any way, but it makes me mad that we got the flu before we even had a chance to be offered the shots! Today was the day that shots were offered at our clinic but I was too ill to go get one. We just can't win!

Wordless Wednesday-Best of the First Day of Sunday School photos

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God-Part 1-UPDATED

Several of the blogs I read, including Father Hollywood and CSPP, have recommended this book. While I was sick this weekend I read this book. I don't know quite what I expected, but it wasn't exactly what I expected. I think I expected it to be more like this book. PHDfG (my abbreviation since the title is so long) was an excellent book and an eye opener to me. (I will discuss the eye opener part in a later post.) I wish this book would have been published when I was in college because it would have been great to discuss it chapter by chapter with my college roommates. In this rural area I have no friends that are stay at home moms that I could get together with. I don't have time to talk on the phone with my friends far away. So I decided to have a little "book discussion" on my blog for the next few weeks. I marked several sections and quotes from the book and I plan to "talk" about them once a week on my blog.
"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow." Martin Luther (quote from page 23 PHDfG)
This quote reminded me that my dad always said a thank you prayer when he changed my diaper or my sister's diaper and the messier the diaper was, the more thankful he was that the plumbing worked. You see, when the plumbing doesn't work, you have a very sick baby. I couldn't find an endnote saying where this quote was from. I think I'm going to write it out and post it in my kitchen as a reminder for myself. This quote was the very best part of the book for me. At this point in my life of changing diapers and having disgusting flies because I didn't do the housework and displining the Lambs multiple times for the same thing and potty training and attempting to homeschool and dealing with Lamb 2 not staying in bed all night and my list could continue...this quote is what I needed to hear.
"In serving as her husband's helper, a wife performs many valuable roles. She is to be his solitary lover, his counselor, and his closest friend. She has the unique honor of mothering his children and keeping their home. In all her tasks, she seeks to further him as a man. His work of dominion is her work; she embraces his vision as her own as she promotes and enhances his life pursuits." (PHDfG page 32 without Bible references)
"...the wife's primary role is that of mother and home-keeper. She is to diligently tend to the affairs of their home, even as she bears and cares for their children." (PHDfG page 33 without Bible references)
I am so thankful that where we live in this rural area, has forced Ram and I to be each other's closest friends. Not that girlfriends aren't important too, but it has been good for Ram and I to become best friends.
"Ladies, we have a great and glorious work before us. Keeping the home has been entrusted to us by God. Under the leadership of our husbands, we are to train up our children in the way they should go; we are to create beauty and comfort within our homes; and the work of our hands should reflect industry and productivity. We are to worship alongside our children, teaching them the laws of God night and day. We are commanded to practice hospitality to strangers and friends alike-sacrificing in love a portion of ourselves to those who enter our homes. Using our gifts and talents to glorify God in our role as helpers to our husbands, all within the well-choreographed dance of home life, imparts a quiet lesson to a watching world and communicates true contentment in the loveliness of womanhood. It declares 'His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people' and multiple generations of those who love and glorify God. (PHDfG page 35 without Bible references)
This is my goal. Some days it won't seem like it is well-choreographed, it will seem more like pure chaos. But my goal is to help my Ram and teach my Lambs to worship God continually through the day. And I know the world really is watching us, especially the moms that are not SAHM. It doesn't matter whether you are a pastor's wife or not for the world to be watching. Even on the days that our household seems like pure chaos, we can be an example for the world by how we deal with the chaos.

I have lots more to quote and comment on from this book. Have you read this book yet? Any thoughts about what I posted here?

UPDATE: Here is the link for the CSPP post about this. It's actually not too favorable for PHDfG. Here is the link for Father Hollywood's post about this. It is very favorable for PHDfG.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Maybelle the Cable Car

A few days before we went to San Francisco for a wedding last July, I got the brilliant idea to read Maybelle the Cable Car by Virginia Lee Burton to the Lambs. We tried a few bookstores before we left for the trip with no luck. It was too late to order it online. When we got there I tried the Barnes and Noble there. I couldn't believe they didn't carry it when it was a book about their city. There was a mother with her boy playing with the Thomas the train set in the store. She overheard me talking about the book with my MIL. I was shocked that she had never heard of ANY of the Virginia Lee Burton books. So I went over and pulled Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel off the shelf and recommended it to her. She spent a long time pre-reading Mike Mulligan before reading it to her son. Then she said, "I had to read it first, you can never be too careful about those old books." After we left, I asked my MIL if she knew what the mother meant. I'm the exact opposite, I'm more concerned about the new books instead of the classics.
Well, after we got home, we ordered the book from Amazon and I finally read it to the Lambs last night. I finally understood that mother's statement. I also understood why Barnes and Noble didn't carry the book. You see, almost every page talks about the gay city, the friendly city, of San Francisco.
I still read it to the Lambs as there is a lot of history in it about the cable car, and they recognized the illustrations of landmarks in San Francisco after seeing them. It is also a good example of democracy, even if it is explained in simple terms for children.
The lines were too long so we actually ended up not riding the cable car when we visited. But we did stop for a photo and they saw the cable cars. Maybelle the Cable Car was a little long for Lamb 2 in one sitting last night, but we will read this book again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Second Week of School Report

My last post explains why we didn't accomplish much this week. This is what we did this week:
Math: Worked on lesson one of Math U See-Lamb 1 gets it, Lamb 2 almost has it, we'll continue lesson 1 a few more days before going on to lesson two. I made a poster with decimal street and the Lambs have loved to "play" math.
Lamb 1 also worked on a math workbook writing numbers 8-12.
Reading: Continued reading aloud The Story About Ping, read a few My Book House Stories including some Aesop fables, read a few poems daily including some from A.A. Milne and some from Robert Louis Stevenson, continued reciting Happy Thought by Robert Louis Stevenson daily.
Handwriting: Lamb 1 wrote the numbers and number words for 8-12 in his math workbook.
Phonics: Learned all the vowels and the short vowel sounds from the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading-Lessons 1-5 and reviewed. We did some of this several months ago so it is review for Lamb 1 and Lamb 2 is learning it, but has heard it before.
Religion: Finished The Creation Story and drew pictures of it, worked on memorizing the First Commandment, Worked on learning the hymn Jesus Lead Thou On
Latin: Continued working on Lesson 1 of Prima Latina
Science: Read from the Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature, also did a lot with animal habitats reading and putting stickers in a workbook from the $1 section-the Lambs then played with their plastic animals and put them in habitats.

I read a blog this week that gave an almost daily report (with photos of the daily work) of what her kindergartner is doing in their homeschool. I was very impressed but with 3 Lambs, I'm not even going to attempt that. But I do think it will be good for me to report once a week, even if it is just for me to see that even on crazy weeks like we have had, we do accomplish something, and maybe even more than they would learn at school.

More slow start to school

The first week of school I had appointments to the midwife so we didn't do as much school as I would have liked.

The second week of school we were just starting to get on a schedule when Lamb 2 didn't feel well. Then Lamb 1 and Ewe joined him the next day. Lamb 3 joined him the next day. Today Ram joined them.

I don't know if we officially have H1N1 or just the flu or just a virus, but we're sick. Fevers, headaches, body aches, sore throats, some have a cough, and some have diarrhea. Unless one of us gets a very high fever or dehydrated, I don't plan to go to the doctor. I plan to just let it run it's course. I don't see any sense in giving our germs to the doctor office nor from picking up more germs there. I've heard H1N1 takes 5-7 days. At least we all have this at once though.

Ram took Lamb 1 to the Big Toy Day yesterday while the rest of us stayed home and were miserable. Lamb 1 and 2 feel better today. I'm getting there. Ram had planned to just greet people at church, not shake hands. Then he woke up with the chills and decided to just do church and not greet people at all. I hope he can make it through 3 services. The Lambs are upset to miss church and Sunday School, but we couldn't give them our germs.

I'm hoping in a few days we can all feel well enough to get back on schedule for school. Then next week we plan to go along to the pastor conference. It was planned to have a few days break from school then. We'll all be anxious to get home and get back on schedule after this.

The one positive I see about this is by homeschooling, Lamb 1 isn't missing school for all this, and we'll get caught up once everyone is healthy instead of doing make up work for school.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

This photo was taken last year when my mom was actually at our house to celebrate her birthday. This year the Lambs made pictures for her. Lamb 1 was counting a long time and I asked him what he was doing. He was making the right number of candles on the cake, of course! Unfortunately I didn't get it in the mail until Thursday so it will be late. It will spread out her birthday more. My sister surprised her and visited her last weekend so she already celebrated her birthday. She will have a busy day today with LWML and other activities. We will also have a busy day at "Big Toy Day" in the neighboring town. We wish we could celebrate with you today.
We love you Mom/Grandma! Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Small town anniversary

I have been meaning to post photos from our small town 130th anniversary celebration last July. Our town celebrated all weekend the last weekend in July. Ram posted about his part in the celebration here. Hopefully I can eventually post pictures here. It was pretty impressive that a small town of 113 people could pull off a whole weekend of activities including a big parade with entries from all over the state.
I want to add that when Ram gave his prayer at the kickoff supper, the audience had no time to mingle before the program started. Some had not seen friends for 40 years or more. So it was very loud for the program. They finally settled down a little bit for Ram's prayer. But even for the prayer it wasn't completely quiet. Ram wrote the prayer the afternoon that he said it. I thought it was a great prayer and he did a great job. He had never done something like this before (270 people that were not our church members). It was a great weekend and our family really enjoyed the activities.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stoplight Salad

Combine in a bowl:
2 cups tomatoes (chopped and drained)
2 cups corn
1 medium green pepper (diced)
1 medium red sweet pepper (diced)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil (chopped)
2 cups cooked black beans

Whisk together in a separate bowl and then pour over salad:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lime juice
1 clove minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve.

This recipe is taken from Simply in Season. As we have been given lots of veggies from members, I have used this cookbook a lot recently. I made this recipe for a potluck last Sunday. I'm not sure the members appreciated it, but at least some people ate it and I did bring home some leftovers. I was hoping to bring home leftovers as this looked so delicious!
I had a few basil and parsley in my attempts to grow herbs this year. I used all that I had, I'm not sure if it was 1/4 cup. I think this would be delicious with cilantro. I had green peppers so I used them instead of red peppers. One lady asked me what the dressing was and couldn't believe it was so simple. I had a difficult time keeping Lamb 1 from eating all the herbs and then all the ingredients in this salad while I was making it. I finally kicked him out of the kitchen and made it myself. Lamb 1 loved it and asked for seconds each time we ate it until it was gone. He always requested his helping had basil and parsley that he could see. I will definitely make this salad again-especially when we are given tomatoes. Tonight Ram talked to the member that gave us tomatoes and I think we may get more. I just finished canning the ones we were given before!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Holy Sex

I can't believe I just commented on this blog on this topic. I closed my eyes when I hit the submit button before sending my comment. I'm sure I'll think of more to add today, but it's time for school with the Lambs now.

New Car Seats

A few weeks ago I vacuumed and cleaned out the car. I noticed that Lamb 2's car seat had expired. They are only valid for 5 years from manufacture date. When Lamb 1 outgrew his infant car seat he was in that seat. When Lamb 2 outgrew his infant car seat, we passed that car seat down from Lamb 1 to Lamb 2. Since Lamb 1 is 5 1/2, it made sense that Lamb 2's car seat was expired. Plus Lamb 3 is finally close enough to 20 lbs that the pediatrician said we could turn his car seat around.
So we made an appointment with the public health nurse and Ram went last Friday. I sent the Lambs heights and weights and we stayed home. Ram said it took a lot to get Lamb 3's car seat in and he was glad the Lambs weren't waiting all that time.

Lamb 3 sits in the middle row of seats in our minivan. We chose to keep him backwards so that he can see his brothers. It is safer for them to ride backwards too. I know I was able to keep him in an infant car seat WAY longer than the normal baby, but I will miss the convenience, especially in the winter of the infant car seat.
Lamb 1 passed his car seat down to Lamb 2. It actually wasn't expired yet. Lamb 2 still feels like he got a new car seat. With practice he can put his seatbelt on, but he can't take it off. This is probably good that I still have control over when he gets out of his seat.

Lamb 1 was finally close enough to 40 lbs that he got a booster seat. He can't put the seatbelt on, but he can take it off. It's the opposite of Lamb 2. Lamb 1 and 2 sit in the back row of our minivan together. They make a huge mess and have a grand time back there together. Lamb 1 could see the biggest difference with his new car seat. He said he could even see the white line on the edge of the road when he sits in his new car seat!
I'm thankful that we qualify for free car seats from the state. Car seats are very expensive! All 3 Lambs are now in car seats that the state gave us for free.
We probably should have done this several months ago, but I'm thankful that all 3 boys are in car seats that are the correct ones for them and are adjusted for their height and weight. This was on my to do list for a long time and I'm embarrassed to admit that we didn't get around to doing it until now. The Lambs safety is important to me. I'm glad that now they will be safe when we drive.
Next we need to wash Lamb 3's infant car seat and either give it away or use it for another baby and put Lamb 2's old car seat in the trash. We'll save that for another day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you, Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus for home pregnancy tests.

Thank you, Jesus for placing us in an area with a wonderful Certified Nurse Midwife that doesn't mind an after hour phone call.

Thank you, Jesus that I had my checkbook along last Thursday to pay the copay. I didn't think of that because usually when I go to the midwife it is free because it a prenatal visit.

Thank you, Jesus for an understanding, compassionate, female lab technician to draw my blood last Thursday.

Thank you, Jesus for an opportunity to witness to the mean nurse that asked me, "Did you abort the baby yet?" while she was filling out paperwork.

Thank you, Jesus for providing us with a babysitter that is homeschooled to watch Lamb 1 and 2 while I went to the midwife when Ram was unavailable to watch them last Thursday.

Thank you, Jesus for Lamb 3 providing "entertainment" in the waiting room to get my mind off of what was happening last Thursday.

Thank you, Jesus for almost 4 hours of driving time (alone or with just Lamb 3) to the midwife to listen to hymns on CD and have some alone time to think.

Thank you, Jesus that I didn't need any procedures besides blood drawn and a shot. Thank you, Jesus for all the medical advances that we have!

Thank you, Jesus that Ram and I have been doing Compline daily so our little Lamb heard God's word daily.

Thank you, Jesus for providing a LCMS pastor when I went to lunch today and he had a very nice prayer for my family and for me.

Thank you, Jesus that we had not told very many people that I was pregnant so there weren't very many people that we "had" to tell about the miscarriage.

Thank you, Jesus for blessing me with many friends (some of whom I have never met) to comment on my blog and send e-mails to encourage me.

Thank you, Jesus for blessing our family with Lamb 1, 2, and 3. My boys have tried to be extra gentle with Mama and give extra hugs and kisses.

Thank you, Jesus for an understanding, wonderful husband.

Thank you, Father, for sending your Son to die for our sins and rise again so that some day we can be reunited with our loved ones in heaven.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First week of school

Well, I didn't plan on our first week of school having this. Add in that Lamb 2 is potty training, I was trying to can and freeze some veggies, and I was working on sending in our photos to Snapfish while they had a sale. So we didn't accomplish as much as I thought we would. Our schedule ended up being Monday-Labor Day-no school; Tuesday-1/2 day school-babysitter came; Wednesday-1/2 day school-teacher ill; Thursday-no school-teacher at doctor; Friday and Saturday both 1/2 days of school while teacher took it easy.
Here's what we did accomplish:
Morning Prayer/Pledge of Allegiance/Calendar (weather and daily activities)-every day
Math: Lamb 1 did a little workbook practicing writing the numbers from 1-7 and some basic counting; All the Lambs played with the Math U See blocks every day and Lamb 1 counted them as he played with them
Read Aloud: The Story About Ping every day, Several My Book House Stories, some poetry
Handwriting: Lamb 1 wrote numbers 1-7 and their written words (one-seven)
Phonics: Did Aa and Ee from The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
Religion: Began to memorize the hymn Jesus Lead Thou On, read the creation story and began drawing what happened on each day of creation
Latin: Listened to week one on the Prima Latina CD once
Art: painted with watercolors with our babysitter twice
Science: Read a book about eyes/ears

I tried to have the Lambs memorize Happy Thought by Robert Louis Stevenson. They seemed to not be paying attention and I gave up. You can imagine my surprise when they were in the shower last night and I heard them yelling, "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." Even when I think they aren't getting it, they are!

Lamb 1 complained the most about singing the hymn. It was obvious to me that I'm going to have to schedule the hymn at a better time to motivate him. When our babysitter came he had to tell her all about how "mean" Mama was to make him sing the hymn a few times or he wouldn't have been allowed to go along to pick her up. Thankfully Lamb 2 seems to go along with whatever I ask them to do/sing/recite.

A few random thoughts about this week:
* I know if they were in school, the Lambs wouldn't have even learned this much. The whole first week would have been spent on routines.
* After teaching 1st and 2nd grade, I know there is a big difference between those and kindergarten/preschool. But I think with homeschooling, we will be able to work faster than school and get them closer to the age I'm used to working with.
* I had Lamb 2 do everything with Lamb 1 except handwriting and because math was also handwriting he didn't do that either. Even if he doesn't pick up everything, he will learn much along with Lamb 1. This also solved the problem of Lamb 1 would complain that Lamb 2 got to play while Lamb 1 had to work. Lamb 2 felt grown up because he didn't have to "just play" like Lamb 3. I don't know for how long it will work to continue this, but I'm going to try.
* I think this crazy schedule this week was just what I needed after teaching in a classroom and transferring to homeschooling. I learned that the Lambs will learn something even if we don't get through as many subjects as I plan each day.
* This morning we attended two of our churches. One for Sunday School/church and one for a potluck. At both churches several members asked Lamb 1 how his first week of school went. He's shy, but Lamb 1 and 2 got the message across that school wasn't that bad. In the small talk we didn't tell the whole story about the schedule etc. Some were surprised to hear that we were homeschooling. The Lambs also complained because there was no school today on Sunday!
* Today I learned that the public school here has whole day kindergarten but no school on Friday. So if we don't have 5 day a week kindergarten, I don't feel so bad!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Asleep in Jesus

our little Lamb that we expected in spring of 2010. He/she joins a sibling that went to heaven the same way in 2005. Ewe is recovering fine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My plans for the rest of the week

I was already busy working on photos when Ram brought all this home today from 3 different members!

Snapfish has a sale this week until Sunday-free shipping. We live so far away from a place that prints photos at a reasonable price that we use Snapfish. Free shipping will save us a lot of money! I am very far behind on photos. Today I ordered photos from January to April 2009. I'm hoping to have time to fix up (delete bad photos, remove red eye, etc.) and send to Snapfish May-August 2009 later this week and also order them. We take A LOT of photos of the Lambs!

I guess now I'll also be freezing and canning A LOT of corn and tomatoes and other veggies! Add in that we started homeschool today and I won't be blogging much. Two posts today and probably not much more for the rest of the week. See you when I get caught up. Or you are welcome to come help me freeze some of this produce!

First Day of School

The teacher slept in a little bit this morning. Then our babysitter called and said she was available today. So it ended up being a 1/2 day of school. This morning Lamb 1 wanted to do 5 pages in his math book, not just 3 like I asked him. I had him practice writing his numbers and number words for handwriting. Then the boys played with the Math U See blocks. Lamb 1 really counted the blocks as he played with them and built with them. We read some stories and read a Bible story. Lamb 1 thought school was too long today. I told him normally we would spread out school over the whole day, not just in the morning. He complained when it was time to sing a hymn. But he even cooperated for that so he would be allowed to go along to pick up our babysitter. We painted with our babysitter this afternoon so we did art today too. Time to read a few more stories before bed. It ended up being a good first day of school. Lamb 1 even admitted that he likes math! I didn't ask the Lambs to pose for a typical first day of school picture, but I did snap a few shots while they played with the MUS blocks!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The night before the first day of school

I tried to remind the Lambs before bedtime that tomorrow was the first day of school and we would be following more of the schedule. I have been following the schedule without academic subjects for the last few weeks to try to get them used to it.
Lamb 1 has already decided that he doesn't like math. He's never done formal math before. We've done lots of counting and reading about math, but nothing formal. I don't even plan to begin Math U See right away tomorrow. I plan on letting them "play" with the Math U See blocks for a few days before beginning. In his pretend world he is a pastor. He often says he has to write a sermon or go to a meeting or visit someone. When I was discussing our schedule for tomorrow, Lamb 1 said, "I can't do math tomorrow, I have a funeral then!" Good try!
I also discussed how we are going to have school Monday-Saturday, only taking off Sunday. This is so we are free to take a day to go shopping (Grocery is 1 1/2 hours away) or go to the doctor (also 1 1/2 hours away) or go to visit someone when Ram goes out of town. Right away Lamb 2 said, "We can't have school on the day we go to Goodwill!" We often go to Goodwill in the same town as the grocery, but we don't always go there and we never go 1 1/2 hours to just go to Goodwill!
I also thought of how different it is for me as a parent on the night before my oldest child starts kindergarten at home instead of at school. We bought a few useful school supplies while they were on sale (and even got more on clearance at Target when we were in SD on Saturday). But I didn't have to go shopping with a list and we didn't do any clothes shopping. Lamb 1 would have major separation issues and we don't have to deal with that. Today I mentally went through the schedule of what we have planned for all the subjects, making sure I had got out all the books and had planned everything. That only took a few minutes and we're ready. Although I plan to get up at 8 am and start our schedule, we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to meet the bus. The Lambs had mild fevers today and we don't have to worry about them missing their first day of school. It's predicted to rain tomorrow and we don't have to worry about waiting for the bus in the rain.
I'm very glad that we chose to homeschool and I'm looking forward to the first day of school tomorrow!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Family Size

Recently some of the blogs that I read have been discussing the Duggar Family. Although their book is on my pile to read, this blog post is not about that.
This summer when Ram went to a retreat, there was one other mother there with one child. The Lambs were completely wild for the church service and it took this other mother plus me to try to keep a little control on them. It was just too different-not our church (and a chapel too), not Ram as the pastor, church at bedtime for the Lambs, church after traveling a long day before, etc. But it got me started thinking how different my life would be if I "only" had Lamb 1. I do my best to keep the Lambs all happy and quiet and busy coloring or something during church. We work with Lamb 1 a little during the week to prepare him for Sunday morning. Sometimes I sit with church members that help. But the majority of the time, no one is helping Lamb 1 find the correct page number in the hymnal and pay attention. If he's quiet (and he usually is), he gets no attention. How different my life would be if I could help Lamb 1 follow along in the service.
On Saturday, we went to Storybook Land in SD. For some reason, it caught my attention the family size of the people attending the same day as us. It seemed like the majority of them were mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and one child. There were a few other 2 or 4 children families. I did not notice any other 3 child families like us. The ones with 1 child, that child got all the attention. Our family, Ram tried to chase the 3 Lambs and I tried to take photos of them. Ram took all 3 Lambs on the carousel by himself while I took photos. Lamb 3 got a little too brave at the end of the ride and tried not holding on at all. Ram had to try to watch Lamb 2 and hold on to Lamb 3 then. Lamb 1 was completely on his own.
A friend of mine with 5 children says she likes having 5 because they were forced to grow up a little faster and learn how to do things on their own and also to help each other. We only have 3 so I'm not sure about 5. I think even with 3 I still help the Lambs more than they need to be helped. It's just easier to do some things for them in an assembly line than to wait forever for them to do it themselves.
Lamb 1 and 2 take turns going by themselves with Ram to the local cafe to get some alone time with him. The other one gets some alone time with me (usually with Lamb 3 playing in the background). I think we do a pretty good job of giving each child some alone time with us.
I'm sure that those of you with more than 3 children would agree that it's hard to imagine life when you "only" had 3 children. I know there are advantages and disadvantages to having 3 or more children, just as there are advantages or disadvantages to having 1 or 2 children. I'm thankful for each one of our three Lambs. And I remember how blessed we are to have 3 Lambs when I think of all my friends with fertility problems. Sometimes it's just nice to take some time to imagine how life would be different if we only had 1 or 2 Lambs. Hopefully that thinking will help me to come up with ideas to teach each of the Lambs to help themselves better.

More Every Day Homeschool

On Thursday, I noticed a grasshopper on our tomato plants (which are still very green-hopefully no early frost this year!). I had the Lambs keep their eye on it while I went inside and got a jar. We put it in the jar and the Lambs collected leaves for it. I was amazed at how much it ate in a few minutes. The Lambs gathered more leaves. We watched it for awhile and counted the legs, etc. and then we let it go. The Lambs got to bed a little late with the interruption of the grasshopper. They got out their plastic insects. Lamb 1 put some of the grasshoppers in his pretend jar and Lamb 2 put some of his pretend grasshoppers loose in his bed. That is what they chose to play with for a few minutes before bedtime and what they chose for their toys to sleep with tonight. I am thankful for all these spontaneous moments to teach my Lambs.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Potty Training

I am so thankful that we are homeschooling because Lamb 2 is not potty trained. If we had to hurry to potty train him before preschool, it would be a disaster.
I tried about 6 months ago and he wasn't ready. He tried to wet his underwear so he could get a new pair (another kind) then. We tried again about 2 weeks ago. This time he went several days with nothing on and then graduated to underwear. I think we are close to trying underwear with shorts or pants, but we're not quite there yet.
His first "prizes" were the magic capsules that grow into animals. That went so well that we bought some more, this time dinosaurs, at Target. He finished all those. Next I had some Thomas stickers that can be repositioned on the wall. He finished all those. I know I need to get to a store soon for more prizes, but we live far away from the store. So tonight, I decided to let him play a You Tube video-I picked it, but he pushed the button on the mouse to start it. We'll go through some Raffi and Sesame Street, etc. this way. We haven't let the Lambs watch You Tube this way before so it seemed like a new prize.
We have made a huge deal with lots of praise for keeping his underwear dry and e-mailing Grandpa and Grandma about it etc. That has seemed to work better than rewards for him. But Lamb 1 wants Lamb 2 to get rewards like he did.
So what "prizes" have you used successfully?
Next up, working on staying in bed at bedtime with Lamb 2!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Zoo Revue

I was an only child until I was 7 years old and we had TV (free not cable) until I was about 5 years old. I think I watched quite a bit of TV then- Mister Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, a local show with Mr. Al playing an accordion, etc. One show that I loved was New Zoo Revue. It had Freddy the frog, Henrietta the hippo, and Charlie the owl and I think the adults were Emmy Jo and Doug. Somewhere I also got an activity/coloring book with the characters.

A few years ago I saw a New Zoo Revue show on videotape and I purchased it. Yesterday I decided to have Lamb 1 watch it with me. He tolerated one episode. The theme song brought back good memories for me. And it taught good morals. But other than that, I was pretty bored with the show when I watched it yesterday. Emmy Jo and Doug had on 70s clothes and I couldn't get past that. Emmy Jo had on way too short of a miniskirt. I think of that more now that I'm a mom of boys! I think when I was little I enjoyed the shows had a plot and unlike Sesame Street, the entire episode was based on that plot instead of continually changing scenes. Plus, technology has changed enough to make the show even more cheesy 30 years later!

I won't be purchasing any more New Zoo Revue nor asking the Lambs to watch it. I was appalled when I looked at NZR on YouTube-both the "remakes" that people have done of NZR and some of the songs from the originals. When I get tired of Thomas the Train or Richard Scarry, I'll think of how much better those are than NZR!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Every day Homeschool

We haven't started "officially" homeschooling yet, but yesterday on the way home from taking home our babysitter, we saw a rainbow. I pulled the car over so everyone could see well and we discussed the science and religion (God's promise after the flood) of the rainbow. When we got home we drew rainbows with crayons. Then Lamb 1 decided to act out rainbows with rain so we even got in a little theatre! I'm so thankful to be able to homeschool and do every day learning like this, not just in the summer! I want my boys to learn about rainbows by actually seeing one, not just from a textbook.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


When I was little my mom always said she never wanted a mansion because she wouldn't want to clean that much house. Never mind that most people that have a mansion have others to do the cleaning! Sometimes doing both yardwork and inside housekeeping seems overwhelming to me. We even have someone else to mow our grass and I still feel that way!
When I was single and when we were newlyweds, we lived in a 800 square foot house. I could easily do all the cleaning (dusting, vacuuming etc.-not decluttering) of the kitchen, one bathroom, 2 bedrooms, one main other room-all the cleaning of the whole house in one day.
I spent last Thursday, the entire day, cleaning the living room. I spent yesterday, the entire day cleaning our bedroom and cleaning out my closet. I have several interruptions, especially since Lamb 2 is in the middle of potty training, but it's clear to me, that I'm doing well if I get ONE room cleaned in a day. Our parsonage has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living/dining room, eating area, kitchen, Ram's office, old garage, new 2 car garage, and full basement which we use as a play area. I have been trying to clean the entire house well because I know it won't be cleaned this well again until next summer. I'm sure getting my exercise too. I haven't kept track of when I started my cleaning the whole house project, and I'm also trying to declutter and other life interruptions, but this is at least a month project at this rate!
As I clean, I try to be thankful by how blessed we are to live here. If we move, we will probably never have this large of a house again.