Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New blog list

Mom, several of my friends shut down their old blogs and started new ones. Hopefully everyone is updated on my sidebar now. :) Next project is to update my info on the sidebar. I'm planning on staying here at Blogger and hopefully post a little more often.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A few stories from this week to share

I am mainly posting this for my parents, but also want to record it for myself. Feel free to skip this post if you aren't interested.

Lamb 2 didn't make as much progress at reading and writing as I would have liked him to by this point. So I decided to back up and review all his letter sounds and writing all his letters. We are also working through him reading the BOB books. The other night Lamb 2 was struggling with a few of the words in the BOB books. While I was encouraging him to sound them out, Lamb 3 came over and read the sentence that Lamb 2 was having trouble with perfectly. I am predicting that Lamb 2 will have the most difficult time of all 3 Lambs of learning how to read.

When we left speech therapy this week, I asked Lamb 2 to politely say goodbye or thank you to his teacher before we left. He did exactly what I asked, he said goodbye in Latin! I had a little explaining to his teacher of how he knew vale!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Downton Abbey Dilemma

Rebecca blogged about Downton Abbey here at He Remembers the Barren blog. (Please read her post before reading this. Esther told me I needed to add a spoiler alert here-I didn't think it was spoiling anything because I have seen everything aired so far. But if you haven't seen D.A. up to the point of what has been aired already, and you don't want to find out what happens, don't read Rebecca's post and you may not want to read my post either.)
It all started about a year ago when Ram's mom was visiting us one day when I took the Lambs to the library. Since she was at our library, she asked the librarian to put D. A. and some other movies that she thought I would enjoy on my hold list. Well, I was number 100 or something like that on the D. A. list. Then the Loopers began talking about what a great show D.A. was and I didn't want to wait for 99 other people to get it from the library. Ram's parents give everyone in the family a present on family birthdays so no one feels left out. They gave me these presents last year: Lamb 3's birthday-season 1, Ram's birthday-season 2, Mother's Day-two books about D.A. (The World of D.A. and Lady Almina and the Real D.A.). Shortly after I received the DVDs we watched all of them. Ram's mom and I had some e-mails back and forth as we both enjoy D.A.-I watched Season 1 and 2 on DVDS, she watched them each week on TV. It was interesting our perspectives on D.A.-both different generations watching the show and watching the DVDs vs. watching it on TV. I enjoyed the extras on the DVDs about their costumes etc.
We decided to get a TV antenna so we could watch season 3 when it aired. Ram and I have watched all of D.A. together. He enjoys watching the news and sometimes I watch that with him, but other than that I haven't watched TV since we got the antenna. It will be nice to be able to watch the SuperBowl this year though.
At scrapbooking last month there was one other lady that had watched D.A. before and we had a big conversation about it. Then the other ladies started asking questions about D.A. I told them it was a great show, but warned them that Season one had a scene that I didn't like that couldn't be fast forwarded through or you would be lost in the storyline later. That gay scene effected many characters and was referred to in several different storylines and episodes later. Then when my dad started getting interested in D.A., I e-mailed him and warned him about the gay scene in season one too.
Ram and I discussed this dilemma before season 3. We decided that there were gay people at that time of history and it is not wrong for the producers to portray gay people as part of the house upstairs and downstairs. I do not like this part of the show, but I do think British TV will portray it differently than Hollywood would. I also do not like that Mary slept with someone that she was not married too. I don't think you can pick just the issue of homosexuality to complain about on D.A.
In this sinful world, we have to be careful not to rate some sins as being worse than others. Gossiping may not seem as bad as sex outside of marriage, but a gossip may be what causes someone to commit suicide. In this context there are hundreds of sins going on inside the D.A. walls simply because there are sinners at D.A.
I haven't seen the episode where this upcoming scene is a problem. I did watch the preview of next week's episode, but that doesn't tell me enough of what is going to happen. I don't know where this storyline is going. Perhaps this character ends up in trouble over this. Perhaps the footman that he approaches is not interested. The storyline could go a lot of directions. I don't think we can assume the worst outcome with this. Perhaps it will be part of one episode and have to do with the storyline but not be shown again.
Thankfully my dh watches this show with me and will help me to know when/if D.A. crosses the line so I can't watch it any more. Plus my dad has been watching D.A., not every minute, but a lot of season 3 and he'll say something in his daily e-mails. It has been interesting watching it each week vs. watching it night after night on DVD until the season was finished. During the week I have thought about D.A. some. There are so many storylines that I have thought about much more than the scenes I do not approve of.
At this point I am not quitting D.A. yet. I will be more careful when I talk to others about the show now though. I may have quite the talking to do since many people at church know we got TV again so that I could watch D.A. If I do give up on D.A. I will have a lot of people to tell why I gave up on it, starting with the nice Christian ladies that I scrapbook with once a month.
Our TV is free now with the antenna and when we first plugged it in we agreed this was a trial. If I quit watching D.A. we may unplug the antenna and just plug it in when something important happens that we want to see the news. That is what Ram's parents did for many years while he was growing up-the TV was always in the closet and when something big happened in the news like the space shuttle exploding then the TV came out and was plugged in for a few days. Ram has already warned me about one bad commercial on the Superbowl this year. I expect that on the Superbowl, not during regular prime time TV. I don't watch any other TV shows besides D.A. so I have no idea how far the rest of prime time TV has fallen.
It isn't easy to know where a Christian should draw the line. I imagine this will get more difficult as the Lambs get older too. I did do no TV for the last 4 years. I will be tuning in this Sunday, but stay tuned to this blog to hear what we decide to do after that.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Life Sunday

After one of my miscarriages a nurse that was not my regular nurse rudely asked me, "Did you abort yet?" After dealing with all the doctors/nurses/lab techs and friends/family that did know about some of those miscarriages, that comment was the worst. I don't care if the medical term for miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, there is huge difference between a woman that has a miscarriage and one that wants an abortion.

When I spoke to one of the nurses along this journey of doctoring for miscarriages, she asked me if my most recent pregnancy was a spontaneous pregnancy. I had to ask her to repeat the question. Aren't all pregnancies spontaneous? Oh, I forgot in the world of fertility doctors, most pregnancies are planned- the mother takes a bunch of drugs, and in some cases IVF or other treatments. I'm abnormal in the fertility doctor's office because I have no trouble getting pregnant without any of those treatments. That comment was a reminder to me that I'm abnormal to have spontaneous pregnancies-most plan when to stop taking birth control. Many women that have an abortion have had a spontaneous pregnancy.

My family has always been pro-life. I often did the March for Life in Fort Wayne and a few years in Milwaukee. I sat at the county fair booth to promote life for many years while we lived in MN. I would love to go to D.C. this year and attend the Lutheran for Life events after the march. We had planned to go to the March for Life here today, but a few of our family took turns with diarrhea this week so I thought it would be better to stay home and try to get healthy.

All my pregnancies make me even more pro-life. I look forward to Life Sunday at church tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Piano lessons

Lamb 1 was disappointed that his piano lesson day was on holidays (Christmas and New Year's) so he missed two weeks of lessons. He kept asking me questions that I could not answer and I referred him to his teacher when he got back to lessons. After lessons yesterday she told me that she majored in composition in college and she doesn't know the answers to some of his questions! He is trying to write his own music. Unfortunately I think he spends more time thinking about his composition than practicing what he is supposed to practice for lessons.
Lamb 2 began piano lessons yesterday and they went well. We are trying to work out a practice routine with two in lessons. It has been difficult for Lamb 1, he would prefer to just play it the correct way for Lamb 2, he doesn't like to hear that Lamb 2 needs to PRACTICE to make perfect when he thinks Lamb 2's music is so easy. It is also difficult for him to do anything else while Lamb 2 is practicing-now he knows what we feel like when he is constantly practicing.
Unfortunately we had a whole ordeal with Lamb 3 during piano lessons yesterday and I will leave it as he needed a change of clothes when we got home. I don't know if I will survive one hour of lessons each week while babysitting Lamb 3. I don't know how moms with several children do piano lessons both financially and the time for lessons. Our piano teacher will not come to our home and it is still a long time until Lamb 1 is driving age. Yesterday I took Lamb 1 and 3 to the library while Lamb 2 had lessons and then I took Lamb 2 and 3 to the library while Lamb 1 had lessons. I'm not doing that every week-too much watching the clock to get back for the next lesson. I do love the progress that Lamb 1 made in lessons since September and I do like our piano teacher. She is giving us a small discount because we have two in lessons. So we are left working out the details to the routine. Hopefully we can adjust.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dear Sears,

I asked the clerk at the Boise Sears a few weeks ago and was told that if I had a receipt for kids clothes dated before you ended the Kid Vantage replace worn out clothes program that they would honor it. She did not say that they would only do that until the end of 2012. All the internet messages about the program ending said you would honor receipts dated before the program end date.
Today, my husband took one pair of pants and a receipt dated before the program ended (April 2012) to the Boise Sears. He was told that the program completely ended the end of 2012 and they would not replace the pair of pants with a receipt.
Sears did a terrible job of advertising that this program was ending and telling their stores what the new rules were. I am done with shopping at Sears for any products at any time in the future. I am telling my friends and family to stop shopping at Sears too.

I now have 7 pairs of jeans that are sizes 4, 6, and 8 from Sears that have holes in them and can not be replaced. The Lambs have always worn pants from Sears once they reached size 4. All of their jeans and many of their dress pants came from Sears. Often when I was in there buying them jeans they would also get new dress shirts. When Grandma was in there buying them pants, she would also buy them new socks and underwear etc. I can understand discontinuing the program-I know our boys are hard on their clothes and we definitely got more jeans in replacements than what the jeans cost in the first place. (I never asked to have the shoes I bought there or the shirts I bought there replaced, only pants.) They should have advertised this a lot better. I couldn't find anything about the program on their website. It could be because we moved, but I never received an e-mail about the program ending. The clerks at the stores had no idea what the rules were. There should have been huge signs up in the kids department for several months before and after discontinuing the program saying what the rules were.
When we lived in MN we lived 3 hours away from Sears. We would save up their pants that needed replacing and take a few pairs when we got to a town with Sears. I was so thankful to move here and have a Sears in the same county as I live in. We bought several pairs of pants at Sears when we first moved here a year ago. Since they discontinued this program, I bought a pair of jeans for Lamb 1 at Walmart for just $4. Thankfully we have thrift stores and lots of other stores to shop at here. Goodbye, Sears. Where do you shop for your boys pants?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Popping corn

When I was a sophomore in college, I bought an air popcorn maker for $3 at the thrift shop. The RA gave me a difficult time about if that was really allowed in the dorms. There was a long list of small appliances that were not allowed in the dorm rooms, but thankfully popcorn makers were not in that list. Over the next three years my roommates and I made hundreds of bowls of popcorn. I'm sure buying popcorn in a big bag saved us tons of money vs. buying microwave popcorn.
When Lamb 1 had his dairy problems we stopped having popcorn so often. We couldn't put real butter on it nor could we have microwave popcorn. Then a few years ago I heard about the terrible chemicals in the microwave popcorn. So a few years ago we pulled out that air popper that I had in college and began making popcorn for a treat again.
I'm sad to report that that popcorn maker that I bought used 20 years ago died today. I definitely got my $3 worth. I will be on the hunt for another air popper at the thrift shop. I'm expecting to have to pay $5 now at the thrift shop. I'm wondering if we'll get another 20 years out of a new used one? I'm also going to see if Ram's parents are still using their top of the stove popcorn maker.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A typical homeschool day this week

A few years ago I mentioned what a typical homeschool day was like in our home and I received a comment that we didn't really do all that in one day, did we? The commenter assumed that we did some subjects every other day or even weekly. The commenter was shocked when I answered that was all done in one day.
Then, just over a year ago we moved. Our homeschool schedule was completely interrupted with packing, moving, unpacking a few things for a few months while most of our belongings and most of our school supplies were still packed up, and then packing everything up and moving again a few months later before finally unpacking everything at our new house. We attempted through all that to keep a somewhat normal homeschool schedule. We tried to have school daily, but the only subject that was done daily was math, the rest of the subjects were done sometimes but not daily. It's not as bad as it sounds, it was not doing subjects like Latin daily. But it was not how I had planned to do homeschool.
After Christmas break I decided the Lambs had had far too long of a break from all subjects daily in homeschool. They were not at an education point that I had planned for them in these grades. They were also beginning to be naughty, especially not play well together-they had far too much free time. I spent a few hours last week doing some lesson planning to decide what direction I wanted the Lambs to finish out this school year-third grade for Lamb 1, first grade for Lamb 2.
I'm happy to report that our first week of all subjects in homeschool went fantastic! After teaching in the classroom, it is amazing to me what we can accomplish in homeschool in such a short time! On the days that Lamb 3 is in preschool, the other two can finish all subjects in just about an hour. That leaves the rest of the day to read independently, practice piano, and play-which recently means playing Snap Circuits (educational!) or Legos or watching Magic School Bus DVDS (they got the complete set for Christmas).
So here's what we did do in homeschool this week:
Recite Luther's Morning Prayer.
Work on memorizing a Bible Verse.
Read a Bible Story together (Abraham).
Practice singing a hymn (God's Own Child I Gladly Say It LSB 594).
Work on memorizing a poem from Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization.
Work on memorizing a part of the Catechism (creed and meaning).
Do Latin with the CD from Song School Latin.
Practice a Geography Song (identify South American countries on map).
Practice a math song from Math U See CD (adding plus 9 song).
Lamb 2 is working in Saxon Math 2, Lamb 1 is working in Saxon Math 3-they do at least two pages daily.
Lamb 2 is learning the phonograms in Writing Road to Reading and also reviewing how to print all his letters in Writing Road to Reading.
Lamb 1 is doing spelling in Writing Road to Reading and beginning to learn cursive.
Lamb 1 is reviewing music flash cards-all notes on the staff and also music terms.
Lamb 2 is reviewing his speech sounds he is currently working on (th and s).
Lamb 3 is doing a workbook on letter recognition and writing on the days he doesn't attend preschool.
In the evenings we read aloud together-currently books about Greece, amphibians, and fiction. Lamb 1 continues his goal to read every Boxcar Children book-he just finished #33. He occasionally adds a different book in his reading. He has The Hobbit in his pile now. Lamb 2 reads the BOB books.
There is a little more I would like to add in our schedule, especially art appreciation, but for our first week back I was very pleased with what we accomplished. Next week should go even better because we don't have to review, we can start right where we finished this week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

First ID snow day

We had one snow fall last season when we lived at the rental house, but it was not on a day that we had anything scheduled so I don't even know if the schools canceled. Today was our first "big" snow fall since we moved into our new house. School was canceled which meant no preschool, no speech therapy for Lamb 2, no speech assessment for Lamb 3, and no night meeting for Ram that had already been rescheduled from Monday night because of the weather.
Lamb 2 was glad not to have speech, Lamb 3 was glad not to have preschool and doesn't really understand about missing the speech, and Lamb 1 was glad he had piano on Tuesday when we were able to drive to lessons.
We started getting phone calls about cancellations for our scheduled events before 7am. Don't they know our daily wake up call is 7am? The Lambs were so generous to sleep in all the way until 8:30am and they waited all the way until 10am to go outside and play in the snow. So Ram and I had several interruptions, but we didn't have to get out of bed until 10am.
Reminder to self: Lamb 1 needs new snow pants, coat, gloves, and shovel for next season-he has made do without complaining too much, but everything is too small for him. Lamb 2 needs new gloves for next season. Lamb 3 can make do with hand-me-downs from his brothers. They also need a sled as the toddler sled "disappeared" in the move for some reason. Why do I never think of this until we get our one big snowfall of the year? Probably because the Lambs wear sweatshirts most of winter and only get out their coats when there is enough snow to play in.
Our friends in MN would laugh that we only had a few inches and school was canceled. But it was high 40s yesterday and the snow from earlier in the week all melted and then turned into ice last night under the snow. I think it was a wise decision to cancel school. The Lambs were very popular in our neighborhood this week because they own plastic blocks to make snow forts. I wondered if we should even bother with moving those because we don't live near a beach to use them in sand and we don't get enough snow here to use them often. They turned out to be perfect even with this strange dry snow that ID gets. Honestly we had too much snow in MN to use them often. The neighborhood kids helped build a several layer snow fort earlier this week and then it melted yesterday. The Lambs played outside today but it was too cold for them to be out there a long time. So they had several short play times outside today. Perhaps they will begin a new snow fort tomorrow.
For those that are wondering, it is 28 degrees at 10pm and the RealFeel is 16 degrees on AccuWeather. We have become wimps in one year of living in ID since the Lambs didn't play outside long and it was always above 0 today.
Update: The news said the last time the public schools had a snow day here was December 1, 2010, so this is the first snow day since we moved here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Family Update

Ram's parents came the day after Christmas and spent a few days with us. We now live in the same state but we don't see them often because Ram's dad isn't retired. We had a relaxing rest of Christmas week with them.
Lamb 3 got sick the day after they left so we didn't make it to church on the Sunday after Christmas. Lamb 1 went to church by himself with Ram. Then we were just too worn out to go to church on New Year's Eve. (Our church did not have services but we would have gone to a neighboring LCMS church.) I believe that is the first time I missed New Year's Eve services since my honeymoon 11 years ago. Even the year that we were in MN and Christmas services were canceled because of snow they had New Year's Eve services. Sometimes in MN I went to two New Year's Eve services. I missed ending/beginning the year that way.
The second week of Christmas vacation our family spent some time helping Ram organize his office at work (he's finally unpacked one year later!) which turned into organizing the church library with books from the former pastor. We spent some of M, W, and F at church and stayed home and did projects/got caught up with chores on T, R, S. The Lambs don't agree with me, but I was ready to get back to homeschooling on Monday after that catch up week.
My sister is moving from HI to KY, flying tomorrow. Please keep Eric and Hannah in your prayers for safe travel and as easy moving as possible overseas. Everyone tells me I missed my chance to go to Hawaii, but I'm thrilled that she is back in the continental USA after living in South Korea and then Hawaii. We may actually meet Eric and see them more often not to mention how much cheaper shipping things to them will be! Of course they may not be in KY long, that's life in the Army.
Lamb 3 still has some fluid in his ear and the doctor wants to wait another month to see if it resolves itself. We have a meeting at the public school tomorrow for his speech. Please pray that his ear heals and that the school allows him to get speech therapy there.
I was honored to have my essay chosen as one of the top five in the He Remembers the Barren contest. It is so nice to see your writing published with a photo! Please check it out along with the other 4 winners. The last winner will be posted tomorrow. My entry is posted here.