Friday, April 30, 2010

A Beautiful Day

I just wanted to share a few pictures from our day. We spent the afternoon playing with cousins and visitin.100_5700100_5677100_5678100_5674100_5689 100_5682


This was the scene in my living room this morning

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I love that homeschooling allows us to have a family centered life. If my children were in public school they would practically be strangers to each other.  I can understand in part why families are falling apart.They are never together,they live lives barely involved with each other. I’m truly thankful that we have the freedom to share our lives together daily with each other.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mothers Day Dinner Menu

I am really excited about the menu for our Mothers Day dinner! Its all fairly simple food. I like simple food. If the recipe has 30 different ingredients its just not practical! The time and money involved in food like that is just too much! So without further ado here is the menu:

~Rosemary roasted pork tenderloin

~Butter and Parm “Smashed” potatoes


~Crockpot Macaroni and cheese

~PB&J thumbprint cookies

=0) These are all new dishes to me and I’m excited to prepare a good meal for the wonderful moms in my life and a few kids and dads thrown in too!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Christina’s culinary school

I am super excited to be working on learning more culinary skills and techniques and to be able to share them here on my blog! I’ve decided to take a fairly relaxed approach to the whole thing. Setting monthly goals to try a new dish or learn a new technique.Another goal I have is to seek out friends who are “kitchen inclined” and learn from them.

I am thrilled with my first goal!I have been kinda bumming about mothers day coming up knowing that my sweety wont be back from his deployment to celebrate. Today I decided not to let myself sit here and be sad, I decided that I would do something special for other moms this year.But what to do??Then it came to me!! I am going to cook a mothers day meal for the special moms in my life. My Sister, Mom and Grandma. Another part of this goal is that everything on the menu for the night will be something I’ve never made before! I am going to be cooking for my sister,her husband,there five children,my mom,step dad,grandma and grandpa along with my four kiddos  which means some creative cooking because my nephew has an egg allergy and my Grandma is diabetic! I’ve been searching the internet for recipes this evening and will post the menu as soon as it is figured out!! I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures and let you all know how it went and what I learn from the experience!

A great quote about Men and Women

I found an article entitled Radical Femininity by Jean Zampino although I have not finished the article I just had to share this section of it with you! It seems so right and so simple. Its amazing how satan has twisted our society to make such an essential truth become lost to most people today!

“Certainly God created woman equal with man in many important ways: she is equal before God as a unique person; she is equal in dignity; she is created in God's image as is her male counterpart; she has equal access to spiritual life with God; she is equally able to hear God's voice and have a personal relationship with Him.

   But woman was also created different than man. In addition to the obvious biological differences, man and woman are different in every cell of their bodies! Man was given physical strength and endurance in order to carry out his God given role of protector and defender. He tends to be more single-focused, more rational and less intuitive than woman, more alert to danger and more adventuresome than his female counterpart. These gifts enable man to take initiative and to lead, which is his God-given role.

   Woman, on the other hand, was endowed with a beauty, softness, and gentleness not present in man. She tends to be more intuitive and more relational, and thereby is gifted to be a nurturer, a comforter, and a binder-up of wounds. She is multi-task oriented, an essential ingredient for motherhood and homemaking. The very nature of her physical body points to the fact that she is designed to be a "receiver" and a "responder." And, although feminists refuse to acknowledge this fact, woman has less physical strength and endurance than man. In this regard she is the weaker sex. However, weakness is not a flaw, an imperfection, or a trait to be looked down upon. Far from that, Scripture tells us that God's strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Woman's weakness often enables her to more easily be dependent upon God than her male counterpart who tends to rely on his own strength and remain "in command" of all situations. “

Giving Thanks

I just wanted to write a fast post just thanking God for blessings in my life this week. Last week was a very hard week for some of the ladies in my family. Namely me and my sis! I have been having some severe pain and problems with my recent dental procedure and my sis is early in her pregnancy and was experiencing some spotting and also some extreme nausea. Needless to say a rough week all around.

Yesterday I went back to the dentist and today I am feeling SO much better!! Almost 100%! God really answered my prayers, the pain was just something I couldn't handle. I have a great amount of respect for people who deal with chronic pain due to illness or other reasons. I barely got through last week.

Before my dentist appointment yesterday I got to go with my sister for her ultrasound. Her hubby had to work and knowing that miscarriage was a possibility she didn't want to go alone. Praise God there was one healthy wiggly little baby in there!!! I am Super excited about my new little niece or nephew!! I have to tell you though I am hoping for a niece =0) Then it would be an even 3 boys and 3 girls for their family and for some reason I am all about even when it comes to kids!LoL Its a good thing we have had 2 boys and 2 girls so far!

God really is just so wonderful. He truly is watching over each of us and I am so very thankful.I am also thankful that last week while struggling with the pain and the trial of that moment I still felt Gods goodness and strength carrying me through. I hope this week for all of you is just as blessed. I pray you feel God lifting you through your trials.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homeschooling myself

Ok so I have to say I really love to get feedback on my blog. Comments are always appreciated. This week I got a comment from Heather over at Gentle Art of Chaos giving me some great advice about creating my own course of study.

I love to cook and bake. Culinary school is something I know I would love but as I said in my post HERE it is not the best option for our family right now.

Like I said Heather had some fantastic suggestions and I am super excited about sharing with you all what I will be doing. I have to make a few decisions first off. Do I want to be super relaxed in the whole thing?Setting loose goals. Like trying one new dish and one new cooking technique a month. Or do I want to be more specific and organized?Writing out a whole course of study modeled after the course I was considering taking at the local culinary school.

I do know that I plan on including my kids in all of this. All three of the older kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. I know I really want to broaden my horizons as far as technique goes. I know I want to explore lots of different cooking styles and philosophies too.

I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as my plans solidify and I get started on things!! Lots of pictures to come! Oh and what good culinary school doesn't have a uniform?? Here is a picture of the new apron I’m buying for the occasion!

detail_250_RETROCHERRIESlam Too cute right?!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Some things in life are cut and dry, black and white, right and wrong. Not everything is though. Sometimes our choices and decisions take us into the gray area. Or the way I like to look at it Good,Better,Best. The decisions I make for my family and myself,what I deem as “Best” may not be what is best for another family.

I’ve had one of those sort of decisions on my mind lately. Being a home school mom I LOVE to learn. A few things on my list to learn are: Massage therapy,culinary school,sewing, and becoming a sign language interpreter.

I discovered through my late night ramblings on the internet that there is a culinary school about 40 minutes from our home in Washington. I thought about all the things that would make culinary school an option right now or rule it out.The two main things were:

  • Cost
  • schedule/would it interfere with home school

I got some information and neither thing actually ruled it out!The cost was no where near as bad as I assumed it would be and being a military family we have several financial aide options.

The schedule although not what I would have wanted wasn't bad either. I was hoping for something part time, maybe two days a week late evenings so that the kids would be with Daddy during that time.The schedule was actually  five days a week from 6am to 9am. We don't start school before 9 on any given day so that schedule wouldn't interfere with school. The major downside though would be that I would have to wake all four kids early and take them to a babysitter.

Now I could rationalize that being with a babysitter in the early hours of the day and still being together as a family all day wouldn't be bad.That it wouldn't interfere with school at all and that the skills I learned I could use at home to benefit my family. This really is a good option for me and my family.

As I have spent the week praying about the decision though God has pointed out several things to me.What is BEST for my kids is being with me  not a babysitter.What is BEST is to not put extra financial strain on my family for something I can learn on my own.That what is BEST is learning new skills along with my children.That what is BEST is taking this short season I have to raise my children and really devoting my whole self,my time and energy to them. I have the rest of my life to pursue my own goals and interests.

Going to school is a good thing.But its not what is BEST right now. Its really encouraging to know that I can happily devote myself to raising and nurturing my family right now and down the road I will still have plenty of time to focus on myself. I know it may be stating the obvious here but God sure is smart! To every thing there is a season =0)

Friday, April 23, 2010

weekly wrap up the Vicodin edition!

This week has gone in a completely different direction than I expected it too! Monday what was supposed to be a simple wisdom tooth extraction turned into oral surgery. Since then I have been on pills for this,that and the other! I am happy that on some of my feeling better moments we did get some health, math and reading done =0)We learned about our nervous system this week and talked about what it would be like if we couldn't feel things.I was tempted to wish for no feeling!Just in my mouth though! Math was all review worksheets. Simple to do and independent, which is exactly what we needed this week!  I did have a silly mom moment this week. On a day when my mouth was feeling better rather than worse I decided a good long read aloud was in order… I definitely regretted that one after the fact!!

Even though our week was not heavy on the traditional academics my kids have learned a lot about being a family, taking care of each other, being humble and saying we are sorry and lots of other really good things.

I hope everyone's had a wonderful week this week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Being real

I wanted to have a real moment on my blog today. I have this beautiful little two year old named Hannah.

s41081cb125687_16_0 See she really is a total cutie! Well this cutie has been pushing every limit,law and boundary we have in our home lately. After having gotten two other children past this age I have come to know that kids just do this sometimes. They know the rules and they push them. They are checking to see if the rules are still the same AND whether mom and dad will enforce then.

It just so happens that right now Hannah is in one of those phases. Biting brothers,taking toys,making intentional messes and laughing about it and doing things right after I tell her not too. I had been fairing decently  well with the whole thing. That is until yesterday.

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment, I wasn't really looking forward to it because I was having my last wisdom tooth pulled but the last three had all come out easily and with no issues so I wasn't worried either.AAhh how silly I was to assume that things would go as smoothly this time!

After being pulled,tugged,bone shaved, who knows what drilled and five stitches in my mouth( let me repeat IN MY MOUTH) I was done and the tooth was out! The tooth ended up needing to be surgically removed. The doctor put me on vicodin,a steroid for swelling, an antibiotic and ibuprofen to alternate with the vicodin.

Last night Hannah was having another bought of harassing people and the last straw finally came when my son Isaiah came to me to tell me that Hannah had smeared toothpaste all over their bedroom carpet…. I grabbed that little girl, laid her in her bed and didn't go back! She cried for ten minutes and then fell asleep.

Today had been a bit better until dinner rolled around. Since my mouth was essentially cut open and sewn back together my diet is limited to mushy and soupy right now and tonight soup it was! Hannah proceeded to fling her brothers spoon all over the living room and then dump her other brothers soup on the floor as well. I’d love to tell you that I patiently told her that what she did was wrong and then placed her in a time out.But that would be lying! I swatted that girls behind and put her right in her bed. It being so early she did not stay in bed to sleep but she was there until the mess had all been cleaned and I had calmed down a bit. I am not an advocate of spanking and I try to be more calm and gentle in my discipline but I really failed in that today!! I’m going to blame it on the drugs! =0)

Some random thoughts =0)

Several things have been on my mind lately. One thing I have thought a lot about is how exactly did women begin to believe the lie that they cant be fulfilled “just” being a mom. I am really confused when I sit with a group of women at church and they are spouting these same lies. I wonder what the room would say if I told them that I thought the best thing my daughters could do with their lives is to become Godly mothers and wives.Helpmates for worthy spouses.To teach,love,serve, and encourage in their own homes. I think some would smile and nod their heads in agreement. I worry that many more would look at me with confusion or pity or even disgust. I am not a perfect mother. I am not the epitome of humble housewife either. I am not perfect. But I am trying to live the life God would want of me. I am always grateful to hear from other women sharing this journey.I think that's one reason why I enjoy blogging so much. I can read about other women considering the same questions I am.Other women striving to become the person God created them to be. Its good to know I am not alone.

Even though I feel this way I know that God has made us all different, God loves us all and He would not want me to judge others. He would not want me to have the attitude of being “better” than someone else because of the different choices we have made. I’ll be honest here and admit that at times I do feel that way.I have felt that way. It has been something God has brought to my attention lately and it is shameful and wrong. That I would ever put someone down or look at myself as better because I made what I felt was “the right choice”. This is something I am working on. I am praying for Gods spirit to be in my heart when I think about and look at others. I would love and appreciate any scriptures that may help me or enlighten me in this area. I am thankful for God placing so many wonderful examples in my life too and I am trying to emulate their loving and kind attitudes. =0) Thanks for listening to my thoughts today.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekly wrap up the artistic edition

This has been a really nice week! Things in our homeschool have slowed down considerably and I am enjoying it! We are on review mode for math and spelling. We have a few things that we haven't achieved mastery in yet. So for the rest of our school year (as we do school anyhow!) will be review and working towards mastery. Skip counting and math facts are on that list as well as remembering some of the spelling rules from all about spelling level 1.Science and history are all wrapped up for the year as well.The highlight of the week for me was the art we did. If you know me then you get what a weird statement that is! I am not at all artistic. I can appreciate beautiful things and I enjoy looking at painting and such. But as far as “doing” art. Well it just doesn't happen that often around here!

Mid week we went for a really nice walk. On the way we saw some graffiti on an underpass. We got to talking about it and I told the kids that graffiti isn't always bad. That it can be a form of art as long as you do it somewhere you have permission. Well that did it! The boys wanted to do graffiti. After being inspired not to be a dream killer I fought my natural instinct to say no to anything “artsy”. Instead I said “Sure lets do it!”

I have to admit that I actually enjoyed this art adventure. 100_5512

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I was NOT a dream killer!

I had planned on writing this big huge post telling all about the homeschool conference I attended. But you know what I just don't have the brain energy for that right now!! Suffice it to say I LOVED it and think everyone should attend a conference every now and again!

One of the sessions I attended was given by Rebecca Kochenderfer. The thing that really stuck with me about her message was that if we encourage our kids in there goals and help them to achieve them that we will be amazed at what they will go on to do in their lives. She talked about being a “dream killer”..She also talked about turning phrases like “I cant do that.” into “how can I do that?”I think we have all been that person before!

whats that son? You want to be a cowboy?”   

“Yeah mom I do.”

Oh honey I’m sorry you cant really be a cowboy.”

I admit I have  been that mom at times! But I was NOT that person the other day and I wanted to share! My kiddos and I went for a nature walk the other day and Isaiah told me that he didn't really know what he wanted to be when he grew up. I assured him that he could be ANYTHING he wanted to be. Now if you know my son you know that he is a fairly pessimistic guy at times. The glass for some reason is just usually half empty! So I was not shocked when He told me that that was not true, he really could not be ANYTHING he wanted to be.

Why what do you mean Isaiah of course you can!” was my answer.

I cant be batman. I cant be a superhero mom. No I cant be anything I want!”

Thoughts of the session with Mrs Kochenderfer came to my mind and I asked Isaiah what batman did that he thought would be cool.

Well mom he stops bank robbers and fights crime.”

I was really excited by his response and told him that he could do all of those things! By the look on his face I could tell he didn't believe me but I just kept going! I told Isaiah that policemen do just that and that detectives solve crimes when they don't know who committed a crime. Just like batman!!

His face lit up as my words sunk in and he declared that he would be a policeman.The rest of the walk was spent discussing the police academy and the things he remembered from a recent fieldtrip to the police department.

Isaiah may not become a policemen. At eight he still has lots of years to change his mind.But that's not the point is it? The point was helping him to realize that he really can achieve his goals and dreams. That he can become anything that he wants. I will never forget what Isaiah said to me later that evening.

“Mom thanks for taking us for a walk today.”

Your welcome Isaiah.” I said.

And mom thanks for talking to me on the walk, for helping me figure out about being a policemen.”

Truly a priceless moment for my mommy heart =0) I was not a dream killer!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Does appearance matter?

Ever since doing the feelin’ feminine challenge I found HERE , appearance has been a topic on my mind. I did the challenge and wore skirts and dresses for a week. You can check out how my week in more feminine dress went HERE.

So this topic of appearance has been on my mind. I know there are people out there with the opinion that Appearance is everything. They have to have name brand.They have to be up with the current styles.They just plain have to look perfect all the time. Then you have the opposite.People who will go out in anything.Sweat pants and holey t-shirts , clothes that are too short,too small or too tight. Kids with mismatched, stained, holey clothes or clothes with rude or disrespectful sayings on them. These people tend to be of the opinion that what one dresses/looks like doesn't matter or shouldn't matter.

I have discovered that I fall in the middle of the two extremes. I don’t think appearance is everything. I know I’m not perfect and so don't feel the need to look perfect and I know that most of the current trends are NOT appropriate forms of dress. On the other hand I do believe that the way we look and dress holds some importance. Let me explain.
The scriptures have a lot to say about our appearance and the way we choose to look on the outside.

1 Timothy 2:9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel..” We are told to be modest.

Deuteronomy 22:5 “The women shall not wear that which pertained unto a man..” We are also told to dress femininely.

We are also told in the scriptures that we are to be representatives for Christ. Acting in a way that people might feel the love of Christ through our actions. I know from experience that the way we LOOK can either make people more or less receptive to us and our values and what we may have to share.

People look at other people and immediately make some assumptions and judgments. I think this is normal. Not necessarily right, but normal. I know when I see a teenager with purple spiked hair, a skirt up to her fanny and several pieces of metal sticking out of her face that I make some assumptions. I do not think she is an evil,terrible,bad person. But I also don't necessarily think that she knows Christ. I do assume that She may be a bit rebellious or wayward. I always try to be willing to get past those assumptions and get to know the person for who they truly are. But here is the thing. Sometimes we don't get the chance to get to know people past an appearance.Past a first time meeting. If we are going to stand for Christ and share His love people have to be willing to listen.

So if I am in the grocery store with my children and we are having a conversation about going to church tomorrow what are the people looking at me and hearing me in the checkout line going to think? What if I was dressed like that teenager?Would they listen? Would they take me seriously? I’m not sure that they would.

I know that there are as many opinions on this subject as there are shirts in the mall and that's ok. This just happens to be mine.

Conference musings

I am so happy to be back home with my kid’s after two days away at the homeschool conference. I’ll be typing up a big post about the conference soon. Right now I’m still digesting all that I heard,saw and learned this weekend =0)

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How can you afford it?!

When people hear that we have four kids and that I stay home full time we usually are asked “How can you afford it?”

When we tell them my hubby  also doesn't have a second job and we don't have any  credit cards we get another exclamation and lots of dumbfounded looks! =0)  A lot goes into living frugally.Its not just one simple quick fix thing.  I think from time to time I’d like to write a post sharing some of our frugal ways!

One of my favorite money savings tips is shopping at your local thrift stores. You will be amazed at what wonderful things you can find. If you have a large family one thing you can to do keep track of your families clothing needs is make a list of every ones current size for shoes,pants,dresses,etc. and throw it in your purse or diaper bag.Then when you see a totally cute top you wont have to guess whether anyone in the household will actually fit it! You’ll know!

Today we had a successful trip to the thrift store ourselves. See!100_5469

I found myself six skirts! I was really in need of them too!I also found  two shirts for each of my boys, they refused to model them for me so I could put up a picture. I also found this cute little dress!


and do you know what it cost me for those  six skirts,four shirts and one cute dress? All said and done it was  $26 dollars! That's right twenty six dollars! That is one of the ways We can “afford it”!

Occupational education

In Washington state occupational education is one of the required subjects. I am so good *wink wink* that even my preschooler is getting it!100_5464 100_5465


All afternoon Hannah has watched me feed,change and cuddle her baby sister. While watching me  she fed, carried and cuddled her baby. She even clucks her tongue at the baby the same way I cluck my tongue at her sister. I cant imagine what would be if I worked and this precious toddler of mine were in daycare all day.We would miss out on so much!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring has sprung

That's right! Spring is in full swing here in our little corner of the world and we are lovin it!! The weather is warm, sunny, breezy and smells like fresh flowers. 

Our school year is winding down. We don’t actually follow the typical school year pattern. We school year round taking breaks whenever it suits us. Right now we are finishing up the plans for the current year.We will be taking June off for a cross country move and then starting the new years work in July.

Today we worked on our human body study by building a skeleton. After printing  off the file I had the boys put it together like a puzzle. We talked about the bones, the similarities in the arms and legs, the parts they though looked funny, and basically how smart God was to make us that way!100_5445

After taping our skeleton man together we played a game with naming the bones.  I printed off the names of several of the major bones of the body and put them in a bag. The kids took turns pulling one  out and working together to figure out where they went.100_5448 100_5449

All in all a fun way to learn more about this amazing creation God has made, Us!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekly Wrap up

Boy I feel like I have been “away” for a while now! Having my hubby home was so amazingly wonderful and I have to be honest and say I did not miss the computer at all hehehe.

This week has been a good bit of up and down. My hubby had to head back to Iraq this week.That was rough.When we are apart it feels like nothing is right..everything just feels off.If that makes any sense! I am glad that all the kids are handling it well. Isaiah(8) is old enough to understand what's going on and to understand that we just got thru eight months apart and only have four left. That helps him deal with it.Justin(5) is a lot like his dad and doesn't do the emotional thing really. He is pretty quiet about the whole thing. The only thing he has done really is ask when Dad will be back. Hannah(2) has not thrown any huge fits or had any emotional meltdowns which I am thankful for! The other night when we were saying our prayers she said “Father,Daddy home peese Amen.” Breaks my mommy heart for them.But God is good and this is the life He has given us and I KNOW He will get us through.

On the school front we are feeling so “into” school right now! LoL Spring break was much needed!!I think its also nice to know that we are winding down for the year =0) We participate in a book club and are working our way through “The Trumpet of the Swan” and we all drew swans this week after reading a particularly good chapter. For our human body study we talked about the brain and all it does.Learned some neat brain facts.Did you know the average adult brain weighs three pounds, and that Albert Einstein had a SMALLER than average brain weighing somewhere closer to two and a half pounds =0)We also made Brain Hats!100_5376

We are trying out a new math curriculum right now since we are considering a switch from Saxon math to Math U See. So far the jury is still out! I like the shorter lessons and slower pace of Math U See but I think the manipulatives may not be the best for Isaiah.He honestly just doesn't like them much! So we are going to try it out for a bit longer!

That's about it for our week here! Slow and steady finishin’ up this years race =0)