First Mama. Then Writer. Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Well, I was sharing the good news of the trip with a friend from the homeschool PE group. She immediately asked if I would like to borrow her portable DVD player. At first I said no because I was worried about borrowing such equipment, but the more she talked about it, the more I thought it really might be helpful... especially on the return trip. So, I agreed to happily and thankfully borrow it.
My friend brought the equipment over a couple hours later with a bin of a bunch of DVDs (among them many we haven't seen). I felt overwhelmed by her generosity of the offer to let us borrow the DVD player alone, but then when she brought movies too... well, I was tickled, for sure. As we were talking about things, my friend's daughter said something like, "We hope you'll enjoy your new system." (Or something really similar.) I corrected her and said, "We will certainly enjoy borrowing YOUR system!" Then her Mom, my friend, said, "Oh no! Jesus told me when I was packing it all up that it was yours. So, it's yours!" That alone is pretty amazing and wonderful. But there is more.
Jessie came home and I was excited to show him the family Christmas gift from one of our PE friends. He was well pleased and reminded me that the system we'd been given was the same one he was looking at and wanted to buy for the girls for Christmas last year. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about that, but totally remembered it when he reminded me. There is someone else who totally remembered without a reminder! And HE gave it to Jessie/us in His own due time. I told Jessie, "All we have to do is wait on the Lord." And it's completely true. I know it. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us as individuals. They know what we need temporally and what we need spiritually and they give us that which they know we need. I'm so grateful for this knowledge and another testament of it in a joyous miracle! I hope you will rejoice with me in knowing, especially, that Tori is less likely to arrive completely off her rocker to her multiple destinations. ;)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thankfully Heavenly Father is guiding and protecting us in this our pursuit of happiness by way of buying a home (which we believe is that path Father would have us travel at this time). I'm certain there would have been plentiful physical (negative) repercussions of living off of crop dusted land... not to mention living IN the dusting! YIKES!!! :( So, though we are disappointed to once again begin the process of searching out our place, we are relieved, too. I was actually thinking the other day how totally windy and convoluted this path to buying a house feels/seems to me in my regular perspective of forward looking, ground level, not always with spiritual eyes wide open. But then I looked at the whole thing (of course looking back) and trying to have my spiritual eyes discerning through the process and it seems as if I'm standing in this path and looking back at a totally straight path, but then I turn around to face forward once more and it seems that the path disappears again around a corner of some sort. But I believe that if I could see from Heavenly Father's perspective, looking down on us where we stand in this path, that I would see a perfectly straight way to the house Father has planned for us. What a comfort! I'm so thankfuly that Father has been changing me and I hope (only?) that I can do better than run in place along the path He has in mind for me and my family!!!
In other news:
My girls are getting more and more excited about the impending road trip! They are giddy about seeing some of our extended family, especially cousins... both those they do know and those they will meet for the first time. I told Ria a while back that her Aunt C. had mentioned that her cousin K. was dancing around the house because she was so excited that Ria was coming. Since then Ria has danced around the house and said, as she's dancing, "I wonder if cousin K. is dancing right now, too!?" So fun. Additionally, they both pray about our trip each night and sometimes each morning (as does Jess!). It's so very wonderful that they are so completely excited. Hopefully it will make the driving easier (and I hope they are so excited to return to see their Daddy to make THAT drive easier!). ^_^
I receievd some compliments from our Story Time ladies this morning. :) As I entered the children's books area one of our ladies said, "Look at how skinny you're becoming!" Now... skinny is NOT a word I would assign myself, but I certainly did feel some warmth of gratitude for the lovely compliment (which both of our awesome ladies said to me)! I received another glorious compliment a couple hours later when a dear friend told me the way her husband summarizes me. And it went something like: "You know, Tori is a good person. She's just a really good person who is REALLY trying." I actually cried (which, believe it or not, I rarely do much of any more unless I've eaten wrong in the recent past!) because I was so touched by that glorious compliment.
Just some random commentary about me:
I still have a problem with not thinking about what I say before I say it... and putting things in not the most gentle or tactful manner. I did that this very morning and I fear I may have hurt a lady I just met and I totally did not mean to and DID try to apologize just in case I had. Anyway... there are a few people who think I believe I'm better than them... or believe that I think I'm better than others in general. This is really truly NOT true of me as I am now. I still have very strong ideas and/or opinions, but I also believe (and always have, but am able to sort of express it better now) that everyone else has the right to their own position/beleif/feeling as well!
While I may yet have some problem with thinking that "my" way was the one right way... and probably did to some greater extent in the past... I know I surely seemed to others to think my way was the only way ALL the time... I'm ever and increasingly having much less problem with such feelings/thoughts (and have had much LESS of a problem with such thoughts since we came here). Currently, I believe the only one right way is the Lord's and I try to determine what His way is and then change mine to be in accord with. I actually have had to change one position I had/took on a pretty big subject because I believe that I was standing on the side of the philosophies of men rather than the Lord's side. It was very difficult to come to the point that I could see the reality of that and then change my stance! Anyway...
I've actually begun to see my own problems more compassionately when they exist in me, which is such a treasure trove, really.... As a result, when I see those same problems in others I can SEE that they are mine as well and since I feel compassion for those problems in me I feel it for those who are dealing with them, too. If that makes sense. There is actually a hymn that talks about that sort of thought process and it has come to mind regularly lately, but I can't think of it right now. How annoying. Well, anyway... if you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you'll probably know which one(s) I'm talking about and perhaps may be so kind as to comment about it!? That would be lovely. Thank you, in advance!
Back to the House subject:
I'm feeling more and more that we are unlikely to remain in this county once we move. When we first started this whole process, I actually didn't mind either way (staying or moving out of the county), but now I'm feeling mournful over moving out of this county. Having said that, though, I feel the desire/need to say also that I'm working on maintaining an accepting and joyful attitude about the whole thing so that I will be more like Nephi and Sam in this moving experience than I was when we moved here a bit more than 3 years ago... I was definitely a Laman or Lemuel in attitude at that time (and totally thought I was doing so well to simply DO what the Lord so obviously wanted us to do)!!! Isn't it wonderful to see personal progress!!! ^_^ I'm so grateful for the glimpses!!! ;)
So you'll have to come visit us after we actually move... especially cause it's likely to be a bit removed from where we've been! And we might actually end up with more land than we've been looking at. What an awesome thing THAT would be!! More land equals more ability to live off of it!!
Monday, November 30, 2009
The trip to Virginia seems secure, which is such an amazingly tremendous and unexpected gift and blessing. I'm still nervous. I mean, COME ON... I'm driving 12+ hours with three littles on my own (and that's just ONE WAY)! Additionally, though not a cause for nervousness, Jessie has this Christmas off. In case you didn't know, that's THE FIRST in MANY years that he'll actually be around ON Christmas. Unfortunately (and fortunately?) we won't be!!! How ironic, eh? I prayed about whether we should go up North after mention was made of the intended gift. I did actually feel really conflicted. The Lord made it very clear to me that He would have me in Virginia. So, VA is where the girls and I will be....
We found out only moments ago that the seller's bank has signed the contract AND wants to close on the house by December 30 (in the contract we have the closing set for January 31st). So, we're excited. Still nervous about not having the closing costs, though! I've developed a plan, but am nervous even about the application of it. I keep talkin' myself UP, though, with phrases like: "God's got it!" and "Let go, let God." and so forth. I'm still struggling, but truly trying to remain focused on the fact that we really are doing this because we believe it is what the Lord would have us do. As a matter-of-fact, because of the closing cost stress, if I didn't firmly believe that Heavenly Father made it clearly known to me that we SHOULD be doing this, I would feel strongly (of myself) that we should cut our losses now and pursue this course no more! Seriously. Since I feel so strongly that Jess and I are understanding the Lord's Will clearly on this, I 'simply' (HA!) have to keep talkin myself up that He truly WILL work it out.
In other, and really unrelated,news; so far my Ward has three families growing in 2010. Two of them are expecting their very first babies! I'm excited because Jess and I, though not preggie, have been expecting to welcome an addition to our family sometime in 2010. So, we'll have a big YOUNG nursery in 2012, eh? :) Oh, and then one of my sisters (the one I grew up with) is expecting... so I'm also rather hoping that the other actively growing family in our family will turn up preggie, too. It happened about a year and 9 months ago... so it could happen again! And to me (and I think my sister, too), this would be SUCH a joy and pleasure because then, when we ever get together (especially the whole family!), there will be play groups of cousins! What a pleasure that would be!!! I know... I'm a goofball. I know.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Before I begin, I hope you will keep in mind throughout that I am sharing much in hopes of relating to you how truly amazing, wonderful and loving I know Heavenly Father is to me and my family. AND how He is a personal Father. He knows us as individuals and meets our needs as we live in Faith... and as we NEED (whether for physical necesity or testimony fortification OR both). There are things we have been dealing with that have been difficult and while I may mention some, I hope you will realize that I do so more to relate how trials are here, too. ;)
I believe I mentioned that we didn't have grocery money for this past week. We didn't. And we didn't spend any money on groceries. Kat asked to go to the grocery store any number of times, which I mention only because I find it really funny! (A kid who WANTS to go to the grocery store?? Obviously, Kat likes to eat.) After I finished my last post I felt a tremendous warmth and peace flow over and through me. I believe I needed to write what I wrote more for me than as any way of sharing our experiences!
Last Sunday we were given a bunch of bananas (about 7 individual bananas), 3 dozen eggs, and a pork shoulder! The combination of eggs (mixed up with some beans to make our bread) and pork made up our "big" meals throughout the week. What an awesome blessing and even miracle for us!
Monday we found out that the sellers of the house we made an offer on signed our offer late Friday night. That same day I was feeling really rough... SUPER tired. We had Family Home Evening in "our new home"! ^_^ It was, perhaps, silly, but we really wanted to start "owning" it! :)
Tuesday evening we found out that the seller's bank ('cause the property is a short sale) countered our offer. That same day I was feeling even more rough and my right boob had started hurting really badly. I went to bed quite early that night with a fever. ... ...the dreaded M... ... mastitis! :( Thankfully I know a "quick" remedy: buffered vitamin C, echinacea, sleep, and lots of nursing the baby on the sore boobie! I wasn't able to sleep as much as would have been best, but the fever broke during the night. My boob still had a fever through Thursday morning, though.
Tuesday we found out that the bank we're using for the mortgage needed 2007 and 2008 W2s. We'd sent those a while back when we first faxed over a ton of info. Jess brought the envelope back after he sent the fax and I proceeded to pack it. Tuesday night I went through the packed boxes TWICE and could not find the W2s. :( Thankfully we've used the same accountant for a few years, so Wednesday Jess called them to ask them to fax the W2s over to him. As the lady was doing that for him, she found a 2007 W2 stuck in with the 2008 tax return stuff. She told him she would be filing an amendment, so we would get a small check (BUT MONEY!) at some point in the future. uuummm... Can you say: YEAY? We sure do! Please remember this happened soon after we've felt very poignantly and upsettingly that we don't know how we're going to pay for all sorts of closing costs and other out of pocket expenses associated with buying this house... and then letting those concerns go because: God's Got It.
By Thursday night Jessie signed the contract and faxed it to our Realtor. As of now, we're waiting to hear that the other parties have signed before we order the appraisal. Amazing, right?! We're excited.
Friday Jess called a friend, who had suggested he might be able to take care of the survey (an out-of-pocket expense), to see if he was serious. He was serious and the only qualifier is that he wants Jess to be there when the survey of the land is done. We definitely have more time than money, so that's do-able! :)
Yesterday was a relatively quiet day (by the standards of the preceeding week!). I was able to finish (FINALLY) Tea's baby blanket and get some work done on her Tigger-doll.
Today a friend came by to deliver a 21 pound turkey and some fixins for Thanksgiving dinner!!! We do actually have grocery money this week, but we won't have to spend near as much (if anything) on meat now. What a HUGE and awsome blessing!!!!! With the food gift she also gave a cash gift, which will bolster our grocery budget very nicely! I may be able to get some plastic wrap! Let me tell you, it's difficult to store things without plastic wrap. ;)
Also today I found out that I may be able, through a gift, to make it to VA for Christmas. I'm afraid to be completely excited about that possibility.... I haven't been able to see my family together since my little sister's wedding. I'm nervous to be excited, but still feel really excited about that possibility! I hope it all works out so I can get up there.
Isn't it amazing? I mean, if we just talk ourselves up to being Faithful... Heavenly Father always is and when we work on our end.... It's just amazing!
I need to add here that I KNOW these things are wonderful and I feel totally loved an blessed... but I'm not special! Heavenly Father isn't favoring me over any one else. He has ready all kinds of similar and even totally different miracles for EVERYONE who comes Faithful to Him. The work we have to do (that I continue to struggle to do from moment to moment) is to remain Faithful and Obedient. How amazingly simple! And totally and completely difficult!! And awesomely, wonderfully, powerfully GOD!
I feel the need to bear witness to the way that Heavenly Father is a Father of intimacy, of individual attention, and of Love. His Love is unconditional. He cannot love me more now than He used to OR more than He loves anyone else because His love is not based on what I do or do not do. I know it. And I bear testimony of it. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Start saving your pennies almost right after moving away from your parents' home so that you can visit there again some day. The only way to be successful at this, since you're basically always broke, is to round up every time you deduct money from your checkbook. After you fill a register, add up all the change and put that number in the very front of the next register (since you're least likely to be tempted to use it for future bills if you don't see it much). If you do this as long as I have been doing, for around 3 years, you might be able to amass just enough to pay for the round-trip in your gas-hog van. Also, make sure you spend all summer pinching pennies to save enough money for your daughters' dance costumes. Accrue enough for that right before the due date. Now, keep in mind, these are two expenditures you feel strongly about.
You have to know who you're going to look to for help in understanding the whole realestate mumbo-jumbo. In our case, we chose the Real Estate Agent whose wife re-inspired in us the consideration of buying a home.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This next one is a YouTube about the Copenhagen Conference in December. If you WANT the World Government of prophecy to begin NOW, go ahead and ignore this issue. If not... and you'd like to stand against the tsunami of evil, inform yourself.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The long of it? Well, we've realized it's time to move. Can you believe it? I mean, it's almost 3 YEARS we've lived in this house by the shore and we seriously thought we would buy a house after 3 MONTHS when we first moved here! Well, His ways are not our ways, for sure. ^_^
Part of the hold-up, me thinks, is that we had to plod through our pride... or perhaps, treading ON it would be more correct. If you didn't know already, Jess and I live in a mobile home in a trailer park before we moved here. It wasn't the best experience ever (primarily because of the trailer park part of it!). When we moved here we were determined to get into (and not just our lovely rental home) a foundation home. Well, we were so determined we were not considering anything else. I do believe that the delay in finally deciding firmly that it's time to buy our own place is not just about our pride... I think the market needed to come down to where it is; otherwise, even had we been sufficiently humble 3 years ago, we wouldn't have been able to afford what we're looking at buying now.
There are some SWEET deals abounding around here! Let me tell you about one I just found: 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage, fenced yard, corner lot, 13x26 family room... and only $99,500. I know, RIGHT! Oh, and in this area, you can offer 20% less and often get an even SWEETER deal! Homes and deals like that are pretty readily and regularly available.
And we're totally not interested. Can you hazard a guess as to why the disinterest? Well, it's likely you already know since I have only a very few regular readers. ^_^ We're planning to buy a mobile home! Funny, right? Not just any mobile home, though. It will need to be a double wide. (heehee... we're on our way to becoming real "hicks"!) Oh... and the most pertinent detail... ON LAND! Okay, so almost all homes are technically on land... but the characteristic we are most interested in is the amount of land. We want more than 2 acres and a double wide trailer for under $100,000. Yes, we truly are going full on redneck! We've found a few places that fit the bill... or, er, my description. ^_^ Lately Ria will start many sentences with something like, "When we move to our farm...." heeheehee I'm just tickled!
We are going for a sort of family farm, actually. Immediately we'll have just our square foot gardens (Jessie is sure they will transport without a problem... hmmm). The first other acquisition we're hoping to go for is chickens. Isn't that a hoot! I mean, me... chickens? If someone told me when I decided to marry Jessie that we'd end up doing what we are currently planning I would've laughed them to the Moon! Seriously. But I'm actually really excited about this huge change and tremendous transition. :) After chickens... well, I'm interested in any number of animals for various purposes like: fiber, milk, and meat (in no particular order), specifically: goats, rabbits, sheep. and maybe some more types of fowls (like ducks and turkeys). I've started the research and chickens and rabbits will be the easiest to do with less land... we'll all just have to see what happens!
So, I have been BUSY. I've worked on finding homes to look at in person, packing, as well as all the REGULAR stuff I have to do... oh, and we've all been sick this last week (or more, depending on the person). BLAH!
In other news...
Tea is walking like a pro. She doesn't fall down a bit unless she's tired, throwing an attitude, or walking on other things. The newest of the news on Tea is that she pooped in the potty today! ^_^ Awesome, right?!! New as of yesterday: she's taken to babydolls! She's found some baby dolls in the girls' room and taken to carrying them over her shoulder (the way she's often carried). She also talks to them... she raises her voice and sort of sing-songs to them... no real words that I can decipher, but she's definitely talking to her baby! Generally she is a funny little girl with a mobile face. She'll set her eyebrows down and pucker up her lips when she's not happy... or scrunch up her nose and raise her upper lip to play... or head-butt ya to get your attention (mostly with Daddy, but sometimes with me and her sisters, too). She's a doll! Can you believe she's almost ONE year old!
Kat is now THREE years old!!! She's still progressing nicely in her efforts to learn to read. She still sits with books and "reads" them regularly and loves for Mama, Daddy, and Ria to read to her. She also still loves to color and most recently has begun to actually cut when she has scissors (before she would try, but the paper would just slide between the blades). She loves to be with Ria, doing anything Ria is interested in doing. She also loves to take things away from Tea. :( ugh! She knows she's not supposed to and gives it right back if she realizes I saw what she did, but she definitely tries to get away with snatching from the baby. Kat is able to ride her bike (with training wheels) more than 2 miles! She did it with Jess on our last day of bike riding for PE in September! I was really amazed because she hadn't done nearly so well for me the weeks preceding that feat.
Ria is working on her school pretty well lately. Not as much fighting and resistance as I'd been dealing with through the end of the summer. We're actually working on the scheduling aspect of homeschooling more currently. We've been doing a sort of block schedule the last two weeks and it's worked better (with all our outside activities) than trying to complete each of the classes every day that we did successfully for most of the summer. We'll be experimenting some more to try to find an even more compatible way for her to work. Ria rarely fusses about practicing piano lately... she actually seems to enjoy that the most of all her classes. Easy to understand why.... It's because she's gotten quite good (especially for her age). She plays the major chords: C, G, D, E, and A (I think that's the order she's learned them) and it's a pleasure for me to watch her little hands move in concert to play them! She's in the second level books and currently finishing up the third song in the practice book. She a few pages into the theory book as well. I love to watch her play and she really does quite well, I think. :)
Jess is immersed in Biketoberfest Week at work right now. It's not actually a whole week. He's been working even longer hours than normal. If Bike Week, in early 2010, is this plus some (the way his boss tells him) I REALLY hope we're able to make it to VA to visit. At least then the girls won't be upset about not being able to spend time with their Daddy in the morning. I think that'll be in March. I really don't know what the dates are for sure. The trip really depends on whether we've got secondary transportation (cause Jess will still need a way to get to work when we're away!). So, if you think of it and so desire, please pray for a miracle of transportation to come our way. With the way things are currently (and will be, at least, until our tax return) we cannot afford any change in our budget. Hopefully that WILL change with the home purchase... we'll see.
Oh, and just to let you know... the girls will participate in a "homeschool fair" at the end of January and sometime in either May or June. If you're going to be around then, let us know and we'll send an invitation your way. ^_^ If not, no worries... I'll try to get some video of it and get it online... SOME day! ^_^ I know... I'm super bad at getting it up here, but seriously, homeschooling is really rather difficult and time consuming! I love it. Wouldn't change it. But it's not easy, either.
Monday, September 28, 2009
What did I see upon the accidental invasion? Ria reading on the potty. *_* I don't have much opportunity to do it, but I do try sometimes anyway. Her Daddy does it. And now she's doing it, too. Oh, and it was a HUGE book... maybe that's why it was so funny to me this time. She's been reading magazines on the pot for a few months (even asking me to get her something she hasn't read before!). I wonder if Kat will catch the "bug," too.
Funny to you? It is to me.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The girls (starting with Tea, then to Ria and finally getting Kat) ended up with another cold type thing with upper respiratory congestion and such. Herbs are awesome. ^_^ Jess has come to value the education I am trying to give myself on the "medicinal" application of culinary herbs. I decided to start there because they tend to be the easiest to access AND grow. I do hope to start my own herb garden before too long. What a pleasure THAT will be....
Tea is basically fine now, but the girls were still coughing up a storm last night. Tonight neither has coughed a bit. YEAY!
The purpose I see? Well, it has forced us to lay low. We had SO much going on the two weeks before. While all of it was quite nice and fun and educational and everything, it was SO much! We had to cancel a few things this week. We missed participating in them, of course, but the time to cool it down was really good, too.
Today was especially nice. The girls and Jess missed church today. I went with the baby. Jess actually stayed awake more of the time time he was home. And then he went to work. Ria and Kat read and played all afternoon. And then time for the sun arrived (we tend to prefer evening time because the weather is much more temperate AND we can actually get outside then most days without interrupting "school"). Since that is really part of the flow of our days (most days), we stick with it for Sunday.
Well, the past few times we've spent hanging out on the driveway, Tea actually investigated the inside of the garage. She was SO excited to have a whole new area to crawl around in and SO many new things to look at. She even crawled over, under and through... there's not a real way to do that much in the house. But today was THE coolest, by far.
Ria and Kat were riding scooters and trikes (Kat on the latter, both on the scooters). Tea started to crawl around in the garage, but then sat for a while and watched her sisters. Eventually she made her way over to a sort of trike (but not the high red flyer kind) and started pushing it around (almost like a push toy, but she was pushing while holding onto the handlebars!). It was so sweet and fun to watch. After a while she even tried to climb to sit on it. Well, that didn't work terribly well. I decided to put her on it and see if she would allow me to push it for her. This particular model (^_^) has a sort of stick thing that you can put in a hole in the back to make it easier on the parent's back to push the thing AND a little drop down foot rest for the child! Nice, right? Another of Father's gifts to us through an earth-bound Angel! :) Well, she LOVED it! She even stood up on the little foot rest as well as bounced to get me to push her more. It was really fun for me. After many revolutions around our driveway we even went on the street. The street is sort of uphill when you go East. So, we did that. I was worried that Tea might not like the faster ride on the way back to the house. Well, I was totally wrong. She LOVED it! So funny to me because she tends to be a bit of a scardy cat.
Well, after I was finished pushing her, Ria took a turn. When Ria was done Tea decided to continue working. And, MAN, she was TOTALLY working! She was so intent and intense. She resumed her efforts at using the "trike" as a push toy, holding the handlebars. She fell a few times. But not once did she fuss!! I decided to try to make things easier (cause she kept running the back wheel into one of her feet), so I positioned her behind the trike. She was really rolling then! And she seemed to REALLY enjoy it. Not in a grinning sort of "This is FUN" sort of way, but more of a "This is really enjoyable work" sort of way. And she worked SO hard!
It was really awesome and interesting to watch. For a while now I've known that Ria likes to work hard... of course, NOT always, but she tends to focus more easily and works hard when she's into something. Kat enjoys watching and DOing. When she was a baby she wasn't too interested in books. Ria was sitting for me to read to her at 6 months old and bringing books to me for me to read to her at 9 months old. Kat didn't bring me a book to read to her until she was around 15-18 months old. Tea brought a book for me to read to her at about 7.5-8 months old. She enjoys sitting and watching her sisters for bits of time, but then she'll get right in the middle of things (just like Kat, our cat!). ^_^ Today seemed to me to be another confirmation of my idea that Tea is sort of a cross between Ria and Kat, leaning toward Ria.
Given all that, it probably will not surprise you to learn that Tea took her first hands-free steps the other night to Ria. :) I'm sure you guessed as much already. My Mom got it right!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
AND she DID!!! It was exciting for all of us. She did it rather matter-of-factly... even sitting down and standing right back up. Of course, it was a total of about 4 steps (the walking part), but STILL! The whole squatting, standing, sitting, standing thing (she did that more than the number of steps!) seems to indicate to me that she's completely ready (I've been saying as much), but wanted to take her own sweet time. :)
Oh, guess WHO she walked to... Any guesses? I hope you'll share who you think she walked for in my comments. The person to whom she walked was cheering her on... Okay, ready for some release from this tremendously tingly temptation? ... Well, I'll let you know tomorrow! Hopefully. It's a busy day, after-all. ;)
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday we took Jess to work because it was Ward Council day. We stopped at the grocery store and purchased the diapers (among other things) that we were ABLE to afford thanks to Heavenly Father and the miracle of the Publix gift card, which wouldn't have happened if the van hadn't broken down. Then we had a friend over for a little while before Story Time and played at the playground for a little while after, then on to Dance later in the afternoon. Ward Council was canceled. Probably that was best for me cause I'd been feeling a bit groggy and had a slightly swollen right neck lymph node. (This particular swollen node seems to indicate, in my body, the setting in of some illness. When the other is throbbing or swollen, I usually need to drink some water. Interesting, eh?)
Friday we took Jessie to work again because we had a homeschool group Firehouse visit. What a GREAT time. The Firefighters did acceptable talks (could've been more specific and clear, but it was still good). The tour was great! Nice Firehouse!!
Today we went AS A FAMILY! to work for Coastal Cleanup (it's a national thing) here in our area. We really enjoyed it. We received two of the fabric grocery bags with equipment for picking up trash including gloves and some claw-like reaching tools. We joined up with two other homeschooling families and spent about 2 hours cleaning up with them. Among our families, we had 6 girls! Jess kept watch, counting: 1-2-3-4-5. He didn't have to worry about Tea, she was in the sling. It was funny to me, but also very sweet! He didn't learn the other little girls' names, but he sure had an eye out for them!
So, in the last week (or maybe a little less), Tea has cut two teeth! They are located in the bottom front. Totally normal, but SO exciting for all of us here. She's been pretty aware of her sisters' pleasure and Mama and Daddy's excitement over it. Jess actually found the first one! And I was lucky to find the second... a couple days later! So, our baby is totally growing up! heehee ;)
Today Kat made friends with the oldest girl child present. It was REALLY sweet to see how those two seemed drawn together.
Just some interesting Kitty Kat tidbits.
Kat has a tendency to name people (mostly adults) "teacher" and SOME kids her age "friend". The Wednesday that we worked at bag stuffing, Kat said, as we were leaving, "By mine friends!" Those were all adults. Today she named the oldest girl her friend. It was really sweet.
On Friday we went to Publix** to buy diapers and groceries. As we were leaving, she said, "Bye cuties." to the ladies that had been helping us. This is one of the funniest things I've heard her say to adults. She really is a funny little girl.
This little girl had a BLAST today! Talk about a dream come true... TWO little girls, right around her age to hang out with for hourS. She was thrilled. They worked hard, too, which was a pleasure to see.
Ria is learning how to ride her bike without training wheels. Say a prayer for us all! ^_^
**In the checkout for Publix the cashier was very encouraging (like a pusher?) of purchasing some cookies that were on sale. I refused, not giving a reason initially. But she insisted it was a good deal and showed a bag we would get for free. I said we couldn't because we were gluten free. She continued, saying we could use the bag. I told her that I would like to buy them just to give them away, but honestly didn't have money for it at all. She asked something about government assistance. Now, honestly, I'm not totally against asking for help. Heaven knows we've asked MANY times and received abundantly. But I really feel government assistance is a LAST resort, thus my steering away from it even though I know we are technically eligible for any number of things we could get.... Anyway... I said something like, "I REALLY don't want any help from the government." As I said it I felt a sort of anxiety because when this sort of conversation has come up before, whomever I was speaking with would sort of try to argue me into using the assistance. Truly, I want them to accept assistance if that is what they feel is best for their family... but why pressure me. My choice is NO reflection on them or any opinions I may have about their choices. The cashier pleasantly surprised me. Her body language was sort of shocked and then she said, "That's just like I was!" She continued on into an explanation of how she had worked to make ends me. (And she'd done a good job from what it sounds like.) I had to respond, "Well, I can't brag in my own strength or worth, but I know Heavenly Father works it all out for the good of my family." And I proceeded to explain how we had the gift card I was preparing to use. She was impressed and went on to tell me that I shouldn't ever let anyone take my Faith and that I had to make sure to guide my children to have it and never let it go. What a great and encouraging conversation, huh? Well, as I was leaving, and right after Kat made her cute little comment, our cashier was bustling to get us 3 coloring books with crayons... like she wanted to help us as much as she could think to do because she was impressed. What a good feeling!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Some sort of important facts to set you up for the story to follow:
I've been worried about where diapers (nights ones for Kat and everyday ones for Tea) would be coming from for about a week and a half. As of tonight Kat has on the last diaper that fits her and I have, maybe, 5 left for Tea. Additionally, and probably BECAUSE of the diaper issue, I've been worried about how to purchase enough groceries for the week (cause we get paid weekly now). Luke, chapter 12 verse 29 comes to mind: "And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind."
On to the Story:
So, yesterday was going to be the best day to get to the temple. Jessie's food class is next Tuesday and I really don't like waiting till the last week of the month to go. Still, I bickered with myself over the trip because of the fund-age issue. We also signed up to have the missionaries scheduled to come for dinner, but I was pretty confident we would be back in plenty of time to finish dinner and feed them especially since I'd done most of the meal prep on Monday night. Finally, I decided to go ahead with the trip, but we ended up leaving about 5 hours later than I initially planned (we normally leave at about 5-5:30am).
Got to the temple just fine. Had a lovely time doing some Initiatories. Finished and plopped down in the main waiting area to read. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I don't. Out comes Brother Recker, my Ward's High Priest Group Leader, heading to man the front desk. He works in the temple once a month. Interesting. So nice to see a familiar face in the temple!
I left the temple and looked for the van as I called Jess. He tells me they're still at the playground, but he'll pack up right away and be right over. No problem. Little longer wait than I expected, but still just fine. Next thing I know he's calling me back to tell me the van won't start. Now, keep in mind Jess had just been to the shop the day before to get a job finished that we'd just had done a week prior. However, the problem he faced at the playground was totally different. He thought it was the fuel pump. The previous problem had been the catalytic converter. He'd tried to repair it himself, but the job required a lift. Something our wonderful home at the beach just doesn't have.
I tell Jess I'll be there as soon as I can and get some directions from him. (I thought it was really close.) I set out walking while I was still talking to him. A little while later he calls me and realizes I'm walking and freaks out a little because he's like 10 miles away and there aren't good sidewalks all the way to him. *sigh* So, I turn around and try to problem solve with him. He's not up for it. So, I get off the phone with him and call our Home Teacher (the one we've had since we moved here) for a suggestion on where to take the van (hopefully). No such luck, but in talking with him, I do realize a couple of actions I CAN take. So, I go back to the temple.
Back at the temple I wait a lot. I was able to speak to Brother Recker about the situation and he was thoughtful and generous in offering to bring us back with him when he finished (at 9:30pm) if we still needed that help. Additionally, after a bit, I was given information on the Transient Bishop. Did you know there was such a thing?? I didn't. What a valuable (ADDITIONAL) service those hardworking, unpaid, leader-guys do!! As I learned, the Transient Bishop alternates among the Bishops in the Stake. Finally, a plan develops to get me to my family. Fernando, a grounds worker, and Joe B., the security guy, take me out to my family at the playground AND THEN THEY WAIT with us until we know what's going on with the van.
While Jess was stuck, he ended up meeting a Grandma with her grandson and chatting with her, sharing a bit about the situation and some of his frustration. Judy, the Grandma, contacted her son who is a mechanic. Chris, Judy's son, arrived at the playground soon after I got there. He and Jess work to try to jimmy-rig a start up for us to get home. It doesn't work, but the Christ-like love Chris showed through his service was READILY apparent. During this time Judy went home (a couple blocks away) and came back with drinks and chips for Jess and the girls. I arrived while she was away. I think she left again and returned, but I'm not sure. In any event, before she left the final time, she hands Jessie something. Jessie hands it to me. A grocery store gift card for... FIFTY dollars! That's a big sum for us... for groceries. That's the total of what we normally spend on groceries in a week during a FULL refrigerator week!!!!! (Full fridge weeks are when we're living posh... not as often occurring as bare fridge weeks, lately. We DO have sufficient for our needs, though! Father is faithful and always makes things last longer than I think they will.) Since I did have SOME money budgeted for groceries for this week, this tremendous gift is going to buy the desired diapers, buy some dish soap (which we're almost out of), two notebooks (needed for record keeping/school stuff) and a bit of food to boot! What a mighty merciful Heavenly Father we have!!! What a marvelous miracle and some silver lining to the black cloud of the van putzing on our Temple trip day.
If it wasn't for this temple trip, I still wouldn't know what to do about diapers and we'd have a really bare fridge. Elder Howard W. Hunter (at the time) said, "It has always been encouraging to me that the Lord said it is the “willing and obedient [who] shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days." (D&C 64:33-34) All of us can be willing and obedient. If the Lord had said the perfect shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days, I suppose some of us would be discouraged and give up." In the conference talk: “Developing Spirituality,” Ensign, May 1979, 24. Yall so totally know I'm not perfect, but I'm willing and REALLY truly trying to be obedient. And I can testify to the fact that Heavenly Father will bless us to '0eat the good of the land' is we do our best. Isn't that what all this is?
The weather was not horrible through all this. But I was worried about the girls spending too much time outside. I thought it would be better for us to have a place to be after the van was towed away (thankfully we have AAA+... up to 100 mile tows are free and it was 88.8 miles from where the van was to our home). So, in speaking to my Transient Bishop, I did ask him to find a place for us to BE until Brother Recker finished his work in the temple (9:30pm). He did find us such a place.
Apparently, this month "my" Bishop is either the Bishop for the area directly surrounding the temple OR the Spanish Ward Bishop, because he has a member who lives in a house RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the temple. Seriously. So, Fernando and Joe drive me with my girls from the playground to the Ordinalo Family's home. WOW. BIG. The family is BIG-hearted and wonderful! They are truly more beautiful than their amazing home!!! Thankfully they have a 7 year old daughter who enjoys young girls because Ria and Kat just had a wonderful time with her! Brother and Sister Ordinalo are gracious and kind. Their children were wonderfully tolerant (especially the youngest).
Brother Recker picks us up from the Ordinalo's home just after 9:30pm and brings us home. The van is sitting ever-so-nicely in the driveway... mocking us? We go to sleep.
This morning saw Jessie bring the van to a shop in town (via another tow). There he received a quote for another $300 job. (The previous one was $100). Thankfully, the guys at this shop pushed the van job to the head of the que (because Jess had to be at work by 3pm). It was completed in time for Jess to get to work! Amazing, right? We've paid for the necessary part as well as labor out of our Rent money for October. Not good. But I have to have Faith. Father is faithful, thus must I be! After the marvelous miracles He's made manifest in the last 36 hours, I must keep a firm mind and focus on Faith. I REALLY do want that Gift of the Spirit! I REALLY want to be like Helaman's Son's Mothers... the Mothers who KNEW! *sigh* So, if you think of it, please send up a prayer for us!
Another bit of silver lining is the possibility that this stumbling block may be the pressure Jess needs to have a specific conversation with his employers. This is a GOOD thing. If you think to pray for us, please pray for Jess to speak with the best words to present his case for an increase in pay that truly is deserved.
Recently my "little" sister sent a mail to my girls and me. In it there was a note for my Kitty Kat on a blue cloud with tin-foil around the edge. On the note my sister wrote that she and I had made that cloud and a few others like it many years ago. THAT cloud has been such a blessing to ME (even though it was sent to my daughter)!!! I'm planning to have a FHE about seeing the good during the difficult (training our eyes to SEE) and TRYing to see the glass half-full... and then make more silver lined clouds as a craft during the conversation. My girls seem to listen best when they have something to do. Not always, but often, that seems to be the case. I hope and plan to post and hang these clouds around the house as reminders of my sister's gift AND the need to train our eyes to be the kind that DO see! ^_^
THANK YOU EVELYN!!! I LOVE YOU!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Can you believe she'll be a year old in less than 2 months now? I marvel over that each day!
A couple of weeks ago, now, Tea gave me a HUG!!! It was probably right before she turned 10 months old. It was wonderful and I felt giddy with warm-fuzzies. :)
She has taken some steps without holding on to anything. BUT she's still not willing to strike out on her own. Still a bit of a scardy-cat like Mama. :( ahwell... they can't all have only good qualities. ;)
Tea LOVES to play the face game. While nursing she grabs my finger and points to parts for me to name. Sometimes I'll ask about a part and she'll try to point to the correct one. It's pretty neat how often she gets some of them correct (like nose, lip, hair, and chin) and others wrong.
I think it was about 10 days ago that I realized Tea was telling me she needed to get her butt changed when she came over to me fussing. The way she was fussing was basically the same as asking for some nursing time. So I nursed her. But as I held her I could SMELL her. When I commented that she needed butt change, she smiled SO huge! She wasn't super happy to be popped off the boob, but she WAS happy to get a clean butt! Oh, and Chris, I stand by my phrase "butt changed" because I'm changing her butt from a dirty to a clean state. ;) (Chris, my brother-in-law, made fun of that phrase, in a kind way, when he and my sister visited a while back.) Anyway, since that first realization, Tea comes to me each time she needs her butt changed! She's SUCH a smart baby!!!
ALMOST THREE YEARS OLD!!!
This little lady is excited about learning. She asks, almost every day, to "do school". As a result she is in lesson 20 (out of 100) of my favorite book. She recognizes her numbers well (out of order) and seems to understand that they represent a number of things (only the first five, but still).
She started Dance again last Thursday and LOVES it. Tap is still her favorite, but she happily "tolerates" ballet. Kat is super excited about going on stage. She still doesn't understand that it won't happen for quite a while.
Kat still LOVES to color. She asks for the crayons at least once a day. Very recently she started coloring one picture more than ONE color! Actually, she's adopted big sister's rainbow theme. :)
That provides a nice segue into the idea that Kat still absolutely adores Ria and thinks everything Ria does is golden. Thankfully, Ria is mostly a good girl. But MAN... it sure is rotten when she isn't!
Daily "school" activity has grown. She used to do mostly just Reading and Math. Then we added piano when Mary Kay, her teacher, moved into town. Now she does those daily as well as: Writing/Penmanship, Spelling (almost every day), Science (about 3 days a week), History (4 or 5 days a week), Bible Character Study (daily), Spanish (4-5 days per week), and Language Arts (4-6 days per week). I would like to focus on fewer subjects each day and accomplish the weekly goal in concentrated packs of time, but Ria does better with more variety. So, we do variety! She LOVES Astronomy (her Science subject for this year) so far and still loves Math. YEAY! Hopefully she'll like History better than her first day with it. All in all it's going very well, the introduction of more work. I'm so glad.
Ria still loves Dance. She was disappointed that she didn't get to go to class this past Thursday. But because the studio is in transition, her class doesn't start until this coming Thursday. She's very excited to get back into it. Hopefully things will work out so that she will be able to continue through, without interruption, until her recital at the end of the school year. If you think of it, and want to, please pray for our van. If we have to pay for another repair anytime soon, THAT will eat up the budget for Dance (which is obviously higher with 2 in it now).
Ria finished the Chronicles of Narnia series last week. She's only got a couple more books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (and one by her daughter) left to read in that "series". She continues to enjoy the Nancy Drew Mysteries (she LOVES mysteries!) and read the most recent Magic Treehouse book in a couple hours, just for fun! ^_^ She's a big reader! She does enjoy other entertainments, but throughout the day (after "school") she often sits with a stack of books from her room to read! I'm so lucky!!!
A few days ago Ria said to me something like, "I'm so glad you wanted me to take piano! I just LOVE to play piano!" The thing about that is that she doesn't seem to remember that she asked to learn how to play piano. That fact is kinda funny to me because she obviously only remembers the time she's recently passed through of wanting to QUIT taking piano, but she's glad I wouldn't let her. Jess was actually willing to let her quit, but because of my own issues with giving things up way too easily (less endurance than I would like), I feel really strongly about enabling our kids to have stronger self-control than I developed as a child.... Thus, not quitting things on a whim. If we did, we would've left Dance class the week she complained. It was only a week (one day's class) that she didn't want to continue. She loved it before, she's loved it since. If she wanted to quit dance again, we would make a deal about giving it a certain number of months to continue and then she could make that determination. But I think doing it on a whim is just not the right way (for US). That's what works for us and Jess is glad to support it, since we had a discussion about the subject of quitting, in general. Thankfully he seems to have the gift of discernment pretty naturally! Sometimes it just requires a little effort on my part to begin to paint a possible outcome of our actions for him to see how things could continue on a wrong course from there.
Ria and Kat still pretend Tea is their puppy sometimes. She's still called Muffie, as a puppy! :) Tea still crawls away from me (more and more, actually) to search out her sisters IN THEIR ROOM. They play so nicely among each other as well as together! Tea actually enjoys bath time now! I think she didn't enjoy it so well before because she didn't GET that it could be enjoyable. I had her watch her sisters a couple months ago and since then she's LOVED it. Of course, they take baths together. Ria and Kat love to have "their baby" in the tub with them. They've asked if I will leave her to play with them. I've made a deal that I will start to leave the room once in a while for short periods of time when the baby is 15-18 months old. (That's still a ways off, right? heehee) I'm so lucky my girls enjoy each other so well and WANT to spend time together!
Still working hard. He is still working 12+ hour days Wednesday through Saturday. Sundays are still 3pm until about 10:30pm. Unless their not. Sometimes he has to go in early (like 1pm, or 8am!) and some days off he actually has to work... or do inventory. *sigh* I think this is what it will be for a time, though. As much as the girls would like to have him around more (and I certainly wouldn't mind), we have to sacrifice now to experience the reward of it later. Thankfully, Jess loves his job (most of it). He rarely complains about the parts he doesn't love.
He's been fishing more recently. And since we have PE on Tuesday mornings, he'll get to sleep in one morning a week! I hope he does.
A buddy of his from the Club will become a Daddy soon. And another buddy from Church, too. So, Jess has become the experienced Father! Isn't that cool? Those guys really are lucky to have a good example of how to be a good Dad in Jess.
Mostly his life is consumed by work and just hanging out with us. :)
I'm still working on learning about the politics stuff. Mostly, though, I've been trying to share what I know with people I meet and spend time with. It's difficult to find that so few people know what's happening (especially when subjects as important as our Parental Rights hang in the balance!).
In other news about me... I'm going to begin working on becoming a La Leche League Leader. I know, right. :) About time, don't you think? Well, I think it's perfect timing.
My time has been consumed lately. Most of it is eaten by lesson preparation, but I'm still trying to read ahead (of Ria). All in due course for a homeschoolin' Mama, of course.
I'm also trying to read to become a better person. I recommend THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF MARRIAGE. It's helping me change my heart and thoughts about some things that I know I need to change.
There have been more outside "time eaters" since the beginning of the "school year". Good things (and, obviously, since I'm DOING them, I deem them the best for the circumstances). One "time eater" is the PE group we're meeting with once a week to get outside and spend time with other homeschoolers and for the girls to have exposure to a wide variety of sports. It is good fun and SUCH balm to my feelings of NOT belonging anywhere I have been for the last 3 years (actually much longer than that). I've found more women who think/feel as I do about conception planning (or not), child rearing, God fearing, health, nutrition, treating illness, and education (of course) than I think I've ever found in my life before becoming involved with the homeschool groups around here. And yes, that does include, in large part, ladies from Church. It's nice to feel a sort of belonging!
A one time "time eater" happened last Wednesday. The girls and I were able to participate in a Community Service activity. It's actually in preparation for another one (on the 19th), so I guess it's a two time "time eater". ^_^ One of the PRIZE moments of Wednesday morning was when Kat was rinsing out some bottles. Ria, Kat, Tea, and I were in a room away from the rest of the volunteers. I'd just been thinking what a bummer it was that my kids were not going to get to work with others... that they had to get stuck with Mama AGAIN. And Kat says (almost exactly, if not exactly), "It feels good to work together in here!" And she said something along those same lines no fewer than two other times as well. I realized that it doesn't matter if they get to do the service/volunteer work with others or not, what matters is that they know what they are doing because the resulting feelings come regardless of who else is around! WHAT A BLESSING! I also realized that being put in a separate room gave us more time to increase the Unity in our family. And THAT is always ALWAYS a blessing!
Another sweet experience of that morning is the realization that Tea could tell what we were doing! AND for a while, she participated by taking the bottles we were rinsing out of the origin box and handing them to Ria who unscrewed the lid, took off a paper, and set them on the table for Mama to move to the sink. (Tea was a step in the process!) That didn't last long, but she participated, too! (And she is only 10.5 months old!) Isn't that awesome?!?!!
We did end up working with the other volunteers before all the work was done. I think the main organizer thought it was iffy that my little ones could contribute in any meaningful way. He and that other volunteers were pleasantly surprised, based on their reactions, at how well my girls worked and how MUCH they accomplished. Work that was supposed to last until Noon was finished at 10:30am. Now, that's not just because of my daughters, of course. But they didn't hurt the process, either (as I'm pretty sure some feared)! ^_^ What a good experience it was for me to feel that they were pleased and impressed and by so feeling, hope that Father may be pleased by our efforts to become civic minded and involved in our community! I know one of the volunteers was happy to get to know us because she heard me reading aloud to my girls in the public library a few days later and came to find me just to say hi. What a pleasure! I'm so thankful for the opportunity that homeschooling affords us ALL to be involved in the community in this way (and hopefully others as well, in the future)! What a blessing to feel that we can make a difference, little bit by little bit! :)
I haven't really lost much more pounds on the scale, but I've been hearing more comments about looking thinner. Ria has even told me that she thinks I'll have to get clothes that are small like hers soon. (Of course, she also tells me, at other times, that she loves my fat rolls!) ^_^ Who knows. I think I just look like a little bit smaller me... not as distinctly different as I would like to look (and how I feel I looked at my smallest points before). I do feel better (as long as I stay away from sugars and the carbohydrates that are NOT a part of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. My guts are better, too, as long as I stick to SCD. I rather hope I won't have to always remain so strict, but for now I do (and I have tested that recently). I'm all right with it. I'm glad to feel I am healthier and my guts are healing! THAT is a huge blessing.
I'm sorry, if you like to read my personal posts, that I haven't been writing as much here. I've been very busy, though. Well, just busy. :) I feel really mentally and emotionally well... even amid some really painful sorts of things that have happened recently. Heavenly Father is merciful! We are very blessed!!!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I haven't made the calls yet, but I'm going to make some on Monday or Tuesday (when my minutes refresh... I'm all out now). :( Have YOU called the White House to ask why Van Jones, a Communist is allowed to be an adviser to the President of our REPUBLIC? Here's the number in case you would like to join me (or beat me) in making a call or some calls: 202-456-1111 Also, I think we should call our Congressperson(s) and Senators to speak with them about this affront to America and the freedoms that are meant to be ours.
Also, if you have children in school, perhaps you should consider keeping them home on Tuesday to avoid the Presidential address. With the way things are going (and if you view the YouTube) the speech might be mostly harmless, but I'm sure it will not be COMPLETELY harmless. Why take the chance on having to rehabilitate our children's minds from the indoctrination that the Gadianton's Robbers' leader in America would have them hear? You could also (should?) your superintendent and tell him/her that such an activity is not what you want your tax dollars paying for. And if you don't have children, you could consider doing the latter anyway, since you pay taxes!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Currently, some leaders are willing and ready to sign The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. One such leader has guaranteed that the treaty will be signed during the upcoming session. Such an action would be disastrous for parents who believe they have first right to direct the upbringing up their children.
There are still some good leaders out there. On this issue, unfortunately, none of mine are among them. I will be working to change that through contact via phone, email, and snail mail. I hope you will check to see, via www.parentalrights.org, if your House and Senate Representatives are among them. If you live in Virginia (most of my family does), I can tell you right now that your Senators are NOT among the sponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment. Why do we need such a thing? Please DO read about it.
I'm sure there is more I should address. There is SO much TO address. I'm just worn out from my puny efforts to share news. Some of which has been negatively received, which is never easy. Father never said it would be easy. And it surely is not.
So... what's new? Well... and this may seem pretty random to most of you, but I want to apologize to my sister-in-law: Anni, I'm sorry. I really am sorry.
In other news...
Wow... this little girl is basically walking, but a scardy-cat. Jess told me a few nights ago that she ran across the bottom of the bed (feet on the floor, hands on the bed). This was not news to me, but it was the first time he saw it for himself. Now he believes me! So, yes, she is basically running as well as walking. She's starting to test out her "hands free" balancing more and more, but she's still a scardy-cat even in that respect. It's really funny to see her knowingly LET GO and then either grab whatever she just release in a sort of "I'm FALLING" snatch OR plop herself onto her butt.
She's still nursing strong. I hope it will continue into the future. She's also eating a lot more from the things we eat for meals. Unfortunately, much is off limits because our foods often have nuts, but she LOVES what I allow her. Her favorites still seem to be butternut squash (with salt and butter), figs (we were treated to some of these lucious fruits by Mom and Dad Gollihugh! YUM!!!), and bananas. But she's tried basically everything I eat now. And she has LOVED almost all of it.
While our family was visiting, Tea started making a LOT more jokes! She has the funniest, cutest little "I'm going to get you" laugh! Her Pop and Mema got to experience her sweet funny little laugh. What a pleasure!
Tea's jokes are often involve 'bothering' her sisters. For instance, during our family's time here (and for a few nights since their departure) our girls have slept in Mama and Daddy's room. Ria has been on the floor on sleeping bags. Well, Tea has crawled over there (when Ria was awake AND not) giggling her little "I'm going to get you" laugh and then head-butted or otherwise 'tormented' Ria. When Ria was awake, Ria intereacted a little with Tea and they ended up going back and forth in some silly giggles. When Ria was asleep, Tea would try a few times to get Ria to interact and then give up and try Kat (who was sleeping in the crib in our room). It was REALLY funny to watch!
Oh, and the head-butting thing comes from Jessie's play with Tea. He'll push her over with his head when they play. Or he'll rub his bristly short hair on her belly to make her laugh. So, of course, she does the same thing when trying to play with others. Though, I don't think I've seen her specifically try to rub her head on anyone's belly yet. That'll be a hoot, though, if she does!
Have I mentioned that she pesters me to "do school"? I love it, of course. She is determined to read. I asked her a while ago if she wanted to, but she wasn't into it. Probably nigh on a year ago now and she didn't want to, but more recently, she told me she DID want to learn how to read. So we started in the book I've mentioned before (How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) and she's currently on lesson 17. Can you believe it? She's amazing! The going is slow because we are working for mastery, but she's excited about it every day. What a joy!
Because Ria decided she wanted to start Spanish, Kat is totally into it, too. (Of course!) So, when we "do Math" we work on Spanish counting as well. Kat basically has it down (1-5, which are the numbers we've been REALLY focusing on... because I want to know that she understands that each number represents a value, not just counting numbers) and almost through ten (in Spanish, she can count to 20 in English). Amazing. (But of course I would think so!)
Kat is WAY into coloring. She's in a monochromatic phase, for the most part. She'll color everything, or almost everything, on one side of the page in one color. While she doesn't strive to stay inside the lines of the internal parts of a picture, she DOES almost stay inside the outer lines of any given part of the whole! I've also noticed, when she does use more than one color, that she has a natural tendency to choose complimentary colors (opposites on the color wheel that heighten the intensity of the other when placed next to one another... just in case you weren't sure). What an eye on my Kat, right?!
Kat LOVED having our family visit!! She especially loved the trips to the beach with everyone. It was such a pleasure to see her loving her Mema and Pop SO well! She was very sad that they left and has asked much about them since their departure on Wednesday afternoon.
Our eldest daughter was DISTRAUGHT when she realized her cousins were gone and not coming back, which happened earlier than initially planned! She cried inconsolably for quite a while. It was heart-breaking for Jess and me. So, she obviously loved having her cousins here to visit. It was a pleasure to see how much they really did seem to enjoy one another!
Ria also loved having her Pop and Mema visit. When Jess asked (the first time) what her favorite part of having them visit was she thought for a few moments and then replied, "Holding their hands." Of course, Kat's response was the same. ^_^ We loved having all of the Gollihughs here to visit for the short time they were. We hope it will happen again much sooner than later!
Subsequent questions about what the favorite part of the visit was brought up answers like, "Going to the beach," and "Playing the game," and "Going to eat at Daddy's work". The last one Mema and Pop treated us to the first night they made their presence known.
Ria is regularly working on piano. She's still reading lots. Of all the things she does when she doesn't HAVE to do something, reading is the most regularly occurring activity. For "school" she is almost through all of the Narnia series. She's finished the Little House on the Prairie series, but I just found a book by Laura's daughter that Ria will read soon. She's read the first 3 Nancy Drew books and the first 2 of the Mandie books (really great Historical Fiction). Unfortunately, Ria is still resistant about "doing school", but thankfully she really gets into most of it once she's done complaining.
Ria will be starting History, Science, and officially doing Spanish once we receive the items for those subjects (I do have to order them first... on the TO DO for Monday). I'll be using my allowance. That use of "my money" is totally worth it, of course, but the selfish part of me does wish I could spend it on something for me (like save it to make a trip to VA... which, Mema and Pop generously contributed to!!! or something JUST for me). I have been feeling more okay with 'always' spending what was intended as allowance for me on things for the girls and/or our family because I think it's just my time for that. Ya know? After I "cover" the expense of those, (it's going to take a little more than 2 months of "my allowance" to pay for the items mentioned above) I'll purchase a Language Arts and Character Development curriculum... hopefully by December. That'll be another 2 months of allowance. *sigh* If only the taxes we paid "for" public schools we don't use could be kept in out own account. It would be that much easier to fund this difficult enterprise (homeschooling). I would surely give it up (especially with all the difficulty I've faced with Ria) if I didn't know Father directed our path in this as well as other difficult choices.
Talk about a happy guy! He was super happy to have his family visit. Sad his sister left early, but still enjoyed his Mom and Dad's presence. He was supportive and comforted me through the difficulty of an early departure, which was a tremendous blessing to me. He's a good man.
Did you know Jess was, basically, working as the General Manager for his restaurant? Yep. And he did a good job at it. Awesome, right? It was two weeks worth (three Sundays) of being the General Manager and he liked it, from all I could tell. It was a little more stress, but he handled it admirably.
Did you know Jess teaches a monthly Food Storage Food Preparation classes for my Ward? Yep. He's taught at least 6 classes now. I think it's been more, actually. His classes have been really well attended for the past couple/few months. The attendance has sort of peaked because members of the Stake have been attending. This last Tuesday, he had about 20 and the time before it was around 30 attendees. Awesome, right? He loves it. When he talks about it, he says that he hopes he is able to reinforce the importance of having AND using food storage. I'm so glad!
I'm still feeling a lot of urgency to share the political stuff I learn about and know. Thus the messages easiest to access here, on my blog.
We've officially joined the main homeschooling group for our area, a homeschooling PE group, and a few Yahoo!Groups for homeschooling families (specifically LDS, I think). There's another local Yahoo!Group I can now join (since I know some of the members) and will do so soon. I also hope to and expect to sort of form another homeschool group that will not meet at a Church and will not be focused on Christianity. I learned that there is a desire among a number of families in the area (larger than my specific location) and that they would be willing to drive for it. Just hoping/trying to answer a need. Thankfully I will not be doing it alone. One of the homeschooling Mamas in my Ward will be working on it with me. WHAT a blessing!
I'm still trying to write as much as possible. Not able to do it much, but still trying.
Most of my "extra" time is spent reading ahead of Ria. I've got a few series lines up for her after she finishes those she's working on now. I received a few suggestions from my sister, Evelyn, that I wanted to pass along because they are particularly wonderful books. Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. I also did read Princess Academy and they are ALL wonderful. There are good messages and they are not "too heavy" either.
The house is not a total disaster area. I'm especially noting this because it has tended to be a total disaster after family visits. I'm SUPER happy it is not one right now and hopeful that I'll have it back to the sort of medium I've felt happy with lately. I'm still behind on dishes, but that tends to be the bane of my homemaking existence. ;) We all have one, I'm sure.
I'm often tired, but not in the way I used to be. I think that has a lot to do with SCD and trying to eat healthier these last 3+ months. I'm almost to 4, I think. My guts seem much healthier. WHAT a blessing!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
And why not? The Deceiver and his Group: Gadianton know that the family is the foundation of the Society, so if they can undermine FAMILY, they will control the society. Of course, you already know I believe that TGG (The Gadianton Group) has a fall back plan. They know that if they can control people by means of that which they consume, they control the world. So, they are breaking apart the very foundations of Society (the world) and working to control us through complacency and fatigue.
Have I previously mentioned Weather Modification? How about fluoridated water? Well, if not the latter, then surely the former. They are certainly two prongs of the multi-pronged fork they have aimed at the majority (of the population)... another prong, of course, being control via food supply.
I feel such alarm. And I'm trying to do my part to take a STAND. Will you, too?
There does not seem to be such a helpful sort of information source for the Senate, from what I can tell. BUT, you can go HERE to see "Active Legislation" there is going on and one column is for House and the other for Senate bills. Somewhat helpful.
This week has not been quiet. Tuesday I actually left the house with just the baby! We went to the library and grocery shopping. She sat in the cart seat for only the second time (but this time was a lot longer than the first). She LOVED it. She seemed to really enjoy having me all to herself, too. :) What a sweet girl our Tea is!
She is, amazingly, not walking without holding on to someone or something. She's a bit of a scaredy-cat. Like me. :( But she's standing without holding on to anything much more frequently. She CAN walk, she just won't because of the whole scaredy-cat thing.
Thursday we brought Jess to work so we would have the van to get to our Homeschool Group's Open House. That was really interesting and nice. I enjoyed being among many women/families I knew were making the same tough choice we have! I still felt quite alone most of the time... ah, well. I think it's very much related to the depression I've been tied up in since my Uncle left. Ugh. Let me tell you, this stuff is NO fun. A sweet sister, Jean, from church called me as I was on my way home. One of my earth Angels whispered to by God to remind me that though I may FEEL alone, I'm not really. She just wanted to make sure I was okay because I didn't seem myself at church on Sunday (4 days prior). How kind of her! One of the "small" miracles in my life.
We arrived home in enough time to get something to eat and for the girls to "do school" and play a little bit before it was time to get going to church for Ward Council. I'm really glad it's only once a month just because keeping the van is not easy AT ALL. Right after WC was done, we went to pick Jess up from work. Thankfully we didn't have to wait for him this time!
Another "small miracle" followed the very next day. Friday I believe I posted the link to an article I read that effected me tremendously. My friend Stacy called while I was reading it, I called her back after I finished it. I was very upset, she'd been calling initially to see if we'd like company. She and her 2 daughters came over for the evening. It was LOVELY!
Jessie's family is coming to visit on Monday. We're very excited about the visit. As with all such good stress, it is still stress... probably mostly for Mamas. I haven't been able to clean as I would like because of my focus on politics... but it's not a pig's sty, either. :)
Today is actually a "down" day and I will hopefully accomplish more in the house than I have heretofore accomplished. We'll see.
Life will get busier for us coming in the foreseeable future. We have homeschool activities, volunteer opportunities, and Church activities/responsibilities to see to and attend. So, September (particularly 1 week in that month) will be quite busy. That one week will require me to take Jess to work 3 days in a row. Can we say... "Tired children"? I think there will be some! But I'm excited to be more often among women who really understand the realities of homeschooling. I've been homeschooling more often than not for around 3+ years now, but it's been quite lonely. I look forward to the feeling of buoyancy I have already felt in knowing some women who've made the same choice Jess and I have! It has already been sweet relief to know a few and become good friends with at least one such lady. ^_^
Friday, August 21, 2009
Have YOU ever heard of weather modification? Want to read more? Click on the links in the two links I've included. I'm only beginning to inch along this new branch of the "young tree growing" which is my political awareness.
I'm even more deeply alarmed. And you?
What can we do??
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Would you know what I'm talking about if I suggested that the Senate might go for reconciliation to push ObamaCare through? If not, PLEASE read or you can just keep scrolling down. I rarely ever include the whole of someone else's writing in my blog, but this is really important to understand why EVERYONE needs to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT! Make calls to our leaders.
Did you know that one call is equivalent to 12,999 constituents? That's what the peeps on Capitol Hill think. They figure that if one person calls there are around 13,000 others who think the same way. Let's tell them they will lose their livelihood if they don't represent us properly!
GOP Should Shut Down Senate If Dems Use Procedural Tactic to Ram Through Health-Care Bill, Says Conservative Leader
Thursday, August 20, 2009
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor
(CNSNews.com) – Conservative leader Gary Bauer warned Wednesday that Democratic leaders in Congress will try to ram through their unpopular health-care reform plan later this fall, employing a little-used tactic first conceived as a way to maneuver around the budget deficit battles of the 1980s.
“I’m afraid that they (Democratic leaders) will do it because I’m convinced that the people running America are intent on changing America in ways that will not be reversible,” Bauer told CNSNews.com.
The tactic, known as “reconciliation,” is designed to get around the filibuster, a Senate procedure used to prevent the majority from running roughshod over the minority.
“When you have a filibuster, it takes 60 Senate votes to pass something,” Bauer said. “The Democrats don’t have 60 votes that they can count on for the health-care bill, making reconciliation all the more likely,” Bauer said.
“It’s a little esoteric, but the bottom line is that they will be able to ram this through with just 51 votes,” Bauer added.
The controversial 1,000-page bill overhauling the nation's health-care system is currently before Congress, which remains in recess until September.
If liberal Democrats do force through the legislation over the significant objections of conservatives, the former Republican presidential candidate says the minority party should be prepared to shut down the Senate.
“The only remedy for this, is for the minority in Congress...to make it clear that if this is used on such a major piece of legislation, that the minority Republicans will literally shut down the Senate by using parliamentary maneuvers, and so forth--so that literally nothing else will pass this year and next, until there is another election,” Bauer, who is president of the group American Values, said.
“That would turn Washington into an even more partisan battleground, but it may be the only solution to the threat that’s being rumored right now,” Bauer added.
Reconciliation is an option that was created in the 1974 Congressional Budget Act to allow Congress a way out of intractable budget battles.
Wesleyan University government professor Elvin Lim said it was invented as a way to achieve a balanced budget--not to force through highly controversial legislation.
“It wasn’t passed to allow Congress to go ahead and do anything it wants, but as it turns out, that’s the way it’s been used, quite frankly, by both sides of the aisle,” Lim told CNSNews.com.
In fact, he said, President George W. Bush was the last to utilize the tactic--getting Congress to pass tax cuts three times in ‘01, ‘03 and ’05--because he wanted to bypass a Senate filibuster by Democrats.
The budget reconciliation process is a two-stage process. First, reconciliation “directives” must be included in the annual budget resolution. In fact, directives for the health-care reform bill were placed in the 2010 budget resolution, which was passed April 29.
If utilized for the health-care bill, House and Senate committees would be ordered to develop a final version of the legislation by a specific date (in this case, Oct. 15) to meet certain spending or revenue targets. The committees would then send their legislative recommendations to their respective budget committees, who would be tasked with packaging all recommendations into one omnibus reconciliation bill.
The resulting bill would be fast-tracked and sent to the floor of both chambers of Congress for debate. A 20-hour limit is placed on debate of any measure considered under the reconciliation process, which effectively strips the minority party of the filibustering option in the Senate.
“The bottom line here is that this reconciliation procedure allows the Senate to bypass its normal filibuster procedure of 60 votes--and instead only requires 51 votes for passage of bills,” Lim said.
That means the Democrats could pass health-care reform in the Senate with a simple majority.
Lim, however, said the procedure has a downside. Any measure passed under the reconciliation procedure will be “sunsetted”--meaning, it would automatically expire when it reaches a cutoff date.
“They may get what they want, but it’s only going to last 10 years, if they go the reconciliation route,” Lim said.
In fact, Lim said Democrats are counting on having the 10 years to sell the public that their health-care reform doesn’t mean that the system is going to fall apart.
“If Americans are happy with the health care, and health-care costs go down, as Democrats promised, then there may be room for an extension of the sunset provision,” Lim told CNSNews.com. “If things go awry, then obviously Republicans would be able to say ‘I told you so.’”
House and Senate Democratic leaders are being pushed towards reconciliation from two directions, Lim said.
“They know they cannot get many Republicans on the public option, but they also know they are going to lose their liberal base if they don’t go for a public option, they are forced into rather narrow band of being not too far to the left while not offending the right,” Lim added.
Ironically, the White House is even thinking of bringing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in for behind-the-scenes politicking on the health bill, Lim said.
“I don’t think they (Democrats) fathomed the depth of antipathy to the possibility of a public option in health care, I honestly don’t think they foresaw this. They thought that it was going to be relatively easy because they had this grand mandate from the 2008 elections,” Lim said.
But Lim warned Democratic leaders not to underestimate the extent of opposition to the public option. Townhall outrage and tea parties have not been ginned up by the opposition, he said, but reflect a huge subterranean split in America that goes all the way back to the founding of the country.
“It’s a fundamental divide,” Lim said. “I think it goes to the heart of America. Think about it – what was the first political debate Americans ever had? It was about the state – how are we going to trust a federal government and how much power are we going to give to it. The health-care debate sits exactly on that tectonic.”
If the Democratic leadership uses the reconciliation process about such a major bill, what then?
“It’s only going to reinforce the conservatives’ and Blue Dog Democrats’ belief that (liberal) Democrats insist on having their way – they are intolerant of alternate conceptions of what the state should look like,” Lim said.
Bauer, meanwhile, predicts that the Obama administration will insist upon using reconciliation.
“These are Chicago machine politicians -- people who are used to playing incredible hardball, of ramming through what they want, no matter the cost.”