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I Am... Mama and Writer

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 ...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Only a Little Funny

The other day I accidentally walked in on Ria using the toilet. She's taken, recently, to closing the door when she goes, which is confusing only because we close the door because of Tea now... so I don't know if she's in there just because the door is closed.

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

Sometimes It's Okay to be Sick

Okay, so it's really not okay... but I can more easily see some purpose to it... perhaps. :)

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

Ever and Increasingly Pertinent

This was shared with me and I wanted to share it with you. I hope you see how it's pertinent. I'm sure you will.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Walker

No... I'm totally not old enough to need one of them YET. :) And if you know us, you know our babies don't go IN them... So, that's leaves: Tea to take her first steps.

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. ;)

^_^ heeheehee

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not Done Yet

So, amazingly, the van was repaired in time for Jessie to get to work by 3pm on Wednesday. He was supposed to be there at 8am, as normal, but because of the van problem, the General Manager reworked things and he was able to be in later. The guys at the shop Jess took the van to (via a tow) were awesome and moved our job to the head of the que and finished it lickity-split. YEAY! Another miracle. And if you question THAT, you obviously haven't had to take your vehicle to a mechanic lately!

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

A Dark Cloud Fell

So, I've always (at least as long as I can remember) really admired those who seemed to just HAVE Faith. You know the ones... things happen in their lives that are just not so great and they have all their feathers right in place the whole time. There have been a few that have said they think I have this gift. Unfortunately, I argue that point simply because I know my doubter's heart! Had I been a disciple, we would use the phrase "doubting Tori" not "doubting Thomas"!!! Well, Monday night I asked (again) in prayer for the gift of Faith. Be careful what you ask for really is a good phrase... thus its oft usage. :)

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! ^_^


Sunday, September 13, 2009

New-ish Stuff

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!!!



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.

The Girls
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

Worth 9 Minutes

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!

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