Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Charlotte Mason

Happy Birthday, Charlotte Mason!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLOTTE MASON

Charlotte Mason was born January 1, 1842 in Bangor, England.
Happy Birthday, Miss Mason!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor, put in to words exactly what I am feeling right now when she said, "I need a fresh start. I mean, I really need a fresh start. I have so much I want to do and share with my children and yet lack either the time or motivation or energy to do it all."  I have especially found this to be true since I found out what has been wrong with me and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  The lack of energy is one of my biggest struggles!  Many nights, I sleep "okay," and many other nights, usually for days in a row, I will sleep "miserably" at best.  When I sleep miserable, getting up by 7:30 is a true struggle for me.  It is something I have to force, and I mean literally force, myself to do. But to be a good example to my children, I make myself.  Oh I desire to wake up full of energy like I used to.  I used to be, and had always been, a morning person.  From the time I was a kid, and had to wake up my mom, brother and sister, I used to go in and start saying, "Rise & Shine!  Give God the Glory!"  Ask my older kids, they were less than thrilled to hear me come in in the morning saying this, much like my brother and sister were years back.  Now while I do still say that some mornings to my younger children who are still in the nest, I am not so cheerful and enthusiastic as I used to be.  When I first wake up, I am most always stiff and sore, and at first walking anywhere in the morning is painful, especially walking down the stairs to the main floor!!


So, what do I need more than a fresh start for this upcoming school semester in this new 2011 year?  I need fresh help!!!  And after reminding myself who this fresh help comes from, I am reminded that it comes from the Lord Jesus Himself.  

"I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." Psalm 57:2

And another verse that says, "Be confident of this very thing: that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

I need the excitement and enthusiasm that I remember having had in the past.  This is our 18th year of home schooling.  18 years!  Home schooling in IA has only been legal for I believe 20 or 21 years now.  When we first felt led to home homeschool our children, it was new and very people heard of it, and even fewer dared to actually admit that they were doing it!  Back then, it was so new, and different.  Now, it is as common as flowers blooming in the spring.  I want and need that excitement again!  I want and need that enthusiasm and energy again!   Please Lord, I pray and ask YOU to give me that back again.  This comes from the bottom of my heart Lord, from the depths of my soul.  Please, Lord, perform all these things for me.

Christmas 2010

 We had a blessed Christmas this year, though only 7 of our 9 children could be here.  That part is always a little hard for me because I love when all our children and grandbabies can be all together (though little Samuel must look down from Heaven.)  Christmas Eve evening started off with spending a very enjoyable evening with Perry's family, our soon-to-be in laws.  Then Christmas morning, Perry got here at 6:45 AM, and we all got up and started opening presents at about 8:00.  It was a fun time for all, and Doug had gotten everyone, including Ashley & Perry, their own soft dart guns, and they battled in my kitchen while I looked on and the turkey was cooking away in the oven.  At about 12:45, our older daughters and their families came over, and we had our traditional brunch mix of summer sausages, different flavored cheeses, crackers, milk and egg nog.  This is a tradition that my siblings and I did with my father while we were growing up, and we have always done and still do with our children, and now grandchildren.  Later the kids all went outside to play in the snow, and then we opened presents all together.  The rest of the afternoon was filled with laughter, eating, snacking at will, and enjoying our family time together. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Cage For Emmi

We finally were able to get Emmi, our Marmoset monkey, a bigger cage.  She is fully grown now and I think she will be able to use this one for years to come.  It is "technically" a floor model for a ferret, but we think it will be perfect for Emmi, and much less expensive than the other ones we were previously looking at.  Plus, it's on wheels so we can roll her around from room to room easily.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Surgery for Cory










Well this morning we got up in plenty of time to take our 13-year-old to the hospital so he could have his tonsils & adenoids taken out, and tubes put in his ears.  On the way to the hospital, we blew out a front tire, totally unexpectedly.  Well to make matters worse, the tire had a hole and was flat to the rim, and yes, we had a spare tire, but have not had this van but for a few months and had never needed to access the spare tire before.  Well wouldn't you know it, but the piece to get the spare off was stripped, and the tire couldn't be taken out.  My husband worked on it for about 45 minutes.  We called, and called, and called one of our older daughters who was at home with our younger children, but she had her phone sound to "off," so needless to say, I ended up calling my friend (who lives 20 minutes from us) who drove over to our house to wake her up.  About the time my friend was heading to my house, a state trooper pulled up behind us and offered to help out.  We explained that our son was to be going in for surgery, and that we were to be there by 9:00.  It was now 10 minutes till 9.  Well he offered us a ride and we made it in time, PTL!  Then he went back with my husband to our van to stay with him till help could arrive.  My husband got to the hospital before out son went in to surgery.  The surgery got started later than expected, and took twice as long as expected because his adenoids were so badly swollen and infected that it took much longer to remove them, and he had issues with bleeding (you know how that is for us redheads), so his ENT had had to cauterize a lot more than she had initially planned to.  We finally arrived back home at 5:00 tonight.  It has been a long day and tonight, my poor son is in so much pain.  He has ear drops, medicine for nausea, nose spray, antibiotics and Tylenol w/Codeine.  He has a heating pad on the back of his neck, and an ice pack on his throat.  We have to be extra cautious about him starting to bleed for the next 10 - 12 days and have 4 emergency numbers to get a hold of the doctor on if need be.  We pray that this will make a world of improvement to him where his reading and hearing are concerned!

(12/30/2010) - Cory is much better, can hear so much
better now (the TV used to have to be at a level of 50,
and now he can hear it at 24), plus his sense of smell
is so much better that he can smell his dad's yucky
cigarettes sitting in the ashtray in the basement!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Life With Fibromyagia

This is something that I feel deserves to be repeated, though I know I have put it on here once before. It speaks volumes to what I wish people could understand.  I am not just trying to "be lazy" or am "just getting old."  To those of us who have this, it is very real to us! 

Having chronic pain means many things change.

I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I'm still me-- stuck inside this body. I still care about schooling my kids, about my family, my friends, and most of the time - I'd still like to hear you talk about yours, too.

When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but I've been sick for over a year with this but it wan't diagnosed yet. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome.

Being able to stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. I never know from day to day, how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.

Chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the next room. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very lucky you are--to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.

"Getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.

If I say I have to sit down/lie down/stay in bed/or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm somewhere, or am right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don't, except my the Lord's complete healing. In all likelihood, if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I.  It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we'd know about it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.

If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's really not how I try to be!!  As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.

In many ways I depend on you - people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out... Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, helping me cook or clean something for me. I may need you to take me to the doctor, or to the store. You are my link to the normalcy of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ashley & Perry's Engagement Pictures


 The very much in love, and happy couple plan to get married this coming July. We are very blessed and so excited for them!  They even have a house out in the country that will be available in January, and it's only about 15 minutes from both families! :+) 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our "Gifts" From God

     The Bible teaches us that GOD gives us each our own personal “gifts.” When I say “gifts,” I don't mean gifts as in like a “present” that you might get on Christmas or your birthday. I am talking about a “gift” that GOD gives us. Webster's Dictionary defines a “gift” as a special ability, a natural capability, or talent. YOU are special in God's eyes. God does not make any two of us exactly alike. Oh you may be an identical twin in looks, but the person you are does not exactly match your twin's personality, thoughts or ideas. Those are your own, just as God's “gifts” are His own for you.

     In Romans 12:4, God talks about each of the seven individual gifts that he hands out to those who are in His family, to those He loves. One may be the gift of prophesy, or of ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership or even mercy.
     My personal “gift” is mercy, bordering very closely on teaching. What is mercy? It is the willingness to forgive, not to punish those who have wronged us, being loving, kindhearted, and truly tenderhearted... It is blessing someone else, showing them the forgiveness that God shows us daily, being gentle, and sympathetic. I should be asking myself daily, am I showing mercy in every way that I can? Am I showing mercy to my own family, to my friends? It is my special gift from God Himself. HE wants to be able to show mercy to all who need it, when they need it, and for whatever reason they may need. I am by no means the only person who God has given this gift too, but I am one.
     And the gift of teaching is a secondary gift that God had given me. I don't know why I have necessarily been given this gift, but I believe that it is what has enabled me have taught the Sunday School classes, Bible School classes, and nursery classes that I have taught over the years. However, I also believe that it is in major part of what has enabled me to home-school our children these past 18 years. In Deu. 11:19, it says, “And you shall teach them (His words) to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise up.”
     Our “gifts” are meant to be special to us, personally. What are we doing with our “gifts?” Are we using them to glorify our Lord and Savior? This is something that we should do our best at, and take very seriously. Are we using our gifts in a way that is fitting for the Lord and the church body? Think about it...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

We saved $90 making our own laundry soap this year!!

4 Cups - hot tap water

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.


-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.


-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)


-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Previously Sold Puppies to Happy Owners

 

Here are some of the puppies I have had that have gone to happy owners.  It always blesses me when they are loved and adored!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Is One of YOUR Biggest Reasons that YOUR Family Homeschools?

     What is one of the biggest reasons that you personally home school your children? For our individual family, I would have to say that it is "our SCHEDULE." One of the greatest benefits of each and every home schooling family, is that, just as the Lord made each person's fingerprints unique only to that specific person, no one elses school will ever be just like ours either. And rightfully so, it shouldn't be. Many of us may do certain things, or use certain curriculum that is the same, or similar, but over-all, our schooling belongs to each of our distinct respective families.
     So to us, our schedule plays a huge role in our schooling. Simply put, it is our schedule, and no one elses! (grin) No one can demand when or what days we start school, finish school, or skip school. For instance, we can choose to school Wednesdays - Sundays, and not on Mondays and Tuesdays. Or, maybe we had a very late night because of sick little ones, and so we decided to start schooling at 4:00 the next afternoon, and do not stop schooling until 10:00 that night. Time is our most valuable commodity, and is so precious to us all. We are each given the exact same amount of hours, and it is up to us how we use them. Homeschooling has allowed us to choose how we use those hours. That, for our family, is a wonderful benefit. There are so many opportunities that come up in every day life that can change the course of our days. And there are crisis's that come up, or emergencies that need to be tended to immediately. As well, there are wonderful opportunities we would never want to miss out on. For instance, the recent rescue of the of the coal minors in Chile'. There has never been a greater successful rescue of trapped and rescued minors in all of history! What a shame that would have been to have missed that rescue, as it took place, than just have had to read about in some newspaper or book! To actually see each of those men come up alive, after being trapped for 69 days underground, was worth missing "book work" for those hours. Did we learn anything by watching this that day? Oh my yes! More than we ever probably would have in our books that day.
     So in a nutshell, our "schedule" is one very important reason that we homeschool. There are many other reasons as well, but we personally believe that this is one of our most influential, relevant purposes to homeschool our children.


To learn more...go to: http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com  OR http://blessedcountrymama.blogspot.com

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Are Your Child's Habits?

What is it in your house that your children know never to violate???
That's the habit that you have instilled really well in your children.
 :-)
Strive to make more of those good habits in their every day lives.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moments To Remember

     Have you had a moment, or moments, in your life that have left a lasting impact on you? One that you will never forget, and yet you are so blessed to have lived through it, but still wished it had never happened?
     Well I cannot begin to tell you how many of those “moments” that I have had during my childhood, but one is particularly the most memorable to me. I believe that I was in the 5th grade at this time, and my siblings were younger than I . My mom had taken her friend, Reggie, who lived in our apartment complex, to a Bible Study. Reggie ahd previously given her life to Christ, really enjoyed herself, and was on fire for the Lord at that point in her life. Well Reggie's husband, Sam, was really not happy about his wife going to any Bible Study, let alone with my mom, who already wasn't one of his favorite people to begin with. So, he had gone on a 3-day drinking binge since the night of the Bible Study. We all really liked Reggie, who was such a sweet, loving, kind woman, and my mom was working an all night shift at the truck stop, so she said that we could go to spend the night with Sam & Reggie while she went to work that night. We had been having fun with Reggie, making popcorn, playing card games, etc. She was just spoiling us kids to pieces! We stayed out of her husband's way, just being basically kept busy until it was bedtime.
     That particular night though, as the evening went on, Sam became more and more mouthy, and belligerent. So, she put my brother and sister in the spare bedroom, and locked the door from the inside so that her husband couldn't get through the door from the outside without a key. Then I was to sleep on the spare sofa that was in the office, across from their master bedroom.
     I'm not sure when the fighting actually started, but it was shortly after I had gone to bed. Reggie had shut the office door, but I could still hear everything that was going on. Before I knew what was happening, I heard the front door slam, and peaked out the window, just ever so slightly moving the curtain so he didn't see me watching him. Sam opened his trunk, pulled out a shotgun, and started loading it with shells. Then he took out a smaller gun and loaded that one as well. At about this time, I started feeling sick to my stomach. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but quite honestly, I was too scared to leave the room. Sam came banging through the halls, falling in to walls, and jiggling the doorknob of the spare bedroom. Of course, thank the Lord, Reggie had locked it. Well before I knew what was happening, Sam and Reggie were yelling at each other across the hall, and Sam told Reggie that “their mother is going to wish she'd never met him!” The door to the office where I was supposed to have been sleeping, flew open hitting the wall behind it putting a dent in the wall from the doorknob! I was so afraid that I literally could not move! Well Reggie managed to distract Sam, who slammed closed the door again, and who saw that she was trying to call someone, so he apparently yanked the phone out of her hand, and threw it against the wall, pulling the cord out of the wall. I kept thinking to myself that I had to run and get help, and there was a window just over the sofa where I had previously been peaking out of. I knew that if I could open the window, climb out, and run for help. However, as good as my intentions were, I laid there, totally and completely frozen with fear, and too terrified to even barely breathe, let alone move and climb out a window to go for help.
     What seemed like an instant later, Sam threw the door open again to my room. This time he grabbed me up off the bed like a rag doll, and threw me up against the wall. Still, I was frozen with fear! At that point, Reggie shoved her way through the door, and pushed herself between Sam's gun and I, which he had shoved in to my stomach at that point. Reggie stood there while Sam kept yelling at her to “get out of my way!” (Well the words he used were not quite so nice, but I won't repeat those exact words.)
     THAT specific night is the night I learned the 23rd Psalm. Reggie, shoved herself between the gun and myself, and started repeating the 23rd Psalm, over, and over, and over again. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou aren't with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me...” In between repeating it, she'd tell Sam, “If you're seriously going to kill her, then you'll have to go through me first!” Then again, she would start repeating the 23rd Psalm. Finally, after what seemed like hours, but realistically was probably about 20 – 30 minutes, Sam was so tired of hearing the 23rd Psalm, and yelled at her to “Shut Up!” He stormed out of the room, and stumbled through the hallway to the front door. Reggie stepped away from me and I almost fell to my knees. She ran into her bedroom, got the phone plugged back in to the wall, and called 911, and then called my mom at work. One of the two sheriffs came out right away, and my mom got there shortly thereafter. My mom got the three of us kids gathered up, and told Reggie to get some of her clothes and things that she needed because she was coming to our apartment with us. While we left out the back sliding doors, the sheriff was at Sam's truck, and was removing all of his bullets. Why he didn't take the guns away from him, and put Sam in jail, I have no clue. But, we got out of that house, and back to our apartment, safe and sound. The sheriff promised us that he would keep watch over our apartment for us for the rest of the night in case Sam came back to cause more trouble. The next afternoon, having convinced Reggie that God loved her more than she could ever imagine, and that He would never want her to be more physically or verbally abused than what she had already been through, and certainly not threatened with death, ever again! So, she and my mom went back over to her apartment to pick up a few more of her things. She had decided that it was past time for a divorce from him, and she needed to be away and free of him. When they walked in, that were both completely astonished to find that at some point, between the time we had all gotten away from Sam the night before, and them going back over there to get more of Reggie's things that afternoon, Sam had literally packed up and stripped clean that entire apartment! It was like no one had ever lived there, minus some miscellaneous stuff and trash that had been left behind. He took absolutely every single thing that Reggie had owned, clothes, jewelry and all. We later found out, that after the sheriff had taken away his bullets from him, that he had gone and rented a Uhaul that night. How he managed to move all that furniture and everything else in that apartment, by himself, we will never know. No one admitted to seeing anything suspicious. No one had heard anything unusual, and no one claimed to know that he was even gone. It was as though he'd vanished into thin air.
     We, our family, never did find out what ever happened to him after that. Reggie stayed with us a few more days, and then got a bus ticket to head back home to where her family lived. I don't even remember any more where that was for certain, but I believe it was Georgia. Many months later she called my mom, told her that they had indeed gotten a divorce, and that she now felt at peace with her life, and with the Lord. God had protected us all that night. I seriously believe that God had seen the situation, and had put His angels all around us to keep us safe, and alive. And to this very day, I can remember those very special words of Psalm 23 as if it was only yesterday... “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil...”

Monday, October 25, 2010

When It's Obvious That It's a Part of God's Plan

     There are times when God's plan is obvious, yet we don't see it at that precise moment. When our 3rd oldest daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, we had to change the way she was schooled at home. We did what we needed to do, and God provided the money through friends and a school funding program, for the special curriculum what we now knew we needed for her. Once she had graduated from high school, she started her college classes to become a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). They were wonderful working with her, providing all that she needed to complete each and all of her classes, then helping her test for her nursing certification.
     Once she had gotten that, she immediately went out applying for jobs. It is common practice that before you are allowed to work in an actual hospital itself, you must first have worked in a nursing home for the minimum of 6 months prior. So, she proceeded to apply at nursing homes that were close enough to home, but not so far that it was a huge gas expense. Well one hospital nearby had an ad in the newspaper, so our daughter felt led to go there and apply. At that time she did not even have her driver's license, let alone a car, so I took her to fill out applications, and other times her father took her to them. Many she applied for online for as well. Well she was called by the hospital for an interview. She was then called back for a second interview, being surprised that she was being asked back again without having prior experience at a nursing home. Well the position was offered to her without hesitation, and she was thrilled! She didn't hesitate to accept it right away. She then got her driver's license, and we were blessed to be able to get her first car from her sister and brother-in-law who had just purchased another vehicle, and were able to give her a good deal on their old one.
     Well there was a specific reason that God led her to this specific place...that specific town...that specific hospital. The first obvious reason was that one day, she was assigned a patient who'd had to come in for his appendix to be removed. They got to visiting, and three weeks after he'd been discharged, he called the hospital and asked that she be given a note with his name and phone number (that also said, “I do not drink or smoke), and for her to please call him. One thing led to another, and they began dating. Now, we are blessed to be able to say that as of about 3 weeks ago, they are officially engaged!!! We are so blessed that God has put this wonderful man in her life! His family also loves and cares for her. I know that God has set this plan in to motion, and that is just one reason that our daughter was put in to this specific hospital, as their very first CNA ever hired without prior nursing home experience.
     The second very definite reason, other than the obvious ones of caring for patients, was that someone was brought in who had been longtime family friends of ours. When she saw our daughter, she thought it was me. When our daughter said no, that she was not me, but that she was my daughter, our friend asked her to call me to come to the hospital, because she needed to see me again. Our daughter called me and asked if I knew anyone by that name, and I said yes. She was in the hospital, dying from liver failure, and had recently been through a bout of cancer. I went to the hospital to see her. All of her children were there, minus one who had passed away several years back. We are all adults now, have had children, and even some grandchildren. We had all been so close growing up, and their oldest daughter had lived with us when we were kids, and had taught me how to fix my hair, put on makeup, and “look pretty.” I was 12, and she was 16. We all grew up together, our mothers were best friends, and all of us 7 kids were close. We had some really good times when we kids were all together. We went swimming at lakes all together, jumping out of the back of one of the boy's pickup trucks into the water. I got my “first” hickey from one of the boys, and my “first” motorcycle ride too. They were a part of our lives that made our lives all bearable. We kids all had screwed up lives, had been raised by our moms and their crazy lifestyles. We all had each other at least. But then shortly after I had our second daughter, for some reason, we all got preoccupied with life, and basically lost touch with each other.
     When I first went to the hospital, it was like a big family reunion instead. We shared hugs, laughter, stories from the past, and it was more like an old home get together than a time of sadness. I know that our friend, though in bed and only cohearant some of the time, would comment or grin every so often, so we knew that she too was happy that we were all together again, and enjoying the laughter, even though through tears at times, we had been brought together for a specific reason, by our daughter working at this specific hospital, in this specific town, on this specific floor, and being assigned to her care. For the first week she was there after I got that initital call, I tried to be there as much as I possibly could, be it 3 or 8 hours a day at times. My mother, brother and sister came to visit as often as they could as well. But you see, our friend's oldest daughter belongs to a specific church, in the same town where my husband works. We had been looking and waiting for the Lord to show us what church we were specificially supposed to be going to. This was that church...the church that we first went to for our friend's memorial service, and the church that is now becoming our home church.
     You see, God does have a very specific plan for our lives, even when we cannot see that far ahead. Because of this, we now have a new addition who we gladly welcome in to our family, and we now have reconnected with friends from years ago, friends that we had bonded with while growing up, and who made all of our crummy lives more bearable. Plus, our friend's passing brought us to our new church. What a perfect plan God had! One that we could not see prior to our daughter getting her first full time job as a young adult. God sees us even before we are formed in our mother's womb. He knows each and every hair on our head. He even knows the stars by name. What an awesome God we serve!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roaming Fingers - A Child's Molestation

     We have all had our “stories” to tell about our lives growing up. Some have had fun loving childhoods in which they had a stay-at-home mom, who had home baked cookies ready for them as soon as they walked in from school, clean clothes ready for the next day, and dinner simmering on the stove. Dads arrived home, everyone sat at the table and enjoyed the delicious meal that mom had prepared, and then while dinner dishes were being cleaned up, the kids could tell their dad about their day. Some had parents that encouraged them, helped them with their homework after supper, and enjoyed spending time with their kids before the next day started. You know, one of those “Leave It To Beaver” type of families. Then there were those who were minus one parents for one reason or another...usually divorce or death. Or what about those that lived with alcoholic or drug addicted parents who weren't really “parents” at all. Their kids were basically were on their own, raising themselves, fending for themselves, and making the most of bad situations.
     I don't know why I am sharing this right now. I just feel led to let someone out there know that you are not alone! That you can live a normal life. I have been molested by 4 different men between the ages of 8 – 14. But, the LORD GOD Himself, brought me through this all. I have been been redeemed and washed clean by the blood of the Lord. I no longer have to live in life of my molestation taking charge over me any longer.
     I was one of those kids who had my own “unique” circumstances when growing up. My parents divorced when I was 7, though my dad moved out when I was 5 ½. I was the oldest of the three of us. We moved to a small town to live closer to my grandparents, my mom's parents. We moved from the bigger metropolis of Denver, CO, to the small town of Julesburg, CO. At first, when I was younger, I'd made my lifelong friend with the girl who lived across the street from my grandparent's house. This was the summer before our 2nd grade school year. During the time, our lives seemed somewhat “normal” playing babies, or pretending to be teachers at school, or building ant farms...
     But during my lifetime, many things happened that made me who I am today. I cannot begin to tell you what my life was like and do it justice! There are so many more stories I could tell you! For one, we moved and lived in 27 different places from the time I turned 7 – 18. I went to 11 schools in 12 years time. I think that that with us moving so often, I took with me idea that “I better make friends quickly, because sure enough we'd be moving and I'd have to leave.” I believe my sister took the theory that “why bother making friends because we were going to move anyway.” And my brother, well, being a boy, keeping a friend wasn't that big of a deal, and he made friends fairly easy, but it wasn't as big an issue for him as it was us girls.
     When I was 8, my mom began dating a Japanese farmer in our area, quickly becoming engaged, with the last name of Kinoshita. As you can imagine, the 3 of us kids made quite fun of that name at the time by intentionally pronouncing it, Kin-O-Shit-A. Mean, weren't we? Well this is the first time that I consider myself being sexually molested. After suppers, my mom would go to the kitchen to wash dishes at his house, and the 3 of us kids and her boyfriend would lie on the floor to watch some TV. Well her fiance' would use this time to “rub my tummy.” Now I was 8, so needing my tubby rubbed after dinner seemed really weird to me, but I thought, okay, I suppose if this is normal? It made me uncomfortable, but my mom said he was only trying to be nice. Okay, so nice it was...I guess?? But then those tummy rubs, turned into “roaming fingers,” and climbed a little higher and a little higher. Soon my tummy rubs became chest rubs. Now mind you, I had barely started developing, but still had just enough that this made me incredibly uncomfortable! My mom had said that she really wanted this marriage because he was financially well off, and so each night that this went on, I tried to keep myself busy with homework so we didn't have to lie on the floor and watch TV, but one way or another, he coaxed me in to it, and my mom had told us several times that she didn't want this relationship messed up by us kids. So, I kept my mouth shut, until one day, on the way home from school, I let it all out to my friend. She went home and talked to her mom. I didn't know what they were talking about, because her parents only spoke Spanish, so I didn't think much of it. However, her mom, having heard what was going on, assured me that they were there for me, and that this was something that I had to talk to my mom about right away. So with my friend and her mom both sitting there, I called my mom and told her what had been happening. I don't know much how was actually said between my mom to her new fiance', but I do know that she broke up with him. However, my friend's mom suggested that he be turned in to the police, but my mom said that it was pointless to call the police because “he was so rich that he can own the town, so no one will believe you anyway. It would be his word against yours,” she said. So, life went on as “normal.” Okay, normal as normal could be.
     Then my mom found a younger guy who could come over in the mornings and stay with us, when she went to work at 6:00 AM at the truck stop, and he got off at 6:00 AM from working the all night shift there, and would come stay with the three of us kids for the day, as our “babysitter.” Oh he was fun, would make us breakfast, take us to the school or the park to play on the playground, and chase us around the house playing tickle monster. However, when he first got to the house each morning, instead of climbing in to my mom's empty bed to sleep for a while, he would climb in to my bed with me. Why? Well there were those “roaming fingers” again. Except this time, these fingers roamed up, and then down. I was 9, and he was 21. What did I have at that age that was so enticing anyway?! I hadn't even started physically developing yet for goodness sake!!! At any rate, this went on for weeks. I told my mom, but she she thought that since I had been through this with her ex-fiance', then “it must me something I was doing to encourage these guys.” So, though he stopped watching us, I remember wishing him dead. I did. I couldn't help myself. I just wanted him dead so he could never do something like this again! A couple of months later, while he was working at the electric company, and his partner decided to start drinking some beer on their lunch break. Well Curtis had climbed the pole to work on a specific wire that was causing them trouble, and was electrocuted. He fell from the pole, and his partner, having been drinking, wasn't functional enough to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I knew it was all my doing! I had prayed and asked for him to die, and he had. You see, it was all my fault...I had wished it, and prayed for that. I just knew it was my fault. I held on to that guilt for many, many years after that. Someone was dead and it was all my fault.
     Then, we had a family friend, who we'd been friends with he and his wife for years. In fact, most times, we loved going over to their house. She was like an adopted mom to us kids, and we could convince her husband to come play games with us, read us stories, etc. You should have heard him read one of the Dr. Seuss books backwards! It was a riot! And it was a tongue twister reading it from front to back, let alone reading it back to front! And we used to love tricking him in to asking for Big Macs at Burger King! So, needless to say, we would go over to their house quite often. Usually though, I got the big bed with his wife because we always went to bed much earlier than he did, and he slept on the couch when we stayed, or in the spare bedroom. His wife would usually send me in to wake him when it was time for us all to get up each morning. That's when those infamous “roaming fingers” would start roaming again. I was between the ages of 10 – 12 during most of this time. But, without telling my mom, (remember how she had decided the last time that I must be the one to enticing these “men,”) that sure enough, it must be something about me, and once again, I was at fault.
     Well over time, we'd moved again like we had done numerous other times before, and so we didn't see them as often as we had before. It was in the beginning of our 8th grade year, so I was in one school there in Jr. High, and suddenly we left CO and headed to good ole' IA. My mom had broken up with a trucker guy she was dating, a real nutty guy who used to set up candles in a circle in our basement, and call on the spirits from the Mojave Dessert. So, we packed up as soon as we got home from school that day, took only our few very important possessions (and I do mean very few), and our cats, and loaded up a small little U-haul trailer, and off we headed out with no where specific in mind. My mom suggested IA, so off we headed West. We ended up in Council Bluffs and out of money. So, this is where we decided to stay.
     Of course, we'd switched schools again, for the umpteenth time, and we started yet another school in Council Bluffs, while we lived in a one room cabin with 2 double beds, one bathroom, a crock pot to cook in and three cats. We started one school, but were the “poor kids” and didn't fit in well. But, once again, we moved. This time it was a good thing. I was starting in the 9th grade, but at a completely different school. This school was much better, much more acceptable, much less judgmental, and critical, and we weren't treated as “low class scum” here.
     I was finally 14 at this time. My last year before I got to start high school. I was so excited! I was finally growing up, started wearing makeup, fixing my hair, and thinking about the big “B” word...BOYS!!! We were living in a house fairly near the school, so it was in walking distance. My mom was once again working at one of the truck stops nearby. But money was tight, so my mom brought a truck driver home to live with us to help pay the bills. Well this guy was 28. My mom worked the all night shift at the truck stop, and Terry would be home most nights, and on runs during the days for the most part. Well Terry took quite a liking to me immediately. Now mind you, I had just turned 14. My sister and I shared a bedroom, my brother had one to the left of us, and across the hall was Sue's room (a girl/lady in her early 20s from Indiana), someone that Terry had found hitch hiking one day on his trip out-of-town, and brought to our house to stay with us too. So, that was one more person to help pay the bills. But, to get to the bathroom, we had to walk through a little hallway, and we had to go through Sue's room to get there. Then to the left was the bathroom, and then to the right was Terry's bedroom. My mom's room was on the main floor. In between the bathroom and Terry's bedroom was a second door. The door locked from Terry's side of the room, but not from his room into the bathroom. Well at night, once Terry thought all of us kids were asleep in bed, he would come into my room, and once again, night after night, those infamous “roaming fingers” of yet another guy, would start their traveling. He would come in, with a condom on, already ready for whatever I guess he had hopes for. He would ask me to put on something “sexy.” I didn't have anything “sexy” because I was 14-years-old, and “sexy” was not something I was thinking about at that point in my life. Heck, just getting my makeup to look good in the morning, and curling my hair before school was as “sexy” as it got. His fingers roamed places that I didn't know existed. I used to pray, “Please Lord, let him think that I'm really asleep and go away tonight.” Or I'd pray, “Please Lord, let my sister wake up so that she'll make enough noise or something that he'd go away and leave me alone.” He never got to the stage where we actually forced full fledged sex on me, but night after night, we went through this ritual. Night after night he would go back to his room, and I would disgustedly cry myself to sleep. Night after night I wished my sister would please just WAKE UP, just this once. But, she never seemed to, or so I thought, until many years later when I found out that she said that she was afraid to let us know that she was awake, because she was afraid he would come to her next. I can't blame her for that. I wished I could pretend so he'd leave me alone too, but, that wasn't the case.
    Well one day Sue had asked me to go for a walk with her to talk. So, I did. She started telling me that Terry would come in to her room almost every night and do these “things” to her, ask her to “put on something “sexy,” and his “roaming fingers” would start roaming with her too. That's when it all came out...I spilled what he had been doing to me as well. I pleaded and pleaded with her not to tell my mom because my mom would say, yet once again, that “it must be something I was doing to entice guys like this.” My fault again. Well Sue, knowing how young I was, ended up telling my mom after all. So, my mom went and confronted Terry. He told her that he did it to me because “He loved me soooooo much that he couldn't resist wanting to make love to me.” Well my mom told him to pack up and get out of our house. We went to my mom's friend's house for a few days while he moved out and because they were one vacation and needed someone to house sit and care for their pets. So, we stayed there 3 nights and 4 days. Once we got back home, Terry was gone, and life seemed to go back to “normal” again. Sue and I felt such great peace having him gone. Then one day, about a week later, my mom said that she had to go to the truck stop because Terry wanted to talk to her about something. So, she left and was gone for several hours. When she came back, she said that Terry had convinced her that he really did do what he had done “because he loved me,” and she said that it was a small price to pay since he offered to help pay even more of the bills we had. So, she let him move back in to our house with us. For the first week or two, he was very polite, pulled out the chairs for me when we would sit down at the table, and insisted on driving me to school so that he could kiss me good-bye each day to “let people know that I was his.” At this point, I tried to convince myself that okay, maybe he did really love me, and that I should be proud and flattered that someone the age of 28 would like me, a 14-year-old teenage girl.
     Well a few more weeks went by and things had gone back to the way they were. My mom would go to work all night, and Terry would once again come back in to my room at nights, with condom in hand, and his roaming fingers would once again, starting roaming up and down, up and down. The words he spoke made me sick. And every night, it was was same, I would sickeningly cry myself to sleep because I could no longer deal with this at my age, and I was supposed to be having fun in school, looking forward to my high school years, dances, proms, sports events, etc. But instead, I wouldn't see a future at all. One day, I had had enough, and could no longer take it! I know my mom wanted and needed the money, but I couldn't pretend that I was okay anymore. I wasn't. I wanted to die. Yes, truly die! If it had not been for the Lord putting in my path a certain girl at school, who I quickly became best friends with, and my Science Teacher, whom I will never forget and always be grateful for, I might have ended it there. But, God obviously had other plans for me. Just when I thought that He had left me all alone, He provided me with a friend, and a man who not only was my teacher, but one who genuinely cared about me, who knew that I was going through something terrible at home, who gave me compassion, extra time when I just couldn't concentrate on my assignments, and someone who could make me laugh. I needed that. It brought back hope to me that ALL men did not just want me for sex. That older men were not all perverts, and that God had put him in my life, as my teacher, just in the nick of time.
     Today, by God's grace, forgiveness, and compassion, I have been forgiven my the blood of the lamb, the Lord Jesus Himself. The person who died on that cross many, many years ago so that I might have life everlasting. The one who pulled me out of the darkness and back in to the light. The one who took away all my hurts and distrusts in men. I thank God that though I had to suffer through those awful times, that I came to learn that it was not my fault that the one guy had been electrocuted and died. That NONE of the things that these four men did to me as a child, were my fault.
     To this day, my mother still says, “IF those thing really happened to Kelly, then I guess I should have protected her more.” IF those things happened? IF?!?! There is no question that they happened me! My sister once told her that she knows it to be fact because most times she was in the same bed with me, as we almost always shared a bedroom while growing up. I no longer expect that my mother will ever take any responsibility for what I went through. I know that now. I know that I have to forgive her so that Christ can forgive me for my sins. But it is truly, and only by the Grace of God Himself, that I am still here today. It is my prayer that maybe, just maybe, this testimony will help someone else who has been through something similar, or worse, that there IS hope in Jesus Christ. You are not alone. It is NOT your fault. Give it to HIM, as His shoulders are strong enough to take it from you and let you now walk freely in His love.

*Names of people have been changed to protect those others who were involved.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our Baby Reversal Story

     I have been asked by many of people of the years to tell the story them of our baby reversal story, so I have decided that now is just as good of a time as any. (GRIN)

     We had just had our 4th baby...a boy. We had had three girls previously, and this was our first boy! We were thrilled! However, after he was born, we had 4 children under the age of 6. It overwhelmed me at times, and though my husband was a wonderful help, even during nighttime, I felt like I never got any sleep, and was always go, go, going, even if we never left the house! So, my husband's mother, a nurse specializing in colostomy care, decided that we now had 4 children, “already two too many” (in her words), and that we needed to be done. So, when our baby boy was about 4 months old, my mother-in-law, contacted a doctor who did vasectomies, and scheduled us an appointment date, time, and place to be. Well we did pray and asked God if it was what He wanted us to do, but without waiting for His reply, the day of the scheduled reversal, my husband went in and had the dirty deed done. He went by himself, and drove himself home, because quite frankly, I was sick to my stomach just thinking about the whole possibility of not being able to have more children, ever. However, we agreed that he would go in, because right at that point in time, with 4 children already, and one of those being a 4-month-old, we didn't want another baby “at that precise moment.”
     Well a year later, we began wanting another baby. It was so sad for us. My husband had had the vasectomy, but I started praying for a miracle from God. Maybe his vasectomy hadn't worked, right?! I mean God can do ANYTHING, and I fully believed that! But, as time went by, the desire to have another baby became greater and greater. Each month, when “that time of the month” would come, and yet again I was not pregnant, I would cry with such sadness. Even walking through the baby section of a store brought tears to my eyes every single time. My husband was missing having a baby around himself, and he saw that my heart was broken because I wanted another baby so badly. But, still, we prayed for a miracle.
     Almost 5 years passed by. My desire grew, and grew, and grew. It felt like it consumed my whole mind on many occasions. I kept praying and praying. My friends prayed and prayed for me as well. Then a friend invited me to a weekend long Ladies Retreat. A lady, by the name of Julaine Christensen, was going to be the guest speaker. Well I have never heard of this woman, but I was wanting a “break” and my husband was encouraging me to go as well, so I conceded to going. We checked in to our hotel, and a couple of my friends and I decorated the hall, the evening before the first session, and had a wonderful evening with tons of laughter, and only a short get to know you kind of evening.
     The next morning, the 1st session was to begin at 9:00, and we started off in prayer, and then blessed Praise & Worship time. Afterward, before Julaine began to speak, she said she had a word of God for some of us specifically. I was the second one she came to. I was rather shocked because I couldn't possibly imagine what God wanted her to tell me, especially when I'd never met this woman before, and she didn't know me from the man on the moon! She began by saying this... “God wants you, Kelly, to know that your quiver is not yet full. That He is not done giving you children, and that He wants you to do whatever it takes to have have the children He still plans on giving you.” I told her that that would have to be a miracle, because my husband had already said that he could never go through a reversal, especially if it was anything like having the initial vasectomy! Well she preceded to tell me that, “I was to trust God for EVERY part of it, and that He would take care of EVERYTHING.” Well this brought me to tears, but I still kept thinking, “My husband will never go for through that again. NEVER!”
     The rest of the weekend was a blur to me as I could not get these words out of my head, nor could I stop soaking up anything and everything that this woman had to say! I went home that following afternoon, full of elation and peace! And I couldn't wait to tell my husband what this awesome woman had said to me! When I came in, my husband actually turned off the television to give me his complete attention, and I started spilling the beans. I couldn't stop crying while I told him what Julaine had said.
     To my complete surprise, my husband said, “Well then, I guess I better call the doctor that did the initial vasectomy, and see when we can get this done.” You could have heard a pin drop, because I was so blown away! And that week, he did call the doctor and we made an appointment to talk to him about the reversal. He said he would do it on one condition, and one condition only...that we did NOT mention who did the reversal for us because he was afraid that my mother-in-law would make his life a living hell for him. So, we agreed, and set up a date. My husband went in, and I went with him this time, and we had the reversal done. Almost 1 year to the day that we had the reversal, I found out that I was pregnant!!!! I was so exceedingly thrilled that I took numerous pregnancy tests, all positive, and then made an appointment to go right in to see my OB/GYN to be 100% certain. His test was positive too!! I was so excited that I nearly passed out! I stopped by a pay phone, and called my husband first! Then I called our church and asked to talk to one of my friends who was a teacher in the church school there. They pulled her out of class to come to the phone. She was so excited for us that she started crying herself and started telling anyone who walked by. Word passed very quickly after that! GOD HAD ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS!!! We could not have been happier! I cannot even begin to tell you how elated we were by all of this!
     PLUS, to make this whole miracle even more awesome...our insurance company said that as long as we agreed to not make this a “form of birth control,” then they would pay 80% of the total bill! AND, wouldn't you know it, but my OB/GYN doctor himself, along with his colleges, had just built a new office building, and needed to hire someone to not only run and set up the entire computer system for the whole building, but also someone to set up their entire phone system, and their stereo system for the whole building. The money he made from those 3 extra “jobs,” more than paid the other 20% of our bill to have the reversal done!
     And all praises to the Lord, we have now had 5 more “reversal” babies, making a total of 9 children in our quiver!!! God is good. God is faithful. The Bible says, “Blessed are those whose quiver is full of them (children).” We are truly blessed!!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another Wedding in the Family

We are so excited!!  Last night, Ashley's boyfriend, Perry, asked her to marry him!  It's awesome how God brought them together...he happened to be brought in to the hospital, where our daughter works, to have his appendix removed.  Ashley was assigned to him as her patient at the hospital.  That's how they met.  About 3 weeks later, Ashley got a message asking for her to call him.  At first his name didn't ring a bell, but the note (which she still has), asked for her to call him, and said that he "doesn't drink, and doesn't smoke."  :+)  Well that intrigued Ash, so she called him.  They went out once, and that's how the story begins.  She almost chickened out, but her best friend and I convinced her to go at least once.  LOL!  Well, needless to say, the same girl who kept asking me the last couple of years now, "What if I miss meeting the man God has picked out for me and I'm alone the rest of my life?" is "officially" engaged to be married!  They are hoping to be married this coming June or July.   


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pitt Bull/Am. Bulldog Attack!

Our oldest daughter's best friend of about 18 years now, was attacked by a pitt bull yesterday evening.  Actually, she is 5 months pregnant with their 2nd baby (another little girl), and also a 2 1/2-year-old precious little girl.  Due to already having pregnancy complications, she is supposed to be on bed rest, but her fiance' is in the Army and was gone for some sort of training for the weekend.  She had gone to her fiance's house to let their dogs out to go potty.  She had her little girl with her.  The dogs went outside and pottied, and she was in the process of putting them back in their cages when one of the pitt bulls got mad and didn't want to be put away.  She stepped in front of her little girl, being afraid that the dog would attack her.  The dog attacked Anna though instead.  Anna yelled for Addie to climb up on the riding mower, which she finally did, but by then the pitt bull had knocked Anna to the ground.  She managed to crawl over to her fiance's toolbox and got out a jip knife.  She stabbed the dog in the face at least 12 times, but the dog wouldn't back down.  Anna's dog broke out of his cage to try to protect Anna.  Her dog, Tyton, pulled at the Pitt Bull and got his back enough that Anna could take off her jeans.  She remembered her fiance' telling her that if anyone is ever being attacked by a dog, take off the article of clothing that the dog is attacking to distract them.  She managed to get her jeans off long enough to get Addie, crawl to the house, and call 911 before the dog got her again.  They rushed her to one hospital, and then had to rush her to a second hospital in Omaha because of the extensive injuries.  The pitt bull, at least this particular one, will be put down this coming Monday, after they make certain he doesn't have rabies, and hasn't bitten anyone else in the last several days.  If Anna had not gotten between her little girl and this pitt bull, Addie probably would be dead today.  Anna was in surgery till 1:00 this morning.  The surgery took longer than expected and she may have nerve damage, which will affect her mobility.  Please pray for full healing for Anna, and that the baby she is carrying will be healthy, and she will be able to carry this baby to full term after all this trauma.   

Tyton, Anna's dog that tried to save her.

One wound

See the attack marks?


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Oldest Daughter's Notebooking Pages


     Our oldest daughter, Niki, found some of her old folders and 3-ring binders from the  2nd grade - her Senior year today.  We laughed until we cried, and reminiced about the good time we had schooling, even when the older kids were younger.  I have taken some pictures from her notebooks for memories and to show you some of her Notebooking work.  She is now 25, with 4 children of their own, and it was so fun to go back and look over all her old schoolwork!! 
     This is our 3rd oldest daughter, Ashley, and her boyfriend Perry.  Prayerfully, by this time next year, they will be husband and wife!!!  We are so excited and will be blessed to have him as a son-in-law!  He has a wonderful family who loves Ashley, and we know that she will be very cared for. 
     Perry's family lives only about 10 minutes away from us, and the kids plan to to purchase a house and live in this area around both families.  Perry has worked at the same job for 5 years, and is guaranteed another 5 years there as well.  He recently graduated from college with honors, and works in Avoca.  His family is a farming family and are very hard workers. Harvest is starting here, so he will be busy working all day, and coming home to work the fields in the evenings.  Ashley is already dreading not seeing his as much as she wants to.  That's part of being a farmer's wife, so I'm sure she can find plenty to keep herself busy.  She is still working at the hospital and truly enjoys it!  She has gotten excellent reports, and has met some wonderful people there.  She plans to continue working there as well, even once they are married.    

Charlotte Mason For Today

"If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play!  If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in "wise passiveness' and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye - she would let them be." (Charlotte Mason quote)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Confidence

Confidence is being sure that God will help you do His work, even when people think you can't do it!!

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.  (Phil.1:6)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Charlotte Mason Made Easy 12-Week Course

For anyone who is interested in taking the 12-week Charlotte Mason course, the class is almost full!!!! So please, go to this site and sign up! It's really an awesome class and so interesting and advantageous!! Simply go to this site and sign up! http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com/

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forgiveness Brings True Peace

     Have you ever been really, really close to someone, and then, for whatever the reasons, the friendship ends?  After a time, and even during that time that you weren't talking, you start remembering the good times, and the bad times, but the hurts and frustrations all seem to fade away and the good memories seem to over shadow the bad memories.  Then, God showed me my own faults that I needed forgiveness for, His finger was pointing back at me and making it an impact that is clearly God showing me that I too have my own faults, and that I too have my own issues that I need to ask forgiveness for.  I did that tonight.  Something that I have needed to do for a long time now, but was afraid...afraid that what if that person wouldn't forgive me, and then I would still be hanging on to something that I couldn't change.  Well tonight, I had to do what I had needed to do, and asked for forgiveness.  I am SOOOOOOO blessed that she accepted my apology, and she too asked my forgiveness, which I certainly didn't expect or necessarily need in return, but I am so blessed that she said that I too am forgiven, and that there are no more hard feelings.  Thank you Lord for the forgiveness that You give us, and for the forgiveness that You have blessed me with in this situation.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blessed Country Mama: A Charlotte Mason Biography & Online E-Course

Blessed Country Mama: A Charlotte Mason Biography & Online E-Course

A Charlotte Mason Biography & Online E-Course

I am thrilled to have found a WONDERFUL biography about Charlotte Mason that I think any homeschooling parent would enjoy reading and learn from! Stephanie Walmsley has written this 33 page E-book for you to download for FREE!!! Please feel free to go to this address and request your free copy today! 
 
http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com/mcm-sign-up.html


Stephanie also offers an awesome 12-week course teaching you how to simply apply what you have learned about Charlotte Mason easily into your family, making her theories relevant to today's modern homeschooling, taking the overwhelming tactic of trying to mull through the Original 6 Volumes of CM's Educational Philosophies out of the initial research, etc. It is well worth taking this course whether you are new homeschooling parent or veteran homeschooler. This course is for you!!! :+)

Check it out at:
http://www.charlottemasonmadeeasy.com/

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Life With Chronic Pain

A note about Chronic Pain- Hopefully it helps others understand myself & Doug and our lifestyle changes...

Having chronic pain means many things change.

I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I'm still me-- stuck inside this body. I still care about school, my family, my friends, and most of the time - I'd still like to hear you talk about yours, too.

When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but I've been sick for years. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome.

Being able to stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. I never know from day to day, how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.

Chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the next room. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very lucky you are--to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.

"Getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.

If I say I have to sit down/lie down/stay in bed/or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm somewhere, or am right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don't. In all likelihood, if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made sicker, not better. It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we'd know about it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.

If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's not how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.

In many ways I depend on you - people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out... Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor, or to the store. You are my link to the normalcy of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN (This spoke the words of how I feel better than anything I have ever seen written. To whomever the author is, I Thank You!!)