Showing posts from July, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Pretty Happy He loves to splash and he's very diligent about it. Funny No one wanted Beema to leave when she comes over. They think sitting on her feet will make her stay. Real Well, come on over. I'm in the middle of hanging diapers to dry, sorting mail, the table still has a breakfast dish on it and we're just finishing lunch, and I'll show you the things on my to do list that have been there more than a month. Gleep. But I haven't taken any pictures of it.

Husbands are Not Accessories-Plain talk about marriage for the single woman

I decided to video log this because if I could have my way and we were talking about things like this you would be over at my house, we'd be hanging out, having tea, and just chatting. So here I am in my house, catching up on my laundry pile while chatting with you about some things. I think every thing I say in here could apply to single guys as well, but since I'm not a guy and have no experience as a guy, I'm not talking to them. This subject has been on my mind for a while because of lots of different conversations but the help I needed came one Sunday as I stood talking to 2 friends. One is a lovely, beautiful, compassionate, strong, professional single woman. The other, an older Thai woman with her unique perspective on American culture. (It's really hard to tell how old a Thai woman is by the way. They look the exact same from 20 to 60 it seems.) She was telling the other that a man she talked to recently said he's not interested in woman from Califor

The cure for screechiness.

She is cranky all day, upset by everything, going from silence to screaming in 0 seconds flat. Her feelings are hurt by every imagined offense. Every slow response is a slight. She's been getting worse every day for at least a week. Ever since a doctor's appointment that scared her actually. She is miserable to live with. She is miserable, and I know what I need to do. I wait until the baby is asleep before I tell her. I don't want to make a promise in case something goes wrong. "I have to go to the store. How would you like to come with me?" "Yah. But could I watch a movie right now with the Girl?" "Not if you want to come to the store with me. I need to go right now and I wanted to take just you so I could spend some time with you. Everyone else will stay home with daddy." She's not sure. She had her heart set on watching a show and I'm not going to make her. "You don't have to come with me. I just thought you might

A home school mom's guide to spending all day with your kids and enjoying it.

It will start in a week or two, the flood on facebook and twitter, then blog posts, the moms who are only half joking as they look forward to the day their kids go back to school. The high of vacation time is wearing off, the kids are getting restless, fractious, and every 23 seconds you hear, "Mom, I'm bored." You however still have work to do and commitments to keep. You have already gone to beach, taken that trip and now you are staring down several more weeks with all of you, all day, in the same house and it's not looking pretty, and I'm not just talking about the house. Well, that's pretty much my life. I home school. I go everywhere, and do just about everything with 4 kids in tow. I spend every day at home with my kids. Most of the time I actually enjoy it too. Here are a few of my secrets. 1. If they are old enough to be in school, they are old enough to be of help to you . I sound like my grandmother, I know. But, she was right. A lot of bo

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

The children are with their grandmother for a few hours so I can get work done. The baby is sleeping. I am about to try to make homemade tomato sauce, deal with all the ripe peaches lying around inside on on the tree. (I'm thinking of pureeing them for freezer jam. I love freezer jam.) Maybe I'll also shred all this squash for zucchini loaf, thanks for the idea Rosie, steam a bunch of carrots and yams for baby food, and deal with the spent grains sitting in the fridge from Aaron's last batch of beer. In other words, catch up on all things domestic and summery in the next 4 hours. Can she do it? Don't answer that. I'll make a dent, even if it's a tiny one. I plan to even talk on the phone with a friend while I do it. So, for pretty, happy, funny, real you get whatever I can find already loaded onto my laptop, even though there are more in my camera that I love. Next week, right? Update: I didn't publish this right away because something was wonky with m

Giving of Life

In May the Charis Project was featured at a thing called the Entrepreneur Forum, which is the brain child of one of our board members. It was really cool and we got quite the response from people who are excited about the work we're doing and the orphanage model we're working to implement. We sent a mail out afterward telling people we need $72,000 over  6 month period in order to move onto phase 2 of the project. This is the push needed to become almost fully self sustaining as an organization that builds orphanages that are self sustaining that help communities become self sustaining that makes it so that orphanages are no longer needed in that community and we begin again somewhere else. Well, we haven't been handed a check for that much, yet. But we could, with your help. The Charis Project is eligible to win a $50,000 grant from Giving of Life . Of course, there are lots of other organizations in the running as well. The 10 with the most votes at the end of the v

Where I Share Some of My Parenting Foundations

(As I mentioned in the previous post, what I do regarding corporal discipline is such a small percentage of what I do as a parent, every day. In that respect, what I do the rest of the time is way more important. Here is my attempt to summarize everything we do. It's hard to figure out where to start.) For me there are a few givens about parenting that I assume are common ground prior to any discussion with another parent. For starters, I assume that other parents love their children at least as much as I love mine. I assume they proactively work to promote a strong bond between themselves and their children. I assume that they have strong empathy for their children and their struggles, however small, or that they try. I also assume that they care more about their child's well being than their own convenience. These assumptions are where I start a dialogue about parenting, or discipline, or breastfeeding, or housekeeping, or any number of other topics. I have learned over

I Have Impeccable Timing

Five years! More than 5 years! Five years I've been blogging and all that time I've held my tongue and refrained from discussing the little issue that amounts to less than 2% of my overall parenting. Because I don't want this blog to be defined by discussion of such an issue, or disagreement over it. For 5 years I held my tongue and then last week I, with great trepidation, gave my opinion on the whole issue of spanking. Know what else happened last week? Go on, guess. Ok, I'll help you. Last week they also announced the Blogher Voices of the Year , and yours truly is an honoree. I am so thrilled to be honored, and to have my post chosen out of so many to make the list. I'm also horrified. Because sitting right there at the top of my recent posts list is the post on spanking. The one I really didn't want to talk about, there for all visitors to see when they check out this blog for the very first time. It's such a polarizing issue I'm a littl


A few photos of a recent play date. They set up a camp, and a house, and notice the centerpiece for the table as well. I love it when kids let their imaginations go. Friends are one of life's great blessings. We're happy to have found these ones.

On Spanking

Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored caused a bit of a discussion in her comments with her post about spanking . I try really hard to stay out of these discussions. I really do. I don't comment, I don't post. I've studiously avoided this subject since I started blogging in 2006. I think it's one of those things moms can end up fighting each other over to no good end and a lot of harm. A lot more harm perhaps than one parenting style, or another, can do a child. I could be wrong. But here I shall finally come out with my opinion on the subject, such as it is. (After writing this post I wrote this one , which provides the context in which I write this. I hope you will read it first.) I have 4 thoughts to share today. To start with, I shall change words. Spanking is such an emotionally laden word with so many different meanings based on a person's experience with it that it's not really useful for the sake of rational discussion any more. So I shall switch

Music Geekery

(subscribers click through to see video) It warms my heart that my kids are geeky enough to notice details like this. Next time I will make them tell you about it so you can hear them get excited. Also, from what I can tell, humming the themes to epic movies make building things with Legos go better. Also, math homework. The Girl is now learning from the Boy how to play the LOTR theme on piano. We live with an adventure soundtrack around here. What can I say? PS. I should point out that on the word "night" the LOTR theme and Moondance go their separate ways, one going up while the other goes down and reuniting momentarily about a measure later. Just so you know that I know that for a measure or two after the opening they aren't "exactly" the same notes. I have no idea where my kids get their geekery from. It's a total mystery, no? pps. I sang the wrong song you guys! At the beginning of the video when I meant to sing the LOTR song I sang Star Wars in

It is 3:28am

There is a woman a friend and I have been praying with for a while now. She is dealing with some very difficult and sad things. Her story is actually very interesting, but, of course, is private. Later this morning she and 5 of her kids are coming here so we can pray together some more for some things that are current. The baby is wide awake. You see, Little has had nightmares the past two nights. I laid down with her last night, after she woke for the 5th time crying loudly and yelling, "Mommy, mommy, MOMMMY!" followed by, "I'm sorry mommy. I forgot what you said about coming to get you instead of yelling and waking everyone up." Tonight she did a great job. She got out of bed, walked into my bedroom, and whispered, "I want you to lay down with me mommy." The baby sleeping beside me was slightly awake and nursing. "I can't now honey because the baby will cry if I leave him now." As the wail started to bubble out of her throat I

Introverted Celebrations

When you are raised by 2 introverts you may feel that your life lacks a certain amount of excitement. For instance, they never, ever want to take you to the fair, or Disneyland, or any place where people are gathered in giant crowds all to see the same thing. If they take you to the beach, it will not be on the weekend at the height of summer. They'll go early in the morning on a weekday, all winter, any time when there aren't more people than sand laying in front of the waves. They will most likely take you on a hike, in a solitary place, and feel the experience some what tarnished if you run into more than 3 other people walking in the same hour. When your parents are like this, your chances of seeing fireworks, ever, may seem pretty slim. They will most definitely not be wrangling 4 children and traffic, not to mention food and stroller or whatever else through huge crowds of people to get a good spot squeezed against the next person getting a good spot on a hot and

Happy Canada Day

It's Canada's birthday, for all those who don't know. We're 144 years old. Unlike the US there was no rebellion, no war. We went ahead an did it the civilized way, writing ourselves a constitution and then waiting many, many, many years for the queen to show up and ratify it, thus granting us independence title as well as practice. We don't even bother celebrating independence. We do celebrate how long we've been around and managed to survive and grow so far north where it's fricken cold most of the year. Today my extended family will be gathering at my grandparents farm for a weekend long camp out, all together, like they actually like each other, which they do. My mom and her husband will be camping at their private campsite in their new RV. My siblings will be going to parades and concerts and then dropping in to visit the campers. I have never been to a 4th of July celebration here in the States. Frankly, I'm scared of the crowds. Plus, they char


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