Sunday, August 2, 2009

13 Reasons I Need to Keep Up With My Blog OR Take a Deep Breath...The Length of This May Overwhelm You

Well, we had our computer fixed for all of two weeks. Maybe. I was spending all my time reloading things, getting updates, etc. and trying in vain to find my camera software. (I swear I JUST saw it the other day!!!) And then suddenly it started freezing up again. Oh, yes. Round 2. What in the world??!! So, it's back in the "shop," and I'm back on this slow-as-molasses thing we once called our laptop. (To this Paul would say, "At least you've got a computer." And I would say, "I know...I know.") Now, though, we have an external hard drive with all our previously-uploaded photos, which is the only reason I'm able to offer any pictures today. Anyway, word to the computer-wise: try really hard not to get a virus or have "memory problems" (whatever that means) or maybe think twice before buying a Dell laptop. I don't know. It's all so frustrating. How 'bout we just move on, shall we??

So...hmmm...where was I? Oh, yeah. Somewhere in the middle of May...!...approximately. I think I'll make a list.

1) I suppose I could/should start with the spring birthdays, but I think I'd really rather get into those in individual posts--to really do them justice. So check back soon for that. For now, suffice it to say that we had a morning party and then an afternoon party AT our house on Saturday, May 23. And unbelievably, we survived it. Ha!

2) Noah finished up his soccer season. All-in-all we enjoyed the experience, I think. Noah had fun and we all got a little taste of what it's like to have to be at a weekly team practice and then a weekly game. And he really enjoyed the actual sport. I'm not sure if we'll do it again next year, though. Well, at least not the Upward Soccer program. I mean, it seems like a good ministry and all, but it's probably just a hair too seeker-oriented for us. And maybe it was just this particular Upward league, but it just seemed that they spent a lot of time giving testimonies (which is great and all...) that the kids didn't really listen to, but not much time on the Scripture memory portion, and definitely not much time on actual soccer skills and drills. It was pretty expensive, too. I say, let's spend less money on snazzy uniforms and junk with the Upward logo on it, and more money on coach training and/or indoor facilities for rainy game days (or at least have make-up games...because it's naturally going to rain lots in the spring). So...we're thinking we'll look elsewhere if Noah wants to keep playing that sport. That said, though, it suited our needs fine for a just-turning-7-year-old in his first year of soccer.

3) The kids had their Awana Awards Ceremony. Awana is a very good program. I do recommend it. However, for our little homeschooling family, we may bow out this fall. I just don't know if we can keep up the pace. With babies and nap schedules and trying to work in chores, one extra-curricular activity per child, learning to read, etc. etc., I'd almost rather emphasize Scripture memory a little more than we have in the past and just do it here at home to coincide with whatever we're learning from the Bible. It's something we're going to have to pray about and decide what's best for our family. You know...there are lots (and lots and lots) of great activities out there to choose from; but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to do them all.

Gabriel loved all the clapping

(Sorry about the poor photography. Bad lighting + no time to make adjustments = red eyes and graininess.)

4) We started buying raw milk. Yep. Raw. This means non-homogenized, non-pasteurized, straight-from-the-free-grazing, grass-fed-Jersey-cow MILK. None of the good stuff stripped out, none of the bad stuff added in. Feels so good to be giving this to my children. Seriously good. And I even drink it myself! There are just SO many health benefits. I can make my own butter. And it's delicious! Read all about why RAW milk is a must at the Weston A. Price Foundation website. (I'm sure I'll have to blog about this further at a later date, but for now here's a quick summary of WHY from the e-book Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time by Stephanie Langford.

Raw is preferred over pasteurized and unhomogenized over homogenized. I will give resources below where you can really read and dig into these issues, but here is the gist of it. Pasteurized milk has lost its beneficial bacteria and enzymes, which aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients, and most people (whether knowingly or unknowingly) do not respond well to it. Homogenized dairy has had the structure of its fat molecules altered, and our bodies are not able to assimilate them properly and instead treat them as foreign invaders. This contributes to atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls, which contributes to heart disease), as well as food allergies.

Most “milk” alternatives do not have much to offer nutritionally speaking, and some are downright harmful. Soy milk is the worst of the offenders, and can lead to a host of problems including thyroid issues and hormone imbalance. Almond milk can be all right if it is homemade, using almonds that have first been soaked. Rice milk is not necessarily harmful, but is really just another grain product, does not offer any real protein and must have calcium added in to it, and is really only suitable for those with severe allergies who are really craving a substitute.

Ya-da, ya-da. End of sermon. (For now...)

5) Oh! And I had a birthday in May.
A birthday. That's all you get. No need for specifics. Got some new silverware because we were running out of forks (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and Wii Fit (thanks, Honey!) and a few other things. Man! Wii Fit ain't easy, people. Apparently, I am an "unbalanced" person. Who knew?! At least, I can't seem to head-butt very many soccer balls and often get creamed by the panda bear heads and sneakers that come flying toward me. (seriously)

6) Goodness! I totally forgot that I never got our Easter pics on here either! What am I
THINKing?! Life is just blowing past me. Make it STOP!!!

All Eggcited about Baskets

Eggstremely Tiny "Crocs"

24-Carrot Kid

Chick Out What Gabe Got

Looking a Little Eggshausted

Eggspert Egg Dyer

Eggsclusively Saylor's

Somebunny Likes Chocolate

Eggstraordinary Fit

Eggsceptional Basket o' Goodies

Eggsactly What Noah Needed

But not ONE shot of all four together in their make-shift matching outfits. Maybe I'll dress 'em up one random day soon and shoot a few pics JUST so you can see. By the way, because of the events of that week, I didn't get out to gather goodies for their baskets until the following week. The result was all Easter candy 50-75% off, AND it just so happened that virtually everyone in town was out of Crocs except one place where I'd never been. I got there, and they were having a 25% off storewide sale. I got all but Gabe's shoes there (got his used on Ebay for $10 shipped), plus one new Jibbitz each: soccer ball for Noah, ballet slippers for Saylor, and a fish for Gabriel. I love that my kids don't require much. They were so thankful for a few pieces of cheap candy, a few eggs, and a pair of shoes. I'm thankful they were thankful.

7) Speaking of saving money on stuff, I think I totally forgot to mention my little trip to
Rhea Lana back in early spring. For those of you who don't know what Rhea Lana's a children's consignment sale (a lot like Duck, Duck, Goose...only much better in my opinion). I was finally able to get over there on the last regular-price day of the sale, and after piling around twenty items on my stroller, I started wondering how much it was going to cost me. Panicking a bit, you might say. A nice lady selling candles at a little booth had been bouncing Atticus around some, as he was getting somewhat fussy, so I asked her when the half-price sale would be. She said it was the next day, unless I was a consignor. The consignors would be able to come Friday night for first dibs on the half-price merchandise. Hmm. I was not a consignor. (I hoard my children's clothing, because as it turns out, it has been an investment that has paid off to keep around.) Then the lady offered to give me HER pass because she wasn't going to be coming that night. Seriously? Well, I most certainly (and very graciously) took her up on her offer!! I promptly put everything back (in places I could remember) and went home. The pass even allowed me to bring a friend, so Krista tagged along with. The bonus was that it was at NIGHT, so the daddies babysat so we could shop in relative peace. We had a great time! I got basically EVERYthing I would need for 3 out of 4 children (Gabe was pretty much covered, being a spring baby like Noah was). Atticus just needed some basic stuff; Noah needed only a few things since Krista was giving us some basics and his birthday was coming up and he could still wear all those jeans I got him for Christmas; but Saylor needed an entire wardrobe. I did so well, y'all. I got all that you see pictured below for an average of $3.34 an item; some of it was even brand new with tags! Not bad. After that, I picked up 2 or 3 items at Kohl's and maybe 3 or 4 items at Target, and we were totally done.

Atticus' Duds

A few basics for Noah

Yep. That oughta do it.

8) Okay. Guess what? We got blinds!! Wanted shutters, but the bank account conspired against me on that endeavor! Maybe ONE DAY. Still, I'm very happy to have blinds up instead of what was once "adorning" our windows. I love that we can open them in the morning and SEE OUT and close them in the afternoons to keep some of the heat at bay. (Ha! Come to think of it, I guess that's pretty much the essence of blinds, isn't it?) MUCH BETTER!! Pics will be forthcoming--when I start the home tour back up again. No need to bother taking pictures NOW, when I can't upload them anyway. *sigh*

9) My thoughtful husband and dear children got me a Bible for Mother's Day. I've been needing a nice one. I had actually been using my childhood Bible, with my old name engraved on the front and everything. Now I've got a brand new PINK (dark pink) one with a scroll pattern all over it. It's different...which I like.

10) The week Nana passed away, she had been out shopping for birthday and Easter gifts for the kids. In fact, when we got out to their house that day, we found all the little baskets and gift stuff laid out on the kitchen counter where she had been working on them. We sacked it all up, and after several weeks, I finally put it together and gave the baskets to the kids. It was a sweet time seeing the kids look through their baskets at the little treasures she had picked out for them.

11) The kids and I got Wii Active for Paul for Father's Day. I think I enjoy it a lot more than he, though. I've been doing the 30-day challenge. I've skipped a lot more days than I should, but at least I'm doing SOMEthing, which is, of course, more than nothing.

12) The kids' second cousin "J" came to play with us one day while his mommy went to the doctor. My crew had such a good time trying to entertain him. It was fun for all of us having somebody else's baby here to look after.

"No One Told Me I'd Have to Pose for Photos"

Saylor's never too far from the baby.

Amusing My Subject

13) Saylor had a tiny girly party (since she didn't have a "friends" birthday party back in October on account of getting a new baby brother within days of her birthday). We invited her ballet class, but only a few showed up. (I'm still slightly annoyed by the fact that so many of them didn't bother to RSVP OR show up. I know things come up, but these people didn't even MENTION their faux pas when I saw them next. I just find that rude.) BUT. It actually turned out wonderful to have just a few girls there--so they could really enjoy one another. We did it at Cupcakes on Kavanaugh, a truely precious, little cupcake shop in the Heights. It couldn't have been any more lovely or more girly if we tried. We got plain vanilla cupcakes and had them put pink, sparkly sprinkles on top (and one blue for the boy in the class). I made some cupcake picks with ballet slippers on them ('cause I'm cheap frugal) and we stuck them in at the last minute. I was so pleased with the way they turned out. Saylor truly had the best time. (She wasn't one bit bitter about the no-shows. In fact, she didn't even notice that most of her class wasn't there. Ha!)

Alright. Whew! That's it for now. I'll be working on "Snips" posts next and...who knows? Maybe I'll even pick up where I left off on the "Where I Live" pieces as well, seeing as how I've totally changed up both the living room and the kitchen since the original posts were published. A lady back home once told me, "Some people rearrange their furniture; the rest of us dye our hair." So, since I stopped dyeing my hair sometime after Noah was born (I was a red-head for a brief moment in history), I guess I'm officially a rearranger. Okay. Let's face it. I pretty much always have been.


  1. I'm with you on AWANAS. Our church is changing to a different program and I am so glad. I love the scripture memorization... but my kids aren't really memorizing the scriptures. They are learning them long enough to rattle them off, and that's it. Plus they use KJV and they don't even understand it half the time. At school, they spend a full week on the same verses and when they get older, they take entire sections so they end up memorizing full chapters... and they REALLY memorize it.
    I don't like that if you miss a week you are behind and have to make it up either. SO I'm very glad for the change in format.
    Thanks for getting me all caught up... or well, on some things anyway :)

  2. Enjoyed seeing all the pictures! I sure wish we were able to come back to AR more often and see everyone. Sorry the computer is still ill! Micah started AWANAS this past year (did you know there was a two year old class for them--Puggles--??). Anyway, he has had so much fun. I have been doing so many projects at home that you would think I could come up with some sort of blog post, but that requires photos, thought, and the time to sit and do it. Maybe things will become a little more settled in soon. I won't be running and doing at all very soon! :)

  3. I'm catching up on my comments...I love reading your long updates. Love the cute pics of Saylor with her girly friends. What I was going to say about the milk thing - I think it's great you are avoiding the antibiotics, etc. junk; I'd say much better to do so, for sure. I do have concerns about Sally Fallon (Weston Price), though; does she seem a little extreme/baseless to you about a lot of other things? I don't have an opinion myself about drinking raw milk, but I feel like there is just as much written against "dairy" as "soy." I wouldn't dare claim to know the absolute truth, but I feel like saying soy causes thyroid problems is like saying raw milk causes diarrhea/salmonella. But maybe not. Here is one soy rebuttal. Not that you asked for it. haha :)

  4. I'm catching up on my comments finally...I LOVE reading your long updates. Love the pics of Saylor with her girly friends. What I was going to say about the milk thing...I think it's great you are doing the raw milk thing, without the extra junk added in. I do feel concerned about Sally Fallon (etc. from Weston Price); does she seem a little extreme/baseless about some things to you? I feel like there is just as much written against dairy as soy. I definitely don't claim to know what the absolute truth is (clearly I have biases based on what I WANT to consume, and it's not just a health issue for me - I'm more on the camp of "we shouldn't need any milk/milk alternative after breastmilk" anyway)...but I feel like saying "soy causes thyroid problems" is like saying "raw milk causes salmonella/ecoli." But maybe not. Here is one soy rebuttal. Not that you asked for it, haha. :)


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