Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Birthday Present

Ok, so maybe most kids would hate being my kid because the gifts I give on birthdays are not so exciting. I gave Savannah an early gift- Mad Libs.

She loved them.

Oh yeah, and she learned what nouns, verbs, adjectives, exclamations, past tense and plural meant all in one afternoon AND she has a few hundred more pages to practice on. But the point really is that she loved them.

Some Physical Laws All Should Know. Mad Lib Style.

1. If you apply heat to milk, it will dance.

2. Water always seeks its own mall.

3. In a right triangle, the square of the Power Play is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two cats.

4. Sound travels through air at the rate of 700 girls per second.

5. Weight: 16 ounces equals one bonga.

6. If an object is floating in juice, it displaces its own boy.

7. Everything that goes east must come west.

Tons of laughs for my Savannah. Birthdays are fun because you get to celebrate the person and their individual uniqueness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


My optimism is a defense mechanism because hopelessness is so depressing and depression is debilitating and I've just got to get things done.

I have heard Christians say that they wish Eve wouldn't have sinned so we wouldn't have weeds. (um, I think weeds are annoying, but sin has produced way worse!)

But hey, God can make bad things work for good. So weeds can be a good thing.

  • Pulling weeds is stress reliving. Good thing I have so many weeds to relieve all of my stress! (I wish folding laundry had the same affect)
  • Hard work really makes things more beautiful. Even though a visitor may not think much of my flower bed, It is gorgeous to me!
  • You get to discover a whole new tiny world down there. You may even start talking to them depending on how stressed you are. (I was apologizing to a worm today.)
  • Since I usually won't just sit outside when there is stuff to do inside, this gives me a reason to sit and do little while accomplishing much. Fresh air does a body good.
So there you have it. Weeds can work for the good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Keeping It Real

I'm a little selfish. If someone is my friend it's because I have something to gain. If someone is my friend, there is something about them that I have great respect for and I hope a little rubs off on me! (Oh, and I'd also like to be a friend to them.) I don't always tell them what it is because compliments make me uncomfortable and I assume (some of them) are the same way.

So this is something I learned from watching one of my friends: Don't dumb things down. Use real words and talk in real sentences. Refer to yourself as "I" or your stuff as "my" when talking to children as young as possible. Use words like "congruent" (I just re-learned what that was today!)

Summer said, "Mama, this puzzles me." I couldn't help it. I clapped my hands and said, "Summer, I LOVE your vocabulary! So she's used the word "puzzles" more often now.

Think of all the vocabulary you don't have to "teach"- and they don't have to memorize definitions for! Thanks to my friend for being an example to me! (:

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I was reminded again recently about how important the foundations for life are that parents create for their children.

Max was playing with a toy- the kind you put rings around a small pole and the lights blink when it slip on correctly. He was too uncoordinated to conquer it. As I watched him try, I was frustrated for him. He kept trying, however, and continued to fail.

Common sense, isn't it? You probably would start by using two hands to level the ring and gently push both sides down so it slips nicely over the little button that signals the lights to blink. But then I thought, I bet I learned this trick too at some point before my recollection. So is it really common sense or was it that I had the opportunity to play and explore and figure out how the world works? Maybe a little of both?

Experience is a key to confidence and competence. Knowledge is only a small part of the equation. The more experiences we have, the more well rounded we become. Parents can create these experiences. Sometimes this takes money, but I think mostly it takes time and attention. Plant a seed, throw a ball, make oatmeal, kick 'em outside and let them play together to for a few hours.

They might not remember the actual experience, but what they did learn sticks with them, they will build on it, learn more and more. One day they will have a valuable skill that they have no idea how they know what they know, but they know it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


These beliefs are what keep me going.

1.God made us with a purpose in mind, and made us to fit that purpose. The things that excite us, the things that keep us going do this for a reason - because we were made to do things, and to like the things we do.

That's why some people major in chemistry. Why would anyone do that to themselves???? If I did that, it would be very wrong for me, the thought itself is torment. But, according to one friend that did major in chemistry, it was a challenge and he actually liked is he weird for following what made him excited? Maybe, but if that is the case, normal is very boring. I'd rather talk to a chemist that loves his job than a movie star that hated his.

2.Things come into our lives at the right times to give opportunity and encouragement to do what we should do in order to fulfill the purpose that leads to a greater enjoyment of life.

Every job or opportunity that was a blessing to me has not been forced. It was the result of taking what was there to take. Not that I think being aggressive and proactive in life is a bad thing. Just knowing when to act is the key.

I school my kids at home because the thought of it thrills me, and I know that makes me weird to some people. I know this is what I am to do, for now.

Blessing upon blessing has occurred in just one year. When I need materials for a subject, the right tools, etc. I get them without much effort.

I am from the country. That is where my parents still live and I am welcome to stay almost anytime. We have the benefits of living in an urban area and visiting the country when need be!

So we've been talking about frogs and so what better way then to catch some tadpoles! Perfect timing--and not because I'm so organized. (get my drift?)
This sort of thing gets me so excited I can hardly stand it!!

3. If you are given a vision, dream, get excited about weird things, etc. you are just plain foolish to let opportunity slip through your fingers.

I have little sympathy for complainers. We all can have the same amount of help if we are willing to take it.

Oh, and by the way, this thought has recently been spoken to me in different ways, from different people that I have great respect for. Here is one....coincidence? I think not.

So, I have another dream going through my head that seems to be coming together. I'm not ready to publicly say what it is yet......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Does anyone remember that I took most of my kids' toys away and stashed them in my closet with the intention to keep them there until they learn to clean up?

Well, they have not learned to clean and I'm tired of them in my closet. Brooke would actually want to put her toys in my closet because then she wouldn't have to pick up.

If anyone happens to be a new parent and reading this, I know it sounds cliche, but TOYS ARE OVERRATED!!!!! Don't buy ANY new toys just because you think they might like it! Somehow they show up anyway- especially if Grandparents are involved.

Somehow, even though a large percentage of the toys were in my closet, they still did not get bored. And we don't have a TV.

So now they are slowly getting their toys back, but the problem is that when I packed them up I just threw them into baskets and millions of bitty pieces  from thousands of different sources are all over MY closet floor because we have to go through these baskets to find all of the pieces that belong to the particular game they want. sigh.

We are back at square one.

We had a battle about cleaning their room today, and I decided that I would just throw away anything of minimal value away since they had shown no intention of picking up. I casually picked up a small stuffed dinosaur that Summer got from the hospital when she got her x-rays and threw it in the trash. Well, she saw me do it and all of a sudden that dinosaur was sooooooo important. I didn't give it back, as hard as it was. Kevin Leman's words were going through my head "pull the rug out from the little buzzards."

Their room is clean now. Long term cleanliness???? I have my doubts. Again, they are learning from a very poor example, unfortunately.

p.s. I'm sure there are misspelled words in here but I still have not figured out where the spell check is. help anyone??

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why I Love Homeschooling #2

I learn about 20 new things every day. I can add better than ever now. I notice the little things more. I am forced to stay on my toes. I am learning right along with them, get excited about what we are learning, and then they catch the excitement (most of the time).  Maybe there is a reason why I wasn't an A student the first time around?

If I remember right, they graded by S+, S, and N (the N is for needs improvement.) I remember reading my report card in...around first grade or so...and it was SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS every single one. I was average. Wow. I don't remember much but I remember that.

Now I know that 7 + 5 = 12 right away because they are sandwich numbers....6 is in the middle and 6 + 6 = 12 as well. So much easier. I give myself a S+, Mrs. Corrall.

Anyway, my point is I'm learning it all over again MY way! I love this!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Worms In My House

The other day at the park we saw a worm on the sidewalk squirming for something to crawl in. We studied him and then moved him a few inches over into the dirt.

During our walk today I pointed out hundreds of dried up worms on the sidewalk and reminded the girls of how we saved the worm from a similar fate. That reminded me of a wormery idea I had bookmarked for just the right time, so when we got home (the same time the girls threw on their swimsuits because it was sooooo hot outside) we started making a wormery.

We dug in the mud looking for worms and then put dried up leaves from the compost pile. It was really messy...

Brooke has been scared of worms and other creepy crawly things this spring, but by the end she was picking them up and putting them into her wormery.

We even found a few worm stickers to decorate them with. So now I have worms living in my house!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reasons Why I Love Homeschool #1

Flexible schedule

Math and reading in the morning, a beautiful spring day, Daddy at home- gotta take advantage of that!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Most Beautiful Thing in My House

I'm almost done painting the living room- FINALLY!!

I'm not ready to contact Better Homes and Gardens yet, but this was a BIG step to making it more comfortable for me. There are many things that I put in my house because I just like it.

Art and plants, mainly.

I think dust adds character, do you? :)

These aren't my favorite things, though.

The most beautiful thing in my house is the sound of laughter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It'll Come.

There are a few things that I have tried to instill in my kids this year that just don't seem to come. Like cleaning. We've done chores and sticker charts and tried everything else I know of but it has not seemed to do any good. Well, Ellie is a natural. My kids, on the other hand, are just like me.

Today was a breakthrough. Okay, well, we have ants. We get them every year and I have not called the bug people yet becuase I know they can come and spray all they want, but in this weather the ants just come. It could be worse.

On 2 different occasions 2 different kids decided to clean the bathroom in order to minimize ants on the counter. WITHOUT ME ASKING!!!! They didn't want praise or a prize. They just wanted a clean bathroom. So, I am encouraged to keep at it. It'll come.

All of a sudden Savannah and Ellie just got on their bikes without training wheels and they've been doing it for years. Now Summer is inspired, too.

We've worked HARD at obeying right away. Now, they don't do it 100% of the time yet, but all I have to say is "you are not choosing to obey right away" and they drop what they are doing, listen, and obey.
Yea! Today was encouraging. It'll come.

PS. Blogger changed! Where's the spell check?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fears and Joys

Why would anyone in their right mind choose to bring a child into this world? I think about that every time I am about to have a baby. That poor little soul will have to endure heartache, confusion, rejection....what else have I missed?

This place is really horrible. I don't have to give examples to convince people of that. Just watch the news.

There is also a great deal of beauty on planet earth- and beyond.

You know, Jesus really wants fantastic blessings for our lives, despite the ugliness surrounding and sometimes inside us. He has given us exactly what we need for success but sin makes it really hard to see that at times.

The Bible talks about refining fire, perseverance, and patience. Throughout it the theme of overcoming hardships make the rewards so much more enjoyable.

The hardest thing in the world is to see you child or someone you love suffering and you cannot do anything about it. Rest assured, the potential for tremendous growth is worth every tear shed.

Would you appreciate a monetary gift more if at one time you had to live without?

Would your prayers before a meal mean a little more if you have had to skip a few?

I still would prefer to never see my loved ones suffer. That is when I must (and encourage them to) turn my eyes upon Jesus. His perfect plan has fantastic endings- sooner or later.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Unfulfilled Expectations

In my experience, disappointment is often followed by bad feelings and sometimes terrible behavior.

How many marriages have quickly dissolved because the romantic, idealistic picture we paint as engaged couples turns into, well, two people that are human trying to mesh their dreams, values, and way of living together? We might as well just except the reality that we were wrong. Very, very wrong.

What if your child has not grasped the concept of time yet and you tell her you are going to Grandma's this weekend on Monday (MISTAKE!) and they think that means tomorrow. They pack up and sleep in their shoes ready to go. Even though you explain the days of the week while they are wiping away the tears, reality to them is pure disappointment.

Your basketball team has the tools for being the champions! Complete excitement before every game and stellar moves build up hope for victory! But it only takes one bad game to mess it up which can result in some very upset fans. (The greater the excitement, the harder the fall, and the more potential for unthinkable reactions.)

You are mistreated and used by your king and someone has claimed to be the Son of God. According to prophesy, this person will deliver you from bondage and make your life so much better. You cheer Him as He comes through the city, ecstatic! But it appears he will loose, so you turn on Him. One day you love Him and the next you hate Him. You find yourself cheering for His death.

What I know:
People will disappoint. You can count on it.

You (I) will disappoint. Then you will need to do damage control- or not.

Communication can save much heartache.

Even if you do communicate properly, someone may still misunderstand, and maybe even hate you.

Jesus was horribly misunderstood and was painfully murdered. Here is the Good part- He did it as part of God's plan. God uses anything for Good. Jesus still had the victory and so do I!