A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Never a dull moment

Why yes, I am burying my child in Legos.  

Just a normal Saturday morning at our house.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A 30# box of books

It's here!  It's here!  I'm excited and terrified.

Our curriculum for next school year.

Exploring Countries and Cultures by My Father's World

Something new and different for us.  After 14 years with the same base curriculum.

I'll have a 7th grader, a 6th grader, 3rd grader, and half the day I'll have a kindergartener.

The lesson plans look so different from what I'm used to!  

There are lots of real books, which I like.  

I have no idea how our "system" will work yet.  No idea where the kids will store their stuff, no idea where I'll put all these lovely new books, no idea how I'll do my planning/record keeping, no idea how I'm going to take this 30# box and turn it into an amazing learning adventure.  

Looks like I'll be learning just as much as the kids this year.  

You Might Be A Redneck

The neighbors must just LOVE us.  

You know, those people with All Those Kids.
Who now have a vehicle in pieces all over their driveway.

Paul, however, knows how to speak my language.

"Look at it this way, Honey," he says.

"By doing it myself, we're saving money for our next adoption."

Suddenly, having bits of 1988 Toyota all over the front yard doesn't seem so bad.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Guess who fell on the stairs?  :(

Fortunately, after two decades of parenting, I know that the best cure for a mouth wound (and some days, just about any small ailment) is a Popsicle.  

And fortunately, we just happened to have 2 left.  

Hannah later said, "Mommy, thank you for taking care of my blood."
My adorable baby girl.  

You are going to have a heck of a bruise tomorrow, but you'll still be stinkin' cute.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I am so enjoying summer break.  Time for the kids to play, time for me to recharge.

Time for Popsicles  

and bubbles.

I'm reminded of the parallel between the seasons of the year, and the seasons of our lives.  This season, parenthood, is amazing, and I'm so abundantly blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and know them and interact with them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I wanted to do a photography project today, and needed to snap a couple pictures of the kids.

Really, believe it or not, they're totally normal.

With lovely nostrils.  

And an impressive display

of sibling love.

Yes, so many lovely pictures were taken, 

I almost couldn't decide which ones to use.

Actually, now that I think about it,

It might be really REALLY funny,

to do the same project

but with the less than desirable shots.

But instead, I'll leave you with a cute shot of little miss muffet, who rarely ever takes a bad photo, even with Nap Hair.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Random Sunday Musings

Don't tell my kids, but I suspect they may still be learning, even though it's summer time.  

Just a hunch.

We recently received this lovely quilt for Hannah from Paul's mom.  

I've been working on some more bows for Hannah.    

Having some new ribbon come in the mail inspired me.

I've got some more in progress, but I got distracted, lol.  

Brianna made Paul a cake for Father's Day.

No, it's not a baby carrier!  Although it does look like one, doesn't it?  It's a radio harness.  

Happy Father's Day!

Today (and hopefully every day) we honor the dads in our life.  I'm so blessed to have this hard-working man as the father of my children.  He balances me out so well.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Follow Up to the Homosexuality Post

I want to thank the folks who took the time to respond thoughtfully to THIS POST.  I was really nervous about sharing it, and in fact, I did NOT link to it on Facebook, as I usually do when I update my blog, because I was afraid of being judged.

I was afraid of my Christian friends judging me for exploring the topic in the first place, or for not showing the proper revulsion in discussing it.

I was afraid of my more liberal friends for judging me for being "anti-gay" or "hateful" or even just backward and stupid.

Almost 2 weeks ago, my teens and I had a good conversation on this topic, and there's some more thoughts mulling around in my head from it.  My daughter was a junior last school year, and she said one of the seniors at her school "came out" after graduation.  I mentioned some of the thoughts I'd shared in my blog, and how challenging it was for me to change my way of thinking.  This led to a discussion of how biases and prejudices are formed.

While we were talking, I was reminded of something that happened when I was a little girl.  My dad and I went to a wedding for one of his co-workers.  Actually, now that I think about it, it might have just been a reception.  I don't remember any white dress part, or even the bride and groom, honestly.  What I do remember is, on the way, my father telling me that the bride was pregnant.  AS A GROWN UP, I can see that he was probably simply uncomfortable discussing this with me at all.  AS A CHILD, the lesson I took away was that they were "bad" and his serious countenance was interpreted as severe disapproval, which I internalized several years later, when I was the Bad, Pregnant, Unmarried one.

I could probably delve into this and make correlations between that experience and how I still, to this day, struggle with the idea that God loves me as much as He loves other people.  I always feel like He is disappointed in me.  But I'd rather turn this into a learning experience.  We may tease about how our kids will all need therapy someday, but the reality is, I don't want to inadvertently replicate this in my own children by being uncomfortable talking about homosexuality.

I try to be very open with my kids.  We talk about reproduction, body functions, and sex All The Time.  With five sons, these things come up.  No pun intended.  (Okay, maybe a little pun intended.  Humor is my way of taking the edge off those conversations that might otherwise be uncomfortable.)

However, this issue is one that we don't really discuss.  I think for many people it's an uncomfortable subject, so we just avoid it.  The problem with that, is that our children don't know why we're not discussing it, they just know that it's taboo.  They attach their own interpretations to our silence.

I want my kids to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I love them fiercely NO MATTER WHAT.    And while I may not always be thrilled with their choices, NOTHING they do/embrace/become will make that love disappear.  I want my kids to know that although I am uncomfortable with the issue of homosexuality, it's not a deal-breaker in my relationship with them.  The only way our kids are going to know that is if we tell them.

When Kindles and other e-readers first came out, I scoffed.  New=different=unfamiliar=scary.  But little by little, I gave it a try, and now I absolutely love being able to check ebooks out wirelessly from my local library and read them on my iPad.  Similarly, some of the parenting challenges I faced when my big kids were little are total non-issues now because of familiarity and experience.  Kids haven't changed; I have.  In the same manner, if we address our own questions/fears/feelings about homosexuality openly with our kids, they will be much better equipped to discuss the issue with less of our hangups.

One of my grandparents used to make all kinds of racist comments when I was a child.  I didn't "see" it at the time, but looking back, I'm horrified at the things she said.  (At least she was an equal opportunity racist:  everybody sucked in her opinion.)  Much like racist ideas, attitudes toward homosexuality may take a generation or so to change, but we can all choose to say, "It starts with me."

Linking up with:
Tots and Me

Monday, June 11, 2012

End of School Year Homeschool Celebration

We have had a lovely homeschool co op in our area the last couple of years.  

But as someone once said, "All good things must come to an end."

The Swim Party was our very last event for our now disbanded co op.

We got to hang out with other families.

And swim.

And jump.

And play.

And eat.

And slide.

And we had the whole pool, just for us.

It was lovely.

Even if it was a little windy.

This girl spent the first 10 minutes chanting, "I want to go in the water, I want to go in the water, I want to go in the water."

So I took her leg off, 

and gave her to Baba, who was in the water.

Where she spent the next 5 minutes chanting,

"I want out of the water!"

"I want out of the water!"

"I want out of the water!"
and clinging for dear life to Baba's neck.

So I got her out, put her leg back on, added a sweatshirt, and she was good to go.

Because, like I said, it was windy, and a wee bit chilly.

Part of the evening was a time to honor the two kids moving from 8th grade to high school.

One of which was my Samuel.

Now, we are officially done with end of the year stuff, and get on with the business of enjoying summer and looking forward to next school year.