Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, all my chicks are home and under one roof again. Sigh of relief. They came home, happy to be back, with lots of presents to pass around and all the excitement of the younger siblings gathering round to hear about their adventures. Which really sound pretty mundane-they were visiting their great aunt after all. But they did get to go to Knottsberry farm which got good reviews. Other than that it sounds like they swam a lot and got a good dose of television (scary) and community fund raisers. They've been home a week and we are settling down into fall and routine and schoolwork and so forth. I like things mundane like that.

Shay and I have worked on revamping our household schedule. We got a bit sloppy over the summer, I must confess. I gave her the things we need to get done and she wrote it up. Which means I keep turning to her and asking "How long does cleaning time last?" and stuff like that. Roughly, this is how our day looks:

Get up at 6:00, get your coffee, tea, wash your face with cold water, whatever you need to do to come to family devotions AWAKE, please. :)

6:30-Family devotions. We are currently working on a Bible study that our church wrote for Sunday School on 1 John.

7:30-Breakfast preparations, clean up rooms, brush teeth, get dressed etc. Shay makes breakfast, I supervise the boys and the rest do their own jobs.

8:00-Breakfast-I also do the boys' catechism questions at breakfast. We are working on the "Catechism for young children" which is based on the Westminster, but more simply worded for children.

8:30-House cleaning time. Everyday we clean a different section of the house on rotation so the whole house (Theoretically speaking) gets cleaned each week.

10:00-School time. Shayleen is homeschooling my three middle girls and I am teaching the boys. But since the girls know what they are supposed to do, Shay doesn't have to be right there all day, so she stays downstairs with me for a little while. I keep one boy with me and we do phonics, practice reading and math. One little boy is at the table and he may color, play with clay, paint or be read to. And one little boy plays on the rug with Joseph, doing Lincoln Logs, blocks, Legos, etc. Joseph is being trained to have "rug time."

12:00-clean up, and Irene and Fiona make lunch.

12:30-eat. I read aloud at this time too. Right now I am reading Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson, about John Wycliffe.

1;00-clean up lunch mess

1:20-Quiet time-the older children have their own Bible time during this time and the little boys rest.

2:30-Finish schoolwork

3:00-Practice instruments

3:30-Free time

5:00-Make dinner

The time to eat dinner is tricky, my husband has a very sporadic schedule, being self employed. He could be home at 4:00 (though not often) or he could be out till nine. And I never know from day to day. Some days we wait dinner for him, and sometimes we just go ahead and eat. It just depends on how late he is and how well the little boys are holding up.

Evening time lately has mostly been reading aloud form Martin Rattler by R.M. Ballentyne. He's rather like Henty-a good boy adventure type book, but so far (and this is the first book we've read by him) we like him better. It seems like his characters are a little better developed and the story line less predictable. I will be getting more of his. This one is about a boy and his Irish sailor companion who are stranded in Brazil. The kids have really enjoyed the descriptions of the animals there. Though at one point he talks about Anacondas eating cows. Now could this really happen? He says the snakes can't swallow the horns so it sticks out of his throat until the horns fall off and then he finishes swallowing it. I have my doubts. A book we checked out about Anacondas said they are usually 10 feet long. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

I had an appointment with my midwife last week and my blood pressure had gone up 10 points. She said I'm stressing about the election (and the economic news as well) and I need to stop or else! *gulp*. She is also having me eat 150 grams of protein a day. Now that is A LOT of protein! I haven't made it yet I'm afraid, but I've been over 100 and it makes me feel so full. Rand is supposed to be bringing me home some protein powder so I can supplement with shakes. Hopefully that will be the ticket because I don't know how on earth I could make it otherwise-I feel like all I am eating is nuts, cheese, meat, cottage cheese, etc. But I will do it, because I want a nice, quiet, tame home birth like the Lord has blessed us with so many times before. So, I must, I must! I am also taking lots of calcium.

I have really been trying not to worry. Sometimes I do though. There is so much in our nation to be thankful for and I am thankful for the quiet little bits of home life and family the Lord has given us on this earth. Really He is so very good to give us the sweetness of babies, husbands, being able to take care of them and read them His word, mostly unhindered. We have taken so much for granted. Always grasping for more and not being content and joyful in what He provides. I pray many will turn from the grasping at the wind that all this financial chasing is and really turn to things that are real and eternal and make investments where they really matter-in the hearts of their families and neighbors and friends.. Maybe?

But one thing to remember-the news media profits off fear. Remember that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sarah Palin.. How could anyone spark so much controversy on one side and so much enthusiasm on another? There is so much disagreement over this one person.. I suppose the lines drawn are fairly typical in the Christian blogging world. Vision Forum, Carmon, and that side of the Christian world being agin', Doug Wilson, and of course a lot of others being for. In some ways I can get a little overwhelmed by all the controversy swirling around. I'm trying to boil it down to the things I feel pretty sure of. For one thing, I don't buy the argument that women are never to have authority over men. I do accept the roles of men and women in a marital situation, and also in the service of the church. These seem pretty clear in scripture and also have an illustrative purpose in modeling God's relationship with mankind. These we best not fool with. But I don't think that that automatically leads to a fact of being a 'gender twist' that a woman can be over a man in civil structure, or a work situation. And as to judging to whether she is being submissive to her own husband (which could be kind of arrogant, for us to presume we can judge her heart on this at all.) well, if he is supporting and even encouraging her to run, is she not acting with her husband's blessing? If we say that the husband is the one to make decisions for his family, then ought we not practice that and allow him to make that judgement for his family?

I'm not saying that the fact that she has children doesn't give me pause. I'm just saying I don't buy some of what's being said.

It really does bother me, as I read some of what is being written, the snideness of some of the comments. Quoted from the Vision Forum website (who are in turn quoting Worldnet Daily, who is quoting a home school mother)in regards to Todd Palin..

In fact, he recently hosted a tea for former first ladies of the state at the governor’s mansion in Juneau. I wonder if he held his pinkie upright as he sipped from his demitasse cup.

Yeah right. How snide. And I have to wonder if you chuckled to yourself over the cleverness of your own comment when you wrote that.

The way I see it is this. There is a job opening coming up that must be filled. There are two applicants. And one is light years more qualified, more ready and more in line with how I believe the job should be done than the other. Neither were my first pick, but I didn't get my first pick (or second, or third, or fourth..) this time around. So I make the best decision with what I have and get on with it.

I get tired of being typed by some as compromises, sold out to the Republican party etc. I could not in good conscience let my vote sit idle and have Obama win without a fight. I just couldn't.

There also seems to me to be a bit of an arrogance in some of the arguments going around. As though the white and cleanness of one's own personal holiness is more important than getting dirty in the fight. For example. No, John McCain is not purely pro-life. But he would appoint more constitutional judges. I doubt he would go in for tax funded abortions. I doubt we would see abortion programs done in foreign countries as we did during the Clinton years. (At least with US backing) I'm quite certain that there would be less abortions under a McCain presidency than an Obama. But we have it said round about that if you're not "all pro-life, you're not pro-life at all, therefore I (being the speaker) can't vote for McCain. So tell that to the babies who would be at risk under an Obama presidency who wouldn't be as much so under a McCain. You couldn't get your hands dirty and vote for someone who didn't line up with everything you wanted? Your personal feeling of sanctity was more important? I don't buy that kind of sanctity.

And I don't buy the argument that things have to get worse in order to get better. Or maybe if things get really bad, people will wake up. I read one comment on one blog that said she'd rather have an Obama presidency and the church praying fervently for revival than a McCain presidency and everyone just going on with life as usual. But sin is deceptive. It doesn't always come that people wake up when things get worse and worse. Look at countries that lived under communism and how even still the people have a nostalgia for the old days. Look at countries that have fallen and sludged along in poverty for hundreds of years and still they don't turn in large wholesale repentance. One doesn't always follow the other. By the grace of God it may, but I don't think we better plan on that.

Besides, if you follow that line of reasoning, we should never work to make anything better, for ourselves or our children, because as soon things got better, the people's hearts get worse!

Well, for all that, there's some of my thoughts. And now I better go make dinner.

Mexican chicken over rice and salad. What are you having? :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday my oldest two set out on an airplane to go to California and spend a couple weeks with an aunt. This is the longest and farthest either have ever been from home. I hope they're having fun and doing alright.

Boy I miss Shay. I didn't expect it. I knew it would be inconvenient to have them gone, because they are my two legal babysitters and all. But the first day they were gone I just moped and felt like crying all day. Elisa has been sweet, trying to step up and be the oldest daughter and all. It's been cute to watch her do that. She always tries to be helpful. But she is pretty soft spoken and the boys don't take her very seriously. Shay has more of an iron will about her that they obey her better. I guess being the oldest, she's had to. She's my comrade in arms in the war to keep order around here.

Yesterday my midwife came. When she listened to the heartbeat she said, "Sounds like a good strong boy!"

Today I'm feeling all tuckered out so I decided to spend the day sewing. I finished a pair of denim bloomers I had started for Fiona and now I'm trying to make a skirt for Elisa. I tried making it without a pattern because I didn't have the kind of pattern I wanted. I wanted it to be more of a circle skirt with swing to it but I didn't have enough fabric to do a full circle. So far it just isn't turning out right. Argh. I don't get those women who can sew without patterns. What is wrong with me that I can't do it too? Especially since I don't really follow them. I guess I'm that way with cooking too. I hardly follow the recipe right on, but I do like to have the frame work laid out.

As usual the house completely falls apart when I sew. Sometimes I wonder why I do it at all. It does seem like it would just be easier to go ahead and buy stuff. But that can be frustrating too, trying to find styles I like and things that will find my very slender daughters. So I guess both have their draw backs.

Well, back to the drawing.. err.. sewing machine..