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Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Today I am issuing a Mulligan to myself and my children.

We did not start on a good note this morning. After an hour of Kira having tantrums and the struggle of the wills - which I did win, by the way - I decided that it was a good idea to rewind and start over.

**A mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action. The practice is also sometimes referred to as a "do over."**

So today is officially Mulligan Day at my house.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mindy Update

Mindy has just been admitted to the hospital. Her water broke.

She is currently right around 24 weeks pregnant. I'm not sure yet if the doctors plan to try to delay the delivery at this point or not. I'm not even sure if that's possible once the water breaks.

Please pray hard that Baby Micah will be safe. They started giving Mindy steroid shots last week to help develop the baby's lungs quicker in preparation for an early delivery so hopefully he is far enough along that he can survive if he is born now. I know this is an iffy stage, but I've also known that many babies do survive when born at the 24 week mark.

Please Please - if you have a blog forum or other outlet - please start posting for prayer requests.

EDIT: They are giving Mindy steroids, strong antibiotics to prevent any infection, and meds to stop the contractions and prevent delivery for as long as possibly safe to do so.

The water breakage is a trickle, not a full blown break, so they can potentially hold off the delivery safely for a few weeks as long as there is no sign of infection for mother or baby.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

National Park Service

I am currently in the preliminary planning stages of a major trip that I will be taking with the two youngest girls in the future. I have to say, Randall and I have been "planning" this trip for a while as part of the girls' schooling, but this is the first time that I've actually sat down with a pen and paper and started writing out our route. In a few short hours I have accomplished a lot of early stage planning.

I suppose it would help if I told you the general idea of this trip. We are intending a 2 month or so road trip across the States to explore our country and the important sites along the way. A big part of my planning required a trip to Google Maps to "map out" my intended route. After spending a while determining which direction I wanted to drive and what cities I wanted to visit, I started using the trip planning option at I have to say that I just love that website. I was able to plan out my route from city to city and get a rough idea of how much travel time would be required to get from point to point.

While I was mapping out my trip with the Free Trip planner, I discovered another really amazing website. The trip planner included an option to mark each national park along the route. With each park, there was a link to the National Park Service website page about that park. That in itself was pretty good for planning purposes, but what I also discovered is that many of the individual park's pages have information for teachers to use to enhance their students' learning experience.

For example, we will be visiting the Grand Canyon at some point during our trip. The NPS website page for the Grand Canyon has a great link for teachers to use. There are even lesson plans that can be downloaded to use.

The NPS has made my job so much easier as an educator because now all I have to do is create a folder for each location that we might visit along our trek and put all the necessary information and worksheets in each folder. If I keep those folders in order based on our trip itinerary, then it's easy to pull out the information I want to discuss and cover as we get to each new location. I can plan ahead for the educational aspects of the trip long before I even leave home.

I'm so excited, even though this trip is just in the early stages of planning and won't actually commence for about - oh - four years from now.

(You may wonder why I'm planning a trip that I won't be taking for four years. I should explain that this particular trip is a two month road trip across several states and involves mostly camping at National Parks along the way. I should also add that I'll be taking this trip without the company of another adult. My husband will be working for most of the trip, though we are planning for him to meet us in certain locations where we know we will want to spend an extra bit of time exploring the area. So, two small kids with one adult on a lengthy road trip takes quite a bit of planning. Plus - I'm a "planner" when it comes to these things. The planning is half the fun for me.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Camping Check List

It's getting warmer here. Before too long it will be time to venture out into the great outdoors armed with tents and other necessities. We love camping, but we always - and I do mean always - forget something. It isn't a proper trip if we haven't forgotten something.

Well, a while back I found a great checklist that helps me remember everything. (Of course, we still forget something...but it's never anything we can't live without now.)

I want to share my favorite checklist with you in hopes that you, too, will venture out with your own children. Camping is a great way to get kids involved with nature and teach them about being responsible for the Earth.

So check out this link if you're looking for a great printable checklist.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rev Up the Prayer Circle

I just received a call from Michael.

Mindy went into the hospital on Monday. She's started to dilate.

The cerclage is still intact, but the doctors are concerned about the dilation.

She is currently 23 1/2 weeks pregnant.

They are giving her steroids to help the baby's lungs develop and other medications to prevent her from dilating any further.

Pray Pray Pray

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Love You!!!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Stock Up

Marisa isn't feeling well today. I'm not real sure why, but she has a slight fever and is being particularly pitiful. I'm guessing it's a tummy bug or perhaps even her molars coming in. She may have a bit of a sinus issue going on with the pollen and all.

It seems like a good time to evaluate the contents of my medicine cabinet. It's important that parents keep their cabinet (or boxes, in my case) adequately stocked with whatever you may need. It would be far better than requiring a late night run to the store in order to acquire what your child's illness needs.

There are a few items that you need to keep on hand for those "just in case" moments.

1) Tylenol - Whatever level of Tylenol your child's age requires is necessary. The age and size of your child will determine what you need. You may even need to keep multiple types of Tylenol if you have multiple children.

2) Motrin - The same as above...

3) Cough medicine - Incidentally, I recommend the Kroger store brand cough medicine. I've found that it works the best. However, there are many brands to choose from. It's always a good idea to check with your child's doctor to determine what to keep on hand. Again, your child's age will determine what you may need to keep.

4) Band-Aids - Every clever parent knows the value of a well placed Band-Aid. Keep lots of them on hand in various shapes, sizes, and characters.

This list is fairly small, but it does encompass the basic necessities. Your own family will dictate what you may need. Be sure to review the contents of your cabinet regularly to replace whatever you may be running low on or whatever has expired.

Oh - and you might keep a few Aspirin or other pain reliever on hand for yourself...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shameless Plug

Hey - If you like hand made cards, check these out.

This is a listing of cards that I'm selling on Ebay.

Yeah! Yeah! I made them. It's my listing. This is a shameless promotion of my own handiwork for my own nefarious purposes.

If you're interested in hand made cards, I can do any kind of personalized order 'cause I'm amazing like that. Just shoot me an email or a comment with contact information and we can always work something out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Magic Treehouse Collection

Mary Pope Osborn is an absolutely amazing author. She's also an incredible narrator. She wrote The Magic Treehouse books, and then went on to create audio books for her young listeners.

Jack and Annie, siblings who find a magic treehouse, frequently embark on magical adventures.

I have to say that these audio books are awesome, especially if you happen to have a kid who loves being told stories. Kira loves stories. We, her parents, can not possibly keep up with her desire for stories. Audio books are the perfect solution. We learned this by accident when Kira received one disc from Wendy's in a kid's meal. Now I frequently borrow audio books from the library and let her listen to stories to her little hearts content. Of course, she is never fully content. She loves her stories.

If you're in the market for something of this nature, I highly recommend this series. They also come in chapter books for young readers. No doubt Kira will be reading those as soon as she's able. (Thank goodness the library carries those, too.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beautiful Imperfections

I just watched this video over on Symphony of Love. What a beautiful message!

Please, take a moment to go visit this link and watch the video for yourself. It's well worth your time.

The message can easily apply to both spouse and children. Celebrate their imperfections.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Plant Something

It's that time again, at least here in the U.S.A, when the air is getting warm and the sun shines more than not. A good way to teach your children about where our food comes from is to let them plant something.

For novice gardeners, I recommend choosing something that is fairly easy to grow. Tomatoes are almost always a sure bet and fun to eat. Squash is good, too, because it grows fairly easily and generally yields a good crop.

As an added benefit, you kids are more likely to eat the vegetables that they helped grow in their own garden.

I'm still a novice gardener, so if anybody has any tips on what to grow in Georgia --- feel free to help me out. I want to grow a decent garden this year to help with Kira's lessons and our grocery bills.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Pictures

Yeah - so - I'm really not into writing just now. So instead I'm going to bless you with a few random photos.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happe Easter

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everybody a Happy Easter. Enjoy your day, however you may celebrate.

I also want to give a short update on Mindy and Baby Micah. Things are basically the same. Mindy is on total bed rest, except for trips to the bathroom. They have not yet admitted her to the hospital. She has about 2 more weeks before the baby could even have a chance to survive. Keep praying.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Make Them Wait

Okay - sometimes you just have to tell your child to wait.

I'm continually bombarded these days with whines of "I'm Hungry!!!" These proclamations come even as the child is busily filling her mouth with some food or other. Or, more often, within five minutes of finishing off some lavish snack - the child commences to her claims of hunger.

Well, I'm sorry. I'm not a short order chef or a vending machine. Sometimes the child just needs to wait.

No, the child is NOT actually hungry. What she wants is control and attention. So, in favor of my sanity I have come to insist that my children must wait a length of time before I will provide them with more food.

Sometimes, you just have to stand your ground and let your child learn that waiting will not actually kill them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Get the Friends' Numbers

I'm sitting here chatting on Facebook with a friend who has a 14 year old child. Said child told her parents she would be at one friend's house for the evening. All was well until that friend's mother showed up wondering where the two girls might be.

It seems the girls have done a bit of magic and disappeared from both sets of parents. Nobody seems to know where they are.

Well, the dad and the big brother, along with the friend's mom, have taken to the streets to see if they can locate both girls. There are several friends that live within easy walking distance, so there is currently a door-to-door search underway. The general expectation is that the girls decided to go visit a different friend and failed to mention this to any of the proper adults.

A bad situation could have been made a bit easier if these parents had done just one little thing. You see, they know who the friends are and where the friends live. What they don't know is the telephone number to each friend's house. It's a simple bit of information, but they don't have it.

It's pretty late right now, after 10:00 and after the typical time considered to be appropriate for social calls in the evening. Yet a phone call under circumstances of this nature would be acceptable and accomplish several things.

First, the dad could ascertain whether his daughter was at a particular friend's house or not without having to trek all over the neighborhood. Each friend's parents could be contacted within a matter of minutes instead of the loner time needed to walk from door-to-door.

Second, he can notify other neighbors that something is going on and increase his search power by simply calling. The parents who affirm that the kids are not there could then join the hunt.

Third, he could save precious time by determining if there is a possible need for locating the authorities in a much more timely manner.

Now, under the circumstances, they are doing the best that they can. The mom in question is currently on bed rest and unable to leave the house to do any hunting on her own. The dad checked all the most obvious locations first and then came back for reinforcements from the big brother. I believe there was a great deal of cursing and spitting and flashing of fire involved as his anger rose to the highest levels possible, but for now he's doing what has to be done. (I don't envy his daughter when he finds her...)

You may wonder why I'm writing this post. This situation struck a nerve with me. I'm too far away to usefully help with the search for the wayward child or I would be out the door already. If she isn't found soon, I will probably drive over to sit with the mom while the dad and brother continue to pound the pavement. For now, though, I can share a bit of wisdom with you.

Get a book that you use for the sole purpose of keeping important information regarding your children. In that book, write down the names and addresses of each child's friends. Be sure to include the names of the friend's parents AND the phone number where said parents can be reached.

You may think that you will never really need this information, especially if the friends all live just down the street - as is the case with this girl. But if you child disappears during the day or late at night, being able to call the people where she might be hanging out will save you precious time and anxiety. And if your child happens to be in none of those homes, you'll know that your next step will need to include the authorities. To that end, you will already have important information regarding your child's friends and their families to turn over to an investigative officer.

**The child has been found. Seems she decided to take a late night walk to Wal-Mart --- some FIVE MILES away. She's safe - for now. I'm not sure how safe she shall be after her dad is capable of responding to this ordeal.**

In The Woods

Playing in the woods is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. There is so much opportunity for learning about the Earth and nature when you are outside with your children.

As the weather gets better, find a way to spend time outside with your children. Check out your local state parks and hiking trails. There are a variety of trails for just about every skill level that will allow you to get out with your child and enjoy the great outdoors.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March - Top Entrecard Droppers

It is time once again to honor those who take time out of their busy day to stop by and drop a card on my pretty little Entrecard box. This tradition is something that many Entrecard members do as a way of giving a little bit of love - linky love, that is - back to those who visit our own spots frequently.

I've noticed that my list this month is filled with lots of newness. I love adding new readers and new visitors to my family.

First on my list this month is Buzzing J at Piece of Brick for Piece of Jade. The name alone is what first caught my attention many moons ago. I visit often because what he has to say caught my attention. My favorite post so far is The String No More. This post touched me with the reality that there are many people that we are barely connected to through minor degrees, and yet their lives have the ability to impact our own in significant ways.

Next on the list is West of Mars. Susan is a fictional writer. She uses her blog as her outlet to share what she writes. I really enjoy her writing, but mostly I like her Thursday Thirteen posts. They're fun to read and provide an insight to the author's life.

Ari at Parental Instincts is the next top dropper for the month. I have to say, Ari, I'm patiently waiting for more posts from you. I check in regularly in hopes of new updates. Get cracking!!! Your readers are waiting.

And then there's Davida at Glue 4 Families. Today I'm really enjoying her First of April post. It doesn't matter how many times I read that particular story, I always catch myself quietly giggling along with the little child. I just can't help it.

Aires at Art Joolree is another one of my top droppers for the month. She's a jewelry designer. Most of her posts are jewelry and fashion related. I love visiting her just to see what she might be talking about. Currently she is discussing Hello Kitty.

Merydith over at Whatever Comes to Mind is my next top dropper. As the name implies, she does talk about whatever happens to come to her mind. I love the post with her little one playing with a microphone. It's so adorable.

Scott, from For Your Protection, has been visiting a lot this month, too. His site is filled with practical safety advice and information. I love it. What caught my eye first was the What to Carry as a Concealed Firearm post. He doesn't just give you a gun, he tells you how to choose your gun and what to consider when making your choice. Wow! I never knew it could be such a complicated process.

My dear friend Judy, over at More Then Sew So, is one of my top droppers this month. Her post on tipping is really good. I just enjoy visiting her regularly to find out what she has to say.

David Zen-Kennedy at If the Walls Could Talk - well, what could I possibly say about him. His words touch me and remind me of the places I've been in my life. He did a series of posts this past month - "over near the dictionaries" - that was just very touching.

Willa, over at FickleMinded - A Life That Is Less Ordinary, is the finale of the top droppers list. I have to admit - shamefully - that today is the first time I recall having visited Willa's site. I was unaware that she was visiting me. I may have stopped in to return a drop, but had not yet taken time to explore her world. This sunset picture is breathtaking. Willa, I promise I will do better in April and take time to visit you more frequently. Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit with me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Please Pray

I have a dear friend, Mindy, who is 20 and 1/2 weeks pregnant.

Last year, she gave birth to a son at 21 weeks and lost him an hour and a half after his birth.

Yesterday at her doctor's visit, she learned that she is having problems with this pregnancy and may end up in the hospital before the weekend.

There is concern that her cervix will give out again before the baby boy is ready to be born.

Please, please pray for Michael, Mindy and Baby Micah.

Also, please post on your own blog about this and generate a world wide chain of prayer for my friends. I rarely ask my readers for anything, but today I'm asking...