Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wet Oatmeal Kisses & other thoughts

I found an article amidst a packet of papers I’ve had for several years. The packet was tucked inside my Sunday School book acting as a bookmark. I’m not sure why I’ve saved this particular packet of papers for so long, but I’m glad I did as it was a refreshing reminder to me when I opened it up and read the article again. I got the article from a more experienced mom and wife a few years ago when I was struggling with my role of motherhood.  I am sharing it with you, along with my thoughts as I have gained some insight into motherhood as a result of my children aging and me having more children now than I did a back then.

Wet Oatmeal Kisses
The baby is teething. The children are fighting. Your husband
just called and said, “Eat dinner without me.” One of these days
you’ll explode and shout to the kids, “Why don’t you grow up
and act your age?” And they will.
Or, “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to
do. And don’t slam the door!” And they don’t. You’ll straighten
their bedrooms all neat and tidy, toys displayed on the shelf, hangers
in the closet, animals caged. You’ll yell. “Now I want it to stay
this way!” And it will.
You will prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t had
all the olives picked out and a cake with no finger traces in the
icing and you’ll say, “Now THIS is a meal for company.”
And you will eat it alone.
You’ll yell, “I want complete privacy on the phone. No screaming,
do you hear me?” And no one will answer: No more plastic tablecloths
stained with spaghetti. No more dandelion bouquets. No more
iron-on patches. No more wet, knotted shoelaces, muddy boots
or rubber bands for ponytails.
Imagine. A lipstick with a point. No babysitter for New Year’s Eve,
washing clothes only once a week, no PTA meetings or silly school
plays where your child is a tree. No car-pools, blaring
stereos or forgotten lunch money.
No more Christmas presents made of library paste and toothpicks.
No more wet oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No more giggles
in the dark, scraped knees to kiss or sticky fingers to clean. Only
a voice asking: “Why don’t you grow up?”
And the silence echoes: “I did.”

~Erma Bombeck


I cried after reading the article again. Like I mentioned, it’s been a few years since I’ve read it. I remember at the time , I only had 2 children and they were so young it was difficult for me to imagine my home without them here. But, now that I have added more children and Th has aged a few years, I realize I only have a few short years remaining to try to be the best parent that I can to them, teaching and imparting godly wisdom along with the fear and admonition of the Lord. It’s a daunting task but if I’m successful, it will only be by the grace of God! The cost of mothering such a large family is high and means I can’t do all that I could do otherwise: tight budgets, little sleep, a messy home, limited time to pursue my own interests of scrapbooking, reading, and writing, and friendships that revolve around those who have children of similar ages to mine. My own dreams of becming a pilot have been put on hold as I have chosen raising my children as my first priority. Will these high costs be worth it? Well, only time will tell but my prayer is this: for my children to be saved at an early age and live their lives serving the Lord in all they do. Motherhood is my calling and although it’s tough at times, I am so thankful the Lord has blessed me through my children. I have never met a mom who wished she hadn’t had her last child; rather, I have known several who wished she’d had one more. Those are my thoughts exactly…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Socks

Teagan has sensory issues that mainly relate to food but also includes her feet. As a result, she HATES to wear shoes because to wear shoes, she also has to wear socks (except with sandals, I know). Whenever we put socks on Teagan, she immediately fusses and claims they “hurt”. I am past the point of getting upset with her as I realize she’s not being difficult or disobedient, she simply has issues and that’s what makes her Teagan. We have recently been trying to find socks that are more comfortable and not as “tight” on her (it’s the seams that bother her so the bigger the sock, the looser the toe seam is). A few weeks ago my sis-in-law held a contest on her blog to win some seamless socks. The winner never contacted her so she had the company mail the socks to me to try with Teagan.  I just received them and can’t wait to try them on her. They truly are seamless so that’s the good news; the “bad” news is that there is an elastic band at the top that I’m not sure if Teagan will tolerate. Nevertheless, I plan to wash these and put them on her beginning tomorrow. I’ll let you know how she does! =)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From the mouths of babes...

T.G. this morning, as she was opening her window blinds: “Mr. Sunshine is trying to come out.”  

Me: “Yes, it looks like it’s going to be sunny today.”

T.G. “I think he said, ‘God, can I go outside today? I want to shine on everything.’”

It was so sweet!  =)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Battle of Cowpens: A Unit Study

One day during his reading lesson a few weeks ago, Th read a story about a drummer boy named Alex who lived during the Revolutionary War. In the story, Alex's father joins the militia in fighting for their independence from the British. They were preparing to fight at Cowpens, and the story was based on an actual event (Morgan's men retreated because the signal boy, or drummer boy, gave the wrong signal). Morgan's quick thinking and decisive actions are ultimately what led to him winning the battle and forever etching his name in history.


For whatever reason, Th really enjoyed this story and made a personal connection with the main character, Alex. So, to stay true to the beauty and character of homeschooling, I used Th's interest to my advantage and we did an entire study on the history of the battle, the men involved, and it's relevance to our lives today. Here are some pictures of his learning along the way:



Completing a Venn diagram on characteristics of the 2 opposing leaders, General Daniel Morgan and Colonel Banastre Tarleton...



We read some excerpts from a diary from a real soldier who fought in the battle. His name was Thomas Young. Young celebrated his 17th birthday the day of the battle. For this assignment, Th was to pretend he was Thomas Young and describe the battle, his thoughts/feelings, and any other information he thought was pertinent to the day...

It reads:"It was my birthday and I was 17. It was really cold. We formed in order of the battle. The men are slapping their hands together to keep warm. I heard guns and shouts from the British. The air was white and black from guns and cannons. Smoke was all around. General Morgan said don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. What a way to spend a birthday!"


Th drew a picture of the battle to go along with his fake journal entry...



At the monument just outside the visitor's center (it was a family field trip!)...



Th pretending he was a sharpshooter, aiming at the British...




Reading an informational marker at the battlefield...


I must admit that this has been my favorite study we've done so far (although we are only 10 weeks into the school year!). I guess because Th was really interested in this unit, he couldn't get enough information about it and he absorbed it like a sponge. We went to the library and checked out books, we talked about it outside of school "hours", and we planned our visit in anticipation of seeing the actual battlefield of which we had been studying. It was all very exciting!
Making sense of the battle using color-coding. Can you follow it? =)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy 4th birthday T.G.!

I can’t believe T.G. is 4 years old! Time just seems to pass
more and more quickly, especially as my children age. I remember when I found
out I was having a girl- I was so excited! I never could have imagined how
blessed I would be when God placed you in our family!
T.G., you are such a little princess, dainty and frilly in
every way. You make me smile because you are the complete opposite of me: you
adore wearing dresses, you LOVE to wear hair bows, and you absolutely refuse to
leave the house without accessorizing with jewelry! Pink, of course, is your
favorite color and according to you, one can never wear too much of it! You are
a whiz at putting puzzles together and the more pieces there are, the more you
enjoy doing them. You are great with Taylor Ann (your relationship with Teagan
is another story!) and I am thankful you enjoy helping me out by “babysitting”
her. It is obvious she loves you just as much as you love her. You adore your
big brothers and have fun partaking in different activities with each of them.
You love to catch bugs and other critters with Th, and getting into mischief
with Ta is also a fun pastime for you. As Teagan is getting older you are
becoming more involved with her, too. I love it when the two of you play with
your baby dolls, dressed up for your roles as “Mommy” to Chilly, Sarah, Brown
Baby, Grace, and Elizabeth, in addition to all the other un-named dolls we have. 
 
In spite of all of the above reasons as to why I am thankful
for you, my number one reason is because you have a desire to please God above
anyone else. My prayer for you, my beloved daughter, is that you would always
have that desire and live your life in service to Him. You don’t have a
personal relationship with Jesus yet, but by God’s grace you will one day
(hopefully soon).
Stats:
Age: 4
Height: 37 inches
Weight: 30 pounds
*Lord, thank you for this precious gift, my daughter T.G. I love her so much!