Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drugs according to Mason

Well my seven year really got his daddy good tonight in Cub Scout pack meeting, just glad it wasn't me.

My little cub scout is earning his health belt loop, they did a physical fitness test and then talked about eating healthy and not doing drugs, well Mason piped up loudly. "I know a way people do drugs, they roll up dollar bills and sniff salt from the table up their nose!" (quiet) Cub Scout Den mothers shoot a look to Gary as if to say "What the??" Gary just shrugged his shoulders looking confused and embarrassed. When they got into the car he promptly asked Mason where he learned so much detail on drug use. Mason nonchalantly told him "Nat Geo, and mom quickly turned it off". Man o Man. stupid TV.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


She asked me today

"how are we going to stop the wine flu?" gosh I love that girl, she is always messing her words up. It makes me laugh so hard.

Monday, April 27, 2009

OMGosh Mason wants to be a comedian

My seven year old is pumped to the max and really wants to be a comedian! Actually he has some good material and when he is acts naturally he is not so bad. He does the whole improv thing and some good jokes come out of it. I have never seen him so excited! but he was ripping on me and homeschool! little stinker, it was funny though. I will try to get him on video and post it to Youtube.

Mountain Lions, Snakes and Swine flu Oh my

Well in light of my recent stand and newly inspired homeschool attitude, I decided to ditch the books and go for a hike! Well not really actually, I was going to the state park to meet up with the ranger program to learn about bugs. Safe, simple, innocent fun. Not to many germs, (don't want to catch Swine Flu). We got there almost on time, after much to do, of course and they told me the program was canceled, "Sorrrrrryyyyy" (Kim grit your teeth, smile, they have no idea how hard it is to get a 7, 5, 5 and 4 year old ready to go anywhere.) Deep breath, look around the ranger station, Oh wow they have lots of live rattle snakes in aquariums right there by my feet!!! nicccccceeee. I like snakes, I do, but not venomous ones that close by giving me the evil eye , only separated by a cheesy aquarium and crammed in an overcrowded ranger station mobile trailer. Then of course there is the Judah factor, need I say more. I could only imagine Judah tipping one of the aquariums over........ at that point I asked the ranger if they had the anti venom for all the different snakes. Yes? Well, good the show will go on. We left. Picnic at the park, need table cloths, bird poo everywhere, I knew a girl that went blind cause of bird poo in her eye. Flies, can flies spread diseases? I put an apple on the table next to me to try to lure them to it rather than us, I cringe as Abby bites into peanut butter sandwich that had been swarmed by flies as she actually "watched for falling rocks" Mason told her that if a rock falls down from the mountain it would crush us, she whimpered and told me we needed to find another spot. Oh the joys of an older brother who can now read road signs. Play ground time, yes, rattle snakes, scorpions, swine flu perhaps needles in the sand who knows, keep shoes on, keep a watchful eye, don't go to far, I heard a rabid bob cat recently walked into a bar and attacked some patrons, you never know!..... Onto the hike, fun this is going to be fun. OHHHHH forgot to put socks on the kids, forgot to put socks on me. Oh well, we are tough. Sunblock though, I am not a totally bad mom, whoops nearly asphyxiate a couple of kids spraying sunblock on their face cause I forgot to bring the face stick. Just don't open your eyes!! please oh ya and breath!.... Phew... onto the hike, huge yellow warning sign "Beware of mountain lions, watch you small pets and children closely" crap. Fun Fun Fun, hieroglyphs, don't touch the rock, guys get down come on, Judah just pee over there, guys lets go! Don't go over the fence, come on!!! No catching lizards! Get your hands out of the holes in the ground, Stay away from the ledge. Your feet hurt? Sorry be tough, Abby can you please give Nettie a pair of socks you are wearing two!! Abby I promise you that a snake will not bit your ankle if you give Nettie a pair of your socks you have two pairs on! Me, I am watching for mountain lions, why? because the sign said to and I also have been recording the new show "Human Prey." Note to self, not a good show to watch if you ever intend on hiking or even walking out your front door, rabid animals can find you anywhere! We come to a place where the cliff is on our right, Ranger Pat's voice echos in my mind, the pictures she showed me several weeks ago of mountain lions at park we were in, snarling, crouched on rocks. "They attack from the top, they stock their prey from above then jump down breaking their neck" ahhhh the element of surprise, that is why I don't like cats, (shiver) suddenly I feel like we are being watched, the clouds seem to cover the sun and a cool quiet breeze rustles the Brittle Bush leaves. I look at my kids, so innocent so unaware of the impending danger and I can just see a lion licking his chops ready to pounce. I already have my car key's out, my only form of defense. My plan? To poke the lion in the eye. I decide that we are done and we will not go further. The kids argue with me for a few minutes as I try to shelter them from the cold hard truth ----if we go on we will surely be attacked by a rabid mountain lion who could possibly be the carrier of the swine flu.---- Finally I tell them, "Look kiddos, mom's just know when there is danger and I have a bad feeling there is a lion watching us right now." Eight little eyes dart my direction, four little faces are flushed with fear, silence as we stand alone the trail, little brains trying to process the fact that their mom is really afraid of a lion attack. Mason breaks the silent with a quick non argumentative "YES MOM I think we should go!" If I could have ran I would, instead I herded my little ones in a group and tried to keep Abby from straggling behind. I felt much like a mother quail. We get down safely and as we pass some hikers going up I grab Mason's shoulder and warn him sternly not to be Ranger boy and sound the alarm to the new hikers of mountain lions. Mostly I was embarrassed of my fear but hey!! Don't judge me! We make it down safely against all odds, hop in the car, slam down some fun hills nearly tipping the Suburban over. Pull over, sunblock finally made its way to Abby's eyes, now she is in desperate pain. She needs me to get out of the car and flush her eye. Coyotes, snakes, scorpions are out there, not to mention cars going to fast and Swine Flu........OH MY!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Abby's song of the Lord

Abby told me she had a song.

It went like this.

"Forever and ever and ever the pain will go away,
Forever and ever the love will come back
and the pain will go to Jesus and the love will come back
because he died on the cross and he felt pain
the love will come back"

She kept singing this over and over.

So true.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mamma said there will be days like this

Target. Super Target. Me. Four monkeys. Not going back anytime soon. Not welcome I'm sure.

I can really at this point go no further. Well maybe a little bit further, but to give details would be reliving an experience I would rather not. Lets just say I wasn't Living Love Out Loud. Hhahahhaha. In contrast I may need to let there be enough time from now to my next visit to allow the typical staff turn around before I go back.

I will give you some highlights, as brief as I can.

First I wander if when people see cute little Judah who is really almost five, pouting and crying and then see me "big mama" as he likes to call me, getting on to him, if they think I am just and angry baby sitter. I mean he is black and I am white and in public you just never know what others perception is. When he is throwing a fit like that I almost wish he would yell "NO MOM! just so others would know he was mine and I was his.

I mean in all seriousness, I had two hours of Judah acting like the crazy squirrel on Over the Hedge. I insisted he come with me after being disciplined for teasing Nettie, he refused. Then.... he stood there, I walked away and that little booger just dug his feet in the ground, meanwhile nice people are walking by and saying how cute he was and "poor little thing". I got a little further and then looked behind me and he was not there. I knew he was standing his ground and for a moment the thought passed through my head to keep going. I had the security that some nice person would feel sorry for him and find his mommy, but in the meanwhile I could get like 10 minutes of shopping done. Like I said the thought only ran through my head, I would never do that. Just as I turned around to go and retrieve his stubborn butt I hear store clerks saying over the registers, "ohhh poor thing is he lost??" I realized that people don't know that he belongs to me.

Okay so imagine that is the top part of the cookie. The middle, or the filling is full of mishaps and threatens and talking toos for all the kids, mainly Judah. The end or the bottom portion of this cream filled nightmare, came with the pizza and Nettie flying off my cart. I swear I heard a "splat".

Let me back up. 2 hours of not funness. Ends with the girls wanting pizza, see I already bought the boys pizza when we were at Target the first time and girls were in dance. I lost track of time, so I had to leave my cart there, full, a couple of unpaid water bottles and pray they would not put all my hard work back on the shelves. Returning with all four kids. So it was the girls turn for pizza.

Some back ground on Nettie. She is clumbsy and before you start feeling sorry for her, she doesn't have any ear infections or brain issues. Believe it or not she is just like her mom. She falls down and trips all the time, she breaks things and drops things and spills things at least once a day. She steps on the dogs and falls off beds. It is because she is careless and unaware of her surroundings. She does things she shouldn't like dances on chairs, and runs with boots too big, you know that kind of stuff, bends over with water in her hands, dances with plates of food as she walks to the table. I don't have too much room to talk because I actually ran into our thermostat the other day as I was walking down the hall, I didn't just run into it, I whacked my head so bad on it that it almost made me fall over. Soooooo, her favorite food is pizza, I handed her the little personal pan pizza and immediately I could see it coming, so I told her to hop into the cart, you know the kind built for large families that have a two seater thing in front with a five point harness. Well those harnesses are good for something you know. Of course there was fighting over the seat and I was stressed that I spent too much money and suddenly the 4 dollar pizzas seemed over the top. I sat her down in the cart and told her sit still and hold the pizza until we got to the car. Well she didn't listen and I wasn't paying attention and when I took off and turned the cart to the left is when I thought I heard a "SPLAT" there was Nettie on the floor, shocked, in a purple ballerina outfit belly down, hands and feet sprawled and no shoes!! her pizza had been set free from it's box and landed, of course face down int he middle of the main isle. This was my reaction.

"Nettie I told you not to drop your pizza!!" I rush over, not to pick up my little ballerina but to gather the pizza I just spent four dollars on! I stomp over to the pizza counter and tell them that my daughter just dropped her pizza could I have a new one. They say no and that only serves to further infuriate me. So I toss the pizza directly on the counter and turn around, there was a Target Supervisor, she tells them to just give me a new pizza, without even really knowing how Nettie got back on her feet I deliver the new pizza to her and this time with a dirty look. The Target super looks dismayed and it was only later that I could interpret her eyes. She ask me if Nettie is okay, my response to her is a quick, blunt and frustrated "She falls down all the time, like 5 or 6 times a day, she is fine" no compassion no sympathy no heart, no God. Plus I totally exaggerated she only falls down or breaks something 1 time a day. So I am sure the Target lady thought I was a horrible mom, I mean heck I think in that moment there was some room for improvement. I am still pretty sure it was Judah who was at the center of this tornado. You would have to be there. Nettie was just displaced anger. Poor girl. We cuddled a lot when we got home and I gave her lots of kisses and words of affirmation.

This is why I don't go shopping with the kids.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Homeschool, self pep talk

Well folks lately I have come under some major attack in my homeschooling my children, and no it is not from an outside source, it is from me.

How is it that I can allow myself to feel guilty for trying to do what I think is best for my kids? Sure there are people out there who will have their opinion and disagree with me, but in the end it is my choice to allow that to affect me.

Ways I feel guilty... For instance watching Abby in Daisy scouts tonight and all the happy bouncy kindergartner girls, which by the way she thinks are silly. She fits in though, because she can fit in anywhere. She was giggling and having fun and for a moment as I watched her I thought, is she missing out on something? I sat and tried to remember being a five year old girl. MMMMM>>>> lets see, I hated kindergarten, I was devastated that my mom dropped me off each day and left me there with people I didn't really feel close to. Once there was a big dog outside the door and I couldn't make my way past, I didn't know what to do so I stood near the door and cried. When I finally got in the classroom I had to lie to my friends and tell them my blotchy red face was because I had a sunburn. I had friends and I am sure I had fun I just can't remember that part. I remember being in a row and not having a voice, being told what to do and how to do it. I remember being forced to nap. I remember telling the teacher I was sick and she told me to rest in the next room. They sent me home at normal time and I ended spending the next three days in a hospital. I was blue with pneumonia, and my mom immediately saw that when I arrived after a full day of school on the bus. I remember being in first grade, being board, quiet and tired. I was doing time. I remember being yanked by my long pony tail by a girl named Bobbie, she would drag me around the play ground for fun I suppose. I remember making strategies to out trick her and out run her. Ya didn't love school.

It is the little things that cause the hail storm of doubt, like a friend who said Abby should be doing more crafts. I started thinking about that and I wandered if I was doing enough crafts. Or the mom tonight that said her daughter learned to read in the first three weeks of school. Was I doing something wrong that I am letting Abby learn at her own pace? I hate forcing reading. I admit in the past I have been bad about repetition, I have learned I really don't like any kind of repetition. But I am better now as I am in my third year of homeschooling. And by the way Abby is reading just fine, better on days when she feels like it.

I feel guilty when I see Mason loosing "it" and his voice becomes like a knife and I wander, have I done this to him? It doesn't help when I can feel other judgments on this matter. Not to mention, Mason has always been highly emotional and explosive. I am sure on my feeling good days that if he were in school he would save up all that energy for me when he got home anyways. I tell myself it is better for him to learn at home to control his emotions than find unhealthy coping strategies that don't go anywhere. See all that fire is still fire and it translates to passion and I don't want to loose that and for it to be misdirected into meaningless worldly things like .... the latest and greatest fad.

The time has got to come when I stop the self loathing and doubting. The time has come where I set myself free from others opinions, even those who are closest to me. I know there is room for improvement there always is. While insecurities loom over my head like thick fog, I think I am going to fight, with myself, to stick with it. It is time to evaluate and reevaluate and make learning at home just that, learning at home, not school at home.

My friend gave me a nice little fact today, kids in school get about 8 minutes of undivided attention. At home my kids get all of me. I found Mason going ahead in his math alone, taking his test, reading them and figuring the test out even before I could teach the strategy. I sucked up his radiant face, both of us were pretty proud and we shared that moment. It wasn't lost. I had a big plan for him to do some LA worksheets, instead he sat on the couch and read for over a solid hour. Then banged on his drum for 30 minutes, working out some fresh beats. This wasn't all we did, he wrote a paragraph, a creative writing program and then read some more. He did over an hour of phonemes, listening and writing them out. He worked on 10 spelling words, and did worksheets. We learned about Egypt and the first kings of Israel. He played for hours with his sister, helped me clean up and played outside with some friends. I answered all his questions and he was allowed to have a lot of questions, because we are home and I am his teacher and learning doesn't stop ever when you take on the mentality of learning at home. Home is the school, the world is our play ground, every opportunity, even the most mundane is a chance to discover. Homeschool is not what you do, it is an attitude of discovery. Iit is about creating the environment for independent, strong minded kids who can "socialize" with just about anyone because there is not the boundaries of school. We are not bound to time, or to structure or to a building. The world is my playground.

Hey look at that I just talked myself into homeschooling another year. :)

So now it is 9:00, my kids want to play a "game" of cards, math they just don't know it. Why not we don't have to get up early. yawn.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bed Time Broadway

I spent some quiet time with Nettie last night, just hanging out with her at bedtime. Mason and Abby played cards with Dad which was really a late night math lesson, shhhhhh don't tell they didn't suspect a thing! Anyway, I told her that she might go to kindergarten next year to help her read and write in English. As I lay down I closed my eyes on her pillow and she started to play with my hair, she then did an improv song telling me how she felt about that, it went a little something like this.

"I don't want to go to school, I might loose you, I be sad all day if I loose you I cry"
I then returned the song with
"I won't lose you ever, I went all the way to Africa to find you, I prayed for you and God knew you needed a mommy so I showed me where you were and I won't loose you I promise"
Then she sang
"A bad guy might try to loose me, if he does I will slap him in the face mom I go to school I need a phone to take with me!"

This went back and forth, but I laughed later, leave it to Nettie to feel that in kindergarten she will need a cell phone. How American has she become? It is still sad that she feels if she goes to school I won't come back for her. The lyrics went on and on and I can't remember them all. But she did say that being away from me all day would make her cry and I wouldn't be home when she got home, and that a daddy would drive her far away to another mommy. It is so sad. I thought she would be elated to get away from me and go to school! go figure. It is a tough choice but I don't feel confident to teach her to read, and perhaps I don't feel enough energy to do that either. I just don't know.


Just in case you keep up with the work that God has us doing in Ethiopia, here is a snippet of the latest, go to my adoption ministry blog and read what is happening, we are so excited we just cannot hide it!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Just eat your breakfast!!

For goodness sakes Nettie just eat your stinking breakfast. Why or why do you linger, singing, wiggling, laying down in your chair, requesting blankets and vitamins. Just eat your breakfast! You don't like Oatmeal, eggs, cold cereal, you would be happy to eat bread and sugar but alas I still am trying, despite how I feel to be a good mom so would you please make mommy happy and validate my loving concern for you and just eat your breakfast!

7:45 laundry somewhat done, dishes done, counters clean, floors hideous, 1 kid off to preschool, 1 kid up not eating her breakfast, and two sleeping. Mounting feelings of insecurity and boredom creeping up, must fight. 7:54 new herbal diet pills making me feel high, still in PJ's. 7:55 thinking of getting dressed, decide that wearing sports shorts to bed is like being dressed so I actually saved myself some time, just change PJ top no one one will know. 7:56 stinking dogs barking, probably should exercise, feeling extra fat today, but with this high feeling I would hate to be found draped, dead across my elliptical, maybe wait until Gary is home before I take such a risky venture. 7:58 Honey Nut Cherrios only mildly calling my name, appetite supressant is doing it's job. ( I promise I will stop at 8:00). Nettie is almost done with breakfast, her hair is froed out, thinking how fun this battle is going to be, braids don't work I think pony tails today. 7:59 How in the world am I going to homeschool these kids? Nettie and Judah are so complicated in how and what they need to learn. 8:00 done.

Nettie is so sweet as she is not eating her breakfast she has just requested to go to church, because she wants to "cafache" someone some food. She uses this word instead of "give" I think she wants to cafache some poor people her breakfast, she is very generous.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Abby's unlikely hero

Nakoto Nogimo

Nija warrior

Abby wrote him letter last night asking him to be her friend. She also wanted to mail him a nickle. Mason told her that he wouldn't be able to read her letter becase he only speaks Japanese.

Nettie is currently writing Obama because she says he loves her and he is coming to our house, Judah is arguing that he is not coming to our house. Most of you know how I feel about the new president, but I must bite my tongue. So my kids choose who they want to be their heros and I will let them dream. I may even send the letter to Nogimo if I could find his address.

New Abby

Last night Abby told me that she wanted to be a new Abby and she was tired of being the old Abby, she said that it would be nice if she could loose a tooth or something or get some braces or break an arm. She is five.

I have four kiddos and not one of them has yet to loose a tooth. Mason didn't get teeth until he was 15 months old. Abby was a bit sooner at 9 months, Nettie and Judah came with teeth, although Judah's really started coming in when he got proper nutrition. Mason is now 7 and it is not even close. I guess it's good because that means he can will have better adult teeth with less cavity exposure. My guess is like with riding the bikes, Mason and Abby will loose teeth at the same time, possibly on the same day. As for Nettie and Judah I have no idea.

We will not do the tooth fairy, I do know that, we will make it special but something unique to our family some kind of tradition that means something to us, something original. Any ideas?

Friday, April 17, 2009

101 names for private parts

Mason who is now seven has the need to call his private parts by a new name every time the topic comes up, which is at least once a day in his little boy life.

Today's names were

sea cucumbers
the boys

Yes we are proud.