Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pilgrims & Turkeys

favorite book, before its disappearance

the boys capturing a close up of their ant farm- so fun to watch!

sweet, sweet Moriah doing her school and pretending to be a "caveman"

Austen's  fish,corn,dirt picture

Riah coloring her Indian wooden person ( the boys had pilgrims)

Getting ready to walk for life!
What a busy, busy week we have had! I cannot even believe everything that has been accomplished in one week and that was a huge part to me not being able to blog as much as I wanted to. We are wrapping up our unit on responsibility. Let me recap everything that we have been doing. First off, the kids made a picture showing how Squanto helped the Pilgrims learn how to grow corn. We glued down three goldfish crackers, then five kernels of popcorn kernels, then dirt. The kids each drew a picture of a blackbird, crow and worm and we learned the following poem:

" Five kernels of corn in a row
One for the blackbird, one for the crow
One for the cutworm and two to grow."
We talked about the meaning of the poem and what the fish were for and then the following day, they drew the sun and rain to their picture. This is a progressive picture as tomorrow we will add a cornstalk and then finally draw in a corn ear. The kids really understand the importance of the Indians, the Pilgrims and the difference between the Jamestown settlers and Pilgrims.

We sang " A Turkey Sat On A Backyard Fence" and used Jay's beanie baby turkey to act it out. That was really cute and pretty festive. The kids then traced their hands and created turkeys out of their hand prints with glued on sequins, feathers and whatever else they deemed necessary.

I thought of having a huge Thanksgiving Feast but I think we will wait until the actual Thanksgiving and tonight the kids are going to a Fall Hoe Down with dancing, chili, bobbing for apples, caramel apples and fellowship so I think that will take the place of a finale for this unit and make it a lot easier on me as well.

We completed our unit reading of "101 Dalmatians" and are beginning "The Incredible Journey". Austen's reading is really coming along- slow but coming. I think, for five, he is doing great! Math is moving along - what is the saying, " slow and steady wins the race"?

The kids and I walked in a Crisis Pregnancy Walk today and I was so proud of them. On the way to, they were talking about helping mamas and their babies. Riah goes, " We going to help the mamas and maybe even chase their babies around, high five!!!" - the girl cracks me up! On a sad note, we lost Hannah's favorite dinosaur book on the walk. Now I need to hunt it down on Amazon to buy. Poor Lou.

I think I am going to wrap up our Responsibility unit this week, like now, I'm wrapping it up- its done. I feel that the kids fully understand responsibility- to the core. They work very hard, most of the time, at demonstrating it and I am so ready to move on to a new trait. We have had a great, spanning all the way back to our start with chores and pets, beavers, ants to now- the settlers. Wow, and the fact the kids remember and retain so much of what we have learned is so exciting for me. Moriah thinks the entire Bible is "Psalms" and  wants me to sing every verse she finds- sometimes I sing it in minor and make it sound intense and scary- haha :)

Our next trait- Courage!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sewing Project Therapy

First pattern sewing project
Today, I completed my first sewing project that required me to follow a pattern. From start to finish, this small size 3 shirt took me 7 hours. I am a largely self taught seamstress, my Grandma lives in Michigan and my sister in law lives, for a time, in Colorado. Because I had no interest earlier in life, I am learning now- with my teachers a phone call away if needed.

I needed to complete this project. My coffee is now cold, the edges of the shirt are not perfectly straight, I had to improv certain areas as I was unsure what the directions meantt, there are some messy ends and uneven straps...yet I am so proud of my shirt. I am proud because something that was so difficult for me, so impossible- I accomplished. I listened to the two songs I have designated as my " healing" songs during this season of my life and I worshipped the Lord, prayed and sewed.

This week has been really hard for me ; probably one of the hardest to date when suffering through a miscarriage. I think this week, it finally hit me that I had lost more babies than I had and that made me feel completely vulnerable, out of control. Yet, through many tears and prayers I know that God loves me and I know that He will never forsake me. Life is hard, yet I cannot imagine working through my trials without God.

I kept ripping seams out and staring over, I had to redo an entire pattern because I copied it wrong. I wanted to quit and just throw it away yet even though it is not perfect...the beautiful smile on my daughter's sweet face and the feeling of satisfaction could never be replicated by a store bought shirt. There was tears, frustration and so much work involved in that small, little, purple flowered shirt that I appreciate it the creativity of it and the hands at work of the creator of that shirt.

My children are not my own, but God's. They were hand picked and given to me for such a short time. They will never be perfect, like my shirt- yet the Creator smiles at His work and is so proud of them. I am His creation....and he smiles at me and loves me. I am not perfect yet He loves me. How? How can He? My "straps" are uneven, I don't even know if my hem will hold up.....I feel flawed, a failure- yet in His eyes, I am perfect and beautiful.

I appreciate my children and the miracle of life so much. Over and over I appreciate it. My heart shatters when a life is taken from me and passed over into the next life. I do not always know what to do with all my feelings- yet I trust God. Right now, I feel like God is ripping out my seams....changing me and mending me. Do you see now why I couldn't quit sewing? My actions towards my fabric is spiritually applied to my life- this season, this pain, this ability to cry out to God..... my heart will heal and it will strengthen...my faith is strengthened because I chose to trust and not falter. My God is strong and He is faithful. Though life seems dark and during the darkest hour- yet will I praise You.

I sewed tonight. I cried tonight. I sewed on. I continue on. One foot in front of the other.

visit to children's museum today





my heart. Even in pain I have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to "Normal"

I had my ultra sound yesterday and the baby is gone. This was no surprise to me but I am tired of mourning the loss of a child that no one knows, I hardly knew and yet leaves a gaping hole inside my heart. What is normal. Why, when I had my first miscarriage in May of 2007 did I have a feeling that this was a new precedent. I"m very hurt and feel very alone. The kids are awesome, letting me sleep with their stuffed animals, Ben is awesome and at the same time feeling a loss for me- its so different with guys. I can't pretend that this never happened; yet I wish it didn't. Somehow, I go on....and I figure out how to pick myself back up. Yet I feel there is still a missing part to my sentence. Not quite sure what is next.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Things I'm Looking Forward To Today....

farm co op and collecting fresh laid chicken eggs
cool mornings
a hot chocolate from Starbucks
hugs and more kisses from beautiful, beautiful children
looking at beautiful roses from an amazing husband
birds chirping
focusing my efforts into learning more about Squanto with the kids and doing some school
smelling my fall candles burning
listening to Autumn in New England
moving forward, on and trusting God
eating scrambled eggs from our farm co op hens
watching The Office with Ben at night with our "special" popcorn and laughing together, gosh I love his smile
reevaluating what I want out of life

New Homemade Choices

Well, I prefer to make most of our food from scratch but I need to get away from using harmful chemicals in our home as well. I am going to begin making our own laundry soap, toothpaste and mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, etc. The main ingredients for both seem to be baking soda. Also, peppermint oil or tea tree oil for the mouthwash seems to be quite popular.

We grow up using chemicals, get accustomed to it and take it as normal. When I stop and stare and look at what I am really putting in my mouth, on my face, in my hair I get a little freaked out. I know I can't change everything and I do enjoy getting my hair done- sorry that will not change...soo, I can look for reasonable changes that affect our daily lives. I feel that these will have more of a lasting impression than my few times of the year I color my hair. Here are some sites I have been looking at:

toothpaste and mouthwash
laundry soap
shampoo
cleaning products
My goal to implement these all by the end of the month. I think this will be a good focus for me as well as making me feel more in control of helping my family achieve health that is free from dangerous pathogens. Do you have any great homemade ideas? Feel free to share them! I would LOVE to hear about them. Thank you!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Miscarriage Carnival

Let me take you on a ride. I've never shared, truly, my emotions in the midst of this roller coaster nightmare. Yet, here I am, trying to convey this ride I am tired of riding. Its a dark, cruel, mind blowing ride that messes with your heart, emotions and strength. Come along with me, and let me describe to a world that probably is foreign to many and familiar to few. The ride is called miscarriage and its a horror ride that you never intended to jump on and you never asked for. I have just gone through my fifth. Yes, fifth. This last I had no idea I was even pregnant, didn't even ask for it, and instead of ending in a sweet surprise...its ending in tears and anger. My questions out weigh my strength and I am tired. I didn't ask for this! All I asked for was healthy pregnancies....this shouldn't be this hard. You will NEVER understand if you have NEVER been through this horror ride. Your heart aches and a part of you dies each time. For me, its been five times.

Wow God, I learned the pain of this the first time...why five? God is a God of life....yet, right now I hear silence. This ride whips me around and I hear silence and screams, agony from a mama that only wants a successful pregnancy. This ride brings complete apprehension and terror when a positive pregnancy test shows. There is NO excitement, no thinking to the future, its a day by day being so in tune to your body that your mind plays horrid games on you. This ride produces pain - something that that leaves you tired and alone.

The first trimester is an alone and isolating time. You can't share your pregnancy with anyone because you know, deep down inside the likely hood of loosing this pregnancy is huge. You sit there, in misery day in and day out wondering if this is the day that you will lose the baby. You make it to 4 weeks...ok, breathe...try to make it a few more weeks...you make it to 6 weeks...ok, you make it to 7 weeks yet your nauseousness is starting to wain- FAIL.

This last miscarriage...I didn't even plan for it, it happened- I want to say " screw you" to all of the TLC shows that have moms on there stating, " I didn't know I was pregnant". Pain, hurt....here I am riding up and down and upside down on a ride where an evil clown laughs and I feel mocked and a failure. I again, cry out to God but feel silence.

This shouldnt' be so hard. If you have never gone through a miscarriage please don't pity me. I hate pity. I am angry- if you can't handle it stop reading. I just ask God "why?". Why let this happen again and again. I don't expect an answer...maybe if I eat fast food all day, sit on my booty and watch soap operas, maybe I'll get pregnant and stay pregnant....whatever...I feel like a failure and as the ride clicks to the top there is so much pain that I pray as I tumble down the hill it will leave through my tears and screams. Maybe when I go upside down it will fly away, maybe I can harden just a little bit more and I won't feel the pain...maybe, just maybe. People name their babies, I can't. I just don't understand why God, in his faithfulness....is allowing this to happen. He isn't causing it but allowing it....and is holding five, not one but five of my babies....again, I never asked for this. I never asked for Him to hold them, that was suppose to be ME!!!

But, here I am...in a dark, desolate carnival where there is only one ride- it is pitch black and those that are on it before me, their tears are falling on me. I know, my turn is coming, only so my tears can fall on the next person who is waiting in line below me. Pain, so much pain, tears, so much tears. All for a beautiful prize- one that is never achieved. What was that like, in my naive days when I was pregnant with the boys....where things happened and I never had to ride this carnival ride. What I would give to go back to those days.

Yet, here I am, once again. Nothing makes sense. All I can do is Trust. Right now, I"m trusting, but God- you are so silent....as the ride whirls past me again, my hair blows and I find myself, on this ride for the fifth time, in my short life. Life, you are so cruel at times, so, so cruel.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little Hannah Lou Walking

video

Windmills, Maps and Mayflowers


Today we continued our study on the Pilgrims, Indians and Mayflower. We read some GREAT books on Squanto. His life reminded me so much of Joseph in the Bible. We learned that Squanto was first sold as a slave to England where he learned English, John Smith brought him back to the what is now Massachusetts, he was then sold again to some monks in Spain where he learned about Christ, the monks felt bad for him, sent him to England to finally be returned to his native homeland only a year prior to the Pilgrims arriving.

His life mirrors so much of Joseph's because so many horrible events occurred where nothing made sense, but then you see God's hand on their lives the entire time. Even amidst tragedy, God is still in control. What a good lesson to move through life with.

After reading books on Squanto, the kids and I made pinwheels to remember the windmills of the Netherlands and how the Pilgrims first escaped England's persecution and resided in the Netherlands for a time. We also drew pictures of the Mayflower and mapped its journey from Plymouth, England to the New World.

I love, LOVE how the kids, even Riah, ask me to sing some hymns like the women on the Mayflower did and ask me to reenact the sounds of the wind and rain as the Pilgrims traveled across the vast Atlantic. It's sinking in, this is all sinking in.

We had learned how God used Squanto to teach the Pilgrims how to plant corn, beans and squash with fish and we popped popcorn to remember how important corn was to the Indians and then to the Pilgrims. We are a little behind this week's lesson plans but that's ok, just making it two weeks instead of one.

Great news, Austen had an " Aha" moment with reading! It was like something clicked in his little wiggly bod of his and his reading is getting a tad faster. Math and language arts are moving along but wow, we just love our unit studies the most.

The day has been gray, cloudy, rainy, cool and so comforting fallish that I can only pray tomorrow is the same. Beautiful school day. Love it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today

Today we woke up and started getting ready for the play, " 12 Dancing Princesses". We always enjoy these plays because they are put on with an entire cast of children actors. The kids and I all sat down and Hannah lasted for about 15 minutes. So for the rest of the 75 minute show I was in and out, walking the halls with her and checking on the other three, unassisted, in the theater.

The older kids did great and I made a mental note not to take Hannah to these plays EVER again this year. I happen to want to enjoy them as well too. Then, due to my van needing a new alternator ( I have replaced the starter and water pump in the past 1.5 yr).....I thought , " oh goodie". The problem was that my van was starting to slowly not want to start and I can't afford to get stranded anywhere, at anytime.... I am not into the , " let's call a tow truck and figure out how to fit everyone in" type of girl.

Thankfully, I received a great referral from someone who was able to get me in fast, give a cash discount and we were out the door within an hour! I cannot tell you how relieved I am. Ben was going to take care of it but there was a lot more juggling required and this just worked out much easier, even with all the kids in the waiting room with me. The only thing I had to sensor was a swimsuit edition of sports illustrated...but besides that, the tv worked and pbs kids was still on.

We are home now and I am just enjoying a few moments to myself before I start math and language arts  with the boys. Today, really didn't go at all how I had planned it but I felt that God was teaching me a great lesson in rolling with it as well as trusting him to provide. I was able to use my frustrations today w/ cars to show and talk with the kids how God is still faithful even when things fall apart. It was a great life lesson and good test to see if my attitude backed up my mouth. Anyways, nothing too exciting about today....just a regular day with some practical lessons.

Oh, and ps. Hannah blew out of her diaper yesterday, dripped poo everywhere and then smeared it into the carpet- so I am thankful for my uneventful day today :)