Friday, July 19, 2013


What happens before lunch....

I think I edited this post 3 or 4 times now! LOL! But seriously I keep thinking of more I want to say! In regard to the above video, I feel I should say that after bible mania, the cabin groups have about 15 minutes to trickle into the meeting hall so we can go over KP duties, cabin inspection results, announcements, and pray for the meal. this is when the music is on and the kids get to kind of cut loose without much structure. Sometimes they sit along the edge of the stage and do acapella We Will Rock You, sometimes it is the crazy dances, sometimes it is just hanging out giggling while enjoying the tunes. This is not a glimpse of the majority of our day, just a tiny window.(They also did the Interlude and Harlem Shake. Good clean fun. Teach kids to have that kind of fun and they won't crave the sinful kinds of fun.)
And great lessons from the scriptures. The theme was Heroes. We studied Noah, Josiah, David and Jonathan, Joseph, and how they do the unexpected and help people.
Camp days are pretty much morning blast with action songs, breakfast, cleaning of cabins, bible class, sport playtime, bible mania drills, lunch, afternoon activities (swim, blob, zipline, canteen, cabin time, archery/bb's, crafts), supper, experience the bible story, evening worship time, canteen, and cabin time with bible review. Evening worship is always beautiful singing and a great bible lesson. It is busy, busy, busy, and the teen counselors work hard, keeping the kids with them at all times and taking care of them all day and night for the week. We had some excellent counselors. But this year there was lots of rain and the kids didn't get to do all their activities, so we had a night swim and a late movie night. Those were HUGE hits.
These kids and counselors bonded and made lifelong friends and lifelong impressions.

My youngest will be old enough to go next year and that makes me want to cry. She is so ready to go, though. I think about the impressions all these activities make on the kids ...from camp, to youth rallies, to mission trips, to bake and serve, to LTC, to T3, to VBS, and I see them all WANT to do these things over all the other options in their lives. It is wonderful to learn and serve and grow up this way.

It was a great week, very hot and humid, pretty messy and sweaty, and very active. All my muscles ache after coaching kickball all week, running back and forth where needed, helping in crafts, and helping run the zipline Thursday.  I find it very amusing that my coaching helpers thought I was "athletic" after seeing how well I could outrun the bumblebee every day! I hope I get to do kickball again, but I kind of want to try bible lesson. Due to time constraints I can't do both, though.

I am going to miss the late night mom talks in our cabin, and the silly songs....  little rabbit in the woods,  purple soup,  boom chicka boom, coconut, baby shark, Give me a "J" (with Quinn of course), and the conductor of the stroganoff!

No worries though. The kids do not cease to bring up camp and sing camp songs ALL YEAR LONG. It is just that awesome. They wait for this with more anticipation than Christmas or birthdays.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

An Inconvenient Truth

Inconvenient. Yes. That is the real issue, isn't it? We are selfish, self-centered, and want no one telling us what to do. But make no mistake, we are all under authority of some kind, and at times we are all inconvenient to someone. It is the natural order of things.

This post is not up for debate. It is my belief, and I am not approaching it from a biblical perspective, though God's natural law is where the roots lie. The stand for life group got the abortion restrictions passed in Texas this week. It was a great victory for life, in some respects. But the ugly truth is, killing unborn children because they are inconvenient is still very legal. Being wanted and loved is the difference. Parents who want kids will pay everything to keep their children alive and healthy. Those who have sex and become unexpectedly pregnant and find it inconvenient, will pay big bucks to dismember and kill the human within.  Make no mistake, if you choose to have sex, or just engage in sex willingly or even unwillingly, and have a uterus and ovaries, the risk is pregnancy.

But here is the puzzling thing. Pro choice advocates want to say that women have a right to do what they choose with their bodies. Ok, fine. Get tattoos, piercings, carve yourself, get plastic surgery, cut your fingers off, whatever. But do NOT be so naive as to fool yourself into thinking the human growing within is a part of your body. It is a completely individual human being. It is not an extra finger, toe, hernia, or a mole that popped up unexpectedly. It is a person, a separate human being, that just happens to need your body to survive. It is a person with rights, just like you. It is a human, as individual as you are, just like your cousin, or neighbor, or postman, or best friend. Do you want to kill the innocent in cold blood just like those who receive the death penalty for murder, but without consequences?

And now back to the point. Inconvenient. That is how the unwanted unborn human is viewed. But let's explore that, shall we? Let' take a look at other "inconvenient" humans. Newborns rely on people to meet their needs, or they die. The elderly require some care, sometimes total care, or they die. The disabled, both physically and mentally, can require moderate to complete care, or they die. The sick and diseased and comatose require much care, often total care, or they die. All these people require someones sacrifice to stay alive, someone to love and care for their needs until such time as they naturally die or recover. Yet no one is lobbying for them to be killed when they become inconvenient, for a short time, or for a lifetime. What about the kid who is going through a tough time and causing all kinds of havoc, be they teens or toddlers or in between? They can be inconvenient. Your parents who suddenly have a stroke or accident or get old, and need your constant care right when you are at the pinnacle of career success or starting a new relationship or raising your own family, can be inconvenient. These are all individual humans with rights, just like the unborn individuals carried in women's bodies for survival. What makes these worthy of living, and the unborn children worthy of dying/being mutilated/killed?  An honest assessment is that there is no difference. Individuals are individuals...innocent humans with a right to live, just like you and everyone you know or will ever meet. You are one step away from killing anyone who is inconvenient in your opinion, if you are willing to kill the unborn. And one day, that inconvenient person just might be you, or your spouse, or mother, or child, or best friend. Let that sink in. You are not exempt because you are young and vibrant and healthy today. We all age. Tragedy strikes everyone without exception. It is a matter of time.

 And that is the inconvenient truth that people want to ignore and push away. They want to ignore it because it is terribly inhuman and ugly and brutal. To be honest about the situation would mean admitting they are guilty of approving murder of the innocent and inconvenient in this world. And they probably do not want to face that truth, because it makes them into a monster. No one wants to be called a monster, right? 

It doesn't take much to make the jump to legalized killing of the inconvenient, if you kill the innocent unborn humans of the world. It is an absence of respect for human life.
 It's not? Go to the library and read The Giver. Tell me then that you are not this close to that kind of society.

Friday, July 12, 2013

To stress, or not to stress.....

That  is the question....

Let's see. I leave for camp in 2 days, and have to get packed (me and 2 kids). Monthly funds are running very low as is savings. Water leak we found in April is still unresolved. Had to buy a new fridge (those are expensive! never bought a new one before) and thought that was the leak source. Even had a plumber tell me so, though I kind of doubted it. Now that new flooring for 90% of the downstairs is ordered, we find the leak reappearing. Seems to be a shifting house that causes intermittent water to come up from under the vinyl in the kitchen. Don't ya just love Texas dirt??? Not a fridge problem. Not a consistent problem. Random and weird. Here's hoping the new plumbers (arriving shortly) can find, and more importantly, get to it and fix it without tearing out walls or foundation or cabinetry. If they can't we have a HUGE problem, folks. I don't even want to entertain ideas about what that will cost. Let is be fixable. Let it be fixable.
Other than that we are adjusting to the new kitty. But I tell you, litter boxes are nauseating. UGH! Nasty. Her cage may have to start staying outside once she is older. That smell is awful, even with daily cleanings. But kitty Lily Potter is very, very sweet. Couldn't ask for a sweeter, more good natured kitten.
And there is a small issue of sophomore curriculum. Chemistry, and Geometry or Algebra 2. We are a couple of months from needing to purchase those, but will need the Chem book and lab supplies for co-op classes in September. The math is up in the air. Poor kid takes after mom, and math doesn't come easily, so wondering if we should just keep going in algebra while it is fresh, instead of geometry, and if we should keep on with Teaching Textbooks or switch to Life of Fred....How much math do you really need for a career in film? I wonder....
And of course, we do have to pack for camp. One kid informs me today that they only have 3 pair of shorts that fit, and all underwear is too small. Good timing, kiddo. You will definitely need underwear for camp! So I suppose we will head to the store for those items soon...well, I saw a new thrift store near our church so the shorts may come from there. Play clothes for kids at full price? I don't think so. If you want full price  (meaning sale rack) clothing, you have to be about finished growing. Don't know if they noticed, but there are five of them and 2 adults to clothe here. But they will have more than enough for camp I am sure...:) The travel size items are the big thing to get--including air freshener and clorox wipes. Oh so necessary. So necessary! I might even spring for a glade plug-in.
Honestly if all this plumbing stuff works out without a HUGE expense I will be beyond thrilled. That is the major stress...the not knowing. But since it is out of my control I guess I can't get too worked up, right? Right. The other stuff is basically inconsequential.
Ok, so off I go to bake bread and work on packing and finish washing laundry, while the oldest two get out with friends to see Pacific Rim, and younger kids help me clean and play with Lily. Later this evening I am taking the kids and we are all playing in the pool (yes, me too!--It's fun!). Ahhh the sweet life of a homemaker.
Have a great summer day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Our Summer Homeschooling Looks Like.....

There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem of our generation is finding a good way to spend it! Yeah, I know that if you know that cartoon you just sang the intro! I love that cartoon. It ranks up there with Justice League and the original Scooby-Doo.
So ....every now and then I do a post on what our day looks like. Every time I do this it looks different, and I always wonder what other HS days look like. I figure I am not alone in my wondering, so I share.
It is July, unseasonably cool. The kids took on a new kitten this week so we are integrating her into the household and acclimating her to the dogs...slowly. The oldest two were at a youth devo last night, quite far away, so they got in late, we all waited up, and consequently we all woke up late today. By late I mean after 8am. I set an alarm to go walking/jogging, but promptly shushed it when it rang. I got up, let the dogs out, made sure kitty was secure, and emptied the dishwasher while coffee brewed. Kids were watching Netflix and playing games. After coffee, I checked my email and list for the day, then walked the dogs with 2 biking kids. When I arrived home it was after 9am and I asked what they wanted to eat, if anything. I am a breakfast skipper. Food is just gross in the morning to me, and is for a couple of the kids too. But three finally settled on granola and one wanted eggs (double yuck), and I ate a piece of whole wheat toast which I am currently regretting. Two didn't eat.
Now I blog, and they eat. here is how I predict the rest of the day will go....
I will tell them to clean rooms, brush teeth and clean up their food, then come to devo in my room . After devo, one will bring dirty laundry for me to wash, four will work on math, and one will work on a research paper. I will do laundry, help care for pets, help with math, pick up the house, clean my bathroom, and hopefully take calls from the orthodontist and insurance company concerning our water leak and flooring replacements. I will try to remember to feed them lunch around noon, and have them do some cleaning. Then around 12:30 the film crew will arrive and head to their location for today's shoot. I will get dressed properly and take the others, to get some groceries and take them to McDonalds as I promised, for some indoor playtime, and a shake or soda. I avoid their food if I can. Later we will head back home to let K change for ballet class, which we will attend. After ballet I should have all kids back with me, and we will have an easy dinner if I remember to get the crock pot of beans going this morning. Otherwise it will be baked potatoes. Following supper cleanup, and room cleanup, we will head to the pool for a couple of hours, and then come home and go for a walk. By then it should be close to 9:30pm. We will watch some tv, fold the laundry mountain, set up another filming date, maybe play card games or something, talk about the day, and drop off to sleep around 11pm.
And that is a day in the life of summer homeschooling here...this summer, this week.
It is changing almost daily, but this is pretty close to average.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Man! Where did June go???? Oh flew by, definitely exceeding the speed a lot! Camp and VBS and birthdays....mine included (6/22/70). And here we are in July! And it is cool (and by cool I mean only 90F).  Highly suspect.

But it is here, and Sandblade is in full film mode. The crew is about to arrive for day 2 of shooting. Some of the kids are working on some leftover schoolwork. We are getting ready to help out with a 5K tomorrow for the 4th, and then go visiting, hopefully ending the day with fireworks. And I just heard that we will FINALLY be getting the kitchen flooring on the 17th, hopefully followed by the wood laminate. And we should be getting Jordan's ortho appliances put in within a week. And then there is camp, part 2. But I heard there is a shortage of staff, and that greatly concerns me considering this is the younger kids' camp. Not good. You really, really need plenty of supervising staff for the younger kids. Not sure how that situation will play out.

So, here is the future summer forecast: I am going to keep jogging even though I broke my toe 2 weeks ago. I am just gonna suck it up and do it. Jacob will keep working on Sandblade, Spanish, and math, before starting driver's ed, piano, and theater/ballet. Emily will complete her research paper and start jogging with me, and then continue with tap, ballet and maybe voice. Elizabeth will continue math and language while beginning to jog with me and Emily, then  go back to ballet and jazz. Jordan will just keep collecting knives, riding bikes, and working on math skills, while fitting in some camping and shooting. Kimberly will practice reading and swim often, then go back to ballet and maybe contemporary, if her chiro says it's ok. School and co-op start late August, as do all music, dance and voice lessons. It promises to be ultra busy. Gonna swim all we can while summer lasts. And read lots of books.

Some of you know I majored in English and Children's Lit in college so I got a stack of books at the library last night from the junior section, of course. Here is my reading list:
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The London Eye Mystery
The People of Sparks (city of ember sequel)
The Watsons Go To Birmingham
The Grey King
The Annotated Pride and Prejudice
The Hobbit

And that is all I have to say about that. I have to go feed people now. Happy summering!