Monday, February 20, 2012

New Blog

So I've started a new non-personal blog. It still getting up and running. But its up there to see if you happen to be interested. =o)

http://theupwardcallblog.blogspot.com

This blog is going to be my mostly personal blog - family stuffs, my personal thoughts, etc. But the other blog is going to try to be a more professional and useful blog, lol. Hope you enjoy it! As I mentioned, its barely there, but its there. =o) I'm even on twitter over there! You should really check it out!

3 years old!

Today my William is 3 years old! I can hardly believe it! I feel like we were just driving home from the hospital with him looking so tiny in his little car seat, and now he is 3. Sheesh. Where does the time go? I love that feeling, of feeling like Will has always been in our family. It doesn't feel like he has ever not been around. He is so wonderful and funny, and just brings such joy (and chaos) to my days. Oh but how boring our days would be without him! He has been so different than Abby was, and it to has been so funny to me as I watch him grow and see how his personality develops and who he is, and how different these little people really are. Will has brought a whole new set of parenting dilemmas, and just a whole new dynamic to our entire family. Even though some days we are all just holding our breath waiting for Will's next adventure, I think everyone in our family agrees that we are all, and the world, is so much better having this little man in it. I am sure all parents feel this way, but I really wish you all could really get to know my sweet Will as we do. Oh he is certainly mischievous, but the happiness he just radiates, the compassion he has for those around him, the cuddles he craves are just so miraculous. We have been so blessed with our William. Happy birthday baby Will, we all love you so very much!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Zulily

I think I have a Zulily problem...
But, I have finished shopping for Abby's nice Spring and Summer wardrobe (except shoes). And I have her and Will's Easter outfits (for a steal!). I've also already got their swim stuff for summer - and I saved a TON on Zulily with that. We always do the swim shirts and shorts for sun safety and modesty purposes, and I usually spend $30-$50 easily on each swim suit because of this - not this year though! I was very excited to get that bargain. The only thing I need to worry about now is their play clothes and their feet being shod appropriately, plus a couple things for Will. Oh, and I guess baby clothes too, once I know what to buy, haha.

We're going minimalistic with the clothes this season, and I think its going to be great. Great for saving money, great for buying better quality and less quantity, and great for my laundry room which is constantly overflowing!

Anyone know where to get some cute boy clothes though, for a good price? I need a couple cute weekend/going out outfits for Will, but Zulily hasn't had anything that was reasonably priced for boys, I thought. Tons of girls stuff! But the boy stuff was just eh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baby News - 17 weeks!

Doctor's appointment was yesterday - and everything is basically perfectly perfect. I am textbook apparently - which is good! My OB is now doing the ultrasound appointments differently though - so instead of getting my orders and scheduling my own at the hospital, she goes through a certain doctor and I have to wait for them to contact me and set up an appointment. Super boo! This means I am probably going to have to wait a bit longer than I had thought to go in and find out boy/girl. Oh well. Isn't that what pregnancy is - 9 months of waiting? If you're lucky. I know some people who have gone on for quite a bit longer. I am so impressed by them! I don't think I have the mental capacity to hang on, maybe that's why mine always come a few days before the due date! So anyway, now I'm just waiting. And that's about it. But the appointment went well and all is going exactly as it should, so I'm a happy camper. =o)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quote

I read this on a forum I stumbled across ,and am now quite curious who Fr. Sophrony is. =o)

As Fr. Sophrony instructed Fr. Seraphim, "Read only that which inspires you to prayer." So it is with everything. Dress in a manner that inspires you to prayer. Speak in a manner which inspires you to prayer. Watch only that which inspires you to prayer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Skirts

I used to wear skirts the majority of the time. And I've gone through phases in which I wear skirts, then stop, then get back into it, just back and forth. I'm at a point, where I am about to start wearing them again. Lately, particularly at church, I have found myself having to pull up my pants, been worried when leaning over that the pants might slip too low despite wearing long covering camis, been worried about them being too tight on my hiney and showing the panty line or whatnot, and that this might be a problem for some people, and that I didn't want to have that appearance. Not that I am at all thinking my amazing beauty or feminine loveliness is going to be a grand distraction or something, haha, but I feel like it is disrespectful to my husband, to myself, as an example to my children, I could go on. So, I think I need to recheck myself and my wardrobe yet again, and see what changes can be made to better reflect my faith and beliefs. Am I separating myself from wordly things, or am I letting my wardrobe become very wordly and am I not paying attention to the negative things I may have let in? Time to re-evaluate.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Charlotte Mason Education / Pregnancy Update

We are in the process of slowly switching over to a more Charlotte Mason approach to our little school. I've found we typically end up just reading books and dreading doing most of our workbook and traditional textbook work anyway. So I've been reading up on it a ton, looking at a thousand websites it seems like, but we've slowly started to get it figured out.

What I am doing to start, is adding in a day of nature study and switching from our traditional handwriting/penmanship curriculum to a copywork book. We are also taking out a few subjects that I have come to find basically pointless for us right now. We have already made the switch to a new math curriculum - which isn't Charlotte Mason per se, but is much different than a traditional textbook approach to the subject. And as we slowly start getting new materials trickling in, we will begin switching out those subjects one at a time with our new materials, until we have completely made the adjustment.

Although it took me quite a while to look into the method and decide what basic "outline" we wanted to follow, I can see that once the original "stuff" is all ironed out, its actually going to be much simpler to stay on target, on schedule, and just covering the material in general. Its already looking to be a lot less work on a regular basis than what we were doing previously, and it will be much more flexible with scheduling when unexpected sick or sanity days pop up.

There are a ton of online resources out there, but the most helpful and comprehensive I have found would be Ambleside and Simply Charlotte Mason. I prefer Simply Charlotte Mason, mostly because it is much less intensive reading I think, and for my reluctant reader and with a new baby on the way, looks much more doable. I especially like that many subjects are already laid out for you to do as a family, whereas Ambleside has a year by year approach. While I do prefer that "in my mind", I know that realistically it would not be feasible with the way our family dynamic is right now. Also, Simply Charlotte Mason website has many videos and free ebooks available to help you get started, and some items also available for purchase if you feel the need to add those into your lessons or would like the extra support those items have to offer. I myself am ordering a few things to help get us started!

Even still, we aren't following the scheduling completely - I doubt anyone fully does! Every family will have to adjust things. For example, we are not starting with ancient history. We've tried to do ancient history for years, and we end up just failing at it, haha. And now that Abby will be entering 4th grade, I really feel uncomfortable with her not having more knowledge of American history. So we will be doing basic American History for a year, and then jumping back into a more chronological approach to History following that. Although I may take a bit of time at some point to do a brief study of Texas history as well before we move back into the chronological world history. I have time to make that decision though! Also, I think this is all going to be much easier for Adam and Abby to keep up with when the baby is born.

Speaking of the baby - I go in next Tuesday for another appointment. I really love my OB, so I'm very happy with the decision we ended up making in regards to the prenatal care. I am still concerned about the hospital, but the further along I get in the pregnancy, the less important that really seems to be. I think the Lord is just really giving me some peace now with this pregnancy, as there is so much other stuff on our plate right now. I do worry sometimes, just because I haven't felt movement yet (I did very early with Abby and Will), even though I know that this would be very early to feel movement anyway! And my belly is growing by the minute it seems, so I know everything is just fine! BUT, anyway, on Tuesday I should be getting my ultrasound orders, and from past experience they can get me in for the ultrasound appointment within a matter of just a few days typically, so we should know by end of next week if we have a little boy or girl! Well, if we receive cooperation of course! We are having naming difficulties, and I know that once we know the gender, it will help us to focus in and eliminate some of our arguing! Haha! Any suggestions are welcome, cause we've got practically nothing we can agree on at this point. I've also decided not to share the names we decide on, because recently when discussing a name I liked very much with Adam's family, they were so critical and rude about it, I just decided I was done with that! I don't want to hear that stuff this pregnancy. Right now I'm so at peace and comfortable with the pregnancy, I don't want to let in added things like that which are just unnecessary and will end up upsetting this senstive pregnant woman!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Perfection-ista

My Abby girl, is a perfection-ista. (Yes. I made up a word.) She is the absolute definition of a perfectionist, but with a much higher level of drama and flair than I have ever encountered before. So this is her new dubbing.

I struggle quite a bit with schooling her for several reasons.
1- I am a perfectionista too. And we feed each other. Somedays, its insane.
2- Because I don't know how to handle my own tendencies with much grace, its difficult to help her do it too.
3- I have an almost 3 year old son running around. Although, I guess I can't blame Abby for that, haha.

But today I stumbled across this blog post, and I think I see hope. I suggest you read it if you have a child who struggles with not "getting" it on the first try, or who won't try things they don't think they can do, or who breaks down in uncontrollable tears with any little failure. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. You just aren't there, yet.

Friday, February 3, 2012

No Poo at my house!

I know I know, 3 posts, stop blogging already! But this just happened.... and I had to share it.

Email to Adam:
I think I may force us all to go no poo. The transition will be hard, but it will be healthier for all of us.

Email from Adam:
Uh.....what?

Email to Adam:
LOL, oh sorry. I mean no SHAMpoo. I see how that could have been confusing...

Reading from Today

I stumbled across the other day in a curriculum search, an Orthodox Charlotte Mason curriculum that used a book called "The Prologue of Ohrid". I thought I would look into it on Amazon, and was a bit shocked at the very high price (especially considering its in 2 volumes!). I may have found it online though - although I'm not sure if its exactly the same as the book or if its just a portion. But I have begun reading the daily readings, just because I find it to be so fascinating to read about the saints, and the daily readings also include some poignant reflections and contemplations.

This is the contemplation that I read today, and I found it very hopeful and encouraging. Maybe some else will too.

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Cornerstone:
1. As the Cornerstone in building personal character;
2. As the Cornerstone in building the family and a nation;
3. As the Cornerstone of every good intentioned social transformation and inspiration of mankind.

And another one bites the dust

Shame on you Komen. Shame. You had gained so much support from so many - talk about bending to political pressure. I'm sad about your decision - and very upset because I'm sure a lot of prolife people donated money the last couple of days, and will now be unable to get that back. I'm glad I held off on sending funds your way.

Lesson learned - support your local charity groups, or those run by the church.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Komen drops Planned Parenthood funding

SERIOUSLY?!?!?! Oh how long I have prayed and hoped for this! And according to this article, it certainly seems that Komen is changing their tune - and it seems a lot of people aren't very happy about it.

I on the other hand, am absolutely thrilled! I have often received quite a lot of flack, even from fellow Christians, for not supporting Komen because of the Planned Parenthood link. I was told I was "going too far", that the money only goes to screenings not to the abortion services so its not a big deal, etc. My opinion (and I also feel the facts of Planned Parenthood's financial practices) were different than those claims. I feel this is a great step for Komen to make! They can fund different local groups that offer the same breast cancer screenings to low income or in need individuals (without the added abortion facilities involved), and still be serving those in need and meeting their mission. It also makes it so much easier for people who strongly defend the prolife cause, to be able to donate or get involved with the organization.


Can we all just say, "yay!"

Although, I really wish people would stop saying its "politically motivated" and a politics issue. Yah, cause people killing babies is all about politics, and not about life and death and murder. Ya know.