Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I love this book! I just read it for the second time as an assignment for Devon (first time was with Silas). It's just a fun kid's book with short chapters and a main character whose problem solving skills always make the boys laugh. I just discovered, while looking up a link for this post, that there it's actually part of a series. Perfect! The boys asked if there were more when we finished reading it this time, so I'll have to go see if the library has the other books in the series.
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life, written by Joanna Weaver
I have a tendency to be pretty focused on my "to do" list, my plan, and efficiency. Those things aren't bad and allow me to get a lot done in the course of a day. However, they can also keep me from spending time with the Lord. So, I thought this book may challenge me a little. What I did not expect was for a significant portion of the book to be about worrying. While I can see how a drive to complete tasks could stem from a worry of what will happen if the tasks aren't completed, I simply don't like leaving things undone. That portion of the book kinda bored me, but there was some good stuff in the rest. Here's my favorite quote - "Service without spirituality is exhausting and hopeless. But in the same respect, spirituality without service is barren and selfish. We need to unite the two and do it all 'as unto the Lord'".
Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, written by Michael J. Fox
This was a completely random book choice, but I liked it. I usually enjoy autobiographies just for the chance to understand someone else's life a little more. This book is broken into four categories - work, politics, faith and family. I appreciate Fox's determination to focus on the positive and to make a difference in the world in areas that are important to him. As expected, he speaks a lot of stem cell research and I found myself realizing that I really don't know much about the topic. I have a knee-jerk reaction, but not a lot of actual knowledge. Think I may read up on it a little more. Anyway, the man loves his family, is devoted to his work, and has a great attitude toward life.
Cool quotes -
p. 232 If all risks are removed from a child's environment, the child will be doomed to a life of playing it safe.
p. 233 Over the past nineteen years, I have come to understand that no parent can get his/her arms around of all of the could've/would've/should'ves, mights, maybes and what-ifs. Each new moment gives you a sufficient load to carry, and I've learned, especially as my arms have gotten shakier, that there are times when the wisest thing is to let go.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
"Mom, I want a haircut. I want one mohawk here (motioning from front to back, like a regular mohawk) and another one here (motioning from ear to ear, over the top of his head). It's an x-hawk (because it forms an "x").
Without further ado, let me show you the x-hawk. There aren't any pics of his face because that angle just doesn't do a good job of showing exactly what this new haircut looks like.
View from the top. You can see how the fro is missing on all four corners, making an "x", or a plus sign, thanks to the angle of the camera.
View from the side.
And that, my friends, is what an x-hawk looks like. Want to get one for yourself?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I brought my camera to get a group shot, but totally forgot it was in my bag. Oops.
Anyway, the morning was an answer to a few recent prayers of mine and I'm so glad I got to go! Now I'm off to tackle the work I need to get done today. I'll be tackling it with a sleepy body and aching legs, but a thankful heart and refreshed mind.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I let the boys sleep as late as possible this morning, but ultimately had to wake them up in order to get Naomi to an appointment with her dermatologist. We swung by Safeway on the way home to pic up some bargains and freebies, but wasted a small chunk of time searching for some meat they had on sale ... but evidently failed to have in stock. Then it was home to try and cram in some school with tired, hungry, grumpy, bickering kids.
Delighted to have an opportunity to nap, I crawled into bed after lunch. However, one of our offspring made naps for themselves and two others family members impossible. I made no attempt to hide my frustration. Back out of bed to get dinner started, as we had people coming over at 4:00 and it was clear that I wasn't getting a nap.
Ugh. What a lousy morning.
However, the evening was much better. Linda, Tim's mom, came over with two of her other grandkids, our kids' cousins that they haven't been around much. She wanted to do a quilting project with the boys. I wasn't sure they'd be interested, but she was welcome to give it a shot. Both boys enjoyed learning some quilting basics and picking out some border colors with. Then Devon took off to play with his cousins while Silas helped Linda design the quilt. Should have known my box-checking, plan-making son would like the designing of a quilt!
Tim came home and we all had dinner. The cousins, who I've been told are kinda picky eaters, liked the main dish I served. Then the four youngest kids went back to playing happily together while Linda and Silas started cutting some fabric. I got the dishes washed and garden watered while Tim hung with the non-quilting kids.
About 6:30 everyone took off - Linda and the kids back home, Tim and the boys to pick up my grandma and take the boys to their swimming lessons, Naomi and I off on a walk. Naomi and I returned home to a clean and quiet house that smelled wonderful, thanks to a chicken that was in the crockpot. We played together for about thirty minutes without any interruption, then she hopped in the bath for quite a while.
Boys came home, kids got jammied up, I took care of the chicken, Tim went to work out. I got into comfy jammies and spent well over an hour reading in bed - my Bible and a devotional book, then a "just for fun" book.
Now I'm tired and I can tell I'll be able to sleep. So, I'm going to bed by 10:00. What a nice night!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Another thing I like about Taco Tuesday is that everyone can eat however they want. Tim likes to put a hard shell (though we don't always have them around) inside a regular tortilla and load up all the fillings. Silas likes to pile everything except cilantro and lettuce on a tortilla and roll it up. Devon likes to put everything except meat and lettuce on his plate and eat it with a fork, occasionally eating a plain tortilla on the side. Naomi piles everything in a bowl, mixes it up and digs in. I usually put my tortilla on the plate, pile on a bunch of lettuce, then do the other toppings over that. It's like a tostada meeting a taco salad.
Anyway, I thought I'd tell you what Taco Tuesday involves at our house. Maybe you'll find some inexpensive and tasty recipes to use the next time you make tacos.
* meat - I buy a three pound package of ground turkey and cook it all up at once, using this homemade taco seasoning at the end. After it's cooked I divide it into three quart-sized freezer bags and pop them in the freezer for future Taco Tuesdays.
* beans - I make a double batch of the best beans in the world, which also happen to be really easy because they're in a crockpot. Then I fill up more quart-sized freezer bags with the cooked beans and pop them in the freezer My preferred way to make them is half pinto, half black, chopped onion, occasional jalapenos that are finely diced, and water. Yum!
* lentils & rice - I don't make lentils and rice every week, but often enough that it needs to go on this list. I sometimes use it in place of the meat or beans or to stretch the food a little farther when we have company. I've been known to be too lazy to measure out the spices and just dump some of that homemade taco seasoning in the pot instead. I'm not a huge lentil eater, but these are good.
* cheese, tomatoes, olives, cilantro, sour cream, salsa
And when you feel particularly lazy and don't feel like doing such an easy meal, then you dump a bunch of tortilla chips in a baking dish, load it up with toppings, pop it in the oven, then enjoy nachos.
And if you're even lazier, then you do "taco bowls", piling each person's bowl with the fillings they like and handing them a fork.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Devon is my favorite monkey in the world. He has been climbing everything in sight since he could stand. He started climbing the tetherball pole at three and made it to the top at four. He has a little glitch on this ascent, but I think that was the fallout of knowing he was being taped, as he normally cruises up without any problems at all. We realize he's not the only kid who can climb a tetherball pole, but his tendency to scale anything he can makes us confident that he'd make an excellent stunt man in the future.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
We modified a marshmallow gun for Naomi last weekend, essentially stripping it down to the bare minimum. She loved it! I'm pretty sure her days of walking around the battlefield scarfing marshmallows has come to an end and the days of shooting people has started.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Honestly, I'm pretty sure I've shared enough "I'm going to flip my lid" and "my kids are jumping on my very last nerve" and "I'm at a loss for what to do with this kid" moments both here, other places online, and in normal conversations, that I don't see how I could be perceived as prideful in parenting. I clearly don't have this parenting gig perfected.
However, I also know that tone can be misconstrued online. I know the attitude I have as I'm writing, but I can't control the tone you read into it when it pops up on your screen.
So, let me set the record straight, lest anyone else think I'm prideful about parenting.
First, I'll copy what I wrote in a recent parenting post and also included in my response to the person who wrote to me.
I realize that we all love our kids and that, despite our failures, we're all doing the best we can. I also realize that no two families will make the exact same parenting choices. So, I'm certainly not saying you have to do all the things we do.
Second, I want to distinguish between confidence and pride. Confidence is believing that you're doing the right thing. We're confident about most of our parenting decisions. After all, that's why we've made those decisions. Same with you and your decisions. Are we right? Are we wrong? Time will tell.
Are there situations that we're not confident about? Absolutely! There are parenting issues we face where nothing we do seems to make a difference. There are other situations that creep up and we have to really think through how we're going to deal with them. But generally speaking, we're confident in our parenting decisions.
Pride, on the other hand, is thinking that you're better than someone else. I do not think I'm a better parent than the rest of you. I just don't. Obviously there are going to be some people whose parenting decisions I agree with more than others, but as I said before, I know we all love our kids and are doing the best we can.
So, I apologize for any miscommunication on my part that gave anyone else the impression that I think I'm a better parent than they are.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
sweet & sour meatballs/rice
rice cooker mac & cheese/salad
penne & sausage casseroles/salad
new pizza recipe
sesame noodles/veggie stir fry
pork steaks/mashed potatoes/frozen veggie
teriyaki chicken/Asian salad with napa cabbage
chicken pot pie/salad
black bean & rice burritos/frozen veggie
Shockingly, I didn't plan any. I'm sure we'll bust out something sweet though.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Game Experience - just standing around (far right, second pic), in the middle of something fun (right center, first pic), looking a little bit crazy (third pic), being a spectator (far left, first pic), screaming his head off (far left, last pic)
Friday Night Frenzy - the rubber chicken tossing game (front & center, first pic), grabbing a banana with his elbows & being a spectator (third and left side, final pic), volunteering for something (center, last pic), singing "Pharaoh, Pharaoh" (fourth and final pics), participating in his first pizza eating contest (third pic)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Debra - A few days ago I saw a Facebook update from Ashley that said my dad had taken her mom, Debra, to the ER for a hurt toe. Several hours later my dad blogged about it, which gave me the opportunity to teach the boys about pins in the body, local vs. general (they understand general from their own surgeries) anesthesia, dislocations, fractures, etc. It was like a little health lesson, courtesy of my dad and at the expense of Debra's toe.
Insurance - Last year I spent four months working on getting our health insurance to cover my mammogram. I'm technically too young to have them covered, but having a mom who died of breast cancer in her thirties is supposed to earn you some special insurance treatment when it comes to mammograms. They eventually paid, but it took lots of sorting out communication breakdowns between various people. This year the charges were denied again, so I immediately called the woman who helped me last year and we tackled it head-on. Just two weeks later I was told that my insurance had paid up. Woo hoo!!
The Moffit Box - We send quarterly boxes to my sister's family in the Philippines. They're filled with birthday & Christmas gifts, various holiday stuff, totally random gifts, things they've requested, hand-me-downs to distribute, things they ordered online and had shipped to us, and other miscellaneous things. It's a ton of fun for our family (including my grandma, who joined the fun a while back, and my dad ,who now has a convenient way to ship gifts) to fill the boxes and we know they look forward to receiving them. I'd encourage you to do something similar for a missionary family. I know the cost of shipping can be prohibitive, but there are a few options. One is to join with other people and split the cost. Another is to use a shipping company native to the country the missionaries are in. We use LBC to ship to the Philippines. It costs $65.00 to send a honkin' box, regardless of weight, and takes five weeks on a ship to arrive in the Philippines. It's a bargain, for sure! Anyway, just think about it. It could be a really great way for you to bless a family, teach your kids to be thoughtful and cheerful givers, and have fun in the process.
And now I'm off to finalize the list of things going out in the next box. It's stuff for Christmas, Neo's birthday, and Valentine's day ... plus all the random stuff.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
UPDATE - This class is full. The Class - I'm doing my fourth bargain shopping class on 10/10 at 7:00pm in Wilsonville. The class is free, lasts about two hours, and childcare will not be provided. Nursing infants are welcome to come, but arrangements will need to be made for other children. I'll show you some basic ways to save money and how to utilize the internet in your quest to stretch the household dollar. I'll provide writing utensils and a packet of information for you to take home. The class is limited to twenty people, so be sure to let me know whether or not you can come! My e-mail is, with spaces removed, bethanyandtim @ yahoo (dot) com and I'll give the exact location to those who will be attending.
The Quote - I stumbled upon this quote today while looking for something else on the Sonlight forums and thought it was great.
In my experience, if there is ever a need to preface any statement with the words "no offense" then any words coming after that are best left unsaid. ~ mustang67 (the username of the person who said it)
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
So, I'll babble for a while. Here's a little stream of consciousness. I'm enjoying school with the boys. Our new schedule is perfect for this particular season of life. I feel productive, not overwhelmed. We're doing a last minute Marshmallow Gun War - Third Edition on Saturday. Guess I better go buy some marshmallows. I wonder how many people will be able to make it at the last minute? I love all the trees in my yard and out my window. We are so blessed to live here! It's a fabulous neighborhood. I really want some ice cream. I think there's some coconut macadamia stuff in the freezer. It wasn't as good as I hoped, but it would probably do the job tonight. I need something to counteract the heat that's wrapped around my body in this warm weather, after all. Why aren't these drugs taking my pain away?! Got to take the kids to the park today and they scarfed a bunch of blackberries. I'm back on the Sonlight forums after taking the summer off. The break was great, but it's nice to be back. Our Kiwi neighbor is walking by. Makes me miss Marnie. Naomi is whining. Apparently it hasn't clicked yet that Weathersbys don't whine. She also failed to get the memo that they always poop in the toilet by the time they're two. Now she's hamming it up. Crazy girl.
All right, it's been over two hours since drugging myself and the pain has gone from an 8 to a 6. Ugh. Next dose is going to be something with "PM" in the name. I want sleep tonight!! After a night of insomnia last night, I can't risk a lack of sleep tonight.
I am going to check a few other things online, then I'm off to utilize my self-imposed bedrest as a time for doing some reading.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I've been mulling this post over in my head for several months, but didn't want anyone to feel like it was directed at them. The thing is, it's not directed at any one person, though I regularly get non-verbal communication about our choices and regular conversations on the topic, so I'm just going to go ahead and post it.
Let me just cut to the chase here. You do your children a huge disservice when you parent them out of fear. You rob them of childhood fun. You rob them of opportunities to learn decision making skills. You instill fear where they didn't have any. Of course, there are other potential downfalls, but I'm sure you get my point.
We get the "I can't believe you let him/her/them _____" comments, jaws dropping or people visibly stressing out (staring, wringing hands, etc) over all sorts of things. Here are some examples.
Silas went swimming the day after drowning and we got lots of "I'd be so scared he'd drown again that I wouldn't have let him back in the pool". Really? Your child just died, came back to life, and isn't traumatized by the experience at all. Yet you want to instill fear of water?
Naomi climbs the ladders to tall slides and goes down by herself at 18 months and we get shocked "I can't believe you let her do that!" comments and/or judgemental stares. Really? Your child is coordinated, more than capable of climbing, and you're standing nearby to help if she needs it. Yet you want to instill a fear of heights?
Devon shimmies to the top of the tetherball pole or climbs to the top of a tree in our yard and we get people stopping their cars as they drive by to make sure we know he's in the tree, wringing their hands as he reaches the top of the tetherball pole, and saying "that's so dangerous, he could fall". Really? Your child clearly has climbing skills and loves physical challenges. Yet you want to instill a fear of injury?
Other times it's the fact that our kids jump off of playground equipment (They could get hurt!), were born at home ... well, except the one stubborn one who ended up being a transport after 48 hours of labor, but that's beside the point (They could die!), get mohawks (People will think they look ridiculous or that they're rebellious!), stay overnight somewhere without us (They could be molested or get terribly homesick!), are homeschooled (They won't learn enough or have any friends!), don't get all the available vaccinations (They could die!), use real tools instead of plastic ones (They could get hurt!), walk barefoot outside (They could get hurt!), and the list goes on.
Now, I'm not naive about the risks involved in all the things I've listed. I realize Silas could drown and stay dead, that Naomi could fall and be seriously hurt, that Devon could be seriously injured or killed if he fell from the top of a tree, and that there are risks in the other choices we've made.
However, there's a difference between me and you, the fearful parent. You make parenting decisions based on the possible, while I base them on the probable. Could all those bad things happen to my kids? Yes? Are they likely to happen? No.
So I'd like to challenge those of you who tend to parent out of fear to step back and reconsider how you're approaching things.
Actually, let me rephrase that, as most fearful parents simply consider their parenting to be practical and filled with common sense. How about this? If you tend to tell your child "no" about a lot of things they want to do, frequently use the phrase "that's not safe" or "that's dangerous" and/or cringe every time they do something that carries even the most remote possibility of injury, then I'd encourage you to reconsider your approach.
What are the odds that the thing you fear will actually happen? In the long run, how will your fearful decisions benefit your child? How will they hinder your child? How would your child benefit from you allowing them to do whatever you deem to be too risky? How would (not "could") they be harmed? Stop assuming they'll be scared, get hurt, or be incapable. Stop assuming that everyone in the world is going to hurt your child, whether with malicious intent or sheer carelessness. Don't overthink everything. Don't underthink anything.
I realize that we all love our kids and that, despite our failures, we're all doing the best we can. I also realize that no two families will make the exact same parenting choices. So, I'm certainly not saying you have to do all the things we do. What I am saying is that you need to stop worrying about what could happen, making decisions based on what you get from the news (let me remind you that all the bad things in the news make it there simply because they aren't the norm), and worrying about how others will judge you or your child.
If you start parenting based on the probable, then I can make some guarantees about what will happen to your child. Your child will fail. They will succeed. They will get hurt. They will learn the difference between a wise and foolish choice. They will know that risks aren't all bad. They will learn that failure doesn't always indicate foolishness. They will have a ton of fun.
It gets better. I have some guarantees for you too! You will see your child mature. You will see your child learn. You will be proud when your child succeeds. You will see your child having fun. You will see your child grow to be a confident person who knows how to weigh the risks and benefits of a situation before making a decision.
Parent for the probable, not the the possible. You're children will thank you for it, if not now, then when they've become confident, responsible adults.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
pesto (popped in the freezer)
granola (always make a double batch)
zucchini bread (two for the freezer)
Mexican chicken (chicken with taco seasoning for Mexican salad, popped in the freezer)
upside down pizza (three bases, two made into completed recipes and one base in the freezer)
Cajun sausage & beans (technically a quadruple batch, but we always double it anyway)
cornbread (double batch, one for the freezer)
chicken & apple curry (double batch, both in the freezer)
taco meat (three pounds for the freezer)
refried beans without the refry (always double the recipe, popped in the freezer)
onions (chopped seven of them and popped in the freezer)
The recipes I didn't link are ones I linked to yesterday. So, you can scroll down to see them.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The author is a famous neurosurgeon who is also outspoken about his faith in Jesus. In this book he focuses on a "best/worst analysis" of the decisions we have to make in life. Easy read, super practical and simple advice.
Red Sails to Capri, by Ann Weil
This was a book we read for school. It wasn't totally boring, but I had a hard time getting into it. Maybe it would have been better read quickly on my own instead of one chapter a day with the kids. Anyway, it's about a boy and the adventure that the travelers staying at his family's inn on the island of Capri get caught up in. A little mystery, a little adventure, and some life lessons. I guess it wasn't too bad after all.
upside down pizza (making an extra base for the freezer)/honeydew
Cajun sausage & beans/rice
tuna couscous salad
peanut butter noodles/broccoli
chicken & apple curry (will make a double batch & freeze half)/rice/green beans
Italian sausage with bowties (for a camping potluck)/peas & corn
Red Robin (we had a gift card)
fast food (easy dinner for the night we set up camp)
apple cinnamon cake (camping potluck)