Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lent, My Day 16

Today, I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I'm thankful that H finally decided to get his hair cut.  AND, he decided to get all of it cut nice and short so it won't be giant and puffy for awhile.

His hair is so thick and the longer and thicker it gets, the wilder he becomes.  He's been like this since age three.  Cutting his hair off helps him feel calmer and more reasonable.  Less argumentative. 

I love it.

Also, I'm thankful for KF taking time out of her day to stop by and hang out and give me some excellent advice about a few things. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lent, My Days 13-15

I can't believe I am posting three days of Lent Thankfulness in one post.  This is so unlike me.  But it's been that kind of week so far.

So here we go...

Day 13, Monday: I'm going to borrow my sister's answer for this one and tell you that, I, too, was thankful this day for our son, Z.  He turned eleven!  I've even updated my side bar three days later.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Paleo Freebie

You may notice (if you scroll down) that I have a new affiliate link on the right side bar.  This is for a new E-book created by the blogger at Multiply Delicious.  She creates all kinds of recipes, but Paleo recipes are just one of her categories.  This stuff looks delicious!

Anyway, if you are interested in getting a copy of this E-book, click on the link in the side bar and your purchase made from the link on Mama Flock, Multiply Delicious will contribute 50% of the profits from each sale to our homeschooling fund.

In addition, if you would like a great Paleo Freebie available from Multiply Delicious, CLICK HERE and scroll down to see her link below the second picture of the Paleo Recipes for Everyday E-book cover.  The freebie is a one-page "cheat sheet" to remind us about Paleo foods and foods we Paleo peeps should avoid.

If you're not a Paleo peep, she has many other, non-Paleo, but delicious-looking recipes on her blog.  My mouth was watering over the carrot cake pancakes. Mmmm.  Check it out.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lent, My Day 12

Today has been a good day so far.

I took my camera to church service and captured scenes from around the building as asked to do by the church's admin.  She's going to put together a slide show for Easter, I think.  As I weaved in and out of classrooms and hallways, I ran into several people I don't often see.  It was nice to exchange a few words or a hug and then move on to continue the job.

After church, I sat down to move the photos from church and from yesterday's football scrimmage to my computer.  Then C said he would take the kids to do something fun for the afternoon if I would like him to do that.

Yes, please.

Two Gender Specific Blogs I Love

We have been blessed in this family with both boy and girl children.  We are raising both, men and women.  So I kind of like to make sure I'm constantly learning about both.

I'm a girl (aka, woman, but in my heart, I'll always be a girl).  So you'd think I'd know a lot about being one.  To a degree, I do.  But I only have my experience.  Our daughters share some similarities with me, but in many ways their personalities and character vary widely from my experiences.  So I find it's best to find out about the experiences of other women so I can help them grow into who God means them to be.

And boys?  Well, they are a complete puzzle to me.  I had two sisters and no brothers.  I learned about men from my dad and my husband.  But, I am increasing in my boy-knowledge thanks to my experiences with three sons.  But I want to help raise them into awesome individuals.  They are very different from one another and even different from my dad and my husband -- so reading stuff from other guys is important so I know how to apply that knowledge to each of our sons.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Poem

Really quick, I wanted to share with you this poem that Beth Moore read to her audience on the DVD portion of this Daniel study.  We've been learning in our study how we currently live in a modern-day Babylon (at least in the U.S.), which is self-indulgent and very "me" focused.  This poem really says it well...

Babble on in Babylon

Lent, Day 11 on My Schedule

I recently found out that Lent doesn't count Sundays.  So I was a little Lent-illiterate.  A little Lent-naive.  A Lent-idiot, I suppose.  So Lent for me will be a little longer than 40 days.  You won't mind if I share six extra days of thankfulness, right?  It certainly won't hurt me.

So I'll still be thankful on Sundays during Lent.  Deal with it.

Anyway, today was a really busy day!  But let me tell you how it all started...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lent, Day 10

Are we seriously just 30 days from Easter?  Wow.  2013 is really flying by so fast already.

Anyway, I know I already blogged a couple posts today, but I thought I'd make this one short and sweet. 

Today, I'm thankful for friends for whom to pray.  There are a lot of needs out there and thankfully my PrayerNotes app on my iPhone is helping me keep track of most of them (the ones I have been told about).

It's sad to think about all the needs, but what I'm trying to focus on today is the fact that the needs stem from people.  People I know, I love and I care about enough to pray for them.

I know they are praying for me, too, when I have needs -- which is usually -- and that's an easy thing for which to say thank you, Jesus.   

They are an easy thing for which to be thankful.

Lent, Day 9 OR Presidential Bobbleheads

So last Monday was Presidents' Day as I've already mentioned somewhere on this blog.  Even though we didn't stay home that day, I like to do something in recognition of that holiday to remind the kids important stuff like praying for our leaders (even if we don't agree with their politics).

I wasn't sure what to do this year, because we seem to get in a George Washington/Abe Lincoln rut when we search online for presidential ideas.  That was fine when the kids were all younger, but I wanted to do something different this year.

So I woke up Tuesday morning having dreamed up a craft idea:
Yes, I know it doesn't seem very educational.  But certainly it sounds fun, don't you think?

A Third Tale and Some Corrections

Some of you may have read my post: Two Tales (or maybe not).  But I have since learned that Kaela (the young girl) has a webpage detailing her story and a way for others to contribute financially to help with medical expenses right there on her page.  Actually, it may not be her webpage, but someone who cares for her and cares for this family enough to post the information online on their behalf.

Anyway, I realize now that I had misheard or mis-recalled certain details of her medical history.  I hope you'll understand and forgive me as I just heard the story the one time and just felt so deeply moved I wanted to make sure and share the story with you -- as well as the resulting actions of our son, H.

Please check out the webpage with actual details and photos of Kaela and notice the sparkling eyes and dazzling smile in the midst of her giant burden.  She is an inspiration to me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent, Day 8

There were several moments today where I felt like tearing my hair out. 

I've got the sorrows of a friend on my heart today and have spent all my spare moments breathing prayers to our God on her behalf.  It's been about to rain all day, so the weather has given me a really awesome headache.  I try not to take pain medication since learning that the more I take, the more likely I'll have Alzheimer's -- so I just suffered through it.   N was sick today, so we had two extra little ones running around the house and I decided today was the day to do some housework.

What was I thinking?!

However, in spite of all the distractions and challenges, somehow, the Lord helped me bring everyone together to help out and we got all the listed to-do items accomplished except vacuuming because apparently there is trouble with our vacuum.  The list also included clearing off my PC desktop and my actual work desk top.  I posted a picture of them weeks ago in Instagram and I hadn't gotten around to fixing the problem till today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lent, Day 7

I'm thankful today because I accomplished the first step in my therapy goal about getting things done for S's graduation.  My therapist wanted me to complete the "gathering process" for grades 6-9 and I have done that.  For our next appointment, I need to complete grades 10-12.

And this process is not all that difficult, it's just really time-consuming.  I search through my old lesson plan books, my organized records (and my disorganized ones), my photos and of course, the boxes full of school work that I've stowed away.

I've nearly filled a 70-page college-ruled spiral notebook with grades 6-9.  It's pretty amazing what we've been able to accomplish in these past years of school.

Even more amazing when I think about what the Lord has accomplished in us during that time.

We are exactly two months from her graduation day now.  My how the time flies.

Two Tales

Sunday at church, one of the small study group leaders got up in front and told us the story of a little girl of whom they were recently made aware.

This tale begins with a 12-year-old girl living in western New Mexico (near this study leader's parents, which is why she knows about her) who at age seven was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.  She was hospitalized and treated and during this time, her grandparents gained custody.

Lent, Day 6

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know we took a day trip to Farmington, NM and surrounding areas and had a nice time on this Presidents' Day.  Z prayed for our safe travels at the start of the trip and even remembered to pray for our president and pray in thanksgiving for past presidents without any reminders.  I was very impressed he remembered the holiday.

Lent, Day 5

Today was one of those days that made it a little bit tougher to think about thankfulness.  That's why it was so very important that I stayed alert and watched for joy moments!

J woke up, feeling sicker than yesterday, still running a fever (and by this evening, she started vomiting -- to tell you how bad she's feeling).  C was already at church for worship team and needed to be there to sing for both services.

Meanwhile, due to sickness, I've missed the last few weeks at church.  Today, C had a special song he was performing, so I definitely did not want to miss that.  I asked for a volunteer to stay with J so I could go to the service.

Well, Z volunteered immediately.  And then decided he wasn't up for the job.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


My friend, KF -- a fellow homeschooling mom -- sent me a link to the video I'll share with you below.

If you've never heard of TED University, it's a great program that unites a variety of schools of thought and brings them together under one umbrella (TED) to educate and inform the world in generally, brief, informative (sometimes entertaining) talks.  C has been watching them regularly for a while and so he first introduced me to TED.  Find the talks online or even on Netflix, if you have an account.  There are probably DVD's available, too.

But this video, made at a TED event, features a speaker who is just 13 years old.  He talks about what he refers to as Hackschooling.  He never says he's homeschooled, but he does talk about being removed from the traditional school system when he was nine.  When you watch his presentation -- which I highly recommend you do -- you realize that his schooling usually keeps him away from home most days.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lent, Day 4

So today, I can't narrow down my list of things I'm thankful for to just one.  Bear with me...

1. I'm thankful for my Bible study ladies who get up early and give up time on their Saturday mornings to spend time in the Word with me (and each other) learning about Daniel.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nature-created Artwork

Springtime is our windy season here in the desert.  But it's been fairly windy already, while it's still wintertime.  On several of these windy days, I've driven past our local dump en route to one of the schools where I do my weekday pickups and I've felt inspired by what I saw.

On calm days, the fence that surrounds the dump looks like a normal fence.  But on the windy days, the fence becomes a canvas ready to catch the colors of the wind.  I know it's just trash and stuff people probably should have recycled, but something funny happens in my mind when I see that fence come alive like that.

Lent, Day 3

Today, I am definitely thankful for Field Trips.

I always say that we homeschool, but that doesn't mean we stay home all the time.  I know there are some homeschooling families might disagree with my philosophy, but I love that we can take our "home" (that is, our family) on the road and go and do and see as part of our learning process.

Besides, it keeps us from getting bored of the regular rhythm, which helps the kids be more alert and to make more connections with things when we do book work at home.  I'm constantly amazed at how our children remember what they read in books because they've seen examples of certain things in the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent Thanksgiving

So my sister, Jessica, has a lot of great ideas.  She sickens me with her immense creativity and her ability to think up new stuff all the time.  Now, she's outdone herself again.

Ash Wednesday was yesterday and seriously, People, I did remember that (even if I did not acknowledge it publicly), but today when I took the kids to the zoo (with friends) I was contemplating how last Lent season I gave up chips and fries for 40 days.  That was really difficult back then.

But now that I've gone Paleo for the most part, giving up food doesn't seem like such a challenge.  My priorities have changed.  I just didn't know what to do in recognition of Lent this year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On Valentine's Eve

Once again, the day of love is upon us and once again, I allowed too many things to get in my way.  So my Valentine's cards are still sitting on my desk, unsigned, unmailed.  Just like last year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Results

So I went to the doctor this morning and lo and behold, I do not have Strep throat.  Hallelujah and Amen to that.

Sadly, I do have an ear infection, my sinuses are all jammed up and my throat is bright red.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Little More About My Monday

So we just got home from the doctor's office.

I took the girls who both had fevers and throat pain.  The nurse didn't even want to test J because she said she didn't really seem to have the same symptoms as S.  But I insisted (even against J's protests) because I wanted to be sure.  So she did it reluctantly.

My Weekend... and Monday

Hello Everybody!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and maybe had the chance to check out the guest posts.  If not, make sure you do, it's a good read and good insight from my wonderful husband, C.

My weekend was quite the mixed bag, so I thought I'd tell you about it and let you know how today is going so far.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Guest Post: What I Have Learned From the 30-Day Paleo Challenge, Part 1

C and I have been talking a lot about this Paleo challenge (last day is today!) and he has some great insights into his own experience.  So we discussed his doing a guest post here on my blog.

What?!  C is not a mama.  He's not even a woman.  The idea of a male, non-mom doing a guest post at Mama Flock is just craziness.

But here's the thing, this is my blog and he's an important part of my life, so I'll allow it.  I think you'll be glad I did.  If we encourage him, maybe he'll do more guest posts down the line.  His way of telling kid stories is usually funnier than my way -- I just get to experience more of them every day. But of the ones he does know about, we want him to provide guest posts now and then to keep us entertained.  He also has great recipes he might let me share on here, which really put my Easy Smoothie and Simple Snack posts to great shame.  One guest post at a time, I suppose.

One thing we do share in common is that we like to write very long-winded pieces.  So, instead of one guest post, I'm breaking this into smaller bite-sized posts and will set them up to post here over the course of this weekend.  It won't be so much, so fast that way.

Enough with my lengthy explanations ... on with the guest post!

Sixty Words

The graduation committee has asked each parent (or set of parents) to write a 60-word biography for their son or daughter.  These will be displayed with four photos of the graduate at the ceremony.

Sixty words?!

That is an especially tough requirement for the word-limit challenged such as myself.  But in the nick of time (today's the deadline), I managed to put together a biography for S.

Sixty words.  Exactly.

C and S approved.  Here's what I wrote (I've used initials in this version as I usually do in this blog)...

S is the oldest child in the C family, with four younger siblings.  She is a natural leader and mentor.  We recognize her gift of having great compassion for others.  We are so proud of our S for her dedication to serving children, the homeless population and animals in various local programs.   She is an amazing person with unlimited potential.

Difficult to sum up a person's existence in just 60 words.  So hopefully, this does our daughter justice at the graduation ceremony.

My A to Z

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and filling out this A to Z questionnaire to warm me up into this day.  I may post more stuff later...

Available or married?
Happily married.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Second Teen

It's official.  Today, we welcome our second teenager in this house.  H has crossed that imaginary bridge from the tween years to the teen years.  This is both exciting and intimidating.  One teen has stretched us as parents in ways we'd never imagine and now we've got two.  This one's a boy to keep us guessing even more.  So maybe I'm freaking out a little, but I'm making peace with my freak out.

(I was able to freak him out pretty well when I announced that now he's only five years from legal adult age.  Ha!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An Old Photo

In my searching through old photos for information to contribute to S's transcripts, I have come across several fun pictures from the "olden days," when the kids were still really young and I was still very new to parenting.

Here's one of J, taken in the spring of 2007, so she's about 2-1/2.  I love that I took the time to capture this messy picture before we started the cleaning.  She was always so inquisitive.  Into everything.  This photo kind of says it all...

Simple Snack

Okay, so since you all seemed so impressed by my Easy Smoothie recipe (ha), I thought I'd share with you another ingenious way to transfer more coconut oil into your body (if you're into that kind of thing).

Once again, I don't like to cook, so everything I make has to be fairly dumbed-down simple or I'm not going to take the time.

New Goals

Some of you may remember when I wrote about my experiences seeing a therapist for the first time (and I'm still seeing her after a bunch of times).  I blogged about the goals my therapist helped me set up for myself in the beginning.

Since then, many of those goals have been achieved reasonably well, so I'll give you the update here and then tell you about my new goals -- Spring goals, as she refers to them.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Six-List: Six Things I'm Looking Forward To

It's been awhile since I've posted a "Six-List," so I thought I would do that this morning between dance and football practices.

Happy Groundhog Day!  I hear that we're due for an early spring this year if we believe the hog.  I've already seen and felt many signs of an early spring around here.  I'm even enjoying some new things that are just getting started and I'm looking forward to doing more.  So here are six of them...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Easy Smoothie Recipe

So apparently smoothies are a big thing for Paleo peeps.  I'm pretty sure that the smoothies I've read about online have like kale and stuff in them though. 

I'm just not there yet.

I like kale fine -- in salads, cooked with bacon in greens, etc.  But with fruit?  I'm a skeptic.

So I made up a kale- or spinach-free smoothie recipe this morning -- which is really easy to throw together.  Perfect for non-cooking people like myself.

An Accomplishment

Happy February, everyone!

Today, four of our kids took final exams in their current math books and passed with flying colors.  That means they all get to progress to the next book in the Math-U-See series.  I'm very pleased and proud of our kids.

Friendship Series, Part 2: Childhood Friends

As I continue adding posts in this series, I feel the Lord blessing me in the area of friendship lately.  It's making it more of a challenge to write the series in any cohesive order because I want to include some of the new stuff happening.  So I may want to go out of order a little as we continue ... but for now, I want to talk about the next thing I planned in the order of the series and that is on the topic of childhood friends.

My very first BFF ("best friend forever") outside of family and play dates coordinated by my parents, was a little Italian-American girl who lived up the street named Toni.  I was in kindergarten (and continued into first grade) when we became friends.