Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Our Fabulous Pharmacist

Nate and I had the pleasure of telling people how great our local pharmacy has been to us.  The TV story did not cover the fact that Nate's medication must be made and requires special skills.  Few pharmacies will make it and the hospital even thought that we would need to have it shipped from the hospital on dry ice.  However, we were able to get it here in town and from a very dependable source.  Tim Mitchell and his employees do a great job for all our family and we recommend them highly.

Click on the picture or link above to go to the news story.
We have several amazing local business here in Neosho and it was nice to see one of them recognized.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 106: Winning the Weight Loss Battle

Meals like this are paying off!
Baked Swai and Grilled Asparagus
Today was our weekly weigh in at TOPS again.  I had expected a low loss, but I lost 4 pounds!  This brings me to 53 3/4 pounds lost in 106 days!  Needless to say, right now I'm feeling pretty positive about this dieting lifestyle.  With today's loss, I'm now 26.3% of the way to my target weight.  It is nice to be over the quarter mark since I have so much to loss, which can become depressing to think about.

BTW-I must brag on Corrine and Grace too.  The three of us together have now lost 104 1/2 pounds this year!

The BEST Baked Fish Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika (I like the smoked paprika)    
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I do 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 medium lemons, quartered or 2 tablespoons of juice added to the baking dish
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or longer if the fillet is thick.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sibling Fun Day!

Today David and Grace went to Carousal Park in Joplin.  It was just the two of them on a special outing, and they both had lots of fun! (A few higlight photos below, but they did it all...go carts, rides, mini-golf, concessions, slides, bouncers, and house of mirrors!)

David doesn't like to go anywhere
that doesn't have food.

A bit fearful of the ferris wheel.

A favorite ride.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mr. Workman's Birthday!

Today was my hubby's birthday, and our family tradition is to make an extra special dinner for every family member's birthday.  This year Matt chose Homemade Spaghetti with Meatballs for Daddy and Daddy agreed with his choice so my afternoon was spent in the kitchen with my helpers.  (For a meal that I cannot have on my diet.) 

After dinner, the boys helped Daddy open his presents and they were very disappointed that he would not share his Candy House Chocolate Covered Almonds.  However, after big pieces of birthday cake the boys seemed to have forgotten about the candy...we'll see if they really forgot...tomorrow.

Hubby says my mom uses his
favorite gift wrapping.
Note: The trash/gift bag

Since Grace, Corrine and I are all dieting, I made a side dish of a veggie bake and had rice as an option instead of home made pasta.  My homemade pasta sauce and meat balls could be worked into our diet plan and since we all had a good weigh in today no one complained that the veggie bake did not compare to cheesy bread! 

Our "diet" plate. No homemade pasta or lemon pudding cake for us!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Best Reasons to Choose Public School

In fairness to public education, it does have its own unique advantages and benefits like home schooling.  Like yesterday's post on home schooling benefits, I'm going to list the benefits that have impressed me the most.
For some kids, school is the most
exciting place to learn.
  • Highly experienced staff is a huge benefit to children, especially to those who are struggling.  For example, a teacher may know several ways to teach a certain skill or they may be able to easily spot missing skills before these cause a child to fall behind.

  • Highly qualified teachers and other professionals are available as a resource for the children and their families.  Most teachers now have or are getting their Master's degrees and they are deeply committed to knowing their subject matter.  These individuals have invested their nights, weekends and Summers to be fully prepared for the needs of all children.

  • The diversity of peers in the school setting helps children learn to interact and work with a wide variety of personalities.  Children learn that not every child has a home like their own and they can see why some kids need extra adults besides parents to keep them safe.  I remember my daughter Grace's surprise that not every child had enough food at home.  It was a sad lesson, but she learned a lot about helping others and using adults to get help that year.  She used her money to buy her classmate's school supplies and she went and talked to the school counselor about her friend needing food, which resulted in help for her friend.

  • Children who need specialized help such as Braille instruction, diaper changes, tube feedings, equipment like standers and things like hearing aid checks get theses and more as part of their daily routine.  Children who cannot work independently while a parent is instructing a sibling are kept active with a full routine during their school day.

  • Children who are motivated by peers to work hard benefit from group projects and even recess.  Older kids are encouraged by peers' experiences to try new things like theatre, sports, debate, band, and so much more.

  • In the world of internet and email, teachers are easier than ever to reach with concerns and questions.  This accessibly means that teachers and parents can work as a team on behaviors, academics, etc.  The days for teacher conferences are over (in my opinion) because I know how my child is doing well before the twice a year conference.   
To me the most important reason to chose to public school is because God has shown me that some of my kids have a need that public school can best meet with its unique benefits. Therefore, after prayerful consideration, He has directed me to use the public school system and I am obedient to His direction.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth. ~~II Timothy 2:15 KJV

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Best Reasons to Home School

There are thousands of great reasons to home school so I doubt that I can list them all in one blog entry so I'm going to list the benefits that have impressed me the most as a home school mom.

Aviation is not a typical elective in
public school, but it can be
for home schoolers.

  • The opportunity to independently study any topic with primary source materials.  No one is limited by the textbooks' information.  Books, documentaries, news articles, letters and even in-person/email/ Skype interviews can be easily added to the learning experience.  I love asking my kids how they know something and the answer is not just "that is what my book (or teacher) said". (Nor is it, "that is what google said.") 

  • Explore interest such as learning to play an instrument, voice lessons, scuba diving, flying a plane, horticulture, animal care, sewing, cooking...there are no limits. 

  • Explore how our community works and meet the people who are resources in our community.  Home school kids learn through volunteerism, observation and questions as they interact as part of the community instead of just studying about the community.  This is  especially true at election time!  My kids knew more about the library bond issue than I did and could discuss its merits and drawbacks with any one in town.

  • The kids learn how to learn without constant supervision.  Home schooling usually requires kids to learn how to find information themselves because no one is hand feeding it to them.  Most of the time, the kids work on their own on projects and assignments without help.  When the kids need help, my first question is usually, "What have you tried?" followed by, "What else can you do to try to solve this problem?" 

  • Not limited by labels like "gifted" or "special" or the million other categories that kids can get put into in a school setting.  I'm amazed by how many home school kids who would probably qualify to be labeled as "learning disabled" go to college.

  • No distractions by immature social behaviors like malicious gossip or teasing, and the kids learn to ignore and not participate in these behaviors when they see them in peers.

  • I learn more as they learn. (Okay, truthfully...sometimes I remember what I learned as they learned...but I hate to admit what I've forgotten.) Plus tutors assure that kids are not limited by my knowledge, interests or skills.

  • A few last benefits....awesome field trips, other amazing home school families to give you support and getting to be amazed by my kids' creativity and hard work because I see their skills develop first hand.
To me the most important reason to chose to home school is because God has shown me that some of my kids have a need that home schooling can best meet with its unique benefits.  Therefore, after prayerful consideration, He has directed me to home educated and I am obedient to His direction.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
 a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth. ~~II Timothy 2:15 KJV

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Worst Reason to Home School

Recently I have seen several articles by parents on why they home school.  The articles all gave multiple reasons why the public school was not okay for their family, but the reasons in many articles were based on one thing.  That one thing, in my opinion, is the worst reason to home school that I have ever seen...perhaps, even worse than the home school parent who told me that she loved home schooling because she didn't have to get up so early.  The worst reason is FEAR. 
No matter my children's educational
setting, I'm still responsible for their
  • Fear of poor standards
  • Fear of peer influences 
  • Fear of biased curriculum 
  • Fear of harm by teachers, other students, etc. 
  • Fear of a loss of respect for their family values 
  • Fear of losing focus on God and His expectations
As a home school mom, I promise that there are so many great reasons to home school, BUT none of them are based on FEAR.  Sure there are things that I want my kids to avoid. However, truth is that God has a different plan for each of my children, and they each need different experiences to prepare for their future.  Each of my children learn and need nurtured in different ways.  Therefore, after much prayer, we have chose to utilize different educational settings for different children at different times.  We have utilized home school, Christian school and public school according to the needs and benefits for each child.

Many times when people realize that I home school, they have asked,"What don't you like about our public school?"  The inquirer who is often looking for "the dirt" on the local school is usually surprised when I say, "Nothing.  Its a great school and some of my kids attend there."  In our case, we have a terrific public school system here in Neosho.  Sure, it is not perfect, but what school is!  The staff and volunteers at our schools really want it to be a great place and they want to see our children do well.  Therefore, it is no surprise to me that some of our school's staff are pro-home schooling because they truly want what is best for each child.

In my opinion, if a public school system is lacking in desired qualities, then that is a factor in the decision to home school.  However, basing the decision on a fear of the school or the unknown is just not acceptable for me.

Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid. ~~John 14:27 ESV

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

40: Day 92 Weighing In and Liking It

After two weeks of weight losses of 2 pounds or less, I finally had a bigger loss today of 3 1/2 pounds.  I am so happy. Today is day 92 of being 40 and of focusing on a better life.  As of today, I've lost 46 pounds.  I'm 22 1/2% of the way to my goal weight so I have a LONG battle ahead of me, which I find depressing, but today I am pleased with my progress so far.

Monday, April 8, 2013

U.S. Adoption Day x 4

At court waiting to be called.
Today was finally Matthew, Mark, Luke and Jon's final day in court.  After much waiting and anticipation, their stateside adoptions are complete!  Many people aren't familiar with the situation with these children who were allowed to come home to us after the Haitian earthquake under a special refugee status and it is rather complex.  However, due to numerous issues, it has taken much longer than we had expected to get these adoptions finalized in the US so now and FINALLY we can get moving on the process to their becoming US Citizens.

The boys went right to the seat at the big table.  The
boys had no doubts that these chairs were for
I must be honest with you and I'm sure you already have guessed, these adoptions come with costs which we have depended on God to provide.  He has always been faithful.  What you may not know is that there are other fees and paperwork too.  Plus due to how these children entered the US, these fees are higher than a typical adoption.  We will soon be needing to pay almost $4,000 in fees to the US Department of Homeland Security USCIS office (immigration) as part of the citizenship application process.  This will be a hit to our already tightening budget.  Therefore, we ask that you remember our finances in your prayers.  As many of you know, we are in need of a mini-van to replace our 2001 Durango with 287,000 miles on it so a prayer for mechanical soundness of our vehicles until an affordable replacemnt can be found would be appropriate and appreciated too.  Thank you!

God places the lonely
in families;
he sets the prisoners free
and gives them joy.
~~Psalm 68:6a

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Our Newest Addition

Corrine has been waiting for two long weeks to add this cutie to the family.  As an early birthday present, Corrine was allowed to get her own puppy from Golden Paw Rescue in Joplin.  She named her puppy "Pippi" and today she came home with Corrine.  Here are a few photos and as you can tell Pippi (or "Hippi" as Mark calls her or "Puppy" as Nate calls her or "PeePee" as Luke calls her or "Doggie" as Matt calls her) has a few new fans.

Needless to say Pippi took a long nap after introductions to her large new family.