Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well, up late as usual :) and if I had half a brain, I might be able to put down some intelligent ponderings on turning 34 today. LOL I don't know... 34 doesn't seem like a monumental age. But it is good to be alive another year, after surviving a near-death experience 3+ years ago. I suppose I could use the well over-used word, "surreal", to describe how I feel about being this age and the experiences I've had so far in my life. Maybe "neat" (LOL) to describe living the age and the life I dreamed of growing up, that seemed SO far off in to the future, and I feared might not even ever come to be...having a wonderful family of my own who loves me. But with some grief and loss I hadn't hoped for, too. With unexpected surprises. With unexpected smiles and laughter. With unexpected love and joy. So much. Too much to think about right now...but I do feel pretty good about 34. And not a single gray hair (right now) because I take it so nice and easy :P LOL shhhhh!

Words of Encouragement on Homeschooling

Want to post this before I forget... this is a post on one of my email groups from my dear friend Karla Wiegrefe and I've heard this all many times from her, but it is ALWAYS encouraging to hear, especially coming from a veteran homeschooler :)

Do not feel alone ... so many homeschool moms keep quiet their "secret" of "failure". Most are convinced that everyone else has it together and they are the *only one* who can't:
a) get their schedule straight b) have a clean home c) get their kids to cooperated) get motivated) turn in statement of intents on time)
In being open with my struggles (which is a huge vulnerability), I have discovered that there are sooooo many of us out there. Women who are relieved when they finally hear someone else say these things. Women who love their kids, who are overwhelmed or numb or unsupported or depressed or all of the above. Realizing we are not alone takes off some of the pressure...
What has brought me comfort over the years is a quote I saw long ago from some expert. "The worst run homeschool is better than the best run public school." Yeah it sounds harsh. I'm not sure if it is true in the strictest sense (there are some pretty solid alternative learning style schools out there). But I still keep that quote in my head. And I claim it as my own. "Well, this better be true because I think I qualify for the worst run homeschool." (Intellectually, I know this is not true ... we have many years of radical unschooling, in other words "unschooling by default", under our belts ... but I'd say the worst run homeschool is one where the kids are being kept home for other purposes, like to hide abuse etc and in other words, they are not homeschooling at all but instead simply hiding abuse under the blanket of supposedly homeschooling. NONE of us fall into that mold.).
I've also been known to pray ... that God would know my heart, know what my intentions are, know what my weaknesses and faults are ... and honor my efforts and intentions and make up for what is lacking in me.
Whenever I'm stuck in one of these "bad places", I pick up a smarmy catalog selling clothing to teenagers (I saw one particularly horrifying one a few years ago ... it asked questions throughout the pages ... "Do you like girls or boys?" etc lots of gender homosexual type questions!) Or I watch the latest hot sitcom. Or I rent the movie causing the latest buzz. I see what other kids accept as "normal", what they love. It reminds me that homeschooling is something I'm doing for more than merely academics.
I talk to women who have children in school. I try to pick moms whose kids are a lot like mine ~ the struggling reader, the one diagnosed with ADHD, the brilliant artist, etc. I hear their struggles and triumphs, their frustrations with the school system and how it isn't meeting the needs of their kids, the things they like, etc. Basically, it's about getting real about the entire thing.
And then I look at my own situation through reality lenses ... are things really as bad as they seem? What good things have I seen happen throughout the years? What are the advantages of radical unschooling (because there are some *glorious* ones)? Where are my kids now compared to where they were a year ago?
And conversely ... what would make me feel good about myself as a homeschooler? What is one thing I see that is a small change that I can realistically accomplish? Sometimes it means renting some educational videos from the library or reading a book with my kids once per day or doing a project we can all be proud of (maybe a simple lap book?).
The thing to remember is there is no "right" way to homeschool. This is especially true with the young ones. Many kids are not ready to pursue serious studies until they are a little older. Especially boys. Raymond and Dorothy Moore have some classic homeschooling books including one called _Better Late than Early_ and they talk about studies of kids that show waiting until they are older is often the better choice. Boys are often not ready to dive into homeschooling (especially reading) until they are 10. Consider reading this book. It will probably take a huge weight off your shoulders ...
I think part of it too is we put sooooo much pressure on ourselves to do all these things w/ our homeschool that sometimes we don't get ANY Of it done. What if the only thing you required of yourself was to get your Statement of Intent in? Make up two of them. One for this year and the other for next year (I never did anything that smart, hmmm). Have a holy filing place where it's easy to find and get in by the deadline. I spent years where I didn't get my SOI in until after Christmas (sometimes waaaay after argh). Now we get it in by Oct every year. A miracle!!! Only took us 5 years. :)
Well, the kids are boiling over so I gotta run...

Monday, March 30, 2009

More on "under the rainbow"

So, okay, ...it's kinda basic. Everything basically is "under the rainbow" LOL And so, that's what I'll be talking about. Some things will be great, my kids and life, homeschooling, my hubby, good things going on in the world, blah blah blah.... but some things are not so good too. From my theological standpoint, there is sin in the world, so of course things are going to be imperfect. But of course, that doesn't mean that we don't strive and push and fight even for there to be more "good" or for things to be better. That's where, perhaps, my advocacy for better birth is going to come in. Plus, my politcal views and the world of politics, if i dare share them LOL But sticking to the birth issue...I don't really have this blog here to have debates w/ "the other side." Not that I'm not game to some of that, but mainly, I just want to share and inform and gab/ramble ;) But the birth issue is more emotional for me than any other issue besides my loss and grief (which is tied to the birth issue, of course.) At least at this point in my life, it still is. My goal and desire is to make birth safer for my daughters. Number one. And number two, so that no one has to go through (keep going through) what I have. I'll repeat the cesarean statistics over and over, so get used to it :) But, the latest numbers ...the c/s rate in the U.S. for 2007 was 31.8 %. The World Health Organization (WHO) has mantained for several years now that the rate for ANY country should be NO HIGHER than 10-15%. That means that at least 1/2 and up to 2/3 of all cesareans performed today in the U.S. are UNNECESSARY. And in the meantime, the maternal mortality rate is climbing. Our infant mortality rate is higher than some 3rd world countries. And, I'm rushing through all of this as a synopsis now, but hope to dwell and post a lot more on all of this, but...in the countries where midwives are used in as much as 7 out of 10 births (and some have 30% homebirth rates too), the c/s rates are the lowest (Holland is around 18% i believe) in the world AND the maternal mortality and infant mortality (neonatal, i think i mean) rates are lowest as well. I want this country to wake up. My Noah died, not because of where I was at the time it occurred, but because before they could rescue him, he was deprived of oxygen from a placental abruption (first, and then a concurrent uterine rupture, according to pathology)...........and I almost died/had to be revived.....all because of two previous (or at the very least one..the first) very unnecessary c-sections. I'll explain more about each later and why they were unnecessary or not. And I'll try to get through talking more about my pregnancy and birth with Noah eventually. I'll be sharing lots of articles and studies and stories from other women, mothers. Every mother has a story to tell....bare with me, mine is kind of long...well, I'll be long-winded about it :) ...this is a passion for me.

More on "Blog Charter"

whatever that is LOL I am such a blog dunce :P but anyhoo, did want to explain "under the rainbow".... it's where we are as opposed to where Noah is :) I had to restart my blog, but before, I had a pic of the blue balloons we released on his birthday (a tradition now) and said "Somewhere Under the rainbow...where blue balloons fly.." :) although, of course, those blue balloons fly up to him in heaven, just as Micah and Jillian imagine they do :) But this pic of the rainbow was a HUGE gorgeous rainbow we saw on the way to Dothan last year and I got pics of both sides of it, left and right. It was the biggest I'd seen and I don't know that I've ever seen a whole one like that before. So, here we are, our family....living under the rainbow, until that day we can join Noah, somewhere OVER the rainbow :) For those who might not know about our Noah, go here: http://noah-martin.memory-of.com/ I really need to update it though. I need to talk to him, add some song lyrics, add a note about Mammaw, and pics of his little sis Mariam :) Anyhoo...so much more to come, stay tuned...


well, i'd hoped to type up something cool today (ha!), but things were running hot here instead LOL The fridge was, anyway. ugh. We're wondering if during the storms, lightening did something to it. It is running, but not cooling or freezing. We thought last night maybe the fridge part was still cooling, but nope...everything was really warm today...so I've been tossing all of our food. Wahhh! For those who don't know, Thursday morning last week, we headed to the Martins' (in-laws, or usually noted as the "ILs") to wait out the first round of storms. Better safe than sorry, we say, living in a trailer. The first round wasn't too bad, but a second round was slated to come early Friday morning, so we spent the night. Again, not too terrible, but same thing Friday night... a third round of storms coming early Sat. morning. Only this round was worse. I was up late (as usual) on the computer, over there, and before going to bed, checked the weather. There was a tornado warning in the next county over, west of us, coming straight for us at 50 mph. Ok, I could not go to sleep after that, so I just sat and sat watching the weather. In the end, the tornadoes died down by the time the storm got to us, but there was tons of rain and wind and lightening. We also missed the baseball size hail others' reported, thankfully. But the flooding...."unprecedented" for the Dothan area. For a few hours Saturday, all roads in Geneva County were closed. Many houses had minor flooding. Then by Saturday night, I had the stomach bug going around (Micah, Jillian and Mariam had it last week)...so we spent another night at the ILs. We finally got back home Sat. evening. Our home was fine. Just part of our dirt road was washed away, but there was room to pass. Could have all been so much worse. We were home a long time before we noticed stuff dripping out of our freezer part of our fridge. Ugh. Everything in it was thawed out and warm...beautiful boneless chicken breasts, a bag of beautiful scallops LOL (yes beautiful :P ), frozen veggies and berries, peas we put up last summer still, several cans of juice, pie crusts..... But okay, so we thought, well, the fridge part still feels a little cool...it was too late to go buy ice, we tried un plugging it and replugging it in again, to see if that helped.....couldn't find any reset switch anywhere....so we'll just wait and see. Well, by morning, everything was for sure warm.... 2 dozen eggs, half a gallon of milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh veggies galore (we salvaged some) but the strawberries were getting old anyway and it didn't take long for them to get fuzzy, cheese, a whole hen i was gonna boil, turkey bacon and turkey sausage............wahhhhh! So........that's what I've been doing today...crying over spoiled milk LOL Shannon suggested www.repairclinic.com ...we'll see if we can figure anything out, but I think we'll be calling a repair man........will have to be Thurs. before he can come though. A. the house is a wreck and that's what I'm working on tomorrow, catching up B. then there's Micah's baseball practice tom. night C. Wed. will be a full day of taking Doug to work, shopping for Elem. Youth Night at Church, then taking Mariam for her Check up at the Ped's.............no time for any birthday celebrations LOL but that's okay, being w/ my family IS celebration :) Wow, I might actually like gabbing on a blog like this afterall....i could go on and on. LOL Maybe this will be a good incentive for me to be more organized and consistent with our homeschooling :) Oh btw (by the way), they're predicting storms again tom. night and wed. morning...we may have another night at the ILs, not sure yet...ugh.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2nd Attempt at a Blog :) and Blog Charter

Okay, maybe I'll really do this this time :) Things I want to blog about: my family and what we are doing, cesarean prevention and activism, ICAN www.ican-online.org , BA and BAC www.birthaction.org , homeschooling, adoption, infant loss, uterine rupture, miscarriage, grief, healthy living and diet info, my weight struggle, politics, vaccine research/info, circumcision debate, Catholic issues and theology, and so much more :)